Friday, March 20, 2009

Abby's first trip to the dentist

I took Abby to the dentist this morning. We had talked about it beforehand, said there would be a special chair and toys in the waiting room etc. My husband couldn't go but I knew we'd be okay. We dropped him off at work, and headed on our way.

In the waiting room Abby was fine, she played with the Legos while I did the paperwork and then too quickly it was our turn to go in. She immediately got shy and wanted nothing to do with the hygienist. The hygienist was very patient and tried to show Abby her kangaroo and all her tools etc. The hygienist watered her plants from across the room with the dental water thing but Abby was not impressed. We rode on the chair, and Abby still did not really relax. Then the hygienist counted my teeth while she watched and she smiled at that. So that was okay, but we had another struggle when we tried to count hers. When the dentist came in the room she freaked. So he just said "hi" and "bye" and that was it. Not sure if we got an accurate count on her teeth because Abby didn't really open her mouth very wide. Getting her to show her teeth so we could see if she has an overbite or whatever was nearly impossible. All we really did was see that she does brush her teeth, count them, and see that her teeth are coming in fine. I got a prescription for fluoride drops for her, and she got a small red ball as a reward. The hygienist said come back in 6 months and try to prepare her better for the next visit. So we go back in September, and hope it goes better. I go back in June myself. I might bring her with me for that one. We'll see.
Of course when I brought her to school afterward she was bragging to her friends and teachers about her trip. Too funny!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Book Report- "Street Gang- The Complete History of Sesame Street" by Michael Davis

I watched Sesame Street when I was growing up, and we only had 2 tv channels with our rabbit ears on the tv. I watched Sesame Street several years later when my brother was the right age for it (he is 9-10 years younger than me). Now I am watching Sesame Street again because I have a daughter who is soon to be 3. I actually turned it on when she was still a newborn. She didn't have the attention span for it at first, and we had a long time where we watched "Elmo's World" but didn't watch the rest of the show. Now we've moved up to actually watching the whole show, not every day, but on a Saturday or a Sunday morning when we're moving a little slow... we might have it on. I'm watching it and seeing there is a mix of old and new episodes being shown. I've seen Northern Calloway, and I've seen Abby Caddaby.

So when our university library purchased "Street Gang", I was first or second in line to get the book and begin to read it. It took longer than I thought. It's a pretty thick volume, and there is a lot of history there. This isn't only a history of "Sesame Street", it's a history of children's television. You learn a lot about Captain Kangeroo, a little about Barney, and some of the other shows along the way too. And of course you learn about Jim Hensen, beginning and end.

This is not the kind of story that "flows". It's a book of research, compiled from hundreds of interviews, hours watching videotapes, and the author doing his homework. He didn't live these stories. This is some of Joan Cooney's story maybe, but again she's not telling it. The book covers a lot of territory, and I learned a lot more about the background of things than I expected. I also didn't learn some of what I was looking for too. I have more questions now, but I guess I'll find those answers on the internet.

It is a detailed book, if you ever wanted to know about how Sesame Street got on the air in the first place, this explains it. If you wanted to know where Kevin Clash came from, or "Gordon", this book will tell you. It was a heavier book than I expected it to be, but it was definitely an educational read. There are some interesting reviews on "Amazon" as well. Might want to check them out before you spend money on this book. However, if your local library has it, and you have the time for a book that goes well over 300 pages, then give it a read.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The writing prompt was "Pendulum"

The One Minute Writer prompt today is "Pendulum". You can check out the blog if you like. Here's my one minute response to it. This was on my mind anyway, in some form or another. Maybe I'll have time to expand these thoughts later---

"Pendulum. Is that what you said? Right now it's about the writing. Yesterday I wanted to burn it all. What if I died tomorrow? Or in 6 months? Who would read all my old stories? Who is my audience? Do I want my husband to see this? Or my daughter in 5 years, 10, 20? I don't know. Burn it! Burn it! Or not."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

book report- The Tender Bar by J.R.Moehringer

This is a memoir that I picked up on sale at Barnes and Noble. I let the book sit for quite a while before I finally opened it up, and then when I did open it, I had trouble putting it down. If you look it up on Amazon, you will see it gets some pretty good reviews. I just bought it on a whim though, and had no clue how good a read it would be.

A story about a man who grows up without knowing his dad, a single mom having trouble making ends meet, abusive family members, and not a great start in life. Then Uncle Charlie is asked to help out, and takes him to the beach with his drinking buddies. The highlights of a young boy's life, learning from these men, and idolizing the bar. Only after graduating from Yale, and having a long period of not really advancing his career, does he realize the strongest man of all is his mom. She is the picture of endurance, of ever lasting love, of working even when you're tired and never giving up. It's not the guys in the bar. It's the mother, the grandmother, and those quiet ones you never paid much attention to. Like Joey D., talking to his mouse.

The epilogue was nice too. I've been a bit overwhelmed at times concerning things regarding 9-11, but his tie-in was well done, and relevant. While he was only one of a few fatherless boys growing up, there is now a whole lot of them in certain neighborhoods in New Jersey and New York thanks to the tragedy that day. Sad, but true, and hopefully the widows and community have come together to help raise those kids as a village should, could, and can.

I'm taking a writing class now, and my last class we talked about "specifics". This story did a great job of the specifics. I could see the bar in my mind, picture the main road with the bar on one end and the church on the other. I saw the duct-taped furniture of grandpa's house, and I could picture Gilgo beach although I've never been there. A great read! I definitely recommend it. It's not a new book, published around 2005 or 2006, but look it up if you like memoirs.

We got the new car! (and health update along the way)

Well after a full day of car shopping on Saturday, we were still not convinced. We had not found our "dream car". DH was determined though. We talked, hemmed, and considered our options on Sunday. Then on Monday he got back on the computer, and did some more digging.

Meanwhile, I wasn't getting better healthwise. I was exhausted on Saturday when we were done, and I spent much of Sunday on the couch trying to stay awake. Monday morning I called the doctor. Breathing was becoming an issue. No appointments were available, so I slogged off to "Urgent care" at lunchtime. They kept me waiting for an hour. and then more. Meanwhile DH was still on the car hunt. I spent the whole afternoon dealing with x-rays, breathing tests, and coughing and gasping for air. When I was all done, I was told to go to the hospital if I got any worse, but they weren't sending me to the hospital in an ambulance. I was handed a fistful of prescriptions, and sent on my way after a nebulizer treatment which only seemed to make breathing worse. I picked up DH from work, and he announced we were going to Keene to get a new car. We picked up Abby, and by then it was snowing. A long snowy ride up Route 63 and then Route 10 to Keene.

The dealership closed at 7pm, and we got up there a bit after 6pm. We stayed until after 8pm, and finally left in our old Accord. We hadn't finalized the financing in this meeting, so we had to leave the pretty blue Element in the dealer lot. A stop at McDonald's for a late, late supper, and then a long ride back to Massachusetts, still snowing. Abby finally fell asleep in the car sometime after 10pm, poor kid. I went to Greenfield to get the prescriptions filled, and then we finally made it home sometime after 11pm.

Tuesday morning was a little rough. We were all exhausted, and we had a repairman coming to the house at 8am. I told work I was going to be out sick, but later went in anyway. I let Abby sleep as long as possible since the repairguy was coming. Aaron dealt with him. We need to spend $200-$300 on a new water pump. Oh joy! Got Abby to school by 9:30am, and DH and I barely made it to work at 10am. I went to a meeting, and then finally made it to my desk downstairs. Wasn't there long, and then just before I headed off to class DH called to say the financing was set, and we were going up to Keene again. We decided to leave Abby in school for this trip, and as soon as my class was over, we headed back north again. This time when we left the dealership it was in our 2007 Honda Element, with remote car starter! I felt so guilty saying goodbye to the Accord. I know it's not going to the crusher though. Someone will give it the love and repairs it needs and hopefully it will see many more winters, but boy do I feel like a heel for throwing in the towel on her. She was a comfy ride for over 5 years. We got her just a few months after we got married. My first car loan. Sigh. Now I'm begging DH to try to keep the old plates. I hope we can get the paperwork straightened out to make it happen. I've had my dear 4646AI plates since ...? my first car? My second car? not sure. A long time. I hope I don't have to part with them now. It's the only bit of my old cars that I have left.

Abby didn't like the new car at first. Like us, she was sad to see the old one go. I did my best to explain that cars aren't forever, and some day this new one will be gone too. And then maybe she can have a green one again, or maybe red or yellow or who knows....

Anyway, the Element is pretty. Like a younger woman, she's very cute and charming. She has a remote car starter, a cd player, and 4 wheel drive. I like driving her so far, sitting up high, seeing the road. Abby will like the sun/moon roof I think, especially in the summertime. It was a good trade, and I hope the Element lasts as long or longer as the Accord did. God knows the loan might outlive us all! :-)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Is it time for a new car?

Wow. We have a 2000 Honda Accord that we bought used in 2003 probably, shortly after we got married. It has served us very well. It's all paid off finally, and with preschool/daycare being super expensive right now, our plans have been to keep this car until Abby starts Kindergarden. We're a one car family, which isn't easy when you live out in a rural place like we do. So now the transmission is going on the Accord and it is a $3000 repair job. Plus one of the wheel barrings is shot, and we could lose a tire any day. The mechanic at the dealership made it clear that the car isn't safe to drive. Maybe he was just trying to sell us a new car? Is it worth it to get it fixed? The hubby doesn't think so, and honestly we don't have $3000 right now anyway. So suddenly we are shopping for a used car, and hoping we can make the payments when they come due. The whole family is still sick- cold, pneumonia, whatever.... and that isn't helping our moods any either.

So if you're looking for me this weekend, just find a used car lot, and listen for the sound of a woman coughing her lungs out while her husband tries to talk to the sales guy, and Abby will be doing whatever she can to get in on the action too. I'm sure.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"I wish" a writing assignment

I am taking a writing class, aimed at Umass staff, called "Writing for Work and Beyond". The instructor is Leslie Fraser. I hope I'm not violating the confidentiality rules of the class by sharing this- a couple of weeks ago we were given the assignment to 1. Write "I wish" 20 times down a piece of paper. 2. Finish the sentence. 3. Go back, and as often as possible list a small first step you can take toward making that wish come true.

I wrote to my friend Arlene, in an email, telling her I was having trouble with this assignment. The first thing I said to the instructor was "that's a lot to wish for!". And honestly, I've only come up with 10 wishes so far. 5 wishes that I know I can't make happen, and 5 that I can. I'll try to post them later.

Arlene mentioned some of this in her blog already, and I'm not as good at doing all the links and stuff as she is.... but her blog is here.

If anyone wants to post their wishes, feel free to leave a comment.

My poor neglected blog...

It's been a few weeks since I posted here. I've been awful about it. I joined Facebook and I'm having a lot of fun with that. I went my writing class, and liked it. Then missed the second class because I decided that going to see the doctor would be more fun. Yeah, right. My daughter has a cold, so my husband and I missed a couple of days of work last week taking care of her. We're both coughing too, but Tuesday I succumbed and went to the doctor and found out I have pneumonia. Wednesday I stayed home. So I haven't finished the family tax returns, and I haven't finished a book yet, and I have a lot of stuff I'm behind on. I've got a few pieces from my writing class that I haven't put online yet too. Just behind in general. Behind in reading all the blogs I follow too. Sorry friends! I am out here, just lost in the haze and the fog of.... trying to breathe without coughing. I'm getting a new laptop for my birthday, and we're getting new wedding rings soon too (custom made!). Yahoo!! I've got about 4 books that I'm reading now, and I suppose I need to find a 5th that the writing teacher wants us to use, but that's just a writing book - nothing to write a book report on. So for anyone out there reading this thing, I'm sorry. I'm here. I'm watching the world from my little window. And I'm thinking of things to say. I just haven't had a chance to say them lately. Hopefully soon.