Sunday, September 30, 2007


Some things from Chuckles:
  • When I told him we didn't have any ice cream: Go to the store and get some.
  • Devising a nefarious plan: I moved the chair over 'dere and got it (off of the bookshelf's high shelf where I didn't think he could reach).
  • When I asked him whether he wanted to go to the grocery store or the hardware store: Go to ..........toy store?
  • His speech is just skyrocketing and his acquisition of language is phenomenal. Kids are neat. 2 is a marvelous age. But, when again do they learn to sleep through the night, because at 4am this morning I heard: I need my mommy. (I enter the room.) Hi mom. Sit in your lap?

Best of all, I am blogging from the couch in front of Desperate Housewives. Love the Wi-Fi and the laptop.

You Look Mah-Veh-Luss, Darling

It's been over four years since I had my eyebrows waxed. I had a girl at my old house and she was fantastic. A good brow waxer is like a good electrician. When you find one, you hold on. So, I was reluctant to go to someone new. But, Norma waxed for a good 20 minutes and I look great! NOw, don't get me wrong. I haven't neglected my brows for 4 years. I've been plucking, but it's just not the same. I can't believe I waited so long. The two caterpillars have been separated and are clearly on opposite sides of the face where they should be.


I got paid and money moved around and I was viewing my online banking and money moved places I did not authorize, so I really look forward to 12 minutes on hold with the bank tomorrow to figure out what happened.

Carly, when I make lasagna, I think of you (and your crispy noodles on top).

I am making lasagna and baked apples for dinner. Quite a combo, no? The lasagna has fresh tomatoes and the apples are from Michigan and we still have 2 bushels left.

Grubs. I have grubs in my lawn.

I was doing my safety talk on how following procedures is great for you, but if you don't follow them, you may hurt someone else and that guilt is bad stuff and I was telling the story of how someone did not follow established procedure and nearly killed my son and I started blinking away tears. Tears. In a meeting at work. In a room full of people I didn't know. A room full of men, no less. Ugh.

And during safety training, I learned what a degloving injury is and now I can never sleep again. Ick!

Yesterday, we went to watch people fly model airplanes. I don't know who was more excited - Chuckles or Daddy.

Chuckles now says, "I love you, Daddy!" Notsomuch on the mommy yet, but we'll get there.

I did some shopping at Lo*Mart yesterday. I don't go there too often, but their prices are low. Unfortunately, the sox I got for Chuck (size 3-5 years) are too small. He's only 2, so these should fit. He has big feet, but not that big. The sox are just weird. But, I also got him a stepstool so he can pee standing up. Whee!

Have you ever done something and while you're doing it, it's a lot of fun, but you realize you will come to regret it later? This was me on Friday as I was teaching Chuckles to pee on a tree at the park. Then, he peed on all the trees in our yard and at the grandparents' house, which you know makes them think I am a hippy freak even more than they already did (breastfeeding more than 6 weeks is hippy behavior). And now all the dogs in the neighborhood need to pee on my trees to cover that marking smell.

I messed up paying for day care, but we're all square now. I think I used to be a whole lot more on the ball than this. What with the banking error which was there for a full 2 days before I caught it.

And while fixing the apples for dinner, I knocked $40 worth of wine off of the kitchen counter. I sure hope it's OK because it's a gift for an anniversary party I am attending in 2 weeks and I was quite proud that I had the gift a full 3 weeks prior to the event.

I bought lottery tickets and I sure hope I win so I can do good works with my life...and uhm, other stuff.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Some Things In Bullet Point Fashion

  • I am attending safety training all week and need to give a presentation. My topic: Food Safety (quelle suprise!).
  • Last weekend, on a boring Sunday, I pulled out three harmonicas and our family jammed to the Blues and we established a new Family Rule: no bologna near the harmonica.
  • This most recent past weekend, we went apple picking, so now we say that apples (and pumpkins) come from Michigan. And on the way back we stopped at a winery for 15 minutes and mommy got toasted lightly.
  • My son has started calling my Mommy Carrie.
  • Toothbrushes are not for cleaning the floor.
  • Road rash on knees, elbows and the tops of big toes is not a pretty sight.
  • The No Food Shall Be Eaten Strike appears to be on the way out, but stories of its demise may be greatly exaggerated.
  • My son calls The Simpsons television show "Homer". As in, "Watch Homer on TV".
  • We have some little issues with school. Namely, Chuckles got bit (again) by Roland. No big deal. Keep an eye on it.
  • Next week is "Picture Day:. Last time school had a picture day I accidentally sent Chuckles to school in Halloween jammies (in May), so I better do better this time.
  • Chuckles is learning to drink from an open top cup. I now keep the mop in the kitchen and he eats naked to minimize laundry.
  • Chuckles is doing really well in pre-school. If they graded it (which they don't), he'd be getting all As except in naptime and drinking from an open cup.
  • Chuckles did not sleep from 11 pm to 1 am one day last week and I did just fine at work the next day. My husband says it took him 6 hours to get going that day.
  • On the night of no sleep, he ended up upside-down in our bed, and it was 39 degrees outside but we couldn't put the covers up because his head was down and he'd suffocate fo something, so we shivered.
  • On the night of never ending crying and no sleep, we thought he might be hungry as he was in the middle of the No Food Shall Be Eaten Strike, so I gave him a graham cracker, which I ended up vaccuuming out of my bed at 1 o'clock in the morning.
  • On the weekends, I am back to driving for naps.
  • Chuckles can tell you that he got two pumpkins and mommy got one BIG pumpkin and there are now three pumpkins on our front porch. That sounds like addition.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


It's almost 8 am on Sunday morning. I have been up for almost 4 hours. BUT, our child is not here. We left him with Grandma and Grandpa overnight, so now I am waiting for my husband to wake up so we can go get Chuckles. I HATE leaving him on teh weekends because we get so little time with him as it is this feels like abandonment, but I am sure G&G are giving him plenty of attention.

So, why was I up even though I had the opportunity to sleep? I don't sleep well. Period. Chuckles has disrupted my natural sleep patterns in lasting ways. And I never really was a great sleeper. I like sleep, but I can't always do it.

We went to visit a couple with a new baby yesterday (and hence left the germ factory of a toddler with the Gs). Their baby sleeps A LOT. My husband said that what they are doing must be right and what we did wrong since their baby sleeps A LOT. Uhhh, how about they are different kids with different temperments? I mean, I have resolved with myself that Chuckles is who he is and how he sleeps is a big part of his personality. I am sure it would be nice to have a baby who sleeps A LOT, but it seemed to me that their baby was not alert. We were there for 8.5 hours and I am not kidding you but the baby was awake with eyes open for about 15 minutes. Even then she didn't really seem interested in much. As a tiny baby, Chuckles was AWAKE. I'm AWAKE. Here I am, entertain me. I am AWAKE and ALERT. See how cute I am! I mean alert. For 11 hours a day as an infant. In fact in the hospital at two days old, the nurses told me they couldn't have in the nursery because he was so alert and needed his mother for interaction AT 3 AM right after I had a C-SECTION and needed MY SLEEP. It was (and continues to be) draining.
I have resolved somewhat not to complain anymore about the sleep and just chalk it up to his personailty, but when you are in the car and your husband, the one who is supposed to be on your side, basically blames you for setting your son up for a lifetime of disrupted sleep (and consequently disrupted sleep for your husband), it's pretty hard not to take it personally. Oh and what did he think I did wrong? Breastfeeding. He thinks bottle feeding would be far superior to breastfeeding for encouraging consolidated sleep (never mind that the human race is designed to have babies wake frequently during the night so they don't forget to breathe before their nervous systems are developed or that babies are designed to breastfeed (by God or evolution, whatever)) even though he is wrong.
It's hard not to take it personally when you feel you are being attacked for doing what you honestly believe is right. Oh well.
I guess we'll chalk this up to "fights we don't need to resolve unless we're actually going to have another baby".

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sept. 11th

Today is September 11th. I don't have a lot to say that doesn't make me either angry or sad. I'll tell you a little about what I was doing 6 years ago.

It was a Tuesday. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The sky was bright blue - no clouds. It was warm but not too hot. It was my first day back at work after my honeymoon. I was showing off my pictures of my wedding. I was at work. I was doing what was called "red folders" at my job, four jobs ago. I took some back across the road to another office and a guy named Jeff told me. I tried to go to but the site wouldn't load. A man in my office tuned a small portable radio to ABC News Radio.

My phone rang. It was Carly. She wanted to know what was going on and I was usually in the know, but I didn't know. It couldn't be that bad. A guy whose name I forget (he was Italian and had a mustache and six years ago, I talked to him every day and now I can't remember his name...I think it ends in an "o") came in and said he had just been to New York and the World Trade Center and 50,000 people could be in that building that fell down.

I called my mom. I knew she would be worried about me. There was no reason to be worried about me, of course. I was hundreds of miles away from there. Actually, I just checked on maquest and I was less than 200 miles from Shanksville, PA, where I believe Flight 93 crashed. But still, mom would be worried. I talked to her for just a few minutes. She was relieved I was fine.

I got a mass email from the corporate people at work telling us all to stop making personal long distance calls. The phones were needed for business-related calls so customers can reach us, so stay off the phone. No business calls were coming in. No one was setting up a shipment or sending in a PO. Everyone was glued to the TV, the radio, or the internet. People were standing in the hallways talking and looking shell-shocked. Some people were crying.

I went home, my first night after work as a married woman. We had dinner. I watched live on TV as some building, which was thankfully evacuated already, fell down. I went to the neighbor's house. She had been watching WonderCat and I needed to get my key back. Her kids were out back playing. The TV was off. It would stay off until she knew what to say to her kids. She had to tell them something. They'd be going back to school tomorrow and the other kids would be talking. What should she tell them? She had a small, portable radio tuned to the AM station and was listening. I had been crying.

I assume at some point I went home from the neighbor's house and watched more live coverage of death and destruction. They kept showing (and still to this day keep showing) the pictures of the planes hitting the buildings, the buildings on fire, the tall antenna on the building standing straight up as the building falls to the ground, the leaning, standing piece of debris that used to be four floors of a building, the flag being raised on that debris, the handmade/homemade signs people made with pictures asking if anyone has seen "John missing since 9-11, last seen wearing blue shirt & khaki pants in the subway station", the flowers and teddy bears laid at the fence around the site, whicch is now named Ground Zero just like a nuclear bomb had gone off, the sky with no airplanes and no contrails and no traffic helicopters and no light flight helicopters - just eerie silence all weel. ANyway, the images are burned into my mind and I fear that I will never be able to forget them (and in some ways, I hope I never do).

I'd like to say something sarcastic and witty about Osama bin Laden's "Grecian Formula" beard, but I cannot. I'd like to say that cowards hide in the hills and caves. But, I don't have the fight in me to say that. Today, I am just very sad.

I lost a couple of classmates that day, and I know plenty of people who lost coworkers and acquaintances. My uncle was on a conference call with counterpart bond traders at Cantor Fitzgerald. He heard people die. He will never be the same again. A friend-of-a-friend was in the WTC on one of the mid-number floors - 40s or 50s. He hasn't gone back to work since then. He travels the country telling people what happened to him that day, how he got out, how others helped him, how he tried to help others.

In a way, I can hardly believe "only" 2,974 people were killed that day. It could have been so much worse. Our US military forces have lost about that number in the six years since in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I'm really glad it was overcast and rainy today. The bright, sunny weather on the 11th always makes it too hard.

My resolve is strong. I hate islamoterrorism. I hate terrorists. F-k the terrorists.

Oh, the man's name I forgot was Dan. Yes. Italian Dan C-o. That's right.

Another 15 minute dinner idea

1 steak (I prefer boneless ribeye like Delmonico but it's often over $8/lb so maybe porterhouse), set to thaw in refrigerator the night before
1 box couscous
1 16-oz pck Birdseye steamfresh steams in the bag frozen veggies (green beans, in my case)
1 tomato from my garden, optional

On way into garage, pull grill out and set it to preheat.
Go in house and change dirty work clothes.
Get steak out of fridge and take it out to the grill.
Come back in and start the veggies in the micro (7 minutes perfecto)
prepare couscous according to box directions. Use olive oil in it and if desired, add tomatoes to the water before it boils.
Flip steak.
Add couscous to the boiling water, cover, remove from heat.
Throw veggies in a bowl, set table, get beverages.
Bring steak in, serve couscous from pot on stove.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Two things since going back to work

1. My child has been back in group day care for 7 days and I already have teh sniffles. Not fun.

2. A very quick, relatively healthy dinner is:
1 - 16-oz bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
1 pack udon noodles (or minute brown rice or boil-in-bag brown rice)
8 oz, cleaned, tail off, frozen shrimp, thawed under cold running water.
Store-bought stir fry sauce like Saigon Sizzle (or LaChoy).

Start the rice (if making rice).
Throw the veggies in the microwave to thaw for about 2 minutes.
While micro-ing the veggies, put the shrimp in strainer in the sink and thaw it.
Put veggies in a pan on the stove for about 5 minutes. Add noodles, rice, and shrimp for one minute.
The whole thing takes about 15 minutes to get to the table and it's not bad at all.

Also nice: Adding some water chesnuts. Throw some dried shi-itake mushrooms into the water of the boil-in-bag rice and add those for the last minute. Stir fry an egg and add that. Chop onions or garlic and add it, but if you are really tired and just need something covering all the food groups, go with the basic. It runs about $6.50 for the entire dinner which feeds about three adults (two adults plus one picky toddler with a few leftovers).

Friday, September 07, 2007

I don't know what to say

I work. Chuckles has been a good sport. He has a best friend at pre-school. The kid's name is Roland. I know "Chuckles" is an odd name for a kid, but Roland seems even odder. And he told me that a girl named "Megan was crying so her mommy came and took her home."

My job is odd. It requires unbelievable knowledge of the French language, which I happen to have but did not realize was requisite for the position (OK< class="blsp-spelling-corrected" id="SPELLING_ERROR_3">unbelievable, but it's enough). All the software and documentation that I use are in French. And all my tech support people are in Paris (must call by 10 am or they are no longer in).

There is no one to train me and no one in my area knows how to sent inter-office mail. I guess they fax everything. And, when I got my computer, I had almost 200 emails waiting for me. They set up my email box and started cc'ing me on things two weeks before I started. I got my laptop and cell phone a Thursday. Apparently, I need to be in contact with my french software 24/7, which is fine since I was given permission for remote access of everything.

So, I guess it's just back to the grind. Nothing seems out of the ordinary to me. As I tell people, it's the same everywhere (and I guess I am only referring to heavy manufacturing, because for all I know working at a law firm or software company could be totally you do Lock Out/Tag Out training for OSHA at law firms? Do you get daily safety contacts? Do you talk about fall protection and tying off when working on scaffolds?).

My office is out-of-the-way up some stairs in an abandoned computer room. It is about 160 steps to the ladies room. I must don a hard hat to run to the potty. It's quiet up there (and dark, too...I contacted maintenance about getting some light bulb you know how long it takes to figure out who to call for that when you are brand-new? Answer: 2 hours) and very chilly since there is a super heavy duty AC unit to handle the heat generated by the computer equipment. It was dirty, but I used some cleaner and heavy duty wipes and got it to the point where I would set my purse on the desk.

The job itself seems OK. I just hope they don't expect too much from me right away. It took four hours for me to install one piece of software today to my laptop because there was no documentation and I mapped the wrong network drive. Who knows how many more of these gaffes I will have (oh and my erreur messaged were coming up en francais, which made troubleshooting the database problem THAt much more fun).