Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Shoe That Droppeth

This past weekend, we drove all the way up to Burlington, Vermont, to spend time with my cousin and her husband, son, dog and two cats (which stayed in the basement, because we're allergic, but we did play some games of bat the organic cocoa puff from under the door.) We also attended some good friends' wedding in Stowe, calling on J and M to babysit the evil monkey so she wouldn't drown in the pond behind the chuppah. We set off on Thursday, leaving late because Dr. B had some REALLY IMPORTANT MEETINGS (read: ones he regretted not rescheduling) and because he hadn't packed anything so had to when he got home. I spent the morning taking the dog to the kennel, packing mine and Rowan's things, and making sandwiches to tuck into the mini-fridge Dr. B got for his birthday from my Dad and his wife. It plugs into the car cigarette lighter (do they still call them that? I don't think ours even has a lighter.) I also tossed in string cheese and apples, and nearly used up everything spoilable in the fridge. I was pretty proud of myself.

By the time we got going for the 8 1/2 hour drive, it was after 2. I wasn't very happy about that, but chose to keep quiet while he decompressed after a stressful morning. We stopped to fill our tank somewhere before Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. (Did you know it's pronounced "Berry"? I didn't. You learn something new every day.) We pulled into the very busy station, and I opened the tank door.

And it didn't open.

And I tried again. And again. And again.

Then we tried opening it by hand. And using my library card. And even the edge of my key, until I was worried I'd scratch the car. No deal.

There we were, in Bufuegypt, PA, and we were out of gas and couldn't fill our tank. I asked the women inside what to do, and they spent about 5 minutes going back and forth discussing who I should call. Finally, after hunting for a piece of paper and pen for another 2 minutes, they gave me a phone number. "Where are they located?" I asked. "Oh, they're right across the street." I rolled my eyes, and got back in the car to drive across the street. (I had enough gas for that. And I won't even mention how many teeth each of the women had, but let's just say I had more than both put together. Ah, central Pennsyltucky.)

Dr. B was busy changing Rowan when I got to the car, because OF COURSE, there were no changing tables in the men's room. He tossed my jacket aside, and attempted to hold down the monster, who had lots of energy after sitting in her seat for a few hours. We were helped by the mechanic, who untwisted the thingee through a panel in the trunk (and it wasn't my fault, BTW, there weren't even suitcases near it.) We filled up at his station, and went on our way.

"Now, when is the other shoe going to drop," said Dr. B as he drove in the rush-hour Scranton traffic, "because you know it will." (doom gloom doom gloom doom gloom) "It's just a matter of time."

A few minutes later...

"Do you smell that? The smoke? Is that inside or outside our car?" he said.

I looked around and couldn't see anything outside, but it was getting worse. Then I turned around.

"AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! Stop the car! STOP THE CAR! Something's on FIRE!!!"

Remember that jacket? Yeah. Lesson #1: do NOT drape a jacket over the fan for the little plug in fridge, and forget to put it back on the car seat. Luckily, where there was smoke, there was no fire.

But Dr. B is still waiting for the third shoe...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Glue Gun

It's nearly that time of year. The leaves are starting to turn, nights are getting cooler, and thoughts are turning to various types of sweet, sickening, fattening crap we can stuff our gullets with until the sun comes out again.

In other words, the Halloween costumes are back in the store, and bags and bags of "FUN SIZE!" candy is waiting to be consumed. And repurchased for the trick or treaters (who never show up, so you eat it again.)

Rowan needs a costume, and being the creative (read CRAZY) person I am, I really want to make it myself. I am very handy with a glue gun and felt, and even have been known to stitch things when I get a wild hair. Upstairs I have a giant meatball, green and red pepper and mushroom pizza costume (mine), and some couples-costumes of bacon and eggs (I was the eggs) and two trees and a hammock.

So now, I need some inspiration for my 15-month old. Plus, it must be something she can't destroy and nothing can go on her head because she'll just rip it off. And I want to to be clever, G-rated and really adorable. And if it came with an accompanying set of parent costumes, more the better.

Any ideas?

PS Vermont trip updates to come!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


She loves the music, originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

This weekend we were happy to host my sister and her husband for a nice visit, and especially to have Rowan baptized. (More pics on flickr, and more to come when my sis sends them.) Since we really wanted Rock and Josh to be her Godparents, and since I didn't have the heart to ask them to get up early the day after their wedding reception to do it. we had to wait until all involved parties were in the same zip code. Though I didn't realize it until the service started, her baptism day was 35 years to the day I was baptized, though she couldn't wear my dress, packed away in the cedar chest and ironed so carefully by my own mother long ago. Since I was only 4 weeks old when I was baptized, she has long outgrown the gown, but I was able to find a white dress for her to wear.

The service began, and it was a long one. Rowan did really, really well until about 2 minutes before the big moment, when she began to pitch a major fit and ran away from me, across the back of the sanctuary. While Pastor Ron read all the opening lines, she wiggled and squirmed (and the slippery dress did NOT help), yelled and cried, and did everything she could to escape. Her dad held her over the bronze bowl, and suddenly she stopped crying as the water dribbled over her forehead. She twisted around, and to the delight of the congregation, began splashing and playing in the water, banging her palms against the metal bowl and bringing handfuls of water up to her mouth. She's got the spirit in her!

Following the service, we came home for brunch, and were joined by nine of our local friends. We felt very lucky to have made such good friends already, after only being here for a year, and were very happy they could celebrate with us. Rowan fell asleep in the car on the way home and didn't wake up until most of them had gone home, but everyone seemed to have a good time, nearly all the food was gone and people were groaning, so I guess it was a success!

Rock and Josh went home yesterday, and I've been busy trying to catch up on laundry in preparation for our trip to Vermont this weekend to see family and to attend some friends' wedding. I'm tired, yes, but looking forward to seeing a new part of the country, and spending some time with Dr. B. The first weeks of the school year are not good for the professor and his wife's relationship--I hardly ever see him!

Now I just need your prayers that she'll sleep in the car. If not, those will be 8 loooooooong hours.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where I Was

9/11 v5.0, originally uploaded by absolutwade.

Teaching. St. Francis Xavier K-8 School in Cross Plains, Wisconsin, a tiny town about 20 minutes west of Madison. We were in the middle of our band rehearsal, and things were going fine--no big problems or surprises, just a regular rehearsal. They didn't come to get us because they figured we would know soon enough. When my first lesson didn't come down to the classroom, I went up to get them, and found the entire middle school huddled around the television, many of them crying and praying, all of them looking shell-shocked.

Julia (a student) asked me, "Are you scared?" I said, "Yes. I am." Then she panicked, thinking the terrorists were going to target her school next. (The mind of a sixth grader.)

It's hard to believe it's been seven years. Nothing has been the same since.

Thanks to absolutwade for creative commons licensing this amazing photo.

The Post that wasn't.

Hi. It's been a while. I know. Sorry.

I have had a bit of writer's block. Nothing funny has really been happening, and I'm kind of just doing my thing. Then something kind of big happened and I was upset and freaked out and worried but I didn't write about it because I was afraid. Then it didn't. And it was all sort of a fizzle and then I didn't know what to write. And now I feel sort of stuck.

So here it is. I'll just tell you, get it off my chest, and then I can go back to writing about how teething sucks (it really, really does), Rowan's baptism and the brunch we're having (this weekend), my sister and BIL's visit, and our Vermont trip for the BlumingWhiteSacks' wedding and to see my cousin and her family.

OK. So. I was in the shower on a Sunday morning, getting ready for church, and I felt a lump. Under my arm in the boob region. And it hurt. A lot.

Of course, it was Memorial Day weekend. No doc until Tuesday. And I got scared.

All the scenarios ran through my head. Dr. B couldn't really understand why I was so upset. "It's probably nothing," he said.

But all I could think was, "she won't remember me."

(I know, I know. Total overreaction.)

"Why do you do this? Why do you think about any possible bad thing that could happen? What good does it do?" he asked.

"I have to. I've been trained to. Mom. She trained me to think about it so if it ever happened, I'd be prepared," I answered. "And I was. When she died, I was the one who knew. Where she wanted to be buried, her favorite hymns, where the funeral should be, even the type of flowers to order. I didn't have to think." Yes, I am a bit of a doomsdayer, and superstitious, to boot. I won't wash our sheets, even if they really need it, when he's out of town. I know it's dumb. I also save his voicemails until he gets home. I don't talk about it, but it goes through my head. What I'd do, if I had to.

And so, I went to the doctor Tuesday morning, fully prepared to be told to have a mammogram, to get an awful diagnosis, to lose my hair from chemo, and on and on and on.

But, it's just a plugged duct. A few hot showers, some massage, an angle change and a very aggressive session with the breast pump, and I'm fine.

And thankful. For the teething, which does suck big time, but I am glad I'm here to be with her when she needs me. For the poopy diapers and the turds that fall on my bare foot. For the Cheerios in my sheets, the plastic toys I step on, the banana chunks on the floor, and the Cheezit crumbs at the bottom of my purse.

It's all worth it. And I want every minute.

Monday, September 01, 2008


For the video, click here. I'm suspecting it's slowing my site right now, so I've taken it off to see.
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