August 26, 2008
When I perused the aisles for a CVS-brand filler item, I spied you perched lonely on the shelf. I was thrilled to bring you home for free and I was proud of my decision. I chose a family necessity rather than my weakness in a bottle (cucumber-scented lotion).
But "toilet paper," you disappoint me. If you were created to be a prank rather than a product, consider yourself a sterling success. If your goal in life is to drive weak, doubting people back to their first love of Charmin, then you can reap your reward. Were you always meant to be 0.273 of a ply or did someone fall asleep at the factory on the day you were created?
Joe says you're worse than cheap gift tissue paper and I have to agree. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, but you hurt my bum. And there's no need for that.
August 25, 2008
August 23, 2008
Last winter, an actual item on his Christmas list was: one IOU for a bike ride next summer.
That was redeemed in full a couple of weeks ago. But he still hasn't given up.
Joe: I found a bike I think might be good for you.
Katie: Oh, really?
Joe: Yeah, it's, um, well, kinda like a, um, tricycle.
Katie: Oh, you're serious? (laughs) What?
Joe: Well, yeah. It would be comfy.
Katie: OK... (still laughing)
Joe: And you would feel stable because it has three wheels. And it has baskets on the sides...
(Now I'm laughing hysterically, picturing myself in a blue and white checkered dress, red shoes, singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" while pedaling my tricked-out tricycle down a country lane. This is all in black and white, of course.)
Joe was (and still is) utterly bewildered as to why I find the recommendation of a tricycle so funny.
It's nice to have proof of what I've thought all along: I am the world's biggest dork. I am not doubting my husband at all in this; I'm sure it really is a comfy bike that holds the best chance for me to like biking.
It's just a pathetic mental image of Joe on his mountain bike, hauling Madeline in a trailer and me, lagging behind, on my over-sized tricycle.
And if I ever own this tricycle, you can bet sweet money I'll add some tassels to complete the look.
UPDATE: Joe showed me a picture so I can see how "it's not that funny." It has a "Nantucket-ish" look to it. But it also looks like a tricycle.
August 21, 2008
My pride is not in the nonexistent details of the bag; it's in the fact that I actually finished it. (I have two lonely knitting needles, numerous scrapbooking supplies and a husband who can all attest to this accomplishment.)
I got both fabrics on clearance and the whole project was less than $4. While I'm happy with how it turned out, I can't decide if I should keep it as a hobo bag or turn it into a pillow. The fabric isn't really purse-ish.
In other news, if you're looking for great ways to support our troops, my friends Heather and Neil are on a mission and could use your help collecting DVDs and CDs.
Now I'm off to see what we can donate, but I'm fairly certain the soldiers won't be upset if I don't part with my 8 hours of Pride and Prejudice.
August 18, 2008
So here goes because I really really want
In other news, here's what can happen if you sit with your child for 15 minutes to make sure she colors on paper but turn your back for 7 seconds:
Yup, that was my husband, sent to do our dirty work while I blissfully strolled the aisles of Target.
Most days, Joe and I are fairly responsible. I keep our little one nourished, happy and (for the most part) clean and our house in decent order. Joe has a great job, volunteers in our community and keeps our yard looking awesome while continuing to make his return home the best part of Madeline's day.
But something slipped through my mental cracks of sanity last week. In one trip to the library, Joe had to tell them:
- his charming wife forgot to pick up two DVDs from behind the counter and waltzed out with just the DVD cover on her last visit. (He spared the details of her crushing disappointment when she returned home to watch Sense and Sensibility while folding laundry only to discover her mistake.)
- he needed to pick up a Tift Merritt CD that his wife mistakenly returned in a Demetri Martin CD case.
- he can't find a due book to which the librarian gave him two options: 1) report the book as lost and pay $25, or 2) renew the book and keep looking. Hubs really wrestled with that decision...
August 15, 2008
That's right, we went to the Indiana State Fair. (For the record, no, I don't own anything airbrushed. Not even a license plate with "Spring Break '01.")
I simply love the fair. The food, the smells, the animals and the mullets. Oh, the glorious mullets at the fair.
When I was little, my mom never let my brothers or me ride any fair rides. She declared them too unsafe. I promised myself that my children would ALWAYS get to ride ANYTHING they wanted to. But now? No. Way.
Miraculously, we didn't view the 1,800 pound cheese sculpture, much to the dismay of a fair employee who actually shook her head at us in disbelief when we said *gasp* we didn't care to see it.
And finally, the food. Joe and I stockpiled on our staple fair food and shared a lemon shake-up, funnel cake and a bloomin' onion. This year, we added kettle corn to the mix because we were afraid we wouldn't properly waddle out of the gates.
So we headed back home, put Madeline to bed and ate nasty-but-oh-so-good fair food while watching tiny girls accomplish spectacular feats on the gymnastics floor. I felt grosser by the minute.
Oh, and remember this picture from last year?
August 14, 2008
We are quite the bookworm family. Joe prefers picture books, I prefer the British classics and Madeline will read anything I bring home from the library.
Now, while I'm thrilled she chooses books over toys, it means I read these books over and over again. So I'm always hunting for books that appeal to my inner child and entertain me as well as Madeline.
Books like "How Does a Dinosaur Go to School?" and "How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight?." I find these books very humorous and Madeline wants to read them about 30 times a day (no exaggeration).
I'm not complaining; I love reading to her. But let's just say I'm no longer begging the question, "My dear sweet child, how does a dinosaur go to school? Let's find out together!"
So if any of you have any recommendations for some stellar books, I would sure appreciate it.
- Why, oh why, do I stay up so late to watch the Olympics?
- I probably will do it again tonight.
- A little too enthusiastic about the Olympics, I dreamed that Michael Phelps failed his drug test and they took away his gold medals.
- I woke up confused and upset. Then very relieved.
- My favorite Olympian name is Pieter van den Hoogenband. Say it five times fast.
- Wasn't that fun?
- I am way too addicted to my morning decaf iced coffees.
- Someone once wrote "80 percent of motherhood should be accomplished in plastic gloves."
- After this week, I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.
- My first sewing project is not really coming along.
- I think I've become a bore in real life since I put all my best material on the blog.
- A blog-less friend of mine sent me her six-word memoir: "All my assets are in children."
- If she had a blog, I would read it every day because I think that's pretty perfect. (Hint, hint.)
August 13, 2008
One night, after changing the last diaper, you might think it would be utterly adorable to allow your child to give Daddy a goodnight kiss in just a diaper. You might be tempted to follow her into the living room, PJ's in hand, to watch them cuddle and hug and blow kisses on the bare belly.
You might laugh and chuckle with your husband when your precious little child decides to then take off her diaper and run back and forth across the room, laughing in her naked freedom.
You might even sit back in the couch and marvel at her sheer happiness, even though you know you should get her diaper back on ASAP.
But then you might get distracted by a pretty wedding invitation. And your sweet child might take the opportunity to squat and take a ginormous dump on the floor.
Consider yourself warned.
August 12, 2008
I love watching the Olympics. It's amazing to watch people perform extraordinary feats and shatter world records.
Now watching the Olympics should inspire me to become more active and fit and get off my bum, but in reality, they make me think about becoming more active while I gorge on food and sit on the couch for six hours.
Oh yes, how the Olympics make me want to eat.
This year, I had a grand plan to make a fabulous Chinese dinner for the opening ceremonies. After a long week, this idea materialized into burritos and taco salad from Qdoba. Nothing says "Beijing" like pico de gallo and mole sauce.
On Saturday, I finally made an authentic dish, peanut Pad Thai. Then I found out it's actually from Thailand. "Oh, it's Pad Thai." 0 - 2.
Desperately craving something chocolate, I decided to make Roselyn's blackout cake. (I hope you had the pleasure of eating this delicious cake before the bakery shut down.) While the cake actually tasted good, it looked nothing like the pretty three-tiered cake in the cookbook.
How to make the ugliest cake
1. Start baking at 9 p.m. on Saturday.
2. Make sure to begin 10 minutes before Michael Phelps' first race so you immediately regret your decision 30 seconds into beating the butter.
3. Choose world's hardest recipe that includes four (count 'em, FOUR) separate recipes for one cake.
4. Take two and a half hours to complete project and completely lose appetite for anything chocolate.
5. Give up looking for cake stand at midnight and use dinner plate.
6. Create layered mushroom-shaped turd-of-a-cake and go to bed.
7. Eat your weight in chocolate cake for the next three days.
August 10, 2008
Here are the rules:
1. Write your own six-word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
3. Link to the person who tagged you and to the original post so it can be tracked as it travels across the blogosphere.
4 .Tag five more blogs with links.
5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!
But it was actually pretty fun to mull over and try to sum up my life in just a few words. So without further ado, here's my six-word memoir:
Rescued by Jesus. Hopeless with hair.
For obvious reasons, I didn't include a picture of Jesus and me on a bad hair day. It was hard to choose so I'll share my runner-ups too:
- Laughing often doesn't make me shallow.
- Need forehead tattoo: Sorry I'm late.
August 8, 2008
(Before I go any further, we're all 100 hundred percent, absolutely OK. Not even a scratch on us. Praise God.)
So yesterday, Madeline and I picked up my parents and younger brother to drop them off at the airport. I was driving The Steed, the trusted 1994 Honda who has been so good to Joe and me.
As I started up a ramp to the highway, I realized I couldn't go over 40 MPH even though I was flooring it. Then the car suddenly rocketed off and I eased off the gas.
But even without my foot on the gas pedal, the car went faster and faster. The brakes weren't working so I only had steering control while my car was increasing speed.
It was like riding in a car with a mind of its own. Like KITT in Knight Rider but not as fun. The Hoff wasn't with me.
This event showed me how I react in crises: um...I shut down. I didn't scream but I also didn't even ask for help. Visions of us speeding around Indy at 100 MPH and slamming into a guardrail were flashing before me.
I remember being thankful that we just bought a new car seat for Madeline and praying God would open the lane in front of me.
My parents noticed something was wrong when my body was hanging over the steering wheel so I could put my entire weight on the brake. And I was muttering, "I can't brake. I can't brake."
Thankfully, we didn't get too far before the car decided the joyride was over. It stopped accelerating and we coasted to a stop on the shoulder.
So we're all fine and perfect. We even picked up another car and my family made their flight in time. But as soon as I waved bye and pulled out of the airport, I broke down crying.
I have never been so scared before in my life. Even though I've always driven older cars (Chip, my 1989 Dodge Aires, is a whole other post...), I never felt unsafe. I thought the worst that could happen would be to break down and not be able to move. I never thought about a car speeding on its own.
It turns out the acceleration cord had no lube and probably was stuck below 40 MPH until I pushed it to go higher. The brake are fine but just couldn't override the acceleration.
Also, the mechanics discovered something in our steering column is in "catastrophic condition." (I think that's the ultimate word you never want to hear about your car.) So while I never want to do my own version of Knight Rider again, I am thankful this showed us an even bigger problem.
So we're fine, we're fine, we're fine. Which is what I keep telling myself when the scene replays in my mind. Thank God, we're fine.
Some of my favorite blogs create "100 things about me" lists which are always entertaining so I thought I'd try.
Below is my attempt. I only got to #25 before realizing how incredibly random and uninformative it was.
- I'm slightly obsessed with all things British.
- I believe Americans should reinstate tea time and the tradition of wearing big, floppy hats at weddings.
- If you are getting married and would like your guests to wear hats, please invite me. You would fulfill a lifelong dream.
- I have never been outside the USA and Canada.
- My dream trip would, of course, be England.
- I love reading the classic novels over and over, such as books by Austen, Bronte, Wharton and Forster.
- However, my all-time favorite book is contemporary: "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers.
- I believe every woman should read that book.
- And I like Harry Potter. Probably more than an adult should.
- My daughter is the joy of my heart.
- I would do 10 labors in a row to avoid the nine months of pregnancy with my next child.
- That might be an exaggeration.
- No, that was not an announcement that I'm pregnant.
- If given the choice between avocados and cheesecake, I will pick avocados every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
- I love tea and coffee equally.
- Except fruit teas. Strongly dislike fruit teas.
- I laugh really loudly and a lot.
- I used to be very self-conscious of my loud, frequent laugh.
- I don't really care any more.
- Calvin and Hobbes still makes me laugh out loud.
- Joe makes me laugh every day and I'm grateful for that.
- I have a very hard time referring to females my age as "women." I feel too young for that.
- This is probably because I picture a 60-year-old female when I hear "woman."
- I carry around a huge Mom Wallet, containing a checkbook, coupons, library summer reading program cards, my errand to-do list, etc.
- Maybe I am old enough to be a woman.
August 7, 2008
Staying home has exceeded my high expectations, but I still have those moments when I miss some of the small things about working, like encouraging feedback, seeing friends daily, coffee and bagel runs and my black high heels. (I haven't broken out those babies in a loooooong time, primarily because I would look ridiculous in them at the library story time and would probably puncture a tiny hand.) Oh and my gray herringbone trousers. Love them. Miss them.
But I wasn't thinking about any of those things yesterday.
The day started for Joe by waking up at 4:30 a.m. to get ready for a charrette two hours away; I blissfully slept in until 7:30 a.m.
Madeline and I began our morning errands at Jo-Ann Fabrics to buy material for my first sewing project. To all my crafty friends: is it normal for people to whip out their own measuring tape to double-check the fabric-cutter person? I thought it was slightly ridiculous to make sure you have every millimeter but maybe it's common.
Then it was off to story time at the library. It's a very simple part of our routine but I love watching Madeline run around with the other kiddos, mimic the hand gestures during the songs, try to sit on the librarian's lap for every book and get so excited about the giant Lego statue, you would think she's never seen it before.
After the library, we made a quick trip to Target which always makes a day better.
At home, I had a ginormous pile of dishes to do after last night's dinner party. We don't have a dishwasher and I dread washing dishes. But I didn't mind today because this was my view:
While I washed the dishes, Madeline bobbed her head and wiggled her body to a Veggie Tales worship CD while reading her favorite books. She loves to read and dance to that CD, which, surprisingly, I'm not ready to smash into smithereens after the 439th time of hearing it. I wish I could show you video of her dancing and head-bobbing. She would definitely be a finalist on "So You Think You Can Dance."
And that is what I love most about being home: I get to introduce almost everything to her, like reading and praising God, and then watch her enjoy doing them.
It's not all easy. I promise, staying at home is not always days like yesterday. Some days:
- are hard, frustrating, isolating and never-ending.
- I think parenting is a bigger responsibility than I'm capable of handling.
- I think, "If I have to sweep under that high chair one more time today, I will go clinically insane."
- are like the night before when the aforementioned dinner party started by everyone else eating while I bathed a poop-covered child.
(P.S. Wednesdays are our errand/fun day so this was not a typical day. If only...)
August 6, 2008
(I wish I could take the picture with my feet in them to also show you my new favorite nail polish color but that would require posting a photo of my crinkle toes. And there's no need to put that image out on the Internet.)
But there was more in the box. Oh, so much more. These sandals, called Switchflops, have Velcro under the fabric so you can change the look without buying new shoes. (Don't let the word "Velcro" scare you off. I promise you won't look like a 2-year-old.)
"I know! Ah-mazing!"
She gave me two additional fabrics so I can change into whimsy green and blue...
August 5, 2008
August 4, 2008
It was a fun day but we learned some important lessons:
- Going to the beach as a parent is not relaxing; fun, but not relaxing. Leave your three books and crossword puzzles at home. They will only come home untouched yet full of sand.
- It's OK to overpack clothes. Do not overpack food because Wheat Thins lightly coated with sand are not tasty. Extra pudding cups are fine, though.
- If you would like your child to sleep most of the car ride so they are refreshed when you arrive, prepare for them to fall asleep five minutes before you reach your destination. Literally...
- If your child has not experienced sand before, do not set her down without immediate support. She may or may not face-plant into the sand and subsequently hate it for the next 40 minutes.
- Wanting your child to begin enjoying the beach as soon as possible, you might be tempted to think you can apply sunscreen on the beach. Don't. Apply it in the car before a possible sand-hating experience.
- Suncreen is much harder to apply properly with tear streaks and a snotty upper lip. Plus, it is guaranteed to move your child's emotional level from "upset" to "hysterical."
- If your child hates the sand and sunscreen, do not attempt to cheer her up by dipping her toes in the lake. This will only make matters worse.
- If your child hates the beach at first, make sure to bring along a stinkin' cute nephew who can show her how to enjoy it because she won't believe her parents.
- Once she enjoys playing in the sand, know that she will only want to play in direct sunlight. Do not attempt to reposition her under your thoughtful umbrella. In a toddler's mind, shade takes all the fun out of playing on the beach.
- You will spend the rest of the day silently panicking about third-degree burns on your precious child. Don't fight it; just apply sunscreen multiple times.
- However, don't worry so much about your child's delicate skin that you forget about your own pasty skin and completely burn.
- Huge, Jackie O. sunglasses are cute. Huge, Jackie O. raccoon eyes with a burnt nose tip and cheeks are not.
- Worrying about skin cancer also blocks any memory of bringing two cameras and a video camera. Ugh.
- Do not expect to eat until four hours after you arrive at the beach. Eat in the car. I repeat, eat in the car.
- Once you ready to finally eat, sit away from children armed with tiny plastic shovels.These are more accurately described as sand launchers, especially when your delicious plate of potato salad is within firing distance.
- Two words: hand sanitizer. (Is it a law that public bathrooms and gas station bathrooms must be filthy?)
- On the ride home, your child will sleep through five adults laughing hard at Demetri Martin on CD but will wake up once the noise subsides. Go figure.
- You will arrive home exhausted but as a parent, you can't crawl into bed right away. However, 20 minutes later, you will catch a second wind and find yourself wide awake, eating the remaining pudding cups and wondering why SNL isn't funny.
August 1, 2008
This week has been full of them. I loved it.
In the last couple of days, Madeline:
- pretty much mastered forks and spoons (only 70 percent of her oatmeal hits the walls or floor)
- learned how to take her diaper off (oh yay)
- became determined to buckle herself in the car
- took our milk from the real fridge to her fake fridge on several occasions (another yay)
- and then this:
While I have every intention of raising her to help around the house, I promise I'm not starting this early.
But dang, she's pretty good. Look at the speed on this one!
It is amazing to watch my daughter develop.
She went from a tiny infant, completely unaware of anything eight inches beyond her eyes, to a little girl who is so aware of her world, she desperately wants to participate in it.
Oh, I love watching her grow.
(P.S. The pictures aren't fuzzy because of the haze in our child sweatshop. I had to take it on my Crackberry so I didn't distract her.)