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February 2009

seven qwik takes

I'm filling my iPod with Music To Jog To. I have this flittery fluttery idea that I might try running outside tomorrow (OMG) and I will need something to keep my mind off the pain. I twittered for playlist suggestions and got some good ideas- Britney, Christina, Kanye, Avril. But I'm also including some showtunes, some Journey, some movie songs (Chariots of Fire!) and a whole lotta Cake. MMM, CAKE. What's your fave workout song?

I want to write about Molly, but it's probably best for everyone if I don't. Suffice to say Routine Is Key. You can't always adhere to the routine, though, even when you have every intention of doing so, and some stuff is just out of your control, like busting out of the swaddle halfway through the morning nap. Something like that happens and the rest of the day is shot. SHOT I TELL YOU. I'm exhausted. Also? I'm having more luck getting her to take a bottle, but now she's just not eating until almost bedtime. Fun times! Wait. I said I wasn't going to write about it. MOVING ON.

About a zillion people on Craigslist are selling the bookshelf I want, but none near me, and not in the right color anyway. I might have to actually GO TO IKEA. Which would be fine, I like Ikea, except I have no earthly idea how to go to Ikea when 1) I have to stay within a five mile radius of The Princess, 2) there's no way that bookshelf is going to fit in my car if I have Molly's carseat in there, and 3) Phillip fails to see the urgency of the situation.

Maybe the biggest thing I miss about being a Fake (Temporary?) Protestant is worship songs. Catholics get all het up about worship bands and arm waving and all that, but I miss it. Which is why I occasionally listen to Christian radio. I like about one out of 87 songs on Christian radio, but when I hear that one song my day is made. The other night 'Amazing Love' came on just as I parked the car, and I sat in the dark for two or three minutes so I could finish it out.

Phillip thought this was funny. And I am all, "Deceptiwhat?"

Jack went from Mute to Chatterbox overnight. He mostly just shouts words here and there with an occasional phrase mixed in and barely anyone can understand him. He doesn't make a lot of sense, but I've lost track of his vocabulary, mostly because he always repeats the last word of whatever you just said. We've been trying to teach him colors, which just means that everything in our house is now "Bwoo!" no matter if it's blue or orange or red. My absolute favorite word is yellow. Jack says "Yehyoh!" And it is the CUTEST THING IN THE WORLD. I march him all over the house looking for yellow things, just so I can hear "Yehyo!"

I have a Post It note stuck to my laptop. It's my to do list. And you know what makes up more than half of my list? Bloggy stuff. Yeesh. This is just to say I am a rotten visitor and commenter but I'm trying to improve. Really. What I need to do is automatically add you to my reader, or open your comment box RIGHT THEN  instead of thinking, "I need to go read/comment on that site! I'll do it after I eat a fourth sugar-free ice cream bar!" because I never get around to it. And if you're not in my reader, well, for all intents and purposes you do not exist. I KNOW. I'M SORRY. Also! If you wanted me to interview you and I haven't sent you the questions yet, I haven't forgotten, I am simply allowing the brilliance to simmer.

Have a lovely weekend.

More quick takes here.

First here, then there

See, something strange happened after Phillip and I moved into our cheap two-bedroom apartment, with no dishwasher and worn-out carpet and a laundry room that required going outdoors and unlocking the door to a moldy basement. I was oddly, unexpectedly, mysteriously, totally content.

Read more at Parenting, where I decided to Go On A Tangent from one of Lindsay's questions, and where I also completely ripped off Now-Blogless Charlotte's defunct blog title. MY APOLOGIES.

I'm busy today, so no post here. I will probably spend my blogging time thinking up interview questions because people actually took me up on that.

Also, there is snow, and I am scheduled to stick my head in the oven after lunch. Should probably pick up the house first.

The Obligatory Catholic Blogger's Lent Post

Not that I consider myself a Catholic blogger. I am merely a blogger who HAPPENS to be Catholic and HAPPENS to read a heap of very interesting, challenging and insightful Catholic blogs and HAPPENS to wish she were a bit of a better Catholic. At least one who could give a thoughtful answer to half the things her all-Protestant friends have asked her about Catholicism during the years. I can't say I've done much for Defending The Faith and all that.

Anyway. If you've been around for a while or read the archives while desperately sleepless and bored, you may recall that I am not Lent's hugest fan. Lent makes me grumpy and guilty and bummed out, not least because all the Catholic bloggers are writing about The Meaning Of Lent and I realize, for the 30th year in a row, that I am missing out on something.

I've been thinking about this, why Lent is never... LENT, really, for me, and what, if anything, I can do about it. And then I realize I have these same thoughts and good intentions every year.

But this year is going to be different. If only because I have decided that Lent does not exist to sharpen/purify/educate/strengthen/illuminate me. Rather I have to serve Lent, somehow, and stop expecting Brilliant Insights and other Grand Spiritual Awakenings to simply emerge over the next 40 days. WHAT A NOVEL IDEA.

The things I usually do, things I'm involved in at church or whatever, aren't really going to happen. I have two kids now and I don't like to admit it but two has complicated my life way more than one ever did. (People say the third just slides into the family, no big deal. Is this true? I'm suspicious.) So things like retreats and evening prayer times at church just aren't going to happen. I'm not attending the Lent Bible study thing I told you about long ago because it was going to be during Molly's naptime. (And we all know that a tired Molly makes for a miserable rest-of-the-family.) I had to think long and hard about that, but if my first responsibility is to take care of my family, I need to find other ways to fit in the churchiness. Right? Right. Just figuring out how we could all attend an Ash Wednesday service tomorrow required an advanced degree in Logistics.

And so... I think I am going to try out the Liturgy of the Hours. Conversion Diary's posts about her "reckless experiment" were so intriguing, and saying prayers throughout the day sounds like just the thing for a stay at home mom. I have no idea what it's going to be like and I have a rotten track record at Sticking To Things, but I have the prayers, I have the websites, I have a schedule- I'm going to try. And I'm not going to expect anything either.

I have a friend who often gets herself to daily Mass. I want to attempt that. At least once. (I'm starting small, folks. Low expectations, all that.)

I want to go to Adoration. At least once. I want to be writing more. I realize that doesn't necessarily fall into the Churchy category, but I have my reasons.

Mostly I want to go into Holy Week prayerfully, rather than my usual "I have to go to church HOW many times this week?!"

We shall see.

Why own when you can rent?

Did I tell you we have birds living in our walls? We have birds living in our walls. Jack's wall, to be specific. We hear them tweet tweet tweeting and Jack goes, "OOOH!" and we look at each other like, "In this moment it completely sucks to not have a landlord."

We had a Woodpecker Problem at our old apartment. Except we didn't really know it. We'd hear this knocking sound on the wall and say, "Gee! I wonder what's making that noise!" And we did that for, I don't know, MONTHS, until we finally called the landlord. The landlord sent an exterminator over (which made my poor sensitive heart break for our wittle woodpeckers) and the exterminator informed us that woodpeckers are some sort of Endangered Species and very special care would have to be taken to fix our Woodpecker Problem. I'm not entirely sure what ended up happening, only that 1) the woodpeckers were allowed to continue existing, just 2) not in our house and 3) we didn't have to pay for it.

Today we paid $130 to have some dude climb a ladder and nail a screen over a gap between the roof and the siding. No birds were there so no birds were harmed. We weren't excited about the $130, but it's not like we own a ladder three stories tall.

Ah, home ownership.

We also trekked out to the Eastside to sign refinancing papers for the Chinese Mafia Mortgage Company this morning. I am not entirely sure how we scored ourselves a no-fee lower-rate lower-mortgage-payment deal, but we did and I am not asking questions. Also: we don't have to pay the mortgage next month! Something about just making the term of the loan longer? And closing dates? I don't know. The dollar signs flashing in my eyeballs prohibited my ability to think.

All this Dealing With Our House stuff forced Phillip to work from home. Tragic! I lifted maybe half a finger today, what with my sisters around in the morning (sleeping off the post-Oscar party) (drink when you see an ugly dress!) and my inlaws around in the afternoon. And my brother showing up during nap time to ask me how big I want my garden box because (GASP OF ASTONISHMENT) he is going to build it for me. Either my brother is super crazy bored or he really IS making up for eighteen years of torment. I don't care, all I see is My Future Perfect Vegetable Garden. Oh, and he sent me this link, and I don't know what to think about the upside down tomato thing. Should I try it?

Our house is feeling small and cluttered and cramped and the carpet on the stairs depresses me, but we're making it work. I have no idea how long we'll keep the baby in the closet, or what exactly we're going to do about nowhere to put a play kitchen (I WANT A PLAY KITCHEN) but we'll figure it out.

Last week, though, Phillip found us our Perfect House. I don't know why he was cruising around Redfin as we are sooo not in the market to buy or sell (MOSTLY SELL, OMG, WILL BE HERE FOREVER) but he was and, misfortune of misfortunes, happened upon The Perfect House.

It's an older but updated house not too far from where we live right now, still in the city. It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. It has a white, bright, happy kitchen. It has a huuuuuuge yard. It has an upstairs loft-ish area that screams PLAYROOM. It doesn't need paint or someone to refinish the floors and rip out the 1970s era bathroom cabinets. I love it. I would like to move in tomorrow, please. I just need someone to buy my house for way more than I paid for it. What do you think? Good plan?

Interview with a fantastically dull blogger

So the other day Lindsay was all "I am interviewing people!" and I, thinking "Hey, that's easy blog fodder!", was all "Interview me!" And then promptly forgot about it because that is the kind of attention span I have. Then Lindsay sent me my interview questions and DUDE, these were HARD. Which is why it's taken me, like, a WEEK to answer them. THANKS, LINDSAY.

1.  You have written in the past that you didn't see yourself married until 30ish, and yet here you are at 29 married, with children and hot as of Monday.  We know why you got married ahead of plan, as P is a keeper.  Why do you think it was you didn't see yourself getting married until 30 in the first place?

Um, because I didn't think anyone would want to marry me?

Okay, so, this could be a whole NaBloPoMo theme. I mean, THERE IS THAT MUCH TO SAY. There's some real truth my one-line answer up there. I've never had Passionate Suitors lined up at my door. And the one guy I liked in college was always hanging out with prettier, smarter, more fun girls than me (I believe his friends called it The Cheung Charm). HELLO NONEXISTENT SELF ESTEEM!

That aside, getting married was something you did when you were all grown up and Lived A Little. Which isn't to say I didn't want a boyfriend, of course I wanted a BOYfriend, but getting MARRIED? Um, no. Not yet. Things to do, places to see, people to meet, all that. Can't do that if you're MARRIED. The women in my family either weren't married or got married around 30ish and I think those were my own expectations. I also blame obnoxious high school boys, women's studies classes and the music I listened to in college. I mean, didn't getting married mean LOSING MY IDENTITY?! (And this was BEFORE I had my SAHM Identity Crisis! Had I only known!)

But then Phillip and I started dating and my entire perspective changed. Seriously. I am still sort of awed at 1) my deep and impressive stupidity and 2) how happy I am with something I thought I'd never want. I started dating Phillip my senior year of college and got married a month before my twenty-fourth birthday. To be honest I would have been fine prolonging the dating thing, but we were talking about moving to China to teach English and Phillip thought it'd be easier to be married first. I was unsettled about this (DUDE. TWENTY-THREE.) but Phillip was adamant and it wasn't like I was going to marry anyone else, you know? The Life Altering Implications of Dating A Keeper is an entire series of posts in and of itself and I have four more questions to answer.

2.  Regarding the decision of when to start a family, did you go through a long period of should we or shouldn't we at this time, or was it like a switch just got flipped one day where you decided it was time for babies?  If there were any bloggable reasons for potentially prolonging the wait to have kids, what were they?

Oh dear. If working out the Married Thing was the first half of my twenties, struggling with the Baby Thing was the second half.  I was pretty ambivalent about having kids before I knew I was going to marry Phillip, but once I got married, I loved it way way WAY more than I ever thought possible (see question #1) and suddenly I wanted that whole life. Stay at home mom, babies, making dinner, trips to Disneyland, soccer games- all the things that would have horrified me at eighteen and nineteen. So I wanted it almost immediately, but it took a while before I could drag Phillip on board. I'm kind of a "Oh, it'll all work out!" kind of person and he's a "Do you have ANY idea what kind of savings account/house/car/job we should have before we even THINK about that?" kind of person. Again. Could go on for DAAAAAYS with this one, but you: bored, and me: all that wine I drank during the Oscars has reached the part of my brain that does the thinking.

3.  I tend to know babies of the greatly loved and well provided for variety.  Your kids seem to be of this same genre.  As a parent, what kind of presents do these families want for the kids from well meaning aunts and uncles?  Similac and diapers?  Some cute infant sized jeans with finicky shirt that comes untucked two seconds after being put on?  Adorable but run of the mill onesies and lounging type outfits?  More noisy toys? Do Tell.

Books are the best gift. Books do not annoy parents and you can never have too many. But I also like run of the mill outfits. I know it seems like the new baby receives 14,000 pink rompers, but the baby will only wear 5 of them until she grows into the next size and has nothing to wear. The cute fancy stuff is fun, but we only go to church once a week, you know? I spend half my life sorting and storing baby clothes and trying to figure out what the kids need in the next size that I don't already have. So I don't think you can go wrong there. I also use all the blankets anyone has ever given me and one of my favorite gifts was toddler-friendly silverware and dishes.
4.  How is the crossover treating you?   Do you ever wish you had gone minivan?  Could the crossover handle a third child?  My husband is really campaigning for a crossover in lieu of minivan in our futuristic children ridden life.

Ah, the Mazda 5. I am conflicted. It's absolutely perfect for this time in our lives. We have two ginormous car seats in the second row and we only fold up the third row seats (which split, you don't have to have both up at the same time) for the occasional fifth person. But if/when #3 comes along, I won't be so sure. We could probably manage for a while, but that third row is not made for normal-sized people let alone another ginormous car seat. On the other hand, a real minivan would not fit in our garage, costs more and the gas mileage is even worse. You should have asked me if I missed my Jetta. I MISS MY JETTA. WAH.
5.  What is bubble tea?  I went to nerd camp back in 2000 and all the city kids were talking about it and to this day on Facebook they are all 'oo lala let's meet up for bubble tea'.  And I cry sad tears drinking Tetley and feeling about 80 years old.  Please share your hip urban knowledge.

MMM, BUBBLE TEA, NECTAR OF GLORIOUSNESS. It's basically a cold tea-and-usually-fruit-flavored drink with little tapioca balls sitting at the bottom of the cup. Any bubble tea shop worth its salt has the tall plastic cups with the seals and fat pointy-ended straws to pop through the seal and suck up the tapioca deliciousness. As a card carrying Picky Eater, I totally get why you might not be excited about little brown squishy things hanging out in your refreshing drink but BE NOT AFRAID. My heart belongs to the peach milk bubble tea from the cool Korean kid hangout on the Ave, which I can no longer frequent on account of being PITIFULLY EMBARASSINGLY OLD.

Protocol demands that I offer to interview YOU. If you want me to ask you decidedly softballier questions than these, leave a comment! And go read Lindsay's blog, she's the funniest.

Yet another seven quick takes

Phillip works late on the third Thursday of the month, which would be today. Late is anywhere from 9pm to 9am. That's right: AY EM. That one spectacularly awful night aside, I am much better at this IT widow thing than I used to be. You should have heard my little snits during Marriage Year One. You'd think I'd be worse now that I have two little rugrats to manage, but I have Made My Peace. Sort of. He is still not allowed to travel. I have no freaking idea how people handle the business trip thing. I can barely do one night on my own, let alone, like, THREE. Don't even get me started on single parents. Those people must be made of whine repellent steel.

I've had that Very Model of a Modern Major General song in my head all day long, and I wish I could say that it's NOT because I saw the VeggieTales where the asparagus with the monocle sings the entire thing.

Here's another Facebook thought: no more sitting around dreaming about what you'd say to so and so if you ran into him or her on the street, ten or twelve or fourteen years after you last saw them. Now you just friend them and write on their wall. Or, in my case, you hunt them down, read everything they've posted and inspected their list of friends, and then bum yourself out about the fact that you'll never run into them because they're in a band on the East Coast or going to law school in California. You didn't really want to talk to them again, and no way are you letting on that you looked up their Facebook page, but you feel a little disappointed, like your daydreaming is now pointless because FACEBOOK STOLE THE MYSTERY.

We've made our Vacation Decisions. We are flying to Vegas in August. (Yes. Vegas in AUGUST.) (Also: yes. FLYING.) We are planning on (you may substitute "wishfully thinking about" for "planning on") road tripping to Colorado in September. We have a few people to visit in Denver and Colorado Springs, including one person I (gasp) reconnected with via Facebook. I would also like to visit the odd Ball of Twine and various Oregon Trail Ruts on the way. Aaaand we are thinking about going to Whistler in April, as Phillip's parents won't be using their timeshare for the entire week. We're thinking of it as the Practice Road Trip, even though it's sort of pointless to practice when you have a baby who will be totally different by the time the Real Road Trip rolls around. What does Whistler have to offer the girl who abhors outdoor sports?

Jen's post about her dissertation hit home. (Okay, not the dissertation part. I can pretty much guarantee you that I will never be writing a dissertation. How did I get to be bloggy friends with all these BRILLIANT INTELLECTUALS?) I was thinking about what the kind of relief she describes would mean for me, when I realized I've HAD that kind of relief, several times over. And each time it happened when I gave myself permission not to do something someone expected of me. Or, in the most difficult massive-anxiety-inducing instance, what I expected of me. Now, when I look back at those things, I think, "My GOD you were an IDIOT." (Note to Jen: Obviously this does not apply to you. YOU are a brilliant intellectual.)

The first place I lose weight is in my hands. I rarely wear my engagement ring and wedding band, but now I really CAN'T because they'll fall off my finger. My anniversary band, the ring I wear every day, is two sizes smaller than my other rings, but now IT'S loose. I know because I've been absentmindedly fidgeting with it for weeks, and I've never done that before. ANNOYING. So now I have a problem. Do I resize all my rings? Do I only resize the ring I wear every day? I'm sort of reluctant to resize all of them as 1) what if I gain the weight back, how embarrassing and 2) I liked having another ring to wear when I had swollen pregnant fingers.

My brother emailed me today saying that he remembered we had a hole in our wall (like we've fixed that, HA!) so he went and looked at little patching kits at the hardware store and if we want he could come by sometime and fix it for us. Um yes? What's the catch? Unless this is God's way of redeeming 20 years of "GET OUT OF MY ROOM!" and "STOP TOUCHING ME!" and "IS THIS DOG FOOD IN MY CEREAL BOX?"

More Quick Takes here!

My, this got rambly and zzzzz

Before I forget, I should have something up at Parenting tomorrow. It's a letter to the moms at my neighborhood playground. Oh, who am I kidding- it's a note that says PLEASE BE MY BFF! written in pink bubble letters.

Phillip and I are wiped. He worked from home today and THANK GOD because today the vomiting turned into whining and only Daddy can make the whining go away. And Molly didn't seem sick, but she opted out of naps and is STILL not sleeping, even though it is BEDTIME and she is TIRED and did I mention Phillip is working late tomorrow night? HALP.

Jack was so miserable at the thought of being left in the living room with me that several times he slid under the baby gate and down the stairs to Phillip's office without me even noticing.

The bad days are the ones where they don't nap at the same time. This is more important to me than getting eight (or five!) uninterrupted hours at night. Not that I won't complain about not sleeping through the night (PERISH THE THOUGHT!), but it doesn't affect me like no break during the day. Not sleeping through the night makes me tired, no ten minutes to myself during the day incites The Rage.

Today I had just enough time to do the Shred before Molly woke up squawking. So, twenty, thirty minutes? Which isn't too bad, although lately I've been scoring myself an hour of coordinated nap time. I know. I am rocking the coordinated naps people.

I just came back from another 45 minutes of putting Molly to sleep. We didn't do CIO with Jack till he was seven or eight months old, I don't really remember. And it wasn't half as bad as I was expecting it to be, it worked, I kicked myself for not trying it earlier. Of course, we only did it at night and I was still rocking that kid to sleep for his naps till he was over a year old. (SLAPS SELF.) Molly? Not so much. Molly is put down awake unless she falls asleep nursing (which is often). Molly, however, will yell for two minutes and fall asleep. Or she won't yell at all. Or she yells and I realize I better change Jack's diaper before I go get her and by the time I'm done with the diaper she's asleep. Molly is a much MUCH better sleeper than Jack was, but I am also a much better putter-downer-to-sleep-er than I was.

Anyway, this is how I know that CIO isn't going to work with Molly. She knows how to fall asleep on her own. She's been doing it since she was two months old. When Molly cries longer than two or three minutes, something is wrong. And nearly every night she howls and nearly every night I realize she hasn't eaten enough. I just fed her another three ounces (out of a BOTTLE, WOO HOO) and my fussy angry baby turned into Miss Content To Be Left In Her Crib.

I told myself I wouldn't worry about the bottle thing till we'd shifted her off the Frat Boy Sleep Schedule, and it looks like that time has drawn near. I feel like I'm nursing her all the time, but she must not be eating enough. (I am 99% sure this is not a supply problem, btw.) She snacks and snacks, and at night she falls asleep before she's eaten enough. And silly me, I think she's fallen ASLEEP, not fallen asleep until the growling tummy wakes her up. SO ANNOYING. I feel like a bottle would really help me figure out if she's eating enough during the day. Or at least get her to take a bottle or two in the evenings since I think she's less likely to fall asleep eating that way. I've thought about feeding her on a strict schedule, but a lot of times it's the only way to soothe my clingy upset baby. So then I get confused about how many times she's nursed.

Oh, and she's taken the bottle enough times that I don't think it's the specific bottle she doesn't like, just the fact that it's a bottle. Know what I mean?

So that's my new project, I think. Gotta have SOMETHING to obsess about! And gosh, if I can get her to reliably take a bottle I might get to go see a movie again! I really want to see this one. Shut up, you know you want to see it too.

This is short because WE ARE TIRED

Jack is eating dry cereal and a banana for breakfast. Well, to the extent that he eats anything anymore, which is not all that often. He threw up three times in his bed last night - THREE TIMES PEOPLE. That's three sheet changes, three pajama changes and no more blankets left in our house. Oh, and then the princess was up wanting to eat on the alternate hours that Jack was not barfing all over the crib and the adults in this house are one big mess of Tired and When Is The Next Flight To Hawaii?

Phillip was going to take the day off, but it turns out all the other computer geeks are sick or on vacation already or (GET THIS!) having BABIES (how DARE THEY) and therefore he should probably go to the office. Right now he's at the dentist and you know what? Even the dentist sounds like a day at the spa right now.

Anyway. Praise be to God for the exersaucer, which is the only baby contraption Molly tolerates, and PBS Kids, which is staving off any potential whining until I've fully woken up. Which is not happening any time soon.

Would you like to know the silver lining of three middle-of-the-night barfing episodes? Phillip took care of the first one completely on his own. I didn't even KNOW until Molly's squawks woke me up and Phillip said, as I was throwing the covers off my legs and cursing under my breath, "Hey, Jack threw up. But it's okay, I changed the sheets, everything's fine."

I think I'll keep him.

My poor little Jack. He seems like his normal self, but he's ever so slowly lifting one little Kix pebble at a time into his mouth and weakly sipping his water. Pa. Thetic.

About coffee, specifically, The Perfect Cappuccino

I am decalcifying my espresso machine. Who knew you had to do this? Not me, until I made my first cappuccino in, oh, four years? Five? and saw all this nasty white stuff in with the espresso grounds. Which made me feel sort of bad for serving those first two cappuccinos to my parents. Oops. At least I had an excuse for how terrible they tasted, right?

So I flipped through the owners manual I had to download to figure out how to brew the espresso in the first place and there it was: DECALCIFYING YOUR MACHINE. Ick.

My brothers and sisters and I bought our parents a snazzy combo coffee/espresso machine for Christmas (which has been returned twice, and now downgraded to a simple espresso machine, boo hiss) and my brother and I spent some quality time together crafting the perfect espresso drinks. Possibly the thing my parents miss the most from Italy (and maybe the rest of us) is The Perfect Cappuccino. Which you cannot find in the United States. At least, not as far as we can tell. My mom will tell you that the Perfect Cappuccino also exists at the Fairmont hotel in the Vancouver airport, where they stayed for our Chinese wedding banquet, but that's kind of a long drive for a coffee.

(Side Rant: I hate hate HATE when the barista says, "Dry or Wet?" As if there are two kinds of cappuccino (more foam or less foam) and I don't know, it just drives me crazy. I want to say, "A CAPPUCCINO, you DOLT," and then hand them a lovely little cup from the Agip gas station on the autostrada to Venice. WHAT IS SO DIFFICULT ABOUT THIS?)

Anyway, there was much talk of cappuccino over the holidays which inspired me to dig my own machine out of the cupboard over the fridge. I can't remember when I bought it. I thought I bought it the year I lived all by my lonesome in the ten foot by twelve foot studio apartment, but that would be the year AFTER I decided to stop drinking coffee, so that wouldn't make any sense, right?

Okay, so, either way it's been a long time. And an espresso machine is not really the kind of thing you cart off to Goodwill so I've had it sitting in the dark depths of my kitchen, waiting for the day I decided I needed to make my own coffee again. And that day has arrived. My coffee just tastes like feet.

I'm hoping this decalcifying thing helps, but we'll see. Right now all it's doing is making my house smell like vinegar water. (The manual said citric acid, but vinegar will work too, right? God I'm hopeless.) Not drinking coffee is sort of a character flaw in this city (or a sign of misguided pride, I think) and I'm glad to be back on the wagon. Caffeinated even! Because it STILL DOESN'T AFFECT ME. I drank I don't know how many cups of coffee at my parents' house last week and I still was falling asleep on the couch.

(This would be because Molly, while now going to bed at a Normal Baby Bedtime, has been teething and waking up EVERY HOUR WANT TO DIE. The bottom two teeth popped out a few days ago and last night we got to sleep till five, so things are looking up.)

Anyway, the espresso machine calls. As do the neglected children. And Hot By Thirty, which is in dire need of updating re: I LOST THE BABY WEIGHT, SUCKAS.

seven quick takes: it's been a long week

I received my first ever Etsy purchase in the mail this week. I spend a lot of time trolling around Etsy, but by the time I get through all the PayPal stuff I have talked myself out of buying whatever I am buying because I am now the Cheung Household CFO and keeper of the Budget of Awesomeness. But! Ashley put my favorite bag on sale and I BOUGHT IT. [This is where a picture would go, except I can't find my camera. Again.] Anyway. Squee! I've been using it in place of my diaper bag all week. It's too small for a day at Grandma's, but perfect for a quick jaunt to the playground, and to keep all my grown up things in place inside the big diaper bag. And she sent me a free Valentine card which is 1) super cute and 2) convenient because I didn't get Phillip anything for Valentine's Day. Yay Ashley!

I love Taylor Swift. I am vaguely aware that it is not cool to love Taylor Swift (I am basing this on a somewhat snotty review I read recently) (also am not a teenage fangirl) but I don't care. And it's not just because I have asked God a million times over for hair like hers. I listened to her perform her song 'Fifteen' at the Grammys (along with Miley 'Alley Cat In Throes Of Death' Cyrus) and then rushed to Google the lyrics. And, like every other song she sings, OMG SHE IS SINGING ABOUT ME. *Sigh of Remembered Teenage Angst*

All week long I think of things I want to blog about and then I say, "Oh, that would be perfect for Seven Quick Takes." And then, Thursday evening when I sit down to write my seven quick takes, I draw complete blanks. I DO carry a notebook with me, I just never have a pen.

Oh! One of those things is GoodReads. I signed up long long ago and then ignored my account. I just logged in again so I could make a list of the books I want to read. Someone mentions a book in a blog post or in conversation and I think, "I totally want to read that!" and then I forget and find myself staring dejectedly at my bookshelf with nothing to read before I go to bed. Hate that. So you can find me here, if you want, and tell me what I should be reading. And (you'll be proud) I put a whole bunch of books on hold at the (wait for it) LIBRARY. That's right folks. Being the Budgeter of Awesomeness is curing me of my book buying habit. Sorry authors.

I would really like to sit down and watch some of the TV we missed this week (I KNEW JIN WAS ALIVE. YOU CAN'T KILL THAT KIND OF HOTNESS.) but Phillip's new sound card or whatever arrived this afternoon so there is Home Entertainment Tinkering going on. LOVELY. Every so often it gets unacceptably loud, every so often he mutters unintelligbly to himself, and I have heard the same scene in The Dark Knight about twenty times now. That is a good movie by the way.

You know what else is a good movie? The Wrestler. Phillip says I like movies with ambiguous endings. He is right. (Ooh, sorry. Delayed spoiler alert!) I feel sort of bad because it was my pick and we watched it with a friend who is not all that into gratuitous strip club scenes (BTW HOLLYWOOD: NOT EVERY TV SHOW NEEDS A STRIP CLUB. SHEESH.) and had to keep covering her eyes. And I had to cover my eyes too, for scenes involving a freaking STAPLE GUN. But. I really liked it. And now I have seen at least one Oscar nom, which is good because my sisters and I have a date to watch the Oscars while wearing old bridesmaid dresses and drinking champagne cocktails.

Phillip just said I should do something Valentinesy for this last one. (Have GOT to start keeping my notebook up. I swear, tomorrow I'm going to be all, "I forgot to write about THAT! And THAT!") So... okay. My favorite Valentine's Day. Phillip and I were in college and finally dating and he surPRISED me. Which is a Big Deal. He's not the surprisey type. (Me=LOVES SURPRISES.) He met me after work downtown and we walked to a condo highrise near the market. Then we went INSIDE. I found out his parents rent out a condo in the building and were currently between renters. He had ordered pizza, which we ate on the floor of a totally empty one bedroom condo, with floor to ceiling twilight views of the market, the Sound and the Space Needle. IT was college-era awesome. Our more recent Valentine's Days involve saying, "Hey, is it Valentine's Day next weekend?" "Should we do something?" "I don't know. Do you want to do something?" "Well, we don't HAVE to do something." "I don't know, it's not a big deal." "Yeah, I don't care either." "But maybe we should still do something." And then we don't do anything. It'll be six years in June, folks! Keeping the magic alive!

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