Saturday, July 30, 2005
Photos of My Grandparents
Didn't I mention Donna Reed?

Their bowling league mug shots:

Did everyone look like movie stars back then?

He was in his thirties when he went to war, not exactly a boy sailor.

Mugging for the camera is my guess:

Today's alarming new discovery
The boom box sits in the floor in front of Emma's bookshelf. This morning she was stepping up onto the boom box so she could climb higher on the bookshelf. Fortunately when she tried to actually get up she fell back and didn't land too hard. But Mama has been warned. And, yes, the bookshelf is anchored to the wall.
I'm wondering...
When I change Emma's diaper I always pick her up by the same leg when I wipe her butt. Do you suppose that leg will end up longer than the other?

If Emma consumes too much dog hair before she turns one will she be allergic to dogs?

Why are baby books so adamant about wiping girls front to back? When you open a diaper and her whole cooter is packed with poo it makes me wonder what the hell's the difference.
Friday, July 29, 2005
Testimonials ;)
OK, Coke Zero rocks. That stuff tastes almost exactly like real Coke. Just not quite as sweet, which in my opinion is a good thing. I'm not a huge Coke fan to begin with so I have no idea why I'm hooked all of the sudden. Must have crack in it.

And speaking of crack...Weight Watcher's Honey Almond cereal with cranberries. OMG! Do I love this stuff! I can eat 3/4 cup as a snack and it really satisfies me. Sadly, it comes from Costco which will not be a reliable source. I'll have to stock up next time I'm there.
This is our name for Emma when she's peeking at us over the tall ends of her pack n' play. Original, ain't we?
Ruminations on computing
Do you suppose it's even possible to calculate how much more complicated life is now that we have computers in our everyday lives? I think about how many hours I log on the computer each week at home and at work and how many things I have to know to be able to do the things I do. Think about all the details involved in photo editing, printing, uploading, and sharing. Or creating a Word document and editing it. Or sending an email. Or designing a website. Or running Excel. How many menu items are you familiar with? How many procedures are in your head? How many new terms are you using that didn't even exist twenty years ago? If you sit and think about it you'll realize it's pretty mind-boggling.

B.C. (Before Computers) I can tell you that I did a lot more with my hands. Creative projects. Cross-stitch, drawing, and calendar-making (like they do with scrapbooking now). I can still be very creative on the computer, it's just that the product isn't so lasting now. (On the other hand it doesn't clutter up my house either!)

I'm not anti-computer by any means. I love having information on just about anything you can imagine just a few mouse-clicks away. I love being able to forge relationships with people I realize I may never meet. I love being able to communicate with far-flung family with relative ease. I'm such a computer lover that I'm known as a geek and a booster. But honestly, sometimes my head could burst with all the computer minutiae crammed in there.
A budding tradition bites the dust
For the last three years my husband and I have been volunteering for an annual road bike challenge held here in the mountains. I do their website, but we both would help at registration. We'd come in Friday after work and register cyclists till 9 p.m. and then get up bright and early (5:00 a.m.) to come in and do registration again the next morning. I was really loathe to let this go because we enjoy it and they really seem to appreciate our help. Unfortunately I couldn't see how we could do this with Emma in the mix now. She's just not at a stage where we could bring her along. She wouldn't like being restrained, but left to her own devices she'd be a huge distraction. I'm pretty bummed about this. I'm sure my MIL would watch her, but who'd have the nerve to ask for a babysitter at 5:30 a.m.? And I'd hate to knock Emma off schedule for something that's optional. Anyway...this year I'll be doing Friday night registration without M. He'll be putting Emma to bed. And I guess we're off the hook for Saturday altogether. Sigh.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Still Alive
The worst of hell week is over. I'm exhausted mentally and physically and feeling a bit shell-shocked at this very moment. But tomorrow is a new day, pay day no less.

Emma did fine at her Grandma's all day today. We toted up the stroller, which was meant to double as a high chair, and her pack and play. Grandma reported the only outburst was when daddy stopped by for a few minutes looking for some Anbesol. Emma wanted to go with him. She said she cried for about three minutes and then moved on. When I went to pick her up I couldn't leave her sight or she'd get hysterical. Oh well. It seems she's much more demanding of me than anyone else. I suspect it will always be that way.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Sex charges for kissing baby's belly-button
This is the sort of thing that pisses me off, depresses me and worries me at the same time. It is just wrong on so many levels. First of all, who looks at a picture like that and assumes first that kissing a naked baby on the belly button is sexual assault? Secondly, what the heck is up with Eckerd Drug? Good to know they're the moral police for us. Third, what the heck is wrong with people who insist on sexualizing very young children? We know there indeed are evil people in this world who would do harm to innocents, but thankfully they are very few and far between. What about the rest of us? Those of us who love our little babies and love and hug and kiss them all day in all states of dress? I've blown zerberts on Emma's belly between diaper changes, thank God there were no photos taken and sent to Eckerd Drug!

I feel for these parents because once Child Protective Services swoops in you're screwed. These parents have been robbed of the crucial first year of their son's development because of some damned busybody. If that were me I'd have a rage about it that would never be quenched.

Disclaimer: I realize that there may be more here than is being presented in the article, but my comments are based solely on the article as presented.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Princess Gas Ass
OK, that one isn't mine. But it makes me laugh every time I think about it. That's what my brother calls his middle child.
Maudlin Day
Right in the middle of hell week I want to pause to remember my father-in-law who died on this day last year. He missed meeting his new granddaughter by two months. He spent a full day in his garden, went to a Lion's Club meeting, came home and watched baseball on the tube with his son. Around 11:00 p.m. he let out a gasp and he was gone. Just like that. It was a shock.

Jack was an extraordinary man, truly a pillar of the community. God-fearing, civic minded, he was a business owner who was known far and wide as a character. He was one of those people who gave EVERYBODY hell and made them laugh while doing it. People would recount things he had said to them and your jaw would drop, but they were laughing as they recounted it. I don't know that we'll ever be able to convey to Emma what he was truly like.

I miss him. He was a large presence. We've all moved on as we're expected to do, but nothing is the same.
Crabby Patty
Mommy’s name for a certain girl who complains a lot. This is from SpongeBob Squarepants, a family favorite.
I miss my grandmother
Here is the one thing I miss the most; and both she and my grandfather were characterized by this, total and complete sincerity. They weren’t clever, they didn’t get off on being witty, and they didn’t have an ironic bone in their bodies. They said what they felt and it was always from the heart. They were both products of the depression. Both grew up on subsistence farms and endured hardscrabble living. They moved away and became prototypical suburbanites. I can almost imagine that in the 1950’s Bea Bea vacuumed in heels, a la Donna Reed. They were products of their generation and represented the best of that time. Strong moral values, good work ethic, love of their country and love of their family most of all. They were truly salt of the earth. They were always so impressed with my brother and I, how clever we were, how talented. Were we all that? Objectively maybe, in their eyes all that and more.

My generation, and my Dad’s generation, is different. Everyone is always trying to be clever, to slide in the joke, or the witty bon mot. You have to evaluate everything that is said to see if you’re missing the real meaning. It’s exhausting. The older I get the more it wears me out. How often do you find sincere people anymore? They’re so vulnerable in today’s cutthroat world. When you find them you almost want to put your arm around them and protect them from the ugliness.

I will always be sorry that Emma didn’t come into our lives sooner, so that she might have met her great grandmother. Bea Bea would have loved her so much. And Emma would have gotten to meet one of the classiest Southern ladies she’d have ever known.

Thankfully, these wonderful folks produced my mom, who is much like them despite years of trial by fire with the wiseass family. I’m sure she often wondered how she was so “blessed” with a bunch of smart alecks. But in our defense, I think we provided her entertainment too. We found ourselves pretty entertaining anyway.
Buckminster Fuller
Daddy’s name for Emma when she does the arched back evasive maneuver
Ballast Control Officer
This is daddy’s name for Emma when she is determined to throw everything she gets her hands on overboard.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Last night
Emma didn't go to sleep until 10:15. A full 2 hrs. and 45 mins. later than usual. We tried everything. We finally decided she HAD to be teething so we gave her anbesol and tylenol. Later, it occurred to me that it might not be teething at all. I honestly think we were being played. And don't tell me that a 9.5 month old can't do it. When we left the room she would cry piteously, you'd think she was dying in there. Come back in the room and it's PLAYTIME! Lay her on her back and she's back on her feet by the time you're at the other end of the crib. I tried to sit there quietly beside the crib so she could relax and go to sleep. But nooooooo...she's up reaching at me trying to grab some hair. To add insult to injury she's yawning and rubbing her eyes like a fiend, but will not give up. So we did the most awful horrible terrible thing a parent can ever do. We left the room. Let her cry until she realized playtime was over and went to sleep.
What goes around...
On the mommy board I frequent there are often posts about certain challenges people are having with their babes. Things like being unable to change the baby because it goes crazy when they put it down, or hair-pulling, or throwing things from the high chair, or complaining a lot. At the time the post appears I might think, oh wow, tough for you, my baby doesn't do that. Well, just wait...because it's coming. Every baby does things on their own schedule and just because she's an angel for changing now doesn't mean your turns not coming. Live and learn. I might feel bad because my baby isn't making words yet, but by golly she was one of the first to pluck mommy's hairs individually from her temple!
I have the hairiest baby I know
(My work, reposted from the B.O.M.B)

It's not her fault. I can't even blame her genes. It's the animals. Two dogs and one cat. They shed enough hair in a day to knit a sweater. I can't take it anymore. It was hard enough coping with hair on everything before the baby came along. Now it's just horrible. I literally have to sweep the floor every time I put her down. That's why it took her until almost 9 months to crawl, I didn't want to put her down!

Despite my reluctance to let my baby touch any surfaces in my house, she indeed does crawl now. And she doesn't want to be held back. I'm having difficulty coping with this. I am one of those mommies that is always plucking off every stray hair, every piece of lint, and every little everything that would mar the perfection that is my princess. Now I can't keep up. I know I have to let go a little, unclench. It's hard.

So now, she sweeps the floor for me. Everything she wears goes straight to the hamper. New pajamas every night. If we're going out, dressing the baby is the last thing that gets done so we can bolt out of the house without touching anything. I'm thoroughly defeated by hair.
Hell week update
So I mentioned this week is hell week schedule-wise. You should never put comments like that out there because this is what will happen...your babysitter will say, oh by the way, I'm taking my husband to the doctors on Thursday so I'm not keeping any kids. Sigh. And you smile and say I hope the appointment goes well.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Just thought you should know...
As I sit here posting this my little angel is wrapping her father around her finger tightly. Today she has been a regular Crabby Patty. She has come into her own using her "complaining voice." Normally she goes to bed perfectly. Bath, pajamas, bottle, bed. More often than not she's asleep on the bottle before it's done. Tonight, ha! I put her down and as soon as her back hit the bed the complaining started. Still, I was able to leave the room. She kept complaining and complaining and escalating. Finally I went up to pop in the paci and stroke her head to calm her a little. When I left she was perfectly calm. As soon as the door shut she started hollering loudly. Daddy comes in from outside. Should I go up? Um, I was just up there. OK, I'll wash my hands and wait a few and go up. So. Down the stairs they come, the two of them. I'm just going to walk her around outside so she'll tire out. OK. Now she's in the swing on the front porch. How did we get from bedtime to funtime? Daddy. Who's the boss right now? I don't even want to answer that.
Clone me please
I need to be cloned. Then I could have a whole other me devoted to leisure. That me would have all the time in the world to read all the new books that have come out recently that are on my "must" list. It seems like there was nothing good for months and then Wham!

The list:
Janet Evanovich - Eleven on Top (OK I actually made time for that one)
Edna Buchanan - Shadows
Sara Paretsky - Fire Sale
Mary Janice Davidson - Undead and Unappreciated
James Patterson - 4th of July
Sophie Kinsella - Undomestic Goddess
Kate White - Over Her Dead Body

And I'm stuck reading Harry Potter because I have to. Sigh.
Dukes of Hazzard movie
Was this really necessary? Sometimes we can afford to be nostalgic about the past because we are assured that's where events will stay, in the past. In my family we were big "Dukes of Hazzard" watchers. My little brother, who would have been around five when the series started, loved it. My parents and grandparents used to love to get him to do the "Yee Haa, Yaa Hoo!" rebel yell. Dance monkey, dance!

Do we really need a remake of this? With Jessica Simpson and Johnny Knoxville? The innocence of those Dukes days are long gone. Already the actor who played Cooter is warning people away from the movie until they "clean it up." Oy vey. I predict that this movie will not win hearts and minds to the joys of hillbilly life and booze smuggling. What a waste. But then again, I predicted Keanu Reeve's new sci-fi movie "The Matrix" would tank.
Hell week ahead
Fun. Meeting Monday night, meeting Tuesday night, visitor to help with computer systems Wednesday, giving a program Thursday night, Friday I hope I'm still alive. These weeks were bad enough before Emma, now they're horrendous because I'd rather be staying home and putting her to bed. I have so much to do I can't even wrap my brain around it. My head hurts.