Sunday, December 29, 2013

Digging Through The Thoughts of Past Me

I have found my old online journal. I have also found my husband's old online journal. We were both writing at the time, blissfully unaware of each other's existences. 

At the turn of the year 2005, both Smiley and I took the same online questionnaire that was presumably all the rage across the internet back then. I thought it would be interesting to check out what we said. (My answers will be in green and Smiley's answers will be in red.)

Both surveys start out asking about our names and screennames. Boring! Let's get to the exciting stuff!


I said:
1. I can sing fairly well
2. I'm good at DDR
3. I'm good at leading groups and organizing stuff

Smiley said:
1. my outgoiness and ability to make poepel comfortable around me
2. my confidence
3. the great friends i've managed to get

 This question is great. Here we see that I like the fact that I can "lead groups" and "organize stuff." Who knows what the heck I was organizing, but I felt like I was doing good enough at it to brag on the internet about it. Out of my three responses, I'm not sure I'd put any of them up there were I to fill out this questionnaire once more.

Meanwhile, Smiley sticks to making "poepel" comfortable around him. I thought about editing these responses for spelling and grammar, but boy would that be boring! His three responses are right in line with the Smiley I know.


I said:
1. Big bugs
2. Being alone
3. Scary movies =p

Smiley said:
1. snow
2. ice
3. bad literature

Well, it would figure that both of us listed first the one thing that we would have to deal with should we someday meet over World of Warcraft and decide to spend the rest of our lives together. I stated that big bugs scare me and there are plenty of those down here in Florida! I guess I had to move to Florida though because Smiley listed that he was afraid of both snow AND ice. Perhaps if I had listed big bugs and ridiculously hot and humid summers AND an annoying lack of sidewalks, we'd be up in Illinois.


I said:

1. Glasses or contacts
2. My purse
3. Taking a shower every day

Smiley said:
1. motorcyle
2. schrade multitool
3. toothbrush 

I know, I know. These responses are REALLY boring. But I enjoy the reminder that I used to wear contacts in a different life and I'm trying to remember the last time I've showered two days in a row. (To be honest, that's partially because I've found that I actually feel cleaner showering every other day and partially because holy crap small babies are time consuming.)

It kills me that Smiley lists "toothbrush" as an everyday essential along with his multitool and motorcycle. It doesn't feel like a lowly toothbrush belongs on that list. 


I said:

1. Stop biting my nails
2. Live peacefully with my mom
3. Get better at DDR ^^ 

Smiley said:
1. possibly alcohol on my 21st
2. probably get an xbox and join the ranks of the evil masses
3. my standup act again

I'm going to break this down, line by line. No, I haven't stopped biting my fingernails. Sorry past me. I no longer bite my nails so much that they bleed, if that's any consolation. But when I'm bored or anxious, all bets are off.

Those who know me in the present day may be surprised to know that I had a tough time getting along with my family while I was in high school. It was a bad case of "being a teenager and not having perspective." I don't think it got much better in 2005, but I did get better at it as I grew older.

Yeah, I'm pretty awesome at DDR now.

Smiley assures me that at this point in time, he had never drank alcohol. So that's something we had in common in 2005.

I'm told that he did, in fact, get an xbox.

Smiley continues to approach life with his trademark method of "not taking anything seriously, ever," but he has not segued into a successful standup career as of this posting date.


I said:
1. Teacher
2. Writer
3. erm... stay at home mom? ^^;;

Smiley said:
1. psychology
2. real estate development
3. real estate sales

I only included this because you might be wondering what the heck "^^;;" means. Well, it's a smiley face with giant anime-style sweatdrops. In other words, it means I was embarrassed and/or amused to suggest that I might consider staying at home with children some day. Silly past me.


I said:
1. Get married and have a family ^^
2. Learn to knit more than just a scarf
3. Get over my fear of death. ^^;;

Smiley said:
 1. break the sound barrier on a motorcycle
2. become a known name everwhere (IE celebrity status)
3. take over hosting duty on the daily show 

These are all some legit goals, people! I knew from a young age that family would be really important to me. And knitting, apparently. I used to knit, but I literally couldn't do anything except make scarves of varying lengths and sizes. My biggest accomplishment was making scarves with two alternating colors.

I remain fearful of death.

Smiley dreamed big. I think that he could accomplish all of this in one go, if he plays his cards right. Presumably when I am reading through this entry ten years from now, I will be inspired to let you all know how it goes.

Smiley said:
1. chronos
2. methos
3. syus


This is a bonus question! I apparently did not answer it or deleted it, because I don't have a corresponding response. But we see here that even in 2004, Smiley was dedicated to naming his kids after the Highlander show's four horsemen of the apocalypse. I'm honestly surprised he didn't list all four names even though it only asked for three, because Smiley plays fast and loose with The Man's rules. I'm not surprised that he spelled Silas's name wrong.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy Belated Christmas, Happy Belated Boxing Day and Happy Early New Years!

I'm beginning to think that I will never, ever sleep again. But it's ok. I rediscovered my old Livejournal and I apparently complained about not sleeping a lot back then too, so I guess I'm technically used to this and all.

Silas surprised us with a "Christmas miracle" and slept from 10pm to 6:30am. Let me backtrack a little to the start of that evening. Silas hadn't napped for even an hour earlier in the day and he was tired. It was almost six and he seemed as though he would crash if I waited until seven to put him to bed.

So, with the fear in my heart that he would wake up around eight and want to play for four hours, I put Silas to sleep around six. He fell asleep easily, no crying or anything. Then we waited.

Smiley and I played a game of Age of Empires II while we waited. I don't think that was part of the reason that Silas slept so well, but it was quite nice to sit down and play a game with my husband. I hadn't logged into my Steam account in over four hundred days, which makes sense - Silas is just over four hundred days old, and I've barely had time to shower regularly, let alone play video games that take longer than Words With Friends.

Around ten, Smiley and I were getting ready to go to bed, when I heard Silas cry. I felt crushed. I had been so hopeful that the early bedtime would somehow carry him through the night, but then I realized that I had made the decision to put Silas to sleep so early that he hadn't eaten a real dinner, only a snack! Though he had a larger than normal lunch, I figured perhaps he was simply a bit hungry.

I went into his room and quietly nursed him back to sleep, thinking that this was it. I was going to be waking up every two hours for the rest of the evening. Silas went back to sleep without much of a fuss.

Shortly after, Smiley and I also went to sleep. And then, we woke up to Smiley's alarm.

I turned over in bed, pulling the covers over my ears while Smiley turned off his alarm and turned to look over at me.

"Is Silas in bed with us?" he asked, patting the covers to see if Silas was curled up between us.

"No," I said, as I slowly became more awake. I realized that I didn't have any memories of going to Silas's crib and bringing him back into our room. Just to be sure, I glanced by the side of our bed; no, Silas wasn't there either. "No, he's still in his crib," I said.

Before I could tell Smiley to go check to make sure Silas was still alive, I heard him move in his room, and then I heard him start to chat with his stuffed animal. Silas was alive and well rested!

Sadly, when I attempted to replicate these results the next night, I had no such luck. Silas took a longer afternoon nap, so I adjusted the bedtime back to 6:30, and while he did sleep until ten again, he did not sleep well after a nighttime nursing.

But - as I am an eternal optimist, I still have hope. Yes, he woke up a lot the past two nights, but he has been fighting a cold. The runny nose and congestion are enough to make me think that perhaps, just maybe, once the cold is over, he will start to sleep better.

I know, I know.


(But we'll still see.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Laundry Surprise

I don't know how you do it, but Smiley and I have our dog's cage set up in our closet. We don't have a walk in closet, but we do have small dogs.

The other day, our dog Sherlock coughed up a hairball or something; he threw up in the cage overnight. It smelled icky, so I had Smiley clean it up. Later during the day, when I was hanging up a shirt, I noticed that the whole closet still seemed to smell.

"Didn't you clean the dog's cage?" I asked, and Smiley nodded. He gestured towards the roll of paper towels and the cleaning supplies that he had brought into the room. I could see the used paper towels in our trash can.

So, I started snooping around in our closet, wondering if Smiley's fear of Sherlock peeing out of the cage came true at some point. What I found was, perhaps, worse.

A box of belts that I had in the closet revealed that some of the belts were starting to grow mildew. And then I realized that was what the smell was. A quick sniff of some of the clothes folded on the shelves agreed with my realization.  Friggen everything was slowly starting to get mildew in our closet, except for the shirts that we used most often.

As I type this, I have my tenth load of laundry running. I never realized how many clothes I have stored in the closet that I never wear, but even if I wanted to donate them, I'd still need to wash them first. (Let's not discuss my problem with donating clothes; I have a hard time getting rid of clothes that I spent money on or that other people spent money on for me, even if I never, ever wear them. What happens if one day I completely change my mind and want to wear them and then I have to buy them again because I got rid of them? Nope, can't do it.) They all smell horrible. They all need to be cleaned.

I am learning that "hand wash only" is really just code for "put it in the washer anyhow on the gentle cycle because I don't have time to hand wash all of this stuff." I also need a second drying rack, because there is one rule I don't mess around with and that's "line dry only." I've seen too many shrunken or disfigured clothes in my day. My current little drying rack is doing its best, covered in old dresses, belts, handmade t-shirts and more.

Plus, I need to search the internet to figure out how to remove mildew from shoes, if that's even possible.

I guess this all started when I decided I would save money by keeping our air conditioning usage down during the summer. Florida's humidity and high temperatures have shown me that was a stupid way to save money. So yes, on the one hand, I'm glad that I have only had to run my heat a few days this year so far. On the other hand, my clothes are all mildewy and that's disgusting. All I'm saying, Florida, is can't you try to keep the humidity and heat down just a tad during the summer? Thanks.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Just Waiting

This month seems to be dragging on and on, which is crazy, right? The holidays are hectic and full of fun, but at the same time, I keep seeing the date each day and going, "Really? It's only the 15th?" It feels like it should be at least Christmas Eve by now.

I have a feeling that time will be passing slowly for a few months now as I wait to hear whether or not I'm accepted into an accelerated nursing program. I won't know until mid-March, so this slow motion time passing will probably stick around until then.

This year is Silas's second Christmas. He had a lot of "First" holidays last year, but was much too young to really interact with them. This year has been a lot of fun as he's enjoyed playing with the Christmas tree, playing with our (unbreakable) ornaments, putting his toys in the tree, and - my favorite part - waking up every morning and walking out to the tree and pointing at it until I plug the lights in. So cute!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tis The Season... find out if I can successfully bring home a Christmas tree in the car with Silas.

The answer is, yes.

I no longer have my dear Sebring, but I guess it's for the best, as this would have been an impossible task. In our new car, I can put down two of the seats and move Silas's carseat to behind the driver's seat. That way, the tree fit in on an angle through the trunk and I got to see Silas point and smile at the visible tree top on the drive home.

Actually picking out the tree was fun too. I had to steel myself to walk right past the more expensive, taller trees and we headed to the 5-6 foot section. I'm not a huge fan of the tree shopping here in Florida, because my northern upbringing insists that I shouldn't be able to wear sandals while picking out a Christmas tree, but it was almost eighty degrees out, so here we are!

Silas liked looking at all the different trees, and I pulled out a few from the piles to show him, spinning them around while he clapped and smiled and pointed at the bald spots. The one I ended up getting was, of course, the one that he seemed to smile the most at. Now, I had Silas in a shopping cart seat, because while he can walk, he does not quite understand how to stay near me yet. I debated grabbing an employee to come get the tree for me, since I didn't think I could carry the tree and push the cart at the same time.

But, I decided I should at least give it a try first. So I lifted up the tree and put it in the cart (remember, I was at the 5-6 ft section, so it's not like this was a mega tree or anything). I pushed the cart in a short test run and nothing fell over, so I brought the tree to the front of the store, getting only a few odd looks.

My favorite part was when an older lady came into look for a small tree and Silas started waving "Hello!" to her. Waving hello is Silas's newest skill, and she smiled and waved back at him and stopped to chat for a bit, telling me about her granddaughter who was also starting to wave hello. I really love being able to share these sort of conversations with strangers. It's a lot of fun, and I like seeing the pride that parents and grandparents take in their children come through in conversation.

The store employee at the front only seemed mildly hesitant when I said I wanted to put the tree in the back of my car. I'm sure they've put many trees in smaller cars though, and indeed, it was no problem to fit the small fir tree into the trunk of the car.

I think that the hardest part of the day was trying to stand the tree up and secure it in the base all by myself once we got home, while Silas did his best to "help." The tree only fell over once during this process (obviously I kept it from going towards Silas; thank goodness for small, "easy-to-handle" trees) and when it was set up straight, decorating with Silas was fun.

First, he tried to suck on the Christmas lights, because I have the slightly larger teardrop style lights. After I put an end to that, he started trying to unwind the lights once I put them on the tree. I gave him the plastic ball ornaments to unpack, and he set to this task vigorously. I had gotten the non-breakable ornaments three years back, before I even had a Silas to think about, and I'm glad I did. They might not shine as nicely as glass ornaments, but I do appreciate the peace of mind that if Silas grabs a hold of one roughly, he won't end up with shards of glass everywhere.

All in all, the bottom of the tree is already a mess from Silas checking everything out. He had to pull the lights and garland and the bottom branches. But he seems to have accepted that this tree is now just part of our household decoration and he's MOSTLY leaving it be. Now that I've written that, I can only imagine what he will do when he wakes up tomorrow.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It only SEEMS like I've disappeared

Between finishing out the school semester, NaNoWriMo, and a Thanksgiving trip up to visit my parents, I really don't have time to be writing this.

But here I am, anyhow.

So let me overshare with this story of toddlers and their bodily functions.

The trip from my house to my parent's house is a 15-16 hour drive, plus time to stop and take care of Silas's needs. The last two times I've made the trip, each way has been 18 hours long. Travel days are long days, is what I'm getting at.

Silas does remarkably well on the trip. He is content to listen to books all day, as long as he gets to stretch his legs every two hours or so by searching for sticks outside at rest stops. And since there are long stretches of road that aren't super well-lit, Silas also falls asleep fairly readily in the evening.

We had been driving all day, leaving my parent's house in the morning and merrily making our way back south. It was now about eight in the evening and we had finally broken through Tennessee into Alabama. We stopped to grab some dinner and to take a bathroom break.

I brought a sleepy Silas into the bathroom and looked for the changing station, which was located inside the handicapped stall at the end of the room. Cool. I got Silas onto the table and took off his diaper, which was surprisingly dry given how red his poor baby bottom was.

I thought for a moment, willing my car trip addled brain to use logic and reason. The issue at hand was that we still had over eight hours of driving to go, and I didn't want Silas screaming because of a bad diaper rash. I didn't have any diaper rash cream or baby powder on hand because I had left them up at my parent's house by accident. As anyone who has tended to a small child in diapers knows, that left the option of letting him air out for a few minutes. (Or, I guess, stopping to buy it at a drugstore, but that only seems obvious now.)

The problem came to a head when I thought to myself, "Oh well, I'll kill two birds with one stone by letting him walk around in the handicapped stall, diaper-free, for a bit."

You know how something seems so reasonable in your mind and then reality sets in? Truth be told, I've let Silas go bare-bum around our house every so often, and I could count the number of accidents he's had during those times on one hand.

This turned out to be the time that left me needing two hands to count the accidents. As soon as I set him down, Silas took note of the bathroom drain on the tile floor. He pointed at it, and then promptly peed on it. I watched in surprise and shock and then shook my head in disbelief.

"Ok," I said aloud, "Well, let's wipe that up and let the lady at the counter know that they should probably mop or something. And yeah, I guess it's good that you kind of understand that pee should, uh, go down a drain or something?"

Then Silas walked over to the door of the bathroom stall, and peed again on the floor, as if to say that he heard what I said and wanted to show me that I was incorrect. I could see why his diaper had been so dry.

You might be thinking that the smart idea here would have been to grab Silas and diaper him up before cleaning the bathroom floor. I make no excuses for myself, as I simply didn't think to do that at the time. Instead, I put Silas over on the other side of the floor and started grabbing wipes to clean up after him, putting my priority at cleaning up the symptoms rather than fixing the source.

So of course, Silas wandered over to the toilet and then peed on it too. (Had I taken him on too many walks with the dogs? Did he now think he had to leave his scent everywhere?)

Oh, hindsight.

In any case, you'll be happy to know that 1) Silas's air time did prevent diaper rash and he slept mostly peacefully for the rest of the trip and 2) I cleaned up the restroom floor as best I could and then went over to the register and told them what happened (albeit an abridged version) so they could mop up with better chemicals than wet wipes and tons of toilet paper.

A few closing thoughts - I've recently learned that pretty much everything I post online seems to be on one list or another of "things that no one wants to read about." Whoops. I thought this seemed like a funny story, but as we learned above, it's not good to trust my judgement.

I need to find a better way to get from Florida to Illinois and back again. Planes are so expensive, but the time-consuming drive is not much better. Just gotta keep holding out for portal technology, I guess.