Friday, February 29, 2008

Free Shizzle

Cool free stuff from the internet.

1. Skype. Okay, I know Skype is old news for lots of people, but the bub and I had our first Skype experience this afternoon and it was awesome! My brother Boo (The Intern) helped my parents set up their new laptop and installed the Skype software. Even with the bub's "help" and my own tech-anxiety, I was able to install the software and get set up in less than five minutes. NTB. Then, the bub and I had a nice video call with Grammy and Boo (with Pop in the Peanut Gallery). My parents and I are fortunate enough to have laptops with built-in web cams, but I happen to know that you can buy a web cam for less than a hundred bucks. I now want all my siblings to get them ASAP so we can explore a family teleconference. I want my friends to get them too. And, by the way, the video call was FREE.

2. Google Books Library Project. A few years back, I heard some rumblings about Google scanning thousands of library books and did not think much of it. However, my current dissertation chapter is about two nineteenth-century women writers (Margaret Fuller and Fanny Fern, if you're interested) and Google Library is my new best friend. Fuller is a canonical writer, and her texts are easy to locate in libraries and reasonably-priced paperback editions. Fanny Fern has only received the critical attention she deserves in the past few decades and, as a result, her works are harder to procure. I was all set to shell out $20-30 per book for several (5 or so) of her harder-to-find texts (from a publisher in Michigan who reprints such texts). But then, by some miracle, I remembered the Google Library. Long story short, I was able to download all but one of the texts. My husband printed them at work because he has the capability there to print two pages per side and double sided (that's four book pages per one sheet of printer paper!). I was prepared to buy a collection of Elizabeth Stoddard's poems for $17.95 for my final chapter when, what do you know, it's available in the Google Library Book Project! So, if you're interested in books that are old enough to either not to have copyrights or to have expired copyrights, check it out. I think you can also view portions of copyrighted texts (authors give permission for this). Pretty sweet.

3. Recipes. Um, I know it comes as no surprise to most of you that the internet is an endless source of recipes. I thought I would just mention a few of my favorite sites for securing free recipes. The first is which includes recipes from two of my favorite magazines (and some others as well): Cooking Light and Southern Living. For recipes that range from standard to retro to creative, you also can't go wrong with I am also a fan of the recipes and other content at and the free newsletters that you can sign up for on their site.

4. Toddler Shizzle. If your child has favorite television characters or shows, they likely have a website with free games and videos. The bub and I decorate a birthday cake for Barney (his show turns 20 this year) about twice a week. We also enjoy sing-a-long videos at the Thomas and Friends website. Many of these websites also allow you to download and print black and white picture pages for your toddler to color. There's a Sesame Street website with a lot of such pages available for download.

5. Clip Art. I'm not a clip art hound or anything, but I have signed up at to get free samples of clip art sent to me each week. I download them and save them in a folder in my computer with the hope that someday, I might find the time and inspiration to print them on my full page white label sheets and then make my own stationary or note cards or something. NTB.

What free shizzle have you found on the internet?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Beach Blanket Bubby

The bubby, hubby, and I spent last week in Florida, visiting the hubby's parents and sister whom the bub has affectionately dubbed "Bop" (that's Grandma), "Boppaw" (that's Grandpa), and Aunt "Shell." The weather was beautiful, and the bub basked in the sunshine and in the glow of everyone's attention.

Vacation Highlights for the Bub:
1. Access to the largest sandbox he had ever seen. Bubby had a blast playing in the sand. He loved it when Aunt Shell buried treasures (like shovels and piggy toes) in the sand and then asked Bubby to dig for them. He loved it when anyone completed a tower by inverting a full bucket of sand--his cue for gleeful destruction of the tower. On three of our days, bubby and his entourage were lucky enough to meet pairs of young sisters on the beach who were happy to play with him. I could not believe how sweet the little girls were to him. When he knocked over their towers, the girls just laughed. If he asked for, "Moi water peeze," they hustled to the ocean to get it. He loved the attention. In contrast, a pair of brothers (little shits?) wanted next-to-nothing to do with the Bubby. If the bub approached their sand pile, they would raise their shovels in an aggressive pose, as if to say, "Watch it squirt. You're on our turf."

2. Access to the largest bathtub (minus the bubbles) he had ever seen: Boppaw, Daddy, and Aunt Shell all took many turns taking bub into the pool. He splashed around, tried to sink his hat in the water, and took pleasure in commanding his dad to go "Under, under!" (which sounded more like "un-ner, un-ner." As I had no maternity swimsuit (and no desire to expose even more of my blindingly white and ever-expanding flesh), I could only photograph the swimming sessions.

3. Prime seat in the "bear chair" during family mealtimes. Bop and Boppaw borrowed a high chair emblazoned with teddy bears from another set of grandparents in the condo complex. The bub really enjoyed sitting in the "bear chair" and the chance to eat dinner at the same time as everyone else, something that rarely happens at home in Chicago because Daddy gets home in time for wrestling, books, and bathtime but not for the bub's 6:00 dinner time.

4. Opportunity to get his Travolta on. The bub was even good at a couple of different restaurants. One of the places had live music, and after dinner, the bub, Aunt Shell, and I hit the dance floor. The bub looked around for about two seconds to read the scene and then started dancing with abandon. He was laughing, smiling, and really, really moving. He got so into it that at one point he fell flat on his back, much to the horror of the onlookers (mostly senior citizens) who thought he had hit the floor with the back of his head (it only looked that way). After about five seconds of cuddling from mom, he was back on the floor breaking it down.

5. More treats than usual. The bub does not lack for treats in his day-to-day life, but he got exceptionally lucky over vacation. Bop made a special batch of nutless chocolate chip cookies for him. He would climb on a bar stool, open the container, and say "Cookie peeze?" -- Who was going to deny him? He also enjoyed some of the Thin Mints his mom bought (for a cheaper price than in Chicago, NTB) from the Florida Girl Scouts standing outside the Publix.* He ate ice cream with Boppaw. On a couple of occasions, the bub filched a Ludens Cherry from the purse of his hacking-cough mom. Finally, this same mom with the sore throat had a sort of hankering for cherry Slurpees, which she indulged on several occasions (mostly for medicinal purposes) and from which the bub benefited on two occasions with his own small Slurpee. To hear the Bub say "Slurpee" was a real treat.

The bub in his float. It should be noted that anytime a couple of older kids got into the pool, the bub wanted nothing to do with the float. It was as if he knew that it was babyish.

A contemplative bub.

The bub supervising to make sure that the soon-to-be-destructed sand towers are made to his satisfaction.

A good time was had by all, especially the bub. Thanks to Bop, Boppaw, and Aunt Shell.

*of course, I strategically placed my treasured Samoas out of the bub's reach.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Book Beat: Sort of Seventies Style

Here's a brief recap of some recent reads.

1. All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki
I listened to this book a few weeks ago and loved it. It is set in an Idaho community known for potato farming (perhaps all Idaho communities are known for this, I don't know). I was both surprised and pleased by the knowledge of potato farming I gained while reading the book: methods of planting, the increased demand for potatoes as the fast food industry grew, the ways government funding subsidies are often tied to required use of pesticides, and the way genetic engineering is changing farming and the actual crops--for better or for worse. I realize all of the above may sound boring, but it really wasn't because it was, after all, a novel and not a survey of potato farming. The characters are the kind I like: damaged but lovable. And, if you've read my previous book posts, you know I also like stories in which people who are very different from one another find ways to respect, connect with, and learn from one another. In the case of this book, the people who come together include an aging potato farmer, his Japanese wife, his estranged daughter and her three multi-racial children (all from different fathers), an infertile couple who grow potatoes, a teacher who once had an affair with his fourteen year-old student back in the seventies, and a group of young food activists who travel across country in a vehicle called the Spudnik that is fueled by leftover oil from the fries at McDonalds and such. It all works. You'll have to trust me on that.

2. Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York by Gail Parent
I learned about this book from Jennifer Weiner, a favorite author of mine, on her blog, who claims this book was one that inspired her to become a writer. This book is from 1975, but my more recent paperback edition's cover proclaims it to be a precursor to Bridget Jones. Most comparisons to Bridget Jones end up being disappointing. Reading about Sheila Levine was satisfying, though not in the same way that reading about Bridget Jones is to me. I'd say Parent's book is a bit darker and bleaker than Fielding's, but still humorous and engaging. I read the book in one day and was really glad to have had the experience.

3. Miss American Pie by Margaret Sartor
I read about this book last summer in O Magazine (which I actually don't subscribe to, if you can believe it). Sartor pieces together her adolescent and teenage diaries from the seventies (I guess I'm on a roll with this decade) and the result is quite readable. Her struggles with relationships and her family are candid, not out of the ordinary and yet quite interesting. She definitely went through an intense period of Christian immersion, which was really intriguing to read about, especially considering that so many teenagers today (at least at the high school where I taught) are passionate about their faith.

I've read a few other books, but they deserve their own posts. Stay tuned for my response to The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta (LOVED IT) and the collection Everything I Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume.

As ever, I ask: What are you reading?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Field Trip: The Minute Clinic

I am back from sunny Florida and will update you all on the trip soon. But first, an account of what I did just before leaving the Windy City . . .

Two days before our scheduled departure, I found myself with a fierce* sore throat. I am rarely sick, NTB, and I don't have a regular doctor. I used to have one back when I had the student health insurance, but her office was inside a retirement apartment building. I tended to be decades younger than the others in the waiting room and usually had to wait a long time before getting called back with nothing but Reader's Digest and the AARP magazine to amuse myself (I do bring my own reading material to the doctor's office, but like to check out the magazines there as well). So anyway, I haven't needed to see a doctor for a few years and have never bothered to find a better one.

With a trip on the horizon and a painful sore throat, I needed to figure something out. My fervent hope was that I could somehow score a positive strep throat test and a prescription for an antibiotic. So, where did I head . . . The bub and I set off for a place we visit two or three days a week and sometimes even two to three days in a row: CVS. If you've been paying attention (or if your husband makes health care investments for a living, as mine does), you might be aware that CVS has recently opened Minute Clinics in many locations.**

So, here's the deal. You show up at CVS, no appointment necessary, and sign in. The next available practitioner takes you into a little office. It took roughly 30 seconds for me to get signed in and seated. I have to say that I was very pleased with the whole experience. After taking a brief patient history on me, the nurse practitioner asked me a lot of questions about my symptoms and checked all my vitals and whatnot. She also did throat cultures for strep--the quick one and the send-away one. She was very friendly and I felt that she was really listening to and focused on me. The Minute Clinic accepted my insurance card, and I got to use my sweet new health care debit card for the co-pay. The whole thing took less than thirty minutes, and I would recommend it for anyone who needs to see a medical professional but suspects her health problem is fairly common, who has no regular doctor, or who doesn't want to lose two hours of her life at the regular doctor's office, especially with a toddler in tow. When I arrived home from Florida this morning, I found a note from the practitioner, saying how it was nice to meet me and that she hoped I had a fun and relaxing time in Florida. Nice touch.

So the good news is that visiting the Minute Clinic was efficient and painless. The "bad" news is that I do not have strep throat and could not score an antibiotic with either the quick or send-away throat culture. At the time of my visit, I was not even coughing. That soon changed. Now, it's over a week later and I have been coughing for most of it. The cough changes from tight and painful to loose and "productive." There are also moments when my throat tickles, and I feel the urge to cough but can't quite do so and end up gasping/gagging. I sometimes have coughing spells that keep me from talking and bring tears to my eyes. I had two major coughing fits while shopping at the outlets in Florida. Both times, cashiers looked at me in horror and offered me water. Many of the coughing spells are of a body-thrashing variety that when combined with the compromised bladder control of pregnancy add an extra special dimension of distress and discomfort. Because I am pregnant, I am limited in terms of what I can take to try to tame the cough: regular Tylenol (puh-lease, I am a six-at-time-ibubrofen girl and Tylenol impacts me about as much as Flinstones vitamins), regular Robitussin (bad taste and no tangible results so far), and Ludens Cherry cough drops (haven't consulted with my baby doctor, but these are the only lozenges that don't list a warning for pregnant/breastfeeding women on the back; also, the bub has taken to stealing them out of my purse). I know from past sore throat/cough experiences though, that if you don't have strep and get an antibiotic, there's not much over-the-counter that's going to help. In other words, I'm not missing much. I am trying to stay hydrated but with the difficulties hinted at above, that is sort of a slippery slope. I just hope the end of the coughing is near.

One more thing: I forget to share my favorite moment of the visit to the Minute Clinic. When the nurse practitioner was taking my history, she actually asked and recorded the answer to the following question: "Do you weigh more than 100 pounds?" Do I weigh more than 100 hundred pounds? Let's see, I am 5'10" and do not make my living as a supermodel or as a Karen Carpenter impersonator. Also, I am twenty one weeks pregnant. In case any of you are concerned, I am safely above 100 pounds at this point and going strong.

Stay tuned for news of Florida. Hope you all are warm and cough-free.

*I am watching a DVR-ed episode of Project Runway, thus the use of "fierce" here.
**Walgreens has them too, but theirs are called Take Care something or other

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Auto Show

Nice little Thursday outing we just had. My husband asked if I wanted to go to the convention center to check out the auto show, and much to his surprise, I said yes. You see, I haven’t attended this event with him since the early stages of our dating when I was more inclined to feign enthusiasm about interests I didn’t necessarily share. In this instance, the proposition of getting out of the house on a cold weekday morning was too enticing to pass up. After being mostly housebound due to back-to-back, but not overlapping, illness from N and J, I jumped at the chance for a family trip to the Auto Expo 2008.

Truth be told, I hate getting new cars. Really, I do. I like a reliable car, but I don’t like having to worry about parking spaces that may invite door dings, MIA fruit snacks, Diet Coke spills, or general crap cluttering up the car on a daily basis. However, we have a policy of owning one car and leasing the other (for boring reasons not worth going into.) The lease is up on my car in May so I’ll need to find a replacement. Ahhh…so what exciting cars did we have our eyes on? Well, as alluded to above, my husband enjoys checking out cars, but we're far too practical to drive anything fancy at this stage in life. So if you could just hone in on the word “practical” from that last sentence, then you’ll be able to quickly decipher just what type of vehicle we were examining for me to drive next. [Insert deep breath] Yes, the mini-van.

The truth is, I am ok with getting a mini-van. Three years ago we leased a Honda Pilot and although it has served us well, it has its space and interior mobility limitations. Three years ago, I wouldn’t have considered a mini-van as we didn't need the extra space, and I had experienced several life changes that were making me feel uncool already. I was still adjusting to living in an unhip part of suburbia. I was working in a small town in Indiana known primarily for casket making. I had just had my first child, which, although an absolute blessing, tends to put a damper on your social life. Alas, I’ve embraced and am enjoying all of the above (at least the ones that are still applicable), and am feeling strong to quite strong regarding the transition to a mini-van. Furthermore, I have no illusions of my coolness at this point so there’s nothing at jeopardy there.

As a special bonus to our decision, the ownership of a mini-van will enhance J’s status at preschool. She is currently the only girl in her class who doesn’t own such a status symbol. Sophie rocks the white Kia, Ava the black Nissan, Gracie the blue Dodge Caravan, Julia the tan Dodge Caravan, and Stephanie gets dropped off in a maroon conversion van (don’t know if that increases or decreases her street credit.) Although I feel certain that vans aren’t discussed in the midst of craft time, J has apparently taken note as she’s been begging for a mini-van for months. We drove a Sienna rental on vacation in January, and she was in heaven. She sobbed on the way home from the airport when she realized we didn't get to keep it. On a recent trip to the mall, she proclaimed on the way home, “Mom, do you know what we forgot to get at the mall? A MINI-VAN!”

So, as a special treat, we’ve promised a mini-van by her 4th birthday in May. She seems pleased. I wonder…any chance she’ll be that excited if we hand her some mini-van keys on her 16th birthday?

PS - MEP is on vacation this week so that's why you haven't heard from her

PPS - (Or is is PSS...lame either way I know) The new cast of Dancing with the Stars was announced. My immediate reaction is that I am going to be loving the Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas combo.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Feather of Quetzal, Eye of Newt

One of the bub's baby gifts was a set of Animal Parade alphabet cards. These cards are beautifully illustrated in a great color palette--not all pastel and baby-fied and yet not all in-your-face primary colors. Each card features a different letter and a corresponding animal. I was delighted to receive these cards and had big plans to use them to enhance the decor of the bub's farmyard-themed nursery (Pottery Barn Kids, NTB). First, I was going to secure several yards of lovely, yet still masculine, gingham ribbon. Then, I planned to take the alphabet cards that spelled the bub's name (don't worry about the three "b's" in one name--you know his name isn't actually "Bubby") and hang them on the wall using that lovely, yet still masculine, gingham ribbon. As with so many of my well-intentioned projects, this one never quite came to be. So, when the bub spotted the alphabet cards on his book shelf the other day, I figured why not let him play with them.

The cards have been a hit. The bub enjoys spreading them all around his room. Luckily, he also enjoys picking them up. Instead of reading books together before naptime and bedtime, lately he has wanted to do his cards: "Cards. Cards!" Such a passion for learning. NTB. The procedure begins with gathering; we check under the beds (there are three beds in his room, long story), the chair, and the changing table until we have them all. Then, the bub places the box on one of his beds and we sit down together. I hold up each card, say the letter, give him a chance to guess the animal, and then say the name of the animal. Usually, he repeats the animal name and then places the card in the open box.

Now the bub is fairly good with his animals. He knows the basics like cow, sheep, dog, cat, chick, pig, and duck. He even knows animals I consider more challenging, like hen and goose. But the animals on parade in these alphabet cards are more on the exotic side. The animal for "H" is not horse but hummingbird. The animal for "P" is not pig but porcupine. "C" is not cat or cow but camel. "U" is for underwing. "V" is for vole. "X" is for xanthos. Excepting "B" for bear and "S" for sheep, there are very few gimmes. The progress in learning new animals has been slow, but surprising. I am just intrigued by the animals the bub has "learned" so far. When I say "N" and hold up its card, he can offer, "newt." When I say "Y" and hold up the card, he says "hammer," which I accept as an honest effort to say "yellowhammer." But, most surprising of all, is "Q." He gets it every time, just from looking at the picture before I even say the letter: "quetzal" is pronounced with pride. In case you are wondering, a quetzal is a lovely little pink and green bird. A few days into our card studies, we caught a few minutes of a PBS kids show called, I think, It's A Big World. I was tidying up and heard the bub saying, "Quetzal, quetzal." I looked at the television and, sure enough, there was a pink and green bird talking. Proud moment.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bub 2.0*

Many NTB readers may already be aware of this fact; others may not: The hubby and I are expecting our second baby around July 1st. This afternoon we had our 20-week ultrasound, where we learned the following things:

1. This baby is on pace to deliver at least as big as the bubby (9 lbs, 15 ounces and not a c-section, NTB.)
2. This baby appears to be quite healthy. We are thankful that all seems well.
3. This baby is fond of curling up in a tight ball--chin to chest, legs over head. The technician had to leave the room twice so that I could walk around (naked from the waist down) in an attempt to change the baby's position.
4. Despite my being firmly convinced otherwise throughout the twenty weeks leading up this day, this baby is a BOY!

What does this news mean for our family?
1. Fewer new clothes and toys to buy. Though, of course, Bub 2.0 will score some new stuff. New onesies and sleepers for certain. (I'm thinking these "extra" funds might be allotted to mom's wardrobe.)
2. A few items of clothing that will be hanging in the closet unworn (yes, I bought my imaginary daughter a few things and I think Grammy has some returning to do as well) unless this boy expresses interest in a hot pink shirt embroidered with cupcakes or a brown dress with the cutest colored polka dots.
3. Who really knows? Every child is different and Bub 2.0 may be totally different from the earlier version. I am excited to see what this little guy will look like and what little personality will emerge. For all we know, the brothers might have nothing in common but parents and genitalia.
4. A new nickname to discover. On that one, I'll just have to wait. I actually called the bub "birdie" for several months before "bubby" came to be. Just for the record, I am not planning to call my second son "Bub 2.0."

What does this mean for you?
Well, I have a lot of thoughts to share about new motherhood and the first months of parenthood. And you, my friends, may be treated to some of my memories and garnered wisdom as I revisit some of my trials and tribulations (more trials, I have to say) during the bub's first year, especially as July 1st nears. Did someone mention walking outside until one is drenched with sweat in order to make a baby sleep? Is "Graco shame" a real phenomenon in certain zip codes? Is getting ice out of the freezer "too loudly" just cause for a death stare? Did I just hear the phrase "nipple cream"? Just you wait.

That's all I got right now, and I think it is plenty. NTB.

*Credit for the phrase "Bub 2.0" goes to our friends SMF and SV. Thanks!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Salad Days

I keep apologizing for my less-frequent posts so I won't apologize again. Instead, I will explain. I have a dissertation to write and I have been working diligently on it. I'm approaching another milestone and will have more time to breathe and blog once my next chapter is complete.

I do have a new culinary endeavor to announce. After months of regaling (more likely, boring) you with my soup-making, I am changing directions. The thinking is that if I stop making so much soup--a winter food, ideal for snowy weather and such--winter will end more quickly. As a nod to the eventual spring and summer, I am switching to salad. I know what you're thinking, that sounds boring. Guess what? It's not boring to me. I think I can do better than the new classic of dried fruit (cranberries, for example), "fancy" cheese (gorgonzola, goat, etc.), and some variety of nuts (candied pecans? sliced almonds?)--not that these items don't make for a tasty salad. In addition to lettuce salads, I am also hoping to explore other hot and cold salads: pasta salad, potato salad, salads with whole grains like quinoia, bean salads, and perhaps weven some retro fruity-type salads in the vein of my beloved Watergate Salad. Also, I am counting coleslaw as a salad. I have an insatiable appetite for all varieties of slaw.

As part of this salad endeavor, I am also going to start making my own salad dressing. This little idea has been percolating for a while. First, I bought a cookbook back in December that included several tasty salad dressing recipes. Then, my friend SMF made a delicious strawberry dressing for our New Year's dinner. Last week, another friend just recently made a dressing that involved rice wine vinegar that sounded simple yet quite refreshing. Why not try such things myself? All I have to lose is a little olive oil.

Last week I secured some of the necessary tools: a garlic press (so I can use fresh minced garlic in favor of the jarred stuff I use for other cooking) and a cruet. On Wednesday of this week, I attempted my first dressing.

Salad Dressing Test Case #1: Balsamic Vinaigrette
Source of Recipe: side of newly-purchased cruet (BonJour International brand, available at Tuesday Morning for $3.99)
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 cup of olive oil
2 cloves of minced garlic
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Results: For me it was tough to pour an entire cup of oil into the cruet, and I admit I probably poured in somewhat less than a cup. I realize that bottled salad dressings include just as much or more oil, but I'm not actually "responsible" for that, you know? I did enjoy adding the balsamic though. I was pleased with the look of the dressing and admit to stroking the cruet and feeling pleased with myself as I placed it in the refrigerator (that is where I keep all dressing unless someone tells me differently). Once on my salad, it was rather garlic-ky for my taste. However, this is because I ended up adding something like four gloves of garlic as I tried to figure out the workings of the new garlic press. Despite the overpowering garlic (my breath was HORRIBLE and my hands smelled like those of a line cook at an Italian restaurant), the dressing still pleased me.

So, here's your task. If you already make your own dressing or have a favorite salad, please send me the recipes. You can put recipes in the comment section or email them to MEP, LAP, or PITA (if you happen to know us and our email addresses). By sending me a recipe, you are giving me permission to blog about it. I would love the kind of short, newsy blurb that accompanies recipes in some cookbooks and food magazines, you know, "This dressing comes together quickly, but it is always a hit!" or "I was experimenting in the kitchen one evening, and this recipe is the result. My family now requests it once a week!" or "I made this potato salad for my husband's rifle club banquet and took home an empty bowl! It's definitely a 'sure shooter!'" The cheesier the better on those blurbs.

LAP and PITA do not know this yet, but I plan to enlist them in the test kitchen for Operation Salad. Get ready girls.

Okay, send the recipes please. Do your part to end winter.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sorry, VIP's only . . .

NTB, but we're in the middle of a pretty exclusive Super Bowl party here. In the first phase of the party, the bub ate his dinner and also part of a hot pretzel (a nod to stadium food) while the hubby and I "feasted" on Jalapeno Poppers and TGIFriday's frozen appetizers I purchased at Target this morning. I bathed the bubby during the second quarter. Next, I folded laundry and picked up toys during halftime while the hubby put the bubby to bed. Then the fun really began. I heated up a Weight Watchers Smart Ones chocolate cake and washed it down with a glass of milk, whilst enjoying the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. Then, the hubby decided to get a bowl of ice cream. He also found the caramel sauce and whipped cream (don't judge the over-indulgence, this is a party after all). The low/high point of the party occurred when he walked into the living room, holding his ice cream bowl high and proclaiming, "Now this is a Super Bowl Sundae. . . . Get it?" Got it. We are officially lame. NTB.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bubdate: Life is "Messy?!"

1. The bub has pink eye. He woke up Friday morning, and his little eyes were all swollen and practically crusted shut. He was a champ at the doctor's office and so charming that even when he invited himself behind the reception desk, he was not rebuked by the staff but instead given not one but two "Melmo" (read: Elmo) stickers. As we walked out of the office, he kept marveling, "Two stickers. Two stickers." Thanks to the antibiotic, his eyes are almost all cleared up already. Per the doctor's orders, we put the drops in the corner of his eyes while they are closed and then bid him, "Open, open" so that the drops flush his eyes. The funny thing is that each time we say, "Open, open," the bub, in a related act of medical familiarity that he likely associates with recent visits to the doctor's office, opens his mouth and says "ahh" whilst keeping his eyes squeezed shut. So far I have not caught his pink eye as the doctor suggested I might. I have imagined, however, that my eyes are more itchy and sensitive than usual. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

2. The bub has a new nap time hobby. A couple of afternoons this week, the bub took his good, sweet time settling down for his nap. Beyond the typical cries of "Poop, poop," that he attempts to draw us back to him (it always works--as soon as we approach the gate, he sticks his butt against it so that we can smell for poop. 9 times out of 10, he smells fresh as a daisy and is just playing us), he has a new past-time. He opens the (supposedly child-proofed) door to his clothes closet and then proceeds to make a big pile of clothes on the floor of his room (usually right over his heating vent). He has on two occasions also pulled on his blackout shades until they have fallen off their rod. On Tuesday and Wednesday when I responded to his post-nap cries for "Mom," I entered his room to find clothes strewn about and more natural light than usual. I looked at the mess and then at the bub, who proclaimed, as though completely flummoxed, "Messy?! Messy?!". Apparently the mess bothered him because we couldn't proceed downstairs until I had returned the clothes to the closet and reattached the blackout shade.

3. The bub may be going to preschool in the fall. The bub's preschool attendance is only a maybe for a couple of reasons. First, as I am not in the loop in terms of preschool politics, I have no idea if just filling out an application and writing a $50 check for the application fee is enough. Second, the application was due February 1st. I had it all ready in advance (on January 31st) and wouldn't you know it, there was a huge snowstorm and the school was closed on February 1st. I left a rambling message on the voice mail in the admissions office. Then, I convinced my husband to fill out the application again at work (he had a copy of the one the school had faxed there) and then fax it to the school with a note stating that the hard copy and check would be there first thing on Monday. Again, I don't know what I'm up against here and if I would not have been better off flushing my $50 down the toilet, with the bub's help of course--he loves to flush, which leads to . . . Third, the bub will not be able to attend even this pre-preschool program for 2 1/2 year olds unless he is potty trained come fall. Despite my recent bragging, there hasn't been much potty action of late. So, we'll see. Preschool next year is not absolutely necessary by any means. I just thought the bub would enjoy it. Plus, we want to start him off in Catholic preschool to up his chances of being accepted at Notre Dame. I am totally kidding. We are not that twisted or desperate.

That's all I got.
Blog Designed by : NW Designs