Category Archives: Misc

Thanksgiving

Down

  • Wednesday afternoon/evening was bad. Calvin was so cranky and crying the entire time, even when I gave him constant attention. When Jaeger got home, I practically threw Calvin at him in relief. Calvin wore us both out and by the time it was his bedtime, Jaeger and I were getting snippy with each other. Neither of us wanted to face having 4 days with Calvin all to ourselves.
  • My oven is dying. At the moment, it takes 45 min-1 hr to preheat to 350 degrees. I did manage to use it for Thanksgiving dinner but I had to leave the oven on practically the entire day to get it hot enough.

Ups

  • Jaeger bought Agricola and taught me how to play it Wednesday night. So far, we’ve fit in three games either after Calvin goes to bed or during his nap. I’ve lost every time but I’m starting to get a better grasp of the strategies involved. It’s all about balance which is hard for me to deal with. Last game I pretty much definitely proved one could not win based on fences/livestock alone :-)
  • Fortunately, Calvin recovered from whatever was wrong Wednesday night and Thursday and Friday were surprisingly pleasant. I woke up Thursday morning and made crepes stuffed with apples and topped with almond whipped cream. Jaeger played with Calvin while I did food prep for Thanksgiving meal. Calvin resisted his afternoon nap but did eventually sleep and I took a brief nap and then Jaeger and I played another game of Agricola. Once Calvin woke up, I did my final dinner prep and we ate Thanksgiving meal around 4.
  • Yesterday, we went to the zoo. We got there at 10, around opening time, and parked exceptionally close to the entrance. Calvin seemed a little dazed the first hour but revived after having lunch at 11. This time, the giraffes were inside so it was easier to get close to them. Calvin seemed very impressed by their height. There was a baby giraffe that was born in October that weighed about as much as Jaeger at its birth. Calvin also enjoyed many of the other animals but seemed to have a special fascination for the ducks. I need to see if we have any duck ponds in our area. After the zoo, we went to Watercourse, a very good vegetarian restaurant in Denver, for lunch. Jaeger was dubious about trying to fit in lunch before Calvin’s nap but it seemed to work out okay. Calvin fell asleep almost as soon as he got back in the car.
  • This last week I decided to up our potty training intensity. The only time I’ve put Calvin in diapers since a week ago Friday evening is for naps or bedtime. For other trips, such as at the zoo, I put him in disposable pull-ups but I’m not very impressed with them. He’s been making pretty good progress. Yesterday, he didn’t have any accidents at home though we started out with a big one this morning.

Calvin Moment

  • Calvin is really into hats at the moment. He’ll take all sorts of random objects, place them on his head, and then announce, “haat! haat!” In addition to real hats, current other favorites include waffle blocks and empty egg cartons.

Simplification

  • Packed three boxes from the basement for the thrift store. Now I just need to schedule another pickup.

I Thought it was Suppose to be the Toddler Sick all the Time, Not Me

Down

  • Sick again. This time I had some sort of short-lived stomach flu on Sunday, my least favorite illness. I woke up around 4am Sunday morning with some cramping but couldn’t figure out what was going on. By the time it was morning, I knew I wasn’t feeling good. However, I dragged myself downstairs for a late breakfast of applesauce to be told that our Sunday babysitter had canceled. I tried to work for a bit but couldn’t concentrate so I went back to bed. I got up around lunch time again only to throw up and decide I should go back to bed again. I got up around 4pm feeling marginally better. Fortunately, today I feel almost normal.

Ups

  • Jaeger was around to look after Calvin while I slept on Sunday. I don’t know how I would have survived if this had hit the previous Sunday while he was gone.
  • I’m back to part-time this week. While I think I could enjoy working full-time, I don’t have the mechanisms in place to do so. For instance, if I worked full-time, I think I would, at a minimum, want to hire a house cleaning service.
  • I decreed that last weekend was a “Calvin potty-training weekend.” My sickness on Sunday interrupted some of that, but he still made enough progress that I decided it was time to try out potty training at daycare. While not an unqualified success, Calvin has made definite improvements over the last couple of days.

Calvin Moment

  • Calvin has become re-enthralled with The Cat in the Hat. When Calvin was in newborn, we would read The Cat in the Hat to him and he really enjoyed it then. However, once he became more mobile, we had to put it away because he didn’t have the dexterity to deal with the pages (why don’t they have a board book version of this?). Recently, we’ve started trying out non-board books so I pulled out The Cat in the Hat again. He loves it. It has a kitty and a hat! Two of his favorite words. What could be better? In fact, it also has discusses balls, books, and fish, also favorite words.

Simplification

  • Found more stuff to throw away in the basement.

Sleeping Better

Down

Ups

  • Calvin has been sleeping better the last couple of nights. Hopefully this trend keeps up.

Calvin Moment

  • Calvin helped me make supper tonight. We had Tomato and Bean Soup which I really love because you throw 5 ingredients in a food processor and than you are done. Calvin helped me by turning on and off the food processor as I held him up to the counter. He got a big kick out of it.

Simplification

  • Last night I went through more kitchen stuff in the basement and designated a fair number of things to the thrift store bin.

Restless Nights

Down

  • Calvin has been very restless for the last couple of nights. This has meant very restless nights for the rest of the family.
  • I haven’t exercised in over a week. I was planning to start this week but with having to get up so much for Calvin, I think I need my sleep more than getting up early to exercise.

Ups

  • Jaeger’s back! Not only is it nice to have my husband back in my bed for the normal reasons but it’s also much warmer. I had to add a second blanket while he was gone.

Calvin Moment

  • I bought a bunch of sweat pants for Calvin in preparation for potty training. He has fallen in love with them. He’s currently on our couch trying to put one on by himself. He doesn’t want any help from mommy! He can consistently put one leg through correctly but getting a second leg in has stumped him so far.

Simplification

  • I haven’t had time recently to do anything. I’m hoping to get a bit of time tonight to do something useful.

Upgrade Week

Down

  • Haven’t had much free time this last week but other than that, things have been going well.
  • Jaeger is gone for the weekend to Lincoln for a wedding. Hope he has a good time but still miss him.

Ups

  • The major part of the upgrade at work has been successfully completed. Now there’s just a lot of clean-up. The upgrade prep started 7pm on Wednesday night. I had misjudged how long everything would take so didn’t get to bed until after 3am. Unfortunately, I had to be up in Greeley by 7am to start the actual upgrade so got less than 3 hrs of sleep. It was a very long day at work. However, our core ILS system was back up within my estimated time frame. Jaeger picked up Calvin for daycare and also got takeout so all I had to do at home was eat and watch Calvin for a little bit before he went to bed. Then I went to bed and got 9 hours of sleep. Upgrade day 2 was much more relaxed. I still worked 10 hrs but it was easier since I had a full nights sleep the night before. Once again Jaeger took Calvin to daycare and picked him up in addition to getting a takeout supper. Based on the last couple of days, I don’t think I’d mind working full-time again if I could have takeout every night. The only downside is the guilt I would feel over having Calvin in daycare all day (which is silly because there is no consensus in the research community that a high quality daycare is worse than a stay-at-home mom).
  • I can now read library eBooks from Overdrive on my iPhone! While I was waiting for some of the systems to be upgraded on Thursday, my Google Alert found an article about How to read public library eBooks with DRM on an iPhone. I didn’t have time to try it out on Thursday but managed to sneak some time on Friday to verify that the Bluefire Reader really does work. This will be a great way to provide reading material during my extended time away from home around Christmas.
  • Since Jaeger was gone this weekend, I decided I should get a babysitter to provide a little break yesterday. Sarah, one of Calvin’s normal babysitters, was available and came at 5:30. Originally, I was thinking about going and watching a movie but nothing spoke to me. So, instead I went to Borders, our closest major bookstore, with the intention of finding a good book and then snuggling down with a hot drink. Normally, I first read all my books at the library before deciding whether or not they are worthy to buy. However, I decided I would be bold tonight. An average paperback book costs less than a movie ticket anyway. It turns out I was in luck. N.K. Jemisin’s newest book, The Broken Kingdoms is out. I had read her previous book, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, in one sitting. I approached the second book with a little trepidation as it is not unusual for me to love an author’s first book and not the second. However, I was equally enthralled by this one. I read at Borders till it was time for me to go home and then continued reading at home until midnight. Not a particularly good sleep strategy considering my prior week but I don’t grudge any minutes I lost.
  • I got Calvin to nap today! For the last couple of Sundays Calvin has been refusing to nap. Today Calvin didn’t seem particularly interested in napping but I was. When it was nap time, I put him in his crib and then sat in the rocking chair in his room. With me in the room, he didn’t seem to mind being in the crib but he wasn’t interested in sleeping either. However, he seemed happy enough to play in his crib that I started snoozing in the rocking chair. Every so often I would open my eyes and he was still awake. I kept trying to convince myself it was a lost cause and I should just get up but by the time I finally woke up enough to do so, he had decided to go to sleep after all. It took him an hour to go to sleep but he’s now been sleeping for 2 hrs. I have this feeling I should wake him up so he’ll go to sleep tonight.

Calvin Moment

  • I was on the potluck team so we went to potluck at church yesterday. Not surprisingly, Calvin charmed everyone there. Potluck is at an awkward time for Calvin’s nap so my plan was to take him on a stroller ride during 2nd service so he could nap and then come back and catch the tale end of potluck. Those involved in potluck preparation were downstairs in the basement and they helped wear Calvin out. One of the men chased Calvin all around the halls with Calvin laughing hysterically the entire time. It’s good that Calvin’s such an extrovert. I’m just not sure where it came from.

Simplification

  • Since the upgrade, I haven’t done much simplification. However, I did go through my books Tuesday and week out the ones I don’t think I’ll ever read again. Ended up with a fairly good sized box. I scheduled a pickup to have both those and the piano books I had weeded previously taken away.

Upgrade Almost Here

I’m just a couple of days away from our massive upgrade at work. I’ll be spending most of Wednesday night doing prep work on the server and then need to be at Greeley by 7am on Thursday. This is one of those time when I really wish caffeine worked for me. Jaeger will be taking care of Calvin Wed night and non-daycare hours Thursday and Friday.

Ups

  • My cold really is almost gone. I’m back to being able to read a couple of books to Calvin without my throat giving out.

Calvin Moment

  • I bought 10 pairs of cheap blue and brown sweat pants to put on Calvin while we potty train him. This morning I had taken off his night diaper and asked him to go grab a pair of sweatpants for me while I setup his high chair for breakfast. He obligingly ran over to the drawer and pulled out a pair of sweatpants except he managed to get 2 pairs instead of just one. One pair fell to the floor and he looked at it and then started walking my direction with the pair he was still holding in his hands. He got almost all the way to me before stopping, turning around and running back to the sweatpants on the floor. He then put the sweatpants back in the drawer and firmly closed it before proudly trotting back to me. If only he stays this organized growing up . . .

Simplification

  • Last night I weeded a large number of my piano books from my collection. I divided them into a thrift store pile and a pile that I thought the other church pianists might get use out of.
  • Today I weeded my collection of books and found about 40 to give to the thrift store.
  • I also spent a lot of time cleaning under our sink. The cabinet under our sink annoys me because it seems to be designed to make it useless. It’s a corner cabinet so there’s a significant amount of space under there that I just can’t reach. The plumbing is in the way so I can’t put drawers or a lazy susan or anything that could make the space better. As such, anything down there tends to fall in to disorder very rapidly. I did a comprehensive clean-up of all the gunk that accumulated and threw away tons of plastic bags.

Almost well? (She says hopefully)

Downs

  • Still have a cold. Wednesday night I was coughing so hard I couldn’t sleep. I felt miserable the next morning so Jaeger got Calvin ready for daycare. I attempted to call in sick to work but as I was opening up my email, I saw a notice that our catalog was unresponsive. So, for the next hour I hopped on and tried to figure out what was going wrong. Once I finished that, I lay down for a while before getting back online to talk with my manager about our upgrade next week. By the afternoon I was feeling better so I picked up Calvin on time and told Jaeger he could go to Boulder like he usually does Thursday nights. At 6:30, my catalog went down again. Fortunately, Calvin entertained himself pulling laundry out of the basket while I got it working again. Even so, the day wasn’t as relaxing as I was hoping a sick day would be.

Ups

  • I’m hopeful the end of this cold is in sight . . . I have a lot more energy today than I did yesterday. I even was able to clean the kitchen.
  • I still don’t have the energy to exercise but I’ve had so little appetite that I’m not gaining weight anyway.

Calvin Moment

  • Today after I picked Calvin up from daycare we wandered around our neighborhood. There is a fairly large common area one street down that we meandered into with Five following (now that she can go outside, Five tends to wander around with us on our walks). There was a group of kids we had seen before that were very fascinated by the cat. It’s a good thing that Five is so good with people because the kids swarmed all over her. I was amused when at one point the older boy (maybe 6?) approached Calvin trying to be friendly. He started gently stroking Calvin’s arm like he had been stroking the cat. Calvin didn’t know exactly what to make of it but seemed to understand that the boy was just trying to be friendly. We eventually walked back up the path that goes behind our house and ran into the neighbors behind us. They have a 6-year-old boy and the mother suggested that Calvin might like to slide down their little plastic slide. It’s small enough that Calvin can climb up and slide down by himself and he thought it was very fun.

Simplification

  • Packed away more china but I’ve run out of plain newsprint so I’m going to have to pick up more.

Still Busy

Downs

  • I’ve had a cold for the past week. I’m starting to think that cough syrup is nothing more than sugar water manufacturers make counting on the placebo effect.
  • For various reasons, I haven’t been able to exercise much this last week.

Ups

  • I’m continuing to be very busy but still managing to stay sane so far.

Calvin Moment

  • We have a set of waffle blocks that Calvin is starting to get interested in. Sunday, when Jaeger and Calvin were video conferencing with Nana, Jaeger was showing Calvin how to put the pieces together. Jaeger, having a natural affinity for building things with blocks, was having fun putting the blocks together the way he wanted to. However, Calvin would protest vehemently some of the time. At one point when Calvin had become quite upset, Jaeger asked Calvin, “do you disagree with daddy’s artistic vision.” Calvin looked very solemnly at Jaeger and said, “yeh!”

Simplification

  • I’ve prepped another three boxes to be shipped off to the thrift store tomorrow. I’m getting rid old mugs, two old wine glasses, and all my pregnancy books (none of them were good enough I’d want to pass them on to anyone).
  • I organized the corner cabinet in my kitchen. I went into Bed Bath & Behind to find double lazy susan’s for my spices. However, I noticed they had a couple of huge 18″ diameter lazy susans as well. I went back home and measured it and discovered I could put them in my corner cabinet. It’s such an awkward space that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it ever since we bought this house. Up to this point, I had three smaller lazy susans for each shelf.
  • Packed up and labeled Calvin’s 12-month clothing.
  • A couple of weeks ago I moved my ivy-like plant from the book case to above the cabinets in the kitchen. Up to this point, I’d been using that as ad hoc storage for more china pieces. However, it didn’t look particularly good. The plant looks much better. However, this meant I had to figure out what to do with the china. I spent some time Sunday reconfiguring some boxes to hold the various pieces securely. However, I still have more to do.

Happy

The last couple of weeks have been very busy. I’m two weeks away from a major upgrade involving our ILS. We’ve spent the last six months making sure that the upgrade won’t break anything and now the end is almost in sight. During the upgrade and, at a minimum, the week afterward, I will change from working part-time to full-time. There’s just no way I can manage an upgrade unless I’m completely available.

At the same time, I’ve been very busy at home. As I mentioned last time, we’ve been thinking about selling our house in a couple of years. From an interest perspective, I’d like to do it now. I’m still flabbergasted by how low mortgage rates are at the moment. It almost makes me want to buy/sell now. However, I don’t think this is the right time for us. First of all, we haven’t figured out our long-term location plans yet. I’d like to move back to the northwest at some point but I’ve really liked the stability Jaeger has at his current job. Second, we don’t have a big enough down payment for the area we’d want to move to. Third, I don’t want to move Calvin from his daycare yet. I’ve been very happy with his daycare and would prefer to wait till he’s preschool age before moving him.

Even though we don’t plan to move for a couple of years, there is a lot of work we have to do before the house would be ready to sell. We need some major de-cluttering/organizational work, fix up some minor things such as repair paint scratches, and probably double check there isn’t any major repairs. In addition, we both like the idea of hiring someone to come stage our house. I’m particularly baffled by what to do with our living room. I know when we start showing the house the TV will have to go but other than that I’m clueless. My piano takes up about half of the living room which makes room configuration tricky. Most people with grand pianos have larger houses than we do :-)

Perhaps because of all the activity at work and home, I’ve been happier than I remember being since Calvin was born. I think it’s because I have a personal goal now: get the house in a state that it can be easily sold. Before Calvin was born I had a goal of losing weight in order to be ready to pregnant and then learning as much as I could about how to have a healthy pregnancy. Since Calvin has been born, I’ve been at a loss for my personal goal. I read parenting books but they’re all so nebulous and depend so much on specific children and situations that I’ve almost given up on them. Anyway, I hope my optimism continues and this isn’t just some anomaly.

Calvin Moment
Calvin and I often go to the Carbon Valley Library. I may be biased since I work there but I think it’s one of the nicest libraries for children. They have a lovely play area that provides the kids lots of different ways to play. Calvin is particularly fond of their little trucks but is also starting to show interest in the puppets. Of course, there are lots of books also. However, it’s nice for Calvin to be occupied while I pick out the next batch of books we’re going to take home.

Anyway, on Monday we had gone to get out of the house and also stay out of the wind storm. At first, Calvin didn’t want to go in the library because he liked the wind. However, it was too chilly for me. Calvin had a coat but I had forgotten one for myself. Eventually, he decided to stop pouting and enjoy the library like he normally does. He was playing with his favorite trucks when a boy around 3 and a girl around 5 approached him and started “playing” with him. Basically, they pretended they were dogs and they chased him all around the children’s section. It was very interesting to watch. I was a little nervous because the girl was so much bigger than him but it all turned out well. The kids would get on their hands and knees and scramble towards Calvin while he would turn and run as fast as his little legs could carry him squealing in glee the entire time. Calvin obviously was having the time of his life.

Simplification

  • I’ve been working on simplifying my spice cabinet. There’s a couple of reasons for this. First, it’s extra clutter that I’m pretty sure won’t be allowed when we try to sell the house. Second, it’s pain to keep it dusted (or, more precisely, I’m getting tired of feeling guilty when I don’t take the time to clean it properly). Third, Calvin is fascinated by all the multi-colored spices in the jar. At one point he managed to unscrew and dump out my turmeric which is not a spice you want floating around randomly. For the most part, I’ve convinced Calvin to leave it alone but every so often I get careless and he starts playing with the jars. Anyway, I went through my other cabinets and mapped out a plan for how I can fit the spices in the other cabinets without making everything look cluttered. During this process, I also cleaned off most of the top of our refrigerator.
  • I cleaned our bathroom today. I do clean our bathrooms on a regular basis. However, I don’t pay as much attention to the details as I always should. Today I spent a lot of time on the details.
  • Cleaned out the mirror medicine cabinet in Calvin’s bathroom and threw a lot of little bottles away.

Mostly Well

Downs

  • After Thursday, I was feeling iffy and Jaeger became downright sick. It’s not fun to look after a toddler when you just want to curl up in a little ball and sleep.
  • I’m trying to dramatically trim down my grocery expenditures this month because I’m drastically over budget for the year. I bought conventional products instead of organic for most of my purchases this week and tried to cut down the number of splurges I purchased. In spite of this, I still spent $70 this week.

Ups

  • Fortunately, by Saturday I was feeling a little better. I had to play the piano for church which was a little nerve wracking since due to the sickness I hadn’t practiced much (though it seems like there’s always a reason I didn’t practice as much as I should these days). “Grandma” Judi took care of Calvin during church and he seemed pretty happy with this arrangement though he was still ecstatic when I came to pick him up.
  • Both Jaeger and I are mostly back to normal today. I went to bed early so even though Calvin woke up multiple times in the night I was fairly rested in the morning.

Calvin Moment

  • This evening Calvin was in his high chair eating while I looked for my This Can’t be Tofu! recipe book. It was hiding from me so I started chanting, “Here Tofu! Here Tofu!” like I was trying to convince a cat to come out of hiding. Calvin immediately echoed the chant with his own version, “ere toto! ere toto!” At Calvin’s last appointment the doctor warned me that I needed to start being careful of what came out of my mouth because Calvin would soon be repeating everything. I guess we’ve entered that stage in life.

Simplification

  • I’ve been weeding out a lot of our physical stuff recently. In the next couple of years we’d either like to move closer to Boulder or out to The Promised Land (i.e. Western Washington State). This implies that we have to a) sell our current house and b) pack everything we own. We’ve lived in our house approximately six years now and it’s horrifying the amount of extra stuff we’ve accumulated. It’s time to purge.