Understanding Laura

I am a crunchy oddball with too many ideas and too little time. Do you get me now?

Friday, December 18, 2009


I checked our garbage can last night - the note I left is gone. It was very well taped on and the weather was not windy last night. I think our neighbors took it. Though, they thoughtfully left my garbage cans where I placed them.

I contacted our rental agency today to ask about covenants or rules that we might need to be aware of. I'm awaiting a call back.

I'm nervous that I may have been drawn into a garbage can war. I envision a daily ritual of moving my cans back to the side of the house. Uggghh... I wish the note-leavers had signed their note so I could confront them directly. I hate this waiting feeling.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Love Thy Neighbor

This evening, I found this note taped to our garage and our garbage can moved from the side of the house - parked in the middle of our driveway up against our garage door.

My response?


While I wanted to respond with the same level of hostility, Brian sweet-talked the irritation out of me and helped me compose a friendly letter in response.

Dear Neighbor,

Should you have a concern, we'd be happy to talk about it.
Please drop in at your earliest convenience.

The Gent Family

I taped it to our garbage can and put the garbage can back on the side of the house.

Had our neighbors come over to talk to us (instead of using their passive-aggressive tactic), I would have responded with this -

"Oh my, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize our garbage cans were bothering you. Thank you for coming to talk to me about it. Unfortunately, we have nowhere else in our front yard to store them, our garage is full with a car and a minivan, and our gate has been broken since we moved in. I'm afraid I don't have the energy to care for two small children while manhandling the gate open, holding it open, and rolling two garbage cans out once a week. However, we have a work-order in with our rental agency and are anxiously awaiting a functioning gate. For the time being, this is the only storage solution we have. We really would like to accommodate your request. We will do so as soon as we are able."

I've never had neighbor neighbors. Is this how things go? I'm not so sure I was missing anything!

After-Post Thoughts-

Where did all that hostility come from, anyway? That was a quick leap to freak-out. What if I'd reversed my minivan into the garbage can instead of finding it on my way to the mail box? I've been home ALL DAY LONG. I know they didn't try talking to me first. It's not like I missed them while I was out. Can you see my eyes rolling???

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can't Stop This Train!

Delia is a rolling machine! It's no longer safe to let her play at the top of the stairs while I dry my hair - she's attempting to roll her little body down the stairs!

Sitting is coming easy for her as well. As long as nothing shiny catches her eye, she'll remain sitting. She'll even correct herself when she is overcome with glee and loses balance.

Kellie's big girl bed is too big for her big girl room. We kinda knew it would be - but still had it assembled as a bunk, hoping we were wrong. We weren't. There will be time to separate them after Quiet Time.

Kellie, Delia, and I were all lying down in the new bed. Kellie wrapped Delia's head in a hug, kissed the top of her head, and whispered, "I love you Delia. You're my baby sister." How sweet is that? My Mommy-heart was a puddle of goo.

Delia's physical development is on fire this month! She can stand while holding onto something for support. Here, Brian has demonstrated her new skill in his hamper.

Grammie introduced Kellie to "Fancy Nancy" and Kellie has taken to Nancy's spin on life. Fancy is in, plain is out. Kellie wakes me up in the morning asking if we can go shopping at Target. She insists on being dressed to the nines. This is her most recent ensemble. Gotta love the fish net stockings.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Have A Rat

I do. I really, really do.

Why I bought the rat? I bought him the day I came to terms with the completion of our family of four. I think the desire to hold something tiny once more drove me to buy a rodent.

Why I'm keeping the rat? Kellie's sweet little voice, "Mama, I love this rat."

What?? Don't look at me like that! :) It teaches her responsibility and bonding and... Well! I don't know what to say! I thought a rat was the second to last thing I'd adopt. A ferret is the last - but that's only because I'm not disciplined enough to care for a ferret.

Anyway... Here he is. His name is Fritz.

Baby Bear and the Parakeet

Two stories about our girls -

The Parakeet - Brian was holding Delia in the crook of his arm while I was making lunch. I commented that she looked tired as her blinks became longer and more closely spaced. He jokingly covered her eyes with his hand and said, "Sleep!" When he pulled his hand up and away from her face...she was asleep. Serious. He then laid her down in her crib where she had a half hour nap and woke up giggling.

The Baby Bear - We went shopping for beds yesterday (Kellie has outgrown her toddler bed). Kellie was playing with the other kids that were there with their parents. Two girls (who looked to be about 7 and 9) were being really nasty to her when she'd call out, "Hey friends! Let's go play on this bed!" they'd snicker and run the other way. When she asked their names, they gave her fake names and giggled behind their hands. I ignored their behavior and watched Kellie interact with them. I felt irritated that these girls were being so bratty toward my daughter, but figured she'd have to fight her own battles. Well, they played (if you can call running away from Kellie and trying to trick her into thinking they were playing hide and seek, playing) for most of our stay there. It amounted to 30+ minutes of play, each minute getting worse than the last. Still, Kellie was oblivious to their ploy. When they coaxed Kellie up into a storage closet behind a bunk bed, then each went to the two doors and began to hold them closed, the MaMa Bear in me lost it. I shouted across the display room, "Hey! Hey!! We do NOT lock little girls in closets! Step away from there RIGHT NOW!" The youngest was in my line of sight and responded immediately. The older girl was on the other side of the bed - all I saw was RED. The little girl stepped back from the door and shied away from me as I stalked over to her side. When I got closer, I asked, "What do you think you are doing?" Well, I guess I scared her speechless because she just stared at me with big eyes. In my stern-Mommy voice, I said, "Where are you parents? Are you here with your Mom or your Dad?" (The ring leader and older girl stayed within ear shot and listened to her younger friend get a serious scolding.) The younger girl pointed across the display floor and into the next room, "They're over there." she whispered. I replied quietly and with meaning, "I think it's best you go over there and tell them what you and your friend were doing." Her eyes got wider (I was starting to feel bad that I'd scared her) and she brought her hands in to cover her face. Still pissed at how they'd treated my baby for the last 30 minutes, I narrowed my eyes and whispered "Do you understand me?" She nodded and ran toward her parents, her older friend followed quickly behind.

I've been going over and over the scenario in my mind, wondering what I could have (or SHOULD have) done differently.

The facts are-
Those girls were behaving badly.
Their parents were nowhere in sight the whole time.
My daughter is three and naive to how terrible other kids can be.
Had I not stopped them when I did, Kellie would have been locked in that closet.
Knowing Kellie, she would not have gotten over it quickly. (Both the nasty joke and the feelings of betrayal.)

I ask myself -
Should I have intervened sooner? Like when they would coax Kellie onto one bed then giggle and run away, higher and farther than her smaller body could keep up with?

Should I have stood silently by and let Kellie learn a lesson that day? Whether it be -Stand up for yourself- or -The world is not the nice place your sweet little heart thinks it is-?

How much of my stern-voiced intervention was protecting Kellie and how much was lashing out at the little girls who were nasty to me in MY childhood?

How do I teach Kellie to stand up for herself when she clearly saw no malice in their tone of voice or games of trickery?

Is she still young enough to need protecting? Or is it time she endure her own emotional bruising in her transition into real life?

I'm glad she doesn't know what those girls were planning. Nasty little buggers. I'm glad she accepted my response that it was "time for them to go" when she asked where her "friends" had gone. I'm glad those girls listened and I hope they learned a lesson.

But I had nightmares about all of this last night. My MaMa Bear instinct has never presented itself more clearly or with more strength than it did in that furniture store. I'm all shaken up about it. I just want my baby's transition into BigKidWorld to go smoothly and without trauma.

...Is that too much to ask?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Naked Truth

If you're feeling like I am - then join me in an honest picture post.

Honestly, this is what my children see all day long.
It's who I've become, but not who I want to be.

Look at that poor sad girl...

How Did It Come To This?

Oh, I'll tell you.

A typical day goes something like this-
It's 8:30 am, I stumble downstairs and thoughtlessly shove 2-4 fun size candy bars in my mouth. As I'm devouring them, I prepare a healthy balanced breakfast for Kellie. Then I search for something to drink. I convince myself I need caffeine and down 8-12 ounces of Mountain Dew or Pepsi.

That's just my morning. Nevermind the rest of the day where I forget to eat until I'm starving and don't have "time" to make a real meal for myself. So I cram handfuls of potato chips into my mouth as fast as I can before Kellie sees me and wants chips with her lunch instead of broccoli.

Then comes dinner time. I usually eat what I prepared for the family...twice. So while it's the healthiest thing I've eaten all day, I've eaten too much.

Now I'm 5 months postpartum weighing 12 pounds more than I did at 6 weeks postpartum.

Enough is enough.

I weigh 187.8

Today, I vow to work diligently and eat healthily so I can weigh 150 (or less!) by Delia's 1st birthday.

I actually ate a healthy *5 point* breakfast with Kellie today. :) I can do this.