Saturday, January 31, 2009

One of those magical parenting moments

Things I Googled while on hold with Pediatrician Man's weekend phone nurse:

Nasal Obstruction
Foreign Body in Nose
Gray Nasal Discharge

What Charlie says when you ask him what he put in his nose:

"I'm a monkey!" followed by maniacal laughter.


UPDATE: The nurse suggested I put my finger over the unaffected nostril and then blow into Charlie's mouth like I was giving him CPR. On the first try, the corner of whatever it was started to show. I tried again and it was obvious that whatever it was was BIG. It took FOUR TRIES to get the thing out. It finally popped out and Charlie was visibly more comfortable (once the screaming from "the procedure" had calmed down). Whatever it was was big (approximately conical, a quarter inch in diameter and a half inch long) and brown and hard. We think it was part of a banana stem (hence the monkey references from Mr. Helpful). I think he had it in his mouth and then a sneeze propelled it into his sinuses because there is no way it went in there through his nostril. Now I know why he was such a crab all day! Poor little guy.

Charlie, Snowboarder hat
Picture taken this morning shortly after presumed lodging of banana stem in nose and shortly before I said to Ryan "Should I be worried that he has black snot coming out of his nose?" Of course NOW it is quite obvious that something is in there.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pediatrician Man, bringing the hammer down

"Wow, what a healthy looking little guy! How is he sleeping at night?" asked Pediatrician Man.

"Um, well, he goes down around seven."

Pediatrician Man smiles approvingly.

"And then he wakes up at midnight and eats."

He nods. Smile begins to fade.

"And then he wakes up in increasingly short intervals until I bring him to bed with me around three-thirty or four."

"Mmm hmm. He doesn't actually need to eat at night anymore. It may be time to let him learn to self soothe by crying himself to sleep. I know it sounds harsh, but he's just in a habit of waking up for 'Mom time'. He doesn't actually need to eat."

Pediatrician Man is obviously not acquainted with the intensity of Wesley's night screaming. I think the HOA may add a bylaw disallowing it at the quarterly meeting.

"So, just let him cry it out? It's already time for that?"

"Yes, his weight is good, his daytime eating is good, he's ready."

"Okey dokey!"

When I left the office I was pretty gung ho about teaching the little vampire to sleep. But then during Charlie's nap Wesley and I fell asleep on the couch all curled up together and my resolve crumbled. I know Charlie was sleeping twelve hours a night by this point, but Wesley just seems so little. And Charlie didn't require "cry it out". He simply started sleeping all night one day and has been going strong ever since (please don't throw overripe fruit at me, I am paying for it now).

And, well, just look at him! He's going to be sleeping in my bed until Super Nanny comes and tells me that it's ahb-so-LUTE-ly ri-DIC-u-lous that a child of that age is still sleeping with his Mum and Dad.

Does not know what is coming

Cute little Schmoopy or not, we all need to start getting more sleep. I mean, Ryan works with high voltage equipment for goodness sake. And he DOESN'T DRINK COFFEE.

We are going to start "working with him" tomorrow night.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Annnnnnnd done.

It went well. Great even. I have a number of things they want me to add and clarify, but it went well.

Dr. Advisor said "I'm pleased with your progress. This is a very good step forward" and at one point while I was explaining something to Cowboy Committee Member (and really kicking ass, I might add), Dr. Advisor was nodding emphatically and [gasp] smiling. It was a display of advisor emotion the likes of which have never been seen (outside of a collegiate sporting event).

Some highlights:

Crying as I drove up our street in the dark fog this morning because as much as I'd like to think I'm not one of those people who can't leave their baaaay-beeees, handing a snuggly, asleep Wesley to Ryan and kissing a sleeping Charlie on the head was kind of a lot.

$24 for the cab to stop at Walmart on the way from the airport to school so I could run in and buy more breastmilk bags.

Explaining to Dr. Advisor that "I'll be ready in a few minutes, I am going to go 'make some babyfood'" before sneaking into an unoccupied faculty office to pump.

Chasing (he's a fast walker. He once told me "successful people walk fast") Dr. Advisor across a frozen, grassy lawn in HEELS on the way to the engineering building.

TWENTY DEGREES AND FREEZING DRIZZLE. TWENTY! DEGREES! FREEZING DRIZZLE! TWENTY! So glad I didn't wear a skirt. So badly wish I'd brought A COAT (One might think someone who has nearly completed a PhD in WIND SCIENCE would think to glance at before heading out the door, but you would be wrong!).

Anyway. It was very good. My defense date is the first Thursday in March.

Ryan and the boys met me for hamburgers "after pickup" just like the two earner households do.

And now I am going to go get in the shower until my hot water heater falls to its knees and begs for mercy because I AM STILL COLD (TWENTY!).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

If only I'd done it in heels and pearls

So, if all goes well tomorrow (and that's a big honking IF) I will have pulled off hosting our wonderful friends and Wesley's Godparents at our home for the weekend, dinner for nine, Wesley's baptism, much baking for the wonderful brunch held by my sister for Wesley, creating a seventy-five slide presentation (need to take out at least fifteen slides by tomorrow), a trip to the Old Town, a meeting with Dr. Advisor, and a "mini-defense". In ONE WEEKEND. On approximately negative eight hours of sleep. I can't even imagine how relaxing my life will seem after March when all this nonsense is behind me.


(Baptism was wonderful. Weekend was filled with friends and family. We are so lucky.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Good Mother" FAIL

So. I got good and riled up as I was leaving daycare this morning, tears even, and I was going to write this awesome angry/sad heaving, little pieces of kleenex stuck in your eyebrows kind of post for you. But after a trip through the Dunkies drive through for a supersized portion of "My Feelings" for breakfast, I am feeling a bit better and a little silly for all the sobbing I did in my car in the daycare parking lot.

It started out like any other day. I got dressed from the pile of clothes in my closet. I got Wesley dressed. Ryan got Charlie dressed and gave him breakfast (blueberries and toast). We filled bottles. We remembered Blue Bear (Charlie's daytime Phent proxy). We remembered Wesley's swaddling blanket and the "personal item that smells like me" that his teacher hopes will comfort him enough that he won't spend the day screaming and rending his garment (I sent in my pillowcase. They asked for a shirt that I had slept in, but that really grossed me out). Ryan left for work. I loaded the boys into the car. We left. We sang songs, we pointed out trucks and buses and flags and horses. We got gas, we played with the windshield wipers, we talked about Wesley's baptism this weekend and Charlie's baptism two years ago.

We took Wesley to his classroom. I put away the bottles, the lunchbox, the blanket, the pillowcase. I took Wesley out of his car seat. Blowout. His teacher "I think he has some poop on him." "Oh look at that. It must have happened in the car. Sorry." "Don't worry, I'll change him." "Oh, thank you, that would be great." Take Charlie to his room, settle him in for pretzels and apple juice. Put away his jacket, Blue Bear. Walk to the front.

"Wesley had a potty accident and he doesn't have any extra clothes." the front desk lady says. "I know, I'm going to go look for something in my car."

Look in the car. Charlie's shorts, Charlie's pants, wet diaper, baby blanket, size N diaper, fast food cup, fast food bag, toddler swimsuit, my sweater, my hat, Charlie's hat, pacifier, toy truck. At last, Wesley's sweatshirt! Search trunk for a pair of pants, shorts, onezie, anything. More junk, more shame, tears, MESSY CAR, MESSY LIFE, NO EXTRA CLOTHES FOR THE BABY, FAIL FAIL FAIL, shame spiral, tears, self-chastisement for tears, stiff upper lip. Skulk back into Wesley's classroom holding sweatshirt. Find him sitting happily in Exersaucer wearing a borrowed onezie. Offer sweatshirt. Receive Look of Condemnation from teacher. "It's OK, we have extra clothes." FAIL FAIL FAIL. Leave before the tears. Leave before the tears. Run/walk to car. Cry. Bang steering wheel. Scream "I'M DOING THE BEST I CAN." Wonder if professionally dressed dad outside heard me.

Drive to donut place. Continue "I'm doing the best I can. I'm doing the best I can. I'm doing the best I can." Order two donuts because why the eff not? Pull up to trashcan, clean out car as much as possible. Cry some more. Wonder if this feeling of being totally out of control and never being good enough for anyone will ever go away. Doubt it. Remember that I've been averaging about five hours of sleep a night since September. Decide to drink some coffee before calling Dr. Advisor and quitting right there on the access road to the highway. Eat donut. Feel slightly better.

Then I got angry. Because of everything Wesley and Charlie need at daycare, forgetting clothes is of the least consequence. He has to have bottles, his blanket, his pillowcase. Charlie has to have Blue Bear. They have extra clothes there. It would be better if he had clothes in his cubby, but since they insist on changing him every time he spits up it is difficult to maintain a supply. I AM doing the best I can. So what if everyone else's best includes name-brand diapers, cute little multi-piece outfits for their infants, a week's worth of extra clothes in the cubby, feeding instructions in painstaking detail taped to their diaper bags. I dress Wesley in simple clothes because I know they have a lot of babies to take care of and there's no reason for them to be doing up three sets of snaps every time they change him. I give them basic feeding instructions because I know they have to develop their own rhythm with him, that he responds differently to different caregivers and as long as he is getting enough to eat it doesn't matter how many ounces he eats before he burps.

My kids are happy and healthy and clean. They learn about current events, we eat dinner together as a family every night, Charlie knows how to care for his sapling, he can point out the roots of the weeds I pull in the back yard. He his helpful and courteous. He is curious and bright. Wesley is a happy baby. He smiles, he coos, he is trying to roll over. Charlie is his hero.

And once we all start getting some sleep, we'll be unstoppable.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Doing this Stay at Home Mom thing up BIG

Some of the neighbor ladies and I had a little get-together/feeding frenzy for the toddlers to commemorate the inauguration. First I turned our living room into the National Mall with the Washington Monument on one side:

Toddler Inauguration Party

And Capitol Hill on the other side:

Toddler Inauguration Party

Then I made festive little toddler hors d'oeuvres.

(These are all that were left after the aforementioned feeding frenzy)

There were also cookies (red, white, and blue sugar cookies, naturally), hummus, bagel chips, and popcorn.

Then I invited a whole bunch of toddlers and friends over and let them have at it. No pictures but imagine an episode of Nova when the scientists throw a bucket of chum into the ocean and all the sharks come and fight over it. Then superimpose that on my coffee table.

I'm like one "scrapbook nite" away from owning a holiday motif sweatshirt.*

Charlie cheered heartily along with the crowd on TV and shrieked "Oba-Biden-Mama!" whenever the NEW PRESIDENT was shown. Such a great day.

*And it was really really fun. I'm already thinking I'll do a toddler Mardi Gras party**. Shhh, don't tell my twenty-two year old self!

**If I'm not still in academic purgatory then. We will see.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why the mini-defense Dr. Advisor has scheduled for next Monday is going to SUCK.

Subtitle: Why I break into hives at the very thought of the mini-defense scheduled for next Monday. The day after Wesley's Christening. After which I have promised myself I will NOT be hosting a entertaining-phobia inducing brunch for all of our family and friends. Even though not hosting a brunch for him makes me feel all guilty and poor neglected second child-y. And also I am really hoping I can keep the guilt from overcoming me and causing me to try and throw something together at the last minute.

Our last, oh, twenty MILLION evenings have gone something like this:

7:30. He's asleep! Yay! Let's do a puzzle! Let's drink wine! Let's watch Curb Your Enthusiasm or other non-child-friendly entertainment featuring flagrant use of the F word.

8:02. Grunt. Grunt. Grunt. Whimper. Grunt.

We freeze, afraid to move or speak audibly lest his Spidey-sense pick up that we are In Range, available to meet needs unspecified.

8:05. Silence. Phew.

10:00. I think I'll go to bed! Whee! I'm going to get to sleep!

10:30. Grunt. Grunt. SQUEAAAAAAK. Quiet cry. Quiet cry. LOUD CRY.

Shooooooot. Whisk baby out of crib, attach to boob. Falls asleep contentedly.

11:00. Finally relax enough to go back to sleep.

11:45. WAAAAAAA!


Ryan attempts to calm him down unsuccessfuly due to lack of boob.

Feed baby and fall asleep with head stuck awkwardly through headboard slats. Summon energy to get him back into his crib upon waking up with menengitis-esque neck pain. Lay in bed unable to sleep for fear of being awakened again until 12:30.

3:00. Grunt. Grunt. Sigh.

OK! Good! Back to sleep.

3:15. Grunt. Grunt. Sigh.

What? Huh? Back to sleep.


Eh shit.

Feed, fall asleep with cleverest infant in the country nestled cozily under my arm IN MY BED.

6:00. So cold. So very cold. I wonder if I could just sneeeeaaaak him into this Pack and Play so I can get a feeeeew more minutes of sl--WAAAAAAAAAA!


6:30. Alarm goes off and wakes finally asleep Wesley and refreshed and ready to play Charlie.

7:30. Ryan leaves for work. I leave for daycare.

8:15. Sit down with my enormous Dunkin Donuts coffee and attempt to keep my eyes open long enough to read technical papers (HA!) and respond intelligently to Dr. Advisor's questions (HA HA HA!) and plan my presentation for Monday (HA HA HA HOOOO HA HA HEEE HA!).

Mini-defense (Dr. Advisor wants me to run through everything one last time before my committee to make sure I am ready. I could answer that without hauling my breast pump through airport security: AM NOT READY! WILL NEVER BE READY! Whee!) is on the 20th in the old town and of course, I have totally overcommitted myself for this week (Christening, Inauguration Playdate) because THAT IS WHAT I DO! See you on the other side.

Forthcoming: Hastily written freakout re: jobs: want one? can't find one? will never have one? Sobbbbbbbb gobacktobed hide. So you have that to look forward to.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Little Adventures

*We have this jar of Mexican vanilla. It is wonderful in recipes, but the lid to the jar is always stuck. While making snickerdoodles last night I tried everything to get the lid off to the point I swear I was going to hear the cracking of little bones in my hand. Finally, with Ryan strapping a screaming Wesley into his carseat so they could go to the store and Charlie whining and trying to climb up my leg so he could see what was going on on the counter, I had had it. I went to the garage, got a drill, and calmly drilled two holes in the lid. Ryan watched, impressed, as I poured my half teaspoon of vanilla and finished making the dough.

*Charlie had his first true public tantrum yesterday and I went all Supernanny on him. You know, react by not reacting. I took them to the mall to get an outfit for Wesley's Christening next week and forgot the stroller. Everything was going fine until Charlie realized that we were leaving and he wouldn't get to push the elevator button again. He melted into a puddle on the mall floor wailing "PUSH BUTTON!! PUSH BUTTON!! PUSH BUTTON!!" "Time to go get some lunch, Charlie, let's go to the car!" I said cheerfully as he flailed on the tile, then slowly walked towards the door of the department store. I stopped about twenty feet away (the mall was deserted, thanks economy) and stood calmly waiting for him. He calmed down after several minutes and wordlessly got up, walked over to me, and took my hand. Take that, Grasshopper!

*Heh heh heh. Hahahahaha. Heee heeeee. Ha. Ha ha ha:
New Suit

*The drive-through lady at Dunkin Donuts made me so mad the other day I almost left without buying anything. Almost. I ordered a multigrain bagel with cream cheese, which is ON THE MENU. She said "We don't have multigrain, we have..." You know how you can't understand people on the little speaker. "OK, I said, how about sesame seed, then" I replied, based on a PICTURE OF A SESAME SEED BAGEL ON THE MENU. "That's not one of the ones I called out!!" she SNAPPED back at me. What the hell?

*This lady at daycare, who presumably has small children herself, saw me coming with Wesley in the carseat and Charlie by the hand and made a special point to close the door right before I got there. You know, so she could be sure I entered my access code and actually belonged there. Because if I was going to kidnap a child from a daycare bringing my OWN TWO CHILDREN and a diaper bag loaded with breastmilk would be a TOTALLY AWESOME DISGUISE. The best part was that she actually STOOD THERE WATCHING ME ENTER MY CODE AND THEN STRUGGLE TO OPEN THE DOOR. She did not offer to help. Tool.

*I grabbed a blanket out of the drier and tucked it around Wesley in his carseat this morning. On the way to the car I noticed that it had a pair of my undies stuck to it.

*I realized yesterday that my "moisturizer" was actually only sunscreen which explains why my face feels like it's ripping every time I smile. I added a real moisturizer to my morning "routine" today and it has been much better.

*The moms of twins club was at the mall yesterday and shamed me into dressing "nicely" today, you know, jeans, sneakers, and a sweater. If they can flat-iron their hair with two eighteen month olds I can certainly change out of my pajama top before leaving the house. Honestly.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Know Thyself

It's no secret that I HATE being cold. Sure, the first big cold front of the year is exciting and novel and then I love getting out my cozy coat, making stew and banana bread for dinner, building a fire, and snuggling down into the couch with warm blankets and a mug of hot chocolate. But two or three "arctic blasts" later you are more likely to find me holed up in my house wearing my bathrobe and slippers over my clothes muttering about this "Damn cold weather. People aren't meant to live like this. If we were we'd all have fur. I freaking hate this stupid weather..." etc.

We had a pretty cold winter in the old town, but I am starting to realize that my understanding of cold weather there was analogous to the understanding a sixteen year old babysitter has of parenting. Sure you enjoy it and you might even be good at it, but in the end, when it gets tough, you can LEAVE. I'm starting to realize that my fond memories of childhood winters, playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate, watching movies snuggled up as a family, were fond memories of CHILDHOOD and not fond memories of FREEZING MY ASS OFF IN THE SNOW. For example, I rarely look back fondly on the time I went out to the car to get my last dry pair of slippers (the other ones being wet after stepping in the puddle of water in the foyer left by our thawing mittens and boots) only to slip on the way back in and drop them into a slushy puddle. I was probably ten when that happened and I still remember the acute feeling of despair.

So it is only now, facing of a week of temperatures in the thirties, that I can let go of the "What might have been" fantasies I have held onto since we decided to move to South instead of Boston. The picture I have in my mind of living in Boston has no grounding in reality. We were going to live in the city. In my head it was going to be wonderful. We would take the boys sledding in the park! We would have cozy snow days inside with movies and blanket forts and baking! I pictured the warmly lit storefronts and windows around Cambridge (where we would live) and how much like a Christmas card it all seemed. I imagined the Boston described by my grandparents, who were living there when they met one another.

I did not anticipate having a toddler who NEEDS to run around outside every day. I did not think about the herculean effort required to get two squirmy boys into snowsuits and then down multiple flights of stairs into a stroller or the freezing walk to the store every single time we needed something. I pushed to the back of my mind my dad's warnings of weeks upon weeks of freezing cold rain, which would be even worse than snow. Somehow, I also forgot how cold and angry I always got waiting for the bus in the commuter parking lot at school. Or the time I thought I could hack a half-mile walk from my office to one of my classes in twenty degree weather with thirty mph wind. I could not. The friend I was walking with, who was from New Hampshire, walked casually, no hat, hands at his sides, keeping up his end of the conversation. I pulled my hood on over my hat, smushed my mitten-clad hands into my pockets, and tried to pull my head into my coat like a turtle. Talking was completely out of the question given I couldn't feel my face. Yes, I realize how ridiculous this makes me sound to my friends from Wisconsin and Minnesota and Michigan.

Which is exactly my point. I am not cut out for living in cold weather. South is the right place for us. It will be in the thirties this week, but next week it could be in the seventies! Our pool is open year round and I will never have to deal with snot frozen to a size 2T parka! Today we will cuddle up on the couch, tomorrow we will ride bikes in the culdesac! We don't need to rally a team of sled dogs should we need to run out for infant Tylenol at two o'clock in the morning!

Of course we are going to visit New England this summer and I am sure once I step out of the airport upon our arrival home I will be cursing summer and bemoaning the fact that we live in a place where they announce the number of consecutive hundred degree days on the evening news.

Monday, January 12, 2009

This weekend, by the numbers

1 instructor job application submitted (oh please oh please oh please, this job is PERFECT)

4 breakfast tacos, eaten by the 3 solids eating members of the family

1 book read in Braille at storytime

2 cupcakes from the cupcake bus followed by 1 nap in the car

All Cupcaked Out

1 visit to Sonic happy hour for "special drinks" (Charlie's is always water, he just likes using the straw)

2 boys in the bathtub

2 boys asleep by 8:30 Saturday night

200 cookies consumed by 2 parents ecstatic about the 2 sleeping boys

3 episodes of The Office, 5 SNL skits watched online

1 wakeup Saturday (Wesley), 0 wakeups Saturday (Charlie)

7.5 hours of sleep for ME (whee!)

30 minutes survived by Charlie in Big Church before he asked to be returned to the nursery

4 dirty looks from fellow congregant who disapproved of Charlie's enthusiasm for worship

12 slices of pizza consumed by the family after church

45 rounds of "The Wheels on the Bus"

1 time-out for coloring on the carpet

11 cups of coffee to make it through the weekend

0 hours spent working on dissertation

2 hours spent reading Newsweek

1 family walk

45 mins spent at the park

3 laps around the park for me (part of my New Year's Resolution to "be more hott")

2 boys in the bathtub Sunday

4 successful visits to the potty (!!!!)

2 boys asleep by 8:00 Sunday

1 wakeup Sunday (Wesley)

7.5 hours of sleep for me!

2 loads of laundry accumulated in two days of cupcake and pizza eating, spitting up, playground visiting, backyard roughhousing, nursing, and church-attending

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Anatomy Lesson

Overheard in the car this morning:

[disappointedly] "Mama, no pe*nis. Too bad."

[happily] "Charlie HAS pe*nis!! Wesley HAS pe*nis!!"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Big boy goes to school

Littles came home from his first day of school so wiped out that he couldn't even stay awake through dinnertime, which is usually his most active, demanding part of the day. He fussed a little from his swing, so Ryan scooped him up and prepared to eat the rest of his potato soup while simultaneously bouncing Wesley and holding the pacifier in with his elbow. But instead he curled into Ryan's chest and went right back to sleep. It was really adorable. But hard to enjoy because I was sure there was something terribly wrong, not being accustomed relaxing dinners now that we are four of us. He is fine, of course.

His teachers said everything went very well. He ate well and slept well and apparently didn't subject them to the terrible, "call the exorcist" screams of which he is capable--the ones that are so loud they sound distorted. So that's good. And he did come home a much more laid back baby, which is great. He slept better last night too, which gave me a forehead smacking realization that Charlie started day care at 11 weeks and that was right around the time that he started sleeping through the night. Which just goes to show you, if you can't stomach letting your baby fuss himself to sleep, pay someone who can!

Of course enjoyed getting some time to work with no distractions. Sometime in the afternoon I fell asleep sitting Indian-style on my desk chair, head down on a stack of revised pages. Probably the result of several weeks of spotty sleep, culminating in Sunday night, when I fed Wesley FOUR TIMES BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND SIX, good Lord. I wouldn't be surprised if it says "this paragraph unnecessary" backwards across my forehead. I can't remember the last time I fell asleep involuntarily, but given the pages of nonsensical scribble in my undergraduate notebooks, it must have happened with some regularity. I wouldn't say I got a LOT done, besides two cups of coffee, two cups of tea, half a loaf of homemade bread, and three-hundred cookies. Clearly I cannot be trusted alone with carbs. But considering how tired I was and how many times I had to pump, I'd say it was a good day.

Charlie's first day in the two-year-old room seemed to suit him well too. When I picked him up they were in the inside playground, which is a room full of foam play equipment and plastic balls. Charlie loves it in there, but manages to get sent home with an "Ouch Report" almost every time they visit. Before I went in I watched through the window as Charlie ran inside a felt tent made to look like a stump with two leaves for doors. The tent began rocking back and forth violently. Charlie, the only kid inside, was inside lauging maniacally and shrieking. Finally, the rocking stopped and Charlie shot out the felt-leaf doors red faced, sweaty, and laughing hysterically. Getting him into his coat to go home was an Olympic event. On the way home he yelled/sang "A B Cs... F!! G!!!" on repeat the entire way. He had three (!) bowls of potato soup, a piece of bread and butter, and a salad for dinner. Those big kids must play HARD.

We're having a lot of fun today, too. We went to story time and then had lunch with a friend and now they are both napping (which is beyond my wildest dreams) (For lunch I had a giant scoop of "Tofu with mushroom cream sauce" which looked (but did not taste) exactly like curried chicken, freaking Whole Foods tricked me into eating freaking TOFU, I only know what it was because I went back and read the handy little identifying placard that was placed on the tray AFTER I had finished "eating", I only made it through half before I couldn't pretend anymore and resorted to surreptitiously stealing things from Charlie's fruit and cheese plate).

I think this is all going to work out nicely.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Brought to you by the Texas Tourism Board*

*not really

Today was Wesley's first day of daycare and Charlie's first day in the two-year-old room. More on that later because I have to work! For now, here are some pictures of our Saturday, when it was eighty degrees outside.

Our HOA (GAH!) gave out saplings. Charlie planted his, a Texas Redbud, in our back yard. I think we'll have to have a vegetable garden this year based on how much fun he had digging and pulling weeds and watering his tree.

Tree Planting

Tree Planting

Tree Planting

All that horticulture made Charlie thirsty, so, as he always says "It's five o'clock somewhere!" We went to a restaraunt overlooking the lake for the sunset.



It all seemed like a dream when I woke up on Sunday and it was thirty-five and raining. And more like a fantasy today as I lugged two bundled up kids, a giant totebag, and a megapack of size five diapers through the rain today. Fortunately, winter doesn't stick around for long down here in South.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Maybe I should just go to the Roomstore like everyone else.

I've had some notable successes with Craigslist in the last year--Charlie's Pottery Barn Kids' quilt with two shams, Charlie's bed, a crib mattress, bumper, quilt, and sheet set, two wooden night stands and a dresser, Ryan's lawnmower--but now that we are looking for a new couch I think I may have met my match. I like our current couch, which I bought at my own yardsale from a friend for $30 (Her husband agreed to the transaction because "You mean I won't have to haul this thing to Goodwill and I can go home and finish watching the Fiesta Bowl?"), but it is only a loveseat and we need something big enough to stretch out on while we are consoling Wesley at all hours of the night. So after a quick perusal of Ikea's offerings and finding nothing appealing in our $400 price range I turned to my old friend the Craigslist.

A quick search of the word "couch" with the "image" box checked turned up hundreds of ads. With the economy as it is, I was sure I could cash in on some overleveraged sucker help someone unload their gently used sofa for well within our budget.

I have only found one contender, but I have learned A LOT from the ads. To summarize:

AWESOME COUCH!!! $20. Need to sell by Friday. -- to raise beer money because I am a frat boy and this couch that I got when my parents redecorated their lake house smells of cigarettes and urine

Nice retro sofa. $75. -- "Uh, hi, this is Jim? You bought my couch? Yeah, could you look in the cushions real quick because I lost like a whole pound of hash and my roommate's gonna kill me." (this one was pictured, predictably, in a wood panelled room with an India print tapestry hanging behind it)

Beautiful black leather sofa. $575. -- "Yeah, hi, this is Leon Phelps--the Ladies' Man. I have definitely never had anonymous sex on this couch." wink wink

Super comfy sectional with built in recliners and cooler hidden in armrest, $250. -- My wife hates it and your's will too!

Brand new Pottery Barn leather sofa! Only $900! Ca$h only! -- You will be beaten and robbed if you show up with $900 in cash.

Free couch. Small stain on cushion. Cat friendly home. -- Eew eewwww ewwwwwww. Ewwww.

Blue and pink couch in good condition. $50. -- Helloooo 1989! Should we do each other's hair or play Nintendo?

Brand new living room set, $300. Comes with accessories [pictured: throw pillows, candlesticks, framed art]. Call before 5:00. -- Teach that bitch to cheat on me!

As much as I hate to admit it, I think it may be time to go retail.