Friday, February 27, 2009

Bookworm

I love that this is how far Sam made it inside the house today after school before he had to sit down and read.


I'm so unbelievably proud of this kid.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Glad I Didn't Get a Babysitter

I had to go back to my oral surgeon's office today for my follow up visit and to get my stitches out. I had briefly considered finding a babysitter for Quinn, but then dismissed the idea because I figured he could sit and play with his Leapster.

My appointment was at 11 a.m., and Quinn and I pulled in to a nearby parking garage at 10:43. I was back on the street driving away at 11:01. And that includes time spent encouraging Quinn to climb up two double flights of stairs.

I didn't get a chance to sit down on the electric blue couch before they took me back into the exam room. Quinn didn't get a chance to climb up on the neon green stool they wheeled in for him to sit on before the dentist got there. And I didn't have a chance to make any embarrassing snarky comments before the dentist said, "Looks good! We have some papers for you at the front."

He looked in my mouth for maybe—maybe—ten seconds. And that includes the time he spent snipping out my stitches.

Now THAT'S how you run a doctor's office.

Although even though I had threatened/bribed Quinn with treats, he didn't even have time to be bad, so he got to pick out a treat at 7-11.

He chose ice cream.



*****

My sister on getting her wisdom teeth out: "They gave me a shot of local anesthesia, told me to take ibuprofen, and I had to walk home."

I know. Total bummer for her, huh?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Run Down

Wow. One wisdom tooth. It wonked me harder than I thought it would. Not pain or discomfort or bleeding, because that mostly got better in the first day or two, although my socket does get achy toward the end of the day.

But I have been so tired. I'm finding it hard to decide if it's left over tiredness from the anesthesia, the Vicodin, and my recovery or if it's just my regular tiredness that I finally have an excuse to indulge. I am currently so run down that finding a half hour or an hour to nap during the day no longer seems optional, but imperative.

Quinn has really been enjoying sitting on me and watching an episode of The Wonder Pets followed by an episode of Max and Ruby every afternoon while I lay down and rest. I'm not sure that's normal. (The daily napping—I'm pretty sure toddler-love of The Wonder Pets and Max and Ruby is normal.)

I was so wearied this afternoon that I completely lost my cool with my kids—especially Jack, who chose today to not just be defiant about his homework, but to express his defiance about his homework. "Nothing can make me do my homework," he repeated over and over.

See, he had to write sentences, and he doesn't like to write sentences. If I had been more available, I might have tried to find a root of that. As it was, I ended up with my head in my hands and Jack ended up with tears streaking down his face as we sat at the table with unfinished homework in front of him.

Alex had planned to stay at work until late tonight to catch up on some work. But he came home and fed the little dudes the dinner that I made while I crammed in a quick nap. That hour I spent unconscious on the couch while he fed, bathed, and put the guys to bed saved me for all the work I have to do tonight—work I fell behind on while I was sleeping all weekend. Alex saved Team Stimey tonight, that's for sure.

I'll pull my shit together. I always do. But all I really have to say is that I am really looking forward to the day that all of my kids are in all-day school. I'm really looking forward to doing my work (and my napping) during the day, so I can be less run down after school and in the evening when they need me.

I also think it will be good for me and Alex. At night now he watches TV and the back of my head as I work away on the computer across the room. I'm looking forward to spending my evenings with him.

That day, when all of my kids are in school all day, is a long way away. Quinn won't go to kindergarten until fall of 2010. I know I'll still be busy then, and that all-day school is not the complete answer to my work at home mom/full-time stay at home mom problems. But I think it's going to help.

I'm not sure where I was going with this long, rambling post that started in one place and ended up in another. I think it just kind of needed to come out. And mostly it's a long way of saying that it's hard to fit everything in, isn't it?

It's My Junkiversary!

I'm celebrating my One Year Junkiversary over at The Junk Pyramid today.

See my very literal pyramid of junk?

Monday, February 23, 2009

DCMM: My Spa Vacation, Courtesy of the Dentist

Note: It is possible that I might still be high on Vicodin. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Up to three weeks ago, I hadn't been to the dentist for multiple years. So when my lower left jaw started to hurt on and off, I was a little concerned for what might be happening in there. My dentist told me that what was happening in there was that my bottom left wisdom tooth was decaying at a rapid speed.

After a couple of weeks of procrastination and some escalating tooth pain, I made the appointment to get my tooth yanked. As the day of my surgery approached, I got more and more excited. Not only would the nagging pain in my face be going away, but I would have free license to sleep all weekend.

Friday morning before my appointment I put my laptop, some magazines, bottles of water, and the TV remote on the bed next to my pillow. I put my electric blanket on standby next to the bed in case I needed it.


I felt this same way when I was ready to give birth for the second and third times. I looked forward to my hospital time because I got to relax in my hospital bed for two days. Getting a wisdom tooth out is even better because you don't have to breastfeed the tooth every two hours. Nor do you have to stay in the hospital.

I've whiled away the past couple of days napping, taking my medication, and watching bad TV. When I need something, I call downstairs to my husband and he brings me things like soup. And ice cream. And he's been sympathetic and happy to do it.

When I've seen my kids, they've been happy to see me and well behaved. I haven't had to count to three all weekend to make someone do something.

All together, this has been one of the better weekends I've had lately. I may have to get my other wisdom teeth taken out soon. One tooth—and one weekend—at a time, of course.

Original DC Metro Moms Blog post.

Jean also blogs at Stimeyland.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I Like Napping. And Vicodin.

Hello! How's things? I've been asleep for two days. Except for the brief period of time I was conscious at the most stylish dental office oral surgeon's office facial enhancement specialist's office before I got my IV in order to have one of my wisdom teeth yanked.

I even took a nap before I went to my appointment. I'm that run down that I needed a nap even when I knew I was going to get to sleep for three days straight.

We got hopelessly lost on our way to the doctor's, so I rushed in apologizing for being late. The receptionist introduced herself by name and took my coat. Then I sat down on a super modern, electric blue couch and looked around at the subtle, yet lovely decor.

Almost immediately I was ushered into a consultation room outfitted with blue and red plastic modular chairs.

It's possible I was in an iPod commercial.

The doctor tried to upsell me by offering to take out my other wisdom teeth too. Don't you worry, I didn't fall victim to scare tactics like "long-term health" and "these teeth will eventually cause you problems." They were getting exactly one tooth from me.

Then I laid down in their chair, pointed them to the vein they were going to want to use, and wondered how long it would take the sedation to take effect. And then the doctor said, "It went fine," and they led me to the recovery room.

Alex and Quinn came to pick me up. Quinn was eating a chocolate doughnut, which was apparently a chaser to the brownie Alex had given him first. "You have red teeth," he told me.

Before I left, the nurse gave me a Moo card with the time of my follow up appointment written on it, as well as a CD called "Scintillating Your Senses," plus a post card telling me about the doctor's podcast.

I think this office may have been the hippest place I've ever been. Which is a little sad.

The other thing they tried to give me when I left was someone else's coat. It took the receptionist three times to come up with my coat. In retrospect, I should have taken the first coat she offered because it was much nicer than mine.

I've been at home in my bed since then. Alex has been bringing me soup and ice cream and stuff when I use the intercom feature on our phone to call down to him. He's been a trooper, if not suitably enthusiastic when I call him to bring me things.

He was kind enough to hover outside the bathroom door and bring me water the first time I threw up. After the second time I threw up, I figured out that my stomach does not care for a penicillin and Vicodin combo on an empty stomach. I'm not making that mistake again. It's a waste of perfectly good Vicodin, which I like because it makes my legs feel content.

Seriously, that's the best way I can describe it.

I've been kept company by my awesome cat Izzy.


She has remained plastered to my body for the past 30 or so hours. I like her. She's licking my soup bowl clean right now. Which is better than yesterday, when the dog woke me up by slurping out of my uneaten bowl of soup. Jerk.

I'm feeling good, and staring at my computer screen isn't making me nauseous anymore, so I hope that means I'll feel better and be up and out of bed by tomorrow. (Don't tell Alex though, or he might stop answering the phone.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm a Winner! I Mean, a Whiner.

I would like to state for the record that I love Sam a whole lot. And he can be a very generous and selfless boy. And I feel a little like I've betrayed him by writing what I did. But, oh my God, that kid knows how to whine.

I don't have the slightest idea from whom he learned it. [hangs head]

On a totally unrelated topic, I'm the featured whiner over at ShallowGal and Marinka's ├╝ber-popular new website, Secret Spineless Whine.

See, spineless...

I can't even tell you how fired up I was after writing that whine. It's been brewing for a while.

Also, ShallowGal and Marinka's blogs are hysterical and two of the funniest things I read. I might just go over to Secret Spineless Whine and complain about how I want to be as funny as them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Went to Jack's School Without a Lawyer Today.

It only took me a year and a half, but I've finally managed to volunteer at the elementary school. I went in to Jack's class this morning to help out with reading time.

I was a little nervous about how Jack was going to react to my being there. Back when he was in his cooperative preschool, he was so clingy on days I was in the classroom that they cut my co-oping days in half and made me help in a different classroom instead. I was also worried that he would freak out when I left. Plus, I was concerned that I would be an incompetent albatross on the teacher's shoulders and I would hinder her teaching.

And I also was concerned that I was going to forget to show up.

That last one may seem dumb to you, but it was a good possibility. I honestly can barely remember who goes to what school these days. I think I may be on my way to early-onset dementia. Last week I was supposed to come back to my house after I dropped Sam and Jack at school so I could meet my friend M and take her son to preschool with Quinn. At the last second I had to swerve out of the turn lane that led to my route to school and return home instead. Because I forgot that I was supposed to pick him up. I couldn't remember the verbal and email reminders she had given me THE DAY BEFORE. (This is the first she's hearing about that, by the way. Hi, M! Ha, ha, ha...)

Dementia. It's a real possibility.

Anyway, I showed up and Jack was delighted to see me. And I was delighted to see that even though he immediately climbed into my lap, he grabbed his main aide's hand and interlaced his fingers through hers. And the feeling is obviously mutual. The two of them adore each other. It makes my heart sing.

Jack was great, for the most part. He did demand my attention for part of the time, but I sort of expect that with any kindergartener. And I was so useful, if I do say so myself, that the teacher asked if I could come back every day.

I countered with a once a week option, which she took me up on.

After reading, even though it was still what I consider early morning, but what most people consider eleven o'clock, they went to lunch, which made my exit transition really easy.

Plus I got to be in charge of sharpening pencils with the automatic sharpener, which, you know, totally rocks. (Because not only do I have dementia, but apparently I'm also eight years old.)

I am so proud of Jack and how well he did today. It feels really good to see him like that.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm a Beauty School Drop Out

I love boys with long hair. That goes for adult boys and little boys. So when Jack said he wanted long hair, I jumped in with open arms.

Lately though, the hair has gotten out of control. I've been cutting my kids' hair for the past several months, and it is time to admit that it has grown past the length of my expertise.

When your oldest son's silhouette is this...


...it's time to take them to a professional hair cuttery.

Moms always say this, but Sam was almost unrecognizable.


Somehow Jack always looks like Jack. And look at those big brown eyes!


Quinn looked the same as always, just slightly more coiffed.


Maybe my days as a hair cutter are over.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

G1 or iPhone?

My T-Mobile contract has run out and I am in the market for a fancy new phone.

I've heard conflicting opinions in my extensive (where "extensive" means "three tweets") research on Twitter.

So. Whaddya think? Will I like a G1 phone or an iPhone more? And why?

EDITED TO ADD: I ended up buying an iPhone and I am madly in love with it. Buy an iPhone.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Obligatory Valentine's Day Post

It is unbelievably rare that you find a mass-produced card that so perfectly captures your relationship. But that is what Alex did with the card he gave me today.

For example, at least once or twice a week, Alex runs around freaking out that he can't find his wallet..."Where is my wallet! Help me find my wallet, PLEASE!" And then I ask him if he checked his pants or his coat pocket and he'll find it and walk calmly out of the house.


And this next illustration with the lawn mower? It is not just symbolic of our relationship, but we have had this exact same altercation. Exact.


We've also done this next thing. I'm perpetually on time early and he is perpetually provoking me into anger lazier than me lounging around on the couch less concerned about the time.


But somehow, nearly ten years into our marriage, we haven't killed each other yet.

Yet.


I'm keeping this card forever.

I love you, Alex.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bring Your Obnoxious 3-Year-Old to Work Day

Just one of the great things about telecommuting (and there are many, many wonderful things— trust me) is that you don't have to see your boss very often. I mean, my immediate supervisor lives in Hawaii, if that tells you anything.

The problem is that when you see them once every two years, you don't know who anyone is.

My supervisor was in the area today, so the company hosted a pizza lunch for his team this afternoon. I RSVPed with, "Can I bring an obnoxious three-year-old?"

I've learned to set the bar low. That way when said three-year-old walks into the office, grabs a GIANT piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken and disappears for the next half hour to quietly eat in a conference room, people are really impressed.

I don't think it hurts that I had a "little talk" with Quinn in the car before we went in, where "little talk" equals "I told him if he was good, then he would get a brownie when we got home."

And we was good. He was so good that he charmed them into giving him the stuffed bear keychain off of the restroom key.


Then when we left, he went around to every single person in the room to give them a hug and a kiss. Then he went back to the lady who took the key off of the bear and hugged and kissed her again.

Of course when we got home, I had to make brownies for him (well, I was planning to make brownies anyway, but I told him they were for him). He was delighted when I gave him the mixing bowl and a spoon.

I know he's wearing a different shirt.
I can't imagine how, but the first one got dirty.

And then I made the mistake of going into the bathroom for a millisecond. When I came out, he was smearing his hand all over his head and saying, "I have chocolate hair! I have chocolate hair!"


He was completely delighted with himself. And then he got really upset because his hair was messy and he demanded a bath.

But at least he didn't get me fired.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Little Wednesday Pot Pourri For You...

Longtime readers know that Quinn spent a lot of late 2007 and early 2008 dressed like this:


It's been a while since Quinn has worn his Wonder Pets cape and duck head, but he found it in the playroom the other day. Which resulted in the funniest thing ever, at least according to Quinn:



It's a panda bear! In a Wonder Pets costume! [Stimey rolls her eyes. Quinn laughs hysterically.]

*****

In other news, guess how many days my kids have been in school?


And how cool is it that Sam got off the bus wearing these? I'll be bummed out when he's too cool to wear things like this anymore. I guess at least we'll still have the panda bear to dress up.

*****

Also?

CSI: Stimeyland


*****

Ooooh! Ooooh! I got to meet Thrift Store Mama today! We met for lunch, and she and her adorable daughter Esther were wonderful. Quinn was a total nightmare and I somehow had put myself in a situation where I didn't have anything left to bribe or threaten him with to get him to be nice.

This is mainly because I let him eat a brownie while we were waiting for our lunch to arrive, so I couldn't threaten to take away his dessert. Total rookie mistake. (I mean, I guess I could have forced him to puke it up, but I try to save that for the second time I meet someone.)

He did warm up once we took them outside the restaurant and let them run back and forth on the sidewalk for a while. Quinn and Esther had a really fun time chasing each other and making automatic doors open with the mere force of their bodies. Amazing.

Thrift Store Mama is not only super-cute, but really nice. And she took some of my old clutter off of my hands, so I double-like her.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm Sorry, But I'm Going to Take a Moment to be Judgmental.

The last time I drove behind this particular late model sedan, I was irritated. This time I got mad.

Let me explain.

About three weeks ago I was driving my kids to school and ended up behind an erratically driving sedan. They drove between five and 12 miles per hour and turned on their turn signals at seemingly random times.

There were three little kids in the backseat. And none of them were wearing seatbelts. I could tell because they were jumping around and poking each other.

I try really hard not to be a judgmental person. I don't want to be the asshole who is telling other people how to live their lives. But this kind of made my skin crawl. Because not only were these kids unprotected in case of a car accident, but the woman driving was such a bad driver that it was like she was asking to be hit.

It seemed that there was an elderly couple in the front seat, so I made a little wish that they were filling in for the kids' parents and that was why they didn't have car seats. And they were bad drivers because they rarely drove.

I made up a whole little story about them. I had time because I followed them to the school, through the drop off line, and back up my street until they finally turned onto a side street. And they drove erratically the entire time.

Fast forward to today. I turned onto the street leading to our school and cursed the car ahead of me that was driving nine miles an hour. Then I saw the three kids in the backseat, bouncing happily around all over. And I realized it was the same car.

I don't know who these people are. Short of jumping out of my car and accosting them at drop off if I happen to see them again, there is nothing I can do.

I just think of all the people who die in car crashes—my father was one of them—and how many lives are saved if people just put on their fucking seatbelts. These are kids. I wish their drivers would look out for them.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Best. Question. Ever. (And More on Cat Legs. LEGS! Do You Hear Me? Legs!)

Quinn talks all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. And he's recently started asking "why" questions, which signals the coming of my own personal apocalypse. He was wordy enough with just the who, what, when, where, and how questions.

But today he outdid himself. Prepare yourself for the most excellent question ever uttered by a chatty youngster:

"Why do I talk so much?"

I wish I knew, Quinn. I wish I knew.

*****

Thanks to Magpie for giving me a ROFL award for the post wherein I definitively prove that cats have four legs. Four legs, goddammit!

I was delighted by your responses to that post. Your comments were better than the post, I think. Thank you for each and every one of them. They brought me extreme joy.

On the down side, I'm afraid that I've peaked.

And it was on a post about cat arms.

*****

Also thanks to ParentDish's Links We Love for their link to the same post.

See what I mean about peaking?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another Boring Wall of Fame Post

You know how every four weeks or so I bore you to tears with the story of how my kid(s) made the Wall of Fame again? Well, last month it was a little more exciting because I forgot to go to the ceremony and took a nap instead. Sam was totally cool about it, and I assumed all was forgiven and forgotten.

This turns out not to be the case.

I was brushing my teeth this morning when Sam knocked on the door and told me he had a piece of paper for me. I opened the bathroom door a slit, and he slid a note through. It was this:

"Sam Jack wall of fame today come"

I read it, died a little inside, and then said, "I know."

He said, "Are you coming?"

I said, "Yes."

He said, "Yeeeessssss!" and threw his hands up in the air. Then he gestured toward the note and said, "Keep it. Keep it so you remember."

I remembered. Are you happy now, you little stabbing me in the heart with your words guy?

I think he was proud that my memory is
better than that of a gnat.


However, he was even prouder that he is the only
first grader to have been on the Wall of Fame EVERY month.


Though he wasn't on the Wall last month, this month Jack was back.
And, per usual, he was a wee bit flamboyant.

I'm really glad I remembered to go today. It's beyond cool to watch your kids be so happy about being recognized for doing well at school. And it's so good to be able to support them. I'm sorry to tell you this, but it's likely that you're going to have to put up with these monthly Wall of Fame posts for the next five to seven years.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Always the Bumbling Nincompoop

I'm not very bright sometimes.

Say you were sitting in your house and you were a little chilly. Would you:

(a) put on a sweater?
(b) turn up the heat?
(c) rip your thermostat off the wall?

I don't think I even need to tell you what a dumbass I am and which option I chose. See, there have been a couple times in the last month or so when our house has gotten very cold because the heat didn't click on for some reason or accidentally turned off. Or at least that's what Alex says. I haven't actually experienced this firsthand.

I had been cold in my house all afternoon, so when I was cold this evening—and, just to let you know, I am always cold, even when it's warm—I flashed on the secondhand assumption that there might be a problem with our furnace very occasionally. Even though there was no actual evidence of such a thing.

Then I flashed on a story a friend of mine told me a couple of weeks ago when her furnace didn't work and her husband took the front of the thermostat off and replaced the batteries and everything worked all of a sudden.

So I walked into the living room, ascertained that there was a seam in the thermostat that could possibly be opened, and yanked the entire damn thing off the wall. Evidently the seam doesn't open OR its seal is stronger than that which adhered (note the past tense there) the thermostat to the wall.

I stood there looking at it because I HAD JUST RIPPED MY THERMOSTAT ENTIRELY OFF OF MY WALL. And there were no batteries to be seen. Yeah, there were all sorts of pins and shit, like bits of metal that were obviously precisely placed to conduct...heat? Electricity? Something.

So I did exactly what you would expect of someone who is as much of a fucking disaster as I am.

I jammed it back onto the wall and left the house for the meeting I was scheduled to attend.

I'm home now and the house seems warm, so I guess I didn't irreparably break it. Yet.

I am such an embarrassing person.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Homework Guy! to the Rescue!

The last time Jack was sent home from school with a big packet of homework to do over the course of the week, we ended on Thursday evening with a 90-minute stress session where I used every tool in my arsenal to get Jack to write ten sentences.

Ten.

Sentences.

It was terrible. To get those ten sentences, I used something close to 70 stickers, Lego incentives, and a timer to give him breaks. And that's not the first time we'd had a tough time with homework either.

Aside: Ironically that paper with those ten sentences was sent home with his report card as an example of the work he's doing. Frankly, he didn't actually come up with any of the sentences, he just wrote them down at my strenuous insistence. End aside.

Today I lucked out. Jack's obsession with Legos worked to my advantage.

Jack is always handing me Lego people and asking me to "be this guy." So today when he did that as we were sitting down to do homework, I decided to use my little Lego guy for good.

I grabbed the toy, said, "I'm Homework Guy!" and then (in Homework Guy!'s voice), "Jack, let's read your homework."

(The exclamation point is very important to Homework Guy! Otherwise he'd be just a guy. Who does homework. Where's the fun in that?)

It turns out that Jack is happy to do homework for Homework Guy! Who knew?


Homework Guy! pointed to words with his little rockets, walked all over Jack's paper, and gave him tips on to what to do next.

Next time Homework Guy! may not work, but I'm putting him in my bag of tricks, that's for sure.

Monday, February 2, 2009

DCMM: Where are the Civility Police When You Need Them?

Do you know what I hate? People. You know why? Because according to them, they're almost always more important than you.

Let me give you a for instance. For instance, say you've taken your entire family to DC's Chinatown for a Chinese New Year parade. Say you've wrestled a 3-year-old, a 5-year-old, and a 7-year-old into a two-square-foot bit of sidewalk and you've maintained them in that spot for a half hour.

So what do you do when a teenager elbows you out of the way and stands directly in front of your five-year-old? 

I used to seethe quietly, but I've either gotten less timid, more sick of jackasses, or both.

"If you stand there, my kids won't be able to see," I bluntly said to the rude girl standing there. She glanced at me and then sidled off to stand in front of someone else.

Eventually a large group of people joined her where she finally ended up in the street in front of us—and the people on the curb who had arrived even before we did. They were mostly sitting, so not blocking our view, and I was relatively sure that the cops would move them out of the street before the parade came down our block (they did), but it still annoys me.

You can call me the most uptight person in the world if you want to, and I'm okay with that. Because when it comes to people disrespecting other people and putting their desires ahead of what is clearly the natural order of the universe (i.e., you get there first, you get to sit in front), I get angry.

And uptight. 

Original DC Metro Moms Blog post.

Jean does her fair share of complaining at Stimeyland as well.