This Bird Does It

Librarian ramblings

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I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter…

And make believe… It’s all the homework due this weekend!

If you don’t have the earworm, we have very different taste in music.

I really don’t have much to say except WHOA! I’m pretty behind. I mean, I’m gonna get it done. I’m not afraid it won’t all happen, but I am going to be running my butt off, well, the rest of the year!

20130920_222112School is crazy. I’m so behind in reading, I’m skinning by. Sorry, Stephanie, my friend from college who always had a knack for kicking me in the pants when I needed it, academically. I’ll catch up, I swear, and I’m not blowing stuff off. Well, maybe at the moment while I write this I am, but really, I’m moving all day long. There’s just a lot to pack into those waking hours! And those kids want to eat and wear clean clothes every day!

Oh, and that brings me to my sad house. It’s a mess. I’ve been limping along cleaning toilets when they need it, and keeping the laundry going, and even running the dishwasher every day, but nothing else is getting done. The kitchen floor is in such a need for a sweep it’s sad. And the living/dining room areas are full of folded laundry and kids’ clothes and shoes in flux between seasons. I wrote about the whole season change chaos in the spring. That same thing is going on for fall now, and with the exception that now Baby can wear some of the stuff Middle wore a couple years ago, it’s the same process. What to do with what, and pondering my blessings.

So, yup, I’m swimming upstream. And it just occurred to me this evening that it isn’t going to get any better. I’m in class until November 3rd. The following weekend I have a two day workshop for school. The Monday after THAT I begin my annual week plus of solo parenting. Immediately after THAT is Thanksgiving! That’s it, folks, we’re smack dab in the holiday season then! And between now and the end of classes, life is crazy, too. Daddy Bird is Popcorn Kernel for Middle’s Cub Scout pack. There’s a camp-out for for Daddy, Girlie, and Middle. There’s numerous short assignments and papers, plus the usual round of school stuff, Middle’s fall baseball season, piano lessons, church and choir practice.

No, I’m no busier than any other typical (whatever the hell that is) suburban mom. Life is tough. Suck it up, right? Right. I will. I just looked down the timeline and had a bit of a panic attack tonight. It will all be alright. Really. But I feel a little like I did at the beginning of the summer. Here it comes. It’s gonna be a fun ride, but a ride, nonetheless!

Oh, and a couple other things, while you’re reading. Middle caught a pop fly in tonight’s game. He was proud of himself and I was proud of him, too. Then he ran off the field with the rest of his team and they all congratulated him and patted him on the back like teammates will, and I swear his head was about to explode he was so proud. I got all teary eyed watching him beam like that. He needed that.

And Baby is potty trained. That’s right. I’m calling it. The kid does his business in the potty. Yeah, we have some accidents from time to time, and sometimes he’s not happy about being made to sit on the potty. Still, he does his business and moves on. It’s all good. ūüôā Now this family wants a puppy. You know because there’s not much else going on around here. :



That one thing

I like social media for all the reasons you’d expect me, too. ¬†I’m not just extroverted, but I obsessively crave interaction, at least until I’ve had enough. ¬†Facebook and the like, are perfect for me. ¬†I can dive right in, comment on one friend’s dinner, another’s choice of outfit for date night, wish a college pal happy birthday, peek at a high school acquaintance’s newborn grandchild (yes, that’s right), see who is moving where, who has a new job, who is going back to school, whatever. ¬†I never worry that I’m intruding because this stuff was put out there, right? ¬†If you post it for me to see, I get to see it. ¬†It’s a really nice arrangement. ¬†I post stuff for your to see and I hope you’ll comment, or “like” or maybe even repost. ¬†Every post tells you a little something about me, and though I try to be mindful of what I’m saying about myself with each post, I don’t overly obsess about it. ¬†Just like in real life, I don’t worry too much about the impression I’m making beyond making an effort to be nice to everyone and not be offensive. ¬†I’m honest and authentic, though, I’m sure some think a bit loud mouthed. ¬†But you know where I’m coming from, right?

My husband, on the other hand, has a completely different approach to socializing, and thus to social media. ¬†He has a few trusted friends who really know who he is and how he ticks. ¬†He posts very infrequently on Facebook, and I’m pretty sure he’s never set up a Twitter or Instagram account. ¬†The thought of taking pictures of what he is eating for dinner or his new shoes nearly disgusts him. ¬†We are just very different in that way. ¬†So, I try to be respectful of our differences. ¬†I have this blog, but I never use his name here, though if you know me, you obviously know his name. ¬†I post pictures of the kids, but not standing out in front of our house or near the street number. ¬†I won’t tell you in advance that we will be out of the house at any given time. ¬†He does tend to take things to a whole other level, though. ¬†He closes the back blinds when we watch TV at night so that the neighbors behind us don’t know we’re watching TV, or what we’re watching. ¬†I’m just not that funny about stuff.

photo (2)So, when I post this picture, you will know what? ¬†That my toddler gets bathed? ¬†That we have slippery tub requiring a mat in the bottom? ¬†That I like to let him play a little before I dump water on his head and soap him up? ¬†That’s not the intrusion, I guess. ¬†I just wanted to take a shot of that happy face and post it on Facebook, via Instagram. ¬†So, I did. ¬†But now I’m going to tell you that one thing about today. ¬†That one thing that took it to a whole other level of parenting ickiness. ¬†This sweet, cherub-faced darling got up on all fours just seconds after this picture was taken, looked me in the eye and said, “Sorry, Mommy.” ¬†Then he pooped in the bathtub.

Yup, in nine plus years of parenting, this has never happened, and actually, I was sort of proud of that. ¬†Yeah, we’ve had some diaper disasters, both kid designed and accidental, but never has one of my kids pooped in the tub. ¬†I was sure it would happen someday when the big kids were little, but then after this kid turned two I quit worrying. ¬†Now that he has enough awareness to go hide in a corner to do the deed, even if he can’t seem to go to the actual potty, it never occurred to me that I should worry about this. ¬†And to make matters worse, I panicked and attempted to scoop it up, but missed and ended up smearing it on the bottom, causing me to have to remove the child from the tub, leave him screaming in the cold while I drained, scrubbed, rinsed, and refilled the tub. ¬†Yes, a good time was had by all.

I’m having a drink now.

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Laundry, dishes, and dust

Thought I was gone for good, didn’t you? ¬†Ahh, never underestimate my ability to drop and then restart any form of journaling! ¬†Yes, I had grand plans for the things I would write about during this long break between school terms, but it somehow just didn’t happen. ¬†I’d look at the computer and think about sitting down to the keyboard and it just seemed like the last thing in the world I wanted to do. ¬†I’d wonder what I could tell you, and nothing came to mind. ¬†So a day would pass and pretty soon a week, and now almost two months. ¬†And it’s not like I feel I have so much to tell you today, but somehow it feels right to be sitting here typing. ¬†At least I can babble a while. ¬†I won’t be offended if you’ve already closed the page.

photo (1)photoI could write for two hours about what we’ve been up to since I last posted, but most of it is pretty boring, and pretty standard. ¬†School ended for the kids. ¬†Girlie finished the year with strong grades, Middle Bird’s were better than last term. ¬†I’ve lost a tiny bit more weight and I’m still working on it. ¬†Daddy Bird and I went to Florida to visit one of my best friends for her Fortieth Birthday and found out we like visiting South Florida, but love living in Ohio. ¬† Baby Bird has peed in the potty a bunch of times but with no regularity and has still never pooped there. ¬†The weather is warmer and both kids are playing ball. ¬†It’s Girlie’s second year at softball and she’s not the star of the team by any stretch, but she’s getting better and she seems to love it. ¬†Middle Bird has never played before so he’s getting a tough dose of reality since most of the boys have a year or more experience. ¬†I think he thought he would just decide to be great and it would come naturally. ¬†Not so much. ¬†But he’s still enthusiastic and I’m really proud of him for keeping that up. ¬†He’ll get better.

/net/brutus/hsm/dept/mktg/nemo/PersonalityPoses/Dory/ncr_dory.per8.34.tifLife goes on, you know? ¬†I do the laundry and it piles up again. ¬†I empty the dishwasher (or Daddy Bird does, he’s good at that chore!) and it just fills up again. ¬†I vacuum and watch the dust settle again. ¬†It all feels like swimming against the current a little bit. ¬†But we have to keep swimming. ¬†Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming! ¬†Just keep swimming. ¬†Thanks, Dory. ¬†Heading into the summer of chaos and freestyle stroking at full speed into the fray, I’ll just keep swimming.

Got an email from one of my two professors for next term yesterday. ¬†I love that she’s in communication a full WEEK before the start of classes. ¬†She included the textbook information and I was able to put it on reserve at the Worthington Library. ¬†I’m the only¬†requester¬†so far, so maybe I won’t have to buy it at all! ¬†She also included a big explanation of the 8 week course with the same curriculum as the 15 week course and how we should plan carefully to get it all done. ¬†Phew, good thing it’s the only thing I have to worry about for the next eight weeks, right? ¬†Oh, wait! ¬†There’s that other class, and these three kids and the damn laundry, dishes, and dust. ¬†Whatever. ¬†It will get done. ¬†Or it won’t. ¬†Priorities will be set and corners will be cut. ¬†This is just the way it is. ¬†As long as everyone is fed and safe, it’s all good.

Did I tell you I got the A last term? ¬†Yeah, that’s right. ¬†It’s just one class, but so far I’ve got the 4.0. ¬†Somehow I just can’t let that go. ¬†I will be crushed if I don’t keep that. ¬†Wish me luck. ¬†Sure, it’s going to take me busting my ass, but it’s going to take a bit of luck, too.

I have some theological things floating around in my head that I want to write about. ¬†I don’t know how to phrase the questions I’m trying to answer, yet, so I guess I can’t write about them just yet. ¬†It’s coming, though. ¬†Might help if someone asks about them later.

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A Jumble to share

Today is one of those days where I feel like I have a lot to say, but none of it is coming together in my head in any coherent way.

Boston. ¬†Oh, wow. ¬†I think I am processing this the best anyone could, but it just stays with me. ¬†The bombings happened, and since we don’t really know, yet, who or why, that’s all I have. ¬†They happened. ¬†Lots of people were hurt. ¬†Three people died. ¬†I am, of course, horrified that this could take place in my country. ¬†My country that I thought was above this, safe from this. ¬†Not a country where suicide bombers are part of weekly, if not daily life. ¬†Not even a country where bombings are monthly or annual events. ¬†The USA, the United States, America! ¬†We are a lot of things to a lot of people around the world, but not this. ¬†We have drunk driving that kills people, gun violence that kills people, teenage suicide from bullying, obesity, cancer from questionable food additives, blah, blah, blah! ¬†But people do NOT regularly die in bombings here! ¬†And the only people you hear of with limbs blown off lost them while over in one of those other countries fighting for ours! ¬†So, I’m processing all that.

But then I see another picture of Martin Richard. ¬†I’m sure you’ve seen this picture by now, it’s all over the news channels and social media. ¬†It’s so dear and so sweet, and what an innocent face. ¬†And he’s holding that poster with that message. ¬†“No more hurting people.” ¬†That’s not a line a teacher gave him. ¬†I don’t know what the assignment was, but it wasn’t “print ‘no more hurting people’ at the top of the page.” ¬†That came from him. ¬†That came from his own heart. ¬†Every time I see this picture I get weepy. ¬†Somehow I just can’t process the death of this one eight-year-old. ¬†Sandy Hook saw the deaths of 20 kids, not to mention the six adults, and it was horrible and I cried and I grieved. ¬†Somehow, it was easier? ¬†No, that’s not the word, just more readily processed. ¬†Maybe that it was so big. ¬†Maybe because there were ALL those sweet faces flashed on our screens every night for weeks, even as the networks worked to tell us a bit about each child. ¬†Maybe it desensitized me a bit from the real pain of that tragedy. ¬†Maybe. ¬†I don’t know. ¬†All I know is that Martin is harder for me to wrap my head around. ¬†I have an eight-year-old boy, but he was just seven, a second grader, when Sandy Hook happened, just a year older than those innocents. ¬†I don’t KNOW why it’s so much harder, but it is. ¬†The child had just run, in utter joy, to hug his father at the finish line. ¬†I haven’t seen any pictures of those moments, if they exist, but I can picture it. ¬†And I do picture it. ¬†I can’t help picturing it. ¬†That father-son hug in a moment of triumph. ¬†It haunted my dreams last night.

But then, I do want to talk about the other stuff in my life, because, well, it is moving on. ¬†The main tasks in my life right now (namely feeding, cleaning, cleaning after, and supervising three kids) don’t wait for me to sit and watch the news and try to figure out how I feel about the death of a child I never met. ¬†It isn’t my job to find the perpetrators. ¬†I can’t help with the investigation. ¬†I’ll get on with life and pray for all those whose jobs those are. ¬†I’ll pray for Martin’s family, and all the others who were killed or injured and their families. ¬†I’ll pray for me and my family. ¬†I’ll keep doing laundry and making meals.

And potty training. ¬†I’ll get on with the potty training. ¬†As best I can, anyway. ¬†I’m sort of on this ride alone now, I think. ¬†He showed a little interest yesterday, so we jumped on that. ¬†Two hours and four pairs of underpants later, my patience was worn out, there was half a roll of paper towel in the garbage, and Baby Bird got a mid-dinner bath. ¬†I’m glad he showed some interest and I hope my frustration didn’t show too much, but I would not say it was a successful day. ¬†If I get that load of laundry done, we’ll try again this afternoon.

My weigh-in was Monday. ¬†I mentioned that I was up a bit. ¬†Not much, just about a pound, but that’s the wrong direction, isn’t it? ¬†As of this morning, I’d dropped that and another half-pound, so I have high hopes for next week’s official weigh-in. ¬†I was bummed about the wrong direction of this week’s number, but really, it isn’t too bad. ¬†Consider that last Thursday I ate a big dinner of rouladen and spaetzle at a local German restaurant in Kent. ¬†And Saturday night I had wine and cheese with my girlfriends. ¬†And Sunday after the hymnfest there was a wine and cheese reception, though I did call that dinner. ¬†So, really that little bit wasn’t so bad. ¬†I’m rather proud of myself for jumping right back on the wagon this week. ¬†Of course, Thursday through Sunday is always the hardest, so here we go…

I have to get moving. ¬†A couple pounds have come off, but only a few. ¬†I have to get moving. ¬†I know it, but I don’t like it. ¬†I’m not going to think about that anymore today. ¬†Maybe tomorrow.


No rice, no pasta, just cabbage

Really. ¬†Now, I know I’m not the first person you’re going to want to take weight loss advice from. ¬†It’s not like I’ve got any huge success under my belt. ¬†What is huge under my belt is my belly not success. ¬†But I have a couple tips for you.

First, a newly discovered fabulous tip. ¬†It’s cabbage. ¬†Cole slaw, actually. Well, not actual cole slaw with the sweet dressing and stuff. ¬†But the cole slaw mix you can buy in the produce section. ¬†Sliced cabbage and carrots, in a bag. ¬†Seriously. ¬†It’s a life saver. ¬†Zero points. ¬†That’s right, zero points. ¬†Since one tiny little serving of rice or pasta has 4 or 5 points, this is infinitely fewer. ¬†I like to saute veggies like onions, bell peppers, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, whatever, throw a cup of rice in and then matching spices. ¬†Sometimes I add chicken or edamame for protein. ¬†With rice, I tend to use soy sauce, sometimes a dash or two of Frank’s Hot Sauce. ¬†With pasta, just garlic or more tomatoes. ¬†Then I like a little feta or maybe parmesan cheese. ¬†Both cheeses offer a big bang of flavor for just a couple WW points.

Second, forget what you’ve heard about the smaller plate business! ¬†I know, I know, smaller plate means smaller portions, trick yourself into thinking you’ve had a bigger meal. ¬†I say fill a BIG bowl full of zero point veggies and eat until you really feel like you’ve had a meal. ¬†Now, THIS is where the first tip really pays off. ¬†I chopped sauteed half an onion and five large mushrooms, then browned one crumbled turkey sausage link, added half a red bell pepper and one zucchini, and two cups of cole slaw mix. ¬†Covered and let the cabbage, zucchini, and pepper just get heated through, but keep their crunch. ¬†Tossed in a couple of halved grape tomatoes. ¬†Top with one ounce of parmesan. ¬†It takes a big old pasta bowl to contain that meal. ¬†It’s delicious, and it’s SEVEN points. ¬†That’s right SEVEN WW points.

I meant to take a picture, but the battery on my camera needs charging and I was too hungry to wait. ¬†You’ll have to take my word for it that it was as pretty as it was delicious.

Now, on another completely unrelated note, Baby Bird, who turned three in February, seems to have finally given up his nighttime obsession with the Binky. ¬†This is night four, and while he still needs some convincing each night at bedtime, he sleeps well all night long without it. ¬†Unfortunately, we’ve still made no progress with the potty training thing.

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Monday, Monday

So, I had my Monday morning, and as usual, it was a non-event. ¬†I played on the computer a while, then put my wellies on and headed to Aldi’s. ¬†We were out of milk and juice. ¬†Then I went on to the preschool to pick up the youngest. ¬†That’s it. ¬†Big deal. ¬†Weekend over until next week.

And then I made it home and got NOTHING done that I should have on a Monday! ¬†I didn’t do any laundry, I didn’t clean any toilets. ¬†I barely got the dishwasher emptied and the breakfast dishes loaded up! ¬†Instead, I wrangled with my old netbook to get an Open Office database resent to my instructor. ¬†He couldn’t open the one I originally submitted, so he asked for another. ¬†No, it turns out it was NOT something I did, but some issue with Open Office, and there was a problem with about 30% of the class. ¬†Whatever. ¬†He asked us to send it in the form of screenshots. ¬†Unfortunately you can only submit one file per email through the course email service. ¬†So, screenshots in a Word doc. ¬†Took way too long, but I guess I learned some stuff. ¬†Make a pot of coffee.

Then it’s off to pick the big kids up from school. ¬†Bring home an extra kid for another neighborhood family who needs a favor. ¬†Chaos in my kitchen. ¬†Lip from the Girlie Bird, homework supervised. ¬†Now it’s almost 4:30 and I don’t know what to make for dinner. ¬†I know I’m unlikely to get anything BUT dinner done.

Just changed another poopy diaper. ¬†Noticing my grimace, Baby Bird says, “Mommy, be happy!” ¬†Can’t miss the opportunity to apply a little maternal guilt, right? ¬†“Pooping in the potty would make me really happy, Baby.” ¬†Now, we’ve had this¬†conversation¬†before and once he replied in his best toddler chirp, “Well, maybe somebody will poop in the potty for you.” ¬†This time, however, he just quietly bowed his head and said, “I will, Mommy.” ¬†Guilt trip complete.

Now I’ll make dinner, force everyone to scrub their butts and their teeth, encourage reading at bedtime, complain about wet towels and where they are left, clean up the mess, sing lullabies, and sit down to look at the assignment for the week.


Thoughts for Sunday

I took my sweet daughter to see Peter Pan, A Musical at the Palace¬†Theatre¬†in downtown Columbus this afternoon. ¬†Her Brownie troop bought the tickets and the place was packed with Girl Scouts for the event. ¬†It was lovely and I think she had a really good time. ¬†There is something not right with me, though. ¬†Someday I’ve got to get involved in theatre again. ¬†Even a mediocre production with a bunch of¬†amateurs¬†can bring me to tears. ¬†Seriously. ¬†I’m a mess. ¬†It’s not right.

So, I’ve got to get these kids to bed and finish my homework. ¬†Tomorrow morning I get my two hour weekend. ¬†That will be fun. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†

What’s on my mind?

People who get up the second a stage show is over are assholes. ¬†It’s Children’s Theatre, people. ¬†Most of these folks are NOT getting paid. ¬†The only reason they do this is for the applause. All you’re asked to do is freakin’ clap! ¬†Just stick around and CLAP! ¬†It’s true, you might be 15 minutes later getting home, but CLAP! ¬†Jumping up and running out so you can be the first to your car makes you a jerk. ¬†Sorry, but there it is. ¬†It’s not like you’re in a stadium of 75,000! ¬†There were, maybe 1500 people there. ¬†I stayed and clapped until it was over and I bet you weren’t 10 minutes earlier than I was. ¬†

Let’s see, what else am I pondering? ¬†This blog thing. ¬†It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? ¬†Here I am typing some blather and you’re reading it. ¬†And even though I’m writing for my own benefit, and hoping to just keep some record of these days, I’m hoping you’ll keep reading! ¬†I’m some kind of attention hog, ain’t I? ¬†

Trying to work out a visit with some friends I made online. ¬†Oh, settle down there, Mom. ¬†These aren’t just spooky old men with foot fetishes. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†I’ve known these women for almost 13 years now. ¬†We planned weddings together back at the turn of the century. ¬†(Yes, I just said that. ¬†The turn of the century!) ¬†I’ve met most of them in real life now. ¬†We’ve gathered, but it’s been a while. ¬†It’s just that we keep up with each other on the computer and we’re scattered all over, and everyone is busy so the calendar is full. ¬†It’s just time to do it again. ¬†Even just a few of us. ¬†They’re the ones who called me Bird first. ¬†ūüôā

The Baby Bird needs potty trained. ¬†And we’ve got to talk him out of that binky he uses at night.

The Girlie Bird needs “The Talk.” ¬†And if she knows, the Middle Bird will know. ¬†So, maybe I should sit them down together. ¬†I’ve got to figure out the balance between the breezy, “Here’s some information on how your body works.” and “I better fill you in on this mind-blowing shit before you figure it out for yourself and do something that will piss me off and make you ashamed when you are 40.” ¬†Daddy Bird and I agree that they are ready and it’s fine. ¬†Now it’s all about figuring out how to deliver the message. ¬†Stay tuned.


A Quick Trip to Target

Well, thank God I came up with this blog thing. I was running out of ideas for procrastinating on my homework. I thought I was going to have to clean a toilet there for a while. Sadly, though, as I go about my regular chores I think about all the stuff I should blog about, then I sit down at the keyboard and come up with nothing. That’s pretty standard, I suppose, right? Not exciting.

So, let us look at this morning’s trip to the Target. We ran out of diapers. Really. I got the kid out of bed this morning, changed him out of his very wet Pull-Up and into the last one in the house. I don’t think that has ever happened in the nine years I’ve been a parent. Whatever. So, we’re going about our regular morning activities. I got the big kids out the door. I got the Daddy Bird (better or worse than Bird Dude, you think?) out the door. I got dressed. I poured a second cup of coffee. (Man, all of that seems so much more orderly and neat than the actuality of the situation.) Then I got a whiff of something, um, unpleasant. Unpleasant and familiar. Shit. Literally. I had hoped we had a few more hours if I made him pee in the potty at least once.

Okay, so we won’t have the luxury of time. I will not finish this coffee. I put the Baby Bird’s shoes on and off we headed to Target. Now, I know that all you mom’s can relate to this part. A pack of 42 Pull-Ups costs about $20. We also needed milk, about $3. Oh, and my mom called while we were there to go over dinner plans (it’s Chaos Thursday, but I’ll talk about that later), and we needed to pick up frozen green beans, about $1. So, I should have gotten out of there for about $25, right? Um, nooooo. I did pretty well, though. I only spent $72! That’s less than three times what I went in there to spend! And I did NOT buy the two pack of throw pillows that almost match my family room. I did NOT buy the spring cushions for the outdoor furniture that will almost certainly sell out long before it’s warm enough to enjoy sitting on them. That alone would have been $200! I did NOT buy the decadent looking chocolate covered ice cream bars on clearance for half price. I did NOT buy the pretty hot pink jean jacket that Girlie Bird would just love. So, for all the stuff I didn’t buy I can feel good about the pair of shoes I bought for Middle Bird that are exactly like the pair I bought him last week but were two big. I found them even cheaper today and one size smaller. ¬†And I did buy myself a thermal henley shirt that was half off. I can’t wait to sleep in it. And I did buy a vinyl tablecloth I only kind of like, but it will let the kids work on the dining room table with things like scissors, glue, and other stuff that scares me. And a spout and closure for wine bottles. I’m always on the hunt for a way to enjoy a glass of wine without committing to a whole bottle. Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you about my boxed wine hunting odyssey!

Such is my illness, even shoes for someone else, who already owns a pair but in a different size, are exciting on clearance.

Such is my illness, even shoes for someone else, who already owns a pair but in a different size, are exciting on clearance.

So, I spent $72 when I meant to spend $25. You can’t judge me. You know you’ve done it. I choose to focus on the pretty spring scarf I put back because I don’t have anything to match it and I just wasn’t up to digging through the tee shirts for the XXL I’d need. What is with that? Like I’m the BIGGEST woman to ever shop at Target?