On the Horizon

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM

5

First world problems ahoy!

Ahem.

When we moved into this house almost 2.5 years ago, it was with the contracted stipulation that the carpets be replaced.  The housing market being what it was, and is, that didn't happen.  We got this house, it's an incredible house for us, and we love it here.

But the carpets are, tragically, still in place, still Formerly White, and still the bane of my existence.

David bought us a fancy steam cleaner a couple of years back, so now I take out my flooring frustrations quarterly on the offending spots and stains.  But before I can get down to business and clean the carpet, I first have to make my way through the five stages of grief.

(No, I am not remotely kidding).

Denial. (They're not that bad! I just cleaned them, didn't I?)

Anger. (I should never have had to be dealing with this stupid carpet in the first place!  And white???? Seriously? Who does that?)

Bargaining. (Honey, I love you.  You're the best. Want to get some new floors?)

Depression. (Oh, crap. New floors x 2600 square feet = eleventy kajillion dollars.)

Acceptance. (Fine. FINE. Looks like my options are "clean them", or "be eaten by whatever varmints might be residing in their filthy depths").

So I cleaned them.  They are now clean.  

Clean-er.

But I really hope, and have reason to believe, that this will be the last time I have to do it.

Because, my friends, the Dixons have big plans for our flooring.

If anyone has done this, now would be an ideal time to offer your tips and suggestions...


Letters

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 9:51 PM

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Dear Dollar Tree

Really? Two generic brands of tinfoil? I was suspicious as soon as I saw it.  I know I'm not going to get Reynolds Wrap, but this way I had to guess which cheap crappy tinfoil was going to be slightly less crappy.  Turns out, the Handi-Foil isn't really very handy when you have to take it out of the box to unroll it, and I would try again with the Ultra Foil, but I suspect it may be similarly "ultra" in name only.  How about just one kind that actually works?

I've got birthday brownies to make,

The Wizzle

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Truck Owner at Coffee Rush,

...

You know what, never mind.  I'm sure you did need two parking spaces.  My mistake.

Carry on,

Not As Important As You

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Truck Owner at Speed Smart,

If you cannot open your doors without dinging my A-pillars, because your doors are the size and height of tank doors, and if you cannot make a three-point turn in a parking lot due to the length and breadth of your super duper double mega king cab, perhaps you might want to consider purchasing a smaller vehicle next time.

And I'm in a MINIVAN,

A Grumpy Old Mom

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Readers,

I promise, I don't dislike truck drivers categorically.  And perhaps the young man in the gas station was driving his parents' truck, who need it for legitimate business reasons, and he was just unfamiliar with maneuvering it.  Maybe the driver at the coffee shop was double parked because the person who was parked next to him when he got there was double parked, and they left before he came back out so it just looked like he was a double-parking spot hog when I got there.

Maybe.

But it's kind of fun to write snarky letters anyway, don't you think?

Everybody's got to make a living,

Oh wait, I don't get paid to write this stuff,

Guess I'm Just A Grouch Today

*   *   *   *   *

Dear Jillian Michaels,

I thought my quads, calves, and hamstrings were reasonably strong.  Then I did your Level 3 workout twice in 4 days.

Every day's a school day,

Jell-O Legs

*    *   *   *   *

Dear Jillian Michaels, again,

I notice that you have never been pregnant and given birth to children.  I hear that you adopted a couple of beautiful babies, and I'm so happy for you!  But I believe this small fact explains why you think I'm going to end up with a 6-pack after 3 weeks of ab work.  I'm pretty sure I do have some muscles under there, but man.  Gravity is a DRAG, and the old gray mare really, really ain't what she used to be.

It can't hurt to keep trying,

And There's Always Spanx

*   *   *   *   *


Dear Nichole,

You are super stylish and chic, and I'm so excited for your wedding to my husband's brother.  I've got a coordinating new outfit that I think will fit right in (you know I love an excuse to buy new clothes, right?)  The nieces and nephews are going to look darling. 

I would like to apologize in advance, because there is a good chance that my youngest child will be either barefoot, or wearing one of the (garish, well-worn) pairs of shoes she already owns.  It's hard to find cute dressy shoes in an extra-extra wide.  I hope you can forgive me.  And maybe take photos of them from the waist up.

Function over form,

Iris's Mom

Boys and girls, girls and boys

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM

1

Yesterday was my son's ninth birthday, and even though I haven't been blogging as frequently, I should really probably pop over here and say a little something about that.

He definitely deserves it.  He's a great kid.

But today, I'll write something about him, and something about my daughters, and something about my life.

Just a little something.

When Devlin was 3, I think, I discovered this amazing toy: the best kind, that keeps a child busy for long periods but isn't too loud, that is fun but really educational, that doesn't need batteries replaced or have tiny pieces to get lost, that won't be left behind the next time a new movie is released with a more compelling hero or villain.

They were his gears, and he adored them.  He played with them for years: the years he went to preschool wearing a red cape every single day, the years I spent nursing his sisters when they were little and he had to entertain himself.  He loved the way they fit together, experimenting with how to build ever taller and more elaborate structures, and I could see the gears turn in his mind too.

That child has a lot of gears in his mind.

Eventually Devlin moved on, and Eve got to be the age when the gears had first captivated him.  I tried to bring them out so she too could experience the wonder of understanding how two pieces fit together and act on each other - the marvels of the physical world - but she would have none of it.  She spent (and continues to spend) her early years constructing rich, verdant, incredibly detailed universes in her mind, and then bringing them to life with blocks, playsilks, ponies, barbies, lego minifigures, and stuffed animals.  

I can always tell at the end of the day when Eve has been playing in my room, because my deep soaking tub houses a complex diorama of animal, vegetable, and mineral at whose true meaning I can only guess.

But even though her splendid imagination meant she did not enjoy playing with the gears, she has nonetheless learned to do arithmetic very well, and Devlin is teaching her all about the periodic table.  Her mathematical and scientific education is proceeding right along, in spite of her strong inclination toward Disney figurines.


Today, days before her fourth birthday, Iris got out the gears.



I don't think any of my children are especially like one another, so I don't often have these moments, but when I saw her bent over the gears, practically drooling with concentration - even wearing a cape - I felt a flash of nostalgia and warmth for the days when her brother, 5 years older almost to the day, looked just like this.

(Except for the curls.)

My heart swelled as I patted myself on the back for providing opportunities for my girls to learn about math and science, and my boy to learn about cooking, sewing, and dolly care and keeping.

"See?" I thought.  "Eve wanted to play with dolls and figurines because that is her personality" (and I treasure her individuality very dearly, believe me).  

"Iris is not her sister.  She's another girl, but she is her own person and I need to remember to offer her all the choices we have available.  There's no earthly reason why a girl child shouldn't be absolutely infatuated with these gears!"

*   *   *   *   *

There's just one tiny difference.

Iris just called me in to have a look at her gear creation.

"Mom, come see all my flower decorations!"

*   *   *   *   *

The lessons continue.  For my children, and especially for me.

Curls and tacos

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 10:44 PM

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David was able to work from home most of the day today, so me and Iris went to lunch with him.

Shrimp tacos + cute new hedgie hairdo + beautiful weather = fabulous.

She may have started preschool, but we definitely still get plenty of buddy time.

Last baby, first day

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 8:49 PM

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Iris declared yesterday to be her last day as a baby.

This morning, she was coloring (in her pink tutu, naturally):

When she was finished, she wrote her whole very own name for the very first time.  Usually she just does the i's:


Then we ate lunch, she got dressed and grabbed her backpack, and it was time to go. 


She came home with a fancy hat and a Froot Loop necklace, and I think that's a success by anyone's definition.