Friday, February 25, 2005

Food Fetish, as Opposed to Foot Fetish

I think little Boogie was a homeless person in a previous life. She is very protective of her food. Being a toddler, she has already adopted the their style of bringing her face really close to her bowl when she eats. This morning was a perfect example.

My husband was getting her a Pop-Tart to eat (yes, I know, they're full of sugar, but she's also good about eating vegetables and milk and other food that is good for her, so I let her indulge). Her Elmo doll was in the kitchen and my husband said, "Oh, no, I think Elmo's going to eat your Pop-Tart!" Now, my daughter had just woken up and wasn't really in the mood for games, so she just stared intensely at him. He put the Pop-Tart at her little table so she could go eat it, and she started freaking out, crying at the top of her lungs. I was feeding little Dak at the time, so I had no idea what was going on. But then I had a realization. "Did you put Elmo on the table with the Pop-Tart?" I asked. My husband said yes. "I think she really thought Elmo was going to eat her Pop-Tart."

She's also gotten upset when people come over when she's in the middle of eating dinner. One time, her grandma and aunt came to visit (they live close by, so it wasn't a special occassion), and we asked her to give them hugs. She got so upset, and I think it was because she thought that if she got up from the table that she wouldn't get any more food.

The good thing is despite her love for food, she's as lean as a string bean.

I think she gets her food fixation from me (although I am far from a string bean). I love to eat, and really like to savor my food. I never eat in the car, because I feel like I can't concentrate on my food and really enjoy it. I am also one to save the best food for last. I like to eat the crusts first on a sandwich and save the soft middle for last. I even like to do that with a hamburger, so the good stuff (pickles, ketchup, mustard, cheese) is all together in the end. If you eat it like a normal person, your last bite could be just a piece of meat and dry bread. I also like saving the best fries for the end. The best ones are those that are a little soft (of course, the really, really, crunchy ones are good too, just not the best). Or if I'm eating curly fries, the really twisted ones I save to the end. But sometimes that backfires. Once I was eating curly fries and had the best one still sitting on my plate. My husband came by and picked it up off my plate and ate it. Oh, pierce me through my heart!

Thankfully, Boogie hasn't adopted some of my other weird food fixations. I don't like fruit and bread mixed together, like pies, Pop-Tarts, cranberry muffins (the exception to that is a blueberry muffin, but I'm not sure why). I also don't like sweet things on food that is typically salty, like mango chutney on fish, or orange chicken. Obviously, sweet and sour sauce is out of the question. I'm probably the only person on the planet who doesn't like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (although I love Reece's peanut butter cups). I also don't like hot drinks, or foods with cinammon (except cinnamon toast). Em is constantly trying to figure out my food fixations, but things that she doesn't think I'd like, I do, and vice versa. I think she's a little bummed that I wouldn't enjoy her hot apple cider during the holidays.

All this talk is making me hungry. I think I'll go have a Pop-Tart. Um, not so much.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Home Improvement

Tax return time is always when we begin to start new home improvement projects.* Last year, we completely remodeled our kitchen, which was hell to say the least. But it's done and beautiful, complete with new stainless steel appliances. The only thing we couldn't afford at the time was a new refrigerator, which we knew we'd get with our tax return. We got it yesterday, and boy what a difference. It doesn't even look like the same kitchen.

But I'm not done.

My other projects are to find a new dining table/china cabinet to go with the new dining room that we also redid last year, with white wainscotting, green walls and new pictures. Our current table, borrowed from my husband's parents just doesn't go anymore. My dilemma is to find a white table. I can't find anything that doesn't look cheap, but that isn't nearly $2000. I just can't see paying that much, especially with two little ones running around. Being the research queen, I've looked everywhere, and just can't find it. Places that say their dining tables are white, are actually off-white, which won't work. I did see one table that I thought would work, but the padding on the chairs had these weird pineapple patterns. Ugly. But I think I might go back and look, because maybe I can recover the chairs. If it saves me $1,000 it will be worth it.

I'm also working on redoing our office. We are trying to make the closet into a library/storage area, and I want it to look really good, so I've called a couple of those closet organization places. What I hate about getting quotes is how everyone always tries to undermine the other company. "Oh, don't go with them. They do shoddy work, and if you have problems, they may not be licensed." "Oh, they gave you a cheaper bid? Well, you have to realize that their service is bad." You know what? Just give me a price and I'll determine who I think will work better for me. I can usually judge from the person giving me the quote whether I think I'd like to work with them. I may end up just buying some prefabricated pieces and having us install it ourselves.

We also need a new computer, which will probably be a nightmare for me and my research because there are just too many options out there, and too many companies to choose from. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears. We went with Gateway last time, and had no problems, but I, of course, want to check out all my options.

Why am I the one doing all of these renovations? Because my husband, much as I love him, just won't do it. He agrees that things need to be upgraded (when you live in a home that's 35 years old, it's expected), but he just won't get the process started. That's why I do so much research ahead of time. So when the time comes, he knows I've gotten the best deal, and the best quality for our money, and has no excuse to wait.

The bad part about these projects is I become obsessed about them until they're done. So it's in my best interest to get these done soon, so I can move on to bigger and better things.

*Lest you think that we just blow all of our return money, we are setting up college funds for our son and daughter (which will probably be the easiest of all my projects since I work at a financial institution), paying off my credit card, and investing some in an IRA. Are we responsible or what?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

An Old Soul

Last night, I got angry with my daughter. Not just annoyed or frustrated, but angry. I don't like myself when I get that way. I don't like the sound of my voice, or the way my daughter looks at me as I yell at her. In that moment, I'm not me.

Afterward, I felt guilty. I sat next to my daughter as she ate her dinner, and started to cry. I didn't think she would notice because she was watching her Aladdin video (I know, I know, I shouldn't let her watch TV while she eats, but I do). I saw her look over at me.

Her: What's wrong, mommy?
Me: Nothing, I'm just sad.
Her: Why are you sad?
Me: I just feel bad that I yelled at you.

She got up from her chair and came over to me to give me a hug. Well, that just started the tears flowing even more. She pulled back from me and just looked at me in the face. She took her little hands, wiped the tears from my eyes, and hugged me again.

How can a little girl who is not even three yet know how to comfort someone like that? How can she sense my moods and know just what to do?

Later on, my husband tried to talk to me about my earlier outburst. "Don't worry," I said. "She already put me in my place." I told him what happened, and he said, "I can't believe the conversations you have with her."

I went to the fair last year, and visited this psychic. I go to her every year just to see what she has to say. She took one look at my daughter, who had just turned two and said, "She's an old soul." I believe it. She just seems to understand more than a typical toddler would.

Today we were talking about how much we loved each other:

Her: I love you a little.
Me: I love you a lot.
Her: I love you a lot, too.
Me: Do you love Daddy a lot?
Her: Yes.
Me: Daddy doesn't think you love him.
Her: Why?
Me: Because you're mean to him. You yell at him and don't let him play with you.
Her: Oh. But I do love him.

It struck me that she was mature enough to ask why he didn't think she loved him. She just amazes me sometimes. How did I get so lucky to have her?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Neighborhood Watch

My husband is turning into Mr. Cravitz. Well, not really Mr. Cravitz exactly, since he was the one who just sat in his easy chair reading the paper and asking his wife to get away from the window. My husband is the male version of Mrs. Cravitz.

I think it has something to do with the rain. And maybe that he's been sick for two weeks. Either way, he's been stuck in the house and I think it's going to his head. Typically he likes to be outside, working in the yard, playing basketball, washing his truck, etc. But since it's been raining for days on end, and it was a long weekend to boot, he's been stuck inside.

This morning, he just stood at the window, watching the world go by outside. Actually he was watching the flood go by. The drainage area at the end of our street was blocked, and the water by our house was over the sidewalk and coming up in our yard.

"Guys, I think we have a problem," he announced to our household. Since we were going to get our family pictures taken this morning, I was more interested in getting the kids bathed, dressed and looking pretty for the pictures. I knew that the rain was letting up and the water would soon be gone. It was.

Then he announced that our poor neighbor was tromping through the flood, taking his dogs to the park. "You should see him," he announced. Again, I was elbow deep in bath water and not able to get up and look out the window. "Wow, you should see him now," he exclaimed. "I think he's carrying a dead rat!" That I definitely did not want to see, and I asked him to come away from the window.

"Look at that truck," he said as a large dump truck made its way around the bend. "Look at the wave it's creating, right up on our sidewalk. Oh, look, there's another truck. It's going to do the same thing."

Later on, he saw someone pull up to the park near our house. Once again, he got up to go to the window.

"Just come away from the window," I said. I think I'm turning into the female version of Mr. Cravitz.