Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

Not gonna lie. I am feeling v. v. proud of myself. I found something, a craft in fact, and I wanted it. I dreamed of it. I hoped for it. I made plans. I pinned it on Pinterest. And usually that is as far as I get. I'm pretty awesome at dreaming big, but I am a bit lacking in the follow-through department. Such is the lot of a person possessing a sanguine personality.

BUT. I actually completed a project. And it's cute. I don't know what terrible thing is going to befall me soon but at least we'll have this adorable chore ribbon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Real Complicated

Just like the magazine, except....better.

Wondering how to tell if you need to run your dishwasher? Forget those magnet reminders. You know it's time to run the dishwasher when you are reduced to using little plastic shovels pilfered from your most recent trip to Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt while making poppy seed muffins for the parent group meeting. It's best to begin this project at midnight the night before the 9am meeting. Clearly.

Here's an idea! Don't buy those fancy vitamin-infused water. Your toddler can do that for you. This is broccoli-water and it's delish.

A clean workspace when rolling out pretzels is important. This is completely health-department certified.

Save time by not towel drying your dishes. Air dry baby.
this is my best creation yet. 
 Artful presentation of fruits? Forget it. Dump it on the counter. The locusts....errrrr.....your darling children+dashing husband....will just consume it in seconds anyways.

Everything in it's place and a place for everything.
the clothes are clean. does that make this okay?
 At least I know I am raising them right.
kid knows how to properly get every.last.drop of homemade chocolate coconut milk ice cream  
ice cream accomplished

who needs TV when there is Pottery Barn

Friday, September 23, 2011

7 Quick Takes: In Which I Attempt To Be An Adult

1. This week I tried a little experiment in which I attempted to incorporate adult-like behaviors into my everyday, un-adult-like life.

2. Sidebar: One would think that 5 (and counting) years of marriage and two small children would have effectively launched me into adulthood but alas, adulthood eludes me. Or perhaps, as I am of the endless adolescent generation, I am eluding it.

3. Carry on. My first adult concept I tried to incorporate was that of taking responsibility. This mainly meant that I didn't leave dishes in the sink all night, leave large messes laying about, actually completing a load of laundry by washing, drying, folding, AND putting it away within the same 24 hour period, and etc etc.

4. Then I thought, I should really try to be organized. Adults are organized. They have small calendars and they know what the heck is going on. So I wrote down appointments, consulted the calendar for the day's events, and tried to pack the diaper bag in  logical, peaceful manner in opposition to my normal method of tossing things in on my way out the door and hoping for the best.

5. Adults are prepared. Adults make their children's lunch the night before and fill it with thoughtful, nutritious foods. Adults know what is on the docket for dinner, and they make many dinner preparations throughout the day, in order to have dinner served promptly and allow for an orderly evening.

6. Conclusion: Being an adult is very hard work. The slight sense of pride born of productivity and accomplishment are vastly overshadowed by feeling v. v. tired. I was lacking in punctuality, though distinctively less so, and more fashionable (because an adult showers with more frequency and takes some thought to their outward appearance.)

7. In full disclosure, my experiment lasted about 2 days.The difficulty of being an adult is that adult-like tasks are on-going and do not allow for such things as the Interwebs, leisurely reading, or long phone conversations that include topics such as how not to waste so much time, how to be more like an adult, etc. If you stop for a moment to do anything non-adult-like, the whole damn thing falls apart. Yeah. I said damn. I'm adult, and I can do that if I want.

7 Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary. Have a fab weekend! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hot Friday Night

So. There's been some blog neglect. It's been a bit busy around here lately. Actually, it's been normal, except that recently, every time I park my bad self in front of the computer I get this guy

invading my space, requesting, "GORILLAS!!! GORILLAS!!!!!!!!!" Because he has a YouTube addiction. An addiction that I enable while I desperately try to check some email, or search for very important items on Amazon. I try to give him MAWKKKK but he demurs. He wants gorillas, and he wants them now.

But this is all beside the point. I am having a hot Friday night. Right now. Brad is away at a manly gathering complete with meat, beer, and fire, where he is discussing how to husband and father better. The kids are sleeping (thank you Lord) and I am on Martha Stewart's website, learning how to housewife better.

Discoveries thus far:

1. You should keep a season's worth of toilet paper in your guest bathroom, lest any guest suffer the indignity of asking for more toilet paper. What is a season's worth of toilet paper? What does that mean? Is it really that awkward to ask for toilet paper? Are we supposed to allow our guests to pretend that they don't use the potty?

2. Apparently, "a properly folded towel has a neat, fluffy appearance and hidden edges." Aight. I can do that. Not that it will matter after I shove it into the miniscule linen closet. Ah. Wait. More instructions: "Keep sets of guest towels together, bound with twill tape or ribbon. When visitors arrive, just transfer a stack from linen closet to guest bedroom." Noted.

3. Martha's admonition to trim my shower curtain leaves me feeling rather inadequate. I have yet to trim Gianna's curtains, curtains that require no sewing but instead utilize an iron....oh. That's my problem. Need to dust that sucker off.

4. I've been wondering what to do with my spare time, and now I know: I should be transferring all of our shampoos, body washes, conditioners, etc into uniform plastic containers because they "not only look better than the usual shampoo and soap containers, but they also fit more neatly in storage devices." I should apparently laminate the labels so everyone knows what they are. Yea. Right on it.

5. In general, if the how-to section is peppered with the words "just" and "simply" it is guaranteed to be anything but simple and is likely to mention re-using odd, uncommon items you've never heard of and is guaranteed to make feel like you live in a cave if you do not have these items laying about.

I'm thinking with all these new skills I've just gained my parents should have upped my bride price. Who knew I was going to be such an excellent domestic goddess?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bacon v. The Plumber

Alls we have to eat right now is left-over chili that we've already had about 3 meals in a row. And it's Monday (duh) which means I should be girding my loins for a trip to the grocery store. Which means I ought be using this precious peace and quiet nap time to draw up a meal plan and make my grocery list. But I am not.

I'm not not doing my grocery list because I am lazy. It's really loud in here with the plumber, and I can't unload the dishwasher because the plumber is blocking it.  He is currently engaged in a epic battle with my kitchen sink and I hate to bother him too much. The poor man has been here close to two hours. He says there is GREASE clogging up my pipes. "Grease???" I tittered nervously....."Oh. We do sort of like bacon. A bit. But I try to put the grease in this little jar here....and not down the sink...usually.."

And now, the plumber has left me. It's very awkward, bidding adieu to a defeated plumber who promises to call you soon, that he will need to get reinforcements. The cheerful, prompt journeyman who declared, "I'm sure I've seen worse" was replaced increasingly with a sweaty brow and vacant eyes.

Now I've got all these dirty dishes which I think I can clean in the sink, but only the one side, and run the water on the other except that's now how I usually do my dishes, and he told me to let the hot water run, but he didn't say how long. And he hasn't called me back...why hasn't he called me back??? Was it something I said? And I'm all stressed about this grease.....can I rinse my bacon-y fingers in the sink after I've shredded some bacon for my salad? We just really like bacon, I'm sorry. But we do.

bacon levels are reaching critical lows....get thee to the store immediately
Oh, happy day. The man of the hour says he will try to locate a hydro-jet (what is?) and send it here to liberate my bacon-clogged pipes. After which I should retrieve my elder child from her posh preschool and then make haste the grocery store, where I still don't have a meal plan nor a list of what to buy, except that I will definitely, probably get more bacon. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Two Years of Sound

 So many things can happen in two years. You can have a baby, move cities and states, choose new schools for your children, meet new friends, change jobs (twice!), buy your first house. Watch your little sister get married, and have a baby.

You can also hear for the first time. And learn to understand. And learn to talk. "Activation day" is different for every family. People liked to send me this video, which of course I'd already watched a thousand times, along with any other thing about Deaf people and cochlear implants I could find on YouTube. I even watched that silly Ashton Kutcher movie because the main character's younger brother is Deaf.

When we went to have her speech processors (one pair pink, one pair silver..might as well do it in style) activated for the first time it went rather opposite. She was over two years old at the time, and had likely never heard sound; the trial hearing aids had not shown to give her much access. I know for a fact she had never heard my voice. When the audiologist signaled to me with a nod that Gianna's 'ears' were turned on, I ventured out with "G? It's mama."

And she promptly began to sob. And sob. And sob. I was assured that this was fairly typical, and in fact some kids take it worse...they try to take the processors off, but she didn't. While that was nice to know, it wasn't much of a consolation.We went home, all of the equipment stored in the two huge giant boxes. I didn't have the heart to make her wear her new ears in the car.

I don't remember a whole lot about the hour and a half drive back to Lexington, I'm just glad my mom was with me. Brad had been unable to get off from work, and I knew when we got home he'd be anxious to see the ears for himself. That evening, we tried off and on to have Gianna wear the processors, but she cried so hysterically we took them off and put her to bed. Then we cried, too. I wondered if we had made a terrible mistake.

Every sound terrified her. I had never realized how noisy life is. The sound of the people showering in the apartment next door, the hum of the refrigerator, the air conditioner kicking on. We live in a world that even when it is quiet, there is sound. She seemed to do better outside, so we would go out a lot. That first month is a part of our lives I never wish to repeat. I despaired that we had ruined our happy kid.

She told me she didn't like her ears, that they were the English equivalent of "lousy," but each morning I would ask her if she wanted to hear my voice and she would always say, "YES." When I look back, I never cease to be amazed at her bravery. She knew that putting on her "ears" each day would be scary, but she also knew there were sounds she wanted to know more about, so she put them on anyways. I hope she will always remember that sometimes in life the good things are scary, too.

Then one day we were at Target, and she signed to me, "MAMA. I HEAR....BABY CRYING" And I thought..."What? Really?" and I listened, and sure enough, a few aisles over, a baby was crying. We went to a play date and as we stood outside the door waiting to be let in, we could hear a dog barking inside the house. Gianna signed, "I HEAR WHAT???" I told her she was hearing a doggie's voice. I will never forget the incredulous look she gave me. I guess she had imagined something better than a bark.

I'm glad those first awful weeks are now just a bittersweet memory. Our audiologist encouraged me to keep a "sound journal" and I'm glad I took his advice. I'm glad I can look back to see that shortly after she was activated she was able to hear Dominic's heartbeat at a prenatal visit. I'm glad to be reminded that the Sunday after activation the Gospel reading was Mark's account of the healing of the deaf man.

I could go on and on about the "auditory progress" she has made in the last two years, how incredibly well she has done in such a short amount of time, but I will always hesitate to celebrate too wildly, lest it portray a feeling I don't possess: the feeling that we have improved upon the G we were given, who came to us already perfect. It seems that two years is not long, but it's enough time to doubt, to triumph, to second-guess, to marvel. Enough time to almost forget the way things were before, but thankfully not long enough to make it difficult to remember. The time during which I, too, felt that I was hearing the world for the first time.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Seven Quick Takes: What It Is Right Now

1. You might be wondering why I write the way I do sometimes...why odd phrases from old rap songs are laced through the lexicon of this blog. My father grew up on the The Beatles. Conversely, my musical influences in high school were the One and Only D-R-E and The Snoop D-O-double-G, and the group that said.......annnnnnways. So when I say random crap like, "You know what Dre, I don't like your attitude," you know from whence I speak.

2. The Aftermath of a toddler playdate
mmmmmmm dried apples anyone?
 3. Gianna received Cold Hard Cash Monies from my mother for being such a big helper while we were dog-sitting for her.
they say Dre fell off, but how? his last album was The Chronic
  4. Today, while we were waiting for my mom to get back from picking G up from school, Dominic and I watched an epic battle between a neighborhood dog and a ground hog. I really thought the ground hog was a goner, but it used the ever-classic "go limp" approach and managed to get free and disappear down a storm drain. The best part was the dog's owner, who kept shouting from the perimeter of the fight, "McKaya, STOP! Stop!!!!!! I SAID STOP!!!!!!!!!! DO YOU HEAR ME YELLING AT YOU?!?!?!?" like that was going to work. This dog had shed all manner of domestication. It was nature v. nature and I am still incredulous that this guy thought he had any chance at breaking up the fight.

5. After watching about a million instructional videos on YouTube, I can now state with confidence that I can properly fold a fitted sheet. Those elasticized corners will never defeat me again. Wrecking Dominic when I won't let him play with camera is just an added bonus.

6. I had two major goals when this year started. I was going to grow food in my yard, and I was going to learn how to sew well enough to make one of these by Halloween. So far, I grew some lettuce that I didn't even plant, my non-gluing-train-track-friends gave it to me. So, semi-fail. I acquired a sewing machine from my sister, who conveniently had a newborn and said she wouldn't need it for awhile. Then, last week, another buddy of mine showed me HOW TO TURN ON THE MACHINE. Alas, I lack thread. So, the next lesson will be how to thread the machine. I've still got time.....

7. Theme for life is: SERENITY NOWinsanity later

7 Quick Takes is hosted here