Sunday, June 12, 2011

Losing your Grandpa is really, really sad even if he lived a long and healthy life.

This morning, my Grandpa Patsy passed away. He was 95. He was a smart, funny and kind man.  He grew impressive gardens. He never forgot a name, a face--or a good hunting story. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather (who needed three hands to count his great-grandchildren). He drank his coffee with lots of sugar and loved animal crackers as well as macaroni. Randomly, what I'm remembering at this particular moment is how, when I was a little girl, he used to "carve me sticks" (shave the bark off of small branches with his pocket knife) and give me peppermint gum. Love you, Grandpa Patsy!

August 2010: Kai meeting Grandpa Patsy (Papoo). 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our maxivan is supersafe.

Today, I discovered that our Toyota Sienna is one of the safest cars on the road. (Well maybe not ours. I doubt I'm one of the safest drivers on the road.) SUVs generally prevailed, but the Audi's A6 topped the list too.

Sweet Ride (shot by Jules)

Safety is just one reason to love the Swagger Wagon. Here are a few more:

1. I can use it transport half of EatingWell's editorial team to our off-site meeting next week. Literally: Half.
2. It came with Sirius/XM. And they forgot to turn it off. Shhhh....
3. The power doors.
4. This video.

But it's bittersweet love... I also must consider these drawbacks:
1. I've taken out our garbage cans three times. (And maybe there was this one rearview mirror of someone else's car....but it was fine. Really.)
2. Gas $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
3. The power doors. Once, I left both sliding doors open for about 40 minutes while I dropped the boys off at daycare. I came back to find someone sleeping in the backseat. Kidding! (But only about the sleeping person.)

So. Tell me: Do you kinda want a maxivan now too?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I need a system to help me stop losing things.

My car keys had a starring role in my morning today.

It started with this observation: Black Escape behind silver Swagger Wagon. Must find Ford keys.

Search bag, search pockets of yesterday's jeans. Nope. Nope. Check key holder near telephone. Bingo. (Why would they be there?)

Why, hello, Car Keys. I've been looking all my life for you.

Keys in hand, Jules and I shuffle off to school, leaving Jon and Kai (who has a fever) at home.

7:50: We arrive. I remove keys from the ignition. I leave my bag in the car and, given that I have no pockets, carry my keys.
7:52: Stop by the baby room to say Kai won't be coming in. Keys in hand (I think).
7:54: Walk to "Caterpillar" room. Keys in hand (I think).
7:55-8:00: Restock diaper bin, chat with Julian's teacher. Kiss Jules goodbye.
8:00: Uh oh. Where are my keys?
8:01: Check his outside bin.
8:02: Check his lunch box (in the fridge)
8:03: Check the waistband of my skirt (who knows?)
8:04: Walk to baby room. Check Kai's bin. Check the floor.
8:05: Check the bag used to transport the diapers. No dice.
8:06 - 8:07: Pace between the two classrooms rechecking the bag.
8:08: Check the American Eagle mailer inside the diaper bag (um, why is it there?) containing the jeans I ordered majorly on sale that do not fit at all even though I currently have three pairs of AE jeans in this same size. Annoying. BINGO. (Why would they be there?)
8:09: Head out of the center.
8:10: Walk back into the center. Need to leave the bag so I can bring Julian's stuff home.

Sheesh! Yesterday, after getting my hair cut, I spent 6 minutes emptying my entire bag on the back bumper of my car--again, looking for my keys--while the guy parked next to me made fun (nicely). Once I found them, I realized that I'd forgotten my coffee cup on the front desk inside the salon.

WTF is going on? Well, there's a lot going on--work... travel... boys... one of them, sick... and according to this fascinating article that fellow science writer Gretchen Voss wrote originally for Women's Health magazine, stress messes with your memory.

Guess I need to chill out. And, in the meantime, figure out a system for keeping track of my keys.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I REALLY need to buy new bras.

Today as Julian and I were playing "I'll go to sleep and you play the drums," (Huh? click the link...or don't... it's Bert and Ernie) he bumped my coffee. It spilled all over me. It wasn't hot, not even close. And I didn't really care about my shirt. Most everything I wear around the house (or on weekend days in general) is stained. My boys use me as a napkin and a tissue; plus I'm a slob myself. What irked me was that I was wearing the one clean bra that fits me.

This silly little monkey spit coffee all over me this morning.

First of all, we have a chronic problem with keeping up with the laundry 'round here.

Second, I've been knocked up or nursing for the last four years. Meaning: for nearly half a decade, my breasts have either been huge--or contained by nursing bras. The last time I wore a normal, normal-sized bra, it was 2007. Problem #1: I cannot find this stash of old bras. (Even if I could find them, they might not fit anymore, according to this article on WebMD.) Problem #2: The ones I wore while pregnant would fit several sets of my current-sized breasts. So my half-assed, lame and lazy solution is this: I continue to wear nursing bras, thinking that someday I'll find the time to go shopping for new ones. The bra I was wearing when doused with coffee was a nursing bra. That fit. And was clean.

Now I'm wearing a sports bra--and doing laundry. The good news: I've got a girls' weekend coming up and, coincidentally, we're all taking our "girls" to visit Linda The Bra Lady "a world-renowned bra-fitting expert." (Thank you, HT, for knowing I needed this more than I ever guessed I might!)

What's the thing you really need to find time to do?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

...that Jon and I may need to work on our communication skills.

Yesterday, I sent Jon an email that said, "Dude. We need to put an AC in this office, stat." 

Backstory: Jon built me a kick-ass home office in our garage (sounds sketchy but it's the nicest room in our home). It has a skylight and nearly a full wall of big windows. From June through October, it gets hot. Really hot. Yesterday, the thermostat registered 92 degrees. It was only about 75 outside.

Last night, Jon had a softball game. He came home late, after the kids were in bed. He told me he'd gotten me an air conditioner for my office. "Thanks!" I murmured... I heard him but didn't really hear him. 

Tonight, after I came down from putting Julian to bed, I heard someone sawing in the garage. I figured Jon was, I dunno, cutting some wood to support some tomato plants. Or building some sort of trellis for string beans. I returned a phone call. I did some dishes. Jon went to the neighbor's house to watch some basketball. I went out to my office to find, um, this: 

It's a little like R2D2, no? (And, yes, I need to clean my office.)

Wow. He built a wooden "stand" so the vent would reach the window. He cut the extender thingy to fit the space (read: now we can't return the thing). He spent $400. He'd forgotten that we had a small AC that already fit into this little window. We just needed to put it in... 

He's fuming, poor guy. Good thing we have two suitable air conditioners (one rather large) to cool him off. 

Seriously: Any helpful words of wisdom out there? The poor guy is so mad at himself, and he was just being nice....