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{Thursday, October 17, 2002}

This can be listed under *Things I Never Thought I'd Heard My Three-Year-Old Say*:
"Emma made me spill my beer!" (followed by a pout and arms crossing)
Indeed it was true. As I stepped out of the shower, Morgan had taken a beer off of the table and sauntered into the man room with it. Apparently, there was a disagreement over the tent and the beer got splashed. Lordie. As Ginny would say.

Morgan is still Queen Fragile. Still no appearance of illness, so sticking with Growing Pains theory. I feel like spouting, OKAY, grow-up already and get it over with! Alas, it doesn't seem to be proceeding with any quickness.

Fat the fish has lost weight. She was heavily overburdered for weeks. We finally gave up on her giving birth. Apparently, she popped and we noticed her between batches. I hope everyone's getting full of protein in there, eating all of the newborn guppies. We've seen nary a one. A quick guppy search on Google lent me the knowledge that female guppy will give birth every three to four weeks. Poor fat. Throw some Hershey kisses into that girl. Also found out that once impregnated, even if separated from the male, the female will continue to give birth for *months*. That's some shelf-life on that sperm.

Ate lunch at the California Pizza kitchen today. This was followed up by sudden and explosive diarhea while at the U City Goodwill. ?Whoa - shocking. Happily, they do have a bathroom. I was not overly-caring about their half-a-dozen signs that it was *not* a public restroom, employees only, etc. I mean, please, did they *really* want me to just stay in the store? No, I didn't think so.

That freaking dog is outside barking. Arrgh.

posted by Lisa 10:34 PM

{Wednesday, October 16, 2002}

My dog is fussy, don't get me wrong. But when I slopped a big spoonful of cold macaroni and cheese (made with Cheeze Wiz! no less) into his bowl, I had no doubt that he would dig in. Then it hit me, how *awful* must most dog food be? This dog won't eat most dog foods unless he's out of hope for anything else. But, man, cold mac & cheese = better than dog food. That's a clear picture, isn't it? Oh, he ate Pedigree out of a can (and liberally laced with worm medicine to treat the butt scootin' boogie) but dry dog food? Fergettaboutit. Iams? No. Science Diet? Hell no. Cold egg noodles riddled with lard flavored New Jersey turnpike cheese flavoring? Oh yeah, baby.

Poor Emma. She's in the throes of learning to read. I read once that it is so painful for the brain that we all block the memory of this learning. I tried to remember myself (of course) upon reading this, but naturally, remembered nothing of the sort. However, I may be atypical because I remember little before the 5th grade. Just snippets here and there. Certainly next to nothing about school. Both girls were all a'twitter tonight, couldn't sleep. Finally at 9:20, Morgan comes down the stairs (this is after getting them into bed, ha, an hour earlier). I went up and put her back in bed. I told them I would stay with them until they went to sleep. I layed down in Morgan's bed, on top of the covers. Morgan moved over and threw her arm around my neck. Behind me, I could hear Emma sounding out the "ch" sound. Seem that Harley lives here, Carly lives next door and Charlie (the cat) lives next door to her.

I remembered immediately about babies who are learning to walk. They wake themselves up in the night, standing up, practicing standing and walking. They are standing in their cribs (typically) and wake up - alarming themselves - and think, just "what the hell?" am I doing??? And then they cry. For parents who are accustomed to their one-year-olds sleeping through the night (not that many that I know personally, I admit), this is a shock. However, it seems to be a double-shock to learn that it is a highly popular problem that most encounter. It is one of the few problems with the may moms, someone mentioned once, you find out (and quickly) that your particular baby isn't the only one doing X or Y. They *all* do it at a particular age. Makes you realize they are mammals following a regular course of events.

Okay, while laying there waiting for the girls to konk out (which they did in about 3.5 minutes), I realized that when I met Jennifer (and we 'moved in' together) she was 14-years-old. She just turned 25 yesterday. That's 11 years older than 14. Emma is a mere 9 years younger than 14. Emma in 'closer in age' to that Jennifer than Jennifer herself!

I skipped the gym today. With much guilt. But even more compelling than that was my knee's bleats of pain. I'm afraid to really screw it up (typical for me) and be nursing a life-long knee injury. It has now downgraded to a mere 'ache' and I'm hoping that it improves daily. I'm going to pick Morgan up tomorrow before preschool swimming (because she has much anxiety about it) and I'll do some arm/ab weights while she's there. Morgan, speaking of, is Ms. Super Fragile lately. I guess it's post-chicken-pox. She got all weepy tonight at dance when she saw us all looking in the window to see her.

On the way home she said, "I saw Emma watching me and I got confused!" She also had a few moments of breakdown tears when she came out. She hops, dances and looks like she's having fun, but there's something there, something that's nagging at her. I have a deep-seated fear that it's just normal growing pains. She's losing the anonymity of babyhood - of non-self-consciousness. It seems to be hitting her all at once (whereas it hit Emma over a period of 18 months!). She tells Emma to call her "a toddler". I think that the idea of being a 'kid' and not a baby, not even one bit, is very scary to her. She's the baby of the family, so that switch is probably particularly hard for her.

In a separate browser window, I have a shopping cart full of Gymboree. I've weakened. I haven't checked out though and I think I won't. I *need* a shelving unit for the bathroom, I *need* curtains for same bath. I do *not* need toile turtleneck and tights. I do not need argyle socks to match the plaid pants (and beret, faint, that I got for Emma this weekend). I do not need basic leggings (for just $7.50 each! shriek!) or basic tights (2 for $10, double-shriek).

Steve and Emma picked up some new fish after they left dance class. Some female mollies. For the poor bachelors we had here. We had them together, but one was bullying the other so we separated. That worked (nice to have two tanks) and the upper Molly cheered up. I'm anxious to see how he feels about this new girlfriend. He' s not hiding, so that's a good sign. I can see that my husband will have to be indulged with more space for fish. He went looking for more 'rubberlips' (seriously, that's what they're called) - the little algae eaters that glide along like scrubbing bubbles on crack. We have one in each tank. The upper one is closer to my line of vision, so I've gotten rather fond of that little man, zipping around, humping every rock and fake plant leaf in sight.

I had One of Those Days. But in a good way. I got so much done. I did my To DO list and more. I made a new dentist appt, a new doctor appt., called two screwed up creditors to make sure they hadn't ruined my credit, balanced all of my financial accounts, edited my cardfile and called about an exercise class. The more I did, the more I wanted to do, just to claim it. I even listed more eBay auctions. I am hell-bent on listing all of this winter stuff. Preferably before Christmas. I think there are just two more (big) boxes in the garage. Sadly, I know that they will require rinsing and drying to remove the wrinkles, but I am trying to go at it methodically and not get overwhelmed. When these suckers start ending, *then* we'll discuss overwhelmed.

posted by Lisa 11:09 PM

{Tuesday, October 15, 2002}

Back to the gym today and a upset my knee. Actually, I know exactly what I did to it - I bent it the wrong way - *with* a weight. It's pretty pissed off. No wonder. I'm going to ibuprophen it before bed and hope for the best. With just ONE day back at the gym post-chicken-pox siege, I'm not ready to be down for the count.

Morgan went back to preschool today as well. And Kid's Kamp. I listed eBay auctions like a maniac while she was gone. I have seventeen active listings now. Whew - it's a start. I did get the costumes listed though. I can't believe it is just two weeks until Halloween! October is going very quickly.

Today is Jennifer's birthday. She's twenty-five. I told her to stop aging and pushing me out in front of her. Fer pete's sakes. I got the dates that the girls can come home for Christmas. Maybe the dead thing in Jennifer's bedroom ceiling will stop stinking by then. I certainly hope so. It actually doesn't stink unless the light is on - which makes it all the more funky. Needless to say, I leave the light off at all costs.

The girls took a bath (voluntarily) tonight. Last night I insisted, but I lit two big candles and turned out the big light. They loved it and tonight asked for the same. Well tonight Steve came upstairs with me and we adjourned to sit on the bed (more comfortable than the toilet and the edge of the tub) to talk while they played. And all seemed so well. Then Morgan cried that she had bubbles in her mouth and I went to help her out. I cross the threshold and get slammed with a horrible burning stench. I look all around. The candles are fine, burning placidly. No torched washcloths. Then I see it. Little pieces of charred hair on the bathtub edge. SHIT! Emma dipped both of her pig tails in the flame.

Stunned, I started picking the black pieces out. Morgan starts chattering that she *saw* Emma's hair in the candles, but she didn't say anything. Well, that's a first. We can barely get this girl to stop talking and she decides to clam up when her sister's head is on fire. I feared the worst because it seemed like there was a LOT of charred material to pick/wash out. However, after getting the pigtails removed tonight it seems like only some of the front pieces lost 2 or 3 inches. I can just get it tapered from front to back. Lord. That could have been much worse. Parenting Note to Self: Do not leave small children in room with candles, even if you are 20 inches away. They will find a way.

Must get back to my book, _The Lovely Bones_ , highly recommended. It's depressing of course, but just so excellent. I went online with two browser windows, one Amazon and one the local library. I browsed at Amazon and ordered through the library. It was a very satisfying (and free) shopping trip. Now the library calls me every other day to say that they have a book for me.

One final stunning note. My sister has a JOB.

posted by Lisa 10:25 PM