Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I've Never Liked Rollercoasters

So my Fertility Friend chart is convinced that I ovulated last Friday. Hmmm. I'm not so sure, but I haven't been very good at the ovulation test strips. They say to use them during the day, but only when you haven't had anything to drink for two hours. Seriously. I'm drinking water all day. It's not healthy otherwise. I get thirsty after thirty minutes.

Today, I've been on an emotional rollercoaster. I was crying before lunch time. Really. It's disgusting. It was work stuff. I was really frustrated with someone, and I had to take a twenty minute walk to calm down. It's all over stuff that has happened before. So Chester and I went to a diner for lunch, and I gorged myself on Eggs Benedict (sauce on the side, eggs scrambled). Felt better.

Monday morning, I woke up at five with the urge to use the bathroom, but being a dutiful TTC person, I stuck a thermometer in my mouth to get my basal body temperature. I didn't make it to the bathroom in time. Thus starts my awful day of having the stomach flu. Thirty minutes before Chester was going to leave and take Ben to school, Ben threw up all over our recliner and hardwood floors. Again. So we all stayed home. I needed to sleep, so Chester stayed home to care for the Benz. Five beautiful hours of sleep.

Since Ben had a third hearing test Tuesday around noon, I had already requested Tuesday afternoon off as vacation time. So after he passed his test (finally), I had the afternoon to myself. I relaxed in bed with a chunk of Hersheys with Almonds and US Weekly. Eventually, I napped.

No wonder today sucked. Even having my butt explode all day on Monday was better than being here. This back-to-work angst should end soon, I hope. The only thing making life tolerable today: Listening to Damien Rice's "9" album on my cd player. Even if I'm only allowed one ear bud, it's still nice to listen to ultra depressing, ultra emotional music while I'm furiously proofreading. Favorite lines: "Waking up without you is like drinking from an empty cup." and "Does he drive you wild, or just mildly free?"

Ben is feeling better, although he's not quite back to normal. Still not eating that much, and he's very, very whiny and irritable.

Cute Ben Thing:

Last night, I picked up my shirt off the floor and walked into the bathroom. I put it down the laundry chute and went about other business. Ben came in shortly after me, carrying his own shirt from the daytime. He stood at the laundry chute, trying to reach the knob to open the door.

I started crying and laughing, it was so cute. I called Chester into the room, and helped Ben open the door. He stretched up on his tippy-toes to put his shirt down the chute... and wasn't quite tall enough to push it all the way in. We helped with that too.

We hadn't gotten around to teaching him that yet, but he learned it on his own.

Remodeling Update:

I decided that instead of trying to hang pictures in Ben's room, since the ceiling slants so much, I'm going to paint and write poems on his walls. Shel Silverstein's "Picture Puzzle Piece," William Wordsworth's "Daffodils," Carl Sandburg's "Fog," Robert Frost's "Dust of Snow," and Walt Whitman's "A Noiseless, Patient Spider."

In my last apartment in Stevens Point, I had written out passages from my favorite books and some of my favorite poems all over my living room walls. It was a wonderful room to sit in. Felt like I was being embraced by long-loved words. I think it'll be interesting to see how Ben and his new sibling react over the years to living in a space like that. By choosing poems a little deeper than nursery rhymes, I hope that they'll learn to appreciate classic literature and the magic of vocabulary.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday With My Boys

It all started out pretty well. We stayed in bed a lot later than usual. I didn't get up until six, and Chester didn't get up until six-thirty. While I was cooking breakfast, Chester woke up the boy. I should have known something was wrong since he slept in so late.

Around seven-thirty, I plopped Ben down in his high chair for breakfast. Chester was in the shower; he had to be at work by eight for some overtime project with his boss. As I started to put on Ben's bib, he coughed... and then gagged... and then vomited. It kept coming and coming. I think it was even lunch from yesterday. It was awful and smelly and chunky. Nasty. I went into the bathroom and told Chester to help.

After the deluge was over, Ben needed a bath. He was pretty listless, but still in a generally good mood. I gave him a bottle of milk after his bath. Ten minutes later, it was all over our floors and a stack of blankets on the floor. Ick. Ick. Ick.

When Chester got back from work at noon, and after our three hour nap, he also came down with a stomach bug.

This has been a really long day. I even had to shovel our sidewalk. And since we have a winter storm warning, I have a feeling I'll be out there at least another two times this weekend.

Really, I'm not that pissy of a person. It's just been a few bad days. My life is still really good. I have a lovely marriage, an adorable son, a warm house. We're getting a good chunk of money back from the IRS, so we'll even be able to pay off some of our bills. Life is good. Great. I just wish it didn't have to contain chunky, stinky vomit.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday "Everything's Pissing Me Off Today" Meme


FRUIT: Papaya
CANDY: Carmellos
BEVERAGE: Tomato Juice
COLOR: (How can somebody hate a color?) Hmmm. Cotton Candy Pink. As a side note, in college, I painted my bedroom Cotton Candy Pink and Bright Red. It was an interesting year.
TV SHOW: I run screaming from Wife Swap or similar-themed shows.
MOVIE: Dawn of the Dead
ANIMAL: Not a big fan of pit bulls. I live across the street from a breeder.
INSECT: Mosquitos.
BIRD: Who hates birds? I mean, really? Come on. Let's say Pelicans. Don't ask why.
SEASON: Summer. I can't tolerate hot, steamy weather.
AGE OF KIDS: I've met some really bratty six year olds.


DRIVING?: Definitely not using turn signals. My husband slows down to turn into a parking lot, but waits until the last moment to turn on his blinker. It drives me batty.

TALKING ON THE PHONE?: Can this be about other people talking on the phone? 1. Too-loud ringers. 2. Someone talking on the cell phone while in the public bathroom. I start flushing non-stop just to piss them off.

WATCHING TV OR MOVIES: Commercials. Gawd, they suck hard.

EATING IN RESTAURANTS: People who glare at my son because he's making a lot of noise. Why can't some people just relax and enjoy the innocent laughter and frivolity of toddlers? No one else gets that excited from stacking jelly packets.

GOING THROUGH DRIVE-THRUS: Mixing up my order. Taco Bell gave us the totally wrong bag yesterday... And since their stuff isn't tightly wrapped, I was really annoyed that I looked through a bag of tacos and was touching food intended for someone else. Where the hell was my quesadilla? Then they had to remake our order which took another five minutes. It was revolting. And did they give us a free cinnamon twists to assuage our anguish? No. They just said "Sorry." I have it on good authority (husband) that cinnamon twists are ridiculously cheap and easy to make. Take spiral macaroni pasta, uncooked, throw it in a deep fat fryer. Watch it sizzle and then expand. Shake it dry. Dust it with cinnamon and sugar. Done. Would that have been too painful to let us have a free pouch?

YOU'RE AT THE MALL: Um. I don't go to the mall because they piss me off so much. Is it wrong that I only shop at places with stuff on clearance? Seriously. The last time I was at the mall was for a Coworker Group playdate. If I was at a mall, I would be annoyed by people who eat while shopping. I once saw a lady munching on doritos and then using that same hand to paw through stacks of clothes. Everything was covered in cheese dust. Ick.

SLEEPING (OR TRYING TO SLEEP): As much as I appreciate my husband doing the dishes, we have a small house, and when he does the dishes after I get into bed, it sounds like he's banging glasses and pots together just to make noise. Kind of like the time I had Ben start playing with the pots and pans when Chester was sleeping in too late one Saturday. It sucks.

SHOWERING: I like hot showers. That is why I've insisted that my dear husband take his showers in the evenings so I can all of our hot water to myself. This was never a problem in our old apartment, but we have an electric water heater now, and it's true... those take forever to heat.

YOU'RE AT THE BEACH: Teenagers making out in the water when I'm trying to have wholesome playtime with my son, just yards away from the shallow end. Get a room, and keep your fluids inside, please.

YOU'RE AT THE GROCERY STORE: People who are in a huge hurry and cut me off, or just have a really pissy look on their faces. They suck. I smile at them while showing as many teeth as possible.

YOU'RE ON A DATE: The other person just sits there like a freaking lump on a really boring log. Won't give anything but one or two word answers to my questions. I get it that they're shy and I can have a really BIG personality sometimes, but come on. You're on a date to meet new people, start a relationship. Open up a little, damn it.

COOKING OR BAKING: Getting midway through preparations and cooking before I realize I'm missing a vital ingredient like eggs, milk, meat or wondra flour.

WHAT HOUSEHOLD CHORE DO YOU HATE THE MOST?: Kitty litter box. Hands down. The winner.

WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD BE THE ABSOLUTE WORST WAY TO DIE? Lung cancer. It's too slow and painful and distressing.

WHAT'S THE MOST ANNOYING HABIT IN OTHERS?: Whining. Life is what you make of it, and that includes work. I get disgruntled fairly often, but I still am able to find things I like about my job.

WHAT IS YOUR WORST HABIT?: Nose picking. Not in public. That's just gross. But even the private habits are worth a bit of shame.

WHAT FASHION TREND (PAST OR PRESENT)? Odd colors and applications of eye shadow. Bright blue or green eye liner. Leggings on girls who aren't built for them. Brown lip liner. But most of all, those damn curling-iron bangs. I was guilty of this in the nineties, but my sister was one of the major offenders. She did the curling iron bangs WITH hairspray that made them stand straight up and curl back. My sister-in-law still wears her hair like that. She also still gets perms.

WHAT POPULAR SONG (PAST OR PRESENT)? Pretty much anything from the seventies and eighties. That whole Retro Lunch thing on our local pop station? Yeah. Not for me. I'd rather listen to Rush Limbaugh.

WORST THING ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL: Hormones. Holy crap those things got me into a bunch of trouble. School would be much easier to deal with if there wasn't this whole DRAMA thing going on in your head.

MOST IRRITATING THING ABOUT YOUR CAR: I decided this morning that there are two kinds of people. Those who keep their cars clean like it's a rental and those who treat it like their bedroom closets. Sure, you have to have a place to put things, but crap tends to gather up in the corners. We are the latter. And it upsets me sometimes that I seem unable to keep our car neat and tidy.

TO BE COMPLETELY STEREOTYPICAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST ANNOYING THING ABOUT FEMALES? Oh, that's easy. Women who feel the need to bash guys all the time. I'm not a man-hater and I don't blame them for all the problems that women have. Take some responsibility for your own moods and actions, ladies.

TO BE COMPLETELY STEREOTYPICAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST ANNOYING THING ABOUT MALES? My husband feels that he knows everything about home improvement. His cockiness has caused a lot of broken things in our home. So something, like a faucet, doesn't get fixed... it now needs to be replaced. It's a Tim-the-tool-man-Taylor thing. Growl.

Monday, February 19, 2007

One of These Days... + Meme

One of these days, I'll get around to having a perfectly picked up house. The dishes won't stay in the sink more than two days. Laundry will be folded and put away the same day that it is washed and dried. I will scrub out the toilet more than twice a month. One of these days.

I grew up in a very cluttered house. Other than being Super SAHM, my mother didn't have an organization bone in her body. Piles of clutter. Baskets of clutter. All drawers were junk drawers. Since the kids moved away, her house has become pretty clean. She still has her areas (like kitchen counters), but for the most part, her house is fine. You'd think I'd revolt against my childhood by becoming the opposite. A neat freak. Well, I go through spurts of that, but for the most part, I'm somewhere in the middle. What's nice is that the clutter I let gather around is just daily stuff, not stuff that should be in storage. So if I need to have a presentable house in 15 minutes, no problem. I can do that. I'm the queen of the 15-minute pickup.

For now, I'll keep being me, and keep spending time with my darling toddler boy. I keep blinking, and he keeps growing up.

Five Things You Didn't Know About Me

1. My right knee is all banged up with scars from when I flew off of our moped when I was nine. I was driving on gravel, and I lost control, and I ended up about five feet in front of the moped. My knee was gushing blood, but I refused to get stitches, so my mother had a friend talk her through how to do a butterfly bandage. The resulting scar is unsightly, but really. I had getting stitches. I think they're barbaric.

2. I have a little bitty scar on my second toe on my left foot. When I was a toddler (about 20 months) I got my leg caught up in the spokes of my mom's bike when I was riding on the back. Miracle, the only thing that got hurt was my toe, which was split open.

3. When I yawn, it usually involves a lot of arm flailing and loud squeals. Like my expressive sneezes (which are anything but ladylike), my yawns are intense. While my body gapes open at the mouth to draw in extra oxygen, I end up pounding on a nearby surface with my fists and shaking my head from side to side. And the sound? It varies. Usually some time of squeal. And I always have to explain afterwards that it was only a yawn. Wish I could fix that.

4. I like doing the dishes. I think this started when Ben was a baby and we were having to wash bottles every day. It was a little break from tending to the screaming newborn. Now, I enjoy it because I get to listen to whatever book on tape is currently in my stereo... and I like the suds. And the warm water is soothing in the winter. I don't take baths (I'm a shower girl), but I still like immersing my hands in very warm water. It's relaxing.

5. I don't have very good sense when it comes to certain math issues. You know those mathematical problems that start "A train left Boston at 2:24 pm and traveled an average of 42 mph, and a donkey left Santa Fe at 1 am, and had oats for breakfast. What time did Elvis go potty?" I can't do them. I can understand each half of the problem, but I can't join them together to see how the two halves affect each other. I always aced my math classes in high school and college, but never got one of those questions correct.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Newborn Sleep Deprivation, Memory Lane

Coworker Mo got back from maternity leave this week after six long weeks at home with Baby Brody.

This morning she came by my cubicle and asked me, "Is there anything I can do to get Brody to fall back asleep during the night? I'm so tired." Little boy is up three or four times a night, and he wants to stay up, looking around, preferrably while perched on Mom's shoulder as she walks back and forth. You know the drill.

I told her there wasn't a magic trick, and it's really hard coming back to work when your baby is so little... mostly because you miss him, but also because you're sleep deprived because you have a newborn. I told her to try everything and don't give up trying new things or old things over again. Eventually, something will work... even if it's a bouncy chair in front of the tv while you sleep a foot away on the couch. Any shut-eye is good.

I also advised her to insist on taking turns with her husband since Brody takes a bottle. Both of them have full-time jobs, and one person isn't more entitled to sleep at this point.

Believe me, I feel for her. There are a half dozen other ladies around here who are recently new moms, and we all remember those first four or five months. We joked this morning about taking an egg timer out to the car to close your eyes for twenty minutes in the car... or falling asleep in the lactation room here at work while you're pumping.

Remembering that newborn ordeal makes me very relieved that after I have the next baby, I won't be going back to work. My SAHM life will be harder in so many ways, but hopefully I can sneak in a 15-minute nap while my little ones sleep.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Homemade Play-Doh recipe

courtesy of my mother, SAHM extraordinaire

Mix the dry ingredients together in the saucepan before adding the liquids, which have also been mixed together before adding to the dry.
1 C. flour
1/2 C. salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 C. water
1 Tbs. cooking oil
fragrance and food coloring
Pour the liquid mixture into the dry and heat, stirring til mashed potato consistency.
Knead immediately. Keeps well in a sealed container.
The fragrance is preferably "oil of wintergreen".

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Another Day, Another Cycle

I'm a VIP member at Fertility Friend. It's an online charting and calendar tool for those trying to conceive. I've been charting for a few weeks, but they do a cruel, cruel thing when you get your period. They erase your chart and make you start over. It was psychologically disturbing for me to see my chart start over. Sure, it's a new cycle with all new information, but finding out I'm not pregnant was tough enough. I don't know why it bothered me.

I started my period yesterday morning. It was a sad day, so I went on a TTC (trying to conceive) shopping spree. I bought a pack of ovulation test strips, more pregnancy test strips and one of those saliva microscope/ovulation predictor things. Dang it. I want to have another baby before 2008. I better get cooking. Chester is amused by my enthusiasm and determination. I don't think he realizes how tired he will be.

Since last night was a Walmart night, we went to Wendy's beforehand for dinner. We do that so Ben can eat dinner at a normal time, and we aren't out so late. We were enjoying a meal of chicken nuggets, salads and french fries, when a family of six children and two parents came in. The kids were all age 6 months to about 8 years old. Without the parents even having to direct traffic, the kids picked out a seat at a table, took off their coats and sat down. Then, while the parents were getting the food, they sat quietly and talked. When the little baby started babbling and flailing, one of the older children went over to sit by him and entertain him. None of the children was acting up, running around, bouncing off the walls, etc. Just very polite, well-behaved kids. I was rather intrigued as to why they all had the same haircut, even the girls. It's hard to speculate as to the reason for the across-the-board boy cuts. They were all in hand-me-downs, and they seemed to really appreciate each other's company.

The whole scene made me and Chester smile. It was neat to see the kids interact with each other. The family at the table behind us, two kids and an extra friend, were well-behaved, but more vocal. We heard a little brother ask an older sister a stupid question, and she told him to shut up already. Even that made us smile.

Siblings can be fun. I am seven years younger than the next oldest kid in my family, so I felt like an only child for most of my life. I didn't have a built-in playmate. I remember my older brother would dangle me over the stairs by my ankles, and my sister would help hold me down while they all experimented with pressure points (but they pinched, not pressed). Despite my own experiences, I know that having a brother or sister close to your age can be amusing and worthwhile. I know this because I see how my brothers and my sister interact as adults.

My sister and my older brother especially. I'm very jealous of their close friendship. They are both intensely loyal towards each other and have even bailed each other out of jail in the past. They like doing stuff together. They're friends, even though they are very different. It's the shared bond of blood and a past that bring them together.

I'm sure Ben will make a lot of friends throughout his life, but I'd like to give him more of a family, too. And I think I'll be quite happy with more than one kid. I like a little crazy chaos, and I think kids are a lot of fun. The more the merrier, right? Chester pales when I talk about this, and he clears his throat... "Uh... How many are you talking about?"

*Smile* We'll see, dear. Let's start with two and see how much fun that is.

In other news, Daycare has started to transition my baby boy into the toddler room. Now he'll be eating at a table with a tray and flatware. He'll take a single nap on a cot. He'll brush his teeth after lunch. He'll drink from a sippy cup and not a bottle. I'm sad about this, too. He's growing up way too fast.

This morning we had a hug-fest on his bedroom floor. I was getting him dressed, and he was squirming, so I'd take little breaks to squeeze him rock from side to side while grunting (that sounds a lot weirder than it actually is). He encouraged it by wrapping his arms around my neck and laying his head on my shoulder. Kept coming back for more hugs. Then, Daddy came up and joined the little party. Double the hugs. Double the giggles. Double the love. I wish I could freeze time on that scene and go back to it when I need a break from the hectic times at work or when Chester and I have stupid fights.

Update: Happy 100th Post!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I'm a Party Girl

Those who know me and love me, know that I'm not fond of parties. I avoid them actually. Even if I accept an invitation, it's a pretty good bet that I'll cancel within four days of the event.

Why? Well, about four years ago while I was in college, I got into a little trouble with friendships and relationships. My life was spiraling out of control because of bad decisions and the people I was hanging around. I also did something really stupid while really drunk.

The remedy? I put myself into seclusion. I cut almost everybody out of my life, became a nanny, and learned to enjoy my own company again. I ended up dropping out of college with only ten credits to go, but that's just a side effect.

The result? Everything eventually became very quiet in my head. That's the best way I can describe it. That feeling is addictive. It really is. This inner peace and centeredness. I started a couple hobbies. Cross stitching and crossword puzzles. I started listening to countless books on tape. For a couple years, I didn't even have cable.

Over the last couple years, I've let myself make friends again. (This is not related to the boyfriends, fiances, and now husband. I never cut myself off from having a romantic relationship. I just became far more selective). My first friend, Mary, chose me. I had just started the job that I currently have, and within a month, she started coming by my cube and talking to me. Sometimes for an hour at a time. Couldn't help a real friendship from developing, and now she's my best friend, even though she's left the company.

Then, I started sharing personal current life details with my boss. We both have baby boys -- I found out I was pregnant the week before she went on maternity leave -- and we both enjoy reading actual books and reading celebrity gossip blogs. Now, there isn't much we don't share with each other. But it's mostly a work-based friendship.

I know a lot of people, and I'm friendly with almost everybody. People have just learned that even though you have to invite Cheryl to parties, she will probably graciously decline, but will inevitably buy a present to compensate.

Here's the deal on why I don't like parties now. One, I don't drink. Most of that is fear that I'll do another Really Stupid Thing. The other is that I take Zoloft, and mixing that with alcohol is dumb. But if I commit another RST, I can't run away from this life that I now have. I have my own roots now... a baby... a husband. Unless I could convince hubby to run away with me, I'd be stuck.

Two, I don't have a huge amount of patience for making small talk with people I don't really like. This happened when I realized that I could live a happy life without being surrounded by people. It also happened when I realized I could tell people to leave me alone. "You've been in my apartment for ten minutes now. That's enough. This visit is over. Please leave." Oh sure, if I wanted to, I could talk with strangers for hours. I finished the journalist training of my degree, and I'm really good at interviewing and asking interesting questions to create interesting conversation. I just don't care enough.

Three, I don't like being around other people who are drinking. People always tell me that it's okay that I don't drink, I can just watch other people make asses of themselves. Um. Okay. But there have been times in my life where people who are drunk have done their own RST. I don't want to be involved in that. I like sobriety. I like knowing that the person I'm talking to will remember it the next day, and I like knowing that the person I'm talking to is genuine and not filtered through a boozy haze. I don't have any time for people who get all cuddly and friendly when they're tipsy, but don't have the time of day for me when they're sober.

I make exceptions. One time in particular is holidays with my family. One of my sisters usually manages to sneak in some wine, and will surreptiously serve it in paper cups to the rest of the sisters. My mother is very anti-alcohol, but my family is full of very strong personalities, and sometimes, a little loopiness is necessary to relax. And I limit myself to an ounce or two.

So, two weeks ago, my husband's department announced its annual Christmas party. And Chester arranged for Mary (above-mentioned best friend) to come and babysit. And of course I spent the last week trying to get out of it. No luck.

I like a lot of the people in my husband's department. They're a bunch of sarcastic, witty, computer geeks. They can handle my "zingers" and can dish it out just as well. But when it comes to get-togethers, I'd rather be at home folding laundry or playing with Ben.

The upside is, the parties are held at the homes of executives or upper management. Their homes are usually new construction with a rec area in the basement. That means a big screen tv, comfy couches and a pool table. So, last night, while most people were upstairs around the food, Chester and I hung out downstairs and pretended to know how to play pool. We really can't play well. I made small talk while watching tv with my husband's boss's wife (I still don't know her name). We stayed for an hour.

And guess what. Now, I get to start planning my housewarming party. Because even though the people in my department know I don't do parties, they're insisting that I have a housewarming party to show off my new house. Bastards. Maybe I'll serve booze and get nice and toasted along with my coworkers. Yeah, right.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Maybe Baby? This Time With A Breakdown

Geez, my cycles are screwed up. My past three cycles since I went off the pill have been 25, 23, and 29. I started doing the basal body temperature charting thing a few weeks ago, and according to that, it'll be day 36 of my cycle before I'm expected to get my period again. Today is day 29.

We still have a good chance that we conceived (because we're frisky little buggers), but it sucks since I have to wait so long to find out. This "wondering" part of the month is tough. Here's the breakdown of clues, either way.

Maybe Baby?
--My skin is kind of flushed and pink.
--I have crazy mood swings.
--My appetite is huge.
--I'm craving Mexican food (which isn't normal for me).
--My mind seems to think I'm pregnant, because I keep talking about my "babies" and when we have the new little baby in the fall. I also am more prone to talking to my belly when I'm bored. "Hi there, little baby. Welcome to the family. We hope you have fun."

Probably No Baby
--Life was very busy this cycle and we didn't "um, you know" as often as we had planned. Mostly my fault. When the boy goes to sleep between 7:30 and 8, I usually head to bed too. If I'm really tired, I might not feel like making the effort.
--My cycles are so erratic, and I'm not even sure I'm ovulating.
--I don't want to think about this part of the list. I want to be preggers.

Anyway. We'll just have to wait and see. My mom thinks it's weird that her daughters "plan" their babies. When she was getting pregnant, they didn't do charting or testing. If you missed two periods in a row, you were probably pregnant. Instead, I'm charting my temps and buying PG tests in bulk.

In other news: Rooster Boy (who isn't so rooster-ish anymore... he got his haircut last night) is at the doctor's office right now with Chester. Ben woke up this morning with an awful cough. He goes on these coughing jags that usually include wretching and gagging. Not a good sign. And he's wheezing during the day now, rather than just at night. Since he was a preemie, our doctors are very careful about respiratory infections and viruses with him.

Update: The doctor said Ben has another ear infection and a bad cold. He's now on augmentin.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Dream a Little Dream of Cabinets

Before: This picture was taken on the day we but in an offer on the house. That's all the previous homeowner's stuff. We don't have a big table in the room... and the picture doesn't show the big window above the sink to the right of the frame. We have a nice new stove, too.

My plans for my kitchen continue to evolve. I'm still sold on the blue and the lace, but I've picked out a treatment for our cabinets. Beadboard. We're going to buy inexpensive beadboard paneling and attach that to the cabinet doors, and then frame it out with simple strips of wood. I will paint it cream and then antique it by rubbing some dark brown oil paint into the grooves and then wipe it out.

It will be beautiful. It's also tricky. We'll have to replace all the hinges on the doors at the same time, and since the cabinet doors are bigger than the "holes" they cover, we need to be careful about how thick the facing on the cabinet is, or we won't be able to completely open the door.

Also... there's a blank space of wall above the cabinets. Instead of installing cabinets up there, I want to leave it, but find a beautiful wallpaper and apply it to that "crown" of wall above the cabinets. I think it'll be a nice, interesting touch since the other walls will be solid blue.

We still need to price out the materials... but our time frame for this project is summertime. This month, our money will go to buying a new bathroom sink and faucet.

Ever-Changing Colors of Benji

Bad blogger, for letting so much time pass between posts. All I have to say to that is "bite me." And I mean that in the nicest, least hormonal way possible, really. Of course, no one was actually chiding me for neglecting my blogging but myself, so this is really just an internal argument with myself.

Ben and I are holed up for the weekend due to the wind chill advisory. Seriously, 30 degrees below zero is a little nuts. Chester, however, seems to enjoy running errands all by himself, and he's left the confines of our home three times already. More power to him.

My dear son is going through a phase right now. It's the best way I can describe it. This new phase involves a newly uncharted level of whining and mood swings. Thursday when we got to daycare to pick him up, we unhappily noticed a sign on the door saying "There have been three confirmed cases of pink eye." By Friday, Ben's right eye was glued shut and it was all tender and swollen. Chester stayed home with him.

Later that morning, Ben had a doctor's appointment for a check-up on his bronchitis. Our dear doctor confirmed that his bronchitis has gotten worse, but hey, the ear infection is gone. So now in addition to those hated eye drops three times a day, Ben gets to endure the fun of more antibiotics, AYR saline nose drops, Vicks Vapo-Rub and liquid Sudafed as soon as we can find a pharmacy that stocks it. So really, it's no wonder he's a cranky little guy.

For the most part, he's absolutely delightful. While Chester was out playing at the hardware store, Ben and I were up in his room, taping and painting. My little 13-month old managed to keep himself busy and content for three whole hours in a 12x19 room that contains no toys to speak of. We had a great time. Sure, some of his found-object-toys were less than ideal, he didn't get hurt. And I was able to get stuff done. Win-win.

This is such a fun age. Teaching him how to dance to the music, and hearing him sing along, is terrific. I'm always dancing and singing to the radio when it's on, and I was hoping that he would someday join in the fun. Looks like he's starting, and that makes me very happy. (Chester will do it when I'm not looking, and it's precious... the man can't find a note if it was glued to his nose, and I didn't marry him for his dancing ability.)

No offense to Packer fans out there, and I know you're there. But I had a minor (somewhat major) freakout last night as I was admiring my handiwork after painting a section of the second color in Ben's room. Mind you, the colors I picked were blue for the ceiling, yellow for the east and west walls, and green for the north and south walls. The yellow is already up, and yesterday I painted most of the green. Do you see where this is headed? I stood back and my heart fell.

I showed my color choices to at least eight people of different backgrounds and interests. No one noticed or if they did, mentioned to me, that the green and the yellow together would be the Packers colors. Yes, folks, my son's nursery is a Packers nursery. In soft yellow and green. And it's driving me crazy.

I'm hoping that once the blue is on the ceiling, it won't be quite so ... Green Bay ... but I'm not counting on it. I have a feeling I'll have to paint out one of the colors by the end of summer. I'll live with it for a while, but if it still bothers me by the end of summer, Chester says I can paint it again.

Oh well.