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2007 February

little hands

February 27, 2007

Posted by Chris @ 10:00 pm | 21 Comments  

Reason # 595 not to buy a DELL computer

Today the computer tech guy came to replace the motherboard on my computer.

This is what the man in India diagnosed the problem to be over the phone. We went through a thorough diagnostic procedure which involved turning the computer on and off while counting to five, taking out the battery, and spinning around while hopping on one foot saying the alphabet in pig latin backwards. And the conclusion that he came to was faulty motherboard.

You think I am kidding?

The tech came today, and given how late he was I think he walked all the way from India. He replaced the motherboard and gave me the new power cord, even though I explicitly told the man in India that my power cord was not the problem.

And guess what? The motherboard was not the problem either. It isn’t even surprising.

Let’s recap, shall we:

memory upgrade
new battery
new power cord
new motherboard

And still not a fully functioning computer

So I call India again today. After spending 15 minutes listening to computer prompts I finally get to talk to a real live person. Unfortunately this person does not have a firm grasp of the English language. And DELL, this is a problem. When the person you are trying to communicate with does not understand what you are saying, it is a problem.

I hear the man flipping pages in his diagnostic book. And then he says, “Okay, let’s begin the diagnostic procedures. Turn off your computer and count to five.”

I wish I were kidding.

Posted by Chris @ 6:30 pm | 57 Comments  

Taking over the world one room at a time

I think that is the motto of Sweden.

Sunday I went to IKEA and bought a room full of furniture, which was packed in boxes so flat it only took up approximately a 2ft square area in my trunk.

Yesterday I used the teeny tiny allen wrench to assemble all of it until my hand began to blister. Three bookcases, a tv stand cabinet, and baskets that needed to be assembled. Yes, baskets that were flat packed. Who would have thought that was possible.

Also, I have had to stop what I am doing numerous times over the past two days and have “tea” from the tea set I bought for my daughter at IKEA. So I am thoroughly hydrated. Albeit, one ounce of water at a time.

Posted by Chris @ 9:34 am | 44 Comments  

An inspiring mom

February 26, 2007

Today Mir has an interview up with Laura Wellington. Who is Laura Wellington?

A woman who was tragically widowed and left with four young children to raise by herself. A woman who turned to drawing cartoons as a way to deal with her grief. And thus was born The Wumblers, a new cartoon that should be debuting later this year.

So go on over and read (link), and be inspired.

Posted by Chris @ 10:48 am | 3 Comments  

waiting for spring

February 23, 2007

waiting for spring

Posted by Chris @ 3:41 pm | 46 Comments  

Love Thursday: a rocking chair

February 22, 2007

rocking chair

When I became pregnant with my first child Rob and I were both college students. Poor unmarried college students. Who were just enough in love to think that was all we needed. And just naive enough to think that one little baby wouldn’t change our lives much.

I remember this time in my life as one of the happiest.

Sometimes I look at Rob and ask him, “Were we really as happy as I remember? Or am I just romaniticizing the whole time period?”

And he will reply, “Both.”

And then we will laugh.

We had no money, no health insurance, and no full time jobs. But it really didn’t even occur to us that these things were problems. Thankfully, by the end of my pregnancy Rob had graduated and received an offer for a job with great health benefits.

One day we were driving around and on the side of the road was a rocking chair. It was missing it’s seat, the paint was peeling and it looked as though it had been stored in someone’s garage for a few years.

“We need one of those!” I shouted.

And we stopped the car, got out, and tossed it in the back seat of my cute, but decidedly child unfriendly convertible VW Rabbitt.

We brought it home to our apartment. Rob stripped the paint off of it and then repainted it. Rob rushed the seat, after reading about how to do it. He worked on it for weeks. Finally he finished it the night before I went into labor.

My water broke and I sat on the chair rocking waiting for Rob to get our stuff together. It was on the chair that I came to the realization that when we came home again the two of us would be three people.

And it was moments after that realization that Rob looked at me very concerned and said, “um, do you have to sit there? I don’t want you ruining that chair.” And as the daggers shot out of my eyes, he tried to save himself by saying, “you know after all that hard work…”

It was in that chair that I rocked each of my babies in turn. A chair in which I hope one day to rock my grandchildren.

It might not be the most beautiful chair in the world, or even the most comfortable, but it reminds me of that time in my life.

When we were standing on the cusp of a life which we couldn’t even have imagined.

For more Love Thursday, go here.

Posted by Chris @ 5:19 pm | 43 Comments  

my lonely couch

February 21, 2007

New Couch

It is a long and narrowish room. The couch is pulled about 6ft off of the back wall. No idea what I am going to put back there. Laundry? Toys? Children?

Yes, I need decorations and curtains and wall hangings. And a money tree.

Oh and notice my new wall color? Isn’t it lovely? It is called Barley and is a Pottery Barn color.

Posted by Chris @ 10:47 pm | 54 Comments  

In case you are wondering, between 8 and 12, really means 2

When you order new furniture and the delivery company gives you a time window of when it will be delivered, it really means that they will never show up during those hours but rather that you should just sit around your house, making sure not to even contemplate going anywhere, checking obsessively out the window for the delivery van lest you miss them knocking, wringing your hands, and having post purchase anxiety.

Once you have accomplished those things, they will arrive. Well behind schedule.

And they will literally run through your house with the furniture. And after they set it up, they will gather up all the garbage and run back out of the house, leaving a trail of it behind them. And you will wonder how, with all this running, they could be so late.

And you will discover that they just tossed all the couch cushions in a pile instead of putting them neatly on the couch, which doesn’t seem very “white glove delivery” to you.

And you will tip them anyway, because who really wants to be a furniture delivery person.

Posted by Chris @ 3:55 pm | 23 Comments  

26 months

Miles,

watching the sledding

Today I was organizing the mudroom closet and noticed the diaper bag tucked in the back on the shelf. A bag I have not used in a long time. When I went through it I found diapers a size too small, dried up wipes, sunscreen, toys filled with sand and something that was probably once edible, so I know it has been several months at least.

Nowadays I keep a diaper or two in the van with some wipes, or just toss a diaper in my pocketbook. Or if I am being completely honest just wing it and hope for the best. I have no need for dragging around a special bag. I began cleaning it out and then thought, why am I even keeping this. It was the hospital freebie, generic black, and I never felt the need to buy an expensive one.

And so I threw it all away. The bag and all it’s contents.

For the first time in 12 plus years, I do not have a diaper bag hanging in the closet or tossed near the door. No jingling rattles or squishy books waiting to be whipped out in an emergency. No bibs, sunhats, plastic coated baby spoons, or dried up old pacifiers that I would try to pass off as toys in an emergency. Yes, there is such thing as a toy emergency.

I thought it would be a bittersweet sort of thing, but it isn’t. There are other things I will miss about your babyhood, but the diapers and carrying around the contents of my home just in case, is not one of them. When I think about you being potty trained by this time next year, I am giddy with anticipation.

26 months and I haven't eaten his cheeks yet

This month your language skills have blossomed. I thought you were talking well before, but now I am blown away by your complex sentence structure.

“You change me diaper, mama”

“My help you mama.”

“You put me my bed, mama”

“You get my joe (water) mama”

“My hab a coo-KEE mama.”

Clearly the things you chose to say show that I am some sort of neglectful mother who needs to be reminded to take care of you.

helping in the kitchen

You have a high chair you sit in at the table, but you also grab it and push it around the kitchen. Whenever you see me standing at the stove or facing a kitchen counter you immediately grab the chair. I hear it scraping across the kitchen floor, while you maniacally yell, “My help you! My help you, Mama!” It is so annoying and yet so damn adorable I can’t help but smile and enjoy it. Even though I know you really are just trying to get dibs on the mixing bowl, I tell myself that it is me you want to be near.

helping in the kitchen

The other night you picked up a macaroni off your dinner plate and held it up your ear. “Hello…. hello” you said. And then you laughed like it was the funniest joke ever. And it was funny. I don’t recall you telling a joke to purposefully make us laugh before this one. Maybe some day you will be a comedian and when they interview us about your childhood I will be able to say, “Oh he started telling jokes at 26 months old. Really, we knew he would be a joke telling superstar one day. He was a comedic prodigy.”

Then you reached over to my plate with your fork. “My help you mama,” you said. You used the side of your fork to cut my meatball in half, exactly the way that I do it for you. You were so proud of yourself. As you pulled your fork away from my plate, you gave it a few good shakes over your head sending sauce splattering on everyone sitting at the table near you. That was funny too, but mostly for the people uneffected by the splattering.

I look at you now and see a boy. I still catch myself referring to you as “the baby” It makes you laugh and you shake your head, “No my bay-BEE,”you say. Like it is the most ridiculous thing. Being a baby was soooo yesterday.

26 months old

Whenever I put on lipstick you insist on kissing my lips so that you can have lipstick on too. Then you smack your little lips together. I love it. That is something I’ll miss. Twelve year old boys don’t do that, thankfully. It wouldn’t be nearly as cute.

Nor do they climb into bed with you in the morning and wake you up by quietly getting very close to your face and then shouting “Hello” loud enough to wake even the dead. Yes, I’ll even miss this.

I love how you turn everything into a baseball bat. Your eye hand co-ordination is fascinating to someone like me who has none.

And you are happy. So happy go lucky that it hardly seems normal.

My favorite thing though, that I hope to remember always, is the way you say, “Otay” in the most pathetic little voice whenever you are agreeing to one of our “requests” like not coloring on the walls, not throwing your food, or going down for a nap.

Recently, you were sick with some sort of stomach bug, probably the one that your oldest brother had the previous week. (and the one that would hit me and the rest of the family a week after this) You threw up all night long, until your body was wracked with dry heaves and you weakly protested, “No” as I held the little pot under your chin.

I hope you will forgive me for that one time when I whacked you in the face with the little pot; I was a bit overzealous in my efforts to protect my brand new expensive area rug. You’ll understand one day.

If you don’t, well we can just add it to the ever growing list of things to discuss with your therapist one day. Like lipstick wearing.

And the fact that I sing the song, “Always a Woman to Me,” but change the lyrics to “Always A Baby to Me”

It’s true. You always will be.

Posted by Chris @ 12:38 am | 54 Comments  

Today

February 20, 2007

Today my children are well on the road of recovery and have reached that ever so delightful place that all parents know, called Now That They Are No Longer Sick, I May Kill Them .

Today they are well enough not to want to lay on the couch in puddles of their own drool, watching tv and occassionally sipping Sprite. Yet they are not well enough to be normal.

Today I have a house filled with annoying, demanding, whining children. Who say they are dying, request a glass of Sprite, only to have a sibling bounce down on the couch next to them and send the glass flying out of their hand and shattering on the floor. Which makes everyone cry. And one person, who shall remain nameless, yell.

Today I will decree everyone is well enough to walk into the kitchen to drink Sprite. Today is the last day in the soda free for all.

Today they are well enough to fight over what tv show to watch, instead of being happy to watch endless HGTV and “What Not To Wear.”

Today they are well enough to run around and make a mess a with their toys, before collapsing into a sobbing heap when it comes time to clean it up.

Today they are well enough to request food to eat and will sit at the table and poke at it with their spoon before deciding that they ultimately do not feel well enough to eat anything, even that soup that I drove specifically to the grocery store to buy just for them.

Today will also be the last day that I am a short order cook.

Today I will talk on the phone with some tech person in India about my DELL computer. The DELL computer that is not working properly again, or ever really.

Today I will tell this tech in India that I paid extra money for in home service and I want in home service, and I refuse to accept anything less than in home service. Extra money that I should have used to buy an Apple.

Today this tech in India will try to tell me that I misunderstood the warranty I purchased. And I will tell this tech in India that no I misunderstood thinking I was buying a computer, not a lap warmer.

Today I will finish the Laundry-a-thon that was the result of Vomit-fest, and resume normal laundering activity.

Today I will get through minute by minute, of which there are 495 until bedtime. But who’s counting.

Posted by Chris @ 12:53 pm | 27 Comments