Saturday, June 30, 2007

This just in!

I just saw an infomercial for Hot Springs Village featuring that Hispanic guys from CHiPS and I am ready to pack up and move to Arkansas.

So, I think I want this house.

Did you know, according to the informercial, that Arkansas is not a red-neck backwater? Further to that, did you know they speak English and have colleges nearby? Did you know Hot Springs is a metropolitan area with hospitals and schools? Well, yes, so says Erik Estrada.

Check out the website and maybe we can be neighbors. Mean home price is under $200k (about $145, actually).

Friday, June 29, 2007

Naps, or lack thereof

I just realized I spend a lot, the majority even, of time on this blog talking about how my kid doesn't nap. You'd think I'd have learned by now. My child does not nap. He doesn't like to nap. He's never been super-huge into the napping. Even as an infant, he was scarily alert. Awake! Bright-eyed all day. I guess I just need to realize that he doesn't like to nap, never has, never will, and I can either give up on naps, or just institute "quiet time" in your crib. Must contact pediatrician because this is killing me though.

Email I just sent to my husband

Subject: No Nap
We'll be outside when you get home. Hurry. Just Kidding. Sort of.

That is all. I fear napping may be coming to an end, and I don't like it one bit. Napping usually doesn't go away until 3 or 3.5. Don't want my kid to be below average in this area, that's for sure. He's up in his crib now. I told him he needed to close his eyes and go to sleep (and if not, then sit here quietly whilst I Sudoku). He's not sleeping, but at least I am getting a breather. Love him. Really. But I need little breaks during teh day to potty and eat granola bars and I need to miss him so I am happy to see him again. He doesn't let me miss him.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ewww, and also, Ick

This is disturbing on so many levels:

Actually, come to think of it, it's only really disturbing on one level. The one where everything is not about money. I have said time and time again that I am a thrifty gal. Ok, cheap. But really. Even I take umbrage at this reasoning. You have the emotional and physical wherewithal to do it, but you don't have a nice car or a big house. Don't bother with a nice car. Once you have a kid, your nice car will have graham cracker crumbs stuck to every surface with goat milk (or maybe that's just me). And you don't have a ncie house, shoot neither do I. My child spits ont eh couch to run his play trucks through a "car wash". You think I'm kidding, just ask me why my couch is wet. It sounds like these are young adults. Perhaps even college graduates. Employed, educated, me (except with jobs).

I can think of 50 ways to save up the money they think they need. The first one that comes to mind is getting married. If you just do the wedding thing with no reception (or just cake and punch in the church basement for 150), you get a shower and a wedding with gifts. So, let's do the math, and I won't even be too cheap about it.

Normal wedding dress with alterations: $300 (really, I swear, it can be done and nicely...think not a wedding dress but a nice bridemaids dress in white, cream, ecru, etc)
Tuxedo rental: $150
Photographers for 4 hours and pictures: $600
Flowers: $150 (bridal bouquet, bouten thing for the groom, flowers for moms)
Church rental: $150 (can use church organist or recorded music through sound system)
Mints/Favors/Jordan Almonds for the reception: $75
Cake: $600
Punch: $75
Champagne Toast: $450
Fruit or Cheese Tray as a nice touch: $100 (if you do it yourself from Costco or Sam's Club)
Total: $2650 (which actually sounds a little high, but is pretty close)

So, you invite 150, each guest gives $40, each couple gives $80 (many will give $100, but others less), that's $6000. So, you make about $3k on the deal. Parents give more, so you might even come out ahead if someone else is paying for the wedding. Then there are the showers, and baby showers and I think at the wedding people give you more money if you are expecting. And many parents will give you a few thousand for a house down payment (especially if there is the promise of grandbabies on teh way...not my parents, mind you, but some).

Or, suck it up and be the grown-ups you think you are.

Or they are just a bunch of liars and scam artists, whatever. Disgusting. Ouch my eyes. It hurts.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What I did on Saturday

Went to the aquarium...this is the view of the lake from the aquatic mammals exhibit.

The title of the picture is: Your husband does not trust you to keep your child away from his precious Star Trek videos

This actually makes my job easier since I no longer need to keep him away from teh entertainment unit and its fascinating drawers and cupboards.

Dearest Comcast

Nothing personal agains tyou or anything, but we are not getting cable (or satellite TV). Nothing short of you giving it to me free is going to make me order pay TV. So, please, save your money, save my sanity, heck save the planet and STOP sending me a flyer, brochure, ad, or teaser every single day of the week.

Today's ad features a bundled package of Comcast Digital Cable and Internet for the (apparently) low, low price of $54.99 per month, for three months (how much it is after that, I cannot say, but $55 is already a lot of money and that's before taxes). This internet apparently features AlwaysOn (which according to the fine print is not a guarantee of reliability).

So, in an average day, I watch about an hour of TV, maybe 1-1/2. Times 30 days in an average month, so that's 45 hours. That's over one dollar per hour for TV. And right now, it's free. Huh. OK, so in an average day, I am on the internet about an hour, as well, again a dollar (it is not free. I pay $16 a month to AT&T for the DSL). So, all together, it'd be about 50 cents an hour for me to play. I don't think it's worth it.

So, Comcast....cease and desist already would you?

And to top it off

Chuckles has skipped naps about half of the time in the last week and I am not a fan of this new normal; however, I am rolling with the punches and not punching anyone.

Today, though, I got a nap out of him. He is quietly napping upstairs (and huzzah, the roofers are not 6 feet above him pounding away as they are done for today as near as I can tell). But, when I brought him inside from his car ride (back to car riding, are we? I have no idea) the damned smoke detector was chirping, so I quietly and gingerly laid him down on his aerobed (as we are continuing to break him into that so our vacation does not suq, as the French say) and then frantically dashed to the kitchen to get a chair so I could free the battery from the, did I mention damned?, thing.

Crisis averted. We are approzmiately 12 weeks from when I started tearing up the bathroom, so I guess I'd better stop blogging and go put the polyeurethane on the cabinets, STAT.

Google is the Devil

I promise, this is my solemn vow, that I will not google any of the following things (for the next 24 hours):
  • average age children give up naps completely
  • pron [sic]
  • how hard is it to re-enter the workforce (mommy-track)
  • photos of big hooters
  • is roofing tar toxic?
  • Taste of Chicago restaurants serving turtle soup
  • recipe for quick, easy one-dish dinners
  • estimated sun exposure required for skin cancer
  • maximize your toddler's brain development in 6 easy steps

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lower Standards

Some days, I am not the best mother. I am just the best mother I can be under the circumstances.

Today, during what should have been Chuckles's nap time, I did the following things that I do not generally do, things that if someone else did them with my child, I would no longer trust them to be near my kid:
  • Sat on the floor with him while we watched the end half of "Dragon Tales" and the beginning half of "Clifford the Big, Red Dog" on PBS Kids
  • Fed him Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (a no-no both because it's junk food and it's DAIRY, but his gums hurt, so that's good and cold for them)
  • Cut his hair (both too short and a wee bit uneven, OK it's not wee, it's a lot uneven)

But we also did these other things that were really quite harmless and fun and took everyone's minds off the fact that we weren't asleep:

  • Cut his hair
  • Took a 30-minute shower and called it a "Car Wash"
  • Looked at old photos of mommy and daddy before they were mommy and daddy (for 45-minutes)
  • Looked at Australian Road Trains
  • Read Dr. Seuss's Hop on Pop and The Sneetches at least three times each

I lose

I have completely given up trying to get my child to nap ever again - OK probably not, but I have given up for today.

I have a wonderful neighbor. She is a mom to 4, granpmother to 9 and counting and soon to be great-grandmother and she was a pediatric nurse practioner. Chuckles was in rare cranky form this morning. He's usually very easy going. Really. I swear. I blamed his mood on my getting awakened at 6:38 this morning. We did our usual. We went to the park, etc. There were no kids at the park and he refused to get out the stroller. I finally dragged him out because I walked all the way here, we're going to have fun whether you like it or not dammit. Anyway, once out of the stroller, he wanted to leave RIGHT NOW. So, I told him he could help me push teh stroller home. No, he wanted IN the stroller. So he sat down in front of it so I couldn't move it. Eventually, I just threw him into the stroller. When we got home I told him we could swing on our new swing set and watch the roofers. He stayed in the stroller. I have very valid reasons for wanting him to run around and play. If he just sits, he won't be tired enough to take a nap (enter exhibit one). So, the wonderfully kind and caring neighbor sees that he is cranky and I have no more tactics for dealing with this and she comes over. He perks right up for her. She asks me if he is teething. Drooling non-stop - check. Hands shoved so far in his mouth you can read his wristwatch through his nose - check. Yes, he is. And it's keeping him from enjoying life. I dosed with tylenol and am just waiting for the EVIL MOLAR OF ALL RUIN to emerge from his tender, turgid gums. But nap is a bust today. What should I do?

I hope vacation doesn't go like this.

Answer: 6:38 am

Question: What time did the roofers show up to begin tearing the roof off of my house even though when they were here yesterday they said they'd get here mid-morning?

Bonus Answer: 11:30 am
Question: What time did the roofers leave because it was just too hot to be up on the roof (and it was)?

Super Bonus Answer: 1:17 pm
Question: What time did it start thunderstorming and raining while the roof is off of my house?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

From the same vein

So, I've already told you what I think about weddings and are my most useless baby items (in no particular order):

  1. Diaper Genie - A can with a lid works just fine, and with the number of diapers you throw out, it's no big deal to take it out daily. Really it will be full every day.
  2. Diaper Wipes Warmer - It's cold by the time you get it from the warmer to the bum anyway.
  3. Expensive strollers - My $60 stroller has hundreds of miles on it, literally. And it works great. It's a champion stroller. It's a little heavy, but it rocks the house. You do not need the eight-hundred dollar Bugaboo stroller. My first car cost less than that.
  4. Clothes in newborn size - My kid was over 8 lbs and 22" at birth and would never have been able to wear newborn clothes. In fact, we could not bring him home in the outfit my husband wore home from teh hospital because he was too big. Ditto 0-3 month sized clothes. He was out of them at 3 weeks, so they were a bit of a waste.
  5. Toys - I swear my child prefers pots, pans, tupeprware, dirt, and a comb to all the fancy schmancy toys you can buy. Except trucks. He's a sucker for trucks.
  6. Developmental toys and videos - They learn so much more from interacting with you. And you are a lot more fun.

I hate shallow things

OK, so I am shallow in a way, but I am very practical. And thrifty, errrr, cheap. I just read Bride's Top 10 Mistakes according to and I could vomit.

Crying Over Mismatched Linens - Do people do this? Do people even rent or buy linens? Doesn't that kind of come with the tables in the hall? Will anyone notice or care? Once upon a time back in the stone age (before silver shoes were de rigeur), I got dyed-to-match shoes for prom. And they weren't the right shade of blue. And I wore them. Twice. Did anyone notice? No, because my boobs were too fabulous and my feet are like 30 inches away from my dress. So, if the ink on your response card doesn't match your table linens, rest assured that everyone has already mailed in their response card and won't be sitting with it at the table, oh and the lighting in the hall will be poor, so who can tell?

Blowing Your Budget - They suggest, and I cannot even fathom this, that you take out a home equity loan or use a low interest credit card!!!!! How about scaling back the guest list, switching to an off-day of week, or changing from dinner to brunch? Or even, gasp, eloping? If you can't afford it, don't do it. I know it's very un-American of me, and heck, if we can't get ourselves into debt, then the terrorists have won, but I mean, really. A home equity loan? By god, no.

Happy Summer Solstice

Last night, while walking Chuckles to the park in his wagon, I came upon one of my neighbors. She has two kids (9 yr old boy and 4 yr old girl...who loves princesses and wears a tutu ever day and continued to refer to him as "My Chuckles"). She asked if we'd rather skip the park and play at her house (and boy would we!). Then, she offered me a beer, wine cooler, or mixed drink. I *heart* Liz. I declined on the cocktail, but that chance to sit and watch my child follow a princess around the yard rocked. Oh, and I got to talk about pediatric immune systems and the demographics that it takes to support a Whole Foods market.

The Whining

Proposal: If the grant is awarded, the primary investigator will determine whether the frequency and pitch of whining is actually harmful to the listener's ears. If the grant is not awarded, I may scoop my own ears out with a melon baller.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The New Swingset

I must tell you more about our new swingset. We bought it at giant, nationwide retailer who is known for their low, low prices. And they have a * in their name. Don't make me spell it out for you.

We bought the Tacoma II swing set. The website says 2 hours estimated set up time. The instructions that come in the box say "6 to 12 hours, depending on experience level" and it suggests an adult assemble it with an adult helper. That's 12 to 24 man-hours of work. 2 hours my arse.

Ours isn't completely done yet as some parts were missing, broke upon assembly or the part was a "bolt" but had no threads cut into it. We are currently at about 11 man-hours and we're most of the way there, but I cannot get the trapeze chain to slip onto the ring bolt. It just doesn't fit. I think I need the torch to soften the bolt, but that seems so extreme. The tool list on the instructions said that I needed a wrench, a socket set, a screwdriver, a power screwdriver, a drill w/ 3 bits, rubber mallet, hammer, tape measure, level, and a saw, but it didn't mention a torch anywhere. And what is the softening temperature of cheap metal anyway?

The website also says it weighs 177 lbs. That sounds about right. I'll buy that. It was heavy. The box was large. Somehow, it seemed less heavy when we were moving the whole assembled thing around to the back yard. Moving the box was heavier. Ah well. It's 85% done. When the company sends me all teh extra parts, we'll take it 50% apart and start over.

Train Trip

I took Chuckles to my alma mateur last week. We took SIX trains all over the big big city. Im pretty sure he wants to go there when he grows up now.

I picked up a student newspaper too and found places for cheap eats. Must go to Cafe Iberico for Tapas now. Must go.

Went to a party, had fun

I went to a bridal shower for someone I had never met. Surprisingly, I had a good time. And, I don't think I was the least interesting person there. The bride's sister-in-law wins that title. I'm sure she's a lovely person, really. But, couldn't you at least speak a little chit-chat? I mean I am making an effort to ask you things, please answer.

And I got to wear the puked upon Christening dress again. Woo Hoo.

June 18th will go down in history

Two firsts...

1. First time Chuckles used the word "yummy" to describe anything.

2. First (second, and also third) time Chuckles used the word "mine" to describe his state of ownership.

Two other things...
1. We purchased and (mostly) assembled a new swingset. Must wait for manufacturer to send additional parts that were broken or missing. Bastards.
2. Set was up less than an hour before we had the first nosebleed.

Chuckles's Favorite website

The site features Australian road trains (tractor trailers towing two, three, four, or more trailers behind them). It's all teh best of trucks and trains and pipes and tanker trucks and Where is the Road? It's pretty great. They have a DVD. Am contemplating converting currency to Australian dollars to get it.


Napping has become erratic, and short. Oh my. Cannot function without my break. Must figure out how to get naps back. Wish me luck. Send me liquor and chocolate.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Offer Rescinded

Since no one took me up on my offer of a bathing suit bottom, I went and bought a little brown skirt to put over it. the brown skirt sits at my natural waist thus covering most of the unpleasantness. And that unpleasantness which remains is behind me where I cannot see it.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Big, Giant Giveaway

Free to the first person who comments on this post: One size (XL) bikini bottom featuring light brown, peach, and aqua with an offset little tie. I am keeping the top. The top looks good. The bottom is a bikini bottom and cuts low (just above the c-section scar). This bottom is perfect if you are a size 12 or 14 and do not have a c-section scar. You may not have the top. The top is hot (for me).

So, if you want the bottoms, comment on the post and I will get them to you.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Big Boy Inflatable Bed

As I predicted, amazon did not screw me and the aerobed arrived via amazon free shipping (aka pack mule). Actually, the free shipping has usually been quite speedy all things considered. I'm an instant gratification type though, so it's entirely too slow for me, but alas, I am too cheap to pay for expedited shipping, so there you have it.

Anyway, the bed came yesterday just as we were leaving for nap (ok, we don't actually "leave" we just go sit in teh car, but you get the idea). Chuckles says, "Big Brown Truck CAME." And I say, "And what did it bring?" and he either says, "Star Bed" or "Hot Dogs" depending on how he's feeling. Anyway, my plan was to set up the bed, let him play on it for a while, and then put him down for nap on it. Since it was nap time right then and I needed to cut the grass (and hencce did not want him anywhere he could escape and wander around the house), I was going to just put him in his crib, but he insisted we open the box and see what was inside, so I relented. We set the bed up, he played on it for a while, but the vinyl smell was atrocious, so we went to the car and he napped in his crib (for like 4 hours, so bonus there).

Anyway, the bed didn't smell too bad today after a night set up with the windows open and it all propped up with the ceiling fan on, so he's upstairs napping on it right now. And so far, so good, I guess. I have it wedged between the guest bed and the wall so if he does roll, he won't make it too far. If this keeps up, I might even review it on amazon with STARS. Oh, the blanket that comes with it is so cute. I mean, like kyoot.

Monday, June 04, 2007

May 11, 2006 French Toast Casserole

I have this recipe for French Toast Casserole. It is written on a sheet of Gregg Ruled Steno Paper (which is where I used to once upon a time take all of my notes during a workday). The paper is dated in teh upper left hand corner just like I was taking notes on a phone call.

1 stick butter (or margarine)
1 cup light brown sugar
16 slices bread (even raisin bread would be good)
4-5 eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
salt (optional, and I leave it out)

melt butter. stir in sugar. pout into 9x13 pan. Lay bread into pan (2 lyers). Mix remaining ingredients and pour over bread. Sprinkle with cinnamon (lightly and evenly). Cover and refriegerate overnight. Bake uncovered in a preheated 375-F oven for 45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes and invert onto a pretty plate (or just a regular plate if you are me and have no pretty plates that large).

Confidential to you-know-who

You know how Dear Abby would sometimes put a little line in at the bottom like "Confidential to Cheated in Iowa: He's never leaving her so you can be cheated or you can leave". Well, here's my confidential to a reader: Not only would she do it better than you and faster, hers would be cuter too :)

Parenting with a penis

My husband thinks that there's no better preparation for a nap than crying. I think he might actually be onto something.

Since we've been sitting in the non-moving car, Chuckles has been screaming and crying right before he falls asleep (usually within 10 minutes). Previously, there was no screaming, no crying, but it took about 20 minutes of driving. The nap length is the same. On the days when I have the mental capacity to listen to the screaming, then I don't drive (I sit in the car reading while it's not moving while he falls asleep, so I hear the crying...perhaps I should try getting out of the car and sitting in a lawn chair and work on my tan). Anyway, maybe teh screaming and crying releases tension or something allowing sleep to come sooner. Or maybe the garage is a whole lot more boring than the neighborhood where there are CARS and TRUCKS and buses and GARBAGE trucks and people with LAWNMOWERS cutting the GRASS.

The View out my front door 3 minutes ago

We need the rain, so it's OK.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


SAHM stands for stay-at-home-mom for those of you not in the know. WAHM refers to a mom with a job who works from home . WOHM is a work out of the home mom.

I have been all three. I guess I am a SAHM now. I feel like a sham of a SAHM but that's another story.

The point is my husband works. A LOT. I don't know if he always worked a lot and I didn't notice because I was working a lot too or if maybe when the financial pressures to support all of us hit him he started putting in more hours. Not sure. When I "decided" to stay home and do this housewife thing, our family income dropped by about 50%. So, take your pay check and cut it in half. That's what we've done here.

My husband is at work right now. It's about 3 pm on Saturday. He was not scheduled to work and he's not on call, but at 1:30 work called and demanded he come in. I think he should have said we are having a BBQ and he's had one too many to drive.

I hate my husband's job. One of my reasons for wanting to do the big move that didn't happen was that it was going to force him to get a new job. Perhaps one in an industry that does not work 26/8 (like 24/7 but MORE). But, we're not doing that and I can't very well ask him to find a new job right now while I sit here contemplating how to spend his money on auto repairs (and did I mention we woke up last Saturday morning to a sump pump that was giving off actual smoke?...when it rains it pours and when it pours, you need a sump pump).

Chuckles is napping (and that's another story entirely...we drove in the car, bad mommy, but he's sleeping). I haven't had a bathroom sink for two weeks and today was going to be the day we put the counter and sink back in. Guess not. We have plans tomorrow. Oh well. I guess I continue to wash hands in the bathtub and brush teeth in the shower.

Friday, June 01, 2007

And I believe I mentioned there was a trampoline

Part 2 of How I spent Thursday

This is our reflection in the Gehry Bean. If you ask Mr. Long-Suffering which part of the trip he is most sad he missed it is this. He missed seeing the US Mail box that was painted like R2D2. We had seen them on the news and there are only like 1500 in the country, and I stumbled onto one. Chuckles is unimpressed. He's rather see the trolley bus.
Riding the public art. This is a cow comemorating the 1999 invasion of the painted cows.
This should actually be the last picture, but they got out of order. This is our ride back home on the train.
Checking out that freaky fountain with the moveable digital faces that spits water.

How I spent my Thursday

Chuckles and I went in to the City to have lunch with a friend. We went to the train station and rode da choo choo. We then did a bajillion touristy photo opportunities.
This is looking at a DOUBLE DECKER bus in front of city hall. This is public art at the State of Illinois building.
"The Clock" at Marshall Field's, which for some reason is wearing Macy's awnings now. Very odd.
This is The Bean at Millenium Park. That architect with the no right angles designed it. What's his name? Frank Gehry?

Unsolicited Advice

When going somewhere like an office park, industrial park, Millenium Park, or Yellowstone National Park with a toddler, do not actually use the word park because when you get there and there are no swings and most certainly no slide, your child will be disappointed and think you lied.