Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Out of Town for Snow

Just realized that we've hit the road just before all three (am I remembering correctly?) snow storms hit Norman this winter. We missed all of them!

I'm not complaining. (Though I do like snow when not accompanied by ice.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More Than Anyone Wants or Needs to Know about My Days

So, what are my days like? It depends on whether it's a working-at-work day or working-at-home day.

Working At Work:
I get up at 6:15 if I'm taking a shower, which is every other day, sometimes every two days (but usually every other). If it's a no-shower day I hit SNOOZE, but then I usually get up before the snooze goes off, because the alarm has done it's job, and really there's no going back once I've been startled by that blasted buzzing. Ugh.

On days that I do shower, I usually wake the baby. All the more reason not to shower.

Getting ready is a fast event. I never pick out my clothes the night before though, so the first thing I do is pick my outfit, then I do my girly getting ready stuff and head out to the kitchen to make PEANUT BUTTER TOAST, which is essential. Top with toasted flax seed, cut up some fruit if in season, and I'm ready to go. Well, that is after I snag some of Collin's coffee. He never drinks the whole pot, so I grab a cup, put it on the TV with my breakfast, take my bags to the car then come back and get dishes. Yes, I eat while driving, but I always finish my coffee before I get to the highway and then finish my toast before I'm off Highway 9 - UNLESS I got a late start and go the back route (turnpike). THEN I can be more leisurely in my eating because there's absolutely no traffic.

I work at a Christian-owned company and edit mostly Christiany books, so it helps me to listen to K-Love or to just pray on my way to work. Though I don't do this every day. At this point I've got what I need to accomplish at work that day on my mind. I create a daily goal plan for each month the first day of each month. That way if I get behind, I know exactly what I need to do to catch up. This helps me remain sane throughout the month and, I think, helps me be a better wife and mother. Because I can leave work separate from home life (in a manner of speaking).

I try, try, try NOT to spend much time on the Internet at work. This works better some days than others, but I tend to get accomplished what I need to at work, so I guess I'm pretty good at not wasting my time. I tend to arrive before 8:00 a.m., so I have a few minutes to be frivolous before actual work MUST start.

I will confess: I drink probably a pot of coffee while at work, and I only work until noon. That is not good. But I just love having that steaming cup in my hands while I'm reading. I think I need to take up herbal tea drinking. I don't know how I managed while I was pregnant.

I read between 11,000 and 20,000 words at work each day, plus answer emails, problem shoot, etc. From the first of the month through the fifteenth, I'm just reading new books. After that I'm reading new books and cleaning up last month's books' revisions and prepping books for layout. All of my work goes out at the end of each month, so the last few days are always spent tidying up my notes, etc.

I head home at noon (and HATE the drive back, whereas I quite enjoy the ride TO work), and Drue is almost always still awake, and Collin on the couch working, when I get home. I snarf some food before putting Drue down for a nap and then usually don my workout gear and do Jillian Michael's 30-day shred workout or my favorite Tate workout book: Efficiency Fitness. After that I either clean or do more work-work. Drue gets up between three and four, sometimes as late as four fifteen, and I give her, her post-nap bottle. From that point forward, it's Mommy Mode.

We go for a walk, we go run errands, we play, we read...whatever. She eats a little bite of dinner around 5:30, then she plays by herself while I cook dinner. Usually. Collin usually gets home just before or just after she goes down for the night (at 7:00 p.m. - or sometimes a little later, but NEVER later than 8:00 p.m.). We eat dinner and have a glass of wine (some nights) and watch our Netflix DVD, which is lately either Frasier or News Radio. I fit movies in there randomly. Oh, and soon we'll start Season 3 of Mad Men! CAN'T WAIT.

When Drue goes down, it's like a vacation. We love our evenings. But I love my afternoons with her too. Our nighttime routine right now consists of one last bottle, singing "Jesus Loves Me" (two verses), praying, and rocking before I put her down. Sometimes Collin will want to put her down, and I have to say no. I love it too much. He can be a part of it (and yes, I DO let him do it by himself SOMETIMES), but I love rocking her for a few minutes before she goes down, because that's the only time she REALLY cuddles with me. Like rests her head on my cuddles. And she loves it when I sing. She looks up at me, and I look down at her, and my heart melts. I've also taken to saying the same prayer every night. Don't know how it came to be:

Dear God,
Thank you for today
and for this beauuuuuuutiful baby
I pray that she sleeps tight
and dreams of Jesus, her savior
Thank you for saving us from our sins
It's in his name we pray, amen.

Work from Home Days

Ehh, they pretty much look the same. Collin gives her, her morning bottle, and we're both here for morning playtime rather than just Collin. She still has a morning nap from 9ish to 11ish. On Fridays I take her to the mall after she wakes up from her morning nap. The big kids at the mall play area love her too much. "Get OFF! Give her BREATHING ROOM!" I want to scream...but don't.

And some nights look different. Like Thursdays, when we go to small group and Drue goes down in her Pack n Play in Bunny's room. And Saturdays, when we sometimes go to the Dixons' and put her down there.

Blah blah blah...WHY am I writing all of this!?!

Abrupt Ending.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Book Worm

A friend (whose blog I cannot figure out how to comment on!) recently posted about the books she's read so far in 2010. What a great idea, think I. But if I were to do that, would I include books I've edited or just books I've read for fun? Because if I include all the books I've edited, that would be a lot. And if I only include what I've read for fun, at this point we'd be down to a short list of Christian non-fiction:

Cross Talk, Emlet
Getting the Message, Doriani
Eat This Book, Peterson
Let the Reader Understand, McCartney/Clayton

The only two not-books-about-the-Bible I've read, or am reading, are:

Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (I'm on Meats)
Ultra-Marathon Man, Dean Karnazes

I think Collin is "borrowing" this book from Doug, who I think loaned Collin the book a year ago. I found it on one of our bookshelves when I was completing our latest book purge. What a fascinating read. Fast paced, of course an incredible story. The guy runs all night. He sleeps while he runs! He eats large pizzas while he runs! He's insane. Right? I mean, do you have to be a little insane to run distances of 200 miles? I think so. But the prose reads as if a sane person wrote it. A thinker.

At work I've tackled Heath Sommer's latest two books, The Grand Delusion and The Human Obsession, the latter of which is still on my desk. The former should hit Amazon in August/September. Both are followups to his first, The Manufactured Identity. All are psychological thrillers with big life-question overtones, and all are fabulous. Although I have to admit, I'm going to try to get him to tweak the ending of THO juuuuust a little bit.

Well, friends, that's what I'm reading. I'd love to know your favorite book of 2010 (so far).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baby Bag Revisited

Before I get to work this morning, I have to say: in my last post I wrote "what to pack in baby's bag," but I was less than honest. I HAVE gotten better at packing her bag, but that's probably mostly because I keep it packed all the time instead of unpacking it every time I get home. The truth is, I pack way more than I should. The list is really what I need to pack, and no more, but I'm still just too sure I'll need something else, so I pack pretty much everything. Those of you who sit next to us in church and have seen my diaper bag know this and probably read my last post and thought, Liar! I wasn't lying, but what I should have said was:

What to pack in baby's bag:
1. Less than I do.

*And keep it packed instead of unpacking everytime. That's the real key to confidence in leaving the home with everything you "need" for baby.

On a side note, my new dear friend and her husband took care of Drue yesterday while we went to Dallas. (What a day.) We are so thankful to them, and Drue loves them so. But what I want to say is: well, I have to go back a ways...

Once upon a time a friend asked if I could babysit her child while she and her husband went to the symphony. Said friend left a list of things for me to do before putting baby to bed (and boy did I mess up the "brush teeth" part, because I used real toothpaste!), and I got a chuckle out of the "be sure to lotion" baby part of the note. Long story, but I used to have a thing with the word "lotion." Ask if you're interested. (It's not that interesting.) So, I hesitantly "lotioned" the baby before bed and thought, I don't think I'll ever ask anyone to do this.

Well, have a baby and your world changes...

Yesterday when I dropped Drue off, I said to Jennifer, among other things, "Oh, and there's lotion in here if you want to lotion her before you put on her jammies."

The look on her face was priceless! It was the look I would have had, had I been standing in front of my friend and she'd asked me in person to lotion her baby. Now, I wasn't ordering Jennifer to do this. I had merely packed it in case she wanted to. But still, really? I packed the baby lotion? (See former confession about baby-bag packing.)

When we got back yesterday evening, Jennifer said, among other things, "She's nice and lotioned!" And we laughed.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Following the Trend...Nah, Family Trip Time!

There are lots of Day in the Life Of posts these days, and I'd like to provide my own, but before I get to that...

Last Saturday we three planned to meet friends in The Village and drive to Okarche to hit up the ever-famous Eischen's. We packed Drueby's bag, and we were off. (I'm so good at packing that bag now. It used to take me forever. I've acquired much more confidence in this area...and realize we need to take much less. That's the key.) Anyway, we drove to our friends' house and snatched up their little girl and threw her in our back seat. No, not really. We actually asked politely, "Olivia, would you like to sit in the back and entertain Drue on the way?" To which she replied happily, "Yes." And her parents gave the thumbs up, so we were off again. What an evening of driving.

Drue did well. She jibber-jabbered, and I think Olivia enjoyed herself. Collin and I enjoyed listening to the radio and watching our phones go in and out of Mountain Time. (What?) There was some Tweeting and some phone calling, and some singing, and we were there. Just before six o'clock. And it was already packed.

I had a bad feeling from the get go (assumed we wouldn't be eating fried chicken that night). We went in, and it took us a few minutes to realize that nobody seats you; you have to just hover over a table and wait for the occupants of it to finish their meal and get out of dodge. We hovered over a table that looked to be finishing up, but it turned out the people sitting there were still waiting for the table to be bussed! So I took Drue outside, and we crawled around on the cement and kept coming back to the ash pot, so we went back inside. (But while we were out there we were a hit, as usual.)

It was so loud, and Collin and Becky and Drue and I stood around the pool table, while Jolly and Maggie et al stood in this other room where they'd found out there was a line for tables. Ah, some order! Still, it was loud, so Becky and I took Drue back outside, but this time across the street and to the grass.

After a few minutes of leaving everyone else to do the dirty work (wait in line), we decided we'd be better friends and go inside. Soon after that, we (my family) decided we (Drue) probably weren't going to make it. So, we left.

On the drive home, I decided I wanted to go back a different way. I wanted to go south through El Reno. I always enjoy new sights and road trips, and I figured it wasn't to far out of the way. Collin was in the back feeding Drue, because he's a nice person, and I drove, enjoying the Oklahoma landscape. Soon we were there, and I knew Collin was hungry, so I was on the lookout for some eatery.

There was nothing.

I thought, Is El Reno anti-eating? Soon, though, we turned east, headed towrad I-40 and I thought I saw a Taco Bell. I passed it, so I turned a little late, then Collin realized it was a Taco Mayo. And right in front of us, where I'd turned, was a local Mexican restaurant called...something. I knew I'd forget!

On a whim I said, "Family adventure to authentic Mexican restaurant! (Followed by family stomach bug adventure.)" Is it really nerdy how excited I was to be doing something different? Because I was.

We jumped out of the car and grabbed Drue, hoping she wouldn't melt down before we could finish eating, and went inside like a couple of kids. We had so much fun. The food was great, which really we expected it to be (how can you go wrong with Mexican?), and it was like before we had the baby, except better, because the baby was there. And she did great. Oh, family memories...

Maybe next time I'll do a day in the life. But for now let's stick with:

Things to pack in an infant's bag:
1. 2-3 diapers
2. something to wipe baby's bum
3. a bottle and formula (if you're not nursing)
4. No toy - the keys will work just fine
5. No extra clothes - chances are she's NOT going to get so dirty I have to change her in only a few hours (but then, she's not a very drooly baby, hmm...)
6. Maybe some solids if what we're eating won't work for her
7. No everything else.

(I know that every baby is different and that these are just Drue's needs, but it's been nice for us to realize we needn't pack her whole room every time we leave the house.)

And finally, things to know about Eischen's (even though I was only there 30 min.):
1. Get there early.
2. You can order your food early so that you don't have to wait an hour AFTER sitting.
3. There is probably a line in the second room (so that you don't have to just hover).
4. Go with a smaller group of people if possible, or be willing to eat at different tables.
5. If you do hover, make sure the people sitting there aren't still waiting for their table to be bussed.
6. Don't bring a baby (for dinner) that doens't sleep well in loud public places.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The opposite of Good Mood is: Me

I bought something today that I shouldn't have. A digital converter box and accompanying antenna. I bought it because really I'm ready to start having a few television stations at my command. Not because I want to watch television all the time, though I have to admit: when I sat down on the couch this evening before C got home and looked at the boxes, I thought, Will my old habits return with this thing? Will I be watching TV all the time again?

I haven't watched much TV since we were married. We had rabbit ears when rabbit ears still worked, but they didn't work well even before this whole converter thing happened. I could barely get channel 9 but of course got OETA. Which was great. I loved watching the British shows Sunday nights before bed. But then the converter thing happened, and I didn't know there was a $40 coupon, and so I missed it. And we just never got one. We just watched our Netflix, and that was fine. We've even talked about how that is fine (many times), though in the back corner of my mind I've always thought, Gee, I'd love to have one of those converters. I want to watch [insert stupid show name here]. So today, without thinking thrice, and with the thought that Collin wanted one (have no idea where that came from), I went to Walmart to get one.

I quickly found out that they don't sell them anymore. So I went to Radio Shack. They do sell them, but theirs are more expensive than Target's...but "better." And they have a payment plan when you sign up for a credit card that has no yearly fee or charges for notusing it. So really, in my mind, it's a better deal. But that's beside the point...

So, I did it. I made up a conversation in my head that C and I had never had, tricking myself (?) into believing that he, too, wanted this contraption and that the payment plan made it all OK.

Aaaaand I was wrong. Why was I wrong? Mostly because I've gotten on to C in the past for buying things, and here I am busting out way too much money on something I haven't even talked to him about. And oh yeah, that conversation? It never happened. He doesn't even want TV. He's a-okay with Netflix, and for good reason.

So we're at a crossroads. I can take it back. I really don't care that much. I don't need television. I like that my days include mostly silence or music (plus baby). I like that I'm not a slave to the tube. There's not much on worth watching anyway. But I feel embarrassed that I thought he'd be excited about it when in fact he was the opposite. And that makes me angry.

Angry and embarrassed are not a good combo.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Politics of Drue Bear

I think I've titled a blog post this before. There's a song from the '80s that's called "The Politics of Dancing." I've only heard it once, and because of that once, it occasionally hits the brainwaves but comes out as "The Politics of Drue Bear."

There is a long history of singing in our house, and this song is just one of many. We sang before Drue was born. We would get up in the morning, and each of us would have a song stuck his or her head, and fairly quickly that song would come out. Then we'd latch on to one or the other song, and that would be the song of the morning. We'd laugh and say, "We're so weird. If anyone knew we do this, they'd think we are crazy." And here I am telling you that we do this.

Now that Drue is here, and has been for nine glorious months, there's even more singing in our home. Not just in the morning but all day long, and most often the songs we sing are changed to suit whatever is going on with our baby at the time. That is, the lyrics are changed. As I write this I'm guessing that it's rather selfish of me to think only we do this. I'm guessing 95 percent of the population does this. Do you?

Regarding work, the end of February was nuts, as I thought we had a whole extra seven days. Luckily I had the bulk of my work done and just had to go through and reread and finalize my notes on first-month manuscripts, but sheesh. I was busy. Therefore, no blogging.

Regarding other things, I now have a Wednesday/Sunday subscription to The Daily Oklahoman. Why? Because I have a MA in Journalism and want to keep up with the goings on in our fair state? Because I plan to move to OKC? Because I plan to get really involved in the local community? No on all counts, friends. I want coupons. And now I've got them in my hot little hands. Granted, the dinner menu for the week has been really boring, but I've saved so much the last two weeks that we actually have enough left over from our grocery budget to go out to dinner once or twice without dipping into our entertainment fund. It is worth is, and it is fun. I never knew how fun it was keeping up with sales and coupons. I'm almost glad we don't have a printer readily available, or I'd be online spending WAY to much time digging for coupons. But you know, the first time I went to the cash register with my groceries, coupons at the ready, not only did I feel nervous; I felt guilty. How nutty is that? (And how great a use of a semicolon was that?)

So, savings are happening. Now we just have to figure out whether we want to continue to save in a much bigger way come fall or move to a little bit bigger but more expensive house. Right now it's looking like a good spring purging is at hand and we'll be staying in our tiny duplex. I think I'm okay with that. For now.

Finally, the photos I snapped earlier today. These two were too cute when I came home, all matchy matchy. Love it. And love the new couch.

P.S. I hear The Star-Spangled Banner being sung outside my window. I thought it was our neighbor, but it's happening at the softball field across the way and traveling on the wind. Not bad. Now feeling patriotic. And ready to pay bills.

Bye for now.