Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Kerosene Cucumbers!

I am exhausted. Thoroughly tired. So pooped I pondered plopping in bed when L. did at eight this evening. Instead, I am up at 10:42 in the pm waiting for a couple of jars to cool enough that I can dump them in the fridge. Inspired by Gretchen's latest escapades in freezing and canning and otherwise being very Martha-ish, I sallied forth on my own very first attempt to make refrigerator pickles. We'll see how it goes. I am much more Macgyver than Martha (I can solder a circuit board and read some electrical schematics, but I have yet to successfully cook an entire meal from scratch).

I've already caught one glaring boo-boo floating down at the bottom of the jars. I intended to put in garlic cloves that had been cut in half in my dill concoction. Floating merrily away are whole cloves. Oh well, maybe it will make up for the entirely too much onion I added? I don't know since I've never made pickles before. I almost hope these don't turn out well since I sort of forgot to follow the recipe I had and have no idea if I can ever reproduce these exact pickles. On the bright side, though, Mr. W. and S. would have absolutely no problem telling me if the taste of these pickles reminds them of kerosene (like Aunt Bea's in one especially hysterical Andy Griffith episode).

S. and I went to the farmer's market (or, the outside grocery store, as S. calls it) on Saturday to pick out these cukes. Mostly, she enjoyed eating the peach samples she was offered. We didn't buy any peaches since I am a peach snob, and these peaches were on the dry side. There should be a law against fresh peaches that don't dribble down your chin, you know. We came home with a bunch of little cucumbers, some zucchini and green beans.

I had fun with my big girl, and I think we're going to do it again this weekend... Let's hope I don't wind up poisoning my family.


Andy: It's time to do what we should have done to start with.
Barney: What's that, Andy?
Andy: Learn to love 'em.


S., I am fairly certain you have had the chickenpox. We were unable to come up with any other explanation for your spots. I am sorry you had them, but I am very glad you got them after you had been vaccinated. Your case was extremely mild, with maybe 40 spots total, no itching and no fever.

L., I have absolutely no idea if you have had the chickenpox. I am sorry I can't answer that question for you, since it may be an issue at some point in the future. You had a single spot. It looked just like your sister's spots. It was itchy, and you put a few scratches on your tummy while scratching at it. It's gone now, though, and we're left wondering if it was a chickenpock, or a random bug bite.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Warp Speed

I have a grand total of 5, maybe 10, minutes of peace and quiet. Mr. W. is bathing the girls, so I am frantically typing. One little known fact about me is that I have clocked in at 100 wpm with 100% accuracy when typing! It's silly to be so proud of this accomplishment, but I am a bonafide 100% pure true blue klutz.

You know that kid who was always picked last for whatever game? Or the kid who was always the last to finish any race? Or the kid who regularly had skinned knees and elbows because he/she always fell down? Or the adult who currently has one scrape on her right forearm, and a half dozen or so bruises in varying stages of black to greenishness?

That would be me. I don't know that I've been scarred by those experiences, but let's just say I never had aspirations to become an athlete or professional dancer. Heck, I was even dropped on my head by a dancing partner. Yes, smack dab on the top of my skull, complete with stars and cheeping little birdies dancing around. This was due to his poor instruction and my terrible coordination.

In the end, I am ridiculously proud of the fact, that I can type. It's the one and only thing I have been truly gifted with in the realm of the physical.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

What is your definition of misery?

Mine is an 18 month old who has a cold (complete with runny nose, congestion, coughing), diarrhea (what have we been feeding her?!), nasty diaper rash, three teeth just shy of pushing through the gums and chickenpox.

Actually, it's a single chickenpock, but she has been awfully itchy today...


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What a morning!

L. had her 18 month check up this morning. Because the clinic is right next door to my and Mr. W.'s office, I like to schedule 7:45 am appointments with the intention of dropping off Mr. W. at 7:30, and me taking the girls to the appointment. After we're finished with doctor, nurse, shots, etc. I take them up to the office, and Mr. W. takes them to daycare. This prevents either of us from missing more than an hour office time (in theory).

S., L. and I were sitting in the waiting room, waiting to be called back, when L. had the mother of all blow-outs (note to self: L. does NOT need to eat any more corn, prunes, peaches or other high fiber foods for awhile). It overflowed her diaper, it ran down her little legs, it puddled on the carpeted (naturally) floor. It was chunky and yellow, and it was everywhere.

Fortunately, Nurse B. was on duty. She is a treasure, and we love her. She can get 4 shots done complete with band-aids before a child gets out the first whimper. She has known both the girls since before they were born. Nurse B. obviously loves her job, and remembers the specifics of our little family (even stuff that's not on the charts). Anyway, she helped me clean up L., disinfected the carpet, rinsed out L.'s outfit and stuffed it in a biohazzard bag.

By the time L. was presentable for inspection, Dr. S. had gone on to the next patient, so we had a few minutes to kill before it was our turn. After about 10 minutes, Dr. S. came and checked out our sweet L. Our girl is a skinny minnie! She is at 40th percentile for weight, 70th percentile for height and 80th percentile for head circumference. Except for the whole not really talking yet thing, she's meeting all her milestones like clockwork.

Once L.'s examination was complete, I asked the doc if he could take a quick look at S.' brand new spots. Turns out our big girl possibly has the chicken pox despite having received the vaccination! Ay yi yi! She spent the day with grandma and grandpa while we wait to see if more spots show up. If it's the pox, that's a week we will have to figure out alternative care.

{Sigh} At least, as one co-worker pointed out, I started the day off being pooped on, it could only get better. He was right.


What the Insurance Industry has been saying for a long time

I don’t know whether that’s going to be this year or five years from now or a hundred years from now. But as long as we continue to develop the coastline like we are, we’re setting up for disaster.

-Max Mayfield
director National Hurricane Center

It really worries me that so much of our resources are directed toward coastal development. Gone are the inexpensive beach shacks. They have been replaced with multi-million dollar mansions, casinos, you name it. The economic ripple alone from a major storm running up a highly developed coastline is staggering, the potential loss of life is horrifying. Katrina was bad, very bad. However, she could have been worse, much worse.

We who do not live in coastal areas have been and will continue to foot the bill for this reckless coastal over development that is akin to building the Sears tower on the San Andreas fault.

I work in the insurance industry, and once again, we are holding our breaths through yet another hurricane season...

Rant over.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Definition of the day

Courtesy of my mother:

geek, n. a nerd with a purpose.

I like that definition, I like it very much.

Shotgun Approach

I've been a little 'up to my ears' with my real life, and missed posting. Wah-wah-wah.

The Girls

S. promotes to the pre-k class at her daycare on Monday and to a brand new pre-k Sunday school class at my church. I can hardly believe she's already a pre-k kid. Where did that tiny baby go? The one who totally freaked me out for her first bath at home. Two days after we brought her home from the hospital, it was time for her to get a bath. She did not like the procedure and responded by wailing pitifully. This triggered an all-out sobbing breakdown on my part, so Mr. W. wound up having to bathe her while I cried on our bed on the other side of the house.

L. is turning into little miss independent. She is definitely moving past her baby stage when all she wanted was to be held (not that she isn't just the snuggliest little thing ever). She is quite good at entertaining herself and will happily play for short periods of time all by herself. This is quite a change from the infant who cried whenever she was not being held and led me to curse my own ineptitude with a sling.

The ecstasy... and the agony

Mr. W. and I had a Saturday night date night this weekend. We went to a fantastic little Mexican seafood place that happens to have 'we served the president and honored guests' claim to fame. Mr. W. and I shared a crab tostada (for those unfamiliar, akin to a flat taco) with onions and tomatos and the best doggone crab I have ever had this far inland! We followed with shrimp dishes. Bacon-wrapped, skewered and grilled shrimp with vegetables for me, and shrimp with tomatillo sauce and vegetables for Mr. W. I seriously had to undo the top button on my pants after our meal and basked in that rare glow that follows a perfect meal.

Unfortunately (and this is where the agony comes in), I do not tolerate bell peppers at all. I pretended to myself that if I ate around the bell peppers in my meal, I would be okay. I was wrong. Hoo boy, was I wrong. I am sick as a dog right now, and very grateful that we came straight home after dinner rather than do any more running around. Did I mention that I do not tolerate bell peppers? They are delicious, but oh, so, baaaaad. I wonder, though, why I can tolerate chiles like jalapenos, but not the much milder bell.

Crossing fingers, toes, eyes, whatever

L. goes back to the allergist next month. September 18 is d-day. The allergist will perform a skin test to take a look-see at how our little miss' allergy is progressing. I have everything crossed that she will be completely non-reactive. It's unlikely that she will have outgrown her allergy already, and my mommy instinct just knows she is still allergic to all things dairy (and is developing another mysterious food allergy). Still, a girl can hope.

I'm off to drink a 7-Up in a futile attempt to settle a tummy that is just going to have to work out its little issues.


Monday, August 07, 2006

The Other Side of the Aisle

All-in-one weekend update and shopping extravaganza


Once upon a time there was a girl who was a perky little 36B cup. One day, she and her husband decided being on the pill was just entirely too hard on her, and they would rather have a baby than deal with artificial hormonal wackiness. Six weeks later, she started vomitting, and kid 1 was on her way. Strange things started happening to those little 36Bs. They grew and grew and grew. Stretch marks and veins appeared that bore an uncanny resemblance to the Interstate Highway system. And they hurt. Boy did they hurt. After kid 1 was born, breastfeeding became a centermost part of that girl's life for a good 14 months. A couple years later, the girl's chest went through the insanity of pregnancy and nursing for a second time. Once kid 2 weaned, the girl had absolutely no clue what bra size to purchase and kept hoping that her little 36 B cups would magically reappear (STOP LAUGHING!), so she wore nursing bras for another third of a year. Just this weekend, she finally owned up to the fact that what little the nursing bras did for her profile was not exactly flattering. She spent a solid hour this weekend trying on bras, and discovered that she wears a Warners 36D cup bra. Oddly enough, she still hopes that her old 36B cups will come back (REALLY STOP LAUGHING!).

The Other Side of the Aisle

We took advantage of all the back to school clothing sales and the sales tax holiday (8.25% sales tax is nothing to sneeze at) this weekend to do some serious shopping. After finding a couple of things for L., we were alarmed to discover that we had to cross the aisle from the babies and toddlers clothing to the big girl clothes for S. How is it possible that my baby's pajamas are now sold right next to the training bras and hoochie clothes that pre-pubescent girls wear today? Thanks to Mayberry's timely comments regarding 'Sunrise, Sunset,' I have that song running through my head even today.

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Be Careful What You Wish For

Mr. W. either read my blog entry bemoaning my lack of alone time, or he is REALLY good at reading me. Saturday evening he and the girls headed to his parents' house for dinner and a chance for him to install their new computer. I had the entire house all to myself for 4 hours. I talked to my best friend on the phone completely undisturbed, I made a dozen 'get well' cards for a card swap, and I played with my cats. It was delightful!

Operation Raisin Extraction, Part Deux

So, L. celebrated dinner last night by stuffing yet another raisin up her nose. I have REALLY got to stop feeding her those things, even if she does think they are the best food ever, and they don't make a mess, and she can feed them to herself, and they are reasonably healthy.


Saturday, August 05, 2006


If I were given the choice of any superpower, I would take being able to make everything just stop for a good 2 hours. No work projects to be done, no kids requiring food, bath, hug, etc., no house screaming for cleaning, no phone calls, nothing would pile up during those two hours. Would I use that time to try to get caught up on the million and one chores where I have fallen behind? No! I would use that time to sit, breathe deeply, be completely alone and just be still.

I am a solitary person by nature. Since I've added a husband and two kids to my life, solitude is endangered to the point of extinction. There is a part of me that misses when I was single, living on my own in a one bedroom apartment and could sit and be one with nothing. My two cats provided plenty of entertainment, even if the ugly one enjoyed nothing better than to start knocking things off shelves at 2 in the morning. Life was very easy then but definitely not as fulfilling.

My lack of alone time has been hitting me deeply lately. This probably explans why on Thursday, I got on the elevator at work with a cup of tea, a bag of popcorn and the hope that I would get stuck between floors. I might would have waited an hour or so before hitting the 'help I'm stuck in the elevator and reduced to pushing this button that calls some random call center where nobody can understand me' button. Our elevators break down every few weeks, and we're due for a breakdown soon. Alas, my elevator took me straight to my intended destination without even the hint of a technical difficulty.

A broken down elevator may be a poor substitution for time standing still superpowers, but I think I would take it as a reasonable second choice.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

I'm going to Disney World!

57 days 'til the Wheezer family heads off for 6 days and 5 nights of Disney-induced euphoria.

Euphoria may be a bit strong, but it has been I-don't-know-how-long since we went and did anything just for fun as a family. Our vacation time is almost entirely used up with caring for sick kids and visiting my out-of-town family. I don't regret using our days off in those ways, but it is time for us to just go and do as a little family.

I was unsure of the wisdom that led Mr. W. to insist that we bring the kids along on this funfest (we're going to celebrate him turning 40). However, now that the tickets are paid for and the airplane seats are assigned, I'm starting to feel some excitement.

It is doubtful L. will remember anything about the trip, but I think S. will remember bits and pieces. She is very excited about meeting Mickey. I just hope I get to finally meet Daisy Duck. I was disappointed the last two times the Wheezer family headed to Disney. We do have a nice picture of Daisy with S. when she was a baby and Mr. W. took her to the Magic Kingdom while I was stuck in conferences.