Sunday, January 30, 2011

What is that?

Another sign I'm getting old...

I was listening to Plain White T's with Haley and singing along to a chorus that keeps repeating "like a broken record."

Haley sang along happily enough until it ended, then asked: "What is that?"

"What is what?"

"A record."

I explained that records came before CDs and cassette tapes and we used to use them to listen to music. I told her about how I remember having a little red record player that I used to play records with kids' songs. But that was when I was pretty young and mostly I had cassette tapes when I was a kid.

Of course, that led to: "What's a cassette tape?"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Knock Knock

The kids like to tell each other knock knock jokes. A couple of nights ago, they started off making sense and somehow slid downhill...

1st joke - told by Haley
knock knock
who's there?
who who?
stop talking like an owl!

2nd joke - told by Preston, trying to copy Haley's joke
knock knock
who's there?
an owl
an owl who?
stop talking like an owl!

3rd joke - told by Brekken... apparently trying to tell a joke like the last two
knock knock
who's there?
pineapple who?
stop acting like a pineapple!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Challenger: 25th Anniversary

I just heard on the radio that today is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle explosion. It's hard to believe that it's been so long, because I still remember it very clearly.

I was in 6th grade. They were remodeling the middle school and junior high buildings that year, so we were on a strange school schedule to allow the middle school and junior high to both fit in the same building. The junior high kids went very early in the morning and were done at lunchtime. The middle school kids stayed home until after lunch and then had a late school day.

So I was home eating lunch before school and watching the space shuttle launch on tv. I remember watching the space shuttle rise majestically from the launch pad and streak away across the sky. And then there was a strange puff of smoke and for some reason I vividly remember the strange shape of the smoke trails - with the two trails leading off from the main ball of smoke. I was confused. Was this normal? Was this what was supposed to happen? And then the shock as everyone realized what had happened and what a disaster it was.

I went to school and that was the only thing talked about. I don't remember if we had a regular class schedule, but I do remember just watching the news coverage on tv all afternoon and talking about what had happened. I remember one of my teachers with tears running down her face as she watched.

I also remember President Reagan's amazing speech about the Challenger disaster. Probably one of the most moving, beautiful speeches I've ever heard. If you haven't heard it, or haven't heard it in a while, you should listen. The line about how the astronauts "slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God" still brings a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Speaking of my memory problems...

I have two things that I really worry I will forget about lately.

#1 When I get dressed for work in the morning, I dress in everything except my shirt. I save that for the last minute before I walk out the door. This is an attempt to avoid having Rylen drool his medicine, spit up, or get any other unwearable substances on my work clothes. I don't want to take the time to change my clothes before I run out the door to catch the bus. But I worry that one of these days I'll be in such a hurry that I'll forget about the shirt. I probably double-check 2 or 3 times each morning on the way to the bus stop to be sure that I did finish getting dressed before leaving the house.

#2 Since I'm breastfeeding, I pump milk for Rylen while I'm at work. I'm fortunate enough to have my own office, so I can just shut the door and pump there. But each time I start to unbutton my shirt and get ready to pump, I get paranoid that I forgot to close the office door and I'm about to give my co-workers an eyeful. I always have to look over my shoulder to double-check that, too... just to be sure. :D

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Like a Sieve

That's what my memory is like these days. Full of holes that just let my thoughts slip away. I try to remind myself of things I need to do, and then forget. Yesterday I walked to the supply cabinet three different times... and then stood staring into it as I tried to recall what I was there for. (I did finally grab the push pins I needed on my 3rd trip.)

I have all these little tricks to try and help myself remember things.

I set reminders on my computer. Actually, I'd be really lost without my Outlook calendar. It has everything from business meetings to appointments for my kids to reminders of people I need to call (work and personal) to lists of things I need to get done. So that helps while I'm at work. But then I have to go home where there is no Outlook to remind me any more.

So I write myself notes. I have a couple of whiteboards and pads of sticky notes. I stick notes to the door with magnets. But then I shove the note in a pocket and forget to read it. Or I remember that there's a note written on the whiteboard but can't remember what it says.

I call myself often. I leave messages on my home phone or work phone about things I need to remember. Like, "Don't forget to pay the water bill before it's late!" (After hearing the message, I often write myself a note about it... you know how well that works.) But leaving a message only works if you can keep the thought in your head long enough to dial and leave a message. Here is the actual transcript of the message waiting for me on my work phone this morning:

"Oh shoot. ... I forgot what I was calling about. ... What was it? ... I can't remember! ... long pause ... I needed to call... someone. ... Or was I going to look something up online? ... Darn it!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why Is It...

  • That if I put Rylen down on a bed, pillow, puffy comforter - anything that's a SIDS risk, really - he will snuggle down and go right to sleep... but put him in his nice safe crib and he wakes right up?
  • That Rylen likes to stay up half the night... but the sound of my alarm going off in the morning puts him straight to sleep? Of course, by then it's too late to do me much good! Maybe I need to learn to sleep with the alarm on. ;)
  • That when it's nice and dark on the bus in the morning - perfect for a nap to catch up on all that lost sleep from the first two points - the only person who decides to disturb the darkness by turning on the reading light is sitting right in front of me?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quick Funny from Haley

Haley, while playing with Rylen:

"Look, Mommy! He's almost like a little human!"

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I'm #2!

We've been married for almost 10 years now, and doing the dishes has pretty much always been my job. About half the time - maybe more - Aaron emptied the dishwasher and then I filled it up again with the dirty dishes.

While I was on bed rest, Aaron had to take over doing the dishes (along with everything else he took on). After Rylen was born, Aaron still got around to doing the dishes before I got to them most of the time. I marveled at how thoughtful he was, to keep on doing the dishes because he could tell I was tired from taking care of the baby.

A few nights ago, we were in the kitchen and I thanked him for doing the dishes so often lately. He said "you're welcome" and then hesitated a moment.

"The truth is," he said, "I'm better at it than you are."

Turns out, he doesn't really approve of my (admittedly) haphazard method of throwing dishes into the dishwasher any which way they fit. And I don't load the silverware properly in the utensil basket. And I don't do a load of dishes often enough. I don't really disagree with any of that. When I do dishes, I'm usually squeezing the chore in between other things and I'm just focused on doing it as quickly as possible.

Since Aaron is better at it, he decided he was going to take over this particular job. So when it comes to doing dishes around here, I'm #2.

And you know what? I'm just fine with that!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I used to work with a guy who overused the word 'literally.' As in:

"I was literally sweating buckets!" "I can't walk another step! Literally!" "You're killing me! Literally!" And on and on and on.

As Inigo Montoya would say, "You keep using that word. I do not think it mean what you think it means."

Well my kids could teach him a bit about what 'literally' really means! Recent examples:
  • I was cleaning the living room and asked the kids to take some toys to the playroom for me. They took the toys to the playroom all right. And no further. All toys were dumped in the hallway at the door of the playroom.
  • I didn't learn from that experience and later asked Haley to take a basket of laundry to the bedroom for me. Sure enough, I walked down the hall to find the basket sitting directly in the doorway to the bedroom.
  • We have some cats who like to try and steal food from the kids at mealtimes. So we often lock the cats in the bathroom while we eat to keep them away from plates. After lunch, I asked Brekken to let George (the cat) out of the bathroom - forgetting that Grace was also locked up. Brekken very carefully let George out while keeping Grace locked away.

But I think my favorite literal moment lately has to be the night Aaron asked Preston to put George in the bathroom. Preston grabbed the cat and took him to the bathroom, then returned to the table. A moment later, George jumped up on the chair beside him, headed for the dinner plate.

Aaron grabbed him and asked, "How did he get out here?"

And Preston responded, "Well he followed me back to the table."

"Didn't you put him in the bathroom?" Aaron asked.


By this time I was laughing because I realized the critical error Aaron had made. He didn't tell Preston to close the cat in the bathroom. So Preston had taken the cat down the hall, put him in the bathroom, and then walked away - without closing the bathroom door, because that hadn't been part of the instructions. LOL

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Back to Work

After being stuck at home for 6 weeks on bed rest, I really thought that by the time my maternity leave ended I would be very ready to get back to work. After all, I love my job and the people I work with, and I've been away from all that for a long time.

Sadly, that wasn't the case. As I got closer and closer to the end of maternity leave, I realized that I was NOT ready for it to end. I just loved all that time I got to spend with Rylen. I liked being home on Thursday and Friday when Aaron was off work. It was nice to get to spend days together as a family - which normally we only get on Sundays. I liked being able to stay awake past 10 p.m. since I didn't have to be up at the crack of dawn to get ready for work.

But all good things must come to an end. In this case, because if I didn't go back to work they would stop paying me! The week before my maternity leave ended, I went into the office one day so that my co-workers could see Rylen. It was a nice reminder to me of how much I really do like the people I work with - which in turn reminded me that I would be okay when it was time to go back to work.

I went back to work on Monday morning - which coincided with 8-10 inches of snow for the metro area. I kept hoping that the storm would either not materialize as predicted, or be even worse than predicted so that they would call a snow day for work. Instead we got the worst of both worlds, when we got enough snow for SCHOOL to call a snow day, but not enough for WORK to call a snow day. Daycare for the boys was fine, since they go to a friend's house just a few blocks away. She doesn't close for snow days. But Haley goes to a school-based daycare, and when the school closes for snow, so does the daycare. Luckily Aaron's work is very family-friendly and understanding, so Haley went to work with him for the day. She was a little bored, but mostly enjoyed getting to spend the day with her dad. She was also reminded of her recent obsession with learning to play guitar - specifically the pink, sparkly one with rhinestone-studded strap that she spotted on display at the store. :)

I made it to work after only 1 1/2 hours on the road :\ Stupid snow.

And it was fine. People were glad to see me again. And I was glad to see them again. I have lots of work waiting for me, but that just means that I am needed here. I miss my baby and my other kids, but I know they're in good hands. It will be okay... eventually.