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ktjrdn at yahoo dot com

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Monday, 19 February 2007
At least she's listening to us

Conversation from a car #342

Ally: I got chocolate at dance!
Me: I know honey. That's because you listened tonight (minor truth stretching there, but she did listen more than usual)
Ally: Chocolate is candy.
Me: uh-huh
Ally: Chocolate is junk food.
Me: uh-huh
Ally: Sometimes we have chocolate for dinner.
Me: uh-huh. No wait. Chocolate isn't for dinner. It's just a treat.
Ally: oh. But if I brush my teeth, I won't get cavities!

Nice try, kid. I'm not buying it.

Posted by ktjrdn at 20:51 CST
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Sunday, 18 February 2007
Plague and pestilence (updated)

Ok, Friday, I got an email from my mom saying that Ally could come over sometime this weekend if I wanted. I was supposed to call her in the afternoon to set it up. Then, I got an email from Rob's mom. We knew she was going to Chicago to watch Rob's sister's kidsfor the week while she was out of town. Darra said they had nothing to do for the weekend and wanted to know if we wanted to come visit too. So we were talking about doing all kinds of stuff, maybe even going up to the Dells to a water park. Then, the emails stopped. After a while, Rob told me his mom had called him. I expected plans for the weekend. Well, I knoda got htem. They just weren't what I thought they'd be.

Rob's grandpa had fallen on te ice and broken a hip. He's not exactly young, and has diabetes, so this is a pretty major thing. Darra was with Grandma and supposed to leave for Chicago, but didn't want to leave them alone. Rob was going to help, but didn't know if it ould be better to go get the boys, or go take over for Darra. Rob's dad was still at work, and no one had any idea his plans. (The grandparents are Rob's dad's parents, but Darra lives in town with them and is very close to them still. She checks in with them all the time. They're still family to her) So it was pretty hectic at the time. Lots of cell phoning going on. Bob (Rob's dad) decided to grump about Darra being there and not having left for Chicago yet. He said he was staying at home (closer to Chicago) in case the weather prevented Darra from getting to the boys, maybe he'd be able to. Whatever. He actually didn't go down yet. He's supposed to later today.

Rob ended up driving down Friday night right after work. His mom stayed until everyone got settled in at the hospital late that night. His grandpa had surgery early Saturday morning. Everything seems to be going ok.  Bob is going down today and when he gets there, Rob will come back. I feel bad about not being there, because I love his grandparents, but I just don't know how much good I'd be wrangling the 2 kids. I'd just get in the way. So I stayed home. But the thought of being alone with both of them and no one to talk to, was enough to drive me nuts. So I went over to Moms and stayed all night. I left Allly there and Mom's bringing her back today. Naomi came home with me and has been helping me straighten up and keep Anya occupied.

It's pretty cute. Anya is chashing her around and Naomi just keeps picking her up and running her around the room. Anya loves it. She's also playing with her and making her laugh and holding her hands as she's walking around the room. Last night, Anya even took a step on her own. She was standing up and I held out a sock in front of her. The kid is obsessed with socks. She holds them in her hands while she crawls around. She rubs them while she's sucking her thumb. She even chews on them if she's teething. I have to make sure she has a clean on einstead of one from the laundry basket. Yuck. Anyway, the sock was incentive enough for her to try to walk. She took 2 steps just after that, but refused to stand up anymore after that.

(added) I just re-read this and realzed that I left something out. My title doesn't make a lot of sense with just Rob's grandpa and a distant cousin. But Rob's nephew had a bad weekend too. Darra got up there on Friday night/Saturday morning at 4 am. I guess he stayed up to wait for her. He has ?mild epilepsy? that is pretty much under control with medicine, but it's still pretty new. it wasn't that long ago that he started having seizures. Well, changes in routine, like sleeping patterns, trifgger them, and I guess he had a pretty bad one Saturday morning. He's ok now too.

Rob said also that his cousin (distant) got in an accident and has amnesia. How often does that happen outside of soap operas? Anyway. He said it's a bad time to be a member of our family. Bad things keep happening. Luckily it hasn't carried over to us yet.

Posted by ktjrdn at 07:35 CST
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Thursday, 15 February 2007
NEWSFLASH (updated)

Your peanut butter might not be safe.


Mine's not. Crap.

Rob's thoughts: "Of course, now they have quit making my brand of peanut butter. I should have seen it coming..."

Everything he has ever found and liked, they have discontinued. We can't even find the multi-flaovred packs of Cream-of-Wheat (no big loss to me) anymore. He's cursed

update: Both my jars are questionable, but we've eaten out of both of them already with no problems and I'm not tossing them out. I hope we will still be able to find our peanut butter at the store.

Posted by ktjrdn at 14:57 CST
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blah, blah, and more blah

I'm very tired. This week has worn me down, but I haven't posted much, so I fugured I'd at least try to drag my mind out of the fog and put some stuff in writing.

We got snow! Lots of it actually. The total I heard was 11.2 inches over the day Tuesday. We got sent home early from work. Then we had to park at the end of our driveway, because it had drifted so much. Lots of wind! Some of our yard was barely dusted with snow. The driveway was very drifty. We walked through it to the house and it was up to my mid-thighs. Of course, dance was cancelled, so Ally was sad, but she got to go outside for a while and that helped. Last night, Rob and Ally shoveled the neighbor's drive. His car was still buried. I even took Anya out for a bit. But Ally accidentally (I think) shoveled some snow in her face, and That. Was. It. Anya was done. By the time Rob got finished shoveling, we had quite a snow pile. Ally slid down on her butt some and then they got the sleds out. i guess Ally had a great time. I was inside with the little one most of the time. That's the one thing that I hate about having a baby and a toddler. There's just so many things that Anya can't do, so only one parent can take part in Ally's activities. I feel like we're both missing out on something, no matter who goes with which kid. Then I stop whining and realize how wonderful it is to have 2 kids. You just can't have it all though, you know?

Anyway, "A picture is worth a thousand words", right? So I'll stop typing about the snow now

The day care thing is on hold. Rob could work the hours necesary, by doing one 4 hour shift every week, or one 8 every other week. It actually would be good for us financially, since we're so dead-ass broke, but it would be nice for him not to have to do that. I hate not having him home at night. one of Ally's friends (Maggie) has been at the day care at least as long as Ally. Her parents (Sandy and Curt) haven't worked at Memorial for at least half that time, maybe more. So, technically, They shouldn't be there according to the rules as they are effective now. It seems as if there is a precedent for grandfathering in the enrollment terms. Also, there is a current requirement that all payments be withheld from hospital paychecks. We are exempted from that too. Maybe we have grounds for... hell, I don't know. Something. It just seems so confrontational to force them into something. They are supposed to have the kid's interests at heart, and in this case I'm not sure they do. Anyway. Sandy is going to talk to the HR person at the hospital (who is an old friend of hers) and the head of the day care and see where she stands. She's going to ask a few questions for me too. We'll see what happens. We were supposed to meet up at dance Tuesday and compare notes, but dance was canceled, so I'm still waiting. It's just maddening. I don't understand how they can just change the rules for people who were already enrolled. Rob's also going to see if there's anyone he can talk to at the hospital. grr.

Ally has this new thing where she tells us "That's disgusting" I don't know where she heard it, but she doesn't say it at supper or anything. Last night she said it when she saw a fish jump out of the water and eat a bird (Rob says it was a brand thing, like the MGM lion) Why was that disgusting? I have no idea. But it's cute to hear her say out of the blue.

Anya has been a bit of a butt lately. She's been very clingy and last night she went to bed extra early and was very restless all night. She might be getting some teeth. She's been doing better with sleeping, and will sometimes even put herself back to sleep without my interference, but I still usually have to get up with her at least once.  I'm usually not up for more than a minute or two, so it's much imporved. She's even slept all night once. Hopefully we're making progress. Aside for the tetehing thing that is. She's also gotten attached to her blanket. Well, sort of. She loves to hold hre blanket while she's sucking her thumb, but if the blanket isn't available, she'll gladly rub a sock instead. or a wet wipe. Or my shirt. In fact, she kinda prefers the other stuff for when she's crawling around, because the blanket gets stuck under her knees and makes her scream. just like everything else. This kid's got some lungs!

We had Monday off from work, and so Rob and I went out shopping. It's so hard to get anything done with the kids in tow, so we just ran around doing erands. Big mistake. We spent money. We also get this Monday off, and we have resolved to stay home in bed. Maybe I can even convince him to take the kids to day care. That would be nice.

I got Anya's 9 month pictures back and put a link up the other day, but I didn't say anything, so I don't know if you noticed. Go take a look. She can stand by herself, but is afraid to. Everytime she realizes she's standing she very slowly lowers herself back to the ground. You know, that or flings herself forward on her face. It's about 50-50. She chases Ally all around the room and laughs at her. Then tries to steal her toys. Which is about right, because Ally loves to do the same to her. Ya gotta love sisters.

Anything else you're dying to know? Ask away. You may just have to wake me up first

Posted by ktjrdn at 13:48 CST
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Tuesday, 13 February 2007


  • When I'm in trouble with my mom, she reverts back to using my maiden name.
  • My mom doesn't read parenthetical remarks (#6).
  • I am old enough that my mom has no ability to inspire guilt about things like that anymore.
  • I do, however, retain the ability to distinguish exactly what my mom is chastising me about strictly from the tone of her voice.
  • When I am called by my maiden name, I won't notice for a good 5-10 minutes.


Posted by ktjrdn at 11:16 CST
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Thursday, 8 February 2007
I want to cry

I have a couple times already today. I'm so mad and sad and feeling helpless, that I can't even think about it straight. I hate this. Why do I always want to cry when something doesn't work out. It's so childish.

Rob works part time (prn) at the hospital. Our day care was affiliated with the hospital. At the time we started there, Rob worked full time. Then he dropped down to prn to work for the ambulance. No problem. Last year, we got a notice that the day care was now directly run by Memorial (the hospital) and not just affiliated with it. No problem. Then we got a notice that the waiting list priorities were changing with full-time being first on the list and prn last (actually it wasn't even on the list). Anya had just been accepted, so it was kind of scary that they might back out of our agreement, but it worked out fine. This morning, we got a notice saying that all prn employees must work a minimum of 50 hours a quarter in order to retain eligibility for the day care. How can they do this? Rob doesn't come close to that now. He works 40 hours a week at his real job and at least a day or two with the ambulance. He doesn't have a lot of time left for the hospital. Especially as it pays the least. So, anyway. They're trying to kick us out. They start evaluating the second quarter and then will give 30 days. Most likely we will have to find a new place come July/August.

I am so upset by this. I love the place. Ally loves the place. She gets her feelings hurt by the littlest things. I can't even imagine making her leave all her friends and trying to settle in to another place. I've tried so hard to give her a stable life and things that she can count on for stability. How am I going to pull her out of that and take her someplace else? She's going to be so hurt. She doesn't adapt well to things like that. She still asks about her old dance class, and we haven't been there since at least November. And the only reason that she's settled into this one is that she knows 2 kids there (One of whose parents don't work at the hospital at all, so I wonder what they are going to do). How can they do this? Aren't day cares supposed to have the kids' best interests in mind? This is going to crush Ally.

She loves it there and they are by far the best option for care in town, I think. I had some issues with the first place I took Anya, but since she was only there for the 2 months I was waiting for a spot it wasn't too bad. I won't take the kids there permanently. I like the big centers bersus home day cares. I'm not judging anyone else's choices, but it works out best for our family. THe other centers don't look clean tome. They don't have a lot of space, and just don't feel right. Our day care has 3 or 4 separate playgrounds for the different age groups. It's big and spacious for hte kids to have enough room to run and play, The kids and teachers know us and love my kids already, and Ally is comfortable there. Anya probably would adjust pretty easily, but I odn't know. Maybe I should just take their asshat-ishness regarding this issue as a sign and walk away, but dammit I like it there, and I don't want to stress out my kids. I can't imagine causing Ally that sort of pain. I just keep thinking there's got to be something I can do. But I don't think there is. Rob could try to work the hours, but that sucks too. Take his time away from the kids in order to make the time they spend away from him during the week more bearable? It just sucks.

The best option I can see today is that maybe I can bring them to work with me. There is a day care in my building for state workers, but I dont' really like it either. They play downstairs in a big gym a lot. There is a playground outside, but isn't very big. All age kids are in one big room, separated into age groups by partitions. I've never toured it, but from what I've seen in the window, I don't like it. Regardless, I got on the waiting list today and will tour it tomorrow, just in case.

I'm so sad about this. I see how happy Ally is there , how much fun she has with all her friends, and it just makes me cry again.

Rob's not sure they can legally do this. When he took the prn position, the availablity of the day care center was a benefit. He says they shouldn't be able to rescind benefits without compensation, but I really don't think they would have changed their policy without looking at the legal aspects. I don't think we have a leg to stand on. He's going to review his employee handbook and stuff, but I'm not really hopeful.

I don't know what we're actually doing to do. Besides cry about it that is. if we have a day care switch coming up, I'm sure there will be a lot of crying in our future.

Posted by ktjrdn at 14:33 CST
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Wednesday, 7 February 2007

A little over a year ago, I made a propsal to anyone with a winning lotto ticket. I'm going to renew it now. If you want to win the lottery and split it with me, I'll most definitely let you. I work with some of the Illinois lottery people and have some inside information. Well, not really. It's printed on the tickets, but if you don't buy one, you'll never know, right. It's almost inside info.

So anyway. Right now there's a game that has the best dds you'll robably ever get. Buy a $20 raffle ticket. They are only selling 500,000. Of those, 509 will win. 4 $1 million. 5 $500,000 and 500 $1,000. Oh yeah, and they're not adding and tickets to the drawing that were sold on ebay, so there probably won't even be 500,000 in the drawing. So if you're the type to do that sort of thing, go somewhere they sell tickets. Just ask for a raffle ticket. And then send it to me. I'll keep it safe for you. I promise. 

Posted by ktjrdn at 09:38 CST
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Dance hell

Ok, so last night was observation night at dance, right? I had this little fantasy in my head where Rob goes and holds Anya and we all watch while Ally dances with her friends and I can snap some gorgeous pictures of her trying her very hardest. Then we all go home and put the kids together, get a little action and have a full night's sleep.

When will I ever learn?

Ally was all kinds of wound up last night. I don't know how much speed they put in her snack at day care, but I'm pretty sure they did. Aya was cranky. Rob was tired and cranky (He worked a 24 hour shift at the ambulance Monday) We had a little over an hour to get the kids fed before dance, and it just wan't happening. Ally finally ended up with a pb&j sandwich, and we ran out the door. Her 2 day care friends that go to class with her didn't come. It was only her and 4 other (older) girls that she doesn't really know yet. She wasn't listening. The parents in the room distracted her even more. Anya wanted down to chase Ally the whole time. (I let her on the floor occasionally and she'd crawl a little bit. Then I'd grab her pants and she'd keep trying to crawl and just crawl in place for a hwile and get realy confused. It was actually kinda funny) Rob kept trying to jump in and discipline Ally, but I try to let her have 1 hour at dance where Rob and I aren't constantly correcting her. It seems like we're always telling her what to do, and I want to make dance free from that. Not that I want her to run wild, I do go in the class when I see that she's being crazy, but most of the time I let the teachers direct her. They keep her in line most of the time all by themselves.

Arggg. So, no pictures. I will do it sometime when Anya isn't with me and the class is going a little bit better. Maybe even before class sometime, when she's just running around the dance floor. I was thinking that her next set of JCPenney's pictures might be in a leotard. Oh, and she has a recital scheduled for the end of March at an old folks home. (You know, I'm glad that leotards are made the way they are. It at least keeps me from worrying that she'll pull up her dress and flash everyone.)

And I have to sell candy. WTF? She's 3! Well, they gave me the option, but leaned heavily toward expecting me to do it, and I didn't turn them down. People at my office will eat the candy bars, and it won't be hard to get rid of them at all, but still. 3 years old! So, if any of you want a candy bar, just stick your $1 in an envelope and mail it to me. I promise I'll send your candy bar to you right away.

Posted by ktjrdn at 09:31 CST
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Tuesday, 6 February 2007
I hate Mondays

Every Monday I feel compelled to write about the weekend. But, the weekend was either boring or we did 5 thousand things, so I never want to write on Monday. Then Tuesday comes around and I feel like I haven't kept the blog up-to date, and I (1) give in and write a boring post anyway, or (b) pretend the weekend never happened or (iii) go hide until Wednesday or Thursday or whenever I have something non-weekend related to share or whenever stuff piles up so much that I spill in all out in a horrible mish-mash of unrelated ideas. (FYI, I'm not sure where this post is going to fall on that scale but if past history tells me anything, the last one is the most likely)

Anyway, we did absolutely nothing this weekend. I didn't ever leave the house. I didn't even shower until 1:00 Sunday. Rob went to (the evil) Walmart once. We watched the Bears lose the Super Bowl. I'm not a football fan, and Sunday was probably the most football I've watched in the past 10 years combined. (tangent: I loved the Blockbuster mouse commercial. So funny)

Anya has claimed the remotes as her own. It wouldn't be so bad if she'd settle for one, but we give her one and she immediatley starts looking for the one we have stashed somewhere so that we can still operate the tv. She won't be satisfied with a decoy. So, um, if you come over to the house and want to watch tv, you should (a) watch out for destructo-baby and (2) bring a paper towel or seomthing to wipe the slobber off the remote first.

We have a stacking toy. It's kind of simpler than the stacking-rings-classic-baby-toy-that-everyone-on-earth-had-when-they-were-a-baby. The peices are different shapes with a indentation where the other shapes fit into them. Anya can. not. stand. to have it stacked for a single instant. IT MUST BE DESTROYED! Plus, she, for some reason, has taken it upon herself to single-handedly end the transportation monopoly that exists in our living room, by dismantling the train tracks themselves. (Well, not excatly single-handedly, She usually grabs and tosses with both hands while leaning her giganto-belly against the table for balance.) While I'm all for ending a monopoly, I've been trying to convince her that she needs to have alternative transportation available as well (And that she's gone a bit too far trying to eat the trains). By biting the heads of the Little People pilots in the airplane, she is not exactly encouraging the airlines to take over. What does she expect to happen? The shipping industry to take over? Uh, Anya, we're in the middle of central Illinois. Not so much water here, you know? (Although we do have one of these too) I guess it's a good thing we've got a couple of buses. (Oh, I just went looking for those links, and found some of the "exclusives" set that I just have to have think Ally needs. The Chirstmas, Birthday and Halloween ones are pretty neat. And how many trains sets can you possibly need. I think there are about 10 different kind on there)

Ally has a dance "observation night" tonight. I may actually be able to go in with my camera tonight. I usually don't want to disturb the calss, but tonight, it's only natural right? She's so cute in her little leotard trying to tap dance. So cute.

That's all I've got. I'm done.

Posted by ktjrdn at 14:54 CST
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Friday, 2 February 2007
Tag, I'm it!

weirdgirl tagged me for a "6 things you don't know about me" meme. This is hard. There's lots you don't know about me, but most of it's god-awful boring, or else I'd have written about it long ago. I've had to think about it for a couple days. So, without further ado, here's 6 more things you never wanted to know about me:

1. I used to have 2 tortoises. I kept them in a big converted display case. I even constructed a "underground" layer for them, since they are said to like to dig. When we moved, we had to get rid of the display case, because it was too big. They were just in a little 50 gallon aquarium. Then, I felt bad, so I'd take them outside to wander around in the fresh air. One day they ran away from me. I couldn't find them anywhere. Who wouldn't thought a tortoise could run away?

2. The thing that I hate most about summer is being cold. Everyone complains about being hot and turns the air conditioner up and then I sit and shiver. I bring a jacket with me just about everywhere in the summer.

3. I still dream about my first boyfriend occasionally. I haven't seen him in at least 8 years.

4. When I was in high school, a girl named Terri came to live with us for a while. She and her mom didn't get along well, so they were taking a break from each other. Terri heard a rumor one day that her boyfriend had slept with the home-ec teacher. She threw a fit and refused to go to class. They tried to send her home, but couldn't release her because they weren't able to get hold of my mom or hers. So instead, they came and got me and we got to go home together. I don't really know how that logic worked in their brains, but we took advantage of it. About a month later, Terri went to the nurse because she "had a headache" (i.e. didn't want to go to class). She couldn't lay down though, because I was on the cot sleeping. We hatched a plot. Terri said she was sick and had to go home, so they sent me with her again, and we went shopping instead. My high school was stupid.

5. I once dated a guy almost entirely because his dad was hot. I mean he was a nice guy and all, but I probably wouldn't have done it if I didn't like his dad. It didn't last long.

6. I used to wait tables. In college, I worked at the country club. Every month, they had a poker night for the men. One night, after I got off work I was invited to stay and play for a while with the 5 or 6 of them that were still there. They paid me $100 to play 3 hands of poker topless. Easiest money I've ever made. (um, hi Mom. Pretend you didn't see that.)

Most of the people who read my blog have either already done this meme, or don't have a blog of their own, so I won't tag anyone, but if you want, feel free to play along. If you don't have a blog, just leave a comment instead.

Posted by ktjrdn at 09:41 CST
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Thursday, 1 February 2007
Sometimes words just aren't enough

I took this picture at Thanksgiving at my grandparents' house. I wish I had a zoom lens on my camera. (Darra, it's web quality. I'll put the print quality one on the scrapbook web site tomorrow if you want it, but now it's time to go home)

Posted by ktjrdn at 15:28 CST
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"getting to know you again"

We went to my grandma's (My grandpa is still alive too, but for some reason, to me, it's always been "grandma's house") house this weekend. My neice Marley had her 5th birthday party there on Saturday. We made sure to go early so Ally could have lots of time to play. We knew that Christy's other kids were coming with mom later, but Marley was already there. It was great. My cousin Collin got there just as we did, and he is great! with the kids. He's 16, I think, and a boy (and his dad is one of those guys that thinks licking his fingers and then touching your glasses is funny. Uncle Rick, I still haven't forgiven you for that!). You'd think those 2 (3) things would prevent it, but he plays wonderfully with the kids (But when Ally told him she had to potty, that's where he drew the line. heh, heh). Love having him around! It was a very good day. Ally and Anya both really enjoyed themselves. And there was enough family around that Rob and I got some help to enjoy ourselves too. Anya even stood up for a while on her own completely unprompted.

But then my grandma said something to me that keeps coming back to me. She said "It's great getting to know you again" I kinda shrugged and agreed with her at the time, but it has really made me think about our relationship. I've really neglected them for a long time. My mom and grandparents haven't always had a good relationship, and I think that has kind of rubbed off on me. Then, for the longest time, Rob's schedule was so restricting that we hardly had time to visit our own parents, let alone our grandparents. Now that he is working like a normal person, we've decided to spend more time giving the kids a chance to get to know my grandparents. We visited in November and Ally amazed us with her pure exuberance for running through the countryside and throwing rocks in the pond. So we went back at Christmas. I don't think I've seen them this much since I was in high school. And maybe not that much then. I really want Ally and Anya to have the chance to make friends with their grandparents.

So in honor of my committment to making new memories, I've decided to share some of my old ones (with the disclaimer that my memory is horrible and my subconscious sometimes fills in the blanks. I may remember things wrong):

  • My mom used to have a rule that we couldn't buy any cereal that listed sugar as it's first ingredient. Grandma didn't have that rule. We alwasy had Apple Jacks at her house.
  • You never eat the Apple Jacks unless you've seen Grandma buy it yourself this visit. Or anything else, for that matter. Always check expiration dates.
  • I remember waking up in the morning, and going downstairs for breakfast. I'd always find Grandpa at the table (reading the paper? I don't know) drinking his coffee. Usually grandma was making bacon. Grandpa had sugar and creamer on the table in these old containers shaped like the old milk canisters. You kow, the old metal ones with handles on the sides. One was cream colored and one was brown. Those containers ARE Grandpa to me.
  • he'd always take my hand in his and in a real serious voice, ask me "So how is your dad?" His hands always seemed so big and strong. They dwarfed my little ones.
  • Grandma told me once that your hair wasn't clean unless it sqeaked after you washed it. She used to fold the ends over on another and rub them together to check for squeaks. I wonder if that's what the whole "squeaky clean" thing was based on?
  • Grandma always had candy hidden somewhere, especially in the cabinet in her headboard. That was one thing you never had to check the expiration on.
  • We used to hide Easter eggs in the front yard. I don't remember finding them, but I remember being old enough to hide them for the littler ones. There are some good hiding places on the front porch. The porch is raised off the ground a couple feet, with stairs leading up. On either side of the stairs, there is a brick wall under the porch. It has a pattern like a diamond made from missing bricks. There was always an egg in those.
  • I loved Grandma's front porch swing.
  • There was a huge tree in the front yard by the mailbox. Or at least I remember it as huge. At the bottom of the tree there was a hole for some reason. Everyone likes to tell the story of the day Grandma went to get the mail and saw a snake in the tree. She screamed her head off. Grandma is deathly afraid of snakes.
  • Grandma used to make everyone underpants. I don't know why, but it was her thing.  She doesn't sew as much anymore, but Ally has one pair that Grandma made her. It took her hours, she said. She used to be able to do it in 10 minutes or so. In fact, when Naomi was potty training (OMG that was around 7-8 years ago!!) she had an accident there and no extra panties, so Grandma just ran upstairs and made her some. Ta-da!
  • We used to play in the closets all the time. All three closets upstairs are very large. We used to turn them in to forts and clubhouess. You could only get in if you had the secret password. Once upon a time I found The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in there. It was my uncle Roger's. I had never read it before, and I think I stole it.
  • The bedrooms are upstairs and the family room was directly underneath the heating vents in one room. We used to sit in the bedroom after we were supposed to be asleep and listen to the older family talk throught the vent.
  • One day we pulled it up and found a Playboy that my uncle (Toader?) had hidden in there. It was the first Playboy I had ever seen. We didn't tell anyone.
  • Grandma had laundry in the basement. She had a laundry shute in the bathroom above it. It was great. In fact I want something like that in my next house. There was also a clothesline next to the chute (I think). My sister, cousins and I used to  slide down throught he chute and grab the line and climb down into the basement that way. It was our own private jungle gym. I don't think we were suposed to do it, so we had to try to be sneaky.
  • Grandpa had a dog named Ginger. She was one of the nicest dogs I can ever remember. She used to race the van or truck down the field every time we left the house.
  • I spent a lot of time at the bookstore that they ran. I could read anything I wanted as long as I was very careful not to damage the spine or bend the pages. Then, when I was done, they could still sell it. I was in heaven.
  • Grandma had an old computer (I'm talking old here. Dot-matrix printer and everything) that she sometimes let us play with. She had the original Print Shop and I loved playing with all the graphics. She even had extra graphics cds. Loved it.
  • Sometimes she'd let us get lunch from the gas station behind the building. They had these little fried mini-tacos there that I never had anywhere else. Now they sell all kinds of them in stores, but then, they were a rare treat.
  • The barn ALWAYS had kittens. you always had to search for them, but they were there. I wouldn't even begin to be able to count the number of kitten-searches we went on. And they were never inthe same place, because invariably, our searches made the mamas nervous and they would move soon after being discovered.
  • Grandma's phone number was on her license plate. Well, the last 4 at least. I can never forget it.
  • Church. Oh my God. Lots of church.
  • One day on the way to Sunday school, we stopped at the grocery store for treats. Grandma had her hands full and stuck a bag of M&Ms in her pocket to carry and forgot to pay for it. She found it during church and was mortified. We had to stop at the store on the way home to pay for it.

I could go on and on. In fact, it kinda looks like I already have. :) Grandma and Grandpa, I love you and I hope my kids will have a chance to make just as many memories of their own. And more.

Posted by ktjrdn at 11:07 CST
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Tuesday, 30 January 2007
If I get run over by a bus...

I went to get Anya's 9 months pictures taken yesterday. I was 4 days late. Oops. Anyway, as I was leaving Penney's, something caught my eye. So I disregarded Rob's impatient sighs and went closer to investigate. I found a  goldmine. Comfortable underwear - on CLEARANCE! I got 8 pair for $12.84. They're not the Victoria's Secret ones, but they're awful close. Yippee! So now if I get hit by a bus (but not killed*), not only wil I be wearing clean underwear, but they will have been purchased this century!

*Conversation between Rob and I last night:
K: I can't believe I found 8 pair of underwear for under $13. Now, if I die, they will find me in clean underwear.
R: No they won't. When you die, you'll shit yourself. Everybody does.
K: Ok, then, if I get hit by a bus, and don't die, but have to be rushed off to the hospital, where they have to undress me, they'll see that I have nice, pretty, clean underwear.
R: You didn't wash your old ones?
K: Maybe "clean" wasn't the word I was going for... How 'bout new?

Posted by ktjrdn at 09:38 CST
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sleep update

Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!


Posted by ktjrdn at 07:35 CST
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Friday, 26 January 2007
sleep update

Hey, I realie that I haven't really talked about sleep this week, and it's mostly because Anya has been up and down. Some days she sleeps ok and some she doesn't. She had a couple of days where she started waking up earlier, like 9 and then sleeping longer, but I really don't know what's going to happen night to night.

Wednesday was really good. I fed her a little early because she was cranky, and then we had to drive across town to pick up the truck (oil change). She fell asleep in the car and I put her to bed when we got home. I took a Benadry and then put Ally to bed and fell dead asleep on the couch. Rob says Anya yelled once, but I sure didn't hear her, and she stopped on her own. Then she woke up a little early to eat. She ususally does around 4:30, but ate around 3:45 that morning. Yuck. I can't get back to sleep real well after that, since I'm supposed to get up at 5. Still, I got some pretty good sleep.

So last night I was well rested. So you know what happened. And I still got to bed at 9. Anya again yelled once, but only one yell, and all I had to do was lay her down with her mobile on and go back to bed. She didn't get up this morning until 54:45 to eat. Yay for sleep. I hope it keeps up, but I've given up being real optimistic about it.

Posted by ktjrdn at 15:08 CST
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Thursday, 25 January 2007
not the sharpest crayon in the box

Not that she's not bright, but Ally is the most un-observant person I have ever known. It took her at least 15 minutes to notice her computer we got her for Christmas. She just walked around the room ignoring it. When we finally pointed it out to her, she said "Oh, that's my computer" Nice try kid, but we aren't fooled. She had no idea it was there.

Tuesday night, we went to dance. Anya wasn't in a real great mood, but we left her with Rob anyway. he called after about 10 minutes and asked me to come get her. She was screaming and he couldn't get her to stop. So I left Maggie's mom in charge of Anya and went to get her. We returned to dance and sat in the studio and watched Ally dance for the rest of the hour. We interacted with Ally many times and she never questioned Anya's being there. On the way home, she's just blabbering away when all of a sudden she stops and says "Hey, did Anya go to dance with us?" uh, no.

We have a little half wall by our stairs. A year or 2 ago, Ally had a blanket strung across it to the couch so she could have a little fort of her own. We took it down because she'd get back there and color the wall. There are still crayon marks there because I'm lazy. For at least 6 months, Ally's desk has faced that wall. So the other night, she was coloring at her desk. She yelled "Hey, someone colored on my wall!" (Rob and I both agreed that someone shouldn't have done that, and told her she was the someone who did it a long time ago. She didn't believe us. Not Ally! Ally wouldn't do something like that. She knows she shouldn't. So we asked who she thought did it. her answer? Grandma.) At least 6 months she's been staring at it. Over a year, it's been there! I hope she learns to look around more as she grows up.

Posted by ktjrdn at 14:50 CST
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I'm a winner!

I just won something! Woo-hoo. It's a CD from CoolMomPicks.com. The CD is... well, rather than quoting the review, I'll just link to it. It'll be easier for all of us that way.

I'm so excited. I never win anything. I hope Ally likes it.

Posted by ktjrdn at 09:39 CST
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jury duty, snowmen, phones, and cake flavored ice cream

It's really not my fault I haven't posted much this week. I was working on the OCD candy eating post when I had to call in for jury duty. Then I actually had to report. Then I actually got selected and had to go to a trial. It was very interesting. Most drunks guys just accept a DUI, but this one was smart enough to realize that no one could prove he had been driving while drunk, and got off. (The state's attorney knew it was going to happen too. He was a new hire and was just given the case to practice with, it seems. He was very inexperienced) Too bad the guy hadn't been smart nough not to get slobbering drunk in the first place. Again, it was interesting. I had a good time. But they should make the jurors chairs more comfortable.

Oh and speaking of the OCD candy thing, Erin brought up a good point. Those rules don't apply to things like Skittles, where the colors are actually indicative of the taste. There are a whole different set of rules for those kind of things.

It snowed here this weekend. Probably about 2 inches. We have this uhge backyard (Well, not really huge, but plenty big enough to play in) TH eproblem is that our garage is filled with crap, and tit's kinda hard to get out the back door in the winter. So we have to go out the back door form the house to the deck. And the deck is covered in snow. You see where I'm going here? Last ice storm we had that got covered in snow, Rob had to get the ladder to go over the fence and then dig open the door to the deck so he and Ally could play outside. This time it didn't look that bad, but we just decided to play in the front yard instead. We don't have a lot of front yard. very small. But plenty of room to buid a snowman.

When I was a kid, I was always disappointed at how rolling up the snow into balls would usually expose all the dirt and grass underneath and it wouldn't be all pure white and pretty by the time you were done. So I decided to make sure we had plenty of snow for our snowmen without using the grass covered bits. I shoveled our driveway into the yard to use. Then I shoveled our neighbors driveway - into our yard. Lots of extra snow. Then Rob shoveled the other neighbors driveway just to be nice. But I made him wait until after I had made my body snow balls on the driveway. Clean snow! It was perfect packing snow. I was able to roll a ball down the driveway and just let it "snowball" itself bigger. We made 2 snowmen. Before we started, Rob took Ally to the store to get carrots. We had none. And everyone knows you can't have a snowman without a carrot for his nose. They got cherries for the mouth and bok choi (some lettuce-y stuff) for ears. We used Ally's plastic builder hat and arrows for arms. Our snowmen had character! Then we went in and had some hot chocolate. It was lots of fun.

Anya didn't think so. While Rob and Ally were gone, we took Anya outside. She wore Ally's size 18 month snowsuit. It came pretty close to fitting her. but she was tired. It was her nap time, and she really wasn't all that curious about the snow. We only had her out about 5 minutes and then had to put her to bed.

After we all warmed up, Rob and I went out and got new cell phones. Our old ones were probably 3 years old and our contract had expired. We went ahewad and signed up for a new contract and even got a third line. We can pay $10 a month and turn our home phone (which costs $25 even without long distance available) off. it was a big complicated affair and took almost 3 hours. I'm so glad Darra was there to babysit, cause I can't imagine tryingt o get that done with the kids in tow.

Then Bob came over to visit. It was very weird having Rob's mom and dad visiting at the same time. Not uncomfortable, but odd. They never see each other without their new (ha, they've been remarried for over 15 years - both of them) spouses. Bob's weird like that. But, he wanted to bring over Rob's birthday present. (Did I tell you Rob had a birthday? He's 30 now. Ally went iwth me to the store to pick out a cake and she turned down chocolate in favor of pineapple upside down cake. So we had candles in pineapple upside down cake. it looked very out of place) He brough us steaks. Yummy. Now it just needs to warm up so Rob can cook them out on the grill.

That night we went out for ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. I have no idea if this place is a chain that anyone would know what I'm talking about or not. But it's really good. They have ice cream that tastes like cake! What more could you want? We had a pretty good weekend. I'm putting pictures out. Check out Flickr

Posted by ktjrdn at 08:52 CST
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Wednesday, 24 January 2007
It's a sickness...

We all know I'm a little picky about the way I fold my towels. So you shouldn't be surprised to find that I have other, um, issues. Last week I read a "weird things about me - food edition" meme. As I was trying to think of weird things about my food habits, one really stuck out. I have certain rules for eating things like M&M's and Reese's Pieces, you know, little candies you eat by the handful that are different colors. I tried to define the 'rules' for myself and found they are a lot more complicated than I had ever thought. And a little subjective. Let's see how you measure up (I'll demonstrate using Reese's because there are less colors, therefore less rules)...


Do you...
A. Grab some and throw them in your mouth?
B. Sort them into color piles?
C. Eat one of each color in a pattern (ie, orange, yellow, brown, orange, yellow...etc)?
D. Throw away the brown ones, because everyone knows that brown foods are dirty?






Now that you have (B.) sorted them into color piles, which one(s) do you eat?
A. All of the orange ones.
B. All of the brown ones.
C. All of the yellow ones.
D. Two at a time making sure to keep the color ratios evenly balanced.
E. Crap, there's two odd numbers. Obviously those odd ones must be eaten together, even if they aren't the same color.
F. In any order, making sure not to put more than one color into your mouth at any given time.
G. Three at a time. One of each color.
H. Whatever is required to make sure you have the same number of each color



My god, until I started writing this, I didn't really realize how, um, crazy I am. While each of the choices A-H could be a valid answer, it all depends on the handful you have chosen to start with. In this case, the correct answer is H:

Followed by D.


Of course.

Here's another one, just for fun.
Do you...
A. Grab some and throw them in your mouth?
B. Sort them into color piles?
C. Eat one of each color in a pattern (ie, orange, yellow, brown, orange, yellow...etc)?
D. Eat all of the yellow ones?
E. Eat all of the orange ones?
F. Eat all of the brown ones?




This one's trickier. See how there are just way two many orange? and very few yellow? It would take a while to get the ratio down to an acceptable level, so you must (D.) eat all the yellow ones first.







Then B

Now what?
A. Eat all of the orange ones.
B. Eat all of the brown ones.
C. Eat two at a time eating orange first until the colors have about the same number.
D. Eat two at a time. One of each color.
E. There's more than twice as many orange as brown. Eat some orange until it's exactly twice as many, then take turns with the 3 piles.


Yeah, it's a sickness. Anyway. E is the answer.







So what completely illogical things do you do? Do you make up "rules" for things? Am I OCD? I don't think so, because it's different everytime. I just have to go with my gut feeling on how asthetically pleasing the arrangement is.

Oh, and if you answered D to the first question? You're definitely crazier than me

Posted by ktjrdn at 11:06 CST
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Thursday, 18 January 2007
ABC's of Life, the Universe and Everything

Jenny over at mamadrama challenged me to a meme. Well, she didn't challenge me exactly, but buried down deep in her comments section, there was a small mention that other people could maybe do it if they wanted... Anyway, I thought it looked fun, so here it is. The ABC's of Life, the Universe and Everything. 

A is for Ally. ...and Anya, of course

B is for Bedtime, which has been much worse.
C is for conversations from the back of our cars
D is for dancing and the uneven bars








E is for ear infections, may we never see another!
F is for new foods for Ally to discover.
G is the Great Toddler Bamboozle, which worked very well.
H is for Halloween costumes. Finding a green monster is hell.
I is for important questions. Tell me, please. I must know!
J is for Julia the ringleader of this show.







You all know me by Katie, but it's my middle name.
L is for lessons on folding towels. You should do it the same.
Mouse-ka-Tools are handy for flying over a cloud
Never underestimate your children, and they'll make you proud.
O is a letter and also a word.
P is for photos. The quantity? Absurd!
Q is the Quiet, for which I have yearned
R is for blowing Raspberries, which Anya has learned.
S is for sleep. How much does a person need?
T is for talking. So much that I'm afraid my ears will bleed.
U is for the underwear found discarded on the floor.
V is for videos. I'm about to post more.
W is for wake-up time, when Ally asks for candy
X is for x-hausted. A pillow at work comes in handy.
Y is for youTube. How did we ever live without?
Z is for ze cake, was there ever a doubt?

Posted by ktjrdn at 16:03 CST
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