Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I realized, in my half-asleep state, that we didn't own a toy that made that noise. My eyelids flew open, I sat up to see Seamus playing with a baby mouse. He dropped it. It would scurry away. He padded after it, picked it up by the scruff of its neck, and it would squeak.
I elbowed Alec who retrieved a plastic container to capture little Mickey, and freed him outside.
This morning around 5 AM, I sat in our bed feeding Lindsay. Seamus came into our dark room and meowed loudly about a dozen times before hopping up on the bed, dropping and recapturing his prey. I stood up quickly.
"Alec, Seamus has brought you a present!" I hollered.
He turned on the light to discover our geriatric cat had brought a freshly killed pipe cleaner, and was presenting it proudly. It was lying unsuspectingly on the table, leftover from an art project that Auntie Jules and Lauren were working on.
"Good boy, Seamus," Alec said, putting the pipe cleaner away in his nightstand.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I won Round 12 of the Saturday Comeback Challenge! This marks my fourth win! Yay!
After a trip to PetCo with a water sample, and a broad spectrum test, Lauren's tank was cleared for a new Betta fish. Although we got the fish on Sunday afternoon, he was looking a bit punk those first 12 hours and I wasn't sure if he was going to make it. But now, he's swimming happily and getting along well with his tank mates.
Auntie Jules is visiting, and Lauren and she have been working on decorations for Valentine's Day and cards for her classmates. We requested a class list after Lauren asked for envelopes for Surgeon and Ickthia.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
In other news, Alec fixed this dishwasher this morning! It turns out it was just improperly loaded last night.
Fingers crossed that the rest of the day goes smoothly...
Saturday, January 27, 2007
And the water problems from earlier this week also continue. This time, our dishwasher has a leak in its intake valve. Fortunately, our basement is unfinished so the 3 cups of water that sprayed into it had little to damage. If only to please Murphy, it leaked on my washing machine. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it's a simple repair. Not that I wouldn't love to have a new dishwasher, but for the first time since Before Children we managed to open a savings account. The idea of closing it a week after opening it to buy an appliance which will have to be Carefully Chosen to match the New Kitchen we haven't fully envisioned, makes my tummy hurt.
I know that once kids start crawling, they are pretty much bruised until they turn 2 and get a little taller and a little more steady on their feet...but Lindsay really is Danger Baby. As I was admiring a bruise on her thigh in the bath today, she reached for the edge of the tub, slipped, and smacked her forehead, leaving an angry welt on the top of her bald head. A minute before I sat down on Lauren's futon, she lunged quicker than I could reach and fell on her head. All the fish oil capsules, yoga, and T-Tapp workouts in the world aren't going to keep my blood pressure down with Lindsay banging her way through stuff.
So much for a quiet weekend...
Friday, January 26, 2007
1. first name? Heather
2. were you named after anyone? A soap opera character.
3. when did you last cry? I have no idea. Probably New Years.
4. do you like your handwriting? I've never thought it was very pretty. It's usually legible though.
5. what is your favorite lunch meat? I could live on tuna fish sandwiches with red onions and celery. Because mercury is bad for me (and Lindsay), I can only have one per week. I don't have them that often though.
6. if you were another person would you be friends with you? Yes, but I'd think I was kind of a needy mess.
7. do you have a journal? No. I have a blog.
8. do you still have your tonsils? Yes. I think most people my age do.
9. would you bungee jump? Only under duress.
10. what is your favorite cereal? I currently eat Kashi Heart to Heart, Nature's Promise Honey Whole Wheat, and Kellogg's Smart Start. I was much more passionate about breakfast cereal as a kid when my favorite kind was Golden Grahams.
11. do you untie your shoes when you take them off? My Rocket Dogs have laces, but they are elastic, so they slip off. Otherwise, I suppose I would unlace them.
12. do you think you are strong? Yes I am. Giving birth a couple of times will do that.
13. what is your favorite ice cream flavor? Mint chocolate chip.
14. shoe size? 7
15. red or pink? Depends on what. I prefer more serene shades of blue and green.
16. what is the least favorite thing about yourself? I would like to be more athletic.
17. whom do you miss the most? What an odd random question. I occasionally miss the party girl I was in my 20s. She was fun.
18. do you want everyone to send this back to you? Please don't.
19. what color pants, shirt and shoes are you wearing? I've gotten into the awful habit of wearing the same clothes all the time. Today: a black (nursing) tee, olive pants, black socks and sneakers. I was wearing a pullover sweater earlier, but I've since taken it off.
20. last thing you ate? Hummus, carrot sticks, pita bread, kalamata olives, and pickled beets chased by a very large glass of iced tea.
21. what are you listening to right now? "You Are My Sunshine" is playing on Lindsay's swing.
22. if you were a crayon, what color would you be? Wow. That's really insipid. I'd be one of those scented crayons that you keep drawing with because you can't figure out why someone thought it smelled like Wildflower.
23. favorite smell? Lauren and Lindsay, fresh out of the tub and in their jammies.
24. who was the last person you talked to on the phone? The mom of one of Lauren's classmates called for a playdate.
25. the first thing you notice about people you are attracted to? His hands.
26. do you like the person you stole this from? Moxie Momma rocks!
27. favorite drink? Coffee. Come on.
28. favorite sport? To watch in person: baseball. To watch on television: football.
29. eye color? Blue.
30. hat size? Hey. My head isn't that big.
31. do you wear contacts? Not since I was in my 20s. I wear glasses, though. I don't produce enough tears to wear them comfortably because of bad ocular allergies. Although I put prescription drops in them twice a day, this hasn't improved much. My opthamologist keeps pushing me to try the new hydraphillic ones.
32. favorite food? I could live on popcorn. I was eating it every evening (figuring it was a good grain and lowfat snack food) until 2 weeks ago when I found out it's a great food for gaining weight. I've since given it up.
33. scary movies or happy endings? Another dumb question. Scary movies.
35. summer or winter? *yawn* Summer, but I'm only saying that because it's 30 degrees outside. Talk to me in July and I will say something else.
36. hugs or kisses? Kisses. I'm an awkward hugger because I am short. I wish we could institute bises like the French do, a kiss on each cheek.
37. favorite dessert? Anything Sybil just made is my favorite.
38. who is most likely to respond? Oh, well, now Sybil.
39. least likely to respond? I'm going to say Martin Luther King, because, you know, he's dead.
40. what books are you reading? I have 1491 on my nightstand unopened. Gardner's Book of Art mostly, since it's my textbook for art history class.
41. what's on your mouse pad? I don't use one, my laptop has a touch pad.
42. what did you watch last night on tv? Last night? Uhh. All of my shows are in hiatus. Let's say Futurama. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep to that.
43. favorite sounds? My girls laughing together.
44. the rolling stones or beatles? Oh I have to choose?! The Beatles. But "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is definitely in my top 10 favorite songs.
45. the farthest you've been from home? I'd say the 2 years I lived in Wisconsin although not the most miles I've been away.
46. what's your special talent? Making boo-boos better with a kiss.
47. where were you born? Hartford, CT.
49. if you could build a house anywhere, where would it be? I would not want to build a house. It looks like a tremendous hassle. If I were to win a lot of money and could buy one, I would love to have an apartment in New York City, a house in the suburbs, and a cottage at the shore.
50. what's your favorite article of clothing? Pajamas.
51. favorite physical feature of the opposite sex? Well-defined chests, muscular arms, nice, well-proportioned hands. I love a man with a lot of body hair. (Now, that sounds like it belongs in the Saturday Comeback Challenge!)
52. what's the last CD that you bought? I can't remember. It's been a very long time. I bought a bunch of Panic! At the Disco on iTunes. Does that count?
53. where's your favorite place to be? Early morning in bed with kids piled in.
54. where is your least favorite place to be? Waiting in line. Particularly, waiting in line with a stranger trying to make conversation.
55. what's your favorite place to be massaged? Shoulders. I carry all my tension in them.
56. strong in mind or strong in body? Strong in both.
57. what time do you wake up in the morning? Lately: 5 AM, 6:45 AM, 7:45 AM...
58. what is your favorite kitchen appliance? My rice cooker. I can't cook rice on the stove, I always burn it. I love that you can put twice as much water as rice and return when the light goes off and it's always fluffy and perfect.
59. what makes you really angry? People, generally.
60. if you could play any instrument, what would it be? The accordion. Simply because my husband finds it oddly erotic.
61. favorite color? Green.
62. which do you prefer...sports car or SUV? I hate SUVs. A sports car would be fun, but impractical.
63. do you believe in an afterlife? Yes.
64. favorite children's book? Le Petit Prince.
65. what is your favorite season? I love them all, when they begin. I love the opposite season we're in by the middle of it...
66. your least favorite household chore? Vacuuming bothers my back, which is odd because sweeping and mopping don't. Fortunately, I only have 2 rugs in my entire house.
67. if you could have one super power, what would it be? Additional arms would sure come in handy. Heh heh heh...handy.
68. if you have a tattoo, what is it? I don't. It's never appealed to me to get one. I don't, however, look at people who have them and think they are crazy. There was a guy I worked with at my last job who designed his own tattoos and I thought they were beautiful.
69. can you juggle? Not at all.
70. the one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to? Myself. I would go back and tell my much younger self not to worry so much.
71. what's your favorite day? Thursday. I was born on a Thursday.
72. what's in the trunk of your car? An ice scaper. A set of jumper cables. A blanket. A canvas bag with a change of clothes for both kids. A flashlight.
73. which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger? I like both, but not together.
Moving on, these next few come from Grasshopper Ramblings:
74. if you had to choose one vice in exclusion of all others what would it be? I enjoy my evening drink(s).
75. if you could change one specific thing about the world what would it be? I wish poverty was something that only existed in history books.
76. name the cartoon character you identify with the most. Marge Simpson. Particularly when she groans.
77. if you could live one day in your life over again which one would it be? I haven't had one of those yet. My wedding day was nice, but, over and over again? The best days of my life, I had my daughters...but OVER again?! No, thanks.
78. if you could go back in history and spend a day with one person who would it be? I've always wanted to talk with Benjamin Franklin about what the heck possessed him to electrify a key and touch it.
79. what is the one thing you lost, sold or threw away that you wish you could have back? We had lovely handmade mugs that friends of Alec's bought us for our wedding. Everytime we used them, I thought of them. The last of the set of 4 broke a couple of months ago.
80. what is your one most important contribution to this world? I don't have one, yet.
81. what is your one hidden talent that nearly no one knows about? Why would I tell you? Then, it wouldn't be hidden.
82. what is your most cherished possession? My wedding ring.
83. what one person influenced your life the most when growing up? My parents. They aren't one person, but they equally influenced and enriched my life in different ways. When I recall my childhood, I know that they loved me and did the best they could as parents. I hope my daughters think that when they are grown up.
84. what one word describes you better than any other? I think most people would say witty.
I stole this one from a Techorati search. Here's from Big Bad Hungery Jaquanna:
85. can you cook? Yes. I don't make cuisine, but what I make is usually tasty.
86. what would you do if you were stuck in an elevator? With kids: sing a bunch of songs to distract them from being bored. Without kids: do deep breathing and try not to panic.
87. what talent do you wish you had? I wish I were good at crafts. Lauren loves to do them, and I can't even follow them out of books.
88. favorite place? I love the beach. I hope we get to spend some time there this year.
89. favorite vegetable? Beets. I also like broccoli and brussel sprouts.
90. what was the last book you read? Sink Reflections.
91. are you dirty or clean? I took a shower this morning, and a bath with the girls before they went to bed.
92. any tattoos and/or piercings? People, you're a little obsessed with the tattoo thing...uh. No tattoos, two piercings in my left ear and one in my right.
93. worst habit? Thinking of something to say while someone else is talking.
94. what's your philosophy on life? Live well, love completely, and regret nothing.
95. negative or optimistic? Neither. I am a realist.
96. what was your dream growing up? That one, where you show up for the exam in high school that you didn't study for and you forgot to get dressed?
97. worst thing to ever happen to you? I'm not going to define my life that way. I've learned a lot from the things that have hurt me.
98. what was your first impression of me? I thought, "Ooh! Hit a good meme in the first 3 searches..." Sorry, it's very late. I am sure you have a wonderful blog.
99. tell me one weird fact about you: I have 3 tendons in each arm from wrist to elbow.
100. how do you fall asleep? Easily. It's staying asleep that I find difficult.
Well, this 100 meme thing wasn't nearly as easy or as interesting as I'd hoped. Happy 400 to me, anyway...
No, Gloria Raynor aside, actually it was very nice...and although I was terribly awkward and nervous, they were all very welcoming and nice. They've mostly "graduated" from playgroup and have kids a couple years older than Lauren.
One of the moms called me to set up a playdate this morning...granted, it was the one I already knew from Lauren's school, but still, great. Another mom who I'd met in the park months ago and I exchanged cards so that we can schedule a playdate once her kids are done with the chicken pox.
They've decided not to do the every month thing, which is probably just as well...so the next one won't be for several weeks.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
When my brother got married, he and his wife gave Lauren a jewelry box painted cheerfully in pink. On a silver plate on the top it says her name, Flower Girl, and the date of their wedding. Every night, she asks me to wind it up and she drifts to sleep to its happy tune.
Monday, January 22, 2007
It turned out that Dos was not left on the bus, but rather just outside Lauren's classroom. She must have set it down to put it in her back pack and missed. I forgot to mention that Dos is (well before its battery ran out) a Flashy Quacker and a fund raising item for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. It's a pink duck with a pink ribbon.
Here's Candy II. This photo was oddly exposed, but he is a Betta fish - also known as a Japanese fighting fish. You cannot keep 2 males in a single tank. Candy II is a bit bluer than his predecessor, who was mostly pink and purple. He's posing for the picture, so I think his acclimation is going quite well.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
"Oh, Candy! I missed you." she said.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Today was my first class. I'm taking Intro to Art History: Renaissance through Modern Art. My professor is a little nuts. She announced, in a Doomsday tone, "If you're taking this class because you think it's an easy Humanities credit, you registered for the wrong course!" We covered Italian Gothic period today. She may be a little crazy, but she's definitely passionate about the subject and her lecture was very interesting. Although I enjoyed my Psychology course, unless the topic was particularly fascinating, Professor Batman's monotone sometimes made me struggle to stay awake. Some of my classmates didn't manage to make it through a single lecture without falling asleep. Now, granted, it is a Saturday morning class...but when you're covering a normal weeks' worth of classes in a day, you really need to be present.
After just one lecture, I can understand now why people who study art clamor to travel to Florence and Pisa.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Well, I didn't think that Lauren would decide to share Dos with a friend on the bus and she would get lost.
Bathtime was very, very sad.
She mopily got out of the tub, wrapped herself in a towel, and announced she didn't feel much like a story tonight.
"Ok," I said.
She went into her room where Alec and Lindsay were waiting. He found that Candy, Lauren's betta fish, had died. When I came into the room to give her a hug, she was lying on her bed, still in the towel, face down sobbing. "I want another fish like Candy."
"Ok," I said. "We can go to the pet store tomorrow."
Hopefully, the weekend will get better.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
There were less than a dozen kids there. Most of them girls, most of them around 2. There was one boy, and one baby (a 10-month old). Today, they got a visit from the librarian who read stories, sang songs, and played games with them for about an hour. Now, Lauren is short for her age. So when the librarian went around the room and all the other kids said they were 2 and the same size, the librarian simply said, "I'll bet you're 2."
She seemed to have a pretty good time talking to the moms there, and playing with the toys otherwise. Lindsay also. The other parents, mostly with their eldest kids, largely seemed to gather to compare developmental notes in a game of one-upmanship I either no longer relate to, or never related to. "Ohh, Suzie did that weeks ago." When Suzie, who was admittedly an adorable little girl came over and said "Hi!" Her mom gushed, "Oh she's sooo friendly and outgoing." I smiled. "Better than the alternative, I guess." Her smile waned, "It's Very Good." And with that, she moved on to talk to another mom. The sole dad there asked all about Lindsay's milestones, puzzled that his own 5-month-old daughter hasn't rolled over yet. "Maybe she needs more tummytime, do you think?" he asked, sounding a little desperate. Another mom offered an anecdote about someone's kid who never rolled over, went right to sitting up and then walking. I was relieved for the distraction of the librarian, even though she was a bit clueless.
It's times like these I wonder why I'm so socially inept.
For the past week or so, there's been a dad at the bus stop who waits for his kid(s?) in his Honda Element about a half a block short of the actual stop. He reads the paper while he waits. I noticed the StepMom was waiting across the street on the other side, holding one of her twins in a carrier. I guessed that meant the other twin was asleep in her house, and that the corner was the extent of the monitor's range. AlphaMom saw her and went over there to chat. I guess I shouldn't interpret that it was shunning...AlphaMom and I don't have much to talk about. She has boys, I have girls. Her youngest is older than my oldest. But, if I weren't standing AT the bus stop, the bus wouldn't have stopped while other people chatted and sat in their warm cars. It made me more than a little grumpy, and just reinforced the depth of my ineptness.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
As a thank you, I thought I'd tell you about some blogs I think are swell:
Are We There Yet??: Linda writes a very funny blog - and it isn't easy to be a funny Mommyblogger. This post about online dating tickled me. And her icons are awesome.
Ask Moxie: Maybe it's the Brooklyn. Or maybe it's that she has Spanish nicknames for her boys. I love reading her advice blog - and almost always learn something from the commenters there.
Delaney Diaries: It's impossible to read Colleen's blog and not think she's just adorable. Oh, and Delaney - her almost 2-year old - a cutie.
Kerflop: As a matter of fact, I would squee if I met Jessica. I really admire all she does - her cottage industry, her commitment to her kids and sustainable living. Her blog really spans the spectrum from laugh out loud funny to the very poignant.
Life Can Come At You Fast: Navilyn's finding his blog-legs, so to speak. I'm already completely enamoured with little Chloe.
Mimi Writes: I was reading her Profile of the Day which is hysterically funny and features the Saturday Comeback Challenge first, but as hilarious as she is, Mimi's writing is the real stand out. Particularly what she wrote about New Years. She really captured Dad's dry wit.
Sister K: I just love that she tries on fancy clothes and takes her picture after she gets her hair done.
Reason Enough: Ill admit it adds to the hilarity of Karen's blog that I know Ross and Lars, but I am seriously addicted to her blog. Not to mention getting to "meet" some very cool ladies besides.
The Big Leather Couch: I wandered over to The Couch because I think he's probably the funniest person to never have won Mimi's Comeback Challenge. He's a great story teller.
The Daily Spawn: I was very excited when Lisa started blogging, because she's incredibly funny in person. Unfortunately (for me, anyway), she and her brood are down in Atlanta. I love this post, particularly the image of her making eyes at her husband from a hot tub full of curdled milk.
The Official WTIT Tape Radio Blog: I thought everyone's dad had a radio station that no one listened to when I was a kid. My dad is cooler than your dad. He has a really funny blog. My favorite post? His ersatz relationship with Debbie0415. The interview with Britney Spears is a close second. The post I am holding my breath for? The match date that looked so much like ex-wife number 2 that he hired her to clean the apartment.
The Plaid Sheep: I've learned more about the depths of Delphi on her blog than ever even hinted about in person. It's fun when you discover your friends are even cooler than you thought they were.
Monday, January 15, 2007
My bathroom almost looks like a catalogue picture in this one.
And less like a catalogue here. Hey, can't a cat have some privacy?!
The closet now has baseboard moulding!
And some crown moulding! And light fixtures!
We're thinking about the lighter of these 2 paint colors - butte rock.
As we were getting into bed last night, Alec kept saying "Heh heh heh. Butte. Heh heh." So, therefore it must be a good decorating choice.
On Friday, we got a letter home from the principal at Lauren's school that they're forming a committee to oversee the healthy eating initiative passed by the school board to assure that food served in the cafeteria and brought in meets certain guidelines. The key phrase she used was "with a focus on weight maintenance". I admit to being more than a little puzzled. First off, I thought school lunches had to comply with Federal health guidelines because part of their purpose is to make sure underprivileged kids have meals. Second of all, these are elementary-aged school kids. They need to gain weight, just as they need to get taller. Meanwhile, recess has been curtailed for No Child Left Behind. On rainy days, the kids don't get recess, they watch movies. I frankly think we may need to focus more on letting them be kids. Which means running around. And while I'm not proposing a steady diet of cupcakes and fries, I don't believe that the 60% of us who are overweight are this way because Katie's mom brought in sugar cookies for her birthday.
About 5 percent of adolescent and college-aged women have an eating disorder. I'm concerned with all the early focus on diet, that we're setting our daughters up.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
So's your mama.
To my readers who knit, definitely check out The Skein. All the cool kids are doing it.
To my blogger friends who're interested, if you email me, I will send you code.
That ends this Public Service Announcement.
We'd also decided that Alec would take off Lauren's spring break so that we could have another "play all week" week as we did during Christmas week. We were also talking about taking the girls to Hersey Park. Today I reserved our hotel accommodations for 2 nights at The Hersey Lodge. We will arrive on Wednesday, April 4th and depart on Friday, April 6. The Hersey Lodge has an indoor swimming pool and onsite mini golf, and our package includes complimentary tickets to the museum and zoo (theme park tickets are not included). On Wednesday night, a Hersey character will bring Lauren milk and cookies to our room! How cool is that?!
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
"My friend Martin's birthday is on Monday." Lauren announced.
I puzzled this for a moment. There isn't a Martin in her class. "Martin who?"
"Martin Luther King." she replied.
"Oh yes, his birthday is Monday." I said.
"Do you think I will get to have some of his birthday cake?"
"Well," I said. "Honey, Martin Luther King is dead."
"Yep. Since before I was born."
"Really?! How did he die?"
I paused a moment, trying to think of a good answer. Finally I said, "He was assassinated."
"Oh. Ok." she said. "Do you think he's buried underground?"
"Uh. I don't know, honey. Probably."
With this, she ran up to a boy in her class. "Hey, Miles? Do you know that Martin Luther King is dead?! He was assassinated and is probably buried underground!" she announced.
"Oh." said Miles. "That's cool, I guess."
Thursday, January 11, 2007
I had filled 2 gift bags and 2 paper grocery sacks full of books and clothes. Thursday is errand day, and I was headed to Main Street, so I figured I'd drop a bag of clothes off at the collection bins and bring a bag of books to the used bookstore. I also had to pick up the girls' add-a-pearl necklaces.
For those of you who haven't met me, I am really short. I stand just barely 5 feet tall in shoes. Alec is a few inches taller than me - I don't think it bothers him being short because he can do most things. It does bother me because most things intended for adults are geared toward people who are an average of 5'4". I never can reach anything on the upper shelves at stores. I can't stow my own carry-on luggage on an airplane. It's very annoying.
The clothing bins were no different. I had to jump (with Lin in the snugli) to lower the shelf down, and then sort of throw the bag up until it caught on the shelf. I grabbed the bag of books, which was just heavy enough to irritate my elbow a bit, and walked the block to the bookstore. There were 2 people who worked there, a middle-aged man who was sitting on a leather chair with a cat on his lap, and a middle-aged woman with very short red hair with her back to me. They argued for about 15 seconds about who was going to help me, but neither of them moved. The man said, "Ask Michael to help her then." At this point, a young man in his 20s walked around them and grabbed the bag from me and began sorting through my books.
"We don't do cash for books." he said, without looking at me. "Just store credit."
"Ok." I said.
He wrote a slip. Moved one pile off the desk onto the floor behind him, and the other he piled back into my bag. He placed the slip on top. "Seven fifty."
"Seven-fifty for the books we can sell. These," he lifted the bag handle, "are in poor condition or too old." He didn't wait for a response, he just walked away.
I grabbed the bag and left. There were a couple of novels I was pretty sure we bought from a used bookstore in Lee, Massachusetts, where we spent a summer working for an opera company in a house without a TV, so that wasn't hugely disappointing. There were 2 new condition books though. Apparently no one cares that Men are from Mars and Norton can keep his travels to himself.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before?
I swam with the stingrays. No, really - in January. I had been really looking forward to it. When we docked at Grand Cayman, we took a bus to a boat. The boat ride was about 45 minutes out, and it was hot - it had to be about 90 degrees that day...so I pushed my way to the front of the line to get into the water. In those last 2 minutes, the guides began explaining about the fact that their barbs are poisonous. I began having a nagging feeling that being 20 weeks pregnant, getting stung by a stingray, and being 45 minutes from shore was a very bad combination. Also, people have been going out to that sandbar to feed generations of stingrays, so they know when the boat stops, it's time to eat and they swarm. I got in the water, and they began to swarm which brought on a full-blown panic attack. There was no getting out of the water, so Alec tried to calm me down, and one of the guides brought over a big, old gramma stingray to show me that they really weren't so scary. I felt like I was about 5 years old as I sniffled and pet her leathery skin.
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and did make more for 2007?
I didn't make any.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I did. After over a week of contractions and feeling punk, I went to the hospital around 8 PM on May 20th, which was, incidently, the day my brother Ben got married. I was admitted at 11 PM, tried to call my family who were all too drunk to answer their cellphones. Lindsay was born at 7:11 AM on Sunday, May 21st.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, but we had a couple of friends who suffered significant losses.
5. What countries did you visit?
Mexico and Grand Cayman.
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
I'd like to have a bit more money. We spent most of 2006 with credit card debt, which was stressful. We did finally manage to pay it off after New Years, which felt pretty good. Although we have 529 accounts for the kids, and some life insurance for Alec, we don't have any savings. I'd like to change that.
7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 21, 2006, the day Lindsay was born.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I completed my first freshman level course at Rutgers, and got an A.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I haven't adequately established boundaries with our families, so holidays and social events are a ridiculous amount of stress for me.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I ended up back in the hospital a week after Lindsay was born with a kidney infection.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A Dell Inspiron E1405, my laptop.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Lauren has made significant leaps in development in 2006. She's learned how to sit at the table for an entire meal, how to write her name, and how to color in the lines.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Occasionally my own behavior is less than stellar. I still don't do a great job of communicating my feelings.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Into the house through rent, maintenance, and improvements.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going back to school.
16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
Shakira's Hips Don't Lie or Justin Timberlake's Sexy Back.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a. happier or sadder? Happier.
b. fatter or thinner? A little bit thinner.
c. richer or poorer? About the same.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spent more time as a family. Alec's travel schedule is hard.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I wish I spent less time fixated on stupid stuff that irritates me and doesn't matter.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
We spent Christmas with my family.
21. How did you spend New Years?
Drunk. We spent it with friends and all our kids.
22. Did you fall in love in 2006?
I stayed in love. That's harder.
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favorite TV program?
House. But, geez. They wrapped up that Tritter storyline in an annoying way last night. Who else yelled at the tv "You have to diagnose him, you limey idiot!" Oh, maybe that was just me.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I feel guilty saying this, but I really cannot stand Rachael Ray. Last year, I used to watch 30-Minute Meals, and then I realized she basically has about a half dozen tricks and stopped watching it. I watched about a half hour of her talk show yesterday at the mechanic while waiting for my car - she's so insipid and annoying. And she has a really big head.
26. What was the best book you read?
Sink Reflections. It's changed my life.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Panic! At the Disco.
28. What did you want and get?
A Sirrius satellite radio for the car. Love it!
29. What did you want and not get?
I really wanted curtains for the kitchen, and the ones I liked had been sent to the clearance rack. There was only one valance left - I needed 2.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't get to the movies much. I really enjoyed Lucky Number Sleven.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I spent the day taking care of a feverish Lindsay. I was 32.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
One thing? Hmm. More sleep.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
I brought in 2006 wearing maternity clothes, and rung it out in nursing wear. Stacy London would definitely be appalled.
34. What kept you sane?
Kept me sane? That horse has been out of the barn a while...
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I followed Angelina's pregnancy because it coincided with mine...I wouldn't say I fancy her. I frankly think she's more than a little weird.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
It's way passed time for this war to be over.
37. Who did you miss?
My sister, but the trade off was definitely worth it. She's doing better.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
Lauren's teacher - she's really great.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006:
You can get a lot accomplished if you let go of your fear of failure.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Why, you are surely thinking, Epiphany, you seem like such a nice woman who swears too much. You do spend an appalling amount of time on the Internet, though, sweetie.
Mostly, my flaw this week so far is that I've heard "but Nanny lets me do that" and "Nanny says this is OK" so many times I am beginning to wonder if it's tattooed somewhere on my flesh. You know, one of those great big tattoos that looks so hip and fabulous on stretchmarked aging skin.
"No, Lauren. You can't play with those now."
"Nanny would let me."
Finally I said, "I am not concerned about the rules in Nanny's house. This is my house. You will follow my rules."
"You're the worst Mom ever," with dramatic sighs and alligator tears.
"Really? Just because you can't play with beads on the floor while Lindsay is awake?"
"Yes." Another big sigh, for emphasis, complete with, "All you ever do is yell at me."
"Wow. It is sure hard to be you." I said. "Would you like a hug?"
Monday, January 08, 2007
We met Alec's dad around lunchtime and picked up Lauren, ate lunch at Uno's where Alec had to crane his neck to watch the Jets game (they lost), and stopped off at the Home Depot and bought Alec some pneumatic equipment and a compound mitre saw for finishing up the bedroom project.
I've got quite a lot of clothes and books to unload as part of the bedroom project, and just general cluttering Chez Stoll. There's a clothing drop pretty much every 10 yards here, but where to donate books? The library's Web site offered only that "the reference librarian must review all book donations", which sounds like an incredible hassle. There is a used book store in town, but they only offer store credit which would sort of defeat the purpose.
I'm tired today and having trouble motivating. It seems these days the sleep strike occurs the day before Alec leaves now, so going into 3 days alone on a sleep deficit is particularly painful...and only more so on a Monday when there's a lot of house related stuff to do.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Then there was a big crash as a dark Toyota rounded the corner too fast and hit the tree just 2 feet from where I was standing. I was close enough to get hit by the pieces of plastic from the light as it shattered. I stood blinking, hardly believing it. Time moved slow as I watched the Camry continue down the street. It stopped in the middle of the next intersection and parked.
There was a moment I thought "Oh my God. They're coming back to kill me" and wanted to run. A woman in a Volvo pulled around the corner. "What just happened?"
I don't think anything came out when I opened my mouth.
"Are you alright?"
"Yes." I managed. I watched a young girl get out of the driver's side of the car and get in the back seat. "They hit the tree." I said. "I think they were doing something they shouldn't...the little girl was driving."
The woman replied, "I was worried because they were driving about 8 miles an hour down Lincoln."
The man who lives on the house on the corner asked, "Should I call the police?"
"Yes." I said. "We don't know if the driver is okay."
"Are you ok?"
"Yes." I said as emphatically as I could manage. I still wanted to run. I wanted to curl up and cry. The home owner ducked back into his house.
A young man emerged from the car. He was tall and young himself. He told me his little sister was driving the car - her first time driving...and she mistook the gas for the brake.
I want to say I yelled at the boy, but I didn't. He kept telling me how sorry he was, and how he didn't mean for this to happen - and was there anything he could do. I told him we were OK, and I asked about his sister. "She's pretty shaken up. We will probably have to sit awhile until she is ready to go home."
"The police will want to take a report," I said.
"Ok, I am going to wait in my car for the police," he said.
The police arrived, 3 cruisers, moments after the school bus. I waited a few minutes, but they seemed uninterested in me. I decided to quietly leave and go home. The police were here. The kids were probably in a bunch of trouble, and would be in more once their parents heard the story.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
I got this great little garden as a Christmas present from Alec. I had been waiting to take a picture when the plants didn't look like little paper cups with plastic hats. Underneath the hood, there's just water. The light cycle is about 18 hours, and these little sprouts are the result of a week in the machine.
And finally...and an adult warning here for those delicate natured...
I bought Alec some vitamins since Peapod was running its special on the NatureMade brand. I had placed them on the window sill next to his antibiotic prescription figuring he'd see them, but I realized this morning when they were still sealed that he didn't and I forgot to mention it to him. So I messaged him this morning:
Epiphany: Hey. I forgot to tell you I got you vitamins.
Alec: Oh, cool. Thanks.
Epiphany: It says they are specially formulated for men, which I can only assume means that they have the American League box scores and a bee jay in every pill!
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Today I was sorting through the boxes in my foyer that have sat in the corner of the closet since we moved in. I threw out 3 photo albums, a collection of report cards, playbills, and concert programs which were my childhood.
I have those memories. I don't need my high school boyfriend's dried up boutonniere to remind me of what was. Four years of high school had high points - but mostly low ones. I was glad to leave that part of my life behind. So why, you might ask, have I kept a box of those momentos for 15 years?
I really have no idea.
"What happens when the girls want to know about your prom?"
"Do you mean the one I got dumped the day before? Or the one where some drunk chick from Hall told my boyfriend I was having an affair with a teacher?"
Alec snorted. "Well, I don't have any pictures from my prom."
Monday, January 01, 2007
I took Lindsay up to bed. She mostly went down easily. I thought I'll just sit for a minute on the twin bed in her room when everything in my stomach suddenly rebelled. Oh my God, I thought, I'm going to be sick!
The next thing I knew, I was lying on the bathroom floor listening to Lindsay fussing in her crib. Maybe our guests would just think I had trouble getting Lindsay to sleep? I worried someone would come up and check and find me lying with my face on the cool tiles of the bathroom floor. I peeled myself off the floor and got onto my bed. I lay there for what seemed like a very long time. My stomach lurched and the room was still spinning. I tried to remember if I was mixing drinks...no...how many glasses of wine did I have? I realized I was going to have to go back downstairs. The kids were still playing in the living room, and the adults were drinking champagne around the dining room table over the last of dessert.
I have no idea if I looked as sick as I felt, drinking a tall glass of cold tea. Alec brought me a blanket to wrap around me before we watched the ball drop in Times Square on the television. Our guests left, and I put Lauren to bed and climbed into a hot shower. When he got back from the train station, I was drinking another glass of tea in the kitchen.
"Uhh. Yeah. I got sick."
"Just now? You haven't been drinking in a while..."
"No, when I brought Lindsay up."
"Huh. Let me get you some Advil..."
"Do you think everybody knew?"
"No...I think everybody just thought you were tired."
And that's why I love that man.