Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Dum-da-dum-dum.... that's the sound of drumming.... ear-drumming. Ear-drumming my daughter can't hear very well right now.

The audiologist tests showed her ear drum has healed perfectly (yeah, no more hot pink choking hazards to stuff in her ears for bath time). But..... her tympanic test (?) showed a flat line in her left ear and a little flutter in her right ear. Not the hearty vibrations needed for good hearing. So she's still got fluid in behind her ear drums and requires more powerful antibiotics for 10 more days.

So, after yet another charming time at CVS-West, (damn, the guy I had to deal with really had his tit in a ringer about something... fortunately I only had one kid with me and I wasn't tired so I didn't have to shove him in a 55-gallon drum, plant him in the back 40 & grow tomatoes on him) I came home with some pricey new antibiotics.... not the bubble gum kind this time. I can't tell if they bother her belly or if she just thinks sleeping with mama is a good habit to develop right now.... be patient with me.... she's still getting me trained.

Now, we are planning to play along for this second round of antibiotics but if things don't get better soon I might go homeopathic and take her to see my witch doctor.

I'm discovering I'm not a very good parent of a sick child. I'd be a mess with a chronically ill child. I get all tired & forgetful with stress. Interesting. I'm great with my own illnesses...brave face, strong front, plan a dynamic course of action.... all that. But it is an entirely different thing when you are worrying about someone else. Especially when that someone is a 17 pound bundle of pink cheeks & grins who seems to think she invented skip-hop crawling and delights in smooshing gummy cracker bits in her hair & eyebrows. A cheery little person who actually grinned at the doctor while he shoved things in her ears and offered him the dixie cup she was chewing on.... she gave him a look like, "Hey, this sucks, but they have great toys here...."

So we will be BACK at the doc's office next week to see what's up....

Redneck Boobies.....

Well, I'll admit I'm pleasantly surprised by this bit of legislation regarding pumping at work.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Do You Keep Score??

As I was snuggling the baby in bed last night Hot Stuff and I had the following conversation:

HS: Did you give the baby her antibiotics tonight?
Me: Shit.
HS: You better do it. You haven't missed a dose yet.
Me: You do it. Seriously. How many times have you given her a dose of anitibiotics?
HS: How many times have you plowed the driveway?
Me: How many times have YOU plowed the driveway? Because I bet it is fewer times than I've given this kid antibiotics.....

I have this internal conversation going almost all the time about balance, fairness & equality. I have to have the conversation or I get bitter. I like to think of it as self-therapy.

I keep score.

I'm not proud of it but I do it. And you know what? I'm winning.

I asked my mom one time why she packed my dad's clothes & toothbrush for him. She replied, "I've never changed the oil or checked the tire pressure."

I try to keep that in mind. Balance is about what is fair at any given moment in a relationship.

Sometimes that is hard to keep in mind when I realize I change the oil in all three vehicles (well, ok, I write the check & I wrangle the two little ones while someone else does it...), I schedule all the appointments, I do all the doctor & vet trips, I wait for the repair guy, I empty the dishwasher, I do the majority of the cleaning (toilets, tub, dusting, vacuuming....), I deal with the taxes & bills, I do the budget, I balance the checkbook, I do the baby books & photo albums, I sort the too small clothes, I do the grocery shopping, I do the toilet paper shopping, I feed the baby strained peas, I buy the wedding/baby/Christmas gifts & wrap them, I buy the stamps, I wash the sheets & make the bed.... and on and on and on.... Hot Stuff handles snow removal & goes to the dump......and that, my friends, is a paragraph about me being bitter.

The reality is we have a more balanced marriage than most. Hot Stuff will grocery shop if I give him a carefully prepared list.... but he always comes home with 100 impulse buys. And Costco with him... well, I've blogged about that before..... He sweeps. He mops. He puts his dishes in the sink. He generally keeps the house tidy. He picks up the toys. He tries not to track mud into the house. He recycles his pop cans. He makes dinner for himself and the kids on a regular basis. He picks up the kids from daycare and in the summer he often drops them off. He changes diapers. He reads stories.

So if he's such a good husband and daddy why do I always keep score? I either keep score and decide things are in balance and we have the perfect situation or I keep score and I feel smug because I am super-mommy and get so much accomplished compared to him. Isn't there something about dancing backwards and in high heels?

I'll be thinking more about this.....

Boring Budget Post

I was dealing with the credit card yesterday.

I say "dealing" because our current budget system is this: Put everything on the credit card and then pay it off every month. When I get the statement I check for errors & do a quick breakout to make sure we aren't spending too much in any category. The general categories are:

Fun Stuff

Groceries seemed kinda high but then I realized all of the Costco bill was going to groceries and much of what we get at Costco is really "Target" stuff like toothpaste & toilet paper. My Target spending was far below the $150/month budget. Fuel costs are always a kick in the teeth. Lunch... I didn't eat lunch out at all in January and Hot Stuff got "confused" and used cash for all his lunches so I have no idea what he spent.... can't have been much because he didn't get out any cash this month and there was about $60 in the change bowl and I think $30 is still there. We spent a whooping $27 on movies... weekend rentals are $3.50 for new releases and $2.00 for regular movies... we've been splurging on new releases so that's about 2 movies a weekend plus the occassional kid movie. (Although Bob the Builder goes West & Magic Schoolbus from the library have been great for the last few weeks.) Good thing I bought a big bag of popcorn on sale or our entertainment budget would be maxed out. Our breakout for January was further complicated by the purchase of mass quantities of Musinex & Alka-seltzer cold (for Hot Stuff), chloraseptic cough drops (for me), Dimetapp (for Sweet Boy), and a very expensive prescription decongestant (that didn't do a damn thing) and antibiotics (for Darling Girl). It doesn't seem like much but it adds up. Not to mention the splurge for Puffs Plus with Lotion. Figured out the mystery $250 charge was a payment to the doctor's office. It covered medical expenses going back to September. Insurance was being nasty about paying and I had to take DG in so I just put it on the card.... got a reimbursement from them for $189 last week... so that wasn't as bad as it could have been.....I stayed on budget... less the $20.... For Valentine's -fabric to make wash cloths for DG, a few Valentine's cards, a plastic car case (ok, really a thread organizer) and a clearance bag of lollipops for SB. I also spent $20 on a toy chain saw for SB's birthday in June & $25 for 10 pairs of Vicky's Secret panties. What? I needed panties and 10 for $25 is a great deal. Hot Stuff is the one who blew the budget this month. hee-hee. He bought a CHAIN SAW. Not a toy one. Actually he did pretty well.... popped his ebay cherry and got a Stihl. But after that plus another $120 or so in accessories... well, the bill was a little higher than I like. So we will try to tighten the belts for the next month... problem is we have about 100 baby and wedding gifts (some for the same people!!) to get this month..... hhmmmm.... I wonder if they'd all like wash cloths???

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Credit Where Credit is Due....

Seems someone came to visit today based on my comment at Mary P's about the kiddie-bedroom looking like ToysRUs barfed in it.

I must give credit where credit is due.

I believe the lovely Elle first said that line to me.

She's good with the one-liners.... so good that many of my one-liners originated with her... or some conversation we've had.....

Go visit her blog and ask her to tell you the story of the fart jar. You won't be disappointed....

So… about that ear….. things I have learned…..

I didn't slap the baby. Really. She got an ear infection after getting a cold and that is the reason for the ruptured ear drum. But while researching it on the 'net I found out a slap can cause it too.... and this, for some reason, turned me into earnest-mommy at the doctor's office.... I think in the back of my mind I was afraid the doc was speed-dialing human services when she left the exam room..... and it made me all stuttery and nervous and talking fast about the COLD she had last week and the PUS coming out of her ear from the INFECTION.

I learned one of the main causes of ruptured ear drums is a flat or cupped-hand slap to the side of the head.

I learned pus is spelled with one s.

I learned pus leaking out of your ear 6 days after you’ve seen the doc for a cold is a bad sign. (And can I just shout about how TOTALLY vindicated I feel about that doc trip last Friday even though the doc I saw made me feel like a total idiot for bringing them in for a simple cold…. Yes, I took them in because of the puking but at least now human services can’t get me for neglect, right? Possibly a slap to the head, but not neglect….)

I learned ENT stands for Ear, Nose & Throat.

I learned pink antibiotics must be refrigerated. Thank Bob it was my daughter…. I can dress her in little pink outfits to disguise the pink slobber on her clothes.

I learned CVS-West sucks as a pharmacy (but it still has the best wine selection in town). And, yes, dear little girl at the counter, I DO want to wait for the prescription… does my staring make you nervous? Or is it the twitch??

I learned the ear pain should be gone once the ear drum perforates…. And yet the little one STILL thinks she should sleep in my bed and use my nose as a comfort object.

I learned I love my doctor’s office. And I really, really, pink-smiley-face love my doctor’s nurses.

I learned babies with exploded ear drums can’t get water in their ears.

I learned I don’t actually need to bathe my child all that often.

I learned wax ear plugs are by the contact solution at ShopKo.

I learned wax ear plugs come in hot pink.

I learned babies will try to eat hot pink wax ear plugs if possible.

Ok, I’m tired, enough learning…. Wish us luck at the ENT tomorrow… we should get a clean bill of health and no problems…..


Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. I did not make waffles for dinner on Tuesday and I did not go to church yesterday. So I'm not a good Catholic... what else is new??

One year I gave up chocolate & coffee for Lent... that was a good one. Back in the days when I was in great shape & exercised and wasn't a slave to cravings like I am now.

This year we are not going to punish ourselves for Lent. No. We are going to be proud and strong and productive.

Susan is giving up multi-tasking. It's a great post. Go read it.

I'm giving up starting another project until I finish the one I'm on now. For example, yesterday I made new face washclothes for Darling Girl. Adorable little double-thickness squares of the softest and most beautiful blue and white striped fabric. They look great with her eyes. And she likes to snuggle them. She likes them so much I'm thinking of cutting out a teddy bear shape and making her a little flat-stanley bear to play with... because, of course, what the kid needs is more toys. But I will FINISH with the blue and white fabric and put the extra bits away before I start anything else.... or that's the plan anyway.

My second Lenten Resolution is to make a list of 40 things that need doing and getting them done. I've made it to 26 and I'm stuck.... so help me please.

And it is Thursday again....


Ok... here's a quickie. Go sharpen all of your eyeliners. (Brother, this one is for you.)

I'm serious.

I am so tired of trying to draw a tidy smudge during my first cup of coffee and being nearly blinded with pain by the scrape of a wooden edge becaue my eyeliner is so dull.

So sharpen them. Or toss them. Your choice.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


And, suddenly, as I was putting away the apples I thought to myself, "I gotta blog this..."

My weekend, in snippets:

Cucumber all-purpose spray. Yes, this is what I bought myself as a treat this weekend. And then I found myself cleaning the pushy-knob that opens the microwave door. With a toothbrush. And, ta-da, I've developed yet another obsession. At a certain point Sweet Boy and I were actually arguing over who got to spray the front door and who got to wipe it. Ta-da, my children also harbor my obsessions. It's genetic.

A riddle. Small child sprinting down a long corridor followed by a woman frantically balancing a baby, a slice of pizza, a shopping cart (you're imaging me balancing a shopping cart on my head now, aren't you??) & a frozen yogurt. Where are they going?

The answer. Picture the woman carefully and calmly trying to talk the little boy through the process of unlocking the bathroom stall BEFORE he makes a puddle on the floor. Damn, that kid is fast... he had the door locked before I even got to it.

And, to make it even funnier. Picture the baby, strapped in her car seat in the front of the cart, happily gumming the slice of pizza (it was sitting on the tot-seat). Mother dreams of the millions she will make when she sells amazing rubber-armed child to the circus. Big Brother says, "Aw, sister...."

Finally, lunch & shopping are over. Everyone is happy and chatting away. We walk outside and a giant gust of wind blows the yogurt & the pizza away. GONE. BLEW AWAY. Sweet Boy spends the rest of the day making up stories about where it went. They involve mountains, dump trucks & grandpa getting in trouble for eating all the pizza when it blew into him.

So we have an adventure. We went through the drive-thru car wash…. I'll admit I've never been through one of those. It was a new experience for all three of us... heck even for the car so all 4 of us.... The blue-whappy things were a little scary but it was fun with the sunroof open... I mean... well, you know what I mean..... And a little man comes out and scrubs the back window and we yelled for him to run or the blue whappy things would get him… it all made quite an impression on SB… he can't stop talking about it.

Home & guests. The freakin' Jehovah's Witness people showed up. They come every few weeks…. I know the one girl so I can't be mean to her…. I had a feeling they would show this weekend (usually they show up when I'm making waffles in my flannel jammies with the dogs on them) but I was blindsided when they got here on MONDAY and they didn't offer to help unload the groceries or anything so it was a short visit.

It musta been the veggie puffs. Since Darling Girl made her new love of solid foods so obvious I dug out the container of veggie puffs. Yes, they are left over from SB's toddlerhood. Yes, the container is almost full. No, SB still doesn't like veggies all that much. But does Darling Girl like them? You betcha. I tasted them. They didn't taste too stale... well, no worse than how they taste new. And they melt in your mouth... which is actually a little disturbing.... but she had a blast... getting to pick up a little thing and put it in her mouth and NOT have every adult in a 6-foot radius shriek, gasp, make a horrible face, and take away her treasure. But then, then.... the most amazing poop. It shot up her back to the tops of her shoulders. Now, I should remind you, this kid is not big on producing waste. She doesn't poop all that often and this was two days in a row.... I was horrified. But, the up-side? We got to try out the brand new (hot pink) wax ear plugs* in the bath and they work like a charm.

Well, what do you call it? I fell prey to the siren-song of pre-produced, processed foods and bought a spinnin-chicken for dinner. What? You have no idea what delicacy this spinnin-chicken thing is?? Why? Ask Elle. She came up with the name. Why? Because it is logical. A chicken that spins.... on a rotisserie. It was so yummy and moist and delightful. Maybe I'll try to feed my kids less sodium & processed foods NEXT week.

And that, my dears, is all I got right now.....

*What? I failed to blog about the ruptured-perforated-exploded ear drum? Ah, maybe tomorrow.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Too Sweet for a Title

I "scowley face" New Blogger.

I can't seem to post comments since switching to New Blogger. Anyone else having this problem?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Another reason pink & red don't go together.....

Valentine's Day..... the celebration of Love.

I'm not going to lie. I had some plans for Valentine's.... you know what I mean..... I shaved.

Both legs.

All the way to the top.

And, as Susie notes.... Hair removal DOES count as a Valentine's Day gift.

I was wearing my new (TEN pairs for $25 at Vicky's Secret) panties. The ones that look really sexy (read: uncomfortable) but are actually quite comfy. Yeah. In pink. With hearts. I was wearing them.

You know the married-with-kids sexy night..... Wear the big one out playing "chase" and drug* the little one..... we all crawled into Sweet Boy's bed around 8:15 to read stories and that is where I woke up around 11:30. Lights out, baby & spouse gone, dog snoring, son drooling, disoriented.... so I guess I've officially crossed that line.... From wanna-be-sexy-trying-hard-but-usually-failing to just failing. Heavy sigh.

*Gawd, You know I'm kidding... right?!?!?

Oops. Missed Monday Again...

So Elle officially made Monday the Doggie Doo-doo day. Pick up the poo in your yard. Well, we have quite a few inches of snow covering that poo so I'm going to modify the assignment for here.

Pet stuff. Yes. Pet stuff. Clean the dog beds, toss the chewed up chew toys... whatever it takes.

Personally, I washed the in-house and on-porch pet bed covers and this weekend I will be fluffing the portion of the barn that attaches to the dog pen..... Not that the dog's butt has spent moment-one in the dog pen this winter.... But I will dust off his futon (yes, futon) and wash all the blankets, sort the toys and tidy things up a bit. Then I will throw out half a dozen chewed up tennis balls and make sure there are lots of fresh treats in the various treat jars.

SB has decided he LOVES to give Gunnar treats. He really loves to give him the ones shaped like little pretzels.... so maybe a trip to PetCo will be needed to resupply.

There aren't a lot of toys to tidy.... we've been trashing a frisbee a week this winter trying to keep in shape... they are brittle when frozen and break easily when chomped by an overzealous pup. I need to attend more parades to restock the supply.... or break down and actually spend CASH to get a really flexible one designed for dogs....

Probably pet week should involve a dog bath and tooth-brushing but I'm just not sure we will get to that this time.....

Monday, February 05, 2007

But this shit only comes in 3’s right???

My garage door opener died. Now, this has happened before (different garage) so it isn’t like I don’t know the signs…. Last time the signs were a burning smell, smoke and no uppy-uppy when I pushy-pushy the button. This time at least I had motor sounds but no uppy-uppy. So Hot Stuff and I got up there on the double-sided ladder (it was way kinkier than it sounds and we’re planning to utilize it in some manner for Valentine’s Day). All those little plastic gears that make the door go uppy-uppy?? Yeah, they were plastic dust. Of course, nothing being easy…. Our “garage” is actually a “shop” and the door opener is mounted (hee-hee, I said mounted) in the most confucked manner possible. And this confucked (that would be a hybrid of confused and fucked for the slow-on-the-uptake that read this site) configuration won’t work with the new style of garage door openers out there now. Heavy sigh.

Then the washing machine quit with the spinny-spinny. Water goes in, water goes out, but there is no agitation or spinny-spinny to get things clean. That will be coming apart in the next few days… meanwhile I run the occasional load of laundry at my in-law’s and remind Hot Stuff to think of the enjoyment he gets from his new-used chain saw while he’s pounding his socks on rocks in the creek because that’s about what it would cost to get a new machine. (Good thing the man rarely wears underwear, isn’t it brother??)

So then… to top it all off… the tv remote quit. (Again, brother, something you wouldn’t understand what with that vintage non-remote tv you own.) It works on the vcr & the dvd but not the tv. And you know I need volume control so I can mute the commercials while I’m watching Judge Joe Brown and drinking tequila in the early afternoon. I went out to the garage to look in the black file box… the box where I, in all my Virgo glory, keep all the owner’s manuals and information for every product we now or ever have owned. And I find the directions to the THREE remotes we have for the ONE tv upstairs and I find the single sheet of info for the GE remote that lists what devices it will control and it tells me how easy it is to program but IT DOESN’T TELL ME HOW TO PROGRAM IT. And I weep.

The Kid Room

I've spent a lot of time getting the bedrooms into some semblance of functionality. Wow. Was that a mensa-sentence or what? I've read it twice and it still doesn't make sense.

Dooce posted pictures of her daughter's room and got indignant email out of the deal. I thought I'd try for the same....

This picture shows 4 of the things I hate about this room. The peach (really, the photo just DOES NOT do it justice) carpet, the fake-wood trim (although it looks pretty good here), the what-do-you-call-that stripey wallpaper, and the stink bugs. The stink bugs invade on a regular basis... so much so that part of the bedtime routine is to hunt them down and smoosh them.

Cute Smokey Bear poster, huh? He has 3 of them and they were free... but shrink wrapping cost me a fortune. See the ugly light fixture? That's gotta be fixed. And I think I'll paint the blades blue. Can you see the new closet curtain on this side? I'm not sure I'm happy with it yet but it was in my fabric box so we'll try it for a while....Here's the kid bedroom. See the kids? Yes, we are testing the baby to make sure she isn't vampire by exposing her to intense sunlight. I'm not sure how she feels about it but she isn't squalling so it must not be too bad. Can you see the closet curtains? Shoulda taken another shot of them. And also the cool chalkboard and clever little playland of Little People behind the bed. See the trio of dinosaurs guarding the bed? Good idea, huh??This is pretty standard for this room. Sweet Boy, in his Bob the Builder undies, playing. See the new closet curtain on this side? And we moved the Winchester posters (please, hate mail regarding gun posters in a toddler's room? Go ahead) and the headstall he won and you can see the Smokey Bear poster on the incline there.... Also the cool carpet that is for playing cars on one side and railroad tracks on the other. He loves that. The dresser... vintage '70's with some orbital sanding, new knobs & some chalkboard paint.This is the coolest thing in this room. We call it The Cave. It's the over-the-stairs storage and this is a crummy photo (really, why are all these pics so crummy? I'm usually pretty good with the camera.... hee-haw.) I'm thinking of painting it various shades of blue and spray painting the curtain rod blue. Sweet Boy likes to jump out of here and land on his bed.We call it a "dangerous trick" and, well, we'll meet you at the emergency room.....

So that's it. The bedroom. You can see all the work that remains. Mostly painting.... I think I can prime the wallpaper and paint over it since we can't quite figure out what is UNDER it..... And I can't paint without Elle so that will have to wait.....

Drugs. Drugs. Drugs.

Elle has posted the challenge for this week.


I found baby decongestant with about half a dose left in the bottle..... and it expired in 2004. So help me.

I did the daycare bag drugs.
I did the kid drugs.
I did the daddy drugs.
I did the mama drugs.
I did the first aide drugs.
I did the cough & cold drugs.
I did the aches & pains drugs.

I flushed half a bottle of advil. What?!?! You say?!?! Yes. Hot Stuff has been complaining about this bottle for years..... I accidentally stored it in a cabinet next to a basket of opened soaps so it tasted like.... soap.

I ordered a new epi-pen. (And chucked the old expired ones I keep around just-in-case.)

I took the drugs out of the car, the purse and the travel kit and put them "back in rotation" so they will get used up and I replaced them with "fresh" stuff.

I realized I need to get more little batman bandaides.

Heck, I got so gung-ho I used up the "big kid wipes" my mom bought for potty-training.... felt great to toss that container. I know, I know... not technically a drug but still.... go me.

I re-thought drug storage in our house. Currently everything goes in the cupboard over the dryer (not as inconvenient as it sounds.... it is between the kitchen and the bathroom.... some day I will draw my house floor plan and you all will laugh....) The old prescription stuff that is worth keeping goes in a bin on the top shelf. The cough, cold, aches & pains stuff goes in a bin (another mini-crate that was a cd case in college) on the bottom shelf next to the first aid stuff. Then there is the big tub of "extra" stuff..... like the giant CostCo bottles of stool softener and the 47 bottles of GNC prenatal vitamins the state sent me when I registered for the prenatal program. All in all it is pretty efficient and it does keep it all above the heads of the little ones.

Ok, I'm going to make a Virgo confession here.... I save those tiny bags spare buttons come in and I put little mixes of advil-tylenol-aleve-excedrin in them for my purse, glove box & travel kit....

Ok, I'm off to sort bandaides by size and style now.....

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Oops. I forgot about Monday

Well, it is Thursday. Do I have an excuse for not figuring out a Monday project? No.

So here's the project. Quick and dirty.

Clean your car.

Don't get all crazy and VACUUM it... it is 18 degrees and blizzarding here.... there will be no vacuuming.

I mean just get it organized.... Hell, you can do this while you are stuck waiting for a train..... Clean out the console box. (Yes, I have a lot of crap in there too.)

Toss the dried-out wet wipes.

Re-think the gallon-sized zip loc bags for each kids' stuff in the spare tire storage area. What? You don't have this? I have a sweatshirt and a change of clothes for SB (including socks... somehow he always manages to pee on his socks) and clothes and a spare diaper/wipes for DG. Every once in a while I have to up the sizes of everything. I also have an old pullover jacket for me and various items needed for winter living in Montana....

Oh, this is fun. Ok, the glove box... or jockey box... depending on where you live. Since I actually keep gloves in it I'm going to go with the former....

A little red bag containing: advil/excedrine/aleve, imodium, antihistamine, a tampon, bandaids, hand lotion
A little pair of stretchy gloves
Camp suds (eco-soap in the liquid variety.... for washing the dog in a creek after he rolls in cow shit..... trust me, it's the most used item in my car)
Hand sanitizer (for me, after the above episodes)
A bottle opener (what? I'm from Montana)
Spare headphones
Dog leash
Travel tissue packet
Registration & proof of insurance

Console box: ipod, ipod charger, sunglasses case, ziploc of rabbit crackers, lip gloss, pencil, toy tractor

Under the seat: Roller window shade, travel box for butt wipes, bottle of water (Go ahead, Elle, admit you have a giant rock under your seat)

Trunk area: the above mentioned ziploc bags, various winter items depending on the day, a blanket & chew bone for the dog

Don't leave home without: sippy & sunglasses for the boy, paci & blanket for the girl, coffee & sunglasses for the mama, diet pepsi & nicotene gum for the daddy-o