Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or treat!

Good time traveling around the neighbors' houses, showing off Batman and our little rooster. There's very few kids in the neighborhood, so ours get spoiled in 3 'regular' size bags of M&Ms. Each. From one neighbor. Another neighbor gave each kid a complete trick-or-treat bag, filled to the brim with candy and a couple of other Halloween treats. Life is good! And, after Eric went to bed, I went back down to a neighbor's for a little Halloween cocktail. Life is very good :-)

Defense mechanisms

I hate to stereotype, but sometimes some people just ask for it. Ever notice how, when a guy is clearly wrong about something, he gets overly defensive and comes up with horrible excuses instead of just admitting the wrong? And I'm not even talking about Ethan!

I have a monthly call that my 2 (male) co-workers are also supposed to participate in to report status of our respective projects. We got a notice a few weeks ago that the meeting would be on 10/31, and the agenda would be sent the week of the meeting. I immediately added this to my calendar so I wouldn't forget, especially because it's sandwiched between 2 weekly meetings and the guy puts up first on the agenda just so I can make it to my next meeting on time. Agenda gets sent out a few days ago, but I get on the call today and my co-workers are nowhere to be seen/heard. Not a problem, I can cover their stuff, goes off without a hitch.

I see them at my next meeting and ask that, if they can't make the meeting, at least give me a heads up so I can report their stuff. I said it with a smile, laughing, attempting to joke, etc.

"I didn't get the agenda" You got the meeting notice 2 weeks ago.

"Yeah, but it said the agenda would be sent out." It was sent out, they just weren't on it.

"See, so since it wasn't sent to me, I didn't know." Didn't know what? That there was going to be a meeting? Again, refer to notice sent 2 weeks ago.

Now, I'd like to think the average female would say "oops, I forgot, thanks for taking care of it." Yes? No?

Rules of trick-or-treating according to Evan

Most of these were prefaced by "Miss Carmen says." The second line is Mom's caveats to the rules
  • We don't go into people's houses
    • Unless Mom or Dad are with you and say it's okay. Because we'll probably go inside Miss Claire and Mr. Bill's house for a minute
  • And Miss Linda's house. We can go in Miss Linda's house too, right?
    • Yes, we can go in Miss Linda's house (note to self, call Linda)
  • We don't eat candy if it's already open
  • We don't eat candy we find outside. We have to go home, throw it away, and then we can go trick-or-treating again
  • If we see someone pick up candy outside and eat it, then we have to go home and throw it away and then come back out trick-or-treating
    • I have no idea where he was going with this one

Happy Halloween!!

I like Halloween...I don't love it like I do Christmas, but it's still a good holiday. Great memories of dressing up when I was younger and my mom spending lots of time and effort on a great costume. Usually a witch or Elvira-ish costume, since I already had the long black hair. Becky and I would go trick-or-treating in her neighborhood because 1. her neighborhood handed out some good stuff and 2. I think her mom knew everyone on the street so all the candy was 'safe,' even stuff people made. We still had to bring it back and let her sort through it all, but then Becky and I would go through and put together our 'trade' and 'keep' piles. Ahh, good times.

And it looks like the good times don't have to stop just because you grow up. I came in this morning to find my cube had been webbed. I can't even stand up, but it's pretty damn cool. I'm guessing my neighbor Jen was here a little late last night. Oh, and there's a can of Pledge on my desk as well. Nice touch.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

FYE...certainly was entertaining!

I've been inspired by some recent blog-reading to clean out the clutter and maybe fatten up my wallet in the process. Posted some items on Craigslist this week and even sold my old Treo 650 already! If anyone is interested in a wine fridge, fridge cart, or Little Tikes climber/slide, let me know ;-) Next stop was the rarely-used DVD collection, which Ethan and I sorted through and pulled out a number of things we haven't watched in ages. I also took the opportunity to clean through the CD collection, especially since I have everything online these days. Piled the CD/DVDs in my handy Giant shopping bag and headed to FYE, where rumor has it they will pay you for these items!!

The first cashier looks frightened when he sees me and defers to 'Luis,' who is a tall, geeky, music store looking guy with glasses and a goatee. He starts stacking the CDs and informs me they only pay store credit for the trade-ins, despite the giant "WE PAY CASH" sign in their store window. I point him to the sign and he retracts his story a little, saying some stores give cash, and then proceeds to list the other stores in the area that give credit. I repeat the pointing to the sign action a few more times until he says he's allowed to give up to $50 cash. Sigh. I tell him to start with the CDs and tell me when I've hit $'s his commentary:

Backstreet Boys: "We just got their new album today!"

'The Bodyguard' soundtrack: "Ah, this brings back some memories"

No Doubt: "Are you sure you want to get rid of this one?"

At the end of the CDs, I'm only at $20-something, so I start handing over DVDs. Not long after he tells me 'Weekend at Bernies' is going to make a comeback, I hit $48. I hand over My Best Friend's Wedding...$0.50. Dr. Dolittle 2...$3.00. Seriously. Three dollars for that horrible movie? Did they stop making it because it was so bad and it became a collector's item?? At this point, I have exceeded the $50 cash limit ($51.25 to be exact), but my new buddy Luis tells me he won't tell if I won't. I pick up the remaining DVDs and tell him I'll be back in a few days for another transaction.

Notes (because I'm sure there will be questions):
  • I LOVE the wine fridge...I'm only getting rid of it because I bought a bigger one. Never go to a wine tasting by yourself with a 25% off coupon
  • Yes, I use a Giant shopping bag. It's probably the only nice thing I do for the environment, but I really do it because I can fit 6 plastic bags worth of groceries into one of these bags. And I can carry 4 of these at a time, which means I can unload my truck in record time. Plus I don't have 19,000 plastic bags hanging around the house until I remember to take them to daycare so they can send them right back home full of Eric's drooled-on bibs.
  • Yes, I like the Backstreet Boys. I actually struggled with getting rid of those CDs, but they play on Sirius enough that I think I'll be okay. No, I did not buy the new album.
  • No, I do not still sing along to "I Will Always Love You." Not the CD anyway.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Things that make you smile :-)

Ethan went to play paintball this morning, so the boyz and I hung out, ran some errands, bakes brownies, nothing too exciting. In the middle of lunch, I realized we had a friend hanging out next to the house...

We get deer visitors pretty often (usually 5+ at a time), but they're normally not so close to the house in broad daylight and they usually run when they see me going for the camera. So it was kind of cool to actually get a picture for a change (although the 2nd one scared the living daylights out of me when I went on the deck...she was RIGHT next to the fence).

After lunch and naps, Evan and Ethan holed up in the basement to watch the Eagles beat the Vikings--if the Vikings had won, I would have had a perfect football pick for the week so far. Eric helped me clean out my closet and get the Goodwill donations together...kind of funny what kept him entertained for the better part of an afternoon!

Anyway, despite a looooong dreary rainy week stuck inside with a sick kid, the weekend made up for it! Although I do have to go back to work tomorrow. Probably should work the entire week in the office too. :-(

And the sun shines again...

After most of a week with Evan, I was looking forward to a little escape on Friday night. Until our babysitter called out sick. Nooooooooo! Amazingly enough, one of the daycare teachers that both kids love was available and willing to come over in the pouring rain at the last minute. Hooray! We spent the evening with a few newly-parented friends also in need of a night out at Chima's, not realizing until just before going there that this was going to be a meat-fest...still, it was some good meat :-) Afterwards, we headed to Gordon Biersch for dessert and drinks...yum!

Saturday we woke up to more rain, and decided to skip the Boo Zoo and alternate plans (sorry Em, it was just a little longer of a drive than we wanted to do!), and enjoyed a movie until--surprise!--the sun finally showed its bright self again. Later in the afternoon, we had some family time with the Potomac crowd and hardly saw Evan until it was time to go...a definite sign of a good time.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 3

We've watched Cinderella (twice), Cars, Aristocats, Little Einsteins Firebird Rescue (three times), various Little Einsteins episodes, and have now moved onto Lady and the Tramp.

The good news is that all the rest seems to be doing Evan good, and he's actually starting to get a little antsy at the end of a movie. The bad news is that I don't think I want to watch another Disney movie until 2010.

Maybe he'll be ready to go back to daycare tomorrow? At least for a couple of hours?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday...better than Monday? Not so much!

Not much sleep for most of the house, as Evan was up constantly coughing and just kind of crying and whining. Clearly, he is SICK, because he's never like this. He finally threw in the towel around 6:30 and came in to tell me he couldn't go to daycare and he needed to go to the doctor. Two phrases I have never heard him say, let alone at the same time, and I hope he never has to say them again. Luckily, we had his 4yo checkup scheduled for that afternoon, so no need to stalk the doctor's office as soon as they open. But I'll get back to that in a minute.

Yesterday was also the joyful day when I got to take Eric for his flu shot. We left the house at 7 am and returned at 10am (to be fair, it's 30 minutes away). Things did not quite go as planned. I assumed we were going for the flu shot the way I go for allergy shots...they stick you, make you wait for a while, and send you on your merry way. We had to see a doctor for this (had I known, I would have requested the doctor we normally see), and the guy we saw spent 20 minutes trying to diagnose Eric's patch of eczema on his face. Hello...we were here 2 weeks ago and everything was fantastic. He's cutting yet another tooth and when he cuts teeth, his face looks as though someone has been using sandpaper to wash it. We have plenty of cream and antihistamine to use and we've been using it, can we move onto the flu shot please! They finally decide to do a quick skin test to make sure he's not really allergic to eggs (fine), but get all out of sorts when one of the tests doesn't seem to be working right. And then they remember he has taken an antihistamine the night before (isn't there a reason they ask all these questions when you get there??). Anyway, no egg allergy, we get the shot, wait for 30 minutes, and on our merry way. I drop Eric at daycare and come home so Ethan can head to work.

Poor Evan is just miserable. He spent the entire day on the couch watching movies and asking if it was time to go to the doctor yet. We finally go and, despite being sick, he knocks his 4 year evaluation out of the park. Tells the nurses about Buck (his stuffed dog), does the visions/hearing tests without me being there, answers all the doctor's questions (and interrupts me to correct me a few times)...he was great. Doctor starts checking him out, trying to see if we can find the cause of the nasty cough and general misery. I'm thinking strep (he kept telling me it hurt behind his tongue), maybe bronchitis, something along those lines. No, not my kid. He doesn't get sick often (he hasn't been to the doctor since his 3 yr checkup), but when he does, he decides to come down with pneumonia. Fantastic. Luckily, it seems like we caught it early enough to just treat with antibiotics, fluids, and rest, so that is the upside. We head home, with a stop by CVS, and tuck my miserable little guy back into his spot on the couch with another movie.

The boyz and I were all asleep by 8:30 last night. I'm hoping everyone slept okay, because the space shuttle could have lifted off of my pillow and I doubt I would have woken up. Evan was up coughing around 5 am, but seemed to settle down with a drink of water, so hopefully he sleeps in a little.

Maybe Wednesday will be a better day? Not off to a great start, since I had to sit in traffic at 6:30 due to all the rain-related accidents.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Who knew a great day could turn into an awful night. More guilt that anything else...picked the boys up from daycare and Eric attached himself to my leg, started wailing, and pretty much didn't stop. Picking him up made it a little better, but makes it tough to cook dinner, so I made spaghetti and meatballs with my crying appendage. Ethan was running late, so the boys and I started without him. Evan picked out the meatballs and refused the pasta. Eric refused food, period, and milk. The wailing continued. I put him in his room for a little bit for some 'settle down time,' which seemed to help. Brought him back down and the wailing commenced. Evan continued to boycott the pasta. I declared bedtime for anyone who wasn't going to eat dinner, mostly because the wailing was starting to cause a ringing in my ears. Eric went to sleep pretty quickly, but Evan was awake (singing/talking/coughing) until his regular bedtime.

I hate being a mean mommy :-(

Thankfully Evan has his checkup tomorrow, so we can get the cough checked out (maybe time for new allergy medicine??). And maybe Eric will cut the last eye tooth, since I think that's the reason for all the wailing. Please don't let it be an early start to the terrible twos...

The Great Pumpkin (Patch Field Trip)

What a day...I am once again in awe of stay at home moms, teachers, nannies, anyone who spends the majority of their waking hours entertaining and educating small children. I love kids (especially my own), but I do not have the energy to keep up with them all day every day!! Whew!

Evan's pre-K class went to the pumpkin patch at Cox Farms today, and I went along as a 'chaperone.' Not a bad deal, I just knocked $100 off the tuition bill for the year, went to the pumpkin patch for free, and had some great quality time with Evan. And I didn't have to go to work on an absolutely gorgeous fall day. We went down the slides about a hundred times, yelling pickles and hot dogs (I don't know, Evan told me to do it!), went on a hayride, did the rope swing, ate some apples, and of course picked out a pumpkin. Somehow we managed to go the entire trip without needing to go to the bathroom, which is good since there were only porta-potties there, although it would have made me realize earlier in the day that Evan had his pants on backwards (saw it on the bus ride back to daycare).

Being silly on the bus...we started a frightening trend of boys wearing their mom's sunglasses :-)

Evan and one of his buddies acting goofy

Evan after the witches on the hayride scared the bjeebies out of him
(but it was pretty funny to watch him jump in his seat)

The little men trying out the rope swing...none of them were very good at it, so mostly they just jumped in the pile of foam underneath the rope. The moms got plenty of entertainment value out of watching them be silly though!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Never a dull moment!

When shopping, that is. I'm actually starting to think it might be me!!

Saturday, Evan and I went to Target to return a few birthday gifts and pick out some useful fun items. Kind of a fun trip, despite him insisting that we chant "Go Diego Go!" throughout the store. And he wonders why we returned the Go Diego game backpack. Anyway, we pick up some new things (Cars sheets and a new dinosaur to add to the collection) and head to the cash register. Total seemed a little high, but I didn't want to hold up the line behind me, so I pay, move out of the way, and look at my receipt. Seems we paid for TWO dinosaurs, even though only 1 is in the bag. I wait to get the cashier's attention and say "I think you rang up the dinosaur twice." She does not pause, blink, breathe, NOTHING before saying "No I didn't." Ummm...kind of rude, don't you think? Just because you're a Target cashier doesn't put you above making a mistake, does it? I hold up the bag with 1 dinosaur and show her the receipt with 2 dinosaurs, she makes the adjustment and we're on our way.

Today I had a marathon of errand running to do (Lowe's, Walmart, Costco, Target--yes, again, Total Beverage, CVS, and Michaels). Lowe's and Walmart were useless (didn't have what I needed at Lowes and spent more time in the checkout line than anywhere else in the store). I get to Costco and show my membership card and see the words "Replace Card" scrawled on the back with a marker. The last time I got gas, my card wouldn't work, and the lovely attendant put that on there so I would get a new card and not have to hunt him down the next time I needed gas. Kudos to him, as I immediately moved to the membership line to get my card. And there I waited. Apparently it was a popular day to sign up for new memberships with credit cards, which take a really looooooong time. I stand back a little bit so that people have room to walk, which leads people to assume I am standing there just waiting for life to pass me by and they should clog up the aisle and jump in front of me in line. I had the same conversation three different times:

Me: Excuse me, there's a line.

Idiot: Oh, I need to get a new card/replacement card/talk to the membership people

Me: So do I, that's why I'm in line

Idiot: Are you sure you're not in the line for returns? (I kid you not, more than one person made some version of this remark to me)

Me: I'm sure...the line for returns is over there. With all the people holding stuff that they'd like to return.

Idiot: Well I thought you were waiting in the return line.

Me: Well, I'm not.

How is it that some random customer thinks they know why I'm standing in line? I swear to you, I had the above conversation with TWO different people!!!! I was also nearly knocked off my feet by some lady desperate to buy a clock, but I was behind a very nice guy in line who moved my cart for me while I ran to grab a box of diapers (duh, Jessica, diapers are ALWAYS on the Costco list!)

And, to close out my shopping adventures, Eric and I went to CVS this afternoon to pick up one allergy medicine and get a refill of another (allergies are killing me this fall!!). We go to the prescription drop-off and wait. And wait. And then listen to a man in front of us yell at the prescription people because he had been there for an hour before finding out they were out of his prescription. And wait some more. And listen to a manager reprimand the employees for not telling that man about his prescription and how they should be more attentive to customers and treat them like people. Oh, and then I waited a little more. Someone finally comes to take my order and I think I would have rather waited longer for someone a little more, well, smart, for lack of a better word. Apparently I'm supposed to know the generic name AND spelling of the prescription refill that I need (Flonase, really, not that uncommon of a prescription these days!!). Someone else finally comes over and physically hands her the bottle of what I need. She tells me it will be 40 minutes. To slap my name on an already-measured bottle of nasal spray.

Eric and I immediately move to checkout, I figure I'll get the Flonase another day (have a few days worth at home, no big deal). Despite the fact that there are FIVE people working behind the counter, it takes 10 minutes for me to get to the front of the line (only 2 people in front of me). Eric is in one hell of a mood, and the guy in front of me is giving us evil looks while I try to distract him with high-fives, pounds, finding my nose, etc. The lady behind us is much nicer, thankfully. She said hi, which puts him into immediate shy mode, which also keeps him from being in a mood. Where was I? So we get to the line, spell my name 3 different times, and am informed the 40 minute prescription is also ready. I'd like to be irritated at the lady who said it would take 40 minutes, but hey, I just saved myself a trip back to CVS, so not worth it.

And that ends this weekend's shopping adventures!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Hubby

I have been tagged by Emily...

1. Who is your man? Ethan

2. How long have you been together? Since May 2000

3. How long did you date? 5 months until engagement, another 11 until we were married

4. How old is your man? 33

5. Who eats more? Chocolate/ice cream - him. Everything else - me.

6. Who said "I love you" first? I think that was him

7. Who is taller? He is, but I'm 99.9% sure our kids will be taller than him :-)

8. Who sings better? Definitely NOT me

9. Who is smarter? Hmmm...depends on the situation. And I'm not just talking about politics vs. entertainment news, I do think more than that :-)

10. Whose temper is worse? Mine. Hands down.

11. Who does the laundry? We both do...he tries to do house/kids laundry, but ends up leaving giant wrinkled piles around the house for me to fold so he is forbidden from doing my laundry.

12. Who takes out the garbage? Mostly him. And now that there's a giant raccoon lurking around, I think he'll be doing it all the time.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Looking at the bed - Me

14. Who pays the bills? Citibank

15. Who is better with the computer? He's more the computer geek than I am, see my blog about the power cord

16. Who mows the lawn? Ethan

17. Who cooks dinner? Usually me, unless it's on the grill, and then I usually have to tell him what needs to be cooked.

18. Who drives when you are together? Usually Ethan because we take his truck. He's not allowed to drive my truck and I hate driving his.

19. Who pays when you go out? It's called a joint account...

20. Who is more stubborn? I would say Ethan, but I bet he would say I am.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Me

22. Whose parents do you see the most? About equal between his parents and my mom

23. Who kissed who first? That would be him

24. Who asked who out? Ethan, in a very sneaky way

25. Who proposed? Do I look like the kid of girl who would propose to a guy?

27. Who has more friends? Ethan, I guess

28. Who has more siblings? Hmmm...he has 1 brother, and I have a half-sister and half-brother...does that make us equal? ;-) Just kidding B, I think of you as a whole sister!!

29. Who wears the pants in the family? Let's not go there.

Picture Day

Tomorrow is picture day at daycare; they have a photographer come in and take some generally overpriced photos of the kids that we usually don't buy too many of, but it's nice because I don't have to deal with a Saturday trip to Picture People and they'll take some photos of the boys together.

Yesterday, Evan told me "Mommy, Friday is picture day and Mr. Ryan said we have to wear something nice. I'm going to wear my Batman costume."


Cole makes a friend

Cole has taken to being an outside cat lately...I changed his litter box the other day and I swear it was the first time I had done it in a month. Not complaining! The only time he feels the need to come inside is to eat and drink and he does a lot of both. Easy answer to this is to keep some food and water outside, on the deck, under the table so it discourages other animals from coming to visit and keeps the food dry in case of rain. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

Ethan has been noticing the food is disappearing awful fast. I know Cole can eat a lot, but a quart-size bowl of food overnight? Our best guess is the neighborhood fox is coming to visit, but I think we would have known if that were the case. The fox is quite loud, especially when he sees Cole or Polly (Cole's little girlfriend that lives a few houses down). That, and I figure Cole would be dead by now if the fox was sneaking into our yard on a daily basis. Let's face it, the cat is fat and doesn't move too fast, and the fox likes meat!!

Last night, we brought the food in, but Cole went outside anyway. A little while later, it sounded like someone was pushing around a chair on the deck (also very unlike Cole, unless he was trying rub against the nasty growth on his face). Ethan looks out to see a huge raccoon under the table, presumably looking for the food. Huge. Bigger than Cole, who currently weighs in around 18-19 pounds. This thing was a beast.

Note: I did not see the raccoon, so I cannot vouch for it's size. This could be like the barracuda Ethan saw when snorkling on a cruise a few years ago that started out being 'this big' and ended up being 'THIS BIG'

So, the mystery has been solved and we now have an explanation for why a Subway wrapper was laying on the steps to the deck a few months ago. Now we just have to figure out how the raccoon is getting in (can they climb? if this thing is as fat as Ethan said, it shouldn't have been able to squeeze under the fence door) and get it out so Cole can have his food outside and not sleep inside and wake me up at random hours with his incredibly loud meows. And so I can continue on the monthly litter box changing :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thank goodness for bluetooth and the mute button!

I'm home with Eric, but trying to doing a little work. It's all meetings, which is nice, because I can do them from home, but kind of tough trying to keep Eric from talking for me!! Shortly after I got on the first call, he pooped and it ran straight out the side of his diaper (I guess I should have changed him when I got home!!). Thankfully, the diaper bag was close by and I could change him down here, but wow does it stink!! Now he's in his high chair with a container of cheerios/goldfish (also from the diaper bag) and is quite content emptying and refilling it, also not a quiet task. I think I'm done talking in this meeting though :-)

And I really need to make a pit stop myself, but it would be just my luck I'd forget to hit the mute button or someone would ask me a question!!

Fever formula

I get a call from daycare yesterday afternoon that Eric is running a fever of 100.9. They know we will be there soon (it was 4:30), but just wanted to let me know. The way the woman said "we're just letting you know" made me question if this was a fever we just needed to keep an eye on or if this was a your child must stay home thing. I asked, and was told he needed to stay at home. I asked what the fever cutoff was and she seemed confused by this question. ?? I'm not doubting that 100.9 is indeed a fever, but I swear every time I ask this question, I get a different answer. Sometimes it's 100, sometimes it's 101, sometimes it depends on how they have taken the temperature (although they always seem to take it under the arm). She tells me 100.5, which is a brand new number, and then says she's going to check and call me back. After hanging up the phone, I went to the ladies room and pulled a gray hair which I'm pretty sure showed up as a result of the conversation.

Sidebar: I really do love our daycare, and most of the people there are the absolute greatest. This just happens to be one of those weeks where things are not going as they should, and that's going to happen anywhere.

So here's their policy, which is about clear as mud. If a child is running a fever above 100, they must stay home until they are fever free for 24 hours. But they're changing that policy, because 100 seems a little low when you consider things like teething, so 100.5 is going to be the new policy. But they add a degree when they take a child's temperature (since they do it under the arm), so, in reality, if the thermometer registers 99.5 or above more than once (they check it a couple of times over the course of an hour), then it is considered a fever and the 24 hour rule kicks in.

Good grief.

Eric's temperature spiked a little last night, but is fever-free this morning and spending the day at home with daddy until after my 1:00 meeting.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Silly scary

I don't know why, but every once in a while I run into a book that I can't sleep unless I have finished it. 'Kiss the Girls' does it to me every time...even though I've read the book a dozen times, I get all sorts of weird creepy dreams if I'm in the process of reading the book. So either I can't t read it before bedtime or I have to finish it before I go to sleep.

Anyway, I'm reading 'Judge & Jury' by James Patterson and could NOT sleep last night!! Thankfully, I finished it at the gym tonight so hopefully I'll get some better sleep tonight :-)

But at least I don't sleep-wander around the room closing the door so bats don't come in (not sure what Ethan was watching before he came to bed!!)

It's not a peanut, but still pretty lethal in my opinion

To comment on my earlier peanut blog, which has raised some remarks on and off-line, I am not discounting the severe allergies some kids have to peanuts (or wheat, or bees, or any number of other things we encounter in the everyday world that, if not treated properly, could have a tragic ending). But all those things exist in the world, and so we must learn to co-exist. I'm also not putting down my daycare, because it was great that they recognized the peanut butter and got it the hell out of the classrooms as fast as possible. They are a 'nut-free' facility, to the point that I have to pay a caterer (designated by them) if I want my child to have a birthday cake to celebrate with his friends. You can't bring any kind of food into their rooms unless you have an accompanying note from their doctor that says they need this food and, by the way, that food needs to be in it's original packaging with the ingredients clearly listed on the label. Trust me, these people don't mess around. I don't benefit from it, but I do appreciate it.

I do think the disinfecting of a room that did not have the peanut product in it was a little much. I also think the APB type email to all the parents was a little much. Allow me to elaborate:

Several months ago, when Eric was a resident of the Infant room (aka non-walking kids), I came to pick him up and was immediately pulled into the office by a staff member. They informed me that another infant in the room had lost an earring at some point during the day. After realizing it was missing, they cleared the infants out of the room and searched/vacuumed the room. They never found the earring, but assumed it got caught on something and went into the trash or maybe it was outside...babies tend to look at things for a bit before sticking it in their mouth, so it was highly unlikely a child had swallowed the earring. As a precaution, they were notifying all the infants' parents and we were told it was very 'likely' the earring would pass through, on the slim chance a child had swallowed the earring. But there's still a chance it could get stuck on the way down and there were various symptoms to watch out for. I think this was a normal/sane way to handle the situation. If they had handled this to the degree the peanut situation was handled, they would have ordered a full body scan for every infant and banned children/staff from wearing jewelry (probably parents too). That would have been a little much.

Anyway, I digress and wish those people/kids with such severe allergies the best of luck in managing them throughout their lives.

More mommy musings

One of the girls at yesterday's party brought her (slightly) younger brother along. I think it was a last minute things, since the mom apologized for having to bring him, but who knows since the mom in charge of the girl invitees was not very forthcoming in communication about who was coming to the party. Not a big deal, the park was huge, and it's not like we were rationing food and drinks, right? Right. However, near the end, the little boy comes up to me and asks for a goody bag. I ended up giving him one because 1) I'm too damn nice, 2) his mom was very nice and even helped clean up/carry things to the car, and 3) a kid didn't show, so I had an extra.

Now, I don't expect a huge amount of understanding from the kid, who was roughly 2 1/2, but he approached me while his mother was standing right next to me, so why didn't she step in? I wasn't going to give him a bag until I made sure all the other kids had a bag, which put me in an awkward spot (I just told him we weren't giving them out yet, but still). I'm sure we've all been in a situation where you've had to bring an extra guest to a party/event, but do you automatically assume they're going to get everything a 'regular' guest would? Maybe it's just me (obviously it was not this woman), but if I had to bring Eric to a party for one of Evan's friends, especially at the last minute, I would not assume he was getting a goody bag at the end. And if I heard him ask for one, I would have told him th e goody bags were for Evan's friends and, since he had been so good, he could have/do something special after we left the party.

Is this just me?

Seriously? Seriously.

I received the following email this morning from our daycare provider. My children do not seem to be victims of the peanut allergy epidemic that has swept the nation in recent years, but this seems like a little much. They disinfected an entire room that didn't even get the peanut- contaminated crackers?? My apologies if your child has one of these 'life threatening allergies,' but seriously, didn't we used to eat peanut butter as soon as we were old enough to chew?

Precautionary Alert
Spring Hill Location:
Center Staff discovered that several sleeves of sealed Ritz crackers had peanut butter particles on the crackers themselves and on the inside of the wrappers when they were opened in the Pre-Toddler classroom on Friday, October 12, 2007. The crackers were removed from the classrooms and taken to the kitchen and them to the corporate office at McLean where it was determined that the substance that smelled like peanut butter, looked like peanut butter and tasted like peanut butter was in fact peanut butter.
The tables were disinfected in the Pre-Toddler classroom with the appropriate approved bleach solution. There are no known peanut allergies in the Pre-Toddler classroom. The Toddler classroom where there is a child with a peanut allergy was disinfected completely with the approved bleach solution to include the floor, carpet, rugs, tables, chairs, containers etc. The parent of the child with the allergy was contacted regarding the issue. The Infant room children were not served the Ritz crackers. There are no known peanut allergies in the Infant Classroom. The Preschool/PreKindergarteners were not served the Ritz crackers as they had bags of trail mix for their snack due to their having a field trip on the morning of October 12, 2007. There are no known peanut allergies in the Preschool/PreKindergarten classroom.
McLean Location:
The McLean location was not served Ritz crackers for their snack on Friday, October 12, 2007. All Ritz crackers were collected and removed to the corporate office.
The Ritz crackers (Nabisco/Kraft product) in question were delivered in two (2) boxes to Spring Hill on Sept. 26, 2007 and October 10, 2007 and to McLean on Sept. 21 three (3) boxes and on October 5 (4 boxes). The boxes did not indicate that they had any peanut products in them OR that they were processed on a machine that exposes them to peanut products. At this time, all orders from Nabisco/Kraft have been halted and will not be used. Any products from Nabisco/Kraft currently in stock will not be used until a level of confidence is restored regarding these products. This information regarding "peanut butter found in a product that is allegedly peanut free" was given to our distributor from US Foods and a representative from Nabisco/Kraft on Friday, October 12, 2007. I was contacted by two reps from US Foods and a rep from Nabisco/Kraft. I am waiting to be contacted further from a rep from Nabisco/Kraft on Monday, October 15, 2007 to discuss this error. I made it very clear about the seriousness of this issue and the lengths we go to in order to keep our environment peanut free. I also made it very clear that if we received this product in error, other organizations who serve children who are at a high risk due to life threatening allergies may also serve this product with dire consequences.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Birthday parties...DONE

I think watching Evan turn 4 was more exhausting than turning 30 :-) My bones actually ache; does that mean I'm getting old?? ;-)

While it was great to have everyone be able to celebrate Evan's birthday, I didn't imagine it would take quite as many parties as it did (King's Dominion, our house, daycare, Grandma & Pop-pop's house, and finally, the park). Today was the grand finale, a party with Evan's daycare friends which we combined with another girl's party at a local park. I think we had 16 kids, plus a couple of siblings, and at least 1 parent for every kid. Honestly, it was about the same size crowd as if we had the 'family and friends' party at our own house, except we had a huge playground to spread everyone out on. A definite plus.

And now I must complain. I learned some valuable lessons in the co-party area, enough to know that I most likely will never do this again unless it is with a close friend who is a) as anal retentive as I am and will most likely need to be as involved in every detail as I am or b) someone who is laid back enough to trust me and let me handle everything and essentially do what I tell them to. Sorry friends, that's how it is, if you're not one of those types, then just know that we will never co-host a party.

So my co-party parent was somewhat of the "you take care of it and I'll pay you for half" mentality, which I thought was great. Except she said she'd get balloons and showed up with a bunch of girl-colored balloons. And showed up FIFTEEN minutes before party time (she was supposed to be there an hour before) with the balloons in a huge knot after letting them hang out of her convertible on the drive over and asked me to untangle them (I did not). And then realized she forgot a candle and left her child with me so she could run back to Giant and buy one. And started spreading pink tablecloths over the picnic tables despite the fact I had already laid down extremely neutral white ones (we compromised on the half of the table that her kid's cake was on). And invited half a dozen family members (plus kids) without mentioning this fact, knowing that I was doing all the shopping.

Okay, I feel better. I had to laugh when she called me (after I was already at the park) and asked me if I had bought drinks. Duh. When I say I'll take care of the food and drinks, don't you think I bought drinks? She then questioned if I had bought enough...and to be fair, she doesn't know me that well nor has she ever been to a party at my house where she would have clearly known that, if anything, I am always over-prepared. I explained I had 30 juice boxes, a 24 pack of water, 3 2-liter bottles of sodas, all cold, plus a bag of ice and she still showed up with more soda and water (warm). I'm pretty sure she took it all home, unopened, seeing as how I came home with a handful of drinks myself.

Okay, I'm really done now.

The party in the park was an AWESOME idea and Mother Nature served up a perfect day for it. I had games in my back pocket, but never even thought about breaking them out because the kids were so happy to chase each other around, took a break for cake, and then chased some more. Parents were nice, kids were adorable (hugs and kisses all over the place), food was tasty, cake looked great (Disney 'Cars') and in general a good time was had by all--in my opinion, anyway :-)

But next year, I think I'll do the party by myself ;-)

Evan and Eric, enjoying the day

The 4 year old!
The birthday couple

The boys lined up for 'Race Car McQueen' cake!
Evan and one of his many women trying to hug...they took out a pile of presents in the process. I'm not sure who was laughing harder, them or the parents!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Soup and sandwiches

At some point yesterday, I realized I forgot to take the pork chops out of the freezer for dinner. Not the greatest day to forget, since Ethan I both have late afternoon meetings on Wednesdays, but oh well. After a quick cabinet/fridge survey, I decide on grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken noodle soup. Ethan was stuck in traffic, so the boys and I started without him.

This is the first time we've had soup since Eric figured out the spoon, so I give him a regular bowl with noodles and broth (used to just give him the noodles). He starts out well, but then gets silly and ends up with more soup on him than in him. Evan and I decide to teach him the trick of dipping your sandwich in the soup (I personally think it's kind of gross, but Ethan and Evan do it, so whatever). Eric enjoys this game, except instead of taking a bite of the sandwich, he just sucks on it before re-dipping it into the soup, so this gets messy quickly.

After a few minutes, Eric decides this is not the most effective method of eating and, before I can stop him, he dumps the bowl of soup on top of the sandwich. I manage to react fast enough to get the soup back in the bowl and the now completely soaked sandwich back on the plate., but have clearly lost control at the dinner table. Eric spends the next 5 minutes poking holes into the mushy sandwich.

I try a different tactic, cutting up an apple and giving slices to both boys, even though Evan has barely eaten his soup. I turn back to the table to find Eric happily dipping his apple in, you guessed it, the soup.

Maybe next time we'll just order pizza :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The longest morning ever...

So yesterday was Eric's 18 month checkup, which went well, all thing considered. He's healthy, growing, developing normally, etc. The morning itself was the longest thing ever.

The doctor's office called to confirm the appointment and said the appointment was earlier than I had written down (by 15 minutes).

Evan wanted to go to daycare super early to share the news that he's 4 with more people since everyone in our house is very clearly tired of hearing him sing "I'm 4 today, I'm 4 today" over and over. And over. We take him to daycare and then Eric and sat in the car and enjoyed a few minutes of silence before heading on our way.

I stop off at McDonald's for a breakfast sandwich, figuring I can get away with it since only Eric is with me (Evan would be requesting cheese hamburgers, even though it's 8 in the morning). I get my sandwich and soda and Eric looks at me in the mirror and says "apple?" Thankfully his juice cup distracts him and I don't have to go back for apple dippers. But it's not good when the 18 month old outsmarts you like that.

We stop off in Target to pick up a few things, and head to the doctor. Where we find out they confirmed the wrong time and I am in fact 15 minutes early for the appointment. No biggie, we hang out in the playroom for a while before they call Eric back and start the medieval torture of weighing and measuring him. He does nothing to charm the nurses as he screams and thrashed the entire time. As I'm looking at the measurements, I realize his head has shrunk in the past 3 months, which can't be right seeing as how he still staggers around like a drunk man. We re-do the torture and compromise that his head stayed the same and figure the measurement was wrong last time.

30 minutes after my appointment time (45 minutes after the messed up time), the doctor shows up. They're normally not that bad in this office, so I can't complain too much. Plus, Eric was incredibly happy with moving magazines/toys from one box to another the whole time we were waiting. So, doctor comes in, we go through everything and determine he's doing great and I should not be concerned about the head measurement since he's still in the 80th percentile (plenty of room for the brain to grow!). We talk about his allergy stuff, which seems to be only eggs, and the doc drops the bombshell that if he's allergic to eggs, he can't have a flu shot. Eric. The child that had 17 various viral infections last winter. Just because he barfs when he eats scrambled eggs or french toast (no issues with food that contain smaller amounts of eggs). I try to argue this for a while, but the answer remains no, no, and hell no (okay, he didn't say hell no, he said "he's not getting the shot in this office"). Fantastic.

At just after 11, I finally get Eric back to about the world's longest morning!! I did find out later, he can get the flu shot from his allergist's office, but they will do it in small increments over the course of about an hour. So an hour in another doctor's office with multiple shots and a barf bucket. How lucky for me :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Shoes and a haircut

I'm not sure how it happens, but it seems like every time a kid needs a haircut, we also end up in the shoe store. And they don't get haircuts at the same time, so, even though it's just Payless, trips to the mall are starting to get a little expensive! Although, Eric's hair is starting to grow a little faster, so hopefully we'll get them on the same haircut schedule soon. In any case, Eric needed the haircut trip today, and Evan has worn a hole in the front of his sneakers even though he hasn't actually outgrown them yet. We get into Payless and find the same shoes he has now and decide to go up a size (the old ones were stretched, I guess?)...and then we add some Spiderman slippers (it is the boy's birthday, after all). End up being a good choice, as Payless is doing their Bogo sale.

We head back to Cartoon Cuts, where Evan keeps Eric from crying by repeatedly singing 'Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes' complete with hand motions. Hey, it worked, he sat still while the lady did her thing with 9 different sets of clippers. After the haircut, I realize Eric's shoes are a little tight, so we head BACK to Payless while Ethan and Evan go to Brookstone for a ride in the massage chair (remember yesterday's triathlon?). Find a pair of shoes for Eric (not the same as what he has now) and realize we need to buy 2 pairs to take advantage of the Bogo deal. All other shoes in the next size are pretty ugly, so Eric also gets a pair of Spiderman slippers. If only I had planned ahead, this trip would have cost half as much (but no one would have gotten Spiderman slippers, and I think they were worth it ;-)

Speaking of shoes, a DSW is going in down the street. Within walking distance. Right next to TJ Maxx. This is going to be very bad on my wallet...

Happy Birthday, dear Evan...

And today, my little boy turned 4. We started off strong with a 7:00 AM tantrum because 'Ariel' wasn't showing on the Disney Channel (a few weeks ago, Disney did a weird thing and did NOT have the typical toddler lineup on, and since that was the last weekend day Evan watched TV in the morning...) Thanks to Emily Yeung and her desire to learn ballet, Evan did not start his birthday with a timeout. He likes girls in tights, it makes Ethan proud, what can I say?

Since it's Sunday, we bypassed the normal birthday cake and opted for a candle in a stack of chocolate chip pancakes instead. Shortly after blowing out the candle, Evan asked 'can I have my T-Rex now?' After a month of hearing about this dinosaur, quite honestly I couldn't wait any longer!!

The rest of the day was pretty much as normal as a Sunday, playing outside, errands, etc. We closed out the night with pizza and moose tracks ice cream, which Eric inhaled in exactly 3 bites. Evan and Ethan headed down to play with their--I mean Evan's--new dinosaurs so I could look at pictures and blog :-)

Happy Birthday dude!
A new plane from Daddy

Hummer, boat, and ATV from the PA crew
The much-anticipated T-Rex!!
And Eric is just happy to play with some of Evan's 'old' toys :-)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Bumpass Trip Report

No, I am not making up the 'Bumpass' thing, there really is a city in Virginia called Bumpass. Also home to Lake Anna, which is actually heated, thanks to a nearby power plant (yet people are more comfortable swimming in there than in the Potomac River?). We spent 24 hours away from home so Ethan could do the Giant Acorn sprint triathlon (750 meter swim, 20k bike, 5k run, please don't ask me to translate that into miles). Many athletes do a race report at the end of their race...kind of a lessons here's my trip report. I don't know if I learned anything, but there's plenty to tell.


3:00 PM Pick up kids from daycare and load up the DVD player only to find the second screen has crapped out. Thinking I am the woman for actually keeping the receipt and box (we have bad luck with portable DVD players, a phenomenon I usually blame on Ethan's truck), I soon find out we are 1 month past the warranty. I still intend to give Insignia and Best Buy a piece of my mind. Best Buy really has it coming because when they installed Ethan's Sirius antenna, they broke some insulation and tried to hide it by duct taping it back together and now the truck whistles when we get above 40 mph.

4:30 PM Evan falls asleep in the truck. Never in a million years would I have guessed THAT would have happened, especially not when he was in the middle of a movie.

5:45 PM Arrive at our hotel approximately 90 minutes later than originally planned. Traffic was horrible. And we had access to the wide-open HOV lanes for a good portion of it. Too bad the rest of the trip we didn't get above 40 mph (at least we didn't have to listen to the truck whistling!). Add the fact that I need to use the bathroom and it's a recipe for disaster. We skip check-in and head to a local Italian place for some food. Wasn't very good, but it was close, clean, and the people were nice.

6:20 PM Ethan decides we're going to try and make it to packet pickup, even though it closes at 7 PM and TomTom is telling us it's 40 minutes away. 40 very windy, bumpy minutes away. At some point, Evan says "can we please go where all the other cars are going?" and I'm wondering where TomTom is sending us!

6:57 PM By some miracle, we (all) arrive at packet pick-up, alive and physically well (mentally, a little shaken up). Quite a sunset though!

I told you it was a bumpy ride...
Not a bad view though!

8:00 PM As we pull into the hotel, Eric vomits. Oh joy. I'm quite skilled in vomit containment, and actually get him out of the car and undressed without getting it all over the carseat or myself. Poor Moose does not get off the hook, and he's Eric's #1 bedtime toy.

8:08 PM Settle into the hotel (Ethan and I are also quite skilled at re-arranging a hotel room to make room for the Pack-n-Play and make sure there is a clear path from Evan's bed to the bathroom, including a nightlight). Evan is extremely excited about staying in a hotel (I think he gets this from my mother) and immediately gets into his pajamas and climb into bed.

8:30 PM Eric goes to sleep.

9:00 PM I give up on Evan going to sleep and turn on the TV.

9:15 PM Ethan goes to Doug & Jen's room to help Jen get her triathlon gear organized

9:45 PM I call Ethan and tell him to get back into our room before people start wondering what all the yelling/crying is about

10:00 PM Evan FINALLY falls asleep

There's a whole lot of getting out of bed in the middle of the night to check on kids, pat them on the back, tuck covers in, etc.

6:30 AM (I think) Ethan's alarm goes off and he does his thing

7:00 AM (I think) Ethan tells me to get a move on--sheesh!! ;-)

7:20 AM Evan asks me to please turn off the air conditioning because he is freezing (FYI, if it had been set to a 'normal' temp, we would have been listening to traffic all night). I turn on the heat for a minute to defrost the room

7:30 AM Smoke detector goes off in the room, probably because of the heat. Turns off a minute later after I open the door to the room. A few minutes later, we hear sirens, which Ethan is convinced are coming to our room and yells at me to get my pants on. It was a decent hotel and all, but I really doubt the smoke detector automatically called 911 for us. I am right, the fire department does NOT show up at the door.

8:30 AM We arrive at the triathlon site and Eric throws up. Take him out of the car and he throws up some more. I decide against making Ethan ride his bike home and we all stay (just kidding, Doug and Jen offered to drive him home if I needed to leave with the boyz). Thankfully, this is the end of the vomiting (for today, at least). We find a spot to hang out and watch the swim, and visit with our triathletes a little.

Jen getting into her wetsuit, which is a multi-person ordeal. Ethan needed help too, but he was more sneaky about it so I couldn't get a funny pic of him

Evan and Ethan compare abs

10:00 AM The race starts, and Evan learns the words to 'Who Let the Dogs Out,' much to the joy of the lady sitting next to us with 2 dogs. Eric spots a 'poppy' (puppy) for the 700th time of the morning. And there were not that many dogs there!

10:35 AM After seeing Ethan and Jen make it out of the water, we take a bathroom break. Porta-potties are already pretty gross, but I truly believe they are at their most disgusting after the start of a lengthy athletic event where there are no built-in bathroom breaks. I take Evan into one and am unable to stop him from looking, so we go into another stall and I practically blindfold him to get him to go to the bathroom. Lots of hand sanitizer afterwards. By the way, many many MANY thanks to Doug for helping during this time because there's no way in heck I could have managed going to the bathroom with 2 kids.

11:00 AM We see Ethan coming back from the bike and starting the run!! He kicked ass on the bike and came in much earlier than expected, which is why I have no pictures of it. Evan remarks that he can run faster than the people doing the triathlon.

11:30 AM Ethan finishes! After many circles, we find him at the finish line, hang out for a bit until Jen finishes, have lunch (which Eric does not vomit, although he does eat it with his eyes closed), and head back to the truck.

Ethan heading towards the finish line
Jen getting ready to cross the finish line

1:00 PM Back on the road, Eric passes out the minute we hit pavement, and Evan is happily engrossed in 'Cars.' Traffic is very light and we make it home a little before 3:00 PM. The day is far from over, but, well, I'm tired.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Somewhere in the past couple of years, I turned into a snooze button junkie. I used to get right up out of bed and head to the shower (note: despite what Ethan says, this does NOT make me a morning person). Now I hit snooze 2-3 times and I hate it. I hate it when people sleeping around me use their snooze button, and it really bothers me when I do it. Plus, I would really like to get in the habit of getting up earlier a few mornings a week and getting to the gym for a few minutes. Much easier than trying to squeeze it in after work or in the evenings (although I still have to go on Mondays or Evan will be very disappointed).

So last night I decide to try and tackle the snooze button problem by setting my alarm later (6:30 instead of 6) and convince myself I can get up without hitting the snooze button. Well, I'm happy to report I achieved that goal, thanks to my darling children and someone else's alarm clock.

5:17 (Evan yelling) Can somebody come put my covers on me?!?!

Why he needs someone to do this, I have no idea...the kids gets out of bed plenty and always manages to tuck himself back under the covers, except for during the final hours of my sleeping time.

5:23 Eric starts crying. I go in and he's standing up in the crib looking all bent out of shape. I dig out the pacifier, lay him down, and tuck him in with his blanket, Moose, and Puppy (Boo and Poppy, as he calls him). Eric is not pleased with this, so I end up standing over the crib for a few minutes before heading back to my own bed.

5:30 Eric starts crying again. I'm sure I muttered some very un-motherly words as I threw the covers off again and then repeated the same routine.

I get back into bed (again) and attempt to convince myself to go back to sleep, even though I'm now wide awake. I'm tired...I took a couple of Aleve before going to bed last night (aching arm)...stayed up too late reading after watching Grey' alarm isn't supposed to go off for almost an hour. Then the other voice chimes in...this would be good practice...get to work're leaving early, so maybe I can get in all my hours. The 'good' voice eventually shuts up and I fall back asleep.

6:00 someone else's alarm goes off. Ahem. They hit the snooze button (or maybe just shut it off)

6:14 am Eric starts crying again. Repeat previous episodes with blankets and Boo and Poppy. I give in to the fact that I should just go take a shower and not try and squeeze in another 10 minutes of sleep.

So here I am, at work a little earlier than expected, and waiting hungrily for Jen to get here so we can go get a free breakfast :-)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

mmm, pumpkin

Pumpkin bagels with pumpkin cream cheese...yum. Almost time for Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie! With lots and LOTS of whipped cream (not cool whip, must be whipped cream).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Speaker phones

Why must people use speaker phones in a cube farm? More importantly (and annoyingly), why must they use them to call someone who sits within earshot? I hear more conversations a day because of at least one person on a speaker phone. Today, I was listening to 2 people discuss the fact that a meeting was not showing up on the calendar for Monday (govt holiday, but not for us) and they needed to fix it. One person was in their office, and on the phone using the receiver (completely acceptable). The individual who placed the call was in the cube just outside the office and made the call using the speaker phone. Honestly. How hard is it to get up and walk the 4 feet into the person's office??