Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Periods, everything about periods.

or, Get out now while you still can, you've been warned.

Warning: girl talk.  Sorry.  I'll understand if you skip this one.



Freaking shark week.  Freaking female body. You are a plague upon my house.  I'm really glad that I was able to birth the two most awesome children on the face of the planet, but my relationship with my uterus has been hate-hate from about age 13.

I have so much to do but I'm sure I'm suffering from a serious lack of iron and I have zero energy.  I won't go into the grody, but yesterday and today were a lot like this again and that was no walk in the park.  Things are bad in Lady Town.  And my problem is that really horrible girl time reminds me of my miscarriage... and that just adds another layer to the whole thing that I'm not really in the mood to handle.  Last night I had an incident that brought that experience right back into the forefront of my mind.

Tonight I just feel crummy.  Not your average complainy-crummy, but really bad.  I feel like I can't move because it would be too much work.  I got a normal amount of sleep and it took all I could muster to get through my day.  Waking up to deal with mother nature in the middle of the night didn't help, but this is more powerful than I could have slept more.  It feels like I just have to wait it out.  I can barely force myself to lay in bed and make a packing list tonight.  I just feel miserable and sick.  I feel like I've spent the last two days completely on edge and barely able to concentrate because I'm so nervous I might have an "issue" at work... and you might remember, I can't just up and head for a restroom when I've got a class full of ninth graders... and I work at least a good two minute walk from any restroom anyway.  That two minutes can feel like twenty when my body decides to rebel.  I feel like a 13 year old who doesn't know how to handle her cycle yet.  How am I 32 and still unsure if I can get through a day at school without incident?  God, that's stupid.

Part of what bothers me about all the hysterical uterine shenanigans is that it feels like Mother Nature's way of reminding me that I'm getting older, that at least one part of me has already served its purpose, and that there's a ticking clock of family history that may or may not decide to sound the alarm anytime soon and screw up my whole deal.  There's not much I can do about it now--though I know I should check in with my doc about it again--but the emotional component of it is just... complicated.

God damn body.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Impatient


Source: flickr.com via Heather on Pinterest


There's a danger in over-preparing, I think.  Or maybe the danger is in being adequately prepared, too early.  I think that's where I am right now--one crazy broad with too much time on her hands.  I got so worried that I'd forget to do something before I leave for my first residency that I spent my entire Thanksgiving vacation being Super Teacher.  I graded and recorded and made sure everything was perfect.  Only here's the thing about perfect: you can never really be it, you know?

I'm tired.

That's what happens every time I try to be it.

Of course I forgot to do 85 million little things and I'm spending my week rushing around even though I worked so hard last week.  Of course the nature of my job is that I spend 20% of my time dealing with work the first time it comes in (i.e. when it is due) and I spend 80% of my time trying to figure out how to grade and deal with individual assignments that come in late.  It's just part of how it is.  And I haven't been fielding a lot of parent emails, but there have been some.  There is just never a dull moment.  I kind of want to leave because I know the supply of "problems" everyone has will never end.  If I do my best to deal with everything before I leave, then I can just leave and tell myself it's not my emergency anymore.

I think what's beginning to happen now is that in my *cough cough* "free" time at home, I'm spinning my wheels.  I don't really know what this is going to be like--for crap's sake, I never even went away to college--so the best I can do is stock up on Cup o' Noodles and some instant coffee and Easy Mac and head for the desert on Friday.  College is all about instant foods, right?  Instant foods and alcohol.  At least that's what I hear.

I'm nervous about driving to Palm Springs.
I'm nervous about having to meet people.
I'm nervous about missing E and the kids when I'm gone for ten days.
I'm nervous about people reading my writing while I can see them.
I'm nervous about those same people, you know, talking to me about my writing.
I'm nervous about talking to other people about their writing.
I'm nervous about being nervous.

All of this is good, I know.  I've spent enough years trying to push senior AP students out of the nest.  Fly away, little birdies, it's good for you.

I'm gonna take my own advice if it kills me.  This is SO going to be wonderful.  I'm just ready for it to start, already.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff... like bingle balls and whofoo fluff...


deck the halls

This was almost a year without a tree... or at least a year where the tree went up without me. This weekend was pretty much it if we were going to do it before I take off for school.  Saturday was gobbled up by the large stack of essays I needed to finish, so the plan was to do it Sunday.  Two wily cats with some emergency veterinary issues almost put a stop to it.  By the time I ran all over town Sunday and E dealt with vets we didn't think we were up to decorating and we told the kids as much.

About ten minutes later they came out and Henry, as spokesperson for the kid contingent, told us that they discussed it and since we had been promising for two days, he believed we needed to have a Christmas tree TODAY.  It was the most adorable thing I've ever seen them do.  My little monkeys, uniting to express their discontent.  #OccupyLivingRoom

Needless to say, we gave to a little pressure and the tree got done.  It's so much easier now that they can help, although there's a heavy distribution of ornaments on the bottom third of the tree.  Henry did spend a lot of time with his hand in the ornament box, just staring at Megamind on the TV.  I guess that's how it is when you're six.  I am so happy that this is all set and I won't have to worry about getting it done when I return (during finals week at work).

E and I are currently watching Boardwalk Empire by the light of the tree.  My favorite.  Let the Christmas fun begin!


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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Recent books: Squirrels and Knights

My recent reads reflect a little bit of reader fatigue... I got a little bit discouraged with my last batch (well, Everything Is Illuminated, mostly), so this time I read something funny and something completely different.  I'm thankful I have a little bit of time during my brief Winter Break to read a few things just for fun.




Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris

I picked this book up in a tiny act of protest against the reading list I created for myself.  I didn't really enjoy a couple of my recent (more serious) reads, so I wanted to read something funny.  As usual, Sedaris didn't disappoint.  Though the reviews for this book are not as great, I totally enjoyed it.  Sure, it's crude.  But it's funny and sometimes it hit really close to home.  Sedaris has a way of tapping into personalities that we all know--the fact that he manages to give these personalities to animals doesn't seem to matter much.  They seem so familiar and so perfectly... awkward.

My recommendation: If you don't mind lots of crude humor or language, it's a good (quick) funny read. Go for it.





The Real Life of Sebastian Knight by Vladimir Nabokov

This book has been on my to-read list for a long time.  You'd think I was crazy if I told you how I came to discover it, but in addition to finding it through that crazy blog and Google-searching, I came to find that Nabokov is also a synesthete.  Of course that made me want to read his books.  I don't meet that many people who have my special brand of crazy.

This book was good.  It was a pretty straightforward read--kind of a mock detective/ biography story where the narrator is trying to piece together parts of his (dead) half-brother's life.  It's not a mystery, necessarily, but more like the story of someone trying to write a biography.  In the process the narrator mocks another biographer and critiques his methods.  It ends up being pretty self-referential, as a lot of the commentary is about books or the fictional author's books, and really, also, about books in general.  It also had an ending that I didn't anticipate and it left me wondering about things I'd taken for granted throughout the rest of the book.  That's always good for me.  It's probably a little more academic than some people would like, but I enjoyed it.  I'll be reading more of Nabokov's work soon for school, I think.

My recommendation: An interesting read for people who are interested in fiction and the nature of its construction. So... I'm sure that's only like one other person out there, but have at it!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So much to be thankful for.

Or, so much for which to be thankful.  I hate prepositions.  It doesn't really sound right either way.

I'm sad that my week of unpaid time off and vacation flew by so fast, but Thanksgiving was just perfect this year.  I'm blessed to have so much family so close to me and blessed that I get to spend so much time with my two awesome kiddos and one awesome husband.  Even Hurley is being kind of a good dog right now--I don't want to jinx it by putting it on the internet--I guess everyone's in a holiday mood.


I started Thanksgiving with a great run with my friend Kel.  Since I had two packets due for UCR in ten days, I haven't run for about a week and a half.  I've missed running with my friends lately, so it was just fun to catch up.  We had more than enough chat to fill up five miles.  We did about a four mile run, stopped for coffee and then walked the mile back to my house.  It was misty and a little cool when we started but it ended up being great running weather.  Unfortunately it started to pour by the time we walked home, but we didn't care too much.  Exercising with friends is fun because it doesn't feel like work.  I'm thankful for the safety and security of the gym at 4:45 in the morning, but I sure need to get back outside and socialize with buddies again.

That run pushed me over 600 miles for the year.  SIX HUNDRED MILES, Y'ALL.  That's like me running from Sacramento to Disneyland and back.  Next year I want to do a thousand.



This Thanksgiving I also earned another Mom Achievement: Roast a Thanksgiving turkey.  Done!  And I didn't kill anyone or turn that bird into a miserable dry wreck.  I think that our last few years of smoker/BBQ research and experiments have given me more skill in the meat-cooking area.  Honestly I wouldn't have ever tackled it except my mom asked me to do the second bird.  I'm so glad she asked me.  Add this to the list of things that make me feel like a real mom: birthing two kids, swaddling babies, the stop-it-right-now-or-I'll-end-you look, cutting up a whole (raw) chicken, and roasting a whole turkey.  BLAMMO.

I brined it the night before using the same general ratios I use when we smoke a whole chicken (per gallon of water: one cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar).  I used a mix of white and brown sugar.  I didn't really season the bird in the brine but I made a wet rub of butter and spices which I put under the skin of the breast and all over the rest of the bird.  I roasted it with water in the bottom of the pan and an onion and three clementine Cuties (we didn't have lemons) inside the cavity.  It was delicious.  It cooked faster than I thought it would, so I let it rest breast side-down wrapped in foil and a big towel for about an hour and a half until we carved it.



My mom and dad hosted Thanksgiving for our family this year and we had both sides there plus my sister's in-laws.  I think we were about 35 strong, and we all managed to eat in the same room at one giant table.  There was quite a spread of food, too.  In addition to the second bird, I brought roasted Brussels sprouts, rice (no matter how hard I try to like them, I really hate mashed potatoes), and stuffing.  I ate until I could not force in anymore food, even though I wanted to.  After a little bit of sitting around to catch up, we headed up to my in-laws' house for round 2.

E's family does an every-other-year rotation where one year Christmas is all-family and the next year Thanksgiving is.  This year is a big Christmas, so it was a small Thanksgiving.  Even in a "small" year I believe there were about 15 of us there.  (That means we saw close to 50 relatives in just one day and we still didn't see them all!)  We made it to their house in time for another round of pie and just as they were starting The Grinch and the circulation of all the Black Friday ads.  E and I always look but we never buy because we're always out of money by the end of the month.  Still fun to look, though. (Also, I wish I got a good picture of them, but E's mom made the kids Grinch quilts--Henry's is in the bottom of the pic below--to decorate their rooms.  I am in awe of the work she does, and completely happy someone with such a warm hobby loves us.)


The best thing about this part of Thanksgiving is always getting cozy and finally settling down for the day.  Henry wanted to soak by the fire and Roo wanted to snuggle in and get warm with me.  After The Grinch we watched Elf (yes, again) and then Henry did that over-tired thing where you get a little crazy.  Par for the course.

Instead of shopping on Black Friday we slept in and then played Monopoly.  I'm amazed that Henry can do the math so quickly in his head already.  He's such a math kid.  He played with me for a long time until he got bored, and then E took over.  For the first time I remember in a long time, I WON.


And just because I haven't done enough crazy work in the last two weeks, I had to spend yesterday afternoon finishing up a book, writing my two book critiques for this packet, and uploading the creative material I want everyone to read for workshop when I go to residency in a week.  I was stressed about getting it done in time, so I ended up sitting at my "office" (AKA Starbucks) for about three hours and pounding it out.  I always feel good when I upload a packet and get it off my plate.  Now I'm going to spend the next week writing lesson plans for my sub, making sure all of my copies are made, and reading everyone else's short stories and vignettes so I'm ready to discuss.  I am so excited and nervous.  I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot about it in the next seven days.


After I got back from working we all snuggled into bed.  The kids watched SpongeBob while I started a new book--for FUN.  TV-watching soon devolved into a wrestling match.  Best kind of night, ever.

Once we get going today I have five class sets of essays to grade and then I need to get started on our Christmas decorations.  Since I'm going to be gone for two weekends in December, I think I need to do all that this weekend.  Think productive thoughts, Internet!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's a Thanksgiving Miracle

Okay, that might be an overstatement. But I'm glad my dad pushed me to go get a second opinion on this tooth.

So if you recall, it felt a little something like this:




Which is bad since that particular tooth has given me a lot of trouble already. To make a long story short, I spent all day yesterday on the phone with dentists and endodontists and the insurance company. And by the end of the day the endodontist called to tell me I should pull the tooth.

The day before I was told I had to choose between a 4th root canal and pulling it.  I kind of freaked out.



And since I'd been getting different stories from the get-go, I decided to follow my dad's advice today and see another doc.

Doc #2 said he can't see anything wrong with the tooth, the root canal, or the surrounding teeth. He banged on everything and tested it and we talked about what had been done so far.

He thinks my tooth is okay but that I had a mild sinus infection that irritated it. (I have been congested in the last few weeks... totally kicking myself for not connecting the two.)  He said I should leave it alone.  He said pulling it at this point would be a rush to judgement, because we may find out nothing was wrong with the tooth.  He said if it's a sinus thing and the tooth is as it appears to be, pulling it out would be for nothing.

Phew.




It appears my tooth is stronger than they thought. I'm supposed to keep taking the antibiotic to clear up whatever was bothering it (probably sinus related, and nobody thought to pursue that avenue until this morning).  I'm supposed to watch it and come back if it starts to hurt again.

I can stop planning my Thanksgiving/Residency/Christmas around a potential tooth pull slash hole in my mouth.

I can stop thinking about how awful a dental implant will be (for now.... it may come to that some day, but at least now I've talked to a couple of people).

I can think about FOOD tomorrow, which is as it should be, right?

I am incredibly thankful. Like, crazy thankful.

Let's eat.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Furlough day no.2

Or is it no.5? I can't remember when we started counting. I guess it's more than two because we were furloughed for our pre-service work days, too, but this is #2 this week. Anyway. I'm home but I ain't bein' paid.






1. Phone calls to insurance companies.
2. More dental appointments. Let's not talk about it.
3. Picking up tests from school to grade.
4. Back into the sweatpants.
5. Eating homemade cinnamon rolls. FOR LUNCH.
6. Grading. Lots and lots of grading.  I even made the monkeys enter tests into the grade book.

I'm trying to get ahead on my grading because about one week from Thanksgiving I'll be heading down to residency for the first time and I'll have to miss about a week and a half of school.  Pretty much right after I get back it will be time for finals, so I timed things juuuuuuuust right in my lesson plans so I'd have this week to grade some essays.

Magical.

My main goal for the day was not to think about teeth and I think I was at least partially successful.  I wanted to let the kids have a real full day here to play and lounge around in their jammies and just be kids on vacation.

There's not much to talk about that's out of the ordinary, except that just being home and not doing much is so unusual it felt like a complete luxury.  I actually got all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher in one load--a sign of free time if ever I've seen one.  I've got steaks marinating and hot salad ready to go in the oven and a big fat potato baking.  I'm not much for Fall except for these few days when looking outside is a kaleidoscope of reds and yellows and oranges.  I dig that and the promise of it being almost Christmas for a few weeks.  Pretty soon all the leaves will turn and drop, though, and I'll be cranky until May.

Thank God for school in Palm Springs in T-10 days.  I can't wait.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Who has two thumbs and needs an attitude adjustment?

This girl.

Sigh.

I've been having a rough day. It has something to do with molar #15. Remember him from last year? No? I drew you a picture to help you out.

Angry tooth is angry.

In addition to all of my regular fears: fear of ski lifts, fear of letting people down, fear of giant gross spiders that crawl into my Toms to die (yeah, that happened), I have a well-documented serious issue with dentists.

I am maintaining that this fear is totally rational because I have had my share of awful trips to the dentist, orthodontist, and endodontist.  All of my dental dealings have been painful.  None of them have ever gone the way that they should, despite my efforts to the contrary.

And I'm just gonna throw this out there, too, Internet.  With dental stuff there's this element of embarrassment.  All you people with genetically superior teeth (I'm looking at you, E) are making all us crummy-toofers feel like dirt.  No, I don't coat my teeth in caramel in the mornings and rinse with Gatorade every night before I sleep.  I don't chew on rusty nails.  I brush and floss and use floride rinse.  Always.  It's not the same as if I had something wrong with my arm.  People don't look at you and go oh what a lazy ass.  She really hasn't been taking care of her arm, so it broke.


I think I have some Goody Two Shoes shame issues that are rising to the surface.

Apparently the way I'm supposed to deal with this dentist fear is lots and lots of exposure to dental activities.  I loooooove the sound of a dental drill.  My heart skips a beat when I see that silver pokey thing.  My mouth keeps sending me back for more.  I am Miss Dental Trauma 2011.  Today sucked.  I know, I said that already.

I have kind of a decision to make and it's not going to be good either way.  And no matter what I choose, it's expensive and not covered by my insurance.

I had a big cry about it tonight.  And a bigger pity party this afternoon.



But then I remembered this post I saw on Pinterest last week (above).  And that feeling sorry for myself about a hard choice I have to make doesn't make this decision any easier.  It won't make it not hurt when I have to see the dentist and it won't really do much of anything except... well... give me more to be upset about.

Life isn't fair and I need to get over it.  I know.

So tonight we went to eat chicken wings and now I'm watching Elf with Roo.  If I put stock in anything for its cheering-up qualities, it's the movie Elf.  And Roo.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wherein we bounce like crazy.

bounce


Hey, Internet. Did you have a friend in the 1980's with a giant backyard trampoline?  You know, the kind of friend whose parents didn't much care what you did in the backyard all day (read: all parents until about the year 2000) and the kind of trampoline that was big enough for flips and sleepovers and hours of endless bouncing?

Yeah, I did.  E too.

Man, I don't miss much about being a kid but (nearly) unlimited access to giant trampolines is one thing I sure enjoyed.  Those were some sweet, sweet days of jumping.  Of course there were knee burns and sun burns and random bruises from overshooting a flip or slamming into the bar or falling between the springs.  But that stuff made you try harder to get it right the next time.

There's nothing like a trampoline and a bunch of peers egging you on to flip that will give you a rush.  And once you land that flip the first time?  You're golden in Kid Land.

Saturday, for Addie's birthday, we took the kiddos to play on the new iteration of trampolines--the kind without exposed springs or nearby concrete.  The indoor kind.  The kind with liability waivers and bored teenage supervisors.

IT.  WAS.  (still) AWESOME.

It's funny how a body can remember movement even if it isn't in perfect moving shape.  Jumping with the kids reminded me so much of grades 4-7 when the best thing about any weekend was the number of hours I got to bounce at a friend's house.  Though I was completely out of breath after about ten minutes of bouncing, it was too much fun.

The best part, according to the kids (who have been several times without me before), was the foam pit.  They didn't lie... rows of trampolines leading up to a giant pit of foam blocks.  We flipped and cannon-balled and twisted into it again and again.

I hope my kids remember us being fun parents.  I hope when they're old they see these pictures and they want to get out there and jump with their kids too.  I'll admit that for a millisecond I felt a little bit silly being one of the few grownups out there.  But the grins on the faces of the monkeys made that feeling disappear instantly.   We had a great time.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's Yer Birfday

We tease Roo because the woman who taught our birthing class when I was pregnant with her couldn't pronounce the word "birth." Each time she said "birf" E and I had a little giggle to ourselves.

After I picked the birthday girl and her bro up from school, we had a little froyo party.  Today was a big deal because they got to have three toppings each.  Yeesh.  The birthday girl had chocolate with chocolate syrup, brownie bits, and sour apple rings.  Mmm... (I won't tell you what her brother had... too gross.)



yog


And then, just because she's our daughter, she requested Japanese food for her birthday meal. Atta girl.



sushiRoo


Now that we're home, both monkeys are tearing into her new toys for the half an hour or so before they have to start getting ready for bed. Presents this year included some Littlest Pet Shop toys, a Nintendo DS game that controls this dog thingy (you can tell I am really well-versed in what that is) and a pair of silver glitter Toms, which she was way more excited about than I anticipated. E gets the Dad prize for trekking (with Auntie A) through the shoe department at Nordstrom to find the pair she asked for.

We've got two more days of school and then these guys are off for SIX weeks.  Yeesh again.  I have next week off with them and I can't wait.  Let the silliness begin.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The day before she was born

Addie
E and Roo

I thought I was going to have a baby in my arms on November 15, 2002. Actually November 15 was already a revised date; she was supposed to come on Halloween, but the holiday passed us without a sign. November 15 was the date of my induction, the pity birth I was going to get because my uncooperative body was becoming a nuisance. At nearly three weeks overdue, I was big as a semi truck and cranky as a wet cat.

What I remember about November 15 is the waiting. I remember sitting at the table in the egg-blue kitchen of our half-plex, starting at the yard from the sliding glass door until we could leave to go to the hospital. I remember pacing around, knowing that everything was going to be different when we came back with this kid, but not knowing what to do that morning to give appropriate respect to this unknown future. I remember stuffing things into a bag without any real idea about what I'd use. I remember excitement but also a very serious fear of what birth would require of my body.  What a strange thing pregnancy is.  You let this little being take shape inside you and you ignore the reality of its exit for as long as possible.  That morning I was happy but afraid.

My memories jump from the kitchen to the hospital bed, where I spent only moments until the doctor broke my water. Then I walked. I walked the track of the labor and delivery ward for hours. The tile was cold against my thin red socks. I felt uncomfortable among the clothed masses as I marched around in my purple robe, awkwardly shuffling in my pajamas as other people's families arrived.  Still, E and I were convinced we would have a baby by the end of the day, so I kept walking.  I waited some more.

But when an IV of Pitocin and inevitable epidural chained me to my bed, I felt angry.  More frustrated than tired (but tired, too), I wanted to give up.  Labor is the ultimate endurance test.  It prepared me for marathoning, that other experience when I was not finished by my goal time.  In both labor and my marathon I had to keep going when I felt delirious.  November 15, 2002 was a long day ending in tears and an oxygen mask rather than a baby.  Rather than holding my little bean of a kiddo, I was laying on my side, groaning, apologizing to the visitors who popped by to see a baby I couldn't get out.



Addie finally arrived by C-section on November 16 around 10:30 AM (though I am sure E will remember the exact time and correct my foggy estimation).  She was, as the doctor said, "sunny side up"--an accurate prediction of her disposition if I ever heard one.  I heard her cry and felt her skin against my cheek just as a black curtain closed across my eyes.  Our first hours together once I finally came to were those of shared exhaustion.  We both cried a lot.

A year later I stayed up all night before she turned one, hoping for it to not actually happen. I cried and cried because her babyhood was gone.  All the frustrations of being a new mother--all the cold meals, the sleepless nights, the chafing and the biting and the scars and the tired arms that couldn't hold her--those all fell away as I mourned the loss of the special, cozy time we had together.  I cut and glued pictures into a scrapbook for her and I wished I could do it again.  I wrote her a poem and dripped tears on the keyboard.  November 15, 2003 was a sad day because it meant she was done being tiny.



When we decided we were done having kids, it was this thought that sealed it for me:  I missed our kids being babies so badly.  I still wished I could go back and spend that time wrapped up in their every breath.  I wished I could feel their toes curl around my fingers and smell their baby heads.  But I wasn't missing some child that didn't exist yet.  What I really wanted a do-over with the ones I already had.  Having more babies wouldn't bring baby Addie back into my life.  I had to grow with her.

This morning I dropped her off and she ran up to Grandma's front door.  Now she's a big girl with a Nike sweatshirt and a long blonde ponytail.  I sighed to myself about how we seemed to be from the day in my tiny blue kitchen, waiting for our induction appointment.  In the hours I circled the hospital hallway, I could have never imagined nine year old Addie and how much I'd love her.  What I realize as she ages is how much of her baby personality was me and E, or at least what we hoped for her and wanted her to be.  Before babies speak they are bright, simple machines that eat and love.  When they grow, though, they are decided individuals.  I didn't know how much I'd celebrate her accomplishments and love her through the awkward times.  I didn't know how much grace I'd want to allow her to grow on her own.  Already she is entirely this unique being, and I love her for it.  She is strong and imaginative and creative and funny, with definite preferences for certain vegetables, books and people.  She is me and E, but not the parts we'd choose for her.  She's our genes asserting themselves in miraculous ways, the miles of code mixing and a new thing emerging.  God, she's awesome.

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Happy 9th Birthday tomorrow, Roodle Noodle.  Love you ten million.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Surprise Harvest

veggies


I'm feeling very fall, very much like it's time to go inside every afternoon and hibernate because it's so dark.  The time change messed me up more than it should, so basically I'm ready for bed as soon as we finish eating each night--and we eat early.  Naturally this means I haven't been in my garden since, oh, I don't know... August or something.  I kind of forgot I had one.

But last night I was roasting a whole chicken (hold your applause for my domestic skillz, please) and I needed herbs.  I was like oh, you have herbs in your garden, Dummy! So I went outside to see if any of them were left so I could make a little herb butter.... and I had unknown veggies!  Nothing spectacular, but it made my little day to bring all this inside.

Not pictured: the sugar snap peas I ate before I got back in the house.  Whoops.  But I had basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, three sweet peppers, one bell pepper, and about 10 green beans.

Veggies in the garden remind me so much of summer.  I'm missing it so badly--the warm temps, the free time, the tomatoes.  Today was a nice little reminder of how nice it is to have fresh food just outside my back door.  I think I need to check the garden more often.  The rest of those peas should all be ready very soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Things


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Reminder to self: Leave the camera out. Kids won't be six and almost nine for very long.


I've been up since 4:00 AM, which is the biggest joke in the world.  During the week when I want to wake up at 4:00 AM to run it's traumatic; today I lay there like a big dope obsessing over all my worries.  I got up and wasted about two hours on Pinterest with one ear to a rerun of Mad Men.  Related Pinterest-y things: big plans to try some no heat curls soon.  Also, crock pot breakfast casserole.  At least something good came of my insomnia.  And oh yeah:  do you like my giant font on the Kindle?  My cut off sweat pants?  My knit moccasins?  No shame, Internet.  No shame.

I continue to be so glad that my kiddos are such good friends.  Right now they've got Addie's laptop (not the one pictured) hooked up to our old computer monitor (bigger screen) on her desk and they're rocking out to Pandora while they share the bed and a game of Webkinz on E's laptop.  They had a "couch sleepover" last night (which just means they got to sleep on the couches in the playroom) but not before we all piled into our bed to watch a Monsters vs Aliens special on Netflix.  It's been a very technological couple of days.

In Nerd News, I'm spending this week doing some revisions of a couple of pieces for school, and I'm enjoying the ability to read books without a looming deadline.  This might sound strange, but having about a week to finish a book is such a luxury right now.  I'm reading Sedaris' Squirrell Seeks Chipmunk right now--a fast and funny read--and I am enjoying it more than I thought because Sedaris can so clearly define personalities in such a short piece.  I can't say the same for Smith's White Teeth, my audio book (it's just not grabbing me and it's sooooo long.... that's making me dread listening to it), so I took a break from it and listened to The Real Life of Sebastian Knight yesterday while I was at the gym.  That I am also enjoying.

I've got my sights (sight?) set on residency in three weeks.  UC Riverside sent the schedule this week and I went full nerd and input the entire thing into my Google calendar.  I'm so visual when it comes to knowing what I have to do.  I'm completely excited and also completely nervous about it.  That usually makes for good life experiences, right?  It helps that I'll be off from work (I've been saving my sick days!) to attend so there's not much teaching standing between me and Christmas, honestly.  It's a good thing, too.  I'm starting to feel burned out.

Roo's ninth (!) birthday is this week.  Am I seriously old enough to have a nine year old?  How did that happen?  I couldn't be more thankful for her, though.  As much as I really miss two year old Roo all dressed up in her princess dresses with little tiny blonde ponytails running around in pink, talking everyone's ear off, I sure love getting to know the sensitive and thoughtful sweetie she has become.