Saturday, February 28, 2009


Eating lunch in the kitchen one day this week, Michael does something (makes a noise? lifts his hand?) which makes Harper proud.

"Mom!" she says, "Do you know what Michael just did? He is one impressive baby!"

He is too young to appreciate it now, and he may even be embarrassed by it someday, but that girl is going to be his biggest cheerleader.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

trouble with a lower case "t"

(Car accident update: after some digging around, I've concluded it's unlikely anyone was seriously injured in that accident because I can find things about other accidents that night, but nothing is written about the one I saw.)

So here's a picture of Harper imitating Alex the Lion from the Madagascar movies...

She does look like a bit of a trouble-maker, no?

Well it finally happened, yesterday Harper got in trouble at school.

I knew something wasn't right when I picked her up because she wouldn't talk to me and she did not say her day was "great," as she usually does. We were driving home and I told her I feel worried when something is wrong and she won't tell me what it is. She finally said that her feelings got hurt but was clear that she didn't want to talk about it.

Then she said, "Mom of all the days of past school I have had in both of my schools, today was different, there was never a day like today. When I get home I want to go to my room and have some self-time to think about things. Then maybe I will tell you about it."

Now as she is saying this I am simultaneously fighting back tears and laughter, because she is so serious about it. On the one hand, my heart is breaking because obviously something has really upset her. On the other hand, I am trying not to laugh because OH. MY. GOODNESS. Could she be any more dramatic? I just need some self-time? Who is this child?

Harper did go to her room for a few minutes when we got home. Then she slunk out, and climbed up on my lap, and said she didn't want to tell me what happened because I might be angry. I promised not to get angry and told her I would just like to talk about what was bothering her.

Apparently Harper's teacher saw her kick a book and sent her to sit by herself at a table until she was ready to behave. Which, in the context of a preschool class, is not a huge transgression or an especially embarrassing/difficult to handle punishment. I mean, obviously I don't want her going around kicking books and getting time-outs, but I think an isolated incident of misbehavior is normal. Harper says that someone else threw the book on the floor and she just wasn't paying attention and kicked it on accident. Which I find to be an equally suspicious and plausible explanation.

Rather than debating whether or not it was a purposeful action, we talked about having to take responsibility for what we do, even when we do something wrong accidentally. Harper was still clearly very upset, and embarrassed I think, about the whole incident - I asked if she wanted me to help her write an apology note to her teacher.

Harper liked the idea so we talked about what she wanted to say, I wrote it down, and she copied it (which took FOREVER):

The note says:

Dear Miss H-,
I am sorry for kicking the book. I will pay attention next time.
Love, Harper

Underneath her note she drew a picture of her teacher and also wrote the word book again. Please note it has all the elements of a thorough apology: addressing the person you've wronged, saying what you are sorry for, and telling what you'll do differently in the future. Never too young to learn!

I want it to be clear that I didn't make her do this as part of a punishment (seriously, the poor girl was punishing herself enough!), but I genuinely thought it would help her feel better, which it did. That note is, however, exactly the sort of thing I would do as part of the consequence for a more significant transgression at school.

For the record, the teacher didn't even mention the book-kicking to me. There was no school today because of a teachers' meeting, so her teacher will probably be surprised when Harper shows up with the apology note tomorrow. I'm sure she hasn't thought about the book-kicking nearly as much as Harper has!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What I Can't Stop Thinking About

Do you ever feel as shaken by a near incident as you do by an actual incident? Or, rather, do you ever feel shaken when you watch something happen to someone else, even though you are perfectly fine?

It's been a little wet here lately, with temperatures dancing around freezing. Yesterday temperatures dipped a bit and we got some sleet/snow stuff and by evening there was a thin layer of ice on the roads and sidewalks.

Matt, Harper, Michael and I had dinner with Matt's parents. Matt and Harper had been out together in the afternoon so Michael and I met them at Mike and Ann's late yesterday afternoon. We had a nice dinner together and then left Harper to spend the night. Matt took the bags (Michael's things, leftover food) in his car and I took Michael with me, leaving a few minutes after Matt.

The drive between Mike and Ann's and our house takes place primarily on one road - which is both hilly and curvey.

I was driving especially slowly on the way home, having skidded a bit just coming to a slow stop in Mike and Ann's subdivision. As I was on the main road to our house, coming down a hill, I saw a van coming from the other direction try to make a left turn. It was one of those times when you can tell exactly what is about to happen. The van took the turn way too fast and, as it crossed the road in front of me, the back of the van kept sliding until it was facing the wrong way and slid off the road, flipping over and landing on its side.

It was already dark and I have a very clear image in my head of the van's headlights as I drove past.

I pulled over, put on my hazards, and shakily called 911. I am sure three or four other people were doing the exact same thing, but I figured better they get several calls about the accident than none. I explained where we were and what I'd seen. The 911 operator asked me if the driver had been injured. I told him I couldn't tell, but the van was laying on its side with the driver's side up in the air. The operator said, "Okay, we'll send someone out there." And that was it.

I did not want to leave the car with Michael inside and there wasn't really a shoulder where we were parked, so it didn't seem safe to stay there long. I did try to hollar back to other cars that had stopped that I had called 911 - I have no idea whether anyone heard me.

I can't stop thinking about that van...

What happened so quickly in front of me might have felt like one of those horrible slow-motion movie shots to the person (or people) in that van. I have no idea whether anyone was injured or how quickly help arrived. I have no idea if there is something else I could or should have done to help. It is strange to me that I'll never know the end of that story. It isn't like I can call 911 back and ask what happened.

So, amid many other things whirling around our life these days, that accident is what's stuck in my head tonight.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Send Reinforcements

Is it seriously only Wednesday? This has been a very long week.

We are entering a time of year that is particularly busy for Matt. He has not been home for dinner or bedtime since Saturday. And we're on our own for bedtime tomorrow as well. Dinner and bedtime (for the children) are two of my least favorite times of the day if I'm on my own. Tonight I was trying to put food on the table (literally) for Harper and I, the phone was ringing, the dog was barking, and Michael tried to reach over to his bowl - successfully flipping it up into the air and then onto the floor. It was full of banana pieces and an entire 2nd foods serving of squash. Miraculously, the bowl landed right-side up but there was squash everywhere. So the phone continued to ring, the dog continued to bark and Michael cried for his dinner while I wiped and mopped up the mess. Of course my food was stone cold by the time everything was resettled - cold green beans = disgusting.

Bedtime is a challenge because Michael is not quite old enough to sit and listen to stories with Harper and it is difficult to get either of them involved in an appropriate pre-bedtime activity while getting the other one settled. On days when Harper hasn't watched much television I might put a 1/2 hour show on for her while I deal with Michael. Unfortunately we are in a major standoff right now because Harper is having some toy putting away issues and there is no TV until she gets her act together. Harper LOVES television, and yet the standoff continues. Have I ever mentioned the fact that she's a tad stubborn?

If Harper is really cranky I will sometimes put her to bed first, but Michael is teething right now and setting him down to play on his own is like unleashing the wrath of a hundred starving lions. He's not a fan. Now I know babies will cry now and then, but I find it unbearable to listen to him howl for the 20 minutes it can take to get through Harper's bedtime routine.

I have said before that I cannot imagine how single parents do it, especially with more than one child. It is soooo much easier and more pleasant to divide and conquer.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Equal Parts Frustration and Celebration

I decided I needed to take a little break from the reminiscing about last year at this time. I still intend to share more of that experience just not today.

So Harper's school Valentine's party was on Thursday. I missed the winter party because Matt was able to get some time off of work to go, so this was my first classroom party. The kids did an activity that involved writing the letters of their names on hearts, and making a "chart" from the hearts. They also sorted some candy hearts (safe ones, which the teacher had made phone calls to confirm the safety of) and "graphed" them according to color. The last activity was putting their valentines into each other's bags. One other mother had baked cookies. She approached me and said there were no nuts in them, but they do use nuts and peanut butter all the time at home and understood if I didn't want Harper to eat them. Harper happily ate the treats we made and didn't make a stink about the cookies she couldn't have.

Just as I was feeling like things had gone smoothly and we hadn't really had any allergy issues, a different parent brought out one more thing for the children. She'd bought little plastic baskets that looked like conversation hearts and filled them with a valentine, sticker, and actual conversation hearts which were completely unpackaged. I am not sure I have ever seen a "safe" bag or box of conversation hearts - one that did not have a cross-contamination warning on it. It is not a new thing for us to be in a situation where we have to turn down a treat for Harper, but I found this situation particulary upsetting because the teacher had specifically asked, in her communication about the party, that no one bring in any candy with their valentines! She even suggested parents send stickers, temporary tatoos, or pencils if they felt they had to includ something other than a card.

By the time we got home I found myself feeling really angry. Either that parent didn't read the communication from the teacher or read it and just chose to ignore it. All the parents know that there are children dealing with allergies in the classroom. I don't understand why, when specifically asked not to do something, you would go ahead and do it anyway. If this parent desperately wanted to bring something for the children maybe she could have asked the teacher about it? Then at least we might have been able to come up with a safe alternative. I had to take the basket away from Harper and dump out the candy, and the stickers and the valentine that had been surrounded by the candy. I did agree to take the blasket basket home and thorougly scrubbed it before allowing Harper to have it.

When we were dumping the candy out at the party Harper was looking like she might cry and she practically pleaded with me to check if it was safe for her, couldn't I look at the package? Life is not fair, and it is full of disappointments, but I still felt terrible having to take that away from her. We never should have been put in that situation. Grrrr.


On Saturday, Valentine's Day, I took the kids up to see a junior varsity basketball game at a high school near our house. Matt is the site manager for their girls' home games, so he was already there. As I sat with Michael, trying to keep him calm despite the loud music and even louder buzzer, Harper trailed Matt and ended up acting as a ball girl. They even announced her name at halftime as she stood, waving, from the score table. It was pretty cute.

When Matt and Harper came back over to the bleachers after halftime, he told me he was so proud of how Harper handled herself. She did a good job with the basketballs, but she did an even better job when one of the adults offered her a cupcake. At first she politely said no thank you. Then the woman asked her if she liked cupcakes. Harper told the woman that she did like cupcakes, but that she had a peanut allergy and they probably weren't safe for her.

Matt was right there, so there wasn't any real danger of Harper eating an unsafe cupcake, but she did turn it down on her own. It gives me hope that, in time, she will be able to take steps to keep herself safe and I won't have to spend every moment of any public situation feeling like I'm in the middle of some type of code red awareness mode. It gives me hope that she'll be able to be responsible when she's older and we aren't always a step away from her.

And it helped me remember that moments like the ones at her Valentine party, while they are crappy situations, are opportunities for Harper to learn about managing her allergy and to witness how seriously we take it.

Harper was very matter-of-fact about the whole cupcake thing, which is what makes me the most proud of all. It's difficult for her, the peanut allergy thing, and I doubt it will ever get much easier, but she handles it gracefully. I have to remember to do the same.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Year Ago, Part Two of ?

(Yes, I'm double posting today, the last one was long enough without adding this bit of history to it.)

February 10, 2008, was a Sunday. After the doctor's appointment I'd had the Friday before things hadn't gotten worse, but they hadn't improved either. By Sunday I was so anxious about the situation that I couldn't sleep. I finally got up out of bed and used the computer for a couple of hours until it was time to get ready for church.

I was looking back over my notebook and blog posts from this time last year and I wish I'd written more of the specifics about what was happening. I have specific memories of a handful of things, but so much of it is fuzzy. I remember emailing some recipes to a college friend that morning, I remember eating breakfast after church, and I remember the on-call doctor eventually confirming that yes, I probably should head to the hospital.

I don't remember if I packed any kind of overnight bag. I know I put the book I was reading (Object Lessons by Anna Quindlen), my notebook, and probably some Sudoku puzzles into my backpack - knowing I'd probably be waiting at the hospital for a while (ha!).

I think Matt was busy with basketball that day. I'm pretty sure Ann came over to watch Harper when I left for the hospital. I drove myself (it's only a couple of miles away). I was able to walk right up to labor and delivery and skip the emergency room - pregnant ladies get all the perks. It would be about six weeks before I'd drive my car again.

I know I got a room and a hospital gown and an IV and an ultrasound, but I don't recall much about any of those. The on-call doctor was amazingly kind and I think she did the ultrasound herself. I don't believe they found any conclusive reason for the bleeding I was having right away - my partial placental abruption was difficult to see.

I remember reading my book and trying to watch the pro-bowl to pass the time. I think Harper and Matt came by to see how I was doing or maybe bring me a couple of things once we realized I'd at least be spending the night.

I don't remember whether we knew, that first night, that I was definitely going to be on bed rest. I know we were told it was a possibility that the baby might come anytime.

I had my first steroid shot - which hurt, um, a lot - but was worth it, of course.

I have a very, very vivid memory of finally calling my parents, who were on vacation in California. They were at a bar with a couple they'd met and maybe golfed with, having drinks. Can you imagine the buzz kill my phone call was?

I started to calmly explain to my mom what had been happening and I could hear her getting upset over the phone. I knew if I could hear her freaking out then I would freak out, and I remember saying to her that she was going to have to stay calm or I would ask to talk to my dad instead. (In hindsight, there might have been a better way to handle that.) She remained calm and I explained what I could.

I was exhausted, but I'm not sure how I managed to sleep that night. Actually I think a nurse might have given me something to help me sleep. I don't think I had any idea yet about what we were really in for.

Valentine's Day Preparedness

One of the first major events of Harper's first year in preschool last year was the Valentine's Day celebration. I thought it would be fun to help her make cards instead of buying them. This is maybe not the best place to get all crafty because Valentines are cheap - less than $2 a box in many cases. But it bothers me that they all have characters all over them, and rarely is there enough space for a three- or four-year-old to actually write her name. Instead I invested in some glitter glue, stickers, a Valentine stamp, and a heart-shaped hole-punch.

I have no idea how last year's card-making went because, oops, I'd been hospitalized. There were, however, supplies aplenty left over, so we decided to give it a go this year. Harper may be up half the night making Valentines tomorrow, because she only go through half of them tonight. Next year I will attempt to spread out the card making a bit - it is not enough of a fun fest to get through all the cards in one sitting. And Harper had a difficult time understanding that she needed to sign her name, but not decide who each card was for. Her preschool teacher requested that the cards only say who they are from - then there is no need to fret about who gets what when they kiddos deliver them.

I also signed up to make treats for the party, so there will be at least one thing Harper can safely eat. The parents know not to bring peanut products into the room, but we don't let her eat things made in non-peanut-free homes, too risky.

First Harper helped me make rice krispie hearts, I spread some melted chocolate on them and Harper added sprinkles. I had pressed the batch of rice krispie treats onto wax paper on the counter and made them about 1/2 as thick as normal rice krispie treats. Cutting hearts out of the krispies was, as you'd imagine, a sticky mess. In the end it was still preferable to the work of doing cutout cookies, even if the results weren't so pretty.

Today a note came home in Harper's bag requesting 3 dozen cookies, and I knew the rice krispie things wouldn't be enough. I ran for the trusty spritz recipe, since those cookies are so easy and can be done without embellishments in a pinch. I found a disc which I thought would produce a heart-shaped cookie, or something close to it. Instead I ended up with several dozen vaguely obscene cookies:

Please tell me the four-year-olds will see hearts. Or at least won't see cookies that ought to be rated R. They are pink. Oh wait. That isn't necessarily helpful.

In other preschool news, Harper was attacked today! Okay, not really, but she was scratched by another child - in a manner that drew a tiny bit of blood. Because a tiny bit of blood was drawn the nurse called and left us a message and suggested we follow up with our pediatrician. I'll get to the pediatrician part in a moment, but can you please stop and imagine what went through my head when we returned home to an answering machine message from the school nurse?

When Harper isn't here and the phone rings I always, always, pray for a moment that it isn't someone calling to tell me she had an anaphlactic allergic reaction. It seems almost inevitable that one of those calls will come someday. (But some calm adult will have administered her epi pen and she'll be heading to the hospital for observation, just in case. See? No problem.)

Anyway I called the peds office and they said, as long as the scratches weren't deep, that we should wash them several times a day, keep them covered, and watch for signs of infection. So, you know, no big deal.

But wow, she's got three scratches on one hand, one on the other, two on her forehead, and two on her right cheek. There are scratches on her hands because she covered her face after the first scracthes, so her hands got in the way when the kid came back for more.

Harper swears she did nothing to provoke this, and I'm inclined to believe her. Little children are unpredictable and have poor impulse control, so things like this will probably happen from time to time. I know they are well supervised at school. There really isn't anything more to be done in this situation. I am sorry it happened though.

Monday, February 09, 2009

11 Months

Today Michael turned 11 months old, which means we'll be celebrating his first birthday in just a few weeks.

Here's his one-month picture, in a preemie outfit that was a bit saggy and baggy on his tiny body:
Here he is today, sitting in the same chair, next to what now looks like an impossibly small article of clothing:
The picture does not seem to accurately reflect how little that sleeper is, it looks like doll clothes. I kept that one article of preemie clothing to help us remember how tiny Michael started out in this world.

And look at him now:

For so many reasons it doesn't seem right that he is nearly a year old. Our physical therapist keeps reminding me that I can't think of him as a one-year-old (despite his size!) for another several months. Maybe we should just have two celebrations, one on his calendar birthday and one on his adjusted birthday (May 6). Seems like a good reason to bring more cake into the world!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A Year Ago, Part One of ?

First of all, it's Erin's birthday today. Yea Erin! Good job being born all those years ago. Thanks for moving in across the hall from me freshman year. If it hadn't been for you, I may have transferred to Wisconsin.

A year ago I was about 27 weeks pregnant with Michael. I woke up to realize I was spotting, which is something I never experienced with Harper. I called the doctor, made an appointment, and then called to arrange for someone (probably Ann/Nana) to watch Harper, and then took a shower.

I remember being in the shower and completely breaking down and just sobbing. All I could think was that, if something was going wrong or I found out the baby wasn't okay, I would forever link the memory of that bad news with Erin's birthday. And I actually prayed that if we were going to lose the baby that it wouldn't happen that day.

As it turned out my doctor didn't see anything worrisome, the baby sounded good, she didn't think I even needed an ultrasound, and suspected I had just burst some blood vessels coughing. So she sent me home with instructions to call back if things got worse.

Of course something was (or already had) gone wrong, but without an ultrasound there was no way to tell for sure. So I went home and took a nap.

For the record I don't blame my doctor at all for not seeing what was happening or for not insisting that I have an ultrasound that day. She actually said I could go to the hospital and get one if I wanted to, but she really didn't think it was necessary. And I didn't press it because I knew Harper was waiting at home and I trusted my doctor.

All's well that end's well, right?

For the record I would like to acknowledge that I appreciate that we all survived relatively unscathed and I know there are a million worse ways things could have gone. I think I can be grateful and still admit/own all the other things I felt during this time last year. I plan to tell it like it is/was without apologies...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Well at least the old vacuum cleaner is good for something...

But it will only be a "horse" until garbage day, when it will be unceremoniously kicked to the curb.

I loved that Harper dedicated this video (a nod to the song dedicated to Mugga) and I also liked where she explained the rocking horse could not go in water because she'd decorated it with a "puppet ear." Maybe because puppet ears don't float?

I feel as though I should post some sort of warning here - tomorrow will be exactly one day since we had the first inkling that something was going wrong with my pregnancy. I still have many, many residual feelings about everything we went through last year and I think I'll write about some of that year. They probably won't be happy posts. So feel free to check out and come back in late March or April, when we'll be getting ready to go see the tulips at the arboretum!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Siblings in Stripes

At some point yesterday afternoon, I noticed that both of my children were wearing items of clothing my sister had given them for Christmas. It seemed like a good time to take advantage of the afternoon light and photograph those two. Thanks for the clothes Auntie Shannon!

I'm not sure I'll ever see a series of photos that so accurately demonstrate the divergent personalities of my children. Harper is all drama and cheese and silliness and fire, whereas Michael is Mr. Mellow Man, just hanging out, usually happy, along for the ride.

In all fairness, I should also share the gentle and kind side of Harper's personality with a little story...

This afternoon I was on the phone with a friend who was having a really difficult day (but that's not my story to tell) and I was letting some tears slip. Harper came into the kitchen and saw me crying. I tried shushing her and sending her back to the living room, but she said, "Mommy, if you don't tell me what's wrong I won't know how to help you."

I again motioned for her to leave and she whispered, "Lean down." I complied and she gently reached up and brushed a couple of the tears off my cheeks saying, "I'm wiping your tears away Mom." And then she pranced back to her play dough.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Harper, April 2005
~5 months old

Michael, February 2009
~9 months old

Same sweater, same room, same chair. Michael was a bit bigger (understatement) when it occurred to me to put this sweater on him, so they photos may not be great for comparison purposes...

I remembered taking that photo of Harper. I'm not sure they look that much alike, but dang! those babies have big heads.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Vacuums and Blurbs

Okay, so I'm still looking for input on the vacuum situation. Thank you to everyone who already left some ideas for us! It looks like we may either go ahead and get a Dyson or get an Oreck. On the one hand, the Dyson is pretty; Orecks are like the orthopedic shoes of the vacuum cleaner world. On the other hand, in my (albeit limited) research, I can't find anyone to say a single bad think about Orecks, while it seems a few have some complaints about Dysons. In addition we have an Oreck store not for from here and the model we're looking at comes with several years of free annual tune-ups. I expect high performance from a vacuum that requres tuning-up. Then again, if we'd ever tuned up our current vacuum, maybe I wouldn't hate it so much. Although my mother-in-law used it for a small area today and admitted that the thing is a beast.

In other news here are some funny things Harper's said lately:

Yesterday she asked Matt something about why kids had to do what grown-ups said and when Matt asked why she was asking she proclaimed, "Because I don't want to spend my whole life working for Mommy!"

Today, at preschool, they apparently read a book about Ruby Bridges during circle time. Harper remembered a lot about the story. She was especially interested in the part where martians helped Ruby get to school!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

What is the Opposite of an Ode?

I don't vacuum very often. There are several reasons for this: 1) I have an extreme dislike for the chore and 2) both children and the dog absolutely hate the vacuum. We have mostly hard floors in our house so Swiffering or sweeping suffice most of the time. And most of the rest of them time we just, um, ignore the dust bunny armies that spring up. Today Mike and Ann were coming for dinner and to watch the Super Bowl and I had reached the tipping point in terms of the level of dust bunny uprising I was willing to tolerate. Matt was home and he took both the kids and the dog into our bedroom and closed the door so I could vacuum everywhere else.

In our old house I didn't mind vacuuming so much. Our old house was small and I could plug the vacuum into the dining room outlet and vacuum the entire ranch without moving the plug. In this house I can't even vacuum the entire living room/dinning room area without moving the plug. (Our house isn't that big, just bigger than our last place.). I love a lot of things about this house, but I really hate vacuuming it.

So, as I vacuumed today, I found myself composing a letter to our vacuum in my head. It went something like this:

Dear Vacuum,

I hate you. I try not to waste energy hating anything but I just cannot take it anymore. I hate that you are so heavy my back aches within moments of starting to use you. I hate that, on our hard floors, you seem do blow the dirt around instead of sucking it up unless I go over the same spot 97 times and even then you miss things. I hate that you are so loud you terrify the children and my ears ring as though I've been front row at a rock concert after using you. I hate that your attachment hose is so short I have to lift your heavy a** off the floor with one hand, while extending the hose with the other hand, to get the cobwebs off of our decidedly normal height ceilings. I hate that, when stowed, one end of your hose tends to come loose and flail around like some nearly severed appendage. I hate that your locking mechanism is broken so I stand you up, let go, and about fifty percent of the time you fall back with an alarming crash, often hitting one of my feet. I hate that you are just barely tall enough NOT to reach into the little area between the edge of the kitchen cabinets and the floor and I am forced to use your stupid hose if I want to get at all the gunk. I hate that your vacuum bags never seem to fit quite right. If I could sue you for causing back strain and hearing loss and psychological trauma I would.

And I know,
I know, I have electricity and running water and I should be thankful I'm not sweeping a dirt floor, oblivious to the locusts which are about to eat our crops and lead to a famine of massive proportions. BUT I still hate you, Vacuum, and I want to fire you, but I'm not sure we can afford to replace you with a better performing model.

It's been over six years, Vacuum, and I kind of wish you'd just die already so we could all move on. Clearly this relationship isn't working.

You see, I had to turn to something as silly as composing vacuum hate mail because it was the only way take my mind off the outrageous volume I was dealing with. Just was I was thinking the part about wishing the vacuum would die my hand felt something funny on the cord.

I looked down and realized an entire chunk of the protective sheath (is that the right word?) around the wires of the cord was just missing! And we all know it is not safe to use appliances with damaged cords, right? I did a temporary duct tape repair so I could finish waging war on the dust bunnies, but we all know that was a very, very short-term fix. I told Matt about the cord and...

It's time for a new vacuum baby!

We are going to try to get one soon, as in next weekend, so please, please leave your vacuum advice in the comments because, much to my delight, Matt seems to agree that it might be prudent to spend more than $99 on the next vacuum. Dare we discuss Dysons? Are they worth it?

Pertinant vacuum circumstance facts:

  • We need a vacuum that can handle hard floors and carpet.
  • We have a dog, but he doesn't shed (and we'll never have shedding pets because of allergies). He does, however, drag all manner of debris in from the yard, like small bits of leaves.
  • Harper (and Michael will join her soon) is prone to leaving boulder sized crumbs behind when she eats. (BTW, what is the matter with our dog that he doesn't attend to those?)
  • I would like a vacuum to be significantly lighter and quieter than my current model. Unless it weighs as much as several bowling balls and sounds like a rock concert it won't be difficult to improve these areas.
Okay, Internets, tell me what to do!