Sunday, May 27, 2007


I've had a pony-tail since high-school, and a beard for a similar ammount of time (outside of the occaisional halloween costume). The last time I cut off my pony-tail it was the begining of a time of transition, anger, and stress for me. This time it should be the opposite - an end of a time of anger and stress, transitioning to a new position at work. I'm at the beginning of my 6-week sabbatical, and I've completely left my old job behind. Nothing but vacation, relaxation, and a job I'm really looking forward to ahead of me.

Anyway, it turns out that the pony-tail is long enough for "Locks of Love", so it will be going to a good cause. Here's a teaser shot for you all, and maybe later I'll post a headshot. :) For what it's worth Violet doesn't think it's as bad as she thought it would be.


**From Violet: It should be noted that we did not shave Slipshod's hair all the way down to the skin. I hope I didn't give the impression that's what was happening, because that was never the plan. Slipshod chose 1/2 inch as the length he wanted. It never occurred to me that since he has always worn his hair in a ponytail, we *know* the shape of his head, and his hairline, and that because of those things, with shaved hair he would look very much the same from the front. It's the side and back views that are different, and they're not bad. Pictures will be posted once he has a chance to finish up; he's still going to shave off most of his beard & go down to a goatee.**
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Friday, May 25, 2007


For years Slipshod has made noise about shaving his head during the summer. During the first 7 of our 8 years living in San Jose, we did not have air conditioning in our house and it got sooooooooo miserably hot. We closed the windows in the morning when it was still cool and opened them again after the sun went down, but there was only so much we could do to actually get our house to cool down. Those were the years when he talked the most about shaving his head.

The first time he mentioned it I thought he was joking. He has, after all, had long hair since before he was out of high school. All his friends who had ponytails have gotten theirs cut off in favor of a more groomed look. Slipshod, however, still has the ponytail, I think more out of laziness than anything else.

I have told him that if he decides to get his hair cut he must give me two weeks' notice so I can get used to the idea. The only frame of reference I have for what that might look like is his senior photo from high school (which was taken at the beginning of the year, you know how they do that, and which apparently bears no resemblance to how he looked at the end of that year). Getting his head shaved is something entirely different. His head is HUGE. I have often told him that with a shaved head I think he would look like Bull from Night Court.

Also important to this somewhat rambling tale is the fact that at EVERY opportunity, Slipshod feels it is his duty to give me crap. About whatever. Anything or nothing - it doesn't matter. He pokes, he prods, he cajoles. All in good fun, of course, but sometimes he pokes me in my insecurities and then just smiles to make me squirm because I'm wondering if he's serious or just giving me shit. Of course, he's always just giving me shit. It definitely is one of the ways in which he can bring me back to reality when I'm getting unrealistic, and it is usually funny. But sometimes he NEVER lets me hear the end of things.

Like the time way back when Toy Story was in theaters. He was having what we called a "geek party" - usually referred to as a LAN party, I believe, where people converge on one house with their computers, hook up to a server, and play usually very gory computer games for extended hours together.

I was doing something up in another town where I used to live. I knew that his party would be going into the wee hours of the morning so I called to ask if he would be too upset if I went to see Toy Story in the theater with friends, but without him. He encouraged me to go do that so he could keep playing games with his friends and I could do something fun with my friends rather than being at home griping about how they were too loud for me to sleep at 3am.

To this day, despite the fact that he encouraged me to go see that movie with friends, he gives me ALL KINDS of crap, in his best hurt-sounding voice, about "that time you went to see Toy Story without me."

Obviously he keeps poking at me about thinks like that because I react. But I told him in the past that I would not shave his head because he would probably never let me hear the end of it. It would be Sampson & Delilah jokes for eternity.

Well, anyway, Slipshod is going to go visit his dad in Mexico soon, and apparently it's rather hot and muggy down there right now. He is once again making noise about shaving his head. Correction - he is once again ASKING ME TO SHAVE HIS HEAD.

I think he's actually serious this time. He is about to have extended leave from work, so what better time to try out a crazy haircut he's always wanted to do? This morning we talked about it. I told him that if he really truly wants me to shave his head he will have to sign a written contract not to give me crap about it. He said, "why?" I said, "yeah, I guess I could just not take your crap." He said, "yes."

So, wish me luck. I do not think he will look good with a shaved head, but shouldn't we all be able to try one or two of our crazy ideas once in a while? I do think the girls will freak out a bit when they see him with only half an inch of hair - especially Sweet Pea. But, she was worried about me after my last haircut too, and she warmed up to me again within an hour. hee hee!

We'll see how it goes. At least him having a shaved head should stop our shower drain from plugging quite so often.

Believe me, I will post pictures of this insanity when it occurs. Should be within the next week.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Happy Birthday To Meeeeeee!

Hey, it's my blog, whaddaya gonna do. Ha ha! I've always enjoyed my birthday and am not shy about letting people know it's today. Grin.

Sorry it's been so incredibly boring here lately - after a very very long lull, we have been super busy! Out of the house for kids' birthday parties and visits to the twins I asked you all to send good vibes to - by the way, thanks for all you did, they have both been home for 5 weeks now, I think, and are growing well and looking great.

Monday we took our cats to the vet for a long overdue checkup and they got SO MANY SHOTS. They were really sore for almost two days. They're all better now, though, and back to their kittenish ways. We are probably going to start letting them outside in a month (after they get their lieukemia booster & we wait two more weeks) because they keep squirting out past our feet when we open the doors anyway. I am scared of them getting squished by cars, but as the vet said, if they're trying that hard to get outside, there is a quality of life issue to consider.

Today my parents are bringing lunch over and hanging out with me and the girls for the afternoon in celebration of my birthday. Retirement is a wonderful thing.

The week before last Sweet Pea decided she was ready to move out of our bed. She has been sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor in our room since then. I got her some cute kitty cat sheets for the twin mattress to make the transition a little more fun. She is falling out of bed now and then and besides that I haven't found a bed frame that's not way too expensive, so for now it's just a mattress on the floor. That mattress is half of our guest bed anyway, so we'll figure out the details later. Looks like she's going to stick with this, so we'll need to buy her her own mattress now. She tells me that she wants to sleep with us "always and forever," though, even when she's in college. I have to laugh. Sometimes it seems like she'll never be in her own room, but when I really think about it I will probably be the one having a hard time when she does make that transition. I really love having both girls in our room.

The Bug can stand on her own without holding onto anything, although when she realizes she's doing that, she grabs onto whatever is closest to her.

We have spent a good part of the past few days with our friends across the street and are REALLY enjoying their company, even though the little boy pushes Sweet Pea off whatever little vehicle she chooses to ride when we're outside (well, he tries, anyway). Yesterday they walked to the grocery store with us - we had a big stroller parade, ha ha - and afterward I treated us all to smoothies and the kids played in the little fountain area of the shopping center before we came home. There has been another neighbor family out with their two boys this week, too, and it's fun to have all the kids playing together. Sweet Pea is loving this. And so am I!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pix to Compare

We've always thought our girls looked alike, but it's been hard to compare them very closely because they move so quickly! ha ha And we couldn't find any baby pictures of Sweet Pea that were similar enough to a pose that The Bug makes. But when he was looking through our photos to print some for his grandmother for Mother's Day, Slipshod found this shot of Sweet Pea (from 2004) in the blue sweatshirt, hugging a big stuffed bear, and used it and the following picture of The Bug, which you have already seen, to make a wonderful Mother's Day card for me. Tell me what you think - do you think people will be able to tell that they're sisters? :o)

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Before I begin (okay, I'm editing after adding the pictures)... I have no idea how I managed to underline all my text, and I can't figure out how to undo it. So, happy reading... heh.

I have no formal thought process going on here that might lead to a coherent post. Just feel like putting down some stuff that's been going on.

I hope you moms had a great Mother's Day. I had a really really nice one. Slipshod took Sweet Pea out for half of Saturday (to get my gift, I later learned). During the time they were gone I could not BELIEVE how much I was able to get done. I don't know why I ever thought it was difficult to have one baby - I was here with The Bug and it was so easy to actually accomplish something. (Of course, my MIL points out that it depends on the baby.) While she napped I washed the dishes and farted around on the computer. I was just getting ready to eat lunch when she woke up but she was happy to nurse while I ate. Then I fed her her solid food lunch, cleaned her up, changed her diaper and clothes, and then popped her in the backpack carrier while I vacuumed the house, upstairs and down. We followed that up with a walk outside, around the circle and to the nearby park, then home via Jamba Juice. Sweet Pea and Slipshod were still out so I took the time to take all the toys off the Exersaucer, wipe them off, wipe off the Exersaucer, and put it away. The Bug hasn't wanted to be in it since she got really good at crawling, and although Sweet Pea thinks it's fun to get into the Exersaucer, she's of course WAY too big for it, and we had started using it to just put stuff on when we walked in and out of the kitchen. So, now that's put away, we have a big clear space where it used to be - it's fantastic to have more walking room - and our friends with the twins will be inheriting the Exersaucer. Yay! I can't remember what The Bug and I did after that, but it was truly amazing how much I was able to accomplish in half a day with only one kid to care for.

Sunday was nice - we went to the retirement community where Slipshod's maternal grandmother lives and had lunch with her, Slipshod's mom & her hubby, and his sister, her hubby, and her two teenagers. We then spent a couple hours outside in the courtyard, where The Bug oohed and ahhed over the flowers, took a nap, and Sweet Pea got her dress all wet cleaning the dead/dropped flowers out of the fountain with her hands. We didn't mean to stay so long but it was a nice day. Slipshod had taken Sweet Pea to the shop owned by the guy who made our wedding rings, and they chose a really pretty necklace for me - a white gold circle with a Celtic knot pattern on it, and a sapphire in the middle, on a white gold chain. It is so pretty and I just love it - I'm wearing it every day. I must say, this was actually the best Mother's Day I have ever had. In the past there has not been much in the way of acknowlegement by Slipshod - usually some flowers from the guy on the street, or from the grocery store. While I acknowledge that Mother's Day is a moneymaking scheme thought up by Hallmark, it is still nice to be treated especially well one day per year. Slipshod even did the dishes while I put the kids to bed for once, so that for the first time in - um, ever, I think, I was able to come downstairs after the girls were in bed and actually sit and relax for a while before going to bed, instead of going through the usual ritual of put girls to bed, wash all the dishes, sweep the floor, pick up toys, etc. before I can sit down and relax. So, it was a good weekend.

Yesterday, however, Slipshod, who had sprouted a personality for the weekend, was right back into his work-induced stress funk. He couldn't stop pulling on his beard and staring into space long enough to talk to me or listen to Sweet Pea telling him things, there was no smiling, etc. etc. I sure hope this clears up soon 'cause I'm SO done with it.

Now, of course, we're back to life as usual, and unfortunately The Bug is sleeping like - well, like shit. She wakes up every half hour or hour at night (for the past two nights) and yesterday she didn't nap until 4pm. Today she could not stay asleep at her usual post-breakfast naptime either, so she's playing. She's not eating a whole lot at mealtimes but is nursing more than usual. Her gums are getting a bit lumpier so I think we may FINALLY see some new teeth in the next month or so. She was going gangbusters at first with the teething - cut 2 per month from December though February - and then she just stopped. I keep telling her that I expect the next bunch to be four or six teeth, and I am totally serious. I have put up with enough lost sleep and madness from her not taking a nap. She should be DONE teething by now for all the sleep problems she's had. God, I can't WAIT until she's done teething and I can sleep again.

As for the cold we had - I think that it is finally almost completely gone. The stuffy noses stayed around so long in the girls that I started to think that we were looking at allergies, but now things truly seem to be clearing up. It's about time - The Bug started with this thing three weeks ago yesterday.

Well, back to the madness. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Story from the Mind of a Three-Year-Old

As dictated to Mommy by Sweet Pea on May 2, 2007
while we sat together, talked, and drew the picture above
(with parenthetical comments by Mommy)

(For the record, despite the fact that the way she draws kitties produces completely adorable results, Sweet Pea insisted that I draw all the kitties on the bridge in the picture. She drew everything else.)


"One sunny day the kitties were climbing onto the bridge over the sea. They just loved the sun shining on their tails. They wanted to go in the sea but a sea kitty cat creature popped up. Then the kitties goed (went) riding their kitty cat trikes and climbing the bridge and met their kitty cat friends. Then they saw a cup bird (??? I have no idea) and then there was a big splash on the big bridge. Then there was a kitty and a cup bird and they were all mixed up together. The kitty cat smashed a leaf with its kitty cat smasher (?).

Then the kitties were at home going "meow, meow" and looking out the window. They went outside and played baseball with their kitty cat friends on a sunny, grassy day. Then they went inside because it started raining.

Now the kitties jumped over the fence and grabbed a branch and smashed it with their kitty cat smasher."

The End.
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In Support of Maggie

Okay, yet again public breastfeeding is in the news - well, blogs, anyway, this time in the person of Maggie Gyllenhaal. Once again the Queen of Spain is POed, and today her exasperated call for support involves blogging your boobs. Karl, joining the cause with, I believe, true support as well as a thinly disguised lust for pictures of women's breasts, has posted a picture of his man boobs. Go Karl.

I nurse wherever I am so it doesn't bother me to post a couple nursing shots, and I believe these with a baby attached speak more to the cause than both of them alone would anyway (no offense Erin, I know you're not nursing anymore but you DID, a LOT, and yours are the receptacles from which your babies gained their nourishment so yeah, why don't I just shut up now because I don't even know what I'm trying to say). So sorry, Karl, no full frontal.

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Monday, May 07, 2007


It's so pretty outside - summer weather - and the girls and I are sick. Colds. The Bug and I have actually had this since last Monday. I thought we were both pretty close to being over it, but suddenly we're both worse today. She is a LOT worse. And now Sweet Pea has it. She woke up in the middle of the night Saturday night with a sore throat and since then has also gotten a stuffy nose and post nasal drip. Joy.

Of course we can still do our usual thing at home, but we haven't played with the family across the street for over a week and we miss them! We can't go over, though - they have a newborn, and even if they didn't it wouldn't be nice to go over there with the girls snotty nosed and sneezing.

Oh well. It was a partylicious weekend for Dad. We had a lot of fun but it was also supremely disruptive to our routine. I always go on about not having a schedule, but when we have weekends like that, it seems like we really do, because we get so screwed up by late dinner reservations and stuff like that. Today we are laying low and would be even if we weren't sick. Today I just want to lay around, eat, play, and not be reponsible for anything other than the usual safety of my children.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Youngest Octogenarian I Know

Today my dad turns 80. EIGHTY. My DAD, not my grandpa. My DAD. EIGHTY. 80.

And suddenly, 80 doesn't seem so old anymore.

Dad was born in Bozeman Montana in 1927, the only child of German immigrants Karolina and Johann. He grew up in Montana and lived through the Great Depression. He says that Bozeman did rather well during the Great Depression because the residents were willing to barter goods and services, so in return for meat from his father's butcher shop, other residents gave eggs, milk, flour, etc.

When Dad was 13 his father spent some time in Washington state starting to set up a joint shop with another man. They were doing the work on the building themselves. At Easter time my father and grandmother went to join my grandfather in Washington, and when they arrived they were told that he had fallen off a ladder and died.

My grandmother lived into my dad's early 30s, I believe, and after he finished school he bought her a smaller house in Bozeman. He was drafted into the Navy during the last year of World War II. Yes, WWII. Not Korea or Viet Nam. WWII. My dad, not my grandpa.

After my grandmother died Dad moved to California, where he met my mother, who was a young new teacher. They met while they were both members of the church choir. He was 35 when they married and 36 when my oldest sister was born (44 by the time I showed up). After my siblings and I were born my dad was transferred (he worked for the US gummint his entire career) to West Virginia, where we lived until I was in high school. The entire 12 years we lived there, no matter how many wonderful friends we made, Dad always talked about coming back to California and kept his contacts here. Eventually his work putting in for transfers, etc. paid off.

In 1993, after my college graduation (I'm the youngest so it was the last), Dad retired. Since then he mostly enjoys working around his and Mom's 5 acres, making sure his two small orchards of fruit trees are healthy and happy. He really really enjoys having his kids around as well, so we'll be having a family dinner for him this weekend and my brother is even coming out from across the country! That will be fun.

It's pretty hard to believe that Dad is 80 now, but despite the fact that I do remember when he had black hair and no wrinkles, I am always happy to realize how great his health is. The biggest brush with bad health he has had was a cancer scare (prostate, which is to be expected in men who live this long). The doctors caught it early, did some kind of newfangled procedure that was minimally invasive, it was successful, and he has been in complete remission for the past 7 years.

When I was 14 I went back to Montana with Dad and Mom for one of Dad's big high school reunions. I hung out with one of his classmates' granddaughters who was my age. You would not believe how much better Dad looked than any of the rest of the gang. Most of them had a lot more white hair and wrinkles than he did, but other things too - like oxygen tanks. I think those German genes he's got give him really good health. He is quite active and maybe it's just because he's my dad, but I just don't think of him as being old.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Just Maybe

I'm guessing that we just might have another kitty cat girl on our hands. Ya think?
It was really all Clark's fault - he's the dumb one who climbed into the stroller and fell asleep.
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