Sunday, March 29, 2009

We Gave Up, Part II

On Sunday morning, I admitted defeat. I was just barely on schedule to get to church on time, and I still had to do my hair.

I had two choices: flat iron or (new) curling iron.

I chose the curling iron. And do you know what? It was faster, easier, and yielded a better result. I even liked the updated design (although the turbo button is silly--who wants her curling iron to heat up slowly?).

So, sorry, flat iron. I don't have time to dilly-dally on Sunday morning. Maybe we can get together sometime on a Wednesday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Zeke Speaks and Blows His Nose

Jeremy went back to the doctor today. He is even sicker than we thought, but he has the right medicine now. Hopefully, anyway.

Being home sick has its advantages, though. Yesterday, Jeremy got a special treat when he heard Zeke's first non-Dad word. (DAD was Victor's first word, too. And he didn't say Mama until waaaaay after he consistently referred to our neighbor, Bob, by name. But I digress.)

The word was HAT. He said it when Jeremy put something on his head to be funny. I heard him say it later that day when Jeremy put something else on his head to be funny. Why HAT, any why does Jeremy keep putting things on his head? It's all about Go, Dog. Go! I don't really understand the appeal of that book, but Jeremy and both boys adore it. Zeke will bring it to me and sit through the whole thing. He's very patient.

Zeke passed another milestone this week: he learned to blow his nose. That's right, if you put a tissue up to Zeke's nose and say "blow," he'll blow. And hard, too. And actually, you don't even have to say blow. It's amazing.

One more totally amazing thing about Zeke. Tonight, as I was trying to interest Victor in a "game" of picking up his cars and putting them in the car basket, Zeke got into the fun. He hunted for little cars (with some direction) and threw them in the car basket with joy. He was so pleased with himself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Triple Coupon Date

Jeremy being home in the afternoon is a boon for my errand-running. Once the boys are asleep, I can get in my car and travel to such interesting places as Wal-mart.

Yesterday, I went to the county courthouse to ask to be excused from jury service on account of my family responsibilities. It was too bad, but what on earth would I do with Victor and Zeke if the trial took more than three hours? I took Victor on this little trip as living proof of my prior commitments.

Today, Victor was not inclined to take his nap, so I decided to take him to the grocery store to buy Gatorade and bananas for Jeremy. Jeremy is still totally sick. It's amazing.

When we arrived at the store, a "special trip with Mom," according to Victor, we saw a sign announcing Triple Coupon Days. Coincidentally, I had some freshly clipped coupons in my bag. We pulled them out and went to town.

Frosted Mini-Wheats? With the buy-one-get-one free and the $1.00 off each box coupon in the aisle, I got 6 boxes for less than $1.00 each. Now tell me that's not a great deal. Wait. That wasn't a triple coupon. But I had some, and I "saved" $79 with them, and $58 with my VIC card. Awesome.

But the most awesome thing about the trip was making three new friends: a man and his two tiny marsupials he was wearing in a zippered cloth pouch around his neck. They had four legs and long tails and each one had a stripe down its back, like a chipmunk, only they were brown and white and black instead of reddish-brown. Victor pet them, and was both enchanted and baffled.

So that was our triple coupon date. We got lots of $$$ off our grocery bill and pet the world's smallest marsupial. And it all happened because Jeremy was sick. Poor Jeremy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Straighten, Smooth, Flip, Curl

Today I used my new flat iron for the first time. The results were not spectacular, but I am sure that's due to my inexperience. By "not spectacular," I mean that although my hair ended up smooth, it was way too flat. I've got to work on the body part of the equation. And I have no idea how I could use it to curl my hair.

In other news, Jeremy is SICK. He's taking his medicine, but he is still running a 102 degree temperature, and he can't eat or move much. I am washing my hands at every opportunity and sleeping in the guest room.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Today, Jeremy was home sick.

He is so sick.

He even went to the doctor. Turns out he has the flu. He hasn't eaten since lunch on Saturday, he's freezing cold all the time, and he feels terrible if he moves. We should have seen this coming because I had this same sickness the weekend it was supposed to be icy. It took me a week to get over it, but Audra brought me hot rolls, so it was pretty much worth it.

Victor and Zeke seem fine, but they also got flu shots. I've never had a flu shot.

Jeremy's sickness enabled me to run errands this afternoon while the boys napped. I returned some sunglasses, picked up Jeremy's Tamiflu (no generic, darn it), went to Tuesday Morning just for fun, and bought a 1" flat iron.

It's not a brand I've ever heard of (it's not a CHI, sniff, it's a SoSilk or something like that), but the box says it will smooth, straighten, spike, piece, twist, curl, and lift. That pretty much covers everything I ever hope to do with my hair, so I decided to give it a try. And I figured that my hair is not like Liz's hair, so I could try the non-CHI option. I can always return it if the spikes aren't good enough.

This is a good purchase. My hair looks positively awful after an air dry--straight, curly, matted, and frizzy all at once--and today's extended effort with the round brush was just that, an extended effort. The results did not justify the amount of time it took.

It looks like Jeremy will be home sick tomorrow, too, so I'll have lots of time to figure out the SoSilk. I sure hope it delivers.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

RIP, Curling Iron

Have you ever noticed that curling irons and hair dryers always break on Sunday mornings? Well, mine always do.

This morning, the little spring that makes the curling iron snap shut on the hair broke. Also, my round brush was missing. (I later found it in the diaper bag. Huh.) Instead of adding smoothness and body to my hair, I had to settle for getting it mostly stick straight.

So that's what was up with my hair today. It wasn't an ill-advised new look. It was a multi-level equipment failure.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Detecting Deception

In an effort to be more on the ball this year, I attended 6 hours of CLE today. The class was "Detecting Deception." Most of the other attendees were from the Forsyth county DA's office.

It was an interesting class, taught by one Don Rabon (pronounced RAY-bin). He has written several books on the subject and lectures all over the world.

I won't elaborate on the details, but suffice it to say that I am now a deception-detecting machine. What a way to spend a Saturday.

Friday, March 20, 2009

After a long wait . . .

there are two new albums of pictures on Jer's Superfun Family Extravaganza. Did I mention we've had computer issues?

Three Years of Victor

Victor turned three on Sunday, March 15. Also, as Victor told me, Dog turned three on Sunday. "He used to be a little baby Dog." But he's big now. And well loved, as you can see. Victor often tells me that "Dog is my best friend. He's a good friend." Dog is a sweet friend. Since I was convinced that my dolls were real when I was little, I understand where Victor is coming from on this one.

(Note: They were real dolls, not real people. There is a difference, and it mostly has to do with being able to transform their physical surroundings by power of imagination.)

For the benefit of people who don't see Victor as often as they'd like, I have compiled the following gems:

--Victor is 41.5 inches tall and weighs 41.5 pounds. He is slim and sturdy. His pediatrician told me that he is the height of an average 4 1/2 year old and the weight of an average 5 1/2 year old. I guess 5 1/2 year olds are lighter than I had previously thought.

--Victor likes to write. He gets out a pen, finds a piece of paper, and writes things. Most recently, he wrote an email for Dad on an old bill. The only letter he can make on purpose is O, and sometimes C, but when he happens to make a V or W or A or N or anything else, he points it out and is very proud.

--Victor loves Dog.

--Victor plays with toys. We get a lot of mileage out of toys, especially ones with wheels, cranes, ladders, and truck beds. They all seems to have personalities, and they talk to each other. He also believes that when his toy boy and girl ride in the dump truck, the boy must drive. I don't know where he got that idea. I'm sure I could drive a dump truck.

--Victor eats just about everything. Except mashed potatoes. He loves oranges, frosted mini-wheats, tacos, and the candy he gets from the clerk's office every Sunday.

--TV would be a much bigger part of Victor's life if he had his way. He adores anything on the Speed channel (Jeremy must turn that on for him), Clifford, Sesame Street, and whatever program is on after he's supposed to be asleep.

--Similarly, Victor loves Peter Pan and 101 Dalmations. These two movies feature prominently in his play. He has a special crocodile dance, and he is always pretending that his cars are Horace, Jasper, and Cruella. To the village!

--Victor can make a peanut butter sandwich, pour water neatly into a cup from the Britta pitcher, pour cereal into a bowl (less neatly, it must be said), and get out pretty much anything he wants to eat, like hot dogs and cheese. He was less successful cutting (!) an orange last week, and has not tried again. If he and Zeke were left alone, they would not starve for at least a week.

--Victor knows a bunch of songs, although I'm not sure who taught some of them to him. A perpetual favorite is "How Much Is that Doggie in the Window."

--Victor is not particular about his clothes, but he usually chooses shirts that have pictures of trucks, cars, wreckers, etc. on the front.

--Victor loves to be startled. He thinks it's hilarious, and has since he was a teeny tiny baby.

--In the morning, Victor says to me, "Good Morning, Mama." He recently added, "Did you have a nice sleep?", and this morning he even brought me a glass of water.

--Victor has great faith in doctors. One day, he was sick, and the doctor made him feel better. Ever since then, he is eager to suggest a doctor's visit when anyone is sick, sad, or grumpy.

--Victor is a pretty good little talker. But he confuses the words "castle" and "casserole." Thus, when the opening credits roll for Peter Pan and he sees the Disney castle he says, "Is that a casserole, Mom? Does the Beast live there?" I think he's going to keel over with joy when we finally take him to Disneyland.

--Victor has a hole in the back yard. When we go outside, he gets the (big) shovel and dig dig digs.

--Victor likes hanging from monkey bars, but he does NOT like slides.

Okay, I think that's enough about Victor. If you want a list of his favorite books or his sizes (5 shirt, 4 pants, 11 shoe), just let me know. I'll tell you all about Goldbug and Lily and One Fish Two Fish and Make Way for Ducklings and his new favorite, Greens Eggs and Ham. Or, as he calls it, "Ham, ham, any eggs." He chants it in between his reditions of the Olympic fanfare.

Happy Birthday, Buddy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Glorious Day

Today is a glorious day. Why? Because Grandma is coming!

Is there anything better than a visit from Grandma? No, there is not. Grandmas are fun, they are calm, they have vast powers of persuasion, and they can think of something different to fix for dinner.

When Grandma arrives, the house has been freshly scrubbed and smells a little like bleach, surely one of the best smells in the world. The children are excited, and I get to dial back my patience-reserves by half. It's an excuse for ambitious excursions to such exotic places as the zoo. With any luck, it will inspire a certain small person to use the toilet. As far as I can tell, the only loser in the equation is Grandpa.

Hurry, hurry, Grandma! We're waiting for you!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

We Gave Up (But don't tell my Dad)

It was past midnight when someone told me that today was Spring Forward Day.

We got up late this morning. Jeremy rushed off to a meeting, and despite my efforts, we were late late late to church today. Victor's diaper didn't help anything. As we struggled out of the car (okay, van), I saw Jeremy, across the parking lot, getting into the car. I waved my arms and called his name, but he still drove away.

"He's going to look for us," I thought. "He thinks something must be drastically wrong for us to be this late."

Then we went into Sacrament Meeting, via the bathroom to wash hands and dispose of aforementioned diaper. Zeke thought the ladies' room was way neat.

Five minutes later I was hauling both boys out of Sacrament Meeting, as I had been unable to persuade either of them to behave in a way that even narrowly resembled reverence. I apologize to the Caseys, the Russes, and the Bests for our family's failure at reverence.

Because I don't believe in rewarding bad behavior, I hauled the boys into the thankfuly-empty mother's room. I shut the door to contain Zeke, and I let him loose. Then--and this is the fun part--I sat in a chair with Victor clamped in my arms. He was so not happy about this. He only hit my shins with his shoes a couple of times before I wised up and moved my legs, and my lip only got bumped once. I did manage to stay calm, but it was not the happiest moment of our lives.

After some time--minutes, hours--Jeremy returned from his rescue mission, heard the commotion through the door, and retrieved the children. I intended to collect myself and return to the meeting, but it took a little longer than I had expected to collect myself. So I just sat there. And chatted. Since we had been so late, there wasn't much time left, but I still whimped out.

Jeremy took the boys to another room, closed the door, opened the windows, and also gave up.

We'll try again next week. This week was such a collossal failure that it shouldn't be difficult to effect some improvement next Sunday.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Compliment

The other day, Victor told me, "Mom, you're fantastic!"

Thanks, Buddy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Victor's Snow Adventure

A few minutes ago I heard the front door open. "That's strange," I thought. "I guess I forgot to lock it after I got the paper."

No, I did not forget. Victor, being uncontrollably tempted by the four inches of beautiful snow outside, had found my keys and opened the door. Then he donned Jeremy's old sneakers and went outside to play. When I found him, he had tramped around in the snow and stumbled to the end of our front walkway.

He was wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants and Jeremy's size 14 shoes. Once he was off the curb, he was a goner. Because I am committed to empowering my children, I let Victor navigate his own way back to the front door. He was not happy about this, but he made it. Ditching the shoes was key to his success.

When he got into the house, his little hands and feet were stinging, so I ran a couple of inches of warm water in the tub for him. He cheered right up. But I don't think he'll be venturing out again on a solo snow adventure.


Yesterday, Jeremy witnessed the following scene:

Victor put on Jeremy's glasses and said to Zeke, "No, Zeke. I cannot play with you. I have to go to work."

I'm not going to say "poor Victor," because I am grateful for Jeremy's job. I even act excited about it around the boys so they will understand that work is a good thing. My cheerleading has sunk in, at least a little bit, because Victor will tell me periodically, "Dad is at work. He works so hard."

But you know that Daddy's Homecoming is the best part of the day, hands down.