Friday, July 27, 2012


I love how my kids think they know better than I do. I expect this when they're teenagers, but no one ever told me that toddlers and preschoolers were just teenagers with less muscle.

We went to the playground today, which was a bit of a fight anyway. This is a newly developed area, so we don't have shade, and the sun up here in the mountains is like laser beams. The slides are always on fire, and someone always she feels the need to test my assertion that she'll burn her tender thigh skin if she goes down that slide, don't go down that slide, okay, then I will let you see for yourself. Again. Don't even expect me to comfort you.

Where was I?

Yes. Playground. The other great thing about this playground is that it's built in a depression in a low field that is next to a marsh (a marsh in Utah? why yes, it is possible, and even though it's the one thing we were most looking forward to about moving away from Jefferson, WI, we still managed to move right next to one without knowing about it until it was too late). So if it even thinks about raining, or if the sprinklers on the field are pointed the wrong way, we have playground soup.

It rained for five seconds this morning. So we got there today ("Check the slides first! No, check them! With your HAND!"), and half the playground was covered in water. Grace went running ahead as always and started picking up handfuls of dry wood chips to try to cover it over. This works sometimes, when there's a tiny puddle at the bottom of a slide. But this was more like 20 puddles merged into one huge one under the entire play structure. We probably could have gone fishing if we'd wanted.

"You won't get very far throwing wood chips in the water, Grace." She just turned to look at me like, "Oh? Watch me."

Emmy trotted up to help, and together they threw enough dry wood chips into the water to do absolutely nothing. Grace gave up a few minutes later and came over to play by me at the pavilion. Emmy soldiered on dutifully, trucking great handfuls of wood chips to the puddle.

"Don't go in the water!" I yelled. I know that my children hate nothing more than wet clothes and wet shoes, but they always forget this. It's amazing that I remember these things better than they do, even though I'm the one who loses her keys daily.

And what do you know? Fifteen seconds later, Emmy erupted in shrieks and protestations about her wet shoes and butt. She trudged over, emitting that horrible noise toddlers make when they're miserable but not actually in pain, something between a groan and a whine and a scream, like a cow in labor, or at least what I imagine a cow in labor sounds like. The whole way over, she glared at me like it was somehow my fault. She continued glaring at me as she plopped down on the ground in front of me, mumbling, "Take off da shoes. Got to take off da shoes."

Then I warned them about hitting their heads while crawling under the picnic tables. This is also a warning that must be tested. I never actually forbid them from doing these things. I'm still under the delusion that one day they will learn from experience. But I'm pretty sure Emmy is too brain-damaged from learning to crawl too young, and Grace's I'll-prove-you-wrong reflex gets stronger every day, so I really don't know what I'm thinking.

Not five seconds later, Emmy conked her head on the bottom of the picnic table, and just gave up. She rolled up onto the bench next to her and lay down, sobbing. I came over to comfort her, but it was hard not to laugh in her face. She shot some more accusatory glares at me, but let me pick her up and carry her around for a minute.

We went home after that, and now they are sleeping about as soundly as they ever do, so I guess all that physical and emotional trauma is good for wearing them out.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I make myself a shake every morning for breakfast. Yogurt, protein powder, spinach, banana, cocoa powder, and berries. It's better than it sounds, and I actually stay not starving until lunch, which is a small miracle.

So I go through a lot of berries. Lots and lots and lots of berries. And it's friggin expensive. Fresh berries cost dollars per ounce, and even frozen berries are pretty expensive at most stores (if you go through a half a cup a day). So I found these at Costco for, like, nothing, and because I'm so excited about how cheap they are, I choose not to question their origin. Which is probably why I never really looked at the packaging:


Nature's Three Berries. Tell me, does this sound both inaccurate and a little defensive?

Aren't there more than three berries that occur in nature? Avocados are berries. So are grapes, persimmons, tomatoes, strawberries, and about a thousand other things. Or are these Nature's very favorite berries, like Nature gave birth to hundreds of different kinds of berries and these are her three special children.

I feel like "nature" should really be in quotes. Perhaps these berries are really hatched in the bowels of some alien spacecraft, aliens whose only demands are tribute in the form of unwanted Costco employees. I bet Scully is running around a Kirkland factory right now, freeing all the no-shows and pot smokers.

I also just found this picture on my photobucket account. This is what Emmy does with her sandwiches when she feels that simply not eating them is not protest enough:


I swear I did not teach her this.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

No Mojo

I am writing an entry just to make myself write. I feel like I've lost my mojo in the last couple months, and I can't get it back. Maybe I spend too much of it writing what I think are hilarious Facebook status updates, and then when I come here, there's nothing left.

I am doing Cough to 5k (COUCH. I meant COUCH.). I'm repeating pretty much every week. My body is so unfamiliar with the impact of running that my shin bones are curling up into themselves and shrieking after every run. It's okay. I've had them checked out. They are not injured, just really, really pansified.

However! The week I started running, swimming got a hundred times easier. I was stuck at 2000 yards for a long time, and now I'm up to 2500-2700. Woo!

Jeremy will be gone again soon. It's been a while, so I don't mind. Also, the weather is good, I'm not fighting off seasonal affective disorder (or whatever happens to me every year between November and February), and the kids are to the age where they aren't horrible at least 50% of the time. But I still need a project, or something to do. The hottest parts of the day are HOT here, and we don't have shade. I think we will be spending a lot of time in the apartment pool.

I think I'm going to pretend we're moving soon (even though we're not; thanks a lot, roosters) and empty the apartment of anything unnecessary. I have a bunch of clothes that are too big now, so that will be fun. Perhaps a bonfire is in order.

Jeremy will come home to five outfits, three computer games, and seven empty wine bottles, and he will just have to like it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Stupid chickens

We have looked at many houses over the last week. We had a short window of time to find something. Most places are rented out within a few weeks of being posted, so not much was available before now for the end of July.

We haven't found anything--at least, not anything that would make a move worthwhile. There have been a few houses that were kind of okay but had one or two big things we didn't like.

There was one house that was perfect in layout and number of rooms. It was obviously cared-for, very clean, had a fenced-in yard and a new back deck. But it was in a seedy neighborhood. Which is still okay with me (you can't win everything on our budget). And kind of far from Jeremy's work and most of our friends. Still, it was that great of a house that we were thinking of moving anyway.

But then. THEN! We went out to look at the backyard, and the neighbors behind us have these gigantic roosters. These things could eat Emmy whole.

Apparently she saw that, too, because as soon as they started crowing (and crowing and crowing and crowing), she burst into tears and hightailed it for the house.

I have nothing against farm animals. I'm from the boonies of South Dakota, which has more farm animals than people. But in the middle of the city, you don't really expect or want aggressive roosters for backyard neighbors.

So we'll be staying here until March. If we wait too much longer to re-sign the lease, someone will rent our apartment, and then we'll most likely have to settle for something we don't especially love. In the meantime, we hope our house will sell so we can raise the budget a little bit (so many great-looking houses just $100/month or so above our absolute upper limit). Or maybe a tornado will eat it.

I have been going to a chiropractor for a couple of months now, and boy do I wish I'd gone sooner. I no longer feel like an old woman from the hips up. He also does physical therapy, which I did not know until I asked him if he could help me with a shoulder thing. "Sure!" he says, and starts poking around my shoulder muscles like he's testing a half-cooked roast. It... hurt.

He says, "I think this blah blah blah thing will help." Where "blah blah blah" is some medical-ish sounding business that also means, "five minutes of excruciating pain while I pinch this shortened muscle." But it totally worked. I have better range of motion in that shoulder than I have in, oh, ever. I can also now lift more with that arm than I can the other. Perhaps my right shoulder will be "bothering" me next time I go in.

I hope my chiropractor doesn't turn out to be Norman Bates-y, too.

Emmy was sick for the last week. Those crayons are what caused it, I think, because no one else had any problems. She got to the point where I said, "Okay, tomorrow I'm calling the doctor," so of course she woke up the next day completely fine.

Then yesterday she swallowed a marble.