Thursday, May 29, 2008

Laundry Dregs

OK, I am, as my dad puts it, a "strange agent" in more ways than one. However, one of my oddest quirks is that I actually enjoy folding laundry. I like pulling hot, still pliable and fluffy clothing out of the dryer and folding them crisply. I don't enjoy nearly as much folding laundry that has cooled and become stiff and hard to manage. And I absolutely deplore laundry dregs.

Laundry dregs are the pieces of laundry too small to warrant actual folding which fall to the bottom of every laundry basket in our house: bibs, socks (particularly unmatched socks), washcloths, hankies, undies for tiny people aka kids. It seems I am not the only one who hates laundry dregs. They seem to collect in laundry baskets. The worst situation ever is when all the laundry dregs from all the laundry baskets get dumped into one basket (usually on laundry Saturday) and then there is a full basket of JUST dregs to contend with. UGH. Need I say more?

I just waded through four baskets of laundry today. I folded most everything, unfortunately it was all cold laundry, but I got over that when I realized it was preferable to staying up all night pacing beside the dryer. There is a quarter basket of laundry dregs staring at me, showdown style right now from the other side of the room. It's as if it knows and is taunting me, "you were NOT supposed to get on that computer until ALL the laundry was DONE, Young Lady."

And here I lay on my bed with my laptop, the petulant laundress, thumbing my nose at the laundry dregs. Until tomorrow, my friend. A demain.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


This weekend I got to spend a lot of quality time with the kiddos. It's nice when I have time to get out and do things with them and really listen to their little voices. Elena, for instance, is horrid unless you give her the attention she so dearly craves, then she becomes your faithful servant, loving admirer, and biggest fan. She will literally stand beside me and stroke my arm or leg, fawning on me. When I put in the time with her, I get back good behavior that makes it a very worthwhile endeavor!

Liam has just been a baby for so long, it's not been as dramatic with him. Sure he likes the attention and sure I pick up on some of his Liam-isms when I spend time with him, but he's just been too young to really interact much. That is until recently. Lemur is starting to add more words into his vocabulary and show off his silly personality. I LOVE IT!!

This weekend, I took him to the Memorial Day parade and he donned his "Hello, My Name is Trouble" t-shirt which both my mother and my friend Robin think I should NOT be putting on him anymore lest he get a complex. Well, to that I retort, it's not a label for him to read to himself, it faces outward. It's a disclaimer for the world to read. I actually felt so much more secure knowing that anyone who might see him running across the street, or dashing into the middle of a marching band would have been adequately warned that here, indeed, did come Trouble.

Today, I took him walking on my back (as I often do) and he was just pleased as punch to be back there riding along. The ENTIRE walk was peppered by his running commentary of all the things we were passing. It sounded something like this, "tee (tree), tee, tee, tee, tee, caw-caw (car), caw, caw, CAW, CAW, mail, mail, mail (as we passed a mailbox)" REPEAT and REPEAT and REPEAT. He is a little loudmouth! Cute though.

Then, tonight when I was trying to put him to bed, he was running away from me with just his diaper on. I am not so into chasing, being a lazy sort, so I sat in the center of the room asking him to come to me. I was actually curious to see how long it would take him to acquiesce (Which apparently, I'll spare you the suspense, is NEVER). He kept scampering out of my reach and giggling incessantly (a sound which truly tortures his sister for some strange, unknown and disturbing reason). Then, he dashed into the closet, quick as a naked mole rat and I heard him in there flaunting another of his newest words, "Climb, climb, climb, climb." (I don't know what it is with him and needing to repeat whatever word he chooses OVER and OVER, but I can't say it's my favorite trait). Anyhow, he was trying to climb any and everything he could find that was climbable in that closet. He's such a cute little lemur. Such a pip!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Just Back from Detroit

You know, poor Detroit. It gets a bad, bad rap. No one wants to go there. People always joke about it. When I say I am going there, they pity me. They wonder why in the world I would be going to the "armpit of the nation." But, those people probably haven't ever been to Detroit, or they are living with an antiquated view of the city.

I first became interested in Detroit when I traveled there to visit some friends last summer. I was vacationing on Lake Michigan (which I have done since I was a teen quite frequently) and decided to detour to meet these friends. Boy, I sure am glad I did. Then, I read the book Middlesex, a good deal of which takes place in Detroit at the turn of the century. Fascinating...more Detroit intrigue!

The suburbs remind me a lot of Chicago, lots of subdivisions and suburban sprawl. And, as I get to know the city better, I like its patchwork personalities; the Henry Ford's Dearborn, historic Greenfield Village, almost farmland Plymouth, strip-mall Taylor. Then, this visit, thanks to the rental of a Garmin GPS with my little VW Rabbit rental car, I was all set to tour. I could get as lost as I wanted, type an address into the GPS and immediately untangle the neighborhoods and roads which had me twisted. What a wonderful feeling of freedom! I highly recommend it to anyone traveling in a new city. It's well worth the $12/day it costs.

So, two things for you to put on your bucket list:
1) Go vist Detroit
2) Rent a GPS and get lost

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Selling Snake Oil

OK...not really, but I am selling this wood process. It's so refreshing to be selling something I can hold in my hands and touch and feel. After years of selling esoteric solutions which require months of strategizing, this product is a show-and-tell item. It's really more like evangelism, hence the snake oil reference.

Yesterday, I went to a company who makes leather for the airline industry, another beautifully tangible product. The factory was so cool. Dies, presses, giant tumblers, cutting tables, and something called a water-jet cutter. It was just like a class field trip! Have I mentioned lately that I love my job? Sorry it makes me blog less often lately.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Am I really thirty-eight years old today? It's sure gotten anti-climactic over here on birthdays for grown-ups. It sure sucks to be a grown up sometimes. I miss the days of birthday dinners and presents at your supper chair. Oh well. Time to grow up.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In a Related Blog... about imbeciles...

...and yet, I passed at least four of them on the road! Must really suck to be a Hummer salesman these days...maybe they moonlight selling Smart Cars or something.

Freaking Gas Prices

The reality is just now setting in. Over the winter, I was content to hole up on my couch and watch movies for months, but daggummit, now I am ready to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Today, I went on a business trip (my OWN business so I foot the expenses) to Philadelphia. Roughly 300 miles round trip. That's $65 in gas!!! Last week, I was in Detroit on business. To rent the car was $13.95 a day. To fly there was $140 round trip. I spent $250 in gas for the trip! It's just getting crazy. I am starting to opt out of doing things if they mean "spending gas."

On the trip today I started thinking about my trip to the Outer Banks and how much it will cost me. My car averages 23 miles to the gallon and it is approximately 1000 miles round trip for me. Check my math since I am a math imbecile, but that's about $175 in gas (assuming it stays around $4 a gallon), no? YIKES!

I feel like I need my wings clipped!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

God Loves You

In my hometown, almost every teen attended an Emmaus retreat during their high school years. This is a retreat, based in the Cursillo tradition. An Emmaus was a way to feel loved by your family, your peers and your community. It was one big Christian love-in with fabulous, catchy music, peer talks and prayer. The slogan of the Emmaus: I LOVE YOU, GOD LOVES YOU, PASS IT ON, sums up the whole philosophy in a phrase.

So, last night as I was putting Elena to bed, I was staring down into her perfect little face and I said, "I love you...(and reflexively)...God loves you."

She smiled, her eyes grew wide, and she said in awe, "He does?"

Guess I should tell her more often.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Kiki Unplugged

It’s amazing how much less creative I am when I am offline blogging. I know I am a Praise Junkie (PJ), so maybe it’s the promise of connectivity that spurs me on? Maybe having a virtual audience makes me perform better? Who knows? All I know is that I am sitting here in Laguardia Airport, trying to find my writing mind. The thoughts are there, up there in the white space on my mind. I just seem to be having trouble getting them out. It’s kind of a constipating feeling.

So, instead of a well-formed, interesting blog, I will tell you all the ideas for blogs I have had in the last week. “But you have been blogging in the last week!” You interrupt to protest.

To that I would respond, “You’re right, my reader, I have been. But not BIG blogs. Big Sky thinking. No, just little stories of silly things the kids said or the digger I took where I ended up with mayonnaise on my face.”

In the last week, I have been thinking about blogging about:
1) Teenagers, the use of “like” and imprecision of speech at that age. Is it a mask behind which they hide? Do people actually get more and more precise with their descriptions and speech as they mature?
2) Boys who love trains, trucks and vehicles vs. those who love balls. Does the preference, as my mother predicts, mean something about their future personalities? Ball lovers being inclined towards extroversion and vehicle lovers being quieter, introspective types?
3) Overload of choice. I have been reading some articles recently about how overloaded we are as consumers by choices. Studies have shown that when the choices become too voluminous, we shut down. The complexity of choices overwhelm us and we rebel, deciding to not make a decision at all.
4) The ridiculousness of the word “green” and how it is woven into every ad campaign, new product development process, and pitch. People say 2008 will be known as the “green” year. This strikes me as completely inane. I believe strongly in the cause, but this beating a dead horse is getting so irritating. Yesterday, I saw a vodka advertised as green. I ask you, how is one vodka any greener than another? OK, sure, there are some corporate practices that could “help” one vodka to be greener, but this one had no good reason. How about financial institutions, banks and the like? Money is green. I think that’s where it ends.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Not the Best Day

Today I took a tumble. It was pretty good fall where I am told I looked graceful, but fear I looked a bit like like a moron (I just almost wrote mormom).

I ringed my foot with Elena's basket of animals, couldn't dislodge it, bounced off her Rody (blue horse - hippity hop thing) and landed on Liam's tractor. I ended up with my lunch on the floor and mayo LITERALLY all over me, including on my face. Luckily, the only injury I sustained was a skinned knee.


Friday, May 02, 2008


"You show us your twicks (tricks)"...pauses for a moment. "Wait, do you have any twicks?" Smiles crookedly and then says, "Oh well, Ewena (Elena) will do HER twicks then."

Guess I am not known for my twicks these days...

Then she just said, "I wanna buy some special things that we can do special stuff with. So we can do pwojects."

Tricks and projects...Has it always got to be a three-freaking-ring circus over here?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Couple Funnies from Last Weekend

On Saturday afternoon, Liam was playing in the sink, which seems to be a favorite pastime for my kids. After some time, he was quiet and asked Elena to check and see if he was still in the kitchen. Her response cracked me up.

She said, "I see an animal shirt. I see a haircut. Yup, Liam's in there!"

Then, while we were at the Battle of Ridgefield reenactment, Liam was wearing his "Hello, My Name is Trouble" t-shirt. Elena remembered this and, while she was hanging out with my friend Dave said to him, "Trouble, your name is Liam!"

Like Mother Like Daughter

It's hard when a trait you have, that you really don't always love in yourself, gets passed on to one of your children. It's like watching your childhood all over again, only from an adult's perspective. Some days, you can be more objective and forgive yourself for some of the behaviors by watching them in your baby, but other days it just annoys you and you find yourself snapping at, what is ostensibly a little yourself. I will dispense with the theory. I am referring to Elena (my almost four-year-old) and her constant talking.

Apparently, when I was a child I was called Constant Comment, after the Bigelow tea. Family lore has it that I once said "Who" over one thousand times before changing the subject(my dad counted). I spent my school years as the "social butterfly" (an actual quote from my third grade teacher). Even times spent alone were spent singing and talking to myself.

The positives? I had an excellent vocabulary, people who weren't already tired of hearing me talk thought I was charming (strangers mostly fall into this category), I was good as self-entertaining and could entertain my sisters telling stories. The negatives? I could be annoying, exhausting, and create noise pollution. It was hard to get mad at little Kristen for this behavior, though, because I was so much the optimist, it was kind of like kicking a puppy.

Cut to Elena. Yesterday, at six in the morning, she was at my bedside. I was tired and could not seem to get my eyes to open and my body to rouse. I lay there, half asleep, while she covered me with words. On and on and on she went. I was just amazed that, with no cues to encourage the coversation, she kept it up. It made me want to cry.

It occured to me that she has definitely inherited the gene for loquacity from me. I will start praying now for her ability to self-edit, modulate and read a room.