Tuesday, December 30, 2008
(1) Go to the public library and obtain a small army of romance and religious fiction, and Catholic non-fiction to read.
(2) Charge up my beloved iPod Nano, Max, (Mike claims I love Max more than him) and synch him up with some new French music Shauna'h gave me.
(3) Use super speedy librarian powers to find a free rosary podcast through iTunes, and subscribe happily. I am now loaded up with the Sorrowful Mysteries.
(4) Refresh my Vatican Radio podcast list so that I'll have a few to listen to at the airport; this, of course, is assuming that Hank is unconscious or something. Otherwise, how on earth would I be able to listen to anything?
(5) Make sure that my binoculars and east coast bird reference volume are in the "to be packed" pile. I've spotted many a snowy egret from the car on the way back from the airport.
So, I think I'm ready. I'd rather sleep in the same clothes for three straight days then not have a book with me or anything to listen to. I shudder at the thought.
Monday, December 29, 2008
I also have lots of gift cards, and boy do I have a good time after the holidays every year figuring out what I'm going to use them on. I have iTunes, Old Navy, and my all time favorite, Amazon. So, so many ways that I can spend money at Amazon. How I love thee. But at any rate, I needed new reading material for my trip to Florida this week to visit my in-laws, and obviously, an Amazon order would not arrive in time :) So, I just got back from a productive trip to the public library. Has anybody read any of Nicholas Sparks' books? I picked up a few of those. I also picked up the last in Katerine Valentine's series featuring a Catholic parish in a small New England town, called A Wing and a Prayer. They're pretty cutesy, but wholesome, fun reads. Catholic fiction is not easy to find, I tell you.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Really weighing down Santa's knee, huh? :) He's such a big kid, but I swear, he's ours :) I was just so proud of him. In bonus news, he told us both before and after the program that he had to go pee pee, and then he sat on the potty and went. It's just raining toddler good news today.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
My first criteria is no gift cards. Gift cards are wonderful, but I really want to see my recipient actually open an item that I've selected for them. More excitement that way :) The second thing is that I want it to be something that I really feel that they will enjoy and use, but of course it can't break the bank. So, I've had to be creative, and my Christmas spirit is much higher this year than in years past. I'm liking this. Instead of getting a lot of toys for Hank this year, (his grandparents will do that, in abundance :) I've been changing up my buying choices. I got him a very inexpensive Play Doh ice cream factory. Glutton for punishment? Perhaps. But Play Doh does inspire creativity, and is much better for the kids than watching tv. The one thing I did relent on was an inexpensive car toy where he can launch the cars through a spiral thing. I got him some wonderful books at the Scholastic sale, including one with vinyl clings of the characters that he can place in the book himself, and an accompanying small stuffed Wubbzy complete with a bendy tail. I also got him a wood puzzle of the solar system, and his own magnetic calendar.
Of all of the toys that he has (which is a lot, sigh) the one thing he plays with every single day since he got it is a wood puzzle of the United States. This thing is cool. *I* enjoy playing with it. Such a feeling of victory when one places the last piece in :) It cost under $10 and I had nearly forgotten that we'd tucked it away for him. I'm truly excited to give him the things that I picked out for him. Plus, they all take up infinitely less space in our house than the gigantic plastic toys - bonus!
So, this year, I'm honestly feeling better about Christmas because I'm not making myself crazy with an endless list of things that I need to buy. It's a good feeling :) *halo* Well, it's also partly that I'm being cheap, so don't think too highly of me just yet.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
At any rate, I try to get some rest Friday night. I've been coughing to infinity for a week, so I *really* need some sleep. We get a light dusting of snow Friday evening. 1:30 am Saturday morning, what do I hear? Our neighbor's slow removal service loudly plowing snow from her driveway. They were so loud, I thought something had actually hit our house and caused it to vibrate. So, clearly, at that point I was up. And then what happened? I started to cough. And cough and cough and cough. I coughed until I had to move to the guest bedroom for fear of waking Mike and Hank, and miserably coughed until morning. It was not a good day.
Saturday night. I'm sure you see where this is going. Light dusting overnight. 3:30 am - plow comes up neighbor's driveway and wakes me out of an absolute SOUND SLEEP. I was completely incredulous. There is NO WAY that they don't realize how much noise they make, and how close the houses are to each other in our neighborhood. It is so completely obnoxious that I am speechless. So I'm awake, and I begin to cough. I move to the guest bedroom. I notice that my eyes are real nasty and gunky. I'm grossed out, get rid of aforementioned gunk, and figure it's just my eeeevviiilll cold draining something particularly offensive. Toss and turn until morning, and stumble into the bathroom. One look at my face reveals an unpleasant reality - I have pink eye. Both of my eyes are swollen. The left is extremely red and the right is getting there. I wanted to cry. Pink eye is extremely contagious, and the last thing I needed was to pass it on to Hank. Plus, it was Sunday. Not exactly easy to get ahold of the doctor. I was scheduled on the reference desk in the afternoon. The Catholic Librarian was *most* unhappy.
So, I call the service of my new doctor. Some random other doctor is covering her service for the weekend. Fine. I call at 8 am and leave the message with the service. Two hours later, I'm still waiting for a call back, and I'm getting seriously pissed. Finally, just after 10, the random doctor calls. I tell him that I have pink eye; let's face it, it's pretty easy to identify. He *refuses* to prescribe drops for me without me being seen. I won't dwell on this, because I'm *still* upset about it. Completely, completely unnecessary. I waited over two hours to be told that I can either wait until the next day and go in to see my regular doctor, or go to urgent care. People, pink eye is NOT urgent. But it's contagious, so I didn't want to leave it. Plus, my eye was feeling itchier and redder by the second. If I didn't get the prescription drops, I wouldn't be able to go to work, and I would risk infecting Mike and Hank. I at first refused urgent care, stubbornly holding to my philosophy (which I maintain) that it is NOT necessary to go to urgent care for pink eye. I eventually gave in, for the reasons I mentioned above.
I arrive at urgent care to be told that my co-pay is *$35*. Once again, I have to not dwell here, because I am still *so* upset about this. $35 could buy Christmas presents for my baby. What did they do at urgent care? Take my blood pressure and temperature and give me one of those lame vision tests where you read the letters off the chart. The doctor walks in, takes one look at me, and proclaims "Oh, you have pink eye." I will NOT repeat what went through my head, because it is so, so vicious, I would have to avail myself of the sacrament of reconciliation. He gives me a prescription for some drops, and away I go. I am UPSET. Between the two co-pays, this little bout with pink eye cost me $50. We do *not* have money like that lying around these days, with Mike back in school. I am very, very upset. What can I say? It sucked.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I look up, and there is an angry gaggle of 3 crows in the tree in our neighbors yard. Crows always sound like they have a lot on their minds, but this morning in particular, these guys sounded downright surly. They were all bunched together too, like they were having an emotion-filled meeting about something. Then I noticed *it*. On a branch below them, sat a giant, giant ass hawk. I soon discerned that it was a Red-tailed Hawk:
These are formidable looking birds. BIG. And as you might expect, he was pretty nonchalant about the presence of our friends the crows. While they caw-ed their little black heads off, he was doing the bird equivalent of calmly inspecting his manicure. You could see the crows gather, confer:
"dude, WTF!! He's in *our* tree. We *need* to get rid of him!!"
The crows continued on, undeterred. They were actually aiming their little beaks with the angry caws, right in the hawk's face. At this point, I'm standing in my driveway, just staring up at the birds. It was like getting free Discovery Channel. A few crows in a nearby tree caw-ed in sympathy.
Finally, some action. The crows got together and drew straws. The one that got the short one gathered himself, and flew over to perch next to the hawk, caw-ing courageously the whole way. At long last, the hawk appeared to actually notice their existence. He shifted, and then lifted his considerable wingspan and flew off. The crows banded together and flew after him, escorting him out of the neighborhood in satisfaction of a job well done.
I rushed, pink cheeked, to the car, to tell Hank all about the birdies. Suddenly, I hear the crows again. I hurry back to the driveway, and what do I see? The hawk, perched with a smirk of condescension plastered on his face, right back in the same tree. The crows are gathered nearby, and they're frantic:
"What the hell?! Damn it!"
By this point, they are emboldened and angry. Multple crows fly right in the hawk's face and caw. He gets up, flies away, and comes right back. By this time, Hank is in the driveway with me:
"Birdies! Oh, they no like that big birdie, do they mommy?"
I had to leave, so I bundled Hank into the car. As I pulled away, I spotted the hawk securely perched on the tree, ignoring the crows, while they caw-ed away nearby. I was seriously enamored with the entire interaction.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Anyway, the Advent wreath. I did a little research on its meaning. I love this stuff :) So, the candles symbolize the light of Christ, and the round wreath the eternity of God. A traditional Catholic wreath has 3 violet candles, and 1 rose. Priests' vestments will match the color of the candles for each of the 4 weeks in Advent. Each Sunday a new candle is lit. The violet symbolizes expectation, and the rose stands for joy and hope. The Sunday that the rose candle is lit is called Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin for "rejoice." It is the third candle to be lit, and I was always told that it means that Christmas is near, thus excitement :)
I have seen wreaths that incorporate a white candle to be lit on Christmas day. *Jealous* - I want one of those. I have a very simple Advent wreath with long tapers, like this one:
Seems like the Catholic Librarian should have more bells and whistles :) We *do* have a spectacular Christmas tree this year. I'll take a picture and bring it in. It's a Scotch Pine, and the nicest tree we've ever had. Hank is also enjoying a traditional chocolate Advent calendar. You know, it has those other worldly tasking German chocolates inside. YUM. Hank yanked open the first window yesterday, and asked with very wide eyes if he could eat it. Then he wanted another one, but I told him he had to wait until the next day :) I feel very in the Christmas spirit today...
Monday, December 1, 2008
On one of the Catholic message boards that I frequent, I found a link to this article on Orthodox Advent preparations. Orthodox Christians fast during Advent, and eat mostly a vegetarian diet during this time period. They also avoid dairy and alcohol. I have a lot to say about how Eastern Christian spirituality and practices can inform Western Christians; I'll come back to that at Lent, definitely.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
At any rate, the other day as I was driving home, I heard a Christmas song on the radio that makes me laugh every single year. It's a pretty corny song, but I re-enjoy it annually. I don't even know it's official title, something stupid like "The 12 Pains of Christmas," I think. What it does is mimic "The 12 Days of Christmas" with little holiday disasters instead, and each time the count comes past their number again, things are elaborated a bit. A few really make me laugh, hard.
My favorite is I think number 2, the guy who is putting up his Christmas lights. He has a real porky sounding voice, and for a while just says that his pain is "stringing up the lights." As the song progresses, he starts to get more and more pissed off. It reminds me of Christmases past with my dad putting up the lights, which he always hated :) Eventually, our guys says "What, don't we have any extension cords?!" And "Great, now they're blinking!!" Finally, "Someone get me a flash light, I think I blew a fuse!!"
Other mentionables include the effeminate sounding guy who hates writing Christmas cards. At the last go round, he exclaims "Oh, I don't even *know* half these people!!" I also like the woman who bemoans having to see her in-laws at holiday time. Finally, she flat out says "She's a witch, I *hate* her!!" But the one that I relate to most is the pain of Christmas shopping. On each pass through, a surly toddler demands some complicated and noisy sounding toy. Finally, we hear the toddler exclaim "I have to go potty!!" and then, just sobbing.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Oh, well, I suppose it's noteworthy that I've fallen happily back into listening to a nauseating amount of Christmas music like I do every year. Mike is already rolling his eyes. I've created a new holiday playlist for my beloved iPod Nano, Max, and am populating it with much enthusiasm. I've taken a real liking to Enya's new holiday album, And Winter Came. I chose not to download the whole album (cost cutting, sigh) but a few of the tracks are excellent and I bought them, specifically the title track and O Come O Come Emmanual. iTunes has a new Essentials list that I'm really digging (I totally fall trap to their devious marketing plan, don't I?) called Melancholy Winter. It's not depressing, honestly, it's really good stuff. You should check it out :)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
"now remember, ladies. Arms with moving veils are always above your head, or in second position. It's like OSHA for belly dancers. 'Arms above this level for job safety!'"
We learned a few new combinations, and are going to start a new routine after Thanksgiving. Excited :)
In other news, we're upping the ante with potty training Hank. It's really not possible for it to be going any worse. Well, I suppose it could, if Hank were perhaps throwing human waste across the room and dancing in it. But aside from that, it's going as poorly as could be. It takes a lot of convincing to even get his bum to approach the potty, and then after a lengthy session, no production. This has been going on for months, and the convincing is getting more and more difficult. He's now at a point where he's downright obstinate and refuses to sit on the potty. Well, last night, Mike and I made a decision: Hank will become potty trained whether he likes it or not. He's three: we are the adults. We can handle this, right? Well, of course, you know that the answer isn't quite so easy. But that notwithstanding, we've seized some control over the deteriorating situation. Hank was told this morning that there would be no Blues Clues unless he sat on the potty for a few minutes upon waking up. The look of shock on his face was priceless. We mean business now. There was a series of protestations, which we weathered, and in the end, he sat on the potty. He didn't go, but I figure, if we do this every day (no more diapers at home except overnight) eventually he's going to have to produce. The kid can't hold it forever. I'm certain that he's going to test that theory, but we're prepared. Well, as prepared as parents who have never done this before can be :)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Well, at least I've had more lethargic time on my hands to work on my Christmas afghan. I'm more than half finished. It's very festive and cheery. And it keeps my lap warm in the evenings while I work on it. Every night I'm dressed in flannel from neck to foot, with heavy socks on. Mike swears I should be sweltering, but you know how men are. They're *always* warmer than we are. Why is it? But it's true, isn't it? The only time this was different was when I was pregnant with Hank, he himself a male heat generator. I should have known I was having a boy just based on that. It was like incubating a space heater for nine months. I remember lying in bed one evening, clad in a long maternity tank top and no pants. Mike was beside me, tucked under the covers, shivering. It was a powerful feeling of role reversal :)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday night I had bellydancing for the first time in two weeks. I missed it. We're learning some new combinations to get geared up for a new routine. I felt very rusty, though. Claire mentioned a move called "the caterpillar," and my first thought was "those red and black ones I keep seeing on the sidewalk? I bet I could go outside and find one of those." But originating in my hips and incorporating in something about a chest lift? No clue what that is. As we were practicing aforementioned caterpillar, the advanced class gathered in the hall. I could see them all unsheathing swords. I can't tell you how much the thought of balancing a weapon on my head strikes terror in the heart of the Catholic Librarian. Perhaps she'll never advance enough to be asked to be a member of the advanced class. The chances of this happening are pretty good, I'm thinking. Odds are on my side. Every few minutes I'd hear a loud thud, followed by a swear word. So, I guess the advanced class is human too :)
Saturday night was my baby's birthday party, and I get so nervous (this is a polite way of saying 'crazed') about entertaining people and having my house look neat enough. I also had my in-laws staying with us for the entire weekend. To aid in this effort, I downed two glasses of wine before anyone arrived. The evening went smoothly after that. Hank secured his own little set of kitchen appliances, and a big garbage truck. He couldn't be more thrilled. He looks so cute as he intently concentrates, loading the little cans onto the dumping arm. He also got a Match Box cars set of fire engine and police car. He races them around the house, shouting "eeeeeehhhhhhhh" in increasing intensity.
Friday, November 7, 2008
He's so excited for his party. Poor child only gets new toys at one big clump in November/December. He's desperate for new fodder to play with. I could write more (what I hope to be witty) anecdotes, but I can feel the energy draining out of my body as I type. More on Monday :(
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Anyway, we made cupcakes for his daycare class last night. I felt guilty when I dropped them off this morning, and his teacher enthused about how good the cookies were that I made for their Halloween party. Remember the pre-made Pillsbury cookie story? Right, I didn't fess up :) I just smiled and thanked her. The cupcakes too, were Pillsbury. I'm coming down with something, and was way too exhausted to make anything from scratch. My in-laws arrive in town today, so I'll have house guests until Monday, and we're having a small party for Hank on Saturday. It's going to be busy, and I have very limited energy. I'll do the best I can, I suppose...
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
There are women who tell me that their 6 week old baby slept through the night with no problems. Whenever someone tells me this, I secretly envision binding and gagging them, and forcing them to sleep in my house for a year. And perhaps putting bats in the room with them. And fire ants. A lot of the time though, women who tell me this have an empty nest and haven't handled 24-hour baby care in twenty years. I call it "grandmother brain." Here's a sampling:
"My daughter slept through the night at 4 weeks old. I gave her cereal in her bottle to accomplish this. If you want your baby to sleep, you must do this too."
"Henry still isn't sleeping well at 6 months old? You might be catering to him too much."
"It's the breastfeeding. That's why I didn't do that."
"He's so active, I can never take my eyes off him. You girls were never like this. You used to play in your playpen for *hours* up until you went to kidnergarten." This egregious example is from my own mother. This is grandmother brain at it's worst. We stayed quietly in playpens for extended periods of time until we were 5 years old? What did she do, sedate us?
Anyway, now Hank and I are both coughing, which means my sleep deprivation factor is now multipled by two. I'm certain that Mike is next. It's like a vicious fungus.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
In the mean time, though, I'm at work and enjoying the buzzing going on about the election. I'm not a big politics talker, but I do like being informed and keeping up-to-date. Definitely looking forward to vegging with some wine later and watching some good old CNN coverage.
Last night while Mike watched the Steelers game, I watched some WEtv (unsurprisingly). I saw part of a hilarious episode of My Fair Wedding. Our favorite wedding guru, Nick Tutera, visits with a bride who wants a "Cinderella, princess themed wedding." Pretty much the exact opposite of my wedding tastes, but to each their own :) Anyway, Nick asks her to show him what she's chosen so far for her details. They did this cut-away sequence where you would see Nick and the bride, and then just Nick alone commenting on what she had shown him. The bride whips out the fake rose petals, plastic diamonds, and artificial gold and pinkish centerpieces she purchased to place on the tables.
Nick: "I seriously thought I was going to pass out."
Next came talk of "Ben, the balloonatic" who would be transporting pink and white balloons to the wedding. Something about larger balloons releasing smaller ones, a tower of cascading balloons, etc.
Nick: "Ok, balloons should not be used in a wedding *ever.* EVER. Ben the balloonatic is going to have to talk to me, because seriously. He needs to just go away."
The coup de grace was the dresses. The maid of honor puts on her dress, a pink frothy concoction that looked like something out of My Super Sweet 16.
Bridesmaid: *good naturedly* "I feel like a giant birthday cake!"
Nick: *shudder* "That color looked like Pepto Bismol, and Oh God, I just can't..."
The bride's dress was a gigantic white puff ball, complete with elbow length gloves that came to a point and hooked over her middle finger.
Nick: "ok seriously, she's going to thank me for this. Because I just know that this is one of those dresses that she'll look back on in five years and think 'what on *earth* was I thinking?!"
Oh, it was good. Real good.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
- While Hank is quietly looking through his books, I gather necessary baking items and make a huge mess on the counter. Because I am how I am, I try to wipe up every little flour spill as it happens. I end up with a layer of white paste covering the counter at all times.
- I begin to mix ingredients, and realize the sheer volume of sugar this recipe calls for. We have this pathetic little sugar can that Mike insists is better than a real bag of sugar. I quickly eliminate the entire contents of the can, but luckily have just enough.
- As I measure out the other "starter kits" that are spawned off every time you make this recipe, I make a giant, giant mess emptying the batter into gallong ziploc bags. Hank is next to me, spreading water everywhere as he plays in the sink. See "white paste" as described above, supra.
- I put the starter kits on top of the gas stove, and one of them molts onto the back display. Apparently there was heat radiation going on that I wasn't aware of. I have to replace bag, and make yet another giant mess.
- I get my batter assembled, and it's real lumpy. I'm decidedly anti-lump. I stir it for far too long to get all the lumps out. Pretty soon, it's nearly 7:30 pm, and I'm still working on finalizing the batter. It's a sickness.
- Recipe says to mix some sugar and cinnamon and dust the loaf pans with it. I do so. Use up all the cinnamon sugar, and then realize that the recipe said to put some if it on top of the bread. F*ck! Oh well.
- Mix in optional chocolate chips, and suddenly Hank's chocolate meter kicks in and he comes sniffing into the kitchen. He demands to get up on a chair and "help me stir" and manages to nab several of the chips.
- In relief, I pop the loaves into the oven, and the entire house quickly smells divine. A baking success; what a rarity!
So, I'm pleased. Next weekend, I'm going to make a low-cal version with Splenda, and add raisins and walnuts to put out at Hank's birthday party. We'll see how it goes :) Anybody want a starter kit?
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Hank liked the cookies. I had to stop him from eating the raw dough and chewing on the spatula, but other then that, things went great.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
My next project is the Amish Friendship Bread starter kit that Bridget gave me. I've been happily mashing the mixture for 9 straight days, just like the instructions tell me. I'm a good rule follower. Tomorrow is the true test. I'm planning to bring some into work on Friday assuming it doesn't turn out disastrously, so be sure to check the reference office on Halloween :)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I really wanted to keep it informal, so with Chris's permission, I wandered in in jeans and a sweater, sat on the desk in the front of the room, and chatted for about 35 minutes about my introverted personality and how I managed to find, and thrive in, a position that requires me to do something that I had always hated - public speaking.
I tried to mix it up with funny anecdotes. I always try to do that when I teach, anyway. A smattering of personal stories will always capture attention much more than a straight lecture with zero drop of personality. I generally try to let the stories be spontaneous; things that I plan to be funny rarely turn out to be as funny to others :) Last night, the biggest laugh I got was after someone asked me what I did to psych myself up before I taught a class. Warning them that this was perhaps a bit tmi, I said that right before a class I often feel precisely like I did when I was in labor with my son - as in: well, there's no going back now, is there? Yep, pretty much stuck. So, I come to terms with that, make an effort to greet students as they come in and try to develop a positive rapport, and suddenly, I will feel more comfortable right before class begins.
But they did laugh, which is such a refreshing change over the undergraduate faces of stone I usually see when I look out into my classroom. And they seemed interested. Always a big plus. There was no guy in a hooded sweatshirt and headphones sleeping in the back row. Bonus. So, overall, I think it went pretty well. As would be expected, I was very nervous. But that was sort of the whole point of me being there :) Librarians are not natural born teachers, necessarily. It's an acquired skill, and one that can be acquired and a fondness developed for despite a distinct lack of enjoyment at being in front of a group of people. It felt good to address a group of budding librarians and share some librarian kinship. Hopefully, I'll be invited again :)
Monday, October 27, 2008
In other We Go Bridal night news, I thought I'd complile a list of my favorite moments from the bridal reality shows the past few weeks. The winners are:
3. bridesmaid riding in the backseat of Amanda's car (this is the girl who wanted to only pay her venue $80; remember her?) sits in such an unladylike way that WE has to arrange a modesty splotch in a very compromising location. Sometimes I miss my US Weekly subscription.
2. Several brides try to make demands on their bridesmaid's hair. And I don't mean "oh, allow me to set up your updo appointment for you for the morning of the wedding." These brides actually told people to un-dye their hair or otherwise make drastic changes because their new cut or color wasn't what was envisioned for their dream wedding. Some people have an astonishing amount of audacity.
1. The bridesmaid dress from last night. I actually snorted when I saw it, talk about unladylike. It was pink. It was puffy. It had *crenoline*. It had this brown sash thing that flattened the chest of anyone within a mile wide radius. I've seriously never, ever seen a dress that awful before. The matron of honor really, really looked like a giant pink powder puff. It was *bad*.
My Fair Bride is seriously decent. This really fabulous wedding guy named Anthony (incredibly good-looking, amazingly sweet and funny, but gay; doesn't that always figure? :) goes through and completely re-designs a wedding for a given bride. Last night's episode featured a bride who wanted a South Beach theme. She had chosen a sickening green and Halloween purple as the colors, and the poor bridesmaids were subjected to dresses in those colors. You should have seen Anthony's face. He selects three Jim Hjelm dresses instead, which are *fabulous* and tells them that he will pick one and they'll find out which one on the day of the wedding. He does the same with the bride's dress and the reception venue decorations. It comes out smashing, of course. I enjoyed :)
Friday night: Bellydancing class. Catholic Librarian = *happy*. We didn't have class last week, and we don't have it this week due to Halloween, so I was relishing my belly time. We practiced hip pistons, which are just as exhausting as they sound. We also learned a new turn. I get dizzy pretty easily, so turns are always tricky for me, but I did well.
Saturday: Did some shopping for Hank's upcoming birthday and Christmas. I know it's October, but I'm Type A, remember? Wore Hank out sufficiently such that he fell asleep upon 20 minutes after arriving back home. Victory is mine.
Sunday: I walked around the house for the entire day with Hank clung on to my leg like a koala bear. He claims that a witch scared him in Yo Gabba Gabba. As if I need one more reason to *hate* that grating show. I couldn't leave him alone for a second lest the witch "get him." *sighs* Hank spent the rest of the day trying to lay claim to the present I bought for my nephew Finn, a Diego rescue pack. "This is mine; I have this." "No honey, that's for Finn." "I press button." *Diego rescue pack songs plays incessantly for five straight minutes* "ok sweetie, that's enough, you don't want to wear the batteries out." "This is Henry's." "no sweetheart, it's Finn's, remember?" "I play with it. I *open* it." "no honey, you can't open it." It was a bit of a long day.
Monday morning: Hank announces that "my eaors are hurting me!" Catholic Librarian = worried. May have to make yet another appointment with the pediatrician. This would be fourth in the past seven weeks. *sighs again*
Friday, October 24, 2008
I love my job, and I feel fulfilled as a working mother. But it's difficult. I often feel like I'm shortchanging one arena of my life, and that's not an enjoyable feeling. I'm *always* tired. And I'm often insecure about whether or not I'm a "good mother" or a "good Catholic" because I work full-time. It's true that I'm at a stronger sense of peace about things than ever before. I'm a hard working mother, that's for certain. Not because I work outside of the home, but because I do the best I can with the situation God gave me. But I still worry that other mothers look down on me because I work. And because my son goes to daycare four days a week. I really, really worry about this. I will grant, I worry about more things than most people. But it's a struggle for me.
I'll just keep doing the best I can. Unsurprisingly, I'll keep worrying, as well.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
1. little garbage can from Hank's Tonka garbage truck.
2. Sir Topham Hatt from the Thomas the Train Lego set.
3. rectangle from shape sorter.
4. piece from our bedroom overhead fan that Hank hid behind our bed.
And now last night, we added to the list:
5. Mr. Potatohead's eyes.
We're still on the lookout for that one, but I'm confident we'll locate it soon :)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
With knitting, my goal is to finish the scarf I'm working on, and move on to more ambitious items. The book I'm reading now, Back on Blossom Street, features a knitting shop and classes that are offered there. The current class project is to knit a prayer shawl. I'm fascinated. This seems to combine several important elements of the Catholic Librarian's life :) Maybe I can also attempt mittens and hats, and possibly move on to sweaters. Oh the possibilities!
Monday, October 20, 2008
So anyway, I happily began work on the half finished Christmas afghan, and felt contented. It also helped that it was 8 pm, Bridezillas was on, and I had a glass of Pinot Grigio by my side. And Hank was comfortably sleeping. Life is good.
Bonus: I get to wear my new hip scarf to class this Friday :) We haven't had class since the Hafla, so I'm doubly excited.
Hank: "MOMMY. I want my Sponge Bob fruit snack."
CL: "Honey, remember, shhhh. You have to whisper in church."
Hank: "MOMMY. I *ARE* whispering." In a voice loud enough to be heard by half the congregation.
CL: "Honey, no you're not. You have to be quieter."
Hank: "I NO WANT to be quieter."
Later, he threw his jacket into the next pew, and then refused to put it on. I had to force his arms in. And then drag him out of the church. And across the busy road in front, where he deliberately *went limp* in the middle of the road. I had to scrape him up and carry him, arms and legs flailing, across the street while people stared from their stopped cars.
In the car, I threw and *locked* him into his car seat, and in no uncertain terms told him that (a) he embarrassed me, (b) I was *very* disappointed in him, and (c) he was never coming to church with mommy again. This led to Hank bursting into tears and screaming for the whole ride home.
Who can't wait to have kids?
Friday, October 17, 2008
So anyway, all of this got me to thinking of things in my life that I've always wanted to do. Travel to certain places, definitely. Alaska, Rome, Ireland. I hope to do that someday, but it won't be until I no longer have small children. I have wanted to take belly dancing lessons for a long time, and I'm actually doing that, so pleased with that one. *gold star* I'm honestly not sure what else I would put on my list - but it's an interesting thing to dwell on. When I don't have a toddler hanging off my leg, that is.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
(1) Ladies room paper towel dispenser #2, broken for the previous week - now functional, but some sort of grafetti symbol has been spray painted onto its surface.
(2) Ladies room paper towel dispenser #1 - now broken.
(3)There is a large section of *wet* toilet paper *in one of the the library elevators.*
I'm sure this list will be added to throughout the day. I reserve the right to amend as events dictate. Today *really* sucks.
Anyway, there was a real winner on this past episode. Whatever the heck her name was. Try to follow this logic:
Reception venue tells her (we'll just call her "Bride) that her next payment is approximately $3,000. She says that the check is in the mail, and based on that, signs a document stating that her remaining balance is $80. Two days before the wedding, Bride goes in to "pay off her bill" and hands the reception people $80 in cash. They tell her that she actually owes them $3,080, because they never received her prior check (which, of course, she never actually sent. She leaves that part out). Bride actually tries to argue that because they both signed the contract stating that her remaining balance was $80, that's all she should have to pay. She just flat out didn't send them the prior $3,000, and then tries to say that it's the *venue's* mistake and thus she shouldn't have to pay it. That takes a lot of nerve. They should have knocked $50 off just given that she could make that argument with a straight face. They ask for a certified check, and Bride refuses, saying that "she doesn't have time for that, I'm planning a wedding." The reception people do her a favor by accepting a personal check, but then they call the bank. *snorts* Yes, this gets good. The bank kindly lets them know that there is no money in the account. Bride gets called into a side room during the rehearsal and informed of the situation. When told that if she doesn't pay NOW, she can't have her wedding there, she acts offended, as if *she* has been wronged. I suppose we have to remember that this *is* a show about women who feel no shame in labeling themselves with a word that ends in "zilla." Classiness isn't exactly their forte.
Later, our bride throws numerous, embarrassing fits of temper. She eats pizza for a straight week and then blames the pizza delivery guy when her dress doesn't fit. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. Something about how the pizza didn't arrive until after 8 pm, and everyone knows that that is the magic hour after which the pizza will go straight to ones thighs. Oh, to live in her universe. On the day of the wedding, despite it raining all morning, the instant it clears (and about an hour and a half prior to the ceremony, HOURS after the inside venue was already set up and past the deadline on which she needed to let the reception people know if she wanted to move the ceremony outside) she insults her mother, says nasty things to the long suffering reception venue coordinator, and demands to move the ceremony outside.
I just remembered that I also don't recall the name of her new husband (poor soul). They rarely feature a large part in these shenanigans. I'll offer up my crappy day for him.
Stay tuned for next week :)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
# of stalls with no toilet paper: 2
Total # of paper towel dispensers: 2
# of paper towel dispensers with no paper towel: 1
Total # of sinks: 5
# of sinks with absolutely disgusting *gobs* of hair littered on their surface: 2 (I'm serious - this person must now be bald).
My husband, despite also being a reader, is much more of a movie person than I am. Every evening I have my nose stuck in a book while he tries to convince me to watch something on Turner Classic Movies with him. He tells me last night that perhaps this weekend we can have my parents watch Hank, and he and I have some time to ourselves - dinner and a movie. Unless the movie involves an enormous bucket of butter covered popcorn (for which I've starved myself for, saving calories during the rest of the day) I'm not interested :) Or, unless the movie is a sappy romantic comedy with a predictable happy ending, usually involving Jennifer Aniston. Mike's not so much into those. Anyway, he says "there's this movie I really want to see, but you may be too excited about the description. I hear it's excellent though, I promise!" "Ok, what's the description?" "Just remember what I said...Ok, so, it's about the guy who invented the intermittant windshield wiper..." "Right, well, I have to admit honey, this description is not exactly off to a roaring start." "But it gets better! The movie is about him losing the patent rights and then trying to get them back!" "Not exactly sweetening the pot, honey." *sighs*
Monday, October 13, 2008
So, B-day came and went, and I think it was a success. The Catholic Librarian is relieved that it is over, and that her only task now is to fill everyone in on it :)
We had a dress rehearsal on Friday, and that was my first inkling of the extent to which costume malfunction possibilities are a reality in belly dancing. Claire lent me a costume (a lovely bell sleeved, short blouse with a matching skirt in copper) to go along with my green hip scarf and veil. She had to re-sew elastic into the waistband of the skirt, so she couldn't bring it for me until dress rehearsal. After assessing the less than adequate ladies room situation, we gradually threw caution to the wind and changed right in the hallway (I overheard several murmurings of "I hope the janitor isn't around.") Routines commenced. I *really* liked the advanced class Spanish fusion dance performed to Hakim's Ah Ya Albi. My intermediate level class did our number - Entel Hob from the Bellydance Superstars 2 collection. The advanced class very sweetly and graciously applauded and encouraged us, which I truly appreciated. As we ran through the number, aforementioned costume malfunctions began to present themselves. Veils began to stick to sequins on blouses; sleeves began to get caught on hipscarf coins; and, most maliciously, veils began to catch on skirt hems, threatening to lift said skirt and expose the underwear of the bellydancer in question. Anxiety ensued. Modified manuevers were practiced. Bellydancers with furrowed brows went home, recalcitrant costumes tucked firmly under their arms.
Saturday morning I spent extra morning time with Hank and Mike, since belly dancing was going to consume the majority of my day. I arrived at the venue at noon for the combinations workshop that was being given by a well known local dancer. I perused the tables of fancy hip scarves, silk veils and other shiny costume things but didn't buy anything, for which I deserve a medal. Our workshop began, and four aching hours later, we finished. My hips *still* hurt. I don't think they've seen that much activity before, ever. There's only so much a girl can shimmy.
I went home for a quick bite to eat and for some more Hank time, and then returned, laden with my costume, for the Hafla. I went up to the dressing room, where coins and chiffon abounded. I dressed, practiced, and managed to convince myself that I had lost my veil only to discover that it was actually wrapped *on my body*. I was a little nervous.
Finally, it was time for the level 2/3 class veil number. We solemnly proceeded to our spots. The music began, and I began my hand undulations with rapt attention to detail. I unwrapped my veil, check. I draped my veil, and did my hip lifts perfectly. Gentle spins with veil swoop, check. Veil flip with undulations, better than average. Veil drop with hip sways, no prob. *sigh of relief* Then comes the tricky part. Veil forward, drop. Flip over head. Attempt to smile. Flip veil to front and step over carefully (allegedly saucily), while re-arranging fingers for upcoming envelope. I carefully begin raising my veil when I feel *it*. *It* being the distinct feeling of my veil catching on the back of my skirt, and lifting it for the world to see. I panic. In a graceful move, I reach behind myself and yank my skirt down off the offending veil. Well, maybe it wasn't so graceful. But at least the audience didn't actually see any flesh that they weren't supposed to. And Mike claimed that he didn't even notice, for which he was rewarded appropriate husband bonus points. Anyway, I envelope, hip sway, wrap veil into what Claire calls the "burqa" and proceed into our circle. Dismantle burqa at somewhat near the appropriate time and do pinwheel stuff with veil. Finally, we reach the end, and I have to do my 16 count solo. I walk forward, trying not to run right out of the room, do a veil swirl and a hip circle, and walk out, trying to look graceful again. The advanced class greets us with perky applause and well wishes, which make me feel better. I am assured that audience members did not notice skirt mishap. I feel relieved and go to change.
So, all in all, it went as well as it could have. Really, as one of my fellow belly dancers put it, no one else but you (and your classmates) know what is supposed to be going on, so as long as you smile, show no panic, and shimmy something cutely, the audience will be none the wiser.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
So, the envelope is better, but suddenly the veil is slipping out of my fingers at other inopportune times. My teacher, Claire, says of the veil: "they're very much like children. You train them, think you have it all figured out, but suddenly - they'll embarrass you in public."
We'll get there. Goal tonight: practice with my costume top with the giant belle sleeves. This could get tricky.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Here is a typical ladies room encounter in the life of the Catholic Librarian:
Enter ladies room. Nearly twist my ankle on a stray square of the toilet paper that is littered about the floor. Regain composure, and the hunt begins. The hunt...for a stall that has toilet paper actually on a roll in its proper location and not: (a) ripped and thrown to the floor, (b) already in place on the toilet seat and *previously sat on* by the last occupant, or (c) otherwise crumpled up and used in some sort of unpleasant, yet mysterious, fashion. Sometimes nefarious option (d) rears its ugly head, which means that the paper has already been used in the traditional sense, and then scattered in location (a) or (b) or possibly stuffed near the flusher.
Contender #1 - Oop, none there.
Contender #2 - Once again, big fat zero.
Contender #3 - Oh look, toilet paper, but...Dear God, what *is* that?! Quickly walk over to...
Contender #4 - Pitiful looking, nearly empty, roll of toilet paper, but whoever was last in there did not flush the toilet. Moving on...
Contender #5, the handicap accessible stall - Has toilet paper. Toilet has been flushed. *feels guilty, but rushes inside and locks the door*
Catholic Librarian: *delicately uses facilities*
Student in next stall: *clatters inside* *lots of rustling* *cell phone rings* *quickly answered* "Hello? Um, like, hi!! Yeah, yeah, I'm in the library...*cut off as toilets flush in abundance* yeah, I know, right?! It was totally, totally stupid. Can you believe she puts up with him? I mean..."
Catholic Librarian: *stays frozen in stall, desperately not wanting to flush toilet while student on phone* *realizes that if student doesn't care, why should CL?* *flushes toilet as discreetly as possible* Unlatches door and moves to sinks.
Student in next stall: "uh huh, uh huh, right!" *leaves stall noisily* *exits ladies room without washing hands*
Catholic Librarian: *sighs*
I stick my hands under the nearest, ridiculous, annoying motion sensor faucet. Seriously, how hard is it to turn a knob? No water comes out. Move to the next sink. Water comes out, freezing cold. Twist little switch to warm water. Wait a full 10 seconds. Water warms. Turn to soap dispenser and give it a good press. No soap comes out. I swear. Press again. No soap comes out, so I yank my hand away. Approximately .57 seconds later, soap gushes out and slops to the floor. I swear again. Move to the next sink in disgust. Rinse hands. Turn to the next soap dispenser and...oh, that's right. There IS no next soap dispenser. The only other soap dispenser is several feet away from the sinks, next to the door. I glare at myself in the mirror and move to the far off soap dispenser. Press it. Nothing happens. Move hand away and soap slops to the floor. I punch it again, and this time I'm ready. I hold my hand there and refuse to move, despite the people behind me jostling me in their anxiety to begin their toilet paper hunt, until the soap reluctantly falls onto my palm. Scrub, rinse, move to the paper towel dispenser. Hit release bar. Nothing happens. This is probably because it's empty. I swear. Move to paper towel dispenser #2. Hit release bar. Nothing happens. Discern that it remains jammed, as it has been for a freaking week. Shake water off my hands as I exit ladies room in disgust and nearly collide with another cell phone laden student.
I stomp off, resolved to use the other ladies room next time, the one with the gaps between the stall doors large enough for a small animal to pass through, and anybody to view the entire proceedings should they desire to do so. I don't know that it's possible to write a nastier response on the survey that was done last year by Campus Facilities than I already have, but if so, I'm on it.