And hippopotamuses like me, too

In my head, “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” plays on a loop, alternating with “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”

Anya just lost her first tooth, and had another pulled — they are the bottom teeth, but it’s still an event. She lost the first tooth at school, and it was sent home in a little tooth-shaped plastic case on a string. That night, she had her first long-anticipated visit from the Tooth Fairy.

20171201_143956The other tooth was pulled because her permanent teeth were coming in behind these two teeth, and it was going to cause issues if the baby teeth didn’t make way for them. (The Tooth Fairy paid a bit more for that second one, because it was far more traumatic to lose.) So she doesn’t have a gap, per se, and doesn’t whistle or anything. The timing’s just adorable, is all.

And then there’s the hippo song. The other night, R got the hippo song stuck in his head, and I felt the need to torment him the way he did with me when I got She Bangs stuck in my head years ago. This is what love looks like in my house. (Lucky for me, I like the hippo song. He cannot say the same for Ricky Martin.)

Loving:

Kai has begun posing for pictures. I don’t mean smiling. I mean posing.

 

 

 

 

Reading:

My parents found a stack of books in their attic from my childhood. My first dictionary. My Charlie Brown encyclopedias. And Today Was a Terrible Day, which was one of my all-time favorites when I was a kid. I read it to Anya the other night, and she loves it, too.

Watching:

I finally finished Stranger Things 2 (which was amazing, though there were things I wish they’d elaborated on a bit more), and moved on to Dark (which is also amazing). Now I’m looking for something…lighter. Fun. Or at least without endangered babies.

Listening to:

I am on a mission to find good Christmas music on Spotify. Tis the season and all. Right now I’m checking out Christmas Music – Holiday Songs. It starts out with the dreaded Mariah Carey song (nothing wrong with it, but I’m burned out), but it has a fair portion of Pentatonix songs at first glance. I’m puzzled by the inclusion of Hallelujah — lovely song, and their cover is quite nice, but it’s not very Christmasy. I’m still willing to give the playlist a shot, though. Especially since there is only one Michael Buble song in the mix. (Again…burned out.)

Working on:

Getting my Christmas on. Yes, the kids are getting gifts. But I’m trying to emphasize the whole experience, not just the gifts. We’ve done gingerbread houses and gone to a parade, decorated the house, and attended several holiday events (with more on the agenda). The gifts are nice, yes. But the activities are what make it fun.

Also, when we attend an event, I don’t have to clean up afterward. Just saying.

Anticipating:

Zoo Lights. Starry Nights. Ninjabread men. This cortisone shot to do its thing and knock the de Quervain’s back again. (Please. Please please.)

Making me happy:

Kai is really digging Christmas this year. He knows who Ho Ho is now. And he highly approves of the whole package — the lights, the music, the abundance of sweets, the decorations, all of it. I am soaking up the wonder while I can.

20171203_181842
Advertisements

Frazzled yet full of Christmas cheer

Kai has been sick and I have been hormonal (plus suffering a setback with the de Quervain’s) and Anya’s been increasingly manic the closer Christmas becomes. Today (Friday), as I was helping with a class project at her school, one of her classmates said, “Anya’s crazy.”

“Yes, she is,” I agreed.

“Why is she like that?” the girl asked.

Lord, I wish I knew. But listen — this week, she’s been the calm child. And Milky Ways have become a food group.

Days since my last menstrual cycle:

73

Bite-sized Milky Ways consumed while writing this post:

Shush, you.

Loving:

Anya lost her first tooth Friday. So even though her day featured disappointments — she couldn’t sit on my lap the whole time I was there helping her class make ornaments, I couldn’t stay after we were done with our art projects, and neither Mimi nor I joined her for lunch — she said her day was “wonderful.” She’s been more excited about losing her two front teeth than she has been about Christmas.

Reading:

To-do lists. And then doing the things, so points for me.

Watching:

I have seen Boss Baby 2-3 times a day at a minimum every day for the past week. I am beginning to develop Stockholm syndrome. Please send help.

Listening to:

Mariah Carey and Elvis are not the only people who have recorded good Christmas songs, okay, Spotify? I’m going to have to go digging for better tunes. (I also checked out the new U2, but gave up halfway through. Not feeling it.)

Working on:

33,494 and counting.

Anticipating:

Christmas parade. Making gingerbread houses. Doing our “things we love about winter” door. Kai kicking this sinus junk.

Making me happy:

Anya now only has to have one tooth pulled next week. That simplifies things considerably.

 

<3

I am writing this on Small Business Saturday. So, still on my honeymoon. Life’s pretty sweet right about now.

NaNoWriMo word count:

32,275. I haven’t written a word in a week, and it’s thus not looking like I will win NaNo. But that’s okay. I’ve still written 32,275 words I don’t hate. My goal was to finish the book before I turn 44; there’s still time for that.

Wedding freak-out level:

Up a last name. Still have to change my name on all my cards, though, so I’m not done. I just don’t have to plan a wedding anymore. Ever.

23794754_1840123862683606_3004568871562087372_n

The wedding was amazing. Married life, thus far, has been amazing. Life is wonderful and I am high on carbs and I know we’ll come back down to reality eventually, but for now? Amazing.

Snapchat-394103854

Loving:

Anya, five minutes ago: Is today a special day?
Me: Well, it’s Saturday. So no. But we’re going to do fun things later. Go to a bakery, see the decorations at the Pink Palace, and maybe go to the Botanic Garden tonight.
Anya: Yay! I love today!

Reading:

Nothing much. I’ve barely even been on social media. It’s been…nice.

Watching:

I picked up an episode and a half of Dirk Gently, and am really eager to find the time to binge the rest. I loved the books, and the series, imo, does them justice.

Listening to:

Christmas music season is upon us.

Working on:

The food binge has passed. The house is (mostly) decorated. Time to buy presents! Though this year, I’m finding I am more excited about holiday events than the big day itself. Yeah, presents are nice. But lights and food and music and fun are better.

Anticipating:

All that stuff we’re going to do today. And tomorrow, next week, next month, next year…

Making me happy:

Being happy. :D

NaNo — blog? No.

I have, you’ll notice, added a couple of Novembercentric metrics. This entry is also brief; I am laying down the lion’s share of my words elsewhere this month.

NaNoWriMo word count:

29,687

Wedding freak-out level:

Nearly all invited guests have accepted. I keep changing my mind about the menu. Which, remember, we’re cooking ourselves. We have not selected the music yet. Nor have we worked out the logistics of the wedding day. I have done nothing about the honeymoon except for reserving the hotel room.

Loving:

The weather. It’s been alternating between bright sunshine and cool rainy/misty. Both showcase the changing leaves beautifully.

Reading:

The Handmaid’s Tale. Finally. And very slowly. (It’s an eventful month.)

Watching:

Falling leaves. I know I’m supposed to be watching fall TV, but it’ll still be there in a few weeks. The leaves won’t.

Listening to:

Spotify, in search of wedding tunes. When I was 18, I could have filled a shelf of cassette tapes with love songs. But I’m 43 and a mom and my playlists don’t skew so heavily to the sappy side these days. This ish is hard.

Working on:

The house. I know we won’t have many wedding guests coming by the house, but we will have some. And the week after the wedding will be a freight train, between the honeymoon, Thanksgiving (which is to be a family affair — all grandparents on deck — at our house), and the start of the Christmas festivities. I would really really REALLY like the house to be clean the day before the wedding, so that it is relatively clean the day before Thanksgiving when I am cooking and doing familymoon laundry all day.

Anticipating:

Not planning a wedding anymore.

Making me happy:

I was contacted by a potential client the other day. I do so like it when the work comes to me.

 

November: NaNoWriMo, nuptials, noshing

I just can’t resist a chance to inject a little alliteration. Forgive me.

Loving:

These two babies. (Though they don’t like to be called babies anymore.)

20171103_070159.jpg

Reading:

I keep downloading Kindle books. And Mom cleaned out her read shelves and sent a bag of books home with me. Once I’m done writing this month, I’ll resume reading. I have to; I’ll drown otherwise.

Watching:

Still haven’t gotten back into the TV thing, but I watched twin babies notice each other the other day and it made me just a little sad I won’t be having twins of my own. (Just a little, mind you. Because twice the cute also means twice the tantrums and twice the poop, and I’m already up to my ears in both.)

Listening to:

In the mornings, when the kids are asleep and the furnace isn’t running, it’s quiet enough in here to hear the fish stirring the gravel at the bottom of the tank. It’s amazing to me how much noise I tune out during the course of an ordinary day.

Working on:

NaNoWriMo. Since I’m cheating and using last year’s book (which was cheating even then, as I’ve been working on this book off and on for my entire adult life), I’m over halfway to the finish line. I’d be further along if I would quit reworking the existing passages before I add more. (I’m an editor; I can’t help it.)

Anticipating:

Not planning a wedding. I can’t even imagine how sick I’d be of this wedding if I were planning a “real” wedding. As it stands, I’m at the “well, if they’re that frickin’ hungry, they can grab a sandwich” stage of planning, so it’s a good thing the wedding is just around the corner.

Making me happy:

Anya wants to have Thanksgiving at our house this year. Mom and Dad are down. (Duh. All the food, but none of the mess? Yes, please.) And we’re talking about inviting the in-laws over, as well. Do I have kitchen enough for this? Not sure. Am I up for a large family gathering, after spending most of my Thanksgivings in a smaller setting? Again, not sure. But I’m looking forward to it anyway.

 

I’ll get all the sleep I need when I’m dead. From exhaustion.

Kai has been up since 5. I have been up since 3, and awake (according to my Fitbit) since 1:50. Kai is sick. I am wearing a cute — and almost entirely seasonally inappropriate — outfit. Kai keeps wiping his nose on it. But he’s the only one around to see me, so does it matter?

Loving:

Kai is trying so hard to talk these days. As he was leaving for work, R tried to talk him through saying “Have a good morning.” But “morning” is hard to say (some would argue that mornings are just hard, period), so he said “Have a good good.” I like it.

Reading:

Anya is rocking the sight words. And showed me last night that leaving the subtitles on does help — she kept spelling out words from the screen she was unsure about, so I could define them for her. So I feel utterly justified in putting the subtitles on for every single thing I watch.

Watching:

I have watched one and a half episodes of the second season of Stranger Things. But otherwise I have been far too busy/tired/distracted to watch TV. I’ll get to it.

Listening to:

What I need to be listening to is music for the wedding. Because I have some half-baked ideas of what I’d like to play, but I’ve not really pinned anything down yet. And even when I have, I still need to run those things past R. Add to this the fact that I’ve still not decided where the ceremony itself is going to take place, and…yeah, I have nothing worked out yet.

Working on:

Insomnia has its perks. This morning I designed the allergy-friendly treats sign for tomorrow night, plus my wedding thank-you cards. I shopped online (fruitlessly, sad to say) for Christmas outfits for the kids and holiday jammies for us all. I tinkered with my Christmas card design. I cross-posted about the holiday card exchange. I researched store-bought party trays (and decided to make my own). I loaded up my Amazon cart with plates and cups and serving paraphernalia. I determined what size cake layers I need to bake. I freaked out over how close the wedding is, and how certain it is that I’m forgetting something. I considered, and ultimately rejected, buying a set of Thanksgiving dishes. I scoped out a couple of new recipes to try this week (sweet potato puffs, dressing bites). I sliced and peeled an apple Kai didn’t eat, and gave him medicine, and bribed him with candy to swallow it. I took Anya to school. I consumed nearly a gallon of green tea. I set out two loaves of bread dough to rise, and threw some laundry in the wash.

All before 8 a.m.

Anticipating:

Dinner tonight. Butternut squash soup, take two.

Making me happy:

This poem by Neil Gaiman, which I really want read at the wedding.

 

I’d watch TV, but who has time for that?

A few years ago, Anya told me we’d been having too much fun, and that she needed a break. At the time, I didn’t get it — but I do now. We’ve had a lot of fun lately, but I’m exhausted and could use a day or two of boring before the next wave hits.

Hi. Lateish Monday post here.

Loving:

Kai talks back to me. It’s nothing remarkable to most parents; he is two and a half, after all. But the memories of Anya’s nonverbal days are still fresh, and I am always startled and delighted when Kai answers me.

This weekend, he was a handful. Which is so not his style, but like me, I think he was in fun overload. At one point, I had to take him outside the restaurant to talk to him. I had to do that with Anya pretty much every time we left the house, but this was Kai’s first time for a private reprimand.

“I need you to sit down, behave, and let Mommy eat. If you can’t do that, we’re just going to leave. Understand?”

“Okay,” he said. And he did.

I never, not once, got this sort of response from Anya. At times I wondered if she even understood a word I said.

It’s the little things you take for granted, people.

Reading:

Haven’t started it yet, but I treated myself to Peter Pan. The real one, not the Little Golden Book of my childhood (which I bought for Anya when she was still a fetus). Say what you want of girls and princesses — when I was a kid, I wanted to be Peter Pan.

Watching:

Nothing. And I’m cautiously tiptoeing around social media so as to avoid spoilers until I have time to catch up/decide I don’t care and look up the synopses for myself. (My guess? It’ll be the latter.)

Listening to:

Parental revenge: In a direct response to The Daddy Finger Song (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you probably don’t have small children in your life), I listened to Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers’ “Americano” for 140 miles straight Saturday. Kai slept through most of it, however, so my vindication was brief.

Yes, I need to update my playlist. I’m sick of most everything on it. Though not, apparently, “Americano.”

Working on:

My book keeps evolving. I have known for 20 years how it ends, but never really understood why. As I write, small pieces keep falling into place, making me go “Oh! Well, that makes sense.”

Anticipating:

Pumpkin carvage. Tomorrow, perhaps.

Making me happy:

I saw a post from the NWS saying that today is the last day of 70s before fall weather arrives. Bring it.