10 November Surprises
November 30, 2008
1. I did really bad at NaBloPoMo this year. I mean worse than an average month of blogging, I think. I wish I even wanted to speculate why.
2. I am not surprised that Obama won, but I am surprised at how peaceful the grumbling has been from the losing side. And I am surprised at my own negative reaction to the idea that the Obama voters have to be "good winners." Why? I don't see why--I don't think the Bush fans were good winners. Or the pro-Clinton faction before. Why does this presidency have to be transcendent? Why can't it just be awesome? But I am glad that most Obama voters have been pleasant winners.
3. Earlier this month, Miranda put $2.50 for 5 tries on one of those claw games to reach for medium-sized stuffed animals. I am surprised she got 2. I am not surprised that the second one was for Henry.
4. The new window in the dining room has been amazing. The room had been dark, I knew the window would lighten it up. But it seemed a luxury, not a necessity. I was wrong. It is house-changing and delightful. It has made me think about architects and designers and the role light has in our lives.
5. It still surprises me that it is dark at 5 pm.
6. Arabella is a good baby, an easy baby, a nice baby. She smiles and coos (cooes?). I am trying to enjoy this baby time as fully as possible. It seems impossible that in a year she'll be a charming and troublesome toddler. When the pediatrician said an infant's crying peaks at 6 weeks, I thought he was crazy. But Bella has not gotten harder and I am surprised. <knock wood> I feel lucky.
7. It is Nov 30 and I am 80% done with Christmas shopping. It feels like more because I have the kids, Rob, and my parents done. It felt right to get started in my shopping. And it feels good to be nearly done. But I am surprised to be a little sad too.
8. Driving in the snow is hard. How have we (American capitalists) not fixed this? It seems the media makes a to do over the weather. The plow drivers get overtime. But how has weather-related travel not been exploited for profit?
9. I am surprised at how there is a new appeal in getting a job. The veil of fertility--trying to get pregnant, stay pregnant, be pregnant, have a baby--is lifted. And I am thinking in much less abstract terms. Hourly? career-type job? easy? well-paying? The future is still 9 mo - 2 years away, but the view is much less hazy.
10. I asked for video games for Christmas. That may be the biggest surprise of the year.
Belated Happy Thanksgiving
November 28, 2008
I am so tired. My mom and I went very early to the mall. Like 4 am early. Like we picked far away mall and so we left at 3:30am. I crashed around 12:30 and took a nap. It is now 9 and my eyelids are drooping.
I don't think I am trying to rush Christmas. Rob keeps saying, in his grumpiest old man voice, that the Christmas season doesn't start until December 1. And that he'll start shopping Dec 15. So there. But in my slyest old woman way, I am just about done Christmas shopping. Henry doesn't read this, so I can reveal his list has room for 1-2 more things. I have 1 more thing to buy for Miranda. And 1 for Bella. She is having a quiet Christmas.
This weekend is about being thankful. And shopping. I am thankful for shopping. I am thankful for my wonderful family. Miranda and Henry are sweet, fabulous children. Healthy, sweet, and well-behaved. Inquisitive and helpful and kind. Arabella has been such a nice addition to our family. I am enjoying her babyhood. I think she's great. I was thinking about my kids and how if we were a sitcom, the kids would be the co-stars of the show, not the bit part that barely gets the actor into SAG. They are in our every adventure. And as much as I adore the time after they fall asleep, as all good mommies do, I am glad to be with them all the time.
I am thankful to have Rob in my life. He is smart and stubborn, helpful and fun. I don't tell him enough that I am so happy we are sharing this life. I am not sure if he envisioned this future. But it all feels right as long as he is around. I am thankful for my parents, who are so helpful with the kids and me and Rob. I am so glad we get to see them as often and as much as we do. We are truly lucky.
I am not having the most expressive thankful weekend. Miranda wanted us to share our thanks at the table. In the practice round, Henry went on and on. So she limited us to 3. And honestly, 3 is hard. (I did the kids). I am thankful for everything--the house, the town, the school, the preschool, even our church bemuses me and for that I am thankful. I am thankful for good friends. And health. And I am thankful for working. And not working a job too much. For being home. For Christmas decorations. For reasonable gas prices. For beer. For Chanukah and special person to celebrate it with us. For family photos and Christmas cards. For Jon Stewart and the Daily Show and the incredibly smart, nice people who invented TiVo. I am thankful for our yard, for my bike, and my snowshoes. For actually wanting to exercise my body and get moving. For the internet. For email. For having enough, but still wanting more.
Hi, In the Wild with Suckmellos
November 21, 2008
Humorous anecdotes especially (only?) a mother would love x 3
Henry is very concerned about wild animals. I never know if queries on this topic are a preamble to asking if we can have such an animal as pet. Or if he is concerned that said animal will bite/eat/attack him. I generally stick to the tidy dichotomy of wild animals and not wild animals--such as pets. Farm animals are a little sticky, but overall, not pets, but more not wild. The problem is that wild animals conjures up the image of creatures who are, well, wild.
Is a bear a wild animal?
Is a bat a wild animal?
Is a fly a wild animal?
Is a mouse a wild animal?
Me: Um, yes?
The end of these conversations usually end with Henry laughing maniacally. And calling me a sillybum, pronounced silly-bom. I thought it was Silly-bomb, but when repeated a few times, I got it. I am silly bum. I laughed.
Miranda's September journal in school came home today. I will type it verbatim (from a think about new candy writing prompt):
My three new candy's Would be
1. a conbine of a sucker and a marshmellow I would call it a suckmello.
2. it would be a conbine of a m&m and a skittle it would be called a mskit.
3. it would be a conbine of a choclite chip and a grape I would call it a choclitegrape.
and later that month, on the writing prompt "If you were the principal, what would you change about the school?"
the three things I would change are...
1. All grades would have three recesses
2. that all teachers would have to be over 24 to teach.
3. kids could if they wanted too could have scholl on saturday or sunday.
Gosh, do I want to climb inside her head or what?
This may be more of a funny Grandpa story, but here goes:
Grandpa: Hi Bella. Hi!
Bella is making cooing sounds. She 'says': aahh
Grandpa: She said Hi to me!
I don't sleep enough
November 19, 2008
Just as a food diary can show you all the crap you eat all day, I think I may need to keep a day dairy to figure out where the days go and why I don't have naps. I could suggest Facebook updates for myself, but then I would have to think of amusing ways to say TV, internet, baby care, Henry feeding. Wait maybe I do know where my days go.
Arabella is growing. I am almost sad that she fits her 6 month onesies now. And her 6 month sleepers are looking better than her 3 month sleepers. She is long-torsoed, I think.
So long! But the sleeves of the onesies are folded back.
Mario Brothers versus ninja baby?
Miranda comes home from school so happy! It is a joy to see.
November 13, 2008
Early morning Henry:
H: I know what I want for Christmas
H: A cannonball
H: I'll shoot it really far. The cannonball will land on the church.
H: And I'll ride it there <cue giggling>
For the record, Henry was an absolute squirrel during the baptism mass, but I don't think he is trying to bomb the building.
AND FROM BEDTIME
Henry says while giggling, "What if Chip and Dale stored their nuts in our ceiling. And then the nuts all fell out of the ceiling and landed in the toilet. And then Donald Duck used the toilet and he went to the bathroom on like 100 nuts?"
Bump in the Day
the Henry stories sound much worse when I write them down
November 12, 2008
In exciting news, I am getting some post-baby energy. In disappointing news, 2 month olds are not compatible with my ambitions. I still have low expectations. A little editing time, making beds (I know, why? but we had guests coming), putting away laundry. But that is too much too ask. And plans to paint things or build things or reorganize the pantry will probably have to wait. Today, Arabella was not pleased. Henry was not pleased. Henry has been strange since starting his antibiotic, or since Sunday if that fact is unrelated. He is manic--racing in circles on the floor, jumping, making up strange stories, having dreams. Today he was rambling and he said "I want some popcorn. Are there bats here? I am depressed."
I said, "what's that?" You're depressed?"
Me: Well, what does that mean?
H: I am a kid, how am I supposed to know what any word means?
So I don't think he's walking a completely dark path. But he is worried if dreams can come true. I answered that some dreams come true (like Obama as president) . But strange freaky surreal dreams or dark and scary dreams can't get you when you're awake. He also wonders if bears live in in our neighborhood, and if said bears are hibernating. He wants to be reassured that bats come out only at night. And sometimes, he'll look out the window in the dark and ask where the bats are. Are they watching him?
He isn't having nightmares (that he mentions). But I will be glad when the melted ice cream amoxicillin is done. Just in case it is making him functional yet loopy.
November 11, 2008
Today is Veteran's Day. I don't have anything profound to say. I do want to say thank you to all of the men and women who have heeded the call of our nation's armed forces. May we always be grateful and respectful of your service, your sacrifice and your courage.
Bella is 9 weeks old today. I liked this photo because you can sort of see her blue eyes. Will they stay blue? They are a lovely dark blue.
Her smile is coming easier and more quickly. We don't need to act like complete fools anymore, just smile our ever-loving lips off. The cutest of all is when she sticks her tongue out in response to you sticking your tongue out.
A preview of Christmas fabulousness.
November 10, 2008
Wow, November is a far busier month this year than I think Mrs. Kennedy planned when she started this craziness.
In other news, Arabella is Catholic. Who knew? She disappointed our parish by not crying when the priest poured the cold water over her head. She even didn't cry when he poured the chrism oil on her head. I think for Miranda and Henry (and perhaps every other baptism I have ever been to) the priest puts a drop of oil on the baby's head and rubs it in. Arabella was propped upright and had more than a teaspoon of intensely smelly oil put on her head. Still no tears as it dripped down toward her ear. We gathered on the altar, in a semi-circle around the bowl. Henry saw Arabella have water poured on her head. Then the oil. He asked "is that shampoo?" but not into the father's microphone. Darn it. We giggled up front. We then made a parade behind the father as he carried Bella up and down the main aisle. She was eyes-wide-open. There were many smiles.And even a few from Bella.
Arabella Louise wore the baptismal gown that my grandfather wore in 1922, my mom wore in '47, I wore in '76, Miranda wore in '01, and Henry in '04. She may be the last, although we'll put it away. I considered how it would be cool to have it used in 2022, but that seemed a bit young for Miranda to have a baby. Whenever I handle the dress, I am impressed to touch something my great-grandmother made. And this time around, I found out that my grandfather wore the dress just as clothing as well as for baptism. Very ornate for hanging around the farm.
We were delighted to see Arabella's godparents, A&W. They spent the weekend with us and A cooked us the best meal I've had in ages. We managed to get to 4 breweries and Discount Liquor. If only I had any tolerance for beer anymore. Some day, again. At least I could be a safe designated driver.
The present was so compelling, I forgot to check my email much less blog. Good for a weekend, bad for NaBloPoMo.
November 6, 2008
Well, there goes NaBloPoMo and I am giving up cross-posting. I suppose there are things (like eating) that I do every day without a problem. But I am woeful at my daily tasks, like vitamins, drinking X glasses of water, forcing the kids to brush their teeth, making Miranda patch, heck, even getting the mail.
I brought up patching. I should share our amblyopia progress. Miranda is hovering at 20/60 in her bad eye. We are trying to patch more consistently and for more hours. We have patching Tuesdays (Margarita Tuesdays would be more fun). The doctor suggested we occlude the lens in her glasses without resorting to the full patch, to see if she can tolerate more time. On the plus side, she can read 20/40 with the bad eye. Her near vision is better than her far vision.
#4.2 Hip Hip Hooray!
I am so happy! I am so relieved! Fabulous! Barack Obama has won the presidential election. A historic moment, a patriotic result, a hard-fought race. Congrats President-Elect Obama!
#4 - Expecting
November 4, 2008
I hope to update this post, later. But for now, we're waiting. We're watching the election coverage. We have Miranda set with a map; she is eagerly filling in O's and M's. Henry has one too, but it is covered with miniature Halloween monsters.
Henry has taken to using a fun metaphor--the bulldog. He is hotter than a bulldog eats, he is hungrier than a bulldog can run, he is faster than a bulldog can scare you. No, I am not mixing those more than he does. The bulldog is the pinnacle of all things, the acme, the arbiter. So I hope I am happier than a bulldog when it eats carrots later tonight.
#3 - It is time to vote
November 3, 2008
Tomorrow is election day. Our chance, as Americans, to voice our opinion about the leadership of our great country. It doesn't change the color of the sky or the way the wind blows. But the subtle changes each administration brings will slowly steer our country in new ways. How the environment is protected. The opportunities and options available to our citizens in all income levels, from the compassion toward the poorest among us to the ways the middle class fund retirement to the push toward philanthropy for the richest Americans. Women's options for reproductive choice, from abortion to birth control to day care subsidies. Families dealing with child care, public schools, health care, elder care, work-life balance. Educational philosophy, teacher autonomy, graduation rates. Safety and crime. Drug laws and mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. Business regulation, encouraging innovation and job creation while protecting workers, the environment and the playing field. Tort laws and class action. Jury selection. Voter registration. International treaties. Tax codes.
I am ready for change. Some small. Some big. I already voted, one day last week. Tomorrow is still a big day. Vote, if you haven't already. Be glad you voted, if you did.
I always believed in the secret ballot, but I will say, I am inspired by Senator Obama and I think he will steer us toward a better America. I read his first book before he started running for president, after his speech at the 2004 convention. I was inspired by his life, his vision, his story, his words. We need inspiration. We need hope. We need change. Go Obama!
I'd apologize to my (small) conservative readership, but if you haven't figured out I am big bleeding heart liberal Democrat by now, you can ignore this post.
#2 - I ♥ Chicagoland
November 2, 2008
My mom and I went to IKEA today. The trip from Wisconsin to Schaumburg takes about 2 hours in good traffic. Our day was superb--it was 2 hours there and 2 hours home. This may not sound like news worth cheering, but not sitting in Chicagoland traffic is priceless.
I also enjoyed IKEA more than my last few trips. It was crowded, it was busy, it was lively. The food fare was fair, which is all I ask. The goods for which we searched were actually there. There was even a 10 year anniversary promotion to get our sales tax for free. 10 years?! I lived in Chicagoland when IKEA opened, 10 years ago. Time does fly, especially when you're having fun. Bogged down in home improvement. Or raising babies.
Arabella visited her second state today! Two on the map, baby.
And we wish our dear friend L a very very happy birthday today.
#1 - NaBloPoMo is here! Hallelujah!
November 1, 2008
In that I know how to read a calendar (usually), I knew November and NaBloPoMo were imminent. But I'm still surprised I am embarking on year 3 of my Na(tional) Blo(g) Po(sting) Mo(nth). 30 days. 30 posts.
If you're here via the random link generator, hello! I'm Sarah. I am a mom, in Wisconsin, in the suburbs, a liberal (go Obama!), a reader, a terrible typist, a fan of cake, Cake and Cake Wrecks. I love to travel. I work part-time. I am a SAHM. I use this space to write down the kid stories I'm sure I'd otherwise forget. And to rant. And to post photos.
My youngest, Arabella, will reach 2 months this month. My oldest, Miranda, is 7 and in 2nd grade. My son is Henry, age 4. My husband is Rob. I don't do pseudonyms, at best my low traffic is my 'security through obscurity.' I don't use blogging software, so no comments. Feel free to email me: sarah at ratatat dot com.
Back to my regular readers! Hi! Fresh content daily. Oooh. You'll have a lot to catch up on when you check in next week.
I have to get the Halloween photos posted:
Our family: a ninja, Buddy Holly, a chicken, a chef, Albert Einstein
We shared our pumpkins with the local pumpkin walk during Trick or Treat. Bonus: no slimy pumpkins to throw away!
Arabella's kitty cat pumpkin
Miranda wore this chicken costume 7 years ago. I had this macabre idea to go as a chef with Bella as my chicken.
Albert Einstein has a theory that candy is only a few steps away.