Thursday, September 30, 2010

4 1/2

i got to see my niece this weekend, who i hadn't seen in weeks.  i took some photos (as usual) and  uploaded them to flickr the other day.  while putting them in my "baby" album, i realized how many photos of her i have, and how much she's changed since she was an actual baby.  she's over four and a half now, almost five.  talking to her this weekend really drove that point home.  she's suddenly become super-verbal, and tells you what she's thinking and comes up with weird little ideas and theories on her own.  we were talking about the babies at her daycare when she told me how much she disliked them because they want to play with her toys and they (gasp!) drool on them.  she was seriously horrified by their bad manners.  i pointed out that sharing is nice, and that someday her mama might have another baby and she'll have to share with that baby.  she said mama could get the baby their own toys.  i pointed out that even if the baby does, maggie might have toys that the baby would want to play with anyway.  she thought about it for a moment, then told me she didn't need to worry about it because she's the baby, and mama could only make one in her belly to begin with, and maggie was that baby.  "mama already made her baby, and i'm it."  i pointed at grammy and said, "yeah, but grammy made two babies; mama and me."  maggie just smiled sweetly at me and said again, "but i'm the baby."  you can't really argue with that.  so i asked her, "what if i have a baby? would you share with my baby?"  she said she wouldn't, but that was okay too, because she was my baby.  "you can't have a baby, i'm your baby."  then she does this thing that is infuriating and adorable, where she puts her hands on both sides of your face, then leans in super close, so she has your entire attention.  "mama's not going to have any more babies."  case closed.  if my sister ever does have another child, maggie's world might be rocked. 

it was a sweet weekend, though.  four is not the easiest age (two has nothing on four!), but she was a cuddly monster, at least.  one morning we were all lying in my mom's big bed, and maggie got in the middle (she likes to be the bologna in the sandwich), and she was rolling around in there, and telling us how much she loves us.  she looked pretty blissed out; right in the middle like she likes, warm and cozy and happy.  we played with some flashcards of famous/historical places, and she got really excited about the pyramids.  she told me everything she knows about mummies, and how she wanted to go to egypt to see them.  "we'll go to the pyramids and visit the mummies," she tells me.  i tell her that you can't see them in the actual pyramids, you need to be an egyptologist or archaeologist for that.  she tells me that the mummies are just in there, walking around, they can come out and see us.  i gently suggest that they don't actually walk around like people anymore.  "there are people in there, under all the toilet paper."  yes, but maybe not live ones.  this throws her for a loop, but she went with it.  she decided that seeing mummies in the museum might be enough, and that if she wants to study them in college, she can go inside the pyramids then.  i made a mental note to buy her some kid's egypt books.  i want to encourage any nerdy goodness that comes my way.

it might not be obvious here, but i really like being an aunt.  looking at all the hundreds of photos of baby i've taken over the years, and T and H and all the boys, and i think, "man, this is a good gig."  kids that keep getting sweeter and funnier and smarter, and i get to buy them books and have conversations with them, and feed them treats.  who could ask for more? 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

one more thing...

remember that marathon i'm doing in a few weeks?  if you've been waiting to donate, you can do so now.  you know, no pressure!  but if you'd like to throw a few bucks my way, donating to an awesome cause and helping raise money for cancer research, you should do it this week.  i guess the deadline for funds is this friday.  huh.  i thought i had longer, but i don't! 

check it out over here, my friends.  i can't prove it, but donating money to chubby girls who plan to walk way too long to raise money for a disease that sucks ass will probably get you into the heaven of your choice.  just saying...


oh my goodness, i had no idea how much a bite guard would change my life.  i know it sounds like hyperbole, but DAMN.  after the dentist pointed out where i was messing up my teeth with the grinding, he offered to make me a custom bite guard.  it was like a million dollars.  i politely declined, and said i'd try an over the counter one first.  after looking at reviews on amazon, i picked out this one.  it was easy to mold, not too uncomfortable to wear, and when i woke up this morning i realized how much the bruxism has been messing up  my sleep.  i felt ridiculously well-rested.  it was insane.  yeah, wearing the guard isn't cool looking, and i sound silly while talking in it, but it's worth it.  the sleep i had last night was superb.  if you're looking for a mouth guard, i'd recommend the one by dental hygiene preferred. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

sicky sickertons

we've all had a touch of something the past few days, and i think my particular bug is just beginning to sink its claws in.  i feel really poopy.  i wish there were a better description, aside from just...bleh.  gross and tired and with a funky tummy.  D had the barfs yesterday, so i'm just glad i'm not vomiting (yet! knock on wood!).  spent the day cleaning and making bean stew, along with hours spent reading the latest stephen king book, under the dome.  i like stephen king.  i always feel like i need to justify this in some way, because he's not a "serious" author, and he sells a lot of books, but i just like the way he tells a story.  when his books are good, i can hardly put them down, and when they're mediocre, i still usually enjoy myself enough to finish.  i know i'm not going to win any points with readers of serious Literature-With-A-Capital-L, but it was fun to be able to cozy up with D this afternoon and just read.  afternoons where we just lie in bed, reading and talking and snoozing a bit, are pretty much my favorite thing ever.  i also adore the fact that he never makes fun of me when i say, "i need to watch some cartoons now."  he's a good guy, and if i had to be sickly with a bad tummy, there's no one else i'd rather be peaked with.   

Saturday, September 25, 2010

that was so funny!

i have become pretty much the biggest fan of redbox movies lately.  for one thing, you can rent them online, and then go pick them up and get beer and chips at the same time.  they are only a dollar a day.  no one judges my terrible taste in movies except my little family, who has come to realize i will only rent the seriously retarded or gory.  you can take them back anywhere, so if i rent them at fred's, i can take them back to 7-11 and get a slushie to treat myself.  it really is love.  the other day D even asked if we should shut off the cable because we're watching a lot of movies lately.  i told him the movie thing might just be an infatuation, so we should wait.  plus, i still love watching movies on IFC, sundance and TCM.  you never know what they'll show. 

this weekend i made sure i rented something the girlchild could watch with us without hiding her hands.  date night was surprisingly funny and smart, and i have to admit, i really do like steve carrell and tina fey.  i'm pretty sure i'd watch them do just about anything.  it wasn't high art, but it was totally enjoyable.  legion was the same; enjoyable, fun to watch, kind of badass, but i think the "good guy" might have a brain injury.  all the actors were pretty okay (some hammier than others) but jeep?  mildly retarded.

i'm supposed to go to the dentist on monday to have some old fillings pulled and some new ones put in, but i think i might cancel.  i went in last week for a cleaning and my mouth was sore for a few days.  holding it open while they wrench things out is pretty much my least favorite thing ever.  i like how my mouth feels sparkly at the end, but i forget how much the dentist really does freak me out.  as a child i had some asshole dentist who used to say "open alligator wide" before shoving both his meaty hands in as far as they could go.  i always left there bruised and squirrelly.  thinking about it makes me shudder.  this is why my dental visits are so few and far between, and why i never argue with flossing because it keeps me out of the chair.  i'll get those fillings taken care of, but maybe in another week, when i've forgotten how much i hate going.

i've slept like shit all week, not a wink over 6 hours, and usually less, so i really should be in bed now.  remind me to tell you about the book i'm reading, and the boychik's messed up molars.  that story is actually kind of fun.  in a dental way.   

Thursday, September 23, 2010

screw you, calories

i mentioned the health bowl earlier this week, and how i'm keeping a food diary and all that jazz.  i kind of hate the food diary for a few reasons, one of them being; it's weird and uncomfortable to look at an entry and realize "holy shit, most of my calories today came from beer and cheetos."  i also feel weird about calculating my every calorie, and writing it all down; it feels way too self-absorbed to be good for you.  however, something about it must work because i've totally been a bit more mindful about what i've been eating.  i haven't cut much out all together, but i have been including a lot more veggies and fruit into my meals, and have cut down on the beer and sweets.  i don't want to think of this as a diet because i don't really want to be a woman on a diet.  i don't even want to talk about "diets" unless we're talking about paleo-people and seeds and nuts and bison meat. 

i made a deal with myself to do the health bowl thing honestly.  sure, the points are awesome and i want to win stuff, but i am honestly interested in how some of this might impact me.  the first day of this thing, last friday, i went over to the ER and used their old school scale to weigh myself as a starting point, and was kind of shocked.  i came home and said to D, "congratulations!  you are now dating the Fattest Amanda Ever!"  the numbers were a bit high, if you know what i mean.  it would be easy for me to lie and say i'm not doing this thing to see if i can lose some of that weight, that i want to be healthier only (and i do want to be healthier!), but the truth is, if becoming healthier makes me lose a little of this chub, then i'll be a happy girl.

technically my weigh-in with myself isn't until tomorrow, but i was feeling itchy and the scale was right there...and DUDE.  i lost seven pounds.  in one week.  i know that most of that is water weight, and that when you've got a substantial amount to lose, it comes of quicker at the beginning, but DAMN.  seven pounds!  that's like a lot of weight.  especially considering i mainly just ate more veggies, and drank a lot less beer.  i didn't really walk a lot, and i don't think i did anything that would count as aerobic, so i'm stunned.  veggies!  shit.  i had no idea.  i feel pretty good about losing a few pounds, too.  i hope this doesn't mean i was drinking too much to start with, if just cutting back on beers and eating some carrots are any indication, but part of me doesn't even care because i am now longer The Fattest Amanda Ever.  i'm still Kind of Chubby But Cute Amanda, but my sideshow days might be numbered. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It Gets Better: Dan and Terry

this made me so happy! even if you aren't a huge fan of dan savage, and/or savage love, this video and channel is awesome.

and honestly? "it gets better" is good advice for all teens.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

herbal essences, take me away

it's official: i am now grey enough to feel the need to dye my hair.  at first i only had a few stray strands, close enough to my part that i would just pluck them out.  they've started to multiply, though, and i don't really want to pluck a bald patch in my hair.  i picked up some herbal essences dye the other day at the store, and am glad to say that i'm done with plucking.  plus, now my hair is extra shiny!  although it did feel weird to dye my hair a "normal" color.  the kids even seemed disappointed that i wasn't putting in weirdo stripes or going back to the ronald mcdonald red.  what can i say?  i need my job. 

oh god, this totally means i'm growing up or something.  ack.  someone call my mother, she'll be so pleased. 

D made sushi tonight, and now i have a belly full of rice and veggies.  it was delicious.  i'm also excited to have leftovers for lunches this week.  they're doing a health bowl at work, as part of the healthiest state competition.  part of what you do when you're involved in it is keep a food and activity diary.  they give you one free when you sign up and i have to say it's more illuminating than i would have thought.  you really do pay a bit more attention when you're writing it all down.  in any case, sushi was a bit of a stumper for me.  sure, there were veggies involved, but i bet dinner was mostly rice and nori.  i'll have to look up the calories on that. 

dude, calorie counting and dying out the grey.  shit!  sorry you had to read about that.  i promise next time for more exciting fare. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010


i've done nothing so far this weekend but rent scary movies and freak myself out a little.  good times.  i have the house to myself for a bit, so i'm going to go watch a zombie movie and get cozy on the couch with a beer.  D came home last night and found the boychik and i watching daybreakers (which, incidentally, was much better than i expected.  it was like a cross between all the things i love in zombie and vampire movies!), and rolled his eyes at me, but i pointed out that he's damn lucky to have a girlfriend who likes the occasion horror film, rather than one who drags his ass to every julia roberts movie ever made. 

although to be honest, D really loves the romantic comedies.  he wears the mustache in this relationship, but i wield the chainshaw.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

good afternoon, my dears

this morning i found my boyfriend/fiancĂ© asleep on the couch.  this was notable for a few reasons, one of them being that i am retarded enough in the morning to have not even noticed he wasn't in bed with me, and the only reason i discovered on the couch is because in my sightless state (i was sans glasses), i heard the cat meowing at me and i walked over to pet her.  needless to say, i was surprised to find D sprawled out, in his bathrobe and nothing else.  even stranger, there was a jar of mayonnaise on the side table next to him.  just D, the cat, his porn-tacular mustache and robe, and a giant, costco sized jar of mayo.  good morning, thursday.  evidently he'd gotten up in the middle of the night hungry, and had made himself a sandwich then passed out.  which is kind of funny on it's own, but i liked the vagueness of what was going on before i figured it out. 

i broke down and bought a martha stewart wedding magazine today.  not because i'm buying into any of that wedding-industrial-complex or completely-DIY-or-DIE shit, but because i like to see what's out there, and steal ideas and make them my own.  if we're going to have a wedding, it might be nice to know what kind.  maybe preparing for it in advance will also cut down on some of the stress.  or i could just end up getting tipsy on wine and rolling my eyes so far back in my head they freeze that way.  if you see me tomorrow and i look crazy, you'll know why. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


the boychik is taking a class this year in school called "epic and heroic literature."  he's fairly excited to read some more greek myths, and the teacher includes comic books as well (yay!), but i was stoked to see catcher in the rye on there.  i tried to mention it in an offhand way, like "oh, i have that book."  i know as well as anyone who lives with a teenager, that the best way to get him to automatically hate something is to talk about how much i LOVE it.  take neil gaiman for instance; i've tried to get the boychik to check out his work, and he just rolls his eyes at me and makes "gay-man" jokes.  so for now i'm all hush-hush about how good the book is, and how i think he'll appreciate holden's contempt for phonies.

i have to admit, though, that the first few times i read catcher, i hated it.  or rather, i found the writing oddly stiff and holden insufferable.  i actually read it three times before i realized i liked it, which i know sounds weird ("why re-read a book you hated?") but as much as holden made me crazy, the story and certain lines from it would stick around in my head, or come back to me at odd times (like the chorus of Copa Cabana), and i would pick the book up again.  i knew that the fact that i couldn't just brush it off meant something.  after having an "a ha!" moment with catcher, realizing i liked it more than i thought, i read everything else i could get my hands on.  talking about the boychik's class and catcher with my sister has got me all stirred up about salinger again.  i'm reading franny and zooey again, and have done a little reading about the upcoming salinger biography.  part of me wonders if i'll even want to read it; the mystery around salinger, his reticence, is oddly compelling.  people who like salinger kind of like that in real life he was a bit of a weirdo hermit.  personally, what could be more romantic than a great writer at home in his little hovel, working away, with no thought to publication or fame?  of course, salinger was famous, and was able to spend a great part of his life working at writing (instead of working at some office job) because of his literary success.  he was far from some pure artist writing in the woods.  i also don't think neil gaiman's openness via his blog diminishes his work at all, so what's the difference with salinger?  i suspect my curiosity will win out in the end.  although it might wait until the book comes out in paperback...       

Sunday, September 12, 2010

happy homemaker

yesterday, for the first time in forever, i pulled out my sewing machine for a project.  about six or so months ago (i think it was longer, but can't be certain) we stopped buying paper towels and napkins.  the only paper we buy now is for our bottoms.  we've been using regular old dishtowels as napkins, which were fine, but a little too big to use comfortably.  i did like how absorbent and soft they were, though, in comparison to the cloth napkins i saw in stores.  the last time we were at ikea, i picked up some new dishtowels to convert into napkins.  all i did was cut them in half and hem them, but the size feels a lot more comfortable in your lap.  i know it's not much of a sewing project, but i was glad that my machine is still in awesome working order, and last night i got all crafty while drinking tea and watching lockup.  that felt pretty awesome as well. 

yesterday i also did kind of a jerky thing.  i called out from working with my co-worker's autistic daughter.  i like the work i do with her, and i think the play therapy is doing wonders for her, but i admit to feeling a little burnt out.  so far, i'm the only volunteer working with her.  they were supposed to get more lined up, but it's been over three months and i don't see anyone new stepping in to help out any time soon.  yesterday was also just a really nice day out; probably one of the last nice days we'll have for a while.  the girlchild was selling her grandpa's dahlias out front (she's got a flower stand!), the sun was shining, D had the morning off work and there was a music festival going on in the park across the way.  i just really wanted to stay home with my people and do nothing.  the girlchild and i sat out front with the flowers, listening to the music and working with watercolors; D came out and joined us for a while to soak up some sun, and the boychik was in and out all day with his friends in a goofy, happy mood.  i just couldn't, and didn't want to, leave them.  i spend a lot of time working with my co-worker's daughter, planning out new games, working on new ways to get her to interact, spending time with her and her sisters, one-on-one.  i also give up a lot of my free time, and the ability to go anywhere on the weekends, because i have to work around that schedule. i'm torn, because i think what i'm doing is helping, and i honestly like and care about this family, but i also want more time with my people.  i don't like feeling like i'm the only one working on this as well.  if there were other volunteers to pick up some of the slack, i would feel a lot better.  i know i just need to sit down and tell them how i feel, and maybe take some time off, or make it so i only use one of my days off for this.  i don't know.  taking the day off yesterday to play hooky with the kids and D was probably a jackass thing to do, but it felt really good.  not all weekends are as glorious, and i'm glad i spent it with the kids. 


i have always used bloglines.  i love bloglines.  even when it's being wonky and weird (which isn't too terribly often), i like it.  it has a clean, easy layout to read, and makes aggregating your blog feeds so simple.  when i heard that the stupid crew who bought bloglines is going to shut it down on oct. 1, i was pretty sad.  i still am. 

at the moment i'm giving the google reader a try, but i don't love it.  anyone have any suggestions?  i'm at a loss. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

i spotted a rare wild mario today!  what did you do?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


my baptist neighbors have become more and more annoying as of late.  it's one thing to reproduce like the fucking duggars, another to get rid of your tv and force your children to sing god songs all night to your ill-tuned piano and guitar.  i mean, isn't that child abuse?!  ugh.  i mean, i'm all happy for their "family unity" and "quality time" but having to hear jesus songs in my living room is one of those things i never thought would happen. 

speaking of child abuse, now that school has started some new television protocols are in place.  personally, i am very pleased with them, but until the children get used to them i have a feeling i'll be hearing more "when can we turn it on?" than i ever wanted to.  the rules are pretty simple and not a big deal; no tv before 7:30 pm, and no tv if homework/chores aren't done.  i love coming home to a quiet house, and i like feeling freed from tv's leash.  yeah, i'm a grown up and i should be able to control my television impulses but DAMN, who doesn't like coming home and making a warm spot on the couch while watching familiar and well loved sitcoms?  i think overall this is going to be good for all of us, and i think after time we'll stop being so hooked on it.  or something.  we might all go insane and the boychik might use his numerous weapons to express his displeasure with us.

how's that for some quality family time?  

(and yes, of course i threw a little party in my brain about the start of the school year.  i also came home for a nooner with D, which was delightful.  don't tell my mom.)

Monday, September 06, 2010

pacific northwesterly

you know what i love about living in the puget sound? that when the sun finally starts to come out in summer, people are just crazy full of smiles and joy.  we all get goofy and happy and say "hi!" to each other like we mean it.  conversely, this morning the first fall rain started, and i have never seen so many smiling joggers/walkers/runners out and about.  we like the sun, but when things go back to "normal," as in rainy and misty and grey, we all let out a sigh of relief and go back about our routines. 

school also starts in one and half days!  meaning there's the rest of today and tomorrow, then come wednesday morning, see you school age suckers later!  i jest.  a little.  i know the girlchild is excited about going back; she's been going through her new clothes, trying stuff on, picking out new supplies (she and her dad are out buying a backpack as we speak), calling all her little friends.  for her, it's exciting because she's kind of sick of hanging out with a bunch of people older or younger than she is.  the boychik is looking forward to seeing more of his friends as well, although less excited about school actually starting.  i think it's fairly safe to say that we're all looking forward to having a bit more room, as it were.  this house really isn't big enough for all four of us for three months.  we, along with the rest of the pacific northwest, are ready for fall.  ready for crisp air, pot roasts, snuggly jackets and sweaters, and the return of rain boots.     


the nice baptist kids next door (of which there are five hundred) are barking along with their tiny, yappy dog to the sound of their pop cutting down some branches from a tree. 

i really wish they'd stop having kids and just get a tv. 

Saturday, September 04, 2010

oh, also

just a few random thoughts for you:
  • i have decided that when i get my yurt out in the woods, and i build my outhouse,* i'm going to paint it to look like a tardis.
  • i left an apple next to a bag of dried apricots for an afternoon, and then ate the apple.  the apple was like a terrifically crispy apricot, and i loved every minute of it.  
  • reading Bizarro fiction is a little bit like watching someone else's dream.  you have to just go with it, and accept it for what it is, and then it's fun. i have also decided that it's okay to like some of it, and to think some of it is crap.  
  • there is nothing quite as satisfying as a giant cup of fountain soda.  i've read more than one news horror story about the dangers of bacteria growing in soda fountains, and so for the most part abstain, but when i have one, i remember how good they are.  what is it about soda from a fountain that makes it taste so much better than soda from a can?  i bet it's the bacteria.
  • i brought a book with me on this camping trip, like i do every camping trip.  it was something i picked up a few weeks ago, and purposefully set aside for the trip.  i like having something new to read, and this book sounded good.  the first night i realized why it sounded so good: i'd already read it.  the copy i picked up had a different cover, and evidently as much as i enjoyed it the first time, it wasn't enough to remember when i picked it up again.  i am a dork.
*i totally want an outhouse.  i know that's weird, but i think of it this way: i won't need a septic tank, or to be hooked up to a sewer system to have one.  it will be it's own little room, out in the woods, where a girl can poop in the majesty of nature, while reading a magazine.   

i probably shouldn't say anything

so as not to jinx myself, but i'm bidding on a button maker on ebay right now.  i have decided that i've wanted one long enough, i have a tiny bit of spending money, and so i'm going to try to win an auction again.

cross your fingers!  hold your breath!  do whatever mojo or voodoo you need to do to win me this machine, please.  

edit:  AARGH!  i was already outbid.  the thing is, the machine new, with starter parts, costs $250.  the way i see it, if i can't get a used one on ebay for less than $175, i may as well buy a new one.  i'll wait until the end of the auction, and try to sneak in a bid for $180.