What Was That? I Can’t Hear You.

The InfaDel was up at about 1am last night with a cough, I let him come to bed with us (I know, shut up) but he spent the next hour coughing such that I couldn’t sleep at all. So we got up, the Infadel and I,  I gave him some nyquil (I know, shut up) put on “How to Train Your Dragon” and we hunkered down on the couch. I believe that if you do nothing “How to Train Your Dragon” will play itself over and over and over again. All night.

Also my couch is hugely uncomfortable.

I’ve lost my voice. It’s always a very strange experience when you say something but somehow nothing actually comes out of your mouth.  Hopefully my children will behave because I am incapable of yelling at them. (Some people would say that now would be a good time to learn new coping mechanisms but I say “give me a break, I spent the night on the couch”.)

I was going to try to get some real cleaning done today but I spent the night on the couch so I just don’t think that’s going to happen.  Instead I think I’m going to spend the day on the couch as well.

If I had known how effectively the self cleaning feature on my oven warms up the main floor of my house I would have spent the winter with a much cleaner oven.

Time (Well?) Wasted

I just spent 20 minutes trying to convince the InfaDel and the (not so) Baby to clean up the dirty laundry that they had emptied from the basket.

And then another 10 minutes trying to console the (not so) Baby, who was upset because his brother cleaned up more than he did.

Dishwater Salad Dressing

I’m starting this post with the punchline because there’s no way around it. You’re going to know what it is before we get there anyway. But it’s still a story worth telling.

Friday was the HERA climb for life. The climb that you guys helped me raise money for with your very generous donations.  In fact, I raised more than my goal amount which makes you about the best readers anywhere and I think you should know it.  You’re awesome!

But that’s actually not the point, the point is that I spent the day climbing and freezing (the cliff we were climbing left us in the shade at the top of a mountain) and then I locked my keys in the car so by the time I got home I was pretty tired. And starving.

It was time for dinner but there was nothing ready so Sean started heating up leftovers and I made a green salad.  Then I went to the fridge to get the dressing.  Now, around here we eat the make it yourself salad dressing (you know, you buy the packet of seasonings and fill the cruet with vinegar up to the line with the v and then add water up to the line with the w and then oil up to the o line and then you shake whole thing up) but the cruet was almost empty.  I poured what little was left over the salad and took the cruet to the sink to wash it out.  I don’t always wash it out between uses, I’m just making more of the same stuff in there after all, but it had been a while since I had washed it out so I did this time.

I put some water in the cruet and set it on the counter with the dish scrub brush thing (the kind with the soap in the handle) sticking out of the top while I got the lid cleaned, which takes a little doing given all the cracks and crevices, and was just turning my attention to the cruet, when the Infantile Delinquent came in to let me know that the (not so) Baby had gotten into my swag bag from the climb, which I had (stupidly) said that he could play with, and made a mess.  I left the kitchen to go to the entryway to assess the damage.  It wasn’t as bad as it could have been but the (not so) Baby had gotten into the one thing in the bag that one could possibly make a mess, the chalk (used on the hands to increase traction).  He had broken up the block of chalk and sprinkled it around the entryway and front room.

Did I mention that Sean had cleaned my house while I was climbing? Well he had.  (He really is the very best.)  And now the (not so) Baby was sprinkling chalk all over the place, and then the Pea and the InfaDel started running through the chalked up area and…. You know how it goes.  So I forgot about dinner, and turned my attention to preventing the spread of the chalk.  It didn’t take long but by the time I got back to the kitchen Sean was pouring the oil into the dressing and shaking it up.

I should mention here that Sean and I make the dressing differently.  I make it with cider vinegar and he uses white.  It’s a small difference, resulting in a slight difference in taste but it’s not a big deal.

We sat down to the table.

I wasn’t really that interested in any of the leftovers so I served myself a huge helping of salad, sprinkled some tuna, and some salt and pepper, over it and poured on the dressing.  I had a few bites but found that I couldn’t really taste the dressing.  I poured on some more.  My salad still wasn’t very good but I was really hungry so I ate it.

We had a slightly harder time than usual getting the kids to eat their salads but well, they’re kids and it was salad so we didn’t think too much of it.  The kids ran off to play and I sat at the table for a few more minutes trying to decide if I wanted to eat more.  I decided I was still hungry.  I served up the rest of the salad, doctored it up, poured on the dressing and took a bite.  It tasted almost sweet.

I dipped a finger into a drop of dressing n my plate and licked it off.  Nothing, it tasted like nothing.  I looked up at Sean, “what kind of vinegar did you use in this?”

He looked at me like I was crazy, “I didn’t put the vinegar in it, you did. I just put the oil in.”

After spending just a minute digesting that (and trying not to throw up my dinner) I said, “no wonder the dressing wasn’t good tonight, you used the soapy dishwater that I was cleaning the cruet out with as the vinegar.”

I spent the rest of the night with a greasy dishwater taste in the back of my mouth.

In his defense, apparently the dishwater had filled exactly up to the v line of the cruet and he had known that I was working on making dressing and… Well, these things happen.

So what’s your favorite kind of salad dressing?

A Place For Everything…

… And everything all over the place.

Everything in my house is where it is for one of two reasons: One, one of my children picked it up, played with it for a while and then dropped it wherever they happened to be at the time, or two, Sean or I put it somewhere to hide it from the kids so that they wouldn’t pick it up, play with it for a while and then drop it wherever they happened to be at the time.

Either way, I can’t find a dang thing.

Exercises in Futility

I commented once on Facebook that there is nothing more pointless than cleaning your house while there are still children in it.    Most people agreed.

However, today I would like to amend that statement.   I maintain that there is nothing more pointless than cleaning one’s house while there are still children living in it, but today I put forth the idea that there are several things that are equally pointless.  Below you will find an incomplete list, including the rationale behind the inclusion of each item.


1.  Trying to make a 2 year old eat.

My children are, as a general rule, pretty good eaters, and for the most part, feeding a two year is a fairly effective exercise however, there are times when for whatever reason, the two year old in question does not want to eat.  I postulate that in that case, it is not possible to get that two year old to eat.

As an extreme example I’ll tell you about a gal I work with whose, now four year old, son has not eaten anything other than graham crackers, pringles, milk and apple juice in 2 years.  It began shortly after her daughter was born, when her normal, well adjusted, two year old son suddenly decided that he only wanted to eat graham crackers and he’d only drink milk.  For a little while, a few days, that wasn’t too big of a deal, her child asserting his independence, then it was annoying, then concerning.  Finally my friend, Corinne, decided that enough was enough and her son needed to eat something else.  So she refused his requests for milk and/or graham crackers, offering instead, the entire contents of her kitchen.  She though, as perhaps several of you have, that given enough time, he’d get hungry enough that he’d eat something else.  He didn’t.  He went for 36 hours without eating anything at all. Finally, Corinne, as a nurse, decided that she was unwilling to take him in to the ER for dehydration without at least trying something else so she took a big syringe home from work, filled it with apple juice and made a game of squirting the apple juice into his mouth, thereby expanding his palate to include apple juice.  But he would go no further and eventually she gave up.  (He has since expanded to include Pringles but, as I mentioned, it’s been 2 years…)

2.  Telling children to be nice, to not call one another names, to keep their hands, feet and other objects to themselves, to mind their own business.

I have no long drawn out story for this one, just my life.  But this never works.  Ever.  Inevitably they keep doing whatever it was that was driving their sibling, and their parents crazy until they’re good and ready to stop.  Sometimes physically moving one or more involved parties has some limited success but realistically there’s nothing to be done other than to just get through it.

3.  Asking (pleading with, begging, exhorting…) a child to use the toilet rather than the floor, their pants, the planter, etc…

That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Now this list is hardly exhaustive and with only 3 (4 if you count the house cleaning part) entries it hardly counts as a list at all.  So I need your additions.  What is the most futile thing that you do?  That you live with?  Something animal related?  Political? Whatever.  Let’s see it.

More Proof I’m an Idiot

Note: The raffle is closed (although there’s still a book left so if you want to buy one I guess that’s still ok).  I haven’t gotten around to drawing names for the raffle winner yet.  Expect an update soon(ish).

We’re pretty hard on our vacuums around here.  For the last year and half or so we’ve had a very nice Eureka upright vacuum.  It has a “power paw” attachment which looks great but that I’ve come to realize is completely useless.  But altogether, it’s not a bad vacuum.  It’s not bagless but it came with several extra bags and I don’t really see how emptying a canister is so much better than tossing a bag, so I don’t really care.

About two weeks ago, after having spent 3 hours cleaning and organizing the playroom (yes it was that bad), I was vacuuming and then the vacuum just stopped.  It didn’t grind to halt.  It didn’t squeak or squeal or smoke or make any kind of funny noise.  It just died.

I believe that my first thought was something along the lines of “awesome”.

I messed with it for a few more minutes, turning it on and off, with absolutely no result.  “Super Awesome.”

Sean tried messing with it.  Nothing.

So we sighed, put the vacuum outside the back door next to the trash and moved on with our lives.

For about a week we went without a vacuum but let’s face it, I have four kids, I need a vacuum.  So Sean went to costco and bought a new one.  (Yes, Sean buys the vacuums, don’t question the division of purchases in the Wonderland, it doesn’t even make sense to me.)  He didn’t get the top of the line, he did not get a dyson, but he did pay $150 or so for a Hoover, wind tunnel, blah blah blah vacuum.  It’s a fine vacuum.  We used it for about a week and it worked very well.

Then last Friday, after doing the bills, I was going trough the filing cabinet and I came across what I thought was the owner’s manual for the old Eureka (which was still standing right outside of the back door because we’re not organized enough to actually put it out on the curb with the garbage on garbage day) it had a small trouble shooting section.  I read through it.

“Hey, it says here that there’s a fuse of some kind in that vacuum,” I said to Sean. “That is kind of what it sounded like, like a fuse just blew or something.”

“That’s not the owner’s manual for that vacuum, that’s the one for the last one .” Sean said. (He was right, it was the owner’s manual for a Dirt Devil of some kind or other. Did I mention that we’re pretty hard on our vacuums?)

But he went to the backdoor and grabbed the vacuum anyway.  Plugging it in, he turned it on only to have it start right up.

He then turned it off and pulled the front off, discovering that the bag was completely full.  So full in fact, that the hose thing leading to the bag was jammed full.  We cleaned it out, changed the bag and the vacuum has not given us one more minute of trouble.

That’s right, we spent $150 on a new vacuum because we weren’t smart enough to change the bag on the old one.


yeah, so…

Because of my chronic inability to focus and my ongoing belief that it’s better to do 12 things poorly than it is to do one thing well, I have to ask:

Is there a way to rehabilitate a wool sweater that’s been through the dryer?  or should I just ask the Princess if she wants a new sweater?

I’m off to take my final final (for this semester) wish me luck.

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