Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Catching up, taking a breather

It seems as though the past week has been a whirlwind of activity. All good. But it isn't slowing down.

We carved the pumpkins tonight. Then after bath and I got Skadi down I sat down with Leif to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown". I have always been a huge Charlie Brown fan, related well with him for some reason, and was very excited this year that Leif is to the age that he will also enjoy it. I was bummed that it didn't come on though until the night before Halloween. And since we were pushing the bedtime deadline, I didn't even have the luxury of Tivo'ing it to fast forward through commercials. Wow are commercials brutally painful when you haven't watched them for a few years.

Oh and then there was one that was just so highly inappropriate during a kid's show that I am thinking about contacting the TV station. It was about meth recovery and a woman who lost her child and would sit in front of his school at 9pm strung out. Oh but all is better now and she has custody of him. I sat there saying, "what the?" to AB and he yells back from the kitchen, "during a kid's show?" Umm yeah. Leif is also not to keen on commercials. Every time one came on he said, "I want to watch it again!" Referring to the movie, not the commercial.

There have been a whole slew of funny comments the past few days. I asked him if he wanted me to wash his hair tonight since he was floating on his back in the tub and he told me, "no, we don't have time for that tonight".

He has a few favorite songs lately, but unfortunately XM radio is also not like Tivo and I can't just rewind. He is fond of the two Cars songs, "Life is a Highway" and the one by Sheryl Crow. I can hum and mumble most of the songs, but come up with a name? Got me. The one that was nearly Leif's breaking point the other day though was Jack Johnson's "Upside Down". There were tears over not being able to listen to the Curious George song again. Must make a cd. And another new development? My son has fine tuned his hearing and realizing mom really does suck at singing. He now politely requests that I not sing along with the songs.

Oh then there was the funny one that came out of our friend's son and not Leif. We have been suspicious that J is the other child who is not napping at daycare. School has mentioned in passing "there is another child with a napping problem like Leif". The mom mentioned to the dad within earshot of J, "so evidently there is another child that doesn't nap with Leif". And J piped up, "oh that's me!"

They are so honest. I am loving this stage where I can ask Leif, "did you have a time out at school" and he will answer me honestly. If it is yes, he usually follows up with "But but..." or "Because cause..." and he goes on to explain his case. Which is never one-sided at all. Ever.

He has had a chocolate fixation lately. According to the teachers, so has the rest of the class. He got in the car the other day and told me, "mommy, you need to tell Ms. R about chocolate. She doesn't know about it." They made an effort to remedy the situation by giving the kids hot cocoa for snack that day. When I asked Leif about it he said "no, we had lattes".

So tomorrow is Halloween and I think I have Leif thoroughly amped about it. When cutting the pumpkins open the other day Leif told me, "oh mommy, I bet there is a camera inside!" He has been talking about asking Santa for a camera like N's that is "blue and not pink". Because you know Santa might make a mistake and all. Evidently Leif is stuck somewhere between Halloweenland and Christmasland. He hasn't really sorted out the two holidays and I am sure The Great Pumpkin didn't help tonight!

Tomorrow night AB will take Leif trick or treating while I stay home with the Beaner in her ladybug costume and hand out candy. Protecting my giant jack-o-lanterns and all. (Thanks to all our friends who have helped with lifting and moving them. Please help me to reign in my husband who is threatening to sabotage my plants next year!)

Thursday AB's dad and girlfriend arrive. Friday we are taking off and running around with them. They are wine fans, so we have a few wineries on the list, but not too many so as to bore the kids to death. They will stick around for swimming lessons on Saturday morning and then head back over the hill for my FIL's reunion.

Things start to calm down after that and my countdown begins. Countdown to my full week off over Thanksgiving. Every year I save my personal holiday days and revel in an entire week off. I usually leave Leif in daycare for much of it so I can get things done. This year in the name of saving money and to afford me some one on one time with Beaner, she is staying home with me all week. I am starting my list of things I hope to accomplish.

Skadi is nearly on the move and isn't scared of falling on her face in her attempts to crawl. I keep thinking her movement is just around the corner.

AB has succumbed to my Jedi mind powers just the last month or so after working on him for the past year and has said we can get a kitten in December. I nearly had one fall in my lap and all. I am 90% commited to taking one providing I can get a female and they are healthy and not wild things. And the coworker who has them gets over herself and her fear of children and let's me bring Leif over to see them soon. They just opened their eyes.

So my Christmas present is a kitten. Cheap present until you talk about the automatic litter box, a new carrier (because Calley's old carrier won't do), two vet appointments at 8 and 11 weeks, spaying and declawing. AB is reconsidering his reluctant yes after I called the vet and priced this all out. But he knows he really can't recant it now. We have been talking about names with Leif.

Only one name works for him. Sophia. Also the name of my mom's cat. And he knows this. We need a Sophia too. He told me last night we could name it something else but he was calling it Sophia. Sigh. I asked him if there wasn't any other name he liked. He told me "Brown Ghost" is ok.

Double sigh.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Who is that man over there?

For those of you who don't live here, and therefore have not seen AB... he shaved his beard off.

The best we can figure is that he has had it for 12 years. It has been a permanent fixture our 5.5 years here. He never shaved it off while living in Reno. Which takes us back Colorado and college. He thinks he shaved it off while working on the Slope (aka in Prudhoe Bay). He hasn't worked there in 12 years we calculate.

He waited until he had an evening where Leif could watch. We thought it would be less shocking to him to see if come off.

Leif, not so thrilled. Skadi was intrigued - though I think it was the shaving cream on the face that amazed her. Leif reminds AB daily he doesn't have hair on his face anymore. Then tells him to grow it back now.

Don't worry Leif... daddy is already working on that!

He had to shave it for work to get fit tested for a resp mask. The condition of him growing it back is that he has to maintain shaving implements at work. Done.

AB tells me that the biggest problem he has is that his face looks old. The last time he has seen his lower jaw he was much younger. Seeing his face age so substantially in a matter of minutes was disturbing to him.

I still turn around and nearly jump seeing a guy I don't know. Some people don't look *that* different with and without facial hair. Not AB. Most everyone we know is surprised by the transformation.

Busting myths across the parking lot.

A few weeks my good friend, V, picked up her work phone and called me to share the scoop.



Next Wednesday!

The myth is would a cockroach survive a nuclear attack, would bugs really inherit the earth?

I immediately had serious envy. I was suddenly kicking myself for jumping from the nuclear group nearly three years ago. Three years of working in a group where I didn't fit to meet the Mythbusters in person? It could have been done!

Then she tells me it is the second stringers though. I like them, Cari, Grant and Tory. But they aren't Adam and Jamie. So when my attempts to have some reason to visit (legitimately or not) the building across the parking lot last Wednesday failed, I didn't sob too hard. Had it been Adam and Jamie... there might have been a mob of science women outside the gate screaming and fainting. And I just might have been right in the midst.

I AM, however, seriously anxious to see the show when it airs in February.

My pumpkins

Official weights... 22 and 32 lbs.

Oh yeah, official pumpkin as in fruit's weights... 71 and 141 lbs.

I have saved seeds from the large one. Should anyone desire Giant Atlantic pumpkin seeds, let me know.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Meet Bob

Leif has renamed our housecleaner. She is no longer Wanda (name changed to protect the oblivious), she is now Bob.

About six months ago he started calling her "boy" as in "whatcha doin' boy?" This was on those rare occasions when she would clean our house and we would be around (normally just briefly since Leif has an obsession with her vacuum cleaner we try to get out of there quick - oh and because I do not really care to listen to her dysfuntional family stories that.never.end).

When my mom visited after Skadi's birth we both had giggling fits over this. And even now if one of us wants to elicit quick giggles we just have to say, "whatcha doin' boy?"

Leif never called other people "boy", so I don't know where this came from.

This morning Wanda was in our house getting started as we were running a few minutes late in getting out the door thanks to Leif deciding he wanted to try for a gummy worm by going poop since his simply asking for one resulted in a "no". Ok, so I don't give a prize all the time for a poop, in fact recently it has been rare. But since the last few days we have had a return to poopy underwear I will do what I need to.

Leif heard a noise and I told him Wanda was here. He walked out and saw her vacuum cleaner and immediately went over to admire it. He heard a noise in the bathroom and I told him that Wanda was in the bathroom cleaning.

We get out to the car and start pulling out of the garage and he says, "that's Bob's car".

"The white car?" I asked him. He confirmed.

"No," I told him, "that's Wanda's car."

"No mommy, his name is Bob." I am giggling at this point.

"Bob is cleaning our house today," he tells me.

Ok, at this point I am dying.

Oh and in no way does our housecleaner represent a man. She is a small, red headed, woman.

One of the weirdest things I think I have ever seen.

Go ahead and click on it, nothing vulgar and nothing will scare you. Well at least nothing is going to pop out at you.

And if anyone wants to offer up ideas on what exactly this is, comment away!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Glue Sticks!

Glue sticks, glue sticks, glue sticks.

No more bottles of glue.

I am seriously tired of having construction paper sitting around on every flat surface with piles of glue and various thingymabops of all types in it drying. Drying.for.days.

Oh and so far... these works of art are ALL for grandma and Bompa, or so I am told.

Maybe just a little obsessive

I had a rare glimpse into my son's daily grind the other day. I arrived 5 minutes early to chaperone the pumpkin patch field trip. The bus was then 20 minutes late. So I stood off to the side to observe the kids (really though, mostly my son).

My son's "work" he was doing was a tracing activity. He had various templates and colored pencils and squares of paper and was tracing them. It took him awhile to do one, but he was excited by this.

Very excited apparently.

Has got to be excited everyday about this.

Because his little folder where he puts his tracings after he finishes with them was THICK. The other kids had 4-5 in their work folder. Leif's was bulging. 30-40 in his case.

And note to self... really do encourage the picking up at home. When finished he put every single thing away. He CAN do this.

Oh and next the amazing thing... getting 19 children to all go potty, wash hands and get coats on in the 10 minutes before the bus came. I just stood and watched in amazement.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Making the list, checking it twice, and shopping on the internet

The holiday season is just around the corner. And I am dragging my feet. I have bookmarked and bookmarked until I am blue in the fingertips. Now I just need to convince myself to hit "buy".

I am an internet shopper. I might even be a little obsessive about it. I love the deals. I love the selection. Both things that living in a relatively small town are rare.

I have my list for Little AB fairly well rounded out. A Fisher Price camera from mom and dad. A Buzz Lightyear action figure from Santa. A nice wooden Melissa and Doug calendar that we can set up each month. A book about telling time (since he is showing interest in learning this concept) and a few other things I will find along the way I am sure.

Bean will get a baby doll and some Little People. And we will be taking advantage of the fact that she will only be 9 months and therefore really doesn't need much.

I have a few ideas for AB, but nothing overly concrete other than another pair of gloves... I have a few things picked out on his Amazon wish list (that I made for him). But no real great ideas yet. (Ideas? Anyone?) (I actually do have a few other ideas, but am not going into depths because even though he says he doesn't read my blogs... you just never know!)

I have a long list of things I want or need. It nearly kills AB that near the top of my list is new oven mits. Yes, I want new oven mits. Mine are just plain nasty from a few years of being hauled outside (and left outside) for BBQ'ing.

The one thing I actually did accomplish and not just put in shopping carts, is that my kids are outfitted for Christmas. Matching pajamas (courtesy of Old Navy $10 each... nice on the budget). Skadi got the white Hanna Andersson dress with the red snowflake on the front. (Ok, so she also got the tights... I don't even spend $18 on tights for me... what has this girl child done to me?) I did go on the cheap and buy the red shoes with white snowflakes from Old Navy though, yay me.

And in the name of matching for photos, Leif will be donning a red sweater with white Fair Isles print a la Old Navy. I know, I went on the cheap for him. But he won't wear it outside of holiday functions. And it matched Skadi's outfit. And she is the girl child.

I am quite pleased I accomplished the clothing shopping. I know the next step is the actual present ordering. But since I am abiding by my new rule of paying an equivelent amount on my credit cards (thank you free online banking) everytime I make an online purchase, I am waiting till the end of the month.

The pumpkin patch

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I just got through reading one of Leif's favorite books to him, "Leif the Lucky". It is about the Vikings, Erik the Red, the colonization of Greenland and the Vikings arrival in North America. It amazes me this is one of his favorite books. (Snore...) You see Rockergirl for Christmas and Leif's birthday recently sent books with her boy's names in the titles. I thought it was a great idea, went searching for a book with Leif's name in the title and sure enough, found one (and only one). It is a fantastic book really. And he loves it. But wow is it long. (I am thinking we have a show and tell candidate for Thursday.)

Ok, now I have waken up I think. We have had a day of hilarity. Really, Leif keeps me in stitches.


First we went for a walk tonight after dinner. It was a little cold. Skadi was bundled and cute, but I was getting cold and I feared the wind whipping in Skadi's little hood. AB told Leif we were going to turn around.

AB: "Mommy's cold and so is Skadi. Are you cold Leif?"

Leif: "Not so much Daddy."

He IS AB's mini-me. Leif has picked up AB's speech patterns freakishly well.


Leif has had a thing with cleanliness since he was about one year old and entered his daycare where it is actually not only encouraged, but required that the kids clean up after themselves. Leif was obsessive about sweeping and wiping the counters off. Obsessive. His teachers used to joke that they wanted to see my house, I had to keep the cleanest house ever.

I don't.

I usually responded that Leif was going to be in therapy in 18 years saying, "my parent's house was so messy, I was forced to do the cleaning since I was one year old!"

Leif loves to vacuum. On days like today where there are bits and pieces on the floor, I give in and pull the vacuum out and hand him the wand.

We were all tired of the roar of the vacuum and Leif had gone over the kitchen floor twice. I turned it off and said, "that's enough".

Leif screams, NO! Then this came out of his mouth:


I had to turn my head and laugh for about 30 seconds before I could look back at him and tell him that he was not allowed to yell at me and next offense was a time out.


More vacuum stories?

AB was attempting to teach Leif the finer points of football the other night. For example, you hold the football and run while being chased through the house. I know, not safe... but it was funny watching him set off running squeal and ditch the football in less than three seconds.

In some attempt to teach his son football, AB stuck the football under his arm and told Leif to chase him. He did for about 30 seconds, before his little red pretend DustDevil vacuum caught his eye. Roar, the things came on and Leif is chasing AB with the vacuum.

"What?" AB yells, "There's no vacuuming in football!"


Leif is at that age where playdates are the "in" thing. He decides who he is going to invite and we figure it out, most of the time with success. He hadn't quite gotten to the point that his friend, J, has though. J used to ask his mom if he could go to Leif's house, but was met with answers like, "it's 9pm Leif is in bed and you should be too" or "I will see if Leif's mommy wants to set something up".

J has resorted to cutting the middleman (or middlemommy) out of the loop and has started coming directly to me for the straight up answer. Certainly my answer will always be "yes", won't it? Unfortunately the answers he gets from me are a lot on the same lines, "well I will see what we can work out with your mommy or daddy" or "no Leif needs to go home and eat supper right now".

I guess I wasn't too surprised that Leif took the reigns then and tried to arrange his own playdate. Though I was a little surprised it was with another adult.

"What," I thought, "am I not fun enough for you?"

But only for a second. Because when the adult he invites also happens to drive the coolest bus with the zip line, the balance beams, spring board and mats in it, who can really blame him?

Coach informed me though that his answer to Leif was "oh that would be fun! You can call my mommy and see if she will let me".

Leif said he would, but Coach's mommy has yet to receive a call.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Viva la difference!

Growing up I didn't think my sister and I were that different. She was more outgoing then I was. Cuter than I was. And more popular than I was. Things that as the oldest child made me proud of her. I hoped that she had somehow learned from me. Because from the time she was born I wanted to mother her. I wanted to help with everything and teach her everything. If it were up to me she would have been learning long division at age 4. (And we all wonder why she rebelled against math so much...)

Truth be told we were actually very different. And now? We are worlds apart. This isn't bad at all. But since having Skadi, I have been examining more of the dynamics of my own relationship with my sister as I watch Leif and Skadi. Drawing comparisons is nearly impossible though. Leif and Skadi are 2 years 8 months apart (my sister and I, 3 years 7 months). I had been home with my mom since birth up until kindergarten. Leif is well socialized at daycare. The differences between Leif and I are vast.

But even at Skadi's young age the differences between she and Leif are amazing too. Intellectually, you know that they are different people, even though she occasionally catches me out of the corner of my eye with a smile that I would swear was worn by her brother. Oh and I never call her Leif... ever... ;-)

One of the biggest differences I have noted about Leif and Skadi are what the engage in. Leif would sit in a high chair when we went out to eat smiling at everyone around us. He engaged people. He drew so much attention AB and I used to talk about not eating out because of all the attention he garnered - on his own accord. At Skadi's age he could care less about toys. Giving him a toy usually resulted in it being chucked... and he didn't want it back. He never held toys in the car, and he still doesn't. No toys kept his attention and AB and I began to question buying more toys. I pegged him as a people person and that has stuck. He still is.

Skadi on the other hand is a toy fiend. I almost felt bad a few months ago when I handed her a toy and her eyes lit up and she rolled it back and forth, mouthed it and examined the details for 20 minutes. Then onto the next toy. According to her daycare teachers, she likes specific colored toys too - yellow toys are good. The child plays with toys in her carseat and becomes very upset should she accidentally drop one - which she actually doesn't do often.

Other differences? Leif wasn't a sleeper and Skadi is. Leif was a napper (WAS) and Skadi isn't.
Leif was more of a smiler than Skadi is. She is also a touch fussier, particularly with daycare, than Leif was. She has two teeth that were through at 6 months. Leif didn't get teeth until 9 months. Skadi has hair, Leif none until 18 months.

Leif of course, lately is very fond of pointing out exactly the difference between he and Skadi. Which would be why he is called a "boy" and she is called a "girl".

Weekend wrap up

We had a good weekend, though it is seeming like a blur at 9pm on Sunday. We joked about eating out on Friday. How tempting, yet how stupid of an idea that is after last week's debacle. Instead we ordered out Thai and were less than impressed with our normal take out place. They have major swings that last typically about 6 months. We have concluded that one couple runs it for 6 months. They are the nice ones that can cook and present you with nice sized portions. Then 6 months later the bad cooks take over who give you miniature sized everything. The bad ones have just taken over.

Saturday was swimming lessons, a little shopping after swimming. We looked at kittens at PetSmart. Long enough to put in daddy's head that having a kitten might actually be fun. We have recently had some new kittens very nearly "fall in our lap". (I use this term because AB told me the only way he wanted another cat was if one "fell in our lap". They were born two days ago to a coworker of mine. The cat she adopted as a stray turned up pregnant when she took her to the vet for shots and an exam. I told her maybe in December when the kittens are the requisite 8 weeks old. I think I can go back and give her a yes in December. Vargasgirrl assures me that the automatic litterbox is heaven sent.

We went and picked apples on Saturday afternoon. Leif had a great time. Skadi slept in the car. We got a box of fujis that are really fantastic.

Sunday we started out the morning with sourdough apple pancakes. Leif loves pancakes, he loves apples, but apples in pancakes was a no go. He ate oatmeal instead. Silly child. (But as someone with texture issues, I do get his aversion.)

Two days, no naps. During Leif's Sunday supposed nap (Skadi's real naps were exactly opposite Leif's "nap time". We got no breaks this weekend.), Skadi and I played with the camera some.

After the supposed nap on Sunday we had C and N and their parents and C's grandparents over for a pumpkin picking party. The pumpkin is out! Both are actually. We are giving thought to how to get an actual weight on the big one. One suggestion is to take the car to Earthworks and have it weighed, with and without the pumpkin. Very good idea and plausible.

AB has become more curious on the weight of the pumpkin when the second one repeatedly weight 720 lbs on our scale! Ok, decimel point wasn't as visible as it should have been... it was 72.0 lbs. (AB kept asking what "error 720" was since he was sure the scale didn't go past "350 or so". Then he noted the decimel point.) He felt that the big one was more than twice that. (Statistical estimates were 135-160 lbs a month or so ago - and it hasn't grown in that time).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My son is the best

So we have been having a few minor issues at daycare with behavior. Nothing major really. Well magnitude depends on which of the four teachers you talk to. There is the "alarmist" who catches me on the way out and cites "disturbing behavior", there is the "annoyed one" who is warming up, but I get the feeling my son just annoys her - and well, I know my husband does. The other two are just "warm fuzzy one" and "tell it like it is" - and they both say my son is a typical three year old boy.

Even given the later, when someone says there is a problem, we strive to address it and take it seriously.

As incentive to correct his behavior I have told him that if he naps, follows the rules (no spitting, no growling, no yelling and no taking his penis out of his pants at dinner) he will get a special reward. I don't say what the reward is, but last night it was an extra 10 minutes of Marble Race action with daddy while mommy and Skadi watched intently. Today while getting milk at Safeway I decided it was a small bag of Oreo cookies.

I got the word from the teachers in form of secret note that he had a great day and pulled out the reward. Leif was thrilled. He ate the cookies on the way home and thanked me twice for the special cookies. We were nearly home when he told me:

"Mommy, I liked those cookies, but I like the pumpkin bread you baked a lot better."


For those of you who MySpace it

I haven't decided if I will cancel my account altogether, or just pare down my already minimalistic account to the bare minimum. I like the social aspect of being able to find people and be found by others. Plus, it is the only place where I maintain an albeit light connection with some people from my past.

But here is where my concern lies. I am a parent.

There is a website out there that apparently cites freedom of information and creates profiles for people. They claim to be akin to the white pages. But the white pages don't post a picture of my son next to my name and city and state. From everything I can tell, this information was taken from MySpace. And frankly, I see a huge difference between my putting a picture of my son and I on my profile and someone taking my picture from my profile and putting it on a website I have not authorized. (Freedom of information my ass.)

Curious? Want to see what your profile shows? Check out peek you dot com with no space between peek and you. You can "opt out" and remove your profile. Check out their privacy page for information on how to do this. (I did this using my spam account because I have no delusion that they will actually do this, nor that they won't then use my e-mail account for who knows what.)

I contacted the local news and have asked them to look into this and have also been looking into the legality of this. It is probably legit. And I probably wouldn't have flipped had my son's smiling face not been there on some unfamiliar website. But the security of MySpace - the reason my company banned it - is a concern, at least to me.

Adding to my blogs list

I am so thrilled that my best friend from high school has joined the Blogger-sphere! As a long time MySpacer, she blogged there. Now she is here. Yay, something else to occupy myself with when I need a break at work.

We met each other in junior high shortly after I moved to Colorado and were decent enough friends for a few years. I think it was about our junior year when we really started doing a lot together. We dated best friends (both were mistakes we can laugh about now) that year.

After graduation we drifted apart, both doing our own thing. Then one day in grad school about 1998 I looked on the internet for her. Found her just a few weeks before her planned exodus to a new city. We did some traveling together, she came to visit us in Reno lots, we went to see her in Colorado far less (sorry about that). We went to San Francisco and Napa. (Met up with Rockergirrl for the first time in San Fran). We ran Bay to Breakers. She was my bridesmaid.

We have maintained our friendship over the past 5 years since I graduated and AB and I moved to a much smaller, more slow paced town and then joined the not so secret society of parents. As with all friendships, they ebb and flow. And though we haven't kept in contact as good as we did in our 20's and early 30's, it's all still good.

I love when my friends have blogs. I don't feel quite so exposed I guess - or at least they are as exposed as I am and we can all just stand there and gawk at each other. Now the rest of my friends need to go write blogs! Now!


Speaking of blogs - I am going to be updating my list when I get time. Tonight I don't have time as I have other blogging to do. But just a heads up that I am going to pull some of the never updated blogs. Love the people, I really do, but I need fresh reading material!

I also have a few to add that I have been reading pretty regularly. (And as always, don't worry I won't be adding the real personal ones particularly of close friends with real names for privacy reasons unless you give me the go ahead. In fact, I won't even ask.) So anyways, keep an eye on the sidebars this weekend.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Garden picture


Here is a picture of our vegetable garden. I knew this picture that Leif requested I take "standing over by the tree" would come in handy someday.

We have 10 tomato plants along the west (sunny side) of the fence. In front of those you can see the three brussel sprout plants. Next is where the cabbage used to be that was taken over by cucumbers and pumpkins.

In the front are chives gone to seed and the pumpkins. The carrots are also in front of the pumpkins. Behind the pumpkins are three broccoli plants. Behind those, sunflowers.

On the south side of the fence is cabernet sauvignon grapes. (West fence holds merlot grapes.)

The south side of the garden is mostly pumpkin plant, but you will also find swiss chard in there too.

I do a "zen gardening" approach. I have basically figured out where things grow best and what needs sun, what doesn't. We mix in steer manure every year and then lay down garden fabric. I use a ton of fabric staples to keep it all down. I do a combination of planting from seed and from starters. Once everything is planted, AB starts piling on the grass clippings. Clippings do an amazing job at keeping the weeds out without the use of chemicals.

At the end of the year we compost what we can on top of the garden fabric and toss the fabric and start new each year.

My green thumb extends only to my vegetable garden. My flowers don't do half bad each year - pots I should just not do as I forget to water them. But indoor plants? I don't do them at all. They make messes (yes, I do have a big hairy dog, but she gives love back) and I never water. Though the bamboo in the guest room has survived nearly four years.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fall has arrived/garden recap

It's fall. I made my first big batch of chili and double batch of pumpkin bread today. Fall food. (As well as thoroughly enjoying long sleeves and winter clothes.)

The highs are in the upper 60's and the mornings are crisp. Jacket weather, but warm enough in the afternoon that inevitably, jackets are then forgotten at school.

In some hopes that I won't get overzealous next spring with the garden I am going to compile my garden notes.


Brussel sprouts and broccoli - both did amazing, are still doing amazing, and are adored as food staples by nearly everyone. Must do again.

Leeks - Just starting to gain some girth, still too soon to tell. Though I hope they are cold hardy enough to have some time to gain more girth.

Tomatoes - Do not do 10 plants. Five is REALLY sufficient for our needs.

Cucumbers - They do really well, but AB needs to make pickles more consistently throughout the summer.

Swiss Chard - Always does well, it's a keeper.

Spinach - Plant it. We always like it, it does well, but it should actually be placed in the ground somehow.

Watermelons - Also require being placed IN the ground to grow.

Basil: Love it, but it likes water. Remember to water it.

Pumpkins - Devote at least half of the garden AND hand pollinate for early starts.

Fruit trees:

Grapes: Do not let AB massacre the vines again in a willy nilly fashion.

Plums: Heaven help us if we get as many next year as we did last year.

Cherries: Cherry wood anyone?

Nectarines: Work hard, yet again, to convince AB to pick back early.

Raspberries: Keep on as is.

My daughter, the enabler

We went to the brand new Kohl's today.

You know, had she ever voiced any discontent at shopping for over an hour, we would have been out of there.

But she didn't. She smiled at passersby. She touched the glittery, the soft, the shiny as we passed. She coo'd her approval when I tried on a few pairs of pants. And a few shirts.

Leif would have never shopped that long. He had about a 30 minute window of shopping regardless of it being clothes or groceries at that age. I raced whenever shopping with him. After that it was misery for nearly everyone involved.

Not Skadi. I have a new shopping partner for the forseeable future.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

No, I am not turning my son into a transvestite, really.

We went to Children's Place to check out the three in one jackets since Leif is in dire need of a new winter coat.

AB: "Well it seems like a good jacket, well made, versatile."

NM: "Yes, oh look, it has a snow skirt too. Leif come here and try this on."


AB: "No Leif, there is no skirt, mommy wasn't serious."


AB: "Leif I need you to try on this coat, do you want a time out?"

Leif: " YES. Then I don't have to wear skirt!"

So apparently a time out is better than being forced to cross dress. Who knew?

Weekend wrap up

I am 2/3 of the way through my weekend as I type this. Three day weekend thanks to Skadi's daycare being closed for Columbus Day. I wasn't disappointed to hear this, in fact, I have had this day on my schedule marked off in eager anticipation for awhile now. A day home with Skadi, just the two of us. Our big plans? Encouraging extra good naps that enable me to clean out her bedroom to be/guest room since we will have guests at the end of the month. Also on the docket is a trip to our brand new Kohls! So exciting!

Friday night something came over me and I decided we needed to venture OUT for dinner. Stupidest idea on the face of the planet. Ever.

We went to a very family friendly Italian place where toddlers get salads of shredded cheese, olives and crackers as adults are served their salads. Toddler friendly, but you can still order a half liter of Valpolicella.

Leif on his own, was the best he has ever been in a restaurant, especially considering we had a 15 minute wait to start and the food didn't arrive with any expediency. He sat and ate and only visited the restroom three times. Skadi was not thrilled to be there. But she wasn't awful either. What was difficult was having only one set of hands for each child. Had it been dining with just Leif we would have had a downright great night. Just Skadi and we would have passed her back and forth to keep the faces as fresh as possible (ok, I know, like I had a fresh face at 6:30pm on Friday night...). But put them together and it made for a dinner that will not be attempted again for another six months or so. At least.

With the new PF Changs going in (1.5 miles from the house) I have a feeling our babysitter expenses are going to rise.

Saturday was swimming then a train ride and play in the afternoon with C and N (N being the newest friend - a 3.5 year old girl adopted from India by our friends). The kids played in the park afterwards. We got home late enough that our plans for burgers went on hold realizing we still needed a grocery store trip. We ordered pizza.

Saturday night was spent fixing the dishwasher/disposal (yes, dang Insinkerator) pipes. Fun. But then again I don't have to call a plumber tomorrow. Instead I can spend the money at Kohls.

Today we got up and had crepes (and Leif was quite thrilled about rolling his own). Skadi and I went and got groceries mid-morning and had a blast. She giggled her way through the grocery store. Then this afternoon J and his mom and sister came over for a visit. Skadi was nearly as thrilled to see her friend from daycare as Leif was to see J. The kids both had a great afternoon that ended with actual burgers on the grill.


The concept of infinity for a three year old.

Leif: "To infinity and beyond!" (He screams as he is jumping off the couch for the 784th time today.)

NM: "Leif do you know what infinity is?"

Leif: "Yes."

NM: "What is it?"

Leif: "It's in Portland."

Thursday, October 04, 2007


So I can't find if I actually posted this summer about my quandry with Leif's school and his clothes. I probably just whined to V about it. But the jist is they kept putting notes he needed clothes in his box. I kept bringing them in. None of them were coming home. He would need changes of clothes and they would send him home in oddball "extra" items from the classroom. When I brought it up, they denied that they had any extra clothes of his.

I was at my wits end. It was financially a hard time for us with AB being out of work and I couldn't just afford to keep losing clothes. It frustrated me and annoyed me.

Yesterday. Sitting in his box. Two bags with:

7 pairs of underwear
4 t-shirts
3 pairs of shorts
2 pairs of underwear that weren't his
1 pair of panties that were definitely not his

I am vindicated. Yes, they did have a ton of his clothing there.

Do I feel better? Not hugely since these were t-shirts and shorts that were out of commission the entire summer and won't fit him next summer most likely.

It also makes a case for having cheap clothes only go to school. AB noted (amazingly enough) that two of the t-shirts were even his nicer Gymborree t-shirts and not the cheap Old Navy or Target ones. Note to self... don't be lazy in the future. Send the crappy clothes as extras.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Definition of brutal

... 6 hours in the ever-shrinking Toyota 4Runner with 3 year old, 6 month old, and a panting/hyperventilating very large dog.

... Toy Story playing non-stop (AB swears he will not be able to watch anything with Tom Hanks in it for possibly the next five years).

... Screaming 6 month old every time 3 year old makes a peep.

... Four stops.

... Pouring rain. (For four.days.straight.)

... One husband dead set on "pushing on through".

... One mom "recovering" from the stomach flu. (Recovering = no longer puking.)

... Finally arriving home at 10pm.