Comments from the Peanut Gallery

Taking one day at a time...

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  • Sunday, September 30, 2007

    This One Is For My Sister...

    Livie is a Cubs fan and she can say, "Go, Cubbies!"

    Saturday, September 29, 2007


    Yesterday, I had the lovely opportunity to meet Irene. She came to my home to deliver this to me. Irene went out of her way to pick these up from Amy and I'm very grateful.

    It was so nice to meet Irene. She's as witty in person as I imagined her to be. She was friendly and warm and the kids liked her a lot. Perhaps there will be a playdate in the future for both of our children. We're not all that far away from each other. She has two boys who are sixteen months apart. Her youngest is six months older than Jack.

    I don't get much of a chance to meet other bloggers in person. It's nice to be able to match the face with the blog. How about you? Have you been able to meet any of the people you read on a daily basis?

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    Where Is He Now?...

    Did you ever wonder what happened to the kid from MAD Magazine? I knew he looked familiar.

    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    The Verdict...

    I've come to the conclusion that Jack's restlessness is due to teething. He's due to get his second molars right about now, so it's no surprise to me that he's fighting bedtime and shoving his whole hand in his mouth at times. We've cut down his midday nap in half and have been putting him to bed a half hour later at night, so we'll see how this works. The past two nights he's gone down without any hassle, so the experiment seems to be working for the most part.

    Livie is also teething. She's cut several teeth in the last couple of weeks. She still has one molar and all her canines yet to cut, so this ought to be a great month or so until it happens. Yeesh.

    Yeah...this house is fun right now. Heh.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Open Your Eyes...

    Special thanks to my niece, Blondie, for sending me this wonderful photo.

    Family reunion in the Bahamas - $5,000.00

    Family photograph made into Christmas cards at print shop -$100

    Not noticing Waldo, in the upper right corner - PRICELESS!

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    I Want To Scream...

    What the hell is wrong with my boy? He just does NOT want to go to sleep at night anymore. This boy, who once loved going to bed, would rather thrash around, using his crib as a wrestling ring. He sings songs, screams until I come running, and throws his nummy out on purpose. While I'd love to let him scream and bellow at the fact that his nummy is out of reach from his own doing, I also have my daughter to keep the peace for. Livie needs her rest as much as Jack needs his.

    How-evah...bedtime is becoming the battleground it was when we first put him in his crib what seems like ages ago.

    Yes, he still naps midday. I'm not a fan of taking away his nap in an effort to make him go to sleep faster at night. Of course that's going to happen! It usually does when he misses his nap. I don't think I could withhold a nap from him everyday just to get him in bed at 7:15pm each night. That's borderline child abuse, if you ask me. He needs his rest, during the day AND at night. He's just fighting me all the way about going to sleep at night and this has been going on for a few weeks now. And don't say "Benadryl." It doesn't work for Jack; it makes him wired, not sedated. When does a child typically give up napping?

    I honestly don't know what's gotten into him. And I'm not inclined to put him to bed later because that means I have to stay up later doing my own Grad school homework and work work. I am not just a Mother; I am also a teacher, so I bring work home with me. I can't do it all if I'm constantly interrupted.

    So, what do I do? Do I keep running up there two dozens times before he finally falls asleep or do I put on headphones and pray he falls asleep before he kills himself or wakes the neighborhood up? I'm stuck. I don't know if any of this is sensory-related or if he's just being a stinker. And I don't know if he's getting his second set of molars, either. I guess it's a possibility. Could he be on the verge of something developmentally spectacular?

    I'm about to scream so loud that everyone on the Internet all over the world will be able to hear me. Someone...get this boy to be the peaceful sleeper he was not too long ago or I'm going to lose my ever-lovin' mind!

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    This Is What I Say...

    ...every time I get my period.
    It's times like these when I really miss back-to-back pregnancies. *Sigh*

    Sunday, September 23, 2007

    Finally, A Remote You Can Use On Your Kids...

    Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Watch Out For Falling Ice...

    It's time to remember to lock the icemaker. Jack has figured out how to get the ice cubes and crushed ice out.

    I'm so grateful we have a locking button on the icemaker. Otherwise, my kitchen floor would be one big puddle.

    This is the stuff dreams are made of. Heh...

    Friday, September 21, 2007

    The Other Mother...

    I'm expecting this book any day now. Although, I'm not buying it from Amazon or Borders or Barnes and Noble. I've actually arranged a deal with the author, Gwendolen Gross, to send me a complimentary copy so I can read it and write a review on it on Chicago Moms Blog. She and I have been emailing each other back and forth for a month or so. She's incredibly down to earth, warm, friendly, and genuine. It was like talking to an old friend. You don't often meet too many people like that, but when you do, you never forget them.

    The book is essentially about the tension between mothers who work outside the home and mothers who stay home with their children. It appeals to me because I've grappled with the idea of staying home, as opposed to working full-time outside the home. However, if we didn't need my income, I would totally stay home. I feel the book will hit home for me in many ways. That's why I can't wait to read it!

    It'll also be exciting to publish a review on it! Yay!

    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    Not Another One...

    This evening, as I was picking out my clothes for tomorrow, the kids were in the living room playing with a musical toy. An eerie quiet came over the house. That's why I knew something was up. The kids are only quiet when they're doing something they're not supposed to be doing.

    I came out of the spare room and saw Livie standing on our cocktail table in the living room, with Jack staring up at her wide-eyed and mouth open in shock. WTF! She's only been walking for three months!

    Yeah. Baby Liv was standing on the cocktail table! She figured out how to climb up it and now she knows she can be taller than Jack that way. Oh. Shit.

    And Jack? He just realized that he's not the only one who can pull tricks like that.

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Pickel's At It Again...

    She's got another contest. This one is for a spinning board from the Therapy Shoppe, a place specializing in sensory processing disorder specialty products. I've entered and you should, too. If you win and you don't have a kid with SPD, you could just send me your prize...because you love me and all. *Wink*

    I won the last contest and will be getting a fleece-covered weighted lap pad for Jack. It will help with proprioceptive input and provide calming to him. Pickel has a lot of great giveaways on her blog. She also has another blog that talks about her SPD experiences with her own family. Like me, Pickel also writes for Chicago Moms Blog and that is how we met. She is an amazing lady!

    So, hurry up and enter! The deadline is this Friday the 21st at 11pm (CST).

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007


    Jack is going through another phase. This one, however, is interfering with his sleep cycles. He's waking up extremely early (yesterday it was 4am). He walks into the living room and it's pitch dark. So, I'll tell him that it's dark out. His response? "Everybody is sleeping." Um, yeah, and you should be, too, Kid.

    It's also taking him over an hour to fall asleep at night. Yes, he still gets a midday nap, usually noon to 3pm, but not always that long. He makes a lot of noise in his crib, though. He sings, he laughs (more like a wicked cackle), he plays, he throws his nummy out of the crib and screams bloody murder for it. It forces us to run in there at lightning speed so he doesn't wake up Livie in the next room.

    It's driving me batty. Maybe it's the lack of sleep that's getting to me; maybe it's the fact that lately he's yelling his head off and I'll run in there to "rescue" his nummy from the floor where he threw it. And you know what? His nummy will be in his mouth. It's almost as if he's yelling out on purpose just to see me come running. If I don't run up there, he'll wake up Livie and I'll have double trouble. Sometimes it's just easier to be at his beck and call. Sometimes it's not. So, I let him stew from time to time so that he knows that there are consequences for his actions. You throw the nummy, there's no guarantee you'll get it back when you snap your fingers. He can't, however, sleep without it yet. We're working on that.

    Livie is going through some more teething. She's not so miserable, though. It seems she's at her worst when they actually erupt out of her gums. She'll be a bear for two days and then it's over. She's been very clingy lately, too. She's a Mama's girl. I'm grateful that nine times out of ten, Livie can sleep through Jack's bedtime antics. When he does wake her, however, all hell breaks loose.

    And we're all still fighting this cold, except for Hubby. He didn't get it...yet. It's almost gone, but it's been in this house for more than two weeks. The kids are boogery, so they're slathered with Vicks Vaporub and they get saline in their noses, which they protest highly. I, on the other hand, am sucking on Halls and hacking up both lungs. I know this cold is on its way out, but why can't this unwanted guest in my house just leave? Is that so much to ask for?

    And then there's work and Grad school and keeping up the house and remembering to take the right car on certain days and updating my gradebook and a list too long to put here.

    It just never ends. Perhaps, I should just start going to be earlier. Like, say, 7pm when the kids do. I wouldn't get as much done, but I sure would be rested. Who would pick up my slack, though?

    This too shall pass, right? Gah!

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Funny Face...

    Remember reading all the jokes about "Little Johnny"? You know, the kid that the teachers are afraid to call on for answers in the class, for fear of what he might say... Well, finally a photo of "Little Johnny" has surfaced. See if you can find him in the picture!
    The theme of this picture was, "Make a funny face"!

    And, yeah, this will totally be my son someday!

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    They Make Weight Belts For Babies...

    ...and this is what they look like.
    Okay, I'm kidding. Livie is not wearing a weight belt for babies. She's got a large, leather dog collar around her waist. She only wears it when she has to lift heavy furniture. (Insert sarcasm here.)

    I still wouldn't mess with her. When she says, "Bring it on," she means that you better bring your lunch because it'll take all day to kick her ass.
    That's my girl.

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Marrying A Chicago Girl...

    Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had given their new wives duties.

    The first man had married a woman from Tennessee and bragged that he had told his wife she was going to do all the dishes and house cleaning. He said it took a couple days but on the third day he came home to a clean house and the dishes were done.

    The second man had married a woman from Florida. He bragged that he had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes and the cooking.On that the first day he didn't see any results, but the next day it was better. By the third day, his house was clean, the dishes were done and he had a huge dinner on the table.

    The third man married a girl from Chicago. He told her that her duties were to keep the house clean, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the first day he didn't see anything, the second day he didn't see anything but by the third day most of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye; enough to fix himself a bite to eat, load the dishwasher and telephone a landscaper.

    For all you Chicago ladies out there, would you say this is incredibly accurate?

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Anything But Ordinary...

    I was at work yesterday and the strangest thing happened. There was a bum outside my classroom door. Yeah, you read that right. A bum!

    He was an African-American man with a dirty T-shirt and sweatpants on who just happened to sneak in the school engineer's door. There was no doubt in my mind that he wasn't a parent of one of our students. When stopped by security, he said he was "looking for a job." He had no I.D., only a "gold" watch in his pocket. I had happened to be on my break when I saw this guy and, ironically, one of the security guards was in my room with me. My door was open; had I been alone in my room, I don't know what could've happened. And I'm trying hard not to think about it.

    Needless to say, heads are going to roll because of this. That guy could've been much worse than the homeless crackhead he was. He could've been a child molester...loose in a school full of children.

    You can bet I'll be at the next Safety and Security meeting.

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Love Is My Favorite Four-Letter Word...

    Happy Birthday, Hubby! Welcome to 35!

    It doesn't seem that long ago when I met you in college at the tender age of 20. I guess time really does fly when you're having fun. We've done so much together; house, children, dogs, surgeries, just to name a few.

    Wow! We've known each other for fifteen years. I've been 35 for nearly nine months now. And now you're 35. That means we're growing up together. Notice how I didn't say "growing old." I'll never get old and neither will you. We'll only keep getting better. Here's to many, many more wonderful years!

    I love you and wish you the best in your new demographic group!

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    Um, Hello? Is Anyone In There?...

    Hubby was off yesterday and he takes the kids to playgroup, like he does every Tuesday. I always pack a small diaper back with just-in-case essentials. It's a fun time for all three of them and Jack's progressing so well. In fact, Wednesday afternoon is his six month evaluation with EI. All the therapists will be here discussing their findings. I already know what's in their reports because they gave me copies. I'll update about that later or tomorrow.

    But I digress. Back to my original thought, Tuesday was Playgroup Day. I had everything ready for them and couldn't wait to hear all about their day when I got home. Unfortunately, I screwed up.

    It wasn't until I pulled into the parking lot at school that I remembered one very crucial part of the playgroup date...getting there. I had taken the wrong car to work. Instead of taking Hubby's car, I unconsciously took mine...yeah, the one with the baby seats in it.

    I called Hubby immediately and told him I fucked up and took the wrong car. Neither one of us even caught it when we waved goodbye to each other as I left. Duh.

    So, the kids didn't get to go to their favorite place of all time because Mommy had a brain fart. And, to be totally honest, it ruined my day that I ruined theirs. I know, I know. Kids this young don't know anything is amiss; they don't even know it was Playgroup Day. I, however, did.

    And I was off my square the entire day. I think it's safe to say that it will never happen again. I honestly felt worse than if I'd woken up late.

    Note to Self: Tuesday = HUBBY'S CAR, you moron.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    21 Pieces Of Invaluable Advice...

    Good advice is not easy to find. I received this in my email today and thought it was wise to share it. I don't necessarily agree with all of it, but a lot of it makes a lot of sense to me.

    1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

    2. Marry someone you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be their most important quality.

    3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.

    4. When you say, "I love you," mean it.

    5. When you say, "I'm sorry," act like you mean it.

    6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.*

    7. Believe in love at first sight.**

    8. Never laugh at anyone's dream. Dreams offer hope.

    9. Love deeply and passionately.

    10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

    11. Don't judge people by their relatives.****

    12. Talk slowly, but think quickly.

    13. Remember that great love and great rewards also involve great risk.

    15. Say "bless you" when someone sneezes.***

    16. When you lose, do so graciously.

    17. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

    18. Allow nothing to ruin a great friendship because the great ones are truly rare.

    19. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

    20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
    21. Spend some time alone every day.*****

    *This one is debatable.
    **It happened to me.
    ***Or gesundheit.
    ****Yeah, that shit ain't right.
    *****And going to the bathroom doesn't count.

    Monday, September 10, 2007

    My Little Shit...

    My boy Jack is a darling. He's a lot like his Mommy.

    The other night, Jack did something he wasn't supposed to do (I can't remember what). Hubby reprimanded him and Jack got mad, so he started throwing some of his blocks. Every time he picked up a block to throw it, he would look at us and yell, "Throw!" We ignored it because it's just Jack's way of letting us know he's pissed.

    Well, at one point, he threw a block down, looked at Hubby, and said, "You are a little shit." Hubby and I looked at each other and agreed to ignore it; we figured that he wouldn't do it again if he didn't get attention for it. Boy, were we wrong.

    He wound up inching much closer to Hubby, threw another block down, and enunciated the phrase, "YOU are a little SHIT!"

    And that's when Hubby hit the roof and scared the bejeezus out of the boy by yelling at him, "STOP SAYING THAT!" Needless to say, Jack hasn't repeated that phrase since.

    My boy sure knows how to push buttons. He reminds me so much of me. Heh...

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    She's Free!...

    My niece Blondie is free of two life-threatening issues that were present. The key word being "were." That means she no longer has them in her life anymore. This is the best news I have heard in a long, long time.

    I never blogged about it. It's her business and it's not for me to put out there. However, I just have to jump up and down and rejoice here right now for the simple fact that I can finally breathe again.

    She's young and has her whole life ahead of her. The "dead weight" is gone and the "other very serious condition" is gone. And that's all that matters right now.

    Post a comment congratulating her on this win-win!

    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    Asshole Candy...

    Need I say more?

    Friday, September 07, 2007

    Just A Friendly Reminder...

    To The Man I Refer To As "Shit":

    You should never, ever fuck with the women in my family. It's a really, really bad idea. We can one-up you any day, blindfolded, and duct taped to a wall. Of course, if you like the feeling of losing your nuts via your own throat, I guess you wouldn't take this advice.

    It's not wise to mess with us because we are a thousand times stronger than a thousand men combined. We have the ability to make you sweat with fear, piss your pants, and grovel for your Mommy to take you back. You will be reduced to the nothing that you are. And you will continue to be invisible to all decent women for you are marked, "WANTED," by The Law.

    God help you. He's the only one who can. And I'm guessing you'd never smack Him around.

    Just a friendly reminder...

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    Have You Ever Felt Like This?...

    Is it Friday yet?

    Wednesday, September 05, 2007


    My Sister and Me

    My Sister and Blondie

    This past weekend, My Sister and her family were in town, visiting from Kansas. It was wonderful! Everyone bonded, laughed, sang, ate... It was just a precious time for all of us. I don't know what made this visit any different from the others, but it such a good way.

    I caught a glimpse of something. I saw the bond My Sister has with Blondie (her daughter/my niece who used to live with me). And I can totally envision myself having a bond like that when Livie gets older. It's the kind of bond you can see. It's love, illustrated, brought to life, colorful, and present. It's put together with joy, tears, happiness, frustration, helplessness, stubbornness, and togetherness. It can't be dissolved. Blondie and My Sister have a twenty-four year history that has not been without its ups and downs; it has thrived because of them.

    Every once in a while, you'll see something like that. And you'll look in the mirror and see that you have that kind of love inside you, too. And you'll know that you're a part of your family for a reason.

    For me, that reason is Livie. I, too, will be part of her history, no matter where we live. And the twinkle in her eye will belong to me.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    Do You Hear That? That's The Sound Of Me Blowing My Nose...

    It's the first full school day with students. I will get to see many new faces.

    However, it figures that I'd start the brand new school year with a nasty cold. And Jack has it, too, so it's only a matter of time before everyone in the Eatmisery house gets it. Then we get to pass it back and forth forever. I must say, though, Jack has only had maybe three colds since he was born. And Livie has only had one! We're due, I guess.

    What a way to start the school year!

    Monday, September 03, 2007

    Labor Day...

    I wonder how many women go into labor on Labor Day. Just a thought.

    For those who wonder exactly what Labor Day celebrates, here are some Q & A's for you:

    Q: When is Labor Day?
    A: Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. For 2007, Labor Day falls on Sept. 3.

    Q: Why do we celebrate Labor Day?
    A: Labor Day is the one day that honors the contributions of working men and women to America’s social and economic life.

    Q: When was Labor Day first celebrated in the United States?
    A: On Sept. 5, 1882, when about 20,000 working people marched in New York City to demand an eight-hour workday and other labor law reforms. In a parade up Broadway, sponsored by New York’s Central Labor Union, they carried banners reading, “Labor Creates All Wealth” and “Eight Hours for Work, Eight Hours for Rest, Eight Hours for Recreation.” About a quarter million New Yorkers turned out to watch. The fight to preserve overtime pay for more than eight hours of work a day marks this Labor Day 122 years later.

    Q: When did Labor Day become a national holiday?
    A: After the first Labor Day in New York City, celebrations began to spread to other states as workers fought to win workplace rights and better working conditions and wages at a time when they had little power. In 1893, New York City workers took an unpaid day off and marched around Union Square in support of a national Labor Day. The following year, 12,000 federal troops were called into Pullman, Ill., to break up a huge strike against the Pullman railway company and two workers were shot and killed by U.S. deputy marshals. In what most historians call an election year attempt to appease workers after the federal crackdown on the Pullman strike, shortly after the strike was broken, President Grover Cleveland signed legislation making the first Monday in September Labor Day and a federal holiday. Cleveland lost the election.

    Q: Who founded Labor Day?
    A: That’s a matter of dispute among historians. Some say Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, first suggested a day to honor workers. Others credit Matthew Maguire, a machinist who served as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.

    Q: Is Labor Day just about unions?
    A: No. The U.S. Department of Labor describes Labor Day this way: “It is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.”

    Q: What international holiday is Labor Day’s closet relative?
    A: May Day. In 1889, a workers’ congress in Paris voted to support the U.S. labor movement’s demand for an eight-hour workday. It chose May 1, 1890, as a day of demonstrations in favor of the eight-hour day. Afterward, May 1 became a holiday called Labor Day in many nations. It resembles the September holiday in the United States.

    So, if you work (inside or outside the home) or are retired from work, I salute you.

    ***SIDENOTE: For the record, I think stay-at-home Moms have quite a difficult job that is underappreciated by many. People who think that a SAHM doesn't work (strictly because they don't earn a paycheck for it) have never been a Mother. And those Mothers who work outside the home have it just as rough, if not more. I take my hat off to all of you.

    Sunday, September 02, 2007

    Labor Day Series...

    The following photos were taken while My Sister and her family were in town this weekend.
    Nature Boy

    My Trinity

    Smiles Are Free


    Lotsa Love Playgroup

    Saturday, September 01, 2007

    A Bridge Or A Tunnel?...

    The bridge (or should it be called tunnel?) goes under water to allow movement of ships . In order for ships to pass, this bridge is half under the water. You drive down in the water and then come out on the other side. Truly a marvelous piece of engineering!? This bridge is between Sweden and Denmark. The picture is taken from the side of Sweden .