Monday, October 30, 2006

Time Out for Mommy

I've been put in Time Out by my daughter twice since this past weekend.

Incident #1:

Me: Athena! Stop waving that battle-axe around! You are going to kill someone! Perhaps even me!

Athena: No, Mommy! *still waving the damn thing around*


Athena: Noooooooooooooooo! Nooooooooooo! No, Mommy!

Me: I'm going to take it away from you.

Athena: Mommy! I want you to look at me! No look at Marcus! Look at me!

Me: *blink*

Athena: Mommy, now you go into Time Out now. *pointing to chair* Okay?

Me: *blink*

I think she diffused that situation quite well, don't you?

Incident #2:

Athena: *splash, splash, splashing in the tub*

Me: Athena stop!

Athena: *tossing wet washcloth against the wall across the bathroom*


Athena: Mommy Time Out now.

Me: *blink*

See, the thing is... we have only put her in Time Out once. And that was weeks ago. Methinks she gets many a Time Out at daycare.

In the meantime, I'm going to have to be on my best behavior. She's cracking down on me.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Comfort Items

You may recall that Athena regularly -- almost without fail -- takes two things to bed with her. Her dudicorn, and her bankie. Heaven help us if we ever lose this unicorn because it was a gift from Grandma K., and I suspect even she doesn't remember where she got it.

Anyway, tonight, she wanted to take her newest toy to bed with her. Her long-handled battle axe.

I'm not kidding.

We went to get her Halloween costume tonight, and we chose a lovely velvet princess dress to go with the plastic battle axe that she would NOT PUT DOWN. Actually, she wanted two. I convinced her one made her plenty menacing enough as she tried to mow down several innocent Target shoppers.

As expected, her father is giddy with pride. I think he's planning to buy her her very first D&D Players Guide for Christmas. He got her dice last year. What have I gotten myself into?!

Send... help... please...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Fickle Man

Okay... we all know I am crazy in love with my husband. In fact, "crazy" is an excellent word to use there. But anyway...

He does have this annoying tendancy to change his mind about things. This, by itself, isn't annoying. What is annoying (in that charming, funny way of course), is that when he changes his mind, he a) pretends he never ever felt differently (i.e. not acknowledging that he was wrong, heaven forbid) and b) he then gives me hell if I still feel the same way HE felt last week.

Chris used to always take the kids to daycare, as it was generally on his way to work. I only took them rarely. We always went a certain way. Then one day, unbeknownst to me, he switched to a different route. I did notice this by accident, when I realized he was still behind me while we were on our way one morning, and he should have turned way back. I saw where he exited instead, and realized he must have decided to take a different route.

So about a week after I noticed this (and for all I know, it was months after he had switched routes), we were taking the kids to school together for some reason. When I turned to go "the old way," he snorted and said, "I can't believe you go to daycare this way. I NEVER go this way."

Uh... dude... you TAUGHT me to go this way.

Example Two:
I brought my work laptop home with me two years ago when I went on maternity leave for Athena. It was his first look at the tools I was provided by my excellent, cushy county job. I pulled the computer from its case, and he snorted, "Gateway! What a piece of crap."

Chris is buying a laptop for his writing work now that he has had to surrender his old one to the People's Republic of Computers. He's shopping tonight and has selected the optimal laptop for his needs. Guess what brand it is?

And when I pointed out that he had once snorted at it, he said, "Well, they aren't that bad. And yours is old."

And they say WOMEN are fickle! Sheesh...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Friends Don't Let Friends Eat and Drive

Okay, I was just sitting down to type this, when my daughter streaked me. HAHA! You really have to be here. She ran from the bathroom to her room to get a new diaper in nothing but her socks. Classic. Oh, to have had the camera at the ready.

Anyway, today, I became the victim of a hungry driver. After dropping the kids off, I headed off to a library in town where I was to participate in a day of training sessions. On one particularly nasty bit of highway that is currently under construction and changes traffic patterns hourly, I merged right due to a left lane closure. For once, the lane closure was well-marked and I... well, let me script this for you (all words took place inside my brain unless otherwise stated:

Hmmmm... I can't believe that is so well marked. For once, this highway might not attract a nasty accident.

*checking rear view mirror* Yep, looks like everyone behind me sees it too, and look! People are being so nice and letting people in. Sometimes I love living in the South.

*checking clock* I should get to the library in plenty of time to prepare some visual aids. Excellent. I was worried about my late start.

*traffic slows to a slow roll*

*checking traffic* Wow! I'm so glad I don't have to commute this every day anymore. Poor Chris. I wish he didn't have to commute it.


CRAP! I'm glad that wasn't...

***sound of car cracking into car behind me***



(Out loud) DAMMIT!


Fortunately, no one was hurt. The woman driving the car two back from me apparently looked down to eat something. When she looked up, she realized she was hurtling into the back of a car. She applied her brakes. She hit said car. Said car hit me. The impact in both cases was square from behind. Her car is most likely totalled... it was only eight months old. Middle guy's car was damaged, but not really badly considering he served as the pinball in today's demonstration.

My good old Saturn bumper did exactly what it was supposed to do. It squished to absorb impact, then bounced back. However, Saturn estimates the parts alone will cost the perpetrator's insurance no less than $1300 as the entire rear hatch door has to be replaced. It can't be opened.

So I'm driving the car. Tomorrow I go to the chiropractor to make sure I didn't do any damage to my back, and then I call her insurance company with the info I have thus far. Fun!

Still, as far as accidents go, if you have to be in one, this wasn't bad at all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's a Great Day for the Fair!

Okay, I'm slow in posting, but Chris was so quick to get some up that I have just dawdled. Here are some pictures of us at the North Carolina State Fair on opening day... Posted by Picasa

Painted Faces

I just love this picture. Notice Athena's pants? Daddy forgot to fasten them after she went potty at daycare just before we left. They were undone in the car, on the bus to the fair, and at the fair for at least one ride and her face painting before Mommy noticed. This picture will be great on her wedding day slide show, don't you think? Posted by Picasa

Send Help Now!

He's hangin' on for dear life! Posted by Picasa

On the Horsie

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hanging on the Screen Door

Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored...

(That's a shout-out to Garfield-lover Staci, and any of you other Garfieldophiles out there... Anyone? ... Anyone? ... Bueller? ... Bueller?)

Anyway, that pretty much sums it up. I came down with a stomach bug yesterday, and after feeling nauseous all day, I finally threw up at midnight... exactly. Must have been the gravitational pull of the moon overhead that finally triggered it.

After that, I felt much better, only to deal with things at the other end this morning. So, for the benefit (I thought) of all my coworkers, I stayed at home today.

Because of the nausea, I have been trying to "take it easy" all day... reading, sleeping, cooking, taking care of issues at work, playing computer games, etc. Yes, work even called. The weird thing is... when I'm there, nothing goes wrong. When I'm not, every thing that could go wrong with anything in my department does go wrong.

The plus side... I have been able to eat twice today and only feel slightly sick. Nothing has reappeared in any disgusting form. The plus plus side, Marcus is already better... we aren't sure if he had the stomach bug, or if he's just teething, or both, but he was in good spirits this morning, and he didn't throw up his breakfast.

The down side, my mother-in-law is now feeling sick. Hey... I love to share. I just hope Chris doesn't get it, as it would be a real damper on his first week at work.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A New Panthers Fan

Okay, of course I don't think other babies are cuter than my own, but this one is just as cute. No cuter... just exactly as cute. This is Brian and Sophie's bundle of joy, and she looks like she's going to give Marcus a run for his money the next time they see each other, eh? Posted by Picasa

The One In Which the Mommy Librarian Is a Schmuck

I totally stood up my friend Jen tonight for our drink night. I never stand up Jen. Partially because I rarely see Jen. I just have been so wrapped up in my week that, even though it is clearly marked on my calendar, I forgot.

Part of my excuse is that I keep thinking that I'm a day behind. On Monday, I had a short day that consisted of some training, some futile running around town, and then home with the family. Seemed more like a Sunday. So on Tuesday, I kept thinking it was Monday; on Wednesday, I thought it was Tuesday; and today, I thought it was Wednesday. On top of that, Jen and I usually get together for drinks on Friday, but we've been unable to because of other plans cropping up on both sides. Tonight was sort of a "make-up" drink night. And I blew it.

Actually, five more minutes, and Jen would have called to find me in bed. I'm exhausted. I was ready to jump up, change back into real clothes and head out to meet her, but she gave me the option of rescheduling, so I did.

Still, I'm a schmuck. Friends don't stand up friends. And I have stood someone up. The guilt weighs heavy on my heart. And it's a double-whammy. No hanging out with Jen. No drinks. Talk about sucky.

For penance, I shall have to eat as many fried things as possible at the opening day of the State Fair tomorrow. I hear they are serving up fried Coca-Cola this year. Keep me in your thoughts...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Day Three of the Disney Trip: Middle of the Magic

To continue from my previous post that summarized the first two days of my trip, here is the mid-day of the trip. Final two days should be posted soon.

On Monday, we started the day at Animal Kingdom. Sticking with our "thrill rides" theme, we rode Dinosaur, Kali River Rapids, and Expedition Everest (the newest, and therefore most crowded, attraction). We were unable to get Fast Passes for various reasons that include, but are not limited to, poor decision-making on our part. We waited on line for Kali River, and once again... the sign said 20 minutes, but we got "the tag" and we ended up waiting about 45 minutes.

In case you are curious about "The Tag," this is how it works. The Cast Member (as they are wont to be called) at the entrance of the line hands someone (at random? with red hair? every twenty minutes? I don't know) a tag that the person is then supposed to hand to the attendant who puts him or her on the ride. Buttons are pressed at each place (think "stopwatch") and voila! They know how long the wait is... because you just waited it! It is my theory that they give the tags to every redhead, because 1) Alice is a redhead and she got the tag three times in three days, 2) I have been to Disney 14 times now and have NEVER gotten the tag before (I am not a redhead), 3) They handed the tag to Alice, not to me, all three times, and sometimes I was closer to the cast member than she was (physically, not emotionally), 4) I saw the tag once more after Alice and I parted company, and it was in the hands of, you guessed it, a redhead, and 5) I've never been to Disney with a redhead before. Well... other than Alice. And she didn't get the tag at all any of the other times she has been to Disney. Hmmmm... okay, I amend my theory. Perhaps this was just "Redhead Pride Week" or something.

Sooooooooooo... we rode Kali River and didn't get very wet, which is a good thing. We then rode Dinosaur, which had no line. We hit Primeval Whirl, which was great fun, and finally we headed to Expedition Everest. We did the single rider line, because, let's face it, riding a coaster with someone you know is just as useful as riding it with a stranger. You're just screaming the whole time.

Good times, all around.

After Animal Kingdom, we had time to go back to the room and soak in the pool for an hour or so. I looooooooooooove the pools at Disney. They are heated just enough that they are still cool and refreshing, but you don't have to "get used to them." No icy water in the nether regions. It's wonderful.

We dressed and high-tailed it to EPCOT for 5:30 reservations at Alfredo Di Roma in Italy. I've eaten here many times, including on my Honeymoon, and I love the place. Unfortunately, due to the new dining plans, they have cut their menu WAY back. It used to be a novella. Now it's just an abstract. Very little pasta on it, which really made me sad because their pasta was so good. And now it's gone. A moment of silence for the linguine with basil pesto sauce.


A funny story from Alfredo's. I went to the bathroom because Nature called, but I stayed for the entertainment. One stall down from me, a little girl was apparently enthralled with the auto-flush toilets (which I loathe, incidentally, but that's a story for another day). According to her mother, who was venting to another woman, the little girl had been sitting on the potty for eight flushes now. I heard at least three of them while I was in there. Every time the toilet flushed, she laughed and said "Silly potty!" Her mother said (and I do quote here), "Yes, she has had a thorough and disgusting bath tonight."

Hey, who knew that you could have saved your Benjamins and just stayed home flushing the toilet?!

Monday night was "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party." It's $30 to get in (totally separate from Park Admission. Even Annual Passholders (like me) have to pay) and I was really concerned that it would be a giant rip-off. In fact, I've been to Disney several times when I could have gone, and have opted not to.

Basically, the Magic Kingdom is yours from 7pm to 12 midnight. It's completely gussied up for Halloween, and there are special parades and fireworks. There is also FREE CANDY! Okay, not so free, if you consider the admission, but you ALSO get to ride all the rides with a really low crowd level. We waited on NO lines for ANYTHING (although I admit we skipped Haunted Mansion and Pirates, as we did those Sunday night). And did I mention the candy?! There are trick-or-treat stations set up all over the park and they simply dump candy into your bag. Good stuff too! Sure, there are the dud candies... but not nearly as many as you get around your own neighborhood. And there were Twix bars, and Hershey's minis and Starburst and Sour Patch Kids and POP ROCKS!!!! Sweet!

Okay, the end of the trip wasn't so eventful, but I'll save it for another post. Can you stand the suspense?!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

We're All Ears!

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He'll Be Crawling Soon!

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This is Daddy's favorite picture of late. Posted by Picasa

Marcus' First Hockey Game

What can I say... the boy looks good in Red and Black. Fortunately, he also looks good in Carolina Blue! :-) Posted by Picasa

Drunk Baby

I share this simply because it's funny. Posted by Picasa

That's Right It's My Man, Stanley!

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The Dribbler

Cereal for breakfast. Yummy! Posted by Picasa

Meal Time!

What do you get when you cross squash with a six-month old? Voila! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Trip: A Summary - The First Two Days

Well, here's the recap. I'm trying to include enough detail that those of you who know Disney will enjoy, but not so much that those of you who don't won't click away. Bear with me.

Day One:
Plane was on time. All the bad things I've said about Southwest... I take them back. It was a downright pleasant flight, and sitting where I want is the bomb. I think it's different when you travel alone.

One funny thing about the plane trip... the woman beside me was reading an Elizabeth Berg book checked out from one of our branches. She was folding the pages over to mark her place. I was very tempted to hand her a bookmark... my business card. I think it would have said it all. But I refrained.

Alice arrived soon after I checked in, and we had lunch, then went to Downtown Disney to buy our park tickets and shop. I bought bath bombs at Basin. (Funny story... I used the Disney bath bomb tonight... when it dissolves it leaves little Mickey Mouse ear-shaped soap in the tub. Athena and I were taking a bath together, and I thought it would be fun. Some brilliant mind made the bath bomb turn the water bright yellow. It totally looked like we peed in the tub. Disturbing.)

After a quick change of clothes, we headed to the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT. We grabbed a fast pass for Test Track and then we started eating our way around the park. We only made it from Florida (just before Mexico as you head counter-clockwise around the world showcase) to Australia (just before Germany). That's not even halfway. We were stuffed on little mini-servings of shrimp, lamb, chicken and beef. Here's what we had (in no particular order). I'm including prices because I know there are people (Amy) who would be interested. Plus, I want to see how much I spent:

Spicy Beef Empanadas $2.00
Marinated Strawberries with Basil $2.00 (we shared this one... Alice paid)

Chilaquiles $3.50 (Alice)
Quesadilla con Chorizo y Pollo $3.50 (me)

Traditional Kjottkaker $2.75 (These are meatballs, and tasty ones at that)
Lingonberry Mousse $2.00 (This was nasty gross -- the only thing that we really didn't like)

South Africa:
Bobotie with Mango Chutney $3.00 (Alice only)
Durban Chicken with Mealie Pap $3.25 (it was very yummy... I could have had more. Mealie Pap is really similar to Polenta -- and thanks to Cheryl, I knew this before I left for the parks)

Shrimp on the Barbie $4.00 (not really great, but not bad)
Grilled Lamb Chop with Caramelized Onion $4.50 (overdone, but okay)
Macadamia Nut Tartlet $2.00 (Alice only)

Bailey's Trifle $2.25 (Alice only)

Wild & Wonderful Florida Shrimp:
Sauteed Shrimp with Ginger and Lime $4.25 (this was excellent, and it was also the first thing we had)

So, are you impressed with my ability to resist dessert?! I was impressed. If you want to see what we missed, go to the menu listing at If my math is correct, it looks like my "meal" set me back about $26.25. Not bad for Disney. And we were quite stuffed. Otherwise we would have continued around the circle. The only reason we didn't go back later in the trip to do more of the stands was we had purchased a meal plan which didn't include these treats.

After "dinner," we rode Test Track, and then walked over to the Boardwalk to go to Jellyrolls Dueling Piano Bar. Unfortunately, when we got there, it was too smoky to stay (smoke was rolling out the door), so we caught a bus to Downtown Disney, shopped a bit more, then caught the boat to our resort. Our room looked out over Downtown Disney, and by now, it was just before midnight, so we sat on the porch, ate popcorn, and listened to the music wafting over the water from the clubs at Pleasure Island. Then we crashed.

Day Two:
Disney (MGM) Studios. Both Alice and I wanted to do some thrill rides since that's hard to do with kids, so we got a fast pass for Tower of Terror, then went to get in line for The Rock and Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. Turns out that standby line was about 80 minutes of waiting, so we cut back to Tower to find the standby wait to be nonexistent. So... we got on to Tower, then crossed the park to eat lunch (we slept late), then came back to ride Tower and Coaster. The wait for Coaster was supposedly only 20 minutes, but we were given "The Tag" which is how they measure the wait, and our wait was definitely longer than 20 minutes. More like 45. Worth it though.

We then had time to catch the Muppets 4-D movie (I never get tired of it) before the next showing of Lights, Motors, Action, which is by far the best stunt show I've seen in any park. It was really fun and very exciting. At Muppets, I broke down and bought myself a t-shirt, although I swore I wouldn't. It's Beaker. You can't really turn down The Beaker. I wore it Friday and had many positive comments.

While at MGM, we also bought Pumpkin Mickey Ears to wear at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on Monday night and I got Marcus his first pair of ears with his name on the back. Chris took a picture of Athena, me, and Marcus wearing our ears when I got back. I'll post it soon.

Sunday night, we met my mom and her best friend, as well as her best friend's oldest son (who lives in Orlando) at Citricos restaurant in the Grand Floridian. This was on my meal plan, so I could order appetizer, entree, and dessert. Since I had already paid (a really reduced price) for my meal, I splurged on the wine pairings.

This was a highlight of my trip. I've never been to the Floridian and it's a really gorgeous resort. The food at Citricos is widely acclaimed, and I now know why. Plus, from our table, we could see the fireworks at Magic Kingdom AND the Electrical Water Pageant. Very cool.

As for the wine pairings, Disney is one of the only places I've been with a fleet of REALLY competent sommaliers. The wines were unusual and excellent. The first (to compliment my mushroom ravioli appetizer) was a light Pinot Grigio. The second, for my Osso Buccho was a nice rich red -- a Shiraz mix of some sort. I had a lemon cheesecake for dessert and they brought me a lemon liquor. Loved it.

Dinner took us later into the evening than we thought, but it was Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom, so we took the monorail there and we rode Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion... two rides we expected would be really busy at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on Monday.

People have complained that they've ruined "Pirates" by adding Davy Jones, Barbosa, and Jack Sparrow from the successful movies, but I think it has really enhanced the ride. I've never really understood the story Pirates was supposed to be telling me, but now it makes a little more sense. Big thumbs up. Loved it.

Again, we got "home" near midnight and we crashed.

If you haven't left me yet, congrats. I'll save Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for another update... I'm sure you've had enough for the moment.

Incidentally, Alice took all the pictures, and she hasn't been able to send them yet. I'll post them separately when I get them. :-)