Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bike to Work Year

Riding your bike on a nice spring day is one of life's simple pleasures. Hot, windy, summer days are not the best, but it's summer. Bike riding is normal in the summer. Fall of course, is really the best because it isn't hot anymore and by now, you are sort of in shape. Late fall, into winter... that's when I usually hang it up. And by "hang it up" I mean ask Dave to hang my bike up in the garage so we can park the car in there to keep the snow off of it.

This year, however, I sort of mentioned that I might want to try to keep riding to work. In the cold. And dark. And based on the fenders Dave put on my bike, and the boots I just bought I must have said that I would ride in the rain.
From misc

Well, I won't have to deal with the dark until Monday, but I did ride to work this week when it was only 34 degrees. (Pats self on back.) It was fine. No problem. I never really got my temperature regulated for the rest of the day, so there are details to be worked out.

Other details:

From misc

I can pick Jack up from daycare, and I can go to the grocery store, but I can't pick Jack up and then go to the grocery store.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shake it, Shake it, Shake it Don't Break It

If you read yesterday's post this may sound a tiny bit familiar.

Long story short, I am trying to get Jack to hold off and eat later in the morning. Later than 4 or 5 am that is. So instead of feeding him and quickly getting back to bed, I run in there at every peep and give him the paci or cover him with a blanket to stretch out the time before he is fully awake. And I have also been putting a spare paci on the dresser next to his crib so he can get it himself if his other one falls on the floor. Brilliant, I know.

Also on his dresser: three glass ornaments and a ceramic Pat the Bunny bank.

So after a quick trip in there yesterday morning I thought for sure I had another 10 minutes and I crawled back into bed.

Wah wah. Silence. Ting, Ting.

Ting, ting? Hmm, Jack's about the 7th baby to use that crib, maybe it is falling apart? Nah, it's nothing.

Ting, ting, ting.

AAAH! I better investigate.

Ting, ting, ting, oh hi Mommy!

And Jack was in his crib, shaking his Pat the Bunny bank. He had the bunny by the ears, and he was shaking that bank as hard as he could, but he gave it to me when I asked for it. And he waved at the bank as I put it on his dresser. He waved and waved. And then he started to nurse but immediately had to sit up quickly, turn around, and wave at the bank. Over and over. Hi bank! You sound so pretty when I shake you!

So how did he get the bank? Does he have arms that are twice as long as I thought? Or did he climb up on the dresser, grab the bank and then get back in his crib? These were the only two options that I could come up with.

I told the story to Luke over breakfast and he thought it was really funny until I said that I had NO IDEA how Jack could have gotten the bank, and then Luke became contemplative. "Hmm. I wonder... if... maybe... Maisey... and I... didn'tputitbackwhereitgoes?"

It may be time to rearrange Jack's room. And maybe I'll just put 7 or 8 pacifiers in his crib and call it a night.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I think I have mentioned before that Jack is obsessed with electrical cords. Just when I think I have everything blocked off in one way or another, he thwarts me again. One of the cords goes behind the open bookshelves, which now contain only board books and toys, and the cord is blocked by a big bin of toys. I was sitting at the kitchen counter, working, and Jack was playing with the instruments.

Jingle, jingle, jingle. Aww, so cute.

And I was working, working, working.

Jingle, Jingle, shuffle, jingle.

Working, working, working.

Jingle, shuffle, shuffle, jingle.

Working, working, wait, did I hear shuffling?

Yes, Jack had pulled the toy box out and slipped into the bookshelf, and he had the cord in his hand. And the jingle bell? Where was that? Oh, he was jingling it with his foot so I would think he was playing nicely with the instruments.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pre/Post Mad Men Musings

Welcome to the, "I'm Back! And I'm going to start posting again! And using a lot of extra punctuation, (mainly parenthess!) post!"

I told Dave that I sort of feel as if I have been a zombie for the last month and I am finally back to being myself again. (ie: Toast as a side dish.) This weekend I was cleaning closets and organizing rooms and crossing things off my to do list - and this is a to do list that is so old and neglected that it has stuff on it from early September. (Sorry Katie - I never bought that baptism gift!) (Dave pointed out that I stopped looking at my to do list right around the time my blog output completely dropped off to hardly anything.) I don't know if it was beginning of school stress, end of Bean's life stress, or the changing seasons, but I have shed my zombie inclinations, just in time for Halloween! (Braaaains!)

Speaking of Bean, Dave and I were at a party on Friday and I was overheard saying, "Oh, plans for tomorrow? I am taking the boys to get a flu shot and then we are picking up the dog's ashes."

Another mom said, "Um, you might want to throw in a trip to the ice cream store or something."

Good advice. We had a nice weekend, and the weather was perfect for a little backyard ceremony.

In other news: Jack is looking like he wants to start walking. Perfect timing because the memory on my camera is full and I can't find the card thingy. (When Luke was about to start walking there was a smudge on my camera (birthday cake from his party) and I freaked out and ran to the camera store. They dipped a Q tip in windex and wiped off the lens.)

Moving on... ***Mad Men Spoiler*** Who watches? And do we think Don is the father of Betty's baby? I think not. Thoughts? Just six short months until next season.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Toast, It's What's For Dinner

I seem to go through phases where everything seems to be under control, and then I have phases where two nights in a row I am serving toast as a dinner side dish because there isn't anything else.

I think we are coming out of a toast eating phase because I ended my grocery store boycott (the remodel is finished) and I totally stocked up for the winter. We have grains! Vegetables! Snack options! And so on. I also cleaned off the kitchen counter and the top of the book shelf for the first time since Luke started school. That school is a paper and art project factory.

And I am even finished with my blog post early! Next up, I will figure out how I am going to vote on the 97 issues on the Colorado ballot so I can attempt to vote tomorrow. Because of a past issue with our mailman, I decided not to get a mail in ballot, even though Dave's arrived just fine. We also got confirmation that our next door neighbor was registered to vote at her address. (See? See!)

In other mailman related news, the October Parents magazine that I read cover to cover (against my better judgment) in the lactation room a MONTH ago arrived in the mail today. I started to feel irate again and then I remembered, I don't even have a subscription to Parents magazine!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jack's Birthday

So, Jack's birthday is right around the corner, and if I hadn't been keeping track, I might think he was turning two instead of one. Thursday morning he woke up at about 6:30 and when I went in to get him from his crib he said, "Mama! Mama!" And he gave me a big hug. I snuggled with him on the rocking chair and I said, "Do you want some milk?" No, he didn't, and he told me by shaking his head no. Awww, so cute. And really, who would be hungry at 6:30 am when they had just eaten at 4:45am?

This morning I am happy to announce that my little angel slept until 6am straight through the night. I was so confused when I woke up - what time is it? did I forget to set the alarm? where am I? I remembered dreams for the first time in a year. Crazy, weird dreams. And this morning Jack ate and then slid off my lap to start playing. I sat there, blissfully imagining a productive work day where my head didn't hit the keyboard at any point in time. And then I said, "Jack, do you want to get dressed?"

He shook his head "no".

Other questions posed to Jack today:
Do you want some milk before dinner? No.
Are you hungry? No.
Do you want some more? No.
Do you want to get down? No.

And so on.

So now that he waves, high fives (sometimes), says "Dada" and "Mama", says "nom nom nom" when he wants to eat, and shakes his head no, we are all working on teaching the little gentleman to say, "Yes."

And at daycare they are teaching him to blow kisses, and if he learns that, I'll probably forgive everything else for a while.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Cookie Story

We are still missing Bean, but we've been enjoying our Bean memories. And when I got home from Costco on Saturday it was quite the novelty to be able to set the bags down on the kitchen floor instead of needing to make sure they were all out of reach on the counter while I emptied them. And I put chocolate chips on the bottom shelf of the pantry. That felt so decadent. Almost as decadent as leaving a pancake on the counter when we were rushing out the door to soccer. After the chocolate chip incident, the brown sugar incident, the whole wheat flour incident, and the corn starch (?) incident, I learned to keep nothing but canned goods on the bottom two shelves of the food cabinet. And still I have found canned goods slobbered on and hidden behind the toilet. Let's just say Bean was highly motivated by food, and keeping food out of his reach was quite a task. And now I bring you, upon request, the cookie story.

It was an icy, blah, no good day at Keystone and Dave and I just decided to call it quits and head home. Unfortunately we were delayed in making it home when he caught an edge on a catwalk and landed shoulder-first on the ice. One separated shoulder and a week later, and we were entertaining a good college friend, Brian, back at Casa de Meta. Brian was in town for some space alien conference or another, and his experience with dogs is mostly limited to the under 10 pound category. And I don't think his miniature poodles (Senior Carnitas and Mr. Excitypants) could ever prepare him for the food obsession that we faced on a daily basis with our Bean.

What does Dave's separated shoulder have to do with anything? Well, I'll tell you. My dear sister took pity on poor Dave and sent him a care package. Dave and I were at work when it arrived and Brian had not yet left for the airport. Being the wonderful and considerate house guest that he always is, he brought in the package and put it... somewhere. I can only imagine it was somewhere like on the counter? On the dining room table? On the floor? Somewhere other than on top of our locked refrigerator.

So I arrived home from work and it was eerily quiet. For years (at least 13 of the almost 15) I was greeted at the door with lots of barking and Bean jumped up and down on his hind legs begging to be fed his dinner. We kept the food in the front hall closet at our old house (with a warning on the door that to leave it open was to provide a dog food buffet) so I would usually feed Bean before I did anything else. But on this particular day, silence. I am sure I hung up my coat, and walked into the kitchen, looked around and then peaked down the hallway. And there was Bean, walking slowly, slowly towards me. Head down, tail between his legs. He could have been the poster child for puppy eyes the way he slowly looked down and raised just his sad eyes.

Knowing this look, I started to search for the reason. I found an empty tupperware under the table, and a torn cardboard box behind the arm chair. In the box was a lovely note from my caring sister about cookies. Cookies! Gone! (Shaking fist at the heavens.) When I called Beth to thank her and to tattle on Bean she mentioned there was a box of thin mints in there too. I hadn't even seen one single green piece of girl scout colored cookie box anywhere so I renewed my search and found an intact box of thin mints behind the couch.

Bean - couldn't resist the cookies, and knew to hide the evidence. But that guilty look gave him away every time.

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rest In Peace Bean

Thanks to everyone for your kind words about Bean today. We are all still pretty sad, and in my case, mildly hungover from our Irish wake last night.

Here is my eulogy if you didn't get the email.

Almost 15 years ago, when Dave and I had been dating for four months he decided to get a dog. He needed to borrow a car from one of my roommates to get to the pound, but he didn't want to take a bunch of girls with him for fear we'd pressure him into getting a dog that wasn't exactly right but was sooooo cuuuuuute. We promised Dave we'd keep our opinions to ourselves so he'd let us come with him. There were two tiny puppies together in a cage, but Bean was much cuter and quieter than the other dog. And the other dog went right back inside while Bean just stared at us, silently. I remember that Dave was getting out his wallet, (to pay what? sixteen dollars, maybe?) and the animal control guy picked Bean up by the scruff of his neck and tossed him roughly into my arms. I had never held a dog before.

Bean was our first baby, and he taught us a little bit about what it would be like to be parents. In the last few months he taught us a about caring for someone at the end of their life. In the middle he was that crazy, somewhat neurotic roommate who got in trouble for things you wouldn't dream of doing, but who was always there for you, and who always had your back.

We had a lot of good times, and we already miss him.

Rest in Peace, Bean
(February 1994 - October 15, 2008)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More on Jack

More on Jack:
* Standing unassisted
* Climbing up stairs
* Constantly teething
* Learning to ride his little vehicle

From Zucchini

Moron Mommy:

* Pauses camera before catching baby

From Zucchini

Monday, October 13, 2008

Meltdowns, Financial and Otherwise

As I mentioned yesterday, Jack recently started throwing tantrums (but only when he doesn't get what he wants). There was some screaming, arching of the back, legs kicking and what-have-you. Luke was never one for a rolling around on the floor kicking and screaming type tantrum so I was sort of interested to see one unfold. And by interested, I mean I planned to put Jack down, walk away, and appear to be ignore him. That backfired, of course, because as soon as I put him down, he took off and tried to get right back to what he was doing in the first place. (Banging on the keyboard and randomly blaring songs on itunes. First the Beatles, and then Liz Phair.)

All this is to say, I am now a veteran of all sorts of meltdowns. I am now acquainted with a Jack-style meltdown, I have dealt with Luke's special brand, of course my own personal meltdowns, and Dave's occasional loss of composure.

But the real problem for me, for the past several days is the complete economic meltdown. I've taken it quite personally. Flat on my back, wondering if it's time to wean so I can get me some of those sweet, sweet muscle relaxers. ("Try four.") Yes, ye old back pain has returned and I am blaming it on the Dow's worst drop in it's 112 years.

Short story long, when I moved to Boulder I started to buy into the idea that the Western medical "take some antibiotics" method isn't always the answer . So I started seeing a doctor that was known to be very into alternative medicine, and when I went there for back pain she asked me if I had money problems. "Well, my husband is in grad school, and I am the breadwinner and my company is going through layoffs. so I am a little worried, why do you ask?" According to her, back pain is linked to worries about money. Hmm, OK, great. She had some interesting ideas, but I stopped seeing her when I realized, sometimes you just have to have antibiotics. But fortunately for me, she recommended a good chiropractor first.

Just the other day I ran across my back pillow (from the lumbar yard) and I was thinking it had been so long since I had even a twinge of back pain. And merely days later as the economy was falling to ruins and 401k statements were arriving in the mailbox, I could suddenly not stand up straight. The pain, my God the pain! Damn you greedy-wall-street-fat-cats with your risky investment-causing-econonmy-collapsing-anniversary-ruining-back-pain!

So let's just all hope that the 900 point gain today is a sign of good things to come and that as the Dow climbs, the pain lessons. Or at least that I can stop worrying about it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Miscellaneous

* Jack has been flirting with a full on wave goodbye for a while now, but Saturday night he waved goodbye over and over to that cute baby in the mirror. And it almost sounded like he said good-bye too
* Luke loves school. Loves it. His big complaint now is that his days go by to quickly. He and I danced at the Fall Festival and it was really fun.
* Luke - smiled without an upper lip in his school picture and also still does not like swimming lessons
* Jack- likes to hide behind the curtains until I say, "Where's my baby?!" And then he crawls out laughing
* Luke - doing well with our new manners game
* Jack - now throwing minor tantrums (only when he doesn't get what he wants)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

But Soft!

What light through yonder window breaks?
From misc

Well, he looks a little more Shakespearean without beans on his face. But this is a new pose that he does quite frequently and on demand. I just have to start quoting The Bard.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Where in the World is Baby Jack?

In the instrument box?
From Zucchini

Ransacking the bathroom?
From Zucchini

In the instrument box?
From Zucchini

Taking a nap in the trailer?
From Zucchini

Herding the dog?

From Zucchini

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Second Last Person on Earth Joins Facebook

MetaMegan joined Facebook this week, making her the second last person on Earth to join, her friends and family said Sunday. "I just wanted to see what it was, but I can't really figure it out" she was heard to say, stating one of the three excuses people over 30 mention when explaining why they have joined a social networking site developed for college students. Other excuses include, "I wanted to look up old boyfriends" and "my 2o year reunion was coming up and everyone was getting in touch via facebook."

Mentioning that you do not really understand how Facebook works is another common Facebook related utterance according to Dr. Magoo, Sociology Professor at Ohio University. "People like to say they don't really understand facebook for several reasons. In the over 30 crowd, there is a reticence towards seeming overly enthusiastic about something that may in fact be too 'young' for them to fully enjoy. A pretend ignorance can also be a defense mechanism used to explain a low volume of friends. People of this generation grew up programming their parents VCRs, but there is also always a possibilty that they may, in fact, not really understand how Facebook works." The professor continued, "The case of MetaMegan, a technologist, who installs, documents, uses, and trains people in different software systems on a daily basis, is probably a case of the first situation, also known as Too Cool for School Syndrome."

"Ooh look, I am up to 23 friends!" Metamegan was heard to say late Sunday night, but she rarely has been known to post a status because she "doesn't really get what she is supposed to say."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Question and Answer

Question: What happens if you miss a few pieces when you put the bottles together?

Answer: Your baby spills so much milk on himself that he runs out of spare clothes and comes home from daycare in a purple ruffled shirt.

From Blog pix

Mamas for Obama

Better pictures and video from our adventure yesterday can be seen here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where is MetaMegan?

I have spent the past week working on an essay for a memory book about a good friend who died last year. I have mostly been laughing and smiling about the many funny memories, but there have been some tears too. And I had been procrastinating writing the essay for more than a month, so I couldn't be blogging about how annoying it is that "insert trivial annoying detail here" when I should be writing down memories of my friend for her children to read. But the essay is almost finished, so you can expect that I will be back to my regularly scheduled programming very soon!

One piece of info to make you jealous! Guess where Jack and I were today?

And by today, I mean yesterday, since I just noticed it is after midnight.