Showing posts from May, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

In Memory of Jamie The weekend didn't turn out exactly as expected, but a weekend's still better than, well, weekdays, so I'll take it.  I had planned to take the kid to an art festival on Saturday, but the weather was too iffy.  It was a lakefront affair and I knew the wind would make the festival seem significantly less festive.  So, I went with Plan B.  I had some free passes to a jumpity-jump place, so I called A's friend and as luck would have it, she was free.  So, I took both girls out to lunch and then to the inflatables place. I'm not used to having two six-year-olds in my back seat, that's for sure.  Also, who was it that coined that saying about "sugar and spice?"  Those two burped and farted their way all through lunch. On Saturday evening, I drove to my friend Kathy's house.  Her Boxer died a few days ago.  I pulled Jamie out of a shelter in 2000. She was around two years of age then. Jamie was the unofficial canine matriarch of o


Tornadoes criss-crossed parts of the country yesterday, leaving massive destruction in their wake. My friend Susie lost virtually everything. She lives in a suburb of Oklahoma City.  My sister (and her family) and my mom live about an hour from the city. Fortunately, they are all fine. I met Susie through Babycenter years ago. We both have May 2005 kiddos.  We also have adoption in common, as her little "la princesa" (her second child) was adopted from Guatemala. Whenever I visit my family in Oklahoma, I also visit Susie and her clan.  In November, we all went to the science museum together. Susie not only brought snacks for her kids, she brought snacks for my daughter and my sister's offspring as well. That's just the kind of person she is. I was shaken earlier today to learn that Susie and Mark have lost their home, Mark's truck, and, I would imagine, all sense of safety and peace.  In her typical "glass is half full" style, Susie sent me a text ea

That crashing noise you heard . . .

. . . was my hard drive. It died on Saturday. Or was taken in the Rapture. It's hard to say. All I know is that the computer worked when I left the house Saturday morning but that it was proudly sporting the blue screen of death when I got home in the afternoon. In between, my other half had attempted to do some of his geek stuff (I think he is logging all of his comic books or something) and apparently that was the straw that broke the hard drive's back. In all honesty, though, the computer had been acting squirrely for a while and the writing was on the wall, so to speak. It was over six years old. Now, you may be thinking, "Hey, Claudia, don't you do computer stuff for a living? You probably had everything backed up, right?"  Well, I do but I didn't. I had some stuff backed up, but not everything. It's one of those things where you always think, "As soon as I get some time . . . " I'm mostly worried about the files for the rescue. I brou

Nice one

Yesterday I spent the afternoon in a meeting with a group of Franciscan nuns.  They need a new website and well, that's what I do for a living. I'm a project manager for a web development company. There were five nuns in the meeting, as well as their marketing person and a sales rep from my company. Now, I'm sure it goes without saying that the nuns were as nice as the day is long. For a group of grey-haired ladies, they are actually pretty progressive when it comes to websites and technology and the like. However, they did have a lot to say and the meeting was nearly two hours long. I have the attention span of a gnat. I occupied myself with taking notes, watching someone mow the lawn outside the conference room, and fiddling with my new necklace. I picked up this necklace last weekend. It's very simple - just a turquoise ball (about the size of a small grape) on a chain. Somehow, I fiddled with it so much that I released the clasp. I felt the chain slide off my neck

We're in what?

I'll just come out and say it: I was mad. Hopping mad.  Here's why: It was Monday evening. I came home from work and did the following (some items were actually done simultaneously): Emptied my daughter' backpack. Fed the dogs. Fed the cat. Took a load of laundry out of the dryer and brought it upstairs to fold/sort/put away. Made dinner (black bean quesadillas). Made my daughter's lunch for the following day. Cleaned the toilets. Washed the dinner dishes, including the griddle on which I'd made the quesadillas. Meanwhile, my other half played poker online. The kid wanted him to come outside and push her on her tree swing (it's the disk kind where you sort of wrap your legs around the rope and balance yourself, so it's hard for her to maneuver on her own). He told her he would be right out.  She sat on the swing for a while, singing to herself (I was keeping an eye on her through the window), and finally he went out there to give her a push. Nin

Further proof that I've lost my mind

I submit to you the following: 1. On Thursday night, I went to the gym. I did 45 minutes on one of the elliptical machines. The row of machines faces a wall of TV screens. I generally listen to my iPod and just sort of glance at E! or the History Channel periodically. They also have a Spanish channel playing at all times, so it wouldn't matter it I could hear that one or not. Anyway, I finished my workout and climbed down, taking my water, towel, and iPod with me. I grabbed a gym-supplied spray bottle and towel off a nearby ledge so that I could clean my stank off the machine.  I turned around and . . . had no earthly idea which elliptical I'd just been on. Nary a clue. No one else was on the ellipticals at that time so I didn't have a "two machines down from the guy who wears spandex bike shorts" landmark to work from. There are about a dozen machines in the row.  I approached the one I thought I might have been on and touched the handles to see if they might b

Up with Summer!

I am so glad the school year is almost over. Sure, we have to pay more for childcare over the summer, but I won't have to worry about packing lunches and sorting through a backpack o'crap every day. At least I was able to stop packing (and repeatedly washing) the kids's snowpants a couple weeks ago. What was I thinking, buying her light pink snowpants? I don't know why the backpack job is exclusively mine, but it is. Every day I have to dig out a half-eaten lunch (funny how the dessert is always gone, though), locate whatever she smuggled to school that day (usually a zooble or a Barbie), and sort through all of the paper, library books, guided reading books, and so forth. For art projects, I either post them on the refrigerator or put them in a plastic storage tote (I expect to have at least a dozen of these by the time she graduates, depending on how much art she does in high school). For worksheets and such, I (gasp!) recycle them. Then we have scenes like this: (a

What is THAT doing in my house?

My daughter came home from school with this monstrosity on Friday. She proudly loaded it into the van when I picked her up from Kindercare. "Where did you get that?" I asked. "From the book fair," she replied. Here's the thing:  I didn't give her any money to spend at the school's book fair. The reason for this one-time failure to support my child's education is that I already order books from the Scholastic book club all the time. The kid has a gazillion books. I really need to get her a library card. I guess it is the English major in me that likes to own books so that I can make notes in them, fold pages, go back to them for reference, etc. But really, that habit is getting to be fairly impractical. Whenever she brings home one of the Scholastic book forms, I tell her to circle the books she'd like to have. Generally, the ones she picks are crap . . . Barbie, iCarly, and so forth.  So, I typically order one piece of crap and then orde

The future is now

Revelation: my daughter will graduate high school in the year 2023.  When you were a kid, didn't you picture 2023 as, you know, a time when the Jetsons would be zipping around with jet-packs on their backs and whatnot?  I just need to get that hover conversion for my mini-van and I'll be all set. Just the thought of 2023 makes me feel extraordinarily old. I mean, I took TYPING in high school, for crying out loud. On a TYPEWRITER! I owned ALBUMS (and not in a hip, retro sense as part of the supposed vinyl comeback going on currently - I owned albums because that was the only choice we had). The hippest gadget I ever owned was a Walkman. Speaking of gadgets, we got the kid a hot pink Nintendo DSi for her birthday. Don't worry - we're planning to leave our Best Buy credit card balance to her in our will. She received birthday money from her grandparents and great-grandmother, so we let her buy some DS games. (As a side note, these people - family members who have known m


Now We are Six When I was One, I had just begun. When I was Two, I was nearly new. When I was Three I was hardly me. When I was Four, I was not much more. When I was Five, I was just alive. But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever, So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever. - A.A. Milne   To my beautiful, smart, funny, joyous baby girl,   Today is your sixth birthday!  You have been talking about your birthday since, well, your last birthday. We threw a party for you on Saturday. You had so much fun running around with your friends and showing off your snake-handling abilities. It amazes me that you are afraid to eat pasta that might possibly have broccoli in it, but you have no qualms about having a python around your neck.   Your dad and I are so proud of you - of all that you are and all that you are becoming. We often wonder what we did with ourselves before you came along. We can no longer remember what we did with our time or our money prior to M


The party of the year has come and gone. I hereby proclaim that the event was a success. I took Friday off to prepare for the birthday bash. We've had a lot of crappy weather lately, but Friday was picture perfect.  I got up, made the first batch of cupcakes, and then went to yoga class.  After making a second batch of cupcakes, I took myself to lunch.  I was pretending to be a "lady of leisure" for the day. My friend Stephanie helpfully pointed out that I'm no lady. When it comes to friends, I am just . . . blessed. As I was baking the cupcakes, I lined them up so that I could keep track of how many I'd made. I kept a close eye on them all day, but eventually had to leave them unattended so that I could blow-dry my hair. Moments later, I was missing one vanilla cupcake and one chocolate one (both unfrosted). There are three Boxers in my home and all looked equally guilty but unapologetic.  Those mofos ate the paper and everything. Chocolate is bad for dogs,