Friday, December 29, 2006


I guess it's time to finally 'fess up. My digital camera is lost. Lost, lost, lost, lost, lost. It disappeared shortly after we returned from Disney in October. It also disappeared before I downloaded all my Disney pictures. (sob!) This is killing me. I didn't realize how often I take pics of the girls until I couldn't any more.

It doesn't help that the camera seems to be mocking me. I rarely, rarely remember dreaming, and yet twice this week I dreamt about that stupid camera. Where, oh where, can it be?

I know what happened. After snapping a couple of pics of the girls, I set the camera down in the house somewhere. L. and S. wanted to play with it. Instead of putting it back in my purse where it belonged, I put it up somewhere out of their reach. I have just about torn the house apart trying to find it with no luck.

One small part of me is convinced Mr. W. moved it somewhere and then forgot that he 'helped' me out. It's happened before that he has moved things and then I can't find them (like say, my keys).

Where, oh where are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the house over and thought I would find you,
But you just mock me and pbbbbbbt you're still gone.


Jolly good

Yippy! I'm still at work on the 3rd floor of my office building that sits right up on a hill right across from a lake, and we are under tornado watch for the next 4.5 hours. Wind's kicking up something fierce. Even after Mr. W. and I are set free, we still have at least an hour worth of driving in order to go get the kids from grandma and grandpa's house and then head back home.

I love bad weather. Tornadoes add just the right pinch of adrenalin to an already stressed out me. It's great having an office that overlooks the highway when you're straining for any 'freight train' noises that signify a possible tornado. Did ya know that when the wind is blowing just right, the 18 wheelers driving by make sounds akin to a train? The not-so-occasional claps of thunder make for even more exciting times.


M.W. {mumble, mumble, mumble}

updated: I wish I had an armored car and a tornado shelter... as more lightning flashes nearby...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hap, Hap, Hap Arnold!

Hello to any H.H. Arnold graduates who have wandered by! I've been enjoying the class of 90 alumni web site, and realized my page was somehow featured. This explains the couple of you who wandered by (thank you sitemeter). Shoot me an e-mail or post a comment if you remember me (or even if you don't, that's okay).

Anyway, wanted to say thanks for visiting, and if you have a personal website, odds are I haven't visited since my company blocks MySpace (and others of its type).

In an ironic twist of fate, my department head attended H.H. Arnold. Really weird that he remembered one or two of the same teachers that stood out in my mind.

Take care fellow Wiesbadener Krieger type people!


Random thunkings

I can hardly wait for next spring when the next Harry Potter book comes out. On the other hand, I am dreading it since it will be the last Harry Potter book. Anticipation and daydreaming are half the fun. Is Snape truly evil? Where are the horcruxes? What will Neville's final role be? Will Ginny put up with Harry being so protective of her?

I am nervous about the impending execution of Saddam Hussein. How much more violence will this spark? Will people in Iraq ever be reasonably safe again? Will his death close a chapter or open the floodgates of hatred?

Working late stinks. If I were better focused, I wouldn't be in this pickle, but here I am. The end of the year draws nigh, and I am not prepared. My list of projects required by 1/1/07 is growing faster than S. and L. put together!

When is L. going to go back to sleeping through the night? I am exhausted... Mr. W. and I are so exhausted neither of us heard the alarm go off this morning, and we were like mini-tornadoes getting ready and out the door this morning.


The continuing saga of the blue scooter

Forays into the WalZoo yielded a blue scooter, but not the style I wanted for S. (plus it was another $10 - yes, I'm cheap). Christmas morning, S. received a red scooter and was pretty darn ecstatic. Of course, the Ariel helmet and assorted pads helped relieve some of the pain.

Three guesses what we found on our front door step when we got home yesterday... The mysterious 'lost in shipping' scooter unlosted itself and arrived just a little too late. Me being the obnoxiously honest person that I am gave Amazon a call to ask about getting their scooter back to them. The (very nice) customer service rep thought my situation was pretty funny and told me to mark the unopened box 'Return to Sender.' I told her it may be a week before we can get to the post office, and she was okay with it.

It's funny how the US mail works. Mail comes in and out of Waco in a big hurry. People have received packages and letters way sooner than I anticipated when I go into Waco to send them. My little bitty town, on the other hand is the land of the late, late, late mail. I know for a fact that the mail for Waco and our town is sorted at the same sorting center thingy, so why does it take an extra 3-5 days for us to get our mail? Inquiring minds want to know.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Off we go...

So I talked to Amazon about S.' scooter this morning. Guess what the (very nice) customer service rep had to say? 'It has been lost somewhere in shipping, but I can request another one or refund your money.' Great, just great.

My money is refunded, and now I must gird my loins to try to track down a blue scooter. Target had a lovely assortment of scooters last night in just the style I picked out for my girl. Every last one was red. In a desperate bit of substitution shopping, I purchased one of the red scooters thinking I could always return it if I find a blue one. I hate the WalZoo but will be heading that direction this afternoon (what am I thinking!?!?!?). Wish me luck.

We who are about to shop salute you.


Friday, December 22, 2006

One nailbiting session behind me

I don't know if I'm relieved or disappointed. My monthly visitor was a little late... She's here now, though.

All I want for Christmas is some peace about family planning.


Pig in a blanket success!

Non-dairy pig in a blanket recipe created by yours truly...

1 roll Pillsbury pizza crust in a can
1 package HEB brand Lil Smokies (read the labels to find the ones without dairy product)

Preheat oven to 400

Unroll the pizza crust and cut into squares
Wrap one square around each sausage
Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet
Bake at 400 until golden brown (about 15 minutes)

S. and L. both loved them, and I am delighted they are so easy.


A nailbiter

S. started begging for a scooter (blue!) 2 months ago. After much hemming and hawing and researching, we decided she could have one. We also decided L. should have a kiddie version so the girls could play together on the concrete slab in our backyard.

It is December 22, and L.'s scooter arrived on Tuesday. So far, we have received no word on S.' scooter. Tracking information has not been updated at all, and I am scared to death of a Christmas morning where L. gets a scooter and S. does not...

Pass the Mylanta, please.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

After Monday night, I can totally see this

L. has hacked her way through a pretty nasty cold in recent days. For the first time in her short life, we gave her cough syrup more than 2 days in a row. Monday was her 4th day on the juice. She was pretty restless going down to sleep, which we attributed to her congestion and so gave her one last dose of cough syrup. Five hours after her last dose 'BOING' she woke up climbing the walls.

I pushed Mr. W. out of bed and told asked him to tend to her. He spent two hours chasing her all around the living room in a futile effort to get her to settle down and go back to sleep. At 3, the exhausted Mr. W. brought the little darling to our room. She shrieked with joy when I got out of bed and raced to me with her arms high above her head. This is the position she usually assumes when we pick her up from daycare. I scooped her up, and she cackled and gave me kisses all over my face. This is not normal for a toddler at 3 am, they're supposed to be asleep or crying, right?

Anyway, I carried her out of our bedroom, and closed the door behind me so Mr. W. could get some sleep. L. wanted nothing to do with sitting still, and continued her frenzied running around the room. She played with stuff, she climbed on stuff, she grumped at me for not getting down on the floor with her. After 45 minutes of those shenanigans, I realized there was nothing I could do to settle her. So, I went to work in the kitchen and ignored her. Somewhere around 4:30, she collapsed on the floor and went to sleep. She didn't even sigh when I scooped her up and plunked her in her crib.

Today I see an article that includes a bit about kids abusing cough syrup to get high. The ingredient in question? Dextromethorphan. Three guesses as to what was in L.'s cough syrup... and three guesses as to when we will give her that stuff again...


I want my Christmas cheer, darnit!

Where is my good holiday spirit? If you find it, please send it back. My kids miss their somewhat cheerful mother.

This time of the year seems to become more difficult each time we go through this whirlwind rollercoaster. Eleven months of the year, we barely muddle through our tight schedules. The added 'excitements' at Christmastime push me to the cracking point. What I would give to have the entire first week of December off work (and the kids still going to daycare)... I could have all my shopping, wrapping, card sending, baking, planning, etc. completely out of the way. The rest of the month would be spent enjoying the festivities.

Instead of sitting back and applauding through S.' Christmas programs (she was an adorable angel during her daycare's pageant who actually remembered her line without prompting for the very first time during her one performance), I sat there worrying how I was going to finish making the fudge I was planning to bring into the office and wondering what on earth I was going to do for my mother and my eldest nephew for Christmas.

Maybe I simply need to focus on the present.

Presently, I am feeling slightly nauseated for having overindulged in the goodies that are ever-present in the office this time of year. I work with some seriously talented cooks...

Presently, I feel good that S.' behavior issues of earlier this week (a whole nother post once I work up the energy to process what happened) seem to be behind her.

Presently, L. is a bundle of energy and unabashed glee. Of course, she is somewhat manic right now due to having been on cough syrup for several days. You know, there is something very wrong with someone bouncing off the walls and chortling with glee at 3:00 AM... As exhausted as I was, I couldn't help grinning when she covered my face with very effusive kisses.

Presently, Mr. W.'s foot is feeling better following ingrown toenail issues.

Presently, my back isn't bothering me nearly as much as it was a week ago (I can't remember if I've gone into the whole nasty mess with my back on this blog. I do need to document it if only for my kids' sakes. Chronic pain is such a joy killer, and I want them to avoid it if at all possible.)

Presently, I am listening to excerpts from Handel's 'Messiah.' Where else can you find such exuberant proclamations of joy and faith? 'For unto us a son is born!'

Presently, my employer wants to keep me around and even gave me a nice pay raise for 2007.

Eat, drink and be merry. Enjoy your loved ones and let the hurts that are bound to happen this season drain away.

Blessings and joy for the new year.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Insurance Humor

An actuary, an underwriter, and an insurance salesperson are riding in a car. The salesperson has his foot on the gas, the underwriter has his foot on the brake, and the actuary is looking out the back window telling them where to go.

Har, har, har!

What did God say when he created Actuaries? He scratched his head and said, "Go figure!" They took it literally...

Thanks to:


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Conversations with S.

On the way home from daycare the other day:

S.: When I am a grownup, I will have new hair.

Me: What will your new hair look like.

S.: A blueberry.

On the way to daycare this morning:

S.: Today is my horse's birthday

Me: So what is Freddie (what she names EVERYTHING) getting?

S.: I'm going to catch her a fish to eat.

Mr. W.: Horses don't eat fish.

S.: Mine does.

Me: Really S., eating a fish would make a horse sick. Horses eat grass, and oats

Mr. W.: And hay and carrots and sugar cubes

S.: Mine eats fish.

Me: Horses really don't eat fish, S.

S.: My horse is a special horse, and she eats fish... What's a sugar cube?



My best friend's sister is a single mom raising two kids (one of whom has cerebral palsy and requires a little more attention than the average child) with no support of any kind from either child's father. She lives in a cheap two-bedroom apartment located in a not-so-elegant part of town. She bargain-shopped to extremes in order to find a few Christmas gifts for her kids and spent her last $200 on car repairs.

Then she was robbed.

The thieves took every last Christmas gift from under the tree, dug around and found the hidden gifts, stole all the video games her son had earned for doing his physical therapy and enduring really nasty recovery post tendon-lengthening surgery, took every bit of electronic equipment in the apartment and even drank the Coke she had splurged on for herself right out of the refrigerator.

I am disgusted. Truly disgusted. I would be less bothered if I had been robbed. We have a nice house in a nice neighborhood. We are not nearly destitute. We have insurance. We have savings. Stealing every thing we owned would not ruin us financially.

The neighborhood where my friend's sister lives is not so prosperous, and the people who targeted it are revolting.


Daycare party update

I talked to L.'s morning teacher this morning regarding the 'cheeto' situation. I asked her (very nicely) what they intended to do about keeping the Cheeto dust cleaned up so that L. wouldn't be accidentally exposed. Teacher fessed up that she 'just hadn't thought about it.' Argh! Then, I asked her if they intended to eat in the classroom (which the sign-up sheet indicated). She confirmed and mumbled something about hating to keep L. separated from the rest of the kids. I asked her how they were planning to get the classroom clean enough to keep L. safe after eating. She responded with, 'Well, they do get a little messy...' Argh!

Just so happened the dad of the kid who was signed up for cheetos was there. Teacher asked and he agreed that they will be bringing plain old potato chips or possibly even Fritos or something else that isn't cheese flavored. I asked please nothing that will leave a lot of dust around.


I talked to Mr. W. and I think that we will also bring a big caseload of mini Moon Pies. They are non-dairy and safe for L. Maybe she can even share with her friends.

I have been scouting the web for recipes that are non-dairy, but don't have such tasty sounding ingredients such as dietary yeast or egg replacer. This weekend will see my attempt to come up with a biscuit/roll type object that is non-dairy. Wish me luck, for a baker I am not.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Locked Out


L. followed me all around the house while I tried to find her shoes Sunday morning. Deciding I had probably left them in the van, I popped into the garage closing the door to the house behind me. L., naturally, was distressed I would go anywhere without her and fussed at the door twisting on the doorknob. The door to the garage sticks, and I knew she didn't have the strength (or leverage at her height) to get the door open. What I didn't realize was that she did understand that sometimes we flip that little switchy thing in the middle of the doorknob in order to open the door. That came to my attention when I tried to get back in the house.

The little dickens locked me out!

S. was sitting in the living room very close to the door to the garage, watching tv. Apparently Sunday morning Disney channel contains magic powers that deafen 4 year olds. Fortunately Mr. W. eventually heard me banging on the door and yelling for S. to let me back in.


At dropoff this morning, I discovered that L.'s class is having a Christmas party, complete with signups for special food treats. I feel very sad and disappointed that her teachers never talked to me ahead of time about the party, and all the party food options contain some variety of cheese or other dairy products. If they had just talked to me for a moment, I could have signed up to bring something that L. and the rest of her class can have (i.e. Moon Pies vs Little Debbie snack cakes or fresh fruit vs. cubed cheese or plain old potato chips vs. cheese puffs) before the other kids had already signed up for all the food options.

I hate that L. will not be allowed to have any of the food available at the party. I hate that these teachers didn't bother to talk to us about options first. I really, really, really, really hate that they will be having cheese puff that will be leaving cheese dust all over everything that day. Every other class, the teachers have discussed the food situation prior to any special party.

Maybe L. and I will be sick on the 20th. We'll stay home and have our own party.

At any rate, I plan to talk to her teachers, just not today when I am feeling so wounded and angry.


I am locked out of the PIM board at work! wah, wah, wah, wah!!! I hope it's just a temporary glitch, but the nanny program has been permanently blocking more and more sites. I may wither away to nothing if I can't get my daily PIM fix...


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Did you know?

That some really, really, really happy cats will drool while they are purring?

I learned that today. Miss Nadya has taken to drooling on me while I pet and/or doctor her. Concerned about this behavior, I checked around and discovered that drooling is pretty common behavior for cats that are nearly comatose with pleasure.

M.W. - where is the bleeping towel

Finding forgiveness... for myself!

I can find all sorts of ways to excuse myself and justify my mistake. S. was distracting me; L. wouldn't stop crying; my mom disrupted the routine; I'm sleep deprived; etc., etc., etc. In the end, though, it was my mistake and mine alone, and three days later I still feel sick, really and truly sick to my stomach.

You see, L. wanted some milk, and I didn't pay close enough attention to what I was doing. I let the distractions and noise around me distract me. I fixed up her bottle and handed it to her. She put it in her mouth, yanked it out, made a face, shook her head 'no' and handed it back. I set the bottle back down, and L. started fussing for her 'ba-ba' again. Again, I gave it to her. Again, she put it in her mouth, yanked it out, made a face, shook her head 'no' and handed it back. And again, I put the 'ba-ba' down on the table in the kitchen. Only after the third time we went through the request, reject, put down only to beg for it again did I actually look at what was in the 'ba-ba.'

In my clueless, careless, fuzzy state, I had given my deathly allergic child a bottle of cow's milk not soy milk. How could I be so stupid? How could I be so careless? How grateful I am that my child knew she shouldn't have it. How supremely glad I am that the only bad thing to happen was one wretchedly smelly and messy poopy diaper with a bit of diaper rash.

I need to find forgiveness for myself. My daughter has forgiven me already.

I guess this could be added to Gretchen's call for mother of the year, but I'm still too shaken up.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another birthday bites the dust...

It started off less than ideal. S. was a royal pain getting ready this morning, and Mr. W. and I had a stupid fight over the tv (of all ridiculous things).

In the true tradition of my family, my birthday present from my parents was Christmas themed. My mom presented me with a huge box of Lebkuchen (German Christmas cookies to die for). I appreciate the gift and will enjoy sharing it with my in-laws and everyone else I bump into over the next month.

It is just so nice (and rare) when I get a gift that is non-Christmas in nature, suits my personality and was picked out by someone else. This birthday has left me a little blue. I picked out and even ordered the gift from Mr. W. and the girls, and Mr. W. still hasn't gotten around to picking up a card for me. Ah well, at least I know I like what I got 'from them .'

We will be going out to dinner tonight. The youth from Mr. W.'s church is having a 'we get 10% off your order at McAllister's Deli' fundraiser tonight, so we will be going there. Nothing extravagant, but at least I don't have to wash dishes tonight.

I won tickets to go see 'A Trip to Bountiful' this weekend, and I think that will be fun. Since the prize was 4 tickets, we are leaving the kids with a babysitter and taking some friends with us. I really enjoy that couple's company. In addition to tickets to the play, I also won Lottery stuff. I now own a Texas Lottery windbreaker, duffel bag, thermos, travel mug, baseball cap, insulated lunch box and probably something else I'm forgetting. What is a gal who is morally opposed to the Lottery supposed to do with all this stuff emblazoned with the Lottery insignia? Maybe Mr. W.'s dremel will get the label off the (really nice) travel mug...


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How do you explain 'south' to a four year old?

S. wanted to know where north and south were during dinner the other night. After trying to explain it to her multiple times (complete with how if you go far enough north, you wind up going south again) I brought in the big guns. S., L. and I sat on the living room floor with my historical globe (purchased back when I was gunning to be a Social Studies teacher). We found our general vicinity, the north pole and the south pole. We talked about how you are going north if you are going toward the north pole, and you are going south if you are going toward the south pole. We traced Magellan's route all the way around the world. We followed Christopher Columbus' journey across the Atlantic. We looked at all the different labels printed on the globe while I explained that no, those were not islands, they were just information about the makers of the globe.

I had fun and briefly considered pursuing a teaching career after all. Nah...



Tomorrow is my *cough* *cough* 35th birthday. I don't feel 35. In fact I feel more like a 25 year old who has a better salary and more job experience.

Part of my issue with aging is that I don't feel my age. I'm starting to look my age, but I sure don't feel it. It almost feels like I'm lying when I tell people how old I actually am. Will I wind up one of those 80 year olds who looks in the mirror and is shocked by what she sees? Probably.

The 35th birthday is significant. The description 'early thirties' is officially invalid. Yikes! Welcome to my 'mid-thirties' to be followed by 'late thirties' and then on to *gasp* my forties!

Talk about getting ahead of myself... S. will turn 10 years old four months after my 40th birthday. Turning 30 while pregnant felt weird. Celebrating my first-born's 10th birthday a few months after celebrating my 40th is going to pass weird.

My current list of things I want to do before I die:

Learn to play the oboe
Visit the remaining 3 continents I have not been to (South America, Antarctica and Australia)

My current list of things I want to do before my next birthday:

Change career direction
Find better home/work balance
Figure out what on earth we are going to do with S. for after school care come August

Happy birthday to me!


This means war!

As the weather turns chilly, the battle lines are carefully measured. The innocent-seeming grounds will soon witness an hours-long herculean struggle to begin shortly after the participants finish putting lotion on their hands and switch off the lights.

I dive in first, carefully wrapping the sheet around my calves and ankles. The soft blue blanket is snugged up under my left shoulder and my hands knot around the comforter on top. Within minutes battle ensues. Mr. W. rolls over, but my grasp on all sheets and blankets is firm. Feeling warm and cozy, I drift off to sleep... for about 30 minutes when I realize my toes are cold. The chink in my armor is exposed, as all the covering from my knees down has become wrapped around the enemy's legs. A wriggle, a tug, a poke and a 'hey, I'm cold' later, the battle comes to a brief halt.

Peace never lasts long. While my feet continue to feel the cold, my blanket-holding shoulder remains secure through the night.

Tomorrow night I will rework the sheets around my calves strategy...


Friday, December 01, 2006


My fortune cookie from lunch (and I am not making this up): You would do well in the field of computer technology.


Lacking Humor

I hang out at a certain humorist's blog from time to time, and he posted a link to this rather fuzzy picture. Speaking as a member of the Christian faith, I personally found the picture hysterical. It didn't occur to me to find it offensive. Others who posted to that blog were offended, however. One went so far as to accuse those of us who laughed, to be laughing at a man being crucified and thought next we would be laughing at someone being guillotined.

I personally wasn't laughing at the crucifixion of Christ. I was laughing at the incongruity of mixing a piece of amazing religiously-themed artwork with the Village People. That's funny. Sort of like when S. ran up to the front of the church right before service started and hiked her skirt up to her armpits to show everybody she was now wearing big girl underwear (somewhat embarrassing for her parents, but still pretty funny).

The multiple reactions to a few young guys' prank, got me to thinking. At what point would I find that photo to be offensive?

If these guys were doing the YMCA next to a live person in the process of dying, I would be offended. There is a world of difference between being silly with a picture of a person, and mocking the actual living, breathing human.

If these guys were somehow mocking the Christian faith as a whole, I would be annoyed and possibly offended. Not nearly as offended as I am by some who claim to be acting as Christians, but I would feel put out. It's not like they were calling all Christians idiots.

If these guys were vandalizing the painting, I would be offended. Nobody has the right to destroy the property of others (with a few public safety exceptions).

Truthfully, all I see is a bunch of boys who were being boys on a field trip. After snickering at women's breasts for an hour, one of them said, 'Hey dudes, does this guy make you think of doing the YMCA?'

Comparing this juvenile prank to the racial epithets thrown about by 'Kramer' is just ridiculous. Richards' insults were directed in the face of living, breathing people. They were delivered with the intention of hurting and humiliating. This photo captures juvenile creativity and downright silliness.