Archive for December, 2005

Dec 30 2005

Poop.

Published by under daily

I have been having poop issues. Now, you may hate me, but generally speaking, I never have poop issues. In fact, it wasn’t until a few years ago, when I was pregnant with Ethan, to be exact, that I actually knew what it meant to be constipated. It’s pretty common in pregnancy, especially because of all that iron they make you take in the dreaded pre-natal vitamins. People would tell me they were constipated, and I would nod and express my condolences, but honestly, I had no idea what that meant or what it would feel like. When you need to poop, you poop! What’s the big deal? I also have a pretty iron stomach. If something upsets my stomach, I can generally live through the pain until it subsides. I don’t go vomiting that much. James has some quirky stomach thing where sometimes he will eat something and he’ll just stop, because it’s upsetting his stomach, but I can eat pretty much anything under the sun.

I have NOT been having constipation poop problems. That may have been better than the whole feeling the icy hand of death squeeze your innards while poop just keeps coming and coming and coming. It was a few days ago, it must have been Monday since James was also home. I was innocently working a sudoku puzzle when I felt the urgent call of the toilet, and so, fetched myself hither to the throne.

There, I can only relate the anguish that I underwent by telling you that I thought death was imminent. My abdomen felt like a fiery pit of hell. My head felt all feverish, goose bumps broke out on my skin, and I actually started sweating like a pig. I could not contain the moaning that seemed to come from my throat. My bowels were spasming about so wildly that I actually threw up in the trash can. That is right, there were bodily fluids (though thankfully, not of the same sort) coming out of each end. I thought I was going to die, and finally decided that I couldn’t die alone, and cried out in my pitiful “I’m going to die” voice to James to get downstairs. If I was going to die from poop-trauma, I at least did not want to die alone. And if I wasn’t going to die, then I wanted James to know that I was in serious pain here! Serious! He came down and couldn’t quite figure out where I was, found me, peeped in the doorway which I adamantly held closed except for a 1 inch space, asked, “Are you okay?” (NO I JUST LIKE TO MOAN FOR FUN) took and washed out the vomited-in trash can, and by then I gradually felt better enough to not feel all pouty when he went back upstairs. What?! You don’t want to silently sit outside the bathroom door and send me “feel better” vibes? The stench is starting to waft through the lower level of the house? Fine! GO UPSTAIRS I HOPE YOU HAVE CONSTIPATION AND THEN I WILL SAY DIE ALONE IN YOUR PAIN MY FRIEND. After my body had evacuated everything in the entire digestive tract, I felt much better and beat death back with my mechanical pencil (i was doing a sudoku puzzle, remember?) and resumed my day with some normalcy and kind of forgot about the incident until yesterday.

Yesterday! Thursday was my first day back to work after the holidays, and James got to stay home and watch over the kidlets. He had the brainy idea to bring them up and meet me for lunch. We sat down and ordered, and all of a sudden I knew I had to get me thither to the bathroom. I did, and I did the business, and I came back, and then I knew I had to get me thither to the bathroom AGAIN. I did and this time, I stayed a lengthy amount of time, experiencing some of the same symptoms as before, but not quite feeling like I may die and they’d find me on tech toilet and wouldn’t that be embarrassing.. However, I can’t help feeling like I ruined our nice little family lunch by spending 1/3 of it in the loo.

So! That is the extent of my poopiness lately. Aren’t you glad I shared? Aren’t you glad you waited to read this until after you had eaten?

Ok, so since I mentioned lunch with the family yesterday, I have to relate a Cute Kid Story. We were at Uno’s for the main reason that they have dinosaur chicken nuggets, which Ethan loves, and he’s pretty picky about his chicken nuggets – they can’t be too crispy or it’s hard for him to eat them, and often restaurant chicken strips/nuggets are too crispy. So if we go out with the fam, it’s often to Uno’s.

Anyway. So his dinosaur chicken arrived, and he informed us, picking up one of the pieces, that “this is the Mommy. And this is the Daddy! And this is the baby!” right before he proceeded to eat them. I don’t know what that says about my son, that he likes to personify his food before consuming it, but boy. It was funny. At least he didn’t engage in talking to them, or any role playing before eating them. At least, not that I know of. Maybe he did, while I was in the loo.* “And the mommy says to the baby, “Go clean your room!” and the baby says, “NO!” and the mommy says, “TIME OUT!” and then I EAT HER! HA!” (just to be clear, this is fictional. but honestly, that’s probably what I’d do if i was personifying MY food and I was 3.)

*Isn’t “loo” a great word? I think we should stop saying “bathroom” and “restroom” and just start calling it the toilet and loo, like in England. Let’s start a new thing, you and me. ARE YOU WITH ME? GREAT!

OK. I’m still feeling back about that viciously long post yesterday, so I’ll end this now. Plus, I have to go to the loo.

– amy’s a survivor, I’m gonna make it, I will survive, keep on survivin’

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Dec 29 2005

This is so long that you may need to go get a beverage first.

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,photos

WOWEE CHRISTMAS CAME AND WENT AND BOY WAS IT FUN

I feel like I need to do catchup on all the stuff that’s been going on since I last posted. Obviously, Christmas came and went. It was really wonderful. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last Friday I got to thinking about the weekend and decided I didn’t really want to be bothered going to a WW meeting Saturday morning, so I went to one close to my work during lunch. I had a very exciting loss. The bad side of course is the last week has been all Christmasy and staying at home and generally I do rather poorly during holidays and also when I’m at home. So today and tomorrow I’m really trying to get back on track to hopefully maintain that loss, or at least not gain it ALL back. Guess we’ll see Saturday morning.

Saturday morning (Christmas Eve Day!) Ethan and I went out to do some errands and get the Christmas present for James that I had inadvertently not ordered. Ethan was happy that it was a copy of Jarhead on unabridged CD, and thus, he got to play with the Thomas trains at Barnes and Noble for a little bit.

We had a pleasant afternoon making cookies (Chocolate Crinkles) for Santa and playing with the kids. Then night fell, and after waiting an hour to make sure everyone was asleep, the Great Christmas Eve Tryst began. You know, the tryst that every parent makes with their spouse on Christmas Eve, the tryst of putting together all the things that need to be put together, wrapping the presents that still need wrapping, getting everything down under the tree, and NOT forgetting to eat or at least put away the cookies and milk for Santa (we forgot last year. Luckily no one noticed). We were pooped by midnight. James did the brunt of the putting together work however. Maybe next year we should do it earlier, LIKE I SUGGESTED WE DO several nights before. Ahem. Not that I’m bitter or anything. It’d just be nice to have a relaxing Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning I was half awake when I heard the click of Ethan’s door opening and closing as he made his way to the bathroom. After I heard the toilet flush, I propped myself up to check out our door to make sure he didn’t go down the stairs. He started to, but I called him and he came running in and did a whole running flying tackle thing onto our bed. Well, it SEEMS like he did, but he had to climb up the bed first and THEN he did the flying tackle thing over to the head of the bed, where we were. He snuggled in with us for a while while we waited for any signs of life from Jocelyn, and then we all made our way downstairs for Christmas.

It was at this point I realized that we only had like 10 minutes on the tape in our camcorder, as I taped the kids coming into the living room and seeing the little tikes play kitchen that was all set up.

James looked everywhere for more tapes but none were to be had, so I stopped rolling tape and we switched to the camera instead. While I’m disappointed, because when I’m old and they’re all grown I know I’m going to want to see this and FEEL the excitement of the 3 and 1 year olds on Christmas morning. Photos are always nice, but video is better for really feeling it. BUT on the other side, it’s hard to enjoy Christmas when you have to pay attention to the camera. I think maybe setting it up in a corner on a tripod might be the way to go next year. Of course, that’s only if we actually HAVE A TAPE TO TAPE IT ON. Later on we discovered we did not have any AAA or C batteries in the house. I scrounged some out of other older, and thus not important toys to put in the new toys. However, given the amount of toys that were opened, the ratio to those needing batteries and those which came with batteries already installed was actually pretty good.

It was a nice Christmas morning. Not really marred by the fact that the cinnamon rolls I made didn’t turn out at all. I made them the night before, put them in the dish, and then covered with saran wrap and stuck them in the fridge to bake the next morning. They just didn’t seem to want to get “done”, each time I pulled them out they were still doughy. Next year I’m not killing myself making cinnamon rolls from scratch, we’ll just buy the damn things and heat them up for Christmas morning. In my family, we always had homemade bran date muffins, which sounds nasty, but actually was super yummy. But not as yummy as cinnamon rolls, so I cast my own family traditions to the wayside to go with James’ family traditions. Cough. Hey, yumminess wins, what can I say.

POST-CHRISTMAS EVENTS

Monday was a day off of work for both of us, but Tuesday and Wednesday James went back to work while I stayed home, and now today (Thursday) and tomorrow, I work while James stays home. Jocelyn’s day care provider is on vacation this week, thus the staying at home. And while Ethan’s school is open, if Jocelyn is home might as well have Ethan home also. It has been really nice staying home with them. I don’t know if this JUST happened, like it FEELS like it happened, or it’s been gradual and I just haven’t noticed, but Jocelyn is just becoming such a sweet little PERSON. (This is where I probably will launch into Cute Kid Stories, just so you are warned.) She understands so much of what we’re saying, and while she doesn’t string more than 2 words together yet, she is starting to really get this communication thing down and is so pleased with herself for doing so as well.

I remember when Ethan was her age and was just starting to talk a lot, his stock phrase was, “Maybe later.” – And WHAT A BLESSING that it was, because you do not know HELL until you have to take away a toy or try to explain why you can’t go to the bookstore and play with the train table there and then put up with the fit that ensues. With Ethan, he just seemed to latch onto that concept, that sure, I may not be able to do it now, but there is always later, and he was always saying, “Maybe later!” to my, “Not right now,” and oh what a boon that was.

Well, Jocelyn’s stock phrase is definitely, “That’s better.” She says it all the time, whenever anything happens that pleases her. She is on the floor, “Up peas! Up peas!” and I pick her up, and she looks around and states, “Dat’s better.” I am really drilling the manners thing into her. It was only recently that she started to actually say, “Please” instead of just throwing a fit when she wanted something, and I try to NOT give her whatever it is she wants, until she communicates that she wants it. This makes for some unpleasant times if she doesn’t want to say it, but would rather throw herself on the floor with the Jocelyn Volume turned all the way up to “Burst Eardrums,” but generally, it seems to be working out well.

CUTE KID STORIES OTHERWISE KNOWN AS MIGHT AS WELL GET THIS UNDER THE PROPER HEADING ALREADY

Here is a list of cuteness I have observed or participated in recently:

  • Jocelyn has an intolerance to dairy. She gets all snotty and sickly if she has milk proteins. Ethan was the same way, but outgrew it by the time he was 18 months old. Jocelyn still hasn’t outgrown it, and as such, has soy milk instead of cow milk. So, it’s fairly important that she not drink out of Ethan’s sippy cup. We let Ethan have soy milk whenever he wants. Anyway, so in the sippy cup department, we have purple and pink cups and lids, as well as green, blue, yellow, and one ghastly orange cup. So being a girl, of course we give Jocelyn some purple and/or pink in her cup and/or lid so we’ll be able to know which one is hers. I have never been all that much of a pink sort of person, and I’m always grumpy when I get her cup ready for the day. I mean really, she should have blue if she wants! Or yellow! Who are these nazis who decide what colors are girly and which are not??! Ahem. Anyway. So the other day, I got her a purple cup and purposefully put a blue lid on it. It’s got purple in it, right? Right! Good enough, dammit!So, the morning goes on, and I catch Jocelyn picking up her (full!) cup, and walking over to Ethan. “Here, Ethan.” I try to correct her, and tell her that it’s HER cup, but she will have nothing of it, and keeps “giving” Ethan the cup. She apparently totally knows which colors are hers and which ARE NOT, and she will not bring cup to lips that do not have pink or purple lids, by george!
  • Still on the sippy cups, but different story. Jocelyn loves to pick things up and bring them to you. Even if you didn’t want them. It’s something to do with this age. Also interesting, it’s the same age that she would rather pick something up herself rather than take it from your hand. Case in point, I had a bread stick and broke some of it off and offered it to her, to an immediate protest of, “NOOOOOOOO!” – but when I laid it on her plate in front of her, she picked it right up and crammed the entire thing in her mouth. Ain’t development kooky?

    Anyway. What was I talking about? Oh yeah! So Jocelyn picks up Ethan’s cup and brings it over to him. Ethan is otherwise engaged and didn’t particularly care if his cup was brought to him or not, and barely notices. Jocelyn puts the cup on the couch in front of him and turns to face him. “Dankooo” (jocelyn-speak for “thank you”) she says to him. “Dankoo!” She repeats. “DANKOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” She says again, until I realize that she is WAITING for him to say thank you! She is DEMANDING IT! “DANKOOOOOO!!!!” she hollers at him again, and I have to give Ethan a gentle, “Tell her thank you for crying out loud!” which he does and then she grins and trots merrily off. It was pretty funny.

  • Especially when Jocelyn was a baby and couldn’t do any talking for herself, I’ve often referred to her to Ethan, as “our girl”. She would roll over, and I’d say to Ethan, “What is our girl DOING!” to get him engaged in the situation. It has dropped off more and more as she’s grown older and I’ve just used her name instead. The other day, Ethan had come downstairs after waking up from nap time and was playing with his train. Sounds of “HI! HI!” started to emanate from the baby monitor connected to her room. Ethan said to me without looking up from the train, “It sounds like our girl is awake, Mommy!”
  • I bought a new plastic bin with a lid to keep Ethan’s GeoTrax train stuff in. I bought an extra one cause I thought it was especially nifty and knew we could use another one for something somewhere. So I brought them in from the car when I bought them and they were hanging out in the family room for most of the day yesterday. The bin height is exactly at crotch level for Jocelyn, which means she can climb into it fairly easily. Ethan was climbing in and out of one of them immediately, so Jocelyn decided to give it a try as well. She climbed in and out of that bin for EASILY a half hour, totally involved in the process of swinging her leg over and bracing herself and then getting her other leg in and sitting down. Then standing up and doing it all over again.

    Even more amusing is even AFTER she’s done it 20 or so times, she started to get all anxious at that point when she has placed one leg over, and her foot hasn’t quite touched the bottom of the bin and she starts to feel all, “oh no i MIGHT lose my balance and why was i doing this in the first place????!” and starts to “Uh! Uh! Uh!” about the situation until there we go, her foot hits the bottom of the bin and her hands are firmly placed on the bin’s sides and then she’s in (“Dat’s better.”) and she lowers her little bottom down and kind of slides until she’s almost laying down inside the bin. Then she looks over at me and says, “HI! Mommy! HI! LOOK! FEETSIES! HI!” and then temporarily freaks out as she tries to get upright again even though she has already done it successfully the last 30 zillion times without any help, manages to get up, and then does it all again another fifty zillion times.

  • Ethan doesn’t quite know the meaning of some words, despite parental issued corrections. He will interchange other words for the actual word he means. In his head, it means what the other word means.
    • “Last night” is code for anything that happened in the past.In addition to this, I think he thought that nap time was actually nighttime, and after nap time it was a new day. He loves to get dressed, and he usually comes down from nap time in a new set of clothes, even when I tell him he doesn’t need to change clothes. So sometimes he’ll make a reference to “Last night” when he actually means “this morning”. It’s actually a little scary, because he thought that he was actually staying overnight at his school, with the whole nap time = nighttime = new day thing. This is how I actually realized his misconception. It’s tough, because everything in the past is already “last night”, but he referred to something as “yesterday” and when I tried to correct him, he was really adamant and to explain, told me that it was before nap time, therefore, yesterday. We’re working on correcting this issue.
    • “Anything” actually means “nothing” or sometimes, “something”. Same thing for “anywhere” and “nowhere”.

      James: “Whatcha looking for Ethan?”
      Ethan, all trying to be sneaky and hide his true objective: “Anything.”

      Amy: “Where did your hot dogs go?”
      Ethan: “Anywhere! – Just kidding mommy, they’re in my tummy!”

  • That last example reminded me of something Ethan did once. It was a while ago (like, probably over 6 months ago) but I believe it went something like this:

    Mommy: Where did your dinner go?
    Ethan: It went in my mouth, and down my throat, and into my tummy!
    Mommy: It sure did!
    Ethan: And then it went down my legs! Into my toes!
    Mommy: It did not!
    Ethan: It did too! And then it went to my bottom and I poop it out!
    Mommy: Well at least that part is right.

    I belive at this point, Daddy pointed out that if you get technical it DOES go to his legs and his toes and everywhere.

  • Last night it was my turn to put Jocelyn to bed, and they had had baths just before. I had Jocelyn in her room, and James was still getting Ethan out of the tub and bundled into a towel. We heard him pull the plug in the tub, and could hear the gurgling water going down the drain noises. Jocelyn heard it, and stopped what she was doing to sing, “BYE BYE POOP!! BYE BYE WEE!”

On Tuesday, I took down the tree. FIrst of all, it was not a good tree to begin with. It was CROOKED.

I never did post about the day that it FELL OVER due to it’s crookedness and *cough* our inability to get it into the stand straight. So one morning it totally just fell over. Also, I let it go dry for too long and once that stump gets all dried out no amount of watering is going to get moisture to those needles and if they’re dry they fall off and that’s that. So I was looking at our sad tree, no presents underneath anymore to direct one’s attention there, and no presents to cover up the MASSES of needles that had fallen off. So with some “help” from the kids, we stripped it of ornaments and lights, and I hauled it into the garage to await trash day. It took my three separate vacuumings to get all the needles up, because about 3 bucketfuls had dropped in the de-decorating of the tree. Plus tons of itty bitty branchlets that were too big to just vacuum up and therefore had to be picked up by hand. The kids actually were a very good help at picking those up and putting them in the trash. Ethan used his new garbage truck to “collect” them and then “dump” them into the trash.

So our tree is down, which makes more room for GeoTrax Train Setups Extraordinaire! I took some action shots.

The timeless “My Little Pony On The Tracks” dilemma.

I think I’ve inflicted enough word-pain on anyone reading this today, so I will stop. It was a nice holiday. This weekend, I may send out year-end cards. If I remember.

- amy brings her face close to yours and gives you a great big “MMMMMMMMMWAH!!!!”

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Dec 28 2005

Mostly visual. More writing stuff tomorrow. Promise.

Published by under daily,kids

Well, I’ve uploaded Christmas pictures.

Lessons Learned From Christmas:

  1. Check to make sure you have plenty of camcorder tape. Preferably more than 10 minutes, because you know, Christmas morning lasts longer than 10 minutes.
  2. Get batteries. Even though you THINK you have every battery size known to man in multiple quantities from costco, just get some anyway, because you don’t really.

ON TO THE PICTURES!

Christmas Day

Christmas Day Slide Show

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Dec 23 2005

FRIDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS AHHHHHHH!

Published by under amy's head,daily,overheard,random

I’m at work today, the Friday before the big Christmas weekend, because I’m not allowed to take vacation until I’ve been here for 6 months, and I had to use most of the fancy comp time I had built up specifically for next week to stay home with my sick son and then again when it snowed and his school was closed, which doesn’t leave me with a lot of comp time to use on luxurious staying home around the holidays. I don’t mind being at work really, because boy was the traffic BREEZY and there’s not really many people here, so it’s quiet and kind of nice. However, I have had contact with home a few times and it makes me a little sad to hear all the cute oh-so-Christmasy sounds emanating through the phone at me, like the sound of Jocelyn talking her cute little phrases, “What doing?” “Stuck!” “Dat better!” “HI! HI! HI!” and Ethan singing his cute little nonsense songs and the sound of the Christmas train choo-chooing and whistling and just the overall snuggly coziness that home sounds like in those brief seconds.

It’s ok though. I have several of snuggly Christmasy staying at home days coming up, so I can handle today. And while I belive I’m going to get VERY busy directly after new years, right now the actual availability of work is on the low side so it makes for a pleasant, slow sort of work day.

While this year I got all grown up and sent presents to all of my family and even most of James’ family (all of his immediate family), I neglected to get something for my only remaining grandparent, my mother’s mother. I can’t BELIEVE I overlooked her, errgh. And it would be especially bad if she came over to my folks house for Christmas day, which is a likely scenario, and if everyone opened presents from us while my grandmother sat and wondered where HER present from us was and why didn’t she get one. I did realize this in time to select something online and have it sent to her, but noooooo I neglected to do this as well. When I discussed it with my mom, she mentioned that I might just send her some flowers, so earlier this week as I desperately cast around for something to send for her, I landed on that idea. Which quickly changed to, “Flowers die, I’ll send her yumminess! Then at least when it’s gone, you still got to eat something good!” So I browsed around Harry and David looking for something tasty, which they ALWAYS have, and that led to me asking James if he thought HIS grandmother would like some too, which he thought she would, so I ordered some for her as well. Then just as I was thinking how yummilicious everything was looking, it popped up with “Order some for you and get 20% off!” Seriously, who can resist that? So Grandma is getting a box, James’ Nana is getting a box, and now WE are getting a box too. Yum. I love Harry and David fruit.

This is not the end of the story. The next paragraph seems unrelated, but actually IS RELATED. You just have to trust me on this.

So last night I was wrapping up a few remaining presents, and I thought, hmm. I know I had more stuff for James. Now, I didn’t go all hog crazy with presents for James, but when I wandered around the house collecting the boxes that had arrived from various online stores that I knew that contained James presents, I only found two, and one of them I remembered what was in it, and it was pretty minor. I walked around a couple more times trying to think if I had placed a box in a super secret hiding place SO super and SO secret that I had forgotten where it is and James will have to have his present in 2013 when we sell this house and found the super secret hiding place only because the entire house is being packed up to move to, I don’t know, Canada.* It didn’t help that I couldn’t actually remember what was supposed to be in the missing box, or even which online store the mythical box came from. By this morning, I had actually remembered the item that was missing, so I felt relieved that at least I wasn’t going crazy. I do have specific memories of placing this item in a shopping cart, but I am fickle sometimes and perhaps did not follow through on the actual ordering. So this morning I hop on my e-mail and try to track down whether or not I actually ordered the item or not. It turns out that I did not. Silly silly Amy! No big deal, because I can go get it in a store, it just probably won’t be as cheap.

So, while I was rummaging around in my “orders” e-mail folder, I decided to check in on the Harry and David boxes, and was pleased to see that both grandmother’s orders had been marked as “Delivered” and that our box was currently out for delivery. However, on closer inspection, I saw that ours and Nana’s box were the same, but my grandmother’s had a different product. I ordered the same thing for all three orders. Then on even CLOSER inspection, I realized that NONE of the three orders had the box that I actually ordered, they were totally something else! So, depending on what arrives at our house, I may or may not open up a can of whup-ass on Harry and David for sending the wrong items. I figure I can at least wait to see what we get, and maybe it actually is what I ordered, and they just put something else on the tracking page for some odd reason. The box I ordered had apples and pears and I *think* chocolate covered cherries. I want the box I ordered dammit!

* Oh. My. God, do I love the run on sentences. You really should hold an intervention for me or something.

I hope that you love me and forgive my pointless seemingly-never-ending stories. Because I don’t think it’s likely to stop any time soon.

I’m getting my haircut today at 4:30. THAT went over well when I told James last night:

me, mumbling incoherently: I made an appointment to get my hair cut at 4:30 tomorrow.
james: What did you say?
me: I made an appointment to get my hair cut tomorrow at 4:30.
james: WHAT?!!!*
me: I’M SORRY I CAN’T HELP IT!!
james: WHY are you getting your hair cut again?! I thought you liked it after you got it cut!
me: I DID like it! I liked how she did it! I, however, cannot do it like she did it! I’ve given it a week! I have tried!
james: What are you talking about?!
me: LOOK AT ME! I LOOK LIKE SHAGGY FROM SCOOBY DOO!
james stares intently into my eyes, probably trying to recall how he ever thought marrying a whacko like me was a good idea.
me: you’re looking at my eyes, LOOK AT THE HAIR!
james looks at the hair.
james, finally admitting to the shaggy doo look: You really don’t have the hair skills, do you.
Now, this is too much. I HAVE MAD HAIR SKILLZ. IT’S THE HAIRCUT PEOPLE!
me: I BOUGHT A NEW HAIRBRUSH! I EVEN GOT OUT TWO DIFFERENT SIZED CURLING IRONS. YOU EVEN SAID YOURSELF THAT IT WAS A MAZE OF CORDS AT MY SINK! I HAVE THE HAIR SKILLS, I JUST CAN’T GET THIS HAIRCUT TO WORK FOR ME!
james: Well, ok then.

* note: I JUST had my hair cut last week, and unfortunately I have a history of not liking haircuts and going and either making the original hair cutter redo it, or going to a different salon and getting it re-cut. *cough* I think I’ve done this 2 or more times. At least two though, in the past 2 years. Maybe even three. I just add this note to let you know that James reaction is pretty much on target, and I was totally expecting it.

Aren’t you sick of hearing about my hair? I know I am sick of spending gobs of time on it only to look like Shaggy Doo. I’m thinking, let’s hack it all off, something that requires no curling irons, no brushing while blow drying. I’ve totally used up my allowable minutes spent on hair beautification for this year and the next, so a bob* is starting to sound really good to me about now.

*How roaring 20’s is that? I think I’ll get my hair bobbed, go meet a sheik and slip into a speak-easy to drink and dance the Charleston. James, you can be my cat’s meow, the bee’s knees, or maybe even wasp’s nipples.

amy often thinks about what she would do if all other human beings were suddenly gone from the planet.

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Dec 22 2005

random observations

Published by under amy's head,daily,project skinny

I wrote this post on Thursday but didn’t post it. So I’m posting it today, Friday, but changing the time stamp so it looks like it was posted Thursday, which is when I wrote it. I just wanted to be honest about the whole time stamp changing so that later, you wouldn’t come to me and say, “Amy, you CHANGED the time stamp and I just am not sure I can trust you ever again!” Ok. On with the post.

  • I spent over 15 minutes (THAT IS A LOT OF TIME!) on hair beautification today. While the recent haircut renewed my motivation in looking like a grown-up, there is only so much time I am willing to spend. So, I was reasonably pleased when the results of my efforts looked, I would venture to say, fairly nice. However, by lunchtime, I once again looked like Shaggy from Scooby Doo. WHY!? I want to scream at the universe. WHY ME!?! So, I think I’m going to have to get another haircut. I just can’t handle this one.
  • I have generally doing fairly well on Project Skinny. However, last week on Friday, my husband left me for the evening to go into DC and drink lots of beer with lots of friends. He deserves it. Even though he always gives me the sad face and makes like he did awful when I asked how his finals went, he once again got an A in two of his classes (third one still waiting) and with school over, I do not begrudge him his beer drinking festivities. Back to my point: I was home alone. With an unchained up fridge. That had some fudge in it. And some newly made sugar cookies. And then the next night was my office Christmas party, you know with the open bar. Anyway, I really didn’t do well for a few days last week, and up until that point, I had been doing “ok”. I got to thinking about “ok” and in many respects, “ok” is really good. I mean, if I continue at “ok” for 6 months, there will still be less of me than if I wasn’t on this project to begin with. Even if it is slow, I will take it. “Ok” is a lot better than doing nothing at all.Now that I’ve gotten all that out of the way, I’d like to say HOGWASH! I don’t want to do “ok!” I want to do “GREAT!” And this week, I think I really am doing great. I am not going to make my original goal of losing 20 pounds, so right now I’m looking to get out of the current bracket of 10s that I am in. I think I could even swing a total 10 pound loss by New Years Eve, IF I keep on track and stick with it. I’ve crossed the threshold and left the room of “Well, this is what I want but I don’t feel like it RIGHT NOW” and I am in a new place that feels focused and energized and DETERMINED.It feels good.
  • Trying to make Scooby Doo faces and noises (“Arroo!” “Is that you Scooob??”) in the rear view mirror while driving is not a very good idea. Neither is constantly checking out your ‘do to see if it still looks like Shaggy. It does.
  • I beleive the battery to my car beeper door-unlocker is dying. I click and click and click and it takes FOREVER. Do they have batteries? Do those batteries last forever? Can I just go to a Toyota dealership and say, GIVE ME NEW BATTERIES OR FACE MY WRATH! and have them comply? WHAT DO I DO OH WHAT DO I DO!
  • What is “[sic]”? I see that all the time and I’ve never known what exactly it means. As near as I can figure out, it’s supposed to be an editor’s note that it was published or written with some error or spelling mistake and they didn’t want to bother fixing it but wanted us to know that they SAW it and KNOW that it’s there. Am I right? Is it an abbreviation for something? Please, someone, fill me in.Or I guess I could just go google.

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Dec 22 2005

Cute Kid Stories – Episode 2

Published by under kids,overheard

Lately, Jocelyn likes to exclaim, “STUCK!” and then get whatever it is free, and say, “Dat better.”

It’s especially cute when she isn’t stuck in the least. Like when she stopped on top of the toy box lid and shouted at the top of her lungs, “STUCK! STUCK! STUCK! STUCK!” only to hop off and say, “Dat better!!”

My mother always said, “Don’t argue with a three-year old.”

She was usually talking about my older brother(s) at the time, but still, I got her point.

But now that I actually HAVE a three-year old, I REALLY understand. You JUST CANNOT WIN. It doesn’t matter that facts are on your side. It doesn’t matter that your child USED to have a sense of logic (or at least listened to you and accepted your word as The Truth no matter what). What matters is, what HE THINKS IS TRUE IS TRUE DAMMIT.

Let me give you some examples.

We have a great children’s CD, “No!” by They Might Be Giants. Even if you don’t think you know their work, you really do. You just don’t know you do. Kind of like Danny Elfman in that regard, to a lesser degree.

Anyway what was I talking about? Oh right. The CD. It’s in my car pretty much always, and we listen to it on the way to school and from school to home. Track three features a song called “Robot Parade”, which James has always said is his favorite. Well, I think around the middle of the summer, Ethan decided that it is his favorite. And therefore, it cannot be anyone else’s favorite.

This is our conversation in the car when the robot song comes on:

Ethan: It’s the ROBOT SONG! This is my favorite. It isn’t daddy’s favorite. It’s ALL MINE.
Me: No, honey, this is daddy’s favorite song too. You can both have the VERY SAME FAVORITE SONG! It makes it even more special.
Ethan: No, Daddy’s favorite is the bed song. And Jocelyn’s favorite is the clap song. And your favorite is the tree house song!

Another argument with a three-year-old:

Me: Just think Ethan, it’s only 5 more days until Christmas.
Ethan: No, mommy, it’s FOUR!
Me: No, I’m pretty sure it’s five more days. It might even be six.
Ethan (working on holding up his fingers): No mommy, it’s THIS MANY DAYS! (holding up three)
Me: Well, when we get home we’ll check the calendar and see.

I was worn down at that point and just gave up. The urge to continue the argument is there, because you have the COLD HARD FACTS on your side, but little sway do they have. Even though you are in the right, you must submit. Maybe politicians should be required to spend some time arguing with three year olds just to learn how to compromise and submit – even when they don’t want to (and/ or think the facts are on their side).

Another Ethan conversation:

Ethan: I’m getting so big mommy. I’m getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and the little hole is all gone now! From the snot!
Me: The snot?
Ethan: No, the SHONT!
Me, totally confused: The shont?
Ethan: Yes, the shont!
Me: Honey, I don’t understand what you’re saying. Where did you get this hole?
Ethan: It was a little hole, and it hurt, and she pushed it down. And it hurt all day long. And then I got bigger, and it’s gone now! It doesn’t hurt any more!
Me (seriously wondering and vaguely worried): It hurt? Who pushed it down?
Ethan: Our new doctor! She pushed it down and it was a little hole. And now I’m so big I don’t need any more shots!

He was referring to the flu shot he got last weekend. Jeez, mom get with it already!

It is really fascinating how his mind works sometimes. I should really bring a little tape recorder or something in the car with me because I am SO not doing his train of thought justice.

Of course, being so close to Christmas and all, he’s totally fixated on that. About 10 minutes after we had put him to bed a few nights ago, I heard him talking in his room, so I peeked in. He was singing “Santa Claus is coming to town”. Too cute. He also likes to sing it as well as Jingle Bells while he’s on the can.

Total side note: I got Ethan these toddler wipes that are just like normal baby wipes but are in a cute toddler friendly container. I got them because I’m tired of him hollering, “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY Come wipe come wipe!” from across the house because he doesn’t want to wipe his own ass. Maybe with these toddler wipes, he’ll wipe his OWN ass! Well, since we got them, he has been hopping up on the potty to poop ALL THE TIME, instead of the constant reminders we have to give him lest all the poop building up in his backside EXPLODE OUT OF HIS BUTT IN A DESPERATE BID FOR FREEDOM killing everyone in it’s wake. So this morning, I left him alone to poop per his instructions (“Leave me alone mommy. Go outside.”) and when I came back, he had left the BIGGEST MAN-SIZED POOP in the toilet that I was totally flabbergasted. He poops EVERY DAY now! HOW could he have had that much poop in him? And HOW GOD HOW could he have ever pooped it out?!! Seriously. I don’t think -I- have ever pooped that big. I’m still boggling.

We’ve had issues with Ethan behaving in school. There’s no question that the boy needs a firm hand when it comes to discipline, or he’ll take advantage of it. So while not directly, I have been playing up the whole, “Santa only brings toys to little boys that make GOOD CHOICES AND IS NICE TO THEIR FRIENDS!” aspect of it all, and while I talk, it really does seem like it’s going in one ear and out the other.

Until yesterday, he told me that Santa Claus came to his school. Fishing information out of Ethan is no easy task, let me tell you.

Ethan: Santa Claus came to my school.
Me: Really! (thinking, oh they must have had someone dress up and come in)
Ethan: Yes!
Me: What was he WEARING?
Ethan: He was wearing ALL RED! Just like my favorite color!
Me: Wow, that must have been great! Did he have his big bag of toys?
Ethan: Nooooooooo.
Me: He must have left it at home.
Ethan: Or on his SLEIGH! (the kid knows about the sleigh!!! I don’t know why I’m boggling, he’s seen the Polar Express enough times to know about it by now, but still!)
Me: How does Santa get his sleigh up in the air?
Ethan, thinking it over for a minute: With his REINDEER!!!
Me: That’s right! So what did Santa do when he was at your school?
Ethan, getting a little quieter: He watched us.
Me: He watched you?
Ethan: Mmmhmmm.
Me: Did he talk to you?
Ethan: Nope. He just watched us.
Me: Aha.

At this point, I let it drop because it is my guess that there was nobody dressing up and visiting his school.. He just knows that Santa is “watching”, and thus, this story. It’s cute, and scary all at the same time. James expressed his belief that we’re raising a conspiracy theorist who’s going to be nervous about Big Brother all the time.

He’s obviously thinking about Christmas and the presents a lot, because one night, I wrapped up the slippers (in green wrapping paper) that they’re going to get to open on Christmas eve, and set them at the top of the stairs to take down the next morning. He of course saw them and bombarded me with questions, and insisted on putting them down under the tree. DAYS later, we were in the car coming home, and in the middle of his running dialogue stated, “And it’s GREEN!” I had no idea what he was talking about, but at the same time I just KNEW he was talking about those two presents, and sure enough, next he said, “And it’s for me! And the other green one is for Jocelyn!”

Sometimes it’s hard to decide whether Christmas is better as a kid, or as an adult experiencing it with kids :) Since I’m here, now, I’m going to go with the “as an adult” scenario. You know when you see something super cute, like kittens or puppies or little newborn baby bottoms or a baby horse standing for the first time and you just have to go “awwwwww!”? James always used to say that he felt it in his chin. Like if he saw something cute, he would feel the cute feeling in his chin. I never quite got that. Maybe it’s because if you go, “awwwwwwww!” and then still have that “oh it’s so adorable” frowny smile on your face, your chin does feel a little weird. Maybe that is why he pinpointed the chin as the source of all cute-adorable feelings.

Well, my chin is definitely feeling all the cuteness around here.

Happy Cute Chin Feeling!

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Dec 21 2005

Conversation between my husband and myself.

Published by under marriage,overheard

Today’s lesson is in “HOW TO NOT GET SERVED WITH DIVORCE PAPERS:”

me: I made cookie dough today.
him: yes i saw it in the fridge.
me: i would have made the actual gingersnaps, but we were out of sugar. you have to make little balls and roll it around in sugar, and THEN bake them.
him: i remember.
me: they are ethan’s favorite!
him: he does love those gingersnaps!
me: maybe i’ll make the chocolate ones with powdered sugar next – your favorite!
him, very quickly: those are good, but they’re not my favorite.
me, very deliberately and then slightly dementedly: yes, i know they’re not your favorite. your favorites are the chocolate drop ones with frosting. but i tried to make your favorites. i made the cookies, and the frosting, but you said the frosting wasn’t right. so i made a different frosting, and still, it wasn’t the right one. so then i got your aunt’s frosting recipe that was from your grandmother and STILL you said it wasn’t right. I MADE THREE FROSTINGS FOR YOU AND NONE OF THEM WERE RIGHT AND THEN NONE OF THE COOKIES GOT EATEN EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE YOUR “FAVORITE”!
him: maybe i’ll have to track it down.
me, ignoring the previous, and quite gaily: So now, THESE are your new favorite!
him: You’re picking me a new favorite cookie?
me: Uh-huh.
him, very wisely, i might add: I see.

THE END!

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Dec 19 2005

I missed you SOOOOO MUCH! Did you miss me?

Published by under amy's head,daily

Ahhhh.

So. Hi? How are you? It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve written here, but it hasn’t really. Just since Thursday. Once I get out of the habit of posting really regularly, it’s harder to get back in the habit. I’ll try to do better. I promise.

This weekend was sort of blurry in all the getting ready for christmas excitement. Saturday night was my company’s christmas party, and I’ve been meaning to get my hair cut for a while so it seemed like a good day for it. While I was at it I got my eyebrows waxed too (don’t laugh. If I do them, they end up not matching. it’s best to leave these things to the professionals.) In addition to getting my hair cut I decided to get some highlights, so I pretty much abandoned my family for various personal beautification processes.

Superficial Mode ON!

So I’ve dyed my hair red for a long time – 16 years or somewhere thereabouts. I’ve grown it out on occasion but always ended up dyeing it again. Always red. I just like red. However, the downside is that it always fades to a brassy, orange yuck color after 6 weeks and even when I do the touch up, it just seems like that nasty color always comes back, only quicker each time. This is probably due to me being both a cheapskate and doing it myself with Ms. Clairol, and me being greedy and wanting all the fun of doing it myself with Ms. Clairol. So that was a long route to tell you that after 16 years, I’ve managed to not dye my hair red until it’s all pretty much grown out.

However, there’s the problem that my hair is a pretty bland color. When people asked me what my natural color was, I liked to insist that it is a plain paper bag brown, playing up the yuck factor, but in truth, it’s not far from the truth. So while I liked having the brassy orange flavor gone, the plain yuck color was a bit grating. A few of my friends have done highlights with great success, so I’ve been thinking it over for a while. On asking James if I should get highlights, he responded, “Sure, blondes are supposed to have more fun!” Har-dee-har-har. Anyway, this is really a pitifully long story to say, I got some highlights on Saturday along with my haircut, and I like them a lot. I didn’t want to have the “striped” phenomenon that goes along with so many highlight jobs, so instead of bleaching it we choose a dark blonde shade and it’s very subtle and natural looking.

The hair cut was GREAT in the shop, and she styled it wonderfully, it was just exactly what I wanted. However, when I tried to duplicate her efforts in my own bathroom this morning, the result was something that looked kind of like Shaggy from Scooby Doo. Aroooo arrooo??? what’s that Scoob? You say you want some Scooby Snacks? It isn’t pretty. I think I need to purchase yet another size of barrel brush. Next time I’m going to ask for a haircut that doesn’t require brushing while blowing dry – Therein lies the mystery!

So, I’m done talking about the hair, except to tell you about my health. I was doing pretty good, perfectly healthy. Until the hair stylist finished the ‘do and sprayed me down with some hair spray. My hair became a helmet. If I lifted one strand, the entire head of hair came up with it. It was really pretty scary. I didn’t realize what she was doing, that she was using the hair glue from hell, or I would have stopped her, there’s nothing I hate more than helmet hair, but it was too late. And worse, the hairspray that I inhaled had a immediate impact on my nasal cavities and I spent the next two days in NASAL HELL. At the Christmas party, I kept having to blow and wipe my nose and my right eye kept watering strangely. the next day I could not breathe through my nose AT ALL. Swallowing a drink of water became quite an ordeal. Luckily, today has been much better, I think due to the Claritin-D and the nyquil I took last night. (that’s right. I mixed. You’re lucky I didn’t down it all with a shot of Vodka, you wanna make something of it?!) I wonder if I am actually allergic to that brand of hairspray, but somehow I don’t think so, because even in my own bathroom, I have to spray and then RUN out of the room lest any get in my nose and cause me distress FOREVER AND EVER AMEN.

So shall I talk about the eyebrows now? No, I’m just kidding. Enough with the superficial talk. I hope you clicked on the cute image in the previous post and took a gander at the pictures from the Santa Train. Can you tell just how enamored that boy is of trains? It’s pretty cute.

Did you watch Saturday Night Live on Saturday? Or later, on your Tivo? There was one sketch that seriously made me laugh out loud. I haven’t actually laughed at an SNL bit in years, but this one did it.

Dr. Pibb + Red Vines = CRAZY DELICIOUS!

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Dec 19 2005

Kids. Are. So. Cute.

Published by under daily,kids,photos

And this isn’t even their cutest.

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Dec 14 2005

Winter. Itch. Jergens. Slather. Repeat. Repeat! REPEAT!!!

Published by under daily,likes & irks,marriage

So it’s winter. And that means that the heat is on all the time. And that means that all that heat is forcing all the moisture in the air to, I don’t know, go to Bermuda or something. And not much moisture in the air makes my skin dry. And when my skin is dry, I ITCH. Now, I itch all the time anyway, and I’ve been known to pester James to scratch my back even in the summertime, but in the winter, well, he’s very put upon. The best utensil I ever owned was a bamboo backscratcher. It’s gone now, and boy do I bet James wishes it wasn’t.

I’m always continually slathering on lotion and moisturizer in the winter. I also slather it on my kids. Jocelyn hollers, “LOTION!” when she sees the baby lotion (best baby smell in the world) and comes running, even when she’s hiding behind the chair in her room trying to be invisible until I say, “Where’s JOCELYN?!” She comes running over and lifts up her shirt so she can slather it on her tummy, because really, what’s more fun than slathering goo on your tummy which is then magically absorbed? Actually, that sounds a little scary. If I were a kid, I would be worried about where EXACTLY all that lotion is going.

So. Lotion slathering. The problem with all the dry skin and the lotion slathering, is that there are spots on my body that I cannot reach. Like the very middle of my back. So now not only am I pestering James to scratch my back, and insisting on proper technique and the correct level of hard or soft scratchiness, and no digging, but not too light… Well, now I pester him to scratch my back, and then slather it with lotion. Seriously, you could pour an entire bottle on me and my skin would drink it up like a camel in the dessert. James of course RUNS to wash his hands, lest he have any girly lotiony smell on them. Well, not always, because he has this very strange dry skin right between his fingers that always crack, especially in winter, so sometimes he keeps the lotion on, especially since jergens isn’t that girly smelling.

So the other side effect to all this dry non-moist skin is static electricity. I come to work, and if my clothes are made of certain fabrics (you know, the staticy ones), they STICK to me and it drives me absolutely BATTY. The solution? MORE LOTION SLATHERING!

So I just went into the bathroom, surriptitiously carrying my bottle of Jergens* in with me**, and close myself up in a stall. I pee, while I am waiting for everyone else to leave. It’s usually pretty slow in the bathroom but apparently everyone’s bladders decided they were JUST TOO FULL right at THAT MOMENT and the ladies room had full occupancy in all the stalls. As people flush and adjust their clothing I squirt out a little lotion blob and rub it on an arm, or on a leg, but mostly, I’m just waiting til they clear out so I can pull my arms out of my shirt and slather as much on my back as I possibly can, hoping that if there’s enough lotion on the rest of my back, that little area in the middle where I can’t reach won’t be able to produce much static-i-ness. I feel much better now, but it sure is a pain, all this dryness.

DAMN YOU DRY WINTER AIR!!!

* As I was walking into the bathroom, a guy was walking toward me toward the bathroom also. The women’s and the men’s bathrooms are right next to each other, and he was headed for the men’s, of course. Anyway, he spotted the bottle of lotion in my hand and I couldn’t help feeling guilty, like, I was doing something wrong, carrying lotion into the bathroom. And if it had been reversed, and a GUY was carrying lotion into the bathroom, well. I’d raise my eyebrow. Wouldn’t you? You know you would, and then you’d give him an icy look, like, “I see that lotion, you WANKER.” So it’s good that I was holding the lotion, and not him.

** There is a little bottle of hand lotion already in the ladies room. It is from Mary Kay, and I have never touched it. However, sometimes when I enter, I can tell someone has applied some, because it reeks to high heaven. Why would someone make a lotion have such a strong smell??? It actually reminds me of my mother, because she has a VERY! STRONGLY! SCENTED! HAND LOTION! which she always happens to put on RIGHT before we get into the car, and then you’re stuck in the car with this reeking smell of lotion. It’s not necessarily a bad smell (my mom’s, or the mary kay stuff) it’s just the OVERPOWERING ASSAULT ON THE NASAL CAVITIES that is utterly unbearable, and there is NOTHING you can do to escape. The end.

There are other downsides to all the dryness. James shaved and was looking all sexy personified and I was having some nasty dirty little thoughts and gave him a “mmmhmmmm you know” kiss, but then when he ran his hand over my back, all of a sudden my BACK IS ITCHING LIKE A MOFO. All the horny sexy kissing feelings flee as I insist that he scratch every square inch of my back until it is red and raw and then lather me up like a lesbian mud wrestler. All that itchiness ruins sexy dirty thoughts. Scaliness and sexy just do not go together.

I have never once mentioned the having of the sex and even though the previous paragraph was far from it now I feel weird and must go.

amy runs her fingers through your hair and murmurs, “there there.”

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