Monday, January 30, 2006

Fish don't wear shoes

Really, they don't.

Lesson #378 of when Leif is quiet he is up to no good. At 7:30am I was fishing one pair of Robeez out of the fish tank. Only one had sank and was perched partially on a fake plant and rock formation. The other was floating. As my mom said, "this is probably only the start of the things that will go into the fish tank". Now, why he couldn't have picked say a plastic toy, instead of a pair of leather shoes, I have no idea.

This weekend was exhausting. Not only does Leif have a real mommy thing going on whereby he cannot detach himself from my leg, but then AB worked all Saturday and then Sunday night. Sunday day? Homework much of the day. So that meant that I fielded the Leifer each day, all weekend.

Friday afternoon I picked Leif up at daycare early since they called saying he was really, really fussy. I got there and they weren't kidding. He was miserable. The cause, a dang cuspid that is taking its own sweet time in popping through. We went home and I pumped him full of Advil and a teething tablets and we played. Saturday morning we got up, made breakfast and dragged AB out of bed to have breakfast with us before we headed off to swimming lessons.

Leif had a good swimming class, then we came home, ate lunch and he went down for a nap. My house was clean and yes, there were plenty of things I could have done. But instead I sat my ass down on the couch and read while watching Wedding Crashers, which was btw, cute. Except I cannot stand Owen Wilson. Vince Vaughn made up for that poor casting job though.

Saturday night we ordered Mexican and AB ended up going to watch at hockey game with "the guys". I really am lucky (I suppose) my husband rarely, if ever, goes out galavanting with "the guys". Well mainly because he only has one "guy"... but they rarely galavant without the wives and children in tow. Oh and organizers they are not... V and I organize stuff and they galavant along with us (when we let them). Anyways, the last time AB went out in the evening with his guy friend was 19 months ago to go see Spidey at the theater. This was after eating out with V and I in our very pregnant, "freak the wait staff out" stage. There was NO way I could sit in the theater for the movie that AB was dying to see, so they guys went and saw it.

AB came home and told me about what a great time he had. We need to go to a hockey game and take Leif he tells me, and then follows up with "only one kid got hit with a puck". Umm what? Well and there were a few brawls... (Take my son where exactly? I am sure he didn't mean the hockey game.)

Sunday AB got up with Leif at 5:40am and I paid for it. I slept in until Leif came flying into the bedroom at 7:30am squealing "fishies" and waving yet another sheet of fishy stickers (the Alaskan salmon ads...). The most effective ad campaign ever I am convinced because the dang ad is always being waved in my face. AB was a grump and kept talking about heading back to bed, as he does every morning I *get* to sleep in. One morning out of 7 to sleep in and it is apparently too much to ask to get up and have a smiling family waiting. I have come to a very real conclusion about all of this. I don't mind getting up and spending time with Leif, I get too little time with him each week as is. I do like sleeping in, but 2 hours of sleep is NOT worth dealing with a grumpy ass husband who would rather just stew about being awake with his son and who heads back to bed once I get up. The two hours of sleep is a small price to pay in my life to have a happy Sunday morning with my whole family. So alas, this past Sunday was my last day of sleeping in until Leif decides that he will sleep in.

Ok, getting off my whiney horse now. We went to Bed Bath and Beyond where I bought a new pillow. I know, I know I swore that Target $2.99 pillows were the way to go. I was wrong. Both of the pillows I had, while comfy for a month or so soon exhibited their weaknesses... big old divets. I gave up and plunked down $40 each for two pillows for AB and I. (And had a heavenly nights sleep last night.)

I made sushi last night, spicy tuna and California rolls. Yum. Then we started watching The Island with Ewan MacGregor. Yum. Oh and Scarlett Johannson too. (Love her, especially since she dissed Tom Cruise.) It was a rather good movie, very Brave New World-ish. We still have to finish it.

Anyways, that was my weekend. Now here I go to make my husband an appointment for a massage on Wednesday in hopes that will pull him out of "the end of the month sucks at work" phase.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

An 18 month old

I just got through rocking my baby to sleep. I just got through rocking my baby to sleep.

There, I admit it. I feel the disapproving scorn through the monitor. I know all too well that letting my baby fall asleep in my arms is not the way to teach him to go to sleep on his own and sleep through the night. He was having a rough day. The damn cuspids coming in that appear to be more grueling than the first set of molars. I am a die hard Sleep Lady Shuffler. I have touted her recommendations and stuck to it for 6 months now for the most part with great success.

Then there are days like tonight. When the pillow is thrown onto the floor, his blanket in a heep on the floor (don't pick them up says The Sleep Lady). And Leif stands there crying and looking at me with tears streaming down his face. The voice of The Sleep Lady in my head (not that I have ever spoken to her, yet I hear the voice).

Then the other voice pipes up. The one that tells me that before I know it, my baby will be a teenager. One that has no problem putting himself to sleep, sleeping through the night AND sleeping past 5:40am. And I will look at him and wonder why I didn't rock him to sleep more often when I had the chance.

I took that chance tonight. The chance that I won't be ruining him for falling asleep for life. That we will survive if we don't get back to the Shuffle till after these damn cuspids cut through. Because Leif needed it, I needed it. I needed to see his eyes flutter, feel his arms reaching around my side as he nuzzled his head in closer. Happy 18 months Leif! And thank you God for this little boy.

Friday, January 27, 2006

How is it Friday?

How can it possibly be Friday? Not only that, but Friday afternoon? Not that I am complaining, but yikes this week flew by.

I am tired, I need a weekend. I have a proposal I should really finish up this afternoon, as well as a few experiments I should get on top of. This is seeming like an either or proposition this afternoon and the proposal will win hands down.

I just got back from lunch with some women in my division. We have a once monthly "girl's lunch". I am the one that organizes this typically with encouragement from others. Some months we have 14 people and some, like today, 4 of us show up when 14 RSVP'd. Being the anal analytical that I am, this in itself makes me not want to organize it anymore. I feel like an idiot when I show up at a restaurant and request a table for 14 and only 3 other people show. I think it is time for me to hand this task off to someone else.

We don't have much planned for this weekend. Leif and I have swimming. AB has to work much of the weekend (damn month end). I would like to get a print we bought in Alaska in to be framed, along with one we need reframed. The dog needs walked, in a bad way. Other than that, not much.

Poor Winny. I remember just a mere 2 years ago saying that nothing would keep me from getting out twice a day with her. Now I get out twice a week. I remember chastizing dog owners whose dogs were destructive but had no idea what to do with them, but would not get them out for walks. Lucky for me, my dog is not destructive, but she SO needs her walks. What has happened to my free time?

Leif is showing no real signs of getting up later than 6:15am, ever. Which means morning walks are out. Evening walks, AB is in class a few nights a week, I have to get dinner on the table and do everything else (pick up the kitchen post dinner, Leif a bath and bed, make Leif's lunch and coffee for the next day). By the time I sit down it is 8:30pm. Sure, on the nights AB is home I could go take her then. Or I could continue to sit on the couch. Poor Winny.

I keep telling myself this situation will improve when it starts getting lighter in the evenings. Already it is only dusky at 5pm and not pitch black for our drive home. The day IS coming. Things will be better then, or so I tell myself. Leif and I can take Winny for a quick walk when we get home and then go cook dinner. Until then... sorry Win girl. And sorry to anyone who I told to go walk your dog not understanding the constraints on your time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Time to go home yet?

I just finished up a fairly large client presentation. I am supposed to go over to the lab now and work, but ugh. Just a few minutes to unwind is all I need.

I have something to look forward to this fall! Last year my mom and I talked about what fun it would be to go to the Gourmet Institute's Food and Wine gathering in New York City. Her friend and her friend's daughter went in 2004 and had a fantastic time. Met lots of celebrity chefs, learned a ton and ate good food. She mentioned to my mom last year how much fun it would be for the four of us to go in 2006. Sure enough, she has brought it up again and is looking into getting tickets! Wohoo! It will be an expensive trip, but travelling with mom has its perks in that regard!

I called AB and asked him how he would feel about his wife running off to New York City for a week with her mom to eat good food, drink wine and leave him with Leif? Once he confirmed I actually said I would leave he and Leif (since I have no plans on hauling a 2 year old to NYC and he doesn't have to spend a week on vacation with his MIL, even though they do get along) it was fine with him! So we will see if this just remains a pipe dream, or actually becomes reality in the next few months.

So speaking of things to look forward to... I think we are going to plan to go to Seattle for a long weekend in mid-March for our anniversary. I am dying to get Leif to the aquarium because of his huge fish fascination. Of course, one of my main reasons for ever going to Seattle is for the food and shopping. Both these activities become a little more difficult with a toddler in tow. I am, for now, planning on giving up all hopes of even walking into a store or eating anywhere that doesn't offer a kid's menu. Ah the perils of growing up and having a family!

Already on the books is a trip to Reno in June. Whether or not this is vacation or work will be up to my manager basically. I am chairing a section of a conference and will likely be presenting some research there. Chairing a section of a conference is turning out to be more work than initially anticipated. Getting well known and respected scientists in the field to come and give a talk for the prestige of listing "invited talk" on their CV's and the cost of their $85 registration fee is proving to be a little more difficult than initially anticipated. Now if *I* were offered an "invited talk", I would be all over it. Hence, the difference between someone 4 years out of grad school and 20 years out. (FTR, I was offered an "invited talk" at this conference, in my own mind, it doesn't *really* count since they knew I was already going to be there, but yay me anyways!)

This trip to Reno is much anticipated because we are already starting to pare down our list of required things to do. I am going to push for a few days in Reno for the conference. A few days at Tahoe along with having Leif baptized at the church we were married. Amador county wineries and Mammoth Lakes are a must. On the list also is Yosemite and San Fran, Napa and Sonoma - this is where AB asks "exactly how long are we going for?" I really love Reno and miss it. *sigh*

Also on the travel list it appears is a trip to the family place on the coast to meet my FIL and possibly my BIL and his wife for the 4th of July weekend. AB will once again start planning his fireworks display here soon I am sure. I have a few other things I would like to do... Canadian Rockies, Yellowstone, Victoria BC, San Juan Islands, Crater Lake, Portland...

Back to reality.

A frightening addiction...

That would be to daytrading. Exactly 1 hour and 42 minutes until the market closes and I can quit checking my tickers for the day.

My favorite semiconductor company is closing currently at an all time high. And AB still asks me why when I bought the stock last summer did I not foresee it coming (it was all wishful thinking back then) that it would be closing 40% higher a mere 6 months later and put more money into it.

Oh then there is my 401K investments... while I am checking the semiconductor company, I *might* as well check those.

I can see how one can become obsessed.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Another weekend gone

*Poof* Just like that, gone.

I am tired today. Leif was up at 4:30am and what is unusual about this is that he would not go back to sleep. He was flat out convinced this was the time we get up. At about 5:30 or so I gave up, pulled him out of the crib and layed on the floor with him (bad move I know, but I was tired)... at this point Leif started on a game of name and touch (i.e., poke hard) mommy's body parts. "Eye" and he touches my eye, "nose"and he touches my nose, yes, then I know what is coming next... NOSTRIL. No, he doesn't say nostril, but it is the natural progression in Leif world from nose. Ack, as his finger extends as far up as possible.

Let's go watch a movie I tell him and get gleeful responses of "moo-wee"! Baby Einstein buys me a few minutes of closed eye time until I hear *crash*! Eyes pop open and Leif is toppling the barstools in the dining room, no longer enamored with Baby Neptune. Grumble, grumble...

Finally 6:30 arrives and I mercilessly swung the door open to the Master bedroom where AB is/was snoozing away. Minutes later I am in the shower. I can still hear Leif screaming his head off outside the Master bedroom door, but *I* am in the shower.

He has had a real mommy attachment thing going on. He needs to be either on my lap or in my arms most all of the time and while I love all the attention, it is getting tiring being the only one who can console him. I know, it is a phase. Next week, it will be all about daddy.


Friday I succeeded in getting my haircut. I have a new stylist. I successfully escaped the owner's grasp again. She seems to fire or let go a lot of the stylists I use, or at least two so far. Until she hires a new stylist she always takes me over as her client. Problem is, I don't care for her haircutting style. No matter what, I end up with the same cut everytime. I couldn't make my appointment Thursday night, so I rescheduled. Darn the receptionist tells me, Jenny isn't available Friday evening, but do you want to come in next week? NO! I tell her, I will take whoever is available.

I got a very, very young girl. Graduated from high school a mere 1.5 years ago. She also loved high school, would LOVE to go back. People like that bug me... I just can't believe that anyone really loved high school. It is supposed to be a miserable time for everyone. Immediately my feelings towards her start clouding. But when she tells me why she liked high school (because she was homeschooled up to that point), I cut her some slack. I got a great haircut and once again have wormed myself away from Jenny. If she fires this new girl I am going to decide I am just bad luck and find another salon.


Saturday morning Leif had fun at swimming lessons. He still *hates* floating on his back, but we just ignore the teacher during that part. A quick trip to a used kid's clothing store after that. I was in search of jeans for Leif, but no luck. Instead I found a flannel in the same fabric as one I have (coincidentally also from Gap - circa 1994 or so) and a cute sweater in 3T I couldn't pass up for next year. Saturday afternoon a "quick trip" to Costco to get TP, paper towels, olive oil and parmesan. $326 later...


Sunday we walked with our friends and their dogs. I found out the "mountain" I thought we hiked last weekend was not actually THE mountain. No, it was a hill. So no more touting the "I did The Mountain in 20 minutes up"... ha ha ha. Winny chased 3-4 jackrabbits with her doggy buddies. Her one on one with a jackrabbit = no chance in hell. Her and her two buddies against one jackrabbit = maybe we should watch them a little closer...

My Broncos bit the dust in their bid for the Superbowl. I am positive it was because their good luck charm (Leif in his Broncos outfit) was sleeping and woke up with 3:34 left when it was too late to do any good. AB's team, otoh, is making their first Superbowl appearance ever. This morning I gave in and ordered Leif a Seahawks outfit. He will be dressed in blue and green from head to toe in two weeks.


Leif remains enthused about his shishies. The two remaining fish are doing well. Don't ask...

This weekend Leif had an epiphany though that I thought I would write about. Normally he brings a book and we sit down and read it, 14 times or so. After three times through The Belly Button book (which btw is a great book - Leif dances when we sing their favorite song and at the end he says "no no" repeatedly that we don't sing the song in winter time), I told him that he could go get another book. Leif looked at me like I was joking. No seriously, I tell him, go pick out another book! Suddenly a new world has opened up! A world where we can read a book twice and move onto something new! Wohoo!

This lasted for about 40 minutes. We would read a book, maybe twice, then he would go get a new one. And he is picky. He doesn't just grab a random book. No, he examines the spines to find the most appealing book. I may regret teaching him to pull out a few books to look at the covers and see if he would like it or not. But oh well! No more reading the same book for hours on end!

The other new development this weekend is that Leif seemed to be more adept at playing by himself in our presence. This was especially helpful while the football game was on and Leif colored while daddy watched the game and worked. I was able to clean out my closet!

I did copious amounts of laundry this weekend. Frightening amounts really. What this said was that everything left in my closet was things that I hadn't worn in a minimum of two weeks. I took this opportunity to pull each of those things out and honestly look at it and ask if I will EVER wear it? Many received the "umm no". Others got the "I can wish..." Those size 8 pants were so darned cute... in 1996. I got over it. IF I should ever wear a size 8 again I will buy new cute clothes, I will deserve it. Until then, bye bye tapered leg pants, old sweatshirts and ancient skirts.

Next weekend, the drawers. I ordered NEW pajamas, 3 pairs! My sleeping t-shirts are so holey it is embarrassing and no one even sees me in them. When they arrive, my dresser drawers are getting the once over and every single holey shirt is going into the rag bag.

Friday, January 20, 2006

This explains a lot...


It is so hard to be productive on Fridays. I got in this morning and after spending $150 on Pottery Barn clearance items I ran to a meeting for 30 minutes. The rest of my day is thankfully open. I have e-mailed my mentor, who I saw running through the halls, and asked for 5-10 minutes of his time while he is here and not in DC. I have a lunch scheduled with a former student of mine who is home visiting family at 11:45. Other than that, I have a blissfully open day!

I am excited to see my former student. She worked with me for two summers while she was an undergrad on that one really awful project I was hired onto. Then she graduated a year and a half ago and applied to and is attending a top tier school studying biostatistics. I thoroughly enjoyed writing letters of recommendation for her, not only because she is an exceptionally hard worker and deserves this prestige associated with attending a top tier school. But I also enjoyed simply writing a letter to a top tier school knowing that oftentimes letters of recommendation make or break a student. Which meant someone, at a top tier school, was actually paying attention to what I was saying!

I graduated from a small, state school, the University of Nevada at Reno. Which has the number one grad program for chemistry for schools of comparable size. But I would still classify it probably as a third tier program. Very often people's last resort, or the one that students apply to who really intend on spending the winters skiing or snowboarding at Tahoe as opposed to actually doing research. I often felt as though my research and contributions to the field were minimized because of the school I attended. But truth be told, I chose to go there, I had other options. I loved my time there, I had a great grad school experience and happened into a great position now. No regrets on my part. But some of that prestige is still lingering in my mind, a kind of "what if" type of thing along with a desire to prove myself as capable despite the fact my grad experience may be viewed by some as sub-par.

Ok, rambling or what.

AB has to be home on time tonight from work because I have a haircut appointment. I know it is the start of his busy time at work and so this is kind of a hassle. But darn it, he hasn't been home before 7pm since Monday.

Tomorrow Leif has swimming (and AB will work). I hope Leif has as good of a time this week as he did last week. Afterwards V and I are going to a used kid's clothing store. Leif is out of his two generously sized 12 month size pants and needs more pants. Yet, I also hate to, at this point, buy him pants. Before we know it, it will be spring and pants will be put away.

Sunday we have a dog walking date with some friends and their 14 month old son. Aside from that, we don't have many plans. The Christmas gear needs to go in the attic. Although knowing that I just ordered clearance Christmas goods from Pottery Barn just might waylay that. I know AB would be horribly disappointed if I didn't push him into the attic to heist goods up for storage. He was rolling his eyes when I mentioned it the other day.

So major score at Pottery Barn online sale today that I am so excited about. I really, really wanted this. It would look so good with the new buffet/hutch. For a room that yes, I don't even have a dining room table for yet. So OK, moving on. I bought these instead. Two of them for our library. I have been looking for more shelving for the library for some time now. But everything I like that I find, AB says, "The price is outrageous, I can build that for 1/4 the cost." End of story. And well, usually he is right. He *could* build it for 1/4 the cost, BUT he is too busy. So instead our library just stays cluttered with too many books and pictures and stuff, and we continue to complain about it. But not for long! Even AB agreed that there is no way he could make them for $49 each AND it be worth his time. Next thing I need for the library will be a nice big comfy chaisse, chair and ottoman or loveseat. Then that room just needs to be painted and will be done for the most part. (Of course except for my desire to relocate the computer to that room with a new computer desk so that as Leif gets older he can play on the computer within view.)

Well I am off to meet my student. Have a terrific weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I have loads of things to do, samples to be dropped off at the other site, a report to finish and go work in the lab with a coworker at my convenience. Yet none of it sounds appealing right now. So Hi!

My shins are sore today, abs too. Yesterday I got up and took Winny for a run at 6am. I was walking out the door and Leif started wimpering. AB looked at me and told me to go, he would get up with Leif. Wow and yay!

I actually had a really good run for not having run in a few months and only sporadically the last umpteen months. I was thrilled with myself and Winny loved it. However, shins are sore today! I got back and did situps on the big ball, 40 of them. I used to do 120. Hello flabby abs.


I got an e-mail today from a product line manager. I had approached her, a different one than my normal one, with an idea. She liked it, a lot. It is a fairly novel approach to a complex materials problem. One that, to my knowledge, has not been attempted. I got a coworker to agree to work with me on this... the whole "I would be honored to" one. And then the idea has sat and stewed. I heard nothing from the PLM. My mentor told me to let it rest for a little while, that this PLM has a 3 year old and is busy, but she always follows up. Plus, this call for proposals does not have a close date. Just submit at your convenience at least 6 months before you want to start the work.

This is a new client that no one I know has dealt with before. And the proposal process is a serious p.i.t.a. 5 copies with 8 attachments, etc. It will take some serious time. Time (and money for my time) that I don't have right now.

Anyways, so the e-mail arrived in my box. She gave me money for one week of my time to write and get this proposal out! It sort of made my stomach ache.


Speaking of PLMs... I met with my regular one last week. I really, really like him. I took him a new idea and he was excited about it. Told me to write up the white paper and submit it. He said it would be a perfect "exploratory" project, BUT the client killed the exploratories this year. So what he expected they will do is simply give me a plus up on my funded project/task and add it as a seperate task.

This bums me out. Yeah, it is funds and would look good on my fact sheet. But the fact that the client tasked my project under a larger one is eating at me right now because I am subject to the PIs recommendations and desires on the task. He is "giving" me a task to manage (how generous). Whoopee. Any thoughts to the fact that I essentially gave you $1.8 million for the next 4 years that your project didn't have before?

Team building is a real big keyword here. We should all build teams, find others strengths, etc. My desire to do this when I continue to have my original ideas funded and pulled away from me and given to someone else to manage because I am "young" is really killing me. My "youthfulness" is routinely cited by the old boys funding network (and some part of me wonders if the old boys network has also noted the fact that I am a woman). The first time this happened was when I was on maternity leave and got a small proposal funded. My team lead told me it was just the roll of the die, I was on maternity leave and the project needed a PI who was there. (apparently interim PI was not considered.) The new PI never took me up on my offer to work on the project and I was too ticked to push it.

Now I see my big project being pulled away. I am not going to let it and I will do my best to push forward on this project and stay involved. But my being just a source of ideas without any real responsibility is starting to irritate. There is a major part of me that is considering not proposing my idea that my PLM loved. Trying to find a different client, something. I just don't know what.

And so goes the politics of science.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Red Shirt

I own one.

I bought one on clearance online last week, it arrived and I wore it today. This is my first ever red shirt. As a redhead, I have always had a fear of wearing red, orange and yellow. This is probably brought on more by always being told as a kid that if I wore red, my hair would look orange (MAJOR fear), I couldn't wear orange because my hair would look funky and yellow, just isn't my color. I really am working to not pigeonhole Leif like that either. Not that a little boy would be sensitive to what color looks best on him, but you never know. I probably overcompensate in that area because if you look in his drawers you would find lots and lots of orange (and blue, and green). Ok, you would just find lots of clothes.

This Christmas I noticed that a lot of my friends sported red tops and how nice they look. I wanted something festive too. (16 year old self kicking and screaming inside) I actually am very aware of what colors compliment me and which don't (yellow). But darn it, I liked the red shirt and well it was on clearance. Need I say more. I have to admit that today I actually feel like I stand out like a sore thumb though. Not because it might make my hair look orange, but because red is very eyecatching. I feel so bright! My other clothing options are really quite monochromatic.


I got a phone call during teleconference today. One of those where you check to see who it is from, see daycare listed and get up and excuse yourself. Turns out the biting is still going on. Today, the face. He was bitten on.the.face.

I just don't know what to do. His teachers assured me that they are watching him extra closely, but invariably they turn their backs and he gets bitten. I am tired of this. But I also know enough to know that the only real answer is to keep him home. And I really do love his daycare now and my staying home with him just isn't an option. Neither is it an option for AB.

Last night I tried talking to Leif about it. One of his teachers last night commented that he is nearing conversation stage. She can ask him non yes or no questions and he will think and try to answer. (If you ask a yes/no question, the answer is always no... my child is a typical toddler.) For example, "Leif who is picking you up tonight?" Leif stops and thinks and replies with a nod of the head, "mama". (Secret joy that he CAN say and use mama in the proper context!)

So I asked him, using words and the few signs I know, if his arm hurt where the skin was broken. He replied touching the spot, "owee". Being the curious mom, I asked him who gave him the owee? The answer was "sa". If that is what he calls the child it narrows it down to about 1/3 of the class... Soren, Sebastian, Teresa, or Tessa sprang to mind. But I am probably reading too much into the answer. Either way this biting is making me a little ill right now. I want his regular teacher back, now.

Oh and Leif cracks me up when I go pick him up now. He sees me, no "hi mama" or kiss hello. Nope, he sees me and makes a full on break for his locker to get his coat, gloves and hat on. I hope he is still enjoying school...


AB had class last night. He ran into his former boss, the one that made his life miserable for nearly 2 years. He actually stopped and they talked civily. AB wasn't sure he would ever be able to look the guy in the face without popping him one should they ever meet. Sure enough he has enrolled in the same program as AB, 2 years behind him and AB will see him every Tuesday and Thursday likely. The former boss had a baby girl 10 days ago, their first.

What is it about someone telling you they just had their first child and all of a sudden all feelings of animosity soften. All of a sudden, my questions like "so what did the jackass have to say about..." turn to "a boy or girl? Name? How did Lori's labor go?" I suppose membership into the club brings with it a free pass to start new with people wronged. AB says it isn't completely water under the bridge now, but I saw him softening.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Kids are truly amazing

Really, they are. I never thought parenthood could be so much fun. Sure there are days like ones back last week with The willful child. Then there are all the other ones. (Hoping the "other ones" continue to outnumber the ones where I scream.)

There seems to be a biting problem in Leif's class. So much so, that I received a call from daycare yesterday about it. Thankfully, it isn't Leif doing the biting, although I am starting to wish he would. Nope, he is on the receiving end and his arms look like hell for it. Three bites in two days. One that broke the skin. All three from different children.

His substitute teacher (his teacher is in India - I love her and miss her), told me yesterday on the phone that she thinks it is due to his freakishly strong grip. AB ate that comment up. He prides himself on his grip. When he shakes someone's hand I can expect a full report on whether or not the person is a wuss. *rolling eyes* Anyways, when another child comes to take Leif's "work" away from him, they can't just walk up and take it like with other kids. Nope, Leif hangs on for dear life and the other children resort to biting him to force him to release his freakishly strong grip. All of this happens in milliseconds before the teacher gets over to straighten out the fact that "this is Leif's work, when he is done with this work you can use it".

Seeing his bruised and battered arms yesterday just broke my heart. He tolerates it all quite well. Each teacher in the room has talked to me about it. So I do feel as though they are keeping an eye out for the triggers.

On another topic one of Leif's teachers last night commented to me how well Leif is doing with his manners. She said that just recently whenever a teacher gives him something he ALWAYS says "thank you" and gave me a verbal pat on the back for reinforcing this at home. I stood there shell shocked for a minute after she tells me this. We always say "thank you" to Leif and encourage him to say it, but I have never heard him say it. Never. Well good to know that it has been sinking in anyways!

We bought three goldfish last night. Leif is completely enamored. He stood and watched them for as long as he could last night. Their names are evidently "Ish", "Shishy" and the big one is "Dada". (Note that there is no "mama"? This needs to change.) This does jive, however, with the card he gave AB for his birthday this weekend, it has a big dog and a puppy on the front and Leif repeated to AB that the little dog was "da" (dog) and says "woof" and the big dog is "dada". So big things in relation to other similar beings are dada's.

This morning when I got Leif out of his crib I asked him, like I always do, "how are you doing this morning?" This morning he looked at me and said, "happy"! What could be better than knowing your child is happy? Not much.

The leaving for school in the morning process is now longer thanks to the ish. Leif had to say "bye bye shishies" to the fish about 8 times. Everytime I would coax him to walk off he would pull away and say "no no" and go back to the shishies. Finally I convinced him to go say "bye bye" to Winny. Which always is a process in itself, "bye bye", Leif looks at me and says "teet?" (treat). I hand Leif a dog treat, he gives it to Winny. We watch Winny "eat teet" and then "bye bye" again. He will again request a "teet", to which I say no and insist he say "bye bye". He does and then kisses her on the mouth. If she happens to turn her head or not lick back, he persists in getting a good, full on wet slobbery kiss from his dog. Awww. (Or ick depending on your perspective.)

This weekend was good. Leif was happy, a little mellow as he recovered from his cold. He loved playing on the slides at the park this weekend. Leif loves slides and after last weekend where there was a slide he could do all by himself or "no no by self", it was all we could do to convince him we needed to help. He wanted to go down the tall slides so badly, and not only that, but wanted to go down them standing up. Grey hairs? Popping up. We took him home and changed his pants, the slides were sopping wet from all the rain, but that didn't slow him down. Both days he had terrific naps. All was good and happy!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sap or Sucker? You decide.

I am one or the other, not sure which.

I grew up in a household of pets. All shapes, sizes, warm blooded, cold blooded, etc. We had dogs (a dachsund named Inga - with two sets of puppies, a German Shepherd named Brandy, and an obnoxious cocker named Twix are the ones since my memory), cats (Suzy - with one set of kittens, Jocko, Ally - another set of kittens, and Calley), a hamster named Chrissy - from Three's Company, a gerbil whose name evades me (it was evil), a rat named Morrison, hermit crabs, a guinea pig named Jezebel and many fish (guppies named Sandy and John - from Grease and their many, many progeny, black Mollys and neons, and my betta bowl). There were equally as many animals at my dad's house post-divorce. Lhasa Apsos named Sam and Gene, cats named Popcorn and Sparky that moved to a "farm", my dad's rotty, a number of Monitor lizards (that my stepmom really thought was only one Monitor lizard for a long time due to mishaps no one would admit to - topic for later)...

Ok, you get the idea. I grew up with pets of all types. Having only one dog for the last nearly two years after Calley's passing has been good for me. But the time has come to add to our family. I believe that barring allergies, that it is good for kids to grow up with animals. It teaches responsibility and compassion (of which towards animals I have an overabundance AB believes).

I decided after Leif's obsession with fish, that he should have a fish bowl with a goldfish on his dresser. AB thought this idea was less than good and asked me a few times about Leif's obsessive nature and his growing climbing ability and will we be picking up rocks and a flopping fish off of the carpet. He gave in reminding me he would have nothing to do with this ish and tagged along to Petsmart for the humor of it all.

I picked up a cute little one gallon "tank" with a filter and some food, some rock for the bottom and some plants. Then I went to the counter and asked for two goldfish please.

The pet care manager looks in my cart and sighs. "You aren't planning to put them in *that* are you?" And goes on to tell us that for every inch of adult fish you need one gallon of water, he talks about ammonia levels (yes I am a chemist, but I blank out leaving the water chemistry discussions to AB).

He tells us that before long, in that small tank we will be explaining why Mr. Goldfish is floating and must visit the toilet. Well the explaining part isn't what got me, Leif is 18 months and has no concept of death and if the fish disappeared one night and in a few days another one appeared, I doubt he would notice.

What killed me though is pet responsibility. I believe in my heart that if you bring an animal into your home that you are bound to providing, within reason, the best care for that animal. Fish, dog, lizard, whatever. It is a lifetime commitment. The thought of a poor helpless fish swimming in ammonia... *gulp*.

Long story shorter? We walked out of Petsmart with a 10 gallon aquarium setup and will go back tonight for our two goldfish.

Broncs versus Hawks?

We are one step closer to the Superbowl of dreams. The rivalry of the household, Denver Broncos versus Seattle Seahawks! Will it happen?

I grew up a Denver fan, how could you not living just 50 miles north of Denver? AB grew up a Seahawks fan because evidently if you have no team near you, you adopt the closest one.

The decision as to what Leif will wear on that day is still up for debate. We can either change his clothes every quarter... yeah right. OR he will be sporting a Broncos top, Seahawks pants and hat.

(Now to secretly work on his "Go Broncos" verse!)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday night

(Scroll down for the meme tag to the next post.)

Which means sci-fi Friday in our house. AB is recording sci-fi on Tivo (still loving that) and watching some movie he rented. And well, here I am.

This weekend is looking frighteningly busy. I get tired just looking at the list. It started with a quick visit to K&V's house for a webcam op with an online friend of mine. I had a great time seeing and chatting with Amy while V worked at solving her webcam problems. Amy and I met on a Delphi wedding board about 6.5 years ago and survived, with a few others, boards that were shut down, boards that spontaneously combusted, etc. In this online community there are about 20 or so of us who over the years have become quite close. We have seen marriages, kids born, moves, etc. We all talk nearly daily. The community recently became private because it just isn't fair to a new person to bring them in. It is difficult to fall into a groove with a close knit group of people. It is also difficult to explain these friendships, I call them all good friends, yet have only met maybe a third (at best) the women in person.

Ramble, ramble, ramble. So AB got Leif down to sleep, we ordered pizza and sci-fi is on. Leif and I have swimming lessons tomorrow which for some reason I cannot keep at the forefront of my memory. Tomorrow, 9:15am, we need to be in the car on our way. After that it is a trip to the grocery store for food for our dinner party. We are having 5 people over tomorrow night for crab cakes and clam chowder. (And a few other things that are yet to be confirmed.) In order to really be prepared for this, the food may be only halfway done, but the Christmas tree must.come.down. I am particularly anal about getting stuff packed up. AB? Not so much and likes to torment me with talk of "wouldn't it be a lot easier just to leave stuff up until next year". Watch me twitch.

Sunday is AB's birthday. I am a little irked because one of his gifts has not arrived. To top it off it has been sitting in town since yesterday morning according to the tracking. Gurr... That's ok I guess, his other three gifts are here and ready to be wrapped. AB will get a birthday massage (that he is already talking about so as I don't forget I suppose). I really need to run out with Leif and get him new shoes, the kid is a weed. And while out and about getting an ish is imperative. I had to drag him crying from the ish tank at school today. Yes, pick your battles... spending the night in front of the ish at school, not an option. AB has yet to tell me what I shall cook for his birthday dinner (my guess is that he will BBQ steaks, which conveniently takes me off the hook save for side dishes).

So, busy weekend yes? How about yours?

Double Meme Tagged

HG and Sarah both tagged me with the topic "five weird habits I have".

The first player of this game starts with the topic "five weird habits I have" and people who get tagged then write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don't forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says you have been tagged? (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours.

(Reading these you might suddenly realize where Leif's obsessive nature comes from... it is becoming shockingly apparent to me.)

1. I must get out of bed at a "good" time. A "good" time would be one that ends in 8 ideally. If that will really make me late I will deal with one that ends in 4. 5:58 is a good time, 6:28 would be even better because 6+2 = 8. But Leif has seriously put a cramp on this. Leif's idea of a good time to get up does NOT necessarily end in 8.

2. When I get in the car to leave I immediately wonder if there is anything I have left on. This means that I invariably have to go back in the house and check my curling iron. I am paranoid of burning down the house with a curling iron. (Nevermind that it has an auto shut off... that might just fail, you never know.) Yes and sometimes this thought doesn't strike me until I am a few blocks from the house, which means we get to turn around and go check. About 30% of the time it has not in fact been turned off. The exception to turning around is when AB is driving. He flat out refuses to humor me and let me go check.

3. Books... they need to be the right size and style to be on my bookshelf. I am not a fan of mass market books because they look and feel less refined for some reason. I prefer the thick paper paperbacks. I know, mass markets are cheaper, save some money! I will buy them if I really need to read a book and it is not available otherwise that I can fine. (For example, A Prayer for Owen Meany - great book btw.)

(This is getting hard.)
4. I am strangely into etiquette. It is there for a reason, to make guests feel comfortable. I can get past it, but my husband will get to hear all about it first.

5. I suck at talking on the phone. I can be, unintentionally really, rude on the phone. Honestly, I don't like the phone and I am not a sit and talk on the phone type of person. Guess I got it all out of my system when I was 13 and it was permanently attached to my head. I have to remind myself that if someone actually wants to talk to me it is a good thing (except for telemarketers, they are bad). I use the phone to convey important info - Leif is sick and we won't be able to play, what should I bring for the dinner party, what time do you want to meet for a Winny walk... Or to once a week talk to my mom and grandma.

This aversion is a fairly new development really, started when I was pregnant and I would get woken up from very precious sleep in the middle of the night by panicked phone calls that would send my husband over the edge. It was then that I seriously considered getting rid of the phone for good. (I was an irrational, hormonal, pregnant woman, what can I say.) That evolved into a hatred and deep seated fear of the phone simply ringing. We have worked past that and now we are onto the issue that it is just really, really hard to sit and talk on the phone with a toddler. Therefore in my "keeping an eye on my son" efforts while on the phone I sometimes forget to actually listen to the person (which is rude), one might get cut off if Leif is particularly interested in the phone (accidentally of course and not really my fault), or if he is sleeping than I am usually running around like a madwoman trying to get things done, I may forget to listen or I may sound harried. (Am I now just making up excuses?)

And don't even GET me started on call waiting. (The rudest invention ever.)

Tag to rockergirrl, Prissy Jane, Chem Mom, What Free Time, and The Mental Packrat.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

One Great Company and One Sucky Company

XM Radio. Love it. I cannot sing praise enough, and well, you wouldn't want to hear me try to sing anyways. I have 8 channels programmed, well 9, but that last one is for my news obsessed husband so that he doesn't mess everything up trying to find the news. Number 9, it's yours AB.

Just in the last 24 hours I was privy to hearing Boomtown Rats (ok, at least 8 years since I last heard them), Joe Jackson (still have not replaced the cd that was stolen out of my car), Social Distortion (another cd that wasn't replaced after the break-in) English Beat... Oh yeah, I was complaining about The 80's previously? It's that no radio station here plays "the right" 80's. I am digging on the new music too, it isn't all reminiscing. The newest Soul Coughing sounded awfully good.


Sallie Mae topped my shit list yesterday. Somehow I got to thinking about the fact that I never received my new coupon payment book from them back in November. Then it was "oh shit, that means I haven't PAID my student loan since the end of October!" I panicked and went to their website where I finally retrieved my login and password that I created 3 years ago when I consolidated my loans. The e-mail they had for me was my old, never checked e-mail from 3 years ago. Turns out that IF they have an e-mail address on file for you, then you would no longer receive coupon books and it would be online notification.

Great, as long as that e-mail address is still in use. I never check that e-mail account. Gurrr... I still cannot believe that I had two outstanding payments (coincidentally when my coupon book finished) and no one even called or mailed something to my house to see what was going on. Oh I am sure they contacted the credit agencies though. Gurrr... goodbye excellent credit rating.

The Obsessed Child

Not quite so willful when he is sick with a cold! In fact, he is a cuddler. Poor guy. Last night and this morning he just wanted to snuggle on the couch. Both times he cried when I had to get up. This morning he cried and cried when I left him at daycare. I hate that.

Leif does have a new obsession though. Ish. (Or for those of you who don't speak Leif, that would be fish.) Everyday when we leave daycare he takes me to the older kids room and shows me the ish. Baby Neptune has returned to the number one position in the movie ranking position for two reasons, there are ish and then the quacking duck song towards the end.

This morning on the Today show they had a piece on the dolphins that were displaced due to Katrina and were now in the Bahamas. Leif was so excited about the ish on TV. Of course, AB has to correct him that "no those aren't fish, they are mammals". *sigh* Just give it to him, he identified an animal in the water that looks an amazing amount like a fish.

Oh and those Alaskan Salmon ads in the food magazines? Have you seen those? The ones that are a page of salmon stickers? Also a favorite in our house right now. It is hi-larious to stick the ish stickers on Leif's hands/clothes/face or Mommy and Daddy's hands/clothes/face.

So ish are the thing in our house right now. I am pretty seriously thinking about taking Leif to Petsmart this weekend and getting him a goldfish or betta in a bowl to put on his dresser in his bedroom.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Monday already

Oh how sad, to have a weekend that is only 2 days long. Blah.

We had a nice weekend. Saturday was swimming with Leif. AB went in the pool with him and Leif was NOT happy about that swimming at all. He showed his dissatisfaction in his face too, big sad frowns. AB eased him into the class and they had a somewhat okay experience. C had a blast and her smiles indicated it. After leaving AB told me how much he disliked the teacher. I don't know that he had been in the pool with her before, but he was raging when we left. Evidently she thought AB should push Leif to be on his back when he clearly didn't want to be on his back. Yes, let's just traumatize the child even more. He was particularly irritated that she was so into getting the baby used to placement of their bodies in the water... hello, let's just get them used to the water to start.

Saturday night we went out to eat at a nice local restaurant while the neighbor girl babysat Leif. Leif survived and so did we. My initial experience with the babysitter was not a fluke. Everything (Leif's dishes, the high chair mess, her dishes, her pop cans) was left out and untouched. This bugs me. I know she isn't hired to clean, but simply picking up after oneself at least would be nice. It still isn't a deal breaker, I do like her and she likes Leif. I will survive.

Sunday was my birthday. AB let me sleep in, then he made swedies and we took Leif and Winny to the river and then to the playground of dreams. Leif LOVED the tot lot and the fact that he could go up the slide steps and down by himself, about 32 times. I, otoh, didn't appreciate this new found independence nearly as much as Leif did. My baby is growing up. :-(

Leif had a good nap on Sunday. I worked on finishing my book club book (one more day to finish). Then AB cooked a rotisserie chicken. Our weird child really, really does not like potatoes. I cannot figure this one out, even tater tots. Mashed potatoes and gravy elicited a major "this is nasty" response. After dinner Leif (who now has the hang of presents) helped me open my gift...

XM radio!! Wahhoo! I am really, really excited about this. In fact, I spent about 30 minutes last night installing it in my car while Desperate Housewives was on pause (love Tivo). The 30 minutes of installation was really in realizing I was missing a vital mounting piece and then locating the mounting piece (placed in the glove box of all places). It was super easy to install otherwise.

I am just so stoked on this. I have always been a big music fan. AB is a TV guy, I am a music girl. One thing that absolutely KILLED me in moving here was the lack of radio stations. I remember driving to work after we just moved here in April 2002 and hearing a "new" artist, Jack Johnson. I had owned that particular cd for a year at that point. New my ass. In order to stay somewhat up on new music I resorted to online streaming of kfog at work while working at my desk.

There is a serious radio problem in this area. Maybe it is a consequence of being fairly rural, I don't know what it is, but why do radio trends move like molasses when every other technology moves at light speed? Seriously, I have heard "Pour Some Sugar on Me" 100 more times in the last 3.5 years than I did when I was in 9th grade and it was popular. And there is just no reason Back in Black should be treated like the gospel, really no reason at all. And popular stations are STILL running "80's Lunch Hour" or "The 80's Drive Home". Can we say passe? Ok, just plain OLD.

I used to love "To Rye Ay" and "Melt With You", Billy Squier, Flock of Seagulls and *gasp* Loverboy. I still like Prince on occasion (yes, I will admit to it). But not.all.the.freakin.time. New music... it is out there, but it might take effort for a radio station to find. You know, they may have to deviate from soda pop and 80's crud. Oh and when exactly did U2 become "classic rock"? (Oh yeah... I just turned 34... *sob*.)

No longer will I be forced to live with the local radio stations. May I never again hear "Pour Some Sugar on Me". See you later crappy morning shows that *think* they are oh so funny, and deejay dorks who talk fast in an attempt to pretend they are the coolest rockers around (whose wife is an anchor woman on the bad TV news channel with likely the same mullet she had in 1988). I opted not for just the pay per month, no I prepaid for years of XM radio this morning all without having experienced it in my own vehicle so far. It has GOT to be better than what is out here (and bonus - commercial free)!

THANKS AB for the most wonderful Birthday present!!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Cannot sit still

That would be me this time, not Leif. I just got out of a super boring meeting, reitterating everything I already knew about a proposal call from one of my division's main clients that will be coming out. *I* could have given that presentation more effectively... I left and hurried (or tried to hurry - I rode with others who stood around chatting after the fact) back here so that I could call one of the client managers here. I have the bomb of an idea. It is killing me. I need to bounce it off someone! The setup is amazingly simple and a freakishly easy concept (at least for someone with my grad school training). Yet I am 95% sure that this hasn't been considered in the past, especially given that I am an oddity in this division. Nuclear physicists just don't do surface science and vice versa, except well, me.

So while I am waiting for the client manager to call me back and before my mentor meeting in 30 minutes I will blog. Today is Friday, yay! It is long overdue to get the Christmas decorations down, that is the task for tomorrow. Winny has been ultra-abused this week with a serious lack of walks thanks to Leif's early waking time all week. So we need to get her out for a walk. I also must, must finish the book for my book club meeting on Tuesday (The Sparrow - which I am rather enjoying).

I signed Leif and I up for parent-tot swimming classes for the month of January and I am looking forward to that Saturday morning. With Leif's current love of the water, I think he will really enjoy it and get more out of it than he has in the past. I worry a little about his lack of fear of the water and his desire to never again be contained, but I think we will get through it.

Saturday night AB and I have dinner reservations that I am *so* looking forward to. The neighbor girl is babysitting Leif while AB and I drop $100 or so on a seafood dinner not cooked by us and thus not requiring kitchen clean up. Yippee!

Sunday is my birthday so I will probably cook something. AB will probably get an ice cream cake like he does every year (per my request). I will be 34 on Sunday. How is that even possible? I bought some clothes online the other day with a little of the leftover birthday money my mom sent. Most of which went to purchase the buffet, but I had a little leftover to buy some things on sale. I needed tops badly and found a few.

Enough rambling I suppose. My meeting begins in 15 minutes with my mentor. I think I will bounce my idea off of him and see what he thinks. Have a super weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The willful child

When Leif was about 6 months old his daycare teacher started telling me he would give us a run for our money. She called him her "willful charmer". An evil mix. When I took Leif back to daycare on Tuesday they told me how quiet it was last week, no Leif to remove from the walls. But towards the end of the week they realized how much they missed him, no Leif dancing on the tables. My willful charmer.

I don't see this crazed "I will do this and you can't stop me" look in the other kid's eyes. According to Leif's daycare - and I see this too, traditional disciplinary tactics don't work. You can remove him from the table all you want and tell him "no we don't walk on the tables" and redirect him. But the next thing you know he is TRYING to get your attention while walking on the table. "Hello, I am doing something I shouldn't do, come remove me so I can do it again. It is such a FUN game!"

Plain screaming, as I found out this morning, doesn't work either. I am not a screamer, I am a crier. So why I felt the need to scream at the top of my lungs after 15 minutes of attempts to put him in his carseat so we could go to daycare/work, I have no idea. I screamed. Leif stopped, looked at me and smiled his charming smile and persisted in making body stiff as board while flipping the hips and sliding out of his coat (then sweather and shirt). I physically could not get him in his carseat. Redirection? Yeah, right. This kid has focus.

Everyday is different, there is no predicting his responses. The other day to get the teeth brushed I pinned him beneath me, Hans held down his arms and I pried my finger in his mouth (while he bit down - hard) and scrubbed his teeth, quickly. This morning? I couldn't get the toothbrush out of his hands. This wouldn't be so bad, he can take the dang toothbrush to daycare, but he wouldn't leave the bathroom vanity. Why? Because he had to be lifted up to spit and rinse his toothbrush 32 times. Teeth, very clean. Not something I want to discourage lest we end up with the pinning experience more often, but after 8 minutes of brushing, spitting and rinsing,

Just when you think you have reached your limit, he turns and gives you that smile for a little bit, puckers up his lips for a kiss, wraps his arms around my neck and squeezes, then runs off to the next challenge.

I wouldn't have it any other way. I love him with all my heart, willfulness and charming qualities included. Someday I will be able to effectively communicate and reason with him about why we don't need to brush our teeth for 10 minutes, why we do need to get into the carseat, why we need to get out of the bath, have his diaper changed, change clothes, not throw things at the dog... won't I? He will understand one day, won't he? And I will look back on these days when he was little and have completely forgotten about how he tries me somedays.

Which then raises the question... I can't possibly end up with a second child with the same personality, can I? Memo to self... no sex during October... cannot conceive another Leo.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Proof of it all

Sledding is great fun!

Dog? I didn't hide the dog.

A DRUM! Just what mommy and daddy were hoping I would get. Thanks for helping me Aunt Tara!

Merry Christmas NM and AB!

Getting past New Years

The holidays were nice this year. We went to Alaska, as mentioned previously. The main goal was to see AB's aging grandparents and let them see their great grandson. In this effort, others decided to stay in Alaska that were going to leave and others yet flew to Alaska. So we ended up having a nice family Christmas in Alaska with most of AB's family.

We spent some time in Anchorage, then some time at my MIL's cabin, and then in Anchorage again. My inlaws are now divorced after 30-some years of marraige. Coming from a divorced family I find this less of a challenge logistically than AB's family I believe. To me, splitting time with family is a fact of life. AB's family hasn't broached this yet and in fact, both my MIL and FIL were around the entire time. My FIL even spent the few days at the cabin with us all. It was nice to have everyone in one spot, less trouble for hauling Leif around. But it isn't something that we expect to be maintained in the future and to a certain degree AB and I feel bad to have put the family in this position by making the decision to go to Alaska for the holidays.

All in all we had a nice time. We both enjoy Alaska, AB a little more than me likely. However, part of that is his growing up there. We succeeded for the most part at keeping Leif on a reasonable schedule. Leif succeeded in charming everyone up there and worked especially hard on his aunt Tara - not that he needed to work hard on her, she was pretty receptive. We enjoyed the time with AB's brother and his wife as well, we always enjoy hanging out with them. There was, of course, the requisite drama, but we survived.


I spent about a week off at home with Leif while AB worked after Christmas. I loved the time. Leif and I hung out and picked up the house, got a lot of errands done. I cooked dinner (*shock*). (Those who know me are probably surprised to hear that this is a shocker, I love to cook and am ashamed at how my daily cooking duties have taken a back seat.)

Let's see, Leif has expressed a love for canned (ick) green beans. Twice now he has eaten an entire can by himself. The second time he even tried to drink the "juice". Ick. So there is one vegetable that I do not have to hide.

I bought and received my buffet. It is in the house, loaded up. Will put it in the next picture post. Merry Christmas to us!

Leif's language skills are moving along. He surprises us daily with repeating new words. In addition to the old stand bys he knows baby, bye-bye, cookie (courtesy of my homemade, stellar recipe triple chocolate chip cookies), dog, done, and his favorite right now?? Daddy.

We were home together and he pointed to the fall pictures at the pumpkin patch and repeated "daddy daddy!" I said, "yes, that's daddy. Who is this?" Pointing at myself in the picture. Leif looks at me, is quiet, then points back at AB and again exclaims "daddy daddy!"


Resolution time

I rarely make meaningful resolutions. This year I resolve to make meaningful resolutions.

Resolution 1 - Get out with the dog every morning.
Reality Resolution 1 - Get out with the dog every morning that Leif appears that he will be out like a light until at least 6:30am.

Resolution 2 - Start bleaching my teeth, floss everyday and brush twice a day in preparation for the new bridges.
Reality Resolution 2 - This shouldn't be hard to do, plus, I *have* to do it.

Resolution 3 - Get and stay out of credit card debt, all extra cash each month goes on the cards until they are gone.
Reality Resolution 3 - Come on NM, you guys make good money, WHY are you still carrying credit card debt! Snap into shape, NOW!

Resolution 4 - Pending successful outcome of resolution 3, but a camp trailer.
Reality Resolution 4 - Buy a camp trailer no matter the outcome of resolution 3. (Since when does purchasing something have to be a resolution?)

Resolution 5 - All those little jobs around the house? They aren't going to get done, hire a handyman or contractor to do them.
Reality Resolution 5 - Pending successful outcome of resolution 3, convince AB it is OK to hire a handyman or carpenter to do the little jobs that need to be done.

The curse lives on

Something weird happened back in 1993 when AB and I started dating; our New Years Eves became flops. Ok, not all were “flops”, but they just didn’t yield the same “fun” that we had in the past. In fact, many nights we had more fun on any other night of the week. Do we try too hard? Is it a curse? Will it ever end?

Not only do AB and I suffer the curse, but those who choose to associate with us are subject to the gravitational pull of the curse. Let’s analyze:

New Years Eve 1993: The curse starts. AB and I had dated for a few months. He went to Alaska with his family for Christmas, I was home at my apartment where I rented a couple of movies by myself. Flop #1.

NYE 1994: I had gone to Alaska for Christmas with AB for the first time and come back before New Years. AB was working in Prudhoe Bay and had headed back up to work. I was in Boulder and had rented the movies Schindler’s List and Crooklyn. Bad move. Flop for both of us.

NYE 1995: We were in Alaska. We spent NYE at Simone’s house with some of AB’s friends (John, Brian, and Josh). I didn’t know anyone well and the apartment was crowded. The highlights I remember were seeing Brian’s face when he ate salt and vinegar chips for the first time (he didn’t like them) and all of us eating Jenny’s rum balls. This was not a flop, but not one of the great times we were used to having as 25 year olds.

NYE 1996: Our first year in Reno. We had driven to Colorado for Christmas. I think we wandered around Old Town Fort Collins looking for something to do. We ended up going back to my mom’s house… early. FLOP!

NYE 1997: In Alaska. Ok, this one might classify as the epitome of flop… AB, me, John, his sister Catherine and Brian. We all sit around watching Southpark the.entire.night with a 12 pack of beer. We kept talking about going and doing something… AB’s parents came home and had partied harder than we had.

NYE 1998: I don’t even remember, so it must have been good, not.

NYE 1999: John and his fiancé rockergirrl came up to Reno. AB both overcooked and undercooked the prime rib (charred outside, raw inside). John was sick that night. We sat on the porch watching fireworks huddled under blankets, listening to the neighbor girl yell at the people upstairs for not being quiet, waiting for the world to explode at the stroke of midnight. It didn’t, so we went to bed.

NYE 2000: We went to Colorado Springs to visit Tanya. This is another one of those nights that was in no way a flop. We cooked dinner and ate about 10pm, watched fireworks and then went to bed. But given that we were child-free 28 year olds it definitely was not a party hardy atmosphere. We had a good time and this one is probably the closest we ever came to kicking the curse.

NYE 2001: But we apparently didn’t. The curse was back. I don’t remember what we did this year, but it *had* to have been a flop.

NYE 2002: In Alaska. This is another one of those NYE’s that really wasn’t as awful. But the fact that I had the worst cold/bronchitis/pink eye of my freaking life made it a flop for me. I was so doped up. We were out on a frozen lake in Alaska, with a huge bon fire with Josh and Brian and a couple of their other friends. There was a potato gun and fireworks. Every Alaska Boy’s dream. But for NM? Flop.

NYE 2003: This was going to be the bomb of New Years Eve, despite the fact that I was pregnant and nauseated. We rented a condo in Steamboat, Colorado with AB’s brother and wife who we adore and their friends Tracy and Rick. We had loads of plans, dinner out, games and drinking. It was going to be juice for me, but I was fine with that. No, it wasn’t my being sick that sidelined this trip, it was the flu bug that AB and his brother picked up during the day skiing that knocked them on their asses (and later my SIL). We were a rocking group that night.

NYE 2004: We surrendered. We had a 5 month old who had to nurse every few hours. We played Mexican train dominoes with my mom and stepdad, grandma and uncle. We went to bed early since we flew home at 8am.

NYE 2005: The determination set in. We were not going to let this curse get the better of us. We have good friends here that we like and had been planning our evening for a few months. Dinner, snacks, games, all were in the works. We had it planned out! Leif would go down at their house and we would party it up!

That is until Leif didn’t go down. Refused to go down, wanted nothing to do with sleep… etc., etc. It was getting bad. After lasagna, homemade sushi and before crème brulee (sob) and stuffed mushrooms and games, we packed up and left.

The curse stands.