Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Years Eve!

Somehow I let Peeper find out about that whole "midnight" thing, so she decided to wait up. My parents' neighbors really like their fireworks, so I figured, what the hell, she'll probably get woken up at midnight anyway. So, I told her she could stay up, and I'd take her outside at midnight to watch the fireworks.

Other than that, it was a quiet evening at home with Grandma and Grandpa.

Later we watched a Curious George Christmas movie, and The Lorax (which we'd never seen.) It was almost over at midnight, and she was about to drop. I took her outside, but she wasn't really into it. We weren't able to get a good view of many fireworks, but I did see and hear what looked like quite a display not far from us, but with houses blocking the view, so if we're there next year, we'll try going over there.

So, back inside, finished the movie, and off to bed - after midnight for the second night in a row.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Well, That Was An . . . Adventure

Peeper and I are in Texas for our belated extended-family Christmas celebration, and we didn't get here without some trials.

I waited a bit too long to book our flights, so we didn't leave until 4 pm, and were due to get in to the local-to-my-family airport around 9 pm, via Dallas.

Our flight out of Baltimore was running a bit late, but that didn't bother Peeper too much.

When we got to Dallas, we were a smidge behind, so we rushed over to our departing gate, where we learned that our second flight was delayed as well, and wasn't supposed to leave until around 9 pm.

After actually speaking to our pilot, who happened to be standing there, and confirming that the flight would be going, as soon as the plane that was about to leave for Houston came back, we went and got some dinner, and planned to hang out for a while.

Peeper had spotted a play area, so we went there, and she played while I monitored our flight status online and Facebooked updates to LadyKay, to be passed on to the Anonyparents. Peeper was having a blast, running around the play area, climbing on things and jumping off, "teaching the little ones" how to play, and later, watching some cartoon that involved a lot of fighting and shooting and blowing up thing and calling the enemy things like, "You Devils!"

Great. I explained to her that I had no control over this TV, but that this was not a show that she would be allowed to watch. This little speech came after I heard her exclaim to no one in particular that, "I love this show!"

While running and playing, she was doing a lot of coughing - that damn asthma thing. I had her slow down for a bit, and take a break to get it under control, and it kind of came and went.

Finally, it was about half an hour until time to board our plane, so I called her over and had her sit down on the couch to get her shoes on. She was coughing again, and I asked if she was okay. She said she was, even though she was gagging about.

Are you sure? I'm okay.

Yeah. Not so much.

More gagging, and then she threw up all over herself. Remember how we'd just had dinner? Yeah.

As she sat there, covered in her own vomit, she asked me, pitifully, "Are you going to tell somebody?"



I don't know!

I looked around, and saw a woman dusting some furniture, so I went over and told her (across a language barrier, I'm pretty sure) what had happened, and she said she'd be there in just a minute.

I went back to Peeper and told her, "Don't move. I'm going to run get some paper towels. Don't worry, nobody will steal you like this."

By the time I came back from the bathroom with not-even-close-to-enough paper towels, the custodian was there with a towel. Peeper told me later that, "She asked me, 'Are you okay?'" (I tipped this woman ten dollars when we left.)

I stripped her down to her panties, stuffed the gross clothes into the wet bag, and carried her to the bathroom to try to clean her up. As I was wiping her down, she said, "This is the worst thing!" and "I'm sorry this happened."

Oh, no, no, baby. I am so sorry.

I got her wiped off, and into some clean panties and pants and . . . nope, that's it. I hadn't brought a clean shirt. I couldn't think of anything else to do but to hope like hell we could find a store open, and if not, just take her on the plane like that and ask for a blanket when we get on board.

As we walked to our gate, we passed one closed store after another, just taunting us with there racks and racks of shirts, behind those metal gates.

Finally, we came to one that only had their gate half way down, so I grabbed Peeper, ducked under the gate, and said, "Please help me." I explained what had happened, and asked if they could please sell me a shirt.

There were three women working behind the counter. One started in with, "Well, I don't know how we could do that . . . ." (Of course, after tipping the custodian, I no longer had enough cash for a shirt, so I would have to use a debit card.) Then one of the other women said, "I haven't closed out my register yet."


So, we picked out the smallest shirt they had, and put it on her, and hurried off to our gate, and waiting for our turn to board.

Luckily, this was a small plane with only two seats on a row, so nobody had to sit by us, because we were pretty stinky.

She was asleep before we even took off, and I had to wake her up when we landed.

Last trip, she was happy to sit in the car with Grandma while I waited for our bag (it's a very, very small airport), but this time, she was having none of that hanging-out-with-Grandpa business. Instead, she sat in my lap and whined until the bag came out, and then whined all the way to the house.

We didn't even stop to talk to Grandma on the way in, just went straight into the shower, and then to bed.

We are glad to be here, and are looking forward to our visit, but I could think of better ways to start it off.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Baby Step #1

Christmas is over and the new year is around the bend so now, of course, it's time to obsess about "getting my shit together." Again.

We've made lots of plans about things we want to do around the house, starting with getting rid of a lot of stuff that we don't need, much of which nobody needs.

We know that we can't tackle it all at once, and we're hoping to not burn ourselves out, by taking it slow and making baby steps in the right direction. It won't get better overnight, but every little thing we do will make things a little better, and a little closer to how we'd like things to be around here.

This weekend, I made my first concrete step toward that, and cleaned my desk, inside and out. I didn't take an actual "before" photo, but if you look over Peeper's shoulder in this old photo, you can see a very small part of the mess. I think you can get the general idea. It was pretty awful.

And after:

Here's the wide view. I've gotten the main surface cleared off several times in the past, but I don't know when got rid of the piles of "don't know what to do with it, so I'll just shove it under here" stuff, or when I last tackled the top.

Almost everything you see here is things that I actually use fairly regularly. The shoebox under the hutch is a few items that need to move to the "things to keep forever" box, when I make room in it.

This was bulging with papers. One of the sections (pending bills, sadly) is even cracked, from over-stuffing.

I'm pretty sure that I've never actually decluttered inside the hutch, although I have straightened up in there a few times. How long has it been? This side held all my computer stuff, including drivers and documentation for devices I no longer own - including some on floppy disk; yep, that's save to trash. I thought the Windows 2000 installation disks were bad, but there was also a book called "Getting Started With Windows 97." No more.

The other side held "officey" sort of things, most of which I had no use for. Much better. All the "I need this in reach" binders and such are neatly filed in here.

And, why yes, you do see a ziplock containing a roll of 35 mm film and three disposable cameras. Those should be interesting to see, when I finally get around to getting them developed. (I am told there is a camera shop in town that still does that.)

Not pictured: A box of things to redistribute around the house, a box to give away, a box to go to the basement, and about seven garbage bags, headed to the curb.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Head Band Bandit

I've been really annoyed by the condition of Peeper's box of hair accessories and saying for a while that I'm going to do something about it, but nothing was actually happening.

Several weeks ago, I saw a cool headband hanger made from ribbon on Pinterest, and then someone saw that I'd pinned it and sent me a message on Facebook that a friend of hers was going to be selling them. Awesome! Except she was looking to charge $20+ for them. Um, no. 

Fast-forward a few weeks, and a very crafty, sewing-type friend was asking about storage options for headbands, this one came up, and she said she'd probably make one. 

So, I contacted her and said "If you make one for your girls, and find that it's not a $20 job, could you make me one for something less than that?" 

Long story short (ha), I bought some ribbon to match Peeper's bedroom (except I accidentally got organza for the red ribbon, and it's really going to annoy me that it's not regular ribbon), and my friend whipped up a headband holder for me in about five minutes. And she wouldn't even let me pay her for it. (Although I did insist that she keep the leftover ribbon, since I had no use for it anyway.) 

We gave it to her for Christmas, and can you believe that I've actually put it up already? 

What do you think? 

I'm not too sure about having it so close to the nightlight, I may have to experiment a bit with locations, but there's not much wall space to work with, and I'd like to keep it close to the dresser, where the rest of her hair things are. I may tack it to the side of the dresser itself.

Of course, once Peeper could see all of her headbands, she had to wear them. All of them.

The Raisin Show

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Boxing Day

No photos today, but we did do a lot of talking and thinking and planning about aaaallllll the ways in which we are going to be different people in the New Year.


Actually, although we do need to be different people, today's discussions focused primarily on:

  1. What the hell are we going to do with all the stuff we (Peeper!) just got for Christmas? 
  2. What the hell are we going to do with all the other crap that's a mess around here?
  3. What are we going to do with things that we are replacing with new things that we got for Christmas? 
  4. How are we going to get rid of all the crap we don't need? 
  5. What new storage devices can we buy to make that happen? 
  6. What awesome Christmas stuff can we get on the cheap right now? 
  7. What other stuff could we buy that would be cool to own, but we didn't realize we needed it in time to ask for it for Christmas, or we didn't get it for Christmas, or hey, that just looks really cool? 


Actually, we did go to Michael's and Target and buy a few clearance items, and I made a list of every little place in the house that needs to be decluttered, organized and cleaned. (In other words, I made a list of every little place in the house.)

Stay tuned to see if any of this stuff actually happens.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Countdown: Christmas Eve

After much discussion and debate, Shrike and I decided that, at least for this year, the best compromise between our two ideas of the "right" way to schedule gift opening was for Peeper to open her gifts from us this afternoon (minus a couple that we think are still hiding under the tree), and we will wait on ours until tomorrow.

Of course, she will also have Santa gifts in the morning, and we'll be getting together with Shrike's family later in the day, where there will be more gifts, so it seemed to make sense to spread it out a bit. 

That and she was just miserable - and making us miserable - with the waiting. 
This evening, we had dinner at Shrike's sister and sister-in-law's house, and then went to a Christmas Eve service at their church (the one where we were married). 

When we got home, we found a lovely little gift from (not-so-)PerfectPup - a pile of doggy diarrhea in the middle of Peeper's bedroom floor. So, bedtime was a bit delayed while Shrike cleaned that up (thank you, Shrike!!!). 

Meanwhile, I had the much more pleasant task of helping Peeper put out some treats for Santa. He got some fudge, pretzel treats and peppermint bark, as well as a K Cup to make himself a Cafe Mocha. We're pretty sure he knows how to use a Keurig; Peeper figures he probably has one at the North Pole. 

Gifts still under the tree for everyone but Peeper, plus her already-opened gifts (plus a booty-load of hand-me-down Polly Pockets that her cousin gave her this evening).

(And our sad, sad, dried-out tree.)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Countdown: Caroling Read Christmas Books Caroling!

MOMS Club when caroling at a local retirement community today, but I didn't think Peeper and I ought to go because we've been sick, so I switched out her advent note to a re-run of "Read Christmas Books" because that sounded low-impact.

Oh no. She was not okay with that at all. She freaked out about not being able to go caroling. Actually, she's feeling better, and slept normally last night, which means that she's not coughing or particularly congested, so I suppose she's probably not so contagious, after all.

I, on the other hand, feel awful. I am congested as hell, have sinus pain all the way down to my teeth and my ears are starting to stop up. Thankfully, Shrike was wonderful enough to offer to go caroling with Peeper instead, which worked out great.

Peeper got to go, Shrike really enjoyed it (it's the first time she's gone), and I got to chill out and take a nap. Wonderful!

Mama-Free Bedtime!

I took a hot shower this evening, to clear my head (literally) and after I got out, Peeper accosted me for some goody. As I was lying in the bed with her, I started dozing off, so Shrike confirmed that I didn't mind falling asleep that early, and took over from there. 

She got Peeper bathed and in bed and then read to her until she fell asleep. That's a big damn deal around here for her to fall asleep without me if I'm home. And I was greatly appreciated it.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Countdown: Caning at the Mall

Our advent drawer said we were going to hand out candy canes today, and by golly, we were going to do it, even if Peeper and I both felt like crap, and we were all cranky as hell.

Shrike had some shopping left to do, so she headed out to do that, while Peeper and I did the cane thing.

Peeper was wearing her "Snow Much Fun" shirt, tinsel hairbands and a Santa hat, and was absolutely adorable, but for some reason, I didn't get any photos of her. Sorry.

Because I am an idiot, we decided to go to the mall instead of Target, and we handed out a few, then Peeper wanted to see Santa, which involved standing in line for about thirty minutes. We did cane everyone in the line, but mostly, we were standing, and by the time we got to see him, I was beyond done.

We went over to the little pizza place down the hall, and just as I was filling up our drink, who showed up - Mommy!

We ate, and then poked around the kitchen store a bit, where I said, "I want that, and that, and that . . . " and then we came home.

And that was way more than any of us should have attempted today.

We were supposed to go Christmas caroling at a retirement community tomorrow with MOMS Club, but I've already cancelled. Peeper will be disappointed, and so am I, but besides just not being up to it, I'd hate to expose the residents to whatever we've got.

Garbage Gifting

This is how you leave a gift for your trash men when it's a rainy, windy day. The gift is taped to a paper plate, which is sealed inside a ziplock, which is taped to the top of the trash can. They can't miss that, can they?

Movie Morning

I made a trip to Target last night - all by myself, except for meeting up with A while I was there, semi-intentionally - and among other things, I picked up a DVD of the Muppet's A Christmas Carol, because Shrike says it's her favorite version.

We made another (double) batch of Santa's Special Hot Cocoa (it still hasn't made us feel any better, though) and settled in to watch it.

We may have to try again, because I fell asleep somewhere around the time the Ghost of Christmas Present showed up.


But the cocoa sure was good.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Santa's Special Hot Cocoa

This afternoon, Peeper and I made "Santa's Special Hot Cocoa" from a recipe in one of her books. In the book, Santa uses said cocoa to cure the reindeers' colds, so they can pull the sleigh. We're hoping it works as well on us.

Pancake Pajama Party

We kind of screwed up yesterday afternoon. Peeper and I have both been feeling lousy for a few days, and I really could use some rest, so I lay down for a nap around 2:30, and Peeper joined me about an hour later. I woke up around 5 pm, and thought "Oh shit, we're never going to get her to bed tonight!"

I woke her up and took her to pee, then we found Shrike on the couch, sort of asleep. Peeper and I sat down on the other couch - and fell back asleep. Around 10 pm, I took her to potty again, and moved her to the bed.

After about an hour of nursing and coughing and flopping and sniffling, I finally asked her "Are you sleepy at all?" "No." "Are you awake?" "Yes." "Do you want to get up?" "Yes."

And, we were up.

Shrike was awake (she'd had a nap, but nothing like ours) and we decided what the hell, we'd make the most of it and go do something. Midnight, be damned!

So, we went to an all-night diner for pancakes in our pajamas. (Actually, they had pancakes, and I had chipped beef on toast, but that's not nearly as alliterative.)

Then we discovered that Kohl's was open 24 hours, so we popped in there, looked at some Christmas decorations, and I even bought one tiny gift for Shrike.

By the time we got back home, Peeper ran right her her bedroom, stripped down to her panties and hopped in bed. I made her go pee, of course, and then she hopped right back in bed. There was still some coughing and sniffling around, but it didn't take her too long to get back to sleep.

She slept til around 7:30, which is about her normal time, and they let me sleep til 9ish. We mostly spent today in our jammies, too, which we really needed.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Countdown: Montessori Winter Program

Today was the Winter Program at Peeper's school, which is put on by the Toddler and Children's House classes. So, of course, it was adorable.

I had planned for Peeper to wear her Pretty Fancy Christmas Dress, but she told me that she didn't want to, because "it's too hard to get on and off," which she later confirmed meant, "It's too hard to go pee-pee in."

She's been having enough trouble with that, as it is, so I agreed to let her wear something else. Besides, she told me, "It's not a Christmas program, it's a snow program." So, she wore her snow shirt.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Note to Self:
When making microwave instance mac-and-cheese, use water.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Nutcracker: A Special Performance

Eat Carrots For Good Health

Packaging the Treats

I packaged up a bunch of treats this evening, and was inordinately proud of myself for finding this gift tag for this gift.

Christmas Countdown: Gingerbread House

In the past, we've decorated pre-made gingerbread houses, but this year, Shrike's coworkers gave us a kit, along with some other "while you are recovering" gifts, so we've moved up to the big time.

It was a little tricky, but we managed it.