Tag Archives: little d

the final count

Here are my final 2011 New Year’s Resolution Purge numbers*: Technically, I succeeded. I got 33 more things out of my house than I had committed to do. Yay me. For some reason I’m not enthused at this accomplishment, but disappointed that I couldn’t do more.

My observations from this process:

  • I should have just stuck to purging. Most of those big fat zeros in the middle of the month were from the previously mentioned office rework-a-palooza. Which is great except that I spun my wheels on this project while I did that project, and I didn’t finish that project so I could get back to this project and not miss my self-imposed goal. So office rework is still in limbo, and though the furniture is more or less where it’s supposed to go, books are most certainly not.
  • Don’t hype it. I had this GREAT IDEA that a friend did last year and she said it was AWESOME and it’s a FANTASTIC WAY to detox from the holiday season and you WON’T GET SAD if you have this to focus on and YOU WILL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Um, no, not quite. While perhaps not being QUITE THAT CRAZY ABOUT IT I still had grand plans in my head that got waylaid because, let’s see, I work full time, Big D’s in grad school,  we have two kids, and it’s cold and flu season. Duh.
  • Baby steps. I had intended to get through every room in my house in a month (except the kids’ rooms, they’re relatively manageable). My bathroom and bedroom were not fully sorted. I didn’t even get to the basement. So I’m disappointed by my inability to finish what I start because I mentally changed the rules to make it harder for me. Why do I always do that?

But, it’s done. I have now officially declared February the Month of Cleaning Up What You Completely Ignored in January. I’m hoping by March I’ll be able to see if getting almost 200 things out of my house actually made a difference.

* – I have to confess, the last three numbers on the calendar were actually accomplished in February. I crapped the bed the last weekend in January and sat on my butt.


morning routine

(A friend asked me recently to explain my morning routine – I went a little overboard as usual. Big D takes care of mornings 3 days a week now so I can get to work by 6:15 but the chaos is still the same. Please excuse the overwhelming use of semi-colons; my comma key is dead.)

The alarm is set for 6:30 but unless it’s dreary and raining the kids are up long before that. The end of daylight savings time has brought 4:30 and 6 am wakeup calls this week. When miss poopypants was still sleeping in our room the most frequent way to wake up was being pelted with stuffed animals from the crib; now it’s a sing-song-y “Moooooooooooooo-oooooomy!” coming from upstairs; the dining room; or somewhere in between. The wisdom of giving her freedom to wander the house when she wakes up is questioned on a daily basis. I poke the slumbering beast next to me who usually hits the sack much later than I do (thanks grad school; but more likely facebook and grepolis) and resign myself to hoisting my body out of bed first.

Now that I’ve hit my Jesus year I’m hearing some dusty pops in my spine; a tweak on my right kneecap; and a growing realization that I really need to lighten the weight load on my joints. I have no idea how to fit that into my schedule but somehow it needs to be done. I locate the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed toddler; the zombie boy who knows how to use Netflix a little too well; make a pit stop; and throw on enough clothes to take the wiggly-butt dogs outside.

Back inside the house; two scoops of dog food are followed by a quick scouring of the kitchen to determine what the breakfast options for the little ones are. On a good day it’s yogurt with fresh fruit and honey; but more often than not it’s toast with jam or a breakfast bar with a witty name. At least I know where the jam came from; I made it over the summer and hopefully picky kid #1 and wanna-be picky kid #2 won’t turn their noses up at it. If I’m working from home I detour to the computer to fire up my work email and give it a quick check; if I’m headed to the office I start searching through the laundry piles to find something somewhat presentable to wear.

Poke Big D again to find out when I can reasonably expect him to waken. Head back to the kitchen to see where the lunchboxes are – little d’s great about putting his lunchbox in the cupboard after several years of dogs ripping into previous ones. miss poopypants is lucky if we remembered to grab hers out of the car. Lunches are always the same unless we ran out of something – drink; half a pb&j; pepperoni and gouda (what a snob!); grapes or apples; fruit leather; and something snacky like pretzels or dessert (usually Quadratini squares; but Halloween has worn down my resolve on crappy sugar products) for little d; half a pb&j; more fruit; more fruit leathers; and pretzels or cheddar bunnies for miss poopypants (she gets enough sugary snacks at daycare). little d’s lunchbox has reusable containers while miss poopypants gets wax paper bags.

If Big D isn’t up by then; there’s one last attempt to rouse him happens before I start getting shitty. little d is self-sufficient regarding getting dressed though you have to insist on underwear changes and confirm they actually happened. miss poopypants likes to run around naked which doesn’t work well for someone who’s not fully potty trained. Usually by this point I remember I haven’t changed her pull-up; find some clothes for her (much easier now that her clothes have a home in a dresser and not just laundry mountain limbo); and try to remember where we took her shoes off last night. Forget showers; they don’t happen for me in the mornings unless I have a nervous breakdown. I’m lucky if I can wash my face; pull my clothes on; brush my teeth and hair; and slam some mascara on. Occasionally if everyone cooperates I can find some jewelry. Half the time I leave for work without underwear – not on purpose.

We negotiate who’s taking who where (usually me both places on my work from home days). Occasionally if we split things up I can walk little d to the bus stop; more often than not we pile everyone into the car and drop him at the corner either on the way to daycare or on the way back from daycare.

Does everybody have socks? shoes? lunches? Where’s your coat? Put your shirt back on! Where’s the car key? Where’s my phone? Where’s your phone? I don’t know! Do you need keys to lock the house? Who’s taking which car? Who’s coming home first? Did the dogs poop when you took them outside? Did we leave anything on the counters? In the trash? Did we close the doors to the basement/living room/upstairs? Do we need to leave a light on? Is there any gas in the car? Why not? What bank card do you need today? Do you need to take the bus home? I’m picking up the kids today right? Help me get her in her carseat so she doesn’t run down the driveway. Where did all this trash in the car come from? Don’t forget to lock the front door! Is everybody buckled? What did we forget? Where’s your backpack? I forgot to close your door! Everybody ready? Everybody go!

Dropoff at the bus stop is easy; most of the time little d doesn’t want us to stay anyway. Dropoff at daycare is more complicated – someone who used to walk in and say ‘Hi EvereeeBuddieeee!’ now clings and cries. Once extracted from the monkey girl I can take a deep breath and start thinking about the office. On work from home days I stop for caffeine on my way back home; office days involve catching a bus; hoping for a seat; and vegging out for a few minutes before flashing a badge and hitting the x-ray machine. I’m already exhausted and the morning hasn’t even begun.

sick as a dog…

… is my latest excuse. So is dealing with small children and a partner in graduate school. And a full time job, and a messy house, and two large loud dogs, and and and….

I will get better. Spilling my guts is cathartic, and Lord knows I could use some catharsis every once in a while.

In the meantime, here’s our family pileup for our holiday cards. How’d miss poopypants get up there?


little d turns over the box of every toy he gets/buys to see what other toys he can collect on the back. It drives me crazy because he hasn’t even played with the one he just received, and he’s already plotting to get the next one. Is he being greedy, or just expressing the human need to surround ourselves with stuff? I doubt he’ll become one of those hoarders with stacks of newspapers up to the ceiling, but he *does* also ‘collect’ random toys and cast off things from the playground at school. He’s horrified when I make him throw away the broken hair ties with balls on the end. Even if I wanted him to share hair cooties with his classmates, neither he nor miss poopypants have enough hair to pull back artfully into a ponytail.

One of my favorite bloggers posted today about her own collections, and given my ongoing dismay at little d’s hoarding future, I figured I’d try to come up with my own list and see if he gets it from me. Here goes:

1. Fiestaware. The old kind (though our everyday plates are the new Fiestaware). Yes, I know the difference. You can’t fool me. My first major collection, it conjures up memories of my sister trying to help me escape from my mother’s grasp on occasional Sunday mornings in high school. I may have been the only Thomas Jefferson Jaguar buying a platter at 8:30 in the morning.

2. Oaxacan wooden carvings. The colors go perfectly with my dishes; I first happened upon a blue alligator in a bead store in college and am still pissed that I can’t find it today (the alligator, not the bead store). This local store is too tempting for me to go in more than once a year.

3. Folk art. Usually to match the above color explosions of dishes and roosters. My current favorites are either a painting of a big old car from Cuba brought back by a friend, or my gourd/nativity scene. (sort of like this, but not nearly as cool. I may need to up my collection of gourd nativities now!)

4. Shoshona Snow Ceramics. See above for dish-matchy-matchy feelings. Plus I’m supporting a young and very talented artist in this country, not just other countries. Nobody buy the vase with the turquoise top, I may need that for a Christmas present this year.

5. Art that makes you scratch your head. Also known as oddities, politically motivated art, planner art, whathaveyou. We have these guys flanking a large portrait of my great great grandmother; a painting of Baltimore rowhouses done by a local artist/public health professor whose research tracked him to the woman who lived at the center of the row; a 4’x4′ painting of acrobats juggling bombs, grenades, and the world; we’re considering purchasing something by this local artist; and we both absolutely drool over this artist‘s work. Haven’t yet figured out what to hang in our bedroom, but we’re pretty much out of wall space otherwise. Sounds about right for a woman who lives with Big D, who is currently getting a tattoo of the Statue of Liberty as the grim reaper.

6. Quilting fabric. Though I haven’t really worked on any of my unfinished quilting projects in about three years, I can still fondle a fat quarter with the best of them.

7. Fiction. A recent organization of the books in our office shows that Big D has way too many books about the Nazis; I have way too many novels that I haven’t yet read but can’t seem to discard.

8. Globes. A small collection of three, but it’s bound to be growing soon. I also have a fabulous map of a portion of France that happened to be in my grandfather’s attic. Yes, I am a planner. I am a geek.

9. Mid-century costume jewelry, especially Lisner. Jewelry from my grandmother sparked this particular obsession. I was devastated when my house was burgled in the midst of moving after graduate school and I lost her autumn leaf bracelet.

Hmmm… yeah, he gets it from me.

paranoia and lilypads

I must have done something horrendously awful in a previous life on November 1st. The past three years, I’ve been paying for it.

This year, I was in the local children’s hospital emergency room with little d, who insisted he felt well enough to trick or treat to 6 of our neighbors’ houses. Yeah, not such a good idea. Turns out H1N1 Boy also had the accompanying pneumonia, and was on oxygen for almost 4 days. Laying around the house and lots of sleeping lasted for about another week. Thankfully my employer practices what the Man preaches, and I could work from home for up to two work weeks to minimize exposing my coworkers.

My paranoia-induced productivity while at home amazed even me. Because of an ill-timed online altercation of Big D’s, I used my ‘smoke’ breaks and lunch hours to bust my hump in our decidedly cluttered house. The carpet that smelled like an old lady in little d’s room was the first thing to go. You know he’s feeling better when he decides to use the new rugs as launching pads, lilypads, and swamps that will suck you in so you can’t step on the green ones, mommy.

We still need a few more; little d’s holding out for orange. But those $7 and $10 rugs may have been the best purchase ever. Until he comes crashing through the floor.

Speaking of purchases and purchasing power: guess how much money I have in my hot chocolate guilt fund! Guess. Seriously, guess!

OK, I’ll tell you. Drum roll, please…..

$1,278.30. And that’s with me needing to dip into it once or twice over the past year and still owing myself about $150. Not bad for not missing a hot chocolate a day!

it’s always something

It seems fitting, oddly enough, that something else has the potential to go wrong this week. It’s always something – and has been for the last several years. Just when one thing seems to be resolved, or cleaned up, or dealt with, here comes another thing to crack me over the head until I see stars.

I’ve had a steady stream of unsettling issues to deal with, and quite frankly, I’d like a moratorium. Not a long one, like ten years, or the rest of my life, but six months to a year of mundane existence would be welcome right about now. Of course, that’s not how it works.

So here I sit, on the eve of my birthday, knowing that we don’t have the time to actually celebrate, and I’m coming to terms with that. I’m an adult, I don’t need the confetti and the goodie bags and the Chuck E Cheese tokens. I’d much prefer to not have to deal with those at all, but little d and miss poopypants probably wouldn’t let me get away with that kind of a moratorium. But that’s not all. I sit here, on the eve of my birthday, fervently hoping for good news tomorrow morning. That the something that is wrong isn’t really too bad, or if it is, that’s it’s easily fixable.

There’s a lot they (whoever “they” are) don’t tell you about being a parent. Having your heart grow three sizes is just something you can’t describe, even when you’ve experienced it. Having a piece of you walk around outside your body, happy and joyful with scabbed knees and adult teeth half-grown-in, makes you feel both bulletproof and incredibly vulnerable. And having something potentially wrong, really wrong, with the scabby-kneed ninja who’s sleeping upstairs is quite possibly the most overwhelming, heartwrenching feeling of impotence that I could possibly imagine. I’m entirely too practical to not be able to fix something when it’s broken. And when it’s your kid’s heart that’s broken, you want to fix it. RIGHT NOW. And there’s no way I can do that without handing him over to people I don’t know and hoping they know what they’re doing.

Mommies are supposed to fix everything, to kiss every boo-boo and make it believable when they tell you everything is going to be ok. I can’t say that convincingly tonight. Maybe, hopefully, I’ll be able to say that tomorrow. That would be a great birthday present.

two and a half weeks of chaos

I love back to school season – the air cool enough at night to close the windows and actually use the blankets, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and new shoes and looseleaf paper. It’s even better when your kids are the ones going back to school, so it’s not you that has to get on the bus and look around with trepidation at who’s going to be nice enough to you to let you sit next to them. Your stomach still does the flip-flop, but this time, it’s only in sympathy.

This year, though, I am the only person in my house not going back to school. However, Big D didn’t get The News until the first week of August – as one does when one has applied for graduate school at the absolute last minute. The first day of smiles and relief and celebration was quickly replaced by the realization that 1) we have nowhere to put Miss Poopypants, 2) we have to fund a lot of out-of-pocket expenses for Big D’s grad school startup costs, 3) and the scheduling is horrific. I’m surprised my hair hasn’t fallen out yet, what with all the pulling and rending and gnashing currently happening.

Miraculously, 1) is now under control, and Miss P started on campus daycare last week. Other than the fact that she took a 14 hour nap on Sunday to catch up on her Very Busy and Important first week of daycare, she’s happy as a pig in mud. 2) is more or less worked out with the help of half.com, and 3) is becoming more livable. Big D’s Big Day is today, and the freshly sharpened pencil smell has gone to his head. The world’s largest backpack has successfully put the world’s largest smile on his face. The juggling continues until the end of next week, when Little D gets back into his rhythm of trepidation, but hopefully being a first grader will give him some street cred at the back of the bus.

Now I just have to figure out how to surreptitiously take a picture of Big D’s first day of school…