Archive for May, 2006

May 31 2006

PKR update

Published by under amy's head,daily,likes & irks

I no longer have a PKR. Today I dropped him off at the Honda dealership in Manassas, and he called this evening to inform me he’s the proud new owner of an small Isuzu SUV.

It has been nice to drive in the HOV lane, but overall, I’ll be glad to have my unfettered commute back. I had to leave by 6:50am every morning in order to get to his place at 7:15. I think I made it there by 7:15… maybe one time. I was always closer to 7:20 or 7:30, and it bugged me every time that I was late, even though he never seemed to care. Yesterday (Tuesday) he took the day off from work for personal business and so I commuted alone. I left a little later than I usually do – about 7:10am – and still arrived at work about the time I would have w/ my PKR, 8am.

He has always been the perfect passenger, never touching the radio or even commenting on my choice of listening material, but I have always been kind of self conscious about whatever I play and am constantly flipping around.

Also, I am always very self conscious listening to my favorite music that I MUST sing along to. I didn’t let my PKR stop me, but it will be nice to belt away without being conscious of every note.

So.. while I won’t miss him on my commute so much, I will miss him. He is a nice man and our morning and afternoon chats have always been nice.

– amy told him about the “PKR” business, and he laughed and laughed.

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May 31 2006

craigslist IRK IRK IRK! or, What Not To Email To A Craigslist Seller

Published by under daily,likes & irks

I posted to craiglist with some miscelaneous baby stuff that we no longer need. Strollers, pack and play, that sort of thing.

Here are examples of what NOT to send if you are interested in something:

“I am interested in the double stroller.”

I wanted to reply, “Good for you,” with nothing else. It is like pulling teeth. I reply, “Great, I can let you look at in the evenings here, in this zip code, or I can take it with me to work and you can look at it here, in this zip code.”

I get back:

“Wow, that is far. I work in this zip code.”

Nothing else. Nothing about how she is now not interested, or is willing to make the trek.. nothing. I get to pull more teeth. Or ignore her. Which I think I will be doing.
Next annoying email:

“if you still have tha dable stroller i whant to know haw much is tha lees preace”

This one is frustrating, because I’m not quite sure what they are asking. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interesting in leasing the stroller, I want to SELL it. After looking at it for a while, I think they mean the least price. It looks as if english is their second language, so I am a bit more understanding of them than the first emailer, who was just annoyingly dumb.

I have not (yet) gotten my other pet peeve, which is an email which only asks, “Is this still available?” with no other indication of interest.

I’LL DELETE IT WHEN IT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE PEOPLE! IF YOU SEE THE AD, IT’S STILL AVAILABLE!

I’m done now.

At least, until I get more annoying email.

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May 31 2006

Project Big Girl Bed

Published by under kids,photos

After the bed was put together Saturday morning:

My mother made this quilt for Jocelyn, and brought it when she visited in April. It really is beautiful.

Sunday afternoon, naptime:

One response so far

May 30 2006

Memorial Day Weekend

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids

It has really been a wonderful weekend.

We didn’t go anywhere, and didn’t have any grand plans, but it felt like a little mini vacation all the same. Definitely apart from the usual weekend grind where I feel like I have so much to do and not enough time to do it and the whole 2 days is just too busy to be very restful.

It started out Friday night with me celebrating World of Warcraft night with a night out with Ann. We went to an Indian restaurant and she de-virginized me, as I’d never had Indian food before. I had lamb vindaloo (and thought of Lister the entire time) with long grained basmati rice that was like eating lace in edible form. I oohed and aahed over it and Ann informed me that Trader Joe’s carries it in the BROWN variety! I am so there. After dinner, we headed over to the theatre and caught the Da Vinci code. I liked it, though I’m not raving or anything. I thought that I might have liked the book better because the puzzles and history were intriguing, but it seemed they barely presented it, said a few words that would lead them to the solution, and then solved it while you were still trying to really wrap your head around the puzzle itself. A friend informed me that the book doesn’t actually have too much of the puzzle type things in it, so maybe not. Ann is going to lend me Dan Brown’s first book, which she thinks was better anyway – I think I’ll like it.

Friday night WoW nights/Amy’s nights are turning out to be good for the book recommendations, as Tamara lent me a book last week that I read into the night last Friday, and then finished up Saturday. It is a young adult book (my favorite kind, I’m a bit ashamed when strangers see my bookshelves filled up with L. M. Montgomery, C. S Lewis, Noel Streatfield and Frances Hodgeson Burnett – maybe all the Heinlein make it OK) called “Flipped” and it was beautifully written and had great characterizations. Loved it, loved it. Thanks Tamara – I’ll take any more recommendations you might have.

Saturday started out kind of blah. Maybe the night out, away from the every day run of the house made me want to continue it, but I just wasn’t feeling the cuteness of the squeals of children running through the house and pretty much tried to sleep as long as I could. I kept wishing James would get up with them and let me sleep until noon, but he is much better at ignoring children and staying in bed than I am :) He got up and brought Jocelyn into our room and Ethan climbed in and the snuggle bed party soon turned into a wiggly squirmy this-bed-is-much-too-small-for-this annoying party and James got up to take everyone out and get going on the getting up process. I listened in bed for about 30 seconds before I knew I needed to get over myself and get up too and just happy-up about it, so I did. James showered and I went down with the kids and made waffles. When I stayed home with the kids, waffles were a pretty common staple in our house, if not fresh then frozen and toasted up later. The kids loved them, James was done getting ready in time for the second batch coming out, and so we all sat down for a family breakfast – something that hasn’t happened in way too long.

Project Big Girl Bed was accomplished Saturday morning as well!

So far so good, I still love it and think it is beautiful. I’m a little concerned about the overall sturdyness, as there are only 4 slats that go across, and then some sheets of plywood rest on them to support the mattress, and the wood that the slats are resting on are getting a bit of a gap. I put one screw in where it was gaping a bit much, but we may want to take a closer look at securing it better next week. For general little kid purposes, it is fine, but I do worry when Jocelyn stands up on it and does that jump-flopping into bed sort of thing.

So with the bed put together, the actual sleeping was the next phase. Saturday at naptime, she didn’t really sleep, and I caught her up and out of bed (“I hopped down Mommy!” and so she got to go in her crib for the duration, which she wasn’t happy about. She finally did sleep, very late, and Ethan did as well, and so we let them both sleep since we were on “vacation” and they could stay up later that night if necessary. After naptime we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner, a place my folks took them while we were out of town, and they LOOOOOVE. After dinner, we went to Barnes and Noble for some train table action and reading book after book about trains, race cars, tractors, and construction vehicles. It is interesting to see the differences in Ethan and Jocelyn in any given situation, but the book store really hits it home. Jocelyn will sometimes play at the train table, but this time she went straight for the stuffed animals and kept showing them to me, petting them, sitting down with them, lining them up, all the while turning to me and saying, “Kitties mommy! My kitties!” while Ethan was consumed by the train table.

But even the train table doesn’t hold the draw for him as it used to, he’s good for about 5 minutes (usually of me hounding him to not hog ALL the train cars/engines and share with the other kids) before he abandons it to go in search of interesting books. It is good, obviously, that he loves books, but bad for mommy, because train table = mommy can read the book SHE picked out, and ethan getting books = mommy reading ethan’s books to ethan. Ah well. I need to get to the library this week.

We got home very late and got the kids into bed. We are really very anal about the kids’ bedtime, if for no other reason (good sleep = happier kids, etc) than it gives us back our night of just us time. Or, computer, tv, WoW time, whichever. Non-kids time. So it was interesting to wrinkle my forehead and try to remember the last time we let them stay up late because.. I don’t think there has been, really. We were looking forward to them maybe sleeping in the next morning to make up for it, but James tells me they didn’t. (I don’t know if they did, I was asleep.)

Jocelyn did great her first night in her new bed. When we moved Ethan to his bed, he had several months when we would check on him and he would be RIGHT next to the wall, or head down by the footboard, or just laying any which way, much like he did in his crib. Jocelyn however, always has her head on her little pillow and is generally in the middle of the bed. Kind of interesting. Once when Ethan was about 18 months old, I set up the movie camera in his room at naptime to see how he went to sleep. It was pretty cute, he played in his crib for a while, singing and talking to himself, and then slowly one by one, he dropped each of his toys over the side of his crib before he curled up and fell asleep. I need to do that for Jocelyn – we know she sings to herself all the time, but it would be interesting to watch the process for her.

Speaking of Jocelyn – ALL weekend, she has just been a people magnet. We went out to eat several times and she had admirers everywhere we went. At Cracker Barrel, I took her into the bathroom to wash her hands before we were seated, and the lady that was finishing up when we came in told me how adorable she was. When we were seated, she was making the flirty eyes with THREE other tables, and one of the ladies at one of them came over as she left and commented on how beautiful she is, how well she eats, how her nephew doesn’t eat nearly as well, how beautiful her eyes were, how cute her dress…

It went like that all weekend, where ever we went. She was definitely the belle of the ball. While I know this is pretty normal, because hello, she is just the most gorgeous girl ever (not that I’m biased) I do worry about Ethan feeling left out or vying for attention possibly by bad behavior. Sometimes I feel so bad for Jocelyn because Ethan got so much of our attention before she was born, and then after. But the flip side is Ethan was always hearing, “She’s littler than you,” and “She doesn’t know any better.” That has changed now, because she has really learned how to work it, and that she can get away with a lot so we’ve been cracking down on it. All in all, it is a hard line to walk, the older / younger child thing – I should really find some stuff and read up on it and how we are supposed to balance it all.

Anyway, where was I?

Sunday was another nice day. James took Jocelyn to Whole Foods to donate our old cell phones to a women’s charity (and of course bought some beer and organic beef while he was at it) so I took the opportunity to take Ethan and go get James Anniversary / Father’s Day present: a new grill with an off-set firebox for smoking. Sunday afternoon was lazily spent me and the kids: washing Daddy’s car, James: putting together the new grill. We broke it in that evening with some hamburgers (definitely not on the diet), and they were WONDERFUL. Something about food cooked over actual fire just makes it GOOD. Monday night was our anniversary, and we cooked up the Whole Foods steaks – delicious.

We spent Monday morning folding laundry – I don’t think I mentioned how the clean laundry has been piling up on our bed all week, so that we started to just sleep in the guest room bed. It started out as, “Ugh, too much stuff to move, too late to put it away, let’s just sleep in the other room.” The guest room houses a queen sized bed with the Sealy Fenway mattress from costco (it’s oh so soft). Our room has a king sized bed with the Sealy Guilmont mattress from Costco (it’s bordering-on-too-hard firm). So halfway through the week, it turned into, “oh DARN! Too much stuff! Have to go sleep on the super comfy soft it’s-like-sleeping-on-a-cloud bed!” and we weren’t really too interested in clearing off the laundry to get back into our own bed. Alas, yesterday was the final straw of digging through all the clean laundry to find clothes for ourselves and the kids, so we put some NOGGIN on the telly to entertain the little-uns and put it all away. Made up the bed with clean sheets, and last night we actually slept in our own bed. (siiiiiiiiigh oh how i miss you comfy bed.)

New mattresses will be obtained this summer. Oh yes. Now to just sell some stuff we don’t need to help pay for them. Craigslist here I come!

So yeah, yesterday was ‘clean up the house’ day, especially since our cleaning ladies were scheduled for the next day (today! hooray!) and I made a stab at cleaning up the garage, which looks like an explosion went off in there and potting soil, gardening gloves, seedling trays, plastic sand toys, diggers, shovels, bikes, helmets, bubble toys, plastic wagons, laminate flooring, weed whackers were scattered willy nilly everywhere. Can you guess that we haven’t been parking in our garage for months? Well, we haven’t. The stuff didn’t get to me as much as the DIRT everywhere, and it has been tracking right into the house. There are still needles everywhere in the garage from when we drug our Christmas tree out.

So I just read through that paragraph and am somewhat ashamed to see that the mess is really all mine and the kids. Nothing from James. I’m racking my brain to think of something, ANYTHING of James that was going on in the garage, and really… nothing. Bike. That’s about it. I guess I only have myself to blame. Myself, and the kids. Ahh well.

Anyway, so Monday was spent cleaning and then we all piled into the car to go off in search of a produce stand (fresh sweet corn, how we long to grill thee). We headed out to the back roads and cruised around hoping to see something, but didn’t, so then we decided to go out to dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s. More oogling and cooing at The Cutest Girl Ever, who obliged by fluttering her super long eyelashes and using her Cuteness Powers to coerce her hair to form little ringlets right over her forehead which compels people to stop and go, “awwwww, she’s so adorable!” Thank goodness that so far she has not used her powers for evil.

Evening came and fire was made (I! HAVE MADE! FIRE!!!!!) steak grilled and consumed and all in all I wasn’t dreading going back to work today like I usually do the night before the weekend is over. It’s been a good weekend. I’ve been happy. James and I have been married now for 7 years, and as we discussed yesterday, have probably loved each other for 10 years. Probably, because we were trying to remember the first time we said we loved each other. We remember the event, but not the actual date, thus, the “probably” ten years :) If not ten, then pretty close.

Boy, I am getting old. Old in that, “Gee, we’re not in our early twenties, just out of college and partying and irresponsible and yet somehow mature enough to be labeled ‘adults’ anymore, we really ARE living our lives and ARE responsible for whole other human beings and have a mortgage and stable jobs and haven’t been to a loud rock concert in YEARS'” sort of old. I’m sure that when we hit 15, and 20 years of loving each other (knock on wood) there will be brand new definitions of “old” to go by.

So how was your memorial day weekend? I hope it was nice and relaxing.

-amy will learn how to keep this short and sweet someday

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May 26 2006

new banner

Published by under daily,photos

Beautiful Virginia wildflowers.

I see these everywhere, especially when I’m going on and off I-66. I love how the bright red looks against the green grass. I keep itching to pull over and dig one or two up to take home and plant but a) it’s probably illegal and b) they just wouldn’t be the same planted in a bed as it does nodding merrily with a zillion of neighbors to the passing cars on a field of green. They look much better exactly where they are.

I still wonder what they are though. I haven’t gotten a very close look.

Anyway, it’s a little early for June, but there you go :) If you don’t see it, refresh.

edit: I’ve since found out they are POPPIES!

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May 25 2006

I heart craigslist

Published by under daily,kids,photos

I’ve been looking for a bed for Jocelyn for a while. I’ve entertained the notion of a toddler bed, but it seems like a waste when tehy will outgrow it in 6-10 months, or in Jolly Green Giant Jocelyn’s case, probably 2 weeks. If it was cheap, I’d consider it, but mostly, I wanted a twin bed, one she can use for a long long time. We went with an Ikea bed for Ethan. It was pretty cheap, and while I don’t hate it now, I am not enamored with it. I wanted a bed I would still love a few years down the line for Jocelyn.

I came across this bed on craigslist, and my blood pressure was elevated all day when I didn’t get ANY response to my email about it. Until evening, when I popped open my laptop to check, and she had emailed me back with a number to call. I called, arrangements were made, i drove out to Leesburg (but too late to hit the Pottery Barn and William Sonoma outlets, DAMMIT!) and acquired this beautiful antique maple bed with mattress for $200.

IMG_1141.mod2.jpg

Closer look at the headboard detail:

IMG_1141.mod.jpg

It needs a screw in the railing that holds up the mattress platform, but other than that it is good to go. I am just so tickled with it. Unless poop gets smeared into those little leaf grooves and won’t come out, I feel I’ve found a bed that I will still love when she is 4. Hopefully she will too.

This weekend = Project Big Girl Bed!

One response so far

May 25 2006

a post in progress

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

Hi.

How are you?

Good? Good, good.

Me? Oh, I’ve been better.

—–

Why is it I always seem to answer these sorts of things like this? My friend Selena was walking her dog while I was out watering my wee newly planted flowers, and that is pretty much how the pleasantries went, and she kind of eyed me and then I realized that I ALWAYS seem to answer this way.

Something for the therapist couch I guess. Oh wait. I don’t have a therapists couch. That means it’s something for the blog, which is HERE! Hee hee!

Project skinny took a dive the last two days. Partly due to time, but mostly because I got all cocky. Monday was a disaster of an eating day that I really am embarassed to even tell you about. I kept thinking, “It’ll be ok because I’ll have a salad for dinner.” But then when dinner time rolled around, I was driving to get a bed for my daughter, and so it became fast food. And did I choose the grilled chicken sandwich w/ no mayo that virtually every fast food place has and is actually not too bad for you? No, I got the gordita combo at taco bell, 2 gorditas and a taco. Plus, more diet coke.? My blood was running with caffeine on Monday.

Tuesday was no better. Stayed at home because a handyman was coming to fix our bird-in-the-dryer problem, and when I’m at home, I never eat good. It’s just all too accessible!

Wednesday wasn’t actually too bad. Went to California Tortilla for lunch, and while I love them with every fiber of my being, eating a burrito there is basically a zillion points, but breakfast was good, and I was still pretty full at dinner time so only had a wee bit, so I think it was ok.

BTW, yesterday was FREE POP TART DAY! at California Tortilla. I hope you got yours! I got mine! And had a taste before James confiscated it. Sniff. Please click on that link. And scroll down for the cartoon at the bottom. It is funny.
Back to project skinny. Do you sense what I’m not telling you? Yes, I haven’t been keeping track, except in my head. Big no no.

So today, it’s down to business. I’m happy to say that yesterday I at least drank (what felt like) my own body weight in water, so I had that going for me. I think the stress of last week caught up to me, because my body is sending me that taunting “you’re going to get siiiiii-iiiiiiick!” feeling and it doesn’t feel like the kind I can head off at the pass with lots of water and turning in early tonight.
The week was shaping up fairly stress free until Tuesday afternoon came and with it, a call from Ethan’s school. A call about his unacceptable behaviour, and how he was sent to the office. A call where I could hear him in the? background, grunting loudly, shouting, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” and “I HATE YOU!” and other non acceptable things.

Nothing can turn a good mood into a crappy mood and fairly stressed out mood like that sort of phone call.

Wednesday was much better, but James and I both were edgy and worried all day long. And now, I have got that scratchy throat feeling and my ears feel weird when I pull on them (don’t ask why I was pulling on them, I can’t remember).

OK, that’s enough. My goal for next month (i’m starting early) is to not: Not write for days at a time, and then write enough words to blind someone trying to read it in one sitting. Not good, Amy, not fun. We want our readers to keep their sight.

So on that note, before this gets obscenely long (blink),

GOOD BYE!

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May 24 2006

jumping

Published by under daily,kids,photos

It all starts with a stool:

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May 22 2006

Weekend Wrap Up – Now with POOP!

Published by under daily,gardening,kids

Weekend

I had a lovely evening out with my friend Tamara on Friday night. And learned that THERE IS A BAR! WITH ALCOHOL! in the MOVIE THEATRE! We were both starving so we grabbed hot dogs before the movie started and then as we headed in, she said, “Want to stop in there to eat? We could get apple martini’s” and that is when my head exploded with joy. After the week I had had, it was like the gods had smiled down at me, and gave me the gift of booze, IN A MOVIE THEATRE!

We had to down them pretty fast because the movie was starting soon, and Tamara won the FASTEST EATING OF A HOT DOG EVER! lifetime acheivement award. I would have beaten her, but the sneaky chica asked me how all the work stuff turned out RIGHT after we sat down, so I was busy talking while she inhaled food. Smooth tactic, Tamara. I’ve got my eye on you. *peer*

We watched the latest Lindsay Lohan movie, which was exactly what you would think the latest Lindsay Lohan movie would be, cute, entertaining, and doesn’t make you think in any way whatsoever. After the movie we checked out the few other restaurants and discovered their bars were full to bursting, so returned to the movie theatre bar and ordered some food. (I did good in asking for no bacon or mayo on the sandwich. Yay me! I probably ate too many fries though.) It was nice to get out with a girlfriend and discuss kids and our men and work and life.

Saturday

Saturday morning SOUNDED like all others, starting with the bleary wakeful consciousness of Jocelyn calling out, “MOOOOOOMMMY…. DAAAAAAADDY……” which we ignored as it turned into vibrant top-of-the-lungs versions of ‘twinkle twinkle’ and the alphabet song for probably another 20 minutes, before I poked James and said, “go get her.” During the week, lately I have been getting up and bringing her and Ethan into our bed before I hop in the shower. It gives them some transition time from waking up and getting up (this happens at about 6:15am, so some transition time is a good thing), and also it’s fun snuggly bed time with Daddy, but I always miss it, because I’m in the shower. So I was looking forward to my OWN snuggly bed time with the kids, but the conversation from James and Jocelyn I heard floating back to me deemed otherwise.

“Hi Daddy!”

“Hi Jocelyn! Would you like your bear?”

“Yes! Bear Daddy! Jocelyn’s bear!”

“Oh. …. Oh dear. Uh oh.” (this is probably where he takes the bear away)

“NO DADDY MINE BEAR! MINE BEAR!”

“Uh oh.” (I’m starting to get worried now.) “You are a mess, Jocelyn.”

“(more screaming about said bear)”

“What did you DO?”

“Poop, Daddy. Poop!” (said in the cheeriest tone ever.)

“Yes. Poop.”

By now I am out of bed and running water in the kids bathtub. Until I see her, and then I realise that a BATH is stupid because the poop will come off her smeared hands, arms, legs and turn the bath into a non-joyous stinky cesspit in which I don’t want my daughter splashing in. We go to our bathroom instead and I shower her off with me.

Granted, we are old pros at this, given that Ethan regularly discovered his own poop at this age, and being in his own bed at that time instead of a crib gave him the opportunity to not only paint his OWN body with shit, but paint the walls, the dresser, the carpet, the doors and even deposit some into his dresser drawers. The major incident of poop smearing is still refered to in our household as, “E cubed” which stands for, “Ethan’s Excrement Extravaganza!” This was also when we realized that the paint that the builder painted with is crap, as a lot of it came off in all the scrubbing. (It’s got purple satin finish paint in there now. Hopefully we won’t be required to test it.)

Ahhhh, what a way to start a Saturday morning! With poop smeared child, crib, blankies, my little pony, pillow, etc! Yay! Thank god for modern inventions, like the washing machine!

The day held other non-fun things, the second being, Ethan’s 4 year old shots. Decidedly NOT FUN. The last shot he had was his flu shot last fall. I wasn’t holding him properly, and he actually GRABBED the syringe and pulled it out before teh shot was over and the doctor had to get another one. This time, he had to get FOUR shots, and I had to physically hold every limb while the doctor took her time to administer the shots, insisting on putting on little band-aids to each one RIGHT after it was given. I asked her to just do them all, BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM! and we could do the band-aids after, but she said something about then they would bleed. I WILL TAKE A LITTLE BLOOD, JUST GET THIS HELL OVER SO I CAN RELEASE THE DEMON WRIGGLING AND STRUGGLING ON MY LAP!

It really was awful, and Ethan was pissed at me afterward. I think he is still pissed at me. He told me several times throughout the weekend, “I don’t like you anymore, Mommy.” He also doesn’t like his doctor anymore. I have one dreaded thought, and that is the doctor wasn’t sure if he needed ONE of the shots required, and she was going to go through his records carefully and check to see. If he is required to get one more, then it is going to be BAD, as I’ve already told him that he is done with shots until he is 11. There had better not be anymore.

Of course, we went to McDonald’s after and got icecream and he played in the playland tunnel world of toddlers, which he loved, but then he reverted back to being really mad at me on the way home. On the one hand, who can blame him? I held down my own flesh and blood while he was injected, not once, but FOUR TIMES, 2 in each arm. That’s right, he got two, and then I had to TURN HIM AROUND and HOLD HIM AGAIN while he got two more. OF COURSE he’s goign to be pissed. But I can’t go around letting him talk to me and act to me the way he was talking and acting, so it was a tricky relationship between comforting and disciplining, all weekend.

Saturday night our sitter arrived at 5pm and we escaped to childless freedom! Oh the possibilities!! We could drink ourselves silly! Dance the night away (until midnight which is when we said we’d be back)! Movies! Dinner! Dancing! Peeing without company or interuption! The world was our! What did we choose to do with our precious hours away from our offspring? We went and looked at new cars. That’s right, internet, we are SO DEVIL MAY CARE!

Seriously though, looking at cars is not a very child friendly experience, the child wants to sit in the driver’s seat and steer, they leave sticky fingerprints over every surface imaginable so that the sales rep starts to get that tight-lipped “when are you leaving again?” attitude, and you can’t really take the time to check out everything you want. Plus, the sales rep does this weird climbing the walls thing, when you go for a 30 minute test drive and leave the kids with them. Something about poop and smearing and new leather and automatic locks.. I didn’t make it all out last time. So it was nice to check out the new Suburus alone, and do a little test driving, although the ones we wanted to test had dead batteries. Apparently when people sit in the cars, they leave the lights on. You’d think that’d be one of the things they’d check before leaving the lot each night. Just drive by and make sure no lights are on, not that hard, but anyway. So yes, we’re looking at new cars for James. We’re not ready to buy yet, so I personally thought it would be fun to sit down and haggle the price as low as we possibly could, and then when they won’t go any lower, GET UP AND LEAVE and see what they do. James wasn’t that interested though, something about how the thought of haggling for a new car makes him want to vomit. THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT FUN!

Then we had dinner, and spent a nice half hour in Barnes and Noble (another experience totally ruined by the presence of children) before heading back home, picking up milk on the way and surprising the sitter by being home by 11. That’s us! We are CRAZY! CRAZY I TELL YOU! We booked her again for next Saturday, so we can go see X-Men. And we will be visiting that bar again, because what doesn’t go better with Wolverine then booze? NOTHING! THAT’S WHAT! WHEEEEEE!!!

Sunday we loaded everyone up and headed to Lowe’s and Target. Picked up 15 bags of mulch at Lowe’s and a couple bags of Miracle Gro garden soil. I was happy that the mulch I wanted was only $2.50 a bag, which seemed like a pretty good price. I was dreading a $3 to $4 price tag. I have bought in bulk the last few times, some with good results, some with bad. The last batch I bought was in the beginning of April from the local Recycling and Composting Facility. I got the double shredded stuff, and it is pretty disappointing. A lot of very fine particles in it that blow away in the wind. Good mulch is warm and the water soaks right into it, but this stuff the water just runs right off of it, and it doesn’t have that wonderful mulchy smell. (I would wear a perfume that was mulch scented. Mmmmm. Anyone know of a woodsy perfume?) So I’m glad I went with the bagged mulch, seems SO GOOD, practically steaming, and the water soaks into it. I had a couple flats of impatiens (annuals) to plant, but still had pansies in the ground where I wanted them to go, so I agonized over them for a while. I knew the pansies were going to die once the brutal summer heat hits, but they were still good for another couple of weeks. On the other side, I don’t want to have to leave my plants out until the pansies finally kick it and then do more plantings in only a few weeks, so I pulled them up. Wah! I felt so bad doing it, but there you go. I saved some of my favorites and planted them on the side of the house with our hydrangea bush. It gets a lot of shade over there, so maybe they’ll be ok for a while.

So I planted white and orange impatiens in the front, white and red impatiens on the side with the deck (full full full sun) and still had a few left, so planted them right in front of our air conditioner units on the other side of the house (the side with the hydrangea). I have no idea if they will hinder the unites later, whey they get big, but I didn’t have any other place to put them, so there they went. Then I spread the mulch, and it looks sooooo nice. The annuals look so small and piddly right now, but by June and really in July, they’ll have taken off beautifully. It is going to be an all impatiens summer, let me tell you! (aside from the beans and tomaters and perrineals I have. I sooo totally almost spelled that “perineum.” I don’t think I got the spelling right either way.)

I spent a lot of time working the soil, trying to get through the Virginia red clay, getting it mixed with previous years additions and mulch, getting the rocks out as well. The soil is really doing well in some places, and in other places it is still very much clay-bound. I kept our wheelbarrow behind me to toss rocks into, and by the time I was finished it was full. I’ve stopped being amazed at the amount of rocks in the ground, because otherwise, my head would explode, it’s insane.

Some of the plans I laid out over the winter have gone by the wayside. For example, there’s a butterfly bush I was going to move over to the deck, which I’m still planning on doing, but for now, I want to keep those beds more temporary so I can work the soil each year and improve it. That is hard to do with permanent plantings. Plus, I didn’t want to dig a hole that big. (Once again, I hate our clay soil. Big holes the first year is just not going to happen.)

So yesterday was Gardening Day! and while it was hard, it was nice. I love working with the earth and seeing things grow. It was Sunday, and being outside with nature was like my own little religious service. Interupted from time to time with my helper Ethan, who used his new lego Scoop to help with the digging. I didn’t take any pictures, but will soon. I am actually sore today, which feels good.

CUTE KID STORIES OTHERWISE KNOWN AS IT’S NOT A PAPER TOWEL:

– Jocelyn grabbed one of those mesh rubber pad/sheets that you line drawers with (and I use to keep my cutting board from sliding around) and for some reason James informed her that “It’s not a paper towel.” Which she then informed us again for the next half hour as she skipped merrily along swinging it to and fro. She’d skip up to me, skid to a stop and say, “It’s not a paper towel, mommy!” waited for me to acknowledge this fact, and then skip off in search of daddy to inform him of the same thing. For some reason it just really cracked me up and a few times after they were in bed, I was forced to turn to James and say, “It’s not a paper towel.”

– Cute but in an ‘uh oh’ sort of way. Ethan has many little cars and trucks, I guess they are of the match box variety though not necesarily that brand name. One of them is a little fire truck that our friend Selena got him (along with others) last year for his birthday, with a little plastic ladder which actually goes up and down. He has been enamored of this particular truck this past week. James told me that Friday morning, Ethan wanted to take it in to school to show to his teacher. I picked them up that afternoon and halfway home, he cried out with sadness, “WE FORGOT MY FIRE TRUCK MOMMY!” He wanted to turn around, go back and get it, and was sad when I told him we couldn’t, and we would have to get it Monday morning.

I kind of thought to myself, he will forget about it once we get home, and true, it’s not like it consumed his every waking moment. But he did bring it up several times, when school come up, he would add, “And we will also get my fire engine, right mommy?” and even mentioned once out of the blue, with no mention of school to prompt him.
Well, James has informed me that this morning when he dropped him off, he ran and checked his cubby, and was pretty sad when said fire engine WAS NOT THERE. I was kind of worried about this all day, but when I picked him up this afternoon, he RAN to his classroom and grabbed the fire engine and RAN back to me, hollering, “I got my fire engine mommy!!!” I asked him where it was, and apparently it was on a shelf with the other fire-fighter toys. He was so happy to have it back in his grimy little hands.

THAT IS ALL! (and oh my, it was definitely enough. Sometimes when the brain vomits, it just can’t control the spew.)
-amy drove a lot this evening, but she’ll tell you about that tomorrow. With pictures!

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May 22 2006

Friday Meetings

Published by under daily,overheard

I had a pretty rough week at work last week filled with looming deadlines and under the breath muttering and finally finishing up with a too-loud-for-the-office “talk” on Thursday with fingers pointing about who’s to blame with Friday kind of on a low simmer all day long. It is nice to look on this week as fresh and new with a lot less stress. Monday morning idealist. Yes, that is what I am. Come Wednesday, I’ll slink in all cynical and downtrodden. But today is Monday and it’s beautiful outside and ahhh.. life is nice.

I have a lot of meetings every other week on Friday, and last week was a meeting Friday. I brought in a notepad, and jotted down the amusing things folks said in the 1.5 hours of meetings I attended:

“I told them no, I’m not doing it until I get all the content. I’m like a hostess, I’m not going to seat you until your whole party is here. Give me ALL of it, and THEN you’ll get your webpage.”

“No, I haven’t even thought of that project. It’s not even on my plate yet. It’s not even in the fridge. It’s back at the grocery store, that’s how far I am to getting to it.”

“Well, I had a problem with this project. So I waited a while, and it went away.”

“I’m doing a lot of stuff. I just don’t want to talk about it.” (This was in a meeting specifically for keeping everyone updated on what you’re doing.)

– “Well, so I can use Charley then, since he’s not busy.”
– “No you can’t, I said I was going to use Charley. I called him. I CALLED DIBS ON CHARLEY!”

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