Things You May Actually Already Know

>> Monday, September 20, 2010

There have been several things I have wanted to blog about here, but let me be frank and say that I do not actually "have my shit together" as the kids say, and so I've not updated. I will save those things for another day. Today, I want to talk about dishwashers.

Most people have their own, specific way to load a dishwasher. Maybe you learned as a child, but maybe your family didn't have a dishwasher until you were out of high school and your mom thought it funny to say that she "didn't need a dishwasher! I have eight dishwashers right here!". Maybe you had a rudimentary knowledge of dishwashers but needed your wife to teach you that anything made of wood most definitely does NOT go into the dishwasher, and yes that includes wooden spoons. Maybe you are neurotic about alternating between glasses and plastic cups on the top rack. Maybe you're all about silverware eating-side up. Maybe down. Maybe you're a complete psychopath and just toss all the silverware all every-which-a-way. Which actually kind of makes me a little queasy just thinking about it.

There are a few rules I think most of us can agree upon:
1. Don't put sharp knives in there, it'll ruin the blades.
2. Always put anything plastic on the top rack.
3. Don't put anything wooden in it. (And yes, honey, my wooden cutting boards are made of wood.)
4. Rinse off enough food so that you don't end up with a rotten mushroom on bottom of the dishwasher for the past 5 days, just sitting there waiting to dissolve into mush and go down the drain because I sure as hell am not reaching in there and picking up that nastiness.
5. Uhhh. Don't have a 5th. I just really really couldn't leave it at four.

Sometimes we ignore these rules. You accidentally put a sharp knife in there and it's still nice and sharp afterward. You throw a plastic bowl on the bottom rack cause the top rack is full and you really don't feel like washing anything by hand. It cleans just fine.

Beware, however. If you get too complacent, you may just start throwing things in willy-nilly: plastic, glass, non-stick, whatever. And then one day you may empty the refrigerator of leftovers from the past 2 months. And find yourself with a crap-ton of tupperware and makeshift tupperware. And decide that you're just going to throw everything in cause WHAT THE HELL YOU LIVE BY NO MAN'S RULES.

It's possible, should you find yourself in this situation, that you will detect a slightly burnt smell a short while later. "Damn." you will think. "Burned the damn dinner again." Upon closer inspection, you realize you haven't actually started cooking dinner, and are pretty sure you didn't chop the vegetables so fast that they may have spontaneously combusted.

But is it? Could it be the dishwasher? Did I put something wooden in there?!?!?!

No. Just plastic. Melty, melty, molten plastic. Cause I put it on the bottom rack and it fell down through the thing and sat down on the bottom of the dishwasher.

Reminded me of those sporks I used to melt in middle school.

Did you know that black ring around the bottom of the dishwasher is actually a heat coil? Preliminary polls show that 2 out of 2 adults in the LaMartina household did not.

Well, it totally is. Also, don't touch it. Or the melty plastic. Both will instantly burn the shit out of your finger with their hot hot heat, and then blister up like a mo-fo.

Ok. Maybe I'm exaggerating the extent of my injury. But it does sting.

Lessons we have learned today:
1. The lids to those black plastic Chinese take-out containers are just not worth saving.
2. Don't touch molten things.
3. If you try to squeeze too many glasses into the top rack, one of them will explode. (I actually learned this one a different day, I just couldn't find a way to work it in until now.)

On the up side, I've got a cleaned out fridge AND clean dishes. Boo-yah, grandpa.


From the land of Sweden.

>> Saturday, September 4, 2010

We have returned. We visited Sweden. Or, IKEA. It's basically the same thing, right? Cheap furniture and way cool setups of rooms that you never really quite can accomplish at home because at home you actually, you know, live there.

But. Our journey actually started on Tuesday, when I took the girls out to IKEA by myself because, you know. That's smart thinking. I knew we weren't going to buy anything, I knew it was a PURELY BROWSING TRIP, NATHAN but we had a day with no plans I kinda felt like having meatballs and lingonberry sauce for lunch, so hey. Fiona spent like... an hour? climbing around on all the different toddler/kid beds, playing in all the little room setups... it was fun. We had a good time.

But today we took the Jeep cause it was a day to buy. Took quite a bit of deliberation, cuase Nate and I kept changing our minds about which bed we wanted to go with (Nate kept trying to foist the decision off onto Fiona, who was all "Whatevs, y'all. I'll just be over in this little room tearing all the things out of this dresser. Peace.") but we finally decided on one, then waited in line for a BILLION YEARS to get lunch (Free kids meal! Score! I never even buy her one because she never eats it! But that meant more meatballs PLUS a side of veggies for me!) (Obviously really excited about that.) (The veggies were actually really really good. Steamed to perfection. Just beautiful. And free!) then navigated the downstairs portion of the store ("Oooh, Nate, remember how I said I needed a lamp for my desk in the office? Oh, and one of our black cereal bowls broke so we need to pick up another one of those. And we need picture frames for those prints I just got made up... and wouldn't it be nice to have cushions on those chairs out on the deck? And we can't forget..." I don't know what else. Even I lost track at that point.) and made it out of the store. And for under $200, at that. I was pleased beyond compare.

So after dinner tonight we set up the bed. This is actually our third day of naps/nighttime outside of the crib, I just dismantled the crib and dropped the mattress down to the floor because that whole "BAM- waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah" kind of made me nervous that the next time it happened she'd like land on her spine and be paralyzed for life and never be an Olympic gymnast or something. Contemplated getting one of those crib tents, but then decided against it because... well, no real reason actually. Other than those toddler beds at IKEA being so damn cute. Did a quick toddler-proofing of the room, took care of all the glaringly obvious safety hazards. I assume that Fiona will quickly point out to me all unsafe/unsecured items I may have missed, presumably by climbing/throwing/dumping them.

But now the bed's all set up, and I'm not gonna lie. It's been taking her considerably longer to fall asleep now that she's tasted the sweet sweet freedom that is knocking politely on the door and saying "Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?.... Mama?.... Hello! Hello! Helloooooooo?!?!"

She once she finally does fall asleep, she's been pretty good (knock on wood) about staying that way. The first night was pretty rough, and we are by no mean out of the woods yet, but it's a start. I just want her to be comfortable sleeping in her big girl bed before we move, whenever that ends up being. (Oh yeah, we're moving. Like, a BIG move. More on that once I get ANY DAMN INFORMATION WHATSOEVER.)

Poor kid. She's knocking on the door again. Crying this time. Breaking my heart. I have to keep reminding myself that she is a flipping DRAMZ KWEEN and will only cry if she thinks I am listening, and if I leave her she will quietly go back across the room and climb into bed and read a George book like the good little child she really is. And yes. I left my netbook in there and I am watching her from here in the office on google videochat.

And then there's poor little overlooked Violet. Who whimpered a bit at bedtime, but I nursed her and rocked her and set her down in the cradle in our room and now she's completely zonked out, for the next few hours at least.

I feel kinda bad. The majority of these entries continue to be about Fiona. I'll do a Violet one soon. She rolled over last week! Back to tummy! That's not too shabby for a 3-month-old, I'd say! And there is some kinda something happening beneath that girl's gums, because she CHOMPS like there is no tomorrow. Updates on these exciting developments coming soon.

I jest be chillin'. Relaxin'.

Fiona has as much a chance at understanding IKEA directions as we do. Yay for pictures!

Helping/hindering Daddy during bed construction.

All set for bed.
We ended up not buying the mattress that was actually the correct size for the bed, we decided to just use her crib mattress, which is the same width but a bit shorter in length... but then we got it all set up and realized that these little green boxes that we already had in the room fit PERFECTLY at the foot of the bed. So, I'm pretty much in love with the way that worked out.


One last story with Daddy and BabyBye and Popper

Make no mistake. This child is a good two hours away from falling asleep. You can see it in her eyes.

Aaaaaaaaand we've reached the fake crying portion of the night. We're getting to the falling asleep part soon, folks. I hope...


It's probably gonna be a madhouse, but...

>> Friday, September 3, 2010

IKEA tomorrow!



>> Wednesday, September 1, 2010

To answer the questions I am SURE you have.

1. It isn't.
2. Kind of.

Cause I'll put good money on you wanting to know how the potty training is going and if I am still working out diligently.

To clarify- it's the potty training that isn't. And the working out... well, it hasn't comPLETEly stopped. I worked out this morning, so yay me! I did great the first week. Every day for a solid week. Then I missed the weekend. Then 5 more days on. Then it was VIOLETS BAPTISM EXTRAVAGANZA WEEKEND and I missed the weekend and a couple more days after that. And then the past week has been spotty at best. But as I mentioned- I did it this morning, so here's hoping I can continue. Sounds crazy, but it seems I am actually more likely to get up at exercise at 6am before work than if I can sleep in and wake up before the kids at 8:30 and do it. Sooooo yeah. Work starts up again next week, mayhap that will get me in gear again.

Now as to the potty training- after a solid 5 days of staying at home and feeding the child m&ms, I came to the realization that I was so. fricking. tired. of. it. all. Also, she did not seem to be catching on. So, I decided to put the lid on that little experiment and revisit it a a month or two. Maybe by then she'll be more ready. We've still got potties out and undies around, so she can use those at will until I decide to fully commit again. Plus, I sort of ate the entire 2lb bag of m&ms.

Hmm... what else has been happening around here? Well, we've had several visitors- Nate's mom was in town for a couple weeks, that was awesome. My sister Kelsie was here, and then the insanity that is my family was here for the baptism weekend, and then Mickey stayed a few days after that. Don't get me wrong, family. I love each of you dearly. But that weekend was fairly nutso. It did not help that it rained the day of the baptism and I had 40+ people (many of them noisy children) in my little townhouse. But it was a fun kind of nutso. We went out to dinner one night at a really nice restaurant out in National Harbor. My aunt basically designed the entire place, so that was way cool to see. If you're in the area and in search of some FANTASTIC crab cakes or artichoke-spinach dip (among other things), I would highly recommend you check out McLoone's Pierhouse. Great service, gorgeous waterfront view, just a really nice evening. .

There was something else I wanted to plug... OH YEAH. My little sis (an art student in Boston) has a new-ish Etsy site where she sells all sorts of artsy things like handmade journals and notebooks and whatnot... she's super rad. You should totes check it out.

What else... oh yeah. My children are basically TOO ADORABLE FOR WORDS.

Fiona in the midst of some crazy, joker-inspired fingerpainting.

Violet in the swing, blissfully unaware of the suckfest that is the Sox this season.


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