Saturday, March 31, 2007

Efficient ways to waste time on a Saturday

I think we all know what number one on this list is: Work on your blog! Yes, I absolutely should be raising my child and cleaning my house and most definitely I should be cleaning out my flower beds because my sister and brother-in-law are bringing me a bunch of landscape stuff from the house they will have to move out of. (Thank you Gov Granholm for assisting in running the state's economy into the ground and the subsequent loss of my family's jobs). This work list is far too daunting for a weekend so instead I am making rudimentary animations for my blog (see the picture by my header). Okay, my sister just called and they are going to be here soon and my husband will be home from work shortly after that. I better run through the house with a dustrag and a mop to make it look like I did something today.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Grateful for the Newcomer

I was able to attend my meeting last night and it was very powerful. There was an emotional newcomer at the meeting and her presence absolutely focused the meeting the right direction. When I was the newcomer, I heard people say. "The newcomer is the most important person at the meeting," and I thought it was a little mantra they used to remind themselves to be nice to the new folks. I see this in a totally different light today. I have sat at many tables where I or other recovering alcoholics who have been sober a little while are focused on the struggles of living life on life's terms. We are unable to find peace and serenity because we are so focused on what we see as VERY BIG problems. The presence of a newcomer who has come to the tables desperately seeking help reminds us how hopeless life used to be and how fantastic the promises of AA really are. Everything is put into perspective and the mountains transform into the molehills they really are. I am grateful for the sobriety and perspective God has given me today.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I've been told in the program that HALT is an acronym that means hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. When I recovering alcoholic finds themself in this situation, it is suggested that they stop what they are doing and address their needs. If you ignore these needs, you may find yourself in relapse mode or just plain acting out. That's what I did yesterday. I am still run down from vacation and I have been doing a extra at the house because of the empty refrigerator and piles of laundry that accumulate when traveling. The fatigue has made me cranky. My coworker (who really is a nice guy despite my bitching) had a brief discussion with my boss and I felt one of my decisions was questioned. I don't really know if that's what anyone was thinking, but I was an irritable cuss and I got bent out of shape (you will respect with authoriti!). Fortunately, it was the end of the day and I was able to leave rather than get defensive. I still bitched about the situation a lot even though I wasn't at work. Everyone who crossed paths with me last night this morning got to hear my overly dramatic tale of woe. As the day wears on, I'm slowly crawling towards a saner place in my head. Tonight is my meeting night and I really looking forward to it. I bet everyone I work/live with is looking forward to it, too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Navy Pier

Here are my favorite pictures from Navy Pier in Chicago. I really love visiting Chicago. I know many girls dreamed about growing up, getting married, and raising a family. I always dreamed about growing up, getting a great job, and living in a fashionable condo in a big city. In this dream, I was also tall, thin, brunette, wore Ann Taylor clothes, and discussed art with my very fashionable friends. The reality is that I am married with kid in a ranch house in a not so fashionable suburb and I wear frumpy hand-me downs so I can pay my mortgage. I am very, very happy with my life and I probably would not have been happy with a big city life. God did smile on me and gave me a sister-in-law with a fashionable city life so can visit her and play 'let's pretend I am a yuppie who lives in the city'. On this trip I spend an afternoon at Navy Pier, spoiled Manther with visit to the Rain Forest Cafe, walked the Magnificent Mile at night to enjoy the city lights, and played in a sweet, little toddler park behind the water tower. It was wonderful and relaxing and I am already planning a return trip.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Home Again

Vacation is over and I am very sad. I was anxious about having a two year old in the car for 7 hours on the return trip, but she did well. The first leg of the return trip was three hours and it was just Manther and I. She got a bit fussy at the end, but there was little I could do to improve the situation in Chicago traffic. I told her to hang tight and eventually she quieted down. When we arrived at her Aunt's in Chicago, I turned around to find she had colored herself green and pink with markers. She completely covered her arms up to the elbows and created a nice pattern on her face. I started to yell but then stopped myself. If that's the worst that happens in 14 hrs of travel time, I need to be very grateful.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Well, no one will be hearing from me for a few days because I am going on vacation. It's not fancy, just one day in Chicago and 2 in Wisconsin. The real vacation occurs because Manther will be occupied with relatives and youngs cousins. Yeah! A few days without Sesame Street books and videos. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and see you soon.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Dutch Boy

Manther is almost 23 months old and got her first big girl haircut yesterday. I have been propping her up on the bathroom sink and nipping at her bangs (and attempted a some tapering on the sides once), but it was definitely time she had the real thing. She sat on my lap as the stylist studied the situation. I explained that she is a tomboy and I can barely run a comb through her hair once or twice a day. Hairdryers and hair accessories are out of the question. The stylist replied, "Well, I'll clean up the bangs and try to taper in the sides so she doesn't look exactly like the little Dutch Boy." Apparently, this is hairstylist code for 'your daughter will leave here looking like the little Dutch Boy'. I can't be too upset, what choice do you have with fine, light brown hair that has no wave or body to speak of? I'll just have to force her to wear a lot of pink and hope she'll tolerate some pigtails by summertime.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The most loved Elmos

I am surrounded by supermoms. My boss is a supermom of 4, clinician, researcher, and surgeon. My sister is also a supermom of 4 who runs a beautiful home on a tight budget and does whatever else is required, including running her own small business, to keep the family afloat. Sometimes I compare myself (a dangerous game and I know it) and I fall short. My house isn't as nice or as clean, and my child, well, uh, sometimes the discipline lacks. She probably only sleeps about 10 hrs a week in her own crib. She only wears Elmo and occasionally Cookie monster. This includes her church clothes. She frequently removes her shoes no matter how inappropriate in might be in the given situation. She demands candy a dozen times a day (that one might be her father's fault). It takes 30 minutes to drop her off and pick her up at daycare. I look at these things and think, "I am a crappy mother and I have lost control.' But, yesterday I noticed how Manther takes care of her Elmos. They are fed and they go for rides and they spend lots of time sitting together talking. Well, I couldn't be all bad if I taught her how to care for Elmo so well. I might not be the strongest disciplinarian, but I think I have a shot at raising an okay human being.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

I smell like a man...for the second day in a row

I am wearing my husband's deoderant and I smell like a man. I had to do a similar thing yesterday. Yesterday I had enough 'Dove' for one armpit, so the aftershave odor was cut with a bit of babypowder. Today it's all aftershave. I made it out of the house last night and went to the store, but I was distraced with gum drops for hubby and Elmo t-shirts for Manther and the deoderant got left behind. I noticed it took hubby a long time to make it into the bedroom last night. He claims there was a late basketball game on the tube, but maybe this stuff is like a sex repellent. I think I'll throw some perfume with it before I hit the sheets tonight and see if that has a neutralizing effect.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Car repairs and house repairs are my aphrodisiac

After a 3 days of cold shoulders, abrupt words, and nasty blog posts, my husband must have realized he was going to have to make amends for being a pig. I found a huge crack in the hose that squirts windshield wiper fluid in my car this weekend. On the advice of my father, the back yard mechanic and general fix-it guy, I went to the auto parts store to buy hose and two linkers. My husband saw me bring the bag in the house and went outside after dinner to fix it with no prompting. As I watched him from the window, I was thinking he looked more attractive than usual. I had the same feeling when he was patching the roof this weekend. Yes, it is definitely 'hot' when he fixes stuff. Some girls respond to flowers and jewelry and I like these types of presents, too. But, if you really want to stir something up, get the caulk gun out and get rid of the black stuff around the tub.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chauvinist pig

I have been a bit blog neglectful. The weather warmed up and this was distracting. Also, I wanted to spend more one on one time with Manther in an effort to decrease her need for ultimate order. She seems more secure and happy this week, but it probably has more to do with the warm weather than my attention.

My husband said several piggish things this weekend and I am rewarding him with the honorary chauvinist pig mask. The preface for comment #1 is that we are considering a second child. The comment: "Maybe after the second baby you can get in really good shape". The preface for comment #2 is that he worked 7 days this week and came home and I was laying in the bed with Manther trying to get her to take a nap. I commented that it was very comfortable and I was tired and didn't want to get up. He responded, "It's not like you worked all day. You were just around the house."

Isn't that sweet? He claims that what he said sounds worse than what he meant, but that's a pretty weak apology. I think he might earn himself a few more caricatures before this is over.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Tackling transition with toddlers

Yeah! I used alliteration. This is big for me because I am a remarkably uncreative person and when I do something even slightly right brained I am to be commended. Yeah me! Onto the topic for the day: My rotten toddler. I have remarked in recent posts that Manther is ill behaved as of late and this is not an exaggeration. She was a pretty easy-going kid and now she is very uncooperative. This is not shocking because she is nearly 2, but I am disturbed by one aspect of this problem. Transitions are very difficult and I found a website that gave some suggestions for how to maneuver transitions in daily activites. The thing that is bothering me is that Manther freaks out just as much when her environment changes slightly as she does when she is asked to stop playing and eat lunch. On Wednesday, a table was removed from her daycare room and she could barely go on with her day. Yesterday the daycare gym and hallways were all festive and rearranged for 'penguin day'. She was a nervous wreck. She insisted on wearing her shoes all day, refused to eat or sleep, and spent most of the day sitting in the stroller peering suspiciously at everyone. I see other 2 year olds in her room and I am not noticing this OCD/paranoid behavior with them and I am getting concerned. I was a high anxiety kid and I was hoping that Manther had gotten some of the 'relaxed' genes from Dad. I think my hopes are futile. I am going to incorporate some of the tactics for easing transitions and hopefully the poor reaction to changes in the environment will even out.

Thursday, March 8, 2007


I am feeling victorious and a little bit smug today. I wrestled with Vista and won. After turning the computer and printer off and on about a half a dozen times, I managed to delete the test page that had been printing or canceling (I couldn't tell which function crashed everything) for 72 hrs. At this point, Vista agreed to recognize my printer and digital camera. ha-HA.
Then, my husband got out of bed this morning after a sleepless night due to Manther's 4am tantrums. He admitted he came very close to spanking her himself last night. ha-HA again.
Of course, Manther is still a rebellious monster and I could barely get her to wear shoes this morning. I guess I can't expect to win all my fights. At least she's still small enough that I can physically maneuver her when necessary;

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Vista is the devil

I bought a new computer at a great price. $320. It came with Vista. I didn't really want to learn a new operating system, but I needed a new computer so I did it. Vista is the devil. It can't find my printer. It won't let my printer software run. It won't let my camera software run. I barely managed to load MS Office. If Vista is the devil, then Circuit City is satan's lord and master. The loaded so much crap on the OS that it runs agonizingly slow and advertising pops up constantly. For a mere $1oo, they will happily remove the advertising. What the hell? Are you guys the mob? Do I really have to buy protection from you in order to get a working computer? I'm going home and I will try ONE MORE TIME to get this thing operational. If I can't do it, I will pay $100 and let Circuit City do it. But, rather than let them think they have won, I will openly slander them on the internet and cost them thousands in lost revenues. I have had 22 pageviews this week. Did you hear that Circuit City? 22. That's 22 people who will hear remarks that are less than kind about how you run your business. I think I smell fear.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Toddlers and Spanking

Manther is quickly approaching two years old and she is cutting teeth, specifically her two year molars. This combination of things is causing some terrible obstinance and tantrums. The answer to everything (even a choice) is no, there is constant whining, and frequent throwing of objects. Last night she woke up and I brought her into our bed. She whined and cried and flipped around like a fish out of water. She asked for a bottle (yes, we still use one to put her to sleep) and I gladly gave her one. She sucked on it for a few minutes and apparently this hurt her teeth. She let out a blood curdling scream and hurled the bottle against the nearest wall. I swatted her on the butt. Hy husband (who had been pretending to sleep) jolted awake and said, "Don't hit her." I didn't say anything. We have discussed spanking and agreed that we're not completely against it, although it should be used infrequently. Our basis for this is living in a university town and watching many highly educated parents trying to reason with their two year old while the child is screaming and running in circles. You cannot reason with a child who is spinning out of control, however, spanking may not be the solution either. The one thing I know for sure is that we must present a united front or we will lose control of the situation. So, I called my husband on the way into work and explained that we have to find something that we agree on as a course of action when our little darling has metamorphosized into a screaming, thrashing demon. Obviously, we cannot stand there and decide if the situation mandates a spanking while Manther is in the middle of a tantrum. We came up with no good solution. Hopefully, Manther will decide to calm down until her parents can decide how to discipline her.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Feeling good

I haven't been able to blog for a few days because I have no home computer and I was home sick with Manther. I did virtually nothing for the past two days and I can't remember the last time that happened. I didn't clean because I cleaned last weekend. I didn't cook because Manther wasn't eating and my husband and I had leftovers. I was caught up on laundry. I have no computer. So, I sat around. It was fantastic. I used to do the sitting around thing a lot, but I got away from it with work, meetings, and a family. I took a long bath and several long naps with Manther. She wanted to be held constantly and I gladly accommodated her by planting my soft, round butt on the couch in front of the TV. I had to return to work today and I am grateful because the sloth lifestyle was already becoming a habit for me. Manther thinks the TV should be on all the time now and it will takes months to deprogram her.