The list book

I am a list maker, always have been. If I don’t write a thought down on a piece of paper, the thought flies away never to be found. For years I have kept a list book, a spiral bound book that has all my lists in it. There are reno ideas, books to read, appointments, recipes to try, gifts to buy, things I want to buy or receive, and places to go. There are also several to-do lists in it, sorted by project, or date, or work involved in the task. It’s always been my space to braindump, and I have relied on it to keep me on track.

In the last year or so I’ve noticed that I am not as “on top” of things as I once was. I stopped using the list book, and started to try and track my lists electronically, on either my laptop or iPhone. It’s been a failure, as things weren’t getting entered into the appropriate list or calendar, or there was never one program or app that answered my varied needs. Recently I’ve started to really lose track of things, and last week was the final straw.

I got an email from on of our teenaged babysitters, confirming that she was available to babysit the following Wednesday. It was clearly in response to a request that I had made, but I had no idea why we booked her, and neither did Willy. This distressed me greatly, and it took a couple of days and an extensive sort through my emails for it to come back to me. I was lost and knew it was time to reinstitute the list book. I am much happier now, pen to paper, populating it with all sorts of little lists. The first one in the book is the list of lists, of course.



Wordless Wednesday – costume fun!



Uninvited guests

We did some renovations to our foundation last fall, and as a result a mouse moved in. I am not sure how long it was in the house before I noticed it, as our cat likely kept it living on the fringes and there were no “traces”. I first noticed it when I went to take out the Christmas decor, and found that it had stripped the decorative/dried cobs of corn that were stored in the furnace room. It left behind the empty cobs, the wax that had coated the kernel and plenty of traces. I hunted all around the furnace room, left the door open for the cat to take care of it, and watched for signs that it had moved into other parts of the
house and found nothing. I assumed we were good.

A couple of weeks later I went into the cupboard in my kitchen island and there they
were. Traces. This made me freak out a little, as it had clearly moved into our part of the
house, and I sent Willy to the store to get some traps. We He installed them after the lils went to sleep that night, and within 30 minutes I heard the telltale snap! and the problem was solved. Willy tidied up and we had our house back.

A few weeks ago I went down to the basement and noticed that there was a little pile of flour sitting outside my emergency bag of flour. Thinking that one of the lils had accidentally ripped a hole in it, I leaned down to have a look. Then I saw them. Traces. They definitely weren’t from the lils, but I wasn’t sure if they had been recently left by a mouse, so I started to hunt again. A day or two later it was clear that we had a new mouse when the traces appeared in the same cupboard. It is the one that our stove top vent goes down, where there is theoretically access from the basement. The mouse didn’t seem to go past that cupboard, but it didn’t matter. This one was in our space too.

The next day I left for my weekend away with my girlfriends. Before leaving I wrote a note for Willy with meal ideas, the phone number where I would be, and one instruction; “KILL THE MOUSE“. I was disappointed when I got home and it was still around, so I asked or hinted about it daily. As of lunch today the trap had not been set and the mouse was not dead.

Getting more than a little uncomfortable with our uninvited guest, I suggested to Willy that I knew where the mouse might be residing, and that that might be a good place to put the trap. He didn’t really react, and didn’t seem to be in a hurry to do anything about it. He even accused me of not having clearly stated my wish to have the mouse terminated. Apparently the note I left and the daily ”hints” were not enough, as, according to him, I had not sworn about it yet.

I leaned in and whispered in his ear, “kill the fucking mouse”. Trap is set.



New post at Kids in the Capital

I frequently get asked how it is possible that I can safely cook with some very hands on help from Woo and Goose.  To answer that, I have a post up a Kids in the Capital, where I talk about the some of my safety tips!

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Wordless Wednesday – At the Sugar Bush



We have a skier!

Before I left for the weekend, Willy and I talked about some of the things that he and the lils could do while I was away.  He had a bunch of good ideas, but knowing that he and Woo would be alone on Sunday morning while Goose was with my mom, I suggested that they go skiing.  Willy’s eyes lit up.  He comes from a family of skiers who spent their winters skiing at Owl’s Head, or watching his little brother ski competitively when he was in his teens.  He has since moved to snowboarding, but has been dreaming of taking our lils skiing since before they were born.

Woo, on the other hand was lukewarm to the idea.  It had been suggested to him several times over the winter, and he said no each time.  I am pretty sure the selling feature was that his cousin V, who has been skiing all winter, was going to be invited. Who cares what you are doing when you get to spend time with your cousin, right?

As the plans started to take shape, Woo’s excitement grew.  He was pretty much bouncing off the walls when he went over to V’s to try on equipment Saturday night, and quiet and focussed on the way up to the hill.   He did really well, with a few runs on the bunny hill, followed by two trips up the chair lift and down the BIG hill.  He even got to do some solo skiing, where he wasn’t holding dad’s poles.  By the end of it all he was hooked, and is already talking about the next trip with his dad, possibly even this weekend.

I look forward to many a trip to the ski hill in our future, and anticipate that Goose will want to go now that her brother does.  I’ll take lots of pictures, and then head to the chalet and curl up by the fire to wait for them with my coffee and Bailey’s hot chocolate!  I am so not a skier.



Reading and rule-breaking

Woo started reading about four months ago, and he continues to amaze me with the things that he can spell and read.  The reading has also made me aware that I need to be more careful about the things that I leave lying around the house, especially given my work, and that we should be more attentive to the language in the stories that we let him read.  It’s not that we let him read dirty limericks, just that there are a shocking number of children’s books that have grammatical errors in them.  I correct them when reading aloud, but as he learns, he won’t recognize the errors on his own.

Today he showed me that this reading thing is going to keep me on my toes in other ways. We were at Kid Kaf, a local coffee shop that has a large play area for young children in the back.  We’ve been a few times with friends, and the place is usually crazy busy. When we arrived this AM it was empty.  This gave Woo a chance to look around and fully take in his surroundings.

“Does that sign say only kids under five are allowed?” he asked.

I confirmed and we went in and started playing.  He was focused on the sign it seems, as he kept returning to me to ask clarifying questions.  We finally got to the crux of the matter when he asked how old my friend’s daughter is.  She turned six in February, but was five when she joined us there over the Christmas holidays. Woo confirmed this fact and then giving me a knowing look, asked why she was allowed in the play area.  Oops.

It seems that this is not the only rule infraction that I have been a part of at Kid Kaf.  I have always been able to score the comfy chairs in the corner, far away from where all the other chairs and tables are.  I’ve often wondered why these are available all the time, so, as I sipped my coffee and watched my lils eat their fruit plate, I mentioned this to the friend that I was sitting with today.

Her response cleared it all up for me.  ”Well, technically you aren’t allowed food in this area,” she said.

There are signs in several areas that clearly state it.  Double oops.



Where is the love?

When Willy goes away the lils miss him terribly.  They are cranky, act out, and ask after him frequently.  He doesn’t travel as much as he used to, but it is often enough that they are somewhat used to it and know they don’t like it.  He is rarely gone for more than a week, but when he comes home he is lavished with attention and affection.  It’s very sweet.

This past weekend, I went away for a short trip with some girlfriends.  I was gone for less than two full days, and while I had fun, I did miss everyone at home.  When I arrived the house was pretty quiet, but I was fairly confident that they were lurking somewhere inside, so I called my “hello”s as I brought my stuff in. I was met with crickets.

Willy appeared as I was bringing in the last of the stuff, and explained that the lils were in the basement. I put away the perishables and quickly caught up on the weekend. When no lil peeps appeared, I went searching. I found them in the office, and leaned in to give them each a kiss. Woo turned away from me, and Goose told me that she didn’t want me. Though it wasn’t the reaction I wanted and expected, I tried to talk to them and got more rejection.  I was more than a little surprised, but tried to roll with it.  After a little bit of coaxing they both came upstairs, and VERY slowly started to tell me about their weekend, and finally let me give them hugs and kisses about ninety minutes after I arrived.  With this, I figured that all was well in the world.

After their baths, I asked Willy the usually “who is taking who” question.  They hadn’t discussed it in the bath, so I proposed that I ask them who wanted to come with me.  We do try to mix up bedtime so no one gets too attached to one parent or the other, but I figured that Goose would pick me (as she always does) and this would allow Woo to pick Willy (as he always does) and they would both be happy.  So I asked.

“Woo can have you” replied Goose.

“No, I want Daddy!!” cried Woo.

They both then ran to Willy for affection.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so I did a bit of both. Where is my love?



Vacation wrecked me

January’s ass was well kicked. I worked out every day, I was getting projects done around the house, staying on top of my work-work, and feeling pretty good about myself.  It was so good that I was even staying on top of sleep, was starting to feel rested. Things were shaping up to close the door on the blahs and worse of the last two plus years.

Then we went on vacation.  The trip itself was not the problem, good times were had and it was generally deemed to be a success. There were niggling little things, though.  I had some trouble sleeping, as did Goose (pretty sure there is a correlation there somewhere).  We had fun, but it is work to be outside of your home with the little people, and that can be tiring.  We were slightly delayed coming home, but it was enough to put all of our schedules slightly off.  Then there was the plague.  The lils caught it at the resort, and it lingered for a week.  Bad enough that they were not only home with me, but were actively miserable.  Willy was super busy at work that week, so I had to take the time off and I then caught a less severe version of the plague.  The dominoes fell.

Now I can’t get back on track.  There are so many things that I need to be doing, but can’t.  So behind on all the things that I really want to be doing, but have no time.  I get paralyzed by indecision, because I can no longer prioritize, and then get nothing accomplished.  It’s driving me batty.  I am going for a couple of days this weekend.  I hope it fixes me.



Wordless Wednesday – At the Children’s Museum

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