Monday, February 28, 2011

And Chaos Ensued...

Dude, last week was crazy. That's the only way I can sum up why I didn't blog last week. I even had some things to post about too, I think. It's hard to say, it feels like last week was about a month ago.

The biggest thing that happened last week was my work computer crashed. I've been having trouble for a few weeks, but nothing that a reboot couldn't fix, so it wasn't that surprising when I got the pin-stripe screen of death on Monday morning. Yes, I know it's supposed to be the blue screen of death, but I guess this was just a warning of how bad my laptop was hosed. I don't even think they ever figured out what was wrong with it, but after replacing the hard drive once, and the system board twice, they managed to get me back up and somewhat running. That took two days, and then it took the rest of the week to try and catch up with my work while also fixing all the little things that were not working on the computer. Of course, this all happened when a very high level executive manager was visiting, just to add to the fun.

Let's just say that I was completely and utterly exhausted and frustrated by the end of the week. If I had found time to blog, it would have read something like this, "Blurp snaggle ploop bop gorp." (Yeah, sort of like my tweets, but with fewer typos.)

Thanks goodness that after such a crazy week we were given a rare February treat. Warmish weather! it was 45 on Saturday and 55 on Sunday. I know, not shorts weather or anything, but warm enough to spend some time outside. We hit the arboretum on Saturday and I went for a run on Sunday followed by a trip to the playground with Michael. I may have overdone it a little, by 7:00 last night I was ready to collapse into bed, but the physical exhaustion of playing outside still feels so much better than the mental exhaustion of last week.

I really wasn't ready to come back into work today, but such is life. So far, things have been calmer than last week, but there are still 4.5 days left for that to change.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Randomness

Yes, once again it is time for my brain to spew out some mostly unrelated bullet points about my life as a mom. It's been a crazy week and then my computer crashed yesterday, so this is a day later than I expected it to be. In other words, it's just standard operating procedure.

  • Last night we had the news on and they said, "In the line of duty." Michael giggled and said, "They said doody, like poop." When did he turn into Bevis, from Bevis and Butthead? I rolled my eyes. Andy grinned with pride.
  • It finally got up into the 40's yesterday, and with the longer days I was able to get out an run in the park. It felt great. Except for the part where I had to run through a huge stream of runoff snow melt. That part was cold.
  • Over the past month, Michael has really gotten into video games in a big way. Between the laptop and the iPhone he would spend hours everyday playing if we let him. At one point last night, Andy asked Michael how to complete a level of Sunday Lawn. I knew he'd get better than us at things at some point in his life, but I didn't think it would happen at 4.75.
  • While I'm not thrilled with the time Michael wants to spend playing video games, I will admit that it is a nice little break from the past 4.75 years of him needing me to pay attention to him ALL. THE. TIME. He actually let me spend half an hour doing cross stitch the other morning and it was wonderful.
  • For Valentine's day, Andy took Michael out and let him buy a Beta fish. Andy is helping Michael learn how to take care of the cute little fish. It just warms my heart to see my two men doing things together like that.
  • The little fishie's name cracks me up. I'm sure the old farts in the crowd remember when Beta fish were called Siamese Fighting Fish, so based off the fact that it's a fighting fish, they decided to name the fish Foo. So, it's a Foo fighting fish.
  • Personally, I would have preferred a cat, but I didn't get a vote.
  • And, on a final note, Michael has finally started eating. I guess when he hit 40 pounds, his body decided that it actually needed some kind of fuel to keep it going. It's rather shocking to see after the past 4 years of a nibble here and a nibble there. Mostly I find this to be a good thing, except that he mooched a piece of pizza from me on Saturday. I'm not sure I really want to share me pizza.
  • I'll guess we'll just have order more pizza, now won't we?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Buddy

I was on a teleconference today and one of the participants goes by the name of Buddy. It reminded me of a boy I went to school with who went by Buddy as well. The name always drove me crazy. Really, who names their son "buddy"? A buddy is a friend, or a pal. It's not a name. And even worse, people shorten it to "bud". I was always of the opinion that "bud" was only suitable for rose bushes and that kid on the Cosby show who wasn't even named "bud".

Part way through high school, I actually had a class with Buddy. On the first day, during roll call I learned that "Buddy" wasn't even his real name. It was his nickname. I was all, DUDE YOU CHOOSE TO GO BY BUDDY? I'm sure that there was a lot of eye rolling involved considering I was 16 at the time. I can't even guess how many times, over about 20 years, I snickered over the name Buddy.

Then, a few years ago, something happened. Michael was just a toddler back then, and my mom started calling him "bunny". Bunny? Really? But, over time it stuck and I found myself calling Michael bunny. I was never very comfortable with it though. It's a little too cutesy for me. I don't now exactly when the switch happened, but one day I realized that I was calling Michael "buddy".

Michael has had a lot of pet names since he was born. They ranged from "Smunchy baby" to the "wee beastie" to "little stinker", but of all of them, the one that has stuck is "Buddy." Even worse than that, we have been calling him that for so long now that we often shorten it to "Bud".

In other words, I ended up calling my son the exact thing I used to laugh at when I was a teenager. But, it just works for him. He's my little buddy. I totally get where his mom was coming from, and I promise to never laugh about the name Buddy again.

Although, I'm still a little ticked that Buddy used to try and cheat off of me during vocab tests...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What the Heck Was That?

Andy had Tai Chi last night. He left the house right before I put Michael to bed. That meant that once Michael was asleep, I had the house to myself. You know, those rare moments when you can plug in the iPod ear phones and do whatever the hell you want. Precious moments in the life of a mom.

As I was relaxing and listening to music, I noticed a "thump, thump" sound coming from somewhere. We live in a town home, and it's not uncommon to hear some thumping from our neighbors, but I was pretty certain that neither of them were home. I got up and wondered to the front of the house to double check. Sure enough, no one home.

THUMP! THUMP! BANG!

I was a little freaked out, so I took my headphones off and tried to figure out where the sound was coming from. I was wondering if I'd need to call 911 when I heard the thumping again. It was coming from the back of the house.

That's when I remembered that the last time I put trash out, I wasn't able to find the clamp that we use to secure the lid. The heavy duty clamp that we had to invest in specifically to keep a certain furry masked bandit out of our trash.

I walked back to the living room and peeked out the back door to see what was going on. Sure enough, there was the furry beast trying to flip the lid of our trashcan. I banged on the glass hoping to scare him away.

The dude didn't budge.

So, I opened the storm door a little and yelled at him.

Oh, the look that critter gave me. He even hesitated before slinking off the trashcan and disappearing behind the deck. That raccoon is not afraid of people.

I returned to my seat and plugged my headphones back in.

THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!

Son of a...He was back. He didn't even wait a full minute before climbing his furry little ass back up to my trashcan. I swear, if I listened hard enough, I probably could have heard him going "Pffft" in the background.

How dare that fluffy trash picker blow off my threat? Now it's personal.

Now, if I were a red neck, I'd go and get my gun and show the raccoon the error of his ways. But I'm not. I'm a peace loving, hippy type who really loves nature and animals. But, this isn't a Beatrix Potter book folks, it's my back yard and I don't want trash strewn all over it. Nor do I want to encourage wild animals to come within inches of my house. Especially ones that appear to be brazen enough to let a 4 year old walk up and pet it.

I looked around the living room trying to figure out what to do to scare him off. There wereNerf guns and Nerf darts all over the floor. I asked myself if it would be horrible to shoot a Nerf dart at a raccoon. Hmm...I shoot them at Michael all the time.* It can't be that bad.

I loaded the gun with the dart, cocked the trigger, opened the door and shot the raccoon point blank.

He barely even flinched. I shot a raccoon with a Nerf gun and the fuzzy bastard just looked at me like I was a fly buzzing around it's head. How dare I interfere with his dinner!

I picked up our snow shovel and started smacking the trashcan with it. Take that, furball!

Ah, OK. Now I can finally sit down and relax. I put my feet up, plugged my headphones in, and...

THUMP! THUMP! BANG!

OMG! I jumped up. I was really mad at this point. What kind of crazy critter is this that isn't even afraid of a crazy human bashing at it with a snow shovel? I looked around the living room trying to find something else in my arsenal. As I was listening to the persistent little looter, I scanned the floor for the perfect weapon. My eyes settled on a pink balloon that Michael abandoned after letting it fly around the room.

I picked it up, filled it with water, tied it tight, and then opened the door. The raccoon barley even looked at me. So, I tossed the balloon right onto it. SPLASH!

That got him moving. He high-tailed his soggy ass out of there, and once I was sure he was gone, I went out and retrieved the clamp and secured the lid. Take that!

And so, our trash was safe for another night. But don't think I don't know that he'll be back the next time I forget the clamp. He really didn't seem to be the kind of critter that would give up on a meal out of fear for a wet coat.


*I make Michael wear protective goggles when we play Nerf Darts. My mom actually asked me if I provided the raccoon with eye protection. Um, no. He already has a mask on.

Monday, February 7, 2011

That's Not the Slide I was Expecting

A little less than a year ago, Andy bought a Concept 2 rower. It's one of the odder pieces of work out equipment that I've ever seen, but it's a great workout. In addition to cardio, it gives you one of the most complete resistance workouts of any of the cardio devices. And, it's really low impact.

Last fall, Andy decided to really get his money's worth out of it, and started training on it pretty hard. (Plus, I tend to hog the elliptical if I can.) Since then, he has rowed a half marathon and has racked up some pretty impressive meters. He also decided to compete in the Mainline Slide, which was held at Villanova this past weekend. (They call it a slide because of the sliding motion of the rower's seat.)

Andy's weight class was the first competition on Saturday morning, so we had to get up early to head down. It's normally a 20 minutes ride, but in keeping with this crazy winter, we woke up to discover freezing drizzle and a layer of ice. Under normal circumstances, I'd see ice and call the whole thing off, but with everything this winter has thrown at us, we just slid out to the car and were on our way. The roads were fine, but once we got there, we had to slide into the field house for the competition. Yes, we slid to the Slide.

Andy did a great job in his competition. While he may have come in 3rd of three, but he had his best time ever. This was also his first competitive sports competition (not including high school sports) so the entire experience was new for him. Personally, I think it takes a lot of guts to give something new like that a try, especially when he's only been doing it for a short time. I was really proud of not only his new time, but that he gave the entire thing a go.

My biggest concern during the competition had nothing to do with Andy, who I knew would be fine, and everything to do with Michael. Keeping a not quite 5 year old busy for several hours is not always easy. But, I found that the Slide had a very similar atmosphere as the 5K last year. Everyone was very friendly and no one seemed to mind a wiggly kid in the bleachers. I let him run up and down the bleachers when we first got there, and that seemed to satisfy his need to roam. After that, he willingly hung out with me as we cheered Andy on. The only comments Michael got were several warm greetings as people passed by.

All in all, it was a great experience. Andy did a great job and set a new personal record. Michael behaved well and had some fun. I really enjoyed watching the races and could have stayed through the morning watching as people of all ages, shapes and sizes gave it their all.

And best of all, when we were done, we headed to IHOP for brunch.

Now that's my idea of a morning well spent.

Friday, February 4, 2011

40-1

Yep, It's my birthday today and I am 39. Someone asked me if I feel any different today than I did yesterday. Nope, I feel just as old today as I felt yesterday.

So, what's with the 40-1? Well, that's my way of dealing with the impending big 40. I don't want it to sneak up on me next year and take me by surprise, so last year I decided to think of my age in terms of "40" to desensitize myself to it. So far, I think it's working, but I won't really know for another year. I'll be sure to update you all about how successful it is.

I know that I'm older than most of ya'll. I've been the oldest at both of the May Mommy get togethers. Since I'm the senior member of the group, I think it's my duty to blaze my way into aging in a graceful manner and to share all of my wonderful secrets on handling the challenges of being "older than dirt". For this reason, I have decided that I will periodically impart some of the wisdom I have gained in my advanced years so that you too can enter your later years with grace and dignity. Here are a few tips that I've picked up in my 39 years.

  • When a doctor starts a diagnosis with, "As we age," it is best to refrain from telling him to stuff it.
  • If you have ever been judgmental about women who have cosmetic procedures to improve their looks, you will likely feel guilty as you stand in front of the mirror pulling your skin back trying to see what you would look like with a face lift.
  • Your knees normally feel like they are at least ten years older than the rest of your body.
  • Getting zits at the same time that you are trying to treat very dry skin means you are getting much closer to menopause than puberty, and the two are fighting for rights to your skin.
  • Those crazy eyebrow hairs that you see on old men are not exclusive to old men.
  • And finally, mom jeans were designed that way for a reason.
Anyway, Happy Birthday to me!

Now, get off my damn lawn.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Absolutely the Most Horrible Winter Ever!!!!

I'm not typically prone to histrionics*, but I have to say that this winter has been the worst winter ever. In fact, it's so bad I'm going to have to go all caps on you.

WORST. WINTER. EVER!!!1!!

Have I made myself perfectly clear?

Yes, I know I lived on the coast of Maine for four years. One year it snowed every day for a month. But it was Maine. It's supposed to snow in Maine. Plus, Mainers know how to handle snow every day, so it really wasn't a big deal. I'd go out in the morning, clear the windows of my car, go to school, clear the windows of my car, drive to the store, clear the windows of my car, drive home. No biggy. In fact, the biggest problem all that snow caused me was my only ever C in a class. It was just so much more interesting to watch the snow falling than to listen to the teacher, that I kind of spaced out.

Hmm...maybe that wasn't the snow's fault.

Any way, my point was that I've lived through four years of Maine winter and therefore I must be an expert on winter weather. Based on this expertise, I'm officially declaring this the worst winter ever. Granted, last year we got record snow fall amounts, but it happened in just a few big storms and it was pretty fun to play in. This year, it's just storm after storm after storm. Nothing that is bad enough to close my office, but they sure do seem to be stacking up the late daycare openings.

Aside from all of the missed work and long, treacherous drives I've made, it's not even pretty outside. Last year, the storms were followed by those beautiful, crisp blue skies that made the snow sparkle in the sun. This year, we end up with dirty, wet, ice covered snow and muggy skies. I'm actually trying to decide if the thick fog that followed last night's ice storm is more depressing than the clouds; or a treat because it's hiding some of the soggy, wet mess that seems to go on forever.

Either way, I'm really done with this winter and I'm so ready for some warm, sunny days. Do I think I'll get them? No. There are two more "wintery mix" storms in the ten day forecast, and I'm sure they will bring even more sloppy mess to the area. So, Mother Nature, you can suck it.

*Please disregard any comment Andy makes that contradicts my claim that I'm not prone to histrionics. Even if he makes a good argument. Or, if he provides evidence. I swear, he's lying.**

**Or not.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bridget

I cannot think of a better way to use my 500th post than to send all of my best wishes to Bridget. She's an amazing woman, mother, and friend and today she is having brain surgery. She's a tough cookie, but any thoughts or prayers you can send her way will certainly be welcome.


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Get well soon!