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March 2007
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May 2007

Oh, My Aching Butt

I’ve been feeling a little… ahem… un-toned lately and I’ve been meaning to get back in shape. (I hate feeling flabby but starting a workout routine is… well, just a perfect contestant for procrastinating. Ooh, I like that… “procrastination contestant”. Sounds rather validating and Olympic-like, doesn’t it?) Well, guess what? I’m well on my way to firm buttocks, baby, because I forgot what living with STAIRS is like! Oh, ow. And because I can be also a little impatient I’ve been sprinting up to the second floor a lot. Got. To. Stop. That.

OK, maybe just slow down a bit. I would like to tone up some jiggle-zones.

Anyway, the move went well. Chance is doing fine and sleeping well (yay!). The cats have adjusted and have quickly proclaimed themselves royalty of the new kingdom. Keen and I are sore. It isn’t completely over yet; we still have a large number of potted plants to move over but they make the current, on-the-market house garden look pretty. AND, learning from all the hellacious open houses I visited, I know you have to make sure the house looks pretty. I didn’t paint (beyond touchups) but we cleaned any offending marks off the walls (baby wipes ROCK!), did serious deep cleaning, made repairs – major (foundation, new fence) and minor (sticking doors, broken tile) – and got the garden in order.  The funny thing? Guess how many of the service people who came through to make said repairs asked me, “If you’re selling the house why are you fixing it up?” Almost ALL of them!

Scary. It’s sort of like trashing a car because you know you’re going to sell it in six months. I know lots of people do it, but I kind of figure you loved that item once, treat it with a little respect!

Or at least don’t screw up your resale value.

Pictures to come (eventually)! For now, more unpacking. (If they had a packing/unpacking robot, like they have the vacuum/mop robot, I would SO buy that!)

            - the weirdgirl


Going Dark (as if it's been light around here)

You know I've actually had time to post this week and I've slacked.  I even had some halfway-to-nowhere witticisms knocking around in my brain but I still slacked.  (But then again, me & the kiddo both have colds; give me a break.)  Now we are embarking on our big moving push tomorrow so things will not only be quiet around here because I am a slacker but because of technical transitions. 

Thank you all for the words of advice and encouragement in helping move Chance.  The new house is actually only a mile away so I think that the transition is going to be OK.  We've been back and forth a lot with Chance and have already moved a number of his toys over. I think the opportunity to play with his stuff there already will help a lot.  (Crossing my fingers.) 

One of the worst things for me about moving is all that little crap at the end, that stuff you "forget" to pack up, or you "save for later".  What you think will be a couple of laundry baskets of miscellaneous items ends up being five more boxes.  You know, the crap under the sink, all the pictures to take down, the towels and toiletries you used the day of the move; and then after - cleaning the base boards, sweeping up.  At some point you are just done with the moving and that point is usually several hours before you're actually done.  I predict by about 6:00 tomorrow I will be done.

That final sweep, though necessary, is just a pain in the butt.  And also... a little sad.

(sniff)  I really do love this little house.          - wg


I know this is a little late...

But does anyone have any tips on how to handle a move with a just-turned-two toddler?  I've tried having a couple of "conversations" (I'm laughing hysterically inside as I say that) with Chance... or rather I've talked about "our new house" and "you'll have a new room", blah blah blah... and he's ignored me.  That's his big thing right now... utterly ignoring everything I say.

So... In...Fruriating!!

Actually, I think it's more like he wants to control the conversation.  Even topics of interest to him are subject to a little toddler-control dance.  For example...

ME:  "Hey Chance, want to brush your teeth?"
Chance hears "teeth" (he loves brushing his teeth) and hurtles into the bathroom. He then proceeds to pull out all his bath-time foam alphabet letters to practice his sounds.
ME, holding out his toothbrush:  "Chance want to brush your teeth?"
CHANCE (holding various letters): "P! puh puh puh... D! duh duh..."
ME: "Chance?  Want your toothbrush?"
CHANCE (doesn't even look at me):  "A!... B!"
ME: "Chance want to brush your teeth?" (repeat, like, ten more times)
CHANCE, plays with  letters.  Knocks something painful into my ankle.
ME: "CHANCE! Want... to... brush... OK, forget it, out of the bathroom!" 
And then the wailing.

Oy.

So anyway, given that we are not having real, two-way, interactive conversations at the moment I'm at a bit of a loss on how to make the transition go smoothly.  (Smoothly is probably too much to hope for anyway, huh?)  I know he understands loads and his vocabulary is improving quite a bit and often he'll talk to me lengthily in babble-speak... but he's keeping the initiation of such conversations firmly in his court.  I can keep talking (as he ignores me) but I'm not sure I'm saying the right things.  You know?

I also don't know how long these transitions can take for a kid to get adjusted.  And I admit, I've been so busy with everything else I haven't done any research.  (Bad mommy!)

As for actually coordinating the move, we're going to try to get all the big furniture both moved and set up in a day(!), we're planning on Chance sleeping with us a few nights, and I figure it will be wise to set up his room with all his toys first. 

Any other suggestions?  Experiences?  Good bribing advice? 

Our move is scheduled to begin this Monday, with all the big furniture moving on Wednesday. I'm hoping to have Chance's room set up that night.  Then on the following Saturday Keen is bailing town to go to race car school.



How does fate keep handing him these cush schedules?          - wg    


No New Answers, Just Frustrations

I am a firm believer in protecting our civil liberties. I feel that there are certain lifestyle choices that should be left solely up to the individuals practicing them and not subject to governmental morality or controls. I believe in our Bill of Rights and the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. I even will go so far as to say that I believe most people are reasoning and responsible adults (or should be) and they should be allowed to live in freedom, whatever way they please.

But then there are other moments when I feel like, “Enough already, psychological testing for everyone.”

There is something broken.

My first reaction, when I hear that the school’s security is blamed for not reacting quickly enough, is that that isn’t fair.  There are always going to be certain individuals who aren’t psychologically, emotionally, morally sound, with a propensity toward violence.  But obviously there is something about our schools – perhaps they seem vulnerable and easy? is there a glamour about conquering them? – that is drawing that violence.

That first link up there? It’s a timeline of recent school shootings; from 1998 it lists 47 shootings at schools, most of those in the US.

47

So do we ramp up security forces at our schools? Have the butts of guns bristling above the heads of children walking into classrooms?

Give psych profiles as part of the new entrance exams?

There is something broken.  I haven’t a clue how to fix it.  All I know is my kids have to go school... and some days that makes me feel ill.   - wg


In lieu of a title... bunnies! flowers!

We're in the middle of our open house blitzkrieg this weekend.  There lots of space in the house at the moment, as half our belongings are hiding in the garage.  It's actually kind of nice, being in a house with so much clear space and order, lovely polished wood, no clutter... I've heard there are people who live like this all the time.  I can see the appeal of this lifestyle... if we didn't need anything to get through the day.  Books, movies, music, extra munchies, even simple things like pens and pads of paper, everything is hidden.   

It's starting to drive me nuts.   

Accessibility is underrated.  (I blame the clutter nazis.) 

That's all I got tonight folks.  Here's some photos from Easter.  And they're only a week late.

General goofiness from an UOR (unnamed older relative).  AKA Bugs "Grammy" Mahone.  (She's got a record a mile long.)
Dsc02045

Another vicious individual.
Dsc02047

Let's hope Chance doesn't take after these bad influences.
Dsc02044

Uh-oh.
Dsc02040

There's the softer side!  (Sniffing takes a lot of concentration.)
Dsc02022

Enjoy the spring, everyone!          - wg


Sanjaya Wears Panties!

One of the recent fallouts from packing up the house has been the inability to avoid a most dreaded and dire task… cleaning through my clothes closet. I have literally been putting this off since I had Chance. (He’s… oh, what?... TWO now?) I started the task half-heartedly a few times, moving things into piles and what not. The pile of clothes I might yet fit into (if I lose a few pounds), the pile of stuff that I might still wear (even though I haven’t in ages), the pile that I’m definitely giving away if only I could sort, wash, and nicely fold them all first. I had bins, and piles, and laundry baskets that never seemed to empty because frankly, I just couldn’t fit all the clothes into my dressers (yes, that was plural). You all know the drill. We do these things. We just do.

So in a way, it was a relief moving. Time to purge, baby! Screw the mend, tailor, adjust through vaguely thought out creative sewing project pile. Forget washing, folding, making things pretty to give away. And definitely piss on the “I might fit into it again” heap. The faded jeans? Gone. The stretch mark baring shirts? Gone. The shoes… OK, we keep the shoes. Everything else is going to Goodwill! YEAH, baby! I am FREE!  And I am moving to a house with a 200-square-foot closet that I can fill up with new items. I am WALKING… no, running… RUNNING ON AIR!

And then I came to a screeching halt. As I was sorting out my drawers I realized… I needed new underwear.

Crap. Just… crap.

We all have our weirdo blocks and one of mine is panties. Blame it on my environmentally conscious parents or rather frugal upbringing but I have issues with underwear; at the point where you need new ones - you know soft and maybe stretched out a tad, a few holes starting right around the waistband, the tendency to sag, ride up your butt, or poof out the top of jeans - I have The Hardest Time throwing them away. Why? Because, except for the worn bits at the waistband, all that material is still Perfectly Good. (And my parents taught me not to throw out things that are Perfectly Good!) Nice, solid, usable cotton, often in really cute little prints. The undies are not so far gone - massive holes, nasty stains (Keen, stop wearing them!) - as to let me throw them away with a clear conscience, and yet they aren’t comfortable anymore. 

So what to do with them?!

Sadly, my little mind actually will try to think up creative ways to use that Perfectly Good material. I could… cut up the panties for quilting pieces. I could… use them as cute sew-on appliqués for jeans. Ooh, ooh! I could cut them into squares and embroider them as handkerchiefs!!! I could give them to all my friends! Or wait… I could sell them on the Internet! Everyone needs handkerchiefs. WG’s Cozy Creations!  I’ll become rich off my used underwear! (I wouldn’t get sued if I didn’t use the crotch, right?)

To make matters worse, one of the most common shopping blunders is buying panties of an unfamiliar brand. Usually one (by which I mean, me) finds a brand that works and then sticks with them. No deviations, no experimentation, just keep your panties in a well-known bunch. However, sometimes circumstances force you to change… such as butt, thighs, and hips changing ever-so-slightly from pregnancy. Suddenly the old brand binds a little. And because panty shopping is not high on my list of priorities (though, it should be) most of the time I seem to be buying from a catalog or in a place where I don’t have the time to try them on (and really, trying on panties in the store is NOT the same as wearing them for an hour under your jeans; you just cannot predict the ride up factor) so there is lots of room for error. And what happens to those failed deficient undergarments? They sit there in my drawer (next to the old ones that I still haven’t thrown away).  For quite a long time. Because they are Perfectly Good… they just don’t work for me. 

Obviously, I have a problem. (And don’t get me started on bras.)

So I’m still at a loss. Keen has offered to rip the panties off me during… um… “intimate” moments, but really, how many times can you do that before it just turns into a chore? “Hey honey, here’s another one… rip ‘em! Rip ‘em good!”  “Yeah yeah yeah…whatever.” 

As a stop-gap, I’ve been contemplating sending old pairs of panties to C-list celebrities. With nice supportive messages written out in glitter on them, of course… “Don’t think you’ll have a singing career but good luck!” or “Caught your last movie… at least you’re pretty.”  

I figure the C-listers don’t get a whole lot of fan panties. They might really appreciate them.  - wg


Peck peck peck

It has been a crazy couple of weeks! We had our first open house today and it seems to have gone well. However, getting everything ready for it was just nuts. We packed, touched up paint, cleaned (and with a toddler in the house the cleaning never stopped), made repairs for items that we thought were in good repair… but weren’t!, worked in the yard, and had ten million service people and inspectors come through the house. 

*heavy heavy heavy sigh*

Everything looks beautiful and I can’t help but wonder… how long will this lovely snapshot last?

I’m betting not long.

On top of all the house preparations and (sudden and inexplicable) crazy work schedules, Chance came down with a rash last night… all over his body. I took him into the doctor’s and they think it’s a virus (like Fifth Disease); one of those things where you give him a lot of liquids and let it run its course. We had to drag our poor kid around today during his nap time, when he’s obviously not feeling the best, to keep the open house schedule. He made it halfway through our afternoon before utterly crashing, which also happened to be in the middle of a family Easter lunch. Ugh.

If my posts have seemed disjointed and frenetic lately it’s because that’s a pretty accurate assessment of my state of mind. Watching Kaw right now, a movie featuring vicious ravens wreaking havoc on a small town(!), on the SciFi channel isn’t really helping. How many pecks from a raven would it take to kill a person anyway? I’m thinking probably a few hundred more than this movie assumes. And if birds were flying at your car hoping to cause a fatal accident, wouldn’t you just pull over and wait them out?  They are birds.  (There's probably a personal metaphor for me in there somewhere.) 

Scheduled for tomorrow: sleep and lots of it. 

  – the weirdgirl 

Baby_blues


Time to Pop An Excedrin with A Sudafed Chaser*

I am so excited about the upcoming Grindhouse double feature. I haven’t been this intrigued about a movie in quite a while. But what’s not to love?  It looks over-the-top, hardcore, and cheesy… AND it’s got Rose McGowan with a machine gun leg! That SO rocks!

I admit, sometimes it’s hard to be a literature student who loves pulp. Academics can be downright snotty about “real writing” (aka, not pulp fiction… or mass market paperbacks, or comics, or sci-fi, or sometimes, anything written by a chick. Jerks). But I do love it. (And to be fair, there are more academics who are embracing pop culture.) The cheesy blood fests, lesbians in cages, stuff that is so outrageous you can’t help but laugh, even when the gore is making you scream. It’s rather like a celebration of the absurd. 

I know the critics have always pointed to the desensitization of violence and propagation of female stereotypes in this type of media, but I disagree (for what’s going to sound like vague reasoning here but actually has some academic basis). I think pulp has a way of transmuting violence and horror into something that’s more consciously manageable, in a way that real-life horror is not. It’s the same way myths function as a way to deal with the unknowable in the universe (though – before anyone yells at me – I am not calling grindhouse movies myths). As I get older, I’m more and more turned off by the ultra-realistic gore of regular, mainstream movies. I’d much rather have the can’t-possibly-be-real variety of gore. And as for the female stereotypes… personally, I have always preferred hyper-feminine icons and symbols. Barbie, transvestites, red-leopard-print stilettos, Amazon she-warriors who kick ass… I just find it empowering.

Anyway, I’m thinking it’s time for a movie and dinner date. We haven’t had one of those in a LONG time. I wonder if Keen will go for it? 

State of my house right now: paint drying, repairs underway, half-way packed, two pouty cats and a temperamental two-year-old running amok. Cleaning never ends!

*The title doesn’t have anything to do with the post, I’ve just had headaches for the last four days! - wg


Everybody Poops (sung to the tune of “Everybody Hurts”, REM)

Scene: I’m sitting on the pot when Chance rushes in and tries to hand me a toy.

Me: “No, Chance, I’m going potty right now…”
Chance, blank stare
Me, pointing and cajoling: “Do you want to sit on YOUR potty? Your potty is right there.”
Chance, again tries to hand over the toy
Me: “No Chance, I’m going potty. I’m pooping! In the potty!”
Chance, giving me the ol’ fish-eye
Me: “There’s your potty. You poop in the potty. Poop poop poop… poop poop poop… poop poop poop!”

And that’s when I realize that the service workmen, who are currently in the basement (right below the vent by my feet), can probably hear me. 

 

Everybody Posts

Fellow blogger, Katie, has just started a contest/meme to find out how folks got started blogging and why; starting with her own story. Wander on over and join in the fun.

I got started blogging a few months after Chance was born. I had hit that point when the new experience of raising a baby had become less frenetic and scary, we had settled into a routine, and I finally found myself with a little more time. About the same point one of my good friends, who was laughing at me ranting about something inane, suggested that I start a blog. I had toyed with the idea of starting a website in the past (back in the day when you needed to know HTML and when these things were still called websites and not blogs) and back then (pre-kid) I had wanted to start a conspiracy blog… where all the conspiracies would be entirely made up by me. With faked pictures and outrageous claims.  And ninjas (never forget ninjas).  Not even conspiring with the current popular conspiracies out there, but just completely off the wall. (This is why I get such a kick out of sites like the Flying Spaghetti Monster Theory; obviously there are kindred spirits out there.)   So, since I’ve always been a little off and I’ve always been a writer (in some form or another), you can see how the idea of a blog as a creative outlet appealed to me.  And low and behold, by the time I finally looked into starting a blog, the software had come a long way and you didn’t even need to know HTML anymore (score! ‘cause I had forgotten it all anyway. You’d think I would have kept up on these things more, considering I work in tech, but I hadn’t.) Anywho, I started this blog purely as a creative forum, brain dump, and quasi-diary. Since I am a parent a lot of the content is about parenting, and since I’m a smartass with an active imagination, a lot of it is (hopefully) wry, funny and highlights the absurd and joyous in being a parent and about life (because the absurd and joy are always a little intertwined for me). I didn’t start this blog to communicate with family, let them keep up with Chance’s progress, or anything noble like that. In fact, this blog is almost a completely family-free zone – that let’s me bitch when they get on my nerves. I dubbed the site “the weirdgirl” after my highschool I’m-sure-meant-as-an-insult nickname, which I always found to be really funny (because yes, I am at least that weird). 

I feel blogging has introduced me to a great community, people I would love to meet in person, and I feel blessed to by part of this shared experience. In retrospect of the writing, blogging has provided ample opportunity to publicly broadcast my every day ding-a-ling moments.  Until they were all in print I never realized how many moments there were!

 - the weirdgirl