Friday, November 30, 2007

The End Of Every Day But The Beginning Of More Often

Well, well, well what a day we had in New Hampshire, eh?

It's the last day of NaBloPoMo and I have to say that, though I'm sure a lot of what I've had to say isn't interesting to anyone other than myself, it's been a good experience and I will definitely keep up with the blog more often than I had been before I decided to give this a try.

I still feel as though I'm finding my voice in the blogosphere and I'm experimenting with my comfort zone in terms of how much of myself and my family I reveal. I'm hoping that over the next few months, I'll have good news to share and that'll at least focus the blog for the foreseeable future.

Until then, though, I'll be around a lot more than I was and I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


The kids decided to wake up extra early today. And then they decided that naps are highly overrated. I'm tired. And a little down.

I can't believe that Thanksgiving was a week ago. The day, for me at least, was so fun and full of laughter and togetherness and now it seems so distant. It doesn't feel as though we're heading towards Christmas and I haven't been in much of a festive mood. I have enjoyed watching some of the Christmas specials with the kids (Shrek The Halls was very cute), but I just don't feel Christmasy. I don't like feeling this way. I want to embrace the season, but right now I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything that I need to do in order to make the Holidays enjoyable. It'll all get done, but I just don't feel up to it right now.

Tomorrow's another day, right?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Meme With Lots 'O Links

Jennifer from life with girls tagged me for the 7 random things meme. I had done one a couple of weeks ago, but I decided to list 7 more random things about me, but to not tag 7 other people. goes.

~ When I was younger, I was jealous of my niece and nephew because they had cable and got to watch Picture Pages and You Can't Do That On Television. Later on, my sister decided to do away with their television completely. I wasn't jealous of them after that.

~ My senior year in high school, I played the lead role of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. The male lead was my ex-boyfriend and at the end of the show we had to kiss. Every night I burped into his mouth just a little bit.

~ When I was 6 my family went on vacation to Florida. We drove. 4 kids aged 6 - 16 and two parents. Ugh. On the morning of the day we were to arrive in Orlando, we woke up really early and I fell asleep at the breakfast table. I landed face first into my cup of hot chocolate.

~ On that same trip, I threw a tantrum because I didn't want to visit the alligator farm. My father was not pleased that I was so terrified of the alligators. I ended up staying behind at the hotel with my sister, N.

~ I was a DJ at the first college I went to and, aside from my friendship with KL, it was the only good thing to come out of my time there. I started every radio show with NIN's Down In It. Oh how I loved the song.

~ I really like the color of my eyes after I cry.

~ I'm a shy honker. I don't like to honk at people. My preferred method of showing my frustration with a fellow driver is to subtly flip them off at some point below their line of vision. I get the satisfaction of feeling as though I've vented my annoyance, and yet I haven't acted in a way that might piss someone off. However, when I have to bring the van in for service, I have to honk at the door to the service entrance in order to be let in. This causes me great anxiety and I always hope that the door's already open. It never is. On my most recent trip, to get the van inspected, I actually admitted my honking aversion to the service manager as he did up my paperwork and, though he tried to be polite, he laughed his ass off at me. I was backed up by the technician, though, who admitted that he too hates to honk.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Thought, A Woohoo, And A Vote

My sister A sent me this link tonight.

Over the summer, NH's governor signed into law a bill opposing the mandatory separation of multiples in the classroom and I was all in favor. As the mother of twins, I want to be able to have input into my children's education and wasn't pleased with the idea that #1 and #2 faced the prospect of compulsory separation when they went to school (if we don't homeschool, that is).

When Eldest Sister sent her two oldest (also b/g twins) to school, she wasn't made to separate them and I think it ended up being a great thing that my niece and nephew were able to stay together throughout school.

I'm very glad that I have the choice, too.


In other news, thank Christ (or should I thank Joseph Smith?) that Marie did not win! I was fully prepared to turn the tv off right then and there if she advanced to the final two. If Sabrina couldn't win, then Helio deserved it and J and I were both thrilled that he got it. Woohoo!


In other, other news. I took this political quiz (link originally from Oro) and I lined up 80% with Dennis Kucinich. Sorry, Dennis, I'm not voting for you. I must say, I'm more than a little burnt out on politics at the moment. But, in case you're wondering, Obama's my man.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Remembered What Else I Had To Say

Last night, as J and I were putting the kids to bed, #1 walked over to his crib and surveyed the results of his not wanting to nap earlier in the day. When he's upset and doesn't want to sleep, he throws all of the stuff in his crib out of his crib. Usually, J or I will just pick it all up and throw it back in, but last night #1 decided he would clean up after himself.

It was so damn sweet.

Upon running into the nursery, #1 surveyed the situation in front of his crib. All of a sudden, he picked up his stuffed lamb and, standing on the tippiest of toes, lobbed it back into his crib. Then, he picked up one of his blankets and, though it was more difficult than the lamb, he managed to get it all back in. Next up, he launched his lavender lab and then his puppy head blanket safely into their home. J and I looked on in amazement; #1 was so intent on making sure his sleep accessories were back in their proper place and clearly he wouldn't be ready to go to bed without them. When he had everything back to his satisfaction, #1 wrapped his favorite blanket around him and then turned to J, raised him arms, indicating that he was ready to have his kisses and went na-night.

Every day - every single day - has moments of wonder and joy.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bits And Pieces

#2 has taken to calling #1 "baby." It's really rather cute. This afternoon, after #1 and I woke up from taking a nap, she was excited to see him and was all about "hi, baby"ing him as he slid down the stairs.

Perfume wasn't so great. It had the feel of a very twisted fairy tale. I was sorry that I'd wasted time on it (not to mention that we stayed up until 1:30 am watching it). Supposedly, the book is much better, but I don't care enough to find out.

We didn't end up going to Shaker Village. The headache turned out to be a migraine. The Motrin wasn't working, so I took a Maxalt and it went away. I was having some migraine-related vertigo, too, which was not pleasant, but also not incapacitating. I'm fairly certain it's all passed, now, though. Thankfully.

The next couple of weeks are going to be packed. I need to wrap up (literally and figuratively) gift buying for J's family and get the packages out. His sister's oldest's birthday is December 6th, so I want to everything shipped by the 3rd, at the latest. This is the time of year when I fall a little more in love with UPS.

Why does it always seem that there's more to say and I forget once I sit down to say it?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Things I'm Loving Tonight

  • The movie White Christmas
  • That there's still one more day to the weekend
I'm not so in love with my head as I've had a headache on the left side for most of the day (and most of last night, actually). Hopefully, the Motrin I just took will kick in soon. But, overall, I'm happy and going to snuggle in to watch this with J. Tomorrow, we'll go to Shaker Village to check out this year's Gingerbread Showcase. Should be fun. Contentment suits me.

Friday, November 23, 2007


It's been kind of a draining day. C and I went out and did a bit of the shopping thing. We ventured back to Mom's and visited with family some more. There was some requisite family drama. And I'm tired. I'm very glad there are still two more days with J before he has to go back to work. I hope the weekend goes by s l o w l y.

Plus, the major downside to not hosting a Holiday is the derth of leftovers. Although I was more than happy to not have Thanksgiving here for the first time in a 4 years, I'm missing the leftovers.

Oh well. Christmas will be here before we know it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I am thankful for my husband. He is my best friend, a true partner, and the best father our children could ever ask for.

I am thankful for my children. For their health and happiness and their laughter. They are the loves of my life and I am grateful for every moment, delightful and challenging, that I am blessed to be their mother.

I am thankful for my mother. She is strength and beauty and love personified. I am thankful for her health and her music and that I am her daughter.

I am thankful for my family. We all have our own little insanities, but we are strong and unique and really great together. Today was a wonderful reminder of how amazing it is to be part of a large family. I wouldn't want it any other way.

I am thankful for C. She is my friend and loves the Muffins and is a really great young woman. I am proud of her.

I am thankful for my friends.

I am thankful for my life.


Winning quote of the day?

"I'm thankful that George Bush will be out of office soon." - My 9 year-old nephew, when it was his turn to say what he was thankful for.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm A Baking Fiend!

~ Sweet potato casserole? Check.

~ Bread pudding? Check.

~ Shaker squash rolls? Check.

~ Baking powder biscuits? Check.

And it was all done by 8:30 tonight (thanks to J taking the day off and managing the kids for most of the afternoon). I am so ready for a nice family Thanksgiving at Mom's tomorrow.


Check out this personality test. If you care, this is me.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dancing, According To Me

The voting system for Dancing With the Stars needs to be changed. I think the judges' scores should account for 75% of the overall total, with the public's votes making up the remaining 25%.

Marie Osmond, lovely woman though I'm sure she is, does not deserve to be in the finale. Between the two of them, Jenny deserved to make it - she's improved the most and her partner's choreography was top notch all throughout the season. While I love Marie's partner, Jonathan, winning because you're paired up with America's sweetheart just doesn't seem as valid or sweet a win to me. The show's always been a popularity contest to some extent, but it's seemed, in previous seasons, that eventually the best/most talented/strongest dancer does win out in the end. Clearly, that's not happening this go 'round.

But we already know that the best dancer was voted off weeks ago. Sabrina should have won the entire gig. It should have come down to her and Helio, with Mel B. being the dark horse.

If Marie wins, I'm going to stop watching the show altogether.

End rant.


#1's cold has gotten worse and he spent most of the day sacked out with me on the couch. Poor little dude; I feel terrible for him. He had an energy burst for a little bit, but then feel asleep on me again. Is there any feeling more wonderful?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Breakfast Bars and Toddler Stats

This morning, as I was laying in bed trying to convince myself that I did indeed have to get up because the kids couldn't very well take themselves to the pediatrician, I was listening to Morning Edition on NPR and Nigella Lawson was talking about her latest book. Specifically, she was talking about quick breakfast ideas.

While I'm not a fan of avacado, I found the second recipe very appealing and, being in a bakery kind of mood, decided to whip up a batch of the breakfast bars tonight. I didn't use peanuts, mostly because I couldn't find any unsalted ones anywhere, but also because I'm not a huge peanut lover. I used almonds instead and the bars came out pretty great. I was a bit of an eager beaver and didn't let them cool long enough before I tried to transfer them out of the pan, so some were a little crumbly, but the more they set up, the better they were. Bonus: I put some of the leftover bits on my ice cream tonight and wow it was good.


The kids' appointment went fairly well. #2 didn't scream nearly as much as she did last time, although she wouldn't let us put her in the stroller so we had our first experience being stroller-less in the waiting room. Except for a couple of grumpy old men who apparently were never ever children themselves, it wasn't too bad.

Now for the stats...

#1 weighs 24 lbs, 2 ozs, landing him ~ 21st percentile; he's 34 inches tall, though, landing him in the 81st percentile for height. He's my tall skinny dude and I need to get more overalls for him because hardly any of the 24 month pants fit him in the waist and most of his 18 month pairs are rapidly becoming too short.

#2 weighs 25 lbs, 12 ozs, putting her in the 54th percentile for weight; she's 32 3/8 inches, putting her in the 59th percentile for height. Pretty smack-dad average and that's OK by me.

Both kids still have big heads, too.

I was a little surprised that #1 wasn't at 25 lbs yet, but we weren't at all surprised that #2 outweighs #1 by more than a couple of ounces (as had been the case for the last couple of appointments). She's a solid little thing and is pretty much all muscle. Both Muffins checked out just fine otherwise and had their last Hep B shot and also got the flu shot. They both have little colds, but it's nothing to worry about (J's coming down with it, too), and now we won't go back to the doctor until their 2-year check-up.

All's well and I'm a very happy Mumma.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Baby Love And A Nice To Meet You

What a lovely day! I had a wonderful visit with Derek and Roxxy and got to snuggle down with baby Devin. He's a sweet little nugget and I adored holding a wee little one again. The early days with the Muffins seem like a very distant memory at this point and, logically, I know that they were once that small (smaller, even), but it seems so hard to believe now (especially considering that #2 spent most of the evening walking/jumping off of the couch and I was convinced she wasn't going to be able to stand up after each plop onto the floor - she got up each and every time, and even did a little victory dance after what she deemed a successful attempt).

Derek and his mother own a hair salon and he was appalled when I mentioned the shampoo I'm currently using (hey, it works and that's really all that matters to me). Before I left them, he insisted that I stop by the salon so he could throw product at me that I had to promise to use. I'm used to this, though, as he's been foisting hair care products on me since high school, but I can't help but feel a little guilty for not paying and for knowing full well that I'll go back to my current product once I go through all of the stuff he gave me.

A fellow blogger is currently staying in Brattleboro and, when she read that I would be in town today, suggested we meet up for a little visit. She was quite cool and it was great fun meeting someone whom I've been reading for a while now. (And, she's pregnant, so I had a blast picking out baby clothes for her and was so excited to give them to her!) She didn't out me on her blog (but you so totally can), so I'll wait for her approval, too. I had a great time! And I'm so pleased that your Mr. liked the baby duds, as well :) J was also very relieved that I didn't end up dead. I told him she wouldn't be a serial killer, but he worried anyway (I think he's forgotten how he and I met over 11 years ago...)

OK, picture time...

Devin (and my thumb)!

Holy hell, she's so damn cute.

My serious boy (he's in love with that monkey).

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I brought the van in to be inspected this morning and noticed that something was missing. I had a budget pie magnet on the back of the van and it's no longer there. I was pissed. There were clearly finger smudges to the right of where the magnet was. Asshat.

I have another magnet and put it on the van, but I'm going to keep a closer eye on it now.


On a happier note, I get some baby love tomorrow! Woohoo! He's just a wee little thing (18 days - correction! 16 days - old!) and I can't wait. Then I get to come home and get a whole lot of toddler loving.

Now, time for ice cream.

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...I Don't Know What To Do

It snowed in some parts of the state today and was spitting snow most of the day where I was. On a whim, I went to visit Mom and she watched the kids while I did a little Christmas shopping. I'm feeling rather ambivalent about deciding gifts for everyone this year, but seem to be making progress. I think I may opt for something like this for J's parents and his sister and her husband (although, I suspect they may enjoy the organic chocolates basket more) but am trying to decide if it's a cop out or not. I have the obligatory clothing and ornaments for the girls (it's a bit of a tradition for me to buy an ornament each year to build their collection - I do it with the Muffins, too), but am feeling rather unoriginal and uninspired this year (and, you know, those toy recalls are making me a little antsy). And that's on top of the ever present gift stress that comes with having married into J's family.

My in-laws are very weird about gift-giving. When J was growing up, they celebrated Christmas for a few years and then...just didn't. They didn't have much money so J's father decided that they just wouldn't "buy into the commercialization of Christmas anymore." While there is something to be said for believing that the true meaning of the Holidays isn't about how much you spend on someone, it's always made me sad that J and his sister (although she always managed to get what she wanted growing up - the cool clothes, the Cabbage Patch dolls) missed out on any sort of family tradition-building when it came to the Holidays.

I know that my in-laws get stressed about Christmas (and birthdays, and they don't even remember when our anniversary is, much less how long we've been married), which just makes it more stressful for us. We want to do something nice for them, but all my ILs see is the price tag attached to anything we might come up with, and not the thought that goes into to selecting something they might like or enjoy. What I'd like is to spend time with my ILs, to have them come visit and be with their grandchildren, but every time we invite them they find a reason not to come. (This is not to say that they don't visit, they do, it's just always on their terms and they nearly always make it a day trip - hello! It's a 5-hour drive one way! That's 10 hours of driving, people!) It gets a little frustrating.

I'll come up with something. I always do.


Entirely unrelated and worth a wtf: What the hell is wrong with people?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Should Vs. Did

What I should have done tonight was go to the quilt studio to work on Devin's quilt. I don't have a chance of finishing it before I see him this weekend, but I could have made some progress.

What I did tonight was make cranberry chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I'm feeling pretty worn out and the rain was coming down pretty hard, so I just wasn't motivated to do much of anything (much less leave the house) but I was craving something warm and chocolatey and my birthday chocolate or the ice cream in the freezer just wasn't going to cut it. J suggested cookies and, despite being tired, I was motivated to do something so I opted for cookie making.

They're yummy.

Now, I just want to collapse and fall into a deep sleep.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lack Of Cohesion

The great irony about my enjoyment of Project Runway is that I know - and care - this much about fashion. The drama and the challenges are fascinating and I already loathe one of this season's contestants (Christian, I'm looking at you, you little bitch), but in terms of appreciating fashion, much less incorporating it into my life, I just do not get it.

Don't get me wrong, I care about my appearance and make an effort to look decent, but I just don't think that "decent" means spending a ton on clothing or accessories or squeezing my feet into ridiculously high heels.

Comfort trumps all for me.


The Muffins decided to wake up 3 hours early today. I managed to get them back down, but they never really made up for the lost sleep from this morning.

Mom, C and I went shopping for a bit and then tried to grab a bite to eat. No dice. #1 was a crankcase (not a pretty scene) and put up a good fight and we ended up leaving the restaurant.

I think I've decided what play kitchen Santa is going to bring the kidlets. I'm still deciding on a wooden advent calendar. Restoration Hardware had one that would have been perfect, but it's no longer available. The next choice is this one. I'm not entirely sold on it, though. I know they're still too young this Christmas season to appreciate...well pretty much anything not sparkly and/or that lights up, but I'd like to start the tradition this year anyway.

I'm exhausted.

And it's only Wednesday.


Project Runway premieres tonight! Woohoo!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More About Me

Cecily did this meme on Friday and, rather than tagging someone in particular, said that anyone who read her could consider themselves to be tagged. Having completely drawn a blank about what to write tonight, here I go...

List 7 random or weird things about yourself:

~ Before the kids were born, I wouldn't get out of bed if the last digit on the clock wasn't a 5 or a 0. If I missed it, I'd wait until the next one. Yes, this sometimes made me dangerously close to being late for work. Now, I don't even look at the clock when someone wakes up.

~ Up until a few months ago, I'd never gone to church by myself.

~ I may have mentioned this before, but I hatehatehate to wear socks. I hate it when my feet are hot. In high school, we had to play a season of sports, rather than have PE, and I played basketball (very, very poorly) my freshman year. I used to walk back to the dorm barefoot in the dead of winter because I couldn't stand how hot my feet were after practice.

~When I was in nursery school, I played the Virgin Mary in our Christmas pageant. My mother was thrilled.

~ I went to camp the summer between 5th and 6th grades with my niece who's older than I am. Despite being in the same cabin with her, I ended up becoming so homesick (and felt immense guilt for missing my mother's birthday) that I went home early.

~ My father really, really wanted to name me Clementine. My mother refused. I wasn't officially named for months.

~ I was baptized Lee Frances, (Mom's middle name and the feminine of my father's first name) but my mother thought Lee was too grown up for a baby, so it became my middle name when they finally settled on a first name for my birth certificate. Years after my father died, I changed the spelling of Lee to Leigh and and took Frances back as my second middle name. No matter who won the naming contest, I don't really like my first name.

Monday, November 12, 2007

This And That

Watched this the other night. Really enjoyed it. Of course, I'm a little bit in love with Alan Rickman so I'll watch anything that he's in, but it was a good film.

I'm not usually a plain-flavored ice cream kind of girl, but give me a mug of Gifford's World's Best Vanilla or Wicked Chocolate anytime.

The kids were playing quietly over near the stairs tonight so I checked on them (with the Muffins, playing quietly together can be a good thing or just as easily lead to a bad, hair pulling situation) . They were both bent over, world's cutest bums up in the air, licking the carpet. Uhm....OK. I made sure to vacuum after they went to sleep tonight.

Last week, when registering at the hospital in order to have some blood drawn, the woman who was verifying my information frowned at me when I told her I was no longer working (and therefore to delete my work contact information). "Didn't you like it?" she asked me. "Oh, I liked it just fine, but I'm a stay at home mother now and I love that more." "Hmmm," she furrowed her brow. I don't feel as though I need to justify myself to anymore - especially not my decision (not to mention good fortune) to stay home to raise my children - but to alleviate the tension that was quickly descending upon us I quipped, "I have twins, the daycare would've eaten my salary anyway." She looked over at me and, pretending to understand, slowly said, "OK." Ugh.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Looking Forward

By this time next week, I will have met baby Devin. Derek's mother lives in Brattleboro and he and Rox visit her every Sunday (they live in MA, but pop up to Brat to do laundry and, since Devin's arrival, so that Nana Andrea can get her fill of her grandson). They've asked me to meet them at Andrea's and I'm really looking forward to seeing the baby. He'll be two weeks old on the 16th and I can't wait to hold his tiny, wriggling little body and drink in his sweet baby scent. I love the stage that the Muffins are in - they are so unbelievably funny and are learning new things every single day that I'm constantly in awe of them - but I miss the early days of babyness and can't wait to have Devin snuggle in and fall asleep.

Andrea hasn't met the Muffins yet so it'd be nice for her to meet my children, but I think that only one of the kidlets would make the trip. I think J and I are either going to do a kid split with me most likely taking #2 and J and #1 staying home, or I'll go by myself and the kids and J will have a nice day together. We're not sure how toddler-proof Andrea's house is and it's a lot of work to chase after the Muffins when they're exploring a new environment. There's a definite possibility that very little visiting would be done and a lot of running around and several choruses of "no" would be the order of the day.

Either way, I'll get a baby fix and see some good friends, too. I can't wait.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me

"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." - Omar Khayyam


I turned 32 today. All in all, it was a rather unspectacular day and that's A-OK with me.

As someone who focuses on time quite a bit, I used to make a big deal about birthdays - my birthday in particular. I deeply believe that a birthday is a time to celebrate who you are, to take the time to look at all you've accomplished, appreciate what you have and look ahead to what you hope to achieve.

Before I was blessed with the Muffins, my birthdays were always notable events - J would send roses to me at work, C would order super yummy cakes from one of our favorite restaurants, and I was always spoiled with gifts and goodies galore. Now, though, I neither want nor need all of the hoopla to mark the anniversary of my entrance into this world. Yes, it's nice to acknowledge the day on some level; this year, J bought me some delicious chocolates and C was up visiting yesterday and this morning. Mom came down and watched the kids for a bit so J and I could pop over to the Holiday Open House at my favorite store. I went to church this afternoon and picked up dinner on my way home. But today could have been any Saturday, really.

Personally, I'm loving my 30s and was thrilled to leave my 20s behind. I started this decade off by announcing, on my 30th birthday, that J and I were expecting twins - what an absolutely amazing day that was! I'm looking forward to growing older and to watching my life unfold. The grey hairs, though not too numerous yet, get to me a little bit, but I'm actually looking for my first laugh lines - to me, those are a sign of a life well lived.

My birthday is still cause for celebration, but it's not a celebration of me. Rather, it's a day to celebrate how blessed I am and to drink in more deeply the beauty and love that surrounds me not just on November 10th, but everyday.

I have all that I've ever wanted and it's more than enough.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I Can Smell The Turkey Already

9 days into the month, I finally remembered to turn the calendar. Every year for Christmas, J buys me an Ansel Adams calendar and I particularly love this month's photo.

I love November, and not just because it's my birth month, but because, to me, it marks the beginning of hunkering down for the winter, of snuggling in a little more closely as the days grow shorter, and the comfort foods offer more...well, comfort. Some people dread this decline of the year, what with the abbreviated daylight, and can feel almost overcome by the impending Holiday season, but this is the time of year when I thrive and feel the most alive. Yes, there's the inevitable stress of planning for the Holidays, but there's also togetherness and laughter, good food and cheer, and, for me anyway, lots and lots to be grateful for.

This year, we're planning a big Thanksgiving at my mother's, since she may be putting the house on the market next year. While I'm sad about the potential sale of my childhood home, I'm very glad that my older siblings wanted to have one last huge Holiday season at Mom's. It will be wonderful to celebrate with (nearly all of) my family. As of the most recent headcount, there will be 36 of us and it will be loud and chaotic and there will be too many tempting treats and most of the male relatives (and my eldest sister) will take over the living room to watch football and leave the rest of us to search out comfortable seating elsewhere in the house. It will be overwhelming and exhausting and exactly what we need.

And I will love, and be grateful for, every moment of it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Something To Bore You With

Tonight was Ladies' Night at the jewelry store where C works. She'd been after me to try and go, even though I'm not in the market for any new jewelry at the moment. I wasn't up for it, and knew I needed to go grocery shopping tonight, but I ended popping down to the store (where "popping" = 25 minute drive). The bonus was that my massage therapist was doing free chair massages (at my suggestion) and she treated me to a very relaxing massage. I can't wait for my appointment to see her in a few weeks.

The store was busy (even though, when C called to convince me to come down (using the massage as enticement), it was apparently slower than molasses). It wasn't a bad time; I got my rings cleaned and buffed and had a nice little massage. After the week that I've had, I needed it.

I ended up doing my grocery shopping down in Manchester, which was ok, but for some reason nearly all of the organic whole milk (every brand) was sold out. I managed to get 4 half gallons, practically wedging myself into the cooler to do so. I hate shopping someplace different than my usual store. Even though the chain was the same, the layout was backwards to what I'm used to and I spent a lot of time running back and forth because I'd missed the section I needed. When checking out, I was annoyed when the cashier, failing to note my $10 off coupon, told me to "just use it next time" since she'd already rung through the transaction. Stellar customer service skills, chicky.

I was happy to get home, though. I was only gone 2 1/2 hours, but I missed the kids and spending time together as a family this evening.

Totally random: I changed my razor blade last night for the first time in over two years. Impressive, eh?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Photo Post

Usually, neither Muffin enjoys having anything on their head, but lately they've been fighting over this hat. #2 is especially fond of propping it on her head backwards.

He sucked on his left sleeve for most of the day, until we finally had to change him into something else. Look at those baby blues, though.

They were watching a work crew as they came down our street to suck up the leaves. Every year, the city sucks up the leaves which results in massive leaf piles that my neighbors build up from the moment the first leaf falls. Fortunately, they came around about a week early this year. The Muffins enjoy wearing socks about as much as they like having something on their heads.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Gift Thief

My mother is a wonderful person. She's kind and giving, caring and loving and has always sacrificed for her family. She is by far the strongest woman I've ever known. There's one area, though, where she's insecure: gift giving.

Mom lacks self-confidence when it comes to picking out gifts for people; her sons-in-law seem to cause her particular stress, but it's fair to say that her anxiety doesn't discriminate when it comes to finding the perfect gift for someone. For this reason, she seems to think that if Person A has already found a gift for Person B, then she can offer to purchase said gift from Person A so that she knows she'll be giving Person B something that they really want/will appreciate. Mom's done this to least twice.

J and I are not particularly easy people to buy for. If we want something, we think about it for a while and usually tend to just buy it if we've decided that we still want it. Our birthdays, anniversary and Christmas all fall within a 2 1/2 month period so it's kind of hard to surprise either of us with anything (although he always manages to trump me). Sometimes, though, I get lucky and either find, or think of, a great gift.

Two years ago, I found a lovely painting of the 13-star "Betsy Ross" flag at one of my favorite stores and I purchased it for J for Christmas. Upon exiting the store, I told Mom about my find and how excited I was to give it to J. She looked at me so innocently, brow furrowed with a hint of embarrassment, and asked if she could buy it from me and could I find something else for him? Ugh. I agreed. Since then, she's appropriated other gifts, but I can't remember them all.

And then...

Last week, I picked up Stephen Colbert's latest book to give to J this Christmas. Guess who asked to buy it from me? This during a year when I am completely stumped for ideas for him.

I know Mom's insecurity comes from wanting to please people and make sure that "her" gifts have made the recipient happy, but it's getting just the slightest bit old. The older she gets, too, the more she perfects the puppy-dog eyes. Really, who can say no to that?

I suppose I'll have to let her keep usurping my gifts, though. Otherwise, she'll keep giving J stuff like this, which she bought at the grocery store, (along with 4 packages of Lindt chocolates, for which he was very appreciative) for his birthday last month.

His ongoing gift to her is that he doesn't tell her he's an atheist.


Random notes:

* #2 keeps shoving plastic spoons into the VCR. We never use it, but now we couldn't if we wanted to. After extracting a spoon the other night the machine is well and truly fracked.

* I'll be really pissed if Marie Osmond makes it much further in Dancing With the Stars. And thank God that Jane went tonight. It was time. Sabrina was so robbed. How cute is it that she's dating her dance partner, though?

* The Undertaking, on PBS' Frontline, was amazing. Sad, but also touching, inspirational and quite beautiful.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Squeaking By With Bullet Points

  • Guess who made pumpkin bread the other night and forgot to add the pumpkin?
  • Knocked Up is funnier than Blades of Glory.
  • I bought a table today to set up in the guest room so I can work on Devin's quilt. Now, my mother wants to visit and sleep over so I can't set up my sewing machine.
  • Can I brag for a moment? My children love spinach. A particular favorite is Amy's spinach feta in a pocket. They end up smelling like garlic for hours, though. But...they're eating spinach!
  • Totally lame post, I know. More tomorrow, including a story about my mother, the gift thief.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

I love, love, love the end of Daylight Savings Time. In fact, when the idea to extend it came about a couple of years ago I was not pleased. I've always felt most alive in the fall and winter and adore that it gets dark early. Think of it as the inverse of seasonal affective disorder.


It's 5 pm and already pitch black?


It's as if you've been given a little gift of time when you look out the window and are convinced that it must already be well past 8, only to check the clock and realize that it's barely 6.

Bring on the darkness, baby.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

"More So," Really?

This one's been bothering me for a while...

Once Noggin is done for the day (6 pm, my time), if the TV is going to be on (I turn it off repeatedly throughout the day, but the kids know how to turn it on - I think that, like their Nana, they're fans of background noise while they play), I make sure that it's set to The Good Night Show on Sprout. Both Muffins are in love with Thomas and they seem to find Sagwa and Kipper appealing, as well. I don't mind much of the programming, but I'm not a fan of The Berenstain Bears, never have been. J is, though, and the kids like to dance to the theme song.

Anyway...not being a fan of the Berenstain Bears seems to mean that I'm acutely aware of when it comes on. Call me crazy, call me anal, but I can't stand the theme song. I know, I know, it's supposed to be cute and catchy and doesn't have to make sense, but bears are not just like you and me, with the only difference being that they live in a tree. I do appreciate the line about Momma, Poppa, Sister and Brother always making it through and being there for each other in good times and bad - that's a great example of familyness and one that I hope we instill in our kids, but the line that really gets me?

"They're a lot like people, only more so."

Come again?

Friday, November 2, 2007

New Life

Derek and Roxxy's baby boy was born today...

Welcome to the world, Devin Lawrence.

You are loved.


Yesterday, while I was unloading the dishwasher, I wasn't paying attention when pulling out the silverware and I got a fork tine jammed under my thumb.

It hurt at the time, but not so much after that. It really started hurting last night and is still pretty sore.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Own Personal Hell, A Recap

As previously noted, yesterday started off with the Muffins waking up 3 hours ahead of schedule. I eventually got them back to sleep, but that didn't last long and they napped for only 45 minutes later in the day...guess how much fun it was by the time all of the trick-or-treaters were ringing the doorbell. Go on. Guess.

J doesn't usually get home until 6ish, but I asked him to definitely be home by 6 and he made sure to get here by 5:45. Trick-or-treating started at 5, but since we haven't "fallen back" yet it was still daylight so no one wanted to be out trolling for candy until it was dark. (Personally, I'm thinking it'll be great next year to take the kidlets out while it's still light out.) Anyway, my primary mistake - one I paid for pretty much all night - was taking #1 with me to hand out candy the first few times. #2 got jealous. We're talking major headabouttopopoff screaming. I've also apparently brought a future Academy Award winner into the world, because I've never, ever seen someone cry so dramatically - she does a complete dead drop onto the floor and just sobs and sobs in the most pathetic way possible. It would tear my heart out if it weren't so damn funny and stereotypical.

I should have just left both babes in the living room, happily playing and not thought that it might be fun for them to see all of the costumes and other kids. Stupid Mumma. Sometimes I need to not think. Just do. In this case, just hand out candy sans super-cute toddler attached to my hip. So...both kids are screaming in the living room with an exhausted, and somewhat shellshocked, J trying valiantly to distract them.

Meanwhile, here's just a sampling of what I encountered:

* The first group of kids was a bunch of teenage boys who didn't even try to dress up. So I asked them what they were and they gave lame answers of "a skeleton," "a goblin," and one kid, sporting a metallic blue wig (ok, so he at least put part of something resembling a costume on) claimed to be a member of the Blue Man Group. When I mused that their costumes must be invisible and informed the blue haired kid that the Blue Men are bald, or at least appear to be so, the kids were sick of my giving them guff for not dressing up and, after rummaging through the candy bin, booked it down the driveway. Seriously, just eat your parents' candy if you're not even going to make an effort. And parents? Know what your kids are up to and if they're going to go begging strangers for candy, make them dress up. If they claim to be too old to dress up, then perhaps they're too old to go out trick-or-treating.

* I made an effort this year to buy some goodies that my kids could eat in the event of leftovers. Along with the requisite oodles of candy, I purchased mini packs of goldfish and teddy grahams for the younger trick-or-treaters, figuring that #1 and #2 would enjoy them, too. One little girl, upon looking in her bag to see what I had given her, screamed down the driveway to her parents (who were standing in the street), "she gave me goldfish! What?! Why'd I get goldfish?! That's not candy!" I didn't hear her yelling about the Cheez-Its in her bag from one of my neighbors. Sheesh...

As it happens, there are leftovers and #1 and #2 will be enjoying goldfish and teddy grahams for a while (I tried to ditch as much candy as possible when the night started to wind down...more for the sake of my ass and thighs than anything else.) The Muffins are way too young for candy.

* One group of trick-or-treaters included 4 youngish kids (probably 6-9 years old, all of them) and their mothers. The kids were cute and polite and rang the bell and thanked me for their candy when all was said and done. The disturbing part? The mothers made a half-hearted attempt to dress up (they primarily used too much make-up and essentially looked like strung-out heroin addicts and also had terrible hacking coughs from smoking too much) and, when I went to the door, the mothers - the mothers! - shoved their bags in my face and declared that they were trick-or-treating, too. I had to give them candy before they allowed their children to come up and have some treats. I smiled through clenched teeth and just wished for them to go away.

Eventually, the kids did settle down. J soothed them with Braincandy and they were happy once I was back in the living room with them after trick-or-treating was officially over.

I've never been a huge fan of Halloween, not even as a kid. I didn't like the pressure of dressing up and I never saw the appeal. I love Autumn, it is by far my favorite season, but I've never been a big Halloween person. This year made me a firm Halloween Hater. I'm sure I'll enjoy it more in the future and it'll be exciting to take the kids out next year for the very first time, and there'll be years of cute costumes and fond memories to come But this year? Just sucked. first NaBloPoMo entry kind of makes me sound like a bitch, or the Halloween Scrooge. Oh well. You'll have to take my word for it that I'm not.