Wednesday, October 31

12: Hours I wish I could sleep tonight

And also, Halloween is done!
My kiddo was a rock-star Catwoman, and I was pleased to be representing a fancy witch at tonight's festivities. Of course, "fancy witch" means fancy shoes rather than Toms, and I immediately regretted that decision. Three hours later, I really regretted it. I couldn't wait to get in the car and get those shoes off ... and they're the comfortable ones! Still, in future, I shall remember that a Halloween function with my kid is not "fancy" shoe required.

Halloween by the numbers
4: Bags of candy, including Twix, 3 Musketeers, Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups, and Snickers.
14: Days Sydney wore her costume before the big day.
3: Colds in the household throughout the month.
6: Hours to decorate for Halloween.
4: Hours to remove Halloween, I hope. I'll know on Friday.
1: Bags of candy corn.
1: Times Sydney fell asleep on the living room floor in her costume. Tonight.

By the way, I'm totally ready for Halloween to be over. I'm eager to put away my decorations on Friday so I can put out my awesome turkeys.

Tuesday, October 30

Halloween's Eve

I'm on the hunt for a Halloween costume. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, right? Did you know that Halloween is, like, tomorrow? I keep thinking that I have a few more days to get my stuff together for the holiday. But then, well, I'm wrong about that.
I think it's because the holiday is on a Wednesday. I mean, really. I feel like we've been celebrating Halloween for weeks and weeks already. Now it's finally here, and I'm practically ignoring it.
But still, I hope we're all feeling better tomorrow so we can enjoy it.

Monday, October 29

My house needs wellness

NyQuil Cough may be the drug of my dreams tonight. I've caught Sydney's cough with a vengeance, and it's one of those awful dry coughs that kinda rattles in your throat and gives nothing but headaches. My husband, who sometimes can be a rock star, went out and got me some cough medicine to get me through the night. And that it was a NyQuil, cough medicine hybrid is beyond even my highest expectations. Of course, I haven't taken any yet. It would do no good to pass out in a happy, drugged sleep while my computer is on my lap, or while I'm checking all the doors and windows. Still, it's just a matter of time right now. I've got about 10 minutes until my self-imposed sleepy time arrives, and I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, October 28

Birthday Girl's big day

My baby, who is not really a "baby" anymore, turned six today. We had a lovely day down at Pleasure Pier in Galveston, and enjoyed an afternoon of fun and frivolity, as well as a delicious lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (where I chose poorly, and should have just had the fried shrimp I love so much). We stopped at Ben & Jerry's for some ice cream on our way off the island.
We were told this evening that this was "the best birthday ever," and I'm going to cling to that because I'm still having issues about the lack of birthday party. But we did have a pile of presents waiting for her when we got home, and I did have a dinosaur birthday cake, too.
The downside, of course, is the cold, or colds, that we are all dealing with. Coughing has become a constant in the house, and it's only a matter of tick tocks before all the tissue boxes start getting gutted. Thankfully, I still had some nighttime cold and cough medicine for Sydney, but I'll have to hunt for something for Brian and I tonight. (I did have some DayQuil for today.)
So, it's 10 p.m. right now, and I'm finishing up here so I can go to bed and get a good night's sleep. Brian's already snoring, and Sydney is curled up in her bed, too. Just what we need: colds aplenty.

Saturday, October 27

The fire from within

You know how you try about three different ways of doing something only because the original way you do something should be done better, but then the other ways of doing it don't work and you're back to doing it the original way? That happened, and has been happening, over the last few days in regards to me and my pumpkin light.
Typically, I use a votive candle in my jack o'lanterns. I keep thinking every year that I should have a safer way of lighting my pumpkin. This year, I was all, "I'm gonna figure out a way of doing this better." So, I bought some of those light-up votives that flicker. They aren't bright enough. You can barely see that the pumpkin is lit. So then I bought a set of those LED pumpkin lights that use a 9V battery. Well, the height of the battery casing is too tall to light the pumpkin face properly, and also, it's not bright enough. A flashlight is another failed experiment.
Today, I accepted defeat. I went out and bought a set of votive candles. But tonight, the pumpkin is alight and bright, and flickering, just as it should be. So, here I am, having tortured myself for days looking for a safer alternative to candles, when instead, I could have been enjoying the pumpkin with the actual candles, because they work better.

Friday, October 26

Friday Fun Day

ITEM!: I finally watched Magic Mike. It was good, and entertaining. And yes, the man flesh was impressive. But really, it wasn't all that. Obviously, I got sucked into the hype, but I did want to see it, and I'm glad I did. Dudes in thongs are fun to watch dance.
ITEM!: This morning, Sydney was awake before me, and when I asked her how she felt, she said, "Fantastic!" Her temperature was normal, and she had the energy, so I saw no reason why she shouldn't go to school, especially when she wanted to go so badly. So, Sydney's Fun Friday at school was a success, and I brought cupcakes for her and her friends to enjoy this afternoon. Also, this means she'll be feeling good for tomorrow, with our morning activity, that she still doesn't know about yet. And also feeling well for Sunday, which will be awesomer.
ITEM!: I think the weather for Houston is changing in a cooler direction. We've had our first cold day of the fall today, and the weekend should be just as chilly. It was refreshing to wear jeans for the warmth, and long sleeves. I finally feel okay about Sydney wearing a 100 percent polyester Halloween costume, and she'll be wearing it on our adventure tomorrow morning, too. No kidding though, I love me some cooler weather. Also, less humidity.

Thursday, October 25

A weekend hangs in the balance

I had such great plans for Sydney's birthday weekend. Good times for two days to celebrate her birthday. And today, she developed a fever.
It was weird, this morning, when I woke her up for school, she felt hot. I asked her how she felt and she said fine, and I just figured it was the warmth of being cozy in bed. But when her school called me this afternoon to tell me that Sydney was running a fever, and had been sleeping most of the afternoon, I wasn't terribly surprised. Of course, I went straight to school and picked her up, and then put her in bed as soon as we got home. After her nap, she felt better. I gave her some Advil, and she finally ate some food. She swore she felt better, and her temperature was cooler, but still, I'm not convinced.
So, tonight brings about the big questions for tomorrow: Will she feel well enough to go to school tomorrow? More importantly, will she feel well enough to roll with all the plans we've got for the weekend? I'd be lying if I told you I'm not concerned about the weekend falling apart. The lack of Chuck E. Cheese has forced me to overcompensate with awesome plans for a couple days. Very little can come between me and Awesome Plans for my kid, you know, but illness on the kid's part can certainly do it.

Wednesday, October 24

Costume suggestions?

I need a Halloween costume.
The people Brian is working with have a huge Halloween party every year, and costumes are required. I was thinking perhaps a bumblebee, but decided no. I need to spend some more time in Target's costume aisle tomorrow. I'm honestly at a loss. Maybe a '60s hippy chick? Maybe a gypsy? Hmmm... This could be totally fun, but I need to figure out what I want to do.
At this party, they have all kinds of games and activities, but the thing I'm looking forward to most is the professional photographer they'll have set up for portraits. I see a deliciously weird Christmas card photo coming out of the evening.

Tuesday, October 23

Social media is informative

I'm weirdly proud of a couple things I learned about on Facebook this morning. Things that I not only learned, but that I put into practice (mostly).
I discovered yesterday that the pumpkin we bought for carving has a soft, squishy side, thus making it uncarveable. Awesomely, this morning Sydney's school posted a link on decorating pumpkins without carving them. The idea I grabbed was a super good one: chalkboard paint. Spray the pumpkin with the chalkboard paint, and then you can draw faces, create a countdown, or just write "Boo!" on it for some good, festive, non-carving pumpkin decor. I love this idea. I bought the paint, and Brian and Sydney sprayed the pumpkin this evening. It's out on the balcony right now, drying. Tomorrow, it'll be good to go. Also, I visited my local grocery store and picked up a new, healthier pumpkin for us to carve. That's on our agenda for tomorrow.
Also, Susan posted a recipe for something awesome called, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dip. And it looks like it's a pretty easy thing to make. It's very seldom that I find a foodstuff that I immediately want to save the recipe and make in my kitchen. I can't wait to try this dip. I shall serve it with sliced apples, graham cracker pieces, and celery. I think this may become my new vegetable and fruit dip. If it's super good, I'll bring the recipe to Tucson for Thanksgiving weekend and make it for the family. And then I'll have it here when Mom visits for Christmas. Yay occasions!

Monday, October 22

"Safety!" "Doorknob!"

One of Brian's coworkers told him about an awesome farting game that he and his sons play. Boys, of course, like to fart. This is no surprise. I live with a boy. I also live with two dogs. And a little girl who thinks farts are funny. (Whatever. Brian thinks farts are funny, too.) I only think Daisy's farts are funny, because they surprise her, and she hops up and spins around trying to figure out what has just happened to her. It is among the funniest things I see during my day. Daisy farting rocks.
The game: When someone farts, they say "safety." If a person hears the fart, they try to say "doorknob" before the farter says, "safety." If the "doorknob" is heard before the "safety," the farter gets jumped and hit in the arm 10 times, from each person who heard it. (Obviously, the jumping and hitting isn't hard, just playful.)
Just, for a moment, think about this dentist playing this game with his sons, aged five and seven. Imagine this whole situation going down, where dad doesn't get his "safety" said fast enough, and these two little boys jump and pummel him. In my head, it's beyond adorable. And funny.
I've already beat Brian once tonight by saying "doorknob" faster than he said "safety." I didn't punch him, of course, I tickled him, which was better. I think I will enjoy this ridiculous game. And we'll teach it to Sydney.
Remember this, peeps, because it'll come back to you, and you'll think about it the next time you hear someone fart. I know it'll become regular practice in my house now. Because it's funny.

Sunday, October 21

An ITEM! a day for the weekend

ITEM!: We bought our pumpkins today: one for carving, one for dinosaur design, and two little ones for decoration. It was warm and uncomfortable at the nursery (not a farm or huge pumpkin patch), but we enjoyed it nonetheless. We also got some mums for the balcony. And weirdly, stocking holders for Christmas.
ITEM!: Our Family Adventure Day activity yesterday was a road trip to Austin to check out the Tour de Fat on its last stop across country. (Tour de Fat is the Fat Tire Festival. Fat Tire is a beer. The festival is a get-together that includes a bike parade, some beer tents, a biking pit, some weird artwork displays and a show tent. It's awesome.) I did the drive, which was an unexpected irritant, and today, I'm exhausted. I did have an enjoyable day yesterday though, which was a boon. I like good days.

Friday, October 19

Mostly, he's too cute to move

According to this article, CLICK HERE, your sleep positions may be able to tell something about you. I'll copy and paste from the article what my sleep positions are, and what they say about me:
The Fetal Position
If you curl up in a ball when you sleep, you are not alone. Over half of people in the study literally curl up into the fetal position when they hit the sheets.
Why? Phipps says that fetal sleepers are looking for comfort and are often constant worriers. While they are very conscientious during their waking hours, these are people who tend to overthink their tasks and daily lives.
The Freefall Postion
If you sleep face down on your stomach, with arms and legs all over the bed in a freefall position, it might mean that you are seeking control of time and space in a way that you don’t feel you have in your waking hours. While only 17 percent of the people studied were considered freefallers, Phipps says these are the sleepers who may be getting the least restful night’s sleep.
I also have another category, it's called the Curled-Up Dog Split Position. It's similar to the Freefall Position, in that it's a stomach-sleeping placement, but it requires a 22-pound dog curled into a ball and rolled on his back, who has pushed himself up between your legs as far as he can go without dislocating your hip. It also is not a very comfortable-night's-sleep position, but apparently, the dog stays warmer throughout the night.
What it means: Curled-Up Dog Split Position sleepers are known to be easily manipulated and contorted while sleeping; are typically too tired from their day to care that their dog has taken ownership of the bed; like watching television late into the night because of the peace and quiet it allows; and while they are obsessively hateful of sharp crumbs on hard floors, they will leave a sink full of dirty dishes overnight, and have recently started reusing cookie sheets without washing them.

Thursday, October 18

A better day was had by all

Five Things About Today:
1. We saw Argo this morning! I love those kinds of stressful and intense true stories, where you know the ending, but you still get all nervous and sucked into the story. It was super good, and I definitely recommend it.
2. I finally got Sydney into a doctor's office for her cough. It's been a nagging issue for the last few weeks, and I've just been waiting for it to go away. It hasn't, and in fact, has gotten worse again, so it prompted the doctor visit. The diagnosis is a post-viral bronchial irritation. The best medicine is a stronger cough medicine for nighttime to keep her from coughing at night (which is working so far), a humidifier in her room while she sleeps, and the weaker cough syrup during the day. The plan is to give her bronchial tubes the time to heal, and all should be well in five to seven days.
3. The weather is cooling down, and the humidity is loosening its grip on the city. I wore a sweatshirt today, but that was pretty much out of spite. It was too warm on me a couple times, but I refused to take it off. I prefer long sleeves, you know, and today I was able to indulge.
4. The Sierra turkey sandwich at Panera Bread is among the most delicious of sandwiches in the world. I get mine on country bread instead of the asiago, and with no onions. I also pick off the red lettuce leaves, since they give me a funny taste that I don't like. That spicy mayonnaise on the sandwich is ambrosia. And the kettle chips as a chaser? The whole package made me a very happy girl at lunch today. I missed Panera. They didn't have them in Arizona, you know. And since I'd gotten quite addicted in Boston, that was a problem for me. I love having one close to me here.
5. I'm finally caught up on all my shows from last week. And it only took me five days to do it. I love television.

Wednesday, October 17

Chuck E. Cheese fail

Real fear.
Real fear is having to tell your kid something that you know will cause a firestorm.
Real fear is discovering that the Chuck E. Cheese is closed down, and won't be available for the kid's birthday party, like she's been fantasizing about for months.
I hate real fear.
Yes, the local Chuck E. Cheese is closed. And yes, it actually closed a couple weeks earlier than it said it would. I remember specifically that the paper the place circulated said that it would be open into November. I know this because I specifically remember thinking, "Oh, good! It'll still be open for Sydney's birthday!" But NO. I went to book the party the other day, and the Chuck E. around the corner didn't show up on the web site. And the new location down the street and around the other block is still "Coming Soon." No other Chuck E. is within a logical distance for the birthday party. I drove by the place this morning to be sure it was closed.
Skip to this afternoon, and me having to tell my kid that her desired birthday party location is closed.
Tears. And then more tears.
But then, I suggested the alternative: Cupcakes at school the Friday before her birthday; and on her birthday, we'll have a full day at Galveston's Paradise Pier, where she, Brian and I will go on every ride, and she gets to pick lunch (which will, no doubt, be Bubba Gump's). Also, I'll have a birthday cake for her that night (which, so far, is a surprise for her). ... I also did offer that we have her birthday party at Chuck E. when the new one opened, explaining that the party will probably be in November or December. She didn't want that, saying stubbornly, "I want it in Oc-tover."
Good news, she dug the alternative, minus the belated party. So, it looks like Syd's birthday will be a bit less exciting than she, and we, expected, but it'll still be tons of fun.

Tuesday, October 16

Make it all go away!

One of my worst pet peeves is people arguing on television, or on the radio, or on any kind of screen. This incredible peeve is behind my inability to watch arguing shows. I can't stand stuff like Meet the Press, and other such shows. (I don't have any other examples because I actively avoid them.) If a show devolves into arguing, I change the channel. If a radio station station talks too much, I change it, too.
This is my reasoning, no, compulsion, to avoid debates of any kind. On TV tonight is the second presidential debate. I'm in the bedroom watching my DVR shows while Brian watches the debate in the living room. I can hear bits and pieces, but I'm avoiding any strenuous listening. I'd rather read about it tomorrow. Anyway, I hate listening to people argue, even if the stakes are super high, like for the presidency. But, I hate listening to Romney's voice and seeing either one of their smug expressions, and I'm not a fan of the split-screen look on the television. Also, the interrupting and arguing. Ugh.
If you think my disinterest in the debate means I don't care about the election or the state of the country, I would say shame on you, do you even really read this blog? But also, I've already voted. There should be special television for people who have already voted, with no commercials, debates, scare tactics or intimidation. That should be on my TV right now.
Wait a tick.
I'm watching last week's The Vampire Diaries on my DVR right now. I am watching that kind of TV!

Monday, October 15

Wherefore art thou Brownie Batter?

Last night's Midnight Snack was tortilla chips. I had an early dinner, and had thought that I would make it all the way until breakfast without any extra calories. However, my tummy had very different ideas, and my taste buds had me chowing down on tortilla chips at a ridiculous hour last night.
Tonight's Midnight Snack: ice cream. More specifically, Ben & Jerry's Half-Baked, a chocolate and vanilla ice cream swirl with fudge brownies and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough. [ASIDE: I just wasted 15 minutes on the Ben & Jerry's web site, because while looking for an image of Half-Baked, I got distracted by the site's lack of information on, or even mention of, my favorite B&J flavor in the whole, wide world, Brownie Batter. This upsets me a whole lot. But it's not listed in the Flavor Graveyard. That's somewhat encouraging. END OF ASIDE.] My plan is to only have a couple bites of the ice cream, a benefit to eating straight out of the pint. I find myself incredibly excited to get into the kitchen. Also, Brian's sleeping, so I can sneak in and get my snack on with no commentary.

Sunday, October 14

Also, I miss California

So. That happened. It's been more than a week.
I'm still tired.
Sydney and I are having a hard time getting over our time change difference.
I have a boatload of laundry, and a ton of cleaning to do.
The whole thing is awesome.

Saturday, October 6

Too tired for clever

It feels ridiculous, and very tiring, that I posted to a Facebook status 16 hours ago, while at the airport in Houston. My goodness, this has been a long day. I'm totally exhausted. Not so tired that I'll go to bed this moment, weirdly, but tired enough to know that if I lay my head down, I'll pass out for the night.
We had good flights today: Houston to Phoenix, where the pilot said we had to stop for gas and directions; and Phoenix to Burbank, which is a quick flight and also during which my baby slept for about 45 minutes.
Our arrival in California was a lovely one, and we're super excited for our week ahead. I'm weirded out by today being Saturday though. It feels like a weekday, I think.
Two highlights of my day: Getting to hang out with my mommy; hanging out with my Lisa.
Sydney and I are happy girls tonight.

Friday, October 5

Yep, that's my town

I gave myself until 11 p.m. to be awake tonight. After that, it's sleepy time. I need to be up at dark-thirty tomorrow morning. Our flight for California leaves at 8 a.m. We need to be up at 5 a.m., and out of the house about 5:45 a.m. to make the drive and get us to the airport within my standard comfort-zone time frame. I figure an 11 p.m. bedtime will do that.
I think I remembered everything, but who knows. Anything is possible.
I have my identification, our boarding passes, and entertainments for my kid, so really that's all that is required. I'm beyond excited to get to Cali tomorrow. I miss being there more often.

Thursday, October 4

Closing the loop on the movie

Brian and I decided to go see Looper today. And, until my phone rang as we stood in line to buy my popcorn, I had completely forgotten that the Internet/cable guy was coming by today. His expected time frame was between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., but at 11 a.m., he had just finished a call in the complex and had some extra time before being due out in Katy. But, he said, since that would be a short visit and he'd have the time, he'd be back at our place by 1 p.m.
Again, I say that I had completely forgotten about this, and that the movie started at 11:25 a.m. And then, of course, there are previews. So here we are, having already bought our tickets and popcorn, saddled with the decision: do we go watch only half the movie, or do we try to get our money back?
Brian decided that we watch half the movie. So, I set the alarm on my phone for 12:30 p.m., which would give us plenty of time to get home by 1 p.m. At 12:30, we, grudgingly and quietly, left, and when we got home, the cable guy was already waiting.
Anyway, while he was figuring out our Internet issues (too slow bandwidth speed!!), I checked on the times for the movie again. There was a showing that started at 12:25 p.m., and according to our timing, and the quickness that the cable guy was done, if we got back to the theater by 2 p.m., we should be able to catch the second showing of the movie right when we left the first one!
It was a solid plan, and one that also depended on the kindness of others, as we were hoping to get into the second showing without paying again. Lucky for us, the theater manager was at the concession stand where tickets are purchased. We pleaded our case, explained that we had had to leave early, and asked if we could please finish the movie in the second showing. The lady, happily, was totally awesome, and let us in, directing us to theater 12.
It was weird how perfect our timing was. We had an overlap of about 10 minutes, and were able to watch the end of the movie without missing a second of it. (It was really good, btw.) These social experiments of ours don't always work out to our advantage, and I'm glad this one did.

Wednesday, October 3

All is right in the universe

Well, that was relatively painless. And also, it's all done now. My new phone is my phone. My old phone is now Sydney's iPod. Everyone's happy. Except Brian, whose new phone hasn't even shipped yet.

Tuesday, October 2

Candy is as candy does

ITEM!: If all goes well, by this time tomorrow, I will be using a fully functional cell phone, and I'll be able to stop this TWITCHING from not being able to check my e-mail or Facebook from wherever I am in the world. Or wherever I am in Houston. You know, wherever. ... My Snow Leopard operating system is arriving tomorrow, and I'll finally be able to upgrade my computer, and thereby upgrade my phone. And then you won't hear anymore about it, because it's boring.
ITEM!: I cut bangs into my hair this morning. I feel certain that Malia will cringe, but I was so tired of not having bangs. I love my bangs. But, in an effort to stave off the curling issues, I have created a perch for my straightening iron, so I can straighten them every morning, if I want. Or, you know, I can pin them back in a barrette. But really, it's all about the bangs. I got bored with my forehead. It happens.
ITEM!: It has occurred to me that I'm almost done with my bag of fun-size 3 Musketeers bars. This bag, naturally, follows the bag of fun-size Twix bars from last week. Sydney walked into the kitchen the other day, and as I pushed the last bite of my candy bar into my mouth, I said to her, "I love Halloween candy." She smiled at me and said, "I do, too. Can I have some candy corn?" And I thought, oh no, I've passed on my obsession to my innocent child. I can only hope that she's a stronger person than I am, and that she'll be better at denying the candy aisle. [Editor's note: I gave her the candy corn, therefore enabling.]
ITEM!: I go to California in a few days. That's awesome.

Monday, October 1

Both occupations seem kinda sandy

I think I may still want to be an archaeologist. I mean, the happiness in my heart when I found an archaeology-specific avatar background was stupid. I was giddy looking for an archaeologist-ish outfit, and I like this one a whole lot. I missed my calling a bit on this one. (Let's not get started on the life I would have had as an astronaut.) I like the idea of being out in the field for my career.
You know, Sydney made me promise that I would be with her when she goes looking for dinosaurs. I'm totally on board, too, since it'll be awesome. In fact, I think I may really enjoy digging and sifting through the dirt for her when she's hunting for dinosaurs. And I bet, when she's in her element like that, it'll be the best thing ever for me to witness.
Of course, if she decides that she doesn't want to be a paleontologist, well, then I guess it'll be a Harvard doctorate in something else.