World Cup 2010

on 29 June 2010

Soccer is really the only sport we watch in Burnstopia.




Chris' defense of this compulsive TV watching taking place in our house right now?  It's only once every 4 years...

Where to go from here...

on 25 June 2010

So.

I've been in such a flurry of trying to get things done and being busy busy busy that I may have worked myself out of a To Do list.

To put it more simply, I've got nothing to do today.

I've been packing and cleaning out to burn off nervous energy, and apparently I've been pretty nervous lately.  I've packed all of our books, most of our computer equipment and all of the clothes that I'm not wearing right now.  I've sold some stuff on craigslist and hauled some other stuff out to used bookstores or the Goodwill.  I'm down to the stuff that we use pretty regularly.  Well, except for the storage stuff that I never unpacked when we moved down here.

Today is Chris' last day as a Resident.  We are both happy and feeling slightly lost.  Yesterday I was on the phone with my Mom and she asked if I was excited to have Chris home all week next week or if I thought he was going to drive me crazy.  I said, "I think it will be nice until Tuesday or Wednesday at which point he's going to drive me crazy."

Patchwork Thinking

on 21 June 2010

I think I'm approaching incoherency lately.  I knew that June would be busy, it's what made me delight in the lazy days of May, but we're 3 weeks in and I'm approaching a total loss of coherent thought.  In the spirit of that incoherency, I'm presenting you with some random thoughts that have been doing some sort of hippy-woodstock inspired dance in my grey matter.  Enjoy!

**********

The Boy is STILL off of his schedule.  I cheerfully threw it out the window for the family reunion, and actually, in spite of the sleep problems, it was so sweet to see him and his cousins.  But I am willing to acknowledge now that I am sometimes susceptible to maternal delusion.  I thought I could get him back on his schedule in a week and...well...it's 2 weeks later and he's STILL off his schedule and I'm rapidly reaching the end of my patience.  He's waking up at 6am and then he fights the nap and once the nap has won out he only sleeps an hour and then by 5pm he's FOUL in a way that should not be.  And it's not just the lack of sleep, it's that he wants to be rocked into oblivion so if I have the audacity to put him down when he's only mostly asleep and not entirely asleep, woe, WOE to us.  He howls, he screams and he claws after me.  Last week I laid down the law about the fits for being put in his crib awake, and that seems to be kicking in.  I think this week we're going back to his normal schedule and it's just going to be unpleasant for a while.

A part of me wonders if this all isn't futile.  After all, I'll just get him back on his schedule and then we'll be traveling again for the first half of July and then moving the last half of July...I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't just suck it up until August...but then the other part of me thinks that if I let it go longer then it's just going to be that much harder come August.  And now, I would like to welcome you to the chaos of my inner life right now...

**********
 
I never thought that I would be a Mommy.  I've always referred to myself as Mama with the Boy, I just assumed that's what he would call me.  Alas.  Not so much.  He had a bad night last Thursday night.  A hard time going to sleep and then nightmares.  Chris was up late and heard him so he went in and tried to console him but he was really howling so I went in to see what was going on and as soon as he saw me in the door it was:

MOOOOOOOOOOOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

And that's when I realized what a sweet and terrible word that is.  I tried to rub his back and then leave him with his father.  After all, Chris can take care of him too.  Chris loves him, he's (sort of) empathetic.  What he lacks in patience, he makes up for in tenderness.  But the Mommy scream continued unabated and I went back in and Chris looks up at me and says, "I think he might want you."  It was so dry that I had to laugh.  I took over the rocking and cuddling him back to sleep and after he was laid down and settled I went back to bed.  I lay there trying to sleep and thinking about what an awful word Mommy is.  There's nothing bad in it per se, but when it's wailed like that, it felt like he was pulling my heart right out of my chest.  It physically hurt.  I wanted to cry.  But then...maybe it's supposed to be that way.

And in the end, I don't care if he calls me Mama or Mommy.  As long as he knows that I love him.

**********
 

What's better than a blanket?  A blanket on your head.  
What's better than a blanket on your head?  
Having your Mom under the blanket with you.

**********

I had this really strange epiphany the other day.  Well, first I should tell you that I started knitting.  I set it as a goal when we moved down here.  My Grandma knits and my sisters don't so I thought maybe I should learn.  So when we moved down here I set out to teach myself to knit...there are some great videos and within a couple of days or so I figured it out.  Then I asked my sister to teach me to crochet over New Years and she did, so I started working on this sweater for the Boy.  I should say that the sweater was intended for Easter and here I am still working on it.  It might be done in time for Halloween.  Anyway, so I've been working on this sweater and taking breaks in between to work on other things.  But I was looking at some knitting patterns and I ordered a book (because that's what I DO.  When I need to know how to do something I read a book) and I started thinking about the whole thing.  And I had this epiphany.

What I don't like about knitting (or crocheting for that matter) is that I love the instant gratification of being able to START and FINISH a project in short periods of time.  And knitting doesn't work like that.  Sometimes, you can do that...small or simple projects that come together in a matter of a few hours instead of a few months, but usually it takes a long time.

Some of Chris' professional frustration is that he feels like he's working working working and not getting anywhere.  His progress is in incriments and there's rarely a finished-completed-no loose ends project DONE at the end of the day.  He wants the satisfaction of being able to say "I did THIS" at the end of the day and know that it's DONE.

Sometimes Chris and I could not possibly be more different and sometimes we're the exact same person.

So I'm practicing my knitting and trying to teach myself to find pleasure in the work itself instead of fixating all of my satisfaction on the outcome.

**********

Yesterday was one of those days that I got to the end of it and had no idea how I had managed to get everything done.  I thought in the morning that there was no way we would get everything done that we had to, but lo, there I was at the end of the day and it was done. 

**********

I'm trying to sell some stuff on craigslist.  The guy totally flaked out about the jogging stroller...he was supposed to meet us south of Savannah and we drove out there, waited half an hour and then drove home because DUDE.  I do NOT have all day to sit around waiting for you to decide to show up.  But I did manage to sell some older bookshelves...fingers crossed that we'll sell the rest of this stuff and we won't have to move it.

**********

The Boy and the cats battle each other every morning for the sunbeams.  We get morning sun through our back door and I open the blinds for the cats to wallow in the sunshine because they love it and I know it and I love them.  But lately, the Boy has taken to packing his breakfast, his blanket and some books and laying down in the sunshine to have a leisurely morning soak in the sunshine.  It's actually quite funny to watch the 3 of them shift and maneuver for the best spots.  

**********

Chris has a phone interview on Wednesday morning!  Think good things for us please?  I think this could be a really good job for him, and it would certainly be nicer to move WITH a job than it is WITHOUT.

**********

 Ok, now I feel bad for blogging instead of working on the stuff I have to do today so I'm going to cut this off here.  It's not the sum total of all of the incoherency, but it's a good bit of it.  Thanks for listening to me ramble for a while.

Downsizing

on 18 June 2010

So, we stayed with my friend Debbi when last we were in North Carolina.  They were in the throes of moving to Texas so they were packing and cleaning out while we were there.

She thoroughly inspired me.  She sold a bunch of their stuff on Craigslist and made enough money to pay for the moving truck and the gas out to Texas.

So I came home and started a list of things I didn't want to move and decided to post them to craigslist in the hopes of making some cash.

There are a few flaws in my plan. 

  1. We live in a small place.  Not a lot of takers down here for the stuff I have to sell.
  2. I'm being spammed nigh unto insanity.
  3. The whole thing kind of creeps me out.
And I've bought stuff off of craigslist before!  You'd think it wouldn't creep me out so much, but it kind of does.  The whole idea of STRANGERS who want to meet you somewhere and exchange cash for your stuff.  It just seems like an episode of Law and Order waiting to happen.

I listed our jogging stroller, two bookcases and some kitchen stuff.  Now, the woman who wants to buy the bookcases, I'm fine with that.  She's willing to come HERE and I'll only let her come when Chris is at home...we should be able to take her if she tries anything funny...

But there's a guy who wants to buy the jogging stroller and he's located outside of ATLANTA!  ATLANTA!  He wants me to meet him somewhere.  For the love of Pete, I'm not driving 3-5 hours to sell my jogging stroller for 50 bucks.  Not when he could be all kinds of a crazy psychopath bent on kidnapping and murder!  And I'm a nice little housefrau with my adorable child.  No way, no how.  I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday.  He's not luring me to my death and banner headlines that easily.

You think I'm being overly paranoid?

What I need is a BROKER.  A craigslist broker of some sort...a third party willing to meet the buyer in a given location with the goods.  But then, when I write this down it sounds a little like maybe I've been watching too many mafia movies.

Hmmmm.  I read this and it sounds a little paranoid...but it makes perfect sense on the inside of my head!

Changing the Boy's NAME

on 16 June 2010

I made Oatmeal cookies last week.  Well, I made a double batch, a batch with raisins and a batch withOUT raisins (for me because I do not like the ray-rays).

The Boy thinks that if there are cookies in the house it means a free-for-all as if nutritious food and cookies cannot coexist simultaneously.  So I keep the bags of cookies far back on the counter and out of reach and I ration them out to the Boy AFTER he's had something nutritious and NEVER for breakfast.

It's important that you all keep those facts in mind.  So that you're properly outraged when I tell you that yesterday morning I brought the enormous basket of dirty laundry out to the living room for sorting and washing and found the Boy seated in the middle of the floor with a 1-gallon ziplock of oatmeal raisin cookies, OPEN and one cookie half eaten!  I don't know if he ate more than the one, I don't know HOW he got the bag of cookies since I keep the OUT OF HIS REACH, all I know is that I'm changing his name.

For the moment, I'm calling him Dodger.



Earning their keep

on 14 June 2010

For all intents and purposes the cats are entirely superfluous beings.  They make no contribution to our household at all, and consume quite a bit in food and litter.  And we shall not mention their diabolical need to sweat us out whilst lounging on our prone bodies.

But every once in a while they do something that causes such hilarity that it almost makes up for their lives of infinite slack.

I went grocery shopping last week.  And in typical post-trip form, I forgot my cloth bags, so I brought home the plastic store-bags.  I had put the groceries away but the bags I just tossed in the floor of our bedroom (I use them for cleaning out the litterbox, and so I store them in our bathroom where the litterbox is kept).  I didn't feel a need to hurry to put them away...sooner or later they'd make it into the bathroom.

But the cats?  They are curious, and the whole time I was trying to nap they were sniffing around and poking in and out of those bags.  I didn't think much of it.  I bought a lot of vegetables and vegetable smell like dirt and the cats, they love dirt.  So I went about the rest of my day.

I had made the Boy dinner and was sitting in the kitchen with him while he ate...attempting to persuade my child to eat the delicious vegetables while he was attempting to convince me that he could live by banana bread alone.  When I hear this terrible clawing and see Agnes Cat tearing into the dining room at break-neck speed.  She avoids hitting the wall, turns and runs as fast as she can into the sunroom, where she avoids running into another wall and turns and runs as fast as she can back into our bedroom and under the bed!

How do I know this?  Because on top of Agnes Cat was a plastic grocery store bag.  She had been snooping around and caught her head in the handles and couldn't get it off and in attempting to free herself had scared herself witless by the NOISE of the plastic bag.

Needless to say that all of this rucus scared the living daylights out of Leike Cat as well, so now I have two freaked out and totally neurotic cats on my hands.  What does one do?  What does one do when one had two totally freaked out cats on one's hands whilst feeding one's child dinner?

I laughed.  (You saw that one coming, right?)  I laughed until tears rolled down my cheeks.  I laughed until I thought bladder failure was imminent.  I laughed until the Boy looked at me like I'd lost what little was left of my mind.  I laughed until I couldn't breathe and my cheeks hurt.

And then I went and reached under the bed and freed Agnes cat.  Because sometimes she does something that is so bizarre, so unexpected and so hilarious that it makes up for all the other times when she mauls me like I'm made out of bread dough.


But then...maybe this was something you had to see to fully appreciate.

Summer Salad

on 11 June 2010

Ok, so this post is really for my sister Susie, but I thought all of you might enjoy it too.


I came home from the family reunion STARVING for vegetables.  So I headed out grocery shopping and picked up an assortment of crunchy, earthy greens and here's what I did:

1 bag of broccoli slaw (it's a mix of grated broccoli stalk, red cabbage and carrots)
1 zucchini, grated
1 yellow squash, grated
3 carrots, grated
1 bag of snow peas, sliced (Market Fresh packages these so that they're washed and easy to incorporate)
4 stalks of celery, sliced

Toss it well.  The squashes and carrots are water logged and will clump together so use a giant bowl and toss toss toss.  I topped it with Italian dressing but it would also be good with something gingery and Asian.  Or that yummy lime vinaigrette would be good too.  I think next time, I might also add a couple big handfuls of bean sprouts for I love me some sprouts.

I'm thinking I'll be eating this all summer long.  It makes a nice big bowl full so I'm keeping it in the fridge so that I can grab a big bowl full for lunch and dinner and everything is streamlined and EASY.  For I am lazy but happiest when eating healthy.


Now your turn, what's your favorite summer salad?

Updating, REAL updating

on 09 June 2010

Well.

I can see that I have neglected my weedy space here.  Sorry about that.  So just to clear things out of my head and get back to (hopefully) writing on a regular basis...

  • We've been up in North Carolina for my family's first ever Family Reunion.  It was super fun!  My sister Susie came out from Utah, my sister-in-law, Jill, came down from Maryland and Chris and I came up from the coast.  We talked and laughed and played a rousing game of family Jeopardy! devised by the brilliant Susie.  We made new family pictures (no, I don't have them for you yet), and inevitably collapsed in a heap of exhaustion at the end of it all.  There were 14 kids there between the ages of 18 (almost 19) and 18 months old, the Boy was in COUSIN HEAVEN and now that we're back to our very quiet life he seems both relieved and bored.  
  • Chris did some networking in Chapel Hill and we're hoping that a good job will come of that.  We're both feeling very hopeful and optimistic, something neither of us have felt for many, many moons.
  • We got to stay with our friends the VanDs and boy, have we missed them.  They're moving off to Texas where we will miss them MORE, but it was great to hang out with them for a while before they leave us for the wild, wild west.
  • I got to go have lunch with my sisters.  We've never done anything just the 3 of us before, it was nice.
  • I managed to cart my camera to the reunion and once again failed to take ANY pictures.  I am shamed and mortified at my lack.  My lovey sister-in-law took pictures of my Boy eating his first ice cream cone and his first s'more.  Believe me, when she emails me, I'll post them up here.
  • The Boy is looking pretty shaggy again...I'm contemplating another buzz cut.  Any ideas?  Suggestions?  Opinions?  Beuller?
So that's it.  It seems like a lot has happened but maybe that's just in my head.  I've got all of these various scenarios of how the next 8 weeks is going to work out.  Chris thinks it's futile to plan anything in advance because there are so many variables and, to an extent, I think he's right.  But I need to have a plan so that when things get hectic I don't have to sit and think, I can just act.  So the result is that I end up making several plans according to the different variables.

Our lease is up the end of July so right now, there's no definite plan to move before then.  But I'm also starting to pack up things that we don't use.  Just in case.  I have a vague worry that Chris will get a job rather suddenly and I'll end up having to pack and move our household on my own.  Which I can do, I feel fairly confident in that, but in the event that we get there, I'd rather have something started so that it's not quite so daunting.

And on that note, I'm off to tackle the mountain of laundry and my needy cats.  So catch me up, what have I missed?

Once upon a Green Rubbermaid container

on 02 June 2010

The Boy is in this odd mood lately that requires some sort of bin.  Rubbermaid is the favorite but a laundry basket also suffices.

He empties whatever was in it and fills it with his favorite things.  For example, please see exhibit A:


That would be his blanket and his favorite sippy cup.

Sometimes, he's so happy with his acquisition that he feels it necessary to climb right into the tub o' love.


And because he's so cute when he climbs into his tub o' love, sometimes I reward him with a cookie.


And cookies make him so happy that he, upon occasion, will make this face:


Now go forth and make someone smile. 

Hmmm.

on 01 June 2010

Well.

I finally deleted Burnstopia.  It was sad and liberating all at the same time.

And in honor of this momentous (not really) occasion, I give you my Boy.  Replete with Summer Hair.


This is what he looks like when we go swimmin'.  It's all the sunscreen I attempt to put on his head but wind up putting in his hair, and I know that, but it doesn't stop me from sayin' "Ok, Sid Vicious, let's go SWIMMIN'!"

As for all of that, me and my punk rocker (and his daddy) will be going to North Carolina this week.  My family is hosting the first ever family reunion, which I am giddy with excitement about!  My sister is coming from Utah with her brood, my sister-in-law is already there with her brood and we're all going to get together and let the children run wild.  Sid Vicious might even have a cameo appearance.

How was you're memorial day weekend?  Did you hug a vet?