Thursday, July 31, 2008


Today my darling toddler and I went to Roseville to meet another mommy and buy a book for our book club meeting. Barnes and Noble is seriously my favorite store on the planet, and Little P is used to spending a goodly amount of time there, browsing with mommy. He gets to pick out a book and he sits in his stroller and "reads" it while mommy looks around, then the two of us get a treat from Starbucks and go home. Pretty mellow and overall enjoyable adventure.

Until today.

My son threw his first ever in-public temper tantrum because he could not "run" in the store.

What has come over this child?

We walked around and looked at books for Paul while we waited for our fellow mommy and baby to show up, and then we went to get our snack. I think the organic, reduced fat milk sold at Starbucks has crack in it, because as soon as Little P finished his drink he had the sudden urge to run. Right then. In the store.

Just then our friends showed up, and Paul had a complete meltdown, laying on the floor and crying, then getting up and running down an isle. I could not believe it. Every time I caught him he would scream and cry all over again, and I decided that it was time to go home.

Lame. No books for mommy, and my friend and I both took the time and gas to drive down to Roseville, only to do nothing except go home again.

Paul went to sleep as soon as we drove out of the parking lot, and now he is running around and being his usual happy, well-behaved self. I guess it was not a shopping day, and I will be sure to check his calender before we go out again, in case he has something else planned for the day...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

work, and the thoughts that go with it...

We have been busy these last few days; we have been to playdates at other moms' houses and had a few at our house and one at the park...

And then there is work.

There is always a ridiculous amount of work to do around the house; not counting home improvement projects! That is just the normal chores! It is so easy to get behind when there are plants to water, animals to feed, people to feed, dishes to wash... blah, blah, blah. All part of being a mommy, but geez, am I tired!

My idea of walking to work for a workout every day has not started to pay off yet. I think I need to walk faster...

I do not usually talk about work away from work, and especially on my mommy blog, but sometimes I just do not know what to think about these kids. Today was a perfectly normal day, not overly annoying or troubling, until less than an hour before it was time to go home. At about 5:10pm one of our regulars starts throwing bedding and clothes around in his cell and yelling like a crazy fool for no reason. Well, one thing led to another and soon we had a cell extraction and a suicide suit on this kid and he's on 5 minutes room checks. What the hell?

What causes these goofballs to blow out like this? The psych doctors would attribute it to emotional disturbance, the wrong medications, etc. I think that a major part of it is that the kid simply likes attention and the easiest way to get it is negatively. Too bad. I think he could be basically a good kid, but he absolutely refuses to participate in his rehabilitation. It makes me sad, and it makes me want a new job where there are no kids' futures on the line, but at the same time, I want to one day make a difference. I guess I am, in my own way. Today I wished one of my home supervision kids good luck in court tomorrow, and she said she hoped she was NOT getting off home supervision because she liked to have someone call her and care about her every day. I hate talking on the phone, really I do, but since I have to do it, I am glad that at least one of them appreciates it!

The best thing about my crazy job is that I get to go home at the end of the day and hug my own boy, who is not even close to his teenage years, and think about what kind of mommy I need to be so that he does not end up in my facility in 13 or so years. He keeps me going, and in a crazy way, so do those wayward kids!

Thursday, July 24, 2008



Ever since Little P started teething I have counted myself among the luckiest moms on the planet. I have never had to give him teethers or medicine for pain, never had to clean up 25 gallons on drool daily, never had to comfort him or dry his tears because his mouth hurt, and never had to hold an all night vigil over my little lump of hot lava because he had a major fever.

Until last night.

Little P is getting all four of his eye teeth at the same time, and this is a most miserable experience for everyone involved. Yesterday morning he had a bit of a fever, and was chewing ferociously on his fingers, blanket, cup, sock, anything he could find; so I gave him a half dose of Motrin and we went about our day with only slight discomfort.

At 7pm all hell broke loose; Paul had a temp of 102 (still not awful), and was absolutely inconsolable. We tried to put him to sleep, he tried to put himself to sleep, even, but it was not to be. He finally settled down and went to sleep at 10pm... for 15 minutes.

I was reading in my room when I heard a most unearthly "Maaaaahhhhhmmmmmyyyy" come from Little P's room. I went in and he was sitting on his bed asking for water. Another 15 minutes later he was calling again, then again, then again. All night. Sometimes it was only 5 minutes later and sometimes it was 40 minutes later that he called, and I was worried for him and could not sleep myself because his fever refused to break and fevers aways freak me out (due to my brother getting brain damage from a fever when he was a baby).

Anyway, long night short, I finished an entire book between 7pm and 6am, when Paul's fever broke and he finally fell into decent sleep. He woke up in a much better mood at 11:30 this morning, but he is worn out and I am sure we will be taking a nap very soon.

I hope he does not have another night like this, and I am profoundly sorry for any mommy who has had to spend more than one sleepless teething night with her baby!

Monday, July 21, 2008


For several years I reaped the benefits of working out; I looked nice, and more importantly, I felt great. Then I got pregnant... It is said that one can still exercise while pregnant, but it is difficult to do when you vomit every time you move. So I gained a bazillion pounds, and here I am 19 months later, still trying to get rid of it. I only have 12 pounds to go (out of 60), but it has been the same 12 pounds for about 6 months and I am frustrated as hell.

I chase my son around all day, I stand for at least 9 of my 12 hours a day at work, I dig in the yard like a mad dog on weekends, I have been walking to and from work, and eating healthy, mostly, but still it remains. The weight sticks like white on rice and what I see in the mirror is not pleasing to my eyes, at all. My dear husband tells me everyday without prompting that I am pretty and he loves me no matter what I look like, but I do not feel better.

I will be the first to admit that I probably have some sort of disorder, and people will say I need therapy, but I know that the only true cure is to resume my pre-baby body. That means I need to work out... a lot. That means I need support... a lot. So I will continue to walk and work out as much as I can, even if it means getting up at 4:30am on my days off, and my buddies at work will have to make sure I eat healthy... no more Italian themed pot-lucks, even if the Chicken Parmesan is so delightful!

Some words of encouragement and ideas for workouts, please...

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Ever since Little Peanut was born we have been singing the alphabet to him; I mean, as long as we are going to sing to the little guy, and he does not know what we are talking about anyway, it might as well be the alphabet. As a result (with a combo of reading and practicing the letters), he can now repeat all of his letters after someone else says them, and can say several on his own if you ask him to sing to you. How cute!

Yesterday I finally found some magnetic letters that are definitely too big for him to swallow, so he has been arranging letters on the fridge all morning. Last night when it was time to go to bed he cried for his ABC's until he fell asleep. I am glad he finds joy in letters (at least so far). I am unimpressed with the English skills of today's teenagers and most adults, including some with a college education; people do not put nearly enough emphasis on practicing the rules of the language, and place entirely too much trust in spell check and grammar check on the computer. I am not saying that everyone should be a master English writer, but one should know the basics. Anyway, I want Little P to know when he has spelled a word incorrectly and work to correct it, and I want him to realize when he has put a comma or period in the wrong place. But alas, that is years away... or is it? We are going to practice some letters!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Well, I went to work yesterday, and when I got home in the afternoon... my son was still alive! Awesome! Uncle James made it through the day with only a broken snow globe (I am told that Little P was climbing the bookshelf and knocked the snow globe off while trying to look at the fish). Not bad, for a teenager and a toddler spending the day together!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sunflower Seeds

Today I have spent my involuntary day off working in the yard with Paul (and teaching him about the plants growing out there), which included cutting down my very large, but sad-looking sunflowers (which Paul had a great time dragging around the yard after they were cut). I then decided to get one step closer to becoming a farmer, and harvest the seeds from those sunflowers. Fun! I won't quit my day job just yet, but there is something to be said for bringing in one's own harvest!

There are about ten billion seeds in one sunflower, and I got two full bowls of seeds from two flowers. Then I found a recipe online for toasted sunflower seeds and voila! A snack! Very yummy for mommies and daddies, but NOT for babies (that is my little disclaimer for the day). So, if you have any giant sunflowers standing around in the yard, they make a great, easy snack.

On another note, Paul is now a professional at the "E-I-E-I-O" part of "Old MacDonald Had A Farm." He is wandering around the house singing it at the top of his voice right now.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Breathe... Just Breathe

The air is starting to clear up outside, so I allowed the Peanut to play outdoors for the first time in two weeks yesterday. He loved it, of course; he played in the sprinkler and his tiny pool, ran around in every bush and through every flower bed in the yard, he collected several rocks and played with the dog until he was worn out. Then he came inside and played golf in the kitchen while Mommy made dinner. It was a nice afternoon, and it looks like I will be spending the next several days in mommy mode, instead of going to work.

See, one of the very few problems with in-law daycare is that sometimes the in-laws want to be regular people and do things like go on vacation... without ANY notice at all! Last night they called us and said "Be sure to water the plants and feed the animals. We are leaving for Arizona in the morning."


"Well, Brandy said she took Sunday off this week, so we thought that she took off the whole week."

Are you kidding me? Who does not make sure everything is squared away before going on vacation? Not that it matters so very much, as we would be in a world of hurt without them taking care of Paul on a regular basis, but I could have requested the week off in advance, instead of having to call in sick for Tuesday (Daddy is calling in for Wednesday, so between the two of us, we will cover the week). Lame. I only call in to work for the most dire of emergencies, and I guess no daycare is a bit of an emergency, but still. Aside from feeling ridiculously guilty for missing work, I also feel it undermines my integrity and responsibility as an employee; even if it is a good excuse, it just means I did not plan good enough for things like this and now other people have to cover for me. Lame.

What can I do? I have always been the most loyal of employees, but I cannot leave my baby home alone, so family wins in this case.

How do you feel about family and work? I know this should be an easy questions, but is it really?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer Lee

This is SO cute! Meet Summer Lee; she is 2 weeks old and is the new baby of some of our friends. She almost makes me want another baby! How precious. I spent a few hours with this little bundle today and relived all the new-mommy experiences. It is so completely different to have a newborn vs. a toddler; I cannot say I like one over the other, as they both have advantages and disadvantages.

Newborns sleep an amazingly large amount of time. Although it does not seem like it to a new mom, if mom napped when baby napped, she would be caught up on her sleep for sure! Toddlers do not sleep. Mine doesn't, anyway. Ever. Except at night and after a struggle. And then he wakes up like a rooster at the crack of dawn ready to go.

Newborns eat a little all the time. In fact, when they are not sleeping or looking around for very brief periods of time, they are eating. Toddlers eat a slightly larger meals and then run around for a million hours, and then come back for lunch after a proper interval. The problem with feeding toddlers is that they can be so picky that one must travel to the farthest ends of the earth and retrieve the Ambrosia of the Gods before they will eat, whereas a newborn is satisfied with breast milk, or even that super nasty formula stuff (which Paul happily gulped for 13 months)

Newborns cry a lot, but it is a sweet, little cry. I know it sounds loud to a new mommy, but it is nothing compared to a toddler throwing a tantrum. My toddler does not cry very often, but when he does, he makes a giant show of it and I would rather listen to a newborn cry all day than my son for ten minutes.

Newborns will lay on their backs for extended periods of time and stare at everything, making sweet cooing sounds. Toddlers run and run and run and run and make really loud "outside voice" sounds inside; they can also kick and throw a ball, play in sprinklers, dance, sing, pretend to read books and talk to you when you are bored. A mommy is entertainment for a newborn; a toddler is entertainment for a mommy.

These are just a few of the distinctions between newborns and toddlers; both are wonderful, and as much as I love watching my tiny man grow up, I would not mind starting all over again with another newborn.

Daddy is trying to put Pauly to sleep and Pauly is crying for his mommy, so I must go! See ya!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Our Date

Tonight, to celebrate our 4th anniversary, Jim and I went to dinner at Chevy's, and then we were supposed to go to the movies. We finished dinner too late, however, and would have had to wait two hours for the movie, so we went bowling instead. I have not been bowling in ages, but it was so much fun! We played three games each and neither of us (despite being in a league once before) bowled over 100!!! Lame, but we were way out of practice; it was fun, anyway. I know my legs are going to be killing me tomorrow, so I am going to go have another glass of wine and try to find a comfy spot to relax. Have a great night!!!

4 Years Today

Mommy and Daddy have been married 4 years today! Cool! We are also celebrating 9 years together, and we are actually going to go out tonight, I hope...

It has been a long life together so far, and we have been through many changes and grown up together, and I am sure I would not change a day of it. I am thankful for every day I have spent with Jim and I am looking forward to many more!


Yesterday we went down to Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights and found that Borders Books was closing! Oh no! Borders is not my favorite bookstore ever (that spot is reserved for Barnes and Noble), but I always hate to see any bookstore closing.

Anyway, everything in the store was 50% off, and who can pass that up? Not me! Paul got about 10 books, and I bought a couple for myself, as the last stack of books I purchased is dwindling and I needed to stock up again.

Paul loves books, and I try to get him one or two every month, as I believe a large selection of reading material will only foster a love of reading. Since everything was so cheap, we filled up the stroller and stood in line with the 10 million other people taking advantage of the great prices.

Little P has been reading (being read-to, rather) since he got home yesterday, and the first thing he did after breakfast today was grab some books and bring them to uncle James. They are currently reading Good Night Moon and it is quite peaceful here this morning. I have to distract him somehow, because the smoke is really bad and we still cannot go outside...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"No" Update

After banning the word "no" in our house for about a month, Little P has learned to say other things in place of that particularly annoying word. He only says no if you ask him a yes-or-no questions and he truly means no. He does not scream "No" when someone does something he does not like, such as changing his diaper or putting him in the car seat. Instead he says "Uh, oh" or "Whoa!" before submitting peacefully (in most cases).

I think we will continue the ban for a while, until he is more used to using his words to communicate. He is picking up words like crazy right now, and has quite the vocabulary. I was happy to hear him combine words the other day, and now says "Hi Daddy," "thank you, Mommy," and "Milk, please" all the time. He actually speaks in full sentences in Paulinese, but Mommy and Daddy are not familiar with that language, so we continue to celebrate his English victories, while still encouraging his babble.

It is amazing watching a baby grow and master new skills. Kids are so smart at this age, to be able to pick up so much information and use it to communicate and survive in the world.

We are off to play with the babies in our playgroup and go to the Farmer's Market, then to look for Daddy an anniversary present... we have a busy day, but it should be a good one. Hope yours is great, too!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Tonight I made spaghetti with fresh tomatoes and peppers from my garden. I am not usually good at making spaghetti, but tonight I took special care to let the sauce simmer and cook for a long time, and I even tested the noodles before I drained them (I am notorious for undercooked noodles). I am proud to say that my husband, son and brother (all who do not care for spaghetti) all ate it and asked for more! I am so happy!

Here is Paul eating his "Ketti" and making a monstrous mess. Daddy is currently giving the Peanut a bath...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dillon Beach

Well, we're home! Did you miss us? We have been away, on our annual trip to Dillon Beach. Jim and his family have been going to Dillon Beach every year since any of them can remember, and I have been going since I came into this family nine years ago. This is where we came as one of our first real outings as a couple, and this is where Jim proposed to me; this is where most of our family found out we were pregnant with Paul, and it is where Paul just spent his second Independence Day. We have a lot of memories here, and I am glad to share this set with you!
On our trip last year, Paul was just crawling and spent most of his time in his Pak-n-Play, but this time he was running everywhere, eating plenty of sand, collecting rocks, running in the ocean, and fine tuning his flirtation skills by practicing on all the ladies in our camp and every stranger we came upon.

The drive to the beach is about 3 hours, and Paul was not real cool with that; he managed to keep himself entertained for a total of five minutes, despite the picture that makes it look like he read diligently for 3 hours. As soon as we arrived, he ran around the campsite and then flung himself in the sand/dirt and proceeded to taste it and toss it about like the dogs all around him. He was especially happy when his Aunt Becky and Uncle Mike arrived, and spent a good deal of time trying to climb into their camper or climb onto their dogs.

Thursday night was a little rough on the camp, as Paul woke up thirsty at 2:45am and we did not have his favorite sippy cup with us. He had to use an alternate cup, but he refused and cried really loudly for exactly 9 minutes before finally giving in and using the cup we had.

On Friday (after a 30 mile round trip to the nearest town for a proper sippy cup, lest we replay the night before), Paul got to run around in the ocean (actually just the bay inside the peninsula), and he LOVED it! The kid has no fear at all, especially of water (I do not know if this is good or not), and he ran straight into the freezing water to collect rocks. He had a great time splashing around, and finally had to be pulled kicking and screaming from the water when Mommy's feet were too cold to stand anymore.

Friday night Paul fell asleep early, but was wakened several times by the ten billion illegal fireworks people were setting off everywhere. Fireworks are not allowed at the beach, but obviously everyone missed the ten giant signs on the drive to camp, and decided to bless us with the noisy lights until about 1am. Paul cried this time because the noise kept him awake; I unzipped the window to show him the fireworks, but that made it worse, so I closed it up and cuddled him close. He fell asleep again when they finally ended, and did not sleep in on Saturday.
This morning I woke to Paul petting my face and giving me kisses, which is always the best way to wake up, but as soon as I opened my eyes he began yelling "Mommy" in his happiest, really-loud voice, and proceeded to wake up the entire camp... at 6am.

It was a lovely day, and I was sad to pack up our camp and leave everyone to enjoy the day. We usually leave on Sunday, but I have to work tomorrow, so here we are back at home.
It was a nice weekend, and we had a great time, as usual. I have to say, however, that year after year, my favorite part of camping is the SHOWER I get to take when we get home!