Thursday, January 31, 2013

The plague

So the plague has been sweeping through our apartment - but we are all getting different versions. First I had a flu-type plague (chills, fever, congestion). Then D had a bathroom plague. Now E has a vomiting/bathroom plague. It seems to have passed over - but strep and pinkeye are taking over his classroom. E seems immune to pinkeye (famous last words) but has had strep without symptoms several times (passing it to D and me).

OY!

Saturday we have to go to the post office, en famille, to get E and Z's passports. I guess the presence of both parents is necessary to make sure no one is being kidnapped. What a pain in the a**. It is infinitely harder to get passports for a minor than for yourself. What's more, the handy passport coordinator was dwelling on driver's licenses. I told him I didn't have one. He said, "Do you have a passport? Is it valid?" Yes. Yes. So that was fine. What's up with their website, then, saying a driver's license was good enough and a passport wasn't? It's enough to make your head spin.

(As a side note - I considered putting up a picture of the little girl from The Exorcist whose head spins. But the image is just too disturbing, even for a 1970s film that has largely slid into camp.)

Monday, January 28, 2013

My niece just sent me a photo of her prom dress. I feel so old! I remember when she was three years old and used to say, "I wub you."

Although...more seriously, getting "older" is bothering me less. I will turn 40 in July 2015, but I think with the right attitude, it could be an adventure. I think as women get older, they care less what others think about them. I can feel it happening already.
So I'm trying to get passports for the kids. We're thinking of going to Cancun for E's winter break. I've never been to Mexico before, and I was looking forward to it. But getting passports is a b***h! I gathered up E's and Z's social security cards and birth certificates (an accomplishment in itself) and located a rush passport service (we had to hold on to E's birth certificate for a while, which is another story for another time). I also have to get 2X2 photos of them taken at CVS, which seems a little ludicrous because Z is only one, but whatever. The sticking point is...they want ID for the parents as well, and a passport is apparently NOT ENOUGH. And I currently have no license (yet another story).

P.S. My mother came to the rescue, mailing my birth certificate and social security card. Also, D thinks the rush passport service is wrong about the requirements, because he thinks the state department will accept a passport as parental ID. However, I want to meet the rush passport service's requirements, because they can do it faster than the government.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I'm feeling nostalgic for a bike ride I used to take. I haven't used my bike since before I got pregnant with Zoe. I didn't want to ride while I was pregnant, and since then we've been pretty much attached at the hip. But someday, when she starts going to preschool, I plan to ride my bike on a regular basis again.

Anyway, this ride involved leaving my hometown, Danvers, and going to Topsfield, which was pretty rural and had a fancy cul-de-sac, William Fairfield Road, where I used to walk my dog and daydream about living (never happened). The bike path was hilly and thick with trees. Eventually it turned into a road, which was pretty deserted. You'd go through Amesbury and a series of tiny towns. Then, if you persevered for twenty miles, you were in Gloucester. Good Harbor Beach. The summer I turned 18, I had a lot of energy and I did this ride (forty miles round trip) on a regular basis. Once I went with a friend. I remember when we got to the beach, she fell asleep on the sand. I wonder if I could even do that ride now. I like the Hudson River bike path, but that is much shorter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I'm reading The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James. She also wrote a book about Charlotte Bronte and the "lost memoirs" of Jane Austen. It's really cute, a nice read. Basically her main character finds a missing manuscript that Jane Austen wrote, and the whole thing is embedded in the novel. I compared it to Emma (also on my Kindle) and she pretty much got the tone right.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Here is the hat I finished today.


It was a fun knit, though there was lots of purling. The yarn is called Snapdragon. I think it should be called Watermelon.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Today I got my hair highlighted and cut in long layers. I really do feel like a new woman. Funny how small things can make a big difference. I like looking at my hair and seeing little bursts of color.

Z likes to bring me the DVD for Bridget Jones's Diary. We watch it on my computer together, usually just a few scenes because her attention span is not that long. I forgot how funny that movie is.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Today my SIL came over, I had some clothes to give her (for the baby), plus a present for her baby from my mom, and the tray for the highchair I already gave her. She seemed kind of frazzled and overwhelmed. It turned out the baby was "breathing shallowly" in her sleep earlier and she freaked out and took her to the pediatrician, who checked her lungs and said she was fine. Also, the baby won't sleep anywhere at night except her car seat.

Almost done with book 3 of the Dragon Tattoo trilogy (officially known as the Millennium trilogy, after the magazine they work for in the series, but isn't my name better?). He's a gripping writer but he goes off on boring tangents that you can skip because he never mentions them again.

Read a really juicy blog entry today. I won't reveal the blog, but whoa!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

A certain baby napped for a long time today. That enabled me to finish book 2 in the Stieg Larsson trilogy. But it means she's not interested in bed now. I've started book 3 of the trilogy. I'm happy I came late to the series, so I can just whip through the whole thing and not have to wait for each book to come out.

Today I made Rachael Ray's tomato pasta soup. I really liked it. I may even prefer it to the more complicated minestrone from Moosewood that I've been making all these years.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

D picked up a book today. He said originally it was printed in a limited run, $500 per copy; now it is publicly available.

It's a charming book. In its original form, it was a letter from Joyce to his grandson, Stephen James Joyce.

(The lunch in the background was good too. I had a pear salad with pomegranate seeds and a pesto ricotta pizza.)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Our building toddler association didn't have a New Year's Eve party this year, so we decided to throw one ourselves. It seemed to go well. Nobody can get a babysitter that night anyway and people seemed relieved to have something they could take their kids to. Some of the kids pretended E's bed was a spaceship:


One woman told me, "You guys are saints for letting everyone's kids come over." When we got up the next morning, I saw what she meant: puzzle pieces everywhere. We did get it all cleaned up, and I don't regret it. Though the kids ended up going to bed at 10:30.