Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Crappy office vent

How blooming difficult is it to use just the teensiest, tiniest bit of courtesy? Apparently, extremely.

My office is cursed with some unfortunate geography. Just outside my door, I have the following:
  • Fax machine
  • Photocopier
  • Printer
  • The Most Amazingly Loud Electric Stapler in the Known Universe
  • Document disposal bins
  • Conference room
  • Open area where people constantly chitchat about everything under the sun
  • One secretary
  • A second conference room just across from the secretary

As if that was bad enough, I share a wall with the ladies restroom. All day long I hear tap-tap-tapping of high heels on ceramic tile floor, a pause, a flush, more tapping, the paper towel dispenser and then the tap-tap-tapping of high heels as they exit the restroom. It's enough to make a gal lose her sleep-deprived mind.

Today, there is an all-morning meeting going on in the conference room. During the breaks, the meeting attendees (you guessed it) stand around gabbing right outside my office door. Can't they at least use their 'indoor voice' rather than the testosterone-induced 'mine is bigger than yours' bull moose bellowing? Apparently not.

Well, close the door, you may say. Unfortunately, I suffer from a little bit of claustrophobia, my office has no windows, and my shut-door tolerance is oh, about 20 minutes. Even with the door closed, those bull-moose voices travel right through my walls.

To quote the inimitable Charlie Brown, 'Argh!' I cannot believe I allowed them to promote me into this crappy little office only 2/3 the size of my previous (and did I mention no window?).

Honestly I'm not bitter (well, at least most of the time) and 80% of the time I can ignore the constant racket. I've also picked up some interesting office gossip while located in Grand Central Station. Unfortunately, it's days when loud meetings coincide with raging PMS that I feel my head will explode. Today, I'd rather change spaces with Mr. W. He may have a cubicle, but at least he gets some hints of daylight and backup when individuals become too loud.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mr. W. is a genius

On day 3 of the ceaseless Chicken Little blow-by-blow rerun, Mr. W. had a stroke of genius. Let's buy the book! I hope this is the answer to getting off our current merry-go-round of 'Tell me about the emergency.'


Sunday, November 27, 2005

How many days 'til Chicken Little is out on video?

Mr. W. and I arranged a babysitter for L. and took S. to see Chicken Little yesterday. I came to the movie mentally braced to a. remove S. if she became too scared, talkative or restless (she did eat half a pack of Sour Patch Kids) or b. scurry her to the potty and back. Oddly enough, S. sat through the entire movie without making much of a peep and didn't need to potty until after we returned home. Mr. W. and I walked out of the theater giving each other mental high-fives and congratulating ourselves on a fabulous first movie theater experience for a three year old.

We were walking through the parking lot back to our car when we first began to realize that this little visit to the theater would be the gift that kept on giving.

The conversation in the car on the way home ran something like this:

S.: Mommy, tell me about Chicken Little.

Me: What about Chicken Little.

S.: Tell me about the beginning of Chicken Little.

Me: Chicken LIttle was hit on the head with a piece of spaceship, and rang the schoolhouse bell so everyone would know something had happened.

S.: Why?

Me: Why what?

S.: Why the bell?

Me: He rang the bell because it was an emergency

S.: Why an emergency?

Me: Because it's not normal for spaceship parts to fall from the sky.

S.: Why the bell?

Me: Because it was an emergency. The bell was loud enough for everyone in town to hear.

S.: Why?

Me: (bringing out the big guns) Because those were the rules. When there is an emergency, Chicken Little knew he was supposed to ring the bell.

S.: Why?

Me: Daddy, don't you want to take it from here?

S.: No, I want Mommy!

Mr. W.: She's all yours (thanks a lot Mr. W.)

Me: Chicken little was playing under the oak tree when a piece of spaceship hit him on the head. He knew it was an emergency and rang the schoolhouse bell so everyone would know. People got really scared and did not drive safely. They had a bunch of accidents and even knocked down the water tower. Nobody believed Chicken Little and he was very sad.

S.: Why?

Me: Because they didn't see the spaceship piece.

S.: Why?

Me: Because it disappeared.

S.: Why?

Me: Because.

S.: Why?

Me: Because

S. : Tell me about the emergency.

Me: Chicken Little was playing under the tree...

S.: No, the OTHER emergency.

Me: Chicken Little and his friends were chased by aliens from the spaceship. They knew it was an emergency, so Chicken Little rang the bell again. The people came running, but still didn't see the spaceship. Chicken Little was sad when the people didn't believe him again.

S.: Why?

Me: Because it's sad when people won't believe you. That's why we always tell the truth.

S.: Why?

Me: Because lying is bad.

S.: Tell me about the emergency.

Me: Chicken Little was hit on the head by a piece of spaceship. He rang the bell on the schoolhouse because he knew it was an emergency. The people of the town were very upset and had a bunch of accidents. Nobody believed Chicken Little, and this made him sad.

S.: Tell me about the OTHER emergency.

...Well, you get the drift. She started up on the 'Tell me about the emergency' questioning process again on the way to and from church this morning. I may be pre-ordering and standing in line to get the first copy of Chicken Little when it comes out on DVD. Either that, or I'll just tape our next conversation and play it back to her over and over and over and over again.

I have been told that having a toddler who asks a lot of questions is a blessing. It means she's very smart. I'm beginning to think it just means she's perfected parent torturing techniques that can make grown women cry.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A little slice of heaven

Sitting and rocking, rocking, rocking.

Twenty pounds of snuggly warmth snoring gently on my shoulder.

Sitting and rocking, rocking, rocking.

The scent of baby shampoo intertwined with milk breath.

Sitting and rocking, rocking, rocking.

A restless stretch, belch and sigh of contentment.

Sitting and rocking, rocking, rocking.


Friday, November 25, 2005

S. gems on the road back home

In a closed Luby's parking lot on a portable potty:
  1. I need to go potty. I'm busy pushing my poopoo out.
  2. I'm going potty. I need some privacy, please.
  3. Whew! That's pretty stinky. I haven't done that much poopy in a long time.

Who would have thought a 3 year old would add so much hilarity to a single pit stop?


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thoughts on the beach on Padre Island

This sand looks soft. Wouldn't a mini-van look ridiculous stuck in the sand on the beach next to all these SUV's and campers? Oh, he's parked on nicely packed sand.

Now, where is that baby pack... 'Thanks, Mr. W.' Now let's see... These straps go over my head, around the back and snap in front. Oh, wait, that's twisted... There!

Oh drat, the wind's really kicking up. I know I have a clip somewhere in this purse. Sheesh, I need a wallet. That's what Mr. W. and the girls need to get me for Christmas: a wallet. Ah, here it is. Too bad I don't have a comb or brush. Oh well, not here to impress the gulls.

Mr. W. has S. ready to go walking the beach. Now if I can just get L. into this carrier... Baby faces front. Left leg here; right leg here. Where'd the blasted clip go? Oh, there it is. Snap one, snap two and there! L. is secure.

Sheesh, I hope the water isn't too cold, I want to wade a little bit. The sand feels great and the water... not too bad. I hope there aren't any jellyfish laying around. Oh, crap, there's one now. It's dead though, and let's hope it's brothers and sisters aren't hanging around today. Last thing we need is a crying 3 year old with jellyfish stings.

Mr. W. looks so cute with his bucket for shells. It's amazing how quickly S. got over her timidity with the water. L. is having a ball kicking her little legs just as hard as she can and chortling over every gull.

I love the feel of sand on my toes, squishy squashy. Oops, the water got a little high that time. Where's Mr. W? Oh, there he is. Crap! Where is S.? Oh, man! I hope we've got a change of clothes still in the van. She is wringing wet announcing that she just got a bath. What a toot!

I guess S. isn't too cold. She isn't shivering and is running around like a child possessed. We can stay a little while longer. What a gorgeous day. Mr. W. was right, this is a great day to go to the beach.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My grandma is old

The title pretty well sums it up. Gramma is 80+ years old and is having health problems. Nothing currently life-threatening, but plenty to try her and my dad's patience. Intellectually, I know that she is aging, but seeing her on this trip has brought home to me emotionally that she is beginning to lose her battle with time. The years continue to march forward and add up mercilessly.

Gramma is moving in with my parents now that she is no longer able to care for herself. This means my father has to help his mother use the bathroom and change her 'pampers' (as she calls them) on a regular basis. No man should ever have to help his mother go potty. I am so sad to see his stress levels go through the roof and stay there.

We are a bunch of optimists and hope and pray that in a few months, Gramma will get a prosthesis (her foot was amputated a few months ago), learn to somewhat walk on it, eat enough to have her feeding tube removed, and develop enough bladder control to get out of diapers. We know there is no cure for old-age, but there is a lot of spark left in this woman whose mother is rapidly approaching 100.


Monday, November 21, 2005

I love new parents

My brother is a first-time parent to an adorable 11 month old and a highly-protective SAHD (stay at home dad for those of you unfamiliar with the lingo).

The fam and I are traveling 300+ miles to go stay with said brother (did I mention he was highly protective?). Me, being the courteous big sis, mentioned that L. and I are just getting over the cold that Mr. W. and S. are possibly getting. My brother's reaction? "Well, just don't touch baby I. while you're here." I think he was joking, but who can tell with new parents?

When S. was a baby, I probably had similar knee-jerk reactions to sick relatives wanting to cuddle her. Those reactions were rather pointless since she was in daycare, but still, they were there. Now that we have L., I'm much more laid back. For better or for worse, I place a lot of faith in the antibodies I am supposedly giving her while breastfeeding. I'm still not fond of sick strangers/acquaintances touching her. However, the most diseased relative gets reasonably free access. Hmmm.... maybe that's why L. has her first cold.


It must be Harry Potter

After being in existence for a mere 4 days, my profile view counter has already hit 44. I'm guessing something on my list of favorites is drawing the crowd, and since the latest HP movie released over the weekend, I'm guessing Harry Potter is the big draw. It's either that or my name (Mrs. Wheezer) is drawing some real sickos. Being an eternal optimist, I choose to believe the former.

Since I haven't been to see the movie (and I have the nerve to call myself a HP fan?!?!), I am limited to commenting on the latest HP book. I have seen page upon page of debate on whether Snape is truly evil. Since misery loves company (how many months 'til the last book, Ms. Rowling?), I am tossing out my 2 cents.

My opinion? No, Snape is not evil. He is/has been/and will continue to work for the side of Albus Dumbledore. I don't think a truly evil Snape would have continued to teach Harry while fleeing Hogwarts (remember he kept giving Harry really good advice about using his mind?). I do think an evil Snape would have gloated to Harry about having killed Harry's hero (Dumbledore).

Boy, I envy my kids. They will get to sit down and read the entire series first to last without these interminable waits.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Marital bliss

Happy anniversary to us! Six years ago today, sweet hubby and I said 'I do' in front of a little church packed with 200 people. It was the wedding of my mother's dreams and is the marriage of mine.

I am blessed beyond words to have as my life partner a man who loves, respects and cherishes me, our children and our families. Sometimes I gripe because, after all, he's just a man, but I wouldn't trade this man for all the tea in China. It took me 28 years to find Mr. Right, and I will do my very best not to blow this.

Ways Mr. Man endears himself to me:
  • He washes and dries the laundry, all the laundry.
  • He tells me I'm beautiful, sexy and lovable on a daily basis. Even when I feel fat, frumpy and extremely cranky.
  • When I am at the end of my rope with S. (who is very good at being 3) or L. (who is quite good at being 9 months), I can hand over both girls, and he will cope.
  • He has taken on all the grocery shopping. How can a girl resist a man who is willing to buy Kotex and Tampax on a regular basis with NO complaining?
  • He can cook better than I.
  • He bought the cutest little purse for me for our anniversary a month ago. It wasn't a surprise because he is transparent as glass, but I think he was wonderful.
  • He lets me take a mid-morning nap on Saturday mornings with no grief.
  • He goes to Baptist church every other Sunday despite the fact he is a die-hard Lutheran. (note: dual-denomination family-life can be really tough)
  • He is awfully cute.
  • He is very responsible.
  • He supports my silly obsession of taking classes in all things insurance-related.

I love you forever Mr. Wheezer.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Germfest 2005

Nothing like having two daycare kids in the house to ensure somebody is sick with something at any given time. L. and I are getting over a nasty cold just in time for hubby and S. to come down with it. Joy of joys. Hello Vicks, good-bye good night's sleep.

This is better than the last time hubby and I shared germs. Nobody's needing to go to the doc for a shot of phenergan...


Friday, November 18, 2005

Wahoo! Another weekday bites the dust.

It's Friday! In 4 minutes, I will leave my little cave, grab my husband and go pick up the baby. She will shriek with completely unrestrained delight upon our arrival and will wail pitifully when we buckle her in her carseat. Fortunately, we have THE LION. THE LION is the magic soothall that turns L.s tears to chortles of glee. THE LION has spitup embedded in his mane and in the fluffy bit at the end of his tail. He is remarkably tolerant of all things slobbery and slimy that are part and parcel of a baby and L. adores him.

Tonight is pizza night. On our way home, we will pick up pizzas. My sweet husband's parents will be returning our 3 (and a half) year old after a day of unadulterated spoiling interspersed with way too many hours watching Thomas on the old boob tube and joining us for dinner. Cooking on Friday night is strictly verboten in my household, so pizza it is.

TGFPJ (Thank Goodness for Papa John's)


Dear S. and L.

Originally written: 8/7/2005

It's Sunday night and you two are sleeping in your respective beds. Of course, if your father keeps making such a racket, it's going to wake L. the rest of the way...

This has been a red letter weekend on 2 accounts. S., on Saturday night you woke yourself up, went to the potty, washed your hands and climbed back into bed ALL BY YOURSELF! you didn't quite remember to put your pajama bottoms back on, but hey, you remembered to wash your hands! Not bad for only 3 years old. L., this weekend you caught your balance. I can sit you on the floor completely unsupported and you don't tip over. Unfortunately, you haven't figured out how to go from sitting to lying down unassisted, but I know it won't be long now before you're crawling and cruising and then walking.

I feel privileged and supremely blessed to be your mother. S., I look forward to tomorrow when it is my turn to be loved by you. For some reason you've begun withholding affection. You told Aunt Toot you didn't have any kisses for her and you told me you just didn't love me today (but you promised you'd love me tomorrow). As you grow, your thought processes become more and more complex. Today I'm awed by your understanding the difference between 'today' and 'tomorrow.' Who know how you'll surprise me next.

My beautiful little L. You are busy learning all the 'rules' of this world. I watch you look at something (usually a toy or my glasses), assess the distance your chubby little fingers can reach, and stre-e-e-e-e-e-tch out to see if you can reach that object. When you can, you cheerfully snatch up the coveted object and stuff it in your mouth (I may forget what it is like to look through un-smudged glasses). When you can't quite reach, you grunt and strain and roll back and forth never giving up until the object is in your grasp. I admire that kind of determination in a baby not quite 6 months old.

It is past time I went to sleep.

I love you both more than I can say.


Words that make me melt

Originally heard 7/29/05

S. (age 3.5): 'We have a beautiful baby!' about L. (age 5 mos).

Jumping on the bandwagon

After finding out a dozen or so friends of mine have blogs, I am jumping on the bandwagon. Seldom one for following trends, this surprises me. Maybe this will be like the first time I tasted Vodka and decided all it did was ruin perfectly good orange juice. On the other hand, maybe this will be the start of a beautiful (if slightly self-absorbed) friendship.