Sunday, January 27, 2008

Not half as useful as a cat

My dog is a shitty mouser.
I know this because I stepped into the kitchen yesterday morning to make a small bowl of scrambled eggs for Rosemary, watched a black mouse lumber across the wood floor with a plate of breakfast in it's hands, turn to me and request a spot of tea. Neither scared nor particularly thin, actually.

Which leads me to believe that the mounds of cheese fish and popcorn that have fallen out of the 'no-spill' bowls that we've been using for nighttime snack are being eaten by both the dog and the mouse. Probably even together under the table after we've all gone off to sleep where they both meet and share their bounty of cherry granola bars and bits of Jennie-o turkey franks and discuss how more of the rodent's family who are waiting at the back door can get in on this spectacular arrangement; with Natasha dabbing the mouse's mouth with small bits of the endless stream of kleenex that inevitably pile up behind the bathroom trash.

I will not have any part of the, shall we say, relocation of this particular mouse, as my husband is currently planning because it's becoming weirdly captivating watching this creature slink along the baseboards in the kitchen and now, boldly, the dining room. However, I may need to tidy up the high chair before dinner this evening or Rosemary may be sharing her pizza with our newest, and least picky, tenant.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Smelling of chlorine and chocolate fondue

Oh man, I've been really having a rough time with the guilt and doubt associated with child care. I thought all of this was worked out until my daycare unexpectedly closed last month; which has me rethinking everything I once believed was completely sorted out. This feeling is nothing new to mothers, I am sure, but some days it's more difficult for me than others; especially those that begin with giggles, whispered 'mama' and blowing kisses. The mornings where my toddler dumps her bowl of eggs to the dog, sticks her foamy toothbrush into my hair, acts like I'm wiping her butt with 80 grit sandpaper and tosses my hairbrush into the toilet, not near as much. However, today presented one of those moments where nothing sounded better than keeping my monkey-child hanging from my hip for the duration of the day, reading (and re-reading) her favorite books (Thomas flip book, Blankie and her books about colors, among others), following her around the house and redirecting her from pulling every last square of toilet paper off the wall.

It was most certainly a day for hooky.

I sent a few text messages to cover the bases with work and we embarked on our first adventure of the day which was to purchase swimsuits for a wintry dip into the pool at the gym. All I can say is, thank goodness for the color black and those goofy little skirt-looking swimsuit bottoms (and also for animal crackers which kept my little one inside the Target dressing room for 1.46 minutes and not crawling under the door while I was standing there sans pants whilst trying to squeeze myself into a size medium tankini top). Rosemary's suit was much simpler to select as anything that is sized at 18 months is going to be darn cute and I'm pretty sure that she's not the least bit concerned about thigh coverage.

The trip to the pool was exactly what we needed on this cold, January day and I wrapped up my afternoon of hooky by sitting around fondue pots of milk chocolate with a fabulous group of moms; because everyone knows that after shopping for swimsuits in the middle of winter nothing brightens your mood and makes you forget about all of those holiday cookies more than heaping bowls of melted chocolate.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Well, isn't this something

I'm usually not the first one to expose themselves to a stranger, even that one time while swimming in the creek when I did NOT see that fisherman, thank you very much; however, I fairly confidently rose my hand when the local paper recently requested local blogs to feature in their Wedenesday Relate section. I've always been the type of introvert who has kept journals stuffed under thrift shop sofas and hidden in the underwear drawer during my high school and college days; because, you know, if someone was going to snoop for something that was important to it's owner, they would definitely not be searching in a girl's panty drawer. Right? Okay, maybe I was a smidge naive.

I spent a good portion of my Wednesday taking phone calls and answering email from readers who wanted to laugh with me about something that I had posted (mainly my daughter's great use of animal sounds and cutting off hair that had been growing since before the Bush administration meant George W.). I appreciate the feedback that you've given and it was good chatting with many of you about how a simple thing like opening up in such a personal way creates an instant connection.
So, thank you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rosemary's word index

Thus far (and, no, that's not one of them. That's also more of a phrase and less of a 'word', actually).

Tata (an abbreviated version of the dog's name; it's a stretch, but I'll give her this one)
Bye bye

and a myriad of animal sounds; because, well, she's my child and I think it's hysterical when I ask her what a sheep says and she responds with a staccato, 'BAH.'

All apologies to the Target Superstore for our brief rendez-vous with an alternate shopping destination

Having watched an embarassing number of hours of the Sprout channel in the last several days, a trip out into the cold was long overdue. With Macy's gift card in hand, we strolled into the department store to search for some new bedsheets. My eyes darted quickly from one display to another looking for just the right mix of modern, with a brilliant and unexpected use of pattern.

My husband was shopping for thread count.
Like the 800 series.
Like something that feels like sleeping in a box of tissue.
With aloe.

It's a good thing that our daughter was quite easily distracted by the rows of low, soft pillows and packages of lightweight fitted sheets that could be pulled out at the last minute in a toddler maneuver to trip up the parents; as our endless trips around the Martha Stewart line of sheets were nauseating. With greasy fingers from the usual stop at the pretzel shop in the mall we unzipped a few packages to compare the 200 thread count versus the 500. I'll mention that it really goes without saying that there is a definite difference, kind of like cheese cloth versus angora; however, I also used to consider a daily swim in the Wildcat Creek a bath, and I also have one pair of shoes for each season so I may not be the most qualified person to consult about this sort of thing.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Certain that our home will be filled with the neighborhood's unwanted hamsters, fish and birds by 2010

I needed to go to Staples to purchase a new 2008 planner this past weekend and I figured that Rosemary probably wouldn't find the office supply store quite as divine as I do; so, at the last minute, we walked into PetSmart, conveniently located right next to said office supply store. She is very much into animals and their coordinating sounds right now and I really didn't know how she'd react to the customers with their pets walking in and out of the store and the cat adoption that was going on in the entranceway; not to mention all of the store's animals.

I strapped her into the cart and she promptly caught sight of the cats, which immediately forced her into the usual rendition of an unmedicated feline with a case of tuberculosis and untreated mange, 'Mow' (sounds like cow) is her response when she encounters a cat. We passed many dogs which she greeted with an enthusiastic, 'Oof.' Caged birds and feeder fish were just as wondrous.

PetSmart. We're goin' back.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Five things I need to get me through winter (besides hope for an early spring, obviously)

(note: these are merely a few material items that come to mind when I'm thinking about the endless misery of winter. An additional list might include Zoloft or a vehicle full of carbon monoxide, for example)

1. Lotions. I love them; but especially the scent of Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar. It's so intoxicating and wintry smelling.
2. Alba coconut lip balm. There are, apparently, other flavors but the coconut one is dreamy and available at the grocery store so I can pick it up when I'm out for dog food or that dry shaved honey ham that I love; the one that's really hard to swallow and you'd need to have a glass of water on hand just in case. Yum.
3. Bencheley cherry almond tea. Enough said. It's very good at the end of the day with honey.
4. Soy candles. Just in general. They burn well and the scent is strong. Balsam, vanilla, sandalwood. Good stuff.
5. Oil of Olay facial lotion. I've used this stuff since I was sixteen; of course now there's a much larger variety to choose from. Not just for the cold cream, Christmas corsage crowd either.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Camera lesson

I received this amazing Canon camera as a Christmas gift and I still can't get the manual settings to make sense in my head.
Oh, and I got it last Christmas.

I even took a 3 week class; which, while I was in the class, I thought I had it all figured out and could take the cute little shots of the teacups all lined up and make that cool fuzzy look with the background. However, when I got home I think my brain emptied somewhere around a curve at Ninth Street as I would try out the same things in my living room and all I got were fuzzy, overexposed pictures. I think the main problem is that I want to photograph a child who doesn't know how to stay still for more than zero seconds.
On the bright side, about every sixth photo of a flower or dead, unmoving tree looks great.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas (or why I'll be leaving the store early today to go to the gym)

I decided to make about 12 tins of homemade fudge, chocolatey bark and the like for my local friends and to deliver them the week before Christmas with Rosemary. I must admit that it was a LOT of fun picking out the goofy snowman and reindeer containers at the craft store as I went in for something other than the usual stuff: watercolor paper, mats, paints, frames, beads, glass and the 70% off aisle.
I chose the recipes pretty carefully as I wanted something that I could make easily as my only prior experience with baking has been adding rotten bananas to a box of Jiffy mix breads. So I opted for a fudge selection that was rumored to take only 5 minutes and a peppermint bark creation that I could make with my eyes closed or while continuously relocating my daughter from the oven light in the kitchen as that is, evidently, the single most fascinating thing in the house (besides her Thomas the train flip book that I recently purchased from Goodwill for 69 cents, which may mysteriously DISAPPEAR tonight because I could probably recite that book backwards if asked).

We successfully made all of our treats and delivered them after dinner one night to many shocked friends; as I repeatedly heard things like, 'You MADE this', and 'Holy shit. You BAKED?', more than once so I guess it was unexpected, no?

We did keep one tin of 'extra' candies in the refrigerator of our house and I ingested a good portion of the fudge before the holiday. Not to mention the massive amount of sugary things at my mom's house for Christmas which led to my current 3-month weight loss/fitness challenge with my husband; and, for the love of God, I had better win as I do NOT want to be doing his laundry for the following three months after.