so now i think i have an ear infection (common result from a sinus infection). i can't take another round of antibiotics yet, so i opted for a home remedy my mom suggested that i confirmed on-line....sweet oil/olive oil. thus far it is helping a lot with the pain, although i'm not sure it actually gets rid of the infection. regardless, it definitely keeps my discomfort level down. i'm a little greasy over on that side of my head, but it's a small price to pay! so if your ear is ever bothering you and you can't get into the doctor, try a few drops of olive oil. i also read that lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide also work, but i've not yet tried those. hopefully i won't have to!!!!

on another note....we took the girls to oakwood last night for the 4th of July. they had a blast in the space walk and on the giant inflatable slide. they had their first taste of cotton candy (abby LOVED it, izzy turned up her nose), and had a really good time running around and playing with the other kids and eating dinner (we avoided the pool because we've had two cool fronts lately and it's a bit chilly for the girls to swim). unfortunately major meltdown mode began around 8 p.m. (their normal bedtime), so we decided to head home. we put them to bed, and then D went out with his friends and I relaxed for a few hours and then went to bed myself.

i ran myself ragged while we were at oakwood. it was our first outing to a public place where we'd be away from home for several hours and the girls were in regular underwear.....i was afraid to let them determine when they should go potty, so i ended up dragging them about every 45 minutes. and because izzy wouldn't let me hold/support her on the potty, her bottom fell in and she cried (they/their tushes are so small and public potties are soooo big!). then abby was too scared to sit on it. fortunately i had their trusty kiddie potty in my car, so we brought that into the ladies' room and let them use it in there. it worked. everyone stayed dry the entire time (no accidents in public/at country club, hooray!). but i was beat. we are trying a "hands up" policy in public restrooms----where upon entry, the girls are supposed to put both hands high in the air (so as to avoid touching anything nasty). they don't quite get it yet. and until you start doing it frequently, you have no idea how gross it is to take kids into even a pretty clean public restroom. they want to touch everything!!! ahhhhhhh!!!! so gross. i am debating carrying a pack of clorox wipes with me everywhere----one more thing to stuff into my already gi-normous bag, but it might make me feel better. i don't know.

i know i need to let the girls start deciding when it's time to potty....but typically there are more accidents then. just this morning, izzy was too busy playing and having fun, and when i casually suggested they think about using the restroom, both girls blatantly ignored me. i didn't force it. and then a few minutes later izzy peed on the floor in the girls' bedroom. so frustrating. i know it's not going to magically happen overnight, but.....i just want them to be more independent about it.


things i love

1.) buttered popcorn flavored Jelly Belly jelly beans

2.) baby carrots with hummus from Costco

3.) desserts. all of them.

4.) Skinny Cow ice cream cones when I can't justify eating the real thing.

5.) Boston Cream Pie Yoplait yogurt.

6.) the new book i'm reading, "The History of Love."

6.5) The Truth About Cats and Dogs

7.) my girls. my husband. my lucky life.



Apparently, the Big Read (a program of the National Endowment for the Arts) guesses that the average adult has only read six of the top 100 books on this list. I went on the web site and tried to find this list (and the NEA's thing about the average adult only having read six), but I couldn't find it. Nonetheless, it's a fun list!

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read. Has anyone I know ever finished Ulysses? Please speak up so I can bow at your feet ...
3) Reprint this list in your blog so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)
(p.s. all i did was bold what i've read. i would like to ultimately read a lot more from the list)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller6
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (And I LOVED "A Little Princess.")
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - A.S. Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

The joke is on me

and such is my life.

do you know what's worse than cleaning up your child's poopy panties? yes, folks, there IS something infinitely more disgusting and tragic than rinsing and wringing out dirty underwear in the toilet.

(insert dramatic drum roll here, please)

the only thing worse than this is when one's lovable, darling canine companion decides to come over while you're cleaning up your child and take off with the poop. and then not only are you left with a child to clean up and laundry to do, but also a dog to bathe. super fun. f'ing FANTASTIC, i say. i gasped. i screamed. i recoiled in horror. yet i could not stop him from scarfing. i gagged while the girls had no clue what unspeakable things had just occurred in our kitchen.

i decided my reward for this awful and busy morning was to treat myself to a coffee from Starbucks. that helped a teensy bit. but somehow a morning like that tends to ruin the rest of my day.

i have been giving monster lots of chew sticks/bones to get his mouth clean. the thought of it makes me want to vomit.



it's been a while since i had a real picnic----not just one at a picnic table, mind you, but one on a blanket you've spread out on the grass, complete with a cooler holding the lunch you packed.

that is what we did this morning after we fed the ducks at the park....we had a bona fide picnic in the grass. the girls loved it. now they are abed and i am hoping for decent naps. we're planning to go to the pool when they wake up, and i am praying for no diarrhea.

on another note, i find it hard sometimes to take criticism. D just dished a bunch out, and while he is definitely right about a lot of it, afterwards i tend to pull inward and become too thoughtful and then self-loathing and deprecating. i juggle a lot, and i don't have the most patience. it is hard being sick for so long and taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, shopping for and cooking the meals, doing the laundry, taking care of the dog, mowing the yard (i don't normally do the yard, but i did it on father's day, and then i did it last weekend too b/c D was out of town), etc. and then you throw in potty training and poopy panties and a vomiting dog and kids who are fighting and screaming and hitting one another....and i lose it. D was also gone most of the day yesterday---a hair cut, a very long meeting, and then golf (which alone was 5+ hours). so i've decided that perhaps i will start getting a sitter when he golfs so that i can have a real break and so that i don't get overwhelmed so frequently. i'm not sure what the real solution is, and clearly i've gone off on a tangent. but it also goes without saying that i am my own worst critic---so before you sit me down to tear me down, know that i've already done it to myself and will continue to do it. so please handle me gently.

anyway, i have high expectations---both of myself and of others. and D points out that i would be much happier if i just let it all go. yet that is hard for me. i'm not one to just let people dump on me and be rude/thoughtless. he says i keep score too much. but i'm not one to do do do for you and then not care if the gesture is returned. i love my family and friends, but at some point something has to give...if you screw/shit on me too many times, you're out. i am not capable of handling it any other way. i don't know how.

i have a headache.

somehow, sometimes, even though i know i'm a good person, i wind up feeling like a worthless piece of garbage after one of these talks with D. certainly he's no angel, either. but he has a point---he is happier. so what to do? let it all go, let people screw me and pretend not to care? stop keeping score/tabs and have certain relationships become lopsided and stressful? am i such a bad person for having standards?

how do i do this? how do i change the core of who i am? how do i become a better friend? a better listener? a better mother/wife/daughter/sister? TELL me. SHOW me. because it's obvious i'm clueless.

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