Thursday, June 16, 2005

It's Dark Out

And I can see straight across the street into the neighbor's office window. He's always in there. I'm not sure what he does, but it involves lots of vans, trailers, and lawn equipment. He's also got an ugly lamp.

I guess this means he can probably see me jamming out to Gwen Stefani, huh?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The post with the shopping and the choking and the pedicure

The baby is 10 months old! Wow, this has been the fastest year of my life. I'm already starting to think about what I should do for her birthday bash. I'm hoping we can have a great big backyard barbeque because a) that's the only kind of entertaining we're good at and b) that's the only kind of entertaining we're good at.

And our backyard is nice and large, so we can break out the lawn chairs, turn the kids and dogs loose, and watch from the deck as all hell breaks loose. Add a few streamers and you've got a good time.

Canon left on Friday for a job on the other side of the state. That left me in charge of Lucy, Murphy and Em for 48 hours.

I survived Girls' Weekend by satisfying my base urge to purchase mass quantities of consumer goods. I stocked up on such luxuries as formula, diapers, and and an ankle-length wrap to hide my day-glo white legs during swimming suit season. I also bought dental floss and Tums just because I can't get enough flossing or calcium these days; an odd by-product of pregnancy, I guess.

Either I wasn't really sick on Saturday night, or I have some difficulties interpreting non-digital thermometers. I don't know why I didn't just think to use one of the four or five digital ones we got as baby gifts and hospital favors (Hey, the nurse said clean out the bassinet drawer, so I took her up on it) but I didn't, and the uncooperative environment under my tongue only raised the mercury to 96 degress. And isn't that close to clinically dead or something? But I wasn't dead, I was just suffering. Sweating and headachy and dizzy-sick. Luckily Em cooperated and went to bed easily. As soon as she was sleeping I crashed myself. Then I woke up at 4 a.m. feeling normal. Canon came home around one that afternoon, and Girls' Weekend was officially over. Somehow I lived to tell the tale.

And so did Em, considering she choked twice this weekend. The second time I had to get her out of the high chair, turn her upside down and tap her on the back. She just loves stuffing her mouth full and so far my repeated safety lectures have gone in one ear and right out the other. Kids! Luckily it wasn't that bad, and she spit up right away. Is it wrong that the only thing going through my head at that moment was to hold her over the high chair tray? The scary part hit me later, but in the moment all I could think about was not letting her throw up all over the floor. (We were at someone else's house.)

And now it's Tuesday and another week is flying past. Time to get my shiny red pedicured toes to bed.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The New Neighbors

So last night, my biggest problem was that I took Em outside dressed only in a onesie, shoes and a hat, while the next-door-neighbor baby was bundled up in pants, socks pulled up to her knees, a dress, a jacket and a stocking cap. For close to a day, I was all paranoid that I was letting my baby freeze slowly in her stroller (ok, it was 71 degrees, but hey, all those layers really threw me off) while I enjoyed the fresh air.

Today we received a flyer, stuffed unceremoniously in the front door. We have new neighbors. Turns out they’re sex offenders.

Three men ranked as “moderate” sex offenders have moved into the apartments at the end of our street. I researched one of them (hey, working at a newspaper has its advantages. Not many, but some) and he was arrested for luring a 15-year-old girl through an online chatroom – a 15-year-old girl who was neither 15 nor a girl, but an undercover cop.

One other man is obviously not from around here. The mug shot on the state’s web site is seriously the shittiest photo I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I’ve seen nicer driver’s license photos. It’s so dark he’s a silhouette. Only the whites of his eyes show. Yeah, I’ll be on the lookout for THAT guy. Seriously, are these the best photo skills law enforcement has? No wonder they need CSIs to analyze crimes for them. Obviously their eyes (and their light meters) don’t work. Maybe I could get a job as a police photographer. I’m good with a pencil.

Ok, now that I’ve worked myself into a froth over that, the good news! Em is crawling!

It’s pretty hilarious. She flings herself from a sitting position onto her hands and one knee. Yep, she uses her left knee and her right foot, with her little butt sticking up in the air. She’s still a little slow and wobbly, but she’s determined. She’s also a lot more confident on her feet. She will walk five or six steps if she’s got my hands… still no creeping along the furniture, yet. She can stand unassisted for a few seconds now and she loves it. She’s constantly saying “Up! Up!” and reaching out to pull herself up on whatever she can find: empty laundry baskets, her activity table, the dogs, my pants, it’s all good.

She has mastered “So Big” and will patty-cake on demand. She is also an expert Bye-Bye Waver. Maybe it will get her a scholarship. Nursery school’s not cheap, you know. Especially considering how we will probably be pouring buckets of money into getting a new security system for the fortress house, you know – electric fence, moat, drawbridge. Just the basics. I don’t want to freak out and go overboard.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

... what happened next.

So after I recovered the ATM card from it’s backseat adventures, I actually had a nice weekend. A date-night at a hipster restaurant downtown (complete with free babysitting); a visit from my parents and sister; a family-wide barbeque at our house; and a day-long graduation celebration for my cousin – the one with the great sense of humor.

And then the real fun started.

On Monday afternoon Em and I were hanging out in the backyard, enjoying the sun and watching the dogs wrestle in the freshly sprinkled grass seed. I was just on my way to the neighbor’s swing set with the baby on my hip when Canon came out of the house with that face… the one that makes me panic. I seriously thought someone was dead.

That someone turned out to be a water pipe that runs through the middle of our house and feeds the outside spigot. And when it died, it took its sleek, seamless body with it, leaving an inch-long escape route for all that angry, pent-up water. The water, it grabbed its opportunity.

It gushed through the pipe, soaked the wall and pooled on the carpet. Then it started forming a little river through our basement… running through Canon’s office and our guest bedroom, into the hallway and the guest bathroom. Luckily, the pipe had only been hemorrhaging water for 10 minutes or so before Canon discovered it.

So no swinging for the baby. Instead she sat on the family room floor and wailed while we hauled boxes of soggy documents and photographs out of the office and stacked them in safe places.

Canon was able to shut off our water supply, successfully locate the leak on his first try (this involved blindly cutting out a chunk of wall) and get all the right parts to fix it (in only four trips to the hardware store!). Not bad for an amateur plumber, huh? It was the welding that finally proved too difficult.

Because it was a holiday and we’re cheap like that, we figured we could go for the next 18 hours or so without running water until a plumber could come in at non-emergency rates. And we did. We considered using the baby wipes for sponge baths but settled on showering at our friends’ house instead. I was allowed three flushes, one for each toilet, but I rationed myself and only used two. Damn, I’m good. The rest – using bottled water to brush our teeth and wash our hands – was pretty much like camping. Lucky us, all the drawbacks of a night in the wilderness and none of the benefits. At least it didn’t rain.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Hard Luck and Soft Rolls

Some people just have a knack for certain things.

Me, my knack is losing stuff. Important stuff. Although I must bow to Karen, she of the misplaced $4,900 tax return. We're in the same league.

Once I threw away my keys. Yep. I mean, I think that's what happened to them. Obviously, I had them when I drove myself to work that morning, but by 5 they'd vanished. Gone. Out with the dumpster and the grocery bag which I must have tossed them in after I made my contribution to the United Way Bake Sale on the third floor. (That's what I get for bringing storebought goodies to a bake sale.)

The big deal is that the car key was electronic ... the special theft-deterrant kind of key that has a computer chip embedded into it. Oh, and the remote keyless entry happened to be on the same keyring. My husband was so mad, we never did replace that remote. Three years, one new electronic key and a $175 key later, we still have to trade the "good" set of keys (the one with the remaining remote) whenever one of us drives that car.

I lost my cash card once. Well, make that twice. On Friday I went to run an errand for Canon and when I pulled out my purse, no card. Oops. Of course I didn't have any cash, either. I barely ever carry cash anymore. That card is just too damn convenient.

So it was gone. First I drove across town to Bennigan's, sure I had left it there at lunch yesterday. Nope. I searched my purse about six times. Drove back to work, called the bank. No strange activity, so I knew it hadn't been stolen. Nobody steals a cash card and waits to use it. At least I hope not, because if they do, they've got bigger problems than petty theft. Maybe, I thought, it was just sitting on my kitchen table. I thought maybe I remembered cleaning out my reciepts the night before. Yeah, maybe. So I suffered through the rest of the afternoon thinking of little else.

I get home at 5:30, no card. Not on the kitchen table, not on the kitchen counter, not anywhere. I called my friend who drove us to lunch yesterday and made her pull off the highway on her way to a wedding and search her car. And then it occurs to me: my car. Sure enough, there on the floor behind the driver's seat sat the ATM card. I had accidentally dumped my purse over earlier that morning when my co-worker and I stopped at a bakery to pick up carmel rolls for a pot-luck.

So, yeah, a happy ending. The best part was that I didn't have to tell my husband about it until it was all over. Oh, and I think the universe has a lesson for me: Knock it off with the store-bought baked goods at work functions. They always lead to trouble.