Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Pete said, it's been a long time since you got a toy for Christmas. It really has. I mean, while I love the food processor, it really isn't a toy. (Although, it really helps in making my favorite meatloaf and this amazing pink lady cake.)

If you followed the link in the last post, you already know what he bought me. If you didn't, have a look:

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I think that if you do it right, life is made up of the little moments - tiny snapshots of time - that you notice the amazing part of every day life. If you're not careful, these slip past you. Every once in a while, be sure you grab on to one and slip it into your pocket for later on.

Here are some of our December moments (I know, I know, I owe you some Christmas photos, but I'll get there. Part of the trouble is I'm still having trouble believing that he actually bought this for me.)

After stepping on a Lego, and getting himself 2 stitches, Harry had the brainy idea to haul his table and chairs downstairs for a building space that Daisy wouldn't dogzilla up.
We got a new fridge, which was supposed to be from Santa, but Harry declared that 'Santa doesn't bring bored presents'. He does have a point.

Club cracker creations continue - latest 'recipede': crackers, sharp cheddar and ketchup. Yum?

'And my baby sister wants Legos, too!'

This year was the first time we cut a fresh tree. I had a Courier and Ives vision of tromping through a snowy field, dragging Harry on a sled, etc. etc. Pete found a lovely tree farm where evergreens are grown like corn fields. I suppose you aren't supposed to go around cutting other people's trees down.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

To Mom, From Suzy

This week marks the arrival of reactive smiles. This also marks the start of attempting to photograph said smiles.

So, for every one of the above, you get several of the below. It's the baby's way of letting us know who is in charge.

Meanwhile, all presents have arrived and just 1 is left to wrap.

The Unitarian Nativity

Our own baby Jesus:

She was nearly angelic for both shows, having only filled her pants right before the first show. Oh well, life with a baby.

Monday, December 22, 2008


It's not quite Christmas Eve yet, but I think we've already received the gift. You know the one. The kid loves it, at first the parents think it's a charming idea. And then:

Harry: 'What is it?'
Cindy: 'A harmonica.'
Pete: 'Here, I'll show you.'

2 minutes elapse.

Cindy: 'Why don't you go up to your room and practice a song to play for us?'
Harry: 'Great idea!' Stomps up the steps.

2 minutes elapse.

Harry performs original composition, loudly, with feeling.
Cindy and Pete: Clap.

Repeat previous 5 lines. Many times.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Key limes

First, it's snowing again. Honestly. Pete spent the day moving snow at the shop, then at his mom's house (both of them!) and then a little clean up at my parent's house. Honestly, why do we live here?

Meanwhile, Harry, Suzy and I had a busy day - off to Target for nappies, then Whole Foods for wild blueberries (I know, but like Birger points out, they have indoor parking, and, it's heated), and then we were off to church. You see, Suzy has her acting debut tomorrow morning at the nativity pageant. So, we had to go to rehearsal. And she was so perfectly lovely during rehearsal that I'm afraid she will be unable to repeat the performance.

But this post really isn't about all that. It's about what Harry said at Whole Foods, while gazing down at Suzy.

"It sure is awfully nice to have a baby, isn't it Mom?"

And I teared up in the Whole Foods while holding on to the bag of key limes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow day

It's pretty bad here. I can't see the scoreboard on the field across the street. I got plenty of provisions at the grocery store yesterday, and Harry got new Legos for Christmas from Jack, so we won't need to leave the house for days.

The question is: if I took cookies out of my Mom's freezer with the intention of taking them to the APL school Christmas program this morning (cancelled), do I have to take them back?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Is my last day of work for the year. I will be off for 17 days!! And, our new fridge will be delivered after 2:30. Funny thing, this morning I noticed that we bought the fridge exactly 6 years after we bought our first one.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Now that they are in the mail

The Christmas cards, not the kids:

On Saturday

We had the Urban family Christmas party. This is my mom's side of the family, and usually involves too much food and almost everyone standing in the kitchen. I don't know why we do it, but sooner or later, everyone is standing in the kitchen.

But not my Dad. I have lots of memories of him doing this in lots of places. I don't play by ear, and I'm ok with that. I just can't hear the next chord or the next interval. But, I can sight-read the pants off you. Really. Try me sometime.

You're hearing Santa Claus is Coming to Town, in case you were wondering.


Well, I'm not sure Suzy is smiling here - she might be thinking, 'OMG, get me away from this maniac before he clobbers me! Doesn't he know this is MINE now?'

The foot seems to be healing. He's favoring it just a little bit and I made the MD appointment on Friday for centipede removal. I'm sure that will cost me another $20 in legos.

PS - Centipede: Black thread of stitches hanging out of a wound. Harry dubbed them this after he (and I quote the emergency MD) 'fileted the tenderloin' of his arm on a nail during the great bathroom retiling project.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Because we needed more health insurance fun

I suppose it was bound to happen. I mean, they are pointy hard little things. And I step on them a lot.

Scene: Friday night. Cindy, grumpy, trying to get the Christmas tree in order. Pete, tired from chopping down tree. Suzy, sleeping. Harry, bounding, tearing about the house.

Cindy: Harry, get off the couch. It's not a jungle gym.
Harry: I know. (jumps off couch)
Cindy: Harry, you're done on the couch tonite. Get off. Sit on the floor.
Harry: (jumps off the couch, runs across to tv) Ow! Owie! My toey! My toe!
Cindy: Well, if you weren't tearing about, your foot wouldn't hurt.
Harry: Daddy, my toe hurts!
Pete: We've got blood here.

So, giant gash between 4th and little toe, big pad of skin missing in same general area.

Off the the emergency room:

Harry: I don't want another shot.
Cindy: I know.
Harry: Who is going to have to stay at the doctor's house?
Cindy: No one will have to stay at the hospital. They are just going to fix your foot.
Harry: I don't want them to touch my foot. I don't want another shot.

After a nice long stay, including the use of a urinal in bed, we left with 2 stitches. And what does the boy who got another shot and a new centipede want? Yes, the hair of the dog.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Important milestones

We're very excited when we realize Harry can do something new on his own. Often, we have to make slight adjustments to enable this independence -- such as, let him keep his toothbrush and special boy toothpaste on the sink so he can brush on his own, or relocate all his cups to the plastic drawer and put milk in a special boy pouring container so he can help himself. It disrupts a little, but is good for him and good for us.

For a while now, he's been helping make his own sandwiches, sometimes cheese and Club cracker but mostly PB&J. Yesterday he made his own sandwich. Now, before you accuse me of not paying attention, he did ask me to open the peanut butter and I assumed that sooner or later he'd ask me to open the jelly. I mean, it only made sense.

Yep. That's a triple decker (club?) peanut butter, M&M (dark chocolate!) club cracker sandwich. And, don't mess with the process -- 3 applications of peanut butter equals:

Don't ask, because there is NO chance that I scrubbed the sink and put those knives back in before taking the photo so you wouldn't know how dirty my sink was (is?). Nope, I would never do that. After all, am I my mother? My aunt? My granny?? How has this happened??? The only thing to do:

There it is. My shame for the whole world to see. Oh well, no one ever died from a dirty sink. At least, not that I've read.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's the holiday season

With whoop de do and hickory dock, and don't forget to hang up your sock. Ok, so we've maybe, just a little bit, almost kind of, been known to be a little grumpy this time of year. It's easy to be. But deep down, how can you be grumpy when commercial radio stations are playing 'Sleigh Ride' (without the annoying vocals!) and packages like this arrive at your house?

Special thanks to Kari for fixing the cookie mess!

Things your kids don't forgive

Living in a place that requires this:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bath Time

So, no one ever told me that babies mostly smell like rotten milk. But, it's a good thing, because now we have these:

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out just exactly what we're going to be doing about this Christmas cookie crisis. Suggestions?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

You wait and you wait

And it's so satisfying when it happens.

As you must know by now, either by talking to Harry, visiting the house or reading here, we have a lot of Legos. I mean a lot. True to form, I enjoy sorting and storing the Legos in an organized fashion. I also like the sorting and storing are nearly the same word with just the t and o switched around, neatly implying that they should be done together. Language is fun, especially when it helps you like that -- here, Cindy, do the sorting before storing. They even alphabetize that way. OK, OK, I know, you don't want to read my language dalliances, you want to hear about my kids. Ha.

ANYway... When we were kids (ca. 1970s), Legos came in brick sets and you were required to use your imagination to build things, or you could copy the square looking things on the box. Now Legos come in sets like this and this and even this. Yes, that is a Lego VW bug, and yes, it probably runs a little better than mine. But, it costs more.

So, we bought these sets -- well, I bought these sets. And we hoped that sooner or later Harry would imagine up some things to make. Wait for it:

Cindy: 'Harry, what is that?'

Harry: 'It's a stop light that shoots you if you don't listen.'

And I thought he was a pacifist. Well, at least he knows what pacifist means. (Really, I have to tell myself something.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2 months

Yes, this little girl is really 2 months old. (Of course, she should only be 1 month old, but we're not going to talk about that anymore.)

And, for the record, here's the list of other things we're not going to talk about:

  • Harry weighs 52.5 lbs. And I still carry him.

  • The insurance company that some how cancelled Suzy as a dependent on my policy and sent a statement of benefits with my responsibility to provider at roughly $29,000 (yes, that's US dollars) and another one the next day with my responsibility to provider at roughly $4,700. Apparently I didn't call to get the hospital stay approved, which was my responsibility if the hospital or the doctor didn't do same. It was the first thing on my mind, since I wasn't worried about the girl learning how to breathe or the boy who had been without his mom at home for a week. So, we're not going to talk about the fact that I want socialized medicine and I want it now. Actually, I'd really like it yesterday, thank you very much President-Elect Obama.

  • The out of network doctors who practice at the in network hospital. How in the hell am I supposed to keep that straight? OK, I promise, we're not going to not talk about health care anymore. Not even the $24,000 bill for my stay and the fact that 30% of bills go straight to insurance company profits according to the PBS special that aired last fall.

  • The 22 days left of the Christmas shopping season. The list is made, some have been acquired and there are some funds and ideas missing.

  • The alarming news that my mother is not making cookies this year. I don't begrudge her the break, but I really don't want to have to make the chocolate covered cherry cookies. Then again, maybe my pants will fit after New Year.

  • The 5 shots that the baby stabber a.k.a. nurse delivered to my children today. 2 for the boy, 3 for the girl.

  • The number of cuts in my budget. Or the fact that I'm trying to convince myself that this is an opportunity and I'll learn something from this exercise.

  • This is on my Santa list and am really hoping that someone buys it for me.

How's that for a list?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving thanks.

It's been my favorite holiday since:

  • It was cold (really cold) and Pete made a turkey on the weber (circa 2006)

  • Pete got just a little drunk at my parent's house (circa 1996)

  • We all wore flannel shirts (circa 1992)

  • We could just stay home (circa 1980something)

And there aren't any presents. And lots of complex carbohydrates. And turkey. And we rotate - this year my family, next year Pete's. So, no holiday in the car. And a little football thrown in for funsies. I'm thankful for all of that. So thankful that this year, I'm going to do it: I'm going to make my own crust.

And I'm thankful for Suzy and Harry. For what they have taught us, for the excuse to buy legos, for the never ending pile of laundry, the extra body heat on a cold night and all the things yet to come. Even if I complain about them. Or step on them while barefoot. Really. I'm thankful. For you, too.

Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you like it as much as I do.

Photo credit to Harry!

PS - I'd say I'm thankful for a girl who usually sleeps from 10-4, but who wants to jinx that?

Sunday, November 23, 2008


There are those weekends that make you think, 'I can't wait until I get to work on Monday so I can relax'. This was almost one of those. On Friday, we met friends for average pizza and outstanding entertainment, Saturday was filled with errands and meetings and work for Pete, and today was Suzy's dedication, a trip to IKEA and my aunt's 50th birthday party in Naperville, IL. It's a good thing I only have to work 2 days next week.

Harry likes IKEA. He selected some cookware this trip. I'm a little concerned that he's taking Iron Chef a little more seriously than the LEGO guys would prefer:

Meanwhile, it seems Suzy has a bit of a dairy sensitivity. Bread with a bit of milk sugar or whey, that's okay. A grilled cheese sandwich or pizza, not so much. The list of what I can't eat is getting a little bit longer, but in good news, I'm really enjoying the seasonal beers. And, Pete is brewing up a batch of hard cider.

We'll be over at my mom's for Thanksgiving. I've got to dig up that fresh cranberry recipe and get some pies going. Who knows, maybe I'll learn to make crust this year.

I know, I know, I owe you some photos.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Vernacular

I think every household has it's own personality. The combination of people that make the home, the unique scent, the refrigerator decorations and of course, the language. When 2 people live together, the patterns, usage and rhythm blend to create the language of the home. If you add children to the mix, it introduces not only a new set of vocabulary, but developing pronunciation and word discovery. As you know, I like language, I've even called it fun sometimes. And, I think there are some funny things about the language of our home.

For example:

Shakies: Lego guy hand cuffs
Nappies: diapers
Pretty hot dog: any meat we're feeding Harry that is not: hot dog, chicken nugget or meatball
Dragon: Qdoba

And the latest:
Suzy muffins: dirty nappies

Monday, November 17, 2008


I've been convinced that I'm so much more tired than I was with Harry because:

1. I'm older (34 now, you know)
2. Harry = perpetual motion (even as I type this)
3. Work

These all seemed like very good reasons. Plus, there's the part where I was a little sick before Suzy was born and then the body needs some time to put itself back together after labor and delivery.

But then there's the part about the sore throat that I've had for 3 weeks. So, we took a throat culture at my 6 week check up, and it turns out I'm positive for Group A Strep which buys me 10 days on antibiotics. By the way, be sure to call the clinic tomorrow to find out about testing the kids.

And Pete thought I was faking.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


A bit of the baby blues set in last week. Nothing terrible, but enough to know I needed to get out of the house and amongst society. So, Friday I went into work, but of course, before I went to work, I took Suzy over to Pete's mom and then Harry and I had breakfast at McDonald's before school.

At McDonald's at 830 on Friday morning, there was the requisite pack of old guys having breakfast, which seems strange, but I guess it's what old guys do. These old guys, seemed a little smarter than average, since one of them had a grocery bag filled with dark chocolate Dove ice cream bars. He was sharing with his friends, and when I asked the obvious question ("are you having ice cream for breakfast?"), he replied in the affirmative and offered to share.

Pete went to the Packer game this weekend - they left on Saturday and did their weird boy sleepover thing. I survived the weekend with the kids okay, with a little dinner with friends (stop what you're doing now and make it - so good), church this morning and then the afternoon at my mom's. Early in my maternity leave (a.k.a. baby vacation) I made a face about staying home alone with the kids and Pete went out on a limb and made a remark about being able to run library services for a Fortune 500 company and 'was I going to let 2 little kids get the best of me'?

All I have to say is my hat is off to you stay at home moms - let me know if anyone of you need a Dove bar for breakfast.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Party favors

This one's for Liam:


Important headline: If you don't watch 30 Rock you really should. Best show on television.

In other news, Suzy is a total crabbypants tonight. Which of course, makes me a complete crabbypants and Harry extra needy. And, this all ends with Pete putting Harry to bed, me on the couch with Suzy, and finally Pete and I sharing a beer. Whew. We're going to need more beer.

What happened to this? We were just there??

So, if we're supposed to be finding solutions that solve multiple problems, does it count if half a beer relaxes me and maybe puts Suzy to sleep a little?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


So I drove into work today. What a pain. I mean, all the getting dressed and showering and packing and the other cars on the road. Yeesh. It was nice to eat lunch with adults and see my work friends.

Meanwhile, Harry and Suzy spent the day with Pete's mom and were perfectly happy. They visited the ladies at the St. Luke's library and had some lunch. I'm glad to know Suzy survived the day without me, but also a little glad that she's insisting on keeping her little self glued to my side since I picked her up this afternoon.

Speaking of glued to your side, check out the Iron Chef America fans:

More on what you didn't know about your spouse

Pete: I'm like the Dancing with the Stars encyclopedia.

Really, I'm asking you, what's the proper response to that?

Monday, November 10, 2008

And we're back

I'm back to work this morning. I have to admit I feel smarter already. (If you're reading this and it's apparent that I'm not as smart as I was, it's really not very nice to tell me same.)

More later,

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The good, the bad and the ugly

No, really, I mean the movie.

It's funny what you learn about your partner 10+ years into the relationship. This morning, I was watching the above referenced movie (Clint Eastwood spaghetti western for those who have yet to enjoy the film) when Pete came in from breakfast. We had just gotten past the most excellent music in film history (just before the 3-way shoot out) when he asked how the movie ended, revealing that he had never seen same!! Honestly, you think you know a person.

In case you're suffering from the same affliction, IMDB.com states that you can tune into AMC on 11/13 at 11 am (no time zone listed - assume it's Eastern?) and enjoy.

In other news, I'm back to work on Monday. I'm starting to itch for something to do, as I'm really sick of sorting through the legos. Next week should be interesting, getting Harry to school and everyone to the sitter and the rest of us to work and the dog fed, I'm tired just thinking about it. I think I'll lie down now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Do you need to plug something in?

Because according to the electrical, we now have a panel big enough for 3 houses. We're quite the home improvers here lately, what with the new furnace on Monday and the upgraded (200 amp) electrical service today.

Tomorrow Harry, Suzy and I will stay home all day and build legos. Friday is my last official day of leave, but I've got a little vacation to burn up and then will slide through the holidays with that beautiful holiday shut down.

This has been fun, but I'm ready.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's your civic duty

I voted. I voted for Barack Obama. I voted for change and hope and a cleaner, smarter, stronger world with less debt for Suzy and Harry. I have no guarantee that a President Obama will do these things better than a President McCain would, but, as is required, I voted my conscience. I voted for the person I believe in. I voted for the person who I think can make the most difference.

But, most importantly, I voted. Republican, democrat, green, libertarian, write-in - it's your civic duty. If you don't vote, you don't have any advantage over those who can't. If you don't vote, you don't have any right to complain. This is your chance. And, you think 1 vote doesn't matter? Ask me about the election I didn't vote in (Harry was born on election day, 4 weeks early, no absentee ballot), trust me, your vote counts. Your vote makes a difference. Your vote is as important as mine.

So, I voted. Did you?

The beginning of the end

Suzy rolled over today. Belly to back, the easy way, but still, what a rotten, evil, amazingly perfect little girl.

There might be a little bit more to the rolling over story involving a footstool and Harry, but you'll have to see me to get the rest of the story.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Let sleeping babes lie

Last night was one of those amazing nights that Harry feel asleep at 645 pm. It's always a gamble - do you try and wake him at 715 and then put him back to bed at 830 or just see if he sleeps through. Well, we left him and he stayed asleep until he was wide awake, along with Suzy, at 3 am. Well, I was wide awake too. So, Suzy ate and Harry and I watched The Flintstones which really was a silly show. Happily everyone was back to sleep before 4 am. But, shees, what a morning.

Next week is my last week of 'baby vacation'. (Term coined by Pete and find me later for the editorial related to calling this 'vacation'.) We're getting a new furnace on Monday, an upgrade (200 amp!) to our electrical service on Tuesday and then Wednesday I see the doctor and am hopefully cleared for regular activity and an end to blood pressure medication. It should be a busy week.

Meanwhile, everyone is invited to the super basement cleaning party this weekend.

PS - Uncle Roger + crew - thanks so much for the pony. Every girl needs one.

Another baby

When you're pregnant, it seems like every other woman you see is pregnant. Almost as if the non-pregnant ones are invisible. Pete was especially sensitive to this phenomenon. Skip and his wife, Kristin, were pregnant right about the same time as us. Kristin developed a little case of preeclampsia (sound familiar?) and they had a baby boy, Anderson Philip, on October 26. Congratulations!

PS - if you're looking for a way to contact Skip, find me offline and I'll deliver the most recent address.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Some of you may know that Harry is a bit of a freak when it comes to dessert. For the most part, he's only interested if it is a bar (brownie) or a cookie (chocolate chip). Cake? No thanks. Ice cream? Once in a while, but only in sandwich or on a stick form. Pie? Not a chance. But cookies and bars? All day everyday. And, we actually have cookie emergencies at 610 Pine.

There are times when I look at Harry (and now Suzy) and tell myself to remember the moment. This happens every time Harry and Pete sit down at the table with coffee cups of milk and cookies to dunk in. I'm not sure who makes more noise sucking the milk off the cookie or a bigger mess on the table or drops more cookie in or shows less shame when placing the whole hand in to fish out the broken cookie, but they are adorable.

PS - Schmoopie, You simply must move back. You've had your fun now sell that house and buy one on a tree street. We still have an airport, Schmoopie can commute. I'd even give Schmoopie piano lessons if he wants them, just to sweeten the deal. I'm such a great, patient teacher. Come back, Schmoopies, come back!

Was it you?

Someone taught this girl how to cry. I mean, really cry. Loud. Wailing. And, she sounds just like Harry did. However, the oddest thing is happening - when she cries, I get calmer. When she wakes up at night, it's okay. With Harry, the crying made me crazy; he couldn't tell me what the problem was, there was just the crying. When he woke up at night, it seemed abusive. I spent a lot of time telling him, 'You are not efficient!' And it really made me nuts.

Some of this is due to the fact that Pete and I really aren't baby people. We of course love Harry and Suzy and enjoy their baby-ness, but when other babies come around we don't need to hold them. We don't stop strangers in public places to talk to them about their babies. The other reason for this uncharacteristic zen-like calmness is the fact that we are done having babies. This is it. 1 boy, 1 girl. No more.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Talk about wasting

Today I:

1. Took Harry to school (and called mom to arrange for pick up and delivery to sitter)
2. Watched 6.5 episodes of The West Wing
3. Napped

I am going to get up and make chicken marsala now.

Really, I am.

Time's a wastin'

Things I thought I'd do on maternity leave (besides the obvious):

1. Play the piano
Total minutes spent playing the piano since 9/30: 7

2. Read a pile of books
Total books read since 9/30: 1

3. Build multiple things out of legos
Total minutes spent hunting for lego pieces: 4,568

4. Nap, taken daily, as needed
Total naps taken: 2
Daisy, of course, rubs my nose in this every day, even now snoring next to me.

So, all this leads to what exactly have I been doing on maternity leave (again, besides the obvious)?

1. Laundry. How can one little baby make so much laundry?

2. West Wing reruns. Don't worry, I'm already hanging my head in shame.

3. Legos. (See above.)

4. Trips to Walgreens, Target and the grocery store. I don't understand why that takes so long.

5. Trying to figure out exactly why I like synchronized swimming. Really, I do.

In case you're wondering, the obvious things are:

1. Chasing Harry from one place to the next

2. Feeding and changing Suzy

3. Cleaning the house

4. Contemplating exactly how I'm going to get Pete to agree that we NEED a Wii.

5. Cooking

6. Multiple insurance/doctor phone calls

Except for the nap part, it's been very satisfying.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


In my world, there are 2 types of people:

1. Those willing to stick their hand into a pumpkin
2. Those unwilling to do same

Harry and I are of the second variety, so thank goodness we have Pete (and for me in previous years, my mom) to do the dirty work. As you must have guessed, last night we turned perfectly good pie ingredients into seasonal decorations that will rot in our south facing bay window. Fun was had by one and all.

And, we also started the annual game where Pete thinks I'm going to make roasted pumpkin seeds so he saves in them in a bowl and I let them sit there until they are all water logged and rotten and throw them out. Who am I to mess with 9 years of tradition? But, this made me wonder which of the tasks I've convinced myself are essential to the library that never get finished and we all live without that I could save time and money by not even starting them in the first place?

In other news, Suzy makes the cutest little faces. I know, I know, most babies make funny faces, but let's face it - Suzy's are the most unqiue, adorable little girl faces. (Paul, you are allowed to disagree after your daughter arrives.) Of note:

I'm trying to convince myself that this isn't the 'oh, you are my mom' face.

PS - Auntie Linda, the lobster is adorable!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A clean house

So I finally got myself over to MPL's site to check for Consumer Reports vacuum review (that's right, you can access Consumer Reports for free from your local library) which they did in the last issue. Apparently, I should be buying a canister vacuum, since they are better for bare floors. But, stick vacuums (not for stick people) work quite well on bare floors also, and cost a fraction of the price. So, I bought a Dirt Devil Power Stick and I have this to say about it:

1. I love it
2. It's great on stairs
3. The cord could be longer
4. It's annoying to not be able to turn it on with a foot
5. I love it
6. Totally worth the $44.99
7. Suzy sleeps through the following simultaneous events: barking dog, vacuum running, ipod playing Johnny Cash's Flosom Prison Blues
8. Harry thinks it's a special boy vacuum and likes to use it (things are getting better and better, no?)

Then, so inspired, I dusted the living room and dining room, and then cleaned the kitchen (while on the phone, annoying, I know) and took myself and Harry to the dentist. I also folded a zillion loads of laundry. Seriously -- where does it all come from?

Meanwhile, this stick vacuum thing got me thinking: they took an existing product and spun up something new. It does the same thing as a regular vacuum, but it's small and ever so slightly different. Sort of like Cirque de Soliel (I refuse to look up how to spell it because the people in it look like clowns and are just too scary to see this close to bed time) - it's just a modern version of the circus. Anyway, it made me think about what fresh take I could make on a current service or product.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Funny face

When Harry was born, Anna told us about the theory that infants only smile to help ensure that their parents can endure the crying, interrupted sleep and other unpleasantness of early parenthood. Everyone likes cute pictures of babies, but they make such funny faces and I think it's a shame not to capture some of those. Of course, these are the same pictures that will make them crazy in teenage years, but it makes up for the current parental madness.

Lately, when reading some library blogs, I've been thinking that while web 2.0 technologies are really great, it would be even better to have people talking about how libraries (and other people) are actually using these things. Don't get me wrong, I really like blogs and for a long time I thought about writing one, but I never seemed to have enough material until well, you know, a few weeks ago. So, the question isn't why should we use blogs and RSS and social tagging, but how should we use them and what is the benefit - either to the bottom line or the user?

PS - Pete, Birger, Gretchen, Sarah - so nice to have lunch today. Susie, how did I forget to take a picture of you and Suzy??? Maria, thanks for the visit and adorable outfits.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cooking shows

Turns out Harry likes cooking shows almost as much as he likes cartoons. We made chili today (it's on the stove now - nice to know that dinner is taken care of) and when we were done he asked if we could watch tv where they were in the kitchen chopping. It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about, but we watched a nice lady make sesame orange pork chops.

Today I am halfway through my maternity leave. I'm enjoying being home with Harry and Suzy, but I have to admit that my brain is starting to tick again. I'm back to Morning Edition and All Things Considered and today while I was feeding Suzy, I read 'The Week' instead of my trashy novel. Nothing against trashy novels, as I enjoy them with greater frequency than I'd like to admit. Let me know if you need suggestions, I won't tell anyone you asked.

Meanwhile, I heard a sound clip of a Barack Obama speech today where he quoted the Reagan campaign with 'are you better off than you were 4 years ago', which got me thinking about what I was doing in a library 4 years ago. Most companies/employers are good at making you think about what you did in the last year and what you'll do next year, but it seems to me every once in a while, it probably pays to take a look further back. There may be an idea to repurpose, or maybe even one who's time has come.

PS - Scott, thanks for the pink HD wear. Mrs. Lyman, thanks for the great outfit and Harry's shirt. Parkers, thanks for dinner, dessert, snacks and the adorable outfit. Granny, thanks for lunch!
PPS - It's bugging me - I don't know if I used the right who's/whose there and am too lazy to look it up. Anyone??

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lunch with Granny

Today we had lunch with Pete's Granny. Meaning, we went to her house and she made us a delicious lunch.
I just saw a commercial for a television program entitled 'Magic's biggest secrets revealed'. I have to admit, there are somethings about magic that I just don't want to know. I like being able to suspend reason and believe that someone is really being cut in half and then magically put back together. What's life if you can't believe in a little magic?

Of course, I saw this commercial while Pete and Harry were watching their new favorite program, 'Iron Chef':

(Of course, you can see I should have moved my new favorite hand lotion for a better shot.) (I write a lot of parenthetical phrases. See that? I even got to write parenthetical. Now I have to run spell check again. Woo! I got it right!)

I also have a confession to make: I'm a lot better at doing nothing on this maternity leave than I was with Harry.

PS - I'll be at MOTC on Tuesday morning, close enough to lunch if anyone is interested in joining me (and Suzy). I haven't quite decided if I want to try and wrangle Harry, too.

Friday, October 17, 2008

9:21 pm

Harry's home.


Harry is 3 hours into his first sleepover. He's at TJ and Elizabeth's house - their mom, Jenny, is my friend from the 1st grade, and I probably had one of my first sleepovers at her house. We're thinking that there is a 50% chance of a phone call to bring the boy home. But, otherwise we'll fetch him in the morning and see how he did.

Meanwhile, we had trouble decided if we should take advantage of the time at home or go out to dinner. Eventually, sloth won out and we were too lazy to make food so we went to the club for a fish fry.

And, no matter what your politics, Sarah Palin ought to stay off SNL - Tina Fey is rocking that impression.

I'm going to go find some leftover cake.

PS - Dan, Sarah, etc. - thanks for the bitty baby - she's the same size as Suzy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is it wrong to eat it before he gets home?

Tell me, really, what would you do?

An SOS on my brain

Last night around 8 pm:
Cindy, sitting down on the couch: I've got to feed the girl.
Pete: OK
Cindy: Crap, I left the shield on the sink.
Pete, sighing: I can't wait until you get your brain back.
Harry: I'll get the shield!

This morning, around 10 am:
Birger: is it Pete's birthday today?
Cindy, glancing at the date on the computer screen: shit.
Cindy: shit shit shit.

On the upside, his present is already here. On the downside, I won't be doing Suzy's announcements today. I have to make this: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/chocolate-peanut-butter-cake/.

Cake will be served at 7 pm tonight - all are welcome.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Out of the mouths' of babes

Cindy: Harry, go get your Planet Hero spaceship out of the car.
Harry: Whatever.

The madness continues

So, after my Nerf gun moment of insanity, you'd think I'd be in the clear for a while. But, then I had to go to Target today to buy more diapers (seriously, how does one teeny tiny baby use 92 diapers in 1 week??) and I bought the replacement pack of 30 plunger foam darts for the gun.

Meanwhile, I had something to say about sales tax and the county parks and about how libraries should do that, but now I've lost that thought amongst the hunt for the foam darts.

PS - Pete took the camera to work today, so this slightly lower quality one is from my phone.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not a whole lot

Harry woke up this morning and asked to go to Kelly's house. I should rephrase that - Harry woke me up this morning at 815 and asked to go to Kelly's house. So, I managed to get him shuffled out of the house around 10. So much for efficiency.

Suzy and I slugged around most of the day - I did get her room put together (and Harry's got baby legos all over the floor already) and the living room and dining room vacuumed. Man, the floor was really dirty. I also watched more Project Runway than I care to admit and made some good headway on the latest Stephanie Plum novel. Which I am reading in large print - it's sort of fun excepting all the page turning. Oh, and I gave her another bath with the expected results. This time I think she turned a little more purple than red during the howling. On the upside, she was nice and awake for some photos after.

In other good news, Pete's new chair cushion arrived today and I made the apple cake. The recipe is quite lovely, I'll use the walnuts and more cinnamon next time. I'll also probably look into getting a tube pan, since I seem to be bundt pan challenged. I spray the hell out of it, and I set the timer to let it cool and the stupid thing always breaks. I have accepted the fact that I can't make pie (stupid crust) but I seem to be unwilling to give up on bundt. Also, we need a new vacuum. Something good for bare floors. I'll check consume reports tomorrow, but if you've got a suggestion, I'm all ears.

PS - Kelly, thanks for the super cute outfits; Garretts, thanks for the massage certificate - I can't wait to use it; Jean thanks for dinner and legos and pink shoes and chocolate; Edward & c., we love the t-shirt!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Your big brother

Maybe it's because I have an older brother, but I feel it's important for every girl to have one. They can be handy and a pain in the hinder all at the same time. The age gap between Harry and Suzy is a little larger (4.5 years vs. 13 months), but I imagine he will still give her a ride to school or put the chain back on her bike and so on. The general consensus around here is that Suzy looks a lot like Harry when he was born. I figure there are worse things that can happen to a girl, and of course, Harry was a very cute baby. However, I do hope that Suzy ends up looking more like a girl than Harry as she gets a little older. (I also really hope she doesn't end up with a chin like Dan's!)

Harry is very proud of Suzy - today he asked if we were taking her into school and then motioned for all of his pals to come over and have a look. We were running a little late, so he didn't get much action, but I wondered how long this activity would continue.

Anyway, I know you really don't want to be looking at a picture of Dan and me at the Milwaukee Public Museum from last Christmas, so check these out:

PS - Paul, I finally figured out the date: it only shows atop the first post of the day.