Sandbox

Wednesday, July 31

I feel sick.

She needs $2000 worth of repairs, or Very Bad Things could happen, like wheels falling off.

We'll survive. Yes, we will. But, ouch, that's going to hurt. (Like a hand grenade in the ear, I mean.)

posted by Carrie - 05:41 PM
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Tuesday, July 30

There's a new entry up in the journal, a collab for On Display. Boy, this was tricky.

posted by Carrie - 04:15 PM
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Monday, July 29

Can't believe I forgot to mention one of the ideas that accompanied the cleaning! I've decided to fling sanity to the wind and have a (gulp!) yard sale. We've really got too much crap lying around, and I'd like to give a shot at turning it into money before I give up and just haul it to Goodwill or to the dumpster. I've already got two big boxes full of books, clothes, and other miscellany from yesterday's work, and I know there's plenty more.

Anybody have any tips for hosting a successful yard sale? It will be my first. My biggest problem will be that we live kind of in the middle of nowhere, but perhaps some careful advertising will assist me over that hurdle.

posted by Carrie - 11:40 AM
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Participation Postives:

- Barb just called and asked me and Eric to speak at a meeting for a newly-formed Birth Network
- A much more organized kitchen than I had yesterday morning
- A weekend without arguments
- Little toddling steps across the room
- A new Bible study group
- Cinnamon graham crackers
- Sam's fascination with my stuffed Kermit the Frog
- Cold cans of soda
- Loud thunderstorms that don't frighten my little man
- A new shoe rack for the closet
- A new recipe box, waiting for me to fill it up (send me all your favorites!)
- Mobility and freedom

posted by Carrie - 11:36 AM
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It's true; Eric and I really do get along better when we're busy and not just sitting around, waiting for life to happen to us. This was a really, really good weekend for us.

We cleaned. Hee!

It was actually fun. Yesterday afternoon, I made a list of all the chores that needed to be done around the house, everything from reorganizing the kitchen closet to weeding the bookshelves. Then we cut the list into slips of paper, put them into a hat, and each drew three slips. When we finished those, we drew three more. And more. They didn't all get done, but we had such a satisfying experience with it that we're planning to make this a regular system for us. During the week, we may just choose one slip each, and on the weekends, we'll have a full-fledged "cleaning day."

The proof that it worked for us? When Sam had gone to bed for the night and we were both exhausted and sweaty from our efforts, we jumped in the shower together and...um. Well, let's just say that we weren't as tired as we thought.

And my kitchen shelves look gorgeous! I'm a pleased woman, purring like a kitten.

posted by Carrie - 10:05 AM
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Saturday, July 27

Hah! I laugh at your tornado warning! Go to an interior room, indeed! I chuckle.

(Well, I chuckle now that it's been cancelled.)

posted by Carrie - 08:47 PM
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A yarn and knitting supply store just opened here in town. I'm in heaven; big mega-craft stores can only take you so far, you know?

This place has tons of interesting yarns of all kinds; I spent a couple of hours there my first time, just feeling the yarns while Sam first slept in the sling, then crawled on the floor. So many colors! So many materials! Oh, could I be a very, very bad girl in that place.

As it is, I've already gotten myself a couple sets of needles and a few skeins of some luscious yarns that begged me to take them home with me. Eric went with me today and helped me choose some yarn for a few Christmas projects, as well as a pair of socks for him. Interesting thing, that; it's apparently "self-striping" yarn for socks. If I knit it the way they want me to, it will have stripes of blue, yellow, orange, and green. Very funky.

Oh, I think I had forgotten to mention that I'm currently over halfway done with my first pair of socks. That is, I've got one finished, and the other is in progress. Photographs to come.

posted by Carrie - 08:02 PM
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Friday, July 26

Oh, good grief! Today's key episode saw me accidentally leaving my purse and keys behind when trying to leave to run errands. Both sets of keys, this time. And locked the door behind me before I realized. Bah!

Luckily, Boris and Natasha (our Russian next-door neighbors, for those playing along at home) were home and let me stay there with Sam until Eric could come home and rescue us. Sam enjoyed a little playtime with their daughter in the meantime. Not a bad outcome, but what a hassle!

posted by Carrie - 05:01 PM
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Friday Five:

1. How long have you had a weblog?
Since last November. You can't see anything before December, though, since that's when I switched from Blogger to Greymatter.

2. What was your first post about?
It was an explanation of how, since Sam kept me hopping to much to update the journal regularly, the weblog should help me fill in the gaps. It was followed immediately thereafter with a request for help in finding a free comments system that was taking new users.

3. How many changes (name, location, etc.) of your weblog have there been, if more than one?
There have been no real changes other than the switch to Greymatter. Honestly, since the blog was a way to save time, I haven't devoted a whole lot of thought to redesigning it or playing with it very much. Lately I've been considering a switch to Moveable Type, though. We'll see. I've got it installed, but the templates are confusing me greatly.

4. What CMS (content management system) do you use? Do you like it or do you want to try something else?
Greymatter! I like it just fine, though I don't much care for how long it's beginning to take to rebuild the thing whenever I make changes. I also have had Greymatter hork during one such rebuild, and even though I was able to resurrect it, the experience was rattling.

5. Do you read people who have both a journal and a weblog? Or do you prefer to read people who have all of their writing in one central place?
Honestly, I prefer those who have both. I think a journal frequently encourages deeper exploration of thoughts and experiences than a blog does, and there are times that call for that sort of probing and those that don't. For myself, I know that some moments beg to be recorded but don't necessarily need to be examined, and a weblog is wonderfully suited to that type of thing. I do like it when a writer has a place to muse in greater detail, though. I won't turn away from an in-depth blog, but a chatty, terse journal will sometimes turn me off.

posted by Carrie - 10:50 AM
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Thursday, July 25

Step One: Revelling in your new mobility, pack up the baby and go to the zoo.
Step Two: Spend the whole day there, running around and having a blast.
Step Three: Trudge back to the car, exhausted to the marrow of your bones, and drive home. The baby will fall asleep before you even leave the zoo parking lot.
Step Four: At home, park the car. Open your purse. Suddenly remember your house keys being flung to the floor of the bathroom in the zoo during a fit of diaper-changing pique.
Step Five: Sigh heavily. Pray for the ability to teleport.
Step Six: Drive the whole way back to the zoo to get your keys.

posted by Carrie - 05:40 PM
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Wednesday, July 24

In the category of "So very wrong..."

There's a particular Kodak commercial in which the actress is working in an animal shelter. She takes a picture of one of the dogs, uploads it to her computer, and sends it to everybody in her email address book. A boy comes to adopt the dog. Presumably, this is something she does regularly.

Eric and I find this commercial, as well as the Humane Society advertisements in the paper, morbidly funny. Though it's awful, I wonder how it would feel to be in this woman's address book, receiving pictures of incarcerated animals week after week, fidgeting uncomfortably as I hoped that one of the other receivers would go adopt the dog. Does she remove the names of the people who have already answered the call? Will the address list dwindle further and further until only a few of us are left who don't particularly want a dog?

She might as well be captioning the pictures, "Buy this dog, or it will die."

(No hate mail, please. I do love dogs; I just don't really want to be a dog owner, and can't imagine being guilted into getting one anyway. I don't laugh because I'm amused at animal death, but because the tactic strikes me as unbelievable nervy.)

posted by Carrie - 02:03 PM
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Tuesday, July 23

Sounds emanating from the kitchen, where Sam is playing and Eric is cooking:
Sam: "Wo! Co-co!" (as he races his car over the floor)

Eric: "Sammy, if your mother ever dies, we are screwed."

E: (tossing a handful of vegetables into the wok and hearing them sizzle wildly) "Whoa!"
S: "Whoa! Wo-wo-wo!"

Me: "Sam, what are you doing in there?"
S: "Ticka-ticka-ticka!"
(Which may or may not mean, "Cooking dinner with Daddy!")

daddylegs (12k image)

posted by Carrie - 08:13 PM
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Monday, July 22

Eric just sent me this link to one of those Apple commercials. It was apparently yanked from the air because people thought the actress was stoned.

Gee, I wonder why they'd think that?

posted by Carrie - 05:16 PM
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Three hours or so until I get to pick up my car.

You know, just in case you were keeping track.

Not that I've been watching the clock or anything.

posted by Carrie - 03:49 PM
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I think it was easier when he was afraid of the vacuum. Now we get tantrums when I turn the thing off.

posted by Carrie - 12:53 PM
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Sunday, July 21

It's a good day for wheels in this family. I have my new car (well, I will tomorrow night!), and Sam has his new Mercedes Benz. Matchbox car, that is.

Good grief, this child is obsessed with wheels! If it can be driven, then it must be, as soon as possible. Yesterday we were at a coffee shop, where there were several baskets full of toys. Sam searched for and found every single vehicle in the baskets and drove them all over the shop, usually one in each of his little hands at a time. I think he can even say "car." It comes out "Co! Co!", but he uses it pretty consistently and while pointing to both toys an the real thing.

So now he has a silver Benz. He's in heaven, pushing it all over the house. It's even ridden in his toy bus, sharing a seat with Thomas the Tank Engine. I guess he must really think it's special, giving it that honor.

posted by Carrie - 07:55 PM
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Saturday, July 20

Got one of these. Her name is Elizabeth, and I love her.

posted by Carrie - 03:57 PM
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Friday, July 19

Friday Five:

1. Where were you born?
Hagerstown, Maryland. So far west in Maryland that it may as well have been eastern West Virginia.

2. If you still live there, where would you rather move to? If you don't live there, do you want to move back? Why or why not?
Well, I don't want to move back to Hagerstown, precisely, but I would like to move closer to the area. It's not that I miss home; I just miss my family and wish Sam could see them more often. I think living in Morgantown, West Virginia, would be just about perfect, but there are few jobs in Eric's field there.

3. Where in the world do you feel the safest?
Mom's house. Very quiet, few pressures of life. Nice.

4. Do you feel you are well-traveled
Not at all. I've only flown twice, and that was when I was a toddler. I've only left the country once, and that was to Canada for a brief jaunt during a visit to Niagara Falls. I've been as far west as Kansas, and as far south as Florida. I really wish I could see more of the country. My cousins have a goal to take their kids to every one of the fifty states; that sounds like a great idea to me!

5. Where is the most interesting place you've been?
I suppose that depends on your take on "interesting." If you want to know the most entertaining place I've ever been, it would have to be either Ann Arbor, Michigan (beautiful and rather granola) or Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (lots of things to do at any time of day or night). The best people? Probably Morgantown. Most fun to whirlwind tour? Either D.C or New York City. I suppose that I just like to travel.

posted by Carrie - 10:46 AM
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Thursday, July 18

I need to get back on the horse. I've been so tired and hot recently that I have had no desire whatsoever to cook meals. We've been getting by on quick and easy to make things, like Tuna Helper and mac 'n cheese, but we're running low even on those possibilities.

Ugh. I don't want to thaw meat; the idea of working with meat right now makes my skin crawl. I don't want to think about eating anything heavy - that is, unless someone else had the task of preparing it. I'm not averse to having meat brought to me, understand.

So, Eric's on his way home. He told me that tonight's dinner choice was completely in my court. Suggestions? Actually, I'm not sure why I'm asking; you have no idea what's in my fridge (next to nothing). I suppose I just wanted to whinge a bit.

posted by Carrie - 04:33 PM
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Wednesday, July 17

Getting set to do some lawn-mowing!
Stand and push
More pushing
Mowing is hard work
Good thing I'm so strong
Whew! All done!

posted by Carrie - 05:07 PM
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Tuesday, July 16

There's a new entry up in the journal.

posted by Carrie - 09:05 PM
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Tantrums. I can't figure out what's causing them all, but he's been having one long string of them ever since he woke up from his nap. He'll suddenly throw himself to the ground, put his face flat on the floor, and sob as if his heart is broken. I pick him up, but he continues to cry, wrenching himself as though he wants me to put him down. If I do, he goes right back to the floor.

Poor Sammy! I gave him some teething tablets and some frozen sorbet, just in case it was teeth, but he's still sad. For now, I'm just staying available to him, in case he decides he needs me.

On the plus side, though, he has made great strides (pardon the pun) at walking in the past two days. He seems very proud of himself about that. I wonder if the two are linked somehow, though? Maybe he wishes he was able to do even more?

posted by Carrie - 03:02 PM
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Monday, July 15

Sam and I met with the activities director at the nursing home this morning. It looks good! We'll be going on Wednesday mornings for an hour, visiting two elderly women who never leave their rooms (by their choice). We met them both today; one was very friendly toward Sam, but the other seemed a bit leery about the idea. We'll see how it goes. For his part, Sam seemed cautiously open.

Then we went for pancakes, which Sam loved with his very soul. Yummy!

posted by Carrie - 06:05 PM
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Sunday, July 14

We ended up going to Sauder Village yesterday, since they were having their big annual festival, with ice cream making, fiddle contests, and lots of other activities. It was a long, hot day, but we all had a great time (well, apart from the battle I had getting Eric to be fired up about the idea; he did concede later that he'd had fun).

Later in the evening, as we were lying in bed and Sam was nursing to sleep, Sam suddenly sat up, gagged a couple of times, and threw up on Eric's pillow. He seemed to be feeling fine, though, and after we cleaned him up, he went back to nursing and went to sleep. I sat for a while, thinking about it, and suddenly realized why he'd done it.

"Think about it, Eric; he's had cookies, ice cream, lemonade, fudge...I'd throw up, too!"

(Of course, that's not all he ate all day. He ate quite a lot of vegetables and other healthy foods as well. It was the addition of the sweets to his normal diet that did him in, I'm sure. Ah, well. We learned our lesson!)

posted by Carrie - 10:47 AM
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Saturday, July 13

Just to make note of it:

He has a particular arm wave, head shake, and laugh that he uses to express that something is beyond silly. Just now, while trying to walk around the entertainment center, he accidentally stepped into one of his baskets of toys. He looked down to see what he had done, laughed ("Ho-ho!"), flung his arm out straight in front of him and waved it from side to side, and shook his head from side to side in a bemused way.

"Can you imagine? I've stepped on my toys! What a funny thing to do! Of course, I know better than to do that, but what a predicament!"

posted by Carrie - 08:38 AM
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Friday, July 12

Sam and I met a new friend today. On our way to the convenience store for lunch, we passed a six-year-old girl on a bicycle and waved hello to her. Next then we knew, she was following us down the road. Sam was greatly pleased; he giggled and gawked at her as we walked along. We waved goodbye at the door to the store, but when we came back outseide, we found her waiting for us.

She sat with us when we found a grassy place to eat. While Sam scrambled over to her overturned bike and examined the training wheels, she helped herself to my chips and chatted about her family and her class at school. Her name was Miranda, and I apparently reminded her of her Aunt Lisa.

All the time, I was rather on edge, wondering if an angry mother was about to come around the corner and freak out about her daughter eating with a strange adult. Miranda's older sister and brother passed by on their bikes, but they paused only long enough to yell rudely at her. I tried to keep the conversations geared toward Sam, a safe alternative. If I was her mother, I'd be less upset about her following a baby than following a grown-up.

After lunch, she followed us home, though I tried to dissuade her. She gazed longingly at our empty pool and suggested that one day I might fill it so that she could come over and play in it. I smiled and told her it would be fun.

I sure hope her parents know what she's doing. Way unsafe.

posted by Carrie - 03:19 PM
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Well, glory be! A new entry!

posted by Carrie - 01:05 PM
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Thursday, July 11

Busy, busy, busy me. I've been working on another article, this time on single fathering. I've just about got it finished; I need just a couple more quotes, and I'm waiting for one guy to call me back so I can phone-interview him. My other two articles, on homebirth and attachment parenting, were published last week and came out beautifully. (The AP one even has a great big, full-color photo of Bekki and baby Collin!) When I get a chance, I'll scan a bit of them so you can see my (gulp!) by-line.

Sam and I have been taking walks. He likes to ride in the sling around the neighborhood while I point out trees, flowers, and animals to him. I feel vaguely guilty about him having no real exposure to common household pets, so I've been trying to show him neighbors' dogs and cats. He seems mildly interested, but not intensely so. He prefers to poke at tree branches and pull weeds.

Oh, and I'm still knitting. Right now I'm working on this hat, which I'll show you when I get a bit further on into it. It's tricky to go back to working on small needles after using those big mamma-jamma needles that I used on the other hat and scarf set. By the way, thanks for all the compliments on that set; I think it came out looking great, too. I haven't decided what to do with it yet; if it doesn't go to one of the guys, it will go to a female relative. I'm just not sure whether she'd like it as much as what I'd already planned to make for her.

posted by Carrie - 08:08 PM
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Wednesday, July 10

I made a decision today. I'm very happy with it.

Since Sam was being extremely fussy again, I decided to pack him up in the sling and trek to the nearest restaurant for lunch. Not an easy prospect, him being a Big Old Toddler and all, but desperate times call for desperate measures. On the way there, we passed a nursing home, and inspiration struck. Our family finances are troubled, as should be no secret, so we haven't been donating to charity and church as much as I'd like. So I don't have money; what about time?

On Monday morning, Sam and I are going back to the nursing home for an appointment with the activities director to discuss volunteering. On a regular basis, we'll be going to visit the seniors, spreading a little "Sam-joy" to their days. It will be good for him, since all his grandparents live so far away; good for the seniors, as Sam could bring a smile to a steel post; and good for me, since I haven't volunteered time to anything in way too long a time.

Wow! This will be awesome!

posted by Carrie - 04:45 PM
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Tuesday, July 9

So, I finished knitting my first hat and scarf set. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift for one of my male relatives, but now Eric says the hat might be a little too "girly." True, or a bunch of bunk?

Hat and scarf set
Set, Take 2

(You can see a couple other pictures of the set over on my craft page.)

posted by Carrie - 03:36 PM
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Sam has been tantrumming all day long. He insists on being cuddled, but that doesn't stop the whining; it only diminishes the volume slightly. If I put him down, he hurls himself bodily onto the floor, face first, and screams. For a while, he was only content if I held him on my lap and scratched the back of his neck, over and over. I felt rather like that "Peanuts" comic strip where Snoopy insisted that Charlie Brown stand behind him and "skritch" his head for hours on end.

I was getting aggravated in the extreme, when suddenly I recalled something Eric said to me on Sunday. "Do you think," he said, "that we frustrate God as much as Sam frustrates us?"

"More so," I said then.

Thinking about that has helped me to regain a sense of patience with Sam this afternoon. After all, when I'm on my stomach, wailing at the world, the knowledge that God is there and willing to hold and cuddle me while I cry - no matter how small my reasons may seem to Him - is a great comfort.

posted by Carrie - 01:53 PM
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Monday, July 8

All day long, whenever Sam has heard a creak or a noise, he's spun around and said, "Da-da?" He's even tricked me a few times, making me glance out the window to see whether Eric was home early.

I guess he misses his daddy, especially since this was a long weekend for Eric.

posted by Carrie - 04:17 PM
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It's hot again here today. Sam and I are still in our underwear; doesn't seem to be much point in getting dressed just to get sweaty and not be able to leave the house anyway. Plus, it makes lunchtime cleanup easier; today Sam is having macaroni and cheese (which he sucks, then spits out) and a frozen banana (which he refuses to touch with his hands).

[more]

posted by Carrie - 02:35 PM
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Saturday, July 6

Picture this:

Eric, Sam, my brother Cory, and I are all sitting in Red Lobster, recuperating after a long day at the zoo. Eric points out the lady at the next table, chuckling amusedly at the fact that she seems so annoyingly prissy: teased "Miss America"-styled blonde bouffant, matching pearl jewelry set, perfect pink-hued makeup, lacy pink sweater top. Little did he know that we were all witnessing the beginning of one of the creepiest events I've had in recent memory. [more]

posted by Carrie - 02:30 PM
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Friday, July 5

Friday Five:

1. Where are you right now?
At the computer in my living room. Sam is standing at my knee, and we're waiting for Daddy and Uncle Cory to finish getting ready so we can go do something today - maybe go to the park, or the zoo, or Ann Arbor, Michigan!

2. What have you lost recently?
The remote control to the stereo. I have a sneaking suspicion that Sam "drove" it someplace (he likes to push everything around the floor like a toy car) and parked it out of sight and reach.

3. What was the first CD you ever purchased? Does that embarrass you now?
Oh, I can't remember the first one! The first ones I remember were in the first bundle of "free" CD's you get for joining BMG record club. I got some Sting, some Sarah Maclachlan, some Herbie Hancock, and a few more that I can't recall. Nothing too embarrassing there, though it does speak a bit that it was so obviously a relatively recent purchase (my third year of college). What can I say? I loved my audio tapes.

4. What is your favorite kind of writing pen?
I largely use Pilot roller balls. Black - I can't abide blue ink.

5. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Well, I love Ben and Jerry's "Chubby Hubby," but I currently can't eat it because of the peanut butter. [Distant] second choice would most likely be one of the Godiva ice creams.

posted by Carrie - 09:59 AM
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Thursday, July 4

There's some new progress on my Christmas knit list over on the craft page. Click on "Christmas dishcloths" to see the pictures.

posted by Carrie - 10:59 AM
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Oh, and I have to tell you guys: I reached my first goal weight today! I am now officially down 75 pounds from when I had Sam. Now that I've reached it, I don't suppose there's any hard in giving actual numbers (gulp). I'm now 200 pounds. That's a big number, yes it is. Still, I've reached it, and I know that I can keep going. Next goal weight: 175!

posted by Carrie - 10:36 AM
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Oh, yay, oh, yay, oh, YAY! My wonderful husband is home from work today, so I have access to a car and can get out of this house! You have no idea how this fills me with joy; I'm not confined to the same four walls (the upstairs is a veritable heatbox and therefore mostly off-limits during most of the day) anymore! I can get out and speak to people! I have a reason to put on clothing! I'll be human again!

Now, if I can just get him out of the bed, I can begin my Day of Bliss.

posted by Carrie - 10:03 AM
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Tuesday, July 2

My baby is obsessed with the dishwasher. Whenever dishes need to be done, I have to bodily haul Sam out of the kitchen and pretty much hold him the entire time Eric loads the dishwasher; otherwise, Sam's right in there, pulling at the trays and yanking things out.

Well, guess what he learned how to turn on this afternoon? Uh-huh. Now, how do I childproof that?

posted by Carrie - 02:17 PM
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Monday, July 1

Freaking heat rash. My poor baby has it all over his back and chest. I had hoped that he'd be better able to handle the heat this year than he was last year, but he's all red, bumpy, and uncomfortable again.

posted by Carrie - 09:38 PM
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And now for something completely different...

posted by Carrie - 06:33 PM
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Participation Positives:

- So many friends, online and off, who care about me
- Sam's friendships with neighbors, playmates, and people at church that I don't even know ("Hey, Sam!" they yell when we walk past)
- A confirmation from a third source that Mom never had thyroid cancer
- Vegetable-rice soup
- The beautiful dishcloth I finished yesterday
- The weight of a baby napping on my lap
- Ticklish spots under the ribs, under the arms, behind the knees
- Orange juice popsicles
- The bag of chocolate chips in the fridge
- A husband who understands that sometimes I need to vent

posted by Carrie - 02:30 PM
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Well, I hate to say it, but I'm not having a good time of it. Money, marriage, emotions, and life are warring these days, threatening my sanity in a way I've never experienced. I don't feel all that comfortable sharing completely here or in the journal; when I've done so in the past, the resultant uproar just made me feel so much worse. I appreciate the support and the comforting shoulders, but all I really need is a place to vent and unload without fear of judgement for myself or those I love.

I've started a private weblog to hold all this angsty, uncensored stuff. It's private and it's passworded. If you feel like you want to read it, drop me a line and I'll send you the password. Don't worry if you don't want to read it; anything really major or important will find its way out to the journal or to here. This is primarily for my hardcore emotional releases.

posted by Carrie - 02:00 PM
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