Monday, July 6, 2009


Canada and the U.S. have had their patriotic celebrations and fireworks. There have not been Pixie reports of snow for several weeks, but several reports of "vacation" and "camp." It must be summer!

If you have favorite summer foods to share, please visit the Special Edition post below!

We visited our town's 4th of July fair and music festival, as usual, and were treated to an abundance of foods, music, booths featuring local organizations, arts and crafts, etc. The highlight for me was discovering that it was an amazing string quartet playing Coltrane, sounding for all the world like horns. That night, it was clear enough to see a couple of firework displays from our own home.

Today's another day. Daughter is about to set off for the first day of an intensive 6-week course at the local Big U. We had A Talk yesterday after a series of unfortunate events, in which I resigned from nagging and put her stuff on her, where it belongs. [The unfortunate events and the nagging are both big fat whines.] I'll be darned, she got herself up early, fixed a hearty breakfast, prepared for class, figured out where the class is, got some information she needs for something else, and is in good spirits. Yay!

What's the news from your corner of the universe?


esperanza said...

My whine is oddly similar, kathy a, and comes with a plea for pixie advice. The Sweet Baboo is a bottle addict and needs an intervention. I haven't a clue how to go about getting her to switch from the bottle to a cup. She *can* drink from a regular cup as well as a straw, but detests the sippy cup. She is drinking three bottles a day: first thing in the morning, mid-afternoon, and bedtime. We hold her, and she holds the bottle.

She *must* get rid of the bottle before new baby arrives, but I would prefer sooner.

Other whines continue: queasy, tired, plus my mommy left. Even more tired, and I'm afraid Sweet Baboo is getting the little end of the stick.

Antiwhines: Sweet Baboo and I will be going to visit grandparents next week. And we get to peek at the new kid on Wednesday. And no more Very Scary Bleeding episodes.

Sue said...

esperanza, I wish I some great bottle weaning wisdom, but alas, I have none. Yay for no more scary bleeding though. And keep on enjoying those saltines.

Whine: Doctor's appointment today. He has three exam rooms. He saw the woman in room 1, I was next in room 2. While I'm waiting, I heard his personal cell phone ring. His wife is a good friend of mine and is the ONLY person with his cell number.

I couldn't help but overhear (because he said it loudly) "What? How deep is it? Ok, I'll meet you there." Then he grabbed his coat and told his nurse he had to leave. And he was gone.

Now I have a dilemma. I know something has happened (they have three children - I'm thinking stitches, emergency room, but that's just a guess) but I can't call my friend and ask what it was because we are very very clear that we keep my patient/doctor stuff separate from our friendship. I wouldn't know about anything except that I was waiting in his office. I just hope it wasn't REALLY bad.

Whine: I have to go back next Monday. The only time slot he had was an hour before a burial service I have to do.

Anti-whine: I told his nurse I would be cutting it close to get to the cemetery and if I'm late the family might just bury me. (They're nice, but a little on the cranky side) She laughed and said she'd make sure he got me in and out on time.

I just hope everything is okay with the doc's family....

kathy a. said...

yay, about no more SBE's! more saltines and lemon-lime soda for you, my dear!

i'll defer to pixies with more recent bottle experiences, but for both my kids, the bottle was a comfort thing when they were little. we gradually made it less available (bedtime only for a long time at the end), and had ceremonial tossings of "the last bottle" into the trash on their 3d birthdays. i know that seems old -- it's just where they ended up ready to leave babyhood behind.

KLee said...

Esperanza, very glad to hear of no more scary bleeding. That in itself is a very good thing to report! Sorry to hear about the bottle business. Offspring's thing was her pacifiers. She had them stashed EVERYWHERE, and it took us forever to get her to give them up. I think it was also the 3rd birthday, and we talked up her "big girl"-ness, and made a big deal out of throwing them all away, and saing "bye-bye!" to them. I have no big ideas to share about the bottles, though....

My whine for this week is that I have HAD ENOUGH of Offspring's nasty teen attitude. We have broken our backs to give her virtually everything under the sun, and she continues to shovel her scorn for us our way. I am beyond tired of it. She ignores me, and does whatever the hell she wants, and contributes nothing to the running of this house. Asking her to put a dirty bowl in the sink is so horribly UNFAIR for us to do to her! I suspect by trying to give her all the things that we never had, JF and I have created a monster. I blew up at her yesterday (and I mean I REALLY lost my shit with her) and told her that I never ignore her and her feelings, and was she giving us the same courtesy? All that's left me with is a child who hasn't spoken to me in about 40 hours. It's been real loads of fun. The sad thing is is that I really don't see it getting any better until she loses the spoiled little shit attitude. And, I don't know how much more of it I can take before I blow up again. I'm trying my damndest to hold this family together and to keep us out of the financial muck we almost drowned in years ago, and to her we're just a money tree. We give and give and it's never enough. She bitched and bitched about not having a cell phone, and against my better judgment, we got her one for Christmas. Now, only six months later, that phone is no longer the "it" thing, and she's got her panties in a twist because I won't lay out $50 to buy her new, better one. Hell, MY cell phone looks like something Fred Flintstone would carry, and I don't have $50 to waste on something that's not a necessity.

All I can say is thank God phones are cordless these days, because I'm tempted to strangle either her or myself.

amy said...

esperanza, how old is the sweet baboo?

JenR said...

Esperanza - not much experience here, as my little guy ditched bottles by himself the day I offered him toddler formula instead of the regular stuff. On second thought, maybe that's what you do - give her something unappetizing in the bottle, but what she wants in a cup. Maybe the bottle loses its appeal then?

Sue - Could you call your friend and just say that you saw the doc race out of the office for an emergency and you wanted to make sure everything is OK? You don't need to mention overhearing the phone call.

liz said...

Esperanza, if she'll drink from a regular cup then move right to those. There's no need for a sippy cup. Get her a sports cup with integrated straw if you're worried about spillage.

KLee, no advice except maybe Summer Camp? Or a mission trip to New Orleans to help rebuild a house?

Sue, what Jen R. said.

liz said...

AW: The weekend was fabulous. Had a great time with my family. My nephew was terrific in the play, and GranolaSusan came down from Germany to see him perform on Sunday. Both 10-hour train rides went swimmingly.

W: Ten minutes from home last night, MM barfed all over the back seat area. Including all over himself and his DS.

AW: He is eminently washable and his DS survived without damage.

W: My car is stinky. STINKY! Even after scrubbing. And where in the world am I gonna find time to shampoo the stink out?

Madeleine said...

esperanza: what liz said. Straw cup is fine if she doesn't like sippy. OTOH, Snuggly Girl got a bottle at bedtime until close to 3, iirc. It felt like a dirty little secret, but really, 6 years later, I don't see any impact.

KLee, I also worry about creating the spoiled kid. Oh, the burden of being asked to stop playing a computer game to put the clean silverware away! Unfair.

A parent of two twentysomethings recently gave me this advice about teenagers: give them a pass. Forgive them. They say crazy things and they don't even know why they are saying them. The hormones are just like that. Please note that I have not yet entered that phase so it is easy for me to talk.

Hmmm. Judging by her whines, kathy a. may have some thoughts on this as well.

Madeleine said...

My whine is the dreaded UTI. Started Sunday afternoon, got antibiotics by Monday afternoon. I think I'm starting to feel better. I've gone through nearly a gallon of cranberry juice (and lots of water before I got the juice). On Sunday there were moments when I just wanted to die. Ick.

I nominate Liz for the "Phew and Eeewww Award." Phew, the DS wasn't fried by the deluge (I would have guessed it would be). And of course Eeewww at the residual smell in the car. I suggest outsourcing the cleanup job if you can.

kathy a. said...

oh, no! liz brings the bodily fluids! but glad you had a great trip.

sue, hope things are OK with your friend and doctor's family.

klee, so sorry, you are at ground central for Teen Angst. liz may be onto something about trying to find ways to keep her busy -- especially if they are things she thinks she chooses. we had some success in closing the Bank of Mom and Dad, and having the kids work to earn the $$ they wanted. [still grumbling, but they got much more realistic when they had to pay for things.]

kathy a. said...

oh, madeleine, hope things clear up stat!

also -- your friend's got a great point, the need to start on a fresh page after the great teen explosions. but also, i think, to reinforce expectations along with the love. those discussions can't happen very well in the middle of an explosion, when nobody is feeling very sane.

i'm a great fan of preserving parental sanity. take time-outs when you need to. understand that one parent may be favored sometimes, and the next day it's the other parent, and work it as a team. also team up with other kids' parents -- they are all more civil when they can socialize safely, and they never treat other people's parents the same way. come here and vent early and often. :)

JenR said...

Some pixie advice please?
I have 6 nieces and nephews, and one child of my own. The parents of three of those nieces/nephews completely ignored my son's (1st!) birthday this year .... this isn't out of character for them, because I know they rarely, if ever, remember the birthdays of the other three kids. I'm sick of buying them and their children birthday gifts and not getting a thank you - and having my own birthday ignored as well.

One of their kids' birthdays is next week and I'm tempted to "forget" or to only send a card. Is that mean? Unfair? I don't want to punish the kids for what is really my brother/SIL's responsibility. But I also don't want to continue to spend time & money coming up with gifts to send if they can't be bothered to do the same for my son. (I also wonder if they would even notice - really.)

Elizabeth said...

AW: Had a nice vacation, saw friends and family, left the kids with their grandparents for a week. For once in my life took a planned day off on return so I'm not going back to work exhausted from the travel and with a house full of bags of dirty laundry.

W: Husband is crashing on his project so doesn't have lots of time to hang out with me while the kids are gone.

liz said...

Jen R, I'd say get something that lets the kids know you're not forgetting them but is inexpensive enough to not feel resentful.


esperanza said...

Thanks for the bottle info, pixies. The Sweet Baboo is 21 months, with most of her developmental stuff measuring around 18-19 months. Ya, except the whole not walking thing.

But hey, at least no one (including me) has puked in my car. Wednesday Whining always makes me feel better.

And I do love the glitter suggestion. Or perhaps something really noisy--toy drums?

Sue said...

Thanks everyone. I've been trying to find the right words to ask my friend about what happened, but I'm at a loss. It's technically none of my business - I only know because I was at the office.

I'm kind of thinking if she wants to fill me in, she will. Whatever it is that's happened, she's probably feeling like her hands are full. I guess I'm just worried about being more of a pain than being of any help....

Either way, I feel really out of sorts today. Overwhelmed with work (funeral on Saturday, two churches to cover for pastoral care, no CLUE about what to preach this week, weird stuff going on with Other Church, etc. etc....) I just feel like I want to pull the covers over my head and wait until August 1st when my holidays start.

All that, plus my family is coming over tomorrow night and I have NO time to clean the house. They are coming to celebrate our 50th birthdays - hubby's on Thursday and mine on the 19th. Do I feel like a party.

Well, no.


Madeleine said...

Oh, Sue. Sorry for all the blech. Can't they take the two of you out for your 100th birthday?*

Elizabeth, kudos for remembering that it takes a vacation day to recover from vacation. Sorry to hear your hubby is to busy for teh kid-free week. We're two weeks kid-free here and (9 days in) both working way more than we had planned. :-(

Liz, glitter! ha ha ha! You always have the best polite-but-satisfying suggestions. Toy drums, per esperanza, are another excellent idea.


esperanza said...

Sue. Don't clean house. Really. No one will care but you, or even notice.

kathy a. said...

JenR -- cut the parents off the birthday list, but not the kids. The kids will remember that you always remembered them.

Sue -- sorry there is so much going on! Don't clean. and Happy Early Birthday!

Madeleine and Elizabeth -- NO FAIR having kid-free weeks that are too busy to enjoy!!

kathy a. said...

Stupid Whine: A friend has sent me literally hundreds of those chain emails over the last decade, and I delete them all. She just sent me a real chain letter, enclosing 2 fabric squares for quilts -- the fabric slut side of me is saying "ooh, pretty!" but I do not know 6 people who would enjoy being saddled with this. Bleah.

Sue said...

It gets better. Now the in-laws are coming for dinner on Thursday. Like I don't have enough to do this week.


I vacuumed. I will do no more. Anyone who doesn't like my bathroom mirror can clean it themselves.

I'm far too crabby to have a birthday this month.

I gave hubby his gift (a book he's been wanting) and he's already finished it! It arrived on Monday. Apparently it's really good, but I won't get to it until holiday time.

Now I just need to work up a happy face for two nights of company and lots of birthday celebrating.

I know the work stuff will all sort itself out. I just need some sleep I think. Thanks for all of your pixie listening. Again.

liz said...

Drums, tamborines, maracas, glitter, and CONFETTI!

Sue, many hugs.

kathy a. said...

I'd throw the confetti for Sue, but someone would have to vacuum it.

Sarah at ratatat said...

Yay, Kathy A, for hope for offspring growing up. The hugs for along the way.

Esperanza - good luck with the bottles battles. Do you have pediatrician pressure to cut her off? That did us in. By child #2 I just didn't bring it up that child #2 still liked a bottle. By 2, he quit. I think. How can that be so long ago? And now I can't get #3 to take bottles...a whine in and of itself.

Sue, that's quite a pickle, with the doctor and the call. But Happy birthday soon! May it be better than you hope.

KLee, I can only offer sympathy. Like Madeleine, I worry about spoiled kids. Hope it gets better.

Liz - oh no! My daughter threw up in my car 2 years in a row and then my son did it the third year. Professional cleaning with shampoo. It sucks and it costs too much, but it works.

Oh no Madeleine - UTI? Ugh!

JenR - are the birthdays near enough that you can do a group gift? (I like the glitter - I hope I never offend the Pixies :) If not, I'd sort of slack. No presents for your siblings and wives. Then smaller presents. Then when they are teenagers - emails! Do you get thank you notes? I am a sucker for kids and thank you notes so that would draw me in for a few more years.

I'll bring the sibling whine: we survived the weekend. I thought it was blah, as in my SIL doesn't talk to us and my brother missed his in-the-kennel dog. But OK. We did it. Phew. And today, my SIL sends me a FB message asking if they are invited to the cottage my mom is renting with me and my grandparents in August. The reason my mom popped for the waterpark trip was because having them at the cottage with potentially destructive stepson and giant dog and the no talking thing made my mom so sad. And when someone asks you "if we are even invited :)" how the hell do I say, no, you're not?

The bigger whine today is that my 7 year old has cried all day. She has a summer enrichment class that started yesterday. It seemed fine. And today, she wouldn't go in. Freaked out that I was going to leave her in the hallway 1 minute before the teacher call them in. Never got it back together. Still stifling sobs an hour later when I have to go back to school to walk her to the 2nd class. I pulled her out after 5 minutes. She would whine if she could type - if she stands in the back (she's tall) she never gets to help in the cooking class. But if she stands up front, the other girls tell her they can't see. And she doesn't know this group of girls. And the teacher corrected her in not the nicest way, so she's terribly embarrassed. And she feels invisible because they forgot to pass out ingredients to her.

My heart aches for her. And if she had a good cry and then moved on, I'd just say c'est la vie. But she worked herself into tears 6 hours later. And I feel like throttling her from the whining, the drama, the non-stop worry about going back tomorrow. I have tried talking it out, gentle concern, ignoring it, stern concern, distractions, bribery, threats, time outs...

How ever will we survive 3rd grade?

Sue said...

Aw Sarah, that's rough - for your daughter and for you. Pixie hugs all around.

Today is another day and the world feels less like it's going to eat me up. That's a good start.

Hugs to pixies with breast-feeding/bottle decisions, UTIs (*shudder*), frow-ups and birthdays. If I've left any out - extra votes for you.

Back to work for me....

liz said...

AW: 97 doors last night, including one who is going to volunteer to walk! It was hot, but not humid. Really lovely walking.

W: Today is GORGEOUS. Blue sky, 10 degrees cooler than yesterday, and here I sit in my windowless cubicle working on my computer when I could be out there getting doors done.

Hi, I'm Liz and I'm addicted to canvassing.

Sarah at ratatat said...

Yay Liz!

And huge anti-whine that my daughter is even keeled and calm today.

Madeleine said...

Sarah, I'm so glad your daughter is calm today. Your yesterday sounds like a nightmare. I hope today continues well.

AW: Feeling better this morning, finally. Last night I was wondering if I really would get better or not. 36 hours on antibiotics seems to have done the trick.

W: Now I'm addicted to fluids. After guzzling non-stop for about 48 hours, my body thinks that's the new normal.

AW: Did the pile of paperwork filing I had on my imaginary week off to-do list. Plus bonus de-filing of folder from Snuggly Girl's now-former school. Why did I file all that crap in the first place? I was a naive kindergarten parent, I guess.

W: No sign that we'll get to most of the rest of the list, like My Love's stated intention to (jointly) clean out the basement and the garage, both of which are nearly impossible to traverse.

Wait, that might be an anti-whine of sorts.

kathy a. said...

yay, sue, liz, and sarah! yay to madeleine for feeling better and the decluttering; we'll wait and see about the rest, but wishing you well.

KLee said...

Jen R -- when my daughter was young, my nephew (and b-i-l and s-i-l) gave her something hideous, and I, of course, had to counter back with an even worse gift.

(It's strange that I can't remember what that original gift was...)

I went out and bought the biggest tub of Play-Doh I could find. It had all the colors, and cookie cutters and all kinds of doodads for Play-Doh playing, and my s-i-l said she was cleaning Play-Doh out of her carpet for MONTHS.

My s-i-l found out that it pays not to mess with me.

KLee said...

Oh, and FYI, this class is kicking my butt. I made a 60 on a project (which is about eight percent of my total grade) because the professor said I didn't submit enough material, and he wants me to turn in all the stuff I missed. So, I rush, rush, rush to do OVER the work I have already done and re-submit it. When I email him to say that I have done what he asked, he says - "Oh, my mistake. I see where you've already fulfilled the requirements. I'll adjust your grade." A week later, and still no grade adjustment. That blasted 60 is mocking me.

Now, we're working on Project Number Three, and I can't finish Number Three because I have to build on top of the foundations of Project Number Two, and I can't because I don't have his feedback! That would be like you painting a room green, and then having someone tell you to find accessories to go with this green room, and sending you all over creation for said knick-knacks, only to find out when you're done that you're not supposed to use green as a base. And now I also have to go to the dentist so they can unclench my jaw.

All of this is only slightly made better by Quiz grade number 3: 90. It should have been a 100, but I got tripped up by tricky wording, and missed an answer that I KNEW and simply jumped the gun on.

Give me strength to make it another 6 and a half weeks!

Name Under Development said...

Pixies, I just saw the most incongruous sight I've witnessed in a long time. I don't have a blog of my own, so this is the only way I had to share it with you.

Bert and I went to Cracker Barrel this evening. We were sitting at a table by the window, chatting, when we noticed a white stretch limo pulled up to the entrance. A man in dress pants and a uniform-y polo got out and stood waiting attentively by the limo. A young man in gym shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops appeared and the driver opened the door for him to get in the limo, then returned to waiting for the rest of his party. A couple of minutes later, 2 men (looked like father/son) wearing jeans, work boots and feed caps (one camo-type) exited the restaurant and came up to the limo. The driver opened the door, helped them in, then got in behind the wheel and drove off. Bert & I sat with our mouths open.

We live in a small town in a rural area. Stretch limos occasionally show up connected with weddings, once & awhile a prom. But guys in camouflage feed caps after eating at Cracker Barrel? Not your typical limo passenger.

I'll try to come back with whines and votes, pixies, but with so many worthy whines--including, alas, the bodily fluids--I figured we could all use a laugh.


Elizabeth said...

I nominate KLee for the elevated risk of mullet for "All I can say is thank God phones are cordless these days, because I'm tempted to strangle either her or myself."

Whine: my lovely friend who cared for the cats while we were gone and left the house far cleaner than we left it somehow managed to lose the cap to the gas tank on the car! I'm afraid to drive the car with an open gas tank, so I'm essentially carless until we can get a replacement. Meanwhile, the mechanic who failed to fix our air conditioning before we left is now saying that he gave me a $1400 estimate and I declined to have the work done.

JenR said...

KLee - that is the best! I only wish that they lived around here so I could get him a giant tub of play dough. With glitter. And confetti. Also, I hear that moon sand is evil to clean up.

amy said...

sorry i'm late! it's because of an anti-whine! my best friend is in town for a wedding, and she's staying with me! it's like a big-girl slumber party! YAY!

on the crummy side, and this is so tolerable (see above antiwhine), i got my period back for the first time since the baby was born. all i can say is what most of us already think: periods are dumb.

lots of hugs for parents struggling with kids this week - it's hard to be a parent!

@esperanza: regarding the bottles, i think there's lots of good advice here. i'll chime in with two more things. one, it's not a problem if the solution is worse, and two, sippy cups are nice because they don't spill much, but the fine motor skills kids learn using them are not important at any other time of life. straw cups and sport bottles will be more useful and they make some that don't leak (more or less). consider taking a look at's findings:

i think we should name liz's new irritating-gift-giving-brigade the glitter gluestick posse.

and last, an honorary vote to kathy a. for the chain letter dilemma because a real chain letter? for srsly?

love ya, pixies,

Sue said...

Sign me up for the glitter glue posse. I'm so in...

liz said...

Oh! Oh! I just thought of more gifts!

Operation and/or Perfection and/or Taboo! Excellent games with really annoying buzzing and/or clicking sounds that are guaranteed to drive parents insane while still being good enough for motor/mental skill development that they can't ban them!

JenR said...

Ooo Liz. That's sneaky. Awesome!

kathy a. said...

Awards in a while -- keep whining!

liz said...

AW: Took MM to the dentist this morning. No cavities!

W: Looks like eventually he'll need orthodontia. His fangs are coming in waaaay in front and there doesn't seem to be enough room for them to get into a proper position, especially since his molars are very crowded in the back.

"If they come in too crowded to clean them properly, we're going to have to do some early orthodontia. But it looks like early or late, he's going to need some hardware at some point"

I lucked out never needing braces, I was hoping that MM could miss that bus too.

esperanza said...

Thanks for the link, Amy, and the wise words.

We're getting pressure from all directions: pedi, speech therapist, developmental pedi, physical therapist, early childhood intervention specialist. Not to mention grandma. But seriously, if we could get rid of the one in the morning and the afternoon, that would be good. I can live with the nighttime bottle.

AW: got a peek at the new kid yesterday...he/she was bopping around all over the place, perfect size, perfect heartrate.

Whine: An hour and a half drive, an hour and half appointment for said peek, lunch with a friend (who--huge AW--met me to play with Sweet Baboo while I was half naked under the sheet), appointment for Sweet Baboo, hour and half drive back. I was toast. I think I still am.

Sue said...

esperanza, I'm glad the peek went well. And hooray for your friend who went with you. That was a lot to fit into one day. I hope you get some rest today.