I love adding “-o-rama” to things. It makes any thing more… “rama”-like. Your assignment is to use “rama” some time in the next week. You won’t be disappointed.


The last few days away from work were awesome. Had lots of good bonding time with the J-bird including a couple of preschool visits and some cussing out of the in-laws’ computers. On my part. Jaden was very accepting of the whole thing. Let’s re-cap, shall we?

(Script Note: Any scene where we are in the car, the sound track is her new “backyardigans” cd with special focus on the one minute and fifteen second track “Nobody’s Bigger than a Giant”. I used to think that was a really cute song. I STILL think it’s adorable that Jaden sings along with it. However annoyed I am with the song itself at this point.)


Monday: Already discussed the visit to the pre-school. After the pre-school visit we went to my office to show off the cuteness that exudes from my child. She impressed all present with her piggie tails (oh, they’re back to piggie-tails so I don’t have to threaten anyone anymore for not calling them duck feathers) and thorough description of the plan for the day:

“We gonna go to da otter bildin but birst we have to go in the elegator.”


I brought her to the other office building where she proceeded to NOT impress people but instead took out her piggie tails and ran around like a goober with her hair sticking out in two phantom piggie tails.


After the disastrous second building visit where I had to convince the receptionist that I AM an employee, I just work in the other building, have the day off and am showing off my kid to my old co-workers, J and I traveled to Michaels in order to find transfer paper to I could start my embroidery projects I mentioned the other day. Short version of that visit:

“I just have to show you sompin.”

“No, I need to show YOU something. THIS way.”

“Hey, what you doin? What’s goin on?” (this from her in response to me pulling on her backpack/leash thing and her walking backward and incorporating some great comedic timing once again.)


“Jaden, look at me. Jaden. I need to talk to you. Look at me. Ok, do you want to have lunch with daddy at the restaurant or do you want to go home?”

“Have lunch with daddy.”

“Ok, then you need come with me. I just need to get one thing and then we’ll go have lunch with daddy, ok?”


“what’s that? what’s that? what’s that? what’s that? what’s that?”


“What’s that, J?”

“A squeaker.”



“No, you don’t need that. You don’t even know what it is. How can you want it?”

“It’s a candy necklace.”

“Ok, you know what it is. You still can’t have it.”


Left Michaels SANS transfer paper but got a packet of needles. Then sat in the
Applebee’s parking lot waiting for Matt. Jaden took off her shoes twice and decided she’d had enough of being cute and took out her piggie tail holders.


Went in. Had an uneventful lunch (J ate ALL her corndog and her apple sauce and her apple juice. Matt and I got free Twins tickets because we ordered burgers. WHOO!).


On the way home, Jaden managed to draw on her window with a red crayon. My discovery went something like this:

“J? Are you dancing?” glance back while waiting at a light. “What? Is that?? Did you DRAW on the window??”


“Why would you–? Why? Don’t draw on the–Oh forget it.” (The crayon is still on the window for those wondering.)


Some how, we made it home, took a nap and played. I really don’t remember that evening…OH! We watched a lot of Third Rock from the Sun while I folded clothes and Jaden played in her room whilst listening to her Backyardigans CD, some more. Why can’t I remember what we did for dinner? Did we do dinner? Huh. Apparently when I don’t work, my meal planning goes all to hell. As you’ll see when we get to Wednesday.


Bed time was pretty standard except for one thing that had me in tears. Jaden has this creepy doll that’s supposed to talk to her but it decides when it’s going to work. We have never seen it work properly. Out of nowhere Monday evening, it decides to start talking. I didn’t see this as I was in the bathroom getting her eczema cream but I definitly heard:

Doll: “Night-night?”

J: “Yes, it’s bedtime. Now go to sleep!”

Matt and I didn’t even TRY to hide our laughter.


Tuesday: We had breakfast and watched old Donald duck cartoons on YouTube (matt discovered those gems over the weekend and Jaden has fallen in love with them. Especially the “snow ball fight” one.) then headed over to the second pre-school. In a word? NO. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why I didn’t like that school but let me try:

1) It smelled like an elementary school cafeteria. Perhaps they had pancakes for breakfast that day. I don’t know but I had definite flashbacks to 3rd grade and lingering syrup smells.

2) When we first came in, there was a big monitor that was split into 8 screens that showed each room in the school. Next to that there was a touch screen with numbers that I found out parents use to sign in with a personal identification number (or “PIN”). I don’t know why, but that rubbed me the wrong way. I’m ok with cameras being in the rooms for monitoring purposes but—actually I’m not ok with it. It gives off a very “prison yard” feel.

3) The lady who gave me the tour talked very fast and seemed really focused on “selling” me the center. The first place’s director was very warm and inviting. This lady was just…annoying. She didn’t take me into the infant room as Jaden is not an infant and I told her the baby probably won’t be coming right away. (the other lady, explained EACH room in detail regardless if we were going to use it or not) however, she did tell me that they are licensed for 16 babies. SIXTEEN! That’s a shit-ton of babies. The first place is licensed for 8. This leads me to reason number

4) LOTS of kids. They’re licensed for thirty kids in the pre-school classes and the pre-k rooms. There are three such rooms. That equals a lot of kids. A ratio of 15 kids per teacher. In short: twice as many kids as the first place. This is exactly why I was hesitant to go to a center. I’d rather have a smaller ratio so I know the kids are getting the attention they need. We went out to the playground (one of two) and it was like two kindergarten classes running around. Two teachers were out there. It just seemed like a lot. Plus, all the teachers were wearing “official company polo shirts”. It was all very corporate.

5) Tour Lady also seemed to make a point of calling out kids names in a poorly veiled attempt to demonstrate that she was connected with each of the children.

6) It was $20/wk more expensive which actually is a good thing because I now I won’t feel pressured to go there just because it’s cheaper.


After that we went to The Inlaws’ house to feed the cat and hang out there for awhile. Jaden wanted to play a game on the computer but even though there are THREE computers to work with, I couldn’t get one of them to work. Ok, I didn’t try the big fancy one because I don’t think Mr Inlaw would appreciate a pre-schooler banging away on his new gaming computer. BUT I did try to hop online to print out embroidery patters but they have some password protection thing so that fell through. So I can still stand by my previous statement of not getting any of the three computers to work. Jaden was totally chill about the whole thing and decided that me reading some books to her and then watching Elmo’s World was a great substitute. I don’t remember what I did while she watched the squeaky voiced monster other than bond with the cat then yell at said cat who decided to bite me and hiss at me after lying comfortably on my lap for 15 minutes. She was done, I guess, and has some communication issues.


I made us grilled cheese for lunch, borrowed a couple movies from their extensive VHS collection then J and I headed home. We watched Fox and The Hound. Well, started to but then it was nap time which meant 20 minutes of convincing Jaden that naps are good and after the nap we can watch more cartoons and eat fruit snacks. Can you tell yet that I was a little worn out on Tuesday? I over did in on Monday so I was all about parking the kid in front of something digital for entertainment.


For dinner I made spaghetti and afterwards played my game while Matt and J went on a crazy treasure hunt in the backyard. I watched for a little bit because I LOVE watching Matt play with his daughter. He’s just so good at it. My idea of playing in the back yard is making sure she’s got a ball while I sit in a chair and read. He made her a map back at the old house and they used that to find the treasure he had hidden earlier. (He made her a treasure chest that has all kinds of little trinkets in it. See? He’s good.) They just have so much fun together. BUT, my game was calling so I went and played, came up to put J to bed, Matt went roller blading and I went back to my game. I love the game. It’s grand fun. (Neverwinter Nights 2. If you like RPG games but don’t want to get into the online gaming world, this is perfect.)


Wednesday: Got up earlyish, went to Caribou and spent WAY too much on muffins, poppyseed bread and a chocolate cooler then headed back over to the inlaws to feed the cat and watch some of Jaden’s old shows that are on cable that we can’t watch anymore as we’re amish now. She watched some shows (ate most of the top of her muffin. Most expensive “Most of the Top of a Muffin” EVER) and played with some barbies (sorry, Matt) while I curled up with a fascinating book about Elizabeth I* and the cat that just the day before hissed and bit me lay in my lap purring away and didn’t bite me. Yay! Oh, I also watched two episodes of The Big Bang Theory because The Inlaws are kind enough to Tivo and keep the old episodes for us as we, again, don’t have cable. I laughed a whole lot then picked up the toys with J and headed back home.


Things got weird then. We went to the backyard to play after lunch (PB&J, applesauce, sun chips with old Warner Bros. playing on YouTube.**) where I read and she pretended to mow the lawn and play with the bocci ball set. I looked up at a sound and saw a little pantless girl from next door welcoming herself to our yard. “Uh, no. No, you can’t come back here. I’m pretty sure your mom needs you at home.” She ignores me (I’m 7 months pregnant so can’t chase the two year old around our back yard) and instead takes Jaden’s hand and leads her to the swing on our pine tree. “Jaden, bring her back over to the gate. She needs to go home.” (“Where is her mother,” I’m thinking.) Then eventually the mother shows up and says, “Fate***, come here. You need to get dressed. I was getting you clothes and you wandered off.” WANDERED OFF? Where were these clothes? Two towns over? The child wandered out the front door and over to our yard and managed to hang out in our yard for at least a minute before mommy-dearest realized the kid was gone. She picks up the kid who bursts into screams and the mom is being very diplomatic about the whole thing. They leave our yard and Jaden and I hang out in the back yard for a little while longer, or at least as long as necessary so the neighbors don’t think we’re retreating into our homes to avoid them. I see the little girl (now clothed) in the back yard and take that as my cue. Into the house we go. Ten minutes later, I hear them in our yard again! Are you kidding me? More screaming on the kid’s part, more diplomacy on the mom’s part and they’re gone.

Jaden: “The little girl is sad.”

Me: “The little girl is being very naughty. She needs to go home.”

Jaden: “She being naughty?”

Me: “Yes.”

Jaden: “She being naughty.” And drops the subject. Naughty little girls do not deserve her attention.


I called Matt and relayed the events and he said he’d stop and get a padlock for the gate. This is something he wanted to do anyway to prevent our kid from wandering out of the backyard and into the busy street. I believe this kind of forethought is called “Good Parenting”.


Nap then dinner. Dinner was a fried egg and Sun Chips for Jaden, cereal for me and left over spaghetti for Matt. I have an excuse for the lax dinner: I think I’m relapsing cold wise. I’m not happy about it. Grrr.


After dinner we all went downstairs to play in the family room. Jaden served us all coffee and tea, Matt installed his new game and I read. Then Matt and I watched Jaden play for awhile because there is nothing cuter than her playing with her little people and hearing “them” sing “Rock a By Baby” to the baby little people. Then she set up the animals and they went to the zoo. CUTE.

Afterwards, she put on her fairy wings, flew around the family room and into the music room to play with her drums for awhile and shook her booty and danced and all was good. She even went to bed without a fight. Lots of wrestling and giggling with daddy and oh so much fun.


I read more and Matt played his scary game. Then I went to bed but didn’t sleep*.


I meant for this whole entry to have a “Why Jaden is Awesome” focus but I just can’t seem to put her awesomeness into words. When I say, “She shook her butt,” you don’t see her awesome booty shaking. When I say, “She had SunChips” you don’t see her offering mommy and daddy a chip without being prompted. When I say, “We visited a preschool” you don’t see her waving to the babies through the window and having a deep connection with one baby in particular. You don’t hear her saying, “No, first sing it, then say it” when we sing our special song at bedtime or “We have to say good night to everything” and then say good night to EVERYTHING in her room. Or the adorable way she can’t say her “f’s” or “v’s” and has an adorable lisp.


Just trust me: If you had this little girl in your life, you’re life would be perfect.****


*So fascinating that I couldn’t put it down yesterday and ended up dreaming about who was going to succeed Elizabeth to the thrown if she died without an heir. With the Backyardigans on the sound track. Very odd combination and I blame THAT for my not sleeping well last night. Who can sleep when the question of the Elizabethan British Monarchy’s continuation is in question! Oh, and yes, I know Elizabeth never got married and never had an heir. I DIDN’T know how preoccupied the English were with her sex life.


**After a classic Bugs vs. Daffy vs. Elmer cartoon Jaden initiated a “Duck Season!”/“Rabbit Season!” battle with me. There was much laughter and more than a little pride on my part that she picked up on the humor so quickly.


***Name has been changed to protect the pantless innocent.


**** AND!! We’re adding more perfect to our life. You would do the same.


One Response

  1. […] won??t be disappointed. ? The last few days away from work were awesome. Had lots of good bondinghttps://marcoda.wordpress.com/2008/05/22/j-o-rama/Fixit: Squeaky shoes get the oil – or take them back to the store – Minneapolis Star TribuneBy KAREN […]

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