Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What incompetence feels like

Today started out fine enough. We got up. Had breakfast. Drank juice.

You know, all your basics.

Then I decided we'd go to the Bloomington library for some new books and videos, and so Carolyn could go to her first story hour. Steve would drive us there and we'd take the bus back.

This is where the plan fell apart.

First. I told Steve I thought we should all go to lunch together. But a few minutes later, I did some back pedaling. Then some more. Then some more.

Steve, and I quote: It seems like fun. Less fun now than 10 minutes ago, but still fun.

After talking him out of lunch, he dropped us off. The library was fine. Carolyn didn't do awesome at story time (3-5 year olds without parents), but there was no screaming.

I got the wrong DVD. The wrong VHS. The wrong CD.

Still fine.

Then, I went to check out and realized I not only forgot my library card, but my ID. Super.

Thankfully because of my constant late books, lost books and runaway children — all favorites with the library crowd — the librarian remembers me. She let this one slide.

Then we left we walk around downtown. Trouble is, a thunderstorm spitting ice pellets was upon us. By the time we got downtown, we were forced to duck into the closest coffee shop, where much to the dismay of the staff, me and my homeless-looking children decided to stay for a snack.

Steve (sound hero music, dadadadaaaa) comes to rescue us because my missing ID fiasco meant we missed our bus by a few minutes and would have to wait an hour for the next.

In an ice storm. With thunder. And hungry children.

As a side note, we later went for a walk around the block. I suggest to the mother of every 3-year-old in America, buy a pair of rain boots. They rock. Carolyn loves them (always ready to leave the house with rain boots). We looked at several stores before finding her pretty purple boots at TJ Maxx.

I guess people don't buy rain boots anymore. Go figure.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What I hate now

It's commercials that make me cry.

Why are banks and insurance companies making me weepy? What right do they have? Seriously, all they have is a budget to hire kick-ass ad people.

When a bank is showing people looking into their futures and seeing themselves succeed, seeing their little baby children as adults succeed, and you're weepy, you know you've got a problem. A problem with what? I'm not sure.

Visit my other blog. It's much more uplifting.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

One more thing

Al Gore rocks. He just said global warming "is not a political issue, it's a moral issue."

Seriously. He rocks, just like Jennifer Hudson's life.

Oscar fun

So I'm sitting here, alone, watching the Oscars. Actually, I'm mostly reading Oscar fug from the girls at Go Fug Yourself. Anyhow, it's mostly boring. When Jennifer Hudson of American Idol fame won for best supporting actress, I expected her to come out and say, "Holy crap. Did I just kiss George Clooney? My life rocks." But instead we got a teary, "Thank you God" speech that made me think maybe that cute girl from "Little Miss Sunshine" should have won.

Whatever. I've got no husband home. No pizza. What kind of Oscar night is this anyway? Steve was called into work because the computers went down for an hour earlier tonight. Seriously. Do these people work at a newspaper or what?

Enough bitter Chris. Life here in Normal has been pretty boring lately. I've been working a lot this last week on this little topic — prom. I don't even remember prom other than I wore a really uninteresting dress. You should see the gorgeous dresses the girls are wearing today. Bright colors. Beaded and jeweled. Lots of poof.

Oh wait. "The Inconvenient Truth" just won. Finally. Something great just happened.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Is cabin fever deadly?

For most of us, probably not. For me? Not really. But I do seem to get an awful case every year.

So there's still eight inches of snow on the ground. So the sidewalks are impassable. So I have to walk in the street with minivans whipping past me.

These are small setbacks for a little playground time. Ahhhh. The playground.

We went three times in two days. And you know what? They loved every minute of it.

And today, we got a few looks that seemed to say, "Somebody take these kids away from this woman. She's obviously an unfit parent or these kids wouldn't be coated in mud."

Hey. It's snow, not battery acid. So they got a little dirty. So I had to carry Penelope through the deep parts. It was 45 degrees outside and I was going to the playground.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The symphony of not napping

I love writing in my blog to the sounds of little girls refusing to nap. It's a pleasure and a treat.

We've been running errands all day on our "car" day. Once a week, I take the car while Steve is at work and get a bunch of stuff done. And it's funny. Little girls love to go to the post office. Who knew?

Earlier this winter, I wrote a long short story to entertain myself and, in an action much like playing the lottery, I entered it in a contest. The grand prize is a writing workshop this summer in Russia. I entered this particular contest because I don't really want to go to Russia, so I figured it was my best chance to win.

If you don't understand that, you've never lived in my head. But trust me, it's my best chance.

The story is about a woman surprised to find herself in Protestant heaven. It's way more autobiographical than I would have liked, but as everybody knows, my life is infinitely interesting... Well, it is to me anyway. Actually, that's not really true either.

I can't take it anymore. I have to rescue my not-napping girls.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Carolyn's 3 years old, but still number 1

We're celebrating Carolyn's third birthday this morning. Cake, presents, pictures. It's been a lot of fun.

Oh, and the snowstorm. That's fun too.

Here are some photos from Carolyn's photo shoot. Every year, I take pictures of the girls on their birthdays in grown-up dresses to watch them grow into them. Carolyn is much harder to photograph than Penelope. In fact, looking back on her first year pictures, these are very similar in the way she looks and what's she's doing.

So here they are. Happy Birthday Carolyn!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Girls love little boxes

We got her first birthday gift in the mail today. It was from her Aunt Sandy, who always sends the loveliest gifts. She sent a jewelry box with nine little boxes for putting little things. In fact, they were already filled with little wooden animals and such.

Carolyn loves it. But Sandy didn't stop there. She bought Penelope a little wooden gift, a purse for me, lots of books (including a Superman for Steve to read to the girls "over and over and over" and homemade cards.

And we were having quite an afternoon (a napless fiasco of a day) and the gifts were a nice break. Here are pictures and a video from the day. Also, at the end of the video, Carolyn is eating a cracker, not the birdhouse.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Snowstorm mode

It's here. The storm of the year.

And boy, is it a doozy. Trapped again, but this time I'm not alone because I imagine most of the city is hidden inside. I made homemade Mac and Cheese for lunch, am letting the girls watch Frosty on the coach cushions spread out all over the living room and watched as my husband left for a 45-minute (three mile) commute to work, where I imagine he'll probably have to spend the night.

I can't begin to tell you how jealous I am. I love drama in the newsroom and weather always works. But Frosty is good too.

Also, in case anybody is wondering, sickness is over. It lasted a good 24 hours and took about that long to get us back to normal. It's death grip was strong, but short, thankfully.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Sunday to remember

So it happened. All at once, everyone in my family came down with a sickness that sometimes leaves you with the thought, "I've had a good run. Maybe it's just my time to go. And besides, at least I would no longer suffer the indignity of sleeping on the bathroom floor with the rest of my helplessly sick family."

Truth is, I got the lightest version of this killer bug. Steve was by far the worst with Carolyn crawling right behind him. We thought maybe Penelope avoided this until about an hour ago and, yep, she was right along with us.

I have to blame Steve for this one. The newspaper held the first KidsExpo, which was totally genius because it's too cold outside to do anything else. They had these big blowup machines with ladders and slides and such. Carolyn loved them and Steve, poor poor Steve, volunteered to help for several hours, which explains the hierarchy of illness.

Wish us luck. Pray for us. Whatever, but please don't talk about food for a few weeks.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Preschool hysteria

For the first time in about three months, Steve and I shelled out $20 for a babysitter. And do you know what we did??

It better be good, you might think, after all these months of homebound solitude.

Well...We went to an information seminar on preschool. We have fallen into the "parent's who go crazy when getting their kids into preschool" category. Crazy.

We're applying to the Thomas Metcalf school, which is run by Illinois State University. It's an experimental lab school, which mean teaching students use new teaching techniques and yada yada. It's really boring.

But it's a public school and really, really hard to get into, so we figured we'd start applying now. So we got a babysitter and toured the building. Oh so romantic.

I had a playdate with my friend Sara yesterday and we were talking about this preschool/private school craziness. She went to public school and became a university professor. I went to private school and barely had the grades for state school. Sara's friends have a daughter, now in kindergarten, who went to preschool and is now bored.

So, besides for this school and one run through the parks and rec department that is within walking distance of my house (and has the children interacting with the senior citizens who frequent the center), we are not going to go through any craziness for preschool.

Well... not any more than we've already done.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I'm all out of ideas...

And it's only Monday.

My God... It's only Monday!!!

Today, prompted by temperatures that feel like -6 (much warmer than expected), a lack of wheels or really, any place to go, I...

Cleaned the house, top to bottom.

Played pretend playground, complete with blanket rides up and down the hallway.

Played tea party.

Played house.

Played ponies

Baked bread.

So... what am I supposed to do with the rest of this seriously cold week that does not include vodka shots with lunch? What I ask you.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Here are my girls

They're so much fun...