Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Orientation Blues

You guys - I am going to be attending my fourth college orientation this coming May. How exciting is that?

Oh, wait, you can hear the sarcasm in that previous statement, right?

Thankfully, as a transfer student, I only need to attend a single day of orientation - from 8am to 5pm. I'm, uh - I'm sure I'll learn a lot of new things about going to college that I totally didn't know before. After three other colleges, I feel like I could sign some sort of a waiver: "I promise to read the student handbook and to show up to classes. Please just let me sign up for the one class I would like to take this summer without having to find a full day of child care." (And don't confuse this session of orientation with my two day orientation for nursing school coming up at the end of the summer. I suspect that orientation will actually be very helpful.)

But I'll be fair. A single day of orientation is hardly the stuff of angsty ballads. If this was a new job, I'd expect orientation and be annoyed if I didn't have a chance to learn the layout of the office and their policies and procedures. Of course, a job doesn't require a $35 payment plus a $7 convenience fee for the mandatory orientation.

I'll just be over here, making annoyed noises every so often until it's all over.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Why Checking the Weather Makes Me Sad

Listen, just like your grandpa, I enjoy checking the weather multiple times a day to see what's going on with the clouds and sun. Once upon a time, I might have relied on The Weather Channel for this information. That was a simpler time, I'll admit. I only had to turn on the TV and wait for the forecast to roll through, along with some gentle commercials about stool softeners and diabetes.

As with all things, the internet changed this for the better several years ago. Now instant weather information was available at a moment's notice. Forecasts could be reviewed for the day ahead or even the week ahead, without having to wait for the top of the hour. This was a glorious period of time, a stint of years that I remember fondly, like an old dog.

Then IT happened.

I should have known that even would not be safe from the all-encompassing claws of SEO and link bait headlines. Now when I go to check the forecast, I have to avert my eyes from news headlines like "20 year old found dead" and "Rescuers rush to save baby on sailboat!"

Look. When I just want to see if it's going to be cloudy and will I need a jacket, I don't want to catch up on the news, especially not sensationalist news items that make me really sad. Checking the weather might make me unhappy if the forecast is extra cold or extra stormy, but up until now, it has never made me sad. The weather was a safe spot on the internet and on TV, where information was simply presented without preamble and for a few minutes, the sad tragedies of the world could be forgotten in a swirl of maps and dew points and chances of rain.

But no longer. And for that, I say - shame on you, internet. Shame.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Making Rolls

Rolls are just the best. And I'm sad to say, I have yet to perfect a roll recipe that provides results as good as some store-bought versions. (It's a personal failure!) But that could change. Today, I am making rolls. Actually, I'm in the process of making them right now!

The problem I come across in my roll recipe is that, like most delicious and yeasty baked goods, there is a lot of time devoted to letting the dough rise. I, however, tend to think about making rolls at most three hours in advance. Considering that's the time the dough needs to rise, and then add the time needed for mixing, kneading, shaping, and baking, I'm usually left with two options. One, don't make rolls. That's a stupid option. Two, be satisfied with rolls that needed to rise at least another hour longer. This option is a little less stupid, because there are rolls in the end, but they don't taste super great.

Today though - today is glorious! After putting Silas down for his nap, I went into the kitchen at noon and began to make rolls. The dough is rising now as I type. With any luck, they'll be ready just in time for dinner. (I think I'm going to tackle homemade sloppy joes, because why not?)

You might notice that I seem a bit hyped up right now. This is a reasonable observation. Not only did I go to sleep at nine pm last night, Silas didn't wake up until five am, which means I got a solid chunk of sleep. AND, after nursing, he went back to sleep for a couple hours, which means I got some catch-up slumber. AND THEN, I had a cup of iced coffee (the caffeinated type).

So yeah, I feel unstoppable right now. And jittery. Just a little bit jittery.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Monkey Baby!

Silas is quickly catching on to this concept of "climbing everything with no regard for his own personal safety" and guys, it's freaking me out. I'm going to blame his father for this one as he has regaled me with tales of climbing buildings in his younger years.

Although... I do remember a time in high school that I climbed a two-story tall pine tree simply because some friends suggested that I would not be able to do it, so maybe I'm not the best example either.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Babies Learning Language

It is ridiculous how many curse words a baby knows these days.

Silas learned how to say "foxes," for example. The first twenty times, it sounded much more like he was dropping F bombs left and right (and up and down for good measure). He kept pointing to the fox on the shirt he was wearing each time he said it, which helped calm my frazzled nerves. I figured if anyone in public heard him, I could quickly clear up any confusion.

Then Silas learned how to say "cook." Only, it sounded like he was crudely referencing the male genitalia. He tried to mimic me stirring a pot on the stove, though, and eventually his pronunciation got better.

Shirt was another tough one. Silas was more than happy to hand me any of his t-shirts or onesies while dropping the "r" in the word. (This, too, has gotten better over time.)

I think learning to talk is a cruel prank sometimes. On the one hand, when Silas busts out a perfectly innocent swear, I want to laugh because it is cute and adorable that he has no clue what he is doing. On the other hand, toddlers thrive on making others laugh and while the swearing child on TV might be hilarious, I don't think it's as funny in real life.

Luckily, when I type about it on the internet, I can laugh as much as I want and he doesn't know. Then he only thinks I'm crazy. Which may or may not be a good trade off.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Progression of Google Searches

I was all set to wear a cutesy dress tonight and while Silas napped, I thought to myself that I should attempt a fancy-type hairstyle. This is what happened next:

Search One: Braided Chignon

Search Two: Updos for long hair

Search Three: Updos for really long hair

Search Four: Updos for long, thin hair

Search Five: Hairstyle ideas

Search Six: How to use a bobby pin

Search Seven: Seriously, bobby pins are impossible to use

Search Eight: How to pixie hair cut at home

No, I didn't cut off all of my hair, but it was tempting. You can see my searches degrade from a specific style I was hoping to recreate to increasingly desperate attempts to find updos suited to my hair.

Once I decided on a fairly simple bun, I quickly realized that I have a bobby pin deficiency. This prompted my realization that maybe I am not meant to have long hair. Other people with long hair always seem to be able to twirl their hair up and pin it perfectly in one easy motion. I was still jamming bobby pins frantically into my quickly unraveling hair when Silas woke up from his nap.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Things My Baby Has Found At The Park

I need to start taking pictures to document this. I always thought that the park was fairly clean until Silas took to finding things.

The last time we were there, Silas found:

Half-eaten cheetos (they were half-eaten at the time of finding and we threw those out before they became fully eaten cheetos)
Pink and blue balloon shreds
One super moldy orange slice (Half hidden beneath a slide, I can only assume a thrifty child left it there for safekeeping)
A safety pin
A beer cap (budweiser. Yuck.)
Various candy wrappers (manufacturers, rest assured that you have designed packages so appealing that Silas can spot them even if they are 99% buried under leaves)

And my personal "favorite,"
A two-inch screw.

Everything else on my list makes sense. Those are things that people bring to parks. But a screw?