Friday, September 29, 2006

Vacation Mode

I am totally useless today.

I'm posting on my lunch hour, which has actually been the busiest hour of my day so far. I'm about to do two hours on desk, then sign timesheets, and then I believe I may leave early. Or I may process some gift books, just because that's about all my brain can take right now.

I had to go by Verizon to get a charger for my mobile phone, as all I can locate are my two car chargers and I won't have a car in Florida. Let me just say that the good folks at Verizon could stand with a little customer service training.

"We don't have that charger."

"Um, okay... " *blink* "Does the Crossroads store have it?"

"Well, the closest store to here is Crossroads..."

*blink* "Okay... so do they have it?"

*tippity tappity* "Yep, they have it..."

*blink* "Okay... so..." *giving up* "nevermind, what's their number?"


"They're PHONE number... so I can call them?"

"Oh... it's 555-1212"



Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Have the Coolest Husband

Here's the thing about marrying someone who doesn't give a rat's toot what people think about him... he will try ANYTHING. It's something that makes him a great dad, and today, it made him a really nifty husband.

Today was my half-day at work since I worked Sunday. Originally, I considered working all day today to build up some comp time for my upcoming trip, but I had a bajillion errands to run and I was pretty darn tired of work. So, I called Chris to see if he wanted to join me for my errands.

On my list of things to do was a manicure/pedicure. I always get one before I go on vacation to sort of "kick things off" so to speak. In my wallet was a gift certificate for a manicure and pedicure that I had given to Chris a couple of years ago for Christmas. Yes... for Chris. Here's why.

I was talking about how much I enjoyed my manis and pedis, and he asked me what they were like. As I described them, I said, "You know, YOU might enjoy a good 'man' pedicure." He shrugged and said, "Yeah... sounds like I would." So, I bought him the gift certificate.

I had it in MY wallet, because it laid about the house for over a year when I finally asked him if I should just use it myself. He shrugged and said, "Sure... I haven't had time to even think about it." Then I promptly forgot I had it.

So today, I told him I had the gift certificate and he could finally give it a try. He seemed hesitant at first, but then he said "yes!"

So we walk into the place and every woman there (three customers and four staff) looked shocked/amused/confused/intrigued when I announced that we both wanted a pedicure and a manicure. They gave us two seats beside each other and we talked while our two cosmetologists nattered on in Vietnamese. They did, however, stop to ask us how long we'd been married and how many kids we have (they knew the answer already because I've shown them pictures like, a dozen times). Then one of them told me how handsome he was. Actually, she said it in a way that indicated she was surprised I had bagged such a stud. But I'm ignoring that. They then resumed their coversation in Vietnamese, in which I'm sure they told each other how shocked they were that my husband was so handsome.

Anyway, Chris seemed to enjoy it and I had a great time with him there. Since he didn't get color on his nails, he headed over to EB Games while I sat under the dryer. It was all very pleasant. If it weren't so darned expensive, I'd take him every time I went!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Now, the Real Essentials Can Stay With You

I was just reading up on the new, relaxed security for flying since I am headed to Mouseland on Saturday, and I was relieved to see this paragraph:

Up to 4 ounces of a few items will be permitted in carry-on bags: eye drops, saline solution, nonprescription medicine and personal lubricants.

Let's read that again, shall we?!

Up to 4 ounces of a few...

No no no... not that part... read further... that last bit...

...and personal lubricants.

All right. I ask you... what in the &*%^ ^%#$# do you need a *&%# personal lubricant for in your mother&*%$# carry on bag?! I am SO not going to the lavatory on this flight.

Or the airport bathrooms.

Now I'll just look around the waiting area and wonder who is packing the K-Y.

Baby Mobile of Doom

We have a really great mobile for the crib. We've had it since Athena was gestating, but we didn't use it with Athena until she had completely outgrown it. The whole reason why we neglected to use it is a really long story which (fortunately for you) can be summed up with two simple words: We're idiots.

But, now that we know how the mobile works, we were able to use it with Marcus, and he LOVES it. Well, he LOVED it, until tonight. He loves it no more. Why did this passionate affair have to end? I'm glad you asked.

It's a really nifty mobile. It plays three classical tunes and even has a remote control! For the ultimate lazy parent! It was expensive, so it was obviously also a gift from grandma.

Anyhoo, the thing was great when we needed to calm Marcus down. He was fascinated by it, and he could sit through a whole 20 minute piece of Bach and watch it go. However, yesterday during the Hours of Endless Wailing due to the FOUR teeth that are all breaking through at once (yes... FOUR), Chris may have sort of accidentally tossed it across the room a little bit, and it may have caused a little plastic something to come off. Not ALL the way off, mind you. That didn't happen until tonight.

When I put it into the crib.

With Marcus in the crib as well.

When suddenly the twirly bit came crashing down.

On Marcus' face.

He was none too pleased.

There was a pregnant pause when we just sort of looked at each other (a challenge in itself, as it was dark in the nursery, and he had a jumble of multi-colored circus animals and soft squishy shapes on his face) and then he let me have it. Screaming, kicking... but fortunately no bleeding.

So, if this actually really hurt him, he and Dylan can sit together and stare at the wall well into their old age. But for now, he's sleeping peacefully and seems to be forgiving us.

I will really miss the mobile though. Dammit.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Kicked to the Curb

Athena has developed a special relationship with two of her toys. Up until recently, she would choose a toy at random to take to bed with her. Sometimes it was Dora. Sometimes it was a teddy bear. Sometimes it was "Kelly" (a doll). But lately, there are two toys she cannot bear to part with. She even takes them to daycare every day and brings them back again. And they ALWAYS come to bed with her.

"My dudicorn and my bankie."

She always says it the same way, in the same order, with the same inflection.

"My dudicorn and my bankie."
"My dudicorn and my bankie."
"My dudicorn and my bankie."

To translate:

"My unicorn and my blanket."

I have no idea what made these two items rise to the top of the food chain. She received both of these gifts in her first six months of life, but only now has she become completely attached to them. She has always liked the blanket (a hand-knitted, soft as all-get-out baby blanket from her Aunt Shelley and Uncle Dave) but she paid little mind to the stuffed unicorn from her grandma. Until about a month ago.

My theory regarding the sudden non-assunderable relationship... both toys are purple, which is her favorite color. Although she says they are blue. She still confuses "bur-ple" and "ballooooooo." We're working on it.

Anyway, tonight, she gathered up "My dudicorn, my bankie, and my deddy bayer." Whoa! What's this?! A teddy bear has infiltrated the fort? This particular bear was ALSO a gift in her first few days of life. It's a Build-a-Bear from my former boss (the hero), which she has since completely stripped naked. (All her toys are naked. It's weird.)

So we traipse into her bedroom with the whole crew in tow, when she suddenly gives me the bear.

"Go to DOOR!"


"Go to DOOR!"

"You want me to close the door?"

"No! Deddy Bayer Go to Door!"


And then she sighed with that sigh of exasperation she gets from daddy, snatched the bear out of my hand, tossed him out the door, and closed his ass out! Seriously. Dude is still face down outside of her room while she snoozes happily.

I pity the man she marries... whew! No slack. That bear did nothing, man, and he is OUT!

Maybe he and I need to go out for a brewsky. Poor guy...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ancient Library Secrets: Secret #1

And now I begin a new series, Ancient Library Secrets. Every now and again, I shall break all taboos and present to you one of the many ancient library secrets out there. I would say that when you are finished reading my whole series (which may not actually conclude until I perish), you could get an honorary Masters' Degree and thus call yourself a bonafide Librarian. Alas, these secrets are far too useful and practical for you to actually learn in library school. For that degree, you would need to go spend 36 hours at some accredited University taking very useful courses like Media Studies.

If you are yawning right now, rest assured that not ALL of my posts will be ancient library secrets. I'll just throw one out there every now and again.

Please keep in mind that by sharing these secrets, the ancient Order of Oook (read Terry Pratchett if you don't get it) shall attempt to hunt me down and destroy me. So please, don't tell them how to find me, lest this will be the only secret you get. Now, onward...

Ancient Library Secrets #1: You do not need to read a lot in your spare time to be a successful librarian.

Now, let me clarify something... you DO have to LIKE to read. You have to LIKE books. But you do not have to read tons of them to be successful. Obviously, for those of you who want to be medical librarians (and you know who you are), you can see how easy it would be to be a librarian without reading a lot in your free time. All you really need to read is the stuff you search through. And you should probably have some medical terms memorized, just so you seem competent. Although some charisma and a good medical dictionary can help you if you want to skip that step.

But for those of you who want to be Readers' Advisory librarians (like myself) and specialize in fiction/recreational reading... it may surprise you to learn that you do not need to read every book you recommend. In fact, most of the books I recommend I have never personally read. You just have to read a bit about authors, keep up with hot titles, and get some basic knowledge of genres. Of course, a little charisma helps here too.

I think I have said enough. I should post before the Order of Oook finds me. Until my next post... adieu.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Be Myself!

Well, just when I had resigned myself to enjoying Disney alone, I found someone to hang with. I was actually sort of looking forward to trying to do it all alone, as I would have absolute complete control over my days... something that I NEVER have.

But now, my friend from Florida (well, really south Georgia) is going to join me. And I'm not complaining. We travel well together and I am always excited to see her. We went to college together. She and her husband and her two boys went on our Disney cruise with us. She just got back from France, and they are preparing to move to Columbia, SC (YAY, closer!), so I figured she wouldn't be able to go. But I finally got in touch with her today, and before I could even finish telling her what my plans were, she shouted, "I CAN GO!" I guess doctor's don't have to work. :-)

So although I was looking forward to going it alone, now this opens up a world of possibilities I wasn't really sure I could do by myself. For instance, going to Pleasure Island and drinking and whooping it up until 2am. Now, I can whoop and drink and feel much safer tottering home. Because, as you know, TWO drunk women in their mid-thirties are far less likely to get attacked than one.

Okay, okay... we'll be careful.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Best Skin in the Neighborhood

When I was nursing Athena, I developed... well, for the benefit of my mixed audience here... some skin problems in a particular area of my body that was getting... well, overused. A doula recommended a fairly expensive all-natural vitamin E oil, which I immediately purchased. It worked so well, I only used the tiniest bit of it. So I put it away on a shelf for a future need.

With Marcus, I had no need of it. It was expensive though, so I put it away on a shelf thinking it may come in handy one day.

It did.

For Athena.

Athena came upstairs while I was feeding Marcus, so I couldn't attend to her. Chris was downstairs putting the finishing touches on the pears we were making for Marcus, so he couldn't attend to her. And Chris had left the master bathroom door upstairs open out of pure habit. Recently, I added a door handle thingy so Athena can't get in because Athena has developed a fascination with toothpaste, but the safety handle only works if the door is shut.

Consequently, our unattended little Athena scooted her training potty next to the real potty, climbed up onto the real potty using her potty as a step, then stood up to reach my medicine shelves and grabbed... what else... the Vitamin E oil.

Of course, the lid is a normal, run-of-the-mill lid. The oil is not poisonous. If you drank the whole bottle, I imagine your poop would be nice and slippery. But it matters not, as I don't think she ingested any, judging by the amount of oil that was smeared on the big-girl potty, little-girl potty, floor, her nightgown, and tracked across the master bedroom into her bathroom, where she was smearing it on the sink.

I plopped her in the bath, then made Chris wash her hair as punishment for leaving her unattended. New rule... he who leaves the kid alone has to clean up the gooey mess.

The plus side? Her skin is baby soft and she smells really expensive.

Plans Moving Forward

Well, I booked myself a ticket to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party for the Monday night I'm there. When I called to book, the agent on the phone went on and on about how she had just gone to a preview last night (the first real one is Saturday, I think) and told me how much fun I would have. I also picked up a dining package, since I was pretty certain that I would never find someone to go with me.

And then, I may have found someone to go with me. Only drawback (and this is a drawback for her, really... not me) is that she is pregnant. I've been to Disney just about as pregnant as she is, and it's not bad, but there are many rides you just really can't risk riding, so she'll need to bring a book. Again, not the worst way to spend a vacation. And there is plenty to do in the parks without riding rides.

So, if she can go, HOORAY! If she can't, I'm totally cool. Now I have to go plan where I want to eat. I love vacations.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Okay, So I Lied

Well, "lied" is a harsh word. Let this be a lesson to you, kiddies. Never post while depressed. It just makes you look like an immature nitwit later.

So just when I feel I have nothing to say, I turn a corner and WHAM! My life is full of excitement. Well, "excitement" is a harsh word. Let's just say, life doesn't suck so much.

I have a bunch of stuff going on at work that is just yucky and stressful and really not even worthy of commenting on. Besides, it's all stuff I really can't talk about anyway, so there you go.

But, I booked my trip to Disney for September 30. Four days without any companionship. Well, "any" is a harsh word. I will see my Mom for dinner one night, as she will be in Orlando with her best friend... just not staying at Disney.

I'm a little bummed that I haven't found anyone who can go with me yet, but even if no one can go, I'm good. I have a reservation for a wine tasting (something Chris despises, and the kids can't do). I have some thoughts on which parks I'll visit, and I can do it all at my own pace. I'll read, cross stitch, do Sudoku, swim, soak, and ride rides. I may even NAP! My days will be very full. I'm scoping out where there may be wine bars (there is one in the contemporary) where I can hang out and read... possibly see fireworks... and watch people.

When I called to make my reservations for dinner with mom and for the wine tasting, I asked the woman for suggestions for a single (that is, married, but not bringing the kids and husband) woman to do. She had NO IDEA. I imagine people don't go to Disney alone very often. So I'm going to troll the web tonight to see if anyone has posted suggestions.

The offer is still open to anyone who might be interested. Free lodging... Let me know!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Waning Interest

Since my blog readership has seemed to dwindle (except for you few devotees out there... and I love ya!), I think I am also losing interest. Blogging recently caused quite a bit of friction in my personal life and my work life has contained much friction just as a general rule here of late. So I think I may take a break. Perhaps after my vacation (wherever I end up actually getting to go), I will feel recharged and I will want to resume my inane little posts. In the meantime, I'm still reading yours, so keep it up! :-)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

My Spontaneous Side

ISO someone to go to DisneyWorld with me at the end of the month. I'm going for four days. Mom put the idea into my head, and I suddenly realised that I haven't had a "girls' trip" since before I had kids. However, she already has plans that weekend.

This will be the first time I am away from both Chris and the kids doing something fun since before Athena entered the picture.

I may not go to Disney. I may go see my sister in San Fran. The trouble with that is 1-I don't want to fly across the country without an iPod or my cross stitch or my laptop, 2-I don't want to spend most of my four days off traveling, 3-I don't want to hang out by myself while my sister works.

If I'm going to be by myself, I'd rather be at DisneyWorld. So... anyone want to come along? It's pretty cheap, as I would be footing the lodging with timeshare points. The International Food and Wine festival will be going on at EPCOT. Any takers?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Jackson Harold, You Are a Bum

Jack, you need to fix your voicemail, dude. I tried to call you when I said I would, and I just get this weird voice mail. So don't be complaining that I never call. I do... but I don't seem to have the number right.

Or... you just have an annoying voice mail message.

Either way, I can't seem to reach you, so I am posting this for EVERYONE to see. Now we all know that I do... indeed... call you. Nyah.

The Smartest Card - The Coolest Day

Kevyn Adams is the official North Carolina Spokesperson for the Smartest Card campaign this year. Have I lost you? Fair enough. Kevyn Adams = hockey player for the Carolina Hurricanes and all-around great guy. Smartest Card Campaign = American Library Association initiative (annually done in September) to encourage people to sign up for a library card. Better? Cool.

Anyway, the State Library serves as the main point of contact for this event, and each library system in the state liaises (I can make a verb out of anything...) with the State Library to get materials and ideas for their own individual campaigns. In past years, a celebrity serves as the "face" for the campaign all over the country. Last year, for example, it was George Lopez. This year, ALA decided each state should choose their own "local" celeb, and North Carolina asked the Hurricanes if someone wanted to do it. They sent us Kevyn Adams, bless them eternally.

Since we are in Raleigh, the State Library asked if we could host the kick-off press conference in one of our libraries, and our liaison (who works at my "old" library and now has my "old" job) said "I know JUST the place!" So she (her name is Brandy) hosted them there. And, since she knows me and likes me, she asked if I would come help out. Okay, really... I DEMANDED that she let me come help, but whatever... details.

So Kevyn showed up at about 11:40 today in his Hummer for an 11:30 press conference. But no one really minded that he was late. He didn't seem at all flustered or nervous, and he did a great job. First he spoke a bit about how his mom felt it was very important that he do things other than hockey, and reading was one of them. He read a book to about ten 5th graders from a local Elementary school. They are all Safety Monitors at school, and this was a little reward for them.

He read The Magic Hockey Stick and filled the kids in on hockey vocabulary ("lumber," "assist," and "hat trick") as he read. I suspect most of the kids in the room knew these terms, but were WAY too shy to speak up in front of their hero. One little girl did give the definition of a "hat trick" and she seemed terrified. But she did great! I was going to post their pictures... but internet safety... blah blah blah... so you'll just have to imagine how cute they were.

After he read, he signed autographs for all the kids, and one young man boasted to Kevyn that he was there when the 'Canes won the cup back in June and how fantastic that was. So Kevyn asked him if he'd be there this season too, to which the young man said, "Well, I'm not really that much of a hockey fan." Laughs all around, and Kevyn followed up with "So you were just on the bandwagon, eh?" Many chuckles from the press and myself.

He signed one young lady's jersey and when he finished, he said, "You'd probably rather have Staal's autograph, but that's what I can do." More laughs, especially from me. (Staal is the young up-and-coming heartthrob of the team for those of you who aren't hockey fans... and need I remind you... you SHOULD be hockey fans.) When he mentioned Staal, one of the teachers there commented that Staal had come to their school a couple of years ago, to which Kevyn replied, "Can that guy read?!" Even more chuckles. A good time.

When the kids were all cleared away from the table, Brandy and I asked if he'd pose with us, which he was more than happy to do. As I stood beside him, I mentioned that I WOULD be there next season, which he laughed about and joked that you can't ask kids questions you don't know the answer to because you never know what they'll say. Too true, Kevyn. Too true.

Finally, Kevyn got his library card. His wife already has one, but he had not yet gotten one for himself. I swear I've never had more fun seeing someone get a library card. What a fantastic guy and what a great thing for North Carolina libraries. If you live in the area, check out the news tonight. We should be covered! Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 04, 2006

Marcus' New Toy

We got Marcus an Excersaucer to keep his hands busy. He loves it SO much. we took this picture the first day he got it. What we love most about it is that he can move his chair around the activity table, so Athena can play with one side while he plays with the other. Of course, she always wants to play with the side he's on, but we're working on it. Posted by Picasa

See What I Mean?

Here is a fine example of Athena playing with the side Marcus is on.

And here is also a fine example of why I fear my son may become a lounge singer. Posted by Picasa

The Princess and Her Toys

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Yes, I Know She Needs a Haircut...

She's getting a trim next weekend. About time, eh? Posted by Picasa

Athena With a Perm!

No. We didn't REALLY perm her hair. (HA! Like she would sit still long enough.) But she was playing airplane with Aiden's dad, and Voila! We can see her face! :-) Posted by Picasa


Two weeks early for "Talk Like a Pirate Day," but that doesn't stop Cap'n Aiden! Aaaaargh! Posted by Picasa


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John Deere Green

Grandma brought him the outfit from Texas. Chris added the apple hat my former co-worker knitted. All together, Marcus says "OKAY!" Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ways to Throw Money Into a Huge Hole

Lately, we've really been watching our pennies. We pay the daycare almost twice what we pay for our house, so it really is taking a bite out of those paychecks.

Unfortunately, over the last five days, I've basically been watching those pennies sail out the door.

Today is Sunday. And this means coupon-cutting day for me. I open up all the Val-Pak and Money Mailers I got all week, and I also sift through the Sunday paper looking for sales and coupons.

When I opened my Val-Pak, what should appear but a BOGO (thanks, Sophie... that's "Buy One Get One Free for those not in on the acronym) for the very Irish pub we ate in at the last minute on Thursday night. That would be the same night we bought a jar of baby food because we had not planned to hit a restaurant right after collecting the kids from daycare that day. BAM! Had I just opened my mail when it actually came and perhaps thought to carry the coupon with me, I would have saved $9 on dinner. Crap.

Then, this morning, I found a 20% off entire purchase coupon for Linens N Things. I think that's a localish chain, so if you don't know what it is, it's Bed Bath and Beyond. Anyway, I thought... sweet! I need new pillows for our bed. I'll get those this morning when I run out to Target for groceries. Pillows were $20 for the set, so I paid $16. Yay me!

I went to Target and bought sweet potatoes (or yams... the war between the states still continues... even in food names) and came home to prepare them for my baby boy. This will be the third solid he's tried... after rice cereal and apples.

All was going well, when suddenly my food processor lid got stuck. So, of course, determined to get back into those sweet potatoes I'd so diligently microwaved, I forced the lid, thereby breaking off a piece of it.

Unfortunately, that piece was the piece that informed the mechanisms within said food processor that the lid was closed and it was therefore safe to allow the blade to spin. So the whole machine was rendered useless.

This wouldn't have been so awful had I actually been done pureeing the potatoes. However, I was not done, as I still had to scrape down the sides and puree some more. Now, there was no pureeing to be done.

So I head back out to... guess where... to get the damn lid for the damn processor. No coupon in hand, I know full well that it's possible they don't sell pieces and parts. Now that I'm home and online, I know that the lid, ordered direct from KitchenAid, would have cost me 15 bucks. But I needed to finish the potatoes now, lest they go bad, so I bought a new processor... sans coupon. The good news... it looks really great! It's chrome. And it's much quieter than my old one. I think it also holds more.

The old one was close to ten years old, but it was well taken care of. Damn. Now you know why I'm broke. Most people would have just tossed the potatoes and ordered the replacement. But little Ms. Instant Gratification can't do that. Nope. Gotta waste WAY more money than that.


I suppose "waste" isn't fair. I use my food processor a lot. At least I did before Dream Dinners. Hmmmmmmmm... I'll have to be sure I keep using it a lot. Maybe I need to make my own peanut butter....

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Narcotic Characteristics of Apples

Twice in three days, my child has fallen asleep while eating apples. Granted, he occasionally drops off when I give him a bottle, as do most children. But this is the first time I've experienced zonking out in the highchair while mid-chew.

He did it two nights ago in a restaurant with the store-bought baby food (we went to the restaurant unexpectedly, so Chris ducked into a grocery store for the emergency provisions.) Then it happened again tonight with the homemade variety.