Random Thoughts: Updates

I’m terribly remiss in not mentioning this until now: Last Saturday the girls and I had a lovely time at ClumberKim‘s house for a Disney party. The food was excellent; the company even better; and she collected a few DVDs for Make Room for Kids. All-in-all a pleasant night with other bloggers/Tweeps. It’s really nice to go over to another parents’ house where all the kids get along and hang out with minimum input from us adults. Oh, and the cupcakes were adorable AND delicious.


Kate is diaper-free. Diaper-free is not quite the same as potty-trained. She still needs to be prompted to go to the potty, but we have been accident-free since Monday. Knock on wood.


Flora got another ear infection. ARGH! She suffered over the weekend, and we got her to the doctor’s as soon as we could on Monday. She’s on augmentin (which would not have been my first choice of antibiotic; Dan took her, bless him). Let’s just say, I’ve also been making sure she gets some yogurt every day.


I don’t know if Flora had any kind of virus to go with that ear infection, but something wiped Dan and me out on Wednesday. It was wicked; I thought on Tuesday we were just suffering from some bad allergies. But by Wednesday morning, between the aches and fevers, I knew it was a little more serious. Yay us.


Regardless, we’re off to the woods this weekend, so I hope we all continue to recoup well. Dan and I will be trading off nap-time and POD-time. The weather is supposed to be great again this year, too! We’re a smaller group because of the marathon, but I expect much fun will still be had.


Flora has a loose tooth! She could not be more excited! Or concerned (about eating). I can’t believe it. Plus, she can almost whistle. Where’s my baby?

What I Am: Reading

I haven’t done one of these in a while — I haven’t done much of anything around here in awhile. Except hit you up for donations (get on that, will you?). (Just kidding.)

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Gregory is a new author for me, and I may check out some of her other books. I enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl — it’s not a new favorite or anything, but it was an entertaining, compelling read. I never gave much thought to the whole “behind the scenes” of the reign of Henry VIII, and this was an interesting glimpse. I had no idea of the intrigue (as portrayed in this novel, anyway) or how long it took for Henry to decide to set aside his first wife and marry Anne Boleyn. And, you know, there was a reason her head was chopped off — I guess when I learned about this in history (?), I just figured he was the king; he felt like it. It’s a bit more complicated than that. Plus, I liked the voice of the protagonist, Mary Boleyn. All-in-all, an entertaining book that I would recommend.

The Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris

I have been devouring these, about one a month, for a while now. I have gone so far to buy the paperbacks — usually one per trip to Target. Buying books, especially paperbacks, is extremely out of character for me, but I certainly do not regret it. I am currently on Book 8, From Dead to Worse. I am enjoying the hell out of the series. Smartly paced, smartly written mind candy, with a truly likable, tough protagonist. I am usually all about all things vampire, but Twilight made me extremely cautious (because, frankly, I thought it sucked). Harris easily brings vampires out of the closet (so to speak) in the 21st century without breaking the ‘rules’. And no sparkling! It may be time to pick up the True Blood DVDs. I can only hope they are as good as the source material.

Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes by Sharon Lamb Ed.D. and Lyn Mikel Brown

I have checked this book out of the library twice, and twice had to return it without finishing it. I am going to have to buy this one, too. It’s a scary look at the way marketers attempt to channel girls into two distinct roles: “you’re either for the boys or with the boys”. As a mom who has struggled with the messaging on clothing for my 5-year-old, this book was eye-opening. I’ve only gotten about one-third of the way through, and I have to buy it and finish it, and start talking to my girls. We can’t just tell our daughters they can be anything they can be because the message from the media is vastly different. This book gives parents the tools to discuss the messages their daughters see and dissect them. It’s practical and non-confrontational — and rather exhaustive in its examination of girl-targeted marketing. I’m looking forward to getting through it, and starting constructive conversations with my smart, feisty daughters!

March for Maddie, 2010

I’ve been trying to find a moving or creative way into this post, and I’m coming up way short. It’s been… something around here lately.

Sometimes babies are born too early. Babies born too early are extremely vulnerable to any number of seemingly harmless childhood sicknesses. A simple cold can be devastating, as Heather and Mike Spohr discovered on April 7 of last year.

Which is all to say: On Sunday, May 23, I will be walking for the March of Dimes, with the same terrific bunch of ‘Burghers that I walked with last year (and more!).

Please consider donating to the March of Dimes in my name. Here is my personal page at the March of Dimes site; from there you can go to the Pittsburgh team page, and see all the fabulous people with whom I’m walking.

And, if you want to donate to MoD and be in the running for fabulous prizes, you can go check out Gina’s site, and throw her a few bucks too! (I did!)

Maddie Spohr, November 11, 2007–April 7, 2009

Lost: The Last Recruit


I had a lot of “I don’t believe that” moments last night. Not actual disbelief like, “Wow! That’s unbelievable!” It was more about simply thinking that characters were lying.

1. Claire telling Jack that he was on the MiB’s side now — since he let MiB talk to him. I just don’t think it’s that simple. Now, Jack jumping off the boat and swimming to shore — that was worrying, especially given the title of the episode, and the very end of the show.

2. Sayid telling MiB that he did what MiB told him to do. I don’t think he killed Desmond. I think we would have seen that. I think there is enough of a vestige of old Sayid — the Sayid that wants actual redemption — that he fought off the MiB’s temptation.

3. Jack = the new Jacob.

4. I told my husband last week that everyone was going to end up at the hospital with Jack. So far, I’m right on. Now we just need Kate, Sawyer, and Sayid to get there. Oh, and Claire I guess.

And then Desmond will show up and show them the way.

5. I am glad the Jin/Sun reunion finally happened. Now, characters on this show should know better to say stuff like, “We’ll never be apart again,” but, hey, here’s hoping. And Lapidus’ line about Sun finding her voice was LAME.

6. A final question: Why is everyone so convinced that Juliet is Jack’s ex/David’s mom? I know that Doc Jensen floated that theory after the last Jack-centric episode. Do you take the complete non-reveal of her identity of proof? I think a more compelling argument is that Jack said to Sawyer on the boat: “I’m sorry I killed Juliet.” As the worlds are drawing closer together, I think Jack may have been referencing a deeper/more Sideways knowledge. I’m not convinced that Juliet is going to show up for this final season, and not just because Elizabeth Mitchell is on V.

Wilco (The Concert)

Speaking of music, we went to go see Wilco last Sunday.

Due to the very gracious Uncle Crappy, Dan and I got pre-sale Wilco tickets.

I hadn’t seen Wilco since their last visit to the Three Rivers Arts Festival, which was in the summer of 2004, and I recall that because I was pregnant with Flora. (No wonder she loves their music so much!) But UC and his wife have seen them several times in the intervening years, and he talked about their shows often on his blog.

I knew this was an opportunity not to be missed.

And, holy cats, am I glad I jumped at the chance.

First of all, Jeff Tweedy has just gotten better as he’s, er, well, not to put too fine a point on it, aged. His voice is richer, his on-stage patter is more entertaining, and he is the undisputed leader of Wilco. It was good to see him up there, center stage, the faithful and extremely talented John Stirrat to his right (our view).

Second: Nils Cline is a guitar virtuoso. Which is something I probably should have figured out because I DO have the albums, but seeing it live is another thing altogether. Their rendition of “Impossible Germany” was gorgeous.

Third: The venue was also gorgeous. Wilco played The Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland, which is a lovely building. It was filled to capacity, and the acoustics were perfect. It wasn’t too loud at all — I didn’t leave with that post-concert ear buzzing I’m so used to. At one point, I think during “Poor Places”, I took a seat (note to self: flip flops are not appropriate footwear for standing for THREE HOURS), and just stared at the ceiling. The sound was delectable.

Fourth: This band is TIGHT. They play live a lot, which I’m sure has plenty to do with it. Even when they launched into their jams/controlled chaos (which was often) they reigned it in and continued a song just beautifully. It was acoustic choreography — Dan says, on this point, “They can all count. They’re musicians.” But I was impressed by this.

Fifth: Did I mention they played for THREE HOURS? At one point, Tweedy said, “You’ll have to pay the babysitter a little extra tonight.” That was okay with me. (My exhaustion made Monday last forever, but we all survived.)

Sixth: The company was awesome.

Dan, too, enjoyed it. Wilco is one of “my” bands that he digs (some of the time). He likes the more straightforward stuff, and is a huge fan of their Mermaid Avenue material. Their version of “California Stars”, which was incredibly upbeat, made him very happy. In his opinion, they “hit the chaos button” too often, but he still really liked the show.

His other observations: The musicians on the right side of the stage (Tweedy, Stirrat, and Pat Sansone) “took their meds”. Those on the left (Cline, Mikael Jorgensen, and drummer Glenn Kotche) “did not”. This referred to the, er, thrashing about on one side of the stage. After six songs, he observed that Tweedy hadn’t even said hi yet, but I assured him Tweedy would have plenty to say. We were not disappointed.

I think I’ll try to see them again before six years passes. Just a thought.

What I Am: Music Video Edition

More music that is turning me on lately.

I rushed home from soccer practice this evening and downloaded the Ting Tings’ album (thank you, H, for the fantabulous suggestion). It is going into heavy rotation in the car and while washing dishes.

Vampire Weekend has become extremely popular with my girls based on “Mansard Roof” and this song:

Flora thinks Ezra Koeing has a “nice voice”. HA! The indoctrination continues.

Soccer and Poop

Yes, two things that should not go together. But you don’t live my glamorous life.

Flora had her first soccer game on Saturday. And although the red team (to be named the Penguins, I believe) was outscored by the white team (the Dolphins) something like 48 to 6, it looked to me like everyone was having fun and that’s all that counts in my opinion.

In the meantime, Kate was pretty good. She didn’t try to escape from the field, like she did at last Wednesday’s practice, and — shockingly — she did not try to get in the game.

However, there is one aspect of having Kate at soccer that is going to be muy, muy unpleasant.

The Port-o-Potty.

In a bid to get her potty trained, I have gone the hard-core route. When Kate is at home with me — or even not at-home but nonetheless with me (or her father) — she is in underpants. I carry one or two extra outfits with me now, and a few plastic bags for the, er, fallout.

Her resistance to pooping has ended (for the most part — thank you Miralax), but she is still not asking to go to the potty when she has to go. (This goes for pee, too.)

We’ve had some accidents, as you can imagine.

However, one place she simply LOVES to go potty is when we are at soccer with Flora. Oh, the magic of the port-o-potty. Its siren call lures Kate in two, three, four times for the magical experience of pooping in a stinky, hot box with blue water and more germs than I care to contemplate.

And I stand, door propped open at my back, begging her to “really finish pooping all the way this time” [because I swear I’m going to hurl my Starbucks’ pastry right here beside the port-o-potty if I have to spend anymore time in this box with you and that sucker cost me $5, so don’t make me do it].

We have been, over the course of one game and one practice, in the port-o-potty up to seven times.

And, to add insult to injury, on Saturday, instead of going to the port-o-potty ONE MORE TIME, Kate decided to poop in her pants because she couldn’t be bothered to interrupt her hard-won time on the playground.

I mean, really, people.

I threw those underpants out, by the way.

Me Time FAIL

So after all that crap about being out of time at work and in the hole and yadda yadda yadda, about a week ago I discovered I had nine hours of vacation time to use by today or lose.

I was pretty stoked. I mean, I haven’t had nine hours of time to burn in a long time. I thought I would schedule myself a pedicure, do some shopping for myself. I wasn’t going to clean or do laundry.

The place I used to get my pedicures doesn’t do them anymore. Plus, it’s cold today in Pittsburgh (*shakes fist at Mother Nature*), so flip-flops are not appealing.

And I had to deal with some messes at home. I mean, those dishes aren’t going to clean themselves — and neither is my dishwasher since it’s broken. Plus, I really had to put a (teeny-tiny) dent in the ever-present office mess.

Eventually, I went out to lunch (Chipotle FTW!). And I wandered through a couple of stores, but frankly I didn’t feel like shopping. For clothes, anyway; I did end up with two pairs of shoes and some make-up. And now I’m back home waiting for laundry to come out of the dryer. In about 40 minutes I go pick up the girls.

I’m clearly doing something wrong.

I DID get to spend some fun time on Twitter for a change. Although I still haven’t discovered who-all is knocked up. (I have, however, heard from plenty of people who are NOT.)

I guess I’ll have to try some other time for me time. It’s a shame that I squandered today. But the arts-&-crafts drawer is neat now — we can even close it; and my kitchen is clean (until dinner time). And I folded some laundry.

Me-time may have been a loss, but I think the house won.