Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ree-Seas Pee-Seas

All Thumbs Thursday Is Back!

Thumbs Up (+) & Thumbs Down (-)
+ Ordered really cute birth announcements for Libby that arrived at our house within three weeks of her birth -- so on top of things, NTB!
- Have still not managed to finish addressing and mailing them and Sweet P is almost eight weeks old now

+ Really enjoying Subway's new chicken salad
- Chicken salad cannot be that good for me and cannot resist the Subway cookies while I'm there (thumbs up for Subway cookies--really!)

+ McDonald's Snack-Size Reese's McFlurry -- cheap and delicious and of the perfect size! Get yourself one tonight or, better yet, right now. GO!
- More opportunities to expose my inability to pronounce Reese's as anything other than "Ree-seas" as in "Ree-seas Pea-seas."

+ Sweet P no longer dropping (really stinky) bombs all day long
- Sweet P now filling her Swaddlers multiple times per day -- blow out beware!

+ Glee, Top Chef Masters, Community . . . loving my television!
- About to hit the summer television slump

+ Summer seems to be here! Woo hoo! I can finally believe that there will be no more snowy days for many months.
- Hate to sweat and prefer not to expose my arms and rack in tank tops

+ No showings this week to clean the house for like a crazy woman.
- No showings this week.

- Blogger double-spacing all my posts . . . Why? Why? Why? How can I fix it?

What's Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down for you right now? Please share in the comments!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tale of a Tuesday

Two quick things to report.

1. I am proud to report that I ventured to a park today with all three kids. It may not sound like a big deal, but it kind of was.

Care to revisit what a big deal it was for me to brave the park for the first time with two kids. Read this post.

2. Little Bit made it 23 months and 3 days before today . . . the day when he produced his first "Code Brown." What's a "Code Brown," newer NTB readers may be wondering?

Read all about "Code Brown" right here. You're welcome for not posting photos of the phenom.

This afternoon, I made a whole list of things I want to blog about. Teasers include: Subway chicken salad, the ideal cup for drinking milk, a terrine, peeing outside, "Guess how much?", non-lettuce salads, dilemma of sweating issues for those who don't wear tank tops, Kindle app for iphone and ipod touch, and Blessed Brother Andre.

There are good things to come if I ever find the time to write about them.

Any tales from your Tuesday?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Traveling Companions

Today we're BlogTrotting Together! Visit the BlogTrotting site to read about favorite vacations.
Here's my contribution . . .

For parents of very small children, there are no vacations . . . only changes of scenery. I've shared this deep thought of mine on several occasions, and I think it's true. You pack all the endless stuff your kids need and head to your vacation destination where they still need to be fed, dressed, rested, and supervised. I'm not complaining, really I'm not, just acknowledging that my old idea of "vacation" is not a reality right now. These are not the years for me to read novel after novel at the pool or beach, eat relaxing meals at restaurants, shop at my leisure, and take responsibility for applying only my own sunscreen. Those years will come again and who knows how I'll feel about them when they arrive.

These are the years for me to witness my children jump in waves, gain confidence in the swimming pool, explore new places, build sandcastles, enjoy the freedom from (or at least flexibility with) our regular nap and bedtime schedules, play putt putt for the first time, and--best of all--enjoy 24/7 time with the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents they love so much.
These are the years for watching the joy and enthusiasm they bring to everyday life become heightened as their sense of the world and its gifts broadens through travel.
These are the years for tucking scrubbed, pajama clad, slightly sunburnt children into strange and sandy sheets, exhausted by sunshine, wonder, and play.
These are the years for remembering to take the time--a week, a moment--to be grateful for our family's journey.
These are the years for rethinking "vacation."

I've had many great vacations, NTB, and don't know that I would want to choose a favorite. Here are a few images of my children (pre Sweet P) and nieces and nephews from our Hilton Head vacation in 2009.

The beach was beautiful, but at the end of the day--at sunset, if you will--the traveling companions truly make the trip.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tudor for Higher, Tooter Aveilible

Sometimes I have topics I hesitate to blog about because they might make me look petty, unkind, or whiney/complain-y. Usually what I do in that situation is write about the topic anyway.
Sometimes, blogging about a topic can help me to be more thoughtful and reflective, and I end up learning instead of just snarking. Other times, all I can manage is to try to figure out how to write about a topic in a way that does not make me look like a petty, unkind, or whiney person.

Since I'm trying to break back into blogging after two weeks off, I'm just going to go ahead and be petty here about two different topics because I don't have the energy for thoughtfulness and revelation. Forgive me please.

Topic #1
As a sometime-instructor of English, I have often been asked some version of this question: "So, are you checking my grammar right now?" With regard to conversation, the answer is almost always "No." With regard to print, the answer is almost always "Yes, but I can't help myself, and I'm trying not to judge." I've edited thousands of pages of my own writing and that of students (and siblings) over the years. I admit I notice errors and experience a pleasurable sense of control and satisfaction in understanding how to correct them (most of the time, NTB).
Outside (and at times inside) the classroom, I mostly keep these corrections to myself. I know that the majority of people know the difference between definitely and defiantly, there and their, and looser and loser. People rush and make mistakes. Fine.
I saw some particularly glaring errors the other day that I can't get over. The errors were on a bulletin board notice advertising a service as "benefical" and, even better (or worse), "convenyant."
B E N E F I C A L and C O N V E N Y A N T
You know where this is heading, right? What was advertised as "benefical" and "convenyant"?
Tutoring services. Tutoring services!!!! I just can't get over that. I took a copy of the notice, and I was going to scan and post it. That felt extra petty so you will just have to believe me that this notice exists in the world. I am just going to content myself with the hope that those seeking tutoring for their children will pause before hiring an instructor who cannot spell "benefical" or "convenyant" and, possibly worse, cannot be bothered to double-check advertising materials.
Topic #2
My new method for grocery shopping is working out pretty well for me, NTB. I secure a car cart and the boys sit side by side in it. I continue my longtime habit of giving them candy or donut holes (feel free to judge) as we shop to keep them from bothering each other and impeding my shopping progress. Because it's hard to maneuver a car cart without looking like you spent a little too much time in the wine aisle, I place Sweet P's infant carrier in the actual basket of the cart (instead of perched atop the front part--never seems like a secure spot to me). I try to keep the shopping trip smallish and place the groceries around the infant carrier (tricky business because the car cart's basket is smaller than that of a standard cart) and then on the shelf below the cart.* I bring a list to the store and move as quickly and efficiently as possible . . .
. . . until I get to the checkout line. The Jewel was light on help today and all the lanes were kind of long, except the ten self checkouts. I cannot manage the car cart, infant seat, and self check all at the same time so I assessed the various lines, placed my bet, and pulled up the cart. I spot a customer carrying about seven cans of something walking toward my checkout area. Sure, it looked tricky to be carrying seven cans with no basket, but no trickier than shopping with three kids, a car cart, and limited cart space. The woman in front of me in line says to the seven can woman, "You don't have many items, you can hop in before me." To be clear, the seven can woman was not already in our line just pondering which line to choose.
That nice gesture annoyed me because I am a small and petty person. A small and petty person who was also already in that line and who was eager to get through her so-far smooth shopping trip with no incidents. A small and petty person who thinks that the seven can customer could have grabbed a cart or a hand held basket when she entered the store instead of balancing seven cans in her arms. A small and petty person who thinks that an individual with only seven items and no human appendages might be better served in one of the store's ten no wait self-check lanes. A small and petty person who thought the seven can customer and her benefactor should have considered the entire line of customers before making/accepting this offer.
A small and petty person who is a bit ashamed to admit that she audibly sighed and then moved her cart to another checkout line. I am ashamed of that sigh, truly, but I just keenly felt the injustice (yes, I used the term "injustice"-- see how very petty I am!!!!) of the moment.
Judge away and please check this post for errors while you're at it! I'm sure I deserve it.

How petty are you? Please leave a comment to make me feel better.

*Side note: big beef with regard to my Target is that their carts have no lower shelf. Right now, I cannot attempt Target with all three children in tow. Silver lining: will save lots of money.
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