Friday, April 1, 2011

Okay, So, Maybe NOT...

Okay, it's been awhile. Not exactly what I'd hoped, but hey, I'm better than a couple of my fellow wanna-be-bloggers. I posted TWICE last year! That's a year more recently than at least two of my friends. It's okay; they're busy. By now, one of them has two babies, and another one has number two on the way. So yeah, they've been doing... other things...

Anyway, so I met some new friends and a few of them have blogs, too, so I suppose maybe I was inspired to at least fix my margins here and put up a decent background. I still haven't quite mastered the whole blog background thing, but there's always hope, right? Blogger made a few additions since I last posted. (Really? Additions? Since I posted last YEAR? Wow. I'm surprised.) So maybe I can finally work this out.

Although, every time I go to pick out a new background, I'm surprised with how girlie I've become. The new blue-striped background was me rebelling against the pink. Surely, with a three-year-old who insists that she only wear either pink or purple, I've have enough pink? I'm just glad I painted her room blue. If she stood still against a pink wall, she'd be camouflaged. Her only concessions in her wardrobe are anything with Tinkerbell, Minnie Mouse or a Princess on it. Unless we can get The Princess and the Frog into the rotation, we're never going to see green.

On the other hand, she usually dresses herself -- head to toe. We only argue if she's trying to wear a sundress when it's 36 degrees outside, or when she puts on her fleece outfits when it's sweatin' in the shade weather. One day, she went to school in a blue sundress (covered in purple and aqua butterflies), red socks, and yellow shoes. Hey, she liked it. Who was I to argue?

Besides, the neon yellow "tap shoes" have been a fixture in her life for the past two years. TWO years! When she got them, she insisted on clomping around in them, despite the fact that they in NO WAY fit. I don't know how she pulls it off, but everyone loves them! Maybe it's just her little attitude when she's pracing around in them, but somehow she manages to make it happen. Go figure.

But I'm really concerned about when she outgrows them. It's bad enough when we can't find them in the morning before school. What am I going to do when she's rubbing holes in her feet with them, or when the soles finally fall off? It's going to be a complete disaster. If I'm lucky, I won't end up at Macy's in the middle of the night, banging on their boor, begging for a pair of preschooler-sized pumps. With glitter.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Photo Meme, and I DID IT!

Okay so I am not so good about chain letter and "forward this on" and related tasks... but I DID ONE!

Becki at Harmony in Motion tagged me and I actually completed one! Yay for me!

Now the rules:

1) Go to your photo files, select the 8Th photo folder.
2) Select the 8Th photo in that folder.
3) Post that photo along with the story behind it.
4) Then challenge 8 blogging friends to do the same!

This picture (an obviously failed experimentation in self-portraiture) was taken with my friend Ryan Wedderian at a Clemson vs Temple football game, I think. I also think for some odd reason it was at the Panthers stadium in Charlotte. No idea why, but that's what I'm coming up with. The second picture, the one we took just a second later, is one of my favorites.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Maybe I'm Back? Maybe?

So I haven't blogged in awhile. A lot of things have been going on, I guess. Mostly Cutezilla and being exhausted. And that whole baby-weight thing that's getting more towards not being baby-weight anymore. So I've been working out, hanging with Cutezilla, and spending my evenings cozied up with the hubby while passed out in front of the tv.

Cutezilla has also been on a tear. Maybe it's the Terrible Two's. Maybe it's just her asserting herself. Who knows? But it's KILLING ME. Mostly she just argues with me over EVERYTHING. I mean, not just going places or getting in the car. I mean EVERYTHING. Even after she ASKS me for something, she'll immediately tell me she doesn't want it.

"NO, I DON'T MILK!!!!"

After the hubby left for a night (a single night, I might add), she gave me so much crap that I called my buddy and told him if he didn't take her, I was going to completely lose it. He picked her up, and I immediately drove to the library and checked out eight books on child management and discipline. The first librarian was amazing, because for the first time ever, I heard, "Oh yeah, I had one like that. I almost killed her." And it was the best thing EVER. You know why? Because I never hear that. I always hear what I need to be doing, what I'm doing wrong, or my personal favorite, the weird looks that say, "How can you say that about such a beautiful and sweet child! She's so wonderful and affectionate and amenable!"

Because of course, she's an absolute doll for other people. I mean, PERFECT. It makes me crazy. Of course those books say that this means that my child is comfortable in our relationship. They also say that her good behavior for other people is a sign of good parenting. Yay. Yippee. You know what would do her and me some good? A little good ol' fashioned FEAR. Once in awhile, it would be awesome if she thought, you know the crazy lady is close to the line today. Maybe I'll indulge her and eat a green bean. But yeah, not so much.

The second librarian (I talked to at least four that day), as I tried to find a few extra books, "Oh two is such a difficult age, because they just can't communicate."

I said, "Oh no. We don't have that problem. 'I DON'T NURSERY! I DON'T GYM! I DON'T SOCKS! I DON'T DRESS! I DON'T CAR!!! I DON'T [insert anything here, because it's a pretty good bet she "doesn't"]!!!" The lady's mouth dropped open, and she said something like "oh you poor thing", and pulled two more books off the shelf for me.

It's been better lately, though. Not that the books helped. The one book I specifically was looking for "Magic 1-2-3" is basically in-line with the Nanny 911 philosophy. The basics: Time-Outs with three prior warnings. Time-Out early, Time-Out often. Don't talk to the kid while you're doing it. Ask questions instead of lecturing "why it was wrong." Pretty simple, really. Except that we were already doing it. Yay. I just started cracking down on everything. We spent about two days straight doing nothing but Time Out. Over EVERY LITTLE THING. And then she got the idea I wasn't screwing around, I guess.

I've even been giving warnings over asking for the paci. Maybe that seems crazy, but she's making me nuts asking for it over and over again. "Paci? My paci now? Paci? My paci now?" Repeat for 18 hours until bedtime. Just like that with no break or pause. So yeah, I started giving her warnings and Time Outs over that too. I let her ask once, maybe twice, and then I ask "When do we get a paci?" She tells me "Naptime" or "Bedtime," and after that, it's the warnings and Time Outs. And she's severely cut back.

The downside: she now hates her high-chair. (Which is where she ends up when she's in Time-out, unless we're outside of the house.) But she doesn't eat, so it's not a huge loss. I usually just set a plate out on the ottoman or something for her to ignore, and she does just that, in fabulous style.

On a related note, I did also discover that Car Time-Outs are no longer going to work very well, since today I put her in Time Out in the car, and she climbed through the car into the driver's seat, opened the door and hopped out into the parking lot. I know, I know, buckle her in. Right. Do you know how much trouble that is? The hubby weighs another 50 pounds more than I do, and he has trouble getting her in when she fights, so when I tell you it's difficult, I'm not kidding or exaggerating. I've had other people help me hold her down while I got the buckle on her, and even with two people, it's still not easy.

The other thing that has happened lately is I got cleaners to come in and clean while I got to some of the other chores and tasks I've been putting off since before Christmas. Like putting up Christmas decorations that I didn't get around to putting up during Christmas. To be honest, last year sort of got cheated with the Christmas stuff. We went to Iowa for the last week of November obviously, then took a week to go to Florida and see "Mickey's House" as we now call Disney. Then we spent a week and a half at home, then flew back to Iowa for Christmas. Not to mention that we drove to Georgia to fly out of ATL, or that we came back to Greenville via Columbia to pick up the Miata after I blew the engine. So literally, no decorations. Just the [pre-lit] tree, with two ornaments (one from Disney, obviously and one from the company Christmas party) I don't think I even got a tree skirt on the tree. No Christmas cards either. And then we got back to a disaterous house, and Cutezilla hit a serious "search and destroy phase." Not that she was looking for anything in particular; she just wanted to look into everything and pull it apart. Down to the atoms, it seems like some days.

What all this means is that I've been drowning in my life, generally speaking. So for Cutezilla's Spring Break, I sent her to the beach with her Grammy, and hired cleaners and painters and tried to take back my house. I'm still slogging through, but it's somewhat better at least, and I'm still feeling motivated enough to keep going. For the moment.

So why the blog? The Hubby, the sweet incredible guy he is, picked up a new laptop for me at a company auction. So Cutezilla gets her tv, and I get a few extra minutes of internet/computer time per night! Hurrah for amazing Husbands!!! And here I am pounding away at my "new" tiny little keyboard! Cheers!

PS. I can't find spellcheck on the new laptop. You know, just FYI.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Updating The Background For The Holidays

Learning a little code, so cross your fingers for me. Here is the background I'm hoping to upload!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

One-Uping the Husband... And Then Some

So I get this text message about a week or two ago... "UR TOASTER CAUGHT FIRE. U NEED A NEW ONE. WHILE UR OUT, PICK UP DETERGENT AND LAUNDRY SOAP." Roughly rephrased, but that was mostly it. So I call the Hubby, and he says, "Um... YEAH, about the toaster oven... well, I found the fire extinguisher, and put it out, but yeah, it's gone."

That was a Thursday. Two days later, a beautiful late Saturday afternoon, apparently, I decided to get even. And then some.

Short Version: Ka-BOOM!

Long Version:
Well... It was my last fun run of the day at an autocross. I had better times than most of the boys in my class, C-Street-Prepared -- okay, I had better times than ALL of the boys in my class -- and I was really close to both boys in C-Stock, my previous class before we installed the new radiator. (Yeah, that "improvement" moved me to a different class.) So I decided to go for a couple of fun runs after the event and get my time down a little further... and I did. I got a clean (no cones) run in 32.8 seconds! (0.68 seconds behind the guy in first in the other class, by the way.) It was awesome!... until I came across the line, and suddenly the engine started making some weird noise.

The guy who's been coaching me, immediately motioning me stop. I stopped the car, popped the hood. Apparently to every guy within hearing distance, it was like a homing beacon, and they all came running. Four of them were standing in front of my poor Miata, shaking their heads. (Not a good sign. EVER.) On of the guys, Joe says, "Oh yeah. Cylinder Number Four." Then he looks up at me and says, "Sorry. It's toast." Then he adds, "Don't worry, I did this same exact thing last week. We could probably get you a new engine this week, and have you back on the road by the weekend." Geoff, my coach, says, "Yeah, I could probably pick it up tomorrow, get it to my place and get bearing by Monday." So they got me to wheel it into a parking spot at the Orangeburg Mall where we were holding the event, I locked it up, and that's exactly what happened. Crazy, right?

I called the next day, just to see if he had gotten by the mall to get it, and he says, "Oh yeah, I got it. I took it apart this morning to get a look at what happened. Joe was right. Cylinder Number Four." Awesome. Just awesome. I managed to blow my husband's daily driver to pieces.

But I can't imagine getting more lucky. Half of the guys there had car trailers already, and Orangeburg isn't that far away from Lexington, where both of my aunts live. Additionally, I got a diagnoses in less time than it took for me to get the car to come to a complete halt. Not only that, these guys managed to figure out what was wrong, the parts I needed, how to get them economically, PROCURE all the parts (except for a head gasket) and had it ready to put back together before the week was over. Not only that, he made some "adjustments" to my flywheel on a lathe he had in his shop. It was really cool. Geoff himself is freaking amazing and awesome and wonderful. Seriously.

Now, mind you, I don't have the car back. When I left, they were waiting on the head gasket. So I haven't talked to anyone since I left for Thanksgiving vacation. Not only that, I'm sitting on my in-laws' couch in Iowa, and my phone is dead. Even if it weren't dead, to paraphrase, "I get NO BARS in this tiny little town in the middle-of-nowhere-Iowa!" NONE. Not even a BLIP. There's supposed to be a hot-spot for my service at the Barnes & Noble, but my phone died moments before I got over there. Of course. And I keep forgetting to charge the damn thing up. However, I should be able to do that tonight, get the number and call on the Hubby's phone. Hopefully.

Anyway, so that's the story. I guess I'm even with the Hubby for my toaster oven... and then some, I think.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Coma Recovery!

So I gave up my weightloss goal, right? Perfectly timed RIGHT BEFORE THANKSGIVING, right??? Yeah. Exactly. Oh, and what did I volunteer to do? Yeah. Make dessert. Go ahead and guess what happened? Yup. I made two. Two delicious cheesecakes after I made cheesecake just LAST WEEK for the guy who's helping put back together my engine. (Oh, did I mention I blew up my car? No? Another post then, promise!) And not just ANY cheesecake. One Paula Deen recipe. You ever notice that all of her recipes (and The Barefoot Contessa's) usually include four sticks of butter? Yeah. But damn, it was delicious. But how could Apple Pie Cheesecake NOT be delicious? I mean, seriously, go ahead and read that again without drooling: APPLE PIE CHEESECAKE. See?

The second cheesecake? Pumpkin, also a tribute to the traditional desserts. I figured I couldn't get too out-of-the-box here, being a Traditional holiday, and all. Sometimes it's better not to mess around with a proven thing. Which is probably why we always have turkey... Dressing/stuffing directly from the bird? How could it be any better?

My mother-in-law did a great job as always, especially considering her normal partner-in-crime went to California this year to spend the holiday with her kids. But I think my favorite part is always the stuffing from the bird. I really wonder why it's called dressing in some areas. Especially since it's never really on the OUTSIDE of the bird. But it's still delicious, no matter what you call it. My family always have a HUGE get-together way out in the woods on the family property. Somewhere between forty and sixty people usually show up, which means it ends up like your wedding day: you see about five minutes of everyone, but never actually get to just hang out and spend quality time. My in-laws, on the other hand, spend the whole holiday (all four days, not just the three hours before and after the meal, together, and all in one house, so it's really nice and cozy.

The downside of Thanksgiving for me: it's in Iowa. And Iowa, if you have never been there, usually looks like how I imagine the tundra of Alaska: completely frozen solid and covered in white stuff. (Fact: when we returned to their house after visiting relatives in Missouri, the top of the Jeep's hood scraped along a wall of snow, and my father-in-law actually said, "WOW. We hardly got any snow at all!") Not that I have anything against snow. In fact, snow is pretty cool itself, especially since, being from the South, we don't get a lot. But it's still freezing, and the wind is pretty vicious. The few times I've been here in summer, it was like a wind tunnel, and it never let up.

However this year, my in-laws installed a hot tub. A FREAKING HOT TUB WITH MASSAGE JETS!!! It's the most wonderful thing ever. It even has massage jets for your feet. So the last few nights, I've spent outside in the thirty-degree night (fairly warm for Iowa at this time of year, honestly) sitting in the dark in the steamy hot water up to my nose, staring up at the stars while the steam billows up into these columns above my head, then disappears into the night sky. It's amazingly calming. The jets are so strong I have to wedge myself into the seat so I don't get shot out across the tub. And I don't have to badger anyone to rub my neck or shoulders or back or anything, and I even get that weird little place just above my tailbone massaged. Again: freaking fantastic. The really interesting part: the deck on the way to the hot tub was covered in ice from where we had gotten water on it, making the trip into the hot tub just a little thrilling.

But yeah, so Thanksgiving Dinner (turkey + stuffing + gravy + rolls + mashed potatoes + corn + sweet potatoes) plus Beer plus Wine plus Dessert (Cheesecake*2) plus HOT TUB = Three Day Coma. This year, Thanksgiving has been really stupendous. We can definitely make this a repeat experience.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sleep Update

I was going to say how wonderful it was the past few weeks with my daughter sleeping through the night... and then last night happened. Again, it wasn't as bad as it has been -- although I could be completely wrong about this, considering it was the hubby who got up with her all night last night. But it wasn't like he had much of a choice, since the little brat kicked me out when I went up to check on her, and screamed NO!!!, GO!!!, and DADDY!!! at me on my way out the door. And I absolutely cannot sleep when she screams like that. It honestly sounds like she's being beaten and stabbed up there, yet when I go up, she doesn't want anything to do with ME; she wants DADDY. Yippee. For both of us.

Now, while we were in the middle of the last sleep crisis, I made an appointment with a Pediatric Sleep Clinic. (Are you surprised too?) Unfortunately, like all specialists, they were booked out until the end of December. If this keeps up, of course I'll keep the appointment, but what about if it stays this weird intermittent thing? There's no rhyme or reason to it, that I can tell. And I know what I hear from everyone: consistency is the key! And we do keep a fairly stable schedule during the mornings. It's the nap where it gets all wacky.

It's like Russian roulette napping. An hour? Two hours? Three hours? Forty minutes? Twelve-thirty? Two? Four o'clock? There's no telling with this kid. Sometimes she passes out cold on my way home from the gym; sometimes she's up for two more hours, and going gangbusters. So I never know how the afternoon will go, or when the nap will take place. Even when I know she's sleepy and tired, it still may or may not happen. I've driven her around for miles before, and nothing. I've also put her in the car at 11am before, gone back inside to get my keys or shoes, and come back out to her snoring away in the backseat.

So, as of yesterday, I was going to say that things were going great... but now that we had another relapse, I'm not sure how long this is going to last or how bad it will be.

There's also a nice hole apparently in her room, because on Sunday, I got a text message saying that there was a massive leak in the ceiling. I got home, and apparently water had dripped down between the seams of the drywall sheets, and there was a water line halfway across her ceiling, and the drywall was mushy. I called my neighbor over to look at it, and he just pushed a finger straight up through it and into the insulation, which was soaking wet. Of course. There's no water lines and no water heater up there, at least, so that does narrow it down... but this is only one of several leaks we've gotten over the last year, so our ten year roof may be on its last legs. Again. Great. Fantastic. WHEEEE.

And then there was the exorcist-like happening on Sunday, where water just began to randomly drip out of the light fixture below the upstairs bathroom. At least now we have a good idea as to why that light went out.