Monday, February 27, 2006

The Verdict

Mah-2 is a success!!! The package came in the mail today and according to hubby, the girl grabbed Lamb(2) away from him and hugged him/her immediately. Apparently there was no wide-eyed, surprised, grateful, "thank goodness you found him/her" kind of reaction - only a "it's about time you gave him/her back to me" kind of reaction.

The boy at least said, "You found Lamb!"

Lamb(3) is now safe and secure in a plastic bag with babydoll(2) in our closet, just in case the unthinkable ever happens again. Yes, I was able to find another babydoll just like the boy's beloved. It even has one eye that sticks open and the headband has already been ripped off. Those toy bins are murder at Walmart!

Friday, February 24, 2006


In case some of you don't know, I'm an engineer. I work in a gigantic engineering and construction company with a whole bunch of other engineers. I don't have an office, I "sit in a cubicle". When people talk about "prarie doggin'", I know exactly what they're talking about. And if you don't know what prarie doggin' is, then you obviously don't sit in a cubicle! :) FYI

Something you may or may not know about engineers is that they are generally really, really boring, geeky people who have absolutely no fashion sense. (Hard to believe, I know.) This works out well for me (the no fashion sense part) because I have not changed my wardrobe since before the first baby was born and I'm actually still wearing my "fat clothes" that I bought for the fifth month of my first pregnancy. (Did I just admit that out loud?!) When I get dressed in the morning, I never think I actually have to dress up or look nice because I work with a bunch of engineers! Who's going to know that I don't look good? These old men who still use pocket-protectors?! (I'm serious.)

Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, there have been some new-hires that have entered the company who are women and they show up every day in their hip-hugging, slender pants with their belly-buttons tantalizingly almost showing, looking all nice and pretty. They're really beginning to make me look bad. But I digress...

What I really wanted to write about today is that every once in awhile, I get a glimpse of some actual life in one of my co-workers.

My current boss is an Indian man (really from India) who is a vegetarian and practices the Hindu religion. There are two people working for him right now: me and another woman who is from Bulgaria. This other woman is very, very, very (I mean VERY) soft-spoken and seemingly very timid.

So, at Christmas-time this year, on the day the door-decorating contest was going to be judged, this woman came to work with a picture of a gingerbread house that she had printed out on her home computer. Across the bottom of the picture, she had printed, "Approved for Construction". (When we issue drawings and documents around here, we issue them, "For Internal Review" and then, "For Client Review" and finally, "Approved for Construction") So, I thought this was a cute little play on words she had created and when she suggested that we put it on our boss' door for the door-decorating contest, I whole-heartedly agreed that it would be an amusing and playful thing to do to our Hindu boss.

When the appointed time came to "decorate his door" at lunchtime, my co-worker came to my desk and asked if I was ready. I said sure, and she pulled me over to her desk. She had created the roof of the gingerbread house at her desk during the morning, out of card board, white paper, candies in the shape of fruit, and decorated cookies from the cafeteria. She intended to affix it to the top of his door!! I was floored. Where did this creativity, joviality, and outlandishness come from?! Surely not from the most soft-spoken woman on the earth! (seriously, when she talks, I have to strain to hear her)

Anyway, we decorated his door and he came in 2nd place. I have the dying poinsettia in my office to prove it.

It is this kind of "secret mind" that I find so interesting to discover in my co-workers. Today was another example.

Another one of my co-workers, who until recently sat in the cube right next to me, sent me an e-mail. This man is another one of those really nice, soft-spoken, Indian (really from India), Hindu, peaceful, could never imagine him making a joke, kind of people. He is from the same area in India as my boss and they speak the same dialect, so every once in awhile, I would hear them chatting away, saying "ha-chah" (which apparently means "yes" in either Hindi or their dialect and not "Ha-chah! That's one nice-looking woman!")

I mentioned to him the other day that when my boss left on vacation, he sent me an e-mail with a list of everything that needed to be done this week. The last sentence in the e-mail said, "Concluding, finish everything before I get back. Good luck." It made me laugh out loud when I read that one.

So, this guy that used to sit next to me told me that when my boss returns, I should tell him a phrase in their dialect to joke with him and get him back for this little "joke" he pulled on me. He tried to tell me the phrase, but we both agreed it would be best for him to e-mail me the phrase and the pronunciation.

This is his e-mail (including the change to red letters at the end):

Subject: Gujarati 101

Badhoo Pati Gayoo - Everything is completed.
  • Badhoo (not like in "BAD" but the other way, and hoo is hoo) - Everything
  • Pati (don't say the first 3 letters like in "PAT" but the other way, and "i" should be pronounced as "e") - Completed/Finished
  • Gayoo (not like in "GAY" but the other way, and yoo is yoo)
You have to be careful with Badhoo though. If you say "Budhoo" the meaning changes completely. Budhoo stands for "Idiot".

Maybe you have to know him, and maybe it's just me, but I found it hilarious. The "not like in ____, but the other way" part. I guess I've been working with engineers too long.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Major Catastrophe

Well, we've lost Lamb. Lamb is baby girl's favorite stuffed animal, with whom she sleeps every night.

It seems that Lamb went out with the kids for their walk yesterday morning and since we can't find him/her (don't know which gender the girl has assigned to him/her yet), we're assuming that he/she didn't make it back to the house yesterday. We looked everywhere last night - called one of their playmates' mother, hubby went out for a walk last night at 9:30 to look for Lamb - but nothing. I'm sure baby girl doesn't miss him/her nearly as much as this is tearing us up.

So, last night, hubby spent about an hour and a half searching the internet to try to find out where we can get another Lamb. We can't remember who gave us Lamb and don't remember who the manufacturer is. I was supposed to be working last night, but couldn't help myself and searched a few things, too. One of the things I found had me in tears:
Have you seen this lamb?
That's enough to make any parent break down and cry, I think. It made me thankful that baby girl is only 16 months old during this "time of loss." :)

Anyway, we think we finally found a suitable Lamb substitute, however, we won't really know until it comes in the mail (express mail, of course!). And of course, we ordered 2! - I was tempted to order 3...
Shearly the Lamb
If it comes and she runs to it yelling "Mah!" (her name for Lamb), then we'll know we've succeeded.

And at lunchtime today, I'm headed off to Walmart to see if I can find another babydoll for the boy (his favorite sleep companion). Just in case...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Newest Development

Well, the newest development in our household is the fact that the boy has figured out how to crawl out of his crib. It's about time! He's almost 3, for God's sake.

Not that I was actually hoping he would figure it out - no, we planned to keep him in there for as long as possible. We have enough trouble trying to get him to go to sleep without having him crawling out of bed to come find us.

During our vacation, however, he discovered that he could quite easily climb out of the Pack-n-Play in which he was sleeping (again, I don't know how it took him so long to figure this out!) so the second morning we were back home, he decided to try out his Houdini move with his crib. Last night he crawled INTO his crib and then back out while we were getting the kids ready for bed. It was actually quite impressive.

So, I guess it's finally time for the big-boy bed. We put his side crib rail down half-way last night so that he wouldn't hurt himself if he tried to climb out during the middle of the night and he went to sleep easily enough - even though he knew he could get out. That's a huge step, as far as we're concerned.

Looks like it's time for another shopping trip to one of our favorite stores: IKEA!!! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Back from vacation...

Work... crazy.
Boss... gone 'til March.
Deadline... Feb. 24th.
Drowning... quickly.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Better than I ever thought it could be

I'm still on an emotional high after putting the kids in the same room together. It's just so much better than I ever thought it could be! (believe me, I'm knocking on wood, touching iron, and keeping my fingers and toes crossed as I say this...)

I worried and agonized about how difficult it was going to be and how they would surely wake each other up and how none of us were going to get any sleep for the month following this transition. And it has turned out to be the opposite. They go to sleep easier, they don't wake each other up, and bed time has turned into something I think they both look forward to.

I wonder how long this will last... I'm just going to enjoy it while I can!

(originally posted at 9:43pm, Feb. 7)

I should have known better. I shouldn't tempt fate like that, because fate will always come and bite me in the butt.

Last night, my sleep was interrupted several times! I had to get up to go pee at 2:00 - which isn't really a big deal, because I went right back to sleep, but then at 2:25, the baby monitor started beeping. The husband turned it off and turned it back on, which usually fixes it, but when I opened my eyes, I could tell there was something wrong. It took a few seconds for me to process what I was seeing and finally realize that the power was off - that's why the monitor started beeping - no signal from the kids' bedroom because that monitor plugs into the wall and doesn't have a rechargeable battery. (why it doesn't have a rechargeable battery, I have no idea!)

So, I was laying there trying to figure out if I should worry about no power, or not. I checked outside to see if the street light was on - no, it wasn't, so it was the whole neighborhood without power and it wasn't someone trying to break into our house or something. But then I realized that without power, the heater wouldn't work, so if it stayed off too long, the kids would get cold. Now I had to try to figure out if it was worth attempting to go into their bedroom to cover them up and risk the possibility of waking them up...

Just then, the husband realized that no power meant his computer downstairs would soon lose power (he has a battery backup on the surge protector, but it only lasts about 30 minutes). So, he headed downstairs to save his work and I thought we'd better call the power company to make sure they knew our neighborhood was without power.

Thirty minutes later, when I finally got to talk to a person (Did I mention it was 2:30am? Just how many people could be calling the electric company at that hour?!), they told me the crews were working on it and it should be back on soon. As I was laying there, just about to go back to sleep, the power came back on and made the house alarm beep and scared the crap out of me again! I think I finally got back to sleep at around 3:30.

Then at 5:00, the boy started screaming. This, of course, woke up the girl (because, in this original post, I said they didn't wake each other up!), so hubby took the boy to our room, while the girl nursed and I tried to get her to go back to sleep. I finally put her back in bed at about 5:25 and crawled back into our bed to wait the 8 minutes until my alarm was scheduled to go off.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Get a baby monitor that has rechargeable batteries in both units and that way, at least you'll only be awakened by screaming babies, not power outages. (of course, that would then cause your husband to lose his work on his computer, but really, isn't sleep more important than work?!)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Where's the Lion Dance?

"Where's the Lion Dance, mommy?" The boy has asked me this question at least once every day since last Saturday.

You see, last Sunday was the Chinese New Year, but the Chinese restaurant that Grammy and PaPa eat at every day (and the place where we always go) had their celebration one day early and anyone who made a reservation to eat lunch there last Saturday was priviledged to watch a "Lion Dance" right there in the restaurant. We decided we would join Grammy and PaPa for the festivities.

We were a little skeptical as to how the kids might react to this display, but thought that if it got too bad, we could always leave the restaurant and go next door to the bookstore to escape. Well, since Grammy and PaPa are such loyal customers, we were assigned the front row seat and once they got set up for the dance, which included 6 different "lions", it was clear there would be no easy escape.

However, feeling sure that we had tried to prepare the kids as best we could by telling them about it and that it would be really loud, we settled in to watch. As they were setting up the "lions", both the kids seemed interested in looking at them. They were very ornate and really quite nice. I was impressed. Soon, they were ready to take their places - two people per lion - and start the dance.

Nothing could have prepared us for the amount of sheer horror and terror displayed by both our children. I was holding baby girl, trying to keep her away from the lions and trying to make her feel secure, but as soon as they brought the costume up and gave it life (which, in the kids' defense was really quite surprising and amazing - I marveled over it for almost a full second before the screaming began), her whole body began shaking - almost convulsing - and she started screaming and crying and trying to get away from those things. Apparently, it had a very similar effect on the boy. After only a few moments, it was obvious that I needed to get the girl away from the dancers as quickly as I possibly could.

Luckily, I was able to make my way over to the bar area of the restaurant, putting about 25 feet between us and the dancers. It seemed to be enough to get her calmed down after a couple of minutes and we watched the rest of the dance from afar. It lasted quite awhile - I'd say at least 10 minutes.

When it got close to the end of the dance, I looked up to see my husband and the boy emerging from the kitchen. They had ended up going down the hallway towards the bathrooms, where the employees of the restaurant took pity on them and brought them into the kitchen, giving the boy several fortune cookies while they were there.

By the time they emerged from the kitchen, the boy was still sobbing and was still very afraid of the lions. He continued to cry for about two minutes after they stopped, even. He was a mess. Oddly enough, most of the other children in the restaurant actually loved the dance. They even fed the lions some red envelopes.

Anyway, once they finally finished and took the costumes away, we returned to the table, but the boy wouldn't let go of me. He sat on my lap for the rest of the time we were there, whimpering.

I did my best to console him and tell him that everything was OK. I told him it was OK to be scared and that we'd just have to hold onto each other when we're scared. And be scared together. Somehow this made things better.

Now every day, he asks us, "Where's the Lion Dance?"
"They went home."
"Oh..... (long pause) I cried a lot. Daddy took care of me. I got too many fortune cookies. We'll be scared together."

It made quite an impression.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Six more weeks - ha!

So, today is Groundhog Day and apparently Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means we're supposed to have six more weeks of winter. Are you kidding me? We never even had winter here in the first place!!!

I'm pretty sure winter has already completely passed us by this year. I think we had one week of cold weather here sometime back in November. It actually prompted us to buy a few sweaters for the boy - of which, he has worn none because it's never been cold enough here.

Well, that's not really the true reason he hasn't worn them. The real reason is that there are exactly three shirts in his entire wardrobe that he deems fit to wear. If we try to put anything else on him, he throws a fit. He won't even let us change his shirt for his PJ top most of the time. Which then works out well the next day because we don't have to fight with him over what shirt he's going to wear - he just continues to wear the same shirt.

Three days is the limit, though. We have some standards. :)