Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Weekend Recap

It was a very busy weekend here at Hausfrau Haus. Gramma stayed until Saturday morning so that Herr Hausfrau and I could go out for our anniversary on Friday night! We went out to dinner with some friends we have made here which was quite exciting. They are in the same boat as we are: they are from the Midwest and went away for a long time (most recently Seattle) and they are back so that their two girls can be closer to family. They miss Seattle a lot, so we can relate. At any rate, we scored by going to an AWESOME Thai restaurant. Our friends have been searching for good Thai here in town without much success, so we were all pretty psyched. Then we went and saw Walk the Line. Wow--very good movie. Reese Witherspoon redeemed herself in my eyes as an actress, so if she every does another Legally Blond, I will kick her ass. The best part of the evening for all of us??? We went to dinner with another couple without children interrupting, babies pooping and having to order french fries and chicken nuggets. It was also great to NOT bring a backpack full of granola bars, cheerios and crayons.

My best friend and her family came to visit on Saturday. It was great because we hadn't seen them since she was pregnant with the twins and they will be a year old in December. Their three sons are adorable! The oldest is so mellow compared to my older daughter (he is five months older than she.) Baby Girl was clearly smitten with him and she proceeded to stalk him the entire visit. We had the best intentions of fixing a gourmet dinner on Sunday evening, but our drinking got in the way and we ate appetizers and played Shut the Box (Best of 15.)

Other than that, there is nothing new to report. Baby Girl's artwork continues to make us laugh. Her latest installment is quite funny. The picture on pink paper is me. She is learning to draw details such as eye lashes and hair. Apparently I am still a size 0, which is awesome. What is NOT awesome is the apparent tumor I have on my ear. Herr Hausfrau is featured on the green paper. He has a wicked comb-over of one long strand of hair. She mentioned that "This is Daddy and he is NOT happy." Hence, the mustache-looking frown. The third picture was drawn yesterday while I was on the phone with my friend Lisa. She said that they were bumblebees with belly buttons. And one is "VERY unhappy."

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving to All and Happy Anniversary Herr Hausfrau

As I am hungrily awaiting for the turkey to cook to its proper temperature, I have had a few hours to reminisce about our wedding day a mere 12 years ago.

The wedding took place at the St. Louis County Courthouse. We didn't think many people would get married the day before Thanksgiving, much less get married at the courthouse. We were wrong. We were couple #12 (out of about 24.) I know you would agree that it was a freak show. I remember having hives across my throat and chest and being nervous and scared. I remember the judge constantly banging his gavel and telling people to be quiet, but no one listened. I remember the ho who wore the tight red lace dress and the 5 inch FMPs. And I remember the tired looking couple with torn clothing carrying a baby. No one else was with them. I remember that it all happened so fast, and then it was over. We were married.

I often wonder if all of the other couples who got married with us are still married. I wonder if any of the other couples renewed their vows a few years later like we did. I wonder if they are as happy as we are. I wonder if the wives love their husbands as much as I love you. Our 12
years of marriage have been quite an adventure. To say I would marry you all over again would be an understatement.

Here's to our next 12 years!

Monday, November 21, 2005

I Have Misplaced My Pants

Here at Hausfrau Haus, preparations are being made for a most memorable Thanksgiving. As mentioned in a previous post, we are having our first Thanksgiving with family members other than ourselves. Make that "family member." Due to my brother-in-law's work schedule, he and his family will be unable to attend. This isn't stopping us from going ahead with the purchase of our 18 Lb. free range turkey that was massaged and pampered in his/her short life and fed a diet of four leaf clovers, sweet peas and marigolds from Trader Joe's. For three people. We will also be preparing vats of my famous Cornbread Stuffing with pecans, leeks and bacon. I made cornbread and froze it long before I knew we would only have 3 people. I am ready to make my pecan and white chocolate pies and pumpkin apple butter pies. I have my week scheduled down to the hour. The beer my husband brewed will be ready just in time. Each day I will be prepping or preparing an item for the feast. I have scheduled work outs for every morning this week (gym closed on Thursday) so that the odds of gaining a significant amount of weight are diminished.

I know. You must be thinking, "Wow, that Hausfrau's got it going on!" Normally, I would agree. But I am a little worried about the meal. More specifically, I am worried that I won't be able to enjoy my meal as much as I'd hoped. While I am sure everything will taste good, I just know that I will not be as comfortable as I would like. You see, I can't find my old maternity pants, and I had planned on wearing them to dinner.

You heard it here first: maternity pants ROCK at Thanksgiving dinner. I have worn preggo pants the past three Thanksgivings. I was pregnant for two of them, but I wore them for shits and giggles during one of the Thanksgivings when I wasn't pregnant. And it was FABULOUS! The elastic doesn't cut into the stomach and there is that wonderful soft panel of stretchie material that hugs you stomach just right, as if to say, "Go ahead, have some more mashed potatoes with gravy and corn--I've got your belly!" There is no need to unsnap ones pants and grunt and groan when one wears preggo pants! And sweat pants are just not the same. Not even close.

So do yourself a favor and head over to Target. I'll be over in the maternity aisle, trying on these.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I Should Have Stayed in the House

Hausfrau be illin', yo. I have contracted some gross cooties from my 9 month old. There is no way she suffered more than I am right now. Her demeanor was much more cheerful. My head feels like it is twice it's normal size what with all the SNOT stuck in there. It won't come out when I blow my nose--my ears just pop. And pop they do. I keep checking my ears to make sure they aren't bleeding. I am freezing cold (something I NEVER am) and I am running a fever.

So, of course it made perfect sense for me to go out and get the mail without my shoes and coat. It's only 20 degrees outside and it keeps spitting a snow-like substance, but whatever. I thought that the latest Cook's Illustrated or The Economist would be in the mail to cheer me up. I needn't have bothered.

This is what was in my mail today:

SIXTEEN CATALOGS. There are even two Target and L.L. Bean catalogs each because one apparently isn't enough. One could argue that it is the holidays and that this is bound to happen. However, this has happened at least once a week since we moved to Ohio. We never had this much crap mail in New Jersey. We had even put ourselves on a list to not get credit card offers in the mail and it WORKED--until we moved here. Now we are back to getting three of those a day.

I am done with my holiday shopping so these just aren't going to cut it when I go to my room to read this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hey, Remember Us?

Yeah you! We're talking to you. Remember us? We're the Dogs Formerly Known as Your Babies! We are quite unhappy with our present living arrangement. We have a list of issues we would like to discuss with you. Can you squeeze it into your busy schedule what with all the baby kissing and playing you do all day?

First of all, we do NOT appreciate being called Dumb and Dumber or Re and Tard. Our names are Linus and Bosco--got it? I mean, you're the ones who named us for Christ sake! Oh, and Bosco doesn't like being called Jackass either.

Secondly, about these kids: are they leaving anytime soon? We were under the impression that we were your babies. We were here first. You all are forever telling US to move when the baby is heading toward us. Why should WE move? Their toys and shoes are everywhere and it is a real nuisance when we are napping on the couch and we can sense the baby coming toward us to pull our tails or chew on our paws. We don't even chew our paws--that's just gross.

And what is with this new house? You keep forgetting to keep our water bowl full of fresh water. At least at the old house we had the pool to drink from. We also don't like the neighborhood dogs. At the old place, we only had to deal with the stupid deer. At least you could chase them and they would leave for awhile. The black lab behind us is a real pain in the ass with his constant barking. And don't get us started on those stupid white yippy dogs two doors down.

And exactly what did we do to lose our privilege of sleeping with the two of you? This sleeping in the laundry room crap is for the birds. You only give us one blanket to share. We really miss the days when we slept between the two of you in that queen size bed all snuggly under the covers. We also remember all the times Mommy fell out of bed after one of us would stretch out in the middle of the night. What a hoot!

And another thing: don't think we haven't noticed the change in our dog food. Did you think we can't tell that you've changed our food to Old Roy from Walmart that costs about $5 for a 50 lb. bag? Everyone knows that cheap dog food causes dogs to poop twice as much. And our gas is FOUL! Just put us back on Iams and everything will be just fine.

Why don't we get to go on trips with you anymore? We remember all the fun places you've taken us like Maine and Cook Forest and countless parks. Now you take us to the kennel. Kennels suck. We remember you used to always say that if you couldn't take the dogs with you, you wouldn't go. Oh how times have changed.

We demand more snuggling on the couch with the two of you and less of those kids. Got it? Don't make us beg for it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

You Don't Say!

"Peaches and Wedgehead, do you know where we are going? We are going to Costco where we are going to buy diapers, coffee and baby wipes. That's going to be FANTASTIC!" said Baby Girl when we were in the car Sunday morning. She spent the majority of the drive in a spirited monologue while her sister and her favorite stuffed creature listened intently.

"Wow Honey, " I said. "Have you noticed how articulate Baby Girl has become, particularly in the past month or so? Do you think that she is ahead of other kids her age? I mean, I sometimes have a lot of trouble understanding the kids in her art class and her playgroups. Could it be that we are just used to how she talks or she's just really articulate?"

"I think she is just really articulate," said my husband. "No one seems to ever have a problem understanding her."

"You're right," I smiled as I basked in her obvious intelligence. The rest of the way to Costco, I pondered the dilemna of how we would handle having such an intelligent child in our household if the other child was normal. Would she skip 1st grade? Will we need to send her to private school to keep her motivated and challenged? Where are we going to get the money for that? Should we have her I.Q. tested?

Three hours later while we played in the backyard, Baby Girl started shouting, " All godag tuvionu bland!"

"What did you say?" I asked.

"All godag tuvionu bland!!!"

"Honey, what are you saying?"


My husband said, "Do you think we may have gotten a little ahead of ourselves this morning?"


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tonight's Menu

We at Chez Hausfrau pride ourselves on the quality of our meals. Most would agree that each meal is lovingly prepared with fantastic ingredients and almost always clean hands.

It is with great regret that we inform you that this evening's entree, Grilled Pork Chops in a honey ginger marinade will NOT be served this evening, due to the outdoor barbeque grill catching on fire. And while there should be fire in a barbeque grill, there shouldn't be fire ENVELOPING the grill.

Thanks to our quick-thinking souz chef, we have some tasty alternatives that will most assuredly satisfy even the most finicky palate:

Grilled Egg and Cheese Sandwich
Hummus with Reduced Fat Wheat Thins
Bowl of Corn Flakes
$3 off Coupon for Donato's

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Nine Months Old!

Hi Peaches-- I cannot believe you are nine months old! You are changing so quickly and growing so fast--I am excited and sad at the same time. I took you to the pediatrician last week and he deemed you to be "Perfect." You were a champ when you were given shots and charmed the appointment setter, the nurses and the patients in the waiting room.

You are keeping me QUITE busy with your current attachment issues. While it is all well and good if you decide to venture around on your own throughout the house, it is apparently NOT OK for me to attempt to go to the bathroom by myself. Between you and your sister, I am estimating that I will not be taking a crap in peace until roughly 2010. The years will fly by, I'm sure.

Your smile sometimes takes my breath away, I find it to be just that enchanting. That said, I would appreciate more smiling and less screaming at me. I realize you think that I am cramping your style by closing the door to the bathroom and taking toilet paper out of your mouth, but I want you to experience your first birthday. I'm doing it all for you!

You display QUITE a temper. Frankly, I have no IDEA where it comes from. When Baby Girl steals a toy or book from you, you don't take it. Your anger is amazing. Your father and I are predicting that you are going to be the more aggressive child of the two. We are fairly sure that you will probably beat the crap out of your sister on a regular basis in the near future. We also think that you are going to be the trouble maker, but your sister is always going to be the one to get caught. It will be fun to see if we are right.

We are amazed at how active you are. You are just weeks away from walking--we're sure of it. You have no desire to sit still. What bums me out is that you don't want to cuddle. At all. You also don't want to have your diaper or clothing changed. If you realize that we are holding you down, you fly into a rage. If the bloodcurdling screaming doesn't soon stop, I am sure the neighbors will report us for abuse. Poopy diapers are the most challenging, as I am sure you are aware.

Your eating habits are rapidly changing. You hate having someone feed you and you don't appear to like baby food in general, so I am starting to feed you real food. Currently you are surviving on a diet of Cheerios, yogurt, cottage cheese, peas and bananas. Some days you revert to baby food, but only for a couple of bites. Some days you love food, some days you want nothing to do with it. This sort of thing doesn't worry me anymore as you are the second child. I know you will eat when you are hungry.

I've got your Christmas presents already!!! I got you two extension cords (one white, one brown), some flip flops and a huge box of catalogs and magazines. Oh yeah--I got you a remote control too! I know how much you love to chew these things! I can't wait to see the look on your Grandmother's face on Christmas morning when you open those gifts! I think she thought I was joking when I told her what I was getting you! Shhh! Don't spoil the surprise!

I can't wait to watch you over the next month as you continue to grow and make your mark on our family. I am one lucky mama to have such a beautiful and healthy baby!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Procrastination Station

Here at Hausfrau House, I spent the weekend getting bored and frustrated with my responsibilities and being a referee for the girls as they fought over who had dibs on the cheerios on the floor. I had two goals this weekend: Figure out which Medicare Prescription Plan is best for my mother and figure out how I will be voting on Tuesday. I achieved neither goal and will now be spending today catching up.

I had an easier time reading Beowulf in Old English than I did trying to translate Medicare & You 2006. I think they intentionally wrote it to be so confusing that the elderly will put it down in frustration and sign up with the first telemarketer who calls them and sounds like they are speaking basic English. I still don't understand it, and I have all of my faculties (I think). Someone like my mother doesn't have a chance when it comes to being able to formulate an effective plan for her prescription care. Shame on Medicare! There are 16 private insurance companies who can offer plans to Medicare participants in the state of Indiana. I still can't find the link on the medicare site that offers to compare their prices and benefits. I got excited when I read that my mom could qualify for extra payment assistance until I read the fine print that her "resources" can't be above $7K. Well, she just sold her house, so she has money in the bank. However, it is all the money she has to live on until she dies and half of it will be taken from her due to the hospital suing her for unpaid bills. Ironically, if she still owned her house, it wouldn't count towards the "resources." There are days when I really want to move my mother to Canada with SNM.

And then there are the elections on Tuesday. On the local ballot is Issue 30. Issue 30 is a 7.73-mill combined operating levy and bond issue that would raise about $13.3 million annually for daily operations and $84.3 million for school construction. If approved, it would cost the owner of a $200,000 home $342 annually. According to legend, the district had a surplus of funds a few years ago. Instead of spending it on the schools, they built the Taj Mahal of administrative buildings and then asked for more money in the form of this levy issue. This is not the first time this issue has been on the ballots. It has been on the ballots twice before, I believe and it failed--the last time by 5 votes! The last time it failed, the Superintendent and school board decided to play hardball and pulled bus service for a large percentage of the school district, including the high schools. Even better, it was a prepaid 2 year contract with a year left. How they didn't get put in jail, I will never know.

It seems that the superintendent is out, but we will also be voting on school board members. This has been a very emotional issue in my neighborhood. Most of the parents are passionate about NOT wanting to wait an hour to pick their kid up from the elementary school down the road. One of the first questions I was asked when we first moved here was our position on the issue (and where do I go to church). I chose not to talk about it. It's not their business. I have decided to go ahead and vote for the levy but not vote for any incumbent school board members. I could care less about the bus service. I care about the trailers and broom closets that are serving as classrooms for kids in our district. Not very becoming for the 8th Best School District in the State of Ohio! I am also going to vote for Issue 6 for the elderly. The rest of the issues, I have no idea. Guess I'd better read up instead of fantasizing about shoe shopping alone.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Just For The Fear of It

I remember as a child of five or six how terrified I was that our house was going to burn down. I would have nightmares for what seemed like every single night and would quiver and cry in my bed. It didn't help that I could clearly hear the sirens on "Adam 12" or "Emergency" blaring from our television set in the living room. There were nights when it got so bad that my mother would hear me crying. Depending on her mood, she would hug me and tell me everything was going to be OK, or she would yell at me to be quiet and stop crying. I remember once or twice even being allowed to sleep between my parents with strict orders to NOT look under the covers. YIKES. Over the year, I got over many of my fears (with the exception of clowns) but I never forgot the annoyed reaction my parents sometimes had when I was afraid of something.

Baby Girl has become afraid of things. Last year when she decided she was afraid of taking a bath for a few weeks, we simply stripped her naked and hosed her down in the front yard. It was August, so it wasn't all that surprising to see a naked baby running through the jet spray of a hose. Our daughter just also had the sheen of baby wash on her. We thought it was funny, and the phase went away. We arrogantly patted ourselves on the back for our superior parenting skills and were proud of our daughter who seemed to know no fear.

A couple of months ago, Baby Girl started screaming at the top of her lungs after we tucked her in at night. For upwards of an hour. At first, we were sympathetic. Then we got annoyed. Then we got angry. Here we used to have this perfect sleeper who always happily went to bed and instantly fell asleep and stayed asleep for 11-13 hours. Now we have a child who could nail an audition for a horror movie. It took a couple of weeks to realize that MAYBE she was afraid of the dark. I didn't necessarily want to feed her the idea by asking her, but after a couple of weeks of this nonsense, I asked her and she wailed, "Yeeeeessss!"

In addition to the dark, Baby Girl is afraid of the ocean, ladybugs and flies and lawnmowers. She is also afraid of going down the drain when we let the water out of the bathtub, which means we are back to her not wanting to bathe. She regularly runs around the house saying, "I'm so Skiiiired!"

I occasionally get annoyed with her fears du jour. It's not the fears themselves, it's just that it can be quite inconvenient to deal with them when they surface. It's not convenient to deal with a fear of the ocean when we are on vacation at the shore. It's not convenient to manage her fear of going down the drain when I am trying to make sure her baby sister doesn't drown and Baby Girl doesn't crack her head open on the tub from trying to jump out. It's not convenient to wake me up at 5:30 in the morning (after I fed the baby at 4:30 and had just fallen back asleep) because you were awoken by thunder and are suddenly terrified of storms. The feeling of annoyance towards my daughter then shifts into feelings of shame for how I'm feeling. Then the shame gives way to sadness. It makes me so sad and powerless that we are entering a new phase of her life where I cannot control the situation and make her feel better. She has to do it on her own.

It can be almost heartbreaking to hear her working through her fears. She'll walk down a darkened hallway and repeat the mantra, "I'm NOT going to be afraid ANYMORE!" This morning during the storm, we let her come into bed with us, knowing full well that none of us would be going back to sleep. Whenever we saw a bolt of lightening, she would say, "Did you SEE that one?" When the thunder would come, she would rub my back and say, "It's going to be OK, Mommy. You don't have to be afraid." After the storm, she announced that she wasn't afraid of thunder anymore and that she wanted waffles for breakfast.

Since it is difficult to predict what Baby Girl is going to be afraid of next, I am very careful to not express what scares me. That said, I have made it quite clear that her father will be responsible for taking her to the circus or any birthday parties that will have a clown in attendance.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Guess I'm Not a Complete Math Retard After All

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 8/10 correct!

I saw this on Crayonz site, so I thought I would give it a whirl. I only posted the results because I passed. Take THAT Mr. Jonas, for actually calling me "STUPID" when I screwed up a problem at the board. I also didn't appreciate it when you asked me why I couldn't be smarter like my sister. While I did answer you straight away that I was adopted, you said something like, "Well, that explains EVERYTHING." You are the only teacher I ever had whom my parents LOATHED. They always sided with my teachers until you told them how lazy I was. My father nicely pointed out that he and my sister worked with me 4 hours EVERY SINGLE NIGHT to pass your stupid class. They came home and told me to drop your class.

Hey, Mr. Jonas, I heard you got fired a few years later for being an ASSHOLE. Shocker.

Oh, wait--he taught 10th grade math. Crap.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

You Know You're Back in the Midwest When...

...a major interstate closes down for the entire day because of cows .

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween Trippin'

Baby Girl had QUITE the time participating in trick or treating last night. When she went out last year, she really didn't understand what was going on. I think we told her that she was getting candy for us because we were poor. I know, I am going STRAIGHT to Hell. At this point I am just looking to upgrade my seat. At any rate, she got a lot of booty last year but she only got the coloring book and toothbrush/toothpaste combo. Hubby and I ate all the good stuff and took the dregs to work.

In her day to day life, Baby Girl never got candy until we recently started potty training. She is currently getting one M&M for a pee and 5 for a poo. We started to explain Halloween a few days ago and she understandably got quite excited. We rehearsed what she should be saying when she rang someone's doorbell: "Trick or Treat" as opposed to her orignal choice, "Gimme some candy!" She's really good with "thank you" so we weren't too worried about that.

I had NO IDEA how excited she would get about yesterday. First of all, it was Grandma's birthday, so we had cake for her. Secondly, Baby Girl was going to go trick or treating with her "best friend" Maddie. Thirdly, when Maddie showed up at the door, they were BOTH wearing Princess dresses. It was all Baby Girl could take. Maddie and Baby Girl ran through the neighborhood like squirrels on crack pillaging our respectable neighborhood of all of their confections. When they started to drag a little, they came back to our house where they proceeded to gorge themselves on chocolate and then birthday cake. And then things REALLY got interesting.

I have never witnessed Baby Girl on a sugar high. I have a feeling it might take me the year to recover. Two little girls on a sugar high is not be be believed. I was instantly reminded of the Simpsons episode when Lisa drank the dirty water on the Duff World ride. Lisa's eyes were rolling around in her head as she screamed, "I am the Lizard Queen." My daughter's eyes looked EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. The girls' shrieking continued for well over an hour as they twirled round and round chasing their skirts and imaginery leprechauns and whatever else they were seeing in their sugar trip. Thing came to a crashing halt when Baby Girl took the pen that Maddie was playing with and decided to "draw" on Maddie's face. Unfortunately in her haze, Baby Girl actually gauged Maddie above the eye, drew over her eye and ended at the cheek, leaving two small holes in poor Maddie's face. Party Ovah!!!

The candy is now safely hidden inside our Kitchen Aid stand mixer bowl and the dregs were taken to work this morning. Baby Girl is in a fog and has asked to go back to bed at 10:00 AM. I don't think she actually remembers going trick or treating last night because she hasn't asked for any candy...