Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I heart free stuff

So, my friend Beth is having a giveaway on her blog today ... hop on over and enter to win. Make sure you tell 'em Large Marge sent ya. Just kidding, Lyndsay will do.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oops she did it again

My intention was to update you the progress of the list tonight. However, I haven't done a freaking thing on that list and that doesn't really have a ring to it, does it? So, I am here to report on nothing. Perhaps I should exit stage left and do something. That really wouldn't be any fun though. I'm trying to figure out if there is a classification one worse than procrastination. Can anyone help me with that?

Once again, I'm sharing my favorite video clip of the week. I don't care about your party affiliation, this stuff is funny. I can't wait until Thursday night. I'm as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve.

If you want eight minutes of torture, click here. I love the fact that she worked the "job creation" bit in there during discussion of the bail-out ... seamless, no?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It all makes sense now

When I was pregnant with Kate, a “must have” pregnancy item (also classified as one more way to suck money out of unsuspecting parents who will buy anything that is recommended) was a set of headphones that you put on your belly so the baby was exposed to Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart. To the babies whose parents bought into that hype, I must offer my condolences. I am sure that they were born wearing sweater vests with a Harvard acceptance letter in hand.

While I didn’t buy the whole headphone nonsense, one could deduce that some exposure to music may be beneficial for an unborn child. I am a fairly black and white person, which often means I take things to the extreme. When something is recommended by the professional parenting people, I don’t take it lightly. We don’t one-cheek (half-ass) our responsibilities around this place. So, I did what any self-respecting pregnant person would do – I hauled myself directly to the source. I attended three concerts while I was pregnant for Kate. In reality, it was less, “Oh, I’m pregnant, let’s go to a concert!” and more “We went to a concert and I happened to be pregnant.” However this is my blog and I can tell the story the way I want, so let’s just say I made a huge sacrifice for my unborn child’s musical development.

Kate was able to “hear” Martina McBride, John Cougar Mellencamp, and Keith Urban during this time. Disclaimer: That sentence in no way shape or form should be reflective of my musical taste. There is a story behind each, I promise.

Recently I had a startling revelation. Does this possibly explain … the dancing? What have I done? Damn (once again) those parenting book people. Is it possible that her love of music and dancing really was the result of some osmosis in the womb? Did our time on the concert circuit result in a habit of this magnitude? I think I am on to something here.

As I pondered that thought, I had a moment of panic thinking of what really could go wrong if it were true. Just in case, I’ve made a list of places I will avoid during subsequent pregnancies, lest we suffer the consequences: strip clubs, liquor stores, the Republican National Convention, blackjack tables, a Jerry Springer live taping, and nascar races.

Can you think of anything I’ve forgotten? I am not taking any risks here people.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What shall her stage name be?

You can all breath a sigh of relief; I achieved Mother of the Year at the dentist yesterday. For the first time, I am not being sarcastic when I proclaim that. Kate can now add professional actress to her lengthy resume, which will either mean large riches are imminent, or we are even more screwed than initially expected.

The dentist has been fully fooled into thinking we have our act together.

< insert evil laugh here >

She climbed into the chair, sat perfectly still, and opened her mouth wide. She let them use the mirror and count all of her teeth. When the hygienist asked if she brushed her teeth, she nodded vigorously and insisted upon a toothbrush to demonstrate her skills. You know, because we do it so well at home. Then, you must sit down for this; she let her BRUSH HER TEETH for about 5 solid minutes. The little shit, her secret is totally out. Now I just need to figure out how we can incorporate two trips a day there to get her teeth brushed. I am a little worried that they might catch on.

Part of me was beyond irritated at this public display of compliance, but that was outweighed by the fact that we pulled a fast one on the dentist.

As we head into Friday, I will remind you that this is class weekend. I’m just saying that so you can feel relief at not being me. Now your weekend doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where is that instruction manual again?

For the past month, getting Kate’s teeth brushed has been a battle of epic proportions. She’s quite content to “brush” her own teeth, as in sucking the toothpaste off the brush and the brush making little (if any) contact with her teeth. When I attempt to brush her teeth, she acts as if I am wielding an ice pick and attempting to do an unmedicated extraction.

My first brushing game involved finding sugar on her teeth to scrub off. Look Kate, I see RED sugar. Scrub scrub scrub. Uh oh, I see some BLUE sugar. Scrub scrub scrub. That lasted for, oh, a couple of days. Then she’d say, “I ALREADY got all the sugar off mom. DON’T BRUSH MY TEETH!” Kate: 1 Mom: 0

The second brushing game involved searching for animals in her mouth. Oh no Kate, I think I see a bumble bee. Scrub scrub scrub. Let me look on the bottom and find that snake. Scrub scrub scrub. Yikes, a lion in your mouth. Scrub scrub scrub. I’d give this one a generous week of success. Then, Kate started each morning with a giant, blubbering spit, “I SPIT all of the aminals (yes, that’s how she says it) out already. DON’T BRUSH MY TEETH MOM!” Kate: 2 Mom: 0

The third desperate attempt involved having her beloved Baby Kate brush her teeth. The sacrifices we make in the name of motherhood. Do you know just how ridiculous I look trying to use a plastic doll’s hand to brush Kate’s teeth while cheerfully saying, “Baby Kate says open up …”? Scrub scrub scrub. That one lasted for a couple of days at best. Suddenly Baby Kate “Doesn’t want to brush my teeth ANYMORE mom. Her doesn’t like to brush my teeth.” Kate: 3 Mom: 0

It’s entirely possible that I am making this more difficult than it needs to be, but I can’t get the kid to brush her damn teeth. It’s been a three ring circus, with me as the starring freak show. Recently, I resorted to threats and bribery. Yeah, well, those aren’t working so well either.

Why am I in a panic today? I’m glad you asked. I’m in a panic because tomorrow Kate has a dentist appointment. You know why they make 2 year olds go to the dentist, right? It’s a basic measure of public humility for the mom, and a true indicator of who is running the house. Of course I don’t brush her teeth Doc, I wasn’t quite sure that there was a necessity. (That last line must be read in a nice southern drawl, for effect you know).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Red Beans and Rice Didn’t Miss Her

One evening last week, Craig, Kate, and I went to the local playground. While that sounds all warm and fuzzy, there are no white picket fences, flower beds, and frolicking children in Ralph Lauren rompers at this playground. The place has potential, but for some reason it attracts litter, unsupervised children whose parents are chainsmoking Marlboro Reds while yelling obscenities into their cell phones, and creepy misfits who shouldn't really be stalking the playground. Quaint little place we live in here. We resist the scathing playground most days, but on this particular night, it was vacant. Figuring it would be the only chance to let Kate play without getting pushed off the slide, we stopped in for a few minutes. As she was climbing up into one of the platforms, she suddenly let out a squeal.

KATE: It says Kate OurLastName. Look Mom, K-A-T-E. Mom, it says Kate. Someone wrote my name up here K-A-T-E, Kate.

ME: Wow honey, does it really say your name?

KATE: Yup, K-A-T-E. Who wrote Kate up here Mom? COME LOOK Mom, come look.

ME: Alright, I'll come up there and look.

Begrudgingly, I hauled my lazy butt up the steps to where Kate was standing. She was jumping, wriggling, and dancing in anticipation. I looked down to where her chubby, dirty, little hand was pointing. Scrawled on the side of the tunnel in crude black letters: I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE.

You know, or Kate for short.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This isn't really talking about politics, is it?

Whether you support John McCain, or Barack Obama ...

I don’t care who you are, this is funny stuff right here. If you have a minute, hop on over and see what your new moniker would be:

The Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator

Meet my new family: Roller Texas Palin, Bomb Locamotive Palin, and Dust Chinstrap Palin.

Since it's Monday and I'm feeling a little fiesty, I feel compelled to post a link to this SNL parody, you know, for the 3 people left that haven't watched it.

Kate: Month Thirty Two


Today you turned thirty-two months old. It's been another busy month, which has not been without its share of tantrums. In fact, I think you reached the cap on the maximum number of tantrums allowed in any given month. Do you know what they do with little girls who go over that limit? They get shipped to Walmart, where allegedly, Walmart eats babies. Since I don’t want that to happen, I apologize and take full responsibility for not ever being able to do anything right. Can we move on now?

You have inevitably moved into the world of dress-up. You are quite content to play dress up with just your everyday clothes, layer, after layer, after excruciating layer of them. For the first time, I’ve realized how your never ending wardrobe really can haunt me. Your desire to play dress-up ten hours a day really isn't as fun for the person who has to help with the 'dressing' part of dress-up. Dresses, and pants, and shirts, oh my! At least you appear to have outstanding taste in shoes.

I read a parenting book quite awhile ago that talked about the importance of notifying kids of change and giving them transition time. Don’t parenting books suck? You will learn this someday when you grow up. They exist to contradict each other, leave you more confused after you finish reading them than when you started, and to affirm the fact that you really don’t know anything and your kids will most likely grow up to be drug-dealing criminals. Anyway, this book talked about giving kids a warning before you transition to a different activity, instead of just uprooting them. Our transition word has always been, “Okay Kate, just two more minutes.” Insert accolades to the parenting book people because this method has really worked for us. Umm, until now. It appears that our transition word has somehow transformed into a negotiating word. Instead of us saying “Two more minutes”, all I hear from you is, “I’m going to do it FOR TWO MORE MINUTES.” Whenever you are told no, it turns into, “Yes, I am going to do it FOR TWO MINUTES.” Well, this has been fun. Okay smart-parenting-people-book-writers, where is the sequel?

The other night you and I were sitting at your little activity table coloring. Without lifting your eyes, you reached out and handed me a crayon. “Here you go honey,” you said nonchalantly. For the past few days, when you are reminding me that you are the one in charge here and really are taking care of me, you make sure to throw a number of “honeys” in there. Honey, this has got.to.stop. Speaking of things that need to stop, your current obsession right now is the leaves changing colors and THEN IT WILL SNOW – THEN IT WILL SNOW – THEN IT WILL SNOW. I much prefer to continue living like that is not going to happen anytime soon thankyouverymuch.

Kate, there are very few things about you that are babyish any longer. You truly are becoming a big girl. There are many moments when I just stop and catch myself amazed at how quickly you’ve grown. I am very much looking forward to continuing on this wonderful journey with you. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Hugs and Kisses,


Friday, September 19, 2008

Who is running this place?

Dinner with Kate last night was a little challenging. If you consider screams, fits, and flying silverware a little challenging, then I guess we’d categorize it there, wouldn’t we? I have to admit, I was caught off-guard, as she was in a great mood leading up to dinner. Apparently there is nothing like a sit down meal to upset the order of the universe. When her glasses (which we just had to replaced, the 2nd pair in a year) went flying across the table, Kate went flying into time-out. Okay, she didn’t fly, but you get the point.

I set her in time-out in the adjacent room and then walked back to the table. Seconds later, Kate yells, “Now keep an eye on me Daddy!”

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let's start that list tomorrow

I just came across this quote, “Procrastination is attitude’s natural assassin.” I initially felt total defeat, knowing that means I’ll most likely have a horrible attitude for eternity. Then, the optimist in me realized that really just meant I now have a very good excuse for having a bad attitude.

Just kidding. Sort of.

I am not intentionally a procrastinator, although I really do work best under pressure. The majority of my so-called procrastination is really based on having WAY TOO MANY THINGS TO DO. You can only incorporate so many priorities and responsibilities before you just have to do everything at the last minute.

I’m making a resolution right now to work on changing that. I figured if I told the Internet this, I’d be more likely to accomplish it. You know, I’d rather actually have to take care of these things than risk having to wear a wig, change my name, and die my eyebrows so the Internet doesn’t recognize me, and therefore can’t ask, “So, how is that project coming along?”

The Short Term List:

Clean the storage room and playroom in our house. Words cannot describe the accumulation of junk in these rooms. Everything that doesn’t have a home goes there. There is no excuse.

Develop a rotation of 21 dinners. It takes way too much brainpower to think about what to have for dinner each week. That doesn’t include the grocery list, the shopping, and the cooking. I get lost in the thinking part. Kill me now.

The Extended Short Term List:

Kate’s Birthday
My Sister’s baby shower
Finishing 3 classes
Taking my certification test

Yes, they are all in the 4 month window and I’ve not done a thing. Nothing. Nadda. Excuse me while I hyperventilate and carry on with my bad attitude. I’m not nearly as funny in a panic. Geez. Maybe I need to go back to procrastinating. I think I like that method better.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We've become THOSE people

I remember my mom once telling me that when I was little, she occasionally gave me a chicken bone to chew on at dinner. Apparently, I was a handful when I was little and this was one way I stayed distracted so everyone else could eat in peace. Don’t tell Craig that, I like to blame him for Kate’s craziness and it’s been working so far. But seriously mom, a chicken bone? That is appalling. I know we were a little backwoods where I grew up, but I am pretty certain the stores CARRIED TEETHING BISCUITS. I can picture my parents having people over for dinner, with me in a highchair, gnawing on some leftover bones. That lends itself to assuming that a different person had already eaten the meat off the bone. Yum. Do you want to throw these away? Nah, just throw ‘em to the kid. I can’t believe they didn’t take a picture of this, you know, to play in the slideshow at my high school graduation. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do when you subject your kids to such humility?

I can’t believe I am telling the internet this. If I didn’t though, you would not fully appreciate this:

Yeah, um, now where was I?

Kate is the universes way of providing me a slap in the face, a proverbial wake up call. You know, for the mom whose kid WON’T EVER DO THAT. I am so not serving anything with a bone next time we have dinner company. The best part of the meal was that she started barking … and panting … and barking … and panting. Please tell me I’m not alone? Your kid does this, right? Right? Why is no one answering me?

Put a Band-Aid on it and call me in the morning

Last summer we went to visit my friend Tiffany (Hi Tiffany!) in North Carolina. At that time, her son was completely obsessed with Band-Aids. I remember thinking how weird it was, I mean how does a four-year old get a Band-Aid fetish? What were they raising, some kind of hypochondriac? Tiffany joked that they had to buy Band-Aids on every shopping trip and she was constantly looking for new designs. The bandange demand steadily increased as her son was not content with only one Band-Aid per injury or per alleged injury. One morning when I got up, he had 4 or 5 on his legs. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were Jesus Band-Aids. I kid you not. I am certain there isn't anything stranger … more freaky … more sacrilegious … than a preschooler sporting Jesus in Band-Aid form.

Suffice to say, we’ve now entered the Band-Aid phase. It doesn’t matter the scope, seriousness, or lack of physical injury – it demands a BAND-AID. We have Band-Aids in our purse, wallet, glove box, and diaper bag lest we be caught somewhere in public without a Band-Aid to squelch the screams. Someone looked at you wrong? Here is a Band-Aid. Hair blew in your eye? Here is a Band-Aid. An imaginary bug bit your leg? Here is a Band-Aid. Chopped off a finger? Here is a Band-Aid.

Through this sticky, hair pulling, journey, I’ve learned a few things:
  • No matter how large or small the catastrophe, a Band-Aid cures pretty much everything.
  • Whoever made the tattoo Band-Aids should be shot. On second thought, let’s cover them in those Band-Aids, and then require them to freak out and demand the Band-Aids be taken off. Then, we’ll start peeling them off, really slowly, with the skin still attached.
  • When you see a kid older than yours doing something weird, just consider it a warning.
  • Babies are born with natural instincts for food, warmth, sleep … and Band-Aids.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Say what?

I survived class. It wasn’t that difficult and I was relieved to still be capable of appearing smart and studious. You can exhale now; I know it’s been a long wait. I learned more about job analysis that I ever cared to know in my life. The class was taught by an Industrial Psychologist. I did not know such a profession existed. Does it really get any more laborious than that?

While inarguably knowledgeable, he was one of those people who are way too smart to be teaching us normal folk. While I can appreciate an expanded vocabulary, it isn’t like we are at Harvard. I could see a number of wide-eyed people in the room who had no clue what this guy was saying.

Approximately nine hours into the process, I started making note of some of my favorite words. The beauty was that these words weren’t used as part of the material we needed to learn, it was simply the way he talked. It was a mixture of meeting a thesaurus on steroids and being pummeled on the head with a hardcover Webster Dictionary.

Without further ado, my list:


Now you are as smart as I am and it didn’t even cost you the $1300.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

You can leave your worries behind

If this isn’t a fashion statement, I am not sure what is. I feel compelled to mention that this moment was captured in the middle of her nightly dancing routine. I wouldn't want you to think that she saves her dancing for special occasions only. If I can ever figure out how to get the videos from my camcorder onto my computer, I will share the dancing. Until then, you just have to use your imagination.

Kate felt the need to wear her rain boots while dancing because IT’S RAINING OUTSIDE MOM. IT’S RAINING OUTSIDE. RAINING. OUTSIDE. I NEED MY GALOSHES. Now, why didn’t I think of that?

As Kate put on the boots, she said, “Actually, they do fit mom.” What two year old talks like this? Where did she come from?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Saved By The Bell

I had to get up at 4:45 a.m. this morning to accomplish a heavy to-do list. The list included: packing, getting ready for work, preparing breakfast for 15 people (long story), getting Kate ready, dropping Kate off at daycare, and making it to work by 7:15. At 7:08, I pulled into the Starbucks line and ordered. I waited in line for 14 minutes, while only advancing one car and had to leave – without my coffee. They better get their act together, I know I pay for at least one of their staff. Not.a.good.morning.

Tonight is the first night of school for me this semester. I am having flashbacks of trapper-keepers and french-rolling my jeans, but I suppose that wouldn’t be appropriate for a Master level class. The class is MGT 643: Personnel Management. I was sort of hoping that it might morph into Personal Management, which should totally be a requirement before one is allowed to manage other people. I am completely qualified to teach Personal Management – The What Not to Do Edition. This is actually the first “off campus” class I have ever taken, which means it is comprised of mostly professionals. Shit. I need to put my smarty pants on this afternoon. I sort of liked taking traditional on-campus classes where I was the wise and experienced one amongst a room of fulltime students. I was always smart there and I didn’t even have to try or prepare for class. Sigh.

It is a ridiculously unfair weekend. I get to visit gorgeous Traverse City, where I have a hotel room on the beach, moments away from great dining and shopping. However, I don’t get to enjoy a single iota of it while I cram weeks of class into two days. I have the rare opportunity to spend a weekend without having to worry about a toddler waking me up at the crack of dawn. Instead of basking in that, I get to set my alarm to be up before the crack of dawn. For the first time in ages, I also have to pay full price for a hotel room, which I will not even have a minute to enjoy. For a fleeting moment, I missed my old job with the cheap to free hotel rooms. Then I slapped myself, came to my senses and got over that pretty quickly.

Wish me luck! I will be returning a much smarter person, thank you very much. I hope your weekend is less arduous than mine. Now, I will leave you with my favorite quote of the week:

“Never wrestle in the mud with a pig. You’re both going to get dirty, but the pig likes it.” This needs to be my mantra right now for a laundry list of reasons.

Disclaimer: This, in no way, shape, or form is referencing any pig-related recent news. Seriously. I am working hard at trying NOT to bring politics into this blog. I can’t promise I’ll keep it until November, but I am trying.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Winner winner chicken dinner

Let's see who can name that movie ...

Last night I made dinner. Now pick your jaw up off your keyboard, I am capable of such work. When I was making dinner it occurred to me that I must tell the Internet this. The Internet knows my domestic skills lack and I am certain envisions me feeding my family canned ravioli, ramen noodles, and string cheese. However, in the rare chance that I have time, energy, and groceries, I can make a decent meal. As long as I am being honest here, I will admit that Craig cooks dinner more often than I do. I think he considers that job security.

Anyway, I made salad. I love a good salad. I pretty much toss in whatever we have around. In this salad I used some organic greens, a diced green apple, dried cherries, mandarin oranges, feta cheese, pecans, and chicken. Craig loves it when I make dinner like this. He calls it the What Else Are We Having For Dinner Dinner, the That's Not Dinner Dinner, or the I'm Hungry Again 15 Minutes Later Dinner.

As Craig was walking to the other side of the table to sit down, I snapped this picture. Without any advance warning, he suddenly turned around, his elbow making contact with the camera and the camera making some SERIOUS contact with my eye. This was all due to the insane need to prove that I can be domestic. Does a black eye fit in that criteria?

For the record, Craig wants to make sure that I tell the Internet that this was a camera injury. I am a little accident prone and I'm certain it makes him a little nervous about his, errrr, reputation. Two years ago, right after I started a new job, I fell down the stairs. Twice. In one month. You can't blame the guy for being a little cautious.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Peace Baby

Over the past year, I have been on a quest to both reduce and add sparingly to the cheap, obnoxious, plastic toys in our overflowing collection.

There are many reasons I protest these toys. First, they are usually ugly, bright, and do not complement our decor. It appears that Milton Bradley and Fisher Price partied hard, had a few too many gin and tonics, then came home and threw up rainbows all over my house. Second, most of them are LOUD and require a second mortgage just to keep the up with the battery demand. Third, I have found that Kate has much more interest in items that she can use her creativity with, versus something with overwhelming bells and whistles. Fourth, I’m a little freaked out by the lead based paints, toxins, and product recalls associated with these toys. The hereditary maladies are challenge enough for my child; she doesn’t need mutated genes too. Plus, I’m not really sure what I’d do if she gained an extra appendage. I have a hard time fighting her with the four she has.

The really cool part to being slightly more discriminatory in my toy buying (for our house and gifts) is that I’ve found some incredibly cool retailers, including Olie Bollen. I was browsing for a shower gift and came across these:

Aren’t they precious? If you click on the link and read more about them, I'm convinced you will love them as much as I do! They are also Michigan made and sold by a Michigan owned company. Those of us left in Michigan can't afford to buy anything. For those of you who live elsewhere, SEND YOUR MONEY!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hoping you can hear the sigh of relief

To all of those who emailed me to ask how the flower-girling went, we survived! It was a beautiful wedding, beautiful bride, and a gorgeous day. For the record, I am anal and it is 150% likely that I made it more difficult on us than it needed to be, but hey, I don't want to be responsible for screwing up their big day. In Kate’s defense, she did better than I ever would have anticipated. I am lucky no one offered to bet me on the whole deal, because I would have totally lost the house. This is your lesson for next time ... you will remember that, won't you?

Some things I learned over the weekend:

  • A flower girl cannot be properly buckled in her car seat with her flower girl dress on.
  • Letting a kid ride in a car seat in only tights and shoes should be punishable to the fullest extent of the law.
  • No matter what excuse you have, putting a dress on your kid in the parking lot is trashy. The trashiness factor increases by the number of times you do it.
  • Do not continue to remind the flower girl that her daddy will be at the front of the church waiting for her. If you do, the flower girl will stop half way down the aisle and yell, “There is my daddy!”
  • When the ring bearer lies in the middle of the dance floor on his back, there is an explicit guarantee that the flower girl will do the same thing.
  • When someone asks you, “What do you feed that kid?” you know things really are as crazy as you thought they were, even if you secretly hoped no one else noticed.
  • When you ask the flower girl if she had fun at the wedding, you know she did when her only response is a forlorn, “Daddy said I have to stop dancing.”

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I hope first grade comes with spellcheck

(click on the picture to enlarge if you can't read it)

You have got.to.be.kidding.me.

Am I the only one seeing something wrong with this picture?

I am not even sure that I can adequately describe the disgust I have with this new book Kate received. The author’s mother must be so proud.

I am going to file this titled: Proof that I too am qualified to author children’s books.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

To Grandma, with Love

There are a number of family members staying at the same hotel we are for this wedding. This morning we headed out for a little retail therapy (hello H&M, long time no shop) with my 14 year old brother, Shane and my Grandmother, Joyce.

Overheard in the car:

JOYCE: I hear the hurricane is starting to come in and affect North Carolina and South Carolina already this week.

SHANE: It’s hard to take a hurricane named Josephine very seriously. It sounds too much like a quiet, sweet little old lady. Now, on the other hand, if it were hurricane Joyce … then it would be brutal.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My kid, the quiet and patient one

If it were appropriate to diagnose two year olds with ADHD, Kate would most definitely be solicited as their poster child. Since it isn’t appropriate, you will have to settle with my description of her in more politically correct terms. Those terms would be: spirited, busy, and assertive. I love her to pieces and would not change a single thing about her, just for the record.

Not only is Kate ADHD, errr, I mean busy, she is seriously one of the brightest, most talkative two years olds I have ever met. Often I stop in amazement when I realize that we have been carrying on a productive two way conversation. Her pediatrician jokes that we will see her in Congress one day. I think you could interpret that as either a compliment, or an insult.

I sit here today in a panic as we prepare for this weekend when Kate makes her stage debut as a flower girl in my cousin’s wedding. I think it’s safe to write this now that the bride is busy today and hopefully has better things to do than check my blog. (Hi Amy! If you are reading this, I’m kidding, everything is going to be perfect, just ignore me!) We are truly honored that Kate was asked to be her flower girl and Kate could not be more excited. It has just been the realization that we have to get her through the ceremony that has me hyperventilating here.

It is possible that she will march down the aisle, push the minister out of the way and insist upon giving the directions herself. It’s also likely that she will find it necessary to provide narration through the ceremony, complete with “I’m a flower girl, in a flower girl dress, with my flower girl shoes, doing my flower girl dance.” Given her dancing history, when music is played she may break out into dance on the pulpit. If her curiosity gets the best of her, I can see her stopping to smell the flowers, blow out the candles, or find out what is under that big white dress.

I have told Kate that flower girls are not allowed to talk. So now she keeps saying, “Shhhh” and “Flower girls are not allowed to talk.” I am not quite sure that this alone is going to be our salvation. I have entertained the idea of duct tape over her mouth, but I can’t find a cranberry color to match her dress. I just don’t think the silver will go. If I put superglue on the bottom of her shoes, I am worried that maybe they will stick part way down the aisle, versus when she actually gets up there. If you have any better suggestions, we have 30 hours until show time.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Chew on this

I have achieved a new level of sophistication.

I had to attend a work meeting today in a little town I had never visited before. As my coworker was giving me directions, she said, "and then you will go past the World's 2nd Largest Beef Jerky Store …".

I am not kidding you. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Your inheritance, the bathroom counter

Any professional design person goes into a project like this with every detail finalized. We pretty much wing it, from start to finish. The bathroom renovation started with this sink from Kohler, which I fell in love with. This sink became the basic design inspiration for the room: square and straight lines. It totally worked. The wainscoting carried the straight lines theme. I adored this washboard colored paint and knew I would not be brave enough to use it elsewhere, so it found its home in this room.

The bathroom mirror was one I found at Target. Look in the section with decorative mirrors, they are always so much more fun than the ones in the bathroom section. After I bought the mirror, I randomly found the matching hardware at Lowe's. Fate, no? I took a close up picture of the details as proof that under dire decorating circumstances, I can indeed pay attention to the details.

The bathroom is complete, but not without two major catastrophes along the way. First, was the faucet. It was outrageously difficult to find a square faucet whose price did not rival a Caribbean vacation. It took weeks of searching and I eventually found the faucet I wanted. For $550 I could choose between this faucet, and buying groceries for the rest of the month. I was going to sign-up for that guaranteed weight loss plan, but Craig could not be coerced, cajoled, or bribed. Thank ebay, because I got it for 1/3 of the price. Thrifty, aren't I?

The other major drama concerned the Corian that I picked out for the counter. Craig brought the Corian samples home from work and told me to pick out what I liked. He said that the Corian would be about $150 a sheet and we would only need one. I wanted something that tied into our gray and white theme, yet offered a little color. I am daring like that. After excruciating debate, I picked the PERFECT color and we special ordered it. Three weeks later, the bill came for the Corian and it was $595. This here is called a failure to communicate. Upon further investigation, it appears that my-heightened-sense-of-design-self picked the most expensive Corian they carried. Of course I did. I can see some of you who know me well nodding your heads vigorously right now. Out of a box of 200 choices, I picked the winning one. I so should have bought a lottery ticket that day. It is the most expensive three-square-feet in our home.

Good news for me, I love it. Bad news for whoever buys this house from us, I am totally taking that damn countertop with me and selling it on the Corian blackmarket.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Attack of the gold filigree

I finally had time to find some of our house pictures pre-renovation. This is the "before" picture of our downstairs half bath. I apologize if the screen on your computer spontaneously combusts in protest of subjecting your eyes to such bad taste. I feel like I should be in the picture, sitting on the toilet in a floral housecoat. My hair would be in sponge rollers, eyes doused in blue shadow, with a Pall Mall dangling out of my mouth.

The picture does not do this gem justice. The two hanging pineapple globe lights are clearly not visible here. You also cannot see the atrocious vinyl flooring emblazened with gold swirls. Then there is that wallpaper with the fake marble print, simply glorious. I know, I can see you scratching your head wondering why we couldn't leave good enough alone.

Would you like to see what it looks like now? I think that you really need to let this picture sink in for today. If I lived with it for years, you can live with it for a day. It will be tough, I know.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Me Myself and I

I have received a couple of emails from people wondering if I would mind if they forwarded my blog on to other people. Of course I don’t mind, the more the merrier. That is assuming you know anyone who would be remotely interested in hearing anything I have to say.

I do have to offer the following disclaimers:

I am no Pioneer Woman. I barely have time to cook for myself, not to mention document it and share it with all of you. Now, if I come across something fabulous and easy, or that makes itself and presents itself on the dinner table before you arrive home, of course I will share.

I am no Nester. I am inept with a glue gun, fabric, and at making gorgeous arrangements to beautify your home. If I ever attempt something of the sort, I will certainly share it with you so you can join in the laughing, snorting, and mockery.

I am no Crafty Crow. Do not come here if you would like to find creative, fun things to make with your toddler. On rare occasion, I do borrow ideas like these so that I can appear to be one of those cutesy moms who has it all together, but I borrow and I do so on rare occasion.

I am no Dooce. My life is not nearly as exciting to read about. Period.

I am no Melissa. I did not inform America on the Today Show that I believe it is okay to have a glass of wine during play dates. Although, I tend to like the way she thinks.

What I can offer you is the world as I see it, through the eyes of a married, working, mother who has the best intentions, but often misses the mark. I try to find the humor in every situation, even the trying ones. I have found that parenthood is much more rewarding than I would have ever imagined, but infinitely harder as well. I do not think we talk about that often enough and hope that I am able to continue to be frank about those challenges and reassure others out there that even people who appear to have it together really probably don’t. Incidentally, if you think this is going to be all about Kate, or motherhood, you probably don’t know me that well yet. I am a wealth of useless information. I do love to shop though and will frequently share wonderful things that I think you just need to have, or need to buy and send to me.

In closing, I would also like to point out that you are welcome to leave comments on my entries. See, right at the bottom of each post? Yes, there. Just click 'comments' and you can easily share your thoughts or feedback. I like comments. They make me feel a little less like I am talking to myself. I get enough of that the 23 hours I day I don’t spend writing on my blog.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Shaken not stirred

Last fall, Craig's brother and his wife came to visit us from Boise. We do not see them nearly often enough, so we always make the most of it when we do. After a few nights of keeping red wine distributors busy restocking shelves, we decided to mix it up and try something different. After perusing the internet, we found the perfect pomegranate martini. It was love at first sip. Tonight, this was my dessert.

In a shaker, combine: ice, a splash of Triple Sec, a generous amount of Absolut vodka, and some pomegranate juice. It isn’t an exact science, but I trust you are smart enough to figure it out. Shake vigorously, pour, drink, and repeat. Pomegranates have outrageous health benefits, so this could be classified in a food group somewhere.

To sum up our weekend prior to Martini Monday, I am so ready for work tomorrow. It was that joyous of a weekend. What was the best part? I’m having a hard time deciding: sick kid, the massive amount of snot I encountered, no sleep, not stepping into the sunshine for 36 hours, company, or company while having a sick kid. The most horrifying part is that I am certain they left convinced that our parenting skills were in dire need of some attention. When Kate is sick, logic, rules, and common sense go out the window. I think at one point I promised to build her a princess castle skyscraper in the back yard with my own bare hands if she stopped screaming. Craig easily fixed 15 different things for lunch in an attempt to get her to eat something. Then she ate a pudding pop. I am not kidding you. I think if they would have stayed one more day they would have had Super Nanny on speed dial.