Friday, July 18, 2008

Good morning, Grandma!

Good morning, Morning Glories
Originally uploaded by squeakyweasels.

When I checked on my garden this morning, I found these!

I thought this vine was a weed, and almost pulled it out a few weeks ago. But I liked the shape of the leaves, so I let it stay.

These morning glories are my Grandma's way of saying hi there, I'm sure of it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New teen in the house

Sunday I was carded for buying beer, which means at least one person on this earth thought (or pretended to think) that I might be a teenager. And today I have a daughter who is a teenager. That's just weird.

Happy birthday, little baby girl! Your hair is still blonde and your eyes are still blue, but your nose has a handful of freckles that weren't there a few years ago. Your eyes are the same eyes, but now they sparkle with wit and personality.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Maybe I love the weird, but still.

The following are musical elements I always feel unnaturally attracted to:

1. Electric cellos
2. Disco percussion
3. Two-part harmony in a minor key

I’m just saying. It could be a recipe for genius.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Did you want to know something I bet you didn't want to know? Come on, I know that's why you're here.

For the last 3 or 4 weeks, things haven't been quite right in my intestular region. Let's just say that whatever I eat doesn't stick around for long. In fact, meals have been riding the express bus to Toiletville more often than not.

I know. But I warned you.

So I went to the doctor where they leeched some blood to confirm I wasn't dying, because that's what it starts to feel like after a while. I think my exact words on the phone with the nurse were, "I'm pretty sure I'm dying."

Then the nurse came in with a few vials of various shapes and sizes. "We're going to need you to bring Hank in to get checked out."

"Are you sure that's necessary?" I said. "Because Hank isn't one to make a lot of public appearances."

She assured me that it was necessary, and I left with my assortment of vials.

The next day, with Gert in tow because we were on our way to try on leotards for her new gymnastics class, I swung by the doctor's office to drop Hank off at the front desk.

(And yes, I brought Gert along because I thought maybe I could pretend the whole time that Hank belonged to her. We all know parents are far less shy around Hank when their children are involved.)

I approached the girl at the front desk holding my paper bag, and leaned in to inform her that Hank was here for his check-up.

Gert sort of overheard. "Mom!" she said, in a loud, outraged voice. "You stole a sample?"

"We'll talk about it later!" I hissed at her.

The girl at the front desk looked sort of alarmed, which sort of alarmed me. She said, "Oh, there's no one here to take that!"

"What do you mean?" I said.

"All the people from the lab are gone for the day. I'm sorry!"

I said, "No. Please. Can I pay someone to take this bag? I have $20 in cash..."

Gert said, "Is that the sample you stole?"

Lots of people were looking at us. I exhaled and collected what was left of my dignity, clutching Hank's bag and taking Gert by the hand.

And then we went to try on pink leotards with Hank stuffed in my purse.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lonely, etc.

Gary's in Chicago for the day (a day that began at 4:30 a.m.) and I've no one to talk to. It's not so much that I have anything really interesting to say, but I like being able to pick up the phone and chat for five minutes for no reason.

Not having those five minutes during the day makes me really aware of everything my job isn't right now.

I'll tell you what it IS... 19 catalogs due to design by Friday. And that makes me want to cry. Or give up.

Uncle, already.

I miss my honey.

Also, I'm not ready for my 12-year-old to walk to the pool by herself to meet another 12-year-old friend there when I'm stuck at work and my honey is in Chicago. That makes me very unpopular with her at this present moment. But sorry. Not today. It's summer, read a book. That's what I wish I were doing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Crashing! And is that smoke I smell?

On Monday, feeling feverish and snotty, I called in sick to work. I don't remember the last time a virus has actually knocked me on my ass (thank you, vitamin D) but there it was.

I returned to my office and realized that all this time I had been just one day removed from complete chaos. The delicate balance, the bargaining and trading of one deadline for another, it had all been upended by one day at home.

There is too much work to accomplish in the hours I have every day that are free of meetings. And every meeting generates more work. I'm in time debt, speeding toward bankruptcy, with no way out.

At that realization, I was overcome by a state of complete mental paralysis.

I closed my door and spent four minutes indulging in an episode of panic. I know it was four minutes because I looked at the clock. Because it felt like four hours.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I remain hopelessly optimistic

I'm starting to feel like the program I use to balance my accounts is judging me.

When I enter receipts at the end of the week, it's comparing every amount to the routine expenses I've set up in my budget.

When I enter a $36 trip to the grocery store, a little window pops up.

Is this your scheduled $150 weekly grocery expense? It dutifully asks.

Um... No, I click in answer. The little window closes, and I continue entering receipts.

I enter a mid-week $42 trip.

Is THIS your scheduled $150 weekly grocery expense?

It was just mouthwash and toilet paper! And things like coffee creamer and green beans. Okay, and the Oreos. But what was I supposed to do, not have any toilet paper until the end of the week?

No, I click.

Hhhhhhhh, says the window as it closes.

Each time I enter a grocery receipt, the window pops up again. Is this your scheduled expense? How about this one? This one?

Finally, I come to the budgeted expense. A $191.64 total, and I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself that it was under $200.

Yes! I click in answer to the anticipated question. This is it. My scheduled expense!

Another window pops up. Would you like to change your budgeted amount to $191.64? And you should know that I'm only asking because I've observed that you are an impulse-purchasing spendthrift who can't be bothered with sticking to a simple weekly budget.

Of course not, I click.

The program shakes it head silently in grim disapproval.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Won't be the last time, I'm sure

The Easter bunny brought Gert (who loves all things Shiny) several bottles of glittery nail polish and some nail stickers.

Gert gave me a very excellent manicure last night, with silver glitter polish and a blue dragonfly on my right thumbnail.

Gert then gave herself the gold glitter treatment, blowing on each nail to dry her polish. She selected two matching pink butterfly stickers and affixed one butterfly to each of her middle fingers.

She held her hands out with a look of critical admiration, then beamed at me, looking for compliments.

"Fantastic!" I told her. "Show Daddy."

"Hey, Daddy!" Gert called, cheerfully extending both middle fingers to her father.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Here, take my sweater...

Originally uploaded by squeakyweasels.

Happy Sweater Day from Matilda, Gertude, and a random neighbor kid!

I highly recommend that you celebrate today by wearing your favorite sweater, remembering the lessons in kindness, joy, courage, and curiosity that Mr. Rogers taught you and your kids, and listening to "The Way That I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Potential Break-Up Blog

I don't ever seem to have time for you. And you're lonely. You feel like the last priority on my list. I get that. I know you're reading other blogs, and I don't blame you. I want you to be happy. I guess the kindest thing to do would be to walk away. But I keep telling myself this is just a temporary thing. Things will calm down and the job will stop being crazy so maybe we can both go back to the way it was. This blog can be good again! I still believe I can make you want to read me. But I know that's just a fantasy. Deep down I know you can't make someone read you. It's not you, it's me. I just can't let go.

This post started out funny, but I think I creeped myself out a little. Now I don't want to look in the mirror because I'm probably watching me.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The weasels are free! (watch your feet)

Since April of last year, the Adopt a Weasel event has generated a respectable number of donations for the MS Foundation from both pattern sales and weasels. If you are among those nice people who contributed, THANK YOU! I really, really do appreciate your generosity.

Now I feel like it's time to set the weasels free.

If you look over to the right under the Free Patterns section, you'll see a link to the PDF for the baby weasel pattern and his larger cousin, the beanie weasel. Both are available through the cool, new Ravelry pattern store, which I hope you can access even if you're not in Ravelry yet. (If you're not, and you can't, just drop me a note in the comments and I'll gladly send you the patterns you need.)

P.S. Update on the TMJ issue... I have dislocated cartilage in one of my jaw joints. So no surgery needed (yay!) but if I ever want to chew food again I need to splint it with a mouthguard that is inexplicably not covered by insurance. Thanks for hanging with me through the drama, and now I promise to stop talking about it. Let's all knit weasels instead!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sorry, but this is the truth.

Every Valentine's day I'm reminded of how lucky I am.

I'm just ridiculously in love with my husband. That's all.

Plus, tonight we're taking the kids out for heart-shaped pizza at our favorite pizza place. Because our kids are awesome little people and we kind of love them a lot, too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gert's special valentine

For those who are curious, still no word about what might be going on with my jaw. I will say this, though. If anyone is ever trying to take an inside-out picture of your head and they suddenly tell you not to swallow for the next three minutes, guess what? The desire to swallow will utterly consume you.

Do you know how long three minutes is? It's exactly 180 seconds, and I know for a fact that I resisted the urge to swallow exactly 180 times during those three minutes.

We're making lots of valentines at my house this week. Meaning that, from the depression in the couch where I typically sit and shout things at my children, I've been announcing that We Need to Make Some Valentines! Come On! Glitter! Cardstock! Yay! And then everyone mumbles something in agreement, goes back to whatever they were doing, and I make a mental note to purchase a box of Hello Kitty cards for Gert's class.

Gert, at least, has gotten into the spirit of the thing. The other day, she spent a good 45 minutes crafting a very elaborate card with hand-drawn fairies and flowers. When she was done, she called me over and asked me to spell some words.

"Who's this for?" I asked. I was grinning on the inside watching her put this much effort into it, because most of Gert's creations are gifted to either me or daddy. It's very sweet.

"I can't tell you! How do you spell 'Happy'?" I spelled out each word of Happy Valentine's Day for her.

Then she asked me to spell "door."


"No. Door!"

"Door? Like a door to a room? That kind of door?"


So I spelled it. And she went and got a piece of tape and stuck her elaborate valentine to the back door.

"Happy Valentine's Day, door!" Gert said lovingly to the large piece of laminate. She patted it, kissed its doorknob, and then skipped off to the next room to play.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

This morning I met with an oral surgeon about my jaw, which provided shockingly little insight.

Here's pretty much how it went.

Him: So what seems to be the trouble?

Me: I'm having some trouble with my jaw. The side of my face hurts, and it feels like something is pulling when I try to open my mouth.

Him: Let's take a look. Can you open your mouth for me? You're not opening very wide. Are you usually able to open wider than that?

Me: Um. No. That's kind of the problem.

Him: Do you chew a lot of gum?

Me: No. I don't really ever chew gum. But I tend to clench my teeth a lot.

Him: So you don't chew a lot of gum?

Me: No.

Him: Hard bagels? Candy?

Me: Not really.

Him: Have you been in an accident recently where you would have had any trauma to your jaw?

Me: No.

Him: Do you chew a lot of gum?

I'm going in for an MRI later this week because apparently I don't chew enough gum.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Elf feet!

If you are as much of a nerd about these things as I am, or even if you're not, you have to agree that this is the most adorable footwear I've ever put on the feet of my children.

Elf feet from Laura

Elf feet from Laura

They're knitted and felted elf slippers, handmade by momma-yaya. They are absolutely perfect. It's like they were molded and custom tailored to my kids' feet. They're warm, and soft, and lightweight. I can't get Gert to even wear socks around the house, but she lives in these slippers.

I highly recommend that you order a pair of elf feet for your own kids (or yourself!) over at momma-yaya's etsy shop!

So cute! I love them!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Temporoman-dig it, baby

You know how they tell you nobody likes to hear you complain? Well tough. It's my party.

Right now, the entire right side of my jaw is an aching, swollen mess of enraged ligaments which are clamping down on my temporomandibular joint and preventing me from opening my mouth more than an inch wide.

And when is the soonest appointment with the oral surgeon? Next Tuesday.

That seemed really accommodating earlier this week when it was just sort of annoying that my mouth wouldn't open. And yes, okay. I should have addressed it years ago when my jaw started popping out of place every time I opened my mouth. And then the first time it locked shut for a couple of minutes, I should have made the call. But what do I know? I'm an idiot. An idiot with generalized anxiety who can't make phone calls without getting all worked up about it first.

So now I can't chew, yawn, turn my head, or brush my teeth with any effectiveness. I have pain throbbing and radiating from the side of my head, down my neck, and well into my shoulder blade.

Cymbalta for the anxiety. Muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories for the TMJ. But not until Tuesday. Until then, I whine. Deal with it.

By the way, now that I'm a couple weeks in and past feeling all nauseous from the Cymbalta, it actually has put the brakes on a lot of the mental tail-chasing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Underpants demystified

Gertrude's kindergarten teacher has had just one area of concern: no matter how many times it was explained it to her, she just couldn't keep straight which coins were pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

(However, she knows the PIN to my checking account.)

So we've been giving Gert a handful of coins each week and letting her shop with them so she gets a sense of what the coins mean.

Gert likey the shopping.

With a Target gift card her babysitter gave her, she shopped for the perfect pink purse and a wallet. In it, she keeps her Cotton Candy Chapstick, Bubble Tape, Ring Pops, and all her other change-driven thrill purchases. This purse has become Gert's lifeline and primary reason for leaving the house.

I took Gert and her purse to the mall with the promise of a Cinnabon because we needed a girl's day out and I needed her to try on some pants. Of course, I got sidetracked by $4 clearance shirts at Old Navy, so Gert sat on the floor and counted her change while I rooted through racks.

"Hey mom, what's this?"

I looked down, and Gert was holding up a very alarming pink satin and lace thong.

I very much wanted her to stop touching it.

"It's just underwear," I said. "Just put it down."

"WHAT?" said Gert in disbelief. "This is NOT underwear! HOW is this underwear? Where does it go? I don't get it!"

"Just. Put. It. Down," I repeated.

"But where did it come from? I don't see any other underpants around here. Did part of it fall off? What does this tag say?"

I exhaled. "Please trust me on this one," I said. "It's just very skinny underwear. I swear to you."

Gert was quiet for a long time. Then she announced, "Oh, I get it. This part is where you put the vagina!"

"Please give it to me," I said, holding out my hand.

"Hold on." Gert opened her purse and unzipped her wallet. "I think I have enough money to buy it."