Monday, June 30, 2008

The (non-)Cuss Fund

Tomorrow is one of many things: Tuesday, the first of July, a week before vacation and the start of Fred and Anna's "Stop Saying That in Front of Elliot!" fund.

Essentially we'll be forking out 25 cents every time one of us uses a naughty word. At the end of the month that money will be rounded up and put in Elliot's college fund. It's like a double treat for him in that we won't have to yell at him for repeating 4-letter words and he gets more quarters in his college fund.

The rules are being hammered out yet. I think it should be a 100% of the time deal but Fred disagrees and thinks it should only be in effect when he's within ear shot. Maybe Fred's afraid of going broke.

What do you think? Take my poll and let me know.

It's Official - I'm Irritated

... and I have the doctor's note to prove it.

I finally went to the doc last week to get my eye checked (I know, Dad, I know..) and while I was there had him look at a few other things. My eye is irritated. That's it. Other ailments were this weird rash on my back that he referred to as being irritated. And I had him check my throat since strep was going around and it was hurting. Did I have strep? Nope, just irritated.

I kind of like being officially irritated. Its like having an excuse to be cranky.

Other things that irritate me include (in no order):
1. The smell of baby powder. Gags me. Old man powder is gross too.
2. When someone breathes too close to me. Thanks Jen for convincing me I share air with a girl in Africa and if someone else breathes it she and I will both die.
3. One-uppers. You know, the people that have done that, seen that, heard that only theirs was better, faster or more expensive
4. VERY slow drivers. Stace told me to think that maybe they have a crock pot of chili in their backseat. I'm inclined to think they should just stay home.
5. Sprinkles. I hate those little plastic pellets that they adorn donuts and cookies with. GROSS. What's worse is that Fred loves them so any time we have donuts I have to flick off the errant sprinkle that is tarnishing my pastry.
6. Sienna. She bites me nightly. It's a game to her, an irritant to me. The lights go off, I go to climb into bed and out from under she zooms, bites and runs.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Dorky Boys

It's true, and in writing on the internet for all to see, that I think my husband is a dork. But I wouldn't have married the guy if I wasn't also a dork or found it appealing in some way. I love my dork.

So I thought I'd take a second to let you in on a recent funny conversation we had about Elliot's name and my obsessive compulsion to worry about whether or not he'll be mocked in school because his parents gave him a dorky name.

A: Aren't you worried about his name? Elliot is a dorky name. Our kid is going to be a dork. That doesn't bother you? No cool kid in my school was named Elliot.
F: My name is Fred. (Staring in a sort of disbelief)

We both had a good laugh. As to whether or not we're laughing because it's true or just the fact that I'm a bit slow in realizing my own husband sort of has a dorky name, I'll let you decide.

Fred told that story at work today and I think his co-workers made it even funnier by saying I should have made the final comment:

A: I rest my case.

To all you Union Bank employees I say "SERIOUSLY."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moving in Slow Motion

Our brilliant son learned a new skill this weekend - walking backwards.

Not just your average backward walking, mind you, but the kind you saw on Tom and Jerry when they look you square in the eye and ever-so-slowly move back.. one.. foot.. at.. a.. time.. while keeping their attention on your every move.

It's also the kind of backward walking that provokes a laugh from the mom being walked away from. Why? Because it's as though he gets what he's doing and believes he's out-smarting me.

A: Elliot, did you make a stinky?
E: (Stops and stares.)
A: Elliot, let's go change your diaper.
E: (Locks eyes on mine and begins, slowly, stepping backward.)
A: (Stifling a laugh.) Come on, buddy, let's get a new diaper.
E: (Cocks his head a little, continuing backward.)

It's this funny look on his face that maybe I'm not noticing he's backing up. In his mind, I imagine this: Maybe, just maybe, mom can't tell I'm moving backwards. If I go just slow enough... Then, when I figure out how, I'm going to turn on a dime and take off running. Run like the wind. This skill will come in handy at Scheel's or when we're walking across O Street.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Random Updates

1. My stick in a pot (see earlier post about rip-off container gardening class at SCC) is no longer with us. Two weeks ago, Elliot and the neighbor kid pulled it out of the pot and I saw 0 roots. Yesterday, Elliot pulled it out again and it was growing white fuzzies so I pitched it. So much for that brilliant idea, Bertine.

2. Cindy (and possibly Judy) are coming up this morning and we're going to Roca. I can't wait to go although it did rain last night so it's likely going to be a mess.

3. I'm considering revoking Fred's blogging rights and making him get his own blog - ImAGeek or LookHowGeekyIAm. I'm just as big of a dork, but you don't see me proclaiming that to the world. Or maybe he's just more secure of his geekiness than I am. Excuse me while I call my therapist....

4. Elliot's new words: Wock (rock), Git (Get), Ny Ny (Night Night), Whassat (What's That?), Neh Neh (Sienna), Mik (Milk).

5. Sienna is living on borrowed time. Our neighbors have not taken steps to fix the fence so she hasn't been outside in weeks. She's irritable and cranky. Biting everyone (except Elliot, it's like she knows he's off limits). Pooped on the floor. Anyone want a free, lovely cat? She comes with whatever food we have left for her and recently renewed tags.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy 2nd my favorite accessory

This is my running watch (geek watch as Anna likes to call it). I purchased it two years ago today. As many of you know I have developed a severe phobia of buyer's remorse over the last 5 years (I believe it's a genetic thing from my Mother's side of the family tree). Anything that costs $50 or higher, I just can't hardly stomach purchasing for fear I will regret it. The higher the purchase price the more severe the fear. It usually results in Anna making all of our large purchase decisions for us so that I can just blame her if it was a bad purchase down the road. I feel this is a slightly different condition than being "cheap" because I do like to have nice things and am willing to spend the money if I can be assured I Will "get my money's worth" from the product.

Okay.... so the watch is one of these pricey items that I was hesitant to purchase. After my former watch crapped out on me Anna encouraged me to get this new better model. After much internal dialogue about whether I would ever get $100 worth of use out of it I did purchase the watch from Lincoln Running Company.

Today on the second anniversary of it's purchase I checked out the watch's totals. The watch and I have recorded 948.32 miles together (68.73 of which were on bike) over 136 hours 58 minutes and 13 seconds of use. We have ran in 7 different states (NE, KS, IA, MO, SD, VA, IL) and DC. We have raced in 2-Half Marathons, 1-15K, 1-10 Mile Race, 2-5 Mile Races and 3-5ks.

So at this point, 2 years after the purchase, I officially feel like I have gotten my $120 worth out of my watch. Depending on how you analyze it it has ended up costing me $ .13 per mile or $.014 per minute of use. If only every product allowed such great financial analysis.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Berry Pickin Time

A few years ago, Cindy and I decided we were going to go berry picking at Roca. We went, had fun and decided we'd keep doing it.

A year or so ago we each established our own berry patches. Mine was new and didn't produce much, but I think Cindy got some decent fruiting from hers.

This year I asked if she'd want to renew this almost-tradition of berry picking and she said that she really didn't need to because of the plentiful amount of luscious, juicy berries her plants are producing. (My words, not hers... and they might be a little exaggerated.)

I was hoping my friend (and secret girl crush) Kelly would go with me but her hubby is sick. All in a frump I emailed Fred that I'd be going solo if I wanted berries and so much for a tradition!

Fred's response?

Don't be mad just because her berry patch is producing and ours is squirrel and bird food.

Whatever, Fred.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ignore vs. Ignorance

I was thinking of a title for this post and came upon yet another idiosyncrasy of the English language.

My intention was to post to what extent I am going trying to ignore someone today. So I thought of "Pleading Ignorance" but as it turns out ignore and ignorance are two very different words. In one case I'm trying to pretend someone isn't bugging me but in the other case I'm calling myself a moron.

Regardless. I am really trying to ignore someone this afternoon. I even shut down my email so I don't have to lie about not reading their persistent emails. I am pretending to be oh-so-busy in here clacking away at my keyboard when really I'm crafting this note. My only problem is that my trusty "savior" isn't here so I'm kind of stuck waiting for her to physically hunt me down and corner me.

I know what you are thinking: Why? and Does she do this to me?

The why? is easy enough - she's driving me crazy.

And do I do that to you? Likely not - only a select elite group make the ignore list and even they have to work hard to get ignored. Just ask yourself - do I drive her crazy? No?, you're fine. Yes?, it's likely and if you stop being ignorant I might consider breaking my ignore-ment of you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What the ?!?!!

I'm going to start off by apologizing - there is just NO way this is as funny typed out as it was last night.

Fred and Elliot got home from swimming and I had the task of changing him out of wet clothes and I got as far as stripping him naked before he took off running. (It's a new fun game to run away from me.)

He stopped in the hallway to listen for where da-da might be and oooop! out came pee. He was peeing on the floor. He looked down at where this was coming from and gave me the most priceless look of shock, wonder and amazement and proceeded to pee again.

At this point I am laughing so hard that I not only cannot stop but tears are rolling down my face. He pees again - I can't move. I am stuck on the ground laughing and crying and barely catching enough breath to laugh again.

Fred comes out of the bathroom and scolds me for laughing (positively reinforcing, as he put it) at this behavior. It took me about 3 minutes to get out that I'm not laughing at what he's doing, it was the look on his face. It wasn't long before Fred was laughing too - but I would bet money it was the contagiousness of my laugh and still not the pee on the carpet.

I still giggle when I think about it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The urge to be a Super Hero

I apologize in advance for the length of this read -- being a Super Hero is no short task, however.

Some days I just want to solve the worlds larger societal problems like poverty, starvation, exploitation, child get the picture.  I wake up hungry and dissatisfied, and am burdened for hours with irrational impulses.  Most recently, Friday the 13th -- no joke.  I went through the infamous coffee drive through, a vice I struggle with, and even drag my children into now, but possibly we can discuss that at some other opportunity.  So yes, I am desperate.  I actually strap my three year old and my 18 month old into their seats and drive an exit [sometimes four when I am really needy of a break] up the freeway and get myself some nice warm caffeine to go.  We had one other [or actual, rather] errand for that morning: Go to the huge Hardware store for one very small purchase.  And lucky me, there is one of those huge Hardware stores right by the "hot coffee place" as my three year old now identifies them from her car seat.

With my delicious drink in the cup holder, I pull away from the window.  The teenager has told me to have a good day, and I am overtaken with one of those immediate irrational impulses. "You want to drive" my mind races, reassures, and further convinces me: "All the way down to that other huge Hardware store".  So maybe I wanted more of a break, or a scenic trip down another freeway, or maybe I really do like this other huge Hardware store better.  Or secretly, I thought I might save the world.  We do our best in my family; reusing, recycling, buying organic, etc.

On my quick drive to the other huge Hardware store, I notice a stalled car on the side of the road, conveniently parked at an underpass.  Two people are surfing the web on their MacBook.  Two rather young people.  As you guys all know, we are always on our way somewhere...and it is never convenient to actually I drive on by, and began to negotiate just which small product I wanted to buy amidst 30 of its competitors on the shelf.  Doing something this simple, yet profoundly complicated, actually swallows up a lot of time, with two little people in the cart reaching for various bottles of poison from the lawn and garden section.

Eventually, my indecisiveness gets the best of me, and I purchase three products, instead of settling for just one that might let me down, and we pile back into the cart, and the car, and retrace our trip back home.  Time has passed.  I glance over at the now-abandoned car, and further down, I notice those two people walking.  Again, impulsively, I act.  And without any conscious thought, I have exited the freeway, entered in the other direction, and pulled to the shoulder, now driving head-on towards the people I subsequently find myself begging to get into my car.

"I need to rescue you", I keep restraining my tongue from blurting out, and blabbing my neurosis.  So, I assure Zach and April that using my cell phone will hardly help them, and they should pile in my car -- with my two kids consuming every inch of the comfortable back seat --  and I should drive them somewhere.  Anywhere.  Like any good citizen, looking to be nominated for Best Citizen Award this year, should do.

Reluctantly, they join my craziness, and even share their address with me, so I can end world hunger, and poverty too, and maybe get them out of their current mess a few hours quicker than walking.  And I learn that we are neighbors.  They live less than a short walk from me.  And we have never met.  Because I am usually way too busy contemplating the housing crisis or welfare reform, that I hardly have any time to meet my neighbors.

Today, I stopped myself from baking them cookies.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Guest Blogger? Coming Soon?

I was talking to my sister today and she informed me that while our grill is lovely, she is sick to death of seeing it everytime she checks our blog.

She's one of the folks that voted for me to quit my job to become a true blogger so I believe she's a bit of a fanatical checker. I'm sorry to disappoint her.

While I was updating today with my latest and greatest Elliot story, and complaining about not having anything to talk about she sent me this blurb:

Jen (via email): today, I would write about how I picked up two strangers from the side of the road. with the kids in the car. Zach and Anne, and drove them home [their car broke down] and they live LESS THAN a block away form me.

I asked her to be a guest blogger - I think it could be a zany good time. (I mean, seriously, WHO picks up hitch hikers??)

Elliot's First Phrase

Every parent in the world dreams to be as happy as I am.

Elliot said his first full phrase last night. Before you get too excited - yes, it was in complete 17-month old gibberish, but we understood it.

Here's the scenario: We're hanging out in the living room and that damn cat gets up on the table. I do my usual mean-toned "Sienna! Get! Down!" About three seconds later comes this morsel of intelligence:

Nenehh Git Gowww!!

Then he turns to smile at me, flashing that "aren't you proud, mom?" look.

I died laughing. And yes, I was proud.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

New addition to the fmaily

I am proud to welcome the newest edition to our family.

After some long labor to get him to join us he is finally here at

170 lbs.

75 inches long


40,800 BTUs.

My new grill.

It's a gas grill, charcoal grill and smoker all in one. It's a heavy duty son of a gun being entirely steel and cast iron and took most of the day to put together but now I'm excited for some grilling action. (Although I really have no idea how to use the smoker so any tips or recipes would be appreciated:)

In serious news, Anna and Cindy both ran a 3k at the Havelock Charity race today they had both ran it back in 2006 as well. Maybe most impressive is they were both almost exactly a minute faster than two years ago, pretty amazing considering all that has happened since then. I'm very proud and was jealous I wasn't running until it turned out to be so hot and humid. Whew! Elliot and I clapped and cheered from the finish line.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy Doughnut Day!

Today is National Doughnut Day - enjoy it!!!!

Running Fools

If you're bored tomorrow morning - Cindy and I are doing the Havelock Run tomorrow morning. The race starts at 8 a.m. and Fred and Elliot will be out there cheering us on.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Frank Would NOT Be Proud

Menard's tried to kill me on Sunday.

We were looking at the cheapo blow up pools and as I struggled to decide between blue and green I heard a crash. Turned around and was doused head to toe (and in my left eye) with some kind of pool chemical.

Everyone is fine, including my eye. A nice Menard's saline wash and a shower once we got home did the trick.

Now fast-forward to Tuesday when their insurance called. Of course I'm weirded out by the fact that it all has to be so matter-of-fact and recorded. I had to tell her what time of day this was (heck, I don't remember), what the guy behind me was doing and exactly how far I was from him, how far Fred was from him and how far "my dependent" was from him. Exhausting. Here's where I let my dad down:

Menard's: Will you be seeking compensation?
Me: (Laughing) No, I'm fine. Really.
Menard's: Will you be seeking compensation for your damaged property?
Me: What? My clothes? Really?
Menard's: I have to ask because it is on the Accident Report.
Me: Oh wow. Okay. No - it's fine.
Menard's: Did the chemical come out of your clothing?
Me: I haven't tried - I'm not worried. They were weekend clothes.. already stained and likely puked on by my son (Yes, I did really say that).
Menard's: And what about contact lenses?
Me: Yeah, I had to toss them but that's not a big deal, I have plenty.

Frank would've gotten new clothes, a lifetime supply of whatever BBQ sauces they're selling and probably even a new left eye.

Dad, if I could see you right now I know you'd be nodding your head because you know this to be true.

Remember "My Buddy" ?

A great toy from the 1980's, My Buddy was sure to be every kid's best friend. At our house, Sienna is the kid and Elliot is My Buddy.

And just like the song, wherever she goes, he's gonna go. My Buddy.

Some Buddy Elliot is. Stalks her, chases her, jingles her tags, pulls her whiskers, puts his hand in her water. This weekend was a riot (the type where you, as the parent, try not to laugh) - Sienna got in her sleeping box. Elliot crawled in the box with her. They both shifted around a bit then Sienna got out. So he followed. Seeing an empty box, Sienna climbed back in and was closely followed by her Buddy.

A cute moment between those two was sitting at the back door watching Fred put down fertilizer. It was sort of like the scene from Forrest Gump as they both watched his every move from their spots.

As much as that cat and I don't get along, I have to give her credit for being so tolerant of Elliot. And for cleaning up after him when he throws hot dogs.