24 January 2010

Big Girls Don't Cry

After being caught making a huge mess earlier today, Lola was put in a time out. She is usually very compliant about her punishment. But this time she took off the minute we turned our backs, inviting the following reprimand:

"Now sit down and stay there. And don't pout. Take your time out like a real woman."

And so she did.

21 January 2010

Improv Skills

What to do when you find yourself in need of a band aid and there are none to be found?

14 January 2010

Don't Panic, Ask Google

"What happened to my money?" Lola asked me as she walked into the kitchen tonight.

"I don't know," I answered her, "where did you put it?"

"In my mouth."


"Lola, please come here. Did you put money in your mouth? And did you swallow it?"


"Did you really do that, Lola? And is it now in your tummy?"

"It was in my mouth. And now it's gone." She opened her mouth as wide as she could to prove it.

Great. Now what? Should I panic? Bad idea. Then what? She seemed absolutely fine. No crying, no aches or pains. No drooling, no discoloration, nothing. No need to panic. Yet.

I told her to come with me to the living room where I grabbed my wallet and looked for a penny, a nickel, a dime, and a quarter. "Can you tell me which one you put in your mouth?"

She pointed to the quarter. Argh! "That one. No, that one," she added, pointing at the dime. Better, but I wasn't sure what to believe. And I still didn't know what to do. My CPR training did not cover this.

Being a twentyfirst century mother, I turned to Google. I typed in what to do when your child swallows a coin and hit return. It came back with 52,400 hits. I was relieved to find out I was not alone on this one. And after reading a few results I felt much better. The consensus seemed to be to wait for the coin to pass. And perhaps speed up the process with Fiber One bars. Not having any at hand, I gave her a handful of prunes.

To make sure I am not a horrible mother by not rushing her to the Emergency Room, I called her pediatrician in Washington since the doctor's office in Crandon was already closed. The nurse told me what signs to look for that warrant a trip to the hospital: high fever, vomiting, severe belly aches to name a few. So far she appears unaffected.

So now all we have to do is wait and very closely examine anything that comes out the other end. It's a good thing potty training has not yet been completed. Ryan will be thrilled. She is sleeping with me tonight, just so I can keep an eye on her.

And as if all this wasn't trying enough, while I was talking to the nurse, Lola got into the band aid supply and stuck them on her legs. All but one. I should use that remaining band aid and tape her mouth shut. Tempting, very tempting...

11 January 2010

A Public Apology

Dear Fellow Northwoods Drivers,

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all of you for my driving. Not that my driving is bad, it's just that I'm slow. Driving in the snow is not my forte. Being a Wisconsin newbie, I have little experience with it. Add to that the minimal profile on my tires, and general fear of accidents, and you end up with the driving style of a little old lady. Like the winter weather, it will not last. I promise. In the meantime, please be patient with me as I am working on my ice truckin' skills. This morning, when the road was covered in ice and snow, I was doing at least 40 mph. At times I even made it up to 45 mph! That is a definite improvement over my first week on the road when my speedometer never made it past 35 mph.

I do, however, have a favor to ask of some of you. Please, please, pretty please, stop tailgating. There is plenty of room to go around me, so go ahead and use it. Riding my butt will NOT make me go faster. It will only result in my blood pressure and yours going up, and no-one is going to benefit from that. And if you feel that you must drive as close to me as you possibly can, at least be kind enough to lower your brights. Really, blinding me will not make me speed up either. It is as ineffective as it is dangerous, not to mention extremely annoying.

Thanks so much for your consideration. Safe travels!

Hanneke N.

P.s. I realize it must be confusing for you because my husband drives our car too, and his driving style varies greatly from mine. He is convinced the emergency brake is a bona fide winter tool for one. Sorry.

09 January 2010

Blessed Or Cursed?

Ryan and I were deliberating the other day whether we were blessed or cursed. He thinks we’re cursed, I don’t. It’s not that I am in denial about our current hardships – as much as I would like to be – I just tend to look at things in a more positive way; the ol’ half full/half empty glass debate. I am convinced having a positive mindset will help me accomplish my goals. The Power of Positive Thinking works for me. At the very least, it brings me peace.

I believe we mostly brought our present trials and tribulations on ourselves by bad habits and a few questionable decisions. Add in some bad luck and a failing economy and before you know it, you’re living the American Nightmare. But I clearly see our many blessings and believe we are slowly working our way back up again. I realize it’s probably easier for me to say that; I leave the house every day to go to a fun, albeit increasingly demanding job. Ryan is stuck at home for the moment with no place to go, and no way to get there.

Our lack of transportation is what started this conversation. We are a one car family at the moment, and the Northwoods are a harsh place to be without a car. I had been using my father-in-law’s pick-up truck, leaving Ryan our car. About two weeks ago, the truck suddenly overheated. It’s been in the shop awaiting repair, but every couple of days they give us a call to tell us it’s not what they thought it was, it’s worse. First it was the water pump, and then it wasn’t. It was a broken bolt that could only be reached by removing just about everything under the hood. The latest is the engine needs rebuilding as a result of said bolt rattling around.

As if that isn’t bad enough, our own car needs new tires – suitable for Wisconsin winters – and new windshield wipers. And a new antenna, too. And the fuse for the back lights and parking lights keeps blowing for no apparent reason. An oil change probably wouldn’t hurt either. The muffler fell off a while back, making our otherwise inconspicuous Nissan sound like a rally car. Then the 'Check Engine' light came on. Finally on Thursday, the remainder of the exhaust started dragging over the pavement, forcing us to get the whole thing fixed right then and there. Bye bye to this week’s paycheck.

Yes, this is bad luck. Not to mention lousy timing. But that doesn’t mean we’re cursed. I refuse to believe the Powers That Be look down on us and say: "What? They have running water again? And plumbing? And they no longer have to run outside in the middle of the night to get wood? That’s not right. We need more suffering. Let’s take away their muffler."

It’s not bad Karma either. It’s bad maintenance. Due to lack of finances. Due to... I'm beginning to sound like a broken record. I do, however, wholeheartedly agree with Ryan about one thing. When will this end? While I do not view this as a curse, it is a far cry from a blessing. Enough already!

And just in case I'm wrong and we are cursed, does anyone know of a tried and true method for curse reversal?

08 January 2010

Cute And Funny

"I'm cute," Lola informed me last night when we were getting ready for bed. She gave me her best fake smile; her mouth wide open, her teeth clenched, and a twinkle in her eye. Very much like this one. I couldn't help but laugh.

"I'm funny, too," she added.

How could I possibly argue with that?

02 January 2010

Heeere's Johnny!

Image credit: www.imdb.com
We're alone. My parents-in-law left early yesterday morning for Arizona. For the next four months it is just the three of us up here in the isolated and snowy Northwoods. If Ryan starts building a maze in the backyard, Lola and I are out of here. (I am starting to wonder if I should be concerned about the two sledding runs he built?) I hid the axes and chainsaws just in case.

01 January 2010

Happy 2010!

Happy New Year from the Northwoods! May 2010 be a happy, healthy, and prosperous year for all of us. I love the anticipation and excitement that comes with a new beginning.

For the second year in a row I did not have it together enough to send out Christmas cards. I had wonderful ideas for handmade cards but alas, my address book was in North Dakota when the time came.

I considered sending out New Year's cards instead, but who am I kidding? That is not going to happen either. If it did, I would imagine they'd look something like this...

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