Monthly Archives: December 2009

Merry Christmas

24 December 2009
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Whether celebrating near or far or not at all…I wish you tidings of great joy and happiness in 2010.

Merry Christmas!

mostly amused

20 December 2009
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Last Monday, at family Christian formation class, we discussed Advent and sang Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. On Friday, we went to the kids’ holiday music programs. The third graders sang a song called Amen. The fourth graders did Dry Bones.

What a mixed-up world. I guess I am still in the happy holidays world…Christmas carols in church and winter songs at public school? Is that too much to ask?

At least the kindergartners followed the 30 year tradition of the elves and shoemakers dance. Which was adorable.

* * * * * * * *

In other news, I don’t know if I have news. I am trying to swing a weekend away while Rob does some training. Just when I was convinced to book a flight, the class changed. I can only hope that it all gets fixed this week. And that it doesn’t snow in late January.

for want of a nail

16 December 2009
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It seems everything in this house causes a chain reaction. We wanted a refrigerator wider than 30 inches with water in the door…we had to move the pantry wall and patch the floor. I hate the broken-down, impossible to clean cabinet in the bathroom upstairs, but if we replace the cabinet, we have to replace the sink and the floor and the medicine cabinet and, boy, wouldn’t it be nicer to have tile?

It was dangerous when we decided to get a flat screen TV for the family room. Where would we put it? Above the fireplace? God, the fireplace drives me crazy. I don’t like fire. The balance of heat and cool gets off when we turn it on. What if we take out the fireplace? What will be behind it? There’s no floor under it. The floor in the rest of the room is not nice. And we have to remove the 2 built-in bookshelves, the TV stand and the desk. It has taken about a month, but we’re almost done. The fireplace is gone. There was drywall behind it. The walls have all been repainted a cheery color called Caramel Apple. The new summer maple laminate floor has been installed.

The TV is still not on the wall.

A meta to do list

13 December 2009

Inspired by Melissa (Suburban Bliss), who was inspired by Maggie (Mighty Girl)…a list of 100 things to do before I die. I don’t remember why this isn’t a bucket list. Semantics? This is edition #1 – 25, I guess. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up with 101.

1. Take a road trip our west with the 3 kids. Have it be at least as fun as the Brady Bunch made it seem, minus the villain adventure.

2. Take my parents to San Francisco.

3. Spend a week in Disney World, stay in the park in moderate to deluxe accommodations. Not sweat or regret the cost.

4. Take a cruise.

5. Swim in clear blue waters, the kind in which you can see all the way to the sand bottom.

6. Take the Amtrak or the Canadian railway across the country.

7. Climb Half Dome. Stay in the park at Yosemite.

8. Take a credit card tour by bicycle. On flat-ish land.

9. Find a job outside of the house that is challenging, interesting, uses my skills, talents, pays well.

10. Save money just to save it. (Don’t spend every dime on travel or Target).

11. Take a sabbatical – live a life away from home for several weeks/months.

12. Volunteer for an organization that really needs my help.

13. Buy my way out of trouble.

14. Bicycle 10 miles every day for a summer.

15. Quickly walk a 5K.

16. Plant a garden, nurture said garden, reap the food and reduce my grocery bill all summer. Enjoy the process. Stick to it.

17. Spend the Christmas holidays at a resort in a warm clime.

18. Spend more than a week in NYC, in spring or autumn.

19. Make peace with my hair.

20. Be able to set up a tent, even if I don’t want to sleep in it more than night or two.

21. Try acupuncture…to relieve my allergies or headaches or unbalanced qi.

22. Write a short story.

23. Pick a sport/league/tournament and get a season ticket or visit all of the fields/stadiums/arenas. Care about the game because I’ll care about the players.

24. Perfect meatballs.

25. Make an entrance. Not sure if this something you learn to do or if I just want the serendipitous entrance with all the heads turning. Not for falling down in roller skates.


10 December 2009
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I’d like to blame the weather. It has been getting darker and darker, earlier and earlier. If the children didn’t go to school practically in time for elevenses, I don’t think I would see them in the light at all. The sky started to accumulate snow, waiting, holding it over our heads for days.

And then it blizzarded. I don’t think of blizzard as a meteorological term, but I guess it is. It snowed and snowed. They cancelled classes at UW-Madison, which didn’t happen the entire time I was in college there. There was a snowball fight on Bascom Hill. And we had less snow than that here. It is amusing to say only 9 inches of snow. Heavy, wet, sodden snow. After the clockwork temperature drop after the giant storm, I slid on several ice sloes on my way across the parking lot today. I’ll digress to say one of the most interesting things I’ve ever heard is that is some place (NY?) get lots of snow but don’t get the ice. It makes snow sound charming. It snows and then it melts.  Like rain in Hawaii. It doesn’t ruin anything.

The local schools were brave and had a 2 hour delay. My particular kids had afternoon doctor appointments that day, so 2 hours late plus leaving 2 hours early meant that they’d go to school for lunch. Not that it didn’t cross my mind to send them. I wouldn’t have to make lunch. Ah. We had our own snow day. It was nice.

I am tired of this snow already. It should melt and try again. A nice wet snow, good for snowmen. Not ice. We could go snow shoeing. Bella could go outside. Bella loved the snow. She loved to taste it, touch it, stomp on it. Miranda went out at 7:30 yesterday morning and started rolling a snowball. She and Henry made two, roughly 2-3 feet in diameter. then she convinced Grandpa to help her lift the first snowball on the second. Grandpa nearly fell over. It was the fastest snowman the kids had ever built. The wind in the night knocked over the snowman. That was some powerful wind. We escaped downed trees or power lines. In the end, it snowed. Let’s not make a habit of it, m’kay?

paths I have considered and rejected, vol II

7 December 2009
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graphic designer

computer programmer

newspaper editor



elementary school teacher (this one wasn’t any particular longing on my part, but it was often suggested to me. Specifically kindergarten. I am grateful people are willing to teach, but it is so not for me.)

In non-job paths:

Being the person who grills food.

Being a person who can use a lawnmower.

Grad student

thoughts on a weekend

6 December 2009
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Just catching up on TV.

Monk series finale, part II.

Wow. That’s the way a television series should end. It made me want to buy all 8 seasons and watch them consecutively. Monk is an amazing character.

White Collar – the fall finale, which is just brilliant marketing to make us care about the upcoming gap in episodes, was breath-taking. I’m hooked. I call mercy. Oh basic cable, you are amazing. It reminds me of watching a movie and loving the characters so much I want to see more of them. To see the little stories about out-sized characters, to get to know them the way a television series can. And then it actually happens. The show has gone on and filled us in and delighted me. And Peter better not turn out to be bad or I’ll be crushed. Ah drama.

And watching Community, I vow to start using “Congradu-horrible.” and from now on I want to describe my job as “I do officey things for the Dean.”

Television was not my only weekend distraction.

We saw Santa at the park. Bella was mildly alarmed. She sat on Miranda’s lap and Henry sat on Santa’s knee.


Ho Ho Ho

I kept snapping away, never getting a golden shot. Hard when no one really smiled.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

We saw snow flurries, causing Henry to be convinced he could make snowball out of the tiny fluff that accumulated on the edges of the lawn. He couldn’t.

I finished my Blook club selection.  I wept. It wasn’t a cleaning cry.

We went to a baby shower, which was pleasant and low-key. Miranda was so hoping we’d play the “identify the smooshed candy bar in the diaper” game. We didn’t, so everyone else was happy. Three of us bought the same bouncy chair off the registry. It felt more than mildly ridiculous.

Jolly Old St. Nick filled our stockings Friday night. No rotten potatoes or coal to be found.

A sent us an amazing advent calendar sewn on a pair of pants. It is crazy delicious.

Turn your head, I am too lazy to load PhotoShop to rotate it.

Turn your head, I am too lazy to load PhotoShop to rotate it.

Henry had three meltdowns. The imminent risk of having St Nick not bring him anything did not dissuade him from tantrum #1. I think being good in school all day and all week just saps him of his patience at home. Despite being normal and understandable, it is still frustrating.

We have 7 helium latex balloons on our ceiling, “favors” from the shower.

Bella was far more social at the Santa event than at the shower. She was awake when we arrived at Santa and had taken a  nap before. For the shower she slept in the car on the way. Just a planning point for the holidays.

The early darkness is so draining. The power of positive thinking can only do so much. While we contemplate our small attempts to bring light into the great barren darkness, say with a candles for Chanukah or Christmas, the Solstice or Festivus, I did try to think of how awesome and early you could watch fireworks. In winter. I think I vaguely understand that near the equator they have 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. All year long. Fireworks at 7 sounds so blase I might need them every night. Just to make it a something. If I liked fireworks.

it’s all been done

1 December 2009
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Hooray for December 1st. NaBloPoMo complete! A victory lap for me. After 29 travel plans, I still crave taking an actual trip, but I am much more aware of how much it costs. I hate being aware of how much it costs.

In other news, I am woefully behind on reading my book club selection.
Working 10 hours a week has re-balanced my week. My hats off to the full-time working moms. On the plus side, I do remember what days off feel like. Good.
Miranda has been changing around her bedtime routine. Growing old may not be for sissies, or so I’ve been told, but growing up isn’t for wusses.
Bella is communicating more and more. She sort of signs “more” and “no more” and points to things she wants. Every once in a while, as if in a dream, you could believe she said “yes” or “grandma” or “m’randa” or “enry.” Da-da is her all purpose word.
Henry is growing taller and taller. the pants I bought this fall now look too short for him. Strange the fits and starts of growth.

I am not nearly done Christmas shopping. And I wish I were done. When I finish early I want to draw it out. But now that I am only about 25% done, I am facing cold hard fear.

This lack of news is frustrating. I remember a stretch of diary keeping from about the summer of 8th grade. I had my funny-in-retrospect dramatic days, but I had tons of days that were sort of boring nice. I think I took to recording what I wore each day, just because it felt like I had to wrote something down. And that was truly private. This blog is not, so no musing about schoolyard bullies or anxieties or work. Even if I had a superbly anonymous blog, I don’t think I could rant for long. I suppose I’ll end up going back to television.