Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I didn't want to like her

I went to “interview” the in home day care lady yesterday evening. I got there earlier than I thought I would because traffic wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and someone pulled their head out of their butt and made the lights work together through the construction area…imagine that!

I got to her house about 15 minutes before I was scheduled to arrive and rang the doorbell. I got no answer. I thought it was odd that she wouldn’t be there just 15 minutes before a scheduled interview. I knocked. I waited. I started to walk back toward the truck to call her and see what was going on. But she answered the door as I started to take my first steps. She apologized; she had been in the back yard. The little girl told me several times that they had been “bwowing bubboes.”

She immediately asked me if it would be ok if she asked me to take off my shoes. So I did. That’s a pretty normal request in situations where people care for infants, so I’m fine with that. I didn’t plan for it, but thank goodness my feet didn’t stink.

She gushed over the baby, her daughter pulled out all her toys one by one to show Landon, maybe he’d like a plastic peach to eat, or a plastic plum. Oh, here’s this little TV thingy I bet he’d like to eat that. Here are my teletubbies. And the “scary” dragon. (Looked like a pretty friendly dragon.) She clearly had prepared for me to come over, and after seeing how neatly everything was put up in the living room (play area) prior to the “show and tell” – I understand why she had taken the girls outside. I think Landon will be very happy there.

We talked about various areas of concern for me. That he’s not always hungry, just because he’s crying. That he’s colicky and her second daughter was colicky, so she has some experience with that. She seemed very eager to do the background check. She’s going to register with the state of Texas, and they will do those background checks, not just on her, but on her husband as well. I told her my concerns about how he got sick. She told me that she only expected to maybe get 1-2 other kids, and that she would expect me to keep him home if he were to get sick, and that she would also make me aware if she or her children were sick, that she’s looking for a backup person, but also that I could make other plans if I needed to. (Hi Mom!) She’s got her CPR and First Aid and will be taking a class next week to renew it.

I told her that I was working on a plan to be home by August, and that at that point I would only need part time day care or possibly not at all (i.e. switch to Mother’s Day Out). She was very excited for me, and hoped that worked out.

She’s supposed to send me a reference today. I hate to be one of those people who only talks to one person and hires her. But I didn’t expect to like her this much. I wanted to not like her. I wanted the traffic to be terrible to get over there, I wanted this to be an easy “Nope, Mom, you just have to keep coming to take care of him, while I keep looking.” And it’s not. Because I liked her.

I’m still going to talk to my neighbor again, just in case, because just the ease of walking him next door instead of driving across town would make me feel better. I’m also going to talk to Clint’s cousin Jay’s wife. She offered to watch him, but I don’t know how serious she really was about it.

Ok, here’s the spectacular…fine, maybe not spectacular, but it has the potential to be, once he’s doing more fun stuff, also once I figure out how to get the thing in better focus:

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I don’t mean to make you cry. But I can’t help doing this, it’s important. One of the blogs I read each day points me to other blogs I might find interesting. Yesterday it pointed me to this one. Start here, and read the next few entries – if you can still see through your tears. Some of you don’t click links, so suffice it to say that Jeff dropped his 3 year old daughter, Isabelle, off at his cousin’s house to be babysat on Friday night. At 4:10 am Saturday morning, they got a call that Jeff had been in an accident and had been crushed beneath a car. The 4 posts (so far) that follow are the cousin trying to find a way to deal with the loss, and also how Isabelle is dealing with it.

Everyone has their stories of people who were saved by wearing their seatbelt, people who it wouldn’t have made a difference, people who were killed because they didn’t wear theirs and people who were saved by being “thrown clear” because they weren’t wearing one. The truth of the matter is that the number of people saved by their seatbelts far outweighs the number of people killed by having them on. Also consider this, because by TX law adults are “allowed” to remain unbelted in the backseat of a vehicle: one person without a seatbelt in the car endangers the other people in the car, because in the event of an accident they become a human battering ram and can kill the people who were wearing their seatbelts. See this video for an illustration of that. The video is in Spanish, but I don’t think you even really need the volume on to understand the point.

When we bought the Magnum, Clint made a promise to me that if he got the car he wanted, he would wear his seatbelt – something he didn’t do reliably before. He still has to be told sometimes when he gets in my truck. But if you ever need a reason to wear a seatbelt, it’s this:

and even this:

Tune in tomorrow, I promise not to give a lecture or make you cry. But I’m working on something spectacular.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Pictures Etc

Hey - does anyone who uses blogger know how to get it to show a strikethrough? When i do it in word and copy it, it doesn't show up here. Also - i'm not fixing that link in the last post - if you don't know that song, you won't get it from the link anyway.


Clinton is in Gun Barrel this week, his father is having his second knee replacement, so I'm experiencing single motherhood...which sucks. Anyway - he called this morning to request pictures be posted.


Intense basketball watching:

"Hey Scarlett, what are you DOING?!?!? Are you completely insane?"

"Give me the camera."

"That's enough pictures, WOMAN!!!"

"Mmmm, tasty."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I still haven't found what I'm looking for

Do you have that song in your head now? Sorry…well, not really. If it’s still in your head tomorrow, I’m sorry.

I’ve spent the last couple days looking seriously for a nanny. I put it off, partly because I had an evil hope that Ashley wouldn’t get her job in DC (She did and I’m very excited for her, it’s really a neat opportunity), and partly because I knew it would be a hard find. I want someone who will either come to our home or keep him in their home. I need someone who has some experience with colicky babies, or at least a tremendous amount of patience. I need someone with whom I feel comfortable leaving him. I had a lead on one, but she has a job already. I asked the lady next door who already takes care of some kids during the day and she said she’d let me know, but she didn’t seem really interested. I emailed a few people on craigslist and houstonzone and asked for references and rates. By the way, when you post an ad asking for a job or professing your services – USE SPELL CHECK and GRAMMAR CHECK. If an ad tells me you are “flooent in Inglish” or that “Englesh is yore furst langage.” I’m not really convinced. I don’t honestly care if you speak much English, if you love my baby, but don’t pretend to be something you’re not. I have a listing of registered home based care places from the state of Texas, but I need to map them before I figure out which ones I want to call first.

My main problem so far, is that leaving him with Ashley or my mother has been SO great. I know they love him and I know he’s in good hands and I’m not crying my way to work like I did when I left him at day care. The thought of trying to explain to yet another person that he doesn’t need to eat every hour, or that just because he cries doesn’t mean he’s hungry exhausts me. And in all honesty – I want to be the one that’s there. I want to be home with him. I want that more than anything. I have my plan in place and I’m working on it seriously, but until then I need this one thing to work out, for now anyway.

I do have an appointment on Tuesday with a lady who would keep him in her home. I’d have to drive into some of the worst traffic in the evening and then back out of it, so I have to really like her, but I’m going to talk to her anyway.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Ok, I get it, I am not to speak of the positive things lest they disappear. Landon used to sleep through the night. I told too many people. He no longer sleeps more than 4 hours. Landon used to wake up in the night and go right back to sleep after being fed. I told too many people that I did not feel sleep deprived, that I was used to getting up, and he has punished me by waking up at 3 am not to return to sleep until I leave for work – so guess who didn’t get much sleep?

Also, last night a house exploded near our house. It’s about a mile away (2 if you take roads). I woke up shortly after midnight, because his royal highness was hungry and I started feeding him when I heard the BOOM. My first thought was that Clinton had fallen asleep at the computer and fallen out of the chair, because the room shook, and I thought it must have been right above me. But when I went up stairs to check on him, he was in the guest bed (still slightly sick, not taking chances). He’d heard it too. My next thought was that a car had crashed into our house, but after sending him outside to investigate, and finding nothing, we heard sirens. The sirens let me relax, knowing that it must have been something somewhere else, and someone was on it. Clint apparently stayed up another couple hours because he was sure the AC was going to fall on his head, and he needed to be up and ready to jump out of the way. As it turns out, the lady had smelled something funny yesterday afternoon, and the funny turns out was probably a gas leak. She was blown out of the house, she has singed hair and bumps, bruises, and small cuts, but is otherwise in pretty good condition, considering her house was leveled by the explosion and following fire.

Landon does not care if you didn’t get much sleep. He does not care if you had to go to work where they frown on the naps while he took several naps during the day. “It’s not my fault you didn’t take a nap when I did.” He says. Loudly. Madly. “I’ll teach you to stay awake at work all day.” He’s really not a very nice kid sometimes. Also doesn’t seem to respond to threats of being put in a closet or left on the front porch. He’s pretty cocky, that kid.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A New List

I’m a compulsive list maker. It’s the first thing I do when I get to work, and the first thing I do when I wake up on the weekend. I like the feeling of accomplishment when I cross something off my list, so much so, that at the top of my lists of things to do, sometimes I write things I have already done, just so I can cross them off. Those of you, who know me, know that from birth I have always been a planner. I plan things a lot, I once planned a birthday party down to the minute – it did not work out that way, but I planned it that way – and that’s when I first learned that just because you plan something, does not always mean it will work out that way. When things don’t happen the way I plan, I regroup and plan again. When someone asked “when are you two going to have kids?” back in 2003, I answered “2006.” And people laughed at me, but I was right, because I planned it. Part of that plan was to have my PE license already, be out of debt, have extra money in the bank, have my inspector license and blah blah blah – none of my plans happened but the baby. So I’ve regrouped and I’m making new/rearranged plans.

I’ve been kind of in limbo since I registered for a class that only had 2 people sign up for it. Surprise, surprise, my HVAC class did not make. I still need 32 hours to apply to take the test to be a professional home inspector. I will probably not be able to take those hours until after the PE exam. There are plenty of classes to choose from post PE Exam for the inspector’s license. In good news, the tuition money from the class will spend nicely as I pay for study materials for the PE exam. All that’s left to do in that category is to choose whether to take the civil or the structural exam and purchase the study materials, I’m leaning towards civil.

I have new goals, and to be accountable to those goals, I have to tell someone and I’m telling you. You don’t have to ask me about it, I just need to know that other people know my goals, and that will be enough of a push to get me to accomplish them. This is a general order of things to come, so if you ARE going to ask about something, ask about the first things first, if I haven’t accomplished those things – I haven’t even touched the others.

* Send in Application for PE Exam (See I feel better already)
* Purchase a study guide for the PE Exam
* Register for the PE Exam (by March 1)
* Study for the PE Exam
* Take the PE Exam (April 20)
* Take a class (or 2) to complete the remaining 32 hours needed for Inspector’s * License
* Take the Inspector License Exam
* Set up a Business Plan
* Execute Business Plan
* Save $X to pay bills in case of lulls in the market
* Quit working my “normal” job

My intention is to have this list completely marked out by August. I’m putting this list in the sidebar as a reminder to myself, and will cross things off as I do them.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


OK – wow, so no one really wants to hear from me for more than 1 day? I can totally feel the love. I’m not counting my own comment. Here I was thinking I wouldn’t have enough to write about. Well, I’m posting two times tonight anyway – because Blogger would not let me post yesterday - and it took a lot of yelling and cursing for it to let me post tonight.

I changed my format slightly and those of you un-noticey types are probably saying “it doesn’t look any different to me.” But it does, slightly. SHUT UP, I am NOT good with big changes. I’m still using the template from blogger, but if anyone wants to design me a banner (*cough*ahem* for free *cough*ahem*), I would totally use it. Woodgrain or logs, or 2 crazy boxers and a baby boy…whatever appropriate design you come up with I will totally use and will attribute to you.

The monthly archives look different, but it gives me total number of posts for each month, which helps me see if I’m ignoring you guys, or I’m beginning to be one of those people that talks so much that people smile and nod at them while they think about their grocery list.

I added categories. I don’t have a category for Landon because out of 50 posts so far – he would only be not mentioned in like 6 of them, so a category that pretty much encompasses the whole blog – not necessary.

I added a blogroll. Sensitive types beware – I have put a few blogs on there by women who crack me up – but they also use the occasional well placed curse word – you’ve been warned. I read an embarrassing number of blogs every day, I didn’t put them all on there, I put people I know in real life and people who regularly crack me up – I did not separate the 2 and the groups are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

I added a section for the “Small Change” thing by Beth at Playgroup Dropout. I’m going to try and link to each place/thing I do.

I changed my email address on the blog, not that anyone was using it anyway, but I never check that other one.

Snotwatch 2007 Round 1 – Kristine: 1, Snot: 0

I am asking for a relapse just by typing these words, I know – but after the last post, there was some concern about how the little dictator was doing. And you should all know that he’s doing much better now, and was no where near the condition he was in for Snotwatch 2006.

Zicam is quite possibly the best working stuff I have ever stuck up my nose. I never would have tried it if I wasn’t breastfeeding, because it’s so expensive, but hot damn it works! And it doesn’t mess with Landon’s system or my milk production like decongestants and antihistamines do when I take those. There’s a lot of crap on the internet about losing your sense of smell after using them, but I have a feeling that those people did not follow instructions and seriously jammed the Q-tip thingy way up their nose, instead of just inside. I am finding these days that a lot of people must have gotten the “Does Not Listen To or Follow Directions” note on their elementary report cards.

We did a bunch of things I found on the internets to help Landon in his snot battle. Which one worked? I don’t know. Will I do all of them again next time around? Yes, because something in that combo worked, and I don’t care which one it was, and I’m not going to do the “elimination diet” on them to find out, I’ll just do them all. And I have a few more up my sleeve that we didn’t get to yet. So if next time these don’t work – I have some alternatives.

We washed – or at least placed in the dirty clothes – everything that he touched each day, his sheets, his blanket, his clothes, any burp rag that he used, and the towels we changed him on. Philosophy: the GERMS!! They are ON his clothes!!! I was watching Rachel Ray’s talk show a few weeks back – she had Dr. Harvey Karp, M.D. as a guest. He wrote The Happiest Baby on the Block, which SAVED. MY. LIFE. He said that one way to keep your school age kid from getting sick so often is to make them change clothes when they get home from school or day care, because the GERMS!! They are ON their clothes!!! Also hand washing.

I squirted breast-milk up his nose instead of saline (although occasionally I used saline) – and used the Angry Blue Snot Bulb. Philosophy: Breast-milk contains antibodies; antibodies will fight the snot battle for us!!!

I put him down to sleep in his carrier in his stroller, so he was at an incline. Philosophy: Aim snot at his belly, rather than letting it stay in his nose, and he’ll either digest it or it will irritate his stomach and he’ll puke it up – either way it leaves the system.

We set up and turned on his humidifier and ran it every time he was sleeping in there. Philosophy: Keep the snot from forming giant hard man-sized boogers.

Clinton held him in the shower for a few minutes with the Sudacare Shower Soother The box says not for use by children under 12, so I called my own personal pharmacist – what, she’s not at my beck and call every time I have a drug question? You mean she actually works for CVS? Surely you’re kidding, right? RIGHT? She said that exposure for the entire time would be too much for him – something about toxicity and menthol and eucalyptus, but a little bit of exposure would be fine. We only put him in there for a few minutes and then I took him and Clint finished his shower. Philosophy: loosen the snot.

TA DA – I’m going to keep him sleeping in the stroller for a few more days, just to make sure, and we’ll leave the humidifier on too.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The circles, they are vicious

It has been a merry-go-round of snot at our house for the past month. First I got sick, then Landon got sick, then Clint got sick, then I got better and Landon got better and Clint got better and then Clint got sick again and now Landon is sick again.

The blue snot bulb syringe is his arch nemesis. He sees it now and gets mad before I even touch him with it. Tonight will be the third night he sleeps in his carrier in his stroller, trying to aim the snot at his stomach instead of letting it be stagnant in his nasal cavity. So between the bassinet, the TV tray with the CD player, the TV tray with his diapers and wipes and changing towels, the TV tray with his elephant humidifier, and the stroller, I’m lucky I can get to my side of the bed at all. I did kick Clinton out into the guest room, because I have a one snotty man limit in my bedroom.

Friday, January 12, 2007

You're all peeping toms!

Ok - apparently it's delurking week...because we totally need another made-up "holiday." I don't get a lot of hits, some days I get like 15, some days I get like 2. Anyway - lurking is what you're mostly all doing, because no one is commenting. So leave me a comment, just to say hi and let me know you're out there. And...uh...for every comment I get I promise to post that many days in a Wednesday - so you have until Wednesday. And it's totally not fair to comment 40 times in a row. And I promise not to save up a bunch of posts and back date them like I did tonight. Oh and pictures, I'll put more pictures up too.

Do Good

I’ve joined up in one of those bloggie group things. I’ve never done that before. In November there were groups who promised to write something every day (I’m not that interesting), or groups who posted pictures of shoes every day (I don’t have that many shoes). This one is a bit more of a commitment, but I think wholly worth it.

Beth at Playgroup Dropout has started a group to pledge to do something to help children, other than their own every month. She specifically said under privileged children. Seems like a worthy enough cause, and it’s something I want to instill in Landon, that he has a lot of stuff, and a big family who loves him, and the importance of giving back.

In that same vein, we started this in December actually, because I decided that as one of our Christmas traditions we should donate a toy each year to a toy drive for Christmas, each year we will go and he will pick something out and drop it in the bin. For 2006, he donated a set of Baby Einstein Blocks to the Channel 11 Toy drive. At that point he really wasn’t interested in anything to play with, so I picked what I thought would be a good toy for his age group. He also has a set of these blocks. Next year he will pick something out.

Beth’s challenge this month is Make a Child Smile . It’s a worthy cause, they pick 3 kids each month who have a life threatening illness and ask people to write them cards. They set up a PO Box for the kids to receive the cards, so that they don’t have to publicize their home address. It’s super easy, you can make or buy a card, address and stamp and there you go. We did this in our Daisy troop 4 years ago for one of our petals. I can’t remember which petal it was, because it honestly falls under a lot of the Girl Scout Laws – but it was probably “Considerate and Caring.” We did it in December, so we sent Christmas cards. But knowing that these kids have potentially terminal illnesses, we stayed away from the “Get Well Soon” on purpose. I’ll probably lean more towards the “Thinking of you” cards for this month, or a good Valentine’s Day card.

Anyway, I’ll send off some cards to the 3 kids on the website this month, but also there’s something even easier that you can do. The girls in our area will be selling Girl Scout Cookies beginning on the 13th. Each girl has a column on their order form for “Cookie Share.” Cookie Share is a program where people buy cookies for the troop to donate to some worthy cause. This year for example, our troop will be donating the cookies to foster care group homes. These are places where kids are sent when they are taken from their parents, before they are placed in a home with foster parents, or because they can’t find a home for them. This is a double whammy of goodness on your part. The troop earns money for each box of cookies you buy, AND those kids at the homes get the cookies. Not all troops donate to the same place, so ask the person taking your order to whom the cookies will be donated. You were going to buy cookies anyway, right? Just add a box in the Cookie Share column and add the extra money to your check when they come in, easy enough.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

You may need shin guards

If one more person tells me that Landon is spoiled because he prefers to be held, I will kick them in their shins. It is impossible to spoil a baby by giving them love and comfort. His wanting to be held, is simply that he wants to be comforted. I carried him 24 hours a day for 9 ½ months, any less than that is a short fall to him. And my guess is that those same people who dare to tell me that my child is spoiled…have a favorite chair or spot, one they think is the most comfortable, one they go to when they feel “down” or when they need to recharge…and I see no difference – maybe those people are spoiled, maybe someone should come take away their favorite recliner just when they get home from a hard day at work and want to sit down and rest.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Monthly Newsletter #3

Dear Landon,

What a month! I have to be completely honest with you, if we never have this kind of month again so long as we both live, I will be totally ok with that.

It started out kind of slow; in fact I had a hiatus from the blogging, because you were just not doing anything that interesting. We got your first round of shots, which you took like a champ.

Your latest trick is to rollover. They said you’d go front to back first, but you go back to front. I’m not terribly worried about the order or speed in which you learn things though. I don’t even own a book about when you should do things. People keep asking me “When will he XYZ?” And my only real response is “When he’s ready.” Although – whenever you’re ready to hold on to me when I hold you and/or sit up unassisted, bring it on!

You have turned into a new person this month. I get to see that smile that melts me more often – even in sickness. You will spend 30-45 minutes in a row being happy and talking to me – whereas last month I was lucky to get 10 minutes of that in row. You have shown moderate interest in a couple of your toys. My need for you to like some of them compelled me to pull all the ones I thought you might remotely like out into the loft to play with. Your father did not appreciate the mess I left behind, but I just wanted to make sure you got a chance to see them all and pick your favorite. He has no idea what’s in store for him in the future when we pull all your blocks and legos and Lincoln logs and little people and animals out and create a town in the living room.

We contracted our first illness from the day care. First you brought it home for me – a re-gift, if you will. Let’s not do that again. And then you got it. You were stuffy headed for 2 weeks – I kept doing the suctioning thing that the doctor said to do, and you just weren’t getting any better – but they said it would take time and as long as you didn’t have a fever we were doing all we could. Then the Friday before Christmas – because clearly we weren’t busy or anything and we needed some drama in our lives – the fever spiked and would not go away with Tylenol. Lots of firsts that weekend, with the ER, the ambulance, the X-rays, not to mention Christmas. Everyone was terribly worried about you. So much so, that you will not be in day care for at least the next month. And the whole experience has kicked my butt into high gear to finish what I need to do to go into the inspection business.

You are a trooper though. I was thinking that maybe I was a mean mommy, because it doesn’t really bother me when they poke you at the doctor’s office, but it makes your father want to break people’s necks for making you cry. Your Aunt Kathy pointed out that since I’m a very logical person and not a very emotional person, that I can see past them hurting you and see that they have to do it. It’s not like they’re hurting you for the fun of it, and if there was a way to do it without hurting you, they would. This just confirms that I’ll be the one in all your doctor appointments and emergency room visits from here on out. Also – given the choice between a shot of something and pills for 10 days – I’m totally going for the shot, and it’s not because I want them to hurt you, but because it will be a faster recovery and God knows I cannot give pills on schedule reliably – just ask our animals.

Your first Christmas was kind of anti-climatic after the ER visits that weekend. But you did get lots of good stuff. Fun stuff – stuff we can use to build that city in the living room, whenever you’re ready – just let me know.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Public Service Announcement

If you’re wandering down the toothpaste aisle, thinking to yourself “Hey, self, I don’t think my toothpaste is tasty enough.” And you come across this:

That's Lemon Ice Crest Whitening Expressions

Just walk on by, proceed to the cleaning aisle and pick up a pack of these:

They’ll taste about the same, and at least you can wipe the furniture with these.