Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Happy Mardi Gras!

It's Mardi Gras, and you know what that means! Well, actually at our house, it really doesn't mean much. The boys get to play with my Mardi Gras beads (circa 1993) year round, so it's nothing special. We don't have King Cake (yum!) . No drinking or showing of tits going on. Scratch that, Harrison gets to see them whenever he wants milk (the only kind he drinks, baby!) and Jay can see them if he's really nice, and maybe if he gives me some beads. Sorry, to
instill that "too much information" image in your mind, gentle reader.

Hope everyone else is getting more rowdy than we are!

Question of the Day

Who is this?

No peeking.....

Keep scrolling....

Yes, it's Axl Rose, from Guns N Roses.
Scary! Of course, I never really understood why people liked him in the 80s, either, or how he ended up married to Stephanie Seymour. Now, Slash on the other hand....HAHA.


We survived the half of a Sonics game we attended as a family tonight. That's right, all of us, including our 2 kids under 5, went to a basketball game. At night. Harrison was climbing all over the seats, then I gave him some candy to keep him busy. That lasted at least a quarter. Then the nice woman in front of us who kept telling me how much she loves kids (she obviously doesn't have any yet!) gave him some of her popcorn. Hutton was going back and forth between the seats on either side of Jay. Fortunately, it was a very mellow game - not a packed house for the game against the New Orleans Hornets. Poor New Orleans, though, having to play a game in Seattle on Mardi Gras!


Before the game, we went to a Thai restaurant. Everything was going well, the kids had their spring rolls and the food came out just in time. I had cut up Hutton's chicken for him, and was serving myself when Jay got a weird look on his face, stood up, moved the boys' plates, and told me not to eat anymore. He came back a minute later and told me he had eaten a little piece of glass, and didn't know which dish it came from. So, the waiter came and took our plates away, brought us more rice, then we had to wait for them to recook our food. Fun, fun. The restaurant did give us a discount on our food and some gift certificates, so the next time we're in downtown Seattle and in the mood for glass, we know where to go!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Boring Monday

I survived my single parent weekend, and am enjoying a slow Monday, typing with a sleeping child in my lap.

Hutton is back at school. I stayed up too late last night getting my weekend ebay auction wins (Little People extras!) packaged. Before that I was working on knitting an Elmo sweater. It's my first attempt at intarsia knitting (knitting with more than one color yarn, or picture knitting), and though the front looks OK, the back is scary and tangled. I think it will be enormous on Harrison, too, so I may end up ripping it out or modifying it to be worn by Hutton. Though by the time I finish it, Hutton may be way too cool for an Elmo sweater.

So, this morning when Harrison woke up at 7 a.m., I did my mommy duties for an hour (changed his diaper, nursed him, fed the dogs, let the dogs in and out...) then went back to bed, where I did the never really helpful blocks of 10 - 15 minutes of sleep, interrupted when the boys would come in with toys to show me, or with sippy cups to be filled, etc. I finally go up at 10 to really face the day.

Now Harrison is awake in my lap, so I am off to the post office to deliver those ebay packages.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Weekend Worrier

So, I'm having one of those "single parent weekends." Not that I'm a single parent, but that I feel like one in that my husband has been busy working all weekend. He "watched" (parented) the boys Saturday morning when I went to the gym, but complained about not being able to work with the boys in the room. Hmm, don't know what that's like, Jay. I always accomplish everything easily with the boys underfoot. ;) Often literally in Harrison's case. He's a leg-grabber.

Of course, though Jay is so busy with his work, he still managed to go to bed earlier than I did on Friday night, and get up 2 hours later. Last night, he went to bed an hour or so later than I did, and is still enjoying his sleep at 9:30. No, I really have no bitterness about the fact that he doesn't feel physically sick when he hears Harrison cry in the mornings, and I am the one who does feel sick and am forced to get up at 7:30 a.m. or earlier. Yes, I'm sarcastic. I'm also the parent who gets up with the boys every morning (I think Jay "let" me sleep in one time in January so far this year), prepares 90% of our meals and bathed them and put them to bed both nights this weekend so far. Jay does help out, but I'm not feeling it this weekend. I'm feeling like I'm going to need to start playing soccer again soon so I can have at least a weekly night out!

I told my online moms group about this already, so I feel like I can start getting this off my chest. It will be a huge relief to stop living a lie. Well, that last part is a stretch. I'm not living a lie, just being pretty stupid!
I'm having an existential crisis over my, ahem, toy collection. Some of you may know that I'm a true freak, and have a huge collection of Fisher Price Little People toys. I started getting them when Hutton was little, and now have just about every set of the "modern" Little People toys, made from 1997 to present day. Though I have managed to get rid of some of the bigger pieces here and there, like the airport, and older versions of "Discovery City" and Main Street, I have kept the figures that go with these sets. My collection is about 500 or so. Yes, I do have that many Little People people and animals spread around on shelves in our lovely "home office" / play room. I told you I was a freak.

So, one of my collector friends (another freak like me!) IM'ed me Friday to tell me she's considering quitting the collecting thing, because it's so expensive and ...well, neither of us is willing to admit it's just pretty stupid. ;) I am now thinking I should get rid of my collection, too. Just keep a few sets that the boys actually play with. But, I've spent 3 years obsessing over these things, I don't know if I'll be able to do it! I guess I can just start slowly selling the ones I don't really care about, and then maybe it will get easier.

It really has become an addiction though. Fisher-Price came out with a huge new group of toys this year. I managed to calmly wait about month before I had to go to Target to buy the new pirate sets and animals add on to the new improved version of Noah's Ark. That's something evil Fisher-Price does to suckers like me and the rest of the Little People collectors-- every few years, they change up the designs of some of the toys, and re-release them, with the accompanying figures painted just a little differently so the freaks MUST HAVE THEM NOW! They did that this year with the Noah's Ark set. Mind you, the "old" set was from 2003, and the only changes are that the ark is a different color plastic and half of the animals are different molds of the same animals -- more babyish looking giraffes, elephants, etc. I have been strong and NOT bought the new ark...yet. I go and look at it every time I go to Target, though, and my hands start itching to pick it up and put in the cart, before my mind yells, "NO! You already have that damn ark at home, just in tan plastic instead of red! You don't need to spend $20 on this crap just because you don't have those 4 freaking plastic animals!" Did I mention it's an addiction?

Ok, you don't believe the addiction. Well, in January I found out that I could get a PayPal debit card that would allow me access to my PayPal account at real stores, not just ebay. So, I applied for one, and when it arrived, I rushed off to Target for those much-needed Little People. Then I kept them hidden in my car for several days. Then I sneaked them into the house and hid them in a closet until my husband was away at a meeting, when I finally got around to getting them out of the boxes and putting the toys on the shelves, where they'll blend in with the other hundreds of Little People. These toys do come packaged with zillions of twist ties, you know, so it takes a while to get them out of the boxes. I can now rationalize that any money I have on PayPal can go to my Little People "collection" and my husband won't realize I'm spending any money on them. Sad, sad, sad. Of course, this was BEFORE I decided I'm going to start selling my collection. Maybe now I can use my PayPal debit card for worthwhile things, like my son's visits to the various doctors he sees. Or new workout clothes.

So, if I take it one day at a time, I can NOT buy the Noah's ark (come on, I'm not even religious! But I also have a Little People Hanukkah set. ) I am focusing also on not starting any more "collections." If you just have some toys, and are not obsessing about getting every new version you see, then it's not a collection. This is the case with the Thomas the Tank Engine stuff - we just have some of the trains, and I don't freak out over it. Right now, I am quite at peace with the fact that we don't own every engine to ever chug along the tracks on the Island of Sodor. At peace! Really!


Yesterday I went to the gym for the first time in 2 weeks. Because it had been a while, I did two classes in a row (step and total body conditioning). Surprisingly enough, today I am not sore! How did that happen?

Anyway, there was this woman there who had such an amazing body, that I found myself immediately going into Catty Mode. I was thinking to myself, "There's no way her boobs are real! The rest of her body is too fit for her to just keep the fat in one place!' And then I started scrutinizing her. (I was behind her and to the side in the class). She had very toned but muscular legs (and everything else for that matter!). Not skinny, but no fat that I could see, just enough to make her not look veiny and body builderish.

I just thought it was interesting that instead of being inspired to work out by this woman, my immediate reaction was to cut her down by thinking that her boobs were fake (well, they were big and very non-bouncy in her spandex). As if that makes the rest of her obvious hard work worthless. Guess I'm just jealous because I have less than admirable boobs after 2 pregnancies and years of nursing! But, really, I don't want big boobs. Just less gravity-affected.

It would probably be easier to be happier for her if I knew her, right? Maybe next time I see her in class I'll go up to her and tell her she looks amazing. Then we'll both feel good, right?

Friday, February 24, 2006

And then on the fifth day, she rested

Ok, it's been another little lull in the posts. This time, I blame it on Hutton's break from school this week. We've been busy! Well, at least we were sorta busy.

We enjoyed the Children's Museum on Tuesday, and we had fun at Curious George, though with the time it took to find Harrison a booster seat, then to take Hutton to the potty mid-movie, I think we missed about 10% of the movie. But, hey, for an 82 minute movie, it's not hard to miss some!

Today was a day full of sloth. I had big plans to go shopping for my friend Liz's birthday gift. I showered and dressed...and then wasted most of the day napping and sitting in front of the computer. But not blogging or doing anything worthwhile. I was mostly "Windows shopping" - just looking for things to buy on various websites, but not actually buying anything. Hutton played Wallace and Gromit on Xbox while I was doing this. Harrison was the only one who actually played with non electronic toys, so that means I had to repair the Thomas train track destruction once or twice.

Tommorrow, I will go to the gym. And not sit on my ass all day (or lie down in my bed for 2 hours when it's not nighttime). And I WILL buy Liz's birthday gift.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Four days in a row!

Can I get a, "Good job, Mommy?"

Hutton has just started saying, "I did a good job!" after he accomplishes something we've asked him to do. Before that, he used to say, "Good job, Hutton!" Actually, I think I could learn something from that. If I told myself, "Good job, Laura!" after everything I accomplished (including using the potty, pulling up my pants, and washing my hands afterwards) my self esteem would skyrocket! Good job, Laura! You dressed yourself, and today even blow-dried [yes, I had that as "blew dry" before, and I actually looked in up in the dictionary to double check. I used to be an editor you know!] your hair and put on makeup! You're awesome!

So, this week is "mid-winter break" for Hutton's preschool, so we have more free time than usual. I have a trip to the Children's Museum planned for tomorrow after speech therapy, and Wednesday we're going to go see "Curious George" after ABA therapy. The boys haven't been to a movie in the theater before, so we'll see how it goes! I think they should be able to handle 82 minutes, right?

Today we went to see one of Hutton's doctors. Now, this Dr. is pretty cute. I used to think his regular pediatrician was cute (my friend and I called him Dr. Dreamy, and this was before Dr. McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy, so we were pretty ahead of our time!) but now he's getting a little chunky, and he's much more regular guy cute, not so dreamy. The Dr. we saw today, on the other hand, gets to me more each time I see him. He's geeky cute, with curly hair. Today he was wearing some pants with suspenders, for God's sake! That should be the opposite of cute, but I have to say, he made me fell all funny, like when I used to climb the rope in gym class.

So, this new, replacement Dr. Dreamy (though still nowhere as cute as Dr. McDreamy or Dr. McSteamy on Grey's) was really excited by Hutton's speech progress. We see him every few months, and he always comments on how much improvement he's seen in Hutton since last summer. That's always good to hear! Since I see Hutton every day, and his regular therapists see him a few times each week, it's easier for us to overlook his progress, I think.

I cleaned up the toys overtaking the house, and waffled over giving half of them away, as I do every time I clean up all the toys. I secretly buy the toys for myself, though, so I can't bear to part with them. (Remember, I have an enormous collection of Little People that I claim are for the boys.) I may have to buy a big Rubbermaid container to put half the toys in, then hide them away in the attic. Then, this summer I can pull them out and we'll all be so excited to see them again! Wow, is that a pirate ship? Awesome!

PopoZao - That's freaky! I had that phrase in my notepad, so when I control V'ed just now, it popped up. I was checking up on K-Fed's song earlier today. Check

Sunday, February 19, 2006

This is just sad

I hate how these @$)(*#% advertisers screw up everything. I mean, the spam email is one thing. Usually the ads for V!agara, V$aliaum, etc. (yes, that's how they are misspelled, believe me!) go straight to my junk mail folder and I don't have to even look at them.

This is another thing all together:

"Captivating blog. I love surfing the web for thetype of blogs that you do. It had me on the edge of myseat and I kept going back to again and again!Go and find my wv west virginia house cleaning blog. "

Yeah, no thanks. Captivating blog? Er, that's a stretch. I read along until "It had me on the edge of myseat." You've gotta be kidding me! Guess it's time to turn on the word verification and hope that keeps these freaky housecleaners off my blog.

Same goes for you, vitamin salespeople!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Saturday in the House

I think it was the 4th of July. Sorry, an old Chicago song just popped in my head while I was typing the word, "Saturday." If you don't know which song it is yet, then you don't need to worry your pretty little head about it.

Just to clarify before continuing, I've never been a Chicago fan. I remember listening to the older stuff on the radio as a kid, but by the mid 80s, had written them off as any self-respecting cool 10-year-old should. Then Peter Cetera had his exciting solo career, which was equally spurned by the now cool 12-year-old. (Yeah, I wish I had been a cool 12 -year-old!) I remember seeing one of my 6th or 7th grade classmate's backpacks on the lunch table one day, and had to pity the poor girl (who was actually more popular than I, so I really didn't need to be the one pitying anyone) when I read the words written in ink on said Eastpak: "Peter Cetera / You're the Inpiration" I shook my head in disbelief that someone would actually write out the name and artist of such a sucky song in ink on her backpack, and to add insult to injury, to misspell it. At least she didn't write, "Your the Inpiration" though.

So, back to my exciting life. I am still at my computer at 11:00 am on a Saturday morning. I should be at the gym at the step class I've gone to the past month, but I stayed up too late reading in the tub. (Yes, I got to take a nice bath last night!) So, this morning when Hutton and Harrison woke up, and I could barely function to get out of bed, get Harrison out of the crib, feed the dogs, etc. I knew I was going to come up with an excuse for myself to not go to step class. I'm currently going with overtired and female issues. Ha. I never used that as an excuse in gym class in school, but now I'm using it as a adult to fool myself, and even I don't buy it.

I really like step class. Even though it's pretty 90s, it's motivating, and though I am a total spaz (remember, I was in remedial PE as a child) I feel quite accomplished when I can follow the "choreography" and learn the fancier 10 step moves. Plus, the teacher plays some good music. Not as good as the music from my old gym and step class (Buzz, the gay 50-something instructor played a whole class-worth of ABBA one time! Is there a bouncing-in-excitement emoticon somewhere?!), but still pretty good. Old Michael Jackson good.

Which leads me to:

So, the new Katrina song is coming out. Sorry, Michael, but I don't think I'll like the song or really care. Off the Wall is still my favorite. You were so young, so talented, so black. So not using women's restrooms in a mall in Bahrain, getting off on molesting children (oops, I meant getting off in the legal sense, really), and so on.

Really, as of Bad, I was starting to look forward to the Weird Al versions as much as to your music.

Time to shower. My life seems to revolve around bathing, doesn't it?

Friday, February 17, 2006

I really want to take a bath...

But decided I should blog instead. There, are you happy now? Yes, I'm talking to you!

So, the past week I've wasted much time reading things online, which is a usual part of my life. One thing I read online that pissed me off a great deal was this article in the Seattle PI about Seattle school funding. Now, we're not even in the Seattle school district, but the article was incorrect about many financial things (it basically claimed that special education students take up more money than they should, money that should go to "normal" kids). Some quotes from the article:

"The problem Woolverton refers to is a multimillion-dollar budget deficit projected for several years, prompting district officials to consider closing some schools, reducing bus service, trimming the central office payroll and making other cuts. One service that can't be cut is special education, which gets one out of every nine dollars the district spends."

"A family moves in with three kids with autism, and suddenly you don't have a school marching band or the football season is canceled," Parrish said. "That's extreme, but it can happen."

OK, you're hating those evil special needs kids, now, right, gentle reader? Because of them, your child can't take the bus, play football or the piccolo! Well, as someone wrote in a few days later in a letter to the editor:

"Deborah Bach argues that children with special needs are draining funds from Seattle Public Schools. The numbers she reports, however, tell a different story. Bach notes that special education gets $1 out of every $9 the district spends. She also points out that the special education population in the district is slightly more than 13 percent of the total enrollment. How does spending 11 percent of the budget on 13 percent of the children create a deficit? If the numbers are accurate, special education students are helping reduce the red ink, not create it."

Yay! Someone with a brain. However, there's a little comment section on the online paper which had some horrible things on there. After reading these comments Wednesday afternoon, I went to my room, got in bed and cried. There were some positives, too, but two a$$#oles especially got to me.

Here's the first post by Ahole #1:

"Why are the unfortunate circumstances surrounding YOUR kid MY problem?My kids didn't make the baseball team. It's killing their self-esteem and ruining their chances to realize their dreams. I need more funding so that they can spend an hour a week with a couple of pro baseball players. Gimme! They deserve every advantage! Gimme gimme! They deserve our full support! Gimme gimme gimme! After all, it's for the children. They are our future. GIMME! GIMME GIMME GIMME GIMME GIMME!!!!!!!"

Yes, dude, you're a sarcastic ass. Here's another post by this winner:

"For the record, I have nothing against educating the handicapped (or anyone else, for that matter). My beef is with those who would pick my pocket to do it. Your kids (and, if it applies, their handicaps) are not my responsibility."

Ok, dude, if you pay taxes, they are going to every public school kid's education, not just to special ed. Dunce. If you don't want YOUR money going to someone else's kids, you need to move somewhere without taxes, or, in the Bush-Cheney era, make $300,000 or more per year so you'll get some nice tax cuts.

Another guy (Ahole #2) was talking about euthanasia and abortion.

The positive was after all this, I checked on the site Thursday and some new posts were there that renewed my faith in humanity. But, on Wednesday, I was in a huge funk, thinking that my poor Hutton will have to live in a world full of bastards.

Well, I had more to post, but I really do want to take a bath!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Yes, I'm the worst blogger ever born. But this is just for me and my own personal growth, right? Yeah, cause only one or two other people know I'm here, except for the occasional person who ends up here on accident after googling some bizarre phrase I may have written.

Anyway, I just got back from dinner out with the Autism Moms. So nice to get out with other moms who know what it's like. Not to mention that my friend Amy, whom I consider a darker version of myself, and I split a $60 bottle of Merlot which was fantastic. It was half price wine night at the wonderful restaurant we went to, so it was only $15 each, which is practically the same price as a getting a couple glasses of house wine. Woohoo! In addition to the wine, I had half of a very good sirloin steak sandwich (other half is in the fridge for lunch tomorrow), a chocolate dessert that could serve a small tribe, and a coffee with Frangelico liqueur. Yummy! My stomach feels like it may be about to burst open with an alien spawn soon, but it was worth it to have my last meal be so good.

Back to Amy. I consider her my doppelganger, but who only looks kinda similar. Like an evil twin, but not so evil. Maybe my more unihibited self? I don't know the best way to describe her, but we have a weird bizarro life. We are often asked if we are sisters. We aren't. We are the same height, the same build, usually within 5 pounds of the same weight, had both of our children within 6 weeks of each other, both of our older sons have Autism, we both have freckles, we both love lattes and good wine, but aren't wine snobs, etc. However, whereas I am the "conservative liberal" (meaning I am a typically a shy person, conservative in manner and prone to be concerned what other people think of me, though I'm liberal politically), Amy is the tattooed, extremely forthcoming version of me. She's not afraid to tell people what she thinks. She's the me that I can be if I have enough to drink to "lubricate my speech."

So, Amy and I, along with three other moms went to dinner at this great restaurant and talked about our kids, our husbands, the various therapies, supplements, bio-medical approaches to Autism, etc. that our lives revolve around. It's always good to get out and talk this way with other moms. And as I learned in an RDI workshop today, it's very important to find your group. I'm a maple leaf, apparently. I never knew I was a Canuck, but hey, I've spend half my life in Washington state and New England. Not too far off! This stems from one of the exercises we did, in which each person was to grab a shape from the bag, and not looking at your shape or anyone else's, find the group of people who had the same shape. My shape was a rounded, asymmetrical maple leaf. Pretty to look at after the fact, but very difficult to figure out what the heck it was through touch alone.

The workshop was fun, and a great day away from my "real life." Of course, Jay complained (more than once) about the fact that he had to be in charge of the kids ALL WEEK because I had the nerve to go to a PTA meeting Monday night, host my book club Wednesday night, go to a workshop today (for our Autistic son's benefit, mind you), and then go out to dinner tonight. On Monday night when I went over the stuff going on this week (I have very, very rarely ever had more than one night a week Jay is required to "babysit" AKA father for a few hours) Jay had the nerve to get huffy about having to do all this with the kids. And he didn't even have to drive 30 minutes both ways to get Hutton to speech therapy today, and wait 2 hours for him while keeping Harrison entertained, which is a regular part of my Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I pointed that out today when he forgot he was supposed to watch the boys while I did this workshop. He really doesn't know his audience if he complains to me about having to do a few hours of bedtime duty 3 nights a week. I mean, come on, Harrison was still in his pajamas when I came home at 4 pm! Blah, blah, blah....

So, at dinner, we happened to bring up the topic of bigamy/polygamy. And, in my "well lubricated" state of mind (two glasses of darn fine merlot), I really think that sounded like a good idea for us ladies. You have another woman (or more) around to vent to, to help with the cooking, cleaning and child-rearing, and on those nights you just want to sit up late reading and not do your "wifely duty" (HA!) you send the ole hubby to wife(wives) no. 2 (3, 4, ....) . Now that I'm a cynical ole woman, I don't think that sounds so bad! Of course, I'd have to be Alpha wife, and I'd get to choose my friends to be the other wives.

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