Monthly Archive for April, 2008

29-months old today!

Claire is 29-months old today!

Here is a picture I took this morning, coupled with the ones from the April Thirtieths of the past. 😉 Look at how much she’s grown!

Click to enlarge.
Clicking a second time will show more detail.

29-months old!
April 30, 2008
29-months old

17-months old!
April 30, 2007
17-months old

5-months old!
April 30, 2006
5-months old

Fun in the sun

Yesterday afternoon, Claire and I had so much fun playing out in the backyard.

We live in a relatively older neighborhood with large yards and big trees. Of all the houses on our cul-de-sac, we have the largest backyard. We consider ourselves to be pretty fortunate in that regard…well, when it comes to playing and not when it comes to yardwork. 😉

Our yard slopes upwards in the back, and Claire loves running all the way up the hill and then running all the way down. It’s the perfect way to expend some of that toddler energy.

Here are some pictures I took of the fun we had in the sun. Notice the blue skies and happy toddler. Please disregard the “pretty flowers” that look a lot like Dandelions. If we wanted them to grow, we’d have a terrible time getting them to come up; I’m sure. 😉

Click to enlarge.
Clicking a second time will show even more detail.

Fun in the sun

Claire is pointing as she’s running. “I’m goin’ over there, Momma!” she says.

Whee!

And, here she is running at top speed down the hill. Every picture I took of her looks exactly the same. Her arms are out, and she’s bouncing with pure joy. I love watching her run. It’s the personification of excitement.

Say Cheese!

Here she is posing for the camera.

She’s such a little diva…and I mean that in a good way. When she’s 13, remind me I said that. 😉

Confession of a Toddler’s Mom

Sometimes, I’m the one who wants fish-sticks for lunch.

🙂

Random Thoughts

It’s Monday, and there are a bunch of things bouncing around in my head today. So, here they are, in no particular order…

  • We have two body-sized and body-shaped piles of rocks in the backyard. They’ve been there for almost two years. No one has noticed.
  • I have discovered that Claire will do almost anything for a little packet of fruit snacks. I must use this power wisely.
  • This post is post #462, and, there are 805 non-spam comments on my blog. June 1st will mark the 300th consecutive day that I’ve posted something on my blog. I think I can make it a full year. I wasn’t sure where this was going when I started, but I like where I am, and I’ve really enjoyed the journey so far.
  • Claire and I played a wonderful new game yesterday. It’s called The Laundry Game. The game consists of a large basket of clean, dry clothes. Claire’s job was to sort the clothes into matching piles (she’s really into matching things right now – colors, shapes, etc.). I was amazed at how good she is at matching socks (individual socks, even!), all the short sleeved shirts, long sleeved shirts, pants, washcloths, etc. When the basket was empty and Momma had folded the clothes that Claire had matched, Claire begged to play again. “The Laundry Game is fun!” screeched Claire. Trickery, thy name is Momma.
  • We put a faux owl in our pine tree in hopes of scaring the pigeons that live on our roof. The pigeons are happy to have a new friend, even though he keeps his thoughts to himself, but the kitties are freaked out by the wild beast roosting in the tree outside their window. “Stupid pigeons!” Claire says, quoting Daddy. “Stupid isn’t nice to say,” reminds Momma. “Dumb pigeons!” Claire says. Oh, dear.
  • I got my Tetanus Booster today. When I got my shot in 1998, they told me it was good for 10 years. Today, they told me it’s good for 7 to 10 years. Why don’t they just say 7 years? Date ranges like that make me wonder how they calculate these kinds of things.
  • My hubby downloaded the full version of Bejeweled 2 on the Xbox last night for me. You may never see me again.
  • Exactly two months ago yesterday I gave my two-week notice at my job. I couldn’t be happier. We couldn’t be happier. It feels so good to know I made the right decision.
  • I’ve started my book! I have a story in my head that is gurgling and trying to get out. I’m finally getting the words out on paper, and I can’t wait to see how it ends.

Slacker

Last week, my hubby introduced me to a music site where you can put in your favorite artist or genre, and it will play music that falls into that category. It’s called Slacker. I’ve fallen even more madly in love with it, so I though I’d share a little more about it.

I love the name, and I’m surprised someone else didn’t snatch it up. Then again, if they truly are slackers, that explains everything. 😉

People tend to be very territorial with their music sites. I’m not. I’m new to this whole scene. My hubby was really into Pandora and Rhapsody, and whatever the kids are into these days. Now, he’s playing around with Slacker.

He tried to get me hooked on Pandora, but, personally, I didn’t like it. It always played such weird things in my line-ups, and I didn’t have the time to constantly rate or tweak the song lists. It was more trouble than it was worth (and it was free! What does that tell you?). I was busy! Who has that kind of time and dedication! I do have good friends that have painstakingly created song lists in that and other programs. That’s awesome, but it’s not for me.

Plus, I’m the kind of person who could be deliriously happy listening to my favorite (at the time, because it always changes) song on repeat. For real. Make me work for it, and I’m not happy. Gee, maybe that’s why they named it Slacker?

I haven’t had to do any tweaking. The song lists are awesome. How ironic that when I actually have more time, I find a site that doesn’t need its hand held.

So, why is this so cool? Well, Claire loves to sing and dance, and she’s started memorizing lyrics. This is good and bad. 😉

Most of the clubby/dance/popular radio music she likes has some interesting lyrics. So, when I stumbled upon the Toddler Radio on Slacker, I was pleasantly surprised. Granted, I wavered between wanting to thump my head on the wall and actually enjoying the songs from my childhood. Today, we are exploring the Kid Radio, and it’s a lot of fun, too.

The Jonas Brothers? Miley Cyrus? Of course I’ve heard of them (now), why do you ask? 😉 I was beginning to feel so out if the loop. (Where’s my cane? Get off my lawn!)

What I think is cool is all the mainstream artists (that I’ve actually heard of before now) who are now doing some kid-friendly songs, too… 😉

And Slacker would be awesome to play at the office, since it’s continuous and not elevatory at all, unless you tell it to be. 🙂

So, if you’re in the market for a free online music source that takes no effort on your part, like changing the CD or setting up an mp3 list, check out Slacker. I’ve noticed that there is an option to set up your own playlist, but I’m too much of a slacker myself to even know how that works. 😉

Bent outta shape

So, this morning, my hubby was going to go to an appointment and run to a few stores. Claire was being a little difficult (read: two years old), so we decided that Claire and I were going to stay here. Before he left, I’d put a pretty pink ribbon in Claire’s hair, and it looked so cute. I asked my hubby to go get my camera to snap a few shots before he left. (Because I was sitting with her on my lap, and Little Miss Particular didn’t want me to get up.)

He gets the camera out of my office and comes in the kitchen to take our picture. He decided to get us from a different angle, somehow loses his grip and the camera went crashing to the floor.

Did he have the wrist band on? No.
Did the camera hit the floor? Yes.

I gasped out loud and shouted, “Oh nooooooooooooooo!”

He was also upset but then got really defensive when he saw my reaction. “I didn’t do it on purpose! What did you want me to do!?” he shouted. “Use the wrist band!” I shouted back. “I’m in a hurry, and you ask me to do this for you!” he shouted. “You didn’t have to! You have time! What does that have to do with the wrist band!?” I shouted back.

It doesn’t matter. What’s done is done.
He didn’t do it on purpose.

The lens is all jammed and a little crooked. It won’t close. It keeps making a pitiful little beeping noise. He takes the battery out so that the camera will stop freaking out.

I can’t hold back the tears.

I’m not normally materialistic, but he just dropped my new camera on the floor, and now it’s broken.

“You buying the camera for me was such a surprise, and it’s so special to me. I coddle that thing, and you waltz in here and drop it on the floor,” I say. That was mean. And it was un-called-for.

More tears.

He can’t handle tears and gets all upset. He thinks I’m “blaming him” and that I think he “did it on purpose.” Well, he IS the one who dropped it! Yes, the blame lies with him, but no he didn’t do it on purpose.

How many times do I have to tell him that blame and intention are two separate things!?

I’m far from perfect. I’ve broken things in the past. Do you think I meant to back out of the garage that one day, six years ago, and accidentally rip the bumper off my car when I accidentally backed over the rock that was in front yard? (Oh, that’s such an old story, but it’s a good one. Maybe I’ll write about it someday…maybe. And, if you must know, replacing the bumper was only slightly more expensive than a new camera. So, cost is not the issue here.)

Who was to blame that time? Me. (Technically, Your Honor, it was my fault as I was the one driving at the time. However, I’d like the record to show that I had repeatedly requested said rock be removed from its precariously dangerous position. It has since been removed and put in the backyard where it belongs. Also, for the record, my hubby had been driving my car last and he parks it way too close to the wall. But, yes. I’m guilty as charged. I have nothing further, Your Honor.)

Who did it on purpose? Not me.

Did that change my husband’s reaction? Uh, no. He was pretty upset.

So, the past is the past. What’s done is done. Could we change what happened? Nope…one of us broke the time machine, too. (And the jury is still out on that one.) 😉

All we can do is go forward…but after we’re calm.

He was upset for breaking my camera. He was even more upset because I was crying. And, I was upset, so I couldn’t stop the tears.

Claire got very upset and tried her best to make me stop crying. She kept calling me “honey” and rubbing my arm and kissing my face. She kept trying to wipe the tears away, and they wouldn’t stop.

He had to go to his appointment, so he left. All of a sudden, Claire’s mood totally changed since she was focusing on me. I got myself calmed down. It’s just a camera. And, what if it’s not really broken? There’s no need to panic. (Too late for that, I guess.) A proper evaluation needs to be done and then we can panic. Kidding! It’s just a camera. Right? No (more) panicking allowed.

Claire went down for her nap and I decided to look at the camera to see if the lens was cracked and if I could get it to close.

The camera didn’t appear to be cracked or have any scratches on it. I noticed how the little lens was sitting a little cockeyed, so I gently pressed on it and it made an audible click. And, I think I heard it sigh with relief. I put the battery back in, and turned it on. It made its little automated adjusty noise and focused properly. I took a picture and then turned it off. It closed. I opened it and took another picture. I turned it off and it closed. I repeated this a few more times, and it didn’t freak out once.

It appears to be working just fine now. It may need a little Post-Traumatic-Stress therapy, and it has developed an odd fear of heights, but it appears to be okay for the most part.

We were lucky.
Crisis averted.

So, did any of the photos come out, or was this a complete waste of time and emotion? 🙂 Well, one of the pictures actually came out okay. Here is the picture that was snapped right before the camera took a tumble.

Click to enlarge.

Pretty Bow

In the above photo, Claire is saying “But, I don’t wanna say cheese,” which pretty much sums up her attitude before she had to take on the role of calming Momma down. And, it worked to snap her out of her mood, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a valid tool to be used again in the future. 😉

So far, all three of us, and the camera, have been bent out of shape today…but we’re feeling much better now. Claire is napping. My hubby is much calmer. My tears have all but dried up. Neither of us harber hard feelings for the other.

Hopefully the rest of our weekend goes a little more smoothly.

Knock on wood… (but not with the camera…it’s kinda delicate)
😉

Lost Observations – “The Shape of Things to Come”

It’ssssssssssssssss baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! After a five-week hiatus, Lost is back!! I guess this is a good thing. I mean, OF COURSE this is a good thing, but on Week One of the hiatus, I woke up all excited because “It’s Thursday! Lost is on!” and then reality smacked me in the head. Lost wasn’t on. I had to wait five weeks. Week Two rolled around, and I reminded myself on Wednesday that Lost wasn’t going to be on tomorrow. (Remember way back when Wednesdays were a day of pure joy because Lost was on Wednesdays? But I digress.) …and Thursday came and went, and I only twitched a little. By Week Three, I was pretty much cured. I didn’t even think about Lost. But, then Week Four got me all excited again. One more week!

And, now, it’s here. My addiction has been renewed. Things will come to a crashing halt in May, and it may take most of June for me to recover. But, until then…I’m so glad it’s back!

As always, if you don’t want to be spoiled, and you haven’t watched “The Shape of Things to Come” yet, please mark this post to read after you do!

… Are you still here? …

Okay, I admit it. I dig spoilers. I totally watched the three little clips put out by ABC to all the online entertainment sites.

… Still? …

And, all it did was get me more excited for the show. They didn’t really give away anything I hadn’t already guessed for myself. One of the clips was a little disturbing, but I was hoping I didn’t see what I thought I saw, but I’d prepared myself for the worst…just in case it wasn’t just creative editing to lead us in the wrong direction.

… There’s no going back after this …

Ready?

Okay, now that we have that obligatory warning out of the way…

😉

Like I’ve said before, I won’t recap the whole show. But watching Lost always leaves me with questions and comments and observations and I think this is a great place to get all that out. I love reading all the other recap sites and seeing the screen shots, so check out some cool links in my Blogroll.

This episode was great! And, I see why they moved it to a later timeslot. Claire, our toddler, loves watching Lost, but she had to go to bed before it came on. Honestly, I’m glad. There were some pretty heavy and disturbing things in it. I knew (or was hoping) that Ben was bluffing and wasn’t as evil as he wanted to sound when the people from the freighter were holding Alex hostage. His reaction when he said goodbye to her tells me that he really was devastated, and whether or not he is her biological father, he loved her.

Speaking of which…if Ben is traveling around in time, who’s to say he didn’t travel back in time and hook up with Danielle Rousseau? What if Ben really is (was?) Alex’s father? Yes, this is very Terminator, with a splash of Star Wars, but it really made me wonder. It was like he was saying what we wanted to hear…but what if it was only partially true? What if he really was her biological father?

How did Widmore change the rules? And, can we see what they are/were, please? What did he mean by “it was always my island”? Who really killed Nadia and why? Are we to believe that Sayid was “rescued” from the island as one of the Oceanic Six, found Nadia, married her, suffered through her death and then started working for Ben?

What did Ben mean when he said he “couldn’t” kill Widmore? Is this more of “the island won’t let you die” stuff? Is that why Claire survived the explosion? The island wants her to live? (I realize it’s not over yet…and anything could happen to her…)

WHO IS IN THE COFFIN!? Sorry…I got carried away. 😉

I’m also curious as to when Ben did his little time-travel (not unlike a polar bear?) to Tunisia? If you notice, his arm was hurt, so I wonder where that fits into island time? October 21, 2005 is interesting… I need to see a timeline of events. I’m sure another rabid fan of Lost has created one. 🙂 And, speaking of things the fans notice, I had a feeling Dan was lying about what the Morse Code said, and I’m so glad Bernard translated for us! (It was nice of him to save us the trouble of writing all the digits down and translating it for ourselves.) 🙂 …which leads us to what happened to the poor doctor in that little wrinkle of time between the freighter and the island?

And, I can’t wait until they find Jacob again and we learn a little more about Smokey.

My two favorite lines of the evening were Daniel saying, “When is a relative term” and what Hurley said at the very beginning of the show: “Australia is the key to the whole game.” Hmmmm…interesting. 🙂

I can’t wait to read all the recaps and buzz online about this episode, and needless to say, I can’t wait for next week!

American Idol Spoiler Alert

Claire would like everyone to know that David Cook is going to win American Idol, which she lovingly calls “Amerinidol.”

When asked who will be competing against David Cook in the Final Two, she says, “David Archuleta, but he isn’t gonna win. David Cook is gonna win.”

(Every time he sings, she screams, “He got five stars, Momma! David Cook got five stars!!” Ha.)

And, she likes Simon Cowell, but she really likes Paula Abdul. Oh, and Randy? I’m sorry, Dawg, she just has no opinion about you one way or the other. 😉

So, there ya have it. There are the Top Two “Amerinidols” and the “Amerinidol” Winner, as predicted by a toddler. However, in the interest of full disclosure, she was incorrect in her prediction of Rami winning Project Runway. Christian was Momma’s favorite and Claire’s runner-up choice, so she wasn’t too far off. 🙂

Claire-isms – Bobbim & Fer-Jenny

Today, I’ve decided to post my next installment of Claire-isms. You can read about the first one here.

As I’ve said before, Claire does really well with speaking, and she has a pretty extensive vocabulary for a two-year old. But, learning to speak is a journey, and there are a couple of words that aren’t quite there yet.  🙂

Here are two of my current favorites:

Bobbim:

We have three words that we use to describe posteriors around here (four if you count the word posterior). We use the word butt, bottom and buns. Buns is mainly used in phrases that mean “move it” as in, “Getch-yer buns in here!” (often said with a southern accent, although none of us are southern.) Butt is self-explanatory. Some households don’t use this word, but we do. Bottom is a more polite word, and we use that a lot as well.

Try as hard as she might, Claire says the word bottom like “bobbim” and it’s the cutest thing. “Look at my naked bobbim!” Or, “Sit down on your bobbim!” Or, “I don’t wanna sit down on my bobbim!”

Soon, she’ll figure out how to say bottom correctly, and bobbim will be lost forever.

Fer-Jenny:

One day, I was getting ready for lunch and I asked Claire what she wanted to have. “Fer-Jenny!” she shouted. “No, for you!” I replied. And, do we even know a Jenny? “What do you want?”

“Fer Jenny! I want to eat Fer-Jenny!”

She was so adamant that I had her come over to the fridge and point to the Fer-Jenny. She pointed to the leftover spaghetti I had in a container on one of the shelves. “Oh, spaghetti!” I said.

“Yes, Fer-Jenny!”

So, Fer-Jenny it is. I’m not sure where this one comes from, but it is what it is. I’ve tried and tried to get her to say “ssssssssss puhhhh getty” but it always comes out “Fer-Jenny.”

And, for what it’s worth, Claire prefers Naked Fer-Jenny: No sauce. No stuff added. Just plain Fer-Jenny noodles.

And, just so you know…you need to sit on your bobbim to eat your Fer-Jenny. No running around the kitchen allowed! 😉

Not a 12-yr old boy. Not an old trucker.

Well, today, the blog-world and the real-world collided.  Lori from Weebles Wobblog (and Drama 2B Mama) and Momma & Claire from here at The Casual Perfectionist met…in real life!  And, I dare say, the meeting was a success!  All the kids had a great time playing, and it was neat to meet a fellow blogger in person.

Even Lori said that it’s interesting to meet someone you’ve never met but feel like you already know.

Very cool.

Claire and I are meeting so many different moms and kids these days, and really, there isn’t much difference between meeting a mom via the new playgroup and meeting a mom who also happens to have an Internet addiction…er, I mean, blog.  😉

So, what’s this about 12-yr old boys and old truckers?  My hubby is convinced that the “real” people on the Internet fit into those two categories.  I think he’s mixing up the idea of “online dating sites” and “blogs.” I mean, I’m not a 12-yr old boy** nor an old trucker**…so there has to be another category.  He still tells me that if there is, it’s a very small percentage.  I would show him my list of 100+ subscriptions on GoogleReader of blogs I’m pretty sure are not written by 12-yr old boys** or old truckers**, but that would just prove to him that I may be a tad obsessed with blogs.

Silly tech guy.  Who asked him, anyway?  🙂

**Not that there’s anything wrong with either of these categories…  😉

So, how did Lori and I meet?  I think we both have BlogRush on our sites and one of us was drawn to the other’s site that way.  Or, it could have been any number of ways.  Some of my favorite blogs are ones I’ve stumbled upon in purely random ways.  I comment here.  I comment there.  I check out people who comment here and comment there.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc.

I’m very careful about disclosing too much personal information on the blog, but through the wonders of technology, it’s possible to see where visitors or commenters are located.  I think Lori noticed first that our geographical areas are quite similar.  Then, we both started mentioning places that were so familiar.  One thing led to another, and the rest, as they say, is history.  🙂

I’d love to meet more often, as schedules allow.  I had a great time chatting; Claire had a great time playing, and I totally didn’t get the axe murderer vibe from Lori at all.  😉