Miss W -->

   Tuesday, November 27, 2007  

I was doing so well at this whole housewife thing.  Ok, so I'm still not cleaning around here.  (Honestly, the only time I ever did was when I followed the flylady plan, but I haven't done that since the first of our many summer vacations)

But then this week...the cooking.  Oh, the shame!  I can apparently only cook the most basic simple things.  For instance I make a mean stirfry and any Italian dish requiring a red sauce (pasta, baked pastas...um...pretty much just the pastas) I can whip up without a problem.

Since I am now what my husband refers to as a "broken vegetarian" (I eat both fish and poultry but still stay away from all other meats) I decided to make chicken and rice for dinner tonight.  I thought it would be easiest to do it in the crock pot.

This is a mistake.  I had a recipe that I did NOT follow but took the cooking times from.  I just went in to stir it as it should have another hour.  All the liquid?  Soaked in.  The rice?  Sticky and gooey.  I took a small bite...NO FLAVOR.  I mean, granted I put zero seasoning of any kind (not even salt) because it couldn't be tasted until the raw ingredients were cooked and I didn't want to overdo it.  But...yuck.

Not sure how or if it can be salvaged.  Things were so much easier before my husband broke my eating habits.  Dinner tonight would have been basmati rice with steamed veggies.  And, if I was feeling really adventurous, I might have diced up some tofu and tossed it all in the wok.

Anyone have any good crock pot recipes?  That are toddler friendly?  And don't contain any of the meats I hate?

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   Monday, November 26, 2007  

Surgery is over.  It went well.  Grandma is in recovery right now so I don't really know any more than that.  If all goes well, she'll be home Wednesday.

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   Friday, November 23, 2007  

So not looking forward to tomorrow.  Long drive back home.  My grandma's in worse shape than I even imagined.  Surgery Monday.  Feel guilty about leaving but am unable to stay...circumstances being what they are I wouldn't make it home until the weekend before Christmas -- just long enough to re-pack my bags and head back here for the holidays.  Which wouldn't leave me time to get anything at all done in terms of holiday gifts...or celebrating the holidays with Mr. W's family.  And there is the matter of my dental appointments that I've now had to cancel two other times...and I do eventually need to have those appointments as all 4 wisdom teeth MUST come out and I haven't yet made the consult with the oral surgeon.

Fun times, I tell ya...real fun times.

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   Wednesday, November 21, 2007  

We survived

I needed to get my glasses adjusted...the lowercase didn't want to be in the car after all day yesterday.  So he stayed with my mom.  For about 3 hours -- the longest that I have ever been away from him.

And they all had fun...and I didn't feel guilty or angsty like I have the (very few) other times I've left him with someone else (my parents).  I'm glad he was comfortable, but a little surprised that he wasn't a little upset to be away from me.

But, you know, maybe we're all growing up a bit.

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s were close but not that you'd never left him for longer than three hours. Maybe you should be taking more time for yourself at this point.
You don't just need time for yourself (although that is important), the lowercase needs to know that there is a world beyond mum and that he can survive in it.

I'm not saying leave him in daycare, but exposure to more outside influences might help with the separation issues you've mentioned.

My boys spend an hour a few times a week in the creche at the gym and absolutely love it - we had 8 kids at their 2nd birthday, all friends of theirs!
Wow, 3 hours is the longest you've left him? Crazy...

   Tuesday, November 20, 2007  


No matter how old I am or how long I have lived on my own, it always feels like home when my feet hit my parents' driveway.  And I get several more days.  Yay!

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   Monday, November 19, 2007  

Crisis of conscience

Several weeks ago, our neighbors rang the doorbell.  They have a son and a daughter.  The daughter was selling girl scout cookies, the son was selling boy scout popcorn.  As a former girl scout and lover of their fine cookies, I had to buy.  But I didn't feel that I could buy from one and not the other, so I ordered some caramel corn that I didn't even really want.

Yesterday, both were delivered.  Perfect timing since tomorrow we are taking  a long car trip and they'll make excellent snacks while driving.

But as that popcorn sits on my kitchen table waiting to be loaded into the car tomorrow, it's making me think about difficult issues.  Now, as a former girl scout, I know the benefits of that organization but quite honestly don't know their policies on many issues; the boy scouts' policies however have been very highly publicized over the last several years.

I am a Christian and I do believe that some things are sinful and wrong -- primarily the judging of other's beliefs.  I believe that we are called to love one another, to care for one another, to forgive others when they sin and to leave the judgement to God.  I try to live a life in which I show others love.  I believe that it is the responsibility of Christians to hold other Christians accountable for their actions, but what that means is lovingly praying for and with them, asking them about their relationship with God and being there to listen and talk with them about what God would want them to do and be.  For me, it's not a life of forcing my opinion and beliefs on others; rather, it is a life of loving service to my fellow man regardless of how they choose to live their lives.

Through high school, I was friends with M.  He was kind, generous, intelligent, always willing to help others, hard-working, a gifted student -- basically I could go on and on describing the kind of teenager that I can only hope my lowercase will grow up to become.  M was an Eagle Scout.  He went on to college and we lost touch.  I found him through myspace sometime this past winter and sent him a message asking how he had been since I last saw him in the early 90s.

He told me about finishing college in 3 years and going to work for the boy scouts organization.  He seemed to really love it in the way he wrote.  But then he realized he couldn't continue working there.  He was gay and had finally decided that he couldn't live with the dishonesty of hiding that any longer.  So he resigned and began living his life as an openly gay man.

And as that popcorn sits on my table, all I can think about is my friend M.  How can I support an organization that thinks that M isn't good enough?  An organization that purports to be all about morality, service, and general Judeo-Christian values yet fails on the most important (from the Christian standpoint): to live a life that is Christ-like, to love one another, to refrain from judgement.

I'd like to say that I won't buy their popcorn anymore.  That I won't let boy scouts who are raising money wash my car.  However I don't think I can honestly say that.  I don't like that they are judging my friend and other men who may be just as wonderful as he is on the basis of their sexuality.  But I also know that for many kids, scouting is one of the only positive areas of their lives.  I've seen it in the inner-city kids I've taught -- their scout time each week was the highlight of their lives exposing them to far more than they would ever have the opportunity to see and do and learn otherwise.  They are taught about community service, which was a concept that had never been taught to those city kids.  I also know that there are other organizations that fill those same roles for children, however the fact is that in many areas those other organizations aren't available.  In a city neighborhood rife with poverty, where parents have no cars, the kids are lucky to have a boy scout troop (pack? den?) in their neighborhood.  The kids that I taught didn't live within walking distance of any other programs -- no boys and girls club, nothing.  Just one cub scout pack and one girl scout troop.  That was it.

And while I can be clear on some issues of groups I will support financially (schools are almost always in the yes column; church groups with doctrine I believe...absolutely.  I won't donate to churches with which I disagree fundamentally, just as I would expect their members to refuse to support fundraising efforts from my church)...this seems to fall into a gray area.

The obvious issue in this particular purchase was that the children were standing at my door side by side each selling something.  How can I say no to one and yes to the other?  And while I could explain my moral dilemma to the mother of these kids, you simply can't say that to (or in front of) a 6 year old and a 7 year old.  The kids themselves have nothing to do with it.

And what do I do when the lowercase is older and he wants to be a boy scout?  Do I let him join while explaining to him my issues with the organization?  Do I just say no?

Or am I analyzing this all far more than is warranted?  Maybe I should just shut up and eat my popcorn.

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I can't tell you what to do when the Boy Scouts come knocking on the door, as I know I would feel uncomfortable addressing politics with someone else's child even when it affects me directly, as this does. I also totally understand your point about inner city kids with no other options.

However, I can tell you about the Girl Scouts, and also give you some options for Timmy. The Girl Scouts have an official non-discrimination policy on sexual orientation (and they have to - if you took all the lesbians out of the GSA you wouldn't have a lot of GSA left!).

If you want Timmy to have a scouting-type experience, there are a number of possibilities open to him that the kids you taught didn't have access to, so I would encourage you to follow your conscience and choose a different organization for him. 4-H, Boys and Girls Club and Campfire Boys and Girls organizations are all alternatives. Another route would be to work for change from within - the Greater New York Council of the BSA is officially opposed to the anti-gay policy of the National BSA. I don't know whether packs in your area fall in their jurisdiction, but in any case Timmy could join BSA and you and he could work to promote education, tolerance and change in the national organization.

If we have a son in the future, we'll look into non-BSA activities for him. There are even some pagan Scouting organizations out there (an idea which entertains me greatly).

PS - Librarian that I am, I must say that I got most of the information that I didn't already know on this topic from http://www.scouts-honor.com/community.html

   Sunday, November 18, 2007  

What a weekend!  The lowercase is still a bit sick, but thankfully it's now just a scratchy sounding throat, a minor cough and an occasionally runny nose.  He's been fever-free since Saturday night.

I'm rather exhausted from this one.  Maybe it's because I've got so much more to do -- laundry, packing, decorating for Christmas, getting my glasses adjusted, cleaning so I can come home to a non-disgusting home.  And it all has to be done by Monday night as we are leaving bright and early Tuesday morning for the 10 hour drive to my family.

(Completely random bit...I tivo'd a discovery channel special about the "first test tube baby: louise brown" a week or so ago and have it playing now -- having been around the infertile blogosphere long enough, I am completely annoyed by the fact that they keep saying that they have to "implant the embryos back in the womb"  This special is dated 2007 -- surely the narrator could get the terminology correct?  Am I wrong?)

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   Saturday, November 17, 2007  

The lowercase is still feverish.  His temperature came down in the evening and was around 99 at bed.  We gave him some motrin anyway since he'd been fluctuating all day and hoped to help keep it down by doing so.

It didn't work.  At  3:15 I woke up and he was awake.  I thought he had been pushing me and I was trying to get him to relax and go to sleep.  And then I realized --  he was shivering.  Hard.  Mr. W jumped up and got the ear thermometer for a fast check -- it read 100 in one ear and 101 in the other.  But he would. not. stop. shaking.

We rushed into his bedroom, put him on the changing table and used a digital thermometer to get an under-arm temperature (this was the preferred method when he was in the NICU since they did it every 3 hours around the clock).  This gave us a reading between 101 and 102.  But still he couldn't stop shivering.  He was alert and talking to us, but his nail beds were bluish and he was just...shivering rather violently.  I had called the doctor's office while we were temping, so as we waited for their return call, we decided to do a rectal temp (with a different digital thermometer -- if you ever visit us?  Do NOT use the spongebob thermometer!)  He was shivering and whimpering and after some time there was still no definitive beep telling us it was done, but it stayed at 99.5 so we gave up.

I called my mom and asked her if she thought I should just take him to the hospital and skip the nurse's  call back.  He was still shivering.  Hard.  And his temperature raised to 104 (ear).

The nurse told us that shivering is the body's way of raising the temperature and that while his temperature was high, it wasn't dangerous.  She told us to wipe his head with cool cloths, give him fluids, dose him up with motrin again and wait an hour.  If at that point it was still under 105 (even if it hadn't gone down) there wasn't a problem and we should continue at home.  If it went above 105, she wanted a call back.

It's now been an hour since his medicine.  He has drunk 2 sippy cups of cold water.  He's periodically letting me wipe his forehead and neck with a cool cloth.  He is no longer shivering.  He's still alert -- as alert as can be expected at this ungodly hour.  Essentially he's lounging quietly on the couch beside me and will answer questions if I ask them, continually shifts from leaning on the arm of the couch to leaning on me to laying down with either his feet or head in my lap.  His temperature is hanging in right around 104 with the most recent reading being 103.3 so maybe it's going down?

Mr. W finally went back to bed after sitting up with us for an hour.  I plan to stay up the rest of the night and will go to sleep when Mr. W gets up (I had only just fallen asleep at 1am!) and he'll take care of the lowercase who may or may not sleep.  I really have no clue.

Tomorrow will be day 3 of the fever and that, to me, is reason enough to try to get in to the doctor for a Saturday visit.  We'll be calling first thing in the morning...er...um...in a couple of hours when they start seeing appointments for the day.

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Oh no, poor lowercase. Hope things calm down and he feels better soon.
Ugh, poor guy and poor Mom. I hope he's doing better soon.

   Friday, November 16, 2007  

The hits just keep coming

The lowercase is sick. He had a slightly runny nose yesterday afternoon, but nothing that was really concerning to me. He said he wanted to go for a walk, so we got out the coats and shoes and socks. As he sat in my lap to get his shoes put on, I started sweating from the heat of his body. I took his temperature -- 103. Shit.

Of course, I'd promised him the walk and he was NOT giving up, so he took a hit of motrin, finished getting bundled and out we went for 20 minutes of fresh air. As we walked out the door, we saw a bag hanging on our mailbox. Inside the bag were two packages that were the highlight of our day: some incredible cookies from some awesome bloggers and a plaque from the March of Dimes thanking our team for the amount of money we raised this year.

The lowercase's temperature finally dropped to 99 shortly before bedtime, after a second dose of motrin. This morning he woke up at 5:00am. At 5:30, we realized that there was no way the boy would go back to sleep and by then the parents were wide awake, so we all got up for breakfast (THREE HOURS EARLIER THAN USUAL!).

Today he's got a horrible runny nose, a bit of a cough, decreased appetite and a temperature that has ranged from 100 to 102 all day (a couple of times it dropped to 99, but didn't stay there long).

I'm going a bit stir-crazy being in the house. I would give anything to go outside...to just drive around in my car and see real people doing real things. Instead, we're sitting around the house with the little man refusing to play with his toys, getting frustrated 2 seconds into a book, and generally clinging to my body quietly zoning out. I've resorted to the all-day-PBS-and-Noggin brain rot. Mostly episodes of Thomas until I'm ready to gouge my eyes out. But at least those have made the lowercase somewhat interact with me -- he's repeatedly told me what color each train is, that James is "doooowty. James sad. James go washdown. James happy!" and that "Emily [and] Whif shunt garbage." Can cold and flu season be over now? Please? I don't know if my sanity can take an entire winter like this!

***Edited: 5:30 pm, temperature up to 104. Hoping like hell that the motrin brings it down.

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Oh no. I'm sorry. I hope his temp has come down. Feverish kids are so sad and worrisome.

Glad the cookies were good and well timed!

   Thursday, November 15, 2007  

Pile it on

So...we now know the cause of my grandmother's infection. Apparently in diabetics, extreme swelling can cause infection. For several years my grandma has been battling the edema in her legs, even before her diabetes diagnosis. It turns out that the swelling was caused by her blood pressure medication.

Now, edema in the legs is worsened by lack of movement. Enter the cyst in her spinal column. She *can't* walk and has had to spend much of her time in a chair or in bed. So the swelling got really bad. The severe swelling caused the infection, the infection prevented the surgery that would allow her to walk and thus relieve the swelling. Rather vicious circle, no?

Her regular doctor said he didn't want her to have the surgery next week -- that he didn't feel she would be ready until 2 days after it was scheduled. She saw the surgeon today (the surgeon who rolled his eyes at a lot of things he has heard that her regular doctor has said over the course of time he's been treating her). The surgeon said that he would have gone ahead with the surgery on Monday if he were making the decision entirely on his own, but didn't want to upset the treatment that her regular doctor had started (legs wrapped tightly like mummies, removal of antibiotic, change of diuretic, addition of potassium supplement, removal of blood pressure meds). So her surgery is now scheduled for the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Which sucks ass. Mr. W can't take time off to be there, I don't want to drive 10 hours with the lowercase on my own if it can be avoided. I haven't started getting anything ready for the holidays and had planned to do so that week. My parents offered to get me back home except they have obligations the weekend after the surgery so that would have me staying 2 weeks or driving myself (seriously. NOT an option. I know exactly how to get there, but don't want to drive through Cleveland -- an interstate should NOT make a right angle turn like it does right in the middle of downtown!). So...we don't know how we're going to handle this.

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   Wednesday, November 14, 2007  

The news is not good

Just got off the phone with my grandparents.  While the infection in my grandma's legs is clearing up, it isn't doing so fast enough.  There is still too much swelling and too much infection.  Her regular doctor (not the surgeon) put some kind of wrap on her legs and told her to leave it for a week in order to decrease the swelling further.  She's scheduled to see the surgeon tomorrow so we could still get lucky and he could hospitalize her to really focus on the infection and maybe have a chance of still doing the surgery on Monday.  The pain from the cyst is getting much worse and my grandma is now almost completely unable to walk.

We will still be going to my family for Thanksgiving but will now do it on Tuesday instead of Saturday -- less time off work for Mr. W now means more time off at Christmas.  And it also means that the lowercase and I could be staying with my parents for a couple of weeks after Thanksgiving in order to help out when the surgery actually does take place (and before since grandma is so incapacitated).  Or not.  I really don't know with all the crap that must be done in a lead up to Christmas.  Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

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   Tuesday, November 13, 2007  

Becoming a housewife?

Over the last several months I've begun to discover a new side of myself.  A very domestic side.  A side that anyone who has ever known me in the real world would assure you they didn't think existed.  Frankly, I'm a bit surprised myself.

In the last month I have painted the lowercase's bathroom so that it resembles a scene from Finding Nemo.  I even went so far as to make a valence for the window!  (For those of you with actual domestic skills, don't laugh!  I don't own a sewing machine so I did it all with my iron and some fusible web tape.)

I was unsatisfied with the selection of curtains available in multiple stores (seriously -- from Target to Bed Bath & Beyond...K-Mart, Wal-Mart, even Lowe's -- NOTHING that would look good in his room!).  So I went to the fabric store and picked a nice fabric, got some more iron-on tape and went to town.  And I've never been so proud of myself!

And then there's the baking.  I can't stop.  Seriously.  Can. Not. Stop.  I've sent beer biscuits to the Mr's office.  I have an apple bread in the oven now for a friend with a new baby.  I just can't stop.

Of course, I still hate to clean or wash dishes or fold laundry.  Some things will never change!

And because I'm all about spreading the love, why not try your hand at my great-grandmother's apple bread.  It's divine!

1 c sugar

1 T butter

1 egg

1 1/2 c flour

1 t baking powder

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t salt

1/4 c milk

2 c diced apples

1/2 c nuts (optional; I *never* use them)

Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add egg and stir until smooth and creamy.  Sift together the flour baking powder, cinnamon and salt, then add to the sugar and egg mixture.  Stir in milk, apples and nuts.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

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   Monday, November 12, 2007  

Sleep issues

Alright folks.  I need some advice here.  I've mentioned the lowercase's attachment issues.

It's kind of at the break point right now.  He can not sleep without touching me.  It's been this way for the last two or three weeks.  When he wants a nap, he curls up beside me and lays his head in my lap or on my shoulder.

At bed time, he curls up in my lap and drinks some milk while rubbing my arms, talking or singing to me, or asking me to sing to him.  I kind of like that part of the routine -- ok, I love it.

But once he is asleep, he wants the touch to continue.  I can't just put him in his bed.  Right now, as is the case most nights, he is laying on one end of the couch and I am sitting on the other.  I have to keep at least one leg stretched out alongside him.  And before we make it to bed, he will stir and whimper until I hug him.  If I don't hug him in my arms he will wake fully in a screaming tantrum that could last for a LONG time.

So how do we get the little guy to sleep away from me for just a couple of hours so that we could do what couples like to do?  I mean, if there's a chance that I could ever talk Mr. W into another go at TTC, I'd hate to miss my opportunity because the firstborn doesn't want to lose physical contact.  Suggestions?  Books?  Techniques?  Ideas?

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   Sunday, November 11, 2007  

I surrender....all?

This morning I decided to take the lowercase to church on my own.  Normally, if the Mr. and I can't both go, we skip it.  I had no idea how difficult it would be to keep him in check on my own.  Of course, there is the whole church nursery thing and in theory that would be a good option.  But in practice?  Not so much.  So he sits with us during the service.

The topic of today's sermon was surrendering to God.  It's something that I struggle with.  I just can't ever bring myself to fully turn things over to Him.  The easiest way to describe it is that I ask for help but then say screw it and try to do it myself.  Obviously, this isn't a healthy way to live.

For those of you who aren't Christians, that might not seem like a big deal -- the inability to rely on something that isn't there*.  But it's not a problem that is exclusive to my relationship with Jesus.

It's something that I've struggled with all my life -- trusting someone else enough to surrender control to them.  I could never do it in my entire academic career.  Group projects literally made me ill.  I would panic at the mere mention that I might have to work in conjunction with someone else.  In one of my college science courses we were assigned to groups for paper writing.  Since I write a mean term paper (really -- I do -- my writings here wouldn't show it but research papers, grants, etc. -- that's my forte!), I volunteered to write every paper.  My group members simply had to collect the research, become an expert on whatever portion of the topic they were assigned to and teach it to me so that I could write our papers.

In personal relationships I tend to be the same way.  I need to be in control of so much.  I can't surrender control to anyone unless I absolutely have to.  I have to be in charge, I have to surmount obstacles and WIN at all costs.

I think this is my biggest flaw, my Achilles heel.  Admitting it is difficult.  Unfortunately, in order to overcome this, I'd need help...which I can't bring myself to ask for because I MUST CONQUER this.  Vicious cycle, no?  My need to control and succeed on my own prevents me from working on that flawed area of my person.

*In the opinion of the non-Christian; obviously I would disagree with that statement.

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   Saturday, November 10, 2007  

Can we do it? Yes we can!

It's late, I'm tired.  I can't think.  Here.  Look at some pictures of the lowercase at our local children's museum this afternoon.

100_1873 100_1875 100_1884 100_1887 100_1889

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   Friday, November 09, 2007  

Update on Grandma

The medication appears to be working.  Her swelling is going down and the color of her skin is also returning to normal.

Here's hoping and praying things continue to improve.

And the decision has been made -- the W family will be spending Thanksgiving with my family instead of the Mr.'s.

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glad to hear, hope grandma continues to be on the mend. pfew abt. thanksgiving too.

   Thursday, November 08, 2007  

This makes me physically ill

My grandma has been in quite a bit of pain lately.  It started in her lower back but extended down her legs.  The doc first thought it was a pinched nerve and she had physical therapy for a couple of weeks.  The pain got worse.

They did an MRI, but it was a closed MRI and she had a panic attack leading to massive anxiety issues for several weeks and time spent finding the right medication for the anxiety.  Once that was taken care of, she was given valium before an open MRI.

The MRI showed a cyst (synovial cyst I think?) on her spine -- kind of inside the spinal column and it was irritating the spinal cord and causing the pain.  The cyst is about 1/3 inch.  It requires a neurosurgeon to remove and clean up the bone surrounding the cyst.  Major pain, intense surgery.

But now comes the real problem.  My grandma was diagnosed Type II diabetic several years ago.  She's had some issues with swelling in her legs/feet in the past.  Apparently those issues aren't so much "in the past."

Tuesday night her legs swelled to the point that, as my grandpa said, "they don't exactly look like legs."  Swollen to the point that they were reddish purple.  And then water actually started seeping from her legs.  She saw the doctor first thing Wednesday for that.  He put her on an antibiotic and some intense diuretic for the swelling that is either the cause of or is going to cause or is a side-effect of* some sort of infection in her legs.  And she's diabetic.  So...yeah.

Her back surgery that was going to happen immediately is now tentatively scheduled for 11/19.  This is presuming that the infection in her legs is cleared up.  And I don't even want to think about what it means if it isn't.  I just can't think about that happening to my grandma.

*By that point in the conversation, I was upset enough that I wasn't exactly clear on that point.

**One small silver lining...at least I won't be spending Thanksgiving with my in-laws.

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I will keep you and your grandma in my thoughts and hope that by Thanksgiving you have a lot to be thankful for.
Hope your grandma kicks that infection's butt.

   Wednesday, November 07, 2007  


Mr. W and I both hate beer.  But we love a good Cheddar Beer soup.  So, Sunday we put a pot on the stove and lo, it was incredible.

But since we couldn't be 1 cup of beer, we have quite a bit left over.  Today I used 12 oz to make a really incredible beer biscuit.  Thank you foodnetwork.com!

4 c Bisquick (I know!)

2 T melted butter

1/4 to 1/2 c sugar

12 oz beer

Stir it together, drop it in a greased muffin tin, 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  (Time varies -- one of my muffin tins is larger so those took 20 minutes while a tin that makes smaller muffins was done in much less)

How easy is that?  And oh!  So tasty!

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  Comments about my post, "Beer!":
Other beer cooking: google Welsh Rarebit (like cheddar beer soup but thicker - a sauce for toast) and beer Margaritas, if you like margaritas. You can't taste the beer but it makes a great margarita. Sounds bizarre but won me many compliments back when I hosted parties featuring juice instead of juice.

   Tuesday, November 06, 2007  

You mean glasses shouldn't fold?

I have a headache. The lowercase was being helpful yesterday. I took my glasses off while I changed shirts. He picked them up and asked me to put them on.

Except he had managed to fold them in half. They were bent so badly they wouldn't go on my face. Mr. W bent them into a shape that would fit on my head, but it's a bit painful and horribly crooked.

I was going to go get them fixed today but by the time we were able to go, I had a blazing headache and had to take some drugs. Of course, I am one of those people who is pretty sensitive to medications -- two extra strength tylenol will knock me out, but when the ache is as bad as it was, it was needed.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day and I can get them taken care of.

(Also, I wrote a post about a friend's child but then decided to delete it. I don't think she knows of my blog's existence but I somehow felt uncomfortable with the idea that she might find it and I don't know -- I wouldn't want someone else talking about my lowercase. But at some point I do want to have a discussion of autism, PDD and other issues including teratogenic medications and/or medical conditions in a parent known to cause problems with offspring and the ethics involved. Someone hold me to it -- say next week or the week after? When I can, hopefully, write it in a way that doesn't come across as judgemental for individual decisions when things are intended more globally.)

   [ posted  @ 8:26 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (0) ]
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   Monday, November 05, 2007  

I got nothin

I'm processing a lot of thoughts but am nowhere near a coherent post on any of them.  So um...bullets?

  • I've read some posts recently about the whole Dumbledore is gay thing.  Some positive, some negative.  My question is -- does it really make a difference?  I personally wouldn't care if the man preferred merpeople.  But does it matter?  And further, should it matter?  There's been a lot of talk about how it would help the gay community blah blah blah...  I personally don't think that teachers should be discussing their sexual orientation with students (note that I teach elementary school, which, you know...it is extremely appropriate to NOT discuss those things).  And since my third- through fifth-grade students were reading these books -- I don't think that was the place for a discussion of sexual orientation.  And, quite honestly, I think it goes over their heads anyway -- the only reason we knew the orientation of any of the wizarding world was due to the mention of marriages or the gender of a student's parents.
  • On the Harry Potter vein...now knowing that Dumbledore was gay (something that I actually thought was kind of obvious in my reading of the final book without it ever being said):  Will that make a difference in how the character is played in the remaining movies since there are several more yet to film?  Should Dumbledore be portrayed differently than he has been?  And if he is portrayed differently, doesn't that actually say more about the general homophobic views of our society than to NOT change his portrayal?  Does he have to act differently than he has in previous movies to be gay? 

Wow...um...ok...so maybe I had more than I thought and maybe I should go back and get rid of the whole bullets thing, but, frankly, if I do that, it's unlikely that I'm going to finish and click publish.  So...there it is.

   [ posted  @ 7:48 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (1) ]
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Yes and no. It COULD have made a difference if it had been clearer in the book (if she'd spelled out that he loved Grindelwald instead of merely implying it) because it would have been a (mostly) positive role model for kids. It could have helped straight kids realize that gay people are everywhere, and it could have let gay or questioning kids see themselves in literature. Now, Dumbledore doesn't make a fantastic role model (his one love affair we know of was with a very flawed individual, and from that point onward he had no apparent romantic interests) but there are virtually no gay characters in children's fiction. Imagine not seeing yourself ANYWHERE in books. It's not fun.

However, since she only let it out in retrospect, it's far less powerful.

   Sunday, November 04, 2007  


There's nothing better in life than sitting down at your computer only to have your 2 year old run up with your glasses saying, "Mommy, wear glasses!" and putting them on you (upside down).

Unless it's your 2 year old pointing out the number 2 everywhere he sees it.  And he sees it everywhere -- his face, in my ear, on my shirt (where it actually is), on the refrigerator...

Or maybe it's when he starts kissing the beaded pumpkin on the dining room table while saying "I so happy!"

Yes, baby boy, I so happy, too!

   [ posted  @ 5:26 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (1) ]
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Pure happiness. :)


   Saturday, November 03, 2007  

Is it possible to be too attached?

Most of you know that I am opposed to the CIO method.  I've always believed that if a child is crying, he needs something.  He may not be hungry or in need of a diaper change.  He may not be ill or injured.  But the need for comfort and human contact is just as valid, in my opinion.

As a result, we have co-slept more often than not.  Even when the lowercase sleeps in his own room, he is allowed to join us in ours at his first waking cry.  My theory on this was that he would always know our love and that if anything ever frightens him or he needs us in any way, we will be there for him.  And even when we can't be there, we want him to know that he can go to others for help.  As adults, we are rarely ever truly on our own.  Problems at work?  There are coworkers to help you.  Sick or injured?  You have a spouse, a roommate, a friend, another relative, a doctor or a nurse.  You don't have to do it on your own.

I've also followed other tenets of attachment parenting.  I carried my son in a sling.  I breastfed as much as I possibly could for the first year of his life despite never producing enough to fully sustain my child.

Two years out, my son and I have an extremely close bond.  He genuinely wants to be with me (more so than Mr. W -- likely because I am at home with him every day).  He wants to read with me, he curls up beside me when he wants to nap.  He likes playing games with us...holding hands whenever we're out in public.  He doesn't run off, preferring instead to never be out of our line of sight -- or rather he doesn't want us out of his.

Once, when he was about 9 months old, we were exhausted and decided that we would try the CIO method.  It was a complete disaster.  He cried so hard that he very nearly vomited -- and he did poop from the force of the sobs.  Another time a few months later, there was a delivery at our door.  It was winter, so I left him upstairs on the other side of the gate while I ran down to the door.  Again, he cried and cried.  And again, the force of his sobs caused him to poop.  (Literally scared the crap out of him)

This morning, he woke before Mr. W and I were ready to be out of bed.  So, Mr. W took him into his room and showed him his trains.  He began to play with them and Mr. W came back to bed.  Of course Mr. W decided that since we were temporarily child free we should uh...take advantage of the situation.  So he closed and locked our door (the little guy can open it, and once I enter "mommy mode" that is all that I can be).

And as soon as the door clicked, he cried.  He banged on the door.  And did I mention the wracking sobs?  I felt trapped.  I was caught between being the mommy or being the wife my husband needed.  So I did what any sane person would do -- looked at my husband and said "You've got 10 minutes.  No more.  Make 'em good."

Less than 10 minutes later, we unlocked the door.  The lowercase threw himself into my arms, still sobbing.  He had cried so hard he had pooped (and I know it was from the tears since he does it at almost exactly the same time of day every day and it wasn't even close to that time yet).  He didn't want to go in his room to get his diaper changed -- I think out of fear I would leave him in there.  I had to hold him for about 15 minutes before he was relaxed enough to stop clinging and get his pants changed.

I'm starting to wonder if I've done this parenting thing wrong -- is my child too attached?  Or is he just in a stage where he needs me more than at other times?  (Please note, he doesn't ALWAYS make himself ill when I am not right beside him -- these are the only 3 instances I can think of)

   [ posted  @ 10:30 AM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (3) ]
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I don't know. We did CIO, and I'm glad we did because they sleep well at night. During the day, however, my sons sometimes sob when they want my attention and I'm not able to give it to them. I think that's natural. And I do feel like I have to be there for them, just like you. There's no right answer. It will probably work itself out. Believe me, no matter what method of child-rearing you choose, you're never sure it was the "right one." All you can do is go with your instinct, and yours seems to be APish. Go with your gut.
Maybe instead of your AP parenting style making him "too attached" (which I don't think he is, anyway), it just happens to be exactly right for his personality? In other words, he is a kid who needs that closeness and you are giving him exactly what he needs to feel safe and secure? That's what I would tell myself, anyway!

PS I'm sorry the job thing didn't work out for Mr. W--I know there was a lot riding on it.
I did the same with DD (y/o now) and yes eventualy she out grew the need but she does truely believe that her parents love her and will be there no matter what. That said she was probably 7 before she decided she could sleep teh whole night w/o mommy or daddy cuddling her at some point. We still ahve the rule that if you wake up scared or can't sleep you come find mom and or dad. this rule lets her know we are still there for her even if she's a big girl. I too tried CIO *ONCE* She sobbed in her sleep the rest of the night. Never again no matter what. She's a great kid strait A's and ingeneral just plain a wonderful person.

   Friday, November 02, 2007  

We're a bit sad around the W household today.  I can't exactly give details, but many months ago a man approached Mr. W about a new job opportunity.  The man owned his company and wanted to retire over the course of the next several years.  He wanted Mr. W to leave his current job and take over the company as CEO.  We thought about it...but didn't want to move and Mr. W had just been promoted, so we decided that he should turn the job down.  So the man asked his 2nd choice, who at the end of September also decided that he didn't want to move.

I asked Mr. W to talk to the man about possibly telecommuting and traveling to corporate headquarters a week or so a month.  The man thought this was a great idea but as soon as choice 2 turned it down, another company made an offer to buy the entire company.  The man wasn't satisfied with the figure and said that he would give them until Halloween to sweeten the deal sufficiently.  We were to find out on 11/1 the fate of the job.  Instead of talking to him, he got an email from the man stating that he was unexpectedly out of town and that he would call him first thing this morning.

He sold the company.  The deal could still fall through, but that's highly unlikely.  The man apologized, but felt that with the final number he could not turn them down as it was a large enough figure to significantly improve the rest of his life (for the record, he's in his 50s so the sum must have been quite nice indeed!).

Sadly, this job would have given Mr. W more than double his current salary.  Our insurance would have been a better plan AND fully paid by the company with no contribution from us.  He would also have a 25% ownership in the company.  If we had decided to take the job in the Spring when it was first offered, we would now be set for MANY years to come with our profit from the sale.

And this was the change that would have had Mr. W working from home, allowing me to become pregnant again without putting the lowercase in daycare.  This was the only way that Mr. W could see it all as being at all possible any time in the near future.

   [ posted  @ 12:57 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (3) ]
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I'm so sorry to hear about this turn of events and hoping like hell that things can somehow work out going forward (be it with another job, another opportunity, heck, even for the sale to fall through).

Sometimes on the way to a dream, you get lost and find a better one.

May that be the case for you and the Mr.
I'm sorry, hon. I was wondering what the possibility was, since last I heard he'd turned it down. It's a bummer that it came so close again only to be vanish overnight. :(

I hope that there's something else wonderful lurking around the corner.
I'm sorry sweetie, I thought this was a done deal months ago. Bummer.

   Thursday, November 01, 2007  

Trick or Treat!

The lowercase was thrilled to learn exactly how much fun having a birthday on Halloween can be.  He got to open a couple of gifts, dress up in funny clothes, ring doorbells (one of his favorite things!), get told repeatedly how cute he is, get and eat some chocolate, AND see lots of big kids until well past his usual bed time!


Argh!  I'm a pirate!  Ahoy matey!

(Of course, it sounds more like "Oy! Pie-rut! Hi mee-tee!")







Recently, Cecily talked about the sexy costumes out there for little girls this year.  I knew they were out there, but can you imagine my surprise when this showed up at my door:


On a girl who couldn't have been more than about 14?  She was with a group of about 5 boys and no girls.  Somehow I'm not surprised.  What did surprise me is that this girl's parents had to have known what she bought for a costume -- I found it several places online (google: sexy strawberry shortcake) and it sells for about $50 -- an amount that most kids that age don't readily have access to without their parents since she didn't appear to be old enough to have an actual job yet.  Holy hell.  Here's hoping I can keep my little pirate innocent for as long as possible.

   [ posted  @ 9:17 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (2) ]
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OMG, the lowercase is all grown up (not yet an uppercase but still...sniff, sniff, it's almost like watching my own grow up so fast!).

Love the costume and glad he had such a fun time.

And, um, Sexy Strawberry Shortcake? Yikes, with 2 girls, I am in so much trouble. I intend to do my best to impart a realistic sense of self/body/image contrary to what our media shoves down their throats from a young age. But, boy, do I have my work cut out for me...heck, anyone raising a kid, male or female, does nowadays.

Sorry to get all "Debbie Downer" on you.

May we both help our kids keep that sense of innocence for as long as possible :-)
He is so cute! Love the costume, love the superman w/glasses pic on your last post.

Ugh, the sexy strawberry shortcake is yet another thing that makes me totally despair. It is a scary thing, being the mother of a little girl.

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