Wednesday, March 28, 2007

bad mom

A few weeks ago I signed up to read to my daughter's preschool class. They were taking end-of-the-day reading volunteers, so I excitedly signed up. Being a school teacher, I don't generally get to do room mother kinds of things, so an end-of-the-day task made me giddy. Oh, I thought, it's way at the end of March, I'll put it on my calendar later. March 28th, I will remember.

I picked up my daughter today and she came running up, "Mommy! Aren't you going to read for us today?" My heart sank. SANK. They were on the playground and it was a full 90 minutes after the allotted reading time. All the kids were on the playground, I couldn't exactly gather them all up for a quick read. I looked at her teacher (a young, non-mommy daycare employee with a background in early childhood education) and said, "Oh no. Was that today?!?!?" Didn't she know how sad I was? Obviously not, because she just nodded her head at me and looked judgey. This is a young woman that I usually chat on and on with on a daily basis. I get along with her quite well and love that she's there to take care of my child. I could tell that she was disappointed in me, so was I.

My heart broke.

Her 3-year old attention span had already moved on. She ran down the hill from the playground to the church (my kids go to daycare at our church). I apologized to her and said I got "stuck" at school, which I did, but I had also totally spaced it. She said, "Jen told me when I was going to nap that when I woke up my mommy would be here to read to us." She was matter of fact about it, I wasn't. I hate that feeling. Wanting to rewind to the day when I put off noting the date in my calendar. I really thought the end of March seemed so far off. There's no excuse. And I feel awful.

So I went inside and signed myself to come in to read this Friday and told my daughter I would be there. Then I turn around to see the parent-teacher conference sign-up sheet. It's her first parent-teacher conference and as a school teacher, this excites me to no end. I see the date. Oh no. I'll be out of town. For the first time in my life as a mommy, I'm going to a conference (The Nebraska Conference on Autism in a town 2 hours away) with co-workers and without my kids or the hubby. The first time that I'm going anywhere overnight on my own and what do you know? I'm missing parent-teacher conferences. Granted, it's 10 minutes, and it's for a 3-year old's preschool class. But still, it's important. The hubby will have to go do it. And you know how well men are at asking the right questions or retaining anything that was said to them (okay, maybe some are good - mine, not so much).

So I'm a little shaken. Feeling like a bad mommy today. I struggle with the whole working mom thing anyway (my own mother stayed home with us) and vacillate back and forth between wanting a career and wanting to stay home. It's days like this that mommy guilt sinks in.

Alas, my little one went to bed happy and loved. We took the dog for a walk. I made her a jelly sandwich for bedtime snack. She told me how much she loves me. She is no worse for the wear.

I do believe that perhaps I am.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

7 songs

that I'm enjoying right now...only 7?

We listen to a lot of music at our house. It's quite a variety too, as you might have guessed if you've ever read my profile. I've always liked all kinds of music, I like what I like. No specific genre, no specific artist. Do you have any of those songs that evoke really strong memories? There are songs that remind me of old boyfriends (I can't listen to Boys II Men anymore, not that I want to) or a song that was played at a funeral? It's like the sense of smell, listening to music can bring back memories just as strong. I love it.

But Alpha Dogma tagged me with this meme, so here are 7 particular songs that have received repeated play at our house recently (I cannot face the time/energy of doing all the links, I apologize - just google them if you want to take a listen):

1) Corrine Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On

Brenna calls this my favorite song, as in, "Mommy, will you please play me your favorite song so we can go dance?" We've actually been listening to the entire CD from beginning to end since hubby gave it to me for Christmas. Love it.

2) Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean - Hips Don't Lie

If you knew how not sexy I am when I do my Shakira dance, you would laugh. I love this song, even if it does put a spotlight on just how white I am. She's gorgeous, no? Wyclef Jean isn't too bad either.

3) The Temptations - Just My Imagination

Or as they sing it, 'magination. This is a nod to my pops. He LOVES the Temps. He listens to them, reads about them, watches movies about them. Went to see what's left of them live. Makes me feel good to listen to music that reminds me of him.

4) George Strait - You'll Be There

Reminds me of someone that I lost. Very sad, but somehow comforting. Enough said.

5) John Mayer - Daughters

Love it. Reasons are self-explanatory, I think.

6) Michael Buble - Feelin' Good

We enjoy all things Michael Buble in our house these days. Probably passe in Canada - he's so last year.

7) Switchfoot & Jars of Clay - Let That Be Enough

Great song. A new add to our playlist. I'm becoming quite a Switchfoot fan. They started as a Christian rock band and are now a little more mainstream, while still singing the same music. I only know them because the radio station I listen to (today's best hits, or something like that) plays them now.

So that's that. I'm suddenly noticing two things. I like to write sentences that begin with verbs, using no subject. Suppose it's implied. Also, I say we on every song choice. As if I cannot like something all by myself. Instead, I have to blame my family for this music. Nope. This is all me. My taste - my bland, mid-western, mainstream taste. I won't aplogize for it, it's just who I am.

So just to give you a little more of what's on my playlist, I'm going to break the rules. Here's some of the rest of what I've been listening to (though it's just the tip of the iceberg):

  • Jack Johnson - Upside Down
  • Goo Goo Dolls - Here is Gone
  • Diamond Rio - I Believe and You're Gone
  • Elvis Costello - She
  • Fall Out Boyz - Sugar, We're Going Down
  • Garth Brooks - To Make You Feel My Love (my wedding dance song)
  • James Blunt - You're Beautiful
  • Sheryl Crow - Strong Enough and Picture (w/ Kid Rock)
  • O.A.R. - Love and Memories
  • Oasis - Wonderwall
  • Phil Collins - Groovy Kind of Love and Take a Look at Me Now
  • Tim McGraw - The Cowboy in Me
  • Van Morrisson - Ain't No Sunshine
  • Switchfoot - This is Your Life and I Dare You to Move
  • Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
  • Alicia Keys - If I Ain't Got You
  • Etta James - At Last and Son of a Preacher Man
  • Blues Traveler - Runaround
  • Rascal Flatts - Bless the Broken Road, What Hurts the Most

Oh my - I could go on and on. My media player playlist is about three times this many songs. There are too many...but I think this will be fun to look at in the future. We can see what we were listening to 'back then'. And my kids can make fun of me.

Jacque and Michelle. I'm tagging you again. Seven songs you're enjoying right now. Or, if you're like me - a big 'ol list!

Friday, March 23, 2007


Okay - I promise this is the last dog post for a while. Mollie did not have a UTI, bladder infection, female problems, or crystals in her urine. Nope. Behavioral. As bummed as I was, it's good that she's healthy. Physically.

She has just been really pissed off. Literally. Keep crating her during the day. Shut her in your room at night. Walk her every day. Lots of praise and attention. No little pill to fix it.

We have had success since we found the problem though, by crating her and shutting her in our room at night. No new pee pee.

So that is the end of our sad little tail. Pun intended. It is now up to us to put 'keeping the dog happy' on our daily to do list.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

ages and stages

Short post ahead because I really should already be in bed asleep.

My 3-year old rolled her eyes at me tonight. ROLLED HER EYES. Suddenly, she was 15. And I was taken aback. I'm not afraid to admit it. I told her no and she rolled her eyes. Perfectly, as if she'd been doing it all along. It was the first time I had seen it and it was executed so perfectly. I said (in my best mom voice), "Sometimes no just means no." Her reply? "And sometimes, mommy, no really means yes!" Oh my.

So here is my question: I hear that age 4 is actually much more peaceful than 3, is this true? Or just a myth? I must know. I keep holding on to the hope that 4 is actually that age when things "settle down". I'm kidding myself, aren't I?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pee Pee Outside

Additional note: I have made a vet appointment for this Friday. I am crossing my fingers that an antibiotic will be the fix we are looking for. Until then, poor Mollie spends her days in the dog crate and her nights shut in our room. No more wandering around to give us her non-verbal cues that something is wrong. We've got it Mollie, no need for any more pee signals!
Oh, and thanks to all for the comments. I needed a little boost - I've been crawling around on my hands and knees, like I am the puppy dog, trying to sniff for any more pee. I don't deal well with that smell. Then again, who would?
Sadly, meet my new best friend. The Bissell Spotlifter.

I have a dog. She's a pretty cute dog. We call her Mollie. We got her before we had kids. We called her our training wheels. When friends found out I was rocking our tiny puppy at night, trying to soothe her fears of sleeping in the crate, they said I needed to have a baby. But I had Mollie. Mollie came to be a great friend. She eventually came to sleep in our bed, we took her to the dog run, we bought her special treats and chews. She has really been a great dog. Suddenly we had to plan if we wanted to go out of town. We had someone else to feed, water, take to the vet. She's been a good dog. When we did have kids, she responded just as we had hoped. No aggression. Maybe a little jealous and pouty, but never aggressive. When we moved here about a year and a half ago, we decided to try to let her stay out during the day. Never had a problem, it was great. Have I mentioned that she's been a good dog? Until now.

Mollie has decided to start peeing all over the house. She only does it in rooms where we have area rugs (on our off-white plush carpet that shows every little spot) so we don't ever notice it right away. Now we're noticing it. We have a mess. And we keep finding more. I am at my wit's end. She is about 1 accident away from the pound (okay, not really, but I am mad).

We've pulled up all the area rugs and I'm cleaning any residual smells or spots. It's gross. Alpha Dogma recently wrote this great post about her dog. Her great dog. I thought, "Gee, she's got a great dog. I've got a great dog too." Now this.


Mollie, dear, I hope you get over this soon. I really haven't the time or patience to continue following you around begging you to pee pee outside. I just don't. I'd appreciate it much. Thanks.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Never land

"You can read your book for a few more minutes, then you need to go to sleep."

To clarify, that is my daughter asleep under her new fairy book. Did I think she'd really go to sleep after reading her book for a few minutes? No. She did. It is a beautiful book that folds out to reveal each fairy's special room in the tree in pixie hollow. She loves it and apparently decided to fall asleep there.

It reminds me so much of my own childhood. I spent most of it in far-off dream worlds. I would get images from books and movies and then transport myself there. I saw Dirty Dancing in 4th grade and spent that whole summer pretending I was off at a summer lodge with my family, learning to dance with a cute Patrick Swayze-esque guy. At the time, I did not see the creepy, statutory rape theme that I now do as a mother, I was just taken away to that beautiful place. It was the same with the movie Grease and The Little Mermaid. I always got to play the main character and the prince always wanted me for his own.

I hope my little girl enjoys this imaginary play as much as I did as a child. And I hope I do nothing to squelch it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Happy Monday

Today is so gorgeous. The sun is shining, people are wandering outdoors. Wondering what is this? Warm weather? Oh, I think I remember what to do with this!

We are firing up the grill. We're eating things we shouldn't and some that we should. Brauts with mustard, pasta salad, fruit - delicious summer food.

At the dinner table:

"Mommy, where do hot dogs come from?"


"But where does meat come from?"

Oh..."the store".

Hmmm..."BUT MOMMY, do you know where the meat in the stores come from?"

Ugh..."what Brenna?"

"I think deers." That sounds reasonable. Correct the incorrect plural form, consider the rest just fine.

Then the hubby chimes in. "But also cows, and pigs."

"Ewww, pigs eat trash!" What?

Oh, the highly intelligent conversations we have at the dinner table. Oh my.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

5 reasons...

Thanks to mimi for the meme tag. I've never been tagged before (get it out of the gutter!) and the timing on this was quite good. I was feeling a little left out of the blog club. I'm not one to use appropriate SAT level vocabulary or correct punctuation and grammar. I am the first to admit that my blog is very colloquial. Life has left me stressed out and sad lately. I have been sort of out of words. I really appreciate being given a topic to write.

Five reasons why I blog:

1) Well, I can't really speak about starting a blog without mentioning Catherine Newman, who happens to write the first blog I ever read. She kept a journal at babycenter for several years. When I first got pregnant with my little girl in November of '02, I signed up for their weekly email. That's how I started reading Catherine's Bringing Up Ben & Birdy, which is great! When she stopped doing that in December, I googled her name (in a very cyber-stalker way) to see if she'd gotten herself a new gig. That's when I found her blog and her Dalai Mama journal at Wondertime. After reading her new blog here, I realized I wanted to play. There was a tempting link that said create a blog, so I did. That's the reason I started, but definitely not why I continue...

2) I like to write. I've always like to write. I find it therapeutic and cathartic. I've kept a journal since I was 8 years old (which I referenced in my first blog post) and have continued to do so since. Wow, I just realized that I've been journaling for over 20 years. I still have all of the diaries, they are very funny to read. I'm still planning to post an entry (an idea from another blogger), just haven't found the right one yet. I get really sad when I read some months from my early teens, and late teens to be honest. And early twenties. Boys, boys, boys. Men, men, men. Angst, angst, angst. Ugh. So predictable. But I digress...

3) I really enjoy networking with so many wonderful people from all over the place. Especially other mommies. I wouldn't have met any Canadians if it weren't for blogging. (What is it with Canadians and blogging anyway? A topic for another day, I guess). There are great discussions on topics I would never even consider if it weren't for the very intelligent bloggers in the world making me think deep thoughts, which brings me to my 4th reason...

4) I finished grad school in August '06. I had gotten very used to researching, discussing, and writing. I like exercising my mind. I teach high school special education, which is challenging job, but it doesn't do enough to ignite creativity. I guess I'm trying to avoid the Alzheimer's...

5) The fifth reason is that I do think it's sort of a memory book for my family. It will be fun to look back in ten years and see where this all started. I even think my kids will think it's cool. I try not to write anything that would horrify them too much.

I know there are a lot of other reasons, but at least there's five.

I'm going to tag my friend Jacque, Michelle, and Catherine . I think Jacque and Michelle will see this, I'll have to go tell Catherine. She doesn't read my blog. I'll look forward to some reasons why you guys blog.

Monday, March 5, 2007


My little boy is officially entering the ranks of TODDLER. He has started to walk! Oh, the clapping and cheering that has been going on at our house for the past five days. He has also taken a tumble down each set of stairs in our home, as well as successfully crawling up each. He's unplugged almost every lamp within reach. His next goal is the toilet, which he has also successfully reached twice, only to be caught in the last second before reaching in for victory. And tonight, I plucked four pieces of dog food from his mouth. He is boldly going just where his brave sister went before him. She survived it too and I find that I am just as amused this time around with all of his antics as I was with hers. Each age makes me think that this is the very best time. It just keeps getting better.

And better.

* Another day I will write my thoughts on my little "unplugged" experiment. I will write all of my deep, deep thoughts on the electronic age we live in and why it is both a blessing and a curse. I will also write all of my jumbled and yet-to-be-organized thoughts on blogging and privacy. For now, I just don't have all the words.

I would rather just think of my little 10-month old and smile. It just keeps getting better.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Challenging myself

Three posts in one day?!?!?! Well...I've made a decision and feel that I must share.

I'm issuing myself a challenge. Tomorrow is another snow day, which means 4 day weekend. Such a nice gift. I've decided I'm shutting off the computer and unplugging the t.v. in our family room, starting tonight when I go to bed. The basement t.v. will still be available, if hubby needs his requisite t.v. watching fill. So - for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - no computer or TV for me or the kids. It's a challenge. Really. I'm addicted to both. I've checked my blog, others' blogs, and my email on and off all day. I am consciously deciding to check in with my family and household duties and leaving the electronic addiction for a few days. Call it a detox. It shouldn't be that big of a deal, I've heard of some families doing it for a month. Heck, The Berenstain Bears (Brenna's favorite morning cartoon) even did it for a week. One New Year's resolution was to watch less television, so here I go. Trying to make good on at least one of those darned resolutions. I'll let you know how it goes. On Monday! I guess if anyone needs me - they'll have to use the telephone (perish the thought!).

Have a great weekend, we will - albeit a quiet one. Is is sick that I'm nervous and twitchy?

Snow Cave


Two posts in one day?!? Well...I had to share pictures of the snow. Now snow may not be a big deal to people living in other regions (Canada?) but in Omaha, NE - it's rare to have such a blizzard. It started with rain last night, then freezing rain, then thunder snow, now just SNOW. And WIND. The city is in shut down mode. White out conditions, closed roads, a 27 car pile up! The hubby came home from work when I called to insist that he come home from work and now he's out digging out the huge drifts so that the new drifts can come make their way.

What has been frustrating for me today is that every window is caked with ice and snow. I feel like I'm living in a cave. What I love about a snow day (besides naps) is sitting in the chair, sipping coffee, looking out the window. I begged hubby to scrape the windows while he was out too, which he kindly did. My one phobia is claustrophobia. I do not like feeling trapped in my own home. At least now we're all safe and warm. I'd better go, Sesame Street is on and I'm missing it!

Thanks to the hubby for braving the cold - at least the drifts won't reach 10 ft. high! (I hope!) The drifts on our back patio are hip high on the hubby, at he's 6'4"!

Stay warm good friends! ~Melanie

Just another snowy Thursday

Another snow day! Woo hoo!!! I had a really hectic day yesterday and being blessed with a day at home is a wonderful remedy. So - thanks to this horrible weather front that is making so many peoples' lives difficult this morning. I'm sorry to those stuck in ditches or whose daycare centers are closed...but it sure is nice to be home.

Before I go on to what I really wanted to confess this morning - must give Alpha Dogma one tidbit. The green globe link is between the button that changes the font color and the left justification tab in the main 'create post' window. See it now?

Okay - on to much more important (ha) things. I have a confession to make. It's something I don't usually admit to. It's kind of like how I hid the fact that I liked Britney Spears in my early 20's, and how I don't admit in mixed groups to listening to a cranked up Bing Crosby CD at home, it's also how I keep most other embarrassing guilty pleasures hidden away in secret. So here goes: I watch American Idol. Every week. Now that it's to the competition, I make sure not to miss an episode. There were times in years past when I even called to vote towards the end.

Last night B and I were watching it (the boys were in the room too) and we danced each time the girls got up to sing. It started me thinking? Is this my generation's American Bandstand? They are calling Ryan Seacrest the next Dick Clark. Some of the kids getting their start on that show are becoming huge stars. One just won an Oscar. Others have Grammys. You might say who cares? But my point is that I hope when B's long term memory kicks in here in a couple of years that she remembers doing this with me fondly. I hope she remembers how goofy I looked when I dance and how I always say "B, you should have dance lessons, but not from mommy!" I hope that it's something we watch together for years to come. When I was in about 2nd grade, my mom started letting me stay up later on Thursday night to watch Knot's Landing. Man, I loved that show! It ended when I was in high school. I remember watching it with my mom, it was something we shared. I hope I have something like that with B. I challenge you: admit those guilty pleasures in a comment here. Or something you share with your kids - silly or not.