Saturday, May 31, 2008

Vacation (have to get away)

Scene: a few months ago. I was helping Dr. B pack for a business trip.

Dr. B: Shirts? Check. Pants? Check. Sport coats, ties. Yep. Socks? 5 pairs. OK, we're good. Underwear?

Me: Here you go.

He began counting because he had accidentally not packed enough on his last trip and had to rewear. Ew.

Dr. B: One, two, three... wait. There's 7. I'm only going for 5 days.

Me: I always pack at least an extra pair.

Dr. B: For what? In case I shit my pants?

Me: Uh, well, yeah. I mean, you never know. What if you eat a curry or something and it just gets nasty? And it's humid so if you wash out in the sink they don't dry and then you have to wear nasty wet shorts and ick! Or just go commando, and because of the curry you really don't want to do that...

Dr. B: So, I've got two extras. That means I can shit my pants twice?

Laundry is going, lists have been made, and the packing is waiting. We take off tomorrow. Rowan and I are flying back to Norski-land for 2 weeks, and Dr. B will join us for his folks' 40th anniversary BBQ. Unfortunately, he can't stay, but we will spend some time there because we can and because it's cheaper for us to stay around than to fly back immediately. We'll start in Bismarck (Dad is driving to Fargo to pick me up, because it wasn't originally in the plans when I made the reservations) and then hitch a ride with my SIL and nieces and nephews to Grand Forks on Thursday. Big party, water park, Rowan's birthday--fun plans. And hopefully, a chance to see a few old friends from our college years.

And (here's the shocker) I'm planning on leaving my laptop at home. *GASP!* I know, it's hard, but I just can't do the airport with a baby that is hell bent on going going going plus all the security crap and the weight. Both families have computers, several each actually, so I'll be able to check my mail and stuff, but may not post as often. I'll be too busy sitting in the hot tub, shooting pool, eating some Fighting Sioux Champion Chip ice cream (Dick, you better stock up!) and dunking chips in my favorite Blue Moose spicy spinach cheese dip. (I have the recipe, but I still enjoy going there for a bowl, plus my favorite beer of all time on tap. I hope it's still on tap.) Though my 'to take' list is already two columns long, I'm going to try to limit the stuff, and do laundry while there. I usually pack enough for three armies (with extra underwear), so I'm going to try to be more conservative about it. It is civilization after all, and they have Target there. And Old Navy, for which Coinstar and Dr. B's pockets gave me a lovely gift card, so I do plan on hitting it hard. (Aside to the Old Navy people: we NEED one in State College. There's a good spot right next to Target.)

The trip wasn't expected or planned originally, but we are so glad we have the chance to go and spend some more time with our families. So, if you're reading this from Bismarck or Grand Forks, we'll be there soon! Give us a buzz!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One Word

Recently, a friend emailed me wanting me to describe her in one word, and pass it on to everyone I know, waiting for responses from all of them.

I didn't.

I was a little scared of the words people would use to describe me. (She responded with "classy" which I liked so I just stuck with the one response.)

Now, MamaBear hits me with this one. OK, I'll bite! Repost it if you want--and send the link, because I'd love to read them!



Not as easy as you might think. Change the
answers to suit you and pass it on. It's really hard to only use one
word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone? charging

2. Your significant other? wonderful

3. Your hair? frustrating

4. Your mother? Heaven

5. Your father? Williston

6. Your favorite thing? food

7. Your dream last night? forgotten

9. Your dream/goal? happiness

10. The room you're in? cluttered

11. Your hobby? reading

12. Your fear? loneliness

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? France! :)

14. Where were you last night? library

15. What you're not? zen

16. Muffins? Delicious!

17. One of your wish list items? pedicure

18. Where you grew up? Fargo

19. The last thing you did? read

20. What are you wearing? jeans

21 Your TV? dusty

22. Your pets? important

23. Your computer? overused

24. Your life? chosen

25. Your mood? excited

26. Missing someone? always

27. Your car? hybrid!

28. Something you're not wearing? socks

29. Favorite store? Target

30. Your summer? anticipated

31. Like someone? Most

32. Your favorite color? red

33. When is the last time you laughed? today

34. Last time you cried? forgotten

35. Who will repost this???? You!

Du Pain Américan

Dr. B called at 5 PM. "I'm on my way home! Grab the girl, and let's go to the farmers' market!" Unfortunately, she had just gone down for a nap, so when he arrived (he'd had the car all day), he told me to go to the market before it closed at 6. I didn't expect much fresh produce to be left, but picked up some honey, apples, and eggs from the Amish couple, and then headed over to the bakery stand. After a sample, I chose something delicious to bring home.

"I got some bread!" I said, "Chocolate bread with walnuts and golden raisins! AND it has chocolate butter!!!"

"Chocolate butter?" Dr. B said.

He sliced a hunk for each of us, and slathered it thickly with the scrumptious creamy spread.

"Chocolate butter. So pretty much frosting."

"Yeah. So?"

"Fine with me," he said, and took a big bite.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bye-bye, Poop Smell!!!*

When I was a kid, my dad would sometimes get into these moods. Mom called them "Handy Andy" moods--he'd decide something had to be done, fixed, or upgraded and usually the results were less than desirable. One weekend at the lake cabin, he decided the little electric heater we only used once every three years was too noisy. After about 3 hours "fixing" it, during which it exploded in his face and singed off his eyebrows and eyelashes, he left it, cover off with two screwdrivers sticking out of it. "Done!" he said. The screwdrivers stayed there for the rest of the summer and fall. I guess they don't teach you how to fix little heaters in Master Electrician/Electrical Engineering school.

This weekend, when Dr. B, who is decidedly not an electrician, uttered the fatal words, "I'm gonna do a project!" I got a little scared.

All of a sudden the bathrooms both had fans that were too noisy, inefficient and energy-wasting. And of course, it would be easy to do. Simple. No problem! He found the perfect fan. Energy efficient! Quiet!! And extremely, incredibly effective!!!

"It'll clear a fart from the room in 3 seconds FLAT!!!"**


After assuring me that this was absolutely necessary and I would be so happy he'd done it, he headed off to Lowe's.

8 hours, 2 more trips to Lowe's, 500 bucks and a hole in my kitchen ceiling later, it was finally done.***

Oh well, at least he'll have to repaint the kitchen for me now.

*Yes, I am 14 years old. I am still giggling.

**Turns out he was right. It really does suck the poop smell right outta there!!! No more need for candles and a box of matches--we've got Dr. B's ultra-mega-poop-stink-sucking Fan!!!)

***Well, the downstairs one was. He's saving the other one for next weekend. But of course, the cover is off and I have to look at the dirty nastiness that is inside the old one for a week. I could clean it, but meh.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

With Crap Extract for Extra Crappy Flavor

I went into the "Oriental" Grocery next to Blockbuster the other night, looking for curry paste and some snackins for our movie night.  I wandered through the isles, noting that most of the food was not in English or French or anything I could read.  Note to self: must be an authentic "Oriental" grocery (the American version of the word, not the French, which would refer to Arabic stuff).  I was floored by the huge display of one-serving sized bags of poofy crispy strangely-flavored and oddly-shaped snacks, and thrilled by the bizarre characters on the packaging.  This particular little yellow whale with a crown and a knowing smirk caught my eye.

Then I read the ingredients. Please note the next-to-last one.


You know I had to buy it.  And actually, it was quite delicious.  Good crap!
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Thursday, May 22, 2008

She was Lassie in a former life

As I posted earlier, Rowan has got the stair-climbing bug. I planned to buy a new gate the other night, but due to the fact that my brain was completely fried, I forgot to get one when I went to Walmart after supper (teething=Mommy with no brain cells functioning at 9 pm). We had friends over for supper yesterday, so I spent the day cleaning and preparing the various things for tacos with rice and beans during Rowan's naps, and didn't find time to get to the store. Today, with a clean house and a fridge full of leftovers, I knew I had to get one, and while I was at it, needed to scan in some old photos for a gift for my in-laws that my SIL is working on and refill some prescriptions, so decided we'd head to Target once we were both up and clean.

Rowan took a nice long nap from noon-2:20, during which I had a shower, my own lunch, and even dried my hair and put on some makeup. (Woot!) She woke up, and I fed her some lunch (she loves meatballs, potatoes and peas, just like her Norski Momma!) and gave her a bath. After dressing her, I ran upstairs to look for my thumb drive for the photos, carefully placing the gate at the bottom, and making sure the tension was as tight as I could get it. While digging through various little baskets and boxes of small crap you don't throw but really probably don't need (buttons, collar points, chapsticks, etc.), I heard Rowan let out a cry.

"You're fine, Rowan," I called, knowing she couldn't have done herself much harm.

She cried a little more, then it got quiet. I kept digging through the baskets, loading change into a Zippie to take to the Coinstar, and wondering why we saved all this junk (but not throwing it either.)

Then I heard a sharp BARK!

A sick feeling of dread came over me.

I ran to the upstairs gate, and there was Rowan, climbing over the tension gate, which had fallen on her, determinedly headed for the stairs.

Lucy got an extra cookie with peanut butter on it, and lots of kisses and praise.

And when I got home with the new gate, Rowan had to be put in baby jail in order for me to set it up, because she made a beeline for those stairs every time she was set down.

We'll just call her our little lemming*.

(*Yes, I know it's a Disney Hoax, but just go with me on this one. This kid has either got a death wish, or Danger is her middle name. And it's not. It's Amelia.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I had a few things to do. Toothpaste to put in the linen closet, a pair of socks to stick in a drawer, something else--nothing important, all quick. I didn't think it was a big deal to leave the gate down at the bottom of the stairs. Rowan was playing with her toys, Lucy was snoozing next to the couch.

Two minutes, that's all it took--two minutes.

I guess this is proof that my daughter really loves me and wants to be with me all of the time.

In those two minutes, my 11 1/2 month old daughter climbed 10 stairs.

She didn't fall, thank God (and with some serious help from her guardian angels, I'm sure). But I'll be buying one of those more permanent type gates with a
door for the bottom of the stairs, too. And pronto. Yikes.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I love Gay Carrington

Why isn't Hollywood like this anymore? I'd rather watch a plastic doll talk than anything Lindsay Lohan stars in...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saving NRG

My husband is admittedly Obsessive-Compulsive. He has high standards, and is as stubborn as a goat. Yes, I love this about him, but it also drives me nuts. Once he decides something is better, that becomes the law, and we can never do it another way again.

I can't buy cheaper coffee, because he prefers the fancy-whole-bean-freshly-roasted-ground-seconds-before-brewing-stuff, which he must go through a very careful ritual of preparing. This means that I never make the coffee, because he has decided that his way is best, and even if I do it EXACTLY the SAME WAY it won't be good enough because I probably didn't put the precise amount of pressure on the grounds when I tamped them which is unnecessary for an automatic drip but he's decided it's better so it has to be done. (Why yes, he's insane! Welcome to my life.) We must have the freshest of the fresh and the strongest of the strong and everyone who doesn't share our taste is a WIMP!!! If he prefers it slightly, we must have it because there's NO GOING BACK!!! It took 2 years for him to accept the fact that I'm not going to go out every single day to buy $4 loaves of fresh bread that's not even as good as what we got in France, because he had it in France and it was better so that's how it has to be!!! (Why yes, the urge to beat him over the head with a baguette has a strong hold on me...)

Then, the recession hit, we chose for me to stay home with Rowan, we had new bills for student loans and a car and a mortgage and he found out that one salary doesn't go as far as he dreamed it would. We had to cut corners. This was not easy for him. He got angry because the cupboards weren't filled with his favorite foods all the time, and he couldn't just go to the store and buy fresh croissants and cheeses imported from Spain and French wine because it wasn't in the food budget anymore. I made him eat potatoes (oh the horror!) and didn't spend hours preparing his favorite dishes because I was busy raising our daughter. Sometimes, dinner included corn. CORN! And we're not talking organic sweet corn roasted in the husks over mesquite briquettes--it was frozen, out of a bag. This was torture to him. So I began to get crafty, knowing his OCD nature, and to give new justifications for things. And it was working.

"I'm only going to the grocery store once a week, because it doesn't make any sense to waste the gas for several trips when I can plan ahead and go once. So if we're out of something, you can just be patient until the next trip." (Which means "Suck it up. So we're out of chips. Big whoop. You don't need them anyway.")


"I didn't get any cheeses, because they were all from so far away and required so many fossil fuels to bring them to us. I just thought that was too wasteful and bad for the environment."

So, he eats Vermont cheddar. And he likes it! You see where I'm going with this? Yeah, you could call me a loca lova volca local-food eater, but if I claimed that he would start to demand that everything we ate be grown within 25 miles of our door, and it would just get obsessive and overly expensive and I don't even want to go there. (I'll buy local when I can, promise.)

So we're doing things, a little at a time, and it's making a difference in our budget, and hopefully the environment, too. But still, we found our electricity bill rather high. He started doing research (again obsessively) and declared we had to sell our upright freezer. I suggested we start by unplugging it. Then, we had to replace the fridge. Which is a year old. He did more research, and found there would be no reason for that. He checked every appliance in the house. Nope, all new, all efficient. We got an estimate on replacing the windows. Holy big chunk of change, Batman. Nope, not gonna happen, so we looked into thermal curtains. We already had switched to CFL's, and I suggested he lower the temperature on the water heater. But still, it was bothering him. He knew there was something else that could be done that would magically fix the high electricity bill.

Last night, I had a dream that I walked in the bathroom and he had removed the light fixture from the wall.

"It's so you don't have the temptation to turn on the light," he said. "We can pee in the dark!"

I woke up soon after and told him about it.

"Sounds like something I'd do," he said.

That's it. I'm hiding his tools.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I call my baby nasty names.

Before Rowan was born, we called her Zizou. She kicked like a soccer player, so it really did fit. Since she showed up, she's been labeled a lot of things. Sweetpea, Starshine, Sweetie, Honey, Pea (not to be confused with Pee), Pooper (well, yeah, that's gross, but at least it's only one icky nickname), Sunshine, Sugar, Sugar-Booger, Booger (OK, 2 more icky nicknames), Boog, Punkin, Stinker, Evil Monkey, Pickle, Sweaty Betty, Stinky and probably another forty or fifty names that I can't think of right now.

Today, she earned a new one. She got a new tooth.

But it's not in the usual, cute place mirroring her bottom two that came in a few months ago.

Nope, not our girl. I guess having a dog has influenced her. The new one? It's a canine.

So now, she's Fang.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I don't care if my Mother's Day gift is insulting.

mother and daughter, originally uploaded by pomegranates.

Happy Mother's Day, to all you other mothers out there. I hope you had a great one!

Today, for me, was wonderful. I was remembered by friends and family (which was wonderful), and Dr. B treated me like a queen. He may not have showered me with cards and flowers (fine with me), but he tried to do things that were really meaningful.

OK, yeah, I did have a little something to do with that.

Last night, before bed, I got to thinking. The night before, I had about 4 hours sleep total. Rowan took a long time to go down, and woke at 5:30 and decided she was up. Period. We were having a friend over to BBQ, so her nap time was not available to me because I was getting the house and food ready. I was worn out. When our friend left, we all lied down for a nap. Rowan's was about an hour. Dr. B slept for about 3 1/2 hours. By the time I got to lie down (as soon as I could after our friend left), I got a stinkin' 30 minutes. I was wiped.

So, I said to Dr. B, "since tomorrow's Mother's Day, if Rowan wakes up at 5 AM, can you go deal with her?" He agreed immediately, and we headed up to bed.

At 1:30 AM, she started crying.

"But it's not even 2 yet!" he yelled, sitting up with a start.

I smiled and rolled over, and relished the fact that I didn't have to get up. "She doesn't care what time it is," I said.

He headed into her room, quieted her, and slept with her in his arms in the guest bed, while I stretched out in our big bed and fell back to sleep.

This morning, he brought her in to nurse at 7. When she was done, I brought her down to where he was in the kitchen making himself breakfast, handed her over, and turned to go back to bed. A bit panicked, he asked for help making her breakfast first. I warmed her oatmeal, pulled out the tofu and applesauce to mix in, and handed him the spoon. I honestly don't remember climbing the stairs.

At 9:30, he came in and handed her to me again, and said he needed a shower. I held and played with her until he was done. Then I handed her back, and went back to sleep until 10:48.

This was payback for that 3 1/2 hour nap.

Soon after I woke, she went down for her morning nap, and Dr. B joined her. I ate a little chocolate for breakfast (diets don't exist on Mother's Day), read my email and blogs, and took a shower. After a nice lunch (I cooked! On Mother's Day! Above and beyond the call of duty, I tell you...) we got ready and went out. We did a little shopping, and then drove to Selin's Grove, Pennsylvania for dinner at the Selin's Grove Brewpub (very good--great beer, and their spinach artichoke dip is to die for!)

I had more trouble getting her to bed tonight, so I sent Dr. B up to finish her off. (Lately, I will get her to sleep, but as soon as my toe crosses the threshold to leave, she wakes up and screams. After 4 such episodes, I needed to call in reinforcements.) While he laid down with her again (and fell asleep--he's still up there), I played with my new toy, my Mother's Day gift. Some people might think this is an insulting present, but I am completely and utterly thrilled with it. I chose it myself, and I know it will make my life easier. Yes, I have things that do this already, and yes this is another appliance that I really didn't *need*, and yes it is an energy sucker and wasteful, but I don't care. It works. It sucks. All those stupid little bits that are everywhere right now and driving me nuts, sucked up with no bending and scraping. And it spits and wipes, so hopefully she won't have grungy knees on her sleepers anymore. It makes cleaning easier. And easier means less stressful, which to me is as valuable as a day at the spa. Yay for insulting presents that make my life easier!!!

Happy Mom's Day!

***Illustration by pomegranates on flickr, creative commons licensed. Please check out her other stuff!!! And thanks, pomegranates, for licensing it for use and letting me blog it!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hungry Camera

After taking a few photos and videos, my memory card came up full. Full? It's huge! This was a red flag, so I hooked it up and started to dig around rather than just letting iPhoto do its thing, and I found a bunch of videos stuck on my camera that never got put in my computer for some reason. Last night I transfered them to my computer, but fearing a crash (it would be my luck) I wanted to save them somewhere else. Can't lose those precious gurgles, after all.

Enter Flickr, who now stores video, too (though there are a few longer ones it won't take.) I'm busy loading them to the site, and need to do some serious editing as it says they were all taken yesterday, for some reason not being able to access the date they were actually filmed.

Looking back, it's hard to believe she was really that little, hairless, and helpless. The whirling dervish is now called Hurricane Rowan, and has real, actual hair (not just the downy fluff) sprouting from her noggin--pale, blonde and straight just like her Maman. She's grown gradually noisier, stronger, and more purposeful, and it's amazing for me especially to watch these, because the little changes meld into one another for me. Things I thought I saw are just not there, and others I've already forgotten. Watching now, it's incredible to see how far she's come in such a short time.

So if you want to waste a lot of time, go hit my flickr. I won't feel hurt if you don't, though. They're mostly for me.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

She likes it!

Rowan has always been a good eater. From the first licks of non-alcoholic Strawberry Daquiri in the Bahamas (thanks so much for that, Chad) to bowls of grits mixed with chicken and mixed veggies last night, she eats it all, even the lima beans. Her only requirement is variety--should we give her one thing too many times, she'll reject it and throw a little tantrum in the high chair, flinging the food all over the floor. She is currently off bananas, Cheerios and yams for this reason.

As we sit down to dinner, she eats along side us, and this has worked great. She behaves well at the table, and is good in restaurants, too. Lately, however, she's begun to notice when her food is different than Mom and Dad's. She'll stare pointedly at our dinner, and then look down to her plainer fare, and stop eating.

So, lately she's become even more adventurous in her food offerings. Tandoori chicken and basmati rice. Philly cheesesteak. Fresh lemons from my iced tea. We did find one thing she didn't like at all, which actually surprised me since I craved it while I was pregnant--root beer. She spit the entire mouthful down her shirt, but then stopped grabbing my styrofoam cup out of my hand, so I guess it was a mixed blessing.

Yesterday, continuing in her whirling dervish phase, she made a beeline for the corner of the kitchen to try something new. Luckily, I caught her before she had swallowed.

I don't think Lucy's Canine Crunchies were designed for babies of the human variety.
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