Thursday, October 28, 2010

Modern Weather, apparently

Yesterday was a long, long day. I was at home with two sick kids, and by the time evening rolled around, I just wanted to settle down, relax, and watch “Modern  Family.” But nooooo. My local ABC affiliate had other ideas. A tornado had been spotted about 4 counties away, so they deemed it necessary to show 28 minutes of coverage. Would the crawl at the bottom of the screen not suffice?

While I’m on the subject, I think that the local networks just like to show off all their nerd weather technology. Like, “oooohhh…..look, viewers! We can get you all the way to a street-level view on our weather map!” And, I also think there’s a conspiracy among meteorologists to have big viewership numbers, so if they preempt ABC’s most popular comedy, they draw many viewers. Angry viewers, but viewers nonetheless.

Also, we recently switched cable providers and have brand-spankin’-new DVR that is EMPTY. As in, no 3-week backlog of shows! But, that also means that until we fall behind, we’re kind of stuck watching live tv. The horror! And with the tornado knocking out my favorite Wednesday show, The Husband switched it to the most dreaded sport of all. That’s right: baseball. Call me un-American, but I. Hate. Baseball. It is so boring! I can enjoy it if I’m there (concession stand!), but at home? No thank you.

Okay. Back to my LONG day. I’ve got 2 sick kids, and made a second trip to the doctor in as many days. First trip was on Tuesday, for Davis. Seems he has an ear infection and bronchitis. I’m a little miffed about the ear infection, because we dropped about two grand last winter to have tubes put in his sweet little ears. Apparently, tubes are now tube. Singular. As in, only in one ear. So, he’s all drugged up and on the mend.

Ava started complaining that evening that her eye was hurting. It was red and puffy, and when she woke up yesterday morning, it was crusted shut. Classic pinkeye. So, back to the doctor, where my kids behaved like jungle animals, and we were given eye drops.

I should mention that Ava has had pinkeye before, so is familiar with the whole eye drop process. It’s been a couple of years, though, so maybe her memory is not clear. There was a bit of, um, apprehension about the drops. In fact, I pretty much chased her around the house for half an hour trying to get her to let me put them in. Then I tried reasoning with her, explaining that if she wants to go back to school, go to her Halloween party, etc, she needs the drops. I may have threatened loss of eye, but I can’t remember. Finally (and I promise I am not exaggerating), I had to straddle my poor daughter, pinning her arms under my legs, and administer the drops (one in each eye) that way. It felt downright abusive. When we were finished, she said, “I feel like I want to hit you right now.” If I hadn’t been so exasperated, I might have laughed at that.

Luckily, round 2 of drops went much better last night. I’m dreading the fact that we have to give them for 7 days. Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Daughter = Friend

For the second weekend in a row, I have played the role of the single mom. The Husband has had golf trips the last TWO weekends. Now, I don’t know this wife of his, but, man, she is the nicest woman EVER. The back-to-back weekends may have been the cause of some of my bitterness the last few days. And, it didn’t really help that The Husband left on Friday and took my keys with him. As in, the keys to my car. And my house. And my life. And no, for the record, I do not have a spare set. (But that is on the list of to-do’s). I’ll spare you the long story, but I did get my keys back. I had some not-so-nice words, though. I mean, really not nice.

So, now we’re coming to the end of weekend #2 of single parenting. And it’s been fine, thanks to my parents who came down to watch the kids so that I could run 10 miles. But, as luck would have it, Davis has come down with a nasty cold, and was literally up every 30 minutes last night from 10 until 2:30am. And this morning, he and Ava are driving me up a wall a little  bit.

I had my kids 3.5 years apart for a reason: I didn’t really want 2 toddlers at the same time. Oddly, the thing that has happened is that Ava likes to imitate her baby brother. This means when he does something like, oh, drip milk from his sippy cup onto the table, she does the same thing. Or, if he starts beating a drumstick (from the toy music kit, not an actual chicken leg) on the kitchen table, she does, too. Now, the interesting thing is that she NEVER did things like that when she was a toddler herself. Besides her Oscar-worthy tendencies toward the dramatic (tantrums, anyone?), she has always been extremely well-behaved and mindful. I guess the good thing is that she and Davis play really well together, and they play all the time. I think they actually love each other. Crazy, right? I just hope it lasts.

Now, when Ava isn’t trying to relive her glory days, it turns out she makes a pretty good companion to me. When The Husband is away, I find myself putting her to bed later, and just kind of enjoying having her around. She’s pretty easy when she’s being easy. And all of a sudden, she seems SO grown up to me. I know it’s too early to think about next school year, but it sometimes shocks me to think I have a potential first-grader on my hands. That can’t be right. I actually REMEMBER first grade. Like it was only a few years ago. Geez.

So, even though I don’t really like having to single-mom it all weekend, it’s never as bad as I think it’s going to be. Besides, The Husband felt pretty bad about having 2 golf weekends in a row AND taking my keys. In fact, he felt so bad, that he bought me the bag I’ve been craving. Small price to pay for TWO guys’ weekends in a row. Small price to pay.

Oh, one more thing. I have this little half marathon thing I’m running in 2 weeks. And as I’ve mentioned before, I’m tired of all my music. So I run to NPR podcasts. But I don’t think those will pump me up during the race. I’d love to hear anyone’s suggestions for a good playlist. Don’t be ashamed about your selections. I have actually seen Britney Spears in concert, so I don’t discriminate.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mean Wife Chronicles?

It came to my attention today that yesterday’s post was perhaps a little mean. I would like to state here, in a very official manner, that I harbor no ill will toward The Husband. I have nothing but love for him. That just doesn’t mean I don’t get to gripe a little. Or a lot. Whatever.

I think I’ll spare you all the details on the latest drama, or perhaps save it for a later date. It’s a doozy, though.

We’ve had a big week around here, though, and I think most of the work is done. Today, however, there were probably 15 workers here at one time. Did I mention that I live in about 1900 square feet? Less that that if you don’t count the bonus room, which we never really even use. Today we stared out with drama (see above…I’m building up the suspense, aren’t I?). Then came the general contractor, painters, a carpenter, some men putting a vapor barrier under the house, the cable guy, and a gaggle of landscapers. I mean, that is a LOT of people. In the midst of all of it, I did manage to organize my laundry room (for the zillionth time. It is truly the get-this-out-of-sight-for-now-and-clean-it-up-later catch-all room these days). The house generally feels dirty and dusty from all the work this week. It’s almost all done, I think. Someone is coming back Monday morning to replace a rotten door. And maybe start on the backsplash. But that’s still not a definite. Waiting on the price.

Speaking of price, when it comes to house stuff, I have no clue what things SHOULD cost. It came to my attention today that we need to replace the afore-mentioned rotten door, so I did the obligatory, “well, how much will that be?”, and quite frankly, I knew I would give him the green light if it just SEEMED reasonable, because I have no clue what a door should cost, and no time to research it.

Enough house stuff.

We  went to the State Fair last night. What a people-watching event that was. Wow. I don’t really know where all these people hole up the rest of the year, but when the Fair comes to town, they come out in droves. I don’t even know what the highlight was. Maybe the mullet-sporting 9-year-old? I mean, mullets really do trump just about anything else you see, don’t they?

Oh, but one thing I would be remiss not to mention. Ava had to go to the bathroom at the Fair. And what could be worse than a public restroom at the Fair? Well, I’ll tell you what’s worse: the bathroom had an attendant on duty. And there was a sign in the bathroom letting us know about that. Except it said “Attendant on doodie.” Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

Despite (or due to) the freakshow, we had a good time. For the first time, Ava rode lots of rides, and even did so by herself. If you know my daughter, you know that this is quite an accomplishment. Davis just wanted to run around, so he wasn’t all that happy to be in the stroller. He did eat his first ever pink hot dog, though. Gross. But necessary, I suppose. It was the Fair, after all. Still, my stomach turns a little just thinking about it.

Speaking of Davis, I will leave you with this: he has started talking. A lot. Except he talks kind of funny. Like, you would NEVER know what he’s saying. Ava and I can understand him, though, and we frequently quiz him on his vocab skills. So here are his words:

  • Ava          pronounced “Ah-dah”
  • Mommy
  • Daddy
  • Sister       pronounced “sis-EEE”
  • Up (along with “up we go”)
  • Down  (and “down we go” or “down go”)   
  • Truck (“buck”)
  • Thank you
  • Eat
  • What’s that
  • Who’s that

There are more, but I won’t bore you with them all. He pretty much runs his little mouth all the time, and I have no idea what he’s talking about. We just go with it, though. Oh, and he likes to bark every time he sees a dog. Of course.

He’s also sporting a bit of a surfer-dude hairstyle these days, which is getting chopped on Tuesday. I’m trying hard not to be sad, but I will likely shed some tears if those sweet curls disappear.

Almost bedtime. And I still need to watch a couple of DVRd episodes of The Office and 30 Rock. (Did you all see the live episode of 30 Rock a couple of weeks ago? SO good! And Jon Hamm was on! Love!!!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Getaway….then a reality check

Last weekend, The Husband and I had a chance to get out of dodge for the weekend and enjoy  some much-needed couple time. Yesterday was our 8th anniversary, so we celebrated early at Bald Head Island.


If you haven’t been there, you need to add it to your list of places to visit. You have to take a ferry to get there (that’s us on the ferry above), and there are no cars allowed on the island. Everyone drives golf carts, and there really isn’t much in the way of things to do. There’s a little market, a few shops, the beach, a golf course, and beautiful maritime forest (please note that “maritime” is a pretty new addition to my vocabulary).

For us, the weekend involved getting our golf cart stuck on a 2x4 (within 30 minutes of arriving), and then being rescued by a random couple. Random couple turned out to be not so random, and in fact The Husband’s old Boy Scout leader. Seriously. Well, not the whole couple. But the man. So, the rescue and subsequent recognition of one another resulted in an invitation to come over to their house for drinks. They had a merry bunch with them, about half of whom we actually knew, so we had fun.

Now, these folks were all about 15-30 years older than us, and intrigued with technology. While they were so nice and fun to be with, I was amused when one of them just randomly brought out their iPad and started gazing at the stars with it, using some stargazing app. The funny thing was that on an island with no cars and regulations preventing you from using any porch lights, you get a pretty darn good view of the stars. Like, really, really good. So I just couldn’t really see why we would want to look at an iPad screen rather than the real thing. But I’m strange like that.

The iPad owner also felt it necessary to show me a few YouTube clips, including such classics as “Charlie Bit My Finger” and the roller skating Evian babies. And then there was some video involving a cat. Of course.

Luckily, the wine was flowing, so You Tube was tolerable.

The rest of the weekend involved a couple of bike rides, lunch on the water, some time on the beach, an 8.5 mile run (for me, not The Husband), reading on the screened porch, eating Sweet Sixteen powdered donuts (it was vacation, after all), and perfecting my golf cart driving skills. It was so nice to get away.

The return, however, was not the homecoming I envisioned. A friend of mine mentioned to me recently that anytime you leave town without your kids, you pay a big price when you get back. That was certainly true in this case. Ava hardly greeted us, and  Davis just didn’t know what to think. And when the grandmothers left, it was bedlam. Ava cried for a good 90 minutes. Davis was fine, but exhausted. Both kids were asleep by 7:15pm. Frankly, I wasn’t far behind them. Today was the first day that Ava was back to her version of normal, and I no longer felt that I was being punished for leaving her. That might have something to do with my threat to keep her home from school the next time she acts up.

For now, I will leave you with a good little Ava-ism: we stopped at J.Crew tonight to get her a headband (photo below). As we were leaving, I said, “Ava, I really like that headband. It’s very cute on you.” Her response? “Thanks, Mommy. That’s kind of the point of headbands.”


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ch-ch-ch changes….

We’re getting ready to do a little work on our house. Nothing too exciting, but stuff that just needs to be done. We’re getting all of our interior trim painted (Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White, which is VERY white, and will hopefully really pop). We’re also having our bonus/guest room painted, and I’m completely torn on colors, but I’m trying not to stress about it. I’m also hoping to have a tile backsplash installed in my kitchen. We’re waiting on the estimate for that to see if it fits in the budget. My guess it that it fits in my budget, but not the husband’s. He keeps mumbling stuff like “might as well line the whole house in gold bricks at this point.” Hmph. Men. He also doesn’t understand my need for $225 shoes, so how can I truly expect him to understand house stuff?

Anyway, I want a backsplash in white subway tiles. Like this:


subway tiles1 or this: subway-tile-kitchen-backsplash

Sadly, I’d also like to go ahead and get rid of our white appliances and upgrade to stainless, but that is most definitely NOT in the budget. So, hopefully the backsplash is.

Anyway, the husband sings his own praises when it comes to painting. And I wanted to have our entrance hall painted, too. Since it’s a small space, he decided he’d do it himself. And he did. He did a great job. I’ll say, however, that it was my addition of a second coat yesterday that was really the icing on the cake. So here’s the before and after:

Before: (boring, boring, boring)


And after (Benjamin Moore Algonquin Trail in eggshell):


Much better. Although we still need to figure out what’s going back on the wall.

Now. Change #2. I used to have a dining room. Well, I guess technically I still have a dining room. It just doesn’t serve the purpose for which it’s named anymore. Unless perhaps you cook a meal in a small, pink kitchen: (WARNING: I made no attempt to make this look nice before photographing it. This is real life. Don’t say I didn’t warn you).


We have a bonus room. It’s upstairs, and the rest of the house is downstairs. As in, bonus room is the ONLY upstairs room. And while it’s okay for a 5 year old to play up there alone, I can not trust my 18-month-old to be unsupervised there. Like, even for a second. Because he would likely catapult himself from the sofa or something equally life-threatening. The child has no regard for his own safety.

So, we had this dining room, filled with my grandparents old furniture. And it looked pretty nice. But we NEVER used it. Never. I can count on one hand the number of meals we’ve eaten in the dining room in the last 8 years. So, we made the decision to bring most of the bonus room toys downstairs. And you know what? The kids love it. They act like they have never seen these toys in their life.

And yes, my poor son plays in a pink kitchen. (What? You think I would buy a new one just to help with his manliness? The child also rides in a pink floral carseat. PINK. I think it’s character-building).

Here’s something else that toddler boys who have big sisters do:

First, get out your sister’s Belle doll (good thing she’s at school, because this is a completely prohibited activity otherwise):


Then, go in for a closer look:


Niiiiccceee. No, I don’t think the pink kitchen is interfering with his manliness one bit.