Thursday, November 30, 2006

Boring

That this post is boring can be directly blamed on Aunt Amy, who, during her Thanksgiving visit said, "Don't you feel too pressured to write EVERY Thursday night?" And ever since then I've been dreading tonight because I feel pressure.

But here's what happened before The Dad got a Quasi-Flu: HOW TO PIN A GOOSE:

First, you get tagged by said Goose:
How to Pin a Goose

Then, he runs, that Goose:
How to Pin a Goose

Last, you just pin him down:
How to Pin a Goose

Our week has not been boring, so it's really too bad that this post is. Oh well. Better luck next time.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006


Well now. There are several phrases that can sum up the holiday for The Kimster. The simple noun phrase, "GRAVY" being the first. After that there's pie, homemade rolls, and dressing. Turkey? Who cares? Not when there's a ton of other stuff (all made with margarine and/or lard, I might add). I could've had a vegetarian Thanksgiving if it weren't for that heavenly gravy.

And the day BEFORE the relatives arrived, I spent an entire naptime -- stop, read it again -- an ENTIRE naptime (do y'all realize how precious naptime is?), making not just sweet potato pie, but sweet potato pie with an oak leaf crust and acorn filigree center. I did have a cut-out pattern for the leaves. But those acorns ... they were hand carved from what started out as a shamrock. An entire naptime. Why can't I just be mediocre and call it a day?

Oh, that's right ... there's the matter of photos, where "mediocre" would be a compliment. I took a grand total of maybe five (counting the one Husband took). That's borderline "poor" and definitely "needs improvement."

For the Goose, Thanksgiving 2006 can be summed up with several phrases:

Cranberry Sauce:

CRANBERRY SAUCE 001.JPG...

(Note: I took these two TODAY -- after everyone left -- brilliant.)

The good kind (not from a can):

CRANBERRY SAUCE 001.JPG...

Whipped cream:

Apple Pie with Lotion

Nevermind the all-organic apple center and the delicious cinnamony crust.

Baby Jack & Gampy:

Gampy & Baby Quack

Tow-truck pajamas:

THANKSGIVING 2006

(Hand sewn by Nanny. The Dad has a matching pair.)

Go SUCKERS!

Uncle Todd -- GO SUCKERS!

And I quote: "Uncle Todd likes football. TOUCHDOWN! Go SUCKERS (huskers)!"

(Note: Uncle Todd also likes McDonald's. Even when there are homemade blueberry muffins with streusel tops at home on the counter, still warm from the oven. Not that it matters. Even though we DID have to exit off the interstate on the way home from the airport in order to satisfy his bacon, egg, & cheese biscuit craving. Not that it matters in the least. Really.)

Let's see. Now you should be wondering where are the pictures of The Dad, The Mimi, The Aunty Amy, The Mama (bursting with cuteness in her Autumn-themed socks), The Nanny (who cooked practically everything despite a sore back from a leaf-raking incident). Yes, I'm wondering where are those pictures too.

Poor, poor, poor.

And here's the other thing to wonder about: WHY AM I STILL EATING THAT GRAVY EVEN THOUGH NONE OF MY PANTS WILL BUTTON AND IT'S NOT EVEN DECEMBER YET? I am quite sure that good, thankful pilgrim women did not gorge themselves with a substance made from animal drippings and white flour. And yet.

But thankful I am and happy it was.

Check out Jack's blog for more. His mama got a fancy new camera for her birthday, so she had no problem remembering to take photos. Plus I was busy chasing a toddler. She'll understand one day.

Let the holidays begin!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Minnesota Trip


In an effort to make up for my ridiculous Pity Party Post, I'd like to announce that photos from the recent Minnesota Trip to Visit Great Grandpa B are now available for your perusal.

Click here.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sunshine & Rainbows


Today I had sort of a bad day. Not devastatingly bad in the grand scheme of things, but still I wonder sometimes how my brain can take such everyday and normal tasks and morph them into monsters lurking behind armchairs waiting to pounce on me while I’m just trying to get the stupid laundry done.

The synopsis is that it started out good with work but ended with a snotty toddler whose favorite word is “no” and who (we just got the call from the awards committee!) is now in the running for World’s Most Dramatic Tantrum Thrower. At one point prior to bedtime I seriously considered the pros and cons of crawling underneath the area rug to hide while I yanked out my hairs one. By. One.

My gray hairs.

I mean, how did those 19th century farm women do it? … nine or so kids, no washing machines or dishwashers … churning their own butter, sewing clothes, keeping everyone moral, and not even thinking about taking Prozac? I wouldn’t have made it. I cannot even deal with one child, one almost full-time job, and some minor housekeeping duties.

But I think that maybe part of it can be attributed (at least today’s challenges) to my attempt to make Asian Peanut Sauce. Thank the good Lord that my husband bought egg noodles in bulk during his last visit to Kroger because my culinary experiments tonight were real live proof that the third time’s the charm. I am not even exaggerating: THREE times I tried to make this stir-fry meal (during which time The Goose made quite a scene of throwing himself prostrate at my feet declaring, “HEEEeeeeellllppp Mama!!!!!!!!!!” as if he were clinging to the side of a cliff rather than just attempting to remove the cap from the Playdoh container.

a trailer on the back of that tractor

He woke up from his nap in this horrendous mood which involved sporadic crawling around on the floor screaming NOoooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I met him at the top of the stairs and said,

“Would you like some apple juice?”

“NOOOOooooo!!!!!!!!!!” (cue crawling, writhing, head banging, and gnashing of teeth)

“OK, can you think of anything else you’d like to drink?”

“NOOOOoooooo!!!!!!!!!” (more dramatics) “I want APPLE JUICE!!!!!! APPLE JUICE!!!!”

“OK, let’s go downstairs and get some apple juice.”

“NOOOOOoooo!!!!!!!!!! Go DOWNSTAIRS! Get apple juice!!!!!!!!!!!” (crawl, writhe, gnash)

Intermission.

Recently I was talking on the phone to my dear friend Francesca and was conveying some of my worst moments of the past year and she was saying how she never would’ve guessed that I’d had even a somewhat difficult year based on my blog. And so I want to say that I don’t just write all sunshine and rainbows to cover up anything. I write it because usually I can’t remember the bad stuff unless it’s super fresh.

Well tonight it’s fresh.

So after I cleaned up massive amounts of corn starch, soy sauce, and dried bits of blue Playdoh, I sat down to watch “Grey’s Anatomy.” And I’m sitting there on my couch sort of sobbing and feeling sorry for myself and folding tiny poop-stained Spiderman underwear (which, by the way, I did NOT sew – or even purchase by myself) and part of the show was about this little girl who gets run over by a car driven by her nanny. And her nasty mom and dad are arguing about whose fault it is and yelling at the nanny and the mom is saying how she’s not to blame just because she loves her job … she loves her kid too! But she’s just not good at this whole mothering thing.

And I had said that to Husband earlier tonight. I had said that EXACT thing about ten minutes prior as I drug a sobbing Goose from the rocking chair to the Big Boy Bed in an attempt to distract him from a stuffed frog backpack which he was insisting upon wearing to bed. And here is this woman on TV who thinks the same thing. And for a minute I thought, “Phew! At least I’m not the only one who cannot seem to make consistent use of the implements in her Maternal Instincts Toolbox." Heck, half the time I can’t even find my toolbox.

Today is his 26-month birthday by the way. I push it. tractor.

And then I got the first little glimmer of hope that I’d had in approximately 11 hours: I felt strangely brave. That was the only positive adjective I could put to it. I felt like a terrible mom because I’d been impatient with my on-the-verge-of-a-cold toddler … and a terrible cook because I’d ruined a relatively simple meal not once but TWICE … and a terrible friend to Husband because I fell apart as soon as he walked in the door for dinner. And on top of that I had this nagging voice in my head that was saying, “Yes, you are really pathetic … you with your supportive family and interesting job and cute, smart kid --- and all the while there are people starving, people hurting, wars raging.”

There have been many times when I’ve thought, “I’ll just go back to law school, get a high-paying job, and then I can hire a nanny and a housekeeper.” Because to me, right now, that definitely seems easier. And it would probably make me feel smart and confident and successful, whereas in the role of Mostly Mom I often feel like a stupid, unsure failure. How’s that for sunshine and rainbows? Well, it’s true. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever, ever done.

But still, I’m just gonna get up tomorrow morning and try again and tell myself that that’s called BRAVE. I’m gonna smile and offer apple juice despite the choruses of NO, the piles of dirty laundry and leftover Drastically Wrong Stir-Fry jeering from the balcony, and the Monday Morning Root Canal looming at the end of my weekend.

I push it.

I get frustrated sometimes because whenever I’m honest about how hard it is for me to be a parent, people often say, “Yeah, and you only have ONE.” Why can’t we just admit that it’s hard no matter how many there are? Sure, it MUST be harder with two. And with three or more, well, you’re just outnumbered. But tonight I feel like admitting that even one is difficult for me. I’m a perfectionist and Lord knows you cannot be perfect at parenting. But I will try again tomorrow … partly because there’s nothing else to do (aside from pretending to drive down to Kroger with the full intention of just going all the way south to the beach) … but mostly because I want to. Mostly. JUMPING OFF OF HORSES 001.JPG...

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow'.”

Goose

Mama

p.s. I think he's got my butt.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Playing Horsey

And the horse BITES.

It all started so innocently.
The Beginning

And even in the middle it seemed fun.
The Middle

But then it turned ugly.
A big bite

Although it ended well.
The End

And just for the record, eating massive amounts of white bread toast covered with melted shredded cheese and butter does not constitute having an "I'm Turning 30 in Two Months" crisis. I probably just needed the calcium.

In other news ...

I just came back downstairs from checking on a good deal of upper-level thumping and bumping. I walked in and said, "What's wrong, Bo-bo?" (short for Johnbo or Bobie or something similar).

He said, "I pooped."

Shocker.

I said, "OK, go lie down on the changing mat."

He did.

I gave him my pretty green hairpiece to play with (since the alternative is digging out poop from under his fingernails).

I peeled off the Kroger-brand nightpants, wiped him up, and declared it "all done" -- our favorite phrase of late.

He looked at me, as I was re-inserting feet into dinosaur-covered footy pajamas and zipping up. That look. He said, "A big one?"

"Nope, just medium, Bobo."

And then he returned to the Big Boy Bed and closed his eyes.

Welcome to ten o'clock at our house. Every. Night.

Why is #2 in the potty so difficult to understand? I don't get it. But let me tell you a little secret about soaking out poop stains in Spiderman underwear ...

If you buy those Clorox Drop-Ins for your toilet, then you're all set. Just drop one in as usual and flush away. And whenever your toddler has a Level Two Accident then simply scoop out the Easily Removable Portion, flush, and then follow these steps:
  1. Drop in the underwear (crotch first) and let it soak for a little while.
  2. Don your yellow rubber gloves.
  3. Provide a little rub action to the stained area.
  4. Remove from the toilet.
  5. Apply an appropriate amount of Shout Out.
  6. Deposit the Level Two haz mat into your nearest dirty clothes hamper.
  7. Wash as usual with your Dermatologist Recommended Dye-Free, Hypo-Allergenic ALL detergent.

Easy as pie.

Happy Thursday.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Root Canals, Football Fans, Maple Trees, & Great Clips in a Strip Mall


Well first things first.

I have to have a root canal. Am seeing an endodontist first thing Monday morning to confirm that I may have what likely amounts to the worst decay and possibly abscess in the free world. So for most of you, this has two important implications:

  1. You’ll have to read the whole story next week.
  2. Your Christmas present will likely come from the Radnor Lake Lost and Found Box rather than Macy’s.

It’s gonna be expensive according to my dental insurance list of typical costs that are ONLY ESTIMATES – IT COULD COST MORE – THESE ARE ONLY ESTIMATES. But seriously, the likes of Nicole Kidman run out here, so in the past what we’ve found in the Lost and Found Box hasn’t been too shabby. In fact, without even visiting the box, I have already found two gifts already just lying around on the trails … a pink, hand-made baby hat and a blue and white striped matching hat and scarf from the Gap. But since I have now announced that over the world wide web, I guess those’ll have to be assigned to our family members who are technologically illiterate. Y’all don’t tell.

Now, on to more pressing issues.

One of the best things about Autumn Goose is that he likes football. He already understands that he will never be allowed to consider or even joke about playing, but he likes to watch it on TV. Two Sundays ago I had a game on in the background (it reminds me of my Daddy) while I was grading papers. He got up from his nap and came downstairs demanding apple juice and stopped dead in his tracks and said, “FOOTBALL. A GAME. HA HA HA! CRASH! I WATCH FOOTBALL.” And ever since then he gets up from every sleep asking to “watch that game.”

watching football
Here we are watching a game.

But seriously, I don’t care what he does in life, but I absolutely refuse to allow him to willingly propel his body into huge linebackers for the sake of some school’s spirit. That, to me, is almost as bad as joining the army. I just can’t even think about. I’m all for being a good sport, for school spirit, for patriotism, for duty, and courage and all of that. But not my baby. Uh-unh.

Well, maybe if he can be the punter.

The second best thing about The Goose is that he can successfully identify maple trees.

a maple tree

Stop rolling your eyes. He can. Last Sunday he was driving me crazy so I let him loose outside and followed him up a moderately difficult trail. He hiked the entire 1.5 miles of it, stopping periodically to identify various natural points of interest: maple trees, moss, bark, leaves at the top, some mulch, a big rock, a big stick, etc.

a big tree

In other news ...

Supergoose with a hard hat

I took him for his first professional hair cut last Monday. We went to Great Clips in a local strip mall that (what a coincidence!) happened to be right next door to Starbucks. The Goose calls Starbucks the "chocolate milk place" because I always get him a Horizon Organic 2% Chocolate Milk which he can suck down in less than 60 seconds. He's got holiday portraits coming up soon at school and I just really felt like it was time to pay $10 and have him tortured for a while.

Because trust me, torture is what it amounted to.

First, there was the cape -- a "big banky ... it off! Big banky off!" And then there was the stylist ... a large, poofy-haired woman with little patience for my Haircut Anxiety or the Goose's Wiggleworminess. She'd say, "Hold his head down please." And I would, but then she'd say, "You're gonna have to move your hands or I can't cut his hair." And he'd scream and say, "Banky off!" And then there was the scary bearded man using the neighboring chair. Unfortunately, he was utilizing an electric beard trimmer on some poor soul and the noise was really scary (apparently) and then he kept calling it a "hair lawnmower" which only confused the poor Goose, who was craning his neck to look outside after hearing the keyword "lawnmower." But all in all, I was pleased and I even tipped our snippety stylist who, during checkout, confessed that she didn't really believe my hair was naturally curly or auburn. What we don't know.

Guys

Haz Mat Man & Supergoose

Well, this is long, and I haven't even written about the "Trunk or Treat" party @ JEB's school. Maybe next week.

See you then.