Friday, November 30, 2007


Lately, I've been complaining. Way too much. Though there will always be things to complain about (I could write a diatribe on the idiotic pedestrians in this town), there are sure a lot of wonderful things in my life, too. Since I missed the holiday (shucks, I was in the Bahamas), it's about time I was thankful for something.

So here goes. This is what I've been thinking about lately. And I'm ever so thankful.

*my beautiful daughter
*my wonderful, thoughtful husband (He just said, "what can I do to make life less stressful for you right now?" and then cleaned things willingly.)
*being able to stay home with Rowan, and play with her in my jammies until noon if I want. (She doesn't care if I have bad breath, either.)
*our supportive family (who watched Rowan for me while I snorkeled!)
*great friends who check on me just to see how I'm doing. I love that.
*Lucy. She's the greatest dog ever. (I found her sleeping on the floor next to Rowan's crib at 6:00 yesterday morning. And the night we came home, she went into Rowan's room to check on her after I put her to bed.)
*adult cartoons. (I love Family Guy. And King of the Hill. And I love that Rowan doesn't understand it yet.)
*chocolate. and red wine. and ice cream. (see last post)
*good books and a library card
*penguin flannel sheets (on sale even!) Because Penguins are So Sensitive to My Needs.
*warm sweaters, Converse All Stars and jeans that fit
*gummy smiles
*snow (!!!) (That's a hint, Mama Nature. Send so me, soon please?)
*how my pores get miniscule in the wintertime
*the feeling of cold air in my nose
*cuddling up in flannel sheets and under lots of heavy blankets
*the lovely warm/cold contrast when you come inside or go outside
*squishy socks and wool haus schus (indoor clogs from Germany)
*drinking hot coffee and watching the snow fall (again with the hint!)
*decorating for Christmas, and remembering the holidays with my Mom.
*the sparkle of the sun on the snow
*the excitement of finding the perfect gift for someone I love.
*wrapping presents while listening to REM Green (personal tradition).
*falling asleep during the movie "White Christmas" (which I have never made it through.)
*Christmas any cookies
*Holiday parties
*OPI tiny treasures Russian collection. Itty Bitty Nail Polishes!
*finding a hairdresser I like who does a good job on my hair (which isn't easy). She doesn't have as many tattoos as KC, but her hair is pink. And she didn't bat an eye when I stopped in and asked her to touch up a spot I wasn't satisfied with.
*Rowan taking naps. Hallelujah! (#2 today, right now.)
*friends who will watch her while we go to a department function tonight. Our first night out together without her--gulp!
*finding convenience foods that are delicious and don't just taste like plastic and preservatives and make me fart a lot later. Hey, I'm a new mom. I don't have time to cook from scratch all the time anymore--I'd rather play with my baby than sautée shallots and clarify butter.
*peace and quiet. Even if it is just for a few minutes while she, her Dad, and the dog take a nap on a Saturday afternoon.
*the firewire that allowed me to get our Bahamas pics off the computer that went kablooey. (I'll upload them next week. Dr. B agreed that tomorrow we go on the hunt for the Christmas Tree. Yipee!)
*finally finishing this post and picking out what I'm going to wear for the party tonight.
*really, I'm done now.

Have a wonderful weekend!

She must be teething

The vacation was wonderful. She was a charmer. We got home, after the flight home from hell, and still she was an angel, though she was tired. Smiling, laughing, trying to entertain me. She'd catch my eye and give me a big, gummy grin. Bouncing away in her jumperoo, she played happily while I waded through mountains of laundry.

Then came today.

She shrieks and complains from dawn to dusk, and beyond. No naps. Screaming, twisting, writhing, crying. Tylenol gives me 20 minutes of respite, that's it. Her lower lip is red, and she sucks on it constantly. She bites me. And then tries to swallow the entire boob.

She coughs, gagging, and then tries to shove her fist further down her throat. Her attention span has shortened to 4 seconds. She sleeps only in the car when "Baba O'Reilly" is cranked, loud. Then the radio DJ changes to some drippy light rock crap and she wakes up wailing. She's not happy sitting, lying down, being held, standing, rocking, in the jumperoo, in the carseat, in the stroller, anywhere. I've tried the orajel, the cool teething rings, Sophie la Girafe, sucking on a rag, everything. There's just no way to make her happy. She's hurting. (So am I.)

Her dad has had a lot of late meetings and events, so Mom has been going it solo. Thank heavens for red wine.

And chocolate.

Did I mention brownies?

PS. Ice cream. I forgot the ice cream. Who needs meals?

PPS. She finally passed out as I wrote this. Hallelujah. I need a refill.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Paradise Lost

The Bahamas was wonderful. I had a fabulous time with my family. We swam, walked on the beach, wore lovely sundresses and sandals and left our jackets in the closet, enjoyed the beautiful wedding, ate way too much, I read a completely fluffy novel while Rowan napped, and I even snorkeled on a coral reef in the middle of the ocean. It was unbelievable! I didn't want to leave, but after grabbing a few quick souvenirs, the driver loaded my bags and I jumped on the shuttle for the airport.

Then the nightmare started.

3 different lines of security at the Nassau airport (the shoes off, computer out, whole bit, which is no fun once with a stroller and carseat and infant, much less three times), a zillion people all leaving at the same time (=long lines, very hot airport, few chairs), no lunch, a rough flight, then 4 hours of layover in Atlanta that became 7 hours when things were delayed over and over again, computer screens at the airport that stopped working (thus 8 thousand loud announcements = zero naps for Rowan), a billion zillion trillion people in Atlanta, 3 gate changes, a crying, tired, fussy baby, way too much stuff, not enough diapers, repeated announcements begging 4 people to leave the plane because we were "overweight" (I would have taken the deal they offered if they had thrown in a case of diapers and a toothbrush), lots of turbulence, worries because no one took their deal (would we plummet to the ground because of our weight problem?) and we finally landed in State College around 11:30 PM. And it was raining, and very cold. And we have no jetways. (The pilot himself carried my bag, and the flight attendant covered Rowan with a blanket so I could walk down the plane stairs and run across the tarmac.)

Luckily, I had 6 "surrogate grandparents" who helped me in Nassau and Atlanta and State College. I don't know what I would have done without their willing arms to rock the baby and help me carry the stroller and carseat, which had to be gate checked in Atlanta.

Then, this morning I went to boot up my computer to post a cute pic of Rowan in her bikini on the beach for you and lo and behold, it won't boot.


Back to reality. Sigh.

PS: I have a doctor's appointment today, so don't expect quick responses if you emailed me. I got lucky because Dr. B left his laptop at home, but when I get showered and get home from the doc's office (just routine getting-to-know-you, so I don't have to go to the ER for a headache), I have a boatload of laundry to do. Or should I say a planeload?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


So we're ready. The bags are packed, and way too heavy. Her bikinis, my capris, sunscreen and hats--we're prepared not only for our 5 day trip, but for a season in the Bahamas.

So while you're choking down dry turkey and washing it down with wine, I'll be wandering around the Atlanta airport for hours and hours, on my way to the Bahamas, with the baby.

Wish me luck. I agreed to sing at the wedding. (Gulp.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


It seems to be going 'round the internet--no one is in the mood to post. Well, me neither. But in the interest of being a whiney brat, I do have some excuses. OK, way too many excuses. So, in no particular order...

*One week from tomorrow Rowan and I are flying to the Bahamas for my sister's and Josh's wedding. Been busy buying and gathering stuff for that. I have my dress, it's altered, got the Super Sucker 3000 to wear under it, got jewelry, shoes, wrap, etc. Rowan has 2 bikinis. (I am looking forward to the ritual putting away of the summer clothes when we return--my closet is stuffed and I still have nothing to wear!) I wonder if they'll have Jerk Turkey or something.

*I made 88 of Judeen's Norwegian Meatballs (my Mom's recipe--the best!) and froze them in preparation for the holidays. Didn't sample one, so I hope they don't suck. Haven't had the Lefse Weekend yet, but I'm thinking about it. Need recruits.

*We got our PA drivers' licenses and license plates. And it was a huge saga. Took 6 trips. (Really.) Needed every sort of documentation you could imagine, in duplicate (and a few they forgot to tell us about.) Plus, they're closed on Columbus Day. Columbus Day. AND the 2 days before. You know, because it's such a major holiday. I commented that it was as bad as French bureaucracy. Dr. B said, "No wonder. The government in Pennsylvania is actually older than that of France." He's right. (To be fair, the guy behind the counter here was nicer than the ones in France. And he never said, "It's not possible! It's not possible!" and then wasted 20 minutes of our time flirting with his coworkers after showing up 1/2 an hour late, like the french bureaucrat did.)

*Started to think about what we're doing for Xmas. More on that later.

*Organized Rowan's room so when she grows out of stuff I have 4 boxes on the floor of her closet to drop the too tiny togs into. (Mine, Sam's, Angie's, Christine's.) Thank God for hand-me-downs.

*Stripped, sanded and primed her high chair. Need to touch up the primer (and do the top of the tray) and then paint it. It's going to be "Apple A Day" red.

*Got Rowan's dress for the wedding. Made family and friends trek all over looking for another size of the same dress (they were out here) for the reception in April. (The bride found it in Minneapolis.) Her dress matches mine and the bride's. And I found it at Walmart, of all places. But hey--2 $14 dresses is better than one for 70 bucks at Macy's. And I know she'll have one that fits for the celebration in the Twin Cities. And it's not like anyone will care if it's not silk. She's just going to drool on it.

*Took Lucy for a short walk with Rowan in the Baby Bjorn on Tuesday night when Jeff was out of town. It started pouring. Like BUCKETS. Then I dropped my keys and couldn't find them. (I think Rowan kicked them out of my pocket.) Panic ensued, I cried, it was dark, we were wet and cold, Rowan fell asleep, I worried she had hypothermia, but I finally found them. It was more traumatic than it sounds, really. So we were all in our jammies by 6. And Lucy rubbed wet dog all over the couches.

*My migraines are back. Damn it. Insomnia, too. Fun fun!

*Our friends are coming for a week to visit us! We are so excited. I'm thinking outlet malls, fondue bourguignonne, Tarot games and yarn stores. Can't wait!!! (And she's bringing goodies...)

*Sat choosing paint colors for the stupid greeney-yellow kitchen ("pineapple mousse"--yuck.) with Dr. B. He's really stubborn. We're compromising by letting him choose. (I guess that's because he gave up on I won the picture hanging argument.) I hope we get this done by the time A, J and M get here.

*I'm on steroids. Random rash, stupid sensitive skin. (Seriously. Don't even have a clue what this one is from. I'm allergic to just about everything. Including gold. Who's allergic to gold????)

*Decided I have a love/hate relationship with our local grocery emporium, Wegman's. Love the huge selection, wonderful pre-made meals, fantastic meat/fish department, decent (for an American grocery store) bakery and patisserie, to-die-for cheese counter, good produce, store brand that tastes better than the commercial brands (really--they even make low fat ice cream that's better than Ben and Jerry's, and super cheap), and new and wonderful things (including a lot from local farmers) every time I go, etc. Hate the fact that I rarely get out of there for under 100 bucks, sometimes 200. (Not that it's expensive--there's just so much good stuff! Good thing I'm breast feeding, or I'd be seriously fat.) Hate that they don't have Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning (and I'm out.) And that no one else in town does either. Zatarain's just isn't the same.

*Perpetually sweeping and vacuuming up leaves. By the boatload. Because the way our townhouses are designed, they fly into the kitchen every time the door is opened. Then they fly into the living room. Then the dog lays on them and they stick to her fur and she drags them upstairs. Really irritating.

*Wondering where to buy decent baby tights. The cheap ones don't have articulated feet (they're like tube socks, so they have way too much fabric at the ankles) and Macy's doesn't sell tights any more. Anyone?

*Preparing to buy velcro to stick Rowan's shoes to her tights and inside her shoes so they stay on during pictures. She can get them off in 13 seconds flat, so I hope this works.

*Trying to figure out how the heck I'm going to get me, the baby, and all her crap to the Bahamas. I think I need a truck for inside the airport. Do they sell diapers in paradise?

*Watching Rowan's new thing--scritch scritch scritch. She scratches at everything with her fingernails. And she can put her feet in her mouth, and does pretty much every time you take her diaper off. (Yeah, she inherited my bendiness.)

*Speaking of bendiness, I'm wishing for a yoga studio that has child care. Or that Dr. B would come home early one night a week so I could go. HINT.

*Made a hair appointment for a cut and highlights. Hoping this woman is better than the last one. I look like Dorothy Hamill right now. It's bad.

*Made a doctor's appointment so I don't have to go to the ER every time I get a rash or an ingrown toenail. And so I don't have to call my doctor friends and beg for advice on a Sunday night when I get a migraine. Said doctor friend even drove to her office to double check in her book for me. Now that's a good friend. Thanks, Brenda!!! (Snaps to Brenda) Note: here it's really weird. You just pick a random doctor and call them. No hoops, no hierarchies, no special numbers to call. It was so freeing, I was completely at a loss. Couldn't do it. Finally, I got a recommendation. She was booked, but a colleague had an opening. I hope I like her.

*Wasting my time on Facebook. Because getting to the next level in Vampires, Slayers, Zombies and Werewolves is really that important. (I am a Zombie Ninja right now.) And arguing about whether "de" is a valid Scrabulous word. And throwing turkeys at people. Heh.

*Wasting more time writing long, boring blog posts that no one really wants to read because I'm just whining. And wondering why the Brits spell whining with a spare 'g', like this: "whingeing". Looks like "Hwin-Jing" to me. I guess it is "hwinjing". I just learned a new word! But I really don't think I could use it in conversation and keep a straight face. And frankly, I'm not sure I know how to whinge, anyway. I think it might have something to do with plumbing.

*Watching The Flight of the Conchords on YouTube. They just tickle my funny bone. (The most beautiful girl... with a kebab.) Enjoy.

*Watching Dancing with the Stars on It's like figure skating, but not. Tacky, flashy costumes, cheesy arrangements of popular tunes, sweaty smiling people, and scores! Guilty pleasure. I wish I could do it. I would rock those sequins.

OK, enough time wasting. Back to real work. Off to find velcro.
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