Archive for February, 2008

Nothing to Read

I’ve got nothing to read.

Now, obviously that’s not quite true. I have literally thousands of books of all sorts at my disposal in my very own house. I don’t even have to go to he library.

I guess what I really mean is that I have nothing in mind to read. Nothing that I’m currentl reading, and nothing on deck. Heck, I’ve even finished all of my weekly magazines for this week.

It’s really rather annoying because, at this very moment, what I really feel like doing is getting a little snack (some “cheddar blasted” Goldfish, perhaps?) and getting under the covers with a book. I’m sure I could scrounge up something if I went up in my bedroom and looked, but by the time I do that it will really be time to turn out the light and go to sleep.


I’ve got nothing to read.

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Well, Big Brother has started his annual birthday party campaign. Since the year he turned five, about six weeks before his birthday he starts telling random classmates about his (as yet imaginary) birthday party. It drives me nuts.

I don’t mind having a birthday party for him. In fact, we’re planning to have one for him this year, at least with cousins (better get on that … ). BUT. In the two years he was in actual preschool, plus kindergarten, plus five months of first grade, he has been invited to exactly one party.

I don’t think it’s that kids are having parties and not inviting BB – he seems to be popular enough, well-liked by kids and parents. (Could it be that Tim and I don’t really know the other parents? I wouldn’t think so.) I think maybe the kids just don’t have birthday parties with the other kids from school. And so I don’t want to do it either. (Though I would if the other kids were.)

What do you think? Is the trend away from having “friend” parties, or is BB just not getting invited? What kind of party should he have this year?

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Recently, when I picked Big Brother up from after-school care, one of his friends was being picked up at the same time. As I opened the car door for BB to climb into his booster seat, his friend said “You sit in a car seat?” Not in a nasty way, just in an observational way, but I didn’t like where it was heading. (BB has never had that comment from a friend, to my knowledge.)The friend is about the same size as BB – small, definitely too small for the seat belt to fit him properly. I could see that there was no booster in the friend’s car, so I said “Yes, and you should too – you’re the same size he is.” (Actually I was hoping the mom would hear me, but she was busy with her darn cell phone.)

And then, settling into his booster behind me, BB chimes in with “Yeah, my mom’s a car seat … surgeon!”

What a nice promotion, from technician to surgeon! Though the way I have to manipulate these seats sometimes, I feel like a car seat surgeon. 
(Of course, I was also quite proud of him for not being bothered by his friend’s questioning.)

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Little Sister is just two years old. 28 months next week, to be exact. Last week, Big Brother was off on Thursday and Friday, so the kids and I had a nice long four-day weekend.

Of those days, LS took ONE nap. And that nap was hard-won by Tim.

The rest of the time, she be quiet for a while, reading some books (which she LOVES to do), then she’d start yelling, “I not sleeping! I awake! Get me OUT!” BB and I would ignore her as long as we could, but there came a point where we simply had to get her out.

Please don’t tell me she’s giving up her daily nap.


(And if she figures how to climb out of her crib, we’re screwed.)

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“Which is better? 1 …. or 3.”

“1 … or 3.”

“Um, 1 seems a little bit clearer.”

“Which is better? 1 … or 5.”

“1 … or 5.”

“I can’t tell. Can I see them again?”

“1 … or 5.”

“1 … or 5.”

“5, I guess.”

“Which is better … ”

Those of you who wear eyeglasses will recognize this as the main event whenever you get new glasses. Basically, once you’ve taken a few other tests to evaluate your peripheral vision, the strength of your eye muscles, etc. the eye doctor  uses this “refraction assessment” to fine-tune your prescription.

I’ve always been a little uncomfortable with relying on my own assessment to fine-tune my eyeglass prescription. Because, really, the example above is not an exaggeration. It’s always SO hard to tell the difference – if there is any – betwen the two choices. It just seems to me that in this technological age, there should be something a little more … precise.

The reason I’m griping about this today is that I picked up my new glasses this morning. During my exam, the eye doctor said that my vision had changed very little, as usual. (I usually go two years between exams.) But when I put on my new glasses – whoa! My vision wasn’t blurry, exactly, but they seem off. So much so that I actually wore my old glasses while I drove home. The optometrist (?) said that it takes a while to get used to a new prescription, especially with astigmatism (which is what I have in both eyes) but I’ve been wearing glasses for 28 years and have never noticed a difference like this. I may be calling them if I’m still having problems on  Monday.

Anybody else have problems adjusting to new glasses? How long did it take? Alternatively, anybody ever have a pair of glasses that was incorrect for some reason?

Update: Well, I’m pretty sure there is a problem with the glasses. Unless my vision in my right eye changed drastically over a three-week period, which I seriously doubt. Basically, with my glasses on, my left eye sees quite clearly. The vision in my right eye, on the other hand, is fairly blurry with my glasses on. I’m going to give it another day or two just to make sure my eyes have “adjusted” and then I’m calling the eye doctor. What a pain in the rear. As if it’s not hard enough to get my butt in gear to go to the eye doctor in the first place – now I have to deal with this. Ugh.

Update #2: Took my new glasses back to the eye doctor. Yep, the right lens is significantly weaker than my prescription. They’re sending it back to have the right lens redone, and it should be ready in a couple of weeks. We shall see.

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Sometimes I Forget

Today, we got a big box from UPS. (It wasn’t empty, it had an order from Kohl’s.) As soon as Big Brother saw it, he begged me to help him make an airplane out of it. I said OK, admittedly a bit reluctantly. He wanted to get started immediately, but I talked him into waiting until after dinner (since it was time to make dinner).

So as Tim was putting Little Sister to bed, BB and I got out his craft box, my glue gun (at his specific request), some scissors, packing tape (his idea), and set to work. We spent about an hour designing, cutting out and decorating the airplane. We hot-glued on foam letters, rick-rack (his choice!), cut and taped various pieces of cardboard, even cut out eyeholes for him. (That’s the kind of thing you end up with when you let a 6-year-old design an airplane.) We had a blast!

Sometimes I forget.

Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of trying to get chores done and kids taken care of, in the hope of having some free time, or spending time on the computer (even answering car seat questions on the internet), I forget how much I love doing things with BB. I forget what fun it is to spend time one-on-one with him, watching him concentrate as he carefully makes a decision, working together to accomplish a goal. I forget the feeling of watching him take the finished product in to show Tim.

I’ve got to find a way to remember.

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(This story was relayed to me by phone after Tim dropped the kids off. Note that BB has the next two days of school off.) 

This morning, Big Brother was being pokey when it was time to get dressed for school. (This is usually the case.) Tim was pretending to be mad, then started to get mad.

“C’mon BB, you need to get dressed. I’m only pretending to be mad now but I’m going to really get mad soon.”

“I’m glad you’re not going to be home with us tomorrow, so you can’t get mad at me!”

“Oh, you think Mom won’t get mad if you misbehave?”

“No, but her punishments are relaxing!”

Apparently he enjoys spending time in his room a little more than I realized. (But why wouldn’t he, with so many toys and books in there?) I told BB that next time, he was going to have to do some cleaning for his punishment. He wasn’t terribly thrilled with that idea! Hopefully he’ll be on his best behavior this long weekend.

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I probably shouldn’t tell you all this, particularly in light of some of yesterday’s comments (and you know who you are!) – I know I’m just incriminating myself, but I can’t help it.

On Friday, Tim and I took the kids to an employee open house at my company’s new, very different store. It was awesome, there were lots of people there that I knew (hence lots of chatting), and the kids and I had a blast. (Poor Tim was very patient, considering that he did most of the kid-chasing. Thank you Tim!) We spent most of our time in the cafe (sipping on some yummy hot chocolates, which we already knew we liked, from having it at the other area stores), looking at bargain books, and in the kids’ section.

8278aNow, the kids section is very different from the other stores. The layout is different, the product selection is different, etc. Big Brother and I were exploring one area while Tim and Little Sister were looking at the board books about 10 feet away. I could tell that LS was looking at the books with interest and pointing at some of them, and could hear her saying “Dat one … dat one …” How cute, I thought, she’s picking out all the books she’d like to buy today. (I had promised the kids we’d buy some.)

Except …

When I got a little closer, I could hear her more clearly. What she was actually saying was “I hab dat one … hab dat one at home … hab dat one … I hab dat one at home … ”

It was easier for her to pick out the ones she already has.

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Clean Sweep

Anybody seen that TLC show “Clean Sweep,” where their “experts” come into your overly cluttered house, make you weed out most of your stuff, and then fix up your rooms? I think we need that for our kids’ rooms.

They have SO much stuff. Big Brother has years worth of toys, clothing and shoes, books, etc. And we’re saving most of it for Little Sister, of course (some of the clothes are going to my nephew, but the gist of it is that we don’t throw most of it out). Yesterday Tim cleaned LS’s room and today we both “helped” BB clean his room. The rooms both look nice and neat now that we’ve cleaned them, but man are they PACKED with stuff. I really want to go through each room soon – especially the closets and BB’s big IKEA shelving unit – and at the very least, take some stuff down to the basement. Whenever I sit in BB’s room, I find myself looking around and thinking “That can go downstairs … that can go … that can go in LS’s closet … we can throw that away.”

Maybe next weekend.

Anybody else have this problem?

Anybody have a solution? (Besides throwing it all away, which I know that Tim is going to suggest.)

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Well, it appears likely that Barack Obama – if he can maintain his current momentum – will eventually win enough delegates to receive te Democratic Party’s nomination for president. And that’s just fine with me. (In fact, Tim is quite a supporter of Obama.) I would be perfectly happy with him OR Hillary Clinton in the White House. Even John McCain is much preferable than any of the other potential Republican nominees. And the idea of the first African American president – after 200+ years of white men running the country – is pretty darn exciting.


I’m just not ready to give up the idea of possibly having the first ever female president. As a kid, I was told (like most other kids in the country) “You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up!” And while this is not exactly true (I couldn’t really be a rocket scientist, for example, but that limitation is due more to my brain capacity than my gender), there have been incredible strides in gender roles over the past few decades, since I grew up in the 1970s. Heck, my kids have a female doctor who has a male nurse. And we don’t think anything of it.

But president? Well, no girl has ever grown up to be president yet. And while it may be true that Hillary Clinton (regardless of her qualifications to actually BE president) may not be the best candidate to run against a Republican, the girl in me can’t help but dream of finally having a woman running the country. I’m not even certain that she’s the best candiate. (I didn’t really have to choose, thanks to the Michigan Democratic Party.) And I’m just not quite ready to let go of that dream yet.

Anybody else feel this way? How about those of you who are Republicans  – pretend it’s a female Democratic candidate but not Hillary Clinton, if you have to – how do you feel about the possibility of a woman president?

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