ann arbor now has an apple store at the mall
I am in sooooo much trouble.
They have a Cars game loaded on the kids computers. Guess where Otto is right now?
Methinks we have a new family date night destination here...
The week is over. Hooray!
Thursday was my 3-year anniversary at work. For some reason it's IMPOSSIBLE to think I've been there 3 years. That's how long I was at MML too. Oddly, I feel like I accomplished more at my last job. I mean, we built a 14,000 sq ft addition while I was there... I had 2 directors, hired and fired people for the first time, etc. Lots of things happened. I'm perfectly happy to be able to say that this job has gone a bit smoother in comparison.
Jon had to go to Indiana this week for work, and we had a huge storm system move through Thursday night while he was gone. Jake spent the night pacing back and forth from the guest room to my room. He woke me up twice, and I'd listen to it thunder for awhile and go back to sleep. He can see out the front window from the guest room bed, and I think he was worried because Jon's car was outside, but Jon wasn't inside. So he kept coming into my room and shaking the tags on his collar. "Wake up! The weather's bad! Where's Jon?"
I've been a bit under the weather this week. Some ibuprofen and a quiet day at home have helped, but I'm still feeling deathly dull right now. So here are some photos of my kitchen with the plates up:
And here are pics from our trip to the zoo a couple of weeks ago:
And that is all for today...
Urgh. I hate Mondays.
We said goodbye to Herb and Michel this morning -- they came for a long weekend, and we had so much fun with them. We got to see my sister-in-law Sue and her two girls yesterday, which was wonderful. I have to rely on Michel and Sue for photos -- our memory sticks went missing yesterday, so no pics from our camera. But Otto seemed to really enjoy meeting his cousins. He's not too territorial about his toys, and seemed happy to have someone to play with, and was in a fabulous mood pretty much all day.
So I'm sad that we're back to being the lonely Michiganders... and it's back to work, too, a short-staffed Monday with a long to-do list on my desk.
The good thing is, I did manage to get through HP#7 this weekend. So if patrons need to talk about it, or if they let something slip, it won't be a big deal. And I will say no more, in case anyone else is still in the midst of the last adventure.
But in general it's one of those days where I think to myself "boy, I really want to go home," and then realize I'm not sure where home is exactly anymore...
I had a meeting last Friday, a summer thing for my library system where we met outside and had a picnic lunch. As the chairperson was introducing the speaker, huge gusts of wind kept sweeping through the picnic shelter, blowing all sorts of things over and away. As she reached to grab her notes, she said "Boy, we could be in Kansas. Maybe we'll see Dorothy!"
If there's any movie I hate more than the Wizard of Oz, well, I couldn't tell you what it is. It's the only thing anyone ever seems to know about the state of Kansas, and they think it's a true representation of life in my home state. They don't know we grow wheat, that we're the Sunflower state, that we build airplanes.
I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying "Dorothy's right here. Doomsday is at hand!"
So, yeah. Home. Where the buffalo roam. And we wear tacky red shoes and blue gingham all day.
so, what series or children's author were you addicted to as a kid?
Me? It was the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. And C.S. Lewis's the Chronicles of Narnia. And Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain series (as well as the Westmark trilogy, all of his books). The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, of course. And Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series.
How about you?
Things I read/researched today as part of my job...
Oh, and I unlocked the safe so that our technical services librarian could process 4 print copies and 2 audio book copies (one each cassette and CD) of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. We are prepared for Saturday. The now-processed copies will stay in the safe until I leave Friday evening, when they will be pulled out and readied for release Saturday morning at 10am. We have tight security here, you know.
But the first thing I did today was roust Otto out of bed early so we could trek off to the Subaru dealer for a $400 oil change.
Despite spending $350 I hadn't planned to spend, we had a smashing time. We climbed in and out of the showroom cars -- I was quite proud of him for picking the Impreza STI as his favorite -- and played with all the toy cars and trucks they had in the waiting area. I like my dealer. Their waiting area is quite nice, with free wireless for people with computers instead of toddlers, and the service guys are really fast. It's one of the cleanest garages I've ever been to as well. Martin took me into the garage to show me the $350 part of my $400 oil change, and Otto only got a little grease on two of his fingers. And that's only because he wanted to touch the lift. He enjoyed seeing my car up on the lift -- pointing and shouting "Mama's car!" with glee.
It's the whole Cars thing, you know.
Boy, am I low on energy.
Lately I have about as much fizz as a glass of warm tap water.
I'm glad I see my endocrinologist later this month -- if I'm lucky there's a medical reason for this. If I'm not, it's just ME, which I sort of have a hard time with because I'm taking my vitamins, eating ok, and walking. Maybe it's not enough. Maybe I need more caffeine, or another week off. I dunno.
Last Friday, though, I went to the zoo with Otto and his class. We had a great time. The parent/child ratio was about 1 to 2, but Otto and I were one-on-one. He categorically refused riding in a wagon, so he walked/ran through the entire zoo all afternoon with me hot on his heels. He loved the elephants, and I caught him imitating an elephant's call and swinging his arm as though it were a trunk as we walked from one exhibit to the next.
I got to ride back and forth with some fellow moms, which was nice. They're all moms who hold down full-time jobs too, and it was kind of fun to hear them say "I was so ready to go back to work after 10 weeks." I usually feel like I'm expected to want to stay home, but with moms like that you can admit that being home full-time is perhaps not your forte. Hey, we all have our strengths... And scary-but-true fact: of the 4 moms in the car, 3 of us had unplanned, first-time-baby c-sections. I don't know what to say about that, other than yikes.
Sunday we finished hanging my blue/white plate collection. I love the way they look. I'm aiming for a sort of clean Swedish country effect in this house, since it's a more traditional-style home instead of a fun 1960s ranch. What's Swedish country, you ask? Well, let's see if I can give you an idea...
Of course, what I love most is modern design, so everything in my house is a big mishmash. My design philosophy is pretty simple... if I like things, they must go together. What I like about the Swedish look is the light, airy colors, simple and practical furniture, and bright textiles. That kind of background can withstand a few funky Ikea chairs or midcentury modern garage-sale finds.
Tomorrow? Toddler decor! Where we combine play kitchens and train sets with miniature furniture!
This evening we took Otto for a walk, hoping to calm him down and get him into bed before 10:30. We got home and he was so wired that Jon and I just looked at each other and shook our heads. He pulled out his fire truck and raced it around the living room, inspiring Jake to have big puppy crazies and race around as well. I opened the back door to give him more room to run, and Otto followed him onto the deck.
Five minutes later I watched as Otto carefully picked up the rug in front of the patio door and carried it onto the deck. Then he picked up Jake's food dish, carried it outside, and put it on the rug. He did the same with the water bowl, carrying it so carefully that he didn't spill (much). Then he picked up the plastic tray that Jake's dishes sit on, took it outside, centered it on top of the rug, and replaced Jake's bowls on the tray. Jake stood nearby on the deck and watched all this with interest, and when Otto was finished he went over to his bowl and started eating as though he'd been waiting all evening for someone to take his food outdoors so he could enjoy a picnic.
I'm beginning to suspect they understand each other in ways that elude us. I think their vocabularies, body language, size, energy levels and approaches to life are more similar than they are different. We have to keep an eye on Otto -- he recently tried standing on Jake, which is a big no no and got a big correction. But Jake doesn't hide from him. Quite the opposite. Tonight Jake stretched out on the floor next to him and watched when he settled down to look at a new book.
It's nice to know I'm not the only one thoroughly enjoying having a toddler in the house.
I wonder... does Jake enjoy the Wiggles too?
Our drive home was completely uneventful and easy. For the first time ever we didn't have to stop every hour, or take a super-long break to let little man unwind. Otto sat in the back seat with Jake and entertained himself like a true road warrior. He read his books. He played with his Aquadoodle. He snacked. He looked out the window. He napped for a little while, but not long. And he didn't watch ANY movies. We got home and unloaded and he spent the whole evening and most of Saturday playing with his toys like he'd just discovered them. We had a wonderful time in Iowa and I really didn't want to come home, but it was nice to be back in our house.
Yesterday Jon and I finally finished painting downstairs. The kitchen/dining area is done and looks really nice. I have my collection of blue and white plates ready to hang -- now we just need hangers (next weekend's project). Next painting project? The guest room. Then our bedroom and bath. I know I want the guest room to be yellow -- it's just picking the right yellow, and you know that can be difficult, don't you? Yellow is a tough one. Blue's easy, green's easy too - but yellow and red can be tricky.
Today I'm suffering from a near-paralyzing combination of post-vacation blues and back-to-work stress.
Otto was ready to go back to school today (thankfully). He sat at the table this morning and said "mom! mom! mom!" until I turned around from making his lunch. "Where's Daddo?" He asked this with his hands spread, palms up, looking around with his eyes wide as if Jon might appear from around the corner.
"He went to work. Remember? We have to go back to work and to school today."
He thought about that for a minute, finished his breakfast, then got down to play with his trains. After I loaded our multiple bags into the car he ran out to climb in his car seat. His favorite song right now is Big Red Car by the Wiggles. He sings it to himself all the time, and I usually chime in because it makes him smile to have someone else singing too. So we listened to it on the way to school. And when I left him he was pointing at his classmates saying their names (Luke! Tristan!), watching to see who was playing with which toy and probably deciding who he'd play with based on how interesting their toys were.
I'm sure he'll have a good day. Now, onward and upward with my own day...
Ugh. I have a cold. I seem to get sick lately whenever we leave town, which is mighty annoying. This time the cold isn't so bad -- mostly a cough that won't go away.
Otto has been fighting his usual bedtime ever since daylight savings time started. At home we're lucky to get him to sleep before 10. Here in Iowa I was hoping that being in the Central time zone would mean he'd go down at 9 or 9:30. No such luck. The other evening I went into our room and found him and Jon in bed, both propped against the pillows reading. Jon was reading something from the Dune series, and Otto was looking at a Clifford book.
I turned on some classical music and climbed into bed next to Otto (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?). Otto looked up at me and said "Songs. Sleepy songs!" in a tone of voice that clearly indicated I'd pulled something underhanded, as in "low blow, mom!" And five minutes later he was asleep.
Classical music: the sneaky mom way to get toddlers to sleep.