Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bleeding, sad heart.

Denial: The initial stage: "It can't be happening."
Anger: "Why me? It's not fair."
Bargaining: "Just let me live to see my children graduate."
Depression: "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"
Acceptance: "It's going to be OK."

I went through all of the 5 stages of grief rapid fire yesterday while reading the news. You may have noticed there was no Sinki yesterday. I suspect I'm going through them again today...

I am a politics geek. You know this. I know this. While Jim and I were dating, a hot night consisted of watching a few episodes of "The West Wing" on DVD. I know. Geek. It is my own personal freak flag to fly.

So, you all know I [insert thoughtful metaphor of my firm belief in/jr. high school girl crush here] John Edwards.

And perhaps you've heard he's out of the race as of yesterday. Go and read his speech - and then sit and be sad for a moment with me - if you agree - for he would have been a great person to lead our country.

He has a vision of America that I share, and an energy and plan to try to transform this wonderful country into that vision.

Right now folks, America is like a puppy who has had too many accidents in the house, who drags your underwear out of the bedroom just as company shows up, a puppy who yaps and yaps and yaps... at nothing. The puppy can grow to be strong and smart and loyal, and can learn that peeing on the kitchen floor is just not acceptable. With the right guidance.

Who do I want holding the leash now? I've got some work to do in terms of familiarizing myself with the other options.

BUT - in his speech Edwards says:
"Today, I am suspending my campaign for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency. "
And the bargaining part of me considers the implications of the word "suspending."

Greg Brown is one of my favorite musicians. "I Want My Country Back" is a song that made me cry the first oh... 20 times I heard it. Click here to see a video of him singing it live.

I love this country. I just wish it would stop chewing up my shoes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Taking storage to a whole new level

Like my mom (in the form of anon.) hinted at, someone thought the new corner cabinet was her new play fort. For 3 days we let her play in it and, because she was recovering from stomach flu, we let her eat dinner in there one night too. I didn't care - she was eating, AND keeping it down!
Consequently, as my mom suggested, someone was upset when the pots and pans went in the cabinet, and her fort was no more; throw herself on the floor wailing upset. Here are photos from happier days.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Kitchen transformation 2008 continues to push on. As we speak a plumber is in our basement making the sink relocation happen. All of the lower cabinets are in and the countertop is laid out, though not secured. Pots and pans and other cooking things came out of the totes and into their new homes last night. The microwave and stove are able to be used. Photos to follow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


After a bath, Willa and I snuggled under the covers to read through what was becoming her favorite books. We got through 1/2 of the first and she got up, said "be right back," slid off the bed, and returned a few moments later with a book from the living room. Might be time to rotate the pile.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Numbers and Names

Willa counts. She skips one and continues in this manner: "Two. Free. 'our. Five. Six. 'even. Six. 'even." The six seven thing goes on for a while. She might really be starting to understand the concept of counting (she'll point to a birds in a book and say the words one by one). She knows the concept of two, which impresses me. Who am I kidding, the smell of her socks at night impresses me.... Anyhow, yesterday she handed Jim the content of what she had been carrying and said, "two balloons." Correct.

Last night on the drive home, I called Willa by her first and last name. She giggled and repeated it (which sounded adorable, by the way). Then I said "Arlo [last name which isn't really Sinki]" and she giggled and repeated it and said, "Greta...." and waited for me to finish which I did and she giggled. Then she said, "Daddy [last name]" and the same with mama, and laughed and laughed.
I told her we all shared that name because we're in one family. Which was also very funny to her.
It will be interesting when she learns that MaKenna's middle name is our last name. I've already been crafting a story about how Lisa and Ken stole MaKenna from our family before she was born.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sluggish, sick, alone time

The economy and I aren't feeling well lately. The Feds cut interest rates today. I went to bed at 9:30 last night.
The Feds and I both hope that these unusual measures help give the economy and my body a boost.
Willa brought home from daycare last week a charming art piece composed of tissue paper glued on to a paper plate. She also brought home a stomach bug. This kept her home from daycare for 4 days. And then Jim got it. I believe I've mentioned here that he's kind of a baby when he's ill.
So. I don't think it's the bug that's got me down, but exhaustion, and just a general wearing down.
I've been daydreaming about having an afternoon to myself.
Before I landed this job, I spent some time making coffee for people in a bookstore. Often we'd have regulars who would come in, get their mocha, pull their book out of a canvas sack, find a comfy chair and spend an hour or two reading. I often wondered why they didn't do this at home.
Now I'm thinking about packing my own canvas bag with a warm blanket and my own book.
Moms, what do you do with your well earned "alone time?" How do you carve that out from the rest of your daily responsibilities?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pillow talk

Arlo, Willa, and Greta

"I think Arlo's drink would be bourbon."


"Yeah, like a chilled out old man drink."

"I think Greta would drink cosmopolitans."

"No... that's for fancy schmancy, 'I'm trying to impress you' dogs, like poodles."


"I think Greta would go to U of M."

"I don't want her to go there! Too pretentious. I think she's more MSU."

"Arlo, would totally go out of state. Northwestern, I think."

"I was just going to say University of Chicago!"

We paused, looked at each other and laughed while turning off the bedside lights.

Clearly we have differing opinions on Greta's disposition, though.

It was a long week.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

All George Michael, all the time...

We do not have cable television.
If it were up to me, we wouldn't even have a television, and I'd have to wean myself off of some favorite shows.
Anyhow, we don't even have CBS. I don't know, it just doesn't show up.
BUT! Sometime in the past 3-6 months a new channel has arrived. It seems like it is a time warp to 1980's MTV - but without all of the annoying VJs. Jim and Willa watch it sometimes over their morning cereal.
Yesterday I was flipping through our 4 other stations to find primary vote results (mutter, mutter), and landed on Guns and Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle." Willa spent the whole video cackling with laughter. It was not a giggle, but a full on laugh at Axl and the gang.
So many of my junior high peers would have been insulted...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lunch with Justin and Marcus.

"Is that what I think that is?" you're wondering.

If you think it's the American League Championship trophy, then yes, yes it is.

But wait... it's gets better.

That's me in the orange sweater on the left, and Willa's next to me. Above her arm, in a suit is the MAYOR of Bay City. I know, brush with fame. Us Sinkis? We roll with the celebs.

Sitting next to Willa, on the other side, by the way is Justin Verlander.

While he's no small city mayor, Justin Verlander is a Detroit Tiger's pitcher. Last season? Threw a no hitter. In other words, he's um.... incredible. (And nice too.)

"This is Willa."

"Hi Willa, I'm Marcus."

Marcus Thames? He's mighty personable. See how delighted I am? Where did my eyes go? I don't know.

Willa liked Marcus so much, she offered him her baby doll. She handed it to him a few times. He said he and the doll could sit in the back of the bus and listen to some music. In the end, we left with the doll.

With a 7 month old daughter at home, Marcus can probably find some of his own to bring on road trips.

We left with some fun photos, 2 autographs (we forgot to ask the mayor for his) and an increased excitement for Spring Training. Go Tigers!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Being her parent is the best, #492

Last night I was walking to my car thinking about Willa and how quickly she's developing these days. And I haven't really captured that in the past few weeks here. Then I became very very sad about all of the little things I didn't record. Then I let it go.
But, here's a little update.
She's moving up to the older toddler room at day care, and is doing great there. She naps there - voluntarily! She eats most of her lunch really well. Perhaps there's something to be said about the positive effects of peer pressure. Most of her younger pals will be joining her in the new room, and I hear that once they see her with the older kids, they go to play with her, and feel better. "Mama Willa" could become a new nickname at daycare.
She's been cracking us up more. At night we bathe her, get her in PJs and then we read books in our bed before kisses to everyone and then to her crib. During story time, she's been sitting on Jim's side of the bed, getting under the covers, and patting the blankets to invite (demand, really) the dogs to place their head on her lap. "Com'on! Doggies!! Com'on!!" She's also been pointing at her book and joining me in saying "no more monkeys jumping on the bed."
If she sees a candle, she'll either start singing, "happy... to you, happy... to you" or request, "light. on."
She won't eat vegetables.
She won't go to sleep with a blanket on. So we sneak in after the last sigh of a contented day leaves her lips and tuck her in.
She's started, this week, to say I love you. She said it to me 2 nights ago when I put her in her crib, and she said it today when Jim loaded her into her car seat and closed the door. "Daddy. I. Loooovvvvvee Ewwwww..." He didn't hear it, but I called him to let him know.
She's started throwing her leg over the crib rail, and I found her a week or so ago, stranded with her limbs wrapped around the top of the crib, muttering "stuck" over and over, looking much like people you see on the news clinging to tree limbs in a flood. We're in the market for a twin bed, but in the mean time, have lowered the rail, figuring that if she tries to escape again, it's a much more gentle fall. Results: she's not tried to get out. Yet.
She frequently requests to go to "'andma... 'ampa's house." Either one is fun for her.
She is less inclined to hold my hand when we're walking in a familiar place, and earlier this week broke my heart when I offered, and she refused my help up the stairs. She did it all by herself, upright.
She's growing and challenging and bring us so much joy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sinki says, "Michigan, go vote"

I know, I know... if you're looking forward to voting for your favorite candidate who isn't on the ticket, it's frustrating, and makes one wonder how much a a voice a single person has in this democracy of ours... disenchantment... blah blah...

If you're considering not voting next Tuesday because of this, I ask you to reconsider.

Please read this. I'll wait...

Back? Okay. I don't necessarily share Mark Brewers thoughts that the DNC will suddenly let delegates take their seats, but maybe? I'd like to be a delegate. Imagining sitting on a bus or plane heading to the convention in Denver. "Are we going to get in? Are we going to be locked out in a hallway?" It's kind of exciting in the same way as losing your last baby tooth: "is the tooth fairy going to come and leave some cash? Do mom and dad know I stopped believing?"

Anyhow, you have a voice, and I don't know what the outcome of voting in the Primaries will be, but go - it is an exciting time when the status quo is challenged . Vote next Tuesday. Even if you're voting for a Republican. And if you don't vote? Really, you've just knocked yourself out of the right to complain about 1) the candidate and 2) the current primary process.

In fact, send me photos of you wearing your "I voted" sticker to enter a raffle for an exciting prize.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The D

I just met with my favorite socially awkward, but super sweet-research geek of a rheumatologist. Here's the latest:
CK level (remember? this was the enzyme that was high and had me terrified that I had ALS, Lupus, or some awful disease) is back to normal. Yay!
Vitamin D is climbing, but not at a great level yet. Low-normal level is 30, I'm at 24. So much better than the original 18, I think.
Public Service Announcement: Vit. D defficiency is actually a growing concern, and can lead to all kinds of health problems including an increased risk of Cancer, auto-immune disorders, and in my case muscle pain. Get it checked out people. Soon the FDA will likely raise the daily recs of vitamin D from 400 to 800 IUs. Take care of yourself.
Woah, isn't it weird to trip over a soap box?
Anyhow, Dr. is keeping me on my perscription D2 vitamin, but I'll go to a 2 times a week dose instead of 1. In 2 months I'll get checked out again. But, we agreed that if my family practicioner is okay with taking the baton back, there's no need to continue with Mr. "I'm a kid genius who can't make eye contact with you."
Good news!
Click on the links above if you want backstory.

Monday, January 07, 2008

"Never tease a crocodile" duh.

Willa's hooked on a new book, and it's driving me crazy for several reasons. The book is called "5 Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree." It's based on the preschool rhyme about 5 monkeys and an crocodile who "eats them" one by one. I think the original rhyme doesn't end like her book, in which we find the 5 monkeys were simply hiding in a tree one by one. Nothing says toddler humor like a cartoon mama monkey sobbing on the river bank over her 5 children, lost to a hungry snapping crocodile.
So, after each monkey disappears, I read, "oh no! Where is he?" And instead of being anxious about the disappearing monkeys in the tree, Willa points out - every time - where the crocodile is - "'ere he is!!" she cheers loud and proud.
And I tried to explain why we are looking for the monkeys, not the crocodile... once. And then thought, "do I convince her to worry?" Instead I'm just trying to phase the book out of rotation.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Yup, this about sums it up.

I bought this after Christmas with a nice discount. Then I got home and looked at it for several minutes until I finally realized what was wrong. You can do the same, if it's not obvious - and it wasn't to me either, so don't feel bad. Conversely, if it is obvious to you, do not mock me, it's been a rough 2 weeks, and you're nicer than that.
Anyhow, it's an easy fix, and I haven't re-glued the fabric down yet. Today I am thinking I should leave it. A good reflection on how this particular holiday season felt.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

In the meadow, we can build a snowman

It's too early for Spring Fever!!

We were watching Sophia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" last night and the garden scenes did something weird to me. I craved peonies. I saw her pick one and I thought I want, no I NEED one of those. Then I reminded myself that come May, I'll have 2 bushes full. Jim gave me white and a pink peony bushes for my first Mother's Day.
Seed catalogues, and a photo of a delicate Bleeding Heart in bloom...
3 months until the bulbs bloom, friends. Wait with me.
In the mean time, let's talk about starting plants from seed. Any hints, good places to learn? I'm thinking we'll do melons and tomatoes, and maybe some flowers too.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Photos from the wedding

Bill and Jaclynn have returned from their honeymoon. It was reported to be awesome. I'm glad they got to enjoy some paradise to cap off their year of planning their wedding. Their wedding, which was beautiful and heartfelt, and fun.