Thursday, August 31, 2006


For some reason that I do not quite understand, electric razors for women are shelved with the disposable kind in health and beauty, and the men's ones are in the home electronics section. At least, that's the way they are at my local Target. I was actually shopping for a men's electric razor, but for myself. The womens' ones are crap. I don't think that the manufacturers really believe that women buy them, or the reasons why.

I cannot shave my legs with a regular razor--not in the shower, not in the bathtub, not dry, not with any sort of shaving cream/gel I have ever seen. It hurts, it cuts, and I get razor burn (nothing is sexier than pink-polka dotted legs). The fancy creams tend to make me break out in a rash (itchy, red, polka-dotted legs). Nair and similar products might take some hair off of someone, but not the hair off my legs. And, for the record, just because I'm blonde on top of my head doesn't mean that my lower leg hair won't show up. It used to be a nice, fine, white fuzz, until I turned like 10.

I have tried a home waxing kit once. I got through about half of one leg before I was in too much pain to continue. I have seriously considered setting an appointment at a salon, and getting drunk first. But I'm not sure that drunk and in pain is a better route to beauty (or at least social acceptance). Laser hair removal sounds like a lovely idea...whenever I have a couple of extra thousand $ laying around and free time on my hands, I might try it.

I have used a men's Norelco brand razor (the kind with the 3 round heads) for years, but my most recent model is a cordless one that will not run on the cord. And it will no longer charge enough to actually finish shaving even a single leg. My husband recently replaced his old one, which was a corded or cordless razor. Unfortunately, its cord stopped working altogether.

So last night, I found myself perusing the shelves of men's electric razors. They had like 4 models that were less than $100 (I didn't even look at the $200 one...for that price I could have a couple of wax jobs and some good champagne). The first was $30 and was only corded. I had one like that before, and since the cords are like 6" long, you have to be a bit of a contortionist to get your leg onto the bathroom sink where the razor will reach. Some days, you're just not feeling that flexible. They had a $60 one that was just cordless. Wrong answer--that's the same trouble I had with my last one. This particular model also dispensed lotion while you shave. I'm sure that's an appealing feature to someone, somewhere, but shaving lotion problems helped drive me to this aisle in the first place. I ended up with the $90 version that is corded or cordless, and can be rinsed out in running water in the sink. It did not come with the monstruous dunk-tank cleaning system that the more expensive models have (and my husband has...that thing takes up half the counter), and I'm ok with that. I don't know what the $200 one did...probably steamed your dress shirt and polished your shoes or something.

In anycase, my legs are sufficiently hair free for public viewing this morning, or at least for going to work in a skirt.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bedding found

We found a quilt and sheet set for Charlotte's bed. It's the Bugs collection from Bombay Kids. We ate lunch yesterday at Little Maggiano's which is in the same shopping center as a Bombay Company and Bombay Kids stores, and they had the set in stock in the right size, and on sale. It was still expensive (we might have spent more on her set than the bedding for our own, king-sized bed), but it's cute and looks like a nice quality. Now we just need a waterproof mattress pad, a step stool, and some curtains for her canopy, and her big bed will be all set. We already have a pair of bed rails. She can climb down from the bed by herself with no problems, but I don't think she's tall enough to get back up without assitance.

The bed is a full-sized canopy bed, with the sort of arched-canopy that is sweet and feminine. Instead of one of the ruffled canopies that I saw a lot of when I was little, I plan to go with white sheer (or sort-of-sheer, depending on what I find) tab-top curtains at each corner, tied back. It will hopefully look cute and cozy without being too overpowering in her room.

In the mean time, Charlotte had a second Christmas, with all of her birthday gifts from this weekend. She is quite spoiled, or maybe I should say lucky, to have so many family members willing to spend their time travelling and their money to buy her things to play with and wear :) Her daddy and I do our fair share of spoiling our little princess, too--hopefully we're successful in teaching her to not *act* spoiled. Even if she does have a nicer bedroom set at age 2 than her parents....

Friday, August 25, 2006

Party girl

Did you know that they serve beer at Chuck E Cheese? Something about that just seems wrong to me. That, along with the crowd of smokers we had to walk past to enter the place (at least the inside is smoke-free). Granted, after about 5 minutes of screaming kids, assorted video game noise, and the Chuck E Cheese video displays, I can sort of sympathize with the parents who were drinking. I just hope they don't decide to crawl around the tubes with their little ones after tossing back a couple.

We took Charlotte out last night for an informal birthday celebration, along with her friend Gavin and Gavin's parents, S&P. The kids definitely had fun. The pizza's really not bad, and for $25, we got pizza, drinks, and more tokens than a 2-year old can use in one night. She rode all the toddler rides--cars and fire trucks, soemthing that looks like a green flying saucer with buttons that make cow sounds. She played the munckin version of whack-a-mole (no tickets, but it was her size). We got "sketches" made (kind of like a mall photo booth, but the printout is black and white and looks sort of hand-sketched), and she rode the photo-car ride. We tried some of the bigger kid games--helped her toss mini basketballs in the vincinity of the hoop, and attempt to net plastic ball "bees" into a honey pot for tickets.

She crawled through the tubes, and though I expected Gavin to join us, his parents weren't comfortable with him navigating them yet and weren't up to the task of following him around. *Shrug* We've been taking Charlotte through similar playground toys for probably a year or more--one of us goes with her, these days mostly for moral support since she can do pretty much all the climbing by herself. Though their tube-maze was better ventillated than the one at McD's that we usually stop at before long car trips, it had a definite eau d'kid sweat.

At the end of the night, we dumped our remaining tokens into a slotmachine-esqe game that gives tickets based on where the coins fall. For our efforts, she left with a pair of purple cheap-o pom-pons and a fake plastic ring (probably a choking hazard, but we've let her play with them before and she's ok). She got a balloon upon entering, since we were there for her birthday, and I'm surprised at the way it was put together. Instead of the opening being tied, there was a thin plastic tube used as a stopper. It is another choking hazard, and Charlotte kept sticking it in her mouth in the car trying to help blow into the balloon (she's been fascinated by inflatable toys)--I finally had to remove the thing and tie it by hand to keep her from eating it. Maybe if I were more motivated, I'd write a letter to the restaraunt's management complaining about their handing out choking hazards to little kids--I'm sure it was some kind of "time-saving" device to make inflating lots of balloons faster.

You'd think that Charlotte would have been sound asleep by the time we got home, but alas, no. She was apparently too excited to go to sleep easily, and then refused to wake up this morning for daycare. Apparently I'm raising a party girl.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Charlotte is 2 today! She has gotten to be such a big girl--well, maybe in development if not stature. She woke up this morning and asked to use the potty right away. She then had probably 3 breakfasts worth of food in front of her--wanted her usual fruit-n-cream oatmeal, plus some of my cereal, plus some of her daddy's granola (all in separate bowls, with multiple spoons). She's off at daycare today, and I'm a bad mom who did not send in a birthday treat :( We went shopping for her last night, and ran out of time for me to make cupcakes like I intended. I'll bring them in tomorrow, which will make for a nice little party at the end of the week for the kids. Charlotte's real birthday party at home will be Saturday with grandparents and aunts & uncle in attendance. Tonight, we're considering taking her to Chucky Cheese or someplace similar where she can have a good time playing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

kids and beds

Charlotte's 2nd birthday is this week, and her daddy and I haven't actually bought her any birthday presents yet. We have a babysitter (her aunt& uncle) lined up for Wednesday, so we should be able to wander around a toystore in relative peace. We did do a little looking around over the weekend, but since she was with us, we were focusing on bedding instead of toys.

Charlotte's been sleeping in a toddler bed (her crib with the moveable side removed, and half-rails installed), and is doing great. We already have a full-sized canopy bed for her to sleep in as she gets a little bigger--it belonged to my husband's sister when she was growing up. We got the bed moved into Charlottes room a month ago when we had friends riding out the big blackout, since we had the extra hands. But now, it needs bedding. We have a comforter set on it, but it was picked 5 years ago for the guest room (we have a matching twin set for the twin bed that used to be in there with it), and it doesn't go with Charlotte's room at all.

I didn't realize how hard it would be to find kids bedding that I liked to fit a full sized bed. Bed Bath & Beyond had nothing appropriate--their styles are all adult or dorm-related (we need full, not extra-long twin). Ditto for Target. We tried the Pottery Barn Kids store, and found one set that we really liked. Unfortunately, it's being cleared out and all they have left are twin-sized quilts. I checked their website, and they have even less in stock. They have a couple of other possibilities that come in full-size with colors that won't require us to re-paint and re-drape her room (pale green walls and buttery yellow drapes, to go with her Classic Pooh crib bedding), but the one I liked best cost $200 just for the quilt (it's pretty, and embroidered, and machine-washable, but still...). I tried Penny's website yesterday, and they have a good dozen possibilities--except that they only come in twin size. Don't other little girls have bigger beds?

I guess I always have the option of making something myself, but quilting is not my forte, and I'm afraid she'll be 6 before I get something done. If anyone has any suggestions for places to look, please let us know!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pride and Prejudice

I watched the new Pride and Predjudice over the weekend, and while I enjoyed it, I don't think it's quite as good as the A&E version.

As far as characters went, the actor playing Lord Bingley made him seem like too much of a simpleton or, well, a dork. I thought from the book that he was just generally a good natured, open kind of guy--at worst a bit naive, but I thought this actor carried that too far. I think the only scene where he looked to have a normal intelligence was when he proposed to Jane.

I definitely liked the Elizabeth Bennet from the A&E version better as well--she was beautiful without looking like a Hollywood toothpick, and made me connect better with her. That's probably because I myself will never be called a toothpick, and it's nice to see folks in the over-110 pound category onscreen :)

I'm not sure which Mr. Darcy did a better job--I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Colin Firth's rendition (mmmm...Colin Firth), but Matthew Macfayden also has the right combination of good looks and brooding eyes.

The scenery was beautiful in the newer version, and they had fun with interesting camera angles, but at some points I think it actually distracted you from the story. Also, in order to cut the story down to fit in a 2-hour movie, they breezed right through some plot points, which made parts of it feel rather rushed.

If I hadn't read the book and/or owned the A&E version already, I probably would have enjoyed it a bit more. But it's hard to really judge a movie on its own merits when you have other versions to compare it to. I think overall it was a good, romantic movie. Despite the now-historical setting of the plot, the story line easily relates to folks today (well, maybe not all of the husband-catching, but if you relate it to dating, then yes). It's also very family-friendly with only a very few innuendos (the scene where Mr. Collins accidentally blurts out "intercourse" while preaching, the scandal caused by the youngest sister, which isn't explained in detail). If you're a romance fan, it's definitely worth renting.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Hall Pass

Apparently the theme of August is dirty diapers. After her exploding pants routine a couple of weekends ago, she's now back to having the runs a bit. I'm sure that's just what you wanted to hear. She had some trouble (as in, quite a few rather watery dirty diapers) Tuesday night. Wednesday, she had like 4 that daycare called "loose". Wednesday night she was fine however. Yesterday, she had 3 more, 2 of which were classified "loose", and we were told that she'd have to stay home today unless she got a doctor's note. We heard this news at 3:30, when I was actually packing to leave for the day, so I gave her pediatrician a call and got a 4:20 appointment (which I could almost make).

I rushed to daycare, grabbed my happy, smiling, energetic daughter, and headed for the ped's new office. This doctor is great, but when we started seeing her she had an office about 10 minutes from our house. She has since started her own practice in the middle-of-nowhere-suburbia (that part of town where they plant corn on one side of the highway and new houses on the other, and the new houses take less time to grow). Since it was rush hour, and apparently many thousands of people work here and live there, I hit some traffic on the way. I actually got there by 4:30, which isn't really too bad I guess.

Charlotte was weighed (24lbs, fully dressed--seems high to me) and examined. She dutifully soiled a diaper during the examination, so the pediatrician got a first-hand look at the "looseness", which really wasn't bad--not watery at all, more like a newborn's cottage-cheese (hey, if you're not interested in the consistency of dirty diapers, then you shouldn't have read this far). She said that Charlotte was not contagious and looked to be on her way to recovery. She wrote us our "hall pass" for daycare, and instructed us to give no juice, and more bananas and fibrous things. She also gave us a couple of samples of diaper cream for her diaper rash (we have more at home, but I had none in my purse at the time--not something I generally carry to work).

So, much to the joy of her diaper-changers, Charlotte is happily playing at daycare today.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Cognitive leaps

Charlotte's thinking has taken another leap forward lately. She is starting in on true pretend-play. She's been caring for baby dolls for quite a while--swaddling them, putting them in the doll stroller for walks, putting them in the doll cradle to go to sleep. But lately it's hit a new level. While reading her new favorite book, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (Dr Seuss), she got interested in the section about the "gack". The gack looks like a reindeer with big, branching horns on its' head, and the poem talks about throwing rings on the gack, like a ring toss game. Charlotte was actually pretend-picking up the rings in the picture and either handing them to myself or my husband to "toss", or tossing them at the gack herself. She initiated that--it was pretty cool.

She is also connecting ideas really well lately. She can follow more complex commands, like "put your toothbrush away"--she'll carry it into her bathroom and put it in the cup where it's stored. She carried our toothpaste from our bathroom and did the same thing with it. She understands how to throw things away, in various trash cans (she is not yet abusing this knowledge). When she gets something on her hand that she thinks is "yucky" (dinner she spilled on the table usually), she gets down and walks to the sink, demanding a "wash". And then there were the boxers. My husband had left the boxer shorts that he sleeps in in the bathroom yesterday morning. Charlotte was looking at them and I told her that they were Daddy's boxers. She carried them out of the bathroom, repeating the word "box". I was getting ready at the time, and didn't watch her too closely. She apparently found a shoe box in our bedroom, and put the boxers in it. I didn't realize that till later when I noticed that the shoe box was now in her room, and warned my husband that we should probably retrieve it because it contains a pair of worn boxer shorts. Funny kid.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Free at last

Independence is a wonderful thing. Not that I've taken much advantage of it since I picked up my car Tuesday afternoon. But the *idea* that I can go somewhere without coordinating with someone else first is really nice.

My car is all fixed and shiny with its fresh paint job. The first thing that I noticed on Tuesday was that there's still a dent in the middle of one of my car doors that was not fixed. When I asked the collision center guy about it, he said that because of the way the crease(?) was in the dent, that it looked like a door ding and not a hail ding, so it wasn't covered and they didn't fix it. He actually said something like "you would have had to have gotten hit pretty hard and angled sideways for that to be hail"....umm, did you see how much damage there was on my car? And it did hail sideways, which is why the opposite side of the car was virtually spotless. At that point, however, I really did not feel like fighting them and leaving my car for another week of repairs and back-and-forth with the insurance company. My car is 3 years old, and it is allowed to have a ding in one door.

So, did I get in to work early yesterday to make up time? Nope. I was later leaving the house when I realized that my car had no gas. When I got to the gas station, I realized I had no wallet. I had to go home for money and then back for gas before I could head for work. So I still barely squeezed in an 8 hour day yesterday, and didn't get Charlotte and get home till nearly 6. Oh well, at least I can see over the seatbelt, have armrests that my arms actually reach to rest on, and don't have to slam on the brakes to slow the car down (some of my complaints about my husband's car....I could keep going, but it just annoys him) :)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The end is in sight...

I got a call yesterday from the repair center that is fixing the hail damage on my car. They have had it for over 3 weeks now (4 Mondays). Apparently it was waiting for the windows to be put back in, but it should be ready some time today!. They were replacing the hood, the top of the car, the trunk lid, pounding out a million dents along the whole passenger side, and painting nearly the whole car. It is just in time, too--today the 3 of us didn't leave the house till after 8am. Tomorrow I have to be at work before 8am. Boy am I glad I don't have to fight that one with an unpredictable toddler!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Warning: The weak of stomach need not read...

Pardon my language, but we had a sh*tty weekend. There. I said it. I got it out of my system (ha!) I know, I know, you're completely lost at this little burst of sarcastic humor. Sometimes a little laughter is the best way to deal with what life throws you, or at least what it leaves in the car seat.

Our little family traveled to southern Indiana over the weekend for my husband's extended family's annual reunion. My father-in-law is one of 13 siblings, so the gathering can be quite large, as you might guess. Charlotte is number 30ish of the great-grandchildren of the family. My husband's grandmother has not been doing well lately and is in nursing-type care in a local hospital, and my in-laws had driven up early in the week to help out with her. They were staying in the grandmother's house, a little 2-bedroom affair (not the one they raised 13 kids in). We were happy for the free lodging and to have the extra space for Charlotte to run around. We didn't count how grateful we would be later to have access to a washer and dryer.

Saturday morning the big family picnic was scheduled to start at noon, and the 3 of us had driven to Walmart and a grocery store to pick up a cooler, drinks, and other necessities. Charlotte had been in a pretty good mood all morning, which was nice. We were a couple of blocks from the park stuck in a long line of traffic approaching a stop sign, when Charlotte started saying "Potty!" I thanked her for letting us know, but told her that we couldn't stop quite yet, and it was ok to go ahead in her diaper. She whimpered a bit, and drew in her knees, and the next thing I know she was holding her hand out, covered in poop. She had a blowout of massive proportions. We were still in the car in the line of traffic at this point, so I frantically dug out a baby wipe to clean up her hand, and my husband rolled down the windows and called his parents to get the key to the house. Boy what a mess that was. Even if she hadn't been sitting on her butt (thereby elminating all the extra storage room), she would have blown that one out.

We went back to the house and quicky and carefully as we could ran her to the bathroom, stripped her off, and hosed her down in the shower. Her shorts were full , and I found myself rinsing them in the toilet like my mom used to do with cloth diapers to get them "clean" enough for the washing machine. I scrubbed the baby, and my husband followed along behind and scrubbed the tub and the bathroom sink. We got her into an extra outfit, and her soiled clothes and all of the bathroom rugs plus a towel or two went into the washing machine. Yikes what a mess. The carseat seemed to have been mostly spared (it was trapped in the shorts), though it's still due for a cover washing just in case. We made it back to the reunion and through most of the afternoon with a couple more soiled diapers, but no more major blowouts. However, after a hard day's playing and several face plants in the dirt, Charlotte's extra outfit was a mess also. Thank goodness for the washing machine--my sister-in-law volunteered to stop by Walmart and pick her up an extra outfit, but luckily it was not necessary.

By Sunday, we thought we had the issue resolved, as she seemed back to normal. After a big lunch with the family, we loaded up in the car and headed towards home. We didn't even reach the highway before Charlotte did it again. Once again, she had a hand covered in poop and a diaper overflowing. Yuck. This time my in-laws were ahead of us and we couldn't get back into the house, so the McDonalds' bathroom had to suffice. Luckily there was not quite as much, um, material, that escaped, just that it leaked out one of her legs because she was sitting on the diaper in the car. She ended up out of her church dress and back into her (now clean) original outfit from the day before, and hosed/wiped down fairly well in the bathroom sink (sorry McD's! Btw, that's why you *never* trust a public restroom....). She slept the whole way home after that.

We haven't had that many diaper blowouts in, oh, probably a year or so. Well, I guess daycare has had to deal with one or two when she's been coming down with something, but still. So, we had fun visiting with family. But it still made for a yucky weekend.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Riding in Cars with Boys

My car is still not repaired. I dropped it off 3 weeks ago for hail damage repair, and last I heard it will be the middle of next week before I get it back. Apparently they had to replace my hood, the whole roof of my car, and the top of the trunk, as well as repair major damage to the whole driver side. The repair total was (last I know) around $8k. Yikes. I am grateful for insurance. Then again, if my car weren't as new as it is (a low-mileage 2003), and I didn't carry the comprehensive insurance, I would have just driven it with dents. The damage was basically cosmetic as far as I know--I had no broken windows or doors that didn't function or anything.

My husband and I have been doing ok with the whole carpooling mess. The biggest snag was that his windshield got hit by a rock last week while driving through a construction zone. He's got a 2.5 foot crack running across the glass. We are going to a family reunion this weekend (a 4 hour drive), and were originally hoping to take my car so he could drop his off to have the windshield and hail damage repaired. Instead, one of those autoglass places is coming to his parking lot at work to fix it, and we'll have to wait on the hail damage for later.

I guess on the up side, since the trunk lid is being replaced on my car, then the scratches that I had accidentally put in it with the garage door (parked a little too far back one day) and my bike rack will not be there anymore. Also we're saving a lot of $ in gas. At $3 a gallon, it's nice to not have to fill up my car for a month. We're putting a few more miles on his car, but certainly less than we would have with both cars. And, for once, we've had room in the garage to store our stroller collection to get it out of our living room--the jogging stroller especially is kind of a large beast and doesn't fold down small enough for a closet.

I still miss my car.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Help in the kitchen

My husband and I got in a bit of an argument last night. In fact, I believe we've had pretty much the same argument before, multiple times. You'd think by now we'd have learned, but, apparently not.

It started like this: We got home from work with Charlotte about a quarter to 6 and started her with a snack. My husband opened a catalog he'd gotten in the mail and started browsing. I remembered some pork tenderloin that I'd bought the day before and not frozen, so I started looking up cooking times to see if it was a dinner candidate or not. I found good directions on roasting the pork in under 30 minutes, so I declared that I would make dinner. M. barely glanced at me.

I unwrapped the meat and began searching out pans and side dishes, and Charlotte finished her snack. She quickly demanded more, to which we replied that she would have to wait for dinner. She began to scream, as she is wont to do when she doesn't get her way. I suggested to M. that he take Charlotte out of the kitchen and entertain her. I salted and peppered the 2 tenderloin pieces, heated oil, and began searing. Charlotte fussed in her chair until eventually M got her out and tried to take her in the living room (Our kitchen, breakfast room, and living room are all open to each other), where she continued to scream and loudly protest about the various foods that she wanted to be eating (another banana, chocolate, the icee flavoring bottle she spotted in the fridge, etc). I tried to ignore them while I chopped potatoes for a quick high-heat roast.

At some point, the clean dish towel that I'd gotten out to use disappeared. By this time it was not actually clean, since I'd been drying my hands on it between washings (raw pork hands). This threw me off and I searched all over the kitchen, trying to figure out what I could have done with it. Finally my husband admitted that he'd taken it to the downstairs bar because it matches the decor down there. By this point, Charlotte was still alternating screaming and whining for both food and Elmo, and M still had failed to remove her from the site of all of the food and/or tv that she was begging for, and I was starting to get a headache. I don't believe I was very nice about the towel.

Next, my husband decided to entertain Charlotte by bringing her into the kitchen, sitting her on the counter by the sink, and giving her a whisk and bowl of water so she could "help". In the mean time, he kept trying to "help" me by moving things--never mind that I had no idea that he was going to do it and he would either move something that I was using, or end up standing between me and wherever I was going. I don't take well to distractions. Finally I yelled at him to get out of the kitchen, with the baby, and let me finish cooking dinner ALONE. He yelled back, and then stormed to the basement with Charlotte, where she ended up quieter and somewhat more amused (apparently she was still begging for TV, but at least she wasn't screeching anymore).

I admit, and did apologize, that I was not very nice during the whole situation. M. was trying to help a couple of times when he was moving things that I was using. He was also trying to entertain Charlotte, which I know is a huge challenge when she's in one of her terrible two's moments. I realize that I really work better alone in the kitchen, or if someone's going to help, they have to wait for specific instructions from me first. I get myself into a rhythmn and when people "help" without asking first, it usually breaks my rhythmn and makes it hard for me to keep track of what I was doing. I also keep trying to enforce a "no babies in the kitchen while I'm cooking" rule, for safety and sanity (and sanitary I suppose) reasons--I don't want little hands getting burned or cut or pulling out pots and pans under my feet. Unfortunately, my husband likes to entertain Charlotte by bringing her to watch "what Mommy's doing", which ends up annoying the snot out of me (nothing like having an audience *and* distractions *and* safety concerns all at once). He does have a point that there's no reason she shouldn't get to see what I'm doing and feel like she's a part of the experience, but some days I just don't deal well with it.

*sigh* Tonight, I think we're having pizza.