Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Toddler "Activities"

Who needs playgroups when you have the pediatrician and the post office? I'm being serious.

I'm waffling on the playgroup thing. On a logistics level, there are so many to choose from I don't know which will be best for us. On an emotional level, I don't know if I want to invest in something and then quit when I go back to work.

We did go to Deuce's first story hour. There was only one other child, but the librarian was great! She knew all the words to Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, and she read this adorable If You're Happy and You Know It book with the little tabs that pull out to make things move.

(As a side note, my internet search turned up this extended version of Head Shoulders Knees and Toes. I think this is overboard.)

So today's enrichment activities? The pediatrician for the nagging cough (I am so paranoid about pneumonia), and the post office to mail a birthday gift (no, you're not getting a pic Carly!) All a toddler's fav's. Oh well, he can tell his therapist in 20 years.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Monday!

Kicking off the first week of SAHM/job hunting, hopefully with a bang. This week I'll be
  • cooking all meals (except 1 planned dinner out)
  • finding activities to take Deuce to
  • apply to > 10 jobs (I hope)
  • finding a mom's group
  • one huge tackle and one minor tackle
  • getting into a schedule

Wish me luck!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Three days as a housewife

So I came home on Tuesday, drank two beers, and painted my living room. If this bout of joblessness is anything like the last one, I have a long to-do list and limited time to accomplish.

We chose to keep Deuce at daycare through the end of the week to give me some time to unwind, do a couple of projects that aren't toddler friendly. May I introduce you to the bordello of blood:

That's one coat of primer and one coat of Cranberry Whip on my kitchen wall. It's less like a chainsaw massacre after the second coat.

I'm a crummy housewife, let me just put that out there. I would rather do projects (or shop, or nap) than do laundry and dishes. I justify it to myself that the big projects are more important. Whether they really are more important than domestic tranquility isn't mine to say.

Suffice it to say that my three days as a housewife were a bust, and I'm looking forward to time as a SAHM so much more. We can do toddler activities, like the Zoo Boo we went to this weekend.

Greatest excuse ever for not doing laundry.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Fuck. At least it was a lay-off this time and I supposedly can use boss-man/owner for a reference. Doesn't make it better. I liked this job, a lot, and I'm really sad to leave it. Fuck.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday is having a CLR challenge this week. As much as I love products that take the work out of cleaning, I'm really off cleaners that make me dizzy and require ventilation (it's high of 40 today here). So instead of talking about CLR, I'd like to talk about Method Tub 'n Tile.

After emerging from our shower stall with my face red and eyes watering, and a hacking cough, once again, DeuceDad asked me why I use the bathroom cleaner I've been using for years. It works with hardly any scrubbing, which is a feature, but I think it was trying to kill me. So I gave that to my mom and bought the Method product.

I like it, but I can't say I love it. I have a fiberglass (or something similar) tub and shower surround, and I found that the Method Tub 'n Tile does a great job if I clean every week. Just spray it on and wipe right off with a sponge and everything was shiny fantastic. But I skipped one (two?) weeks of cleaning my tub, and I found that even with a little elbow grease, Method Tub 'n Tile wasn't getting all the soap scum off, particularly from the textured bottom of the tub. Next weekend I think I'll break out the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (I'm hesitating to use a scrubber sponge on the new tub. Damn manufacturer's instructions throwing a wrench in my works).

The scent of Method Tub 'n Tile is really great - Eucalyptus Mint - and doesn't make my head spin at all. And after rinsing the tub well I have no reservations about putting Deuce right in there.

So it's a mixed review for Method Tub 'n Tile.

Cleaning heavy dirty: B
Scent: A+
Environmental/Deuce-friendliness: A+

Monday, October 20, 2008

Inspiration Desparation

No flowery words, I'm going to cut right to the chase: I have sooooo much to do and nooooo energy. How is this possible?! Life isn't totally insane right now, just normal! As Tina Fey would say on 30 Rock, BLERG!

Okay, it's out there. I'm overwhelmed and under- uh under-energized(?) The only way I know to attack this problem is to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's Dublin Mudslide while watching Tivoed episodes of Biggest Loser and then fall into a coma make a list.

I'm not going to bore you with the list. But I'll tell you that the secret to an effective list for me is to break it down into things I can do in one step. For example, I want to paint my hall upstairs. For that job to be finished I want to sand all the trim, change the stair railing (it's sticky-icky), light switch and switch plate, paint the walls, trim and stair risers and possibly change the light fixture. And never mind the floor molding... See, that's why I'm not boring you with the list.

With that list in hand I can either work at those doable tasks or crumple under the pressure and burn the list to get my life back. Either or.

Friday, October 17, 2008

How do I even choose?

After blog-vacation I decided to try to focus so that I would have a slightly more coherent blog. I'm definitely keeping the ABC Along because it's fun and my theme is Deuce, so, well, you get it.

Becca at Forward Motion did a Ten on Tuesday Meme. (Fav bands from High School. Love. It.) I clicked through to Ten on Tuesday and found this. Maybe not every meme in the world, but a lot of them. Holy Claude.

I've really been wanting to do Sunday Scrappin' (I've been wanting to scrapbook in general, but anyway...). Maybe on days I haven't scrapped, Unconscious Mutterings? Sounds fun.

Monday doesn't have anything that really catches my eye.

Tuesday I'm thinking Tackle It Tuesday (a constant theme around here) or Ten on Tuesday which is just random and could be fun. I also like Tuesday Tip Jar. The hostess goes beyond your average "use peanut butter to get gum out of your daughter's hair" tips (for example to show how to get factual information on political candidates). Or how to keep pancakes from burning to the pan. You know, whichever.

Wednesday and Thursday don't seem to be big meme days, the selection is a little lean.

I tried Friday Fill-Ins and just found that it didn't lead me anywhere too thought provoking. There's always Haiku Friday which was very fun and challenging for my computer programmer brain but I don't think anyone is doing it anymore (the most recent one I found on A Mommy Story was Sept 7).

Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt would be a really fun way to think about my photos (and maybe lead to some different scrapbook pages)

There are also tons of one-time memes, and a graveyard for "lost" memes that look like the ones you get in your email. So fun and great blog-fodder.

Back to Becca's Whatever on Whenever Tuesday meme on Friday here are

Ten Bands/Artists That Remind You of High School
  1. Stone Temple Pilots
  2. Weezer
  3. Matchbox 20
  4. Third Eye Blind
  5. Duncan Sheik
  6. Bush
  7. Rusted Root
  8. Ani DiFranco
  9. Sarah McLachlan
  10. Soul Coughing

Thursday, October 16, 2008

As of Saturday, None are Safe

Saturday is the beginning of bow season. Deer are quaking in their hooves right now as thousands of crazies men across NYS prepare to enter the woods, wearing every piece of insulating clothing they own, hoping to bring home the bacon venison.

Hunting is a controversial topic, and I'm perfectly willing to have a debate on the ethics of hunting, gun ownership, and raising children in a home with hunters and guns. But we'll leave all that for another day.

What hunting really means to me, as a non-hunter myself but at the daughter and wife of hunters, is that I take on "hunting widow" status from now until well after Thanksgiving. Hunting widows prepare crockpots full of venison dinners, bake vast quantities of cookies that disappear by the dozen at hunting camp, and parent their children alone for the weekend.
It also means DeuceDad has been treating me more or less like a queen all week to buy my favor. He's put up more curtains in the last week that he had in his previous 30 years of life!

My dad's hunting camp is different from many in that women are invited to come. I just won't leave the cabin for fear of stray bullets, so we don't hike or enjoy nature, instead we find little shops and tour wineries and read and nap for fun. It's great. Next weekend we're having a clam bake. It's really nice.

DeuceDad is really respectful of the fact that other people don't cease to exist just because it's hunting season. And he washes his own clothes. What more could a woman ask for?

So we'll devote tonight to bow-hunting preparation. He'll pack, and I'll bake cookies (which I love to do) and just enjoy the night together as a family. Then I'll plot my own weekend activities. Cleaning (blah), shopping (yay!), possibly reorganizing the kitchen cabinets (yes I'm still procrastinating on sewing), and lots of cool Deuce activities like the zoo and some painting!

The only ones that aren't excited for Saturday are the deer. I just figure they'll come back as PETA activists and I'll come back as a venison-barley soup and it all comes out even.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I'm doing some heavy surfing so far this morning and turning up buckets of great scrapbooking sites and blogs (you'll see my blog roll change throughout the day today). I also ran across some of these visual wordplay things that I love. Check out Spell with flickr:

d003 e42 U C Capital Letter E (Beltsville, MD) M O M - My brother and I

And Wordle: (this is my favorite part of Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road")

Have fun!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sewing projects for the commitment-phobic

As you probably have gathered, I am a huge fan of all things hand-made. And I have a new house, so that spells curtains! For inspiration on style I like to turn to Country Curtains. Their curtains are gorgeous and well made and fantastic. I own these curtains, which hang on these rods. Dreamy.

Anyhow, we're desperately in need of curtains in the living room window. You can see our whole lives from the street and that skeeves me out, but it just looks weird in there that it's a huge bare window (56"x112" of blackness at night). This seems like just the kind of project that will give me nervous diarrhea. So I'm going for it.

I found a pattern in Fun & Fabulous Curtains to Sew for these gorgeous pleated numbers. They are above my skill level and if I don't sew the pleats perfectly straight they're going to look terrible. I'm exhilarated.

I need over 8 yards of 54" fabric. JoAnn fabrics is having 50% off home decor fabric. It's fate.

Um, I was unprepared for the selection. And the prices. Oh I don't even want to talk about the prices. $39.99/yard, Christopher Lowell? What are you thinking? Right, so the selection. There are so many beautiful things and I went through all the aisles twice just touching everything. Then it was down to business. I don't want a pattern and absolutely can't use a stripe (too unforgiving). I kept circling around to the silk. I'm out of my finger-lickin' mind if I think I need silk curtains in a house with a toddler and a cat. I circled for close to an hour. I finally chose a very fine, polyester (read: machine washable) faux-silk. I found thread that matched perfectly right away. Good sign.

$90 later I was home, Robbie was napping and I... didn't start the curtains. I froze. I had already committed by buying a cut of fabric (although my heart raced when the shears made the first cut). But this isn't $6 of eyelet I can just throw out if it's ugly. Once I cut in to this bitch I'm all in.

I have all week to study the pattern before I have time to work on it again. Some days I wonder how I managed to get married when I hesitate to cut into a piece of fabric. Oh well, jumping that hurdle is part of the fun.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Columbus Day!

Columbus Day celebrates one of the very few facts I know about history. Say it with me -"Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen-hundred ninety two!" History teachers everywhere are groaning, but hey at least I remembered something...

I do think calling this a holiday is pushing it a little bit. Deuce is a little young for craft projects, but we are going to color Christopher Columbus on his boat. Check out this site for some Columbus Day ideas.

Daycare is "celebrating" by having an in-service day. I'm glad that our daycare provides professional development for the staff, and I love an excuse to be home with Deuce. But I have so much work to do today... Deuce is napping early, so he'll be awake during my 2PM conference call. The trials and tribulations of WOHMs are many. Hopefully he's in the mood to color because I don't think I can take notes and supervise on the playground at the same time.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Book Report: Baby Love by Rebecca Walker

This morning I finished Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence by Rebecca Walker.

This book has been maligned as narcissistic and insensitive to adoptive parents. I can't speak about adoption but can imagine that some of her comments could be hurtful. Because I don't have any first-hand experience with adoption I was focused on what ambivalence really meant in Walker's life and was hoping to learn that motherhood made her a confident, decisive person.

Walker's ambivalence and mine were really coming from different places, and the outward affects they had on our lives are very different, but I think the internal, the feelings, are the same. Walker was born to a biracial family deeply involved in the feminist movement. Her parents later divorced and she alternated living on both coasts to spend time with each parent. She is a traveler and a writer, she's biracial and bisexual. As for me, I was born in a small city to white middle class parents who are still married and still live less than 5 miles from where they grew up. I went straight from high school to college to career to marriage and family. I now live 5 miles from where I grew up.

So what do we have in common? Ambivalence. Self-doubt. Fear of making the wrong decision. A sense of responsibility to honor others by making the same decisions they did. Guilt when we choose something else. It is normal and healthy to weigh both side of a decision, but unhealthy to constantly doubt and question every move.

In the end, motherhood did not really make Walker (or myself or anyone else I know) supremely confident, but it did give her one thing that she would never ever question - her love for her son.

What I took away from Baby Love is that honoring my desire to be a mother was the right decision. 100%. And that if I can make that life-changing, irreversible decision and make it right, then I can and will trust myself to make choices in my life.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

T is for Travel

During the blog-break, Deuce, DeuceDad and I went to NYC for a wedding and a little break from the ordinary. My BIL and SIL came too, and my brother watched Deuce while we were at the reception. It was a really fun trip!

Deuce flew in a plane for the first time -

We went to the Bronx Zoo -

Saw some dinos at the American Museum of Natural History -

And enjoyed a pastrami sandwich (he definitely preferred the "new" pickles btw)-

The trip was a great success. With so much to see and do, Deuce didn't mind being trapped in his stroller most of the time. On the subject of strollers, I take for granted that I will see children in strollers everywhere I go because I'm such a suburbanite. Not so much with the babies in Midtown. The people that are crazy enough to wrangle their kids onto the subway are at least smart enough to have an umbrella stroller, not the combo-carseat-behemoth that us countrified folk are used to. They were primarily Maclaren strollers, costing between 2.5 and 5 times what our Graco did (I'll bet not bought at Target either). But shelling out $180 for the Triumph didn't sound so bad when we eventually just started walking and taking taxis everywhere to avoid getting caught in turnstiles.

All in all a great trip. We're looking forward to doing it again!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm back like New Kids on the Block!

Hi! Welcome back! I've missed blogging so much that I'm cutting my vacation short.

I have a confession to make - I almost bailed on blogspot and went to word press. I even "committed" and put a first post up and was just going to redirect from here. But I'm just going to hang on to that page and stay here at Blogger. Home sweet home.

As for the future of this page, here's what I've been thinking --

The blogs I read every day are ones that have content I can use (or pretty pictures). I want my blog to represent not only what it means to be Deuce’s mom, but also present our adventures in a way that others may find funny or useful in their own lives.

I took a good look my tags and decided on three main subjects I want to focus on. Parenting, creative endeavors and the environment. Specifically:

  • Parenting challenges/solutions/victories
  • scrapbooking
  • crocheting
  • cooking
  • how to reduce/reuse/recycle more and better
  • Green product reviews

I’m also doing a lot of surfing and blog-reading to pick some “along”s that I can really stick with. For one, I plan to resurrect my ABC-Along.

Thanks for coming back!