Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Conversation At Snack Time

Me: Laura, stop eating the salt off those pretzels and then putting them back in the bowl.

Laure: But Mommy, the salt is so tasty. I want to eat them this way. First I eat the salt, then I eat the rest of the pretzel.

Me: But if you just ate it all at once, you'd have the salt ON the pretzel and it would taste fine. When you eat the salt first, you're left with a bland pretzel that doesn't taste very good.

Laura: But I don't want to eat it that way. The salt is yummy.

Me: But that doesn't make any sense.

Laura: Mommy, I don't know how I got this way. It just happened.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There's No One Here By That Name

My daughter is only 4 years old, yet as of the last week or so, I’ve suddenly become just “Mom”. Being called Mommy is out the window, and it’s driving me crazy. I had kind of been banking on being Mommy my entire life, and while it had occurred to me that I probably would be Mom someday, I imagined it in terms of a faceless teenage girl saying “Mooooom!” with as many “o’s” as humanly possible. I don’t know where Laura picked it up, but she can tell it’s driving me crazy, so she keeps doing it. It makes her seem much too old, and coupled with her new hair cut, I feel like I suddenly flashed forward to the having a 10 year old. As silly as it sounds, it was really bothering me.

The Army Man helped me out a few nights ago when she was asking for this “Mom” person. He simply replied, “There’s no one here by that name”, and that seemed to make it clear to her. Now when she calls me Mom, I just ignore her until she says Mommy. Is that mean? Maybe, but I’m just not ready to be Mom. Interestingly, a little bit ago Laura had a bit of a tantrum, something that's been pretty rare these days (thank heavens!) and as she sat there in her room, screaming and crying, she began calling for Mommy. And Mommy was very happy to go to her, believe me. Maybe we'll be back on track now, until Kindergarten or whenever it is that kids are too cool to have Mommies.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Shave And A Haircut

Today, much time, energy, and money was spent on procuring hair cuts for Laura and Moxie. Poor Moxie's mane had become unmanageable, and after her mean dog run-in, I found several matted sections around her neck. So off to the groomer she went, with the instructions to cut her fur very short, to get those matted sections out. Right after we dropped her off, we went to get Laura's hair cut.

In the last few days Laura had been telling me that she wanted her hair short like our neighbor Mary, who sports a cute bob. I was surprised since Laura has always been consumed with her desire for long hair, but I figured this was the first of many times I would need to let her make her own decisions about harmless things like hair. She told the hair cutter (her words) exactly what she wanted, and did a great job of sitting still for the almost 30 minutes it took to create her new look (that child is just like her mom-lots of hair!).

So the results are: Moxie and Laura both have short hair! Moxie's fur is really, really short, which makes her ears look bigger than ever. And I can't figure out why the groomer saw fit to keep Moxie's tail so full-it looks like a feather duster stuck to her rear end. I tried trimming it a bit myself, but left it mostly intact so the Army Man gets a good laugh tonight when he gets home from work. Laura looks completely adorable, I have to say. I told Laura I thought that she look liked a fairy, and the pleased smile that burst across her face told me that she is pretty darn happy with her new look.

Laura wins the prize for cutest cut (sorry Moxie, you look pretty ridiculous), but up for grabs is the biggest change. I'll let my readers decide!
Laura giving me a goofy smile. I found it really hard to get a good picture from the front.
A side view
The back
Poor, goofy looking Moxie
Now she really looks like a fox
Smiling even though I was laughing at her

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rottweiler+Moxie=Bad News

Something happened this afternoon that the Army Man and I have been nervously anticipating for a few weeks. While the Army Man was running with Moxie, the neighborhood Rottweiler managed to pull free of his backyard tether, and attempted to attack Moxie. Don't worry, everyone is fine, but I'll be blunt: I'm pissed off.

Let me start what will be a lengthy post by saying that I had a Rottweiler growing up. Sheba was a sweet, fuzzy, bear of a dog, and had the advantage (some would say disadvantage, but not I) of being a long-haired Rottweiler. The general public usually didn't discern that she was a Rottweiler since she didn't have the traditional look, and therefore people usually weren't scared of her. Which was good, because she was sweet. So I don't mind Rottweilers. I think that if they are well-trained, properly socialized and exercised, they can be great dogs. That's true of any dog really, big or small. If you don't give your dog attention, affection, and playtime, it will quickly become bored, destructive, disobedient, and even aggressive.

Now that I've started running in our neighborhood, I'm pretty cognizant of which dogs look like they could give me trouble. Top on my list is the house with what appears to be 5 or 6 large dogs, all "contained" behind a 3 or 4 foot fence. When I used to run by with Moxie the barking and growling was deafening. So I don't go that way anymore. The other house is up the street, and about six months ago the Army Man reported that that house was now in the possession of the most adorable Rottweiler puppy. When it was a cute little puppy, the family walked it all the time and it was usually kept inside.

We watched that puppy turn into a big Rottweiler. We were sad when we realized the family stopped walking it as much. And we started to get worried when we saw that they were now tethering it in their unfenced backyard for the entire day, and well into the evening, even when they were home. The bigger it got, the more ferocious it got, the more it would pull at the end of it's tether to bark and lunge at people who walked by. We took a short family walk last night, and saw the dog react in that way to another family walking by. We opted to not walk down that street, and the Army Man and I discussed and worried what would happen if it broke free.

So yep, that's what happened today. Moxie and the Army Man went for a run, and passing by the house, the Rottweiler pulled the tether out of the ground, and charged Moxie. From what the Army Man says, it sounds like her giant mane of fur protected her from a full-on bite, but there was definite yelping on her part. The Army Man managed to get a hold of the tether and had the dogs separated, but really had no good solution to how to get rid of the Rottweiler and get Moxie safely home. Luckily for him, a very nice young man came along who knew the Rottweiler, and took it from the Army Man.

Once he got Moxie safely home, he went back to the house, only to be greeted by a teenage boy who seemed completely clueless. He left his number, and we did get a call a bit ago, from the mother. She really didn't seem to care that much. Apparently she did her part by tethering her dog. The Army Man telling her that we often run that way with our young daughter didn't seem to matter to her. He advised her of the new law going into effect on August 1st (not a moment too soon) that will bar people from tethering their dogs when there is no human present. She never really apologized either, which blows my mind. Her only words of comfort were that it would "never happen again".

I called the after-hours Animal Control number to report the incident. I may be a sweet, nice person who doesn't like to cause trouble, but this was unacceptable to me. What if it had been me, Laura, and Moxie? I would have essentially had to sacrifice Moxie to protect Laura. What if the dog thought Laura was even more appealing to attack than Moxie? I really am trying not to think about how bad it could have been. I am feeling so lucky that it was the Army Man, and that both he and Moxie are okay. It turns out that the Sheriff's office is the after hours Animal Control, and a nice young officer (so young, like maybe 12) came to our house. There isn't much he can do so I have to call again tomorrow to make sure Animal Control is aware and can make a record. The bad part is that when the Sheriff was here, the teenage boy owner of the Rottweiler walked by, taking the poor dog for a much needed walk. So now they know where we live AND that the Sheriff was called. I just hope it doesn't turn into a bigger mess.

The Sheriff advised the Army Man that if this ever happens again, he is completely within his rights to defend himself however he sees fit. I would hate for it ever to come to that, but I will protect what's mine, whether it is Laura or Moxie, and I know the Army Man will do the same. I suppose some sort of protective device is now in my running future.

If you made it through that entire post, I commend you. I was extremely riled up when I sat down to write, and it was very calming to share all that information with my readers. I think the situation had pretty much the best outcome possible, and I'm grateful for that. Everyone is fine, and Moxie had a huge, delicious dinner tonight. Probably a great night, in her book.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Claire Conquers The Zipper

I made something new last night that I just have to share. I feel like I have now completely conquered the crafting world since I made something with a...zipper!! Of course, in reality, I am nowhere near the level of excellence that many crafters achieve (including both my mom AND mother-in-law), but in my mind, I am totally awesome. Zippers are hard to work with, but I persevered. The little pouch I made is not the most expertly constructed item, but I think I'll only get better the more I make. Female friends and relatives, prepare to receive these little things as gifts for the next five years. Sorry.
A tiny zippered pouch, measuring about 6 inches long and 4.5 inches high
What's that, a nice lining inside? Lovely.
Look at all the goodies I managed to fit in.

That should my last crafting post for a while, and soon I will be returning to regale you with tales of Laura's antics. As I'm sure you can imagine, Laura + summer=craziness.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Dog Is More Popular Than Me

I have a way of seeing who visits my blog. Neat, huh? Don't worry, I usually don't look at it except to see the total number of people who visit each day. For all I know, it could be my mom coming over and over again to inflate my ego. My numbers have been down lately (as have my comments, boo), but I figured it was due to it being the summer and everyone having more important things to do than wait around and see if I will post something new.

So imagine my surprise when I checked this morning and A LOT of people came to my blog yesterday. I was curious, so I started trying to figure out who the heck these people were. And oddly enough, almost all of them had clicked on the "Moxie" label so that they could read all of the stories about Moxie. Person after person had come to read stories about my dog. Kinda weird.

Now I think it's great that people would want to read about her, but the coincidence was just too much that that many new people would come here on the same day, just to read about Moxie. But the problem is, I can't figure out who sent them!! It's driving me crazy. Was I mentioned on a blog somewhere? Did someone tell their friends? I must know. So if you are one of my new visitors, welcome. And thank you for visiting. And PLEASE tell me who sent you. I figured I'd better give the people what they want, namely a new picture of Moxie. This is from a few weeks ago, showing her slow progression to a lion. Look at that mane! The Army Man has decreed she is to be shaved for the summer, but I don't know if I can damage her self-esteem like that. A hair cut is in order, for sure, but up for grabs is how short the hair cut will be. Then again, Moxie has figured out a way underneath my high-tech chicken wire barrier, and can get under the deck no problem. The amount of filth she collects in that mane is horrible, so maybe a shave is the way to go. I fear poor Moxie has sealed her own hair cutting fate.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Simple Decoration

Just a quick post to share a little decorating project that I completed today. My friend Kim gave me this idea a looong time ago, but I never acted on it until a few days ago. I use our dining room as my craft room, and the paint job the previous owners did is a bit...unusual. It's textured (kind of like sandpaper) and it's a greyish color with flecks of gold. When we first moved in the Army Man and I vowed it would be the first change we made. In the end, the first change I made was painting over the black paint in Laura's room. Then I painted several other rooms and stopped working. That was almost 2 years ago, and I guess you could say we've gotten used to the sandpaper paint. The only problem is it doesn't give off a very "crafty" vibe, and was kind of bringing me down when I would sew.

So I chose some of my favorite fabrics, put them in the hoops, glued the fabric down in the back, and added a little sawtooth hanger. Super easy! The thing that took a while was obsessing over the placement of the hoops, but I finally got annoyed with myself and just did it. I wish it took up more of the wall, but it will do for now. I'm tempted to do this throughout the house, since this is now officially my second decoration in my entire home. I'm a bit impaired when it comes to decorating.
And now you all know what my crafting area looks like. If you want to know why I never send you any presents, it's because I spent all of my money on those piles of fabric.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Skirt For Laura

Instead of making things for my shop like a good girl, I spent today yakking on the phone with some wonderful people, and then made a Christmas skirt for Laura. Because in June one’s thoughts naturally go straight to Christmas, right? Actually, I had some scraps from a quilt hanging around, and I noticed a lot of them were red and green. I figured I’d make a test skirt from the fabric, since I’ve been wanting to try skirts for a while.

Laura seems to be getting sick of being my measuring and modeling victim, but this time, for whatever reason, she was beside herself with glee over this silly little skirt. It ended up shorter than I expected, it's really not that nice on the inside, and I had wanted it to flare more at the bottom. But that doesn't matter because, for once, my little girl was happy with my creations AND I actually made use of some scraps that otherwise would have gone in the trash. Maybe I’ll become one of those people who pledges to make all of their clothes by hand. Then again, maybe not.

These pictures are pretty bad (is my house really this dark?), but I guess they hide just how dirty she was tonight. Oh, and those poses? All Laura's doing.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Claire Needs Crafting Help!

I need opinions from the blogosphere! I showed my rocket ship appliqued shirt a few weeks ago, and I've decided to make more shirts like that (I'm thinking next will be a whale!). Before I do though, I need to decide which is the best way of sewing the applique. I won't share my opinions here, lest I sway anyone. I'm curious what people prefer, and why. The only thing I will say is that machine sewing tends to result in some fraying of the applique, over time. But maybe you like fraying-it does make it look pretty cute. Oh, and click on all the pictures to make them bigger, if you please!
Machine sewn
Hand sewn (not quite finished though!)
Machine sewn, from afar
Hand sewn, from afar

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Delinquency Continues

I believed I promised I’d be back with more vacation pictures, right? And then I never came back and instead only posted about turning 30 in six months? I know, I know. I’m sorry. I wanted to post pictures and give a rundown of our trip, but of course, life got in the way. My excuses are good ones! They include: bronchitis (me and Laura), errands and chores (lots), dress orders to fill (two), a dog acting weird (Moxie), and a husband going back to work and being told they are leaving again on Saturday (Army Man).

So today things have finally calmed down, although it’s only due to Laura being sick and us being forced to stay home all day, to include missing her first swimming lesson today (not that she's upset by that). When the Army Man came home from work today, the house was a mess, I wasn't showered, Laura was still sick, but at least I had started this blog post. I have priorities, people!

I can't possibly describe the whole trip, so here's a brief recap. On Tuesday morning, Laura and I left bright and early to meet the Army Man in Savannah, Georgia. It was so wonderful to finally see him in the flesh and know that he really had survived his training. Laura was thrilled to be reunited with Daddy and we spent the day freezing to death in Savannah which, I'm sorry to report, is kind of boring. The next day, we left and drove through the worst rain I've ever driven in, but luckily the Army Man did some great driving and we all arrived safe and sound. We got to Florida in enough time to go to Downtown Disney and eat dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, where Mommy enjoyed a delicious beverage that may or may not have had alcohol in it.

Over the next five days, we went to the Magic Kingdom (twice!), Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Typhoon Lagoon, and Sea World. We went to Downtown Disney twice. We swam in the hotel pool. We saw a movie. We got rained on and we sweated to death in the sweltering heat that greeted us when it wasn’t raining. When you ask Laura what her favorite part was, she says, “Everything!” so I take that as a good sign. The Army Man and I had fun too, of course. We got to ride lots of rides and I totally beat the Army Man on the Buzz Lightyear ride.
Laura and Cinderella
Laura, enraptured by Belle
Jack Sparrow, or the next best thing
Laura took a picture of us
Shamu, doing his thing
Laura and Mommy in front of Mommy's favorite ride
Laura in front of Cinderella's fountain right before we left

It was a great family vacation, and I can't wait to do it again in a few years!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Almost 30 And Not An Adult In Sight

Today is my half birthday. In just 6 months, I’ll be 30. And I have to admit, that’s an age I’ve looked forward to for a long time. When I was younger, women in their thirties seemed so glamorous and grown up, and I’ve always had high hopes for myself upon reaching that age. Now that I’m almost 30, women in their thirties still seem so glamorous and grown up, and I’m starting to wonder how I’ll fit in.

See, the problem is that I’m still a kid. I’m not sure how I managed to fool everyone and trick them into thinking I’m an adult, but I’m not. I really don’t understand who authorized me to get married, buy cars and houses, and worst of all, have a kid. That’s grown up business, not meant for kids like me!


I find myself paying bills and taxes, worrying about how much longer my house’s roof will last, wondering where to send Laura for school next year. My husband and I discuss nuclear bombs, our future, the state of our bank accounts. I hear myself saying distinctly mom-like things to Laura. My back hurts sometimes. I buy sympathy cards for the losses my friends and family members have suffered, I read about war, I worry about my daughter. I have my own business. I’ve already had talks with Laura about body parts, jealousy, and death.

I suppose perhaps I’m an adult after all. But when did that happen? And why do I still feel like an impostor?