Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Working vacation for Jim

By virtue of his employment compensation package being similar to that of a state employee, Jim gets gobs more vacation time than I do.
Additionally, by virtue of him not having a uterus in which to implant a baby, it was me taking maternity leave. The leave impacts how much vacation I earned for this year. This means Jim has waaaayyyy gobs more vacation than I do this year.
So, while I'm working today he is not working at his job. He is currently outside standing over a wet saw cutting tile for the kitchen backsplash. Just typing that makes my heart skip a beat with excitement. Soon it will be complete!!!
Have I shared that I no longer sit in an office chair? I work while seated on an exercise ball. When I type kitchen backsplash, I realize that I'm bouncing up and down.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

lost in translation

Willa: But daaaddddy, there's a monster chasing me.
Jim: You tell that monster that Daddy says you need to get your shoes.
Willa: Monster, daddy says go away, I need my shoes.
Jim: Tell that monster go away.
Willa: Monster. Go away!
Jim: Tell that monster "your ass is grass."
Amy: Jim!
Willa: pauses... "Monster, you eat grass!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I saw the light at 2 am

"It's always in the last place you look," goes the old saying.

Of course "it" is. Why would one keep looking if "it" has been found?

I've been doing some thinking this week about the way people do things. Style: mommy style, partner style, worker style, boss style, getting mom and dad up in the middle of the night because I can now stand up in my crib but I don't know how to get down style.

I've been thinking about how we all get wrapped up in our individual styles - consciously or not - to the point that not only are we sure that our style is right, but, sometimes, everyone else's is dead wrong.

Parenting has become a method of expression, and ideas are packaged as techniques or lifestyles and worn like Paris Hilton's dog. "Do you do Babywise?" "No, no... we're into Attachment Parenting..." I'm a mother who can not commit to ordering "the lumberjack breakfast" and instead, prefer to order a la carte. Are there nights that Henry is lulled to sleep by Jim or I patting his back? Yup. Are there nights that we close his door and let him cry a little? Yup, particularly lately. Are we better parents for one of those nights than the other? Don't answer that, I'm just trying to make a point.

I am a "live and let live" kind of driver. It works for me to do my thing while being aware of others doing their things. Jim is a driver who flips people off when they are not practicing safe or sensible driving techniques. He does this in a very subtle way and not so much that the other driver is aware they've offended, but that he has recognized their jerkiness and has reacted and has put it behind him. At first I thought "my husband is a passive aggressive driver." Now I know he's just living his own form of vigilante justice. Just like Chuck Norris. If we're both safe and sane drivers, are one of us better for our driving styles?

Forks up or down to dry? Toilet paper to the front or to the back? Communicating hurt feelings or quietly frowning? Paint the toe nails or leave them be?

This week I'm trying to stop buying into my own style hype, and be consciously more accepting of others. I'm also trying to seek out other ways that might make life at Camp Sinki easier, more orderly, cleaner, fuller, smilier. I'm trying to not settle for finding something in the last place I've looked, even if it seems like I've found "it."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Garden check in

It's cra-zy hot outside. I know these guys are happy, so long as they get water this evening.

In the photo above is our single (not yet ripe) blueberry. One is better than none. We've had 2 bushes for 2 years. I moved them to a location that gets more sun and presto! Happier plants.

Oh Snap! Peas.

Lily + Clematis = true love always

The blooms in front: geranium, lavender, coreopsis

The strawberries are done for the year. The corn is just about ankle high (lots of growing to do before the 4th of July) - but it's there, so I'm happy. Beans are growing, growing, growing. Tomatoes are enthusiastic. Pumpkins bloomed last week. We'll see... Cucumbers on the way. Eggplant happy, as are the squash. Peppers. We will have all sorts of peppers.
Happy flowers. Happy gardener with new and expanded beds. As always, I'm excited about this season, but next season? Will be awesome!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Surviving teething and an onslaught of "why"

Last night I hit a wall of exhaustion. Tooth #4 for Henry made for two fairly sleep deprived nights previous. Last night I fed Henry in bed at 8:30, and didn't get back out until this morning. Just before dozing off, Jim, Willa, and I were in bed together eating popcorn and watching "I Survived a Japanese Gameshow." Willa wants to know "why?" everything.

"Why did that car stop?"
"Because the driver stopped it."
"Why did the driver stop it?"
"Because the light turned red."
"Why did the light turn red?"
"Because the road commission's study found that 94 seconds is the optimal time for traffic flow at this time of day."

I don't know if you've ever watched the "... Japanese Gameshow." It is zany at it's best. And watching it with a curious three year old makes it better. Though the questions are difficult to answer. She does not understand that there are no answers when it comes to a lot of television in Japan.

After Jim took Willa upstairs, I went right to sleep. And didn't wake up until 7 am. I can't stop smiling.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009


The chipmunks. We spent nearly all day in the backyard. It was a productive, relaxing, wonderful day. But those darn chipmunks hopped in and out of the strawberry patch while we were right there watching. And then they chirped at us as though to say, "human beings! This is our turf!"
Anyhow, I was feeling kind of garden zen today. Carved through one little bed that was getting overrun and weedy, made it bigger, transplanted a few of the hens and chicks into it. Moved some lilac... saplings [? What are young shrubs called? Onward.] to create a natural barrier between us and the neighbor's yard. Weeded like a maniac. Filled the wheelbarrow dumped, repeated. Moved more plants around.
In between, we filled up the baby pool, put out the hammock, Jim put up a canopy tent and we had ourselves a summer day in the yard, complete with icy lemonade.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Random spouting (this is a clever title, considering the last line - just making that clear)

Henry slept all night. Willa woke up dry again this morning.
The switch from analog to digital TV happened this morning, and it looks like the world continues to spin on its axis.
The tomatoes have enjoyed the recent rain and are shooting up.
The lavender is in bloom. Poor plant doesn't know that it's about to be dug up and made into a few different plants.
Jim's hearing is coming back after over a week of his deaf ear being his good ear. Yikes. He pressured the doctor into really working for him and they'll be discussing possible re-reconstruction (not a typo, he has a man made eardrum in one ear, and it never worked the way it should have) methods in a few weeks.
I continue my feud with the neighborhood chipmunks, ironically the same week that Jim and Willa bring "Alvin and the Chipmunks" home from the video store again. They have clear cut some of my sprouting sunflowers, have bitten off more than they can chew and leave parts of ripening strawberries in the driveway, and are ruining my bean crop. I am a pacifist - especially when it comes to animals - but these guys? Call me Ahab, and they are my white whale.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rain outside, dry inside

We haven't pushed night time potty training with Willa. We kind of figured she was doing great during the day, and her life changed a lot with Henry's arrival, so why stress her out about this? Last night after her bath, she went to her PJs drawer and noted aloud "oops. There are no diapers here anymore. I guess I'll wear underpants."

And she woke up dry this morning. I can't stop dancing in my seat as I type that.

The kids had their well child check ups last week, and I didn't record the stats here.
Henry (at 7.5 months): 28.5" and 23.1#
Willa (at 3 years, 2 months)39" and 34.8#

*Thanks to my editor dad for calling to remind me Willa is 3, not 2 as was previously typed here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

So sweet, it would melt in the rain. Which is why we stopped.

I think once I get over the geeky coolness of blogging with video, I'll try to keep it down to one movie a week. But for now...

Willa dotes on her little brother. She frequently makes noises like this at him. It reminds me of a litter of puppies who yelp at each other for identification and comfort.

A wild hair

I have heard about people who, when stressed, clean like their life depends on it. I am not one of those. When I feel out of control of my life, I do something drastic to my hair. When I was pregnant with Henry I took hormonal mood shifts out on my hair and grew it long. Then he was born and I had marvelous Erin cut it all off (which was the plan all along).
I'm don't write much about work here, and I'm not about to start (hi boss, in case you've found me here), but things in professional Sinkiland are rocky right now.
So, I invited Erin and her cutie one year old Brody over. She gave me a perm:

Do you like it?
I'm kidding, that's a wig.
Stay tuned for the official unveiling on Friday after I have washed the permed real hair.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Crocodiles (in a brave new video world)

Our house has been invaded by alligators and crocodiles. We don't have to feed or clean up after these guys, but we do have to be careful about where we step or sit. Willa is constantly scolding us for smushing her pals.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I'm cool, damn it.

I must confess, we headed to a big box store to purchase a point and shoot digital camera yesterday. Sorry local stores. I'll do penance, I promise.

Now that that's off my conscience... hey pals! We have a point and shoot camera that takes video. Know what this means? Blogging at a whole new level! When the internet blows up, I will take full responsibility. The adorability factor of Willa and Henry in motion will surely overwhelm the servers at blogspot central.

Now. At big box store, there is a new section of musical instruments. Mostly the kind that you need to plug in to hear. For a tenth of a second I considered being a woodwind dork and asking for clarinet reeds (Sarah, I still haven't made good on my goal to pick up the clarinet again). But a quick glance told me those wouldn't be in stock.

There were two gents in their early twenties working behind the counter in this section. One wore a terry cloth head band and a smirk. It's cool because it's ironic, I could see him explaining to his dad that morning.

They watched me as I carried Henry and followed Willa from one drum machine to the next, from a Hannah Montana guitar to another equally sparkly model that probably sounded like junk. I could feel them rolling their eyes and immediately branding me "not cool."

Willa sat on the floor and strummed a small electric guitar. Henry rocked back and forth in my arms. I pretended to hear the music and played air drums.

Hey big box store instrument sales guys: moms do not need irony to be cool.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The watermelon story

So. We went up North and spent some time at my parents' cottage at Higgen's Lake. Mom, dad and I were chatting in the kitchen. After setting a watermelon on the back burner, she put a pot of water on the stove to boil (likely to kill the awful germs the Sinkis brought along).

A minute later, I said, "is it supposed to crackle like that?"

We chalked it up to water on the bottom of the pot.

And then was a... a scent. Because she was out of cooking at the cottage practice, mom had turned on the wrong burner. Resulting in:
Yup, a branded watermelon
I mentioned that we were all horribly ill with a stomach bug. The malaise gave some of us "cottage fever" resulting in:


Willa's mind is fast at work and is becoming more vivid. Tonight when she departed her bath, she brought two baby alligators. One was sleeping, the other was awake. We couldn't see them because they were "magical." *One must say "magical" with bug eyes and in a whispered tone.*

Henry is now pulling himself up on the ledge of the bathtub. We anticipate that he'll be joining the X games by fall.

Jim's ears are under attack again and he's lying in bed with a double ear infection. I've been shouting all evening because he can not hear.

We got cucumbers, zucchini, peppers (banana, Hungarian and Thai chili), eggplant, pumpkin (just for fun), and 1/2 of the tomatoes in the ground yesterday and today. Add those to the peas and beans already in and corn that's slated for tomorrow, and we'll have a rich harvest.