Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Who is this kid?

Today we have a busy sort of errand-ish day, but it is specifically scheduled around taking someone to the airport this afternoon. So all morning I'm trying to figure out just how to play I keep Olivia up and then let her nap for 40 minutes in the car and just let that be enough? Do I try to force her down for an early nap and then we can leave in time to do errands before doing the airport run AFTER she's had an adequate nap? Do we go out for errands first and then nap and then do the airport run?

I decided to play it by ear (let's face it...I ALWAYS do that). When she was grumpy around 10:00 a.m., I sat her down next to me on the couch and put on one of her favorite shows. Five minutes later I looked over and she was asleep.

WHAT?!? My child has NEVER done this. It was incredibly convenient because she can get a super nap in before we need to leave for errands, but WHAT IS UP WITH MY KID?

The fever that started on Saturday has finally subsided. The doctor seemed to think it was just a virus. But now she has this bumpy red rash all over her back and belly and face...kind of like hives. If I had hives, I would take Benadryl. But what do you do for a toddler? Call the doctor? Wait a day or two? Assume it is the end of the reaction to the viral thing? Maybe this is why she keeps sleeping so much...I don't know. Aauugghhh!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Missed the mark on that one...

One set of grandparents got an adding of those with the tape that types up what you are adding...from a friend who bought it at a yardsale with Olivia in mind. "Because she likes buttons so much." Nice thought, but didn't quite pan out as we'd expected. I left her alone with it for ten minutes today and came in the room to find her with a black-and-red tape hanging over her neck and red and black marks all over her hands, shirt and neck. So the ink tape got promptly thrown away, and I have a feeling that the adding machine will be shoved in a closet until I can forget about the ink debacle.

We had the hardest time getting the DSL to work tonight...even called customer support. The phone repair guy was at our house today trying to figure out the problem with our phone line, which hadn't been working. So we just thought we'd check...sure enough, he'd forgotten to plug the DSL cord back into the jack on the outside of the house. Way to waste our time, buddy.

Enough for tonight.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Two weeks in review

Olivia is still feverish and has been fussing a lot and acting all out of sorts, so we are headed to the doctor after her nap. I know it's probably just some viral thing and there's probably not a darn thing we can do about it, but three consecutive days of fever makes me want to at least try.

As you've figured out by now, I have my computer back. YAY! Well, not the same's a new computer with all of my old documents loaded onto it. I'm really looking forward to learning the new software and such, but I'm most excited that our bad hard drive didn't eat all of my beloved files before our computer-genius friend was able to transfer them. By the way, did you know that putting a bad hard drive in the freezer can make it easier to retrieve old files before the hard drive completely dies? I never knew that, but it's true.

Since new computers come with USB keyboards, Olivia inherited our old keyboard. Now, maybe she'll leave my computer alone...yeah, right.

"Play with 'puters, Mommy?"
In the past two weeks of computerless existence, I have become friends with my DVR and the millions of movie channels that we are receiving for free for a promotional period of time. Since those channels will disappear soon, I thought I might as well get some use out of them. I have found that there's not a lot on those channels that's worth paying for, and I don't have time to watch most of the movies that ARE on even if I record them.

We recorded "Bee Movie" for Olivia, and she is addicted to it. Every single time we turn the TV on, she requests the "honeybees?". It's like how she requests her silly songs CDs every time we are in the car. I am no longer allowed to listen to talk radio unless she is sleeping in the backseat, and apparently I can't watch anything but bees unless she is napping. I don't know what is so captivating, but she will sit still in one spot and be locked in on that movie. Nothing else holds her attention so completely. It's a teeny bit scary.

I also recorded a few movies that I've been meaning to watch. "Mamma Mia" was one of those, and I must say that I was EXTREMELY disappointed. Perhaps it was ruined by the fact that I saw the show on stage before seeing it on screen, but I think it's more than that. The stage production was like a really fun Abba revival concert with some silly story thrown in to entertain you between numbers. The movie was like a really badly acted story with some Abba songs thrown in to distract you from how much you HATED the rest of the movie. I actually liked some of the songs. Others were distracting. Pierce Brosnan forcing out a melody and trying to act it out as well? Ick. Also, who decided that capri-length denim overalls were a good look for Meryl Streep? They just made her look ridiculous...even more ridiculous than acting out Abba songs while trying to make them seem remotely related to the story made her look.

I had so much fun at the theater production. I guess this is just one example of where a musical doesn't translate well to screen. But I must say I did love the encore numbers (loved them on stage too, but for different reasons). I enjoyed watching seasoned actors make fools of themselves with awful retro costumes and bad dancing. They MUST have all been drunk for that shoot, because I cannot imagine any other reason that they would have allowed themselves to look that silly.

Moving on...

I also became reacquainted with my library over the past two weeks. It was my only internet source, which was my primary reason for visiting. But I also read some good books. My favorite was The Lacemakers of Glenmara. GREAT book. It was captivating and so well written that I could imagine myself in that tiny, forgotten Irish village. I think it would make a great movie. If you haven't read it, I would highly recommend it.

We also spent some time doing this:

And this:

Ate lots of this:

Saw some of these:

Drank a bunch of these.
And now you are updated.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weird Weekend

The cousins didn't come for the reunion this weekend because of fevers, and Olivia ended up spending the whole weekend with a fever too. How they ALL got fevers at the same time even though they all live more than four hours apart is beyond me.

Our reunion visit was cut short when we realized that Olivia had a fever and it was high. She has been playing well and eating fine, but she's been running a fever for two days. We'll wait until tomorrow and see if she still has it before deciding whether or not to call the doctor.

It's when she's sick that I feel most like a Mom. The whole protective gene seems to kick in then, and I baby her a bit and pay closer attention to her cues and possible needs. Maybe it's also the fact that she's a bit more likely to want to snuggle close or be near Mommy. That always makes me feel important.

But I'd still like her to be well again...and soon. Fevers scare me a little.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Back to business...soon

I was just browsing through my pictures, and we did a LOT of stuff during the past two weeks that we've been computerless. It's going to take awhile to catch up my photo blog. I'm still trying to figure out where my recovered files from our old bad hard drive are, and I'm a little too obsessed with finding those to worry about too much blogging for the moment.

We have a busy weekend ahead. There is a family reunion, which means that Olivia's little cousins will be in town. Looking forward to an exhausting weekend full of sun, swimming, and noise. More next week, after I've had a chance to relocate all of my important documents.

The photo is from our Tuesday playdate at the spray park, when one family came with their puppy. Olivia wasn't sure what to think about "doggie kisses".


We JUST got onto the internet for the first time with our new computer, and of course the first thing we HAD to do is inform the faithful followers of this blog. We're still doing other set-up on this thing, so this is all I'll say for now, but expect me to be posting regularly again.

YAY computer!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I think I may lose my mind.

I dropped Olivia off with Grandma and Grandpa this morning and bought myself a little library time so I could post. We've been without a computer now for eight days, and it feels like a million. I had no idea how dependent I was.

The good news is that we have ordered a new computer, and our computer expert friend is going to salvage our documents from our old and broken hard drive. The bad news is that this takes time. I'm expecting it to take another two weeks. It could be sooner, but I have to gear myself up for two more computerless weeks just in case it takes that long.

Many times a day, I think...I should blog about this. And I can't. Worse than that, I can't keep up with all of YOUR blogs. And did you all know that you are my community? When we are at home for several days in a row, you all keep me sane by letting me into your lives and making me feel like I've had some adult interaction.

Now this makes me realize that it must be really tough for Olivia when we are home for several days without any outings planned. She, after all, doesn't have the option to escape to the internet and discuss the finer points of Mommy-rearing, which is her daily occupation.

But seriously, do you ever think about how fortunate we are to be able to share our successes/frustrations/joys/experiences on a daily basis in this medium? I never realized how much I use this space just to keep track of how life is going, and how therapeutic it is to do that. I also never realized how therapeutic it is to read about your lives and realize I'm not the only one out there who goes through this stuff. I think I may know some of you better than I know some of my local friends. Perhaps that is because we can't finish a sentence without getting interrupted by an army of toddlers during our outings...

Now, onto other blogable things...

It has been really nice to have a verbally advanced toddler. Starting around her first birthday, she was able to tell us what she wanted most of the time by using one-word requests. She quickly advanced to full sentences. And it's really nice to hear her say, "I want some more milk, please." That is preferable to the pointing and grunting and confusion that comes with a preverbal child.

The downside, however, is that she picks up everything. Yesterday, there was a deer wandering through our backyard, and I opened the window to scare him off. (They eat my daylillies...deer are the enemy in our neighborhood.) I yelled at him..."Hey!" To which Olivia immediately responded in her yelling tone..."GET BACK HERE....NOW!" I wonder where she has heard that before...

Worse yet...Olivia was hanging out with Grandma the other day when she went tearing down the hall. My Mom went after her and caught her coming out of their room holding a bottle of lotion or something. When Olivia saw Grandma and knew she was caught, she said, "Dang it!" and tossed the lotion on the ground.

Yeah, gotta watch what you say.

So, it looks like weekends are my best shot for getting some computer time for awhile. I hope you all miss me a little...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The verdict

The computer hard drive is dying, so we must either get a new hard drive or a new computer. We've opted for a new computer, but do you know how hard it is to research new computers when you don't have a computer to access during naptime? I'm writing this from my husband's work computer. It may still be a week until I get a computer back...I'm going crazy here!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Our computer crashed multiple times on Thursday, so it is at the computer doctor for a few days. I'm limited to the library computer, which I can only access when someone else is watching Olivia, so I'll probably be absent for a few days. Much to update, little time. Maybe next week...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My favorite job

I spent most of yesterday's nap weeding in the landscaping. The weather has been nice and it needs to be done, but I could seriously spend an hour out there every day for a week and it would still not be finished.

We are pretty busy for the rest of the week, so I would prefer to just hang out inside today and not do anything at all. Is that an option? Olivia seems to think not.

I did spend a little time this morning pulling vines and poison ivy off of a tree. That stuff just won't go away, and since I'm the least sensitive (that we know of...we aren't testing it on Olivia), I get the job of de-ivying. The good news is that all the trees look much better now.

I'm meeting with a high school friend later this week to begin planning for our 15-year high school reunion next summer. While I'm looking forward to seeing her, I'm SO not looking forward to planning this reunion.

This is new for me. I have always loved to plan. It is what I did for nine years at my job, and I am pretty good at it. But the thought of making lists and accomplishing actual tasks is just too daunting for summer.

When I left my job to be Mom, I agonized over lists and instructions that I was preparing for my successor. I cared SO much that this job be done right and that it be left in the right hands. I put so much of my heart and soul into what I did for a living, and it seemed impossible to me that it could function well without me.

Well, my successor used my lists and created her own system, and now she does everything in her own way. And you know what? Things seem to be running better under her than they did under me. That may just be my outsider's perspective, but the truth is that she's organized and professional and capable, and she does everything so well. And she does almost nothing like I would have done it.

While time marches on and things at my old workplace continue moving forward, I realize that despite throwing my whole self into my job for so many years, I don't miss it. Not at all. I am happier now and much less stressed. I used to have panic attacks over the list of deadlines piling up. I was never terribly fond of presenting, and when I had a presentation coming up I would obsess over it and get nothing else done. I would worry over details not done and registration lists not filled and whether the pile of paperwork on my desk was ever going to disappear.

No, I don't miss it. I am enjoying my current position as primary entertainer of a very active young mind. Sure, there are days when I think my mind wants to move faster than the pace of "Moo, Baa, La, La, La", but thankfully we still have naptime to do and accomplish and think and write. Thank God for naptime.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I already used up my 15 minutes posting photos at my other blog.

I have a gajillion things to do during naptime today, and I intend to shorten naptime on purpose because staying up late two days in a row to watch fireworks made it difficult for Olivia to fall asleep on time last night. Or was it the fact that we let her (and us) sleep in past 8:30 for three consecutive days? Hmm...

Lovely weekend. Went to Local Theme Park with Grammy and cousins on Thursday, took Daddy to the zoo on Friday, had Grandma and Grandpa over for burgers at noon on Saturday and spent the late afternoon at Local Theme Park on Saturday. Normally, we wouldn't go anywhere near the place on a Saturday, much less one that is a HOLIDAY! They were hitting record crowds last Monday, so Saturday was pretty much out of the question. Except it rained...all day. And the temps were barely above 70 degrees. Not the ideal day to hit the waterpark, unless you really like to ride waterslides without waiting in line. Then? FABULOUS!

Olivia got to ride all of her fave rides, and Daddy got to ride all the rides he wanted too. There were seriously NO LINES. So we waited for him to walk up and then we watched him ride. We rode more in the four hours we were there than we could have ridden last Monday and Tuesday combined because of the lines.

It rocked. If it could have been 85 degrees and raining all day, it would have been better, but it was still nice.

We came back to the park on Saturday evening for their fireworks show.
And now we are all exhausted. Gotta get to my "to do" list now. Ta!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Consumer reviews

You may remember my satellite dilemma. Well, we did switch, and we are very happy with the reception (you mean channels are supposed to be this clear?...bad cable) and with the DVR. How did we survive life before DVR? Having multiple episodes of Handy Manny at your disposal in the afternoon when the weather is miserably hot and the child is restless = TV bliss.

And do not yell at me for letting my kid watch TV. Life with a toddler is occasionally about survival, and to survive I occasionally need something to distract her for a few minutes. I know you do it too!

Anyway, when we first called about the service, I called a number off of a promotional flier (my first mistake). It ended up being a retailer, who was wanting to charge me a "one-time service fee" at the time of installation. I let them schedule a tentative installation appointment for two weeks later with the understanding that I could cancel this appointment if we changed our minds and "nothing would be charged." Second mistake.

After some research online, we discovered that this particular satellite company offers free installation and charges no such service fee if we schedule our service directly with the company. So I canceled my previously-scheduled retailer appointment and rescheduled directly with the company.

Two weeks later, the "one-time service fee" shows up as a charge on my bank account. I called the retailer back and tried to calmly explain my situation. When he insisted that the company (for whom they are an authorized retailer) "stole" the sale from them and that I was still responsible for the fee...well, I got a little, um, insistent. I didn't yell, but I came close. I think he could tell that I was the kind of person who would immediately report them to BBB, so he managed to get the fee removed. This was last Friday.

The fee reappeared today.

I called back, got the same guy (I had asked for his direct extension in case of such a problem), and he put me on hold to check it out. He came back on the line and apologized for the "system error" and said that the charge would be credited back to my account by tomorrow.

System error. HA! Moral of the your research. Be wary of retailer fliers that look like they come directly from the service they are trying to sell. Find the company online and research fees before agreeing to anything. And watch your account balance like a hawk.


In the area of babyproofing...Olivia has been able to open the fridge for awhile now, and it's annoying. We explain to her every time that she needs to ask for help, but she has her own ideas about that. So I thought I'd install one of those fridge lock thingies that snap together.

Complete waste of $2.00.

The thing doesn't work at all. If you can pull hard enough to open the fridge, then you can pull this thing open. In fact, I pulled it open several times without realizing that the fridge lock was latched. And after two days, Olivia pulled the lock, adhesive and all, right off the fridge.

So, save your money or find me a fridge lock that actually works.