Friday, September 30, 2011

Lefty

My family is obsessed with Lefties.  With good reason: my mom is a lefty.  She loves being a lefty.  She was utterly disappointed that four out of four children were decidedly righties.  She was overjoyed when I married a lefty.

 

Nate is a lefty (duh, since he's the only person I've ever married).  He loves being a lefty.  He and my mom began to like each other when they found out they are both lefties.  I think there is some sort of lefty club with a secret lefty handshake.  I feel a little left out, pun intended!

 

My mom's secret hope in life is that at least one of her grandchildren be a lefty.  She says it's because she feels like she missed out on our childhoods by not being able to teach us to tie our shoes.  I'm still trying to figure out why she couldn't do that.  As it was, I taught myself at age four after watching Bert and Ernie tie their shoes.  I digress.

 

We have been watching Laura like a hawk since birth to see which hand she would favor.  Early on, it looked like things were tending left.  She threw us for a loop for a few months, by preferring to use her right.  But now, at 20 months old, she is clearly favoring the preferred hand:

Lefty

You see that crayon there?  In her left hand?  LEFTY!  Without fail, she ends up coloring with her left hand.  Yeah, her right hand gets a little "cah-yer" action sometimes, but she always winds up transering the crayon back to her preferred, left hand.

 

My family couldn't be more excited to have another lefty in the club.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Houseguests

There are some houseguests who are a dream.  You look forward to having these people in your home.  And for however long!  Stay for a month, please!  These houseguests are fun, cheerful, easy to talk to, easy to entertain, and are courteous.  Like, they make their bed in the morning, leave the bathroom neat, ask to help with dinner, pour you that extra glass of wine. 

These are not the houseguests I entertained this past weekend.  Not in the least.  This past weekend, I "entertained" against my better judgement my brother-in-law and his girlfriend.  After nearly ten years of knowing him, I'm still not sure I like my brother-in-law.  I have heartily disliked the girlfriend since the first minute I met her, almost a year ago.  My excitement at having them to our house overnight?  Yay.

But I sucked it up.  I would be the good wife and let these two eff-ups stay at our home overnight.  Nate and I packed Laura up and met up in the city to have dinner in Little Italy.  We even went with them to a bar to watch some college football.  Around 7:30, I called it a night and took Laura home.  Nate stayed to go to some coffee house for some live music.

I played with Laura, put her to bed, watched a sappy movie, tried to put myself to bed.  The problem for me was that I was expecting them home any minute.  The garage closed at midnight - I went to bed at 11:45 - we live 30 minutes from the garage.  I tossed, turned, and finally went back downstairs for more TV.  Their taxi rolled in at 3.  I could tell Nate was pissed - what other mood is there, after an evening with those two?

The girlfriend was a mess.  A trashy mess, which is no different than usual.  I just didn't want it in my home.  She trashed my bathroom, doing god knows what in there for hours.  She trashed the guestroom, tearing all the covers and all the sheets off the bed.  I guess she was hoping to wear a blanket toga-style?  Because she spent most of the night wandering my house naked.  I shoved pajamas in her face on multiple occasions to no avail.  At one point, she found a CD on our desk and broke it into a million little shards.  Maliciously.  No idea why.  She barged into my bedroom at least twice, asking where she was supposed to sleep.  I can't believe she didn't wake Laura up.  She pulled the door off my closet, I guess in an attempt to find some clothes.  She wound up stealing my favorite sweatshirt.  She walked out of my home wearing it, nary a word of request or thanks.  I hope I never see that sweatshirt again.  I'll burn it before I wear it again.

The next morning, Nate's first words were, "My brother is a douche."  I responded with, "That girlfriend is never welcome in our house again."  The feelings were mutual.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The same, but different

Hello, hello! 

I'm here, writing to you, from my NEW WordPress blog!  This is very exciting times, people.  And also?  A little daunting.  I am faced with a very different interface than with Blogger.  It's going to take some getting used to!  But change is good.

Why this sudden switch?  Comments.  I was sick of Blogger and IntenseDebate messing with my comments.  Half the time you couldn't see them.  Have the time I couldn't reply.  It got real old, real quick.  So let's raise our glasses and toast WordPress!  Happy new blog year!

As an aside, I have a bunch of great things I'll be blogging about in the next few days.  For now, I just want to make sure this new home shows up in your readers!  Fingers crossed!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Naptime!

I had been telling Laura it was time for a nap. She didn't believe me. Mommy is always right.
video

Naptime!

I had been telling Laura it was time for a nap. She didn't believe me. Mommy is always right.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We Need to Practice Our L's

Oh, the glory and wonder of the iPhone video capabilities, with that swivel option so you can see yourself on the screen!  I have Laura on my lap, trying to get her to record a message to her new cousin.  Which is something in itself, since Laura isn't exactly speaking in messages yet.  So I have Laura on my lap, asking her to repeat words like some sort of parrot, when she sees herself on the screen.  Shock!  Awe!  And instead of answering my stupid promptings, she breaks into song.  About herself.
video
Cute, right?  Because I am just about dying of laughter over here.  Or should I say "yaughter?"  We really need to start practicing those La la la sounds.  If you are wondering?  We did eventually record a very sweet message for Cousin Elizabeth.  On the sixth take.

We Need to Practice Our L's

Oh, the glory and wonder of the iPhone video capabilities, with that swivel option so you can see yourself on the screen!  I have Laura on my lap, trying to get her to record a message to her new cousin.  Which is something in itself, since Laura isn't exactly speaking in messages yet.  So I have Laura on my lap, asking her to repeat words like some sort of parrot, when she sees herself on the screen.  Shock!  Awe!  And instead of answering my stupid promptings, she breaks into song.  About herself.
Cute, right?  Because I am just about dying of laughter over here.  Or should I say "yaughter?"  We really need to start practicing those La la la sounds.  If you are wondering?  We did eventually record a very sweet message for Cousin Elizabeth.  On the sixth take.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Concentration

The Man is expecting me to concentrate on my work while I am at work today.  Nonsense.  How can The Man expect me to concentrate when my niece was just born!!!!!!!  I have far more important things to think about than work!

I'm an auntie!!!!!!!!

This is old hat for my brothers and sister, who have each been an aunt or an uncle for nearly 20 months now.  But somehow, I got left out of that club when Laura was born.  Being the mother and all.  But now!  I get to the join the club! 

My older brother's daughter was born this morning, just as I was reaching to hit the snooze button on my alarm clock. They did not know if they were having a boy or a girl, and the baby was ten days past her due date.  The suspense has been killing me.

So if you are expecting any level of concentration from me today?  Forget it.  I am way to excited about being an auntie to pay attention to anything else!

Concentration

The Man is expecting me to concentrate on my work while I am at work today.  Nonsense.  How can The Man expect me to concentrate when my niece was just born!!!!!!!  I have far more important things to think about than work!

I'm an auntie!!!!!!!!

This is old hat for my brothers and sister, who have each been an aunt or an uncle for nearly 20 months now.  But somehow, I got left out of that club when Laura was born.  Being the mother and all.  But now!  I get to the join the club! 

My older brother's daughter was born this morning, just as I was reaching to hit the snooze button on my alarm clock. They did not know if they were having a boy or a girl, and the baby was ten days past her due date.  The suspense has been killing me.

So if you are expecting any level of concentration from me today?  Forget it.  I am way to excited about being an auntie to pay attention to anything else!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lawn Seats

I don't know why anyone bought actual seats for the Laurie Berkner Band concert this weekend.  Seriously.  What was the point of seats, when every single child was running amok on the lawn?  My friend and I nodded in agreement: lawn seats are the way to go.  Children running everywhere, hurling fistfuls of goldfish crackers about the lawn, darting, jumping and dancing.  Lots of dancing.

video
I can't remember much about the actual music.  It didn't make my ears bleed.  But it also wasn't all that memorable.  I have a feeling that parents who have listened to the CDs on a loop would beg to differ.  I can tell you that Laurie was up on stage in a hot pink and gold tutu - IN HEELS - expending more energy in one song than I can expend in a week.  It was impressive. 

Laura and her friend had a fabulous time, even though the other mother and I were completely unprepared.  We were not told we needed to bring silly animal hats to participate with various songs!  I think Laura and A will survive, but still.  All in all, it was a fun event.  I'm glad we went!  Our two little friends held hands the whole car ride home.  Does it get any cuter?
Ahh! The cuteness!

Lawn Seats

I don't know why anyone bought actual seats for the Laurie Berkner Band concert this weekend.  Seriously.  What was the point of seats, when every single child was running amok on the lawn?  My friend and I nodded in agreement: lawn seats are the way to go.  Children running everywhere, hurling fistfuls of goldfish crackers about the lawn, darting, jumping and dancing.  Lots of dancing.

I can't remember much about the actual music.  It didn't make my ears bleed.  But it also wasn't all that memorable.  I have a feeling that parents who have listened to the CDs on a loop would beg to differ.  I can tell you that Laurie was up on stage in a hot pink and gold tutu - IN HEELS - expending more energy in one song than I can expend in a week.  It was impressive. 

Laura and her friend had a fabulous time, even though the other mother and I were completely unprepared.  We were not told we needed to bring silly animal hats to participate with various songs!  I think Laura and A will survive, but still.  All in all, it was a fun event.  I'm glad we went!  Our two little friends held hands the whole car ride home.  Does it get any cuter?
Ahh! The cuteness!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Never Say Never

"Ugh. I would never spend money to make my ears bleed at a rock concert for kids. Never."

I just bought lawn seats for the Laurie Berkner Band concert tomorrow. 

To be honest, I haven't actually listened to any of this music.  I am told that it's not ear-bleeding obnoxious.  I've been told that it's cheerful and cute.  So why am I taking Laura to see a band I'd never heard of?

Friendship.

Friendship is something I am always on the look out to obtain.  I want it like I want a cup of hot cocoa on a crisp morning.  Badly.  I'm not always good at reaching out to people to get this cozy thing called friendship.  Making friends is not my forte.  But oh, do I want friends!

Through the magical powers of being "friends" with Laura's day care teachers on Facebook, I have been able to connect with a few of the other mother's.  Enter L and her daughter A.  Laura and A are best good friends, in the way that only toddlers can be.  They adore each other without shyness or inhibition.  L is just as awesome.  So when L asked if Laura and I would like to join them at this concert, I jumped at the chance.

I may or may not enjoy the music tomorrow.  We'll see.  But I do know I will enjoy the concert.  I can't wait to sit with L, watching Laura and A bask in their friendship.

Never Say Never

"Ugh. I would never spend money to make my ears bleed at a rock concert for kids. Never."

I just bought lawn seats for the Laurie Berkner Band concert tomorrow. 

To be honest, I haven't actually listened to any of this music.  I am told that it's not ear-bleeding obnoxious.  I've been told that it's cheerful and cute.  So why am I taking Laura to see a band I'd never heard of?

Friendship.

Friendship is something I am always on the look out to obtain.  I want it like I want a cup of hot cocoa on a crisp morning.  Badly.  I'm not always good at reaching out to people to get this cozy thing called friendship.  Making friends is not my forte.  But oh, do I want friends!

Through the magical powers of being "friends" with Laura's day care teachers on Facebook, I have been able to connect with a few of the other mother's.  Enter L and her daughter A.  Laura and A are best good friends, in the way that only toddlers can be.  They adore each other without shyness or inhibition.  L is just as awesome.  So when L asked if Laura and I would like to join them at this concert, I jumped at the chance.

I may or may not enjoy the music tomorrow.  We'll see.  But I do know I will enjoy the concert.  I can't wait to sit with L, watching Laura and A bask in their friendship.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm having one of those days where I just don't want to do any of my work.  I'm looking for anything and everything I can do to avoid my usual files.  It's so bad, I pulled out a project that I volunteered to work on two years ago: an update to the procedure manual.  That's right.  I'm procrastinating so badly, I pulled out a project I've procrastinated starting for two years.

I've spent all morning reorganizing, copying, pasting, rewriting... I've hardly made a dent.  Partly because this thing hasn't been updated in nearly fifteen years.  Which is really bad: we do hardly anything the same way anymore!  It's going to take some time to get this thing right... but at least it's not my usual files.  At least it's something different.  Right?

I would so much rather be home in my jammies right now.  Is it Friday yet?
I'm having one of those days where I just don't want to do any of my work.  I'm looking for anything and everything I can do to avoid my usual files.  It's so bad, I pulled out a project that I volunteered to work on two years ago: an update to the procedure manual.  That's right.  I'm procrastinating so badly, I pulled out a project I've procrastinated starting for two years.

I've spent all morning reorganizing, copying, pasting, rewriting... I've hardly made a dent.  Partly because this thing hasn't been updated in nearly fifteen years.  Which is really bad: we do hardly anything the same way anymore!  It's going to take some time to get this thing right... but at least it's not my usual files.  At least it's something different.  Right?

I would so much rather be home in my jammies right now.  Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Feeling Positive

I'm no stranger to tummy aches.  I have had a nervous stomach since childhood.  Which is unfortuante, because I'm also terrified of puking. 
Aren't we cute?
So last week when I was feeling a little pukier than usual, I took a pregnancy test.  I debated it in my head for hours.  I wasn't sure I wanted to know either way, since I was going into a weekend with friends.  But I woke up Friday morning, feeling all shaky and OMG I have to know one way or the other or I will puke which is scary and yucky.  So I peed and I waited. 

I only got one line.  But that's ok, because now I know and I'll pack some tampons for my weekend with friends.  Did I feel a little pukey on Saturday and Sunday?  Yeah, but that's because I was in the car for a total of 8 hours and I get car sick sometimes (even when driving).  So I moved on with my life.

I was in the grocery store on Monday and walked past the "Feminine Hygiene" aisle.  Those words alone are enough to give me a tummy ache.  Could Giant make being a woman sound any pukier?  But I turned the cart down the aisle, stopped in front of the pregnancy tests, and grabbed a two-pack of the fancy digital kind before I even realized what I was doing.  I promptly buried the package under a loaf of bread and some bananas, because GOD I didn't want anyone to see me buying those!

Laura and I got home from the store, I unloaded the groceries, set the tests on the stairs to go to the bathroom, and then remembered I needed to pee.  In slow-motion I realized I was unwrapping the box and pulling out a stick.  Suddenly I was peeing on it.  The bile rose in my throat.  I washed my shaky hands, looked down at the stick, and totally did a double-take:
Isn't the word "NOT" supposed to appear?
I'm pregnant!
Cue puking!
OMG I'm pregnant!

Nate and I are thrilled, over the moon, and incredibly excited.  My first OB appointment is 10/10 - I hope to have more to tell you then.  Like a due date.

***For a few certain readers, NOT A WORD of this.  To anyone!  You know who you are :)

Feeling Positive

I'm no stranger to tummy aches.  I have had a nervous stomach since childhood.  Which is unfortuante, because I'm also terrified of puking. 
Aren't we cute?
So last week when I was feeling a little pukier than usual, I took a pregnancy test.  I debated it in my head for hours.  I wasn't sure I wanted to know either way, since I was going into a weekend with friends.  But I woke up Friday morning, feeling all shaky and OMG I have to know one way or the other or I will puke which is scary and yucky.  So I peed and I waited. 

I only got one line.  But that's ok, because now I know and I'll pack some tampons for my weekend with friends.  Did I feel a little pukey on Saturday and Sunday?  Yeah, but that's because I was in the car for a total of 8 hours and I get car sick sometimes (even when driving).  So I moved on with my life.

I was in the grocery store on Monday and walked past the "Feminine Hygiene" aisle.  Those words alone are enough to give me a tummy ache.  Could Giant make being a woman sound any pukier?  But I turned the cart down the aisle, stopped in front of the pregnancy tests, and grabbed a two-pack of the fancy digital kind before I even realized what I was doing.  I promptly buried the package under a loaf of bread and some bananas, because GOD I didn't want anyone to see me buying those!

Laura and I got home from the store, I unloaded the groceries, set the tests on the stairs to go to the bathroom, and then remembered I needed to pee.  In slow-motion I realized I was unwrapping the box and pulling out a stick.  Suddenly I was peeing on it.  The bile rose in my throat.  I washed my shaky hands, looked down at the stick, and totally did a double-take:
Isn't the word "NOT" supposed to appear?
I'm pregnant!
Cue puking!
OMG I'm pregnant!

Nate and I are thrilled, over the moon, and incredibly excited.  My first OB appointment is 10/10 - I hope to have more to tell you then.  Like a due date.

***For a few certain readers, NOT A WORD of this.  To anyone!  You know who you are :)

Heart NYC

I spent the weekend in NYC.  Not because of the memorials and ceremonies going on.  I was in NYC despite all the memorials and ceremonies!  I fought rumored tunnel and bridge closings (through shocking non-existent traffic) to be in New York for one of my best good friends, getting married a year from now.

I'm not sure I've ever been more excited to be in a wedding.  Well, other than my own.  I was damn excited to be in that one!  I loved being included as a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding.  Again this May for my husband's sister.  I have had fun being a bridesmaid for other friends... but not as much as this wedding!  Maybe it's because I have never felt more included. 

I spent the weekend in NYC with three fellow bridesmaids: one I've enjoyed as an acquaintance, one I've loved since college, and one I've known since birth.  We were celebrating our dear friend, the bride to be.  This weekend, New York City was the best place on earth to be.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Remember

Ten years have gone by since the world as we know it changed.  Ten years.  That amazes me, because in so many ways it feels like 9/11/01 was just yesterday.  But no, ten years have passed.  Ten years of life and ten years change.  Ten years ago, I was a truly immature college sophomore with a crush on a tennis player.  Ten years ago, on a random Monday, I was making plans with this guy to "hang out" at his friend's off-campus house that night, where there'd be some more "privacy" if you know what I mean.  That evening would probably have been forgettable, if it weren't for the next morning.

Driving back to campus with the obnoxious morning radio DJs blaring over an awkward silence, we heard that one plane had mistakenly flown into a building in New York City.  Which just seemed ridiculous.  I skipped up the two flights of stairs to my dorm room and opened the door just in time to see my roommates face fall in horror as a second plane hit.  We held each other, watching in silent terror as the world changed.

By 10:30 that morning, the air was filled with the sounds of helicopters and sirens.  Northern Virginia hospitals were flooded with victims, and needed the help of hospitals further south.  Students lined campus walk holding hands in a silent prayer, many of us wondering about friends and relatives who had not yet checked in from their offices in New York or DC.

Ten years have gone by.  I can usually lighten my memories of 9/11 by remembering how I heard: on the car ride home from a one-night stand.  It seems almost funny, when I think of a day with such an awkward start.  I can dull the emotional horror of everything else, by looking back at myself as a childish nineteen-year-old on a walk of shame.  Where was I on September 11th?  I was a stupid child about to do a whole lot of growing up, all before lunchtime. Where were you?

Remember

Ten years have gone by since the world as we know it changed.  Ten years.  That amazes me, because in so many ways it feels like 9/11/01 was just yesterday.  But no, ten years have passed.  Ten years of life and ten years change.  Ten years ago, I was a truly immature college sophomore with a crush on a tennis player.  Ten years ago, on a random Monday, I was making plans with this guy to "hang out" at his friend's off-campus house that night, where there'd be some more "privacy" if you know what I mean.  That evening would probably have been forgettable, if it weren't for the next morning.

Driving back to campus with the obnoxious morning radio DJs blaring over an awkward silence, we heard that one plane had mistakenly flown into a building in New York City.  Which just seemed ridiculous.  I skipped up the two flights of stairs to my dorm room and opened the door just in time to see my roommates face fall in horror as a second plane hit.  We held each other, watching in silent terror as the world changed.

By 10:30 that morning, the air was filled with the sounds of helicopters and sirens.  Northern Virginia hospitals were flooded with victims, and needed the help of hospitals further south.  Students lined campus walk holding hands in a silent prayer, many of us wondering about friends and relatives who had not yet checked in from their offices in New York or DC.

Ten years have gone by.  I can usually lighten my memories of 9/11 by remembering how I heard: on the car ride home from a one-night stand.  It seems almost funny, when I think of a day with such an awkward start.  I can dull the emotional horror of everything else, by looking back at myself as a childish nineteen-year-old on a walk of shame.  Where was I on September 11th?  I was a stupid child about to do a whole lot of growing up, all before lunchtime. Where were you?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

More rain?

I'm feeling all yucky today.  I've said it before, but this rainy weather really gets me down.  We are on what seems like Day 92 of rainy, dreary weather, and it's really messing with my ability to find the good in anything.  My tummy is all in knots.  Last night, I sat on a train in the station for an hour.  We left the station a full hour late.  And this was the early train I hopped on because I had a bad feeling that the trains would be delayed.  Nate had to cancel an appointment to get Laura from day care on time, since I was still sitting on the wretched train.  It was not our best night.

I got really upset on the train, all panicky about getting Laura, and I had a lot of trouble letting it go.  I went to bed early, but was still feeling out of sorts this morning as the rain poured down outside my window.  I went to the gym, and really pushed myself till my legs were wobbly, just trying to burn off the feeling of impending doom.  Instead of shaking the feeling, the workout just left me feeling even more spent.  I need some sun.

More rain?

I'm feeling all yucky today.  I've said it before, but this rainy weather really gets me down.  We are on what seems like Day 92 of rainy, dreary weather, and it's really messing with my ability to find the good in anything.  My tummy is all in knots.  Last night, I sat on a train in the station for an hour.  We left the station a full hour late.  And this was the early train I hopped on because I had a bad feeling that the trains would be delayed.  Nate had to cancel an appointment to get Laura from day care on time, since I was still sitting on the wretched train.  It was not our best night.

I got really upset on the train, all panicky about getting Laura, and I had a lot of trouble letting it go.  I went to bed early, but was still feeling out of sorts this morning as the rain poured down outside my window.  I went to the gym, and really pushed myself till my legs were wobbly, just trying to burn off the feeling of impending doom.  Instead of shaking the feeling, the workout just left me feeling even more spent.  I need some sun.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Holy Flooding

Remember when we got all excited for Hurricane Irene?  Yeah, that was fun times!  Remember when we got all excited for Katia and Lee?  WAIT A MINUTE.  We didn't!



This insanity is occuring right now.  One town from where I live.  I'm sitting at work (in a basement) 35 miles from home, wondering if the flooding is as bad where I live.  I'm wondering if the flooding is as bad where Laura's daycare is located.  I'm wondering if I should rush home.  I'm wondering if the trains will run on time, with such treacherous rain.  I'm wondering if the End of Days is here.  I'm wondering what to do.

Wordless Wednesday

Holy Flooding

Remember when we got all excited for Hurricane Irene?  Yeah, that was fun times!  Remember when we got all excited for Katia and Lee?  WAIT A MINUTE.  We didn't!



This insanity is occuring right now.  One town from where I live.  I'm sitting at work (in a basement) 35 miles from home, wondering if the flooding is as bad where I live.  I'm wondering if the flooding is as bad where Laura's daycare is located.  I'm wondering if I should rush home.  I'm wondering if the trains will run on time, with such treacherous rain.  I'm wondering if the End of Days is here.  I'm wondering what to do.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oh Happy Day

Labor Day has come and gone, leaving the first stirrings of Autumn in its wake.  Children are lined up at bus stops, hoodies wrapped around their too-cool bodies.  Here are some things making me happy today:

Exhibit A

1) Laura is wearing an honest-to-God fall outfit at school today!  With pants!  And an autumnal-orange shirt!  She looks both adorable and grown-up.  She's closer to 2 than to 1, after all (see Exhibit A)!

2) It's my dad's birthday!  Happy birthday, Dad!

3) It was Laura's buddy's 2nd birthday this weekend!  Laura got to wield a bat and whack her first pinata (see Exhibit B)!

Exhibit B

 4) We went to the State Fair yesterday, and lucked out on the rain.  We stayed dry, ate fried oreos (yummy, I think.  Maybe not.  No wait, they were good... er?), tortured Laura on a Carousel, and watched her flirt with her favorite boyfriend on the tractors (see Exhibit C).  The fair was when I realized, OMG I am such a suburbanite.  There were teenage girls leading cows to the competition ring like it was the cool thing to do.  Where I grew up?  Horses were the cool thing to lead around on a bridle, not cows.  And I was all, "Are there really that many working farms in Maryland?"  And Nate was all, "Um. DUH!"  So I guess I need to see more of Maryland before I can really call myself "Mrs. MidAtlantic," because I'm clearly from the Northeast, sorta.

Exhibit C

5) This morning was chilly.  Chilly enough that I wanted to wear flats, and then discovered that I can no longer safely walk in any of my fall-appropriate flats, because I have killed them.  Which means SHOE SHOPPING!

6) It's now cool and fall-ish enough outside that I can legitimately work on the Christmas projects I started in July without looking like a (completely) crazy person!  Yay!  Christmas!

7) Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back in town.

Oh Happy Day

Labor Day has come and gone, leaving the first stirrings of Autumn in its wake.  Children are lined up at bus stops, hoodies wrapped around their too-cool bodies.  Here are some things making me happy today:

Exhibit A

1) Laura is wearing an honest-to-God fall outfit at school today!  With pants!  And an autumnal-orange shirt!  She looks both adorable and grown-up.  She's closer to 2 than to 1, after all (see Exhibit A)!

2) It's my dad's birthday!  Happy birthday, Dad!

3) It was Laura's buddy's 2nd birthday this weekend!  Laura got to wield a bat and whack her first pinata (see Exhibit B)!

Exhibit B

 4) We went to the State Fair yesterday, and lucked out on the rain.  We stayed dry, ate fried oreos (yummy, I think.  Maybe not.  No wait, they were good... er?), tortured Laura on a Carousel, and watched her flirt with her favorite boyfriend on the tractors (see Exhibit C).  The fair was when I realized, OMG I am such a suburbanite.  There were teenage girls leading cows to the competition ring like it was the cool thing to do.  Where I grew up?  Horses were the cool thing to lead around on a bridle, not cows.  And I was all, "Are there really that many working farms in Maryland?"  And Nate was all, "Um. DUH!"  So I guess I need to see more of Maryland before I can really call myself "Mrs. MidAtlantic," because I'm clearly from the Northeast, sorta.

Exhibit C

5) This morning was chilly.  Chilly enough that I wanted to wear flats, and then discovered that I can no longer safely walk in any of my fall-appropriate flats, because I have killed them.  Which means SHOE SHOPPING!

6) It's now cool and fall-ish enough outside that I can legitimately work on the Christmas projects I started in July without looking like a (completely) crazy person!  Yay!  Christmas!

7) Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back in town.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer of Classics: Captains Courageous

I am so glad I left Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling for the last installment of my Summer of Classics reading challenge.  This was such a fun story, with a great moral.  A spoiled brat of a kid is lost overboard and picked up by a fishing boat just out of Gloucester heading for the Banks.  Harvey can help fish or he can starve.  He chooses fishing - which leads to grand adventures and lots of growing up.

Everything about this book appealed to me.  I love adventure stories.  I loved the imagery supplied by Kipling.  I loved the language, with dialogue written as one would hear it spoken.  The characters were all fantastic.  And it was perfect to read during the summer, just when the boats are out fishing.

I remember picking up this book to read one summer, somewhere around age 12.  I remember reading a few pages, and then putting it down (even though I swear up and down that I've never not finished a book).  I couldn't get past the dialogue.  I loved the phonetic spelling now, as an adult, but I think it was too much for me to decipher back then.  This is a children's book, but that doesn't make it an easy read!

Not even three chapters in, I found myself routing for Harvey.  I knew he'd be faced with a tough decision when he got back to land, and I hoped he would make the right decision.  As for Disko Troop, I can't imagine a better father, for anyone.  What an awesome role model!  Don your sou'wester rain gear and pick up this book.  You won't regret the few hours it will take you to read Captains Courageous.  Kipling is the best!

Summer of Classics: Captains Courageous

I am so glad I left Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling for the last installment of my Summer of Classics reading challenge.  This was such a fun story, with a great moral.  A spoiled brat of a kid is lost overboard and picked up by a fishing boat just out of Gloucester heading for the Banks.  Harvey can help fish or he can starve.  He chooses fishing - which leads to grand adventures and lots of growing up.

Everything about this book appealed to me.  I love adventure stories.  I loved the imagery supplied by Kipling.  I loved the language, with dialogue written as one would hear it spoken.  The characters were all fantastic.  And it was perfect to read during the summer, just when the boats are out fishing.

I remember picking up this book to read one summer, somewhere around age 12.  I remember reading a few pages, and then putting it down (even though I swear up and down that I've never not finished a book).  I couldn't get past the dialogue.  I loved the phonetic spelling now, as an adult, but I think it was too much for me to decipher back then.  This is a children's book, but that doesn't make it an easy read!

Not even three chapters in, I found myself routing for Harvey.  I knew he'd be faced with a tough decision when he got back to land, and I hoped he would make the right decision.  As for Disko Troop, I can't imagine a better father, for anyone.  What an awesome role model!  Don your sou'wester rain gear and pick up this book.  You won't regret the few hours it will take you to read Captains Courageous.  Kipling is the best!

Summer of Classics: Recap

This summer I decided to make my own reading list - The Summer of Classics.  I made time to spend reading, rather than lazing on the couch watching mindless TV after work/dinner/housework.  I reachd out to friends and family for recommendations, and focused on the classics.  Here's how I did:
Finished:
The Once and Future King by T.H. White
The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas
The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Countess Orczy
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

This was such a fun way to keep up with reading over the summer.  I hope to do another reading challenge next summer, again focusing on the classics!  And while I might not make a big deal of it, the fall I'll be catching up on some children's literature that I missed the first time around.  I just need to find a copy of A Wrinkle in Time to get me started.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

No Apologies

I took Laura to Panera for dinner on Monday, because I thought she might like to use the free WiFi for a little Diego fix.  I was all pumped up on "AWESOME MOM" vibes as we hauled our gear to a booth and set up shop.  "Laura is so going to love me for this!  Yay, Diego for making me look awesome!"

And then Laura proceeded to not care a lick for her lover boy, preferring instead to push a gazillion buttons and open and shut the screen over and over.  The more I tried to get her to stop banging on the precious laptop, the harder she banged, and the more frustrated I became.  At that point, I was starting to get all worried and self-conscious of the staring eyes of the other diners.  I imagined them scorning my parenting, "Why can't she get that little brat to stop yelling and banging?"  In my embarassed frustration, I whisked the laptop away from the exuberant tot and started trying to collect myself.

In an instant, Laura was behaving as well as I've ever seen her.  Just content to sit on the funny bench, eating some brocolli & cheddar soup.  An older man came over, smiled, and said, "You are doing such a great job.  What a well-behaved little girl."  Well, that was certainly not anything I expected to hear.

But Laura was being a well-behaved little girl.  She was behaving as well as anyone could expect from a toddler at dinnertime in a restaurant.  A little crazy?  Yeah, but that comes with the territory.  I am sure that man saw me get frustrated, and he knew that sometimes moms just need a little reassurance that they're doing things "right."  Bless that man.

In a similar vein, last night I apologized in an off-hand manner as my grocery cart went careening into another man's cart.  I usually have better control, but that's usually because I can get Laura to sit nicely in the cart.  Last night, she insisted on being held as I pushed the heavily laden cart with one hand through the aisles.  I apologized, automatically, as my one hand had lost control for a moment.  This man looked at my comically loaded cart, toddler in arms, laughed and said, "Never be sorry!"

He was right.  Never be sorry.  Reminders that we are good mothers can come in the funniest messages.  The older man at the restaurant.  Or another at the grocery store.  Simple messages that we are doing our best, and that we should ever apologize for doing our best.

No Apologies

I took Laura to Panera for dinner on Monday, because I thought she might like to use the free WiFi for a little Diego fix.  I was all pumped up on "AWESOME MOM" vibes as we hauled our gear to a booth and set up shop.  "Laura is so going to love me for this!  Yay, Diego for making me look awesome!"

And then Laura proceeded to not care a lick for her lover boy, preferring instead to push a gazillion buttons and open and shut the screen over and over.  The more I tried to get her to stop banging on the precious laptop, the harder she banged, and the more frustrated I became.  At that point, I was starting to get all worried and self-conscious of the staring eyes of the other diners.  I imagined them scorning my parenting, "Why can't she get that little brat to stop yelling and banging?"  In my embarassed frustration, I whisked the laptop away from the exuberant tot and started trying to collect myself.

In an instant, Laura was behaving as well as I've ever seen her.  Just content to sit on the funny bench, eating some brocolli & cheddar soup.  An older man came over, smiled, and said, "You are doing such a great job.  What a well-behaved little girl."  Well, that was certainly not anything I expected to hear.

But Laura was being a well-behaved little girl.  She was behaving as well as anyone could expect from a toddler at dinnertime in a restaurant.  A little crazy?  Yeah, but that comes with the territory.  I am sure that man saw me get frustrated, and he knew that sometimes moms just need a little reassurance that they're doing things "right."  Bless that man.

In a similar vein, last night I apologized in an off-hand manner as my grocery cart went careening into another man's cart.  I usually have better control, but that's usually because I can get Laura to sit nicely in the cart.  Last night, she insisted on being held as I pushed the heavily laden cart with one hand through the aisles.  I apologized, automatically, as my one hand had lost control for a moment.  This man looked at my comically loaded cart, toddler in arms, laughed and said, "Never be sorry!"

He was right.  Never be sorry.  Reminders that we are good mothers can come in the funniest messages.  The older man at the restaurant.  Or another at the grocery store.  Simple messages that we are doing our best, and that we should ever apologize for doing our best.