Thursday, April 24, 2014


This past weekend, we took a family trip to Ilwaco/Long Beach to go clamming and relax and just get away after tax season.  We’re going back in another week because, well, we always go “home” for Loyalty Day and the Blessing of the Fleet.  You can take the man away from the ocean, but not for long, I guess.


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As we were heading to the pizza parlor, Charles (who sits right next to Jamie in the truck) started calling, “Jamie!” to his brother.  Repeatedly.  Jamie ignored him. 


“Jamie!”  “Jamie!  I’m talking to you!”


“I can’t hear you!” Jamie finally said.  I started to smile and glanced sideways at Tony.  Sometimes, you just know when something is about to get good.


“Jamie!”  Charles yelled louder, and more insistently.


“I CAN’T HEAR YOU.”  Jamie replied




“I’m seeing the lake, Chawals!  I can’t hear you!”  (We were driving by Black Lake.)








“Chawals, I’m trying to FOCUS!”


That effectively silenced Charles because Tony and I were laughing so hard he couldn’t get a word in edgewise.


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Why are these people always bothering me?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Report

I’ve read several good books lately, all different, and all ones I would recommend reading.


The first in this latest list is one about which I actually called my mother before I was done reading it and told her to check it out from the library.  It’s The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.  It started slowly, but as it built, it became more and more absurd and more and more funny.  There are a few books that make me laugh out loud while I’m reading them and even fewer from which I’ll bother to read passages out loud to Tony; this was one of those rare books.  Things just kept getting crazier and crazier – it reminded me of a Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker movie.  So, I guess if you liked Airplane! or The Naked Gun, for instance, you might like this book.


When I last did a book report, I was about to start Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson.  What’s with reading about geriatrics lately?  I honestly don’t know, but I do know that this was a wonderful novel about an old man confronting prejudice in his sleepy English town and learning to live his life again.  It had an element of “Oh! I know someone exactly like that!” about it, which makes things a bit more fun.  Also, there’s a distinct “watching a trainwreck” feeling I got during a couple of parts of the book – a feeling that can sometimes bother me and cause me to feel embarrassment on the part of the characters, but in this case was more of the “I can’t look away!” variety.


Are you among the few people left in the world who have not read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini?  There’s a reason it was a best-seller for so long.  Maybe, if you’re like me, you haven’t picked it up yet because you thought it would be painfully sad.  I don’t mind emotion in the novels I read, but I do tend to bypass books that look like their sole purpose is to make me cry.  This was not one of those books, thankfully, and I’m glad I checked it out.  It is sad, it is poignant, but it’s also comedic and beautifully written and full of hope.  I love stories of hope and I adore stories of redemption, even if things don’t always turn out wonderfully.


I read Elizabeth Kostova’s The Swan Thieves and I was not nearly as enamored by it as I was with The Historian.  Both were back-and-forth in time books, but The Swan Thieves was just more boring.  I guess reading about a lonely nineteenth-century impressionist artist and her totally staid love affair with an older man and how it relates but doesn’t relate to a modern artist’s weird obsession and psychotic episode just didn’t grab me in the same way that Vlad the Impaler did in The Historian.  Also, it was really, really loooong.


Time again for you to tell me what YOU’RE reading.  Is it good?  I’m adding to my library wish list since I know that I’ll be spending many overnight hours awake, nursing and infant, in no time at all.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sugar Rush

I could vomit or fall asleep right now; really, either one is possible.


I finished my 2-hour fasting glucose tolerance test this morning, otherwise known as “shock your system with concentrated, un-carbonated orange pop and then let people poke you with needles.”  It was a 2-hour fasting test because my doctor has had to send so many women back for the 3-hour test from false positives on the 1-hour test that he is now trying to hedge his bets.  I suppose that one day of hell is better than doing this twice, but still.  TWO HOURS.  The baby staged a massive, sugar-fueled dance party for most of that time, though he’s now come off of it for the requisite sugar crash and nap.  I wish I could do the same.


I have never had gestational diabetes, despite extreme weight gain, and I am fairly certain I don’t have it now (and I really hope I don’t have to eat those words when the test results come back).


I put the test off a bit because I needed Tony to be available to take the kids to preschool in the morning.  You don’t screw around with fasting when you’re 28 weeks pregnant; you fast overnight and then do your test first thing in the morning, pulling away from grasping fingers and sleepy eyes and whining voices who want you to “make me breakfast, mommy” and “don’t go, mommy!”  As if I could have made breakfast for anyone else while my stomach was eating itself at 7 am.  So I did the test today and I have my routine doctor’s visit on Friday, and then life can go back to its normal routine of chaos and idiocy.


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It’s a “normal” I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Van Family

As you might have seen on FaceBook, we bought a van.  It’s a 2008 Toyota Sienna AWD Limited, and we got an incredible deal from this used car dealer, which was a wonderful buying experience.  So.  If you’re near Woodinville and looking for a car, I recommend checking them out.


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The kids love it, more than I ever thought possible.  Of course, in their minds, we’ve pretty much always had our other cars, so there is an aspect of novelty to this car.  There are also countless buttons and lots of room – the boys request to spend time “playing” in the car (pretending to drive places).  Thankfully, when the steering wheel locks up from being “driven” too hard while the car is parked and off, I can easily unlock it.  This was not the case with our old Honda CR-V.  Charles once locked the steering wheel so hard that I spent ten minutes frustratingly yanking and pulling and trying so hard to get it to work before I called my brother to come flex his muscles and get me on the road again.


Oh, you didn’t know that steering wheels could be locked in this manner, thereby keeping you from even turning on the car?  You must not have little boys who like to make “rrrr-RRRR” sounds while pretending to drive.


It’s a very nice new-to-us car, but it will take some getting used to.  I mean, have you seen how long these things are?  And I keep reaching for a clutch pedal and the gear shift, since my Honda was a manual transmission.


Our timing was good; Tony was able to take part of yesterday off (his first time off in three months!) to go pick up the car.  We drove it to his end-of-tax-season party last night at a bowling alley, at which I did not bowl.


Then we came home to this:


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Top bunk – it lasted until about 2:15 am


Ahh, brothers.  They are so great.  Though in a few years, they’ll probably be more like this.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Those Days

The post-cold season colds have been hitting our family pretty hard, culminating in me sleeping on the couch most of last night.


Charles and Jamie are both stuffed up and have coughs, even though it is April and I really thought we might get through this year unscathed by viruses.  Alas, no.  And Tony will probably be next, since tax season is now over and he can let all his subconscious or involuntary defenses down.


Isn’t that the way it works?  Like, when I was in college, I only seemed to get really sick over winter or spring break.  It’s like my immune system was fighting to get me through finals and then just completely shut down once I had turned in my last paper or test.  Or maybe it’s just that I stopped self-medicating with copious amounts of coffee and alcohol.  Seriously, how did my liver make it through college?


Anyhow, yesterday was one of those days.  You know, THOSE DAYS.  Nothing seemed to go my way.  Jamie and Charles both threw fits, and you know what?  I am tired.  I am just tired of the tantrums and the whining and the pleading and the fighting.  No matter that I am firm in my consequences or mean it when I say no (I don’t give in), they still whine and cry and try to get me to change my mind about things like candy or snacks before dinner or toys at preschool (they’re not allowed to take any and they know it) or wearing pants.  It’s exhausting and my patience is running very thin.  Do I know that losing my temper and snapping at them when they start to cry because I won’t read them a story when I’m late for work doesn’t help the situation?  Yes, but I can’t seem to help myself.


And whether you want to blame pregnancy or just my natural brain dysfunction, I am very forgetful.  I felt like, yesterday, several of the balls I was juggling crashed to the ground, the largest being that I got halfway through a roadtrip to buy a new car (yes, more on that later) and realized that I forgot the title to the car I was trading in.  By the time I got back to the house, I didn’t have enough time to turn back around, make the deal, and get home in time to pick up the kids.  Oh, right, and then there was dinner that wasn’t planned (you mean you people want to eat again? I just fed you!), or the meat for Taco Tuesday at the office that I was supposed to bring and forgot about until 8:30 yesterday morning, so the kids and I were late as I thawed chicken in the microwave and packed my crockpot and spices to take to the office.  And since the crockpot was working all morning in the same room where I hang my jacket, my jacket now smells like tacos.


I used to come home from dinners out at Mongolian food or Mexican food and take a shower because I cannot stand to smell like food.  Worse than smelling like cigarette smoke from the bars, even (you know, back in days of yore when I went to bars and people were still allowed to smoke there).


And I gave up sugar yesterday, too.  Not permanently, just for one day.  Turns out I chose the wrong day (“to quit sniffing glue”).  Think I can make it through another day?  Maybe.  Or maybe I’m going to go buy a banana cream pie this afternoon.  You just never know.


When the kids both wandered into our bed last night around 2:30 AM, sniffling and coughing, I retreated to the couch.  I didn’t wake with achy hips this morning, so at least one benefit came from the interruption in sleep, I guess.


Who has two thumbs and is glad tax season is over?  This girl.  I need someone to take care of me for a little while.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Three Months to Go

I awoke in a panic the other night.  I couldn’t breathe; I was lying on my back. 


Welcome to the third trimester, baby.


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Holy big belly, Batman!  Three months to go!


My face is rounding out, I need to go bra shopping again, and lots of maternity clothes that I have worn for the past six months no longer fit.  I am also at that point where moving becomes difficult.  I now sleep with three pillows (one under my head, one between my knees, and one behind my back to keep me from rolling over) and I have trouble getting off the couch or out of bed in the morning.


Now is the point in pregnancy where all compliments will be gladly received.  I know I have a bit of a beached whale thing going on; it’s only going to get worse.  Lie to me, is what I’m saying.  And if you want to lie to me while also plying me with cake or pie or cinnamon rolls, I certainly won’t complain.

Friday, April 11, 2014

No Potty-Training Advice Contained Herein

Jamie is potty trained. 


*Drops mic* *Brushes off hands* *Walks off*


Okay, more details, fine.  But you all know I’m not some sort of potty-training wizard, right?  I, quite literally, put in the minimum amount of effort with Jamie that I have ever heard about for potty training.


I didn’t buy him any potty training books or have him watch any potty training videos.  I rarely remembered to give him a treat after he used the toilet.  Unlike Charles, he didn’t get a big bribe (Charles got a bicycle) when he was done.


He just decided last Friday that he didn’t want to wear diapers anymore.  We had two very wet, very dirty days during which I changed his pants and underwear so many times that I went out and bought more pants for him.  But on Sunday and Monday, he didn’t have any accidents.  On Tuesday he had one.  And he hasn’t had any since.


He’s potty trained, and I didn’t do a damn thing.


Indeed, if I remind him to go potty, he just looks at me like I’m nuts.  He tells me when he wants to go.  He refuses my help in the bathroom.  I walked upstairs to help after he announced to us all, “I need to go pee-pee!” and ran off, but as soon as I poked my head into the bathroom, he yelled at me, “Go away, mommy!”  I guess I’m not needed here.


My child astounds me.  I’m still not used to not changing his diaper.  A week ago, I was lugging a diaper bag everywhere.  Now?  A purse filled with snacks and a rolled-up set of underwear and pants just in case.  Not that Jamie will need them.  He’s got this.