Tuesday, September 30, 2008

accidents waiting to happen

S has had a rough 24 hours. It seems as though the universe has been hanging onto all manner of injuries for her to stumble across.

Last night, we took her upstairs for her bath, and we nearly sliced her toe off. It's crazy dark up there, and we didn't turn on the light, and when we opened the bathroom door, her left big toe got caught under the door. There was blood. There was crying. She got over it quickly, though, because she either didn't see the blood or didn't know that blood should inspire immediate hysterics. Either way, playing in the bath water was more interesting than belly aching over her nearly severed toe. Crisis averted, more or less. She's got a yucky looking toe, though.

This morning, at the gym, she got her first toddler injury. By that, I mean she was maliciously wounded by another toddler. It was actually my friend L's son who did it. He's apparently a rampant biter. He doesn't talk, so I'm guessing that he's into biting since he really can't "use his words." Or maybe he's jumped on the Twilight bandwagon. Either way, it's a done deal. Her fingers look like they should hurt, but she seems totally fine.

Then we went over to our favorite little bookstore around the corner, and S was playing on the upholstered benches that she loves so much, and she fell off. She managed to twist mid-air, which was a remarkable feat as the benches sit about 15 inches off the ground, and she whacked her head on the side of a bookshelf. She sort of caught herself with her hands first, so there are no gaping head injuries. Just scared mostly.

Either way, I'm thinking I'll need her to take it easy this afternoon as it just doesn't seem to be her day.

I hope everyone else is faring better than my daughter today.

Monday, September 29, 2008

holy fancy nancy, batman

For those of you without kids...or without girls...or without an obsession with popular children's books...or without substantial knowledge of my child's favorite things, this will mean nothing. Nada. Zilch.

S is crazy obsessed with Fancy Nancy. The Fancy Nancy phenomenon began with one book: Fancy Nancy. Then came Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy. We were introduced to both simultaneously as we received them as a gift when S was born. For the past few months, she's been pretty adamant about having them read to her before every nap and before bedtime every night. She loves "Fancy" and "Fancy Puppy." Then M made the discovery that a third Fancy Nancy book was out: Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly. He surprised her with it one day, and the kid's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. It was the real-life equivalent of the red bow on a Lexus Christmas commercials. So, we now read Fancy, Fancy Puppy, and Fancy Flies several times a day. Several. As in, all the friggin' time. It's great. She loves it.

There are other Fancy Nancy books out there now, but they're "new reader" books, and not really exciting for her, but I've already picked one up for her Christmas stocking. There are LeapFrog versions of Nancy books now, too. Apparently, Fancy Nancy is pulling in some fancy stacks of cash for her publisher.

Anyway...M and I were killing time in Target Saturday afternoon, agonizing over the fact that I have no idea what she will get for Christmas (man, this is one Christmas-y post, huh?), when we stumbled across this:

We bought it immediately. I can't wait to see her reaction to it on Christmas morning. I mean, she nearly plotzed over the book, so I can't imagine what will happen with the doll. Oh, I'm so excited.

Friday, September 26, 2008

a good week

I'm not going to lie. Our vacation was great, but I didn't feel great through most of it. I was, for some unknown reason, crazy anxious. The anxiety seemed to get worse as the week wore on, and by the time Thursday rolled around, I think that both M and my aunt Mel wanted to strangle me or tie me to a chair lest I obsess over one more thing. It was a pretty strange feeling, and it took a couple of days of being home to get back to normal. But, now that we're home, and my little routine is restored, I feel great.

And, this week with S has been one of the best weeks ever. She's been so completely hysterical and talkative and "dancy." I know that dancy isn't a word, but the kid's been rockin' all week. She just wants to dance and dance. She looks a little like Napoleon Dynamite, though. It's not always pretty, but it's always fun to watch. Her new wiggle move is especially great because, while she doesn't realize it, it's a spot-on Bill Cosby impression. So, last week was not great, and this week, despite all the political drama (the unseemly hullabaloo, if you will), was pretty fantastic.

In keeping with the feel-better routine, I bought myself a little hand-painted plaque that says "Take time to smell the flowers." It's in the kitchen over the sink. I think it's a pretty great little motto. So...smell the flowers...enjoy tonight's debate. I'll be enjoying it from party headquarters down the street with Feathernester. Game on!

Sight: arrangement of basil and zinnias on the kitchen counter. Totally local...like, backyard local. S in jeans. Friggin' adorable, but she can't get onto the couch or chairs since she can't lift her leg in denim. M's moustache. Yeah, that one will never be forgotten.

Sound: S saying "good night" last night...or singing the goodbye song throughout the grocery store this morning.

Smell: basil. it'll only last so much longer. Also, Feathernester cooking with garlic earlier today.

Touch: S kisses, it's a perennial fave, and cuddling on the couch while watching The Office.

Taste: Dark Chocolate Espresso cookies, Iced Monkey Mocha from House Blend.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

sitting on my tongue, biting my hands.

Here's a little recap of my day...I actually wrote this all out on actual paper with an actual pen so I could give an accurate representation of how things went down.


Today I headed to my high school...on a hill in Dickson County... to register voters. I'm guessing most of the 18-year-olds registered last week, but here I am anyway. I'm sitting next to the Navy recruiter's table.

There is a kid at the table who's, I think, supposed to be helping recruitment efforts, but he's really just playing with a super bouncy ball and talking to his friends. He graduated last year. He's shipping out for basic next week. In Chicago. I doubt he's actually "shipping" anywhere. I wonder if he'll actually even be flown to Chicago or if they'll bus him. Anyway.

While I am absolutely required to remain mum on my love for all things Barack Obama, I'm forced to listen to the Navy newbie in his hemp necklace and white (gasp! After Labor Day!) flip flops tell everyone that they should vote for John McCain. No reason given. One of his friends keeps saying to people that Obama is just going to get shot if he's elected. I think my head might explode.

Oh. He just said to someone that he loves Sarah Palin. I really want to ask him if he's 100% comfortable with Sarah Palin being the puppetmaster of his life. A life in the military.

I have managed not to say anything.

I've adopted a new philosophy whereby I keep my cakehole shut while I "sleep on it." I really am curious to know how experienced military personnel feel about Sarah Palin, though. I can understand them backing McCain. He's one of them. But Sarah Palin as potential commander in chief?

Now I'm noticing that high school kids can be mean little brats. If I hear "you retard" one more time...

Some boys just made fun of "the Amish chick." She's clearly not Amish, though I'll wager she's a Pentecostal.

I just heard a rousing chorus of,"Don't vote for Obama. He's a terrorist." I want to smack those kids' parents as I hold them responsible.

So, so much drama. Two kids were just screaming in the hall over, "you totally ditched her." "I didn't ditch anyone." Blah. Blah. Remember when high school drama seemed real? Like, what will I wear to prom? drama. None of this economy stuff we have to deal with as adults.

Now there is a group of six guys at the Navy table, and they clearly have no interest in actually joining the Navy. I personally think that they have a vested interest in being morons. They keep picking up brochures and yelling, "I want to be a submariner," or,"No, man, let's be divers." I wish the recruiter would lay into them before I have to.

I'm starting to think that I may not make it out of this lunch period alive. I'm going to have an electrical outburst like Elle on Heroes.

Okay, there is a boy scout standing in front of my table singing. He's a little awkward in a 15-year-old way. He's carrying a Bible, and most people know that's like a big blinking sign directing people to make fun of you in high school. He's singing to a girl who is very pretty. She looks very cool in the popular/just outside the norm sort of way. The song he's singing is something about being born with a birth defect, but I can't tell if it's about him or not. The girl is being very sweet and attentive, but you can tell she feels strange about the whole situation as people are walking by and pointing and giggling. Okay, two of her friends just came up and blatantly made fun of her and the boy. She quipped back, "you're just jealous because you could never write a song like E can." Bless her heart, she tried. She has almost restored my faith in teenage humanity.

Oh, there it went. The Navy kid is flapping his gums again while he bounces that damn ball.

Now I'm sitting through the final lunch rotation. Keep breathing...

I'm almost there. A group of girls just brought a friend by, encouraging her to register. She did, happily. Then all of her friends echoed one sentiment, "just make sure you vote for Obama." It was hard to hide the smile, but I did because for two hours today I was nonpartisan.

Now that being nonpartisan is over, I feel the need to paint "OBAMA '08" all over my body and run naked through a football stadium. I'll sleep on it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

pool ball

The funniest thing that happened on vacation was my discovery of my husband's complete and utter lack of understanding of the function of the large inflatable spheres made for playing with on the beach. "What the," you ask. That's right. He doesn't know what to do with a beach ball. My aunt M and I picked one up for S to have at the beach. After all, the only things we'd brought to entertain the child at the beach were a bucket, a shovel, and two drinking cups. While that might do it for some kids, we weren't sure about S, but we know the kid loves to play ball. So one dollar poorer, we headed to our house with a beach ball for the kiddo. We blew it up, and she had loads of fun kicking it around the house...and her daddy had tons of fun throwing it at her head in an attempt to turn her into a soccer player with no fear of heading the ball. I digress...

On Monday, as we got ready to head to the beach, I grabbed the ball. M asked what I was doing, so I explained that I was planning to take the ball to the beach for S to play with. He then informed me that beach balls weren't for the beach because the wind blows them around too much.

"Beach balls are pool toys," he proclaimed.

My response?

"They aren't called pool balls."

I have gotten minutes and minutes of pleasure laughing over this. Mr. MoWask, you awarded this man, my husband, a Masters degree. He thinks beach balls are for the pool. Oh, I love it.

In practicality, he wasn't wrong. We took the ball to the beach one day and we had to bury the silly thing because it kept blowing away. So, while he was right, it's still funny.

Anyway, I decided to post a few more pictures from vacation, but I chose the most random ones. Enjoy.

That last one is simply to demonstrate that we did dress the child in actual clothes once on our trip. To the best of my recollection, it was the only time she was dressed in five days.

Monday, September 22, 2008

goin' down to south park

I'm not unvacationed enough to write a proper post, so instead, I'll leave you with this. I didn't watch the Emmys, but I saw this a few minutes ago. I'm not sure what I find more hysterical...Josh Groban singing the South Park theme song...or Josh Groban in the infamous Jimmy Kimmel video. Either way, I'm pretty sure Josh Groban is way cooler than I expected him to be when we saw him perform several years ago.

Kudos to you, Josh Groban.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

as promised...

...some pictures of our little family vacay. I don't have much to say as I've been banned from all things political while on vacation. Sort of. M isn't allowed to watch football according to my aunt, so I'm not allowed to watch any Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, or Anderson Cooper. I feel a little lost. If Sarah Palin has made any ridiculous claims regarding dinosaurs, someone will need to call me.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

greetings from the sunshine state

Did I mention that the Ouisers were going to Florida? In all the hullaballoo that was my ranting this past week, I think I forgot to mention it. Either way, the Ouisers are in Florida. We decided to head south to volunteer for the Obama campaign. It's a battleground state you know.

Did you believe that? We're actually just on vacation, but I will gladly keep my Obama button on display. I'm a little peeved that my car magnet didn't arrive in time for the drive. I guess there's a pretty high demand for Obama/Biden merchandise.

We left this morning at 2am. We thought S would fall straight back to sleep when we put her in the car. No dice. She woke up as we strapped her into her seat, and she decided that something exciting must be happening...a Ouiser adventure, if you will. She stayed awake, singing and dancing to the Mary Poppins soundtrack for two whole hours. Then she slept for a couple of hours. She was awake for the last four hours, but she was a trooper. We borrowed a DVD player from my sisters, and that kept her pretty well occupied once the novelty of all of her books was exhausted.

Now we're here, safely in our adorbale little cottage. I'll post pictures later. We'll be taking the munchkin to the beach for the first time in about an hour. We decided to let it cool off a little before we head out. I'm not sure what I'm more excited about...seeing her reaction to the beach or seeing her round tummy and her swim diaper hanging out of her string bikini. I'm counting the minutes, peeps.

Until next time...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

panic at the disco

Does anyone else feel desperate? Down in the pit of your stomach? Everyone keeps saying that democrats are panicking. Maybe we are, and maybe we’re not. But continually telling me that I’m panicking is making me panic.

I am desperate for Barack Obama to win. I can barely stomach the thought of four more years of the crap we’ve been subjected to for the last eight. I am desperate. I want to call Barack Obama and ask, “What can I do?” Seriously. What can I do?

I live in the south. In a community that falls somewhere between rural and suburban. In a state that didn’t even stick behind Al Gore, one of our own. Tennessee is not expected to go Obama. And by “not expected,” I mean that I think Obama would fall over dead from the shock if he somehow carried Tennessee.

It is so exceedingly frustrating to know that I can call people in my state and knock on their doors, and it’s not really going to make a difference because “one man, one vote” isn’t really true. We saw it in 2000. My sense of personal hopelessness is the reverse of what my friend J is feeling in Boston. Her state’s electoral votes are already going Obama, so she, too, feels that any actions she might take are moot points. I could convince someone in the grocery store checkout line to vote for Obama instead of McCain, but it really won’t change the outcome. Will it?

I, along with a substantial portion of the educated people in this country, have long known or suspected that the Electoral College is a broken system. Meant to make elections fairer? What? Really? Honestly, if every person in America voted, and each vote meant exactly the same as the next, that would be fair. One man, one vote indeed. Who can argue with that?

As it stands, however, people, like me, end up frustrated. Very, very frustrated. It’s all very “what’s the point?” And that attitude isn’t helping anyone. So, for now, I’ll continue to try to figure out how to contact Barack Obama to see what I can do. Maybe there will be a 1-800 number on the screen during the forum. 1-800-SAVE-USA? That seems about right.

i'm distracted by the catch-22

Really, it's two separate things. I am distracted, and it's a Catch-22.

First, the distraction. The great distraction. The great political ploy. When you have nothing to say, don't, just make sure the nation doesn't notice by giving them something else to focus on. The distraction? Sarah Palin. I stand firmly by the assertion that she shouldn't be an issue because she shouldn't be involved. But her addition to the ticket is proving to be a brilliant political move. While we're all busy arguing about her, we're not focusing on getting our guy elected. The only guy who has seemed to stay focused is Barack Obama. He keeps saying, and rightfully so, that when the dust settles around Sarah Palin, the choice will be clear. Change vs. More of the Same. It's true. I pray that it works. I pray that he's not overestimating the American public. I pray that the electorate will start to focus on the issues and not the people involved.

There's the catch-22, though. If Obama starts to deviate from his message, he's falling into their game, and I'm not sure Karl Rove's game is a game you can win if it's not in your nature to be nasty and calculating. If he doesn't jump into that game, though, he risks being seen as a softie who can't handle a fight. Obama is rumored to be letting the reins loose on the liberal 527s. I've got very mixed feelings about this. If he doesn't fight back, he'll get swift-boated. If he does, he's playing the same old political game. It's a fine line. Very fine. In my perfect idealist world, he can keep walking on the high road and the American people will see through the distraction of Sarah Palin and they will realize that John McCain isn't bringing anything new to the table, and Barack Obama will win. My perfect visions are rarely reality, though, and I fear that.

I'm trying desperately not to be distracted by Sarah Palin. I'm actually worried about the environment and education and healthcare and the economy. I hope that in tonight's "candidate's forum", those things will be discussed. I want to look past this inconsequential noise and hear what both candidates are actually saying. I want the rest of America to do the same.

Also, here's a link to a graphic from Anderson Cooper last night. See if it makes you as sick as it makes me. Um, why do the people with the most money deserve to keep more of it than the people with less? Don't the people with less money actually need their money to pay for things like food and medical treatment? Maybe I'm wrong.

And lastly for the day, I felt compelled to share this video. Thanks, Scarlet Lily.

I'm out, peeps. Don't miss the forum tonight. It'll be on CNN at 8/7C.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

i'm a junkie

My husband doesn't know this, but I'm officially falling back into old habits. I think he suspects something, though. He was forced to watch Monday Night Football in the bedroom, so I could watch Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann in the living room. Somebody sign me up for rehab. I'm a political junkie.

I can safely say that the more I hear about Sarah Palin, the more she scares the hell out of me. Everything that comes out of her mouth is untrue to some degree. Most are just horribly misleading. Not lies, really, just omissions of facts. Of course, she's doing herself no favors. She's continually repeating the falsehoods that the media is ripping her for, and she's not giving them anything new to focus on. Luckily, she'll be interviewed this week, so maybe we'll learn something consequential about her. Maybe. Probably not. I imagine an interview with her in her kitchen making that damn moose stew they keep going on and on about.

Trouble is...she keeps plugging away, getting people all fired up. And that's the really scary part. The fact that no one knows much about her, but her feistiness (a word I am growing to hate) has all kinds of people excited. I keep hearing people say that they're thinking of voting for McCain now because they like Palin's feistiness. Feistiness is usually endearing for a few weeks, but if it keeps up, people will just start to think she's bitchy. That's how it goes. No one really likes to see a woman constantly stirring the pot. I just hope that clarity hits before she and her family hit the White House.

Honestly, I feel kind of bad for her. She's going to get dragged through the mud badly, because she will get painted as a total B even if she isn't. It happens to all female politicians, and it sucks. The problem for her is that she really, truly is underqualified for this job, so she and her family are going to be unnecessarily subjected to a trip through hell. Of course, she could have declined to run, but whatever.

Okay, S is waking up, so I'm out. Have a great day, peeps. A great day filled with happy thoughts of Barack and Joe...

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I decided I needed to go all out on the blog showing my support for the man. It's the equivalent of having "I heart Barack Obama" tattooed on my forehead in real life. Since that's clearly not an option, I'm going with blog support.

Please tell me that someone else out there suffered through the insanity that was Sarah Palin's speech last night. I don't even have anything to say about it because she didn't say anything of any consequence. At all. Not even close. The first fifteen minutes sounded like a pitch to elect her and her eskimo fisherman hubby prom queen and king. The rest of the speech was just ridiculous insult after ridiculous insult being hurled at Michelle and Barack Obama. It doesn't even merit a rebuttal because it was all so asinine. But, please, please tell me that someone else was watching the speech on NBC and saw Piper Palin (because that's the child's real name) spit shining her little brother's head. It was really one of the highlights of the night for me.

That...and the realization that I'm pretty sure Sarah Palin has a promising future as a Lenscrafters model when the McCain campaign tanks. I know, I know. That was tacky and irrelevant. She's really quite pretty. Then again, so is Blake Lively. She's not qualified to be VP either.

I'm out. I have to shower. I spent all my blog time choosing colors for the new layout. Happy Thursday, peeps. Here's a picture of S eating an apple in my aunt Mel's backyard on Monday.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

is it bedtime yet?

This has been a day. You know what I mean.

S woke up this morning with a slightly leaky diaper. In and of itself, not an issue. It wasn't a blowout diaper leak, just a damp spot underneath her. A change of sheets was in order. I'd get around to it.

We had Kindermusik this morning, and S was excited to go, and she was so, so shockingly good. She sat in my lap in the circle. She sang along. She danced. She put the instruments away when asked. It was beautiful. I was so proud. That was the first thirty minutes. Then she noticed the giant sound system with the red blinking lights and the buttons. When she first approached it, I told her no, and she walked away and kept dancing along. I was dumbfounded as she never just walks away. I should've known it wouldn't last. A few minutes later, as we reformed our little circle to sing the shake, shake song (which was the only song she participated in last week), she made a beeline for the system again. This time there was some pushing and some huffing and some whining. I picked her up and carried her back to the group. She looked at me, turned around, and headed back to the sound system. I knelt in front of it and tried to talk to her and explain what was going on in very calm whispers, which works with her about 60% of the time. No dice. She tried to bite my face. She backed off, though, so I let it slide. One more attempt at the circle led to one more attempt to sabotage the stereo. This time I just stood in front of it and kept saying, "no." She was so mad that she was turning red, and then she bit my leg. As she screamed and kicked, I said goodbye to everyone else in the room (class was over at this point, and parents were gathering up shoes and bags and whatnot) and we left. Once we left the room, she was fine. Tears dried up. Sobs ceased. She said bye to her friend C from class in the parking lot. What the heck?? In reality, I know what happened. One: she is a toddler who lacks the vocabulary to express her anger and frustration, so she bit me. I get that. I know how it works. Two: I'm guessing that she was overly excited from class this time, and she just couldn't hold herself together. At least that's my guess. I'm no baby Dr. Phil, though. Any advice on how you other mamas of toddlers (or kids who used to be toddlers) have dealt with this would be very, very much appreciated.

Okay, so then we got home. She was totally calm and acting like herself. I worked on laundry and dishes. She pulled all of our dirty shoes from the mudroom into a pile and played with them. Perfectly safe activity. Then, as I walked into the bathroom to grab towels for the wash, I heard a weird smashing plastic sound from the mudroom. S had pulled the new bottle of detergent off the shelf, and the cap had busted. She was trying to put it back onto the shelf, which is over her head, but she couldn't quite reach, and...you guessed it...All Free and Clear was pouring all over her head. It was actually comical. She was trying to clean up her mess (or hide the evidence), but detergent in the eyes was not a problem I wanted to deal with, so we headed straight to the bathtub. While some detergent did make it to her eyeballs, it wasn't enough to worry about and by the end of her bath, the redness wasn't really noticeable. Just the same, being upstairs reminded me that...

...her sheets needed to be changed. No big deal at all. Except I smashed the very end of my fingertip into the crib rails trying to get the mattress back into the crib. It was one of those finger smashes that makes you sick at your stomach. Know what I mean?

Since then, the day has gone along swimmingly. But it's only 1:30, so I fear what will happen after she wakes up from her nap. At least her head and her eyeballs are clean. Silver linings...