June 2008

In the five years we’ve lived in this house, I’ve been locked out maybe half a dozen times, most notably in the second trimester of pregnancy with a full bladder. That’s why, when the nice folks at Schlage offered a free electronic keypad door lock to test out as part of a blog tour, I jumped on it. Punch a code instead of fumble for keys? I’m all over that!

Here’s how the Schlage people describe the lock:

The keypad allows access via a four-digit code that can be customized so members of your family, guests, nannies, and service providers can all access your home using different codes. Each code (up to 19 on each lock) can be easily set up for a new person or deactivated if you no longer want someone to have access to your house. No more keeping track of spare keys, sending your children to school with a key around their necks, or changing the entire lock if you have a flame out with a nanny. Schlage Electronic Keypad Locks also provide relief from the rare occasions when you are locked out of the house or your child arrives home unexpectedly – without you there.

I love the concept, and since I changed the deadbolt myself when we bought this house, I thought I’d have no trouble installing it. The day the new electronic keypad lock arrived, I asked Beloved to take care of Lucas so I could install it. It only took me a moment or two to remove the old deadbolt, and then I realized that the new lock wouldn’t fit on our door. To make it fit, I’d have to make the deadbolt hole bigger. They provide easy instructions on how to get this done with the help of your local hardware store, but that’s where I lost interest. I’d love to have the fancy new electronic keypad lock on the door, but we just don’t have enough time right now to be taking apart the front door. If I wasn’t living my life in stolen 15 minute segments away from the baby, I probably would have gone ahead with it.

But then I felt bad. The nice Schlage people sent me this really nice lock set, and one of these days I’m actually going to install it. Just not right now. I briefly debated blogging as if I had installed it, but I would have felt bad about that. Suffice to say that it really is a nice lock and a great idea. I’ve wanted one of these for some time, and can’t believe that I was lucky enough to get a free sample and can’t make enough free time to actually install it. The antique brass finish matches perfectly with our existing door handle, and I really think this would be simpler than stashing spare keys with friends and family members and ferreting them away in secret hiding places that I inevitably forget the moment I need one.

And now my to-do list includes enlarging the deadbolt hole in the door. I’m sure I’ll get around to it one of these days.

(Disclosure: Mom Central offered a free sample lock and a $20 Amazon gift certificate for being part of the Schlage lock blog tour. I’m not sure they got their money’s worth out of me, and I apologize for that. Blogging with three boys seems three times more challenging than blogging with just two did!)


Jody at Raising WEG always finds the coolest things! I first saw the wordle word cloud at her place. I made this one using Lucas’s birth story post.

Neat, eh? Click on it to see the full-size version in the Wordle gallery, or to make yer own.

Edited to add: that came out so cool I did it for Tristan and Simon’s birth stories, too!


Beloved and I have an ongoing debate. I believe the best in people, and for the most part I like people. I think, on the whole, people are good. Beloved likes few people, and mistrusts the population as a whole. Beloved locks doors and windows obsessively; I am cavalier about such things, locking car doors when I remember to do so and when it is convenient.

My faith in humanity has been tested this week. First, someone stole my iPod out of the car. While I’m cavalier about locking doors, I am pretty careful about not leaving valuables in it, especially in plain sight. The iPod was half-hidden under the cup holder, and someone must have been rifling through the van to find it. It took me about three days to decide that it was actually stolen and not misplaced by me, but after a thorough search of the usual places and a clear memory of bringing it out to the car with no corresponding memory of bringing it back in, I resigned to the fact that someone had in fact snatched it some time during a given 24 hour period.

As if that weren’t insult enough, less than a week later I realized the transmitter I plug into the lighter to broadcast the iPod through the car radio had also been stolen. Not at the same time, mind, because it was looking at the empty transmitter that made me realize the iPod was missing in the first place.

Now, I can see someone stealing an iPod. It’s $150 worth of electronics, easy to steal and probably easy to resell or just use. But stealing a $10 transmitter? That’s just insulting, and somehow the latter bothers me more than the former.

And yes, I know, I should have been more compulsive about locking the doors and learned my lesson with the iPod. But when I’m hauling 25 lbs of Lucas and his baby carrier and the backpack and my purse and gods know what else in and out of the van, it’s not always at the forefront of my mind to lock the doors, especially in the never-ending rain we’ve been having lately.

Sigh. Could have been a much more expensive lesson, true, but I prefer to imagine I live in a world where I can leave my doors mostly unlocked. Now I lock the doors regularly, and am just a little bit sad every time I juggle the baby and the bag and whatever else I’m holding, trying to find the switch to unlock the doors.


The red couch

by DaniGirl on June 23, 2008 · 23 comments

in It IS all about me

Six years ago, I bought a couch. I’d say “we” bought a couch, but it was me who saw it, me who coveted it, and me who coerced Beloved into buying it. It was a red couch. And five and a half years ago, I said to myself, “What was I thinking? I will never impulse-buy furniture again. A red couch?” And for the last five years, every time I thought about redecorating, every time I watched one of those home-improvement shows on television, every time I visited friends’ houses with fancy new furniture, a cautionary voice in my head said, “Hey, you. Next time you buy a couch, try to think beyond the moment.”

You can see it in this picture:

I'm your big brother!

It’s not that it’s a bad couch, it just doesn’t quite match the blue carpet and the hunter-green with cranberry and cream cottagey loveseat. (That one was my first post-divorce furniture acquisition, way back in 1995, and has long outlived it’s life expectancy as well.)

So for five years I’ve been (barely) tolerant of the red couch and the green couch and the blue carpet (you can cringe, it’s okay, I’ve made my peace with it) and I’ve pined for the day when I could go out and buy actual grown-up furniture that actually, you know, matched. A living room set. Imagine.

Except I’m kind of cheap when it comes to this kind of stuff, and couldn’t consider buying new couches when I had all this perfectly comfortable, if not mismatched, furniture in my living room.

But, this past week has been dedicated to refinishing and carpeting our basement to turn it into a playroom / family room. A desperately in need of a — you guessed it — couch. Finally, a guilt-free way to get rid of at least one of the couches that have haunted me for years! The red couch won’t fit downstairs, but the green couch surely would. And since I have sworn by all things holy that I would buy a furniture SET the next time the opportunity arose, I’m more than half way to a clear conscience in the disposal – through sale or donation or curbside “Free” sign – of the red couch, too.

As if that weren’t enough angst for one person’s living room, add to the mix my lifelong desire for a chair-and-a-half. Okay, maybe not lifelong, but we’re talking at least 20 years of coveting. I still remember the first time I ever saw a chair-and-a-half, and instantly desired it. It was salmon and teal, which will give you an idea of exactly how long ago we’re talking here.

So with all this percolating in my understimulated little brain, I hopped on the Internet for a first exploratory peek at furniture options, promptly fell in love. The second set I looked at has been haunting me for days. I can’t stop thinking about it.


It’s red.

And green.

(Well, technically, it’s beige with red and green accents.)

I think I’m broken. With all the furniture options in all the world, and with five years of swearing up, down and sideways that the next sofa upon which I will rest my tender bits upon will be anything BUT red or green, I cannot get this set out of my head.

What do you think? I looked at more than a hundred, possibly as many as a thousand, (okay, at least twenty) living room sets since I first saw this one, and nothing comes close to the emotional response I had when I first laid eyes on this set. I haven’t actually, um, sat on it or anything. I don’t even know if it’s comfortable. But I think I love it. The question, I guess, is will I continue to love it, or will I be writing the “Red Couch Redux” blog post five years months from now?


Tristan’s fashion sense

by DaniGirl on June 19, 2008 · 12 comments

in Uncategorized

I told the boys yesterday morning over breakfast that we would be going to get some family pictures done that day. I told the boys I had laid out some clothes for them on the couch and asked them to get dressed and put their jammies in the hamper in their room.

As I was putting the cereal bowls into the dishwasher, Tristan came into the kitchen saying he had picked out his own clothes for the portraits.

That’s a white turtleneck under a white button-down shirt (two sizes too small) and track pants. He would have had to get a chair to get the shirt off the hanger in his closet. Oh, and the Winnie the Pooh tie I bought for him four years ago when he was the ring-bearer at JoJo and Jaimie’s wedding. Where he found that, I have no idea. Isn’t he adorable? So much for his father’s latent metrosexual side.

Much as I loved the look he put together, I had to insist that he change before we left. He seemed mollified by the idea that I wanted to capture them in their “everyday” clothes.

The portrait sitting went reasonably well, I think. I’ll get the results later today and share them later.


Inside my head: Oh, thank goodness, the baby is snoozing and I have three minutes to myself. Screw the laundry (and the dishwasher, and the vacuuming, and the boys’ room, and the gardening…) I’m going to seize this time for myself and write a blog post.

**kicks boys off computer**

**ignores wails of protest**

**sits down at keyboard**




**sound of crickets**

Inside my head: Crap, I can’t think of anything to blog about. I swear, I wrote 16 blog posts in my head just yesterday, what the heck were they about? Some of them were actually worthy of posting, too. And I’m flat out of memes. Okay, I’ll just check my e-mail real quick. (When did that phrase, “real quick”, become so ubiquitous? It’s like “seriously”, it’s everywhere. And it’s just as meaningless and just as insiduously addictive.) Anyway, e-mail. Let’s see… three newsletters on stuff I barely care about, two offers for blog tours on products I’ll never use, and a bit of salacious gossip. Okay, I’ll reply to the gossip later. And a notification that someone wrote on my Facebook wall, I’ll just pop over there and acknowledge that on the wall-to-wall.

Simon: “Mom! Can you wipe my butt?”

Back at the keyboard, inside my head: Okay, where was I? Oh yes, Facebook. Hey look, five of my friends changed their profile pictures, and that one is really funny. I should leave a little ‘haha’ comment. Oh, and I’d better take my turns on Scrabulous while I’m here. Not polite to leave Nancy waiting too long. And I haven’t updated my status in a while, so I’ll just…

** sound of crash, then splash, then dripping, from the next room **
Tristan: “Um, Mo-om? Um, you’d better come here…. real quick!”

Back at the keyboard, inside my head: Okay, I’ll update my status later. I’ll just poke Marla back and then get back to the blog. I haven’t posted anything in almost a week, I really have to get something up or people will stop dropping by. Oh yeah, I remember what I was going to blog about!! Right, that will make a great… oh rats, is that the baby I hear? Crikey, he’s awake already? Sigh, so much for computer time. Maybe I’ll get around to posting to the blog tomorrow…


A fifth of meme

16 June 2008 It IS all about me

Filched from Raising WEG, a meme of fives: What were you doing five years ago? We had just found out that I was pregnant with Simon, and were getting ready to move into this house. I had only been back at work after my maternity leave with Tristan for about five months, and had come […]

7 comments Read the full article →

I’m good, but I’m not that good

13 June 2008 Tristan

I’m feeding the baby on the couch. Tristan and Simon are playing upstairs. Tristan calls down. “Mom!” he bellows, coming down the stairs. “I need some red fabric.” I marvel for a minute that he knows a word like ‘fabric’ before replying. “Well, there’s a red polar fleece blanket in Lucas’s closet, but it has […]

13 comments Read the full article →

The next plague: mastitis

12 June 2008 Baby days

My vexatious breasts are at it again, finding new and horrific ways to cause me grief. I suppose I should know better than to tempt fate with a question like “what’s next.” The answer is a rocking case of mastitis. Fever, chills, wretched body aches, and it feels like I have a ball of hot […]

7 comments Read the full article →

Solids: now or later?

11 June 2008 Baby days

As I mentioned, we had Lucas’s four-month checkup this week. He’s doing great! He’s maintaining his string-bean physique, bang-on the 50th percentile for weight, but 90th percentile for height at 14 lbs 12 oz and 27 inches long. He’s still on the twice-daily rantidine for reflux, and still spitting up quite a bit. The ped […]

21 comments Read the full article →