Category Archives: Misc

Smart Children

Down

  • I’m gaining weight again. I think this is mainly due to me accidentally skipping lunches. I get too busy to eat and by the time I realize it, I’m starving. I need to work better at eating on time.

Ups

  • We’ve gotten a fair amount of sun for the past couple of days. I’ve been sitting in the rocker up in Calvin’s room while I work which allows me to work in copious amounts of sunlight.
  • I worked up a proposed 2011 budget for our household and submitted it to Jaeger for review. I think I’ve finally figured out how to get the reports I care about out of GnuCash so I can make intelligent decisions based on past trends.

Calvin Moment

  • I had an amusing conversation with Calvin’s primary teacher at daycare today. She was talking about how Calvin was very smart but because he was so smart, he was harder to handle than the average toddler. For instance, she says that if you give most toddlers a choice between two options, they will chose one of them. This is billed as an easy way to get the toddler to do what you want them to do. However, if Calvin is faced with two options that he doesn’t like, he’ll just say, “no” instead of choosing either one. Also, he has figured out that once lunch is over it’s nap time. So, when asked if he’s done with lunch, he’ll always say “no” even if he’s no longer interested in eating. Obviously, I have mixed feelings about this. It makes life a little more . . . interesting . . . in the short term but it’s also fascinating to watch his potential grow.

Simplification

  • I’ve continued to shred massive amounts of paper. I don’t know where it all comes from. Last night I finally broke down and went through our “medical” folder and subdivided it into 3 different folders in addition to shredding a lot of very old receipts we no longer need. Today, I cleaned up my food shelf in the basement and dumped food that I’m either never going to use or looked kind of sketchy.

MRI

My arm hasn’t completely healed yet so I went and got an MRI for it on Monday. I didn’t realize how long of a process it would be. It didn’t seem complicated. They injected the dye in my arm and then I went straight over to the MRI machine. However, the whole process took about 2 hrs (only around 20 min in the actual machine). I’ve never had an MRI before and discovered that the space is a little more confined than I would prefer. Also, next time I’d know to bring my own CDs to pipe into the machine as the imaging is done.

Tuesday I went back to the orthopedic doctor and he took a look at the images. It turns out that my shoulder had a compression fracture and I also sustained a minor cuff injury (I don’t guarantee all those words are right but that’s what I remember him saying). The shoulder did look pretty impressive on film. The good news is that it should eventually heal on its own without any surgery needed. The bad news is he said my shoulder is likely to ache the rest of the winter. I guess ibuprofen will continue to be my friend.

Ups

  • Calvin was fairly quiet last night so I slept very well. As a result, I woke up early enough to exercise this morning.

Calvin Moment

  • Calvin seems to be much more into reading books recently. It’s not uncommon for him to bring books for us to read at random times. A couple of days ago, he curled up on my lap flipping through the pages of his book while I read my book. In my view, that’s the idea way to pass the evening with a toddler but it doesn’t happen much :-) He also has been demanding more bedtime stories from Jaeger recently. I think he’s figured out that between potty training and bedtime stories he can delay bedtime by a significant amount.

Simplification

  • I’ve spent the last several evenings shredding massive amounts of paper. I even found a bank statements from my very first checking account (though not the first statements from that account).

Another Weekend

Ups

  • Jaeger is back from his trip!
  • Calvin and I both survived Jaeger being gone for 5 days.
  • The house has been cleaned and has mostly recovered from our benign neglect in December.

Calvin Moment

  • Calvin’s obsession with planes continues. Last night he was talking about planes in his sleep. It was cute but not entirely restful to hear variations of “hanes! hanes!” being muttered. He also is enjoying other large mechanical items such as buses and trucks. Now that he’s forward facing in the car seat, he is continually pointing these out to me.
  • Calvin has taken to ordering the cats around. In fact, I think his first real sentence is officially, “Fi ease moosh” (Five, please move).

Simplification

  • Got 3 boxes of donations packed.

Furniture

Downs

  • I don’t think I sleep as well without Jaeger. I had the worse time falling asleep last night.
  • My arm is still bothering me. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and couldn’t get comfortable enough to go back to sleep. At least I had no trouble getting up in time to exercise.

Ups

  • I really love being back in my normal routine. Traveling was interesting but it’s really good to be home.
  • Got up and exercised before Calvin woke up this morning.
  • This was my first normal “day off” in about a month. I spent it by wondering to various thrift stores and used furniture stores looking desperately for a table I could stand that would last a couple of years. Our dining room chairs are dying by pieces and all of a sudden its condition seems to be deteriorating rapidly. It’s a dining room set I picked up for a couple hundred of dollars in the thrift store the first year we got married. However, it’s really not Jaeger’s style. In fact, it’s not really my style anymore either. I couldn’t find anything used that I liked but I did find a new version for “too much” money that I think would work good for many years (Note: I think it’s priced appropriately for it’s quality, it’s just hard for me to spend multiple thousands of dollars on anything).
  • I started reading a new book called House of Havoc by Marni Jameson. It’s one of the more practical home decorating/organizing books I’ve read recently and it’s given me a couple of ideas of stuff to do with our house.

Calvin Moment

I picked Calvin up from daycare and took him to the park. However, by the time we got to the park, the sky was cloudy. We had dressed warmly so Calvin and I resolutely started down the path to the playground equipment. When we got there, I realized that the equipment was still covered in snow. Last week, Calvin got to watch 3 dogs play in the enclosed dog park area. Remembering how fun this was, he walked over to that area of the park and sat down patiently waiting for dogs to appear and entertain him. I tried to explain that was unlikely to happen as the park was completely deserted. Instead, we decided to go to Petco and gawk at the animals they had. Calvin seemed have almost as much fun looking at the pictures of cats on kitty litter as he was with the real animals.

Simplification

  • I cleared off my desk and worked on packing more items into boxes.
  • I got a bunch of empty spice jars that match my current jars for Christmas. I had fun filling the jars up and alphabetizing my herbs and spices :-) (yes, I can be obsessive but only in completely useless areas)

    I shredded lots of stuff but have boxes left of things that should be shredded. I wonder if I’m ever going to get through it all.

Getting Back into a Routine

Ups

  • I got the top floor of the house cleaned today. Because of my long vacation and hectic schedule right before leaving, the house hasn’t had a really good cleaning for quite a while. It was good to clean and get things organized. I also finally carried some boxes of Calvin’s old clothes down into the basement for storage. (We’re not planning to have another child but I figure since we have the room we might as well keep stuff in case someone around us could use it.)
  • I finally got around to weighing myself yesterday and discovered I didn’t gain a significant amount of weight the entire time I was gone. Given the amount of Christmas candy I ate at my mother’s house, this is somewhat miraculous. My next challenge is to find time to consistently exercise again. Assuming I get to bed at a reasonable time, I’ll probably try getting up early tomorrow.

Calvin Moment

  • We have started eating our dinner meal together as a family. Up till now, I’ve been feeding Calvin earlier in the kitchen. This was due to him wanting to eat earlier and the mess he caused. We have now put a sheet under his high chair at the dining room table so he can start being part of the meal with us as we eat. Unfortunately, this means he eats later which makes him grouchy. However, other than that, the experience has been going well. Tonight he serenaded us with his version of the ABC song. He can’t really sing it but he approximates the tune and random sings various letters like d e a d d d d.
  • Calvin dislikes eating food that isn’t at room temperature. Knowing that, I pulled out his serving of broccoli soup a good 45 min prior to when we ate. However, the first time he tried it he complained that it was hot. I tested it to make sure it was a reasonable temp and told him, “no, it’s lukewarm” at which point Calvin gravely responded with “uk arm.”

We’re Home!

Downs

  • My arm is still bothering me. I have an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor on Thursday to see what he thinks.

Ups

  • Christmas vacation went pretty well. The Megafest was fun and I was relieved by how well behaved Calvin was. He and Yanthor seemed to hit it off which was really cute to watch. We played several games while we were there and I had a chance to watch the new Robin Hood. The movie was particularly fun. The last time I had a chance to watch a full-length movie was back in summer.
  • We’re home! Vacation was fun but I love sleeping in my own bed and getting back into our normal routine.
  • I finally managed to pay all our bills and balance the credit cards and our checking accounts. I don’t understand how people can go a full month between balancing transactions. I balanced right before we left for vacation but it still took me almost every spare minute for the last two days to catch up. Granted, due to Christmas we did have a lot more transactions than usual. Also, I temporarily lost my credit card right before we left and had to cancel it which did add to the mess.

Calvin Moment

  • For Christmas Calvin got quite a few vehicle toys. One of these was a Duplo tractor that had a trailer that hooked to it. Calvin has spent a lot of time driving it around and saying “choo! choo!” He’s not quite clear on the distinction between trains and other motorized contraptions.

Simplification

  • We just got home Sunday and I’ve been spending most of my time since trying to catch up. However, I’m hoping to start up my simplification campaign again in the next couple of days.

Christmas Vacation Update

Downs

A couple of Thursday nights ago (on the 9th) I was home alone with Calvin. He told me he needed to go to the potty so I picked him up with the intention of racing to the potty. Unfortunately, I tripped over Calvin’s little wagon and fell. As I fell, I rotated so I wouldn’t fall on top of Calvin which means I hit my arm/shoulder instead at a weird angle. Nothing broke but it felt pretty bad. I sat Calvin in front of Elmo and called Jaeger and told him I needed him to come home. In the mean time, I called our insurance’s nurse hotline and she said I should probably go to urgent care. However, all the urgent care centers were closed in our area by the time Jaeger arrived home. I didn’t feel it merited an emergency room visit and had already taken 800 mg of ibuprofen so I figured that was the best we could do that night. In the morning, Jaeger got Calvin ready for daycare while I told him what to do. Then Jaeger dropped Calvin off at daycare and took me to an urgent care center. My arm was poked and looked at and I was told it was probably a sprained shoulder and if it still bothered me in a couple of days, to come back for further examination.

The timing of my fall was pretty bad. The following Sunday, on the 12th, I flew with just myself and Calvin to Walla Walla via an alleged 2 hr layover in Seattle (though due to various factors I still had the joy of running through the airport with my toddler in order to board my next plane). Handling Calvin in an airplane by myself is hard enough when I’m fully functional but it was miserable with my shoulder. Fortunately, Calvin was in a pretty good mood. We stayed at Jaeger’s parent’s house for a week and then flew back to Seattle to spend Christmas proper with my family. I was hoping my shoulder would have recovered by that point but it hadn’t. Yesterday my dad took a look at it and decided it was probably some sort of rotator cuff injury and I should get it looked at if it’s still a problem when we finally make it back to Colorado.

Ups

  • Other than my arm, this trip has gone fairly well. Calvin was as well-behaved as you could expect a toddler to be for all legs of our flights. Every time I fly with him I am so happy we bought a seat for him even though he technically is still young enough to be a lap infant.
  • Jaeger and Willy, his brother, both arrived on Thursday and it was nice to be reunited again. Calvin also apparently thought so as he spent much of the remaining week stalking Jaeger to Jaeger’s consternation.
  • Got a chance to wander around Walla Walla a bit and see friends from college.
  • Had the chance to eat a pastry at Roger’s Bakery. I love good pastry.
  • We opened up Christmas stockings and presents on Friday the 17th. Calvin seemed to like it much better this year than last. He enthusiastically helped open everyone’s presents until the very end when his lack of a nap started to become apparent.
  • Sunday Jaeger left to go back to Colorado and I flew to Seattle and was picked up by my mother.
  • Got most of Christmas part 3 shopping done yesterday.

Upcoming Events

  • Jaeger arrives in Portland tomorrow morning.
  • Christmas with the Stone side on boxing day.
  • We meet up with Bethany and Josh on Monday.
  • Christmas with the McLean side on Monday evening or Tuesday.
  • Fly out for Megafest on Wednesday.

Travel Prep and Calvin Updates

Down

  • There’s never enough time to get everything I want to done.

Ups

  • Had SF Book Club Monday which was amusing. Calvin didn’t stay in one play so it was hard to “discuss” anything but we did manage to pick the next book, Blackout by Connie Willis.
  • Went on a travel related shopping spree and most things have arrived. Got a suitcase for our stroller (I hear airlines can really mangle them) and a fold-up potty seat. Also ordered some toys and a leash for Calvin (now that he’s mobile it’s harder to keep track of him so I got an animal backpack for him that has a tail I can hang on to).
  • Potty training has been going well. Calvin still doesn’t do particularly well away from home but at least it’s reduced the number of home diapers to deal with. I think on our travel days I’m just going to put him back in diapers but let him use the potty whenever he wants to, just not stress about it.
  • Calvin is enjoying Christmas so far. We have a little tree in the china cabinet that lights up which he loves. We also had Christmas part 1 last night which consisted of Calvin open up a couple boxes of waffle blocks. We found one that lets you build your own car. Not only do Mommy and Daddy enjoy playing with it but Calvin does also. Occasionally our artistic visions differ. Calvin tends to win as he destroys our creations.
  • Calvin is now wearing shoes other than the same type of tennis shoes he has been insisting on for the last 6 months. I went shopping and bought some snow boots for him. He loves them and is constantly putting them on and taking them off.
  • We’ve had some decent weather recently so Calvin has been able to spend more time outside. Today he greatly enjoyed sitting in the tree in our front yard.
  • Jaeger has managed to reduce Elmo segments down to 5 minutes. Once Calvin caught on that a deposit in the potty meant he got to watch 15 min of Elmo, he got very good and portioning them out. As a result, he could easily spend several hours a day watching Elmo which I felt was way too much on a regular basis. Calvin isn’t particularly excited by the short episodes but has decided they are better than nothing.

Calvin Moment

  • I don’t have any one moment but Calvin keeps getting brighter and smarter every day. It’s so nice to see him develop into a little person. As I write this, Calvin is wandering around the main level of our house pushing chairs up to light switches so he can turn them on and off. Probably not good for the lights but he’s having a great deal of fun. Oh. He’s just figured out how to unlock and open the sliding glass door. This can’t be good . . .

Simplification

  • Haven’t done anything. I’m now aiming to restart after Christmas and travel is over.

More Parenting Tales

Down

  • Wednesday night Calvin was very clingy and didn’t want to go to bed without me. I’d leave him but he kept frantically screaming so eventually I caved and we both snuggled down in my bed. Once he finally drifted off to sleep, I transferred him back to his crib. Fortunately, both yesterday and tonight he went to bed without as much fussing.

Ups

  • Got my hair cut today. Also decided to color it again. This is the first time I’ve had it colored since before I was pregnant.

Calvin Moment

  • Yesterday, I picked Calvin up from daycare and got him settled in his car seat when he suddenly proclaimed he had to go to the bathroom. I asked him if he was sure and he nodded a solemn yes. I wasn’t sure what to do as the last time this had happened, I had raced him back inside daycare only to discover we were too late. This time I took his potty chair, which I take to daycare every day, and decided to plop it in the back of the Rav4. To my relief, Calvin hadn’t gone yet so he and I sat in the back with the door mostly closed to protect us from the wind. At this point, I learned that we don’t have a handle on the inside of our back door. Obviously, none of the vehicle’s engineers had to huddle in the back while their child was contemplating using the potty. It turns out Calvin didn’t have to go. However, I had some fabulous time to contemplate how my life has changed since having a child.
  • This afternoon I was in the kitchen getting a snack for Calvin when I remembered I had left a plate on the sofa in the living room. I asked Calvin to go get the plate on the sofa and bring it back to me. To my surprise, he did. Up to this point, I’ve normally pointed at something when I asked him to bring it to me. However, the plate was completely out of sight.

Simplification

  • Haven’t done anything. Hopefully I’ll work on this more next week.

Most of a Week Alone

Down

  • Jaeger is in San Diego. So far, Calvin and I are surviving but we will be glad when he’s back.

Ups

  • Potty training is going very well. For the most part, Calvin properly uses the potty while at home (though anywhere but home is still a trick).
  • I actually got Christmas decorations up this year.
  • My project for this week is to make Christmas Candy. Last year I was too overwhelmed by Calvin to consider making any but this year I have more energy.

Calvin Moment

  • Calvin was playing upstairs where he stumbled across a pair of my socks in the hallway. He picked them up and then trotted into our bedroom and tried to reach the top drawer in our dresser which is where the socks are stored. I wasn’t quite tall enough so I opened it up and then picked him up and he put them away and shut the drawer. I’m not sure how he knew that’s where those socks went. I’d be much more excited by this neat trick if he wasn’t also so good at making huge messes.

Simplification

  • I’ve been making candy at night so haven’t had time to do any weeding of our stuff.