Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Great Polenta Quest

Do you ever get something in your head that you just HAVE to eat? Well, for me, I'm in a polenta kind of mood. One recipe, specifically, where you roast all different veggies with balsamic vinegar and then place it over broiled slices of polenta and add some goat cheese on top. It's so good!

I made this once before with homemade polenta, and made a mess of trying to broil the polenta. My homemade version comes out good, but too sticky. The recipe was still delicious, but I wanted to try it again using premade polenta. You know, the kind you buy in a tube.

Well, apparently, premade polenta is no longer available. At least not where I'm looking. Four different supermarkets and one large farm stand before I finally locate some premade polenta. I found it at Roche Bros supermarket, where my boys proceeded to have a huge meltdown for some unknown reason. Oh, and compounding my problems, I had decided when we got to the store that since my boys didn't want to ride in a cart, they'd be fine walking along with me.

So, I've got a basket in one hand, a huge yearning for polenta, and two boys having tantrums. I get them reasonably comforted, and a very friendly employee finds the polenta for me. I throw it in my basket, pay, and head home. Later that night, I cook dinner: the polenta tube is ripped open and the polenta is hardened and discolored in places. It's obviously been open for quite some time...longer than just a few hours. So, I toss it and we eat plain ol' roasted veggies for dinner.

I still want my polenta. I guess I'll have to go on another grand polenta quest soon.

Random somewhat unrelated topic: Still trying to eat local on a small scale. Figured I'd give a brief review of a local product: gouda from Smith's Country Cheese. I found it at Roche Bros (just before the above mentioned double tantrum that occurred between the cheese section and the polenta aisle). I tried a regular gouda, which I found to have a creamy, mild taste with a faint bitter aftertaste. It was good...better on crackers than by itself. Even more delicious was a Herb flavored gouda spread, that tastes phenomenal. Yum! Roche Bros. didn't have any local cheddar, which is my true cheese love. I'll keep looking...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We're going to rock the potty train, she says sarcastically

Here's the "conversation" I had with B-man while I was trying to change his poopy diaper:

B-man: Noooooooo! Noooooooo! NOOOOOOO!

Me: What's wrong? I have to change your poopy diaper.

B-man: Noooo! No change my poopy diaper!

Me: I have to. It's stinky.

B-man: My want my stinky diaper! [Tears are flowing copiously by now...]

Me: You can't wear a poopy diaper.

B-man: Yes! Poopy diiiiiiiiaaaaaappppper!

Me: No, I have to change it. No one wants to sit in poop.

B-man: My want to sit in poooooooooooppppp! [Said multiple times, at increasing volume until the dreaded diaper change was complete.]

Oh yeah, this is a definite sign of potty training readiness, isn't it?

In other poop-related news, N-man cracked me up by coming over to me with a stinky diaper and saying "my smell like the zoo!" He said it with such joy in his voice. He was, unfortunately, correct.

Is this my crappiest post to date?

Random unrelated thought: I need some sleep. Zzzzzzz!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Pint's a Pound

Yesterday, I went to a blood drive, to volunteer and to give blood. It was a rockin' good time. Okay, maybe not, but it's a relatively painless way to do good, and I'd been meaning to get back to donating blood for quite some time now.

As I was leaving, I joked with the two woman checking people in that I felt lighter. Well, that left us wondering: what does a pint of blood weigh? Did I really lose weight just by donating blood? I'm not an idiot (okay, that statement may be up for debate)...I realize that you can't PERMANENTLY lose weight by donating blood. I'll drink some water, and my body will get to work replenishing those blood cells. But, did I temporarily lose weight? I highly doubted there would be any discernible difference on my scale.

Luckily, I had just happened to have weighed myself that morning. I went home, got back on the scale, and was shocked to see it registered two pounds less! Okay, that's amazing. Now I'm really curious: how much does a pint of blood weigh?

In asking around, it turns out I may be the only person on earth not to know that saying "A pint's a pound the whole world 'round". That's talking about water, a pint of which weighs one pound. Who knew?

But, I'm more OCD than that. Blood, while it may be primarily water, is not *exactly* water and therefore probably weighs a slightly different amount than water. Also, how much faith am I going to put in some random folk-ism? Is a pint really a pound, or is that just an approximation? (Turns out, a US pint weighs 1.04375 lbs).

I'm not google-impared, but I couldn't really find an answer to how much a pint of blood weighs. Thankfully, someone just as obsessive as I am, and much more weights-and-measures conversion savvy than I, calculated that a pint of blood weighs approximately 1.1 pounds. That makes sense, based on this information that blood is slightly more dense than water.

So what does this prove? First, that I'm insane enough to keep researching this...I just couldn't be happy with an answer of "oh, about a pound". Second, the fact that I lost two pounds (still off today, despite the two packs of cookies I had post-donation) I can attribute to nothing except the good karma from donating blood. Sure, a 1.1 pound loss would be explainable, but that extra 0.9 pounds I'm chalking up as a cosmic good-deed thank you. Or, you know, some random event.

Random unrelated though, What I'm Reading Edition: I just finished Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See and found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable book. Interesting, believable, engaging: All that My Sister's [idiotic] Keeper was not. I mean, it's not on my "greatest book ever" list, but I'm glad I read it and would certainly recommend it. It also spurred me to spend over an hour researching foot-binding on the internet. When TK saw what I was doing, he was relatively unfazed. It's fair to say that neither food-binding nor the weight of blood have been the first things I've obsessively researched. I think I've broken TK of being surprised by whatever odd topic is pulled up on a browser!

Now I'm reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. I'm not too far into it, but am totally loving it, which is good since it's my book club selection. Only google search it has spurred so far: the surprisingly boring definition of duralumin.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I'm not one to blame my parents for all the things wrong in my life. They did a pretty good job, I think, and the bad decisions I've made....yeah, they were pretty much all my fault. But, there is one thing I've always blamed on my parents: my asthma. Both of my parents are smokers. They would always smoke around us kids. No one in my close or extended family has asthma, just me, and I wasn't diagnosed until I was in high school. It's not bad, and it's gotten better since I moved out of my parent's house. Well, except when I lived in Atlanta. Reason 412 why I hated living in Atlanta: crap air quality. But I digress. Back to my point...I've always assumed that my asthma was caused by my exposure to second-hand smoke. So, I wasn't that worried about passing asthma along to my kids. Bad eyesight, sure, but breathing problems? Not from me!

Now I have to reevaluate where my asthma came from because it's official: B-man has asthma. Last winter, he had a lot of upper respiratory infections: colds, croup, even two cases of pneumonia. They'd linger, he'd need nebulizer treatments, but his pediatrician was always careful to clarify that he had reactive airway disease, not asthma as asthma cannot be diagnosed in children this young.

Well, B-man got a cold, and all of a sudden on day two of the cold, he was gasping and wheezing and coughing non-stop. I took him right in to the doctor's office, pretty sure we'd be sent to the hospital. It was THAT BAD. But, he was given a few breathing treatments, and we were sent home with steroids and antibiotics and albuterol.

It's been rough for the past few days as he's been coughing near constantly, and was obviously tired and sick. He hasn't slept in days, and therefore I haven't slept in days. I think the breathing treatments are finally starting to work, though, and I hope to get at least a few hours of sleep tonight in my own bed. We'll see.

So, I give an official "I'm sorry" to B-man if it was my junky genes I passed along to him, and to my parents for blaming them all these years for my asthma. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm going to believe it's just a coincidence B-man has asthma and still hold my asthma over my parents' heads as proof of how stupid they are to smoke.

Random unrelated thought: I got to escape from the house for twenty minutes today when I went to go buy some bagels for everyone. Well, like a total idiot, I left the boys' Laurie Berkner CD playing in the car. I'm finally by myself for a minute, and I waste it by listening to kids' music?? I could have been listening to Regina Spektor or Ani DiFranco, and not even skipping over the songs with swear words. I'm such a dope. Laurie Berkner is surprisingly catchy, though...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Caramel is just burnt sugar...

...very burnt when I'm cooking. But let me back up. First, I quickly got out of my bad mood yesterday...thank you! Whenever I realize I'm down, I try to do something to change it, and yesterday, my decision was to go out to the supermarket to get the ingredients to make mini-apple pies with my twins. We bought apples and pie crust, then set about making our delicious creations.

The boys helped me grate the apples (okay, helped me EAT the apples), helped me mix in the sugar and flour (okay, helped me SPILL the sugar and flour), sprinkled in cinnamon (okay, they mostly missed the bowl), and helped me roll out the pie crust (okay, knocked stuff off the counter with the rolling pin and put huge dents and holes in the crust).

We had a great time. Seriously, I love this kind of stuff. We ended up with some "pies" that looked like mini-calzones, and some that looked like those purse appetizers you get at a Thai restaurant. They ended up pretty tasty, too.

My problem started when I felt like we shouldn't waste the pie crust that was left after we had cut out the circles for the mini-pies. So, I decided to make some fried dough. Good idea so far, right? And what's better than fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar? Here's where my thinking fell apart. I got worried: the dough would come out too hot for my boys to roll in the sugar. That's probably true. Then I made the stupidest decision of the day. I let them roll the dough in cinnamon sugar ahead of time.

Yes, I do cook. Quite often. I know very well what happens when you apply high heat to sugar. It melts, caramelizes, and, well, burns. I'm not sure why this didn't occur to me ahead of time. The first batch didn't actually turn out all that badly since the oil probably wasn't quite hot enough yet. I realized I had made an error, but figured I'd go ahead with the second batch anyway since it didn't seem dire. I took the first batch out and put it on paper towels to drain. Remember that, I'll come back to it. Then I put in the second batch to cook. Back to the first batch: I realized that sugar + hot = hard candy when it cools. So now I return to the first batch, which has begun hardening, melding into the paper towels. I try to pick some of it off and put it on a plate, burning my fingers. I'm busy taking turns between scraping hot crystallizing sugar off of paper towels and blowing on my fingers to keep them from burning.

That's when I notice the smoke. From the second batch. Which has now turned completely black and burnt. I took it off the heat very quickly and luckily there were no flames. Just completely burnt sugary dough. Oh, delicious.

Thankfully, the only good decision I made in this whole misguided effort was to wait to start the frying until the boys were snapped in their booster seats eating dinner. I figured it wouldn't be safe for them to be anywhere near a fry pan of hot oil. So, at least they were happily eating and enjoying my antics from a distance.

Random unrelated thought: are coats out of fashion? I drove past a local high school today, and half of the kids outside were just wearing hoodies. It was 27 degrees out! I'm not saying I never did something just to fit in, or in the name of fashion, but it's pretty darn cold out and these kids were just milling about. Kids today! Hee!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It was easier to get into college...

I'm currently flipping out about preschool, so I'm about to subject you all to my insanity. We picked out a preschool that we totally love. Visited it, talked to the director on a number of occasions, who assured us it wouldn't be a problem to get our boys in. It's the only preschool we've visited that I've totally loved. So, last night I went to the open house to get the application.

Here are the stats: 44 parents in attendance (and I know at least one of them besides me has twins). Number of openings for 2008-2009: 7. Yes, seven. And I have twins so I'd need two spots. Oh, and they admit residents of the town before non-residents. We are not residents.

I asked the woman in charge of admittance what she thought, and her answer was "Don't worry yet, we usually have a lot of movement on our wait lists." Basically, we will certainly be wait listed, so our best hope is to get a lottery number near the top of the wait list. That's our BEST hope? Shoot. One other "helpful" parent added that her daughter didn't get off the waitlist until July. Great. And she is a town resident. I can't wait until the end of the summer to finalize preschool plans for September!

So now I struggle to find another preschool. Shoot. I thought I'd been so proactive. We visited all the preschools in the fall. If I had known it would be impossible to get into this one, I would have just signed up at one of the preschools that accepted applications in the fall. Now I'm in a bind.

Oh well. Things will work out, right?? Right??

Random unrelated thought: Yesterday I got my first comment on the blog from someone I don't know. Unless it is someone I know, just posting with an assumed name. I was ridiculously excited. I mean, here I am yelling out into the's nice to know someone heard me. Not to mention the comment was a validation that I'm not the only one in the world to dislike My Sister's Keeper. So thanks, Sarah! You made my otherwise crap-tacular day.

Wow, not that a comment on my blog isn't exciting, but it really shows how bad a day it was if that was the high point! I hope today looks up, but one of my sons is sick today, as am I, and I'm overly focused on the Great Preschool Debacle, and TK isn't coming home until after dinner tonight. Geez, I guess I better hope for another blog comment since otherwise my "high" point will probably end up being paying the bills.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Even my *Trapper* Keeper was more interesting!

I should know by now the more good things I hear about a book, the less likely I will be to enjoy it.

I just finished My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult, and I highly DON'T recommend it. First problem: I found the method of telling the story through different character's voices to be distracting and a cop out, from a story-telling point of view. I could see how it might have been interesting or well done, but it sadly wasn't. I didn't find that individual character voices were captured. In fact, more than once I had to return to the beginning of the chapter to remind myself which character's POV we were in. That can't be good.

Second problem: it was the most predictable book I think I've ever read. The big "surprise" at the, I kept hoping she wouldn't go there. But she did. And the whole "why" of Anna's lawsuit...also not a big surprise. What, were her lawyer, parents, and guardian complete idiots? Wait, you don't need to answer. I read the book, and yes.

Third problem: why were certain things kept a secret from the reader when everything was told in the first person? It wasn't interesting to have the lawyer keep his need for a guide dog secret from the *reader*...we were supposed to be reading from his point of view! If I'm inside his head, why don't I know the reason? Same thing with all the secrets of Anna and Kate, or what Jesse liked to do in his free time. It wasn't like the story was unfolding to the reader. Things were alluded to, mentioned, but left unanswered. That's a cheat. If you want to keep things a secret, stick with one character's 1st person POV...then all the other characters' internal motivations and secrets can remain a hidden for as long as you'd like without damaging the structure of the book.

Fourth problem: Jesse. The character was completely flat for me, and what a cliche. It was kind of like a preacher's daughter who is a bad girl. Once again, was his way of acting out supposed to be a surprise? It was only surprising that something that trite would be in such a popular book.

Fifth problem: The topic of this story (a girl who sues to gain medical independence at the expense of her dying sister) is just dying, if you'll excuse the pun, to pull at the heartstrings. Number of tears cried during this book: Zero. Sorry, I cry a lot while reading, but this book just made me angry at how badly it was done.

My Sister's Keeper made me want rewrite it the RIGHT way. I mean, the story idea is phenomenal. I haven't felt so strongly annoyed about something like this since Star Wars: Episode One came out. Yes, that pissed me off, too, in a way that made me want to redo it correctly instead of just pretend it never existed.

But, I didn't fan-wank a new Episode One, and I won't rewrite My Sister's Keeper. But I will get it off my bookshelf.

Anyone who read My Sister's Keeper, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Random Unrelated Thought: I did go workout today, and left the boys in the gym daycare for the first time. Well, I got back about forty minutes later, and they were both hysterically crying. I don't know what happened. They go to a drop off playgroup once a week and do fine. I took them to the gym daycare once and stayed with them to make sure they were okay. I dropped them off today and played for a few minutes before letting them know I was leaving and would be back soon.

I feel so guilty. I'll give it another try, but this daycare is really subpar. The facility is nice, but there are way too many kids for the number of adults in the room. Mine were not the only children crying, and there just weren't enough daycare providers to comfort them all. I'm upset because we paid extra to join the "nice" gym mostly because of the daycare option so I'd be able to workout. If I can't leave them there, I can't workout.

If I can't workout, I can't justify my breakfast of chocolate chips. Just kidding. For the record, I had eggs this morning. Chocolate would have been better.

My healthy eating plan

If I promise to go work out, is it okay to have a handful of chocolate chips for breakfast???

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hey! Dora's yelling at me!

Okay, fine, I'll admit it. I have a low tolerance for children's television. If it's not Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Firefly, I'm not all that interested. My kids don't get to watch too much television. Sadly, that's mostly because it makes me want to pierce my own eardrums rather than from any highfalutin' ideals about how much television children should watch.

But once in a while, we certainly do turn it on. I really like Super Why on PBS. Of course, B-Man has now decided he's scared of that show. Of course. So, it's mostly Curious George or Clifford that we watch.

I'd heard a lot about Dora from the boys' cousins, and the concept sounds wonderful: a girl who likes to explore (hey, I like to explore!) and she speaks Spanish sometimes (hey, I'd like my boys to know some Spanish). Sounds like a perfect show! It's not on PBS, though, so I'd never seen it. But while we were home for Christmas, my sister-in-law handed me a few videos she had in her car that their older daughter doesn't watch any more. Imagine how excited I was that one was Dora!

On the drive home, we put one of the DVDs in. There's a problem with in-car DVD players: the parents are forced to listen to whatever the kids are watching, at least until our kids are old enough to use headphones. About five minutes into the show, TK and I are giving each other looks. Ten minutes into the show, and I'm not sure I'm going to makes it. But we're in a car...there's no escape!

Here's the problem with Dora: she YELLS. Everything. Here, for example, is a transcript from one of the episodes:


Okay, fine, I may have paraphrased.

Needless to say, we haven't watched this video since. But I'm scared. It's nearly a month later, and the boys are still asking about it. *This* is their favorite TV show? Really?

On the plus side, B-man has started saying "Oh maaaaan" just like Swiper. It's really adorable. I guess I need a show starring Swiper, where we can say things like "When you see Dora, say 'Dora, no yelling'. Do you see Dora? Everyone say 'Dora, no yelling'".

Oh man.

Random unrelated thought: We started trying to eat local, at least on a small scale, and figured I'd post a few recipes. Had a great all-local side dish. Chopped and steamed some carrots, added some butter and a touch of maple syrup. Delightful. Okay, technically it wasn't all local since I used Land O' Lakes butter, but it could have been. I'm not about to throw out perfectly good butter, though, so I'll finish this box and then try to buy local butter.

Another great side dish for this time of year was a homemade cranberry-blueberry sauce. Cranberries from Cape Cod, frozen blueberries from Maine. Yum! Link above to the recipe on Allrecipes, where I post as Cardamum.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Flakier than a box of Kellogs

I've had two interrelated ideas running around in my head recently. Both would be potentially huge lifestyle changes, and for both, I'm not totally sure just how committed I would be.

The first is that I've been considering a complete reevaluation of the way we eat. I'm very interested in the "eat local" movement, or even just being more conscious of what we eat. You know, less prepared convenience food. I think we do a reasonable job of eating healthy, although there's still a lot of room for improvement.

I'm running into a few problems, though. First, I don't know anyone eating local, so I have no one to help me out with tips on how to do it. I'm searching the web, but it seems to be a big job.

Second problem: one of my sons has a peanut and tree nut allergy. I know, that doesn't seem to be related, but I've found that it is a problem. As I try to make healthier or more environmentally conscious choices, I've found that far more of those choices are not nut-safe. My theory is because many of these foods are from smaller vendors, who probably don't have the space to have nut-free facilities, so all their products end up potentially contaminated with nuts. This just further limits the already small number of choices available.

Third problem: cost. It's not bad in the summer to eat local vegetables, and they taste so much better that even if they do cost slightly more, it's well worth it. And often they cost less, so that's not a problem. But off-season, there aren't many choices, and non-vegetable choices do tend to be more expensive than their conventionally grown options. For example, this past Thanksgiving we had local turkey: $80 for one turkey! Yeah, that's not going to fit into our budget on a regular basis.

So, I think what we'll try to do is make better choice. I'm not going to set an eat local goal, like 50% or anything. What I'm going to try to do is to be informed about my choices, and chose to eat local when possible. I think I'll try to do one 100% (or as close as I can get) local dinner per month, just to start getting my feet wet looking for options in the area.

My other issue that I've been thinking a lot about recently is living simply, trying to reduce consumerism in our lives. Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas, the time period from Thanksgiving to New Year quickly devolved into one big consumer driven fog. Too much stuff! So, I'm trying to be more cognizant of purchasing what we NEED, not just what we want. Thinking about purchases instead of just impulse buying. I'm sure I'll be blogging more about this in the future.

But, my concerns in general are that I'll become really flaky. I feel like people who move far from the norm of standard accepted behavior sometimes become really judgmental about it. And I hate that. I don't want it to be a competition, or to be judged because sometimes I just want a cup of Starbucks coffee or a banana. I don't mind if people think I'm weird, but I don't want them to think I think I'm better than them. Oh well, I'll just keep telling myself I can't control what other people think, just what I do.

Easier said than done, right?

Random unrelated thought: When I asked B-man who he loves, he answered, "Mommy, Daddy, [N-man], and (pause....) ME!" Then he cracked up. He has such a weird and wonderful sense of humor. I love how he's always trying to say something funny. N-man is more of a straight-man, but is still willing to find the humor in the situation and greets the world with such enthusiasm. He peed on the potty the other day, and danced around for about half an hour saying "Yay, me! My pee-peed on the potty!"

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bubbles and happy tears

Today is an exciting day. One of my friends is finalizing the adoption of her three year old son today.

I met J. over three years ago through a group of women who were all trying to get pregnant. The first time we met for lunch was only a few weeks before I found out I was pregnant with my twins. I've been lucky to get to experience many moments of celebration with this great group of women. Pregnancies, births, adoptions...thankfully the good tends to overshadow the bad. J. decided to go the foster-adopt route, and has been blessed with a wonderful and adorable little boy who has been with her and her husband since he was little. We've all been waiting with baited breath, hoping and waiting for this day to come.

Today is J.'s day, and this blog entry is to celebrate with her. Sometimes I wish I was a good fairy and could grant a wish for a perfect life, but instead, I'll recognize what you already have: all the ups and downs that come with parenting, a wonderful family, and the official recognition of what you already are...Mom.

Congratulations, J! I'm thinking of you all day and will be blowing bubbles at 12:30, sending them off full of happy thoughts to travel your way!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


At book group last night, the host showed us something that was absolutely hilarious and incredibly disturbing at the same time: a Barbie her daughter had received for Christmas. Barbie Loves TMX Elmo to be precise. I would consider myself to be a feminist, but I don't go too overboard. I mean, I'm not exactly opposed to Barbie even if she isn't my favorite toy on earth. But this Barbie was just too hilarious.

Just take a look at that Barbie. Soak her in, in all her glory.

First and most glaring issue: Why is Elmo-lovin' Barbie wearing knee-high black f***-me boots? I mean, is that appropriate attire for someone who loves Elmo? What kind of love are we talking about here? Do the Elmo knee socks sticking out of the top of the boots somehow make it less disturbing? Or does that make it more disturbing?

Second issue: Why is Barbie wearing a micro-mini? Is it more fun to play with Elmo if your derrière is hanging in the breeze? Which brings us right into issue three...

Why doesn't TMX Barbie have any panties on? You'll have to take my word for it, but this Barbie is going commando. That's not lady-like. And with a skirt so short, you know she had to have planned to be showing off her goodies. This can't have been a mistake.

Fourth issue: Her belt buckle is hilarious. It's Elmo's eyes, staring out of her. That's freaky and ridiculous and creepy.

Fifth issue: Maybe I'm just remembering incorrectly, but does Barbie normally have freckles? This Barbie does...a spattering across her nose and cheeks. Oh, I see. She has freckles. She must be innocent, then, and not at all disturbingly dressed.

Now look back again at the picture. Take a good look at Elmo this time. What does it look like he's thinking?

I tease because I love it. If I ever see this Barbie on clearance, you know I'd snatch one right up (hee, I said 'snatch'), and take it out whenever I needed a good laugh.

Random unrelated thought: I went to the zoo today with my boys. Hey, the temperature goes above freezing and we're getting outside! We had a great time, and I think it must have been an unofficial bring-your-twins-to-the-zoo-day. I ran into a woman I know through the Mother of Twins club, who was there with her three kids. That was great! Then, I ran into another mom of twins, this one I didn't know, but chatted with her for a while anyway. And as we were leaving, another family with twins was just going in to the zoo. I guess I wasn't the only one home with two energetic toddlers who felt like 39 degrees was certainly warm enough to go play outside for a while!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Whatever you do, DON'T LOOK BACK!

I think the universe is trying to teach me about the importance of looking to the future rather than the past.

Let me go back a bit. I know, looking to the past, but forgive me for a moment as I explain the back-story. See, our garage is narrow. I mean, just-inches-wider-than-the-car narrow. It takes a great driver (unfortunately, a better driver than me) to make it through without regularly dinging the bumper or catching just the very edge of the garage. Oh well, I can live with that. Our cars have a few paint streaks, our garage has a few dents. Nothing major.

Well, a few months ago my husband was backing out, and somehow managed to be so incredibly misaligned that he pulled his driver's side mirror right off. I didn't say a word, because I understand. Good thing! Because I was just pulling his car out of the garage, and guess what? Yep, smash. Although, this time it wasn't the edge of the garage. I actually knew the car was in kind of screwy so was being incredibly careful not to hit the side of the door. What I didn't realize is that I was aimed right at the snowblower. The handle impaled the driver's side window, popping it entirely out of its frame.

So, from this I conclude not that we're especially accident prone, or that our garage is too darn narrow, but instead that I'm pretty sure the universe is sending us a message to look to the future. Hey, Universe, I hear ya! You don't need to ruin anymore of our rear view mirrors, okay?

Speaking of rear views, Orlando Bloom's been staring at my butt. We've been nursing colds in the house, and of course with colds comes the requisite ran-out-of-tissues. So, TK was wonderful enough to run out to the store to buy some necessities, including tissues. He was even smart enough to realize that it would be a good idea to buy a three-pack. But, unfortunately, he didn't look closely enough to realize that one of the boxes in the three-pack is covered with Pirates of the Caribbean advertising. That box of tissues is sitting on the back of our toilet, and now every time I go to the bathroom, I have to face Orlando Bloom getting a good view of *my* pirate's booty. I guess it could be worse. It could have been Johnny Depp...

Unrelated thought of the day: Tomorrow my book group meets, and it's my turn to provide choices for next month's book. I always find it so hard to narrow my choice. I want to pick something interesting and different, but it's also tempting to pick something safe that people will probably enjoy. Well, I get three picks, and then the rest of the group narrows it down to just one, so maybe I'll pick two risky choices and one safe and let the rest make the call.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

2008, here I come

Good thing procrastination isn't on my list of things to attack this year. Well, better late than never. Here, in all its glory, preserved so I can't forget it, my goals for this year:

  • Write at least 160,000 words. That's 10,000 per month, except 50,000 in November. This means I also have to keep track of my writing, so I'll start an excel spreadsheet to track my word counts.
    • As a subgoal of that, I want to win NaNoWriMo 2008.
  • Take one photograph a day that somehow represents the day for me. I know some people do 1 picture a day of themselves, or of something arty. Well, I'm not all that arty, I'm more looking to have a photo-journal of 2008.
    • Pictures of my kids don't count, because I'm going to post the pictures online but I don't like to post pictures of my boys online. Heck, if pics of them counted, I've already taken a picture a day (or more like 20 pictures a day) since they were born two and a half years ago!
    • It's January 2nd, and I have two pictures already (not downloaded yet, but Jan 1 is a couple of ornaments lying on the ground as we un-decorated the tree, and Jan 2 is tissues, a thermometer, and medicine since my son and I are sick).
  • Post a minimum of 120 blog entries in 2008. It's kind of fun...a neat way to get some ideas out of my head, or just to have a place to let my random ideas flow. Good escapism, and another good way to keep track of memories.
    • This doesn't count toward my 160k word year goal above!
    • Dare I say, I'm considering NaBloPoMo next November on top of NaNoWriMo? If anyone doesn't know, it's like NaNoWriMo, except you commit to writing 1 blog entry a day during November (so, it's far, far easier than NaNoWriMo :)
  • Start planning our great cross-country adventure. In 2010 or 2011, we're planning to spend a month or two driving across the country, seeing all the sites that strike our fancy.
    • Start a savings account!
    • Start a file of places we may like to visit, and research some of those areas.
    • Learn about camping...and try to decide if that's something we want to do on our trip. Try to find some outdoorsy people to befriend who can teach us all about camping.
  • Live healthier!
    • Join the Y and take a class. Go to family swim times.
    • Join a CSA or otherwise plan to go to a lot of farms this summer to pick fresh veggies.
    • Stock healthy snacks in the house instead of chips and chocolate.
Random unrelated thought, What I'm Reading edition: I'm currently reading Moth Smoke for book group on Wednesday. I'm really enjoying it so far. My book group is really on a winning streak recently. We've read a ton of books I've been pleased to have had a chance to read.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The N-Man checks the calendar

January 1. The first day of the year. What does the little N-man do? Decides to climb out of his crib for the first time.

Yep. I know, they're almost two and a half; we got lucky to make it this long without any crib escapees.

And, as if that wasn't enough, he asked to pee on the potty, too. Totally unprompted.

It's like he looked at a calendar and said, "Well, it's 2008, I guess I'm ready to move to the next stage now."

N-Man also cracked us up today by insulting my cookies. I guess I should start by admitting that my mom makes the best Christmas cookies ever. And my boys ate about a zillion of them while we were visiting Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas.

So, for New Year's Eve, I made some chocolate chip cookies. I make great chocolate chip cookies. I swear! Well, I offered N-man one of them today, and he said, "where's Grandma's cookies?" Tough noogies, kid, you're stuck with Mommy's cookies! I also asked him if my cookies were as good as Grandma's, and he vehemently said NO while shaking his head for extra emphasis of how inferior my baking is.

Unrelated thought: I'm not big on resolutions, but I think my next blog entry will be goals I'd like to pursue in 2008. Get them in writing, make them concrete and measurable. Or maybe not. If I made resolutions, perhaps my first would be to write down my resolutions.