Saturday, January 31, 2009

Eight things

Jen R. tagged me, so here goes:

1) I don't like my kids pretending guns, but have pretty much given up banning them altogether. They make them out of legos and sticks and then they aren't supposed to point them at people. I mention this because I had to get them to change their game to target practice just now.

2) I don't particularly like making phone calls. To friends and family, it's fine, but to make hair or doctor appointments, etc, I just don't get around to it.

3) I am one of six kids, all but me and my brother were adopted at varying ages. If you count all the foster kids who went through and only stayed for a while and all the kids my mom babysat while their parents worked, I don't even know how many kids there were.

4) I like making quilts, but they aren't very exciting ones and it takes me months to finish one. A lot of the time, I'd rather zoom up a quick sweatshirt that takes an hour total, since that's about all the time I have to work. Impatient? Me?

5) I read a lot - like a book every couple of days. I don't keep track of them, though, so don't really know how many I've read. A lot of them are romance novels (the 400 page ones, not the 200 page Harlequins because there's just not enough time for character development or to make me believe in their happily ever after in 200 pages, IMO)

6) Considering my affection for drinking coffee while using the computer, it is remarkable that I have only fried one keyboard due to spills - and it was tea that I spilled.

7) I miss thunderstorms and snow. There are occasional storms here, but they are very rare. I don't miss snow enough to move somewhere that it snows. My children may never learn those two magic words: snow day.

8) I have now breastfed all of my kids far longer than the national average. I'll probably keep nursing the baby until she's far older than I want to admit it to other people. Which is how long the boys were BF-ed ;)

And now I'm supposed to tag other people.... Liza Lee, Kirsty, Jennifer Mc, Mom (though she doesn't have a blog...), ah... My audience isn't that big ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

the doctor said "yep"

It looks like DS2 has some sort of virus and then strep on top of that. Yay! Multiple infections!

And he's not terribly sickly. He was bouncing around, playing with toys in the waiting room, then went trotting merrily off with the nurse to be weighed, etc. He's starting to get bored at home, already. Well, he had his first dose of anti-b's at about 11, think I can fudge and send him to school tomorrow, even though it's not quite 24 hours? I guess I'll see how sickly he is tonight and in the morning.

Anyway, he's watching Wallace and Gromit and I'm about to head out to get DS1 from school.

Oh, and I need to call Best Buddy's mom and tell her that BB might have been exposed. Sigh.

winter diseases

OK, I know you can get them at any time, but, well, it's that time again.

Not the flu. We seem to have strep. DS2 has had a sore throat and stayed home from school yesterday, but it wasn't until last night that he had white spots on his throat. So off to the doctor.

The baby's been coughing and grumping, too and I'm really hoping she doesn't have it. DS1 isn't feeling great, but it's not his throat so maybe he'll be fine. My throat feels scratchy and I'm really hoping I'm not getting it. DH is taking a nap on the couch so I'm hoping HE isn't coming down with something.

Right time to get DS2 dressed and get the baby to stop crying and go to the doctor's.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Hey Daddy! Whatcha doing in there?"

DH is in the bathroom and DD is outside the door of it calling to him. "Ah-da-da-da-bababa! Ay-yay-yay!" I'm just providing the translation.

Huh. You know what?

I didn't report here on our doctor visit. thought I did, but i guess i didn't. wait. I just found it in my draft folder. See? I'm just absent-minded, not completely insane!


We're just home from a well-baby checkup.

She's 19 lbs 6 oz (40th %) when buck naked (give or take because she kept trying to play with the scale)
Her head is 17 5/8ths inches (50%)
And she's 30 3/4 inches tall when lying down (100 %) (give or take due to excessive wriggling)

She got prevnar and one other shot (the, um, ah. well, one she's had before. DTaP? HiB? I need to write these things down, don't I?). These were only her 2nd set of shots, so we're plenty behind schedule. I'm not overly worried, we're just going to make them up bit by bit.


I took the baby to the doctor the other day, as reported here. I went to pay the copay with my debit card and it was refused, so I paid on a credit card. When I got home, I checked my balance and I was down to $10 in my checking account. I had some in savings that I transferred over, but the hefty car repairs and then Christmas presents obviously did some damage. So far, no one has told me that I bounced anything. Phew!


I've been reading the C.S. Harris mystery novels with Sebastian St. Cyr as the protagonist. I really liked the first two.

And how can you go wrong with a name like St. Cyr? Especially if you consider that the Brits (and the books are set in England) often say "Saint" as "sin" so his name is Sincere?

But the third seemed rushed (according the the acknowledgements, she was writing it while trying to rebuild her house after Hurricane Katrina) and I am Not Happy with the ending. This guy is supposed to be so smart and there are big, enormous clues that it's OK if he.... because he isn't... and she isn't really.... anyway. It just cheesed me off that the mean sister won, you know?

Apparently book 4 doesn't resolve this particular problem, so i have to wait for book 5 for him to find out the big secret that everyone who reads the books figured out in book 1. ARG!

Well, I've requested book 4 from the library and the whole system own 6 copies, but only one is in circulation and the rest are in processing, even though the book came out over 2 months ago. I like the series, but not enough to buy it in hard back as soon as it comes out....

Still waiting for Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn, too. Out in March.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Because my mom asked

Yes, we have rain. Not much today, but the last 2 days it has sprinkled and rained off and on. It's supposed to do it some more for the next day and a half or so.

We're still 3 inches behind the average for this month and ended last month about 1 1/2 inches behind. Basically, we need some serious rain in February and March. Not too much at once, because it floods so easily here....

Call the bomb squat!

DS2's best buddy (BB) is over for a sleepover. He came at 4:30 or so and had dinner with us. The funny part is that BB's parents are always saying how DS2 is such a picky eater and tonight it was BB's turn - he doesn't like shrimp, he only likes pasta if it has butter on it, he doesn't want fruit salad except for the apples and grapes, he doesn't like the kind of cheese I put out for those who didn't want shrimp (though DS2 surprised me and ate the shrimp! Yay!). BB announced he likes the pancakes I make. I called BB's parents and mocked them.

After dinner, they went to the baby's tonka car thing and were making it make the funky beat and then they turned on the turn signal and cleared the room because it was a bomb ticking. I said, "Call the bomb squad!" and DS2, being unfamiliar with the word squad, started saying, "Call the bomb squat!"

Anyway, the baby only took one nap today but she's holding up pretty well with the excitement of having her brothers and another kid here. She'll be going to bed early, but I don't know how quiet they're going to be for her. Not very is the likely answer.

BB just came in and asked when they go to bed and assured me that he's usually in bed by now. It's seven and his parents have said that he usually goes to bed at nine. I told him he as free to go to sleep any time he wanted. Now that I think about it, if he's really tired and he wasn't hungry.... I hope he's not getting sick or something.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My mom's friend

I have posted here before about my mom's friend, Judy, who has been fighting cancer for 20 or more years. She was afraid she wouldn't see her kids grow up and now she's been watching her grandkids grow up. Anyway, over the last couple of months, she's had some recurrences affecting her pancreas and liver.... and who knows what else.

She is in the hospital now and even when she does leave it, it looks like she will be in the nursing home for a while, and she will probably never go home. Basically, it looks like this is it for her.

If you pray or hold people into the light or send vibes or just think good thoughts, then please, send Judy some of those.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

the kind of reader I am

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
Fad Reader
Book Snob
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Jane Eyre's dollhouse

Sorry. Charlotte Bronte's dollhouse.

Complete with criminally insane wife in the attic. Buy it now! Before she burns it down!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

rain rain rain rain rain

That's my rain chant. It might rain this afternoon and a few more times over the next few days. We need it so very desperately so even though we have been enjoying fabulous, unseasonably warm, sunny weather (sorry. There is a reason we live in California and it's not for the joy of 100 degrees for weeks at a time in summer), I will be happy to have the rain.

Other than that, my brain hasn't reached full functionality yet. I must need another cup of joe. And no, I don't usually call it that.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yeah. What he said.

"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.

"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

"On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

balloons and crunchy muscles

We had an extra balloon from DS1's birthday party (totally forgot to make sure the first two kids who left got balloons!) so it's the baby's. The boys have tucked the weight into the back of her pants, so she's crawling around with big smiley face floating 6 or so feet above her.

And I stood up and stretched and my belly hurts. I went to karate on Friday night and the man who is the instructor Fridays has made it "Fitness Friday". The last few times I had gone, there was a huge pack of 16 year old black belt boys with infinite energy and extra sass and I was collapsing and we never went over the curriculum stuff that I usually needed help with, so I was avoiding the Friday class. This time, there were lower belts and was mostly young women, though they were all still younger than me and had boundless energy. Anyway, we did do curriculum for this cycle, but we did lots of jogging and lots of 'crunchies' which is why I said to the boys that my crunchy muscles are sore.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"shark park rocks"

DS1 got a hot wheels "shark park" set as one of his presents today. It even says it rocks, right before it eats your toy car.

We already have the hot wheels tricks something-or-other track package.

We've come so far since my brother and I had a few miles of flexible orange track and one loop-the-loop thing and a staircase.

But then, we set the track going down the stairs and used fisher price people taped to cardboard as skiers and lugers (lugists?) and bobsledders. The ski jumpers didn't have quite enough loft, but we tried. I won't tell you which winter Olympics that was, because then you could probably figure out just about how old we are, even though I've probably admitted it on the blog before.

Didn't I buy that?

I am steaming through the Patricia Briggs books in her Moon Called series for the second time. I just finished the second and am going to start the third, probably this evening. I was digging through my bookshelves for her short story in the On the Prowl anthology and found it, but I thought I had bought Cry Wolf and can't find it. Well, I only have the Moon Called ones from the liobrary, so maybe I had Cry Wolf from there, too. They didn't have the anthology more than a month after it came out so I bought it, but they have it now.

Her next books in the Moon Called series are in hard back, so I am definitely getting them from the library! Makes me wonder if they're in the system yet so I can request them...

Now that I'm thinking about it, I really should move things around on my bookshelf so the to be read pile and library books are up higher out of the baby's reach. I moved them up a bit, but she just stretched and got them anyway.

Baby talk

As of now, she says: da-ee for daddy, ma-ee for mommy, Av for DS1, tssss for ds2, today she said awthhhee when she saw a dog in the grocery store (with a vest, so a companion dog of some sort)

she signs: done, bird, dog, and she's trying to figure out to sign nursies

I knew she could go up one step, but today I let her crawl around in the back yard and she went all the way up the concrete stairs, which is 14 or so steps. Our back yard is pretty small and would be a steep slope if it weren't for three retaining walls that make it like a big stair case instead. I was trying to show her how to back down, but she was tired and got frustrated really quickly. Obviously, she won't be allowed in the back yard without an adult tailing her!

Oh, and because she still scoots on her stomach, so was completely filthy by the time we came in, though I guess only slightly more filthy than if she crawled on her hands and knees. She was eating dirt from the big flower pots when I had my back turned, but decided she didn't like it after all.

She has been letting go and balancing more and more on her feet after pulling up. No attempts at steps yet, but it's coming soon.

No idea of how much she weighs, but I'd say it's still around 20 lbs. We're going to see the doctor for a well baby checkup next week. It's only her 2nd doctor visit ever, as she's been healthy as a horse except for the stupid persistent eye infection which I get cleared up quickly and which kept coming back as soon as I stopped treating it. It's been clear for 10 days or so now, so it's OK.

I can't believe she's closing in on a year old!

ready (maybe)

DS1's birthday party is in a bit over an hour.

goody bags

not ready:

decorations I'm not so worried about (sorry, kid), so the balloons are pretty much it (he picked yellow smiley face balloons)
I am going to get a couple of rolls of quarters on the way there because there's driving video game at the pizza place.
I am thinking of taking our paper airplane a day calendar (I'll see if I can find the boys a new one!), some scissors and a bunch of plain paper. There will be 7 boys and we'll spend some of the time eating pizza and cake, some opening presents, so I hope that will be enough to keep them busy. Will it?

I am so very much not a party planner.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Well, since I'm going to be up late anyway...

DD's two mini naps this morning and early afternoon were not very effective in making her a happy camper. So after karate, I lay down with her and she went to sleep for a couple of hours and she got up at..... almost 7 PM. Yeah, we're not going to bed tonight, it's a partayyyyyyy.

I should have made dinner early or else eaten just a little because the timing was right for me to go to karate and yet I didn't because my belly was full.

I am thinking of taking DD over to the karate dojo for the end of what would have been my class time because my favorite instructor is only there a couple of evenings a week and always asks about her.

*face palm*

While I was getting DD down for a nap, the phone rang. Dh, who is working at home, answered. Someone was RSVPing for DS1's birthday party.

Dh didn't get the name.



I wrote a scene yesterday that had been in my head for a bit. There are two follow-up scenes that are shorter that I need to get on the page (on the screen, rather).

It's not my best work because I was interrupted every 2 minutes or so as I was trying to work while the chicken cooked, but it's down and it can be fixed. If it's still in my head, I can't revise it, you know?

And on a parallel with that, I have been reading some western romance novels with a Christian influence, which is really weird because I'm not into westerns and am not particularly Christian. I had to do some skimming in the one I was reading last night because it was highly repetitive Christian influence. I have now read 2 books by this particular author and in each the characters have pre-marital sex after going on and on about the bonds of holy matrimony, but only after getting engaged. In each one, they only have sex the one time and then abstain until they're married.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crawling like a .... crawling, uh, thing and other random notes

As of yesterday, DD is finally making a few tentative "steps" at crawling on hands and knees instead of swimming on her belly. She is also starting to let go of the furniture for a second while standing, so it seems to be all happening at once. She started moving and sitting early, just not actual four-legged crawling.

She's driving us crazy too because she reached that point where she doesn't want to lie down for diaper changes. So poop is a bit dangerous these days. I remember a woman from a bulletin board I was on when DS1 was a baby who said that when she finished changin a diaper, she clapped her hands and threw them up like calf ropers at the rodeo.

And now my mom's on facebook. See, eventually everyone will be on facebook.

I've been reading today. I stayed up much too late last night reading Sherry Thomas' Delicious. Oh. My. Goodness. That woman can write. I liked this one better than Private Arrangements, though both held a lot of melancholy and pain. The ending wrapped up a little too fast for my tastes, but getting there was powerful.

It's authors like that that make me despair that I will ever be able to write at all well. It's like that story of a famous cellist whose student wasn't advancing and as the famous cellist was making mistakes and playing worse, the student suddenly started to play much better and work harder. The student was worn down by his teacher's perfection. I'll have to google that story and see if I can find it.

So my perfectionist soul wants to write the best novel EVER and I know I can't, so I am paralyzed.

In spite of that, my mind has been working on more scenes for my WIP (work in progress), so I need to sit down and rattle those out. There's an enormous section of what I already wrote where nothing happens that I will have to remove or at least cut down to a few pages of summary. At least I feel like I have enough distance to be able to study the whole structure a bit. I tend to get bogged down in details and am an expert at trivia, but the overall structure and big picture don't always work for me.

I have printed out invitations to DS2's birthday party on fancy paper and will take them to school. It's short notice, so we'll see how many kids we get. At least he decided he wanted a party and said who he wanted to invite. Now I need to arrange a cake!

DS2 has been lying more. In a way, DS1's social awkwardness has been a blessing because he's not good at lying. DS2 was lifting the baby up onto the couch yesterday and saying she climbed up and he was just helping her down. I caught him carrying her all the way down the hall and he tried to deny it. I have to keep closer watch on her, because I am worried that he will get even rougher with her.

Right, I need to get the baby up and changed and we're off to get the boysies. I had more random observations, but they have gone out of my brain anyway.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Laundry, visiting wildlife, and unfounded accusations

I woke up this morning when the baby woke at 6:30. She was wiggling around and I lifted her up and DANG, she stunk like skunk. I said "Wooooo! Your diaper STINKS" and fed her and lolled around for a few minutes until it was time to get up and change her.

Sometimes the cloth diapers have a residual smell in them and when she wears a diaper all night and pees in it copiously, sometimes that smell will come out.

Well, even after she was changed, it smelled, but I didn't think anything of it, because it was 7:15 and I hadn't had any caffeine yet.

Then I walked out into the garage, which really stank of skunk and I realized that the baby didn't stink, the neighborhood stank.

Stupid flippin' skunks.

At least the sliding door to our room wasn't open like the last time when it was nice and warm out and a skunk sprayed nearby. Phew.

Monday, January 5, 2009

makes me regret....

DS2 is here harassing me because it's his half birthday tomorrow. He seems to think he's getting a birthday party and lots of presents. Ds1 just had his birthday a few days ago. The only reason I have ever made any deal of half birthdays is because DS1's birthday is so close to Christmas and DS2's birthday 6 months and 5 days later.

So someone put me out of my misery, because i am tired of answering questions about half birthdays!

Winter Break PICTURES


On Ebay: One baby, New In Box

I was passing her over, but she was happy to just dangle.

Eiffel Tower, Empire State Bldg, Sears Tower, repairing the Statue of Liberty

Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty

DH looking thrilled

Eeek! Space alien!

Christmas PICTURES

Since I've been uploading the hundreds of pics that the boys took, I guess I should upload some of my paltry few.

There's a Tonka toy for every..... girl.

Dinner table

DS2 getting "helped"

Yes! Boxes! Yippee!

The haul, just before opening.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The black cupboard of doom

We have big, black, metal cupboard, the sort that they keep office supplies in in offices, not generally the type you have in your living room, though that's where ours is. It closes securely, if the kids can remember to turn the handle, so the art supplies, board games, and books are in there. I don't know exactly what is in there, because it's 5 or 6 sliding heaps of mess, one or more heaps per shelf.

I call it the Black Cupboard of Doom.

DS2 was just looking for his paints and I told him that they were either in his room or... "the black cuvvord of doooooom," he said and ran off to look.

Good lad.

(Am editing my NaNo book. All it took to get me working was a three-ring binder. Yes, I've been putting it off for over a month because I didn't have a print out and a place to put it. Lame.)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My family is now on notice for my birthday....

Though i guess i should have the "I've never been cool" shirt. Or else the "beta mom" one :)

wild wild saturday

well, bestest buddy was running a slight fever and his mom found out that the kids he was playing with yesterday had started projectile vomiting, so my kids didn't go to madagascar 2 with him.

ds2 and i went to toys r us to spend his vast xmas wealth. we came home with a massive mars mission lego set, but not the totally huge one he really wanted, because he couldn't bring himself to give up the remote control car that is supposed to run on land and water. he did quite well with compromising and putting back the remote control plane he also wanted, but didn't have enough money for.

i still need to take ds1 shopping with his xmas money and toys r us gift card. he's been contrary and gloomy about doing anything the same as ds2 lately, so might just put it in savings, which would be a good thing.

what's really odd was that i took along dd's tru gift card, too, but didn't come across anything there for her that i wanted to drop 15 bucks on.

the baby fell asleep in the car seat on the way back and woke up not too long after getting home. then i nursed her while checking my email and now she's asleep on my lap. man, she's long and heavy now. i can't feel my hand and my arm just plain hurts. she hasn't done this in a while. and it is why i'm typing without capital letters.

and i looked up my former boss on facebook and have noe friended him and snooped through his friends list, looking for my old coworkers, one of whom had sent a friend request before i had even gotten back online. and there were a couple of the guys i used to do the crossword with on our breaks, too and i've wondered what they've been doing.

my arms's going to fall off.

Our cup runneth over

DS2 isn't going to San Francisco after all, because Best Buddy's mom is having trouble with the brakes on her minivan. So they're going to a movie and I begged for DS1 to go with them. Then this morning, one of DS2's friends from school was looking for a play date and his mom called us. So we're juggling friends after spending most of the last 2 weeks at home without friends over. And now BB's mom wants them to do something outside instead of a movie, but my kids aren't so flexible that they will take that well, so I asked if they could just go to a later show or something. Maybe I'm too demanding...

Right, maybe I'll get dressed now, since the school friend should be here soon.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Time flies (groan)

Calenders calendars are they both right? Why can't I spell this word?

Anyway, just after saying that I didn't have mine yet, an ENORMOUS box came from B&N. Seriously, B&N needs to look at its packaging. The box was 19x12x10 and had 15 miles of those big plastic bubble wrap things, 2 wall calendars and 2 page-a-day calendars: a wall calendar of women reading for my kitchen, one of Hubble telescope pictures for the computer room/office, a Mary Engelbreit one for a friend, and..... most importantly... a page-a-day calendar with a paper airplane a day.

As of right now, it's Saturday Jan 10th or Sunday the 11th in our house.

Oh, B&N had calendars at 50% of more off. It's good to wait this long to order, but then I get 4 and I already had my book-a-day calendar from the library. I didn't even ask for a calendar for Xmas this year, because I ask every year and no one ever gets me one. sniffle whine

Getting back to the school routine

DD woke up at about 6:30. She usually goes back to sleep. She didn't. When I finally got up with her at 7:30, it woke the big kids up. That's the time I get them up by on school days. Now to get them to go to sleep at a reasonable time and we'll keep getting up at 7:30 and we'll be ready.

DS2 is going to San Francisco tomorrow with Bestest Buddy and his family. The mom wants to walk the Golden Gate Bridge before they put up the suicide nets.

Sunday, the same BB's mom is organizing a gingerbread man decorating party, which she has done for her kids since the big one (who's 18) was little. Both my boys are invited to that.

I might take them out to someplace with a play land for lunch, because it's gloomy and wet (which is why DS2 didn't go to San Fran today instead of tomorrow). I should call up another friend of mine. Her DS1 and my DS1 have been feuding - or at least not talking to each other - since Thanksgiving. Though the play land atmosphere tends to be overstimulating, so maybe that's not the best idea. Anyway.

It's about time for a nap for the little one. Yeah, getting up early gets you cranky, doesn't it???

another resolution

I am going to hire someone to keep my house clean. This place is filthy. It's not just the piles of stuff, it's that I hate cleaning so desperately that I will do just about anything to get out of it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Not totally helpless!

I bought some caulk a few weeks ago, then realized that I needed a caulking gun. I got one of those about 2 weeks ago.

Today, I caulked around the kitchen sink and the sink in my bathroom. It's a bit sloppy (to say the least), but it's caulked. Next up is the bathtubs and the sink in the hall bathroom.

The kitchen sink and all the counters in there really need to be dug out and regrouted, but this is a rental and no, I'm not doing it.

I learn something new every day (too much information for non-parents)

I figured the grapes that DD ate the other day would give her the runs, since I cut them up but don't peel them. Nope, she's constipated. She's been belly-aching since yesterday and having teeny-tiny hard poops.

Dh took the boys to play ball in the park. I was hoping DD would sleep through it, but the excitement in getting ready was too loud and so she's up and hasn't had quite enough nap.

New Years Resolutions

Last night, I poured out the fake champagne (fizzy apple cider. Whatever.) and asked everyone what their resolutions are.

I want to get more exercise and be in better shape (because I don't want to announce "I'm going to lose X pounds" because that's a recipe for disaster)
DS1 wants to learn to swim better
DS2 wants to get better at sports
DH wants to make money (sigh)

I want to get my book into a publishable format, join a critique group, maybe, maybe even send it out to a few places. I know the market is stinky right now and publishers aren't buying, but I might as well try, right?

I want to write another book - maybe not wait for November this year. I'm still struggling with the decision to have my secondary characters from my current book develop in that book or if they need a book of their own.

I guess that's it.

Happy Birthday to DS1 - born on 1/1/00. That was a fun NYE/new millenium eve :)