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Showing posts from April, 2009

Four-Year Photos

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I took the kid in for her four-year photos on Friday. Handling the "talent" sure has gotten easier over the past couple of years. When I took her in for her two-year photos, I think we were both crying by the time it was all said and done.

This year's primary challenge was . . . bruises. Copious, obvious bruises. I'm pretty sure the photographer called Child Protective Services and filed a report after we left. It occurred to me that I should probably wait until after the bruises went away before scheduling a photo session, but the risk there is that she may have come up with a whole new crop in the mean time that were much more sinister-looking. I had to sign several accident reports at Kindercare last week. In one incident, she was leaning forward to put a book on the bookshelf in her classroom, and somehow pitched forward and smacked her face on the shelf. In another, she collided skull-first with a classmate. Yes, that's my delicate little ballerina.

I asked th…

R.I.P. Portable DVD Player

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Magnavox DVD Player
July 1, 2006 -April 25, 2009 The DVD Player passed away quietly after a brief but brave battle with apple juice (the household's youngest member is transitioning from sippy cups to "big girl" cups). Heroic efforts were made to resuscitate the victim but when apple juice was observed dripping out of the battery pack, CPR was ended. Time of death: 11:32 a.m.

The DVD player will be remembered for saving our sanity on long car trips. He played "Cinderella" and "The Letter Factory" dozens of times without complaint. He had a brush with death when one of his cables was left dangling from the van and was dragged for dozens of miles, but miraculously, he continued to operate without a hitch. Once, just for fun, he played "Sleeping Beauty" in Spanish.

The DVD player is survived by several household electronics, including an aging digital camera, a video camera, and two iPods. He was preceded in death by a CD player and a whatiswrongwi…

Weight Loss Tips (yeah, I gotta lotta nerve)

I am simultaneously proud and ashamed of my status as a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers. If you are unfamiliar with the program, a Lifetime member is one who achieved their goal weight and then maintained it for six weeks. I joined Weight Watchers in September of 2005 and reached my goal weight at the end of 2006. I've lost and gained the same few pounds every month since then, and will probably never see my pre-wedding fighting weight again, but mostly I do manage to hang in there.

I am not in any way qualified to offer advice on weight loss, but I'm not gonna let that stop me. No sirree. People actually ask me for weight loss tips from time to time and I do have a few that I think are worthwhile.

First, I should confess what I'm not good at:
People always tell you that you should drink so much water that your spleen is floating, but I only drink when I am thirsty (well, except for drinking wine - I drink that long past the point of thirst, but anywho . . . ).
I do not ma…

Who's on first?

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My daughter is addicted to fruit snacks. I know they aren't the healthiest snack, but probably not the worst that exists (I think the word "fruit" in the name is used pretty loosely). Every day after I pick her up from Kindercare, we carry out a prolonged fruit snack negotiation. We had this exchange last week:

Her: "I want a fruit snack."
Me: "Try again."
Her: "Please can I may have a fruit snack?"

I open the cabinet and gesture to the two boxes sitting on the shelf inside. One is Spongebob Squarepants and the other is My Little Pony. "Which one do you want?" I ask her.

Her: "I want that one."
Me: "My Little Pony?"

She sighs, not having perfected the eye roll yet. "Okay, Mama, can I have YOUR Little Pony fruit snacks?"

Me: "No, it's not MY Little Pony. It's just My Little Pony."
Her: "Mama, can I have YOUR Little Pony fruit snack?" She is getting irritated now.
Me: "It's not…

That'll be how much?

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Saturday was a beautiful day. The temperature was expected to get into the high 70s and there was not a cloud in the sky. I woke up my niece and told her we were headed to Harper's Ferry for the day. I have always loved Harper's Ferry but hadn't been there in over ten years. My niece claims she can write a little report on John Brown's raid and get extra credit at school, so we made a point of reading all of the plaques and whatnot. We walked a bit down the Appalachian Trail and took some photos of the mountains and the Shenandoah River. There's a lot of history in that area. Then we shared a funnel cake, which was also historic in its own way.I hope this doesn't lead to a string of nighmares for the impressionable ten-year-old, but we also visited a cemetery while we were in the area. I thought my niece would find some of the old headstones interesting. Many of them date back to the early 1800's. I guess some might think it is disrespectful to wander aroun…

Journey

I made it to Virginia on Thursday evening. As it turns out, traveling without a three-year-old is a hundred million times easier than traveling with one. You know I got mad love (as Randy would say) for my daughter, but . . .

I had a layover in Detroit. I had well over an hour to kill, so I walked (and walked and walked) to my gate so that I could find an eatery nearby. Each time I passed a flight monitor, I checked and confirmed that I was headed the right way. Yep, Washington-Dulles at Gate 76. I found my gate and then headed to a Mexican joint just a few yards away. I had eaten only an Easter egg for lunch (we have been eating them at an accelerated pace because somebody threw an egg into the bowl and caused all of the decorated eggs to be afflicted with hairline fractures), so I was pretty hungry. I ordered some nachos and a glass of Pinot Grigio. My flight was boarding at 5:01 so I paid my tab just before 5 and headed out. Okay, yes, I did have a second glass before that if you re…

In Memory of Kevin

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A snapshot from the old days in Dave's basement It's a peculiar thing, the way the brain works. Yesterday morning, I arrived at work and decided that I wanted to put an Easter photograph of my daughter on my computer's desktop, to use as a background picture. I had a bunch of photos on my Facebook account, so I logged on in order to grab one. I glanced at the recent updates that some of my friends had posted. Then I noticed a news feed item on the left side of the screen. "In Memory of Kevin Blitzer 1969-2009." 
"Wow, that's not funny," I thought to myself. "That's not even a little bit funny." 
Then it occurred to me that maybe Kevin himself had posted something, perhaps a photo of himself at a party where he had been "generously over-served." Something along those lines, maybe. Kevin has always had an offbeat sense of humor, howling over British comedy that always left me scratching my head (I think I'm the only person …

What rhymes with &%$#!

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As further proof of her staggering genius, my daughter has learned how to rhyme (and I say that with no sarcasm whatsoever - I legitimately believe that A is very bright). She likes to practice her new skill every chance she gets. You give her a simple word and she'll give you a word that rhymes with it. Cat-hat, chill-spill, and so forth.

Lately, she has been skipping around the house, singing rhyming words as she goes. Most of the words are the sort that actually appear in the dictionary. Some are made-up and silly (I believe I heard her uttering "sprunk" the other day). Some are . . . um, pornographic. Rock rhymes with . . . oh my (starts with a c, in case I lost you there for a second). And truck rhymes with . . . oh no, anything but that. And yet, I've heard them come out of my baby girl's cherubic little mouth. She says them in the same sing-song voice as all the other words, so it's not like she assigns any meaning to them. And while I will admit that …

Nyquil Dreams

I was sick with a cold for most of the week, so for three straight nights I took that glorious green liquid known as: Nyquil. I slept like a rock, but in exchange I had to endure a lot of very strange dreams. One night, I dreamt that we lost our home. Wait, it gets better. P and I were trying to move into an apartment and were filling out some paperwork to that end. We sat on one side of a beige metal desk while a middle-aged man (who was actually, oddly enough, one of the dog trainers from "Dog Town," one of my favorite shows on the National Geographic channel) sat on the other side.

He scanned our paperwork and then looked up at me. "Mrs. M, you didn't fill in your weight right here." He pointed at the blank line where my weight should go. I shook my head to indicate that I would not be divulging that information. "Well, you can't move in if you don't fill in your weight."

"Then I guess . . . " I replied, " . . . we'll be ho…

Song Lyrics

I get a lot of song lyrics lodged in my head. Lately I've been singing "Paper Planes" by M.I.A. (including the gunshot parts). Just in my head, mind you. You would not want me singing audibly. Trust me on that one. I'm not much of a poet myself, but like most English majors I do love poetry. So maybe that is why certain song lyrics appeal to me so much. I have a little repository of them that I store in my brain. That particular mental filing cabinet is in trouble, though. Ever since I became responsible for another human life, it seems like when one piece of information lands with a thud inside my cerebellum, another tidbit of information bounces out.

Here are a few song lyrics I dig. Who else has some good ones stuck in their head?Freedom has a scent
Like the top of a newborn baby's head
U2 - Miracle DrugHave a little faith
There's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty but hey, you're alright
Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road

Asking only workman's wages…

"When I'm a big sister . . . "

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Does anyone know where I can rent a child for a day? A temporary sibling, if you will. I need one with some basic Candyland and Chutes & Ladders skills. Play-Doh and dress-up abilities a plus. Salary commensurate with experience. Forward resume with references.
When I finally became a mom, I felt so blessed, so fortunate, that I dared not wish for anything more (i.e. another child). Even now, nearly four years after her birth, I still walk into my daughter's room and think, "It really happened!" I must confess, though, that there are days when keeping an only child entertained is a bit of a challenge.
You may wonder why, then, we have not taken steps to expand our clan from three to four. There are several reasons, including the fact that I'm getting older . . . and creakier. Also, the adoption was financially expensive and emotionally expensive. Do we regret a single second of it? Absolutely not. But, we knew from the outset that we'd only travel the infant …

An Up-and-Down Sort of Day

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We had an odd sort of day yesterday. We attended a kids' festival in the morning and a memorial service in the afternoon. I started the day by weighing in at Weight Watchers. As a Lifetime Member, I'm only technically required to weigh in once a month. I can get into a lot of trouble during those intervening weeks, though. I'll sure be glad when summer rolls around and I can weigh in wearing shorts. I think you'll agree that the average pair of jeans weighs at least 10-12 pounds. Work with me on this, people!

I ran home, picked up the rest of our little clan, and headed to the kids' festival. We go every year, and we've learned to get there as soon as it opens (before a sea of strollers makes movement all but impossible). Basically we just followed the kid around and tried to ensure that she did not get abducted. She ran from station to station, making crafts and completing obstacle courses, glitter flying behind her in a little cloud. She paused briefly to suck…

"I didn't hit somebody today!"

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That was A's exultant announcement when I picked her up from Kindercare a few days ago. My chest swelled with pride at the knowledge that my little buttercup had not clocked anyone on that particular day.

We've continued to struggle periodically with the hitting issue at school. The kid spent part of one afternoon perched on a chair in Miss Amber's office, reflecting on the rightness/wrongness of smacking one's friends. Miss Amber is the director at the center my daughter attends. On the way home in the car that day, I heard this from the back seat: "Miss Amber said I have nice hands!"
I looked at her in the rear view mirror. "Um, I'm pretty sure that Miss Amber meant that you should be nice with your hands. I don't think she was complimenting your hands. Though they are lovely."
To be honest, I'm fairly certain that in some of these incidents, my kid has been slugged first. However, I have to assume she is probably the aggressor in at le…

Well, *that* was embarrassing

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I took Gretchen to her first obedience class on Monday night. Just going for a car ride was enough to whip her into a frenzy, so she was fairly maniacal by the time we pulled into the kennel club's parking lot. I grabbed her leash and she hopped out of the van, alternately jumping into the air and pulling on the leash like a sled dog. When we got into the training building, I tightened my grip on her leash as we attempted to navigate through a throng of dogs and people. Here is what was going through Gretchen's mind: "Where's the party? Is this the party? Am I the party?"

After spending the last 11 years with the breed, I stand by my assertion that Boxers are challenging to train. Whereas a Border Collie is thinking, "What can I do to please you, oh benevolent owner? Finish the laundry?" the average Boxer is thinking, "You paid money for these classes?! Boy, that's a hoot. Hey, are you gonna eat that?"

Nonetheless, I'm going to cram as m…