Monday, September 28, 2009

No thanks, not yet.

S has a new phrase- "not yet." It is said with a hint of irritation. It is said often- anytime she doesn't want to be interrupted which is always. I usually say ok, well, finish up because we're doing so and so in 5 seconds, she does go along, but I am very aware of the tug of war. Loud and clear, "because I want to not because you told me to."

This happened when H was about this old, too- I found I subconsciously changed the way things happen to avoid confrontation. Both girls have learned that "no thanks" works much better than "hell no"- but what I forget that I need to sometimes say "hell no" to "no thanks".

Case in point, S has been not wanting to get out of the bath- ever. She spent the first year of her life loathing bath time and making me wrestle her clean- well now I have to wrestle her out of the bathtub. Until a few days ago when I asked H to pull the plug and then let them play until the water ran out. H was thrilled for the time to sing loudly underwater, and S was happy splashing around- but when the water was gone, S looks at me with her big brown eyes and mournfully asks where all the water went. H laughs maniacally because they're in the tub with no water. This scenario is three for three.

I am not sneaky about the unplugging, I ask H loudly, to pull the plug (because i can't reach the plug with out getting in the tub in our idiot bathroom) I feel badly that S is so sad to be left high and dry in the tub. It all just makes me wonder if there isn't enough "because I said so".

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dog park and health care

I dropped the girls off at their respective schools this morning, came home fully intending to have 3 hours in the studio. The dogs looked at me, and I received their telepathic massage that it has been ages since we went for a walk together. So I relented.

Once at the park, I ran into a guy I used to see all the time with his German shepard. I wasn't sure it was him at first, he had lost a lot of weight, the shepard had put some on. We got to talking- turns out he's been in the hospital. "I thought I'd be one of the lucky ones and not get sick until I was really old" he said. I wanted to ask, but read his mentioning the generic 'sick' as he didn't want to get specific. And really, it doesn't matter. We talked about our kids, his are older, about to go to high school. We talked about the economy, his company laying off 20%. We talked about his health care bills and how screwed you'd be if you didn't have health care. He said they told him at the hospital not to loose his coverage, because the sick he has is an ongoing condition. "Do you think Obama will get it passed?" He asked me. I told him I hoped so.

The dog park connection is a strange one. In some ways the most honest way to get to know people. You learn a lot about someone from how they treat their dog. We have stood together in the snow, in the rain, in the hot sun with gnats. We've talked about politics, dog food, hockey, kids, cats, TV shows... before you know it you are friends with people that you often have little in common with aside from a willingness to brave the elements for your dog. People who you may have known for a long time only as their dog's name.

The small talk adds up. The kids that come with the dogs get older, the dogs start to get gray, the dog owners get older and you realize that you've been standing in the field with these people and their dogs for years. Watching the time go by.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The commute

I haven't had a commute farther than a staircase in about 10 years. When I did commute outside of my house, it was via the L train, or sometimes the J- which has its issues believe me, but while less comfortable that a driving commute- being packed in a subway car like a sardine, and me with my nose at armpit height- at least you could check out mentally. Now I have a driving commute, and obviously I need to pay attention. If everyone is as tired and as in need of that 2nd or third cup of coffee as I am in the morning, its a miracle any of us reach our destination.

This is the second week of driving H to school- I am getting used to it, but am kind of amazed at how much time it eats up. For instance, J drove H to school today, and look! Here I am- its been a while and I've been writing posts in my head during the commute to kindergarten. A clarvoynat blog peppered with salty thoughts toward some of my fellow drivers.

I drive H to school- (I should point out here that its only 20 minutes away, its just that her pre-K was 5 minutes down the road. Its all relative.) because the city I live in doesn't bus kindergardeners. Well, thats what I say, but the truth is I don't think I'd put her on the bus yet anyway. I am going to learn to love the commute. It seems to be a good place to interogate her about her day.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Its inevitable, that first ER visit- and I guess I am fortunate that it was with my second child and not until she was 2. That didn't make it any less earth shattering for me.

S rolled down the stairs- all 12 of them. The stairs themselves are carpeted, but the landing- where she, um, landed- is not. S was lying on the top stair- I don't know why. I also don't know why I didn't notice she was lying on the top stair, I was right there. (this is sounding like 'There was an old lady who swallowed a fly'...) When I finally noticed she was lying on the stair, I ran over to her yelling "S! Don't roll!" At which point she looked up- and rolled. As I helplessly watched her roll all the way down the stairs, all I could do is say Oh God, oh god, oh god. She hit, she cried, she held her head- I picked her up, after seeing she moved her arms- trying to remember all the move/don't move rules. I saw a bruise forming right away, and thought, maybe its not so bad- but then the blood started.

I called J at work and told him to meet us at the ER, and then scrambled around trying to assemble S's shoes, my shoes, an icepack- I grabbed a bag of frozen soybeans. I couldn't find S's monkey, and eventually grabbed a kitty and left without him. I kept asking S if she was ok, "Yes" I told her we were going to the doctor- "Ok." She says. After what felt like the slowest drive across town ever, behind a trash truck, a bus, and more than one idiot- I got to the hospital, and saw J on the corner.

We took S in- she was smiling at everyone. Laughing, looking a little crazy with her blood soaked hair. She sat in the hospital room with her kitty on her lap, eating frozen soybeans and not flinching while the nurses cleaned up her cut and glued it up.

Once we came home, I tried hard to get her to sit still which she was having none of. We kept her up the requisite 6 hours after the fall- which was just a little bit past her usual bedtime. Right back to business as usual.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Last week I mentioned in passing that our water heater gave up the ghost. Yesterday we noticed a big water stain in our second floor hall way. We have a leak. And a third floor, so probably a major leak.

Thats all I got.

I need more coffee and a big deep sand hole in which to stick my head.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

School girls

And breathing out... almost.
The girls we very kind to me and didn't cry, or even resist going to school this morning. The slightest hesitation from either of them may have sent me sobbing. H couldn't usher us out the door faster- J and I kind of stood there feeling unnecessary for a bit. S, who I expected to resist her new class or school in general was fine after about three minutes of holding the shoulder of my shirt with white knuckles.

I wasn't alone as I had booked J for a breakfast date- and then I still wasn't alone after he had to go back to work because I had the company of the plumber I had to call to come replace our hot water heater which decided today was a fine day to go. What with all the attention focused on going to school surly know one would notice that the poor underappreciated hot water heater just couldn't take it anymore.

Now is when it feels weird to not have H here- I have picked up S from her school, where I'm told she had a great day, and smiled even. That "she doesn't talk much, but she sings a lot." Tomorrow will seem stranger, I'm sure.

On the ride home, S said with a big grin, "I love school" She loves a lot of things these days- her new favorite phrase.

Kindergarten, for me, is not all the way sunken in yet- but I am very proud of my big girl who makes friends easier than I ever have, who is undaunted by the new and different. I am hoping she remembers to tell me everything (when I said this to her last night, she rolled her eyes and sighed "but WHO will remind me?") I will. I will remind you.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

T minus 1

Kindergarten tomorrow. We are getting better at being up early, but not ready early. Although I haven't attempted that yet- who wants to be up and ready to walk out the door at 7:30 when you have nowhere to go? I have been good at getting the girls to bed early, but do you think I can get myself to bed at a decent time? No. Every morning I have a little chat with myself about how I must go to bed before midnight- but every night I just need to get one more thing done...

H is excited- but is having some anxiety about kindergarten. Well, I hope thats the reason she's become an insane tantruming freak. The other night at dinner when she didn't want to eat what I made- she threw herself from the table, with a raging "I QUIT!" and stormed out of the room while J and I turned blue in our attempts to not laugh. She's been picking and poking at all of us and then bursting into tears when we say ouch quit it. Last night she asked to sing the alphabet song at bed time.

S is starting school tomorrow too, although her 2 mornings a week are getting overshadowed a bit by H's full day full time school. I am feeling her starting too- although I reacted to her school starting when she started in the summer. I'm hoping she'll be ok with staying now that she's had a taste of school, although on her last day in the summer she was luke warm at best with the idea.

We'll see what tomorrow brings. Besides me dropping off the kids wearing giant sunglasses while biting my lip.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Potty

Today S peed on the potty for the first time. She was proud, I nearly missed it, we were all excited. H, however, was over the moon. I have never seen anyone as excited. She was ecstatic. We were confused. She made me get the camera to take a picture of S on the potty. Which I did, and which I was planning on posting, but I just can't. Even with the black bar I photoshopped on where a fig leaf should be- its just wrong. After documenting photographically, H ran to grab her crayons and settled down to draw this:

That, on the left, is S, sitting on the potty (which is aqua, blue and yellow) which is on the floor next to a red chair, and on the red chair is a cardboard box which is temporarily housing the microwave kiln (since I'm using it too much to put it farther than an arms reach away)

H had been on my case all week, asking multiple times a day if I'd gotten the potty out of the basement for S yet. This made me feel like crap, causing me to ask such questions as "What is wrong here that my 5 year old daughter has more interest in her sister being potty trained than I do?", and "Why haven't I gotten the potty out yet, anyway? Why do I need to be reminded by a 5 year old?" And, I know this isn't a question, but "I'm the mom around here, I decide when its potty time."

So, I guess I finally decided it was potty time- brought the thing up, cleaned it, tried not to dwell on the fact that I maybe could have been a touch more thorough with the cleaning when I put it away for the last time 3 years ago. S wanted the diaper off, tried to pee and got up 3 times only to sit back down again- she was determined. I left the room for a second, and she peed. H came running over excitedly, "I think there's some pee in the potty!" It happened so quickly that I even accused H of putting water in the potty. Another proud moment. S was peering into the potty, studying her work.

H yelled "Now can she have underwear?"

Friday, September 4, 2009

The war with my house

I am trying. It is trying, but I am trying.
Today I, and by "I", I should say "we" cleaned H's room. Actually, "I cleaned" is accurate, the rest, being H and S, and the freaking dogs who refused to stay out of the way, mostly conspired to slow me down and rescue things from the trash- things I had to convince myself to part with in the first place. Until I employed my latest time builder, a streamed netflix movie on my lap top upstairs. All day long up there, a huge garbage bag for each the trash men and the salvation army, and it doesn't look like anything in the way of cleaning took place up there.

Then, I had to come downstairs, which looked- looks- horrendous as I had spent the day upstairs and thus not tending to the downstairs.

This microwave kiln is making it at all the more dificult to clean and achieve the organizational nirvana I so desire when all I want to do is melt glass, and figure out how to print on glass.

Also I'm getting a headache, and sore throat, and when I turn my head it feels like I have to wait for half my head to catch up. Not a good time to be feeling like crap- with kindergarten T minus 6 days and counting.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


J and I made a pinky locking pledge, this morning before I was awake, that we'd be in bed by 9 tonight. I resisted in my half awake state.. you can't go from going to bed at 1am to going to bed at 9.. but I pledged anyway and now feel like a failure and a not promise keeper. 10:38. J's in bed, although he just went up. We are trying to get ready for the school starting schedule- that will be a slam to all of our systems.

In the meantime, I have not learned all the way to crochet, but did take how to books with me on vacation. Instead I found myself taking a class on microwave glass fusing and purchasing the 'supplies available for purchase' after the class. I am having a great time fusing glass- piece by piece by piece in my tiny fake kiln which is only making me covet a larger kiln. And I'm already getting ahead of myself as usual, planning my conquering of the world by melding printing and glass fusing.

Going to bed at 10:43. Its not 9, but its not 1 either.