Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Zoe School Photos

I think she's really starting to dig this school thing.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Animal Kingdom

I have a little green glass octopus that sits on my vanity, that my mom gave me years ago. This weekend, Zoe saw it for the first time.

"What is that?"

"It's an octopus."

"I want it."

"Sweetie, you can't have it right now. It's glass and it might break. When you're all grown up and a big girl, you can have it."

"When I'm a big girl, I will have the octopiss."

Armadildos and octopisses...we've got our very own twisted menagerie.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Another good school day

A few tears this morning at drop-off, but these images posted today already:

Yes, if you look closely you can see she is wearing one white sock and one pink sock. She chose them herself.

And there is Hoot, hanging out behind the sand piled high in the bucket. It's Hoot 3 of 4, as 4 of 4 took one for the team the other night with the puking and all. I'm sure 3 of 4 is thinking, "WTF? I just went on vacation and now I'm in a freakin' sandbox? This is not what I was thinking when I asked to go to the beach!"
In the third photo, he's sitting on the desk keeping an eye on her computer work. Making sure she visits only child-friendly sites and such.
He's a good owl.

If only it were that easy

There is a woman at work who proudly displays a certificate at her desk for all to see. It proclaims that she successfully completed The Two-Day MBA Program.

I've just spent another 5 hours working on cash flow estimation and risk analysis. This is in addition to the 8+ hours I've already put in this week on analysis of financial statements. And this is only the first week of one class, in a program that takes 2.5 years to complete.

Two-Day MBA? Really?

It is hard to not laugh out loud every time I see that certificate.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Second Day Recap

Well, as bad as Monday was, Wednesday was good. Very good.

As I walked across the school parking lot, I could see the little pigtails in the window; she was on the same bench where she sat Monday. Uh oh.

Then she whipped around and we made eye contact. Her face lit up and I could see her mouth, "Mommy!" Ms. Kendra opened the window and Zoe yelled, "Hi, Mommy!"

After I buzzed myself in and got to the door of her classroom, she hopped off the bench, where she was sitting with two teachers and multiple classmates, unlike Monday when she was alone, and she yelled, "Mommy! I had so much fun!" Then she started to dance.

She showed me some new toys she played with, and told me about the sandbox, the gym, the letterboard, and the playground. Later she told me Ms. Kendra sang songs, and she tried to repeat one but I couldn't understand a word she was singing. Didn't matter. It was beautiful.

So I'm thinking the transition period is over. It was one day: Monday. Now she's good. Her teachers said she's starting to interact with the other kids, which is great and exactly what we hoped for. That will just take time, since she's not had much beyond occasional visits with her cousins (who teach her things like knuckle bumping, how to make a moustache and how to use her mouth in the crook of her arm to make a fart noise...thanks, cousins).

It's a huge relief to know that all is good in Zoeland as far as school is concerned. Unfortunately, not all is good with our school. M's hotel in RI has been without internet access, which is necessary for the completion of the first homework problem. Ever resourceful, he moved on to the second assigned chapter and its homework problems. Apparently they're pretty tough. I don't know this myself because I'm still struggling through the first problem from the first chapter, which by my latest estimation, I've dumped about 8 hours into. M did take a minute to log in from work this morning and post a couple of questions he had on the discussion board. I read them and wanted to hurl, since I don't even have the first clue what he's talking about, having not read that chapter yet. Sounds hard, though. Methinks this is going to be a tough nine weeks. I look at my Finance textbook and it makes me so, so sad!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Zoe's Great Day!

Just received an e-mail from one of Zoe's teachers (isn't technology wonderful?!), the title of which is "Zoe's Great Day!" Here's the message:


I just wanted to let you know that Zoe is having a much better day! She did cry for a bit this morning, but then she had a bm and she was fine. I don't know if she was a little constipated, but she seemed much more relaxed after that. She is carrying her owl with her everywhere, but she is busy playing and doing art! We've seen a lot of smiles from her today.


Ironic how a little bit of shit can cause so much trouble, ain't it? Typical of life, though, really.

M and I are breathing easier, and are encouraged at this positive change of events. God bless her teachers and a little creature named Hoot.

School - Day Two

Zoe started her second day of school this morning, and even though she was crying when I left, I feel better about it than her first day.

She knows what to expect's not completely new. She also knows that I'm coming back to get her, as I told her that about a million times and we talked about what we're going to do tonight once we get home. And although she was crying, it wasn't a full-out tantrum or hysterics. It was like the first couple of times I took her to Tot Care at the Lodge, when she'd cry when I left but be fine within 2 minutes. Also, she willingly went from me to Ms. Lisa, and was hugging her when I left. This means, I feel, that she already trusts her teachers, which makes me feel loads better. I adore her teachers already...they have been absolutely wonderful.

So, while I'm still worried about her, of course, I feel hopeful that she'll have a better day than Monday. And I'm fervently praying that The Banshee either doesn't make an appearance, or has figured out that school isn't the torture device she originally thought.

M and I have also started school again, this time moving on to Advance Finance, which might as well be named Advanced Suckitude. If Finance sucked, this is suckitude on steriods. And we're all of three days into it. Yikes. To sum it up, for the first time since we started I began to think that maybe earning a low B wouldn't be so bad after all. I am grateful, though, that none of our on-line classmates have appeared to throw a temper tantrum since starting. That's always a good sign.

Coupla super secret messages for the day:
Happy Birthday to Mama!
Happy New House to Beano!
Thank you to Sister Mary Amnesia for the laughs last night!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Day Recap

Zoe's first day at school went pretty much as I had feared, but not for the reason I expected. I thought she would dissolve when we left, which didn't happen at all.

It seems she was doing just fine until The Banshee showed up. That's the name I've given the little girl who, to put it mildly, didn't adjust well to her first day at school. According to Ms. Maria, Zozo was just sitting down to breakfast when Mr. and Mrs. Banshee dropped off their offspring, who proceeded to throw the tantrum of all tantrums which included an ear-piercing scream that continued for quite some time. Zoe doesn't particularly care for loud noises anyway, but when it's coming from a child her own size, I'm sure it's terrifying.

The Banshee set off Zozer, and that was it. She was done for the rest of the day. Weepy, withdrawn, etc. She observed all activities, and would be just on the brink of joining when it was time to switch to a new activity. Ms. Maria reassured us that she's completely normal and will be just's just going to take some time. And possibly a sedative for her classmate. Okay, that last idea is mine, not the teacher's, but I'm sure she'd agree.

When we picked Zoe up yesterday afternoon, she began crying as soon as she saw us. I scooped her up and held her, and she laid her little pig-tailed head on my shoulder and sobbed, "Mommy, I was just so, so sad." Pretty sure that's when M and I both started bawling. We talked to her teacher for a few more minutes, then left. The Banshee was gone already, so we didn't get to see her (I picture an evil little child with horns, but it could be that I'm just a weensy bit biased towards my angelic girl).

We strapped Zozer in the car and headed to the airport to drop M off for his flight. She sat quietly in the backseat, but would start crying every 5-10 minutes for no apparent reason. She told us her tummy hurt, and I assured her that it was because she hadn't eaten all day (no breakfast, no lunch, no snacks) and that we'd have dinner as soon as we got home and she'd feel better. M was torn up to leave her in such a state.

I finally got her home and had just taken her shoes and socks off (still holding her...she just needed to be cuddled), when the stress of the day came up. Literally. She threw up, all over me, herself and Hoot. I think Hootie took the brunt of it. It was all stomach acid, as there was no food in her stomach to go anywhere, and up it came. She looked at my quizzically and asked, "What was that in my mouth?!" It's been a year and a half since she last threw up, and she's only thrown up maybe four times in her whole life. I explained to her what happened, and then she wanted to call Daddy.

"Daddy, I throwed up! My tummy hurt, and I throwed up, and now I feel better."

She was perfectly fine from then on and we had a normal evening. We did talk about school, and how she was upset that she didn't get to play dress up or paint, but how she would have another chance to do that on Wednesday. She told me about going out to the playground and playing ball in the gym with the big red "K" in the floor. She told me everything they ate for lunch, and explained that she didn't eat any of it. My heart shattered over and over again, but I was encouraged that she was already talking about going back to school.

When I was first pregnant, my mom told me, "After you give birth, you will learn what it feels like to walk around with your heart outside your body, because it's not yours any more. It'll always be with your child." Man, was she right.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First day photo

The teachers posted photos from this morning.

I pulled this into Photoshop and zoomed in...I see no scratches or bruises, so I suppose she's physically okay.

She doesn't look totally thrilled, but she's not sobbing, either. Although in my zoomed version I thought I could see a trace of a tear near her right eye. Ugh.

She's on one of the yellow padded benches that line the wall by the windows. Which is where we left her this morning. I'm sincerely hoping she hasn't been there the whole time.

Just got a message from M...he's going to be here by 4:30, so I get to see my little girl 15 minutes earlier than originally anticipated!

I'm gonna start cleaning other peoples' desks soon

Zoe is a little over halfway through her first day of school.

I have completely cleaned out my desk.

Cleaning out and organizing are my ways of dealing with stress, anxiety, nervousness, etc. I cleaned the house yesterday while M cut the grass and Zoe napped. He walked in and went, "Whoa." I had vacuumed, mopped, dusted, cleaned off the kitchen counter and cleaned out the fridge. I scoured the cabinet faces and the front of the fridge. I put everything that was sitting out away. I finished the laundry, made the bed, emptied the trash and cleaned the litter box. It made me feel much better. Last night, I pulled a stack of magazines that was 2 feet high out and made us go through them as we watched the Olympics. Most of them wound up in the recycle bin and my end tables look like end tables again.

So, today, I continued the process. I've cleaned out my files and recycled about 20 pounds of paper. I emptied my "goody" drawer that has snacks and my emergency supplies (nail kit, Advil, the little magic green pills that are a necessity when our office gets White Castle, etc.). Nearly everything I work with is cleaned out or cleaned up. Unfortunately, I'm running out of things to organize. I might actually have to use my brain and get some work done.

Sitting next to me is the daily schedule for the Elephant Room. I look at it every once in awhile, just to see what Zozer is doing. For instance, right now I know she's 10 minutes into Nap Time. And I wonder, is she really sleeping? Or is she just laying there going, "This is really freakin' different." You know, she's not used to sleeping in a room with 13 other children.

My guess is, given her schedule this morning, she's conked out. She's had Gym, 2 Outside Plays, Large Group and Small Group, and a couple of Choice Times. Breakfast, lunch and a snack.

The Zoemobile is still in the shop undergoing it's transmission transplant, which means we're still a one-car family. This is probably good because if I had my car I would have driven to Zozer's school and spied on her over lunch. Instead, I organized my paperclips. The day is crawling at a snail's pace...all I want is for 4:45 to roll around so M can pick me up and we can go get Zoe. I can't wait to hear all about her first day!

Zoe's First Day of (pre)School!

Zozer started school this morning. She and Daddy did very well. Mommy was a basket case.

We've been prepping her, so when she got up this morning she was already talking about going to school. She put her new tennis shoes on (wanted to pick out her own socks) and let Daddy spray her sunblock, then climbed in the car. With Hoot, of course.

On the way there, she seemed a little nervous, but that could have been me projecting my own anxiety.

When we pulled up, she said, "We're at school! It's still here!" Yes, Zozer, school is still here. Which is a good thing, because if it were gone, we'd have bigger problems.

We took some pictures outside school, near the large turtle sculpture that sits by the front door, then headed in.

We got to her classroom just as Miss Maria was taping her picture next to her cubby and hook, which was very exciting. Her cubby says "Zoe!" on the bottom, and has our last name printed from a label-maker on the top. Mis-spelled, of course (the "l" and the "a" were transposed, which is the most common mutilation). Get used to it, sweetie.

Then we all walked into the room, except for Zozer, who stood at the door and refused to enter. Uh oh. This isn't good.

M went over and knelt by her.

"Do you want to come in?"
"Do you want to hold Daddy's hand?"
"Do you want Daddy to hold you?"
"Uh huh."

He picked her up and walked back in, and she relaxed. He showed her the funny mirror that hangs on the closet door, and her face lit up. He set her down and that was that. She was in, she was fine, and we were dismissed.

I gave her hugs and kisses, and showed amazing self-restraint given that my heart was breaking into a bajillion little pieces. Then Miss Maria (love her!) grabbed her by the hand and said, "Want to wave to Mommy and Daddy out the window? C'mon!" We walked one way out the door, while they walked the opposite, towards the windows.

We waved from the parking lot, and heard Zoe yell that she had to go, as she was getting ready to eat waffles for breakfast. The window creaked shut and that was it. She was gone, into the world of school and friends and great teachers and fun.

I blubbered the rest of the way to the car while my husband held my hand and laughed at me.

"What's wrong?"
"My baby is at school."
"Yeah. Isn't that a good thing?"
"Yes. But she's my baby. We just brought her home from the hospital. She can't be ready for school."
"Yeah, um, we brought her home three years ago. She isn't a baby any more."
"She will always be my baby."

He gave up, bought me a mocha and dried my tears. He's a good man.

I'll try to download and post today's pictures tonight, after we get M off on his flight and I get Zozer put to bed. School started for us, too, so reading, homework and discussion looms. I'll do what I can!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Great Hoot Debacle of '08

Catastrophe at home last night. A. Big. F'ing. Deal. All caused by me. Shit.

Let's back the truck up and tell the backstory, shall we?

Wednesday night, Beans, Tiff, and Joey came over to play and have dinner. Zozer played in the library with Joe before we all went out to enjoy the fine (and unusual) August weather on the patio. When 7:15 rolled around, I threw her in the tub and got her ready for bed.

We couldn't find Hoot. She's on Hoot #4 presently, although he's getting close to going on the DL for a bit. Anyway, Wednesday night I couldn't even remember if she had brought Hoot home from Grandpa's that day, and after a fruitless search, we gave up the hunt. I retrieved Hoot #3 from our hidden stash and she went to bed happy. I made a mental note to call Grandpa and see if he still had Hoot the next day, which I did, then promptly forgot after he reassured me that Hoot had indeed come home with Zoe. (Can you see where this is going? It's called foreshadowing, people.)

Last night, after picking her up from Grandma's, we came home and Zoe asked to play in the library while I cooked dinner, which is utterly normal. What happened next was not.

I had just pulled all the food from the fridge when I heard a blood-curdling shriek from the library. I swear my hair stood on end. Then I heard the words I've been dreading for two years now.

"Mommy! There are two Hooties!"

My entire abdomen twisted and curled in on itself, which, in case you've never experienced it, is so not a good feeling. All I could think was, "Oh my God, what have I done?"

She came running into the kitchen, still clutching #3, tears streaming down her little face, in sheer panic mode. "There are two Hoots! There are two Hoots!"

I could see the gears in her head spinning at super-nuclear speed and knew we were headed straight for a meltdown. Her eyes were full of questions: "How can this be? My most beloved, cherished possession. My best friend. My Hoot. Two of them?! What in the hell is going on?"

I snatched #3 from her and said, "Show me." When she turned to walk back to the library, I unceremoniously stuffed #3 behind the blender and Mixmaster. Not the best place, but I was also sinking into panic mode and trying to figure out how in the hell I was going to fix this for my little girl.

We went into the library, and she pointed at #4, still safe in his hiding place. She didn't even want to touch him. Was he an imposter? How could there be two? I picked him up and tried to calm her down, and we talked. Then we went back to the kitchen to "look" for the other one, where I fervently prayed that her 3-year-old height wouldn't be tall enough to allow her to see the bit of brown fuzz poking up from behind the blender.

She was totally confused at this point, and still crying, so I got her back in the library (far less chance of her spotting #3 in there) and we talked some more.

Then I did what I'm sure every parent has done at some point or another through the ages, although it damn near killed me to do it. I lied to my child. I told her, "Remember how sometimes you wake up at night and you cry because you had a bad dream? This is like that. Everything is fine. There's only one Hoot." I held her and we talked and we just did that for 20 minutes. Slowly, she calmed down and, although she was still questioning, seemed to go with the dream story.

Thankfully, by bedtime, all was right in the world again. About every 10 minutes she'd eye Hoot suspiciously and sometimes say, "Only one Hoot," but she was, for the most part, fine. #3 returned to the minors and #4 resumed his spot by Zozer's side in bed.

Mommy, on the other hand, called her husband in Vegas, dissolved into tears, and then mentally kicked her own ass for the rest of the night. Every so often, Zoe's scream and the words, "Mommy! There are two Hooties!" would play in my head, and I'd instinctively bring both hands up to my face and cringe. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep.

So, what was overall an exhausting and generally shitty day, devolved into that. I told M he's never allowed to go out of town again. He just laughed at me, and then told me he had relayed the entire story to all the guys he was at the bar with last night. Great, so there's a gaggle of drunken men in Vegas who know what a horrible mother I am.

And now, so do all of you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I didn't get LASIK for this

I feel as though my eyes are about to fall out of my head.

We're going through a big change here at work, which involves not only everyone's prices going up, but the division of each department into levels based on "experience, education and availability." At least, that's the mantra they've been feeding us for a few months. Some people are on board, but I haven't drunk the Kool-Aid just yet.

Let me explain.

What used to be one price is now seven. Seven different prices. For each service. Thankfully, I am not on the front line and don't have to explain this to clients. Unfortunately, I am on the back line, and have to update the prices in the software we use to run our business. And on our Web site. And in the shopping cart of our web site.

And we offer a lot of services.

So that's what I've been doing all day. Changing one price into seven, times three. The site and shopping cart are done, and what I can do in the software without mucking up current operations is done. The rest has to wait until close of business tomorrow night, which doesn't happen until 9. Yes, my friends, Birfday Eve will be spent in my office, at my desk, pounding away on the ol' laptop. I don't mind, really, as M is out of town and won't return til Saturday morning, when he'll probably find me semi-conscious and muttering price points for various spa services.

I'm already tired, and it's not even tomorrow yet. My desk is covered in paper, with lone towers sticking out that look like a downtown cityscape: the laptop, phone, big plastic cup 'o water, and giant bottle of Tum's. People have been coming into the office frequently (as they usually do), see the Tum's, and say, "Ohhhh," and just leave. I might have to use this as a form of defense more often.

I've now had pizza three times this week. Granted, it was different types of pizza from different places (Pi, Imo's and Pizza World...all a universe apart in pizza style), but still, it was all pizza. If I see a piece of pizza again in the next month, I might hurl.

Good news on the Zoemobile. Price came in from the independent transmission rebuilder dude and it's a grand less than snooty Honda mechanic wanted. The Zoemobile lives! Hopefully for two more years! It'll go in tomorrow and I'll get it back some time next week, which means we all get to cram in M's little teensycar for awhile. I'm thankful we have two cars...I just wish one was a bit larger than a shoebox.

Ooooo, this is incredibly gripey. I should know not to blog when I'm tired, my eyes hurt and I'm suffering from pizza bloat. So, I'll end it on a positive note:

Michael Phelps phreakin' rules.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The possible demise of the Zoemobile

Lots going on, as usual. I'm beginning to think that I must've been a huge slothy bum for the last 30+ years, given how busy I am now. Oddly enough, I'm loving it, really. Too busy to feel bad or get sick or feel sorry for myself about anything, I guess. And if you never feel bad or get sick or feel sorry for yourself, then life is pretty damn good.


Remember how I posted that we could gimp the Zoemobile through another couple years as long as the tranny leak didn't get worse? Yeah, it took all of a week before it got worse. Figures, don't it?! So the Zoemobile is hanging out at a local transmission shop today, and I'm to get the call later letting me know the damages.

Dad and I estimate that it's either going to be really good or really bad, which is fine with me because either way that makes the decision easy. Really good means we fix it and go forward, happy in our knowledge that the Zoemobile has been a faithful transporter and will most likely continue its reliability through grad school. Really bad means that it'll cost more to fix it than it's worth, and we have to get a new car. Which is not optimal at this point in time, but at least it's a decision and we move forward.

What will stink is if it's in that middle range, where you start to question, "Is it really worth fixing, or do we say 'screw it?'" If that's the case, we'll have a bit of a discussion on our hands. M is firmly in the camp of "We must drive it until the wheels quite literally fall off, hopefully not while we're actually on the road." I'm firmly in the camp of, "It's already 10 years old...let's get a shiny new car!" My head (and bank account) know he's right, but damn. It'd be cool to have a new car.

This week, because M is out of town (which normally I hate, but I have to admit is quite handy at this particular time given our demotion to one-car-family status), I have his car. I took him to the airport Monday morning and I'll pick him up Saturday morning. Which was cool in and of itself because we haven't had a good sappy airport goodbye/reunion in a long time. So anyway, I have his car and at first I griped about it. In my opinion, it's one step up from a go-cart. It's all sporty and tight, and you feel every little bump. You have to wedge yourself in and use a crowbar to get out. It's not skirt-friendly. At all. And, it's a stick. Which I haven't driven with regularity since I sold my Wrangler to my sister. Ten years ago.

Because it's a stick, and because I'm driving it this week, I estimate that as soon as we get the Accord fixed we'll be about ready to drop a new tranny in it, too.

So I've been struggling to drive the thing with heels and skirts. This morning, though, I let it all go. Windows down, moonroof open, Bon Jovi blasting through the speakers (I had forgotten what a great sound system the car has). I'm still stripping the hell out of the gears, but at least I'm singin' loud when I do.

Saw another pair of truck nuts last night. Blue. I still don't get it.

Another IAS board meeting last night. The more I become involved with this group, the stronger I feel about it. How can you help, you ask? How kind of you! Well, just wait a bit and I'll let you know. We've got all kinds of fun things planned, including a dine-out night where the proceeds will benefit IAS, and the second annual trivia night.

Things I must remember to write about here:
  1. How awesome my hubby was on Monday, when I felt like things couldn't get worse.
  2. Zoe story about krankoo.
  3. Dr. O.

No time now, though! More later!

Friday, August 08, 2008


As I posted yesterday, we visited Zoe's new preschool for her enrollment visit. Two of her three teachers, Ms. Maria and Ms. Lisa, explained that their classroom, the Elephants, has a digital camera and that they like to post photographs on the preschool's web site almost daily for parents to be able to see that their children are actually having fun (as opposed to the last image most of us will have of our children wailing as we leave them at school). They gave us a little packet titled "Welcome to the Elephant Room!" that is essentially a parent's handbook for that specific classroom. Which is way cool, given that we had already received the hefty parent's handbook for the entire school.

The Elephant Parent Handbook has the preschool's web site listed, along with instructions on finding information just about that classroom. The assistant principal had already told us that the individual classroom pages are updated according to the technological savvy of the individual teachers. If they like computers, the pages get updated. If not, I guess you're SOL.
Turns out that Ms. Maria and Ms. Lisa are definitely tech savvy. They took a few snaps while we were there of children painting and playing dress-up. Ms. Maria took one of Zoe so she could label her bin, cubby and coathook.
This morning I was finalizing some more paperwork (enrolling your child in preschool takes more red tape than buying a home) and I stumbled across the site's address. I wondered if they'd post Zoe's picture since, technically, she isn't even a student yet. The snaps Ms. Maria took were to get her set for the first day, not for the site. I decided to check anyway.
How adorable is that? I immediately printed a couple copies and saved to the harddrive and all that, because I'm sure they'll be posting something new for today. Then jotted off a quick thank you note for all their help yesterday and for posting the picture.

While sending Zozer off to school will be one of the hardest days of my life, Ms. Maria and Ms. Lisa are already making it more bearable.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Prelude to preschool

Today was a big day for my family.

We started by taking Zozer to her new preschool for her "enrollment visit," which is edu-speak for "bring your kid in and see if she freaks out." We did, and she didn't. She met some of her new classmates, got to play dress-up and paint, checked out the was all good.

We've got a few things left to do to get her ready, the biggest being teaching her to drink from an open cup. That began tonight with dinner, and let me just say thank you to the person who invented vinyl bibs. Despite the bib and a large cloth napkin, she still ended up with a small milk pond in her lap, but it was manageable.

She's got the tipping the glass and drinking part down pat, it's the back-tip part that trips her up. She simply pulls the cup away from her face, which creates a lovely white waterfall that cascades down the front of her. Then she looks at us, confused and with a milk fu-manchu and goatee, and says, "Mess?"

So, okay, it's a start. We're pretty sure by the time she starts school a week from Monday she'll have it down pat. Or we'll have to send 40 shirts to school with her. No biggie.

Then, this afternoon, our grades were finally posted for Finance. A's all around, which we are thrilled about but really came as no shock. Well, maybe for M, as he was teetering on the edge of an A-. Yes, that's right boys and girls. I finally got a higher A than M. 'Bout damn time.

I had a massage this afternoon and my therapist told me I need to start making photographs again and start running again, because those things are, you know, good for me or something. Yeah, yeah. I know. But I have to admit that I'm rather enjoying this week off, sleeping in 'til 6 a.m. and going to bed at 10 or so. No homework, very few obligations outside of's been nice.

M and I had Date Night last night, and it was wonderful. Dinner and a movie. Rather, matinee movie, quick dash home to put Zozer down, and then dinner. M actually enjoyed SATC, but if you ask him he'll grumble something about it being "okay," because he has to act all manly and stuff and it wouldn't be very macho to admit enjoying a chick flick. Ask him about Samantha's dog, though. He got a kick out of that.

So I'm off to enjoy the rest of my evening of doing absolutely nothing. La!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

She should have plead the Fifth

I picked up Zozer from Grandma Carol's a few days ago, and asked my usual litany of questions:

"How did she eat?"
"Did she take a good nap?"
and my favorite:
"Did she behave today?"

Grandma's answers, as usual, were favorable towards her only grandchild (a granddaughter, no less...I'm just setting the scene here).

For quite some time we've been a bit suspicious of Grandma's daily glowing praises of our child. I mean, yeah, she's a good girl and is blessed with a wonderful temperament. She behaves 99% of the time and is smart as a whip.

But we know that sheer statistics mean that at some point, Zozer will fall off her pedastal and behave like any normal almost-three-year-old. In other words, she's gonna F-up.

Anyway, on this particular day, Grandma said, as usual, that Zoe had been just perfect and that they had had a wonderful day. Uh huh.

I continued my conversation with Zoe, asking about Sesame Street (she tells me the letter and number of the day, every day, among other things) and whatnot, and less than two minutes later the little stinker felt the need to tell me, "I drawed on Grandma's wall!"


I shot a look at Grandma, who was slowly nodding her head. She claims she forgot to tell us, but we know it was typical doting-Grandma behavior. It's the Grandma equivalent of Grandpa sneaking ice cream to Zoe after she didn't eat much dinner (which he was caught in the act of, red-handed, busted by none other than his grandchild who wasn't content to eat off his cone but insisted, loudly, that she be allowed to hold it, too).

Zoe then proudly showed us Grandma's family room wall, now adorned with several large scribbles and a big, red smiley face.

It was very, very hard not to laugh. M showed up a few minutes later and I told Zoe to tell Daddy what she had done. "I drawed on Grandma's wall!" Then I got a kick out of watching him struggle to not laugh, too.

Apparently this was a two-day project, both accomplished while Grandma was in the bathroom.

I haven't asked her if there have been any additions to the mural lately, because I know to ask her would be fruitless (she'll cover for that little girl 'til the end of time)...I just need to remember to check the wall the next time I go over there.

I prefer not to think of it as defacing private property, but as the start of a burgeoning art career. She's a little van Zo, I say.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Doctor, doctor, give me the news...

A bunch of people I know and love are undergoing surgery this week, which is crazy, because none of them really interact with each other and it's so strange to have three people I know all have surgery in two days. Two of them were today, which, needless to say, has had me on pins and needles for most of the day.

Great news, though, on both fronts. Everyone who was in surgery this morning is now out, and doing well.

Mom is even on her way home, already starting her recovery process. She had a small tear in her rotator cuff, and went to Dr. Hottie to have it repaired. Dr. Hottie, if you remember, was who repaired M's torn labrum and helped my broken foot to mend. Should you ever require the services of a skilled orthopedic surgeon, just give me a call and I'll give you all of Dr. Hottie's contact info.

Anyway, sister Beans was hanging out at the surgery center today for Mama, and called me after the procedure to give me a status report. This was how the beginning of the phone call went:

"Is Mom's doctor your Dr. Hottie?" (This was seriously how she started the conversation. No hello, no how ya doin', no "Mom's okay...")
"Yeah, why?"
"Well, that must be why when he sat across from me, I couldn't concentrate on a word he was saying!"

We agree wholeheartedly that he is, indeed, worthy of the name Dr. Hottie, and that a girl might be tempted to bust something just to get an appointment with him.

Now, I realize that as M reads this, he's rolling his eyes and muttering, "Oh my gosh" under his breath. He doesn't understand the Dr. Hottie thing. What he should remember is that he has his own title, bestowed upon him by the girls of this past Saturday's bridal party. He's called The Hot Nerd. He liked half of that description, preferring us to stop at "Hot." Can't do that, though, because he's got the brainy thing going, too, which is attractive in its own right. He seems to think that "nerd" is a derogatory term, but for all intents and purposes in today's world, "nerd" is pretty damn cool.

I'm very excited, as I have a date with my Hot Nerd tomorrow night. We're going to dinner at Brio and then to the movies, to see SATC. It's going to be like we're real people again, a married couple actually, you know, in love or something, instead of parents/students/employees/children/friends/siblings/etc. We're going to eat a lovely meal and not have to worry about cutting things into tiny pieces or re-arranging a bib or catching the milk before it spills, and then I'm going to drag him to a chick-flick that he desperately doesn't want to see. How wonderfully normal!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde

Poor M. He's going through a rough patch right now. His wife, you see, spent her Sunday being a basket case due to fluctuating womanly hormone levels.

I knew it was bad when, at one point, he looked at me completely bewildered and tentatively asked, "What can I do?" and I had to reply, "Nothing. Because whatever you do, no matter what it is, it'll be wrong."

He's a good husband, M is. He's kind and patient (usually) and loving and supportive. He makes a mean dinner and keeps our yard looking like the outfield at Busch Stadium. He's a great dad and an all-around good guy. He puts up one helluva Christmas display, and he puts up with my crazy-ass mood swings.

So yesterday, as I alternated between sobbing and tearing his head off, he just sorta ducked and ran for cover. I think I saw him later searching for flak jackets on the internet.

Men, this is a message for you: Please don't try to figure out why once a month your wives, girlfriends, significant others, coworkers, whatever, go completely apeshit. We're the ones going through it and we can't even figure it out. It's an unsolvable mystery. An enigma wrapped in a riddle. And trust us, it sucks as much for us as it does for you. We know we're being completely irrational and we can't do a damn thing about it, which just makes it worse because, as everyone knows, a woman not in control is not a pretty thing.

The silver lining in this cloud ('cause you know I always like to look for the positive) is that, thank God, all the women on this good earth don't go through this all at the same time. That might be the basis for armageddon or something equally bad. Of course, what could be worse than armageddon? Every woman PMSing at once, that's what. It would be apocalyptic.

I'm feeling much better today, thankyouverymuch.

We've started our two weeks of self-induced fun, as we're between classes and things, for me anyway, are settling down at work. We're planning Date Night for us (dinner and a movie), and Date Night with Michelle and Ryan, who are open to trying new restaurants but, between the two of them, can't seem to remember names (they turned Boogaloo into "Booga Booga" and Yen Ching into "Wang Chung"...but this is why we love them). We've got a list of other friends we'd like reconnect with (Tammy and Garrin!) and things we'd like to do.

I decided again last night that we have too much crap. This is not a hormonal thing, although I must admit that the mood swings helped tweak this feeling (when I feel like my mental house is in disarray, the first thing I do is clean out my physical house). M laughed and said, "We don't have too much crap. How many times have we done this, this year?" I replied, "Only like once, because I've been too busy to do it, which means that we really have a boatload of crap that needs to be cleaned out!" My plan for this evening is to tackle the hall closet. I'm pretty sure there are monsters lurking in there now, it's been unattended for so long. Of course, they'll have to be pretty small monsters because there isn't much space what with all the junk that's been shoved in. How many baseball hats does one family need, anyway?

I realize that organizing the hall closet doesn't sound like fun to most of you, but it ranks right up there for me. I'll let you know how many baseball hats I find in there, and whatever other good stuff I discover.

Congratulations to Tiff and Doug, who are the newest members of the Married Folk Club. Marriage is about the best damn thing in the whole wide world (even though some days you feel like tearing each other to pieces and can't for the life of you remember why you chose to live with this idiot), and we wish you much love and laughter!