Sunday, April 29, 2007

To Post or Not to Post

How do you know it’s been too long since your last post? Is it because your camera is full and you can no longer take pictures until you take the time to actually take some off – and possibly share them with the world at large? Nope, or this would have happened last week some time. Is it because something vaguely amusing happened and you have a funny story to tell? Nope, or this would have happened last Monday. And then you don’t post and you don’t post and you don’t post and all you can think about is the fact that you haven’t posted and how hard it will be to come up with a decent post to come back. And then you post this drivel anyway: (Rewind you clocks to April 13, 2007, as that is when this story begins.)

Wouldn’t it just figure that when you finally get to skip off into the sunset without your kid that you’d get sick? I was full of snot for a few days prior to the wedding trip, and still am slightly.

Friday morning we headed to the EZ Tag store to iron out their stupidity. EZ Tag people need to get a new programmer. If a person breaks their new EZ Tag and calls to get a new one, and the customer service person changes their remaining good one to “Defective” and leaves the broken one as “Active,” and sends a new one, also marked “Active,” but you don’t check your account online, it can totally be a pain in the butt to fix. When the toll violation for the truck came I was completely annoyed that they should know that I have an EZ Tag, they should be able to look it up and fix it. Apparently I couldn’t just call and have them change the “Defective” one back to “Active.” They made me go in person to deal with it, instead of mailing me a new EZ Tag. They didn’t make me chose the trainee girl, but they didn’t have her clearly marked and admittedly I probably could have stomped my feet and gotten someone else who was faster to help me, but I let her be trained on me, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I walked in the door. It took them 35 minutes to fix it and give me a new tag. 35 minutes of my life I will never get back.

After the EZ Tag fiasco – which thankfully Landon slept through in the car with his daddy, who was ever fearful that the kid might wake and start howling, we went down to LJ and dropped off Landon, ran a couple errands, went by Target to pick up the stuff I forgot because for the very first time in my entire life I didn’t make a list prior to packing. And we headed off to the wedding festivities.

It was super windy and cold. Rehearsal dinner was very good. And I thought I was saying rather quietly to myself at the end of the night “Oh my God, I get to go sleep the WHOLE night.” As we got up to leave. I was not saying it quietly though, and the entire table laughed. They may have been laughing, but I woke up at 6:30, not having been up 2 times already and I was AWAKE!!! And well rested and felt like I could have conquered the world.

Bridesmaid luncheon was nice, and the wedding was nice, and it was quite possibly the EASIEST bridesmaid job ever. My second night of sleep didn’t go so well, but it was nice that I was starting to feel better anyway.

Sunday morning, we got up and packed everything up, we grabbed breakfast on our way out of town.

As it turns out, I’m the type of mother who does not call and check in on her child, I never did it when he was in Day Care, I never did it when Ashley or my Mom was watching him, and I don’t do it to Linda (Not to say, I’ve never called for other reasons though). I wouldn’t have left him if I didn’t trust the people he was with. Lots of people asked if I had called and checked in on him, and well, I know what it’s like to be dealing with him and have the phone ring. They gave me a kind of funny look when I said “no.” He survived and I survived, although I probably could have used another night or 2 for the sleeping.

My PE test was last Friday. They made me sign a non-disclosure agreement – which I find odd, since I figured they changed the test every time, but whatever. Suffice it to say that the morning was easier than I thought it would be and the afternoon was harder than I thought it would be. We took it in the club level of the Reliant Stadium (not in stadium seats, but at tables in the walkway). And now I wait. 12 weeks. 12. TWELVE!! So I will know July 13th. Maybe. If I don’t know by July 19th, they will start posting on the board’s webpage the results status (are they in, are the mailed, blah blah blah). And If I have to take the test again, I will have to register by August 31st, and will have to spend my birthday taking it. Let’s hope I don’t have to do that.

Which brings us to yesterday. When I got home I thought it odd that the pool was full of leaves and bird poop, since everything is supposed to run in the afternoon and I normally come home to a beautifully clean pool. I went to look at the timers and they’re sitting there pretending that it’s noon. So I tried to turn it on and it wouldn’t turn on, and Clint went to check the breaker and it had been flipped. He flipped it back and it shot flames at him. I turned everything off on my side and he flipped it, and when I turned it back on, I got flames from the motor. I guess we’re lucky we didn’t come home to a smoldering pile of house. So I called the pool guy and the motor itself is about $260, plus labor. And 14-18 days before they can make it out to the house – we will be pushed up as much as possible, since the pool is actually down, and it’s not just maintenance. In the meantime, we are to shock every 3-4 days with a pound or 2 of shock and net out as much as we can. And god help us, the birds of the neighborhood have decided that our pool is their bathroom, so it’s leaves and bird poo galore.

PS - I added some pictures to the Easter post.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Please don’t choke on the dust I leave behind

What was last Sunday? I can’t remember. Easter? Really? You wanted Easter pictures? You’ve been incessantly checking the blog on the off chance you might see a picture of a little person and an egg? And possibly his car shaped Easter basket? Fine. Here:

Landon and I found 5 eggs. Alas they were not golden or silver (aka money havin’). For his last egg, I sat him down for a photo op. And Ethan came by and snatched his egg right from between his legs. What? It’s not like he had picked it up yet or anything, that makes it fair game, right? Ethan’s mom made him give it back, and in the spirit of generosity Ethan gave an extra egg as well, and as he was about to empty his basket one by one into Landon’s, his Mom said “I just wanted you to give back the one you stole, not all of them!” The lessons a 2 year old has to learn. When to share, when not to share, righting a wrong, but not OVER-righting a wrong. To tell the truth, I don’t think Landon even cared about the missing egg. What the heck is the green stuff? It’s fun to grab and pull on, I wonder how it tastes.

And a picture of eleventy billion people in my front yard.

Easter by the #s

204 plastic eggs
30 boiled eggs
8 hunters
2 gallon bags of leftover candy
1 unfound egg

This weekend will be a milestone. This weekend will determine just what kind of neurotic mother I may be. Do I call and check in on him? Do I just assume everything is fine so long as I don’t get a call? I have a wedding on Saturday night in League City. I’m also in the wedding and thus must be a part of the rehearsal festivities. I’m also going to sleep under a different roof than my son for the very first time ever. For 2 nights. In a row. I can’t say I’m not worried about it (not that I’m leaving him with anyone I’m worried about), but I’m totally looking forward to the possibility of 2 full nights of sleep and 48 hours sans 17 lbs of squirmy butt in my arms. If you happen to be in or around LJ early Friday afternoon, don’t mind the sound of screeching tires and the smell of burnt rubber. Likewise, you will probably need to get out of my way on Sunday morning.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

New foods

I still remember being on the playground at recess during either 4th or 5th grade talking to all the kids about how they liked or disliked certain foods. The consensus by nearly all of them was that liver and onions were disgusting. This however was not a conclusion I was able to draw, seeing as I had never actually eaten liver and onions, I just assumed they would be gross. But that day I went home and told mom that I would like to try liver and onions, because if I was going to complain about them, I needed to have some actual experience with them. She, not being a fan of liver and onions didn’t have any on hand, so she took me to Kroger where we only found chicken livers. I can’t remember whether they were any good or not, but they must not have been good enough to request again, because I never had them after that. To this day I have still never eaten liver, and I probably never will, because when my roommate in college came home from her food safety class she was required to take to work at McDonalds, she announced “when you boil liver, you have to be really careful because the water that remains is urine.” It was then that I came to the conclusion that eating the filter on an animal that cleans out the crap that the animal’s body didn’t think was good enough to digest, is probably not the smartest move anyway.

We ate plenty of vegetables as kids, but most of my “exotic” vegetable experiences were at other people’s houses. I ate my first asparagus at Mrs. Cox’s house, and my first artichoke at the Blankenship’s. (Yes, I just classified asparagus and artichokes as exotic – they were pretty exotic for the 80s.) My guess is that my mother just assumed that as a kid, I wouldn’t like these things and never messed with them, and then I came home and said “Hey, I tried asparagus and I liked it!” And she looked at me like I was crazy, but then occasionally we had asparagus after that.

About 2 years ago, I decided to try new foods, or re-try old foods, to see if my palate had changed. Quite honestly it started when I went to Julie’s rehearsal dinner and ate some very tasty things, I’m almost positive I never would have ordered myself. Since then I have been watching the food network and trying things at parties I might have otherwise passed over. I have introduced into my diet several pretty healthful options: mixed baby greens, non-ranch salad dressings, fresh herbs, and gnocchi. I even tried Indian food and I liked it!

Fast forward to today when I read “make sure to give your child a variety of foods, even ones you may not like, because he may like them.” So I look down the list of foods he’s going to get to try in pureed form (at 4 day intervals to watch for allergic reactions), and I only see two that I don’t like: cabbage and peaches. I can eat fresh cabbage, but cooked cabbage – blegh. Peaches, well I can see where people might like them, but I’m not a fan. Well, they also have Apricots on there, and maybe I’m misinformed, but apricots = peaches to me. And beets, once again, I cannot weigh in on the subject, as I’ve never had them. Maybe he’ll let me have a taste of his.

I’d like him to be adventurous with his food choices, and am willing to try new things right along side him…I’ve never had brussel sprouts or rutabaga either. And although I won’t eat them, I will totally fix him fish sticks. Should he come home one day and tell me how all the kids were complaining about liver and onions I will totally take him to Luby’s, because I don’t cook with urine.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Monthly Newsletter #6

Dear Landon,

This month’s newsletter has been particularly hard to write. It’s been a rough month for me, and let’s leave it at that. I generally start about a week before and try to keep track of changes you’ve made over the month. I haven’t really seen many changes this month. You sit up somewhat, but still need assistance – because you just fall over backwards if the wind hits you just right. You scoot backwards, so I fully expect to be chasing you down within the next couple weeks as you crawl away. But, other than that, you’re pretty much your 5 month old self, only 6 months old now.
You’re beginning to recognize things you see regularly and associate them with what that means for you. Your bathing suit and your float for the pool are both very exciting. And woe be to the person who shows you one or the other without actually putting them to use.
People are starting to ask when we’re going to have another one – as if you’re not a handful in your own rite. I need another baby, like I need a hole in my head. Your campaign to be an only child has been pretty successful so far.
Last night was our first attempt at solid foods. Well, semi-solid…ok – different liquid. It seems that you loved the idea of eating, but were not so much with the actual swallowing. It’s much more fun to blow bubbles into the spoon as it reaches your mouth, or better yet, wait until a spoonful is in your mouth and raspberry it out on the unsuspecting soul who put it in there.

Your doctor’s appointment went well this afternoon. You are 16 lbs 13.5 oz(somewhere between 25% and 50%), 25.5 inches tall (25%) and have a 50th percentile head. The doctor said that he expects kids your age to slow in growth and that everything is normal and you look fine and we’ll be continuing on our quest to add to your diet. Wish me luck.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Clear as Mud

When last we spoke, our heroine was whining about cheese and milk. And she asked for your donation suggestions. And we received 5 very thoughtful suggestions. I was going to put it up for a poll, but I think we’ve just decided that the Children's Art Project is who I’ll write the check out to. The other charities are really cool, and I will keep them in mind for future donations.

While other bloggers ate in all month, or ate cereal to save money, I thought I could save more money by doing what I normally do anyway. (Here’s where the water starts getting murky, but bear with me.) I have a very extensive budget. So extensive in fact, that I can tell you now if I spent $200 on something frivolous, if it will put us in the hole in December of 2009. That’s true and not true at the same time though, because I under estimate our income from our pay checks, we always get an income tax refund, which is not put in there, when we get rebates, they are deposited in there. And I over estimate our bills, sometimes by $5 or so, sometimes by as much as $100. It’s not fool-proof by any means, groceries and gas are not accounted for, and neither are general household purchases like furniture. Our normally frivolous stuff like eating out or CDs or DVDs comes out of our allowance. Anyway, back to the point. In my normal monthly routine, I take half of the difference between the estimated bill and the real bill and put it in savings.

Estimated Bill = $350
Actual Bill = $300
Difference = $50
Into Savings = $25

And this month, I will be taking half of the sum of the savings amount and writing the check to the Children's Art Project, in the example above, $12.50 would go to the charity.

This month I was able to collect $50 that way. It’s not much, but $50 is more than I’ve donated to any other charity at one time before.

Oy with the poodles already!

Enough with the drama of last week…well, the drama of last Wednesday. I don’t like drama. I don’t like it one bit. I do not like it, Sam, I am. The final straw, so to speak, of drama turned me into a puddle of weepy madness on my kitchen floor yesterday when I got home from work.

So, we were headed to a meat market in Santa Fe Wednesday night after work, and I went home to meet Clint before going to pick up Landon, so we could go straight there. I walked in the back door, and..hey, what’s that light over there…OH MY GOD IT’S THE FREEZER!!! I left the freezer drawer open just enough to thaw everything in there….everything. Ice cream, shrimp, ground beef, pork chops, bacon, chicken, some brisket (thankfully not a whole brisket), some smoked chicken, a bag of ice, frozen veggies, popsicles…oh, what’s that on the floor…dripping…purple stainey-ness all down the grout line across the kitchen floor…that would be my thawed blackberries…nice. That’s annoying enough to clean up. Apparently Scrubbing Bubbles spray, poured on the grout line seriously cleaned that up in minutes without scrubbing. Also ruined a couple of towels by bleaching them with the scrubbing bubbles stuff, but I kind of expected that.

The thing that made me cry into my towel as I wiped the floor of blackberry juice/scrubbing bubbles cocktail, the golden ticket, the one thing that I have been dutifully saving for 2 whole months…my basket of frozen breastmilk…thawed..completely. Much like everything else in the freezer…it cannot be re-frozen. I still haven’t poured it down the drain… it’s hard enough to look at the basket of little baggies, I haven’t been able to bring myself to touch them, because I know I will count them, and then I will know exactly how much was wasted. Without knowing, I can think “all that wasted time and effort,” and it’s still abstract, like it could be 3 hours, it could be 14 hours. After I count them, I will know, I’m sure it will be more than I envisioned. It was enough to leave him over the weekend for Jennifer’s wedding with my mother, I was worried about having enough and began the process of stockpiling to be sure. I have 2 weeks to replace it. And hopefully I will have enough.

It took me a good 3 hours to get over it. Well, not over it, but I’m not as mopey about it as I was. Plans abound, last night I set a second alarm clock to go off every 3 hours, whether Landon woke or not, I pumped, I didn’t get much, but the more I do it, the more I’ll have. He’s turning 6 months this week, so with the introduction of cereal this week, we’ll get to store some that he normally would eat during those feeding times. I think I can make it…I think I can , I think I can.

He’s mad too: