Monthly Archives: October 2009

away we go

28 October 2009
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We were on our way somewhere. Hmmm. Gone to the mists of my mind. But the stars aligned and I photographed the crew.

away we go

away we go

and

chillaxing

chillaxing

and

the coat

the coat

I love that coat. I want one too.

baby!

26 October 2009

Arabella is a walking, babbling, giggling, dimpling, playing happy baby!

Now how did my arm get out?

Now how did my arm get out?

And

Drumming!

Drumming!

And

walking!

walking!

And I am such a meanie, I am starting a new, leave-the-house, work-in-an-office job. Only 10 hours a week. And in the wise lessons of Dooce, I won’t be discussing it here. But I am mostly excited. And then Bella is fantastically, delightfully, naughtily cute.

10 points

25 October 2009

Eek, a meme. Thank goodness we’re all reading that so I don’t have to think about if I should pronounce that “mem” or “meem.”

The 10 point blog bio.

1. I got married at 22, 11 years ago, making me 33.
2. My older daughter, Miranda, was born in 2001. She is in 3rd grade.
3. My son, Henry, was born in 2004. He started kindergarten this year.
4. My younger daughter, Arabella, was born in 2008. She is walking, after teasing us for 2 months. She is called Bella most of the time.
5. I stopped working full-time when I was pregnant with Miranda. I am a SAHM. Yes, it is dull sometimes, but nice most of the time.
6. I have been freelancing part-part-time when I stopped working full-time. marketing, web stuff, editing…
7. We moved to the suburbs in 2007 after 5 years in Milwaukee, 3 years in Chicagoland, 4 years in Madison, and earlier growing up in Milwaukee.
8. My parents live with us. It is awesome. Communes may not work, but grandparents are an evolutionary advantage.
9. I am trying to go back to work, but only part-time. (Yay! grandparents to watch Bella. I would guess at no other point in my life would work take of 3 of these spots.)
10. I am allergic to all furry pets and most furry animals (I’m looking at you, horses), dust, birch trees, molds, ragweed. No, we can’t have a puppy or kitten or even a lizard for that matter.

And etc: I usually only blog when I am amused, thus radio silence often means moods are low. I only sew at Halloween. My desire to garden far exceeds my ability, aptitude or follow-through. I like throwing parties. I love reading, beer, travel, and shopping. I hate being around cigarette smoke. I don’t eat mayo. We are done having children. I have a serious crush on California.

can you picture that?

22 October 2009
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October is Halloween costume time. I have been sewing. Either I started out being very careful and particular or else the longer the sew the less it makes sense to me, because I have ripped out nearly as many seams as I have sewn in the last 3 days. I started out with pattern projects and have worked my way down to freestyle work. I am incredibly frustrated by patterns. I ignore any step that doesn’t involve attaching 2 pieces together or hemming. (I’m looking at you easy-stitching!) But taking Henry’s regular winter hat, then cutting newspaper to make a pattern, then trying to stitch a hat…it may drive me bananas.

A few sneak peeks, to not destroy the surprise for anyone who likes surprise.

#1

#1

and

#2

#2

and

#3

#3

pumpkin love

21 October 2009

I live entirely too much of my life in pursuit of value and believing that more is better. As my husband (And Mythbusters, I guess) likes to say, anything worth doing is worth overdoing. And that brings me to this:

All our pumpkins

All our pumpkins

Barthel’s Fruit Farm in Mequon, my favorite apple orchard*, sent us a postcard I could not resist. $49 for all of the pumpkins you can fit in your car. $89/minivan and $128/pickup truck.  I wanted at least 10 pumpkins. Rob emptied his Civic. The kids and I took the van. And Rob crammed 60 pumpkins into the car. I am gleeful. The kids are gleeful. It was like if Costco decided to sell pumpkins. As you may guess, we are carving a lot of pumpkins.

Henry

Henry

and

Miranda

Miranda

and even

Arabella

Arabella

All together now:

I carved and carved and carved

I carved and carved and carved

I wish I had some grand plan for the pumpkins, beyond acknowledging that we won;t be able to carve all 60. Maybe 30? I don’t think I have ever had pumpkins this large – they are really hard to get the knife in. The smaller ones are normal. A curiosity.

Like in the field, but cleaner

Like in the field, but cleaner

* According to those new FTC rules, this review was not compensated in any way. Unsolicited. No free lunch and no free pumpkins.

paths I have considered and rejected, vol. 1

14 October 2009
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You know the grammar duo who go around trying to right all of the wrong usage of commas, quotes and possessives? I’m sure they have a blog, but all I found was the Trib article. I don’t have the urge to take a sharpie and educate people, but I do have the urge to surreptitiously change signs with misspellings. Like the bank I passed today that promised to help me “SAOR to new heights…” with a savings account. I don’t want to tell them. I don’t want to talk to them. I just want to quietly switch the o and the a. I’d put o and a in quotes, but I am afraid of those other guys. And the quite funny Unnecessary Quotations blog. I would want to be an undercover language fixer, not a superhero.

A long time ago when the web was young(er), I took photos of every hotel I stayed at. With some idea that I would review the hotel for my own future use and to guide other travelers. But my information felt too random to be useful to anyone else but me. Ha! The web has proven over and over that random is OK and that useless is OK.

I always filled in the bubble for “plumber” as my career goal on standardized tests. If only the SAT listed pirate…that said, plumbing would have been at least as useful as the Latin I took in college.

freeze frame

11 October 2009
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Bella is walking! I should record a video of her walking. I have taken several still camera photos, but honestly, I have pictures of Bella standing. And some pictures of Bella fallen over.

Henry is mostly recovered. The fever is gone. The cough lingers. At least we’re in an upward trajectory.

And Miranda…poor Miranda keeps getting stuck with outside activities. Like a very fun birthday party at a p[umpkin farm…at which it snowed. And tomorrow, she’s going on a nature hike. I better find her winter boots. Or buy her winter boots. Something I probably should have thought about YESTERDAY.*

Rob is off to Vegas for work. If only his job were gambling…Vegas show reviewing…Vegas showgirl reviewing? We will all miss him. And he’ll avoid the pre-winter weather we’re enjoying.

I know, I know, October can be the second month of winter around here and that’s if August is warm. But I don’t like it. We’ve had a freeze. Now warm up for a few weeks. Alas, the weather has no Problem Solver interface.

*Am I the only person who uses the Adam Sandler in the Wedding Singer voice whenever the question is “thought about that yesterday!” (The scene when Robbie is screaming at his would-be-bride, Linda, after she stands him up at the altar?)

weak week

8 October 2009
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Henry is sick. Ragweed blew by the house in September; our allergies flared. Our = Miranda, Henry and me. And maybe the baby. I recovered far more quickly that I expected. Miranda and Henry started a cough. It lingered. Miranda started to recover early this week. Henry…Henry did not. He threw up Tuesday night and started running a fever. He has been home from school for two days. We visited the pediatrician on Wednesday. He diagnosed the fever and new heavy congestion as a cold.

This is usually when moms sigh. Unwell kid for 3.5 weeks…please don’t send me home without hope. And the doctor came through with an awesome cough medicine, directions to Sudafed and Tylenol as needed, and instructions to call if the fever isn’t gone in 72 hours.

For every child whose parents pushed the Tussin as a cure-all (Chris Rock made it funny, if I remember correctly), it is worth knowing that the children’s prescription Tussionex (cough relief plus antihistimine) does not taste terrible. Henry doesn’t even mind. I am concerned that the doctor promised it would help him sleep and that is not happening. The pharmacist told me that this is a very serious drug and to be very very cautious.

Henry is a cheerful sick kid. He misses school. It takes him until about noon to wonder why Miranda and Papa aren’t home, because isn’t it Saturday? That said, he is droopy. He won’t nap, but he rests a lot. I want him to be well again, to start eating real meals, to go back to school to his friends, star words, and fabulous teachers.

Meanwhile, Bella has been walking more and more. She is fascinated to have Henry home with her. She is also grumpy and hungry and doesn’t want to sleep. I don’t know if she is so busy trying to make her legs walk the way she wants them to that she can only use her happy dimples to escape ire for crawling under the changing room door at Target. She climbs up to the first landing on the stairs to the 2nd floor whenever the gate is open. Then she “uh’s” until I find her. We have this ridiculous round hole in the door to the basement. My dad put clear plastic over the hole to prevent Henry from getting his head stuck. That has saved Bella from imminent doom. She loves to look at people as they disappear into the basement. She yells and pounds on the plastic until they return to her view. She loves macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, meatballs and cheese. She does not like chicken or turkey, which is new and odd. She has figured out how to push her shopping card and her riding Winnie-the-Pooh-mobile. She can stack the ring toy. She loves to empty my purse and take the insoles out of my shoes. She thinks she is adorable in a hat or hood (she’s right) and loves to take her cowboy hat off and on, off and on. She is driving my mom and me crazy with the not napping, but she makes up for it.

amusing myself since Friday

3 October 2009
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1. On Friday morning, I noticed that my bright yellow bag of chocolate chips had a little brown corner that said “all natural.” Now I love chocolate chips. Have them in pancakes most mornings. But all natural is not their selling point. A marketing has been led astray there by some weird market research numbers. Especially because I think in the world of chocolate, some parts of the world (I’m looking at you, France) would have us Americans call our product “chocolate” for its lack of cocoa butter content.

2. Henry wants to find a Pokemon of Megatron from Transformers. It would be a wild, Pokemon, of course, according to Henry. And the trainer would yell, “Megatron, I choose you! ” And it amuses him so much he could fall down. ROTFL. And it was very important I knew that at bedtime tonight. I think there is a  joke here I don’t get, but that rarely stops me from laughing. Sadly.

3. I am addicted to Method bathroom wipes. And I ran out. But this summer, I bought the Costco facial cleansing wipes, which comes in 5 or 6 convenient containers. Today,  the bathroom sink was dirty. So I said, why not? And the facial wipe did a shockingly thorough job. So thorough, I think it cleaned faster and harder than the Method wipes. Just now, it looks like maybe the finish on the sink isn’ t nearly as shiny. Hmmm, I put these wipes on my face? I may need to reconsider that.

4. I decided to check pour Numb3rs on prime-time-on-demand after a well designed promo spot. (market research for the good). I had watched the pilot of Numb3rs in its original viewing, found it interesting but not compelling enough to seek out and never watched it again. I laughed at out loud when one of the math theories they used to catch the “random” serial killer was the very same math theory described in the very first episode. They even referenced it, “do you remember that case?”  What are the odds? What at the odds? I suppose David from the show could tell me….

5. Chevy Chase on TV, weekly? Community is not as a guest spot? The celebrity gossip suggests he is as much a jerk as the characters he laughingly portrays. Without the laughing. I psychically predict at a later date he will make a contract demand and be replaced by another actor, Valerie Harper style. Is Dick Van Dyke still in action?

6. Despite television’s place in my thoughts, I have been busy. We went to fundraiser for a worthy cause that opened with a tequila tasting. That is definitely an approach to get people drunk enough to open their wallets. Then today I sat in the woods while Rob did an orienteering course. There was nearly as much drunkenness on that course as the night before. Significantly less wallet opening. So is life.