Showing posts from December, 2008

Day 5

Today was our fifth consecutive day of family togetherness. I did have to go to work on Friday, but P stayed home with the kid and even took her sledding. Other than that, it's been the three of us together . . . a lot. We haven't come to blows yet, mostly because we still have so many baked goods to pacify us. On Friday evening, the three of us headed to the "Garden of Lights," where we enjoyed a horse- drawn wagon ride through the woods and gardens. The light display is pretty similar every year, but it was still well worth the trip. As the horses pulled our wagon through the quiet, snowy trees, no one aboard was saying a word. That is, until the kid sitting between me and my husband said this: "I smell something stinky in the forest." Everyone on the wagon (a dozen or so people) started to laugh. I'm sure our fellow passengers had noticed the manure smell, but since all the grown-ups knew where it came from, it didn't seem worth mentioning. When

All Over but the Shoutin'

My first mistake on Christmas Day: waking her up. I was excited for the kid to get up and start creating meaningful videotaped memories, so I rousted her out of bed. Plus, we had to get the gift opening done before my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece arrived for lunch. Waking A up at 7 didn't seem to be such a bad idea until later in the day. By mid-afternoon, she had become delirious from the festivities, had two potty accidents ("Why didn't you use the potty?" "Because I'm sorry!" That's her response lately when she gets busted for something - she won't explain why she did it, but cuts right to the chase and just starts yelling, "Because I'm sorry!"), and started carrying out ideas that were just bad in general. My second mistake: lunch. With two days to go before my weekly weigh-in at Weight Watchers, I found myself devouring stuffed shells, garlic mashed potatoes, and French bread. I just love a good piece of crunchy, ch


We wanted to get this particular pronunciation on video before she wises up and starts saying it correctly. Also, Little Miss Generosity agreed to leave exactly one cookie for Santa tonight. As if we aren't up to our armpits in baked goods around here . . .


I was watching "Sunday Morning" on, well, Sunday morning, and caught an interview with actor/singer Kristin Chenoweth . I was vaguely aware of her, but apparently I don't watch the shows she is on. (Unless you show up on "Yo Gabba Gabba" or some other program on Noggin, I probably don't know who the heck you are.) During the interview, the reporter mentioned that Chenoweth was adopted at birth. I thought to myself, "Oh no, here we go. There'll be some long diatribe about how devastated she is and how she feels lost and unfulfilled." That often seems to be the case when adoption is portrayed in the media, so I braced myself for it. Instead, she mentioned only that she was curious simply to know which of her birthparents could sing. And that was about it. Regarding the parents who raised her, she said, "My parents should never be allowed to sing in public. Ever." It was pretty funny. The reporter replied that maybe her parents could swa


Yesterday morning, I was trying to hustle the kid into the van so that we could get to church. It was -4 outside (I know I am prone to exaggeration but trust me, that was the actual temperature) and I just wanted to get her in and go. I've read that there have been actual studies which prove that tailgating a car only succeeds in making the driver go more slowly. Similarly, the more you try to hustle my daughter along, the slower she moves. First, she needs to settle Teddy into the seat next to hers. Sometimes she insists on buckling him in, which adds a couple more minutes. Then she has to screw around with the overhead push lights in the back of the van. And so on it goes. Yesterday, I was getting profoundly exasperated with the whole routine. She was wandering around the back of the van while I was shivering in the garage. Finally, she clambered into her car seat. But then, she wanted to buckle herself in. Argh! I danced from foot to foot to keep warm until I was able to confirm

Bakin' cookies for Santa

We went through three, yes three, full bottles of sprinkles. If Santa doesn't already have a firm diagnosis of diabetes, he will have it by the time he leaves our house on Wednesday night.

I do, in fact, rock

I went to Weight Watchers this morning and for the first time in two years or so, I didn't have to pay the meeting fee. As a Lifetime member, I don't have to pay if I'm within two pounds of my goal weight. I wasn't at my goal weight, but I was within spitting distance of it. Of course, I immediately went out to breakfast and ate a double-chocolate muffin, so it's hard to say what next week will bring. I like to live dangerously, eating those carbs and all. After breakfast, I did something crazy: I went to the mall. And I took my kid, which makes everything 79% harder. She wanted to pick out a gift for Father, so I told her we'd do it today. We got to the mall early enough that it wasn't horribly crowded, but parking was still an issue. You see, it snows every ten minutes here, and you can't see the lines in the parking lot. So everyone uses the "this seems close enough" method of finding a space. We found a gift and then drove across the street

Climbing Out

I'd like to thank everyone who sent their condolences over Karl's death. It helped to know that others understood why I was such a blubbering, mascara-streaked heap. I thought I was faring a bit better today, but then I opened the mail and found a sympathy card from my veterinarian. The card contained my boy's paw print. When I'm at home, I keep thinking I see him out of the corner of my eye. He was black, of course, and enjoyed napping in darkened doorways. We'd trip over him and then exclaim, "Geez, Karl!" I truly think he enjoyed it. I found something today that succeeded in cheering me up a bit. The artist is Santogold. Check it out. (Note: if you don't like it, you can't be my friend anymore. Ha!)


I miss my boy. P and I took Karl to the veterinary clinic together. We left A at school, deciding that she is far too young to watch her doggie cross over. Later, we let her know that Karl was sick and had died (I had given her some advance warning that morning also). I'm not sure how much she absorbs or understands at this point. I hope she will remember him. Just as we were leaving the house, Karl put his head down, gagged, and left three small puddles of bile on the carpet. He had not eaten since last week, so that was all that was left in him, I suppose. He would still take a treat, but he would then deposit it on the rug within an hour. Often, there was blood in his vomit. At times we hoped we had his condition under control through dietary changes and medications, but it would always cycle back through with a vengeance. For several months, I cleaned up the vomit and fretted. When the snow came, I realized just how bad it was, because I could see all of the vomit in the back y

In Memory of Karl Lee

Oh Karl , Snarlie, Snooley, Snarlsberg, Karlington, Karlie Carleone . . . I miss you, good boy. Please look for The Goose - I know she will look after you. I hope your tummy is full and your coat is shiny and you are restored to health. I love you.

What the kids are asking for these days

At a museum's exhibit of old department store decorations we visited yesterday. This morning, the kids at church performed a Christmas program. We're UU's , so the play wasn't the standard Jesus/Mary/Joseph manger theme. Instead, they performed "The Last Straw" based on a book of the same name. My daughter is in the Pre-K class at church, and those kids are usually given simple walk-on parts since there's not much hope of getting three-year-olds to practice/memorize anything. A's role was to add an item to the camel's pack. The camel (played by a talented teen girl) was traveling across the desert to bring gifts to the baby Jesus. About halfway through the performance, my kid was summoned to play her pivotal role. She shoved some sort of package in the camel's pack as guided by one of the teachers standing offstage. A then started to gallop back towards me. However, for some reason she then turned on her heel and skipped back across the stage.

Thanks, Santa

Hooray for Tooth-Rotting, Sticky, Nutrition-Free Candy Canes! We took the kid to see the man in red yesterday (per the parental contract). There was a family in line in front of us, and their daughter had clearly reached the "no way, no how" stage in relation to Santa. She shook her head vigorously and scowled at the camera lady. A had the same reaction during her second Christmas. At seven months she was happy to sit on Santa's lap, but the following year: not on your life. I had to give this young couple credit, because they were NOT giving up. The dad perched next to Santa on the velvet throne, clutching his frowning daughter in his lap, while the mom and camera lady worked on the kid. There was a lot of waving of candy canes and peek-a-boo-I-see-you and other futile endeavors. No go. By the way, have you seen this book? I understand it contains photos of screaming kids on Santa's lap through the decades. I think I need it. When it was A's turn, she hopp

Hound for the Holidays

I picked up a new foster Boxer on Sunday. His name is Caesar. The kid, however, persists in calling him "Susie" no matter how many times I correct her. She grabbed my camera on Sunday evening and decided to take some photos of our new guest (she took the snapshot above which, frankly, is at least as good as any picture I've ever taken). I was on the computer and could hear her in the next room, chatting with her subject. "Sit, Susie!" I heard her say. "Goober, his name is Caesar!" Five minutes later: "Susie, you're so cuuuuuute." The new guy seems to be settling in pretty well, though he's still a bit nervous. He jumps up and follows us from room to room. He was surrendered by a family who said they were moving and couldn't have him in their new place. His birthday is 5/18/05, which makes him about two weeks younger than my daughter. Caesar came from a home with a two-year-old in it, so he's good with kids. I was told that Cae


We bundled up and drove to a tree farm yesterday. It was very cold so our standards were accordingly low. Basically, we decided to select a tree based on its proximity to our parked car. P felled the tree while the kid made snow angels in every unmarred patch of white stuff she could find. The only problem was that she had a heck of a time trying to get back up again. She was like the snowsuited little brother from "A Christmas Story" who couldn't put his arms down and couldn't pull himself up once he was horizontal. Before long we had a tree on the roof of the familymobile and were headed home. I am once again grateful to our ancient kissing gourami for (voluntarily) heading off to that great pond in the sky so that I could put a tree in the spot formerly occupied by our 35-gallon aquarium. We bought a smallish tree that fits in the corner and voila, no furniture re-arranging required. We decorated the tree and allowed the kid to help. Half the ornaments are hung abo


You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry. I need to assure you that I am generally aware of the different parenting/discipline techniques out there. Many are similar to those used in dog training, believe it or not. Positive reinforcement. Time-out. Assertive discipline. The list goes on and on. But here is what I find works best: "Do it one more time and I'm calling Santa." My daughter (and I'd venture to say that 9 out of 10 three-year-olds are inclined to agree with her) does not believe in being "good for goodness' sake." She believes in pushing boundaries until they are stretched beyond recognition. The Santa Threat is really only effective for about four weeks out of the year. You have to be careful not to pull it out of your arsenal too quickly. I waited until our Thanksgiving vacation. My little buttercup ran away from me at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and headed for a moving sidewalk (which was moving in the opposite direction f


Thanksgiving (Day 6 of Mother-Daughter Togetherness) New bebe The trip to Oklahoma was generally pretty subdued, but we did have a bit of drama towards the end. On Friday afternoon A and I drove my dad to the airport in Oklahoma City. I then drove to my friend Susie's house. Susie has a May 05 kid also (we knew each other from a birth club board on Babycenter). Her son was so hospitable towards my daughter, who in turn was pretty much a pill. She played with his toys and pretended like he wasn't there, while he did everything he could think of to engage her. Susie and Mark also have an adorable one-year-old daughter. As we sat around chatting, my mother called me on my cell. My reception was bad - I had about half a bar at best. She told me she had fallen and thought she might need an ambulance. She stumbled after waking up from a nap and smacked her arm and her head on the edge of the nightstand. My mother lives in a town about five blocks wide, surrounded by cows on all side