Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's a miracle!

As I've mentioned a few about a hundred thousand times, my husband is not big on home repair tasks ("it'll just get that way again."). When we bought our house in 1998, we made note of the fact that the ceiling fan in our bedroom was ugly. It was dark grey and just didn't seem to match anything. My beloved assured me he'd replace it that summer. Because the fan contained a light fixture, it was the main source of light in our bedroom. It had four separate sockets for light bulbs. One socket died last year. Then recently the second one called it quits. This left us with two low-watt bulbs in our bedroom. I don't need it to be lit up like Kohl's in there, but I need to have a reasonable expectation that I have, in fact, selected two black - and not navy - socks to wear to work. Matching earrings are also a plus.

So, I went to Home Depot and selected a new one. Then I set the box in the bedroom, patted it a few times, and spoke loudly of how I couldn't wait to be able to enjoy the soft breezes generated by my new ceiling fan. I also may have implied, if ever so vaguely, that I might make it "worth his while" to install it sooner than later.

This morning the kid and I went to church and left the man of the house to work on the installation. When we got home, he had managed to remove the old one but had not yet installed the new one. Sensing that my other half might start uttering some colorful language as he got further into the project, I grabbed my daughter and loaded her into the car for a trip to a local orchard . . . which was closed. Apples everywhere and I could not buy them. So, we went with Plan B, which was to drive to a different orchard that was farther away. We were only able to get Cortland and Red Delicious, but we had no complaints. We munched some apples on the way home. I am hoping that this big pile of apples will result into a couple less teeth for the kid. Her top teeth are loose but she refuses to pull them. So, here's hoping one of them ends up in an apple.

When we got home, the new ceiling fan had been installed. And it works!

Now that I know my other half is capable of completing a handyman task that involves electricity, I have some hope of being able to say good-bye to the monstrosity in our dining room:

In other news, I hauled my arse to Weight Watchers on Saturday.  I hadn't been in a couple weeks three months. I had been loosely counting points over the summer, but wasn't taking it too seriously. However, in my ever-changing attempts to motivate myself, I am trying something new. I have issued myself a challenge, and I'm happy to report that I have accepted it. I have set up an incentive program. 10 pounds lost = pedicure (I know I've said in the past that I'm not so sure I want one, but I figure I may as well give it a try), 20 pounds lost = massage, and 30 pounds lost = a new tattoo. So, we'll see.  I'll keep you posted. Maybe.
The most stylish kid the orchard has ever seen

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A big bucket of sexy, that's what I am

Several years ago, I fell up the stairs in my house. It was a fairly dramatic fall and I sustained an injury to the big toe on my left foot. When it didn't get better after a few weeks, I went to a doctor. He told me it was fine and that I could do physical therapy at home by picking up coins with my toes (while I watched television). I translated his advice to: "You should go away now."  So, I didn't pursue any further action.

In case you are keeping a tally:

Medical-type person (encountered after moving to current city)
How I feel about them
Doctor who didn’t care about my toe
Mild dislike
First dermatologist who cared more about selling cosmetic surgery than helping with legitimate medical issue
Second dermatologist who’s totally old-school but nice as can be
First OB-GYN, who refused to give me an ultrasound in my first trimester when I told him something was wrong
Full-on hatred
Like a lot, except that one time when he dilated my pupils
Second OB-GYN, who done me wrong in every possible way
Hatred to the point where I gave serious consideration to mowing her down with my van when I saw her walking across the Best Buy parking lot that one time.
Orthopedist who put my broken thumb back together
Adore.  Also, he is kind of cute.
Like, but don’t adore because, well, hanging out with him is not that fun.
Third (and current) OB-GYN
Moderate dislike.  He’s better than the first two, but there’s a certain smugness about him that chaps my ass.

I have a new doctor to add to my list, which is my podiatrist (and I dig him so far). I saw him for the first time yesterday. I feel like an old lady just by virtue of the fact that I now *have* a podiatrist. The title conjures images of corns and bunions and whatnot.  Anyway, I made the appointment because my foot hurts.  After the initial injury, I didn't think about my foot constantly. In fact, in the years that followed, I couldn't always remember which foot I'd injured until I had some need to crouch down or otherwise bend my feet - and then I remembered.  Now, however, my foot has made it clear that I need to pay attention to it like it's my full-time job. It hurts when I walk and when I go to yoga. Sometimes, when I am sitting at my desk at work, pain shoots through my toe for no reason at all. I finally decided it was time to see if anything could be done.

So, off I went. The new guy took x-rays and then reviewed them with me. Here is the scoop: my original injury left me with a jacked-up joint (I tried looking up the name of the actual joint but let me just say that it's the joint that connects my big toe to the rest of my foot - and leave it at that). I have a bone spur that is jabbing me every time I flex the foot. Oh, and here's the sexy part . . . arthritis.  I have arthritis in my foot. Ah, aging - it's the gift that keeps on giving, my friends.

The doctor laid out a few options, starting with the most conservative - an oral anti-inflammatory.  The next step up is to give me a cortisone injection. The final frontier is surgery - he would slice open my foot, saw off the bone fragment, and then sew me back up again.

I thought he was going to push me to start with the oral stuff first ("that's what she said!") but he asked how I wanted to proceed.  Since this is an old injury, I don't think anything I put in my mouth is going to make a difference. "I want the shot," I said.

So, I got the shot. He told me straight out that it would hurt, and it hurt like a sonofabitch. For some reason I thought of that scene from "The 40-Year-Old-Virgin" where Steve Carrell gets his chest waxed and screams, "KELLY CLARKSON!" every time they pull off a wax strip. Seriously, my vision blurred for a second when that needle hit.

So now I guess I just wait and see.  It sounds like I will probably need the surgery eventually, but I plan to hold out as long as I can.

There you have it - the latest in my march towards old-ladydom.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Sleepless Night

We had our annual fundraiser for the rescue on Saturday. It was a loooong day.  However, it all pays off in the end. Our volunteers band together and do a kick-ass job (we work on it for about six months prior) and as a result, the rescue is able to pay its veterinary bills and buy leashes and collars and whatnot.

I worked at the fundraiser all day and then drove home (two-hour drive). I had my heart set on taking a nice long bath. By the time I got everything unpacked, it was around 9:00.  I set up my daughter's portable DVD player in the bathroom (yes, decadent, right?) and watched a documentary while I soaked my old-lady bones and sipped a wee bit of merlot. I went to bed at around 11:45. Then, at some point, I got up and let the dogs outside (how did I know they wanted to go outside? My foster dog jogged into my bedroom and peed on the floor, so that was my main clue).  A few minutes later, I let them back in and then climbed back into bed.

At 2 a.m., my husband returned home from playing cards at a friend's house. He woke me up. "Hey, did you know Gideon was outside?"  So, depending on what time it was when I let the dogs outside, I'd either left my boy outside for a few minutes or two hours. I felt about two inches tall and was ready to report myself to the ASPCA. Anyway, I am not sure if it was the guilt of leaving my dog outside or what my deal was, but I could not fall back to sleep. I stayed in bed for almost two hours, flipping this way and that. Have you ever been too exhausted to sleep?  It's an odd phenomenon, but that's how I felt. Plus, I was having beaucoup pain in my hips. Finally, I decided to get up and do something constructive. I popped two Tylenol PM and then listened to some music on Spotify while I worked on counting cash from the fundraiser. I figured I'd wait for the Tylenol to kick in and then go back to bed. It never really did. Glassy-eyed and desperate, I slid under the sheets once again and repeated the toss-n-turn routine from around 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Clearly defeated, I gave up and got out of bed for good. I had to teach religious education at church at 10, so I had to declare the battle for sleep . . . over.

I teach the youngest age group at church - Pre-K through 1st grade. I am terrible with kids but I try not to let on to the kids that I know that they know that I'm terrible with kids. I just try my best to muddle through. I've learned that if I have them warm up with a physical activity, there is a higher chance that they will sit still for the story time. I played Simon Says with them.  I stood up at the front while six adorable kids faced me. My brain told me to say, "Simon says 'take a nap!'" but what my mouth said was, "Simon says, 'do some jumping jacks!'"  The kids were pretty merciful with me in general, though. No one cried, which is always a plus.

My daughter wanted me to take her somewhere after church on Sunday. P took her to lunch at Noodles while I worked on a bank deposit for the rescue and watched a saved episode of "Project Runway" (I was glad to see Ven go home - what a tool). I was too tired to do anything too ambitious so I offered to take her to the mall for a pretzel. She accepted the offer.

On the way to the mall, I heard this from the back seat: "Mom, I have a really important question for you."

I turned down the music. I have heard this introductory statement from her before and it is usually followed by a question about her adoption. I always do my best to answer those. I waited and listened.

"Mom, how are people made?" I sat quietly for a moment. Then I did the sensible thing - pretended I did not hear the question.  I hoped she'd change the subject and tell me whether she wanted a regular pretzel or a cinnamon one.  No such luck.

"I mean, how are HUMAN BEINGS made? How are they made?"

Shit. Think fast, Claudia. Think fast.  No sleep. Brain not working. 

"Welllll," I started.  "All human beings start as a tiny little embryo in a woman's uterus. Then the embryo grows into a fetus and then a baby. Then, nine months later, the baby is ready to be born."

Please please please don't ask me how the embryo gets in there. 

"Mom, can I get an ICEE with my pretzel?"


I went to bed at 9 p.m. on the dot last night.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


"There are 47% who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing." - Mitt Romney

I don't talk politics too frequently on my blog, mostly because by the time I get around to addressing a particular topic, other bloggers have done it faster and better. Whether this is your first time reading my blog or the hundredth, it probably won't surprise you to know that I am a Democrat. I'm a Unitarian Universalist. I listen to NPR and take yoga. I believe in fighting for social justice. I believe we all have equal value. I'm left-leaning for sure, but lean just slightly to the right in certain areas. I reserve the right to edit my thinking as the world changes (lest you think I'm entirely inflexible). I just figured I'd get all of those disclosures out of the way.

I do not buy into the entitlement mentality that strikes a lot of people of my generation (the so-called Gen-X) and the generation(s) that has followed after. I feel fortunate to have a job. I would love to have a higher paying job, but I don't kvetch about how I deserve one, how I'm entitled to more than what I have. People who steal don't usually need whatever they stole - they feel that they were entitled to it. That line of thinking is a bad trap to fall into.

Does it irk me when the woman in front of me in the check-out line at the grocery store pays with food stamps while chatting on her iPhone? A little. I mean, I don't want to be disingenuous here. I wonder about those things, too. I just try to remind myself that I don't know that woman's personal situation, that it really is not my business. Do I think that some people abuse the system? Sure. My sister is a social worker and I have heard all kinds of stories. Do I think that some people accept government assistance because they have absolutely no choice? Do I think they'd prefer to be self-sufficient?  Sure.

Call me crazy, but it seems to me that human beings are, in fact, entitled to health care, to food, to housing. When the news broke of Romney's remarks (recorded via hidden camera), I kept reading that same line over and over again.What am I missing here? Is the availability of shelter not a human right? Most communities have animal welfare laws on the books requiring the provision of food, water and shelter to dogs.

My stad had to have knee and hip replacement surgeries a couple years ago.  He had worked at the same restaurant for some 25 years. He took some time off to recover and when he tried to go back, they no longer welcomed him. He is now working a couple of part-time jobs and currently, my parents do not have health insurance. Mr. Romney does not think they deserve it. I mean, screw them, right? They probably didn't work hard enough, didn't do their part to pursue the American dream.

My parents raised me to have a good work ethic. I have been working since I was 15 years old. I have a college degree.  However, not everyone had that boost early in life. Some people start out with a real deficit - growing up without opportunities, without support.  Let's face it - any citizen elected to the office of President is wealthy. The way our political system is structured means that the winner is always selected from the so-called 1%. Barack Obama has probably never used a coupon in his life. However, I do think he at least has the gift of empathy. Mitt Romney, in my opinion, does not. And who can forget Romney's wife referring to American citizens as "you people."  Who doesn't feel a little like a peon after hearing that?

It scares me that there is a very real possibility that we are going to elect this man into office. Egads!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I used to think justice was a good thing

I am not a stylish person. I realize you came to that conclusion all on your own without my assistance. It's not that I don't like clothes. I do. I like a cute outfit and a kick-ass pair of heels as much as the next girl. It's more a matter of knowing I can't pull off anything that's too "out there." My main goal is not to walk into a room and know that people are thinking, "Oh, sweet Jesus. What was she thinking?"

My daughter, on the other hand, is very stylish. When I was a kid, a running threat (from the 'rents) was, "Knock it off or you're getting clothes for Christmas."  And I knocked it off, because I did not want clothes for Christmas. (Sometimes the threat was more specific - SOCKS AND UNDERWEAR!) My kid is happy to get clothes and shoes for any given occasion or no occasion at all. Santa brought her pink cowboy boots for Christmas one year and she loved them.

Since she was five, she has been dying to shop at Justice. Six is the smallest size they carry, so she had to wait. When she finally hit that much-anticipated goal, she started begging me to take her to Justice. I quickly learned a few things about Justice. The first lesson was that the clothes are freakishly expensive. The second is that the quality does not warrant the price. I try to avoid the joint as much as I can. Instead, when my daughter's aunties ask me what she wants for Christmas/birthday/whatever, I tell them, "Well, you could buy her some God-awful thing at Justice if you want." So far two of her aunts have fallen for it.

The other part of the scoop about Justice is that they have this malevolent scheme that involves coupons. If you sign up for their email list, they will send you at least one email daily. Sometimes more.  The coupons are for 40% off. Somehow, you periodically convince yourself that 40% off a glittery $44 sweater is a bargain. The emails warn that this deal is Just. About. To. End. You momentarily forget that your child has left every sweater and jacket she has ever owned . . . at school. When you ask her about the lost and found, she will inform you that the teachers expressly forbid students from looking in the lost and found. You start to picture some sneering yellow-eyed jackal of a school administrator standing in front of the lost and found, using his taser to subdue and immobilize kids daring to look for their lost mitten from last winter.

As you may recall, my daughter now receives an allowance. She had saved up $20 and couldn't stand it anymore. She asked me to take her to Justice yesterday.  I reluctantly drove her to the mall and took her to the store of her dreams. She buzzed from rack to rack, clutching her change purse in her hand. She actually had $19 because earlier in the day she had tipped a clown at an art festival (long story).

I wanted the kid to understand the concept of having a certain amount of money to spend. She showed me a few things and I told her she didn't have enough money. I sat on a bench by the fitting room while she narrowed down her choices. Now, if you've never been in a Justice, let me just say that there is a lot of glitter in that store. Plus copious sequins and very, very bright colors. As I sat there, I felt like my retinas were being burned right out of my skull. Finally, she settled on a poncho-type sweater and a necklace.  The total was $29. I had two choices: spot her the extra or sit there and risk further damage to my eyeballs. We went up to the register.

"Okay, give me the money you brought," I told her.  "I will give you the extra $10 you need."

"What?" she asked me. Like me, her language and reading skills are good but her math . . . eh, not so much.

"You are short ten dollars," I said. "I will give you the ten dollars."

She nodded. "Ohhhh. So you owe me five dollars?"

I started to ask her how she arrived at that but instead just shook my head and escorted her out of the store. 

In case you wondered, here is the overpriced glittery sweater, which will be left at school shortly:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I'm a Mess

I have an owie. I guess this is just part of getting old, but it pisses me off. I somehow managed to injure my lower back in yoga class.  I was doing a pretty basic move (it was essentially a twist on the classic cat/cow pose) and felt something pop. I don't like to admit I have an owie, so I went to class again a couple days later. Then I went to the gym a couple days after that and did 50 minutes on the elliptical. I think I have some not-based-in-logic theory that something will reverse the pop and then all will be well. Kind of like how in the movies, amnesiacs just need a (second) swift blow to the head and then their memory comes back. Anyway, the back injury is just irritating, but I'm sure it will get better. Otherwise I'd have to add it to my list of permanent maladies, which includes my hips, the big toe on my left foot (injured when I fell up the stairs one time), and the thumb on my left hand (broken when I fell while carrying a glass casserole dish).

Now that I look at all of my activity in the last paragraph (and even neglected to mention that I took another yoga class this week and did some dog-walking as well) . . . why the hell am I so fat? I am not a sedentary person. It is really frustrating. My mom called me last night and had the misfortune of catching me in an "I hate myself" mood. She attempted to give me a pep talk. I could look like that mom on "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and my mother would still say I look fabu. By the way, does anyone remember when TLC stood for "The Learning Channel?" I do. But, I digress.

I read an article a few weeks ago that stated that women in their forties have to work out vigorously at least three times just to maintain their weight. That article did not make me happy.  I mean, I know the equation. Burn more calories, eat fewer calories, blah blah blah.  It's clear that I need to work harder. I fret over my weight hundreds of times a day (I am not even kidding or exaggerating when I say that) so how could it be that I'm not motivated to change something that clearly causes me a lot of distress? I have no idea. Maybe it's just that . . . now that I'm older, this endeavor requires a lot more deprivation than I care to consider.

On a happier note, I am excited about the coming weekend. I'm joining some mom-friends for fondue tomorrow night. ("Really, Claudia? Fondue? And you have no earthly idea why you are fat?) I've never been to a fondue restaurant, so I don't know what to expect. I am going to try not to get too crazy, because dipping stuff in other stuff . . . I know that's not a low-calorie pursuit. On Saturday morning, my friend Stephanie is picking me up for a wine festival. This year it is her turn to drive. Woot! ("Really, Claudia? Drinking wine all day? And you have no earthly idea why you are fat?")  And finally, on Sunday the kid and I are headed to a fellow volunteer's house to prepare for the upcoming Boxer rescue fundraiser. It's a big annual event and a lot of work goes into that bad boy. On Sunday we are logging in items for the silent auction. This doesn't sound like it would be fun, but we all get a minor thrill out of seeing what kinds of items we can bid on at the fundraiser. Then we threaten each other about the dangers of outbidding one's friends.

That's all I've got. I've been digging a lot of new music that has been released recently. I don't think I'd love Fall at all except for the new music releases. I've had Divine Fits, Santigold, Fiona Apple, Shiny Toy Guns, and Django Django in heavy rotation. So, I'll leave you with one of my recent faves. Rock on.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Explaining Hard Stuff

As you may recall, my daughter recently learned that she has some biological half-siblings living in the great state of Texas. Her birthmom has three sons. My husband and I had not been hiding their existence from her. We had just been waiting for the right time. From the time of our daughter's birth, we have just tried to keep our discussions age-appropriate. We never hid the fact that A was adopted, but we didn't sit her down and tell her formally until she was three. We waited until then because it didn't make sense to tell her she didn't grow in my tummy when she didn't know she had ever hung out in anyone's tummy at all. Once she started to figure out how things work, at least in a vague sense, it was time to tell her.  So we did.

We felt we should wait until she knew more about reproduction before mentioning that she also has a birthfather and some siblings floating around in the world. I know she has some on her birthfather's side of the family as well, but that is a whole other can of worms - which shall remain safely closed until further notice.

She didn't say too much about the boys after receiving a letter and photos from her birthmom a couple months ago. I predicted she would have questions later on and sure enough, she's had questions aplenty over the past couple of weeks. She is primarily concerned with what the boys know about her. I told her that the oldest one asks about her. He was four when she was born (or possibly five - I've lost my mind in the intervening years) and he does remember her. He last saw A when she was around 15 months old, I believe. The younger two boys are too young to understand this adoption business, so I explained that to my daughter.

Over the weekend, she drew a picture of herself for her older brother and I mailed it to him today. She drew hearts on it so that he will know that she loves him (she pointed them out specifically). I am sure she will have more questions as time goes on, and I will just do my best to answer.

In related news, A was asking her father why we can't all just have penises. The topic came up during dinner. He gave me a "save me!" look, which I helpfully ignored. So, he turned back to her and said, "Because that's where babies come out. Through the vagina."

The expression on our daughter's face was pretty priceless. She turned and gave me a quizzical look as if to confirm that her dad wasn't pulling her leg. I nodded and confirmed that yes, some day a baby may indeed exit her body through her hoo-ha. She, in turn, promptly announced her newly and hastily-developed plans to remain childless all her life.

"Oh, you'll be a mom someday," I said. "And, with a little luck, your daughter will come to the dinner table every night and announce that she can't possibly eat the garlic bread because it's 'just a little too dark.'"  God willing.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Miss (In)Dependent

As my daughter begins the new school year, I've been thinking a lot about how I can encourage a little more independence from her.  I don't want her to move out or anything - I just want her to feel more comfortable doing things on her own and taking on a little more responsibility.

I have started with little things. For example, when we go to the grocery store I can tell her, "Go to the frozen foods aisle, pick out some ice cream, and then meet me back here."  I can be reasonably certain that she will find the ice cream and return to me without getting abducted or anything. It is sort of nice when kids reach an age when you don't have to have your eyeballs on them every second. When she is in her room playing Barbies, I feel pretty confident that she is not actually drinking Windex or something (a legitimate concern when she was a toddler).

At church, I teach Religious Education about once a month. I teach the pre-K through first grade class. Yes, I am terrible with kids and I'm sure the kids know it, but we muddle through. I had always assumed that I would just move up to teach the older classes as my daughter moved up through the age groups. Now I've changed my mind. This year, I am staying with the younger group and she will move up. My daughter is disappointed, but I am doing it for her. I think she needs to learn to be away from me. When I was teaching the class that she was in, she was very clingy and protective. One day, a little girl in the class fell and hit her head. Needless to say, I ran over and scooped her up so that I could comfort her. My kid blew a gasket. "You love her more than me?!" Similar scenes were played out over and over last year.

In nine months or so, my daughter will fly by herself for the first time.  It will be a direct flight.  I'll be at one end and my mom will be at the other. We'll have gate passes and can go straight to the gate with her at both airports. My niece flew by herself to visit us when she was the same age, so I feel like my daughter will be able to handle it. Or at least I am hoping so. I have reason to be a little concerned, such as the recent failed attempt at a sleepover. And the daily tantrums in the a.m. She still asks us to carry her pretty frequently. Have I done too much for her, thereby stunting her emotional and intellectual growth?

Honestly, I'm still on my first (and only) pass with this parenthood thing so I'm not sure what to expect from her sometimes. I have no baseline against which to compare her capabilities. Is it reasonable to expect her to put her dirty clothes down the chute? I feel like it is. Put her dish in the sink when she's done eating? Do a few chores around the house? All reasonable, I think, but I have to ask her a hundred thousand times and then I turn into a screeching harpy and then I think, "This is not the kind of mom I wanted to be!"

On one hand, I still want to be my daughter's number one guide/protector/chef/teacher/lackey. But on the other hand, I suspect that she is capable of pouring milk in her own cereal, despite her attempts to convince me otherwise. What's a mom to do?

It doesn't seem that hard, does it?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Taking the 2nd grade by storm

She's rocking her skinny jeans and her rock star tee. I even let her wear the new sequined scarf she's been dying to wear. She's older, she's wiser . . . she's a second grader!  And she still doesn't get up on time.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Little to no labor

After going on vacation and doing so much driving in late August, we decided to do a whole lot of nothing this weekend. With gas prices being as high as they are, staying close to home seemed like a good idea. I went to yoga twice and that was the extent of my physical exertion (although I gotta say I worked up a more-than-respectable sweat in this morning's class). By the way, the owner of the yoga studio installed a large mirror on one wall.  If you only knew how many times I've uttered the words, "Thank God there's no mirror in the yoga studio."  I feel like it shouldn't even be legal.

On Saturday afternoon, I took the kid to see a movie called "ParaNorman."  I had heard that it might be too scary for younger kids but I think my child is immune. She plays Lego Star Wars all the time with her dad and the two of them get pretty excited when they get to embody the character of Chewbacca and start "ripping arms off left and right!" (that is a direct quote) Anyway, it was a good movie - I liked it more than I expected to.  There was a little twist at the end that I've never seen before in an animated children's movie.

On Sunday, the three of us went biking. We loaded up our bikes in the van and drove to a bike trail on the other side of town. P and I followed behind while the kid led the way, singing and talking as she pedaled along. We usually ride about 3 1/2 miles and then stop at a park before turning around. P and I figured we'd sit on a bench by the river while our daughter played at a playground a few yards away. She hopped off her bike and ran towards the playground, yelling over her shoulder, "Now you two have plenty of time to kiss!"  What on earth does she think we do when she's not around?

On the ride back she required us to treat her to a root beer float at a custard shop located just off the trail. I have to say that as bad as my sweet tooth is, there are a handful of items that, thankfully, do not tempt me:
  • Root beer floats (my mother loves them, so I guess I just didn't get that gene or something)
  • Fruit pies. Well, any kind of pie, I guess. I like fruit and I liked baked goods. I don't see any reason to combine the two.
  • Cheesecake. Blech.
  • Strawberry ice cream. 
  • Anything with coconut in it. Almond Joy? Out of the question. 
I did enjoy a lime slushie while Short Stuff sucked on her root beer float. Then, as we were riding back to the trail, the kid fell off her bike and then complained the rest of the way to the car (2 1/2 miles worth of complaining, not that I was keeping track). 

P had to work Sunday night, so the kid and I tackled a project - figuring out which clothes still fit her for fall/winter.  Since she doesn't really bother to grow much, just about everything still fits. Saves us some money, I guess. She did grow out of her size 5 stuff, which should have made her happy but since this also meant parting with a couple of her favorite dresses, it did not. 

Today was another uneventful day. Since I had the day off, I tackled some of the stuff I never have time to do, such as washing dog beds. I guess I could've washed the actual dogs as well, but my motivation has its limits.

We have a park right in our neighborhood but the kid has been bugging me to take her to a bigger park a few miles away. So, I invited one of her friends to come along and drove the girls over there this afternoon. I hung out on a blanket reading and playing Words with Friends.

And that, mes amis, was our weekend. Tomorrow is the first day of school. A has her outfit all picked out and is ready to get the party started. I can't help but wonder how this year's teacher is going to handle Chatty McTalkington. Poor Mrs. S from last year moved A's desk to every possible location short of moving her into the girls' bathroom, but it did nothing to curb my daughter's social life. Mrs. S retired at the end of the school year. Coincidence? Methinks not.