Saturday, September 29, 2007
This morning she is wearing a new fall outfit so I thought I would take a quick snapshot. But here's the problem: Pingu is on. The kid is obsessed with Pingu. If you've never heard of Pingu, count your blessings. Seriously. He appears on the "Sprout on demand" channel on our cable system. They broadcast the shows in sets of three, because they are only about 6 minutes long. While the shows do get replaced by different episodes from time to time, we still get PLENTY of time to memorize the ones that are available.
Pingu speaks some kind of gibberish. I can't begin to imagine what, if anything, she is learning from it. We went through a long Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD phase and in that case I could at least pretend it was okay because she did, in fact, learn the sound for every letter. There are moments when I can almost understand Pingu's appeal. I actually heard myself telling P, "Pingu makes his beak into a funny shape in this one - check it out." And I heard him say, "I like the hockey one where the guy is wearing a mask and it looks like he has no head."
So anyway, this morning I propped her up on a stool and attempted to take a picture. I knew I was taking my chances, what with Pingu and his hilarious hijinks being on the TV and all. She gamely smiled through a couple of shots and then said the following: "I'm done cheesing." Great, I've got a comedian on my hands. I have to admit it was pretty funny, though.
I gave up and let her resume watching Pingu. I'm waiting patiently for the Pingu phase to end but my new fear is that it will be replaced by something much, much worse.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
This little episode did bring a little thought into my mind, though. Why would Caller ID ever need to display in a different language? At least not in the U.S., right? If I lived in Germany I would expect my Caller ID to display in German. Fine. Now, I am not one of these people who beats a drum saying, "If you live in this country you'd better speak the language." But it doesn't seem like it would be too taxing to learn to read a Caller ID. One time I was in a store and the word "Sale" was translated. Now, I can tell you without hesitation that if I lived in a non-English speaking country, the very first word I would learn would be SALE. Trust me on that one. I am a girl what loves a sale.
The other noteworthy event that happened yesterday is that the kid finally learned to do a somersault, after 9 months of gymnastics classes. I made her do it at least a dozen times to prove it wasn't a fluke.
On the way to her Tumble Bugs class, I started singing in the car. This is what I heard from the backseat: "No singing, Mama. Drive." I knew I was no songbird but I didn't think a two-year-old would know it. :::SIGH::: Sadly, my singing skills (or lack thereof) are genetic. No one in my family can sing. We can't even make it through "Happy Birthday to you" in tune. It's tragic, because we all love music. So, do you want to know what I was singing? I was singing that *%$#ing "Electric Slide." It has been stuck in my head since the wedding on Saturday. I am thinking of suing, but I'm not sure whether I should sue the bride and groom or the deejay.
Monday, September 24, 2007
It seems I have fallen off the wagon. Not only did I fall off the wagon, I think the wagon backed up and ran over me a few times. I've been eating too much and I had hoped that the fat cells in my ass wouldn't notice. But alas, they did.
So, I am recommiting myself to the Weight Watchers program today. Maybe if I say it out loud, so to speak, I can hold myself accountable. I'm going to head back to the meetings and get rid of this extra weight (I haven't weighed in since early August). I'm going to get back to my goal weight by the time Short Stuff and I leave for our Thanksgiving trip to VA.
I started WW in September of 2005, when the kid was just four months old. I became a lifetime member in December of 2006.
Unlike most moms who lose pregnancy weight while on maternity leave, I actually packed on several pounds. I don't mind telling you that adoption is super stressful. For two weeks after my daughter's birth, her birthmother still had the legal right to change her mind. Terrified, I consoled myself by eating - a lot. I had also gained weight over the course of four miscarriages. Angry that my body doesn't work the way it's supposed to, I decided not to bother with taking care of it. But once the kid came along I realized that I need to eat right in order to be a good mom to her. I plan to do a lot of things to embarrass her as she grows up, but I don't want my appearance to be one of those things. We really need to start eating better around here, but it's tough with a two-year-old who wants ice cream for breakfast.
So, I'll be counting points today (and every day), getting more exercise, and I'm hoping to get through the holidays in one piece (a smaller piece, in theory). Wish me luck!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I'm going to refer to my friends by name in this post because it's too confusing to do otherwise. They are welcome to sue me. However, they all know that I just bought a furnace on Friday and therefore . . . what's that old saying about blood and a rock?
I think you'll agree that this is a flattering portrait (that's my friend Kathy on the left). I thought Dave had already taken the photo and I was saying,
"Did you get my boobs in that shot?"
Just making my mother proud every chance I get, you know how it goes.
The wedding was a lot of fun as was the reception. P could've come but didn't want to expend the effort to find a sitter. My friend Kim agreed to be my date, though (I also spent the night at her house, as I live about 120 miles from the wedding location). A bunch of our friends from the rescue were there. Apparently the bride was expecting some questionable behavior from our group, because she sat us at two tables that were about as far from the head table as you could get without actually being in the ladies room.
So anyway, I'm a wee bit hungover. Just a smidge. Becky and Alex had an open bar, God love them. I think it's possible that between drinks and food I may have consumed more than I spent on the wedding gifts from the Pottery Barn. I should probably send them a check. Becky is a vegetarian and Alex is a vegan, so for once I got decent food at a wedding (Wild Mushroom Ravioli, in case you were curious). Normally when I go to a wedding I cobble together a meal out of powdered mashed potatoes and a starchy dinner roll. Oh, and I drank copious amounts of Chardonnay. Typically I drink the sweeter German wines like Riesling or Piesporter, but an open bar is an open bar and winos can't be choosers, as the saying goes. Right before we were planning to leave, something possessed me to order a Bay Breeze (which used to be my favorite drink but a lot of bartenders confuse it with a Sea Breeze, which is not my favorite drink). Shortly thereafter, my date really wanted to leave, which was fine. If I had stayed any later, I'm sure I'd still be in bed right now. Or at least pressing my forehead against the cold tile and begging for my life.
The reception left me with a thought to ponder: for those people who know how to do the Electric Slide, do they actually practice this thing? Or do they just pull it out for weddings? (It seems to be mandatory to play this song at every wedding - I also bet my friend Carl ten bucks that the deejay would play another wedding staple, Bad Bad Leroy Brown, but it never played.) The last dance I learned how to do was The Virginia Reel, which was taught during gym class when I was in the fourth grade. Seriously, nothing after that. No Macarena, no Electric Slide, and definitely no Running Man. I just wonder how people keep their Electic Slide skills sharp. And more importantly . . . why???????
Kathy and Jen. Jen would later drink a bottle of Miller Lite by wedging it in her bosom. Sadly, my camera batteries died before that historic event.
Dave and Lynn, looking downright respectable. Dave and Lynn live in an eclectically decorated older house with a rather steep stairway leading to the second floor. You feel like you are climbing a ladder. Anyway, the first time my friend Brenda and I were at their house, we somehow convinced ourselves that Dave and Lynn had an S&M room up there. They've gone to great lengths to deny it, but still . . .
Tammy, Kate, and Kim. Tammy just broke her ankle playing hockey (she is Canadian, so she is legally required to play the sport). Suzy, her other half, told her that she could either drink or take her Vicodin at the reception, but not both. Some people just suck the fun out of everything!
Kate and Me. At this point I had given up on keeping my bra from showing.
So there you have it: my weekend. I have to thank my date, Kim, for driving me around. We had about three hours to kill between the ceremony and the reception, so we went shopping. I bought some cute stuff for the kid, including a dragon costume for Halloween. My feet started to hurt after a while (I wore uncomfortable high heels because I believe in suffering for beauty), and Kim would not carry me to the car. Sure, I weigh more than she does but really, what kind of friend would be so bitchy like that? I also requested pancakes for breakfast and didn't get any. I meant to put that on the comment card when I checked out this morning. You get what you pay for these days, know what I mean? I did get to sleep with one of her Boxers last night. But Bosco abandoned me in the wee hours - I guess sleeping with a drunken houseguest wasn't as fun as he had hoped it would be.
I did miss the kid while I was gone. It was kinda nice hanging out with grown-ups, though . . . I didn't have to remind my friends not to rub food in their hair or anything. And they all went pee-pee in the potty, as far as I know. None of them screamed at dinner or demanded Backyardigans fruit snacks. And I didn't have to clean any of them up with a diaper wipe after the meal. Rock on!
To Becky, if you're reading this: thank you so much for inviting me to your wedding. I hope you and Alex have a wonderful honeymoon. I know you want to be parents and I, for one, am willing to help you get some practice in childrearing. I'll drop off the practice as soon as you say the word.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
the audio, accompanied by some weird anime crap. But anyway, it's funny.)
Anyway, I guess I passed because he informed me that my prescription was the same as before. But then, not content to leave well enough alone, my optometrist said, "As you get closer to 40, you may find your eyes getting dry." He looked down at my file and then looked back at me as if to say: yeah, I have your date of birth right here so what are you gonna do about it, sister?
Just for the record, I am 37. Not 38. Not 39. 37. See, I'm closer to 35 than to 40, right? Right? Ah, go to hell. Who needs you?
I then picked up the kid and took her to dinner at Q'doba. Aside from some just-to-hear-her-own-voice screaming and the fact that she rubbed milk on her quesadilla, dinner went pretty well. As I was clearing our table she headed for the door . . . and walked full-on into a clear glass window. I don't know if this particular establishment had unusually clean windows or what. She smacked her head and then bounced onto her butt. Stunned, she began to cry. And me, being the good mother that I am, laughed. Just a little. C'mon, it was funny! I picked her up and consoled her so that her little psyche would not suffer further damage.
By the time we got out to the car she was fine. After that we had to go to the grocery store. On the way there A drew a picture on her travel Doodle Pro. "Look, it's Granddaddy!" she exclaimed. Indeed she had drawn something resembling a face. I immediately called my dad on my cell. My parents live 1,000 miles away, so I haven't seen him in nearly a year.
"Pop, how many, um, eyes do you have these days?"
"Six to eight, depending on the day."
"Okay, good. Talk to you later!"
The grocery store excursion was surprisingly uneventful. Eating beforehand definitely helped. In fact, she was behaving so much like a human being that I bought her some cheap sparkly dress-up shoes. They have a bunch of these at daycare and I know she covets them. "My special shoes!" she is always proclaiming.
At home she put on the much-too-large shoes and clomped around in them. "I'm a lady," she chanted over and over. She wore them to bed and I'll be picking sequins out of her bedding until the next laundry cycle, but it's a small price to pay in order for my kid to enjoy that kind of glamour.
This weekend I am headed out of town for a wedding. P is staying at home with the kid. Last night I dreamt that while I was gone he put her in a peach skirt with a red sweater. In the dream I kept saying, "Don't you know that peach and red don't match????" Worse yet, he paired the ensemble with black and white houndstooth check flats. I suppose it's better than the sequined cha-cha shoes, but still . . .
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The trouble started two summers ago. Our central air went out on a sweltering day (which is always the case, right?) We called the HVAC guys. They came out, took a look at our compressor/condenser unit (the big thing that sits outside), and announced that it had died from . . . urine. I guess we had never paid much attention but our dogs (and foster dogs) had peed on the unit so many times that the coils had eroded. Sa-weet! So the HVAC guys jury-rigged our AC to get it working again and announced that eventually we would need to spend $367,490,231 on a new one.
So since that day we knew our AC was living on borrowed time. No huge surprise when it stopped working at the end of this summer. We decided just to suck it up ("it" being the oppressive heat) and have it fixed in the spring. But then the temperature dropped to 40 degrees one day last week and we made a fun, new discovery - we also had no heat. Now I'm the first to admit that heat is highly overrated, but we do have a youngster in the house so I thought we should do something. P insisted it was "probably something simple" and that he could fix it. I gave him until the end of the weekend and told him I would be calling the HVAC guys on Monday morning. I made him shake on it. He fiddled around and banged on stuff. So anyway, I called on Monday to schedule an appointment.
I took off work to wait for Beau, the friendly furnace fixer-upper. I instructed him that he was allowed to say anything except, "You need a new furnace."
An hour later: "Mrs. M, you need a new furnace." After I was resuscitated by paramedics Beau insisted on pulling out a snake camera and showing me the innards of the furnace. All I heard was, "Look at this, Mrs. M . . . huge crack . . . carbon monoxide . . . you'll probably all die . . . the dogs will go first . . . I can't believe this thing has lasted this long . . . wow, this is really bad . . . you could always sell a kidney . . . there is some serious dust in here . . . maybe you could sell your daughter to a sweatshop . . . so anyway, that will be five grand." Maybe those weren't his EXACT words, but that's how I remember it.
I called P at work and cheerfully gave him the good news. After he was resuscitated we agreed that we really have no choice seeing as how winter is coming and all. If I had to place a bet on it, I'd say that the roof will go next.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Last night A and I were hanging out at home while P was working. As usual, she wasn't wearing any pants (no diaper, no underwear, no nothin'). She was wearing a long knit purple dress because we had gone to church and to a baptism earlier in the day. Earlier in the evening she had peed in the potty and we had celebrated accordingly.
I was watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition out of the corner of one eye and watching the kid drag toys around out of the other. And then it happened. She was walking across the living room and paused for the tiniest fraction of a second - and then kept going. Behind her lay a piping hot turd on the carpet. It just flew out from under her skirt and hit the floor like the newspaper hits the front porch. She looked back as if to say, "Huh, I wonder how that got there?" She was not outraged or embarrassed or anything close to it.
At that moment I had been washing my face with one of those facial wash cloths. So I ran over and picked up her output with the cloth (which is how I know that it was piping hot). We flushed it and I launched into a "we don't poop on the carpet!" lecture. You remember how on the Peanuts the teachers always sounded like "womp wompa womp wa womp?" I'm pretty sure that's all my kid hears, too.
The funny thing about the incident was how nonchalantly she deposited it. From the time she was born I have never seen her expression change one iota when she is pooping. I can be face to face with her and will notice nothing. She doesn't strain or crouch down or anything like that. My nephew used to hide behind a chair when he was pinching a loaf. But not my kid. All of a sudden it is just THERE.
I have a feeling that we have a very long road ahead of us with this potty training stuff.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
The day started out just fine. It was a chilly morning and she was excited to learn that she would get to wear a brand new outfit. I had a rescue event to attend so P told her that he would take her to Chuck E. Cheese. Better him than me - I generally avoid it at all costs. Just walking through the door makes my face start to twitch, so I think it's best if this is an activity shared between father and daughter.
After the rescue event I did a little shopping and then came home. P was dead-eyed and solemn. The afternoon, it seemed, had gone downhill. The kid spent two hours in her bed but would not sleep. And now she was in a fine, fine mood. And by "fine" I mean "insane."
As the afternoon turned into evening, A became more and more delirious. She fell repeatedly, too tired to coordinate her limbs properly. She took her pants and diaper off and decided to leave them off - her usual wardrobe these days. I bought her a new wastebasket for her "big girl" room so she decided to wear that over her head. She demanded that we knock on it so that she could say, "Who is it?" Predictably, she then slammed into a cabinet because, well, she had a wastebasket over her head.
Shortly thereafter we had this exchange:
Me: Do you want to color?
Me: That's okay, you don't have to color.
Her: [Throwing herself on the floor in hysterics] Wanna collllllorrrrrrr!
After a few hours of tantrums/meltdowns/out-of-body experiences, P looked at me and asked, "So, should we do some shots?" We decided to put the kid on the fast-track to bedtime so that, in theory, we would be bringing alcohol to our lips before 8 p.m. I put A in the bathtub where, as usual, she waded about in the water and sang songs like, "I wash my gyyyyyyyyna! I wash my heiiiiiiiinie!" She has a bunch of small plastic zoo animals and demands to have them in the tub with her (they are not tub toys). Last night she methodically wrapped the zebra and the rhino in separate washcloths, laid them down for a nap, and demanded silence from me. If the zebra and the rhino had taken a nap like they were supposed to, they wouldn't be so tired.
I pulled A out of the tub and wrapped her in her turtle towel. Apparently I committed a mortal sin in failing to put the turtle part of the towel over her head. Another tantrum. "TURTLE ON MY HEAD!!!!"
Finally, we noted with glee that it was bedtime. Bedtime! Rock on! We put the kid in her bed and negotiated with her over a few of her last-minute demands. The long day of tyranny and oppression was soon over - her battle against sleep was unusually short.
And yes, we did those shots and yes, we toasted our little buttercup sunshine as we did so.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
She spent the rest of the evening trying to shut herself in the bathroom. We don't know what she wants to do in there by herself, but we know we don't want her doing it. (It probably involves flushing un-flushable stuff down the toilet.) She was in rare form all evening. She really seemed to be bucking for a time-out - it was just a matter of which offense would finally put me and/or her father over the edge.
The next problem we ran into last night was that she wouldn't go to sleep. She has been in her "big girl bed" for about a week now. This is the first time she's really had control over something, when you think about it. She is *in* bed but she doesn't HAVE to go to sleep. She has access to all of her stuff. Basically she is drunk with power. When I went to sleep (two hours after I put her in bed) I could still her her talking and flipping pages in her books.
Needless to say, her ass was dragging this morning. She doesn't understand things like "two-year-olds need X hours of sleep." The first thing she announced was that she wanted popcorn for breakfast. Then she announced that she wasn't planning to wear pants today. It's like she thinks I hatched out of a pod overnight, had no prior knowledge of ANYthing, and would just cheerfully say, "Popcorn it is! Do you want surry-up on it?" And really, pants are overrated. Who needs 'em?
Sunday, September 9, 2007
She kept asking to go to the bathroom (which has been going on for a while now), but the thing is - she never pees. She says she went, waves a huge wad of toilet paper in the vicinity of her privates, and flushes it in the big potty. The flushing seems to be the focal point for her. Our water bill is going to be three trillion dollars this month.
So on Saturday afternoon we decided just to leave her pants off. We figured either she'd go in the potty or she'd pee on the floor. I've been fostering dogs for over seven years so it's not like my carpet is not acquainted with urine. And wonder of wonders - she peed in the potty! She wanted to tell her Meemaw about it so we called my mom and A delivered the big news. Then we called her Aunt Craggy (Craggy is not my sister's name but that's what A calls her - I have no idea why) so that she could share the good news again.
After church today we repeated the same scene. No pants = ease of potty usage. P was busy watching football so he tried to engage her in ways that could allow him to keep watching. He asked her if she wanted to play catch with her plastic ball. A grabbed the ball and threw it to him. "Do you wanna catch my gyna?" she asked. Without missing a beat her father said, "No, I don't want to catch your gyna." So they continued to toss the ball back and forth while he watched the game out of the corner of his eye.
Living with a two-year-old really does feel like living in a mental ward sometimes. She says things that cause us to look at each other like, "What the?" I decided to take myself to a movie this afternoon and the kid really wanted to come with me. So she threw on her shoes and started towards the door. Now, keep in mind that she is wearing a shirt, some socks, some shoes and some Elmo stickers. And that's it.
So anyway, that's another little milestone under our collective belts. I know she isn't housebroken by any means. But I figure that if I can train dozens of dogs, I can get the kid trained, too. I wish I could just keep shoving her outside and then praising her when she pees in the grass, but I suspect the child protective people might show up if I did that. When she was first born I accidentally said I was taking her to the veterinarian a few times. And I have been known to tell her "Leave it!" (a common dog training command) and to praise her with "Good girl!" My friend Dave (keep in mind that most of my friends volunteer for the same rescue) once admitted that he had referred to his arms as his forelegs.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
We spent the morning at a local amusement park and then headed to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. After we finished eating, the kid demanded to be able to sit in her father's lap. She wiggled and bounced around as he attempted to pay the bill. All that was left to do was for him to sign the receipt, but she was making it difficult. Finally he said, "Hold still, I have to color." This is how your brain works when you have a two-year-old.
The funniest thing he ever said was completely unintentional on his part. A few years ago we had a small stereo system with a three-CD changer. One day it simply began refusing to play CDs. P dutifully spread out some newspaper and grabbed some tools. He then took the stereo apart. He blew into various crevices and tapped a few things here and there. Then he put it back together. And then he said this: "It just needs to rest."
Who knew that electrical appliances needed to rest? This was a new one on me. I called everyone I knew and repeated the story so that we could all get a hearty chuckle out of it. To this day no one has forgotten about it. I was complaining to a friend last week that our AC went out (followed by a day in which our town broke a 100+ year old heat record). She immediated busted out with: "It probably just needs to rest."
Our poor, overworked appliances just need some R&R, I guess. Our toaster parties like a big dog and then checks himself into rehab for "exhaustion." He just likes the drama, you know.
While our appliances are catching some shut-eye, other stuff around our house continues to decline, too. The sliding glass door that leads to the deck out back is in dire straits. The lock kinda worked until DH "fixed it" and now it doesn't work at all. So we have to put a pole in the door, which the kids swings at the dogs every chance she gets. I have mentioned that we need to replace the door and out comes his other classic line: "It'll just get that way again." We can't replace anything or fix anything because . . . "it'll just get that way again."
My mother did warn me about this ("Marry a handyman," she advised.). My dad is the same way. I remember when I was a kid that if an electrical outlet stopped working, you just grabbed an extension cord and plugged stuff into a different outlet. Repairing the non-functioning outlet was simply out of the question. And besides, it would just get that way again.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
One day I let the kid use a tube of mint chap stick while we were in the car (I gave in after she chanted: "PUT IT ON THE LIPS" a hundred times in a row). At first she did okay with it. She smeared it from her chin to her nose and halfway out to her ears, but it seemed okay because it was colorless (greasy, but colorless). Because she is two and her two-year-old brain couldn't stand it any longer, eventually she shoved her thumb into the goo and essentially ruined the whole tube. So now I don't carry any in the car. If I want to use some from my purse, I have to put my head down and apply it surreptitiously. It's kind of comical - I'm willing to hide in order NOT to deprive my lips of the grape-y goodness they need.
Alas, she knows I still have some. I have a tube of strawberry stuff in the make-up drawer in my bathroom. Every morning she comes in and starts rifling through my things until she finds it (amid protests - from me - of "Would you please go watch Diego? How about Oswald? Is Oswald on? Oobie? Seriously, Mama needs 30 seconds to herself.") But she always finds it. "Strawberry on the lips!" She smears it on until I finally kick her out.
Yesterday we repeated the usual routine and I reminded her that the chap stick is mine and that she needs to give it back.
"We have to share, Mama." What the? She must not know me very well, because I am not good at sharing. At all. Just try taking a french fry off my plate at dinner sometime if you want to see.
Apparently she is not pleased with my attitude lately because she also ordered me to time-out this morning. If I could sit in the corner in peace with my chap stick, I'd be happy to go.
Monday, September 3, 2007
I wonder if there is anything more bittersweet than buying a grown-up bed for a little girl. We talked it up a lot and she was pretty excited about it. I laid her down on a comfy-looking mattress at the furniture store.
"What do you think? Is it comfortable?"
So we bought it and on the way home A announced, "I don't want a big girl bed." And that is probably because she seems to be contractually obligated to disagree with everything that comes her way. "Do you want lunch?" "No." "Is the sky blue?" "No."
Oh, and she's decided to drop her afternoon nap like a hot potato. I hope this is a temporary condition, because I think I can also speak for our daycare provider when I say that NOT having that brief period of solitude in the afternoon would be a bad bad bad thing. We left her in her crib for over two hours today (the new bed won't be set up for a few days). When I checked on her after the first hour, she had her socks on her hands and was busy tossing books through the bars. Eventually she pooped her pants, started yelling for me, and I conceded yet another battle.
The biggest sign that she is growing up is that her language skills have now reached the point where you can carry on complete conversations with her. The other night she and I were at dinner and I said, "Pie, what do you want to talk about?" "Ice cream," she said. That was fine with me, because I like talking about ice cream, too. I keep asking her, "Where is the baby I brought home from the hospital?" and she replies, "I'm not a baby, mama." And . . . my heart cracks just a little each time.