Blog Archive

Friday, September 30, 2011

What's In My Bag

There is a fun "what's in my bag" trend going around in the mama blogosphere and I was tagged to do it next. All of the ones I've seen are for purses...but I haven't carried a purse since Eddie was born. Except on the rare occasions that we go out without Eddie, but then I just throw my wallet and keys into whatever old purse I can dig out of my closet.

So I thought I'd share what's in the two bags I most often have with me--the diaper bag and my school backpack.

Back pack (hot pink, very mature of me, right?)
Laptop and charger
Lab notebook
Pencil case
Laser pointer/presentation device
Thumb drive
Business cards
Small mirror (see me smiling in it?)
Container of ibuprofen and cold medicine
Packets of tissue
Extra hair bands
Sunglasses case
Coupon booklet
Bus pass
Old batteries I need to toss into the recycle bin at school
Assortment of snacks (candies and a bar)
Two chapsticks
House/car keys
School keys (with requisite chemistry nerd permanent pens attached)

Diaper bag (vinyl Petunia Pickle Bottom boxy backpack...worth every penny I paid for it)
Cloth and disposable diapers
Old plastic bags for dirty diapers
Change of clothes and shoes for Eddie
A pair of old breast pads...ew...those have been in there far too long...
An old Snappi for the cloth diapers we used a long time ago
Baggies containing travel size ointments, sunscreen, children's ibuprofen, mama ibuprofen and cold medication, etc.
Tums for Davie
Hydra-Stick (keeps Eddie's cheeks from chapping when we are out on super cold days)
Hand sanitizer
Nail clippers
Extra hairbands
Stain remover packet
Eddie's insurance card/immunization record
Eddie's train museum membership card
Bubbles from a wedding
Color pencils, crayons, and construction paper
Old cell phone of Eddie's

I tag:
Kelly (a student mom who DOES carry a purse!)
Stephanie (a student who isn't a mom)
Leah (a mom who isn't a student)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Short Weekends

Until November 15 or when it rains (whichever comes first), Dave will be working Fridays since they are busy with logging operations. His activities vary from cutting branches off of felled logs, making roads, putting chains around logs, or operating the skidder. As long as he's safe and happy, I'm okay with whatever he does.

It does stink that he has to work Fridays, though. That makes it so he's only home with us two days a week instead of three. That may not seem like much--only one day--but trust me, it is a lot. I keep doing rain dances but so far they've not had a serious downpour to halt operations (shhhh, don't tell my father-in-law, he'd be mad if he knew what I were up to!).

For the last month we've been working weekends at Cassie's house, helping with renovations of the detached garage to turn it into the new preschool room. When she toured the property, it looked to be a complete room. But once she moved in, she realized that the rental company had torn out EVERYTHING because it had been college student style construction (i.e., a few sheets of drywall quickly nailed to the uninsulated walls, carpet thrown down on top of rotting wood and cardboard, and no power in the room). Another dad named Mark has been leading the way with all the construction. I'll be SO GLAD when it is done. Then we can have our weekends back. I'm apparently unable to not help with things like this. When good people need help, we help. It's that simple.

On Saturday Dave had to go to do annual maintenance on a rental property that we manage for someone. We get paid hourly and Dave likes doing home repair so it is a good deal for us. I decided that since he was busy anyway, Eddie and I would go to Cassie's to help move furniture into the preschool room. I was under the impression that the baseboards and carpet had been finished so all that was left was furniture. Wrong! She and I ended up installing the carpet padding and carpet. I tried to put in the baseboards, but didn't have the right saw with me. Eddie wouldn't nap at her house for some reason so I took him home. Poor kiddo fell asleep in the bike trailer. He wouldn't nap at our house, either, but I left him playing/reading/singing in his crib for an hour hoping he'd surrender to much-needed sleep while I showered and laid down for 15 minutes. My back hurt, my knees were bright red from crawling around on the indoor-outdoor carpet all morning, and I was exhausted.

Once Dave got home, he got cleaned up, and we went to the park with Eddie on our bikes. The little stinker never wants to ride his bike home from the park so we end up carrying it home on the back of my bike. We got home in time to make a bunch of pizza dough for Leila's half-sleep over party that night. There was a swim party beforehand, but since Eddie didn't nap I didn't want to wear him out too much for the end of the party. We dropped him off and Cassie scooted us out the door. We didn't have to come back to get him until 10pm (we came around 9, though). What an AWESOME party for all of us! The kiddos made personal pizzas, had cupcakes, and got to watch movies outside in a tent using a projector screen. The party favors were these pre-packaged backpacks with a flash light, water bottle, and sleeping bag. Eddie was completely passed out in his sleeping bag when we got there. He didn't wake up until we put him in the car. I've never dealt with transferring Eddie straight to bed from the carseat at night before (since we never go out late at night), but he did fine and slept until 8am.

While Eddie was partying, we went to get some delicious spicy food and cocktails at a place called Red Noodle Bar downtown. Then we saw Crazy, Stupid Love since Moneyball was sold out. Our movie was cute and we both enjoyed it. It was so nice to have a date and we didn't have to pay for childcare! Woo! Plus, we got to have our celebratory post-exam drinks now that I have a renewed license. Dave took his water distributor exam the week before. (The night of my qualifying exam we tried to go out for drinks but the bar tender realized that my license had expired back in March. Oops! And funny, since I know I've been buying alcohol other places the whole time and no one noticed.)

Sunday morning we had a big breakfast of sausages, eggs, toast, OJ, and delicious Sharlyn melon slices. Then Dave and Eddie worked on the dishwasher while I cleared out all the dead vegetation from the front yard. It was a cool, overcast day and it even rained a little. I was in heaven. Regarding the dishwasher: we thought the food residue on the top rack dishes was from a bad impeller but once we bought a replacement, it was clear that wasn't the issue. Dave took apart some other things but those all looked fine, too. So we made sure to level it since the ball valve requires it to be perfectly leveled in order to get top rack water sprayer to work right. Throughout the day, we ran it about five times with vinegar or lemon juice poured in to remove some of the hard water crust. A bowl set upwards in the top rack collected black and white powder each time. Sigh. At least the bottom rack still gets clean. We'll continue to use it to see if the acid improved it or not. If not, we'll break down and buy a new dishwasher.

While Eddie napped we super-trimmed the honeysuckle in the utility yard. There is a HUGE pile of yard debris in front of our house this week! We kept all the dried leaves from the vines and made two new compost piles in that yard. For the last several months we've been throwing all our veggie/fruit food waste out to the chickens. But when I go out there at night I can see way too many cockroaches also eating the food. I'm okay with most bugs but NOT cockroaches. So our food waste will now go into a proper compost pile or into the worm bin I finally got around to finishing. Sorry,'ll get worm treats soon, though.

We went downtown after naptime to get yogurt and to buy some more winter veggies and flowers from Ace. Eddie also got his very own leaf rake. Dave was going to cut down the handle for him, but he seems like like it long. Once we got home I planted the seeds I started inside a few weeks ago into the beds in the garden. And I tucked some bok choi, green cabbages, and Brussels sprouts into the front yard beds. I'm hoping to get the pansies planted that I bought, too. For dinner that night we tag-team cooked steaks and Brussels sprouts while alternately cleaning the garage and watering the newly planted veggies.

It was a great weekend (especially all the family time on Sunday) and I can't wait for this coming weekend! We are planning on having a wienie roast over the fire pit for dinner one night and fondue the other night--both meals that Eddie is SURE to love (which is why we're doing them).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eddie's ABC Book

The only time I ever get around to making a photobook is when I have a hefty coupon code. I decided to make another book for Eddie, about Eddie.

He knows his colors, we're working on counting, and I know ABCs are next in line! Hopefully this book will be educational and fun for him.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Way I Cook

For the past few years I've been hounding all sorts of home economics, money saving, and meal planning blogs for ideas to help me better run my household. Nearly ALL of them tout planning meals at least a week in advance as a way to stay organized and to save money. Many people also sing the praises of planning meals based on your pantry contents and what is on sale.

Both methods make sense, especially for people who lack the desire to cook and absolutely must save money. I am not one of those people. I always sorta brushed off the whole meal-planning thing because I enjoy some surprises in life.

However, with a child who thrives on a consistent schedule I can't pull off my "hmmm, it is 5:30pm...let's figure out what we'll cook up for dinner" and still get him to bed at a reasonable hour. (Right now he's in bed between 8-8:45pm, which is too late for both of us. I tried putting him to bed at 7:30pm, assuming he'd get up earlier than his current 8am...but I was wrong. Sigh, now I have to purposely wake him up in order to get us to preschool by 9am.)

So I tried planning my meals a week in advance and shopping to make sure I had everything for the week. But it just doesn't work for me. And I finally figured out why.

1. I like variety and I never know what I'm going to be in the mood for a full week in advance.
2. Since I am alone with Eddie during the week, I need to cook freezer-friendly stuff or just cook smaller portions so we aren't eating the same thing as leftovers, over and over again.
3. I get bored easily. A lot of families have a list of meals they tend to eat frequently and they just rotate through them. With a few exceptions, I do NOT like to eat the same meal/dish more than once a month or so. I LOVE variety in my diet.
4. I adore cooking and all its components (recipe hunting/development, preparing the ingredients, cooking, serving, eating, and cleaning up afterward). So fast, easy meals are not my thing. I need the whole process to enjoy a meal and to destress.

So how can I plan a week's worth of meals considering my food preferences? I think about a few key dishes I want to eat soon, make a list of the ingredients necessary, and then plan the rest of the week around the remaining ingredients as the week progresses. So I usually only plan about 3 days out and keep my pantry and freezer really well stocked so I can make anything, anytime. To figure out what else I'll want, I think about it this way: "If I got to eat out at a restaurant instead of cook this week, what would I want to order?" I love eating at Mexican, Japanese, Indian, and Thai restaurants so I force the ingredients to fit into those categories usually.

For instance, if I know I will have a bunch of mushrooms left over from making beef strogranoff, then I will decide to make red, yellow, or green Thai curry using the mushrooms and whatever other veggies are in the CSA basket that week. And if I'm using any type of dried bean I'll also make a Mexican casserole that I can freeze for later or just freeze the cooked beans in baggies to toss into some other dish later on. If I know I will need to buy half-and-half for a sauce (and I always buy a half gallon of it at Costco because it is so much cheaper there), then I will plan on freezing a bunch for later and also making a cream soup or Cajun pasta sauce.

Fresh herbs make food taste SO MUCH BETTER--sprinkling some basil or thyme leaves into your salad or stirring in some mint or citrus zest into a rice dish can make the whole meal "pop." (Seriously, you'll be blown away.) A bunch of fresh cilantro or basil at the store can cost up to $3 around here...which is a lot if you will only use it for one meal. But I splurge and then make sure to use it throughout the week. Basil works in Thai and Italian; cilantro works in Thai, Indian, and Mexican); taragon is delicious tossed with roasted or sauteed veggies of any kind. We have perennial crops of rosemary, sage, taragon, oregano, chives, lemon verbena, a few types of mint, and stevia. In summer we obviously have tons of basil and in winter we have cilantro. We are lucky to live in CA where fresh herbs are available locally year round at the farmers market, too.

And then there are all my "go to" dishes that are so adaptable that I don't get sick of them because they vary in texture, taste, and appeal depending on what ingredients are available. I love these options because pretty much ANY veggie or meat can be used:
  • Risotto
  • Omelet or fritatta
  • Pizza
  • Pilaf with whatever grain you feel like (quinoa, rice, barley, wheat berries) or using boxed Rice-a-Roni as a based to which you add other stuff
  • Curry (Indian, Thai, etc.) with rice
  • Enchiladas
  • Poached eggs nested in sauteed veggies
  • Ramen noodles (we pump ours up with extra water, sesame oil, fish sauce, poached egg, and whatever veggies we have around)
Now that I've written all this, it seems ridiculous that I still go looking for new and exciting stuff to try. It does take me a while to stumble upon something that is exciting/new enough for me to want to try it. Lately I've been perusing Samoan food blogs since we love anything containing coconut milk and I'm inspired by my friend Kaitlin's dishes. I'd like to try making bento boxes for lunch with dinner ingredient left overs, as well as more Chinese and Japanese foods.

Tonight we are having raviolis (fresh, bought from Costco) with some sort of creamy-herby sauce and salad. And I intend to make a giant batch of pico de gallo to use up the tomatillos and tomatoes from the garden as well as a bunch of cilantro I bought last week when I made enchildads and chili (I hope isn't rotten yet!).

Our meals for this week are/were:

Monday--dinner out with family in the bay area
Tuesday--welcome dinner on campus for my graduate group
Wednesday--fresh pasta with salad
Thursday--CSA basket veggie saute with poached eggs
Friday--beef pad thai noodles
Saturday--whatever Dave wants (probably a hunk of meat on the BBQ with veggie kebabs)
Sunday--who knows

Last night I FINALLY went to Costco after more than a month. I spent a ton of money on chicken, cheese, milk, and other things that will hopefully last us a few months. After Eddie was in bed, I divided up the chicken, seasoned it with either Asian salad dressing, chili powder, or garam masala, and froze it in baggies. That way it'll be marinated once I defrost it so cooking something delicious with it will be a snap. I bought a pack of English muffins, cheddar cheese, eggs, bacon, and sausages with the hope of making a ton of breakfast sandwiches that I can put into the freezer. Eddie would eat oatmeal every single morning if I left him decide...but I am getting really sick of it. So I need to add some other stuff to our options. He loves all foods that can be carried around outside so I think he'll like the sandwiches.

So......what are YOU having for dinner?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Last weekend when we were in Gualala I checked Facebook and saw that an old coworker/friend, named Kathy, had written a farwell note on another friend's wall. It said something like "Goodbye Bonnie. You will be missed, friend." A million thoughts went through my head--did Bonnie move away? Did she die?!

My heart sank and I clicked through to Bonnie's Facebook page to see if there was other information to figure out what was going on. Bonnie has lived in the Oakland-Orinda area her whole life and I met her through our work at the Presbyterian church nursery where I worked Sundays in college. For the last 18 years Bonnie was in that nursery rocking and playing with babies during church services. There were a handful of us "gals" who worked or volunteered there and we loved spending our Sunday mornings together, caring for babies and chatting about everything under the sun. All of those ladies (ranging in age from our 20s to mid-50s) became near and dear to me. Bonnie and Kathy especially taught me a lot about what it means to be a good mother and they emanated good Christian values in every single thing they did. Oh how I miss those days!

Anyway, when I got to Bonnie's page only one other person had posted anything: and it said "RIP Bonnie." I was stunned, angry, confused, and sad. How could Bonnie be GONE? She has so many friends, a loving husband, and three amazing daughters who are just setting out on their own. I couldn't believe it. So I sent Kathy a message to ask for confirmation. I was scared to get her response back, but I did a few hours later.

Her funeral was yesterday so Eddie and I went to Moraga. My mom, brother, and Jennifer were nice to come along to entertain Eddie while I was in the service. Bonnie's middle daughter gave part of the eulogy, which was heartfelt and funny. After sharing some funny stories about her mom, Hilary said that she keeps thinking about how her mom is "gone." But that she realized a few days ago that she could change the way she thinks about the word "gone." She realized it could be an acronym rather than just a word. GONE: God Offers New Experiences. Everyone was nodding in agreement as she explained that her mom is now in heaven, partaking in all the new, eternal life experiences God has in store for her. Extending that, I think that Bonnie's passing (anyone's really) allows the rest of us to have new experiences, too. Especially when someone dies who has always been in your life, like a parent. You've never known life without them, and for the first time you are faced with navigating the world without them. So all those experiences are new for you, too. GONE made me feel better...even if I'm still not sure of what I believe awaits me after I die.

I brought Eddie into the reception afterward so all the other ladies could meet him. He was a really good boy, making friends with everyone, drinking lots of lemonade and eating cookies. It was surprisingly hot outside--about 91F! Although the circumstances sucked, it was nice to see everyone. I'm kicking myself for never making the time to come see all of them earlier. We decided that we should get together regularly but find a place halfway between Davis and Moraga. We WILL make it happen.

Afterward, my mom treated us Bower-Levie-Whitney's to lunch at one of my favorite Lamorinda eateries, Pizza Antica. It is usually super loud inside but because we were there at an off hour (about 3:45pm) it was super quiet...which did not bode well for me and Eddie. He was being squirmy and loud until our food came. Everyone else thought he was being relatively good, but I wish he'd just SIT STILL. Oh well, there's a reason we never go out to eat anymore. Once his spaghetti came he was a happy kid, slurping up those noodles and making a huge mess.

Then we decided to get ice cream at Loard's. Rather than drive, Edward suggested we take BART one stop down the line to go to Orinda. Eddie was STOKED. He hasn't been on BART since he was only a couple of months old.

Every time a train zipped by out the window he'd have to look long and hard for more to come. Sunshine in his face did not deter him from enjoying the choo choo ride!It was a bit of a walk from the Orinda station to the ice cream shop and I didn't bring the stroller. Eddie rode on my shoulders, which worked to entertain him (higher vantage point) and allowed me to control exactly how fast we walked and keep him safely away from fast cars. I must have looked ridiculous wearing a kid on my shoulders, dress shoes, and a black dress. We enjoyed our frozen treat in the air conditioned shop, then took Eddie to play at the newly renovated fountain at theater square. With him distracted I was able to use Edward's phone to call Verizon to complain about my constantly rebooting phone (a replacement phone is on the way!). We had to wait forever for the return train back to Lafayette and I was worried that Eddie would crash in the van on our hour drive back home, making it difficult to get him to cooperate for a much needed pre-bed bath. But he stayed awake the whole time, chatting with me!

Once he was in bed, I wasn't far behind. I have laundry to fold, dishes to wash, and clutter to put away...but I was too exhausted emotionally and physically to do any of it. Perhaps tonight!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Eddie's Second Birthday

Due to the timing of my exam, I didn't want to throw Eddie a birthday least until after my exam was out of the way. Lucky for me, he doesn't know the difference so I figured we'd do something in September. Even luckier for me, my mom decided to throw him a party in Livermore since we had to be there to attend a wedding. I chose the Thomas the Tank Engine theme since Eddie loooooooooooooves choo-choos right now. She took care of the decorations, party favors, food, and cake.
We arrived in Livermore on Friday afternoon. After dropping our stuff at the house, my mom dropped me off at the library so I could study before dinner. Once the library closed, it was a short walk over to Emil Villa's for dinner.

Saturday I took a break from studying and instead just hung out. My dad had fixed up an old lathe we inherited from Dave's grandfather so we played with that for a while. Eddie rode his bike around a LOT that day, too. There's a little slope in the backyard and he'd really get going fast!

That night we got dressed up in our fancy clothes to go to Kristin and Caesar's wedding at Poppy Ridge golf course. It was a nice ceremony and we got to sit near another grade school friend, Elizabeth, and her parents for the ceremony and dinner afterward. We chose the steak for dinner and it was GOOD. The cake took forever and a day to be served, but it was worth waiting for! Edward and Jennifer crashed the wedding an hour before it was over (I checked with Kristin ahead of time and she didn't mind). Too bad they got there just after the bar closed. Oh well. Jennifer and I had tons of fun dancing.

The next morning I headed back to the library to study. At 3pm my mom picked me up from the library and we went to Almond Avenue Park to set up the party. It was a pain to carry all the coolers and heavy stuff from the school parking lot to where the tables were, so I decided to remove one of the walkway barricade posts in order to drive into the park. Genius!

We set up the table cloths and all that while Edward and Jennifer went to the store to pick up all the food. My mom ordered SO much food from Safeway that we were literally eating mini croissant sandwiches for days afterward (even for breakfast...).

All the guests showed up around 4pm. The guests were some of my high school friends who are still in Livermore, plus all of our family friends. We hired my childhood friend, Katherine, to come take pictures of the party. That was a real treat because I didn't have to worry about taking pictures AND I got to enjoy flipping through all 200+ of them later (some of which are included here...but the cake one was taken by Mrs. Porter). Everyone seemed to have a good time eating, chatting, watching Eddie scoot around on his bike, and then eating cake.We asked that people not bring gifts since we don't need more stuff and want Eddie to learn that the people are more important than the presents. As expected, some people did bring small gifts or a donation to his college fund. We appreciated everyone and everything!

In no particular order, here are some pictures of the party.
Sweet baby Batiste was the hit of the party:
I should try to find an old picture of the three of us, back when we were grubby kiddos ourselves--me, Katherine (photographer), and Dyani:My mom made goodie bags for each of the guests. This was amusing to me for a few reasons: 1) She used fold-over sandwich baggies; 2) One of the "goodies" was a pocket pack of kleenex; 3) There were only 2 kids at the party; 4) She put extra fun stuff in the kids' bags--crayons, bubbles, and wind-up toys...which all the adults had fun playing with, too:
Three cheers for a family photo of us Bowers. It is a very realistic picture, as you can see from Eddie's super grubby face and hands.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two Year Doc Visit

My mom and I took Eddie to his two year old well child doctor visit today. I missed taking him a month ago, nearer his birthday, because of my exam.

Here are the stats:

Height: 36"
Weight: 30 pounds
Cuteness: 100th percentile
Chatterbox-ness: 89th percentile

I couldn't get an appointment late in the day, so I was stuck with 8am (no way, the angel is still sleeping at that hour, bless him!) or 1:30pm. The latter is do-able, but crappy because he is usually napping then. So I avoided the napping and picking him up at daycare issue by spending the morning at the train museum with him and my mom. Both of them had a ball...and all three of us were ready for lunch and a nap by the time we were done. We stopped by a saloon in Old Sac for a quick lunch. It was the type of place that lets you throw you peanut shells on the floor and had a bunch of arcade games in the back (meaning it was PERFECT for a loud two year old).

He promptly fell asleep in the car...and since we had 40 minutes to kill before arriving at the doctor's office, I put the cruise control to an old lady speed of 62MPH and we toodled back to Davis. Poor Eddie was cranky when I had to wake him up to go inside.The nurse left a paper measuring tape in the exam room when she left, so I let Eddie play with it to distract him. He had a good time "measuring" Grandma's foot with it. It is amusing to me that he pretty much knows how to use a measuring tape, screwdriver, hammer, and pliers in the correct way.I agreed to let a medical student shadow the doctor today. Unfortunately for Eddie, that meant having two physical exams (one by each person). I told the medical student that he'd be much happier if he could have a lollipop after she was done. Poor Eddie thought I meant that we already HAD a lollipop for him in the diaper bag and he kept asking me to find the "puppy dog" in the diaper bag. My mom and I were so confused--we couldn't understand the word he was using. Finally we realized he was saying "lollipop" and not "puppy dog." The medical student brought him a sucker after her exam was over and he perked right up. He was even more happy when he figured out how to remove the cellophane wrapper all by his big boy self!

So the physical by the actual doctor was completely fuss free, albeit a little sticky because of the sucker drool all over his hands and face.No surprise, he's 100% perfect!

Here's a list of all the newish things Eddie can do at two years old:
  • run REALLY fast
  • understand me when I say "walk, don't run" (not that he listens to me most of the time...)
  • insist on helping stir whatever I'm cooking and pulling the cord on the salad spinner when I'm cleaning veggies
  • correctly identify each of his grandparents, uncles and aunts by their respective names: Grammy vs. Grandma, Papa vs. Grandpa, Auntie Bernie vs. Auntie--meaning Jennifer but she's just called "Auntie", and Uncle Michael vs. Uncle--Edward, but he's also just called "Uncle"
  • jump down steps (I'm not a big fan of this trick)
  • use a shovel, and I don't mean just poking at the dirt--he can actually use a shovel to dig a hole by stepping on the blade and scoop up a remarkable quantity of soil. I'd love it if he understood that the paved patio was NOT the place to deposit said dirt...
  • give the BEST and most INTENSE hugs ever. I know this phase won't last so I ask for and accept his little bear hugs as much as I can. Dave reports that Eddie is ALWAYS cocking his head to the side and asking him "Hug Mama?" So Dave helps him find me so he can give me a hug. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...........!
  • use the phrase "my" to identify "his" objects. Around 19-20 months he began claiming things as his by saying "this mines." We realized that we were responding with, "yes, that is Eddie's." But by using the possessive form of his name, we were inadvertently making him think that "mine's" was correct. So we started saying "yes, that belongs to Eddie" instead. For the last month or so he's been saying "this MY [insert object]." The cutest instance is when he says to whoever is listening--strangers at the store, my mom, Cassie--"this MY Mama!" while grabbing onto me. So, so sweet.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I found it! Where was it? In the lab, on my bench, right where everyone walks by...sigh.

Now where'd I put my brain?

Eye Splinter

After daycare last night, Eddie and I had a quick leftover pizza dinner at the house. Then we were off to the park so he could ride his "bikacull" for a while. He also played on the playground with a bunch of other kids. Around 7:30pm I convinced him to ride his bike back home so we could have a vitamin (he loves them).

We were both filthy--covered in grass, dirt, and bits of tan bark from the playground. I was wearing a tank top, flipflops, and my paint-spattered exercise shorts because it was too hot to keep my jeans on from school that day.

I pulled his shirt off of him when he was standing in the kitchen, despite his protests that he wasn't ready for a bath and to get naked. He immediately started screaming intensely--that blood curdling type of scream that means pain. I turned him around and he kept saying "Eye HURT! Eye HURT! Owie!" I tried to keep him from rubbing his eye too much and I pried it open as best I could to get a better look. There was a big piece of bark in his eye, right in the middle (like 2-3mm in diameter). It was a flat flake of wood. I blew on his eye to make him blink, but it didn't budge. So I pried it open again and tried to "dab" it off with my finger tip. No luck. Then I laid him down on the kitchen counter, filled a cup with water, pried it open again, and flushed his eye several times. He was NOT HAPPY. Still, it wouldn't budge. I sat him up and tried to call our neighbor to see if she could come over and help me wrangle him so I could try to flush it better or use a Q-tip to dab it off. But she wasn't answering her cell or landline. By this point Eddie was so sad and in pain that there wasn't much I could do to prevent him from rubbing his eye.

So I grabbed him, my keys and phone, and hopped into the car. I couldn't find my wallet anywhere (still can't). On our way to the hospital I called urgent care to ask if he should go there or to the ER. The lady said ER since he was so young.

We were seen by the triage nurse right away, who kept commenting on how smart Eddie is--he was a chatterbox through his fussing, pointing out all the colors he saw and asking her repeatedly, "What doing with that?" Ah, what a sweetie he is!

If you click on the image below you'll see a tan colored thing in his eye:

Eventually we were told to wait on a hallway hospital bed for the doctor to come. Eddie wanted to get down and run around, but I wouldn't let him because he didn't have shoes (or a shirt!) on and hospital floors can be icky. He was surprisingly well behaved on that little bed, all things considered. Here you can see his collection of "bam-aids" as he calls bandages. He doesn't have that many owies but insists on wearing at least 2-3 at all times.

In the meantime a couple of nurses came by to have a look and they agreed that they needed the doctor to figure out how to retrieve it. And, of course, by the time the doctor got to us the thing was gone.

The doctor looked in Eddie's eye and looked confused. "Is this splinter big enough that you can see it? Where is it exactly?" And wouldn't you know, it had finally come loose. I thought he was going to say, "No problem, you can go home." But he wanted to dye the eye ball to check for scratches. There is a scratch, but the doctor said it isn't a big deal and he'd just require some antibiotic eye drops for a few days, just in case.

Of course, I have no one at home to help me wrestle Eddie to the floor to put the drops in...nor do I have the wherewithal to remember to bring the drops to daycare this morning to have Cassie help me. Sheesh. And I still can't find my dang wallet.

Stuff at school and at home is all over the place: broken instrument pieces that have to be freight shipped to Pennsylvania to be repaired, research plans to be finalized with my professor who is leaving for China for a whole month, broken dishwasher for which I need to drive to Sacramento to by a replacement part (it SUCKS not having a dishwasher and having a toddler who insists on "helping" to "wash disses" with you), four loads of laundry I need to fold...and did I mention that I can't find my wallet?

We are heading up to Gualala tomorrow for a long weekend of honey harvesting, apple pressing, SLEEPING IN, and hanging out with Edward and Jennifer. I can't wait to get there. Oh...but first I also have to pack the car full of our stuff and lock Taters in his crate in the back of the van so he won't try to climb into the small space under my feet while I'm driving (you know that space...where the pedals are?).

I thought life was supposed to be easier and less stressful once my QE was over...didn't I read that somewhere?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Catch Up!

I have a lot of catch up on! Here's a little list for starters. I'll write proper blog posts...soon.

1. I passed my exam! It was a really good experience. More on that later.

2. I missed Eddie so much while studying! He was at daycare more than full time over the last 6 weeks. We skipped our weekly Tuesday afternoons off together in favor of studying. Because I spent weekends in the library, it meant that I really only hung out with him before and after school. And if you know anything about small children, you know that their personalities are different early and late in the day (more fussy, tired). I can't wait to get back into a schedule that lets us--just us--hang out during the daytime.3. So many people supported me throughout this process! Obviously, Dave was there by my side when I needed him to be--he took a week and a half off in order to take care of Eddie and me (I was "done" studying so we did get to hang out a bit, which was soooooooooooooo nice). Edward cleared his schedule in order to stay with me for a week prior to Dave's "term." My mom had her schedule cleared in order to come stay with Eddie after he was in bed, if I needed her to (she didn't end up needing to come). People all over the place were praying for me and sending me nice emails encouraging me and telling me I'd be in their thoughts and prayers. That was SUCH a booster for me!

5. Eddie is a talking MACHINE now. Sheesh, it seems like he can say practically anything. And he DOES--he talks NON STOP.

6. My family orchestrated my dad coming to Davis the day of my exam and surprising me at the restaurant where we were celebrating afterward. Ha! It was awesome! (And it boosted my confidence because he obviously knew in his heart that I would actually pass the exam, otherwise it would have been awkward for him to come all the way up here.)

7. The Schwinds moved the day after my exam. =( I'm so sad about that. John and I are in the same cohort at school (same starting class in our program). I remember him before Jessica moved to California to be with him. And I remember him telling me about his girl friend and how she was going to move here. Then I remember meeting this hot blond lady at one of our seminars--it was Jessica and she'd tagged along with John to school that day. She became a professor at a local university AND started at Davis as a Ph.D. student (she's quite a catch). Then we bonded over our dogs...and eventually over babies. And now they are gone--back to Georgia to live near Jessica's family. We couldn't go to their going away party because we were in Livermore at the time. They came to my exam celebration so I did get to hold each of the babies and say good bye.

8. Eddie turned two years old just two weeks before my exam. He's definitely not a baby anymore. My mom threw him an awesome party at a park we used to frequent at his age. It was really fun.