Fran's blog

Maybe we'll actually sleep through the night tonight

File under: maynard

Why, you ask? Is Greta still not sleeping through the night? She is, mostly, and has been for a good six months or more, but our cats wake us up approximately every two hours during the night to eat. When I say "our cats" I actually mean Maynard 99% of the time and Ruby every rare once in a while.
I've had our chubby friend Maynard since 1999, and she has always had food issues. I like to blame her previous owner, who would buy cigarettes for himself before he would necessarily buy her food and she would sometimes go days without eating (I've been told). She gobbles her food and always seems focused on the next meal. She got so fat one time she couldn't even clean anything except for basically her shoulders, head, and neck.
She is eleven now and with old age has slimmed down to what looks like a normal size, but she is just as full of piss and vinegar when it comes to getting fed. In fact, I think things might have gotten worse. This is in stark contrast to the fact that Ruby has mellowed a lot over the last year to where she is happy as a clam sleeping at the end of our bed every night and almost never begs.
And yeah, Maynard gets fed throughout the night. Why do we enable this behavior? Because it's unrelenting, and we don't know what else to do. She scratches everything (and she is not de-clawed), and she's very smart. She knows how to push the right buttons. We could lock her in the basement, but that would require locking Ruby in the basement (where the litter boxes are), which we can't bring ourselves to do.
Long story boring, I had some chicken on the counter today, and Maynard ended up eating approximately half a pound of it. This was at 5ish, and she has yet to beg tonight. I kind of thought she might get sick, but for the first time - maybe ever - she seems...content.
Maybe the old girl just needs half a pound of chicken a night? Yeeeah. I have optimistic hopes we might sleep a little more tonight than usual.

At least I'm not the only one having work dreams...

File under: dreams

A coworker just emailed me the following:
"had a work dream last night with lots of crazy/funny elements - but the one that makes me laugh is that in my dream i accidentally spilled a cup of coffee all over your pants... your white leather pants! i have no idea why you would be dressed in white leather pants in my dream, but they were groovy and i felt horrible about spilling on them. ;)"
Hilarious! If only I had white leather pants...
Happy Friday!

Misplaced mojo

File under: mommy thoughts | random

What shall I write about? I could certainly talk about the inauguration and our new president, but that has certainly been done. Or I could talk about some recent cute and/or funny thing Greta has done, like just tonight when Pat played Metallica's "One" during bath time and she covered her eyes and said, "I can't see!" Or I could talk about how it's National Pie Day tomorrow and how we thought it was today and got a delicious piece of banana cream pie with dinner. Or I could talk about the lyrics to this one children's song that Greta loves that has super creepy lyrics (that involves these three little pigs that are told by their mom to say, "wee wee wee," but they always say, "oink, oink, oink" and as a direct result they DIE). Or how I found a house that was for sale in Brighton and in our price range that was so beautiful that the biggest issue in buying it would have been that our furniture and other possessions would have been shamed by their outstanding new surroundings...if some other lucky b@st@rds hadn't bought it first. Or how the weather, and the fact that I need to bundle up and wear boots to even take the garbage out, is slowly sucking the life out of me. Buuuuut, I'm jut not in the mood lately. It's very unlike me. As I'm sure you've noticed over the last 6 or so years, I can usually prattle on about almost nothing on a fairly regular basis: just like that. So I don't want to write, but I've also managed to lose my meal-planning motivation as well. This is also unlike me. It's by no means one of my great passions, but planning our meals and cooking are two of my main familial duties, and I've been greatly shirking them lately. I can't seem to buy all of the ingredients for a meal (tonight I literally had only half of what I needed for what I intended to make), or I do have all of the right ingredients and I make something and it's gross (like the "pizza pouches" I made that were so gross even the resident two year old said, "I don't yike pizza," even though real pizza is her favorite), or I just wander around the kitchen confused and at a loss and we end up eating applesauce and bran cereal for dinner. I should also mention that I've had work dreams almost every night for the last two weeks, and I'm no dream analysis expert, but that can't be healthy. And maybe the icing on the cake is that we've been watching approximately two episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm a night for the last, um, month or so, and that Larry David is one strange dude.
So how do I find my mojo? Some fun, new recipes? (Recipes always welcome in the comments section!) Visit to the acupuncturist? Take a vacation day or even an actual vacation that involves leaving Western New York? Take the family to see Hotel for Dogs?

Guess where we went today!

File under: random






File under: weekend update

Last night was my company's holiday party, which was held at Locust Hill Country Club. I thought it was pure genius that we had it after the holidays. It was a casino night theme, which meant there was more to do than the usual sit-around-and-chat thing...except that Pat and I really don't gamble, but that is our own personal problem, and it didn't take away from the fun. We traded in tokens for tickets, which then went toward drawings for prizes. Pat and I got 20 tickets just for showing up, and we put all of our tickets in for the grand prize: a Wii! In my craziness (coupled with my recent run of good luck), I was CONVINCED we were going to win it. Alas, we did not win. That means our highest technology gaming system is still this. Oh wells. At least this way we know the friends coming over to our house are coming over because they enjoy our company, not because we have some fancy gaming system.
Quite possibly the best part about last night is that we left Greta with someone other than my mom - our friend Sarah - and Greta did really well and even went to sleep at a reasonable hour. Getting a text message at 9:19 that said "Greta did great & she's sound asleep" was priceless. Priceless, I tell you! This truly was a breakthrough for us, and we hope this means more guiltless date nights in the future. The only negative thing I can think of is that I think Greta might like Sarah more than she likes me. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for a night on the town...
It has been really cold here lately. (I say this in case you live under a rock or you specifically depend on for your weather-related news.) Today it actually warmed up to a downright balmy 11 degrees, so when we asked Greta what she wanted to do and she said, "Go to the zoo!" we granted her wish. We got all bundled up and mainly stayed in the buildings, and we had such a great time. I always feel like we kind of rush through the zoo, trying to see it all in a limited amount of time. Staying in mostly two buildings and there being almost no one else there (to annoy us), meant we got to really linger and appreciate what we saw. For example, I got to see one of the two-toed sloths move for the first time, and when he did, an iguana ran over to him. The sloth actually started to haul ass away, and when he did, these two tamarins started tag teaming the iguana, roughing him up a bit all tamarin kung fu style. Then, we watched (in shock and horror and amusement) as a white-handed gibbon pooped and another came up and broke a piece of the poo off and started to eat it like an ice cream cone. I mean, that is entertainment vaule you can't even find on one of those fancy cable TV stations! Once our stomachs settled after witnessing that display and we got cold enough to leave, we went back to the car and had a bit of a picnic. It was a really lovely time - maybe my favorite trip to the zoo to date.
Today we busted the breadmaker out, and right now we are drinking some coffee (not Greta, silly) and are eagerly awaiting our first loaf of homemade bread we've had in a long time. Yay for cold, lazy Saturdays!
Stay warm!

Glitter girl

File under: mommy thoughts

I sometimes wonder if Greta's teachers, who send us home with what seems like an exorbitant amount of artwork with glitter on it, are snickering about the mess it makes in our houses and cars, getting parents back for leaving our terrible-two toddlers with them for 40 hours a week.
Or perhaps I'm putting way too much thought into it.


File under: pregnancy | reminder

When I was purging like a crazy sane person the other day, I found some pretty funny things. For example, I found a list I made when I was pregnant, documenting some of my symptoms in about a three-week span. I vaguely recall making this list. It was somewhere during my second trimester, which I recall in my memory as being the "good trimester." This list would suggest the contrary. I was obviously having a lot of migraines at the time. So many, in fact, that I took some Tylenol 3 and it seemed to cause me to have contractions. Anyhoo, here is my list. Please don't mind the "D word" (it happens to everyone) or my atrocious spelling. (God bless spell checker.)

Pregnancy list

It shall be my reminder in case I get any funny ideas about a #2.


Had to share

File under: househunting | random

I was looking at some homes for sale online during lunch, and I found the following picture from one of the listings.

creepy house

Um, yeah. I feel like an informal caption contest is in order. Anyone?



Weekend fun

File under: birthday | greta | Skaneateles

I woke up on New Years day feeling super antsy. I started picking up the house, and before I knew it I was knee deep in outdated and ill-fitting clothing in my closet. I packed up 5 garbage bags of clothing, and now I can see my closet floor and finally let go of many things I really don't need. I also de-Christmas-ified the house and purged and organized the bathroom (where I found cold medication that expired in 2001!) and the kitchen. I am not super organized as it is, and with that class I had even less time to keep the house in order. It feels great to reclaim some order, and I am excited to keep working on it before I run out of steam and my lazy Susan goes to crap again. But enough of that talk.

Yesterday was my dad's 60th birthday, and my mom organized a small party for him at his favorite restaurant: Rosalie's Cucina. My parents have been going there almost every Friday since it opened in 1995, and at this point they are very well know there. I, unfortunately for me, haven't been there in 10 or 11 years, and Pat had never been there, but lucky for us we were invited to the party. My mom was able to get a private room upstairs, and we all got to experience some perks simply for being related to my father. It was fantastic to see everyone dote on him, and the very Italian mandolin player even played a personalized version of tura-lura-lura to my very Irish father.

Dad being serenaded

You probably don't have to look too closely to see the ginormous bottle of wine next to my dad. That was a wine the restaurant gave us on the house, and it was delish! Everyone told some great stories (one of my favorites being the time Pat ripped the front off a clothes dryer that took his four quarters and then didn't in fact dry his clothes), told some dirty jokes (no need to elaborate on this one), ate some amazing food, and honored my dad, who is less than thrilled about turning 60.

Here is a picture of our nuclear family.

This is before we got smashed and threw up on ourselves
This is before we got smashed and threw up on ourselves.

A MILLION thank yous to Taryn and Todd for watching Greta while we had some adult fun!

As if that all weren't enough, when we woke up this morning, I figured we'd skedaddle out of there nice and early, but my mom and dad made eggs benedict for us. Best food weekend ever.

Not that most of you care about the minutia of these types of things, but I know at least some of you do, and it seemed worthy of documentation, so I wanted to mention that I gave Greta her first haircut today. For the last few weeks the ends have been pretty tangly, and I was planning to have it professionally done but couldn't wait any longer. I trimmed off as little as possible. We don't plan to grow it so long she looks like a shut-in or anything, but it's definitely hard to make that first cut.

Please, no pictures.
Please, no pictures.

Okay, maybe just one.
Okay, maybe just one.

I don't think I did too much damage.
I don't think I did too much damage.

But as you can see, I took off as little as possible.
But as you can see, I took off as little as possible.

One other thing! You might have noticed that the Picture of the Day since our revamp have been quite lovely. Our friends Alex and Sarah took them, and you can find their portfolios here. They are located in Rochester, and they do a lot of portraiture and wedding photography. We were thrilled with how their portraits of Greta and the whole family turned out. If you are interested in contacting them, let me know and I can put you in touch!


Somethin' brand new for that @$$ in 2009!

File under: announcement | new years

That's right, folks! The web designer portion of the duo redesigned the site for the new year (for the first time in six years [six years!]). He will soon be ending his blog-writing strike to introduce you to some of the new features; they should be fairly intuitive, though.
We hope you like the new site. More importantly, we hope you had a great end to 2008 and have a wonderful start to 2009. Here's to good things in the new year!
PS - We hope you enjoyed your extra second and that you used it wisely!

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