Monday, February 28, 2005

Where Am I?

Found this at mamacate's blog:

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Obviously have some traveling yet to do.

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Has Anybody Seen My Ass?

Well, if you have, then you know it's time for me and my ass to get back on the Fat Losers wagon -- or rather, walk beside it to earn some AP's. So I went to my first Vancouver meeting this morning and was surprised to observe actual energy emanating from the group leader -- she knew people by name, was enthusiastic without being smarmy, and didn't mention church functions or people she knew from church or being on the way home from church and seeing a donut shop and resisting the urge to stop and inhale a dozen or any other use or insinuation of the word "church." The whole meeting was refreshingly free of religiosity in any form.

I didn't have to take Delia with me as Julianna stayed home today due to a sort of mix-up concerning picking up a bed someone gave us, which she was going to take down to her sister Amy for one of their urchins to use. It turned out not to be a good day for visiting Amy so the bed could have stayed where it was another few days but by then we'd already arranged to pick it up, so I ended up getting it after my dentist appointment. (Nitpicky details: it's a woman from church giving it to us, but I hardly wanted to mention that in light of paragraph 1 of this blog post. And I'm seeing the dentist to have a crown replaced. Fun!) Shannon would have watched Delia for me and J could have gone to work, but maybe it's better she stayed home. She was sort of tired and grouchy all day because she's coming down with a cold or something. Of course, it might have been better for me if she'd gone to work, but I'm sure she would have returned home in a really fabulous mood...

Delia is growing like a weed, she eats everything now just about -- we were being all careful and not giving her anything potentially allergenic at first, but in the course of eating out and at others' homes she's had most things now, like egg whites and tomatoes and dairy producst and stuff like that. But not peanut butter since I am exceptionally allergice to nuts and mildly allergic to peanuts. She loves seasoned food (vs. baby foods which are oh so bland) and so for dinner she had black beans, taco meat, and cheddar cheese. I ground up the beans and meat in a food mill and added the cheese to it, nuked the whole shebang long enough to warm it up a little, and away she went. Followed it up with peach slices and a few bites of what we had (pasta). So now I put away little tubs of leftovers from our dinners in the freezer and we are slowly phasing out the little gold-plated jars of specialty baby food. She loves spaghetti, pizza, homemade turkey soup, you name it. She's amazing.

In another few weeks I'll start watching Shannon's baby Josie two days a week. Shannon is still a little twitchy over the fact that we won't let her pay us for this, but really we just want to trade. It's only for about six weeks until the school year is up, so that's twelve days, so it won't be that much really. I figure, since Shannon's off for the summer she can watch Delia here and there while I run errands or go for bike rides or work out or whatever. We can schedule it for times that Shannon doesn't have other things going on so she's not paying all summer long for twelve days of child care. Then next school year we will look into whether I'll be watching Josie some more, and possibly Thomas before/after kindergarten. I think it'll be fine, really -- and I am absolutely the last person you'd think would say that, but really I mean it. I'm sure some days will be not so great, if one/two/all of us get sick or are just tired and grouchy or whatever, but it feels like the right thing to do, for all the kids, Delia included. Shannon can spell me during the summers, maybe even -- gasp! -- take Delia overnight once in a while once she's old enough to tolerate such a thing. They'll save money, the kids will all be able to hang out together here on Beaver Cleaver Street, it'll be a good thing. I'm sure the neighbors will all get a kick out of watching me hiking up the street with Delia in the stroller and Josie in the front pack...

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Julianna and I, and the rest of the neighborhood, woke to the sound of an explosion at 2:30 this morning. Turns out someone blew up a Hyundai at an apartment complex a few blocks away. I guess the force of the blast knocked doors off their hinges and cupboards right from the walls at the apartments. It shook our whole house pretty hard but nothing was broken. We very confusedly poked around the house looking out windows for a minute, then returned to bed. I heard sirens as we were dropping back off to sleep. We still had no idea what had happened.

To wake Julianna from a dead sleep, now you know that was a big boom. :)

This morning I kept hearing helicopters fly over so I thought maybe something was up, and then FBI and ATF officials were on the scene as of 7am as we watched the news, but I haven't heard anything else yet. I didn't watch the evening blather. Instead, I spent a glorious hour in the garage scraping litter boxes! Oh, joy of joys...

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Mom Posted by Hello

This is a photo of my mother when she was just a young lass. She's the one on the right; we don't know who the other child is. Mom looks about 3 or 4 so I imagine this was taken around 1950-ish, as she was born in 1946. She looks a lot like my brother's youngest son Seamus in this picture.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Glitch in the System

Naturally, the adoption decree has an error in it and must be amended. They put Delia's birthdate as April 12th, which is not correct. Ah well, it's probably an easy fix, and it doesn't change the fact that her adoption is final. It's not like they can take it away over a clerical error. I hope.

Not much to report today in this, The Most Boringly Domestic Blog In The Whole World. (Or is that The Most Domestically Boring Blog? Hm.) We spent the morning getting the bedroom finished up mostly, then the office, then went over to Shannon's for pizza and video games with Tommy, and now we are loafing. Big exciting day!

Though there really is some good stuff to report: Delia is not only crawling like a pro, and starting to rove about just for the sake of exploration, she also can pull herself up with thrilling regularity! I witnessed it myself today several times; she grabs onto the couch with both grippy little hands (and sometimes her teeth as well) and whoop! There she is! Standing up! And groping wildly for the remote, the newspaper, the cat, whatever might be up there. It's a sight to see, I'll tell ya.

She started the crawling thing in earnest one day recently when I sat down on the sofa across from her while eating a piece of toasted homemade bread (a Julianna speciality). She was off like a shot, shimmied right over to me and made a play for my toast. What could I do but share?!

Other than that, my big thrill of the day was going to pick up J's prescription, then to the local Linens 'N Things 'N Crap 'N Stuff for some (gasp!) curtain rods, a butter dish, and some cake pans. Whoa, this is living the high life eh? Tomorrow we can expect more of the same, that is, hanging the aforementioned curtain rods, putting away more junk, etc.

Julianna is itching to get the garage put together too in order that she might use the new toys I got her for Valentine's Day (given early in accordance with tradition; we both blow our surprises to one another with seething regularity every Christmas and birthday). I went on down to Harbor Freight, the local purveyor of "Made in China" power tools for the un-snobby, frugally-minded crowd, i.e. tightwads, i.e. Julianna (ha ha just kidding, she's frugal but definitely not a tightwad, witness the Mazda out in the driveway she bought for me brand new for my birthday three years ago). Anyway she had pointed out a couple of things in their store circular that came with the paper a while ago and I kept it... packed it around in secret for nearly two weeks... mwahahaha! So Friday I raced out there and picked up a rock tumbler and a benchtop-mount drill press. Neither one the "Joe Professional Gold Plated Made by Norwegian Elves" model, but modestly priced hobbyist stuff as befits Julianna. I figure, if she wears these out, we can upgrade...

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The hardest working goldfish in Vancouver

Oh, that Lumpy. He is one dazzling hunk-a hunk-a burning luuuuuuuurv. He swims up and down the tank most enticingly, trolling for some "goldfish crumbles" which I serve up fresh and tasty several times per day, per the instructions on the canister. It's gotta be hard to swim that beautifully and fast with what amounts to a vicious hunchback perched on his right dorsal fin.

Delia has two Mommies!

Legally speaking, anyway! The adoption was final on Monday the 7th. We should get her amended birth certificate in the mail tomorrow. :)

Beany assists me this evening by laying on my right forearm and purring. Earlier he assisted me in putting the baby to bed for a nap by coming into her room and sitting on the footrest next to the chair I was sitting in as I nursed her. He purred and purred, and reached out to touch my arm or my knee with his paw (and once, near-disastrously, her head, with claws extended, but he only brushed her hair with his talons). She could not settle down with all this excitement but kept breaking free to flop backwards and gaze at him in wonderment. Finally I had to put her in the crib awake, which is actually not a bad thing, and while there was a bit of hollering, she dropped off pretty quickly.

So today's Domestic Update: Shannon came over and scrubbed our toilets with a pumice stone, neatly removing the rust/mineral buildup rings that marred their otherwise hygienic appearance quite severely. Kudos to Shannon! I could not stop her; she met me at the door with her baby in one arm and her little cleaning caddy in the other. She was quite pleased with herself when done (as anyone would have been, really).

I spent some time looking through boxes marked "Crafts Etc." which is code for "some craft supplies intermingled with a whole lotta crap." Actually managed to get some things separated out to get rid of, some for Julianna to peruse and decide about, and some to put away in my cabinet.

Amy's baby shower/our housewarming/Delia's adoption party will be Saturday Feb. 19th, so obviously we have a lot to do this weekend...

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Life as we know it

Sunday evening... Doing a little computering before bed.

Baby appears to have a minor snotty head cold, but it doesn't seem to be bothering her too much. She has been eating like it's going out of style. Like twice as much as last week. We aren't sure where she's putting it... Also she's working on sleeping through the night, without waking up to nurse. This means she peeps and squawks, and I ignore it, and she goes back to sleep. She does wake up pretty early for the day so far, between 5 and 6, but at least I will get to sleep through to that time instead of getting up to nurse her for a half hour somewhere in the 2 to 3 a.m. range. She can stay awake for three hours now instead of two before her first nap. Still not 16 pounds yet, or barely so if she is. Judging by the way she's eating I'd say she'll start packing it on soon through! But she can crawl, and is starting to pull herself up a little bit.

We have to find a new home for Slick. He's a great cat except when he's harrassing Wilbur, and she's an old lady and doesn't need that kind of hassle. We found big hanks of her hair on the rug today when we got home from church, she was hiding in Delia's closet all covered in spit, and Slick was ready to go at her again. She wasn't seriously hurt or anything but she just hates him. And I would too if I was her. I really like him but he's just bratty to her and needs to live with either no other cats or a large, oafish young cat (basically just like him) who can put up a good fight and learn to play with him. Wilbur doesn't play with other cats. She does poke at Beany a little but it seems to be all in fun...

So Julianna bought us a digital camcorder! It should be here sometime this next week. We have been wanting one for some time, to record Delia's life a little bit for her (and for ourselves of course).

Julianna is quitting smoking this week. Again. It's very difficult because she has tried many, many times, and the pattern is as follows: Friday evening, smoke last cig and then pitch remainder of pack into toilet. Saturday morning, all is well until mid-morning. Crabby nastiness sets in resulting in peevishness, nit-picking, and general ill humor. Saturday afternoon, Yours Truly finally reacts to constant barrage of snappishness and snaps back, garnering classic retaliatory statement of "You're not being helpful and supportive." Here we can go either of two ways: we apologize to one another and find something fun/distracting/tedious to do, or we dissolve into yelling/crying/stomping around and one of us goes to store to buy cigs for Julianna to smoke. IF we weather that storm and survive rest of weekend, (a big IF), she goes back to work on Monday and promptly caves in to urges by smoking with work-buddy Kirk. Argh. Entire weekend of suffering and anguish, all for naught.

So if I get angry, I'm not helping. I try to be helpful and praiseful and so forth. But how many times must I endure this? I know, it's selfish and petty not to want to help -- but I do want to help. I just am pretty weary of suffering the slings and arrows of a crabby quitter, only to watch her drive off to work knowing there's about an 80 percent chance of her smoking on day one, and if not then, then a 90 percent chance the next day, etc. And I'm just not that able to feign enthusiasm very believably.

So tomorrow is the day I must get serious about Fat Losers, or else give up the idea of triathlon. I have been shirking. The stress of moving has caused me to revert to all my classic habits of eating crap to calm myself. Sugary treats, mostly. And I do it in secret... Well, some of the more heinous episodes have been secretive. I also do it right out in the open, though with more restraint than I'm really feeling because People Are Watching Me. If I thought nobody would be repulsed I'd just keep eating from sunrise to sunset.

I notice in all the stories of people who lose tons of weight and keep it off that they all mention exercise. I'm beginning to think that there's a connection here somewhere... (ha ha!). Guess I have to get off my ass.

So here's my resolution for tomorrow: Drink 8 glasses of water (which should be easy what with the swanky side-by-side fridge with ice maker and water dispenser, not to mention free "Iron Girl" water bottle given out at Sallymanders Triathlon Club meeting last month), eat no crap, log what I'm eating, and go for a walk. Must locate my WW stuff. Also look up WW meetings in Vancouver. And perhaps, if baby does not appear to be feeling yucky, go buy new swimsuit. If Karen Drexler can watch the baby while I'm in trying on suits. If the swimsuit place is open Mondays. Lot of if's there.

I am ashamed to say I've squandered a lot of my miraculous loss of last summer, and it's depressing to start over (not completely over, but way too close to it in my opinion). But, you just have to start from where you're at and make it happen. I think of these inspiring thoughts sometimes when I'm wishing to feel more gung-ho:
1. Nobody's going to do this for me.
2. Don't think of what I'm giving up, think of what I'm getting (i.e. more fit, slimmer, more energy, get to do triathlons, etc).
3. The old WW chestnut, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels."
4. I'll get to go clothes shopping!
5. Won't be so fat for my 20-year reunion, if there is one.
6. Exercise is good for depression.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

One Hundred Percent Miscellaneous

Julianna clipped a tag off a throw rug we got for Delia's room and in doing so noticed that the content read, "100% Miscellaneous." Isn't everything, really?

Long days of housework avoidance, responsibility shirkage, inessential errand-running, etc. I find myself doing the oddest things. Today I rinsed and stored an aquarium's worth of gravel from the old tank downstairs which thankfully Julianna broke when dismantling. If we still had it we would be forced to store it ad infinitum, then one of us (fifty/fifty really who it would be) would have this brilliant idea to fire it up and have two fishtanks, twice the fishy pleasure and also twice the responsibility. Funny how that never comes up in all the excited planning stages. Poor Lumpy can tell you what it's like to live in a sad, neglected algae-riddled tank in the basement...

Looking forward to Friday when we can once again put a massive stack of recycling out to the curb to be hauled away by the Garbage Fairies (a big, burly, aromatic type of fairy known for its early morning schedule and tendency toward a beer gut). Still plugging away at the crap nobody knows what to do with. I am determined to tackle the last kitchen box tomorrow, also some boxes of stuff left hanging around in the family room. Poor homeless things. This is not even to mention the umpteen boxes piled in a corner of the living room marked either "Craft Etc" or "Deb's Workbench." They are stuffed with God only knows what... most of which I just must offload. It is starting to feel kind of good to get rid of stuff, streamline, simplify. Tedious, but satisfying, thereby meeting two of my most important criteria: Can I spend hours deliberating over whether To Keep, or To Throw Away? And can I feel all giddy with relief once it's over?

The unfortunate part is that Julianna insists that she be consulted concerning the disposal of many items which are piling up all over waiting for her royal audience. There's not a lot of time after work/baby bedtime what with all that other vitally important stuff we do, i.e. make brownies and talk on the phone (me) and researching via Internet every last nuance of vinyl siding (Julianna). Also unfortunate but super charming is that the baby demands to be fed, cleaned, and entertained on a regular basis, and when napping requires a type of silence heretofore unknown outside of monasteries and the Harvard Law Library. Nonetheless, I do get a few things done. Today was ironing day (ridiculous, to be sure, but tedious and satisfying per previously stated requirements) plus the aforementioned gravel-maintenance.

Argh, must run. House is so very quiet, free of the squeaky floors of the old house, that Julianna has walked past this room several times and I have thought she was still outside with the dogs... To bed! So... tired...