Monthly Archives: March 2008

File this under Don’t Want to Know

A little nugget I forgot to mention in my earlier post wherein I was drinking a glass of wine when the girls were still up.

Looking at my glass, K commented “Don’t drink too much or you’ll have to go to the hospital.”

“Huh?” I said.

“That’s what Jackie said happened to her mom,” K explained.

Interesting. And way more than I wanted to know.

In the Moment

We spent the weekend with my mom. While I was not looking forward to it, it was OK. And for me, the perfect amount of time. She also sent me “shopping” in her pantry, and I came home with 13 jars of spaghetti sauce, 12 one pound boxes of various shapes and even flavors of long pasta, two cases of various soups, 6 12-pack frig packs of soda, and untold boxes of rice, rice-a-roni and other boxed side dishes. My mother lives alone and doesn’t cook much anymore, but she can’t resist a sale/coupon combo and loads up on staples that she never ends up eating! So I now have lots of free food and no room in my own pantry to store it! A task for the upcoming week.

One of the reasons I dislike staying at my mom’s is the sleeping arrangements for my family of three. She has a 2 bedroom house, and there are 2 king sized beds in it. She sleeps in one…..and when it was just K and me, she and I were fine in the other. Now that we have B as well, it’s a bit tight with 3 of us in one bed, especially given B’s moving. On this trip B agreed to sleep in my mom’s bed with her, leaving just K and me in the other. Amazingly, this worked out perfectly!  It was great to have a relatively good night’s sleep, and since my mom and B are both early risers, it made sense for them to be able to get up together.

And this gave me an unexpected gift — alone time with K. As she and I lay in bed together, we didn’t have to get up to go somewhere. B was engaged with my mom, so I wasn’t on edge about leaving her wandering the house on her own for an extended period. And while there weren’t any deep dark secrets exchanged, it was a delicious sigh to be there for K to just talk and be a little silly. It also made me realize that on the rare occasion when I am alone with either of my kids, it’s even rarer that I am giving them my full attention; we seem, no I seem, to always be thinking of what has to be done next.

Goal for the Week: Take to heart the title of this post

Senseo – huh?

I did something a week or so ago, and I can’t figure out now why, exactly.

I clicked on a link in a blogger’s comment for the Senseo promotion, and for a modest $15 fee, was sent a Senseo single serve coffee maker.

So far, so good, right?

Only thing is – I don’t even like coffee! Oh, and my counter top has no room to hold this thing.

I was hoping I could find some non-coffee flavors to make in it, but at my local Target today, the closest I could find was a flavor they call “Paris”, but it is still coffee. And yes, I tried it and it’s still too coffee-ish for me. I rationalize by saying it will be nice to have, on the rare occasion I have someone over who would like coffee, and I can offer something besides directions to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts. But really, what was I thinking??

Hot chocolate, tea, anything but coffee, anyone? Anyone know of any generic “pods” I can use in this so I’m not tied to the Senseo brand stuff?

Experimental Interview

Come one, come all – read the first ever interview given by the one, the only, Ragtop Day!! (uh, yeah, that would be me)

Melina, over at “That Woman who speaks eighteen languages and can’t say “no” in any of them” interviewed me as part of the Great Interview Experiment that was the brainchild of Neil. Here are her questions, and my answers, but go check her out as well!
Continue reading

Six Years

Six years ago today I met K for the very first time. She was 14 months old.

Two months prior I had seen a few snapshots taken of her when she was about 9 months old. A pudgy little baby with a scowl. A month later another photo arrived – this one appeared to show a strapping three year old with a newly shaved head wearing a psychedelic vest, pajama pants and the cutest bare feet ever. I freaked a little that my one year old had suddenly turned three!

And there I was in a hot room in a government building in Guangzhou, China, meeting my daughter for the first time. She howled when she looked at me, and stopped when she looked around the room. She was also wearing 6-9 month size clothing so was still a one year old baby (the “three year old” picture was just perspective). I can remember feeling faint with expectation waiting for her to arrive, then otherworldly as I held her and tried to get a good look at her. The early photos and video of her show absolutely no hint of the personality that would emerge. She was shy and clingy, and decided within 24 hours that I was the only one she wanted. I even had to take her into the bathroom with me.

Fast forward six years – yes, it seems like the blink of an eye NOW, but day-to-day it felt like forever – and K is one of the most outgoing, exuberant, funny, social little girls you’d ever want to meet. She can still be clingy and whiny, but I never would have guessed I’d have a real extrovert on my hands six years ago.

I bet the next six go even faster.

Run Away

Tonight my 7 year old moved out.

Well, almost.

She was whiny and irritable from the time I picked her up at school, and had a complete melt-down in the car when she realized her sister had her stickers. Never mind that until she saw B with the stickers she had completely forgotten their existence. I remained calm (on the outside) and reminded them they could work this out on their own. But B is an instigator, and thought it was funny to taunt K with the stickers. At one point I looked back, really just to see what was going on, and B interpreted that as “the look” and handed them right over. Amazingly, K handed one of the sheets of stickers back, in attempt to share. But the whining kept up.

So we got home and I started making dinner. A broccoli and cheese calzone we had seen made on TV the night before.  Three thumbs up, by the way. Quick, easy, and tasty. Anyway, I decided to pour myself a glass of wine while I made dinner. I very rarely have an adult beverage when they are up. It has nothing to do with not wanting them to see me drink alcohol, and everything to do with the way it makes me feel. I “feel” the effects of alcohol very quickly and on not much, and I like to be “sharper” when they are still awake. But tonight was a rare exception. And K took that as license that she could have soda and began whining about it. And I wigged out a bit, and sent her upstairs to have her little tantrum away from us.

Just as I was about to call up that she could come downstairs, she arrives with her little rolling Strawberry Shortcake suitcase, and announces she is leaving “this mean family”. I ask where she is going, but she won’t say. I say goodbye, and let her walk out the door.

It was very cold and windy here today. This occurred just after 6 pm local time, and the temperature was about 33 degrees, with a howling wind. It was cold.

I let her go. Waited a few minutes, then peeked outside. She was standing on the front walkway in front of our house. I sent B out to ask her if she wanted a pepper (which we were munching on while dinner cooked). She sent her regrets.

I waited a few more minutes, then went outside myself. Sat on the stoop next to her, and tried to put my arm around her. She scooted away. I asked where she was going. She said, with a smile, that she had called a cab. (We live in suburbia – cabs are not part of our world.) I asked when she expected the cab to arrive, and she made a big show of looking at her (watchless) wrist, and said “in about 10 minutes”. I said “Gee, 10 minutes is an awfully long time to wait out here in this cold – do you want to wait inside where it’s warm?” She shook her head.

Next I tried, “Are you sure you don’t want some dinner before you go? It smells really good in there.” Again, no dice.

Then she said “Cab’s here – gotta go”, picked up her little suitcase and headed down our walk to the driveway. I watched her go, then stepped inside and stood by the front door.

A minute later she rolled herself back up and said, “The cab is out of gas – can you give us some?”

“Of course – c’mon in and I’ll get you some gas. And have some dinner while you’re here.”

And the “cab driver” had dinner with us, because he hadn’t eaten breakfast, or even any dinner the night before. At bedtime she asked if he could live with us. Of course, I said, as long as you do too, I added in my head.

A Fine Five

Inspired by Stephanie, I thought this might be a cool exercise. At least the self-reflection part of it.

If forced, which five words would you use to describe yourself? Answer. Then ask those closest to you (a parent, a lover, a sibling, a friend or two) to describe YOU using only five words, and do the same for them. Is there any parity? Is there a gap between how you see yourself and how the world around you does? If so, what have you learned from it?

Five words I might use to describe me:

  • Hard-working
  • Responsible
  • Thoughtful
  • Stressed
  • Easy-going

Hmmm, some of them seem contradictory (stressed, yet easy-going?), and I also wanted to add “lazy” (does that go with hard-working and responsible?). But yeah, they do all describe me. And ask me tomorrow, or next week, or six months from now, and you might get five completely different words. We are awfully complex, aren’t we?

Not sure I will actually ask anyone else to use five words to describe me, but it’s worth at least imagining what others might say. Maybe I’ll ask my kids – I’ll report back what they say (guarantee “yeller” will be one of them and no, I am not proud of it! that’s where the “stressed” comes in, I guess).

Edited to add….I asked my girls for five words to describe me – this was what they came up with:

  • Nice
  • Pretty
  • Loveable
  • Sometimes mean
  • Caring

Only one negative one, but the shocker for me was “pretty”!

Being a Grown-up — Yawn!

Happy Day after St. Patrick’s Day!

Yesterday both my girls went off to school wearing green shirts in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. As for me, apparently green is not really my color as the closest thing I had in my closet was a shirt I can best describe as teal, which K declared was really more “blue” than “green”, and she was right. Hey, you do what you can do, right?
At work, I’d say a good 80% of the people were wearing some shade of green.

When I picked the girls up they both were full of stories — B’s class held a Rainbow Parade around the school, while K’s class talked about shamrocks and what constitutes “luck”. K wanted to know how I spent my day – what parties did I attend, what St. Patty’s day games did I play, what special food did I eat.

Let’s see: I worked on the computer. I attended (too many) meetings. I called people. People called me. I worked on the computer.


I can remember watching my mom go off to work each day when I was a little older than K is now – maybe I was 8 or 10. And thinking how mind-numbingly boring her life must be. Get up, go to work, come home, make dinner, go to bed, get up and do it all again. Hey, wait a minute, that IS my life!

I did try to explain to my kids how the definition of “fun” can change as you grow older. But I’m sure they didn’t get it. That’s OK. There definitely ARE parts of my life that are boring, especially when written like I just did! But I don’t “feel” bored. Most of the time. With that said, I really do need to find a way to get more daily fun into my life. I don’t want my kids to look at my life the way I looked at my mother’s. I want to be someone they want to be.

Friday Fill-In

1. Contact may cause angst – what kind of contact are we talking about, anyway?!?!
2. The parties hereto do mutually agree to stop talking so formally – relax!
3. Disney parks offer way more than most people think – look for the details!
4. A glass of wine sounds really good right about now!
5. I positively love chocolate.
6. Seeing S’s name on caller id always makes me smile 🙂
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to watching last night’s Survivor, tomorrow my plans include taking the girls ice skating and Sunday, I want to do as much nothing as possible!

Thirteen for Thursday

Thirteen TV shows I’m loving – both current, recently off air, and those I’ve discovered via DVD since the start of the Writers’ Strike. In no particular order (except for the first one!):

1. Lost – possibly one of the best written shows ever!

2. Grey’s Anatomy – a grown-up soap opera – a guilty pleasure

3. CSI – but only the original, Las Vegas, version. I am a HUGE Gil Grissom fan.

4. Survivor – it’s not as good as it used to be, and I don’t track the boards obsessively like I used to, but I enjoy the social experiment that it is.

5. Six Feet Under – this is one I’ve discovered on DVD. I can’t believe how great this show is! I am about one-third through Season 3, and am thrilled I still have so much more to see. The Fisher family is so real, so human and I love them all.

6. Dexter – CBS is showing this former Showtime show on network TV now (probably heavily edited). It stars Michael C. Hall who was also in Six Feet Under. I just want to say how in awe of his acting ability I am! He plays two such completely different characters in the two shows, and totally nails them both.

7. Wonderfalls – a co-worker recommended this one, which apparently only aired 4 episodes back in 2004, though they shot a full season. It’s available on DVD and is a fresh, fun show. It’s really too bad it never made it past those episodes.

8. Heroes – another show with excellent writing!

9. Dirty Sexy Money – my favorite of the new shows from this fall. Peter Krause is my kind of guy.

10. Pushing Daisies – created by the same folks behind Wonderfalls – a quirky, different, very special show.

11. How I Met Your Mother – the lone comedy on my list! This one breaks the mold, in my opinion. It’s not formulaic like most of the rest of them out there.

12.  Ugly Betty – I love that the main character is lovable because of her brains, heart and ingenuity, and not her looks. The relationship between Betty and Daniel is timeless. And Justin, Betty’s nephew, steals every scene he is in. (I also loved David Blue, the actor who played Mark’s boyfriend – what a cutie!)

13.  What’s Next? – No, that’s  not the name of some show you’re not watching, just a reminder that the best shows are still out there.

Got any favorites you’d like to share?