Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bye Davy

You were one of my first crushes, Davy Jones. Rest in Peace. :(

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The One About the Shower

I could steal all of my mom's photos and repost them here, but instead I'm just going to point you over to her blog (yes, of course my mom has a blog) so that you can see all of them and I don't have to plagiarize her.  So click on over there and check out what she did.  It was amazing.

Oh ok, I'll post one picture as a tease....  You have to click through so that you can see what made them make these faces:

Denna and Megan during the "big reveal" go on over there, now, to see the rest!

Way to go, Mom.  Great work, as always.

Monday, February 27, 2012

How I Spent My Christmas Money

So back in 2006 Ze Frank had this show, and I watched it every week and it always made me laugh and made me think.  This song, in particular, meant a lot to me.  I've even taught it to the kids.

When my friend Brandon emailed me and told me that Ze had started a funding campaign on Kickstarter, it didn't take me long to realize that I wanted to use the rest of my Christmas money to help him bring back The Show.  Who else makes earth sandwiches, I ask you??

If you're reading this, you're probably into the same stuff I am, and maybe The Show meant something to you, too.  If so, now you know.  As of right now, we have until March 9 to raise $25,000 more.  I gave a $100 pledge.  Wish I had $7500 to have lunch with him.  That would be awesome.  It appears that he just started the funding campaign today, so I think he'll make his goal.


Picture borrowed from Ze's Google+ page - is anyone still using that thing?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Baby Shower!

Today I spent all day in Grammaland at my baby sister's baby shower.  There's something most surreal about having a baby shower for someone you remember holding on the day she was born.  It's a day I've looked forward to ever since we were kids.  I am so looking forward to making the word "aunt" into a verb.

She and her husband were most generously showered.  I don't think little Kate will ever have to wear the same onesie twice.  Now all they need is a bigger house so they have room for all the supplies!

Everyone kept telling me how nice everything was, but Mom did it all.  She knocked it out of the park.  The decorations were fabulous.  I'll have to get some pictures from her to share, because I used her camera all day.

In my speech, because I always make a speech, I said, "I hope your family brings you two as much joy as you have brought to all of us."  That pretty much sums it all up.

How beautiful to already be loved so much before you've even taken your first breath.

Jack speaks

Jack's first two word sentence today:

"Thank you."

My sweet boy.

Friday, February 24, 2012


At another ball game. #4 is our cousin (kinda). Lucy is over there playing the flute. Good times!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Being a Stay at Home Mom Doesn't Mean You Have to Stay at Home

When I think back to how isolated I was when I only had one kid, I feel so sorry for my former self.  I want to reach back in time and force us out of the house and into a playgroup.  I had one close local friend who had kids, back then, and she worked full time.  From the time BJ left for work until he got home, it was pretty much the Amy and Mary Grace Show.  Grandpa Bob didn't live here until later.

It was really hard.

Now I have a bunch of moms around me.  We pick each others' kids up for school and activities (as I was writing this post one of my friends called and said she'd pick MG up for scouts this afternoon!).  We chat in the pick up line or at drop off.  We go out for coffee or wine and we talk about everything (Literally.  Everything).  We babysit for each other.  We pick up odds and ends for each other at the store when someone gets sick.  We make each other casseroles when someone has a baby or needs a helping hand.  We look out for each other.  It's SO MUCH BETTER than those early days of being all on my own.

My sister is pregnant with her first.  She and one of her best friends had the foresight to marry into the same family (a pair of cousins), and they are having their first kids within a month of each other.  They have several other friends who are also new parents, or getting ready to be new parents.  I'm so happy for them, that they have each other.  I'm relieved that my sister will never (hopefully) experience that social isolation that comes from being a new mom.

If I could go back, I would force myself to join a playgroup.  I didn't realize until MG was in school that the playgroups are more for moms than for kids.  Duh.  I just found it all so overwhelming back then.  The kids were all bigger and stronger and all the other moms seemed to have their act so much more together than mine was!  I wish I could take a do-over, though.  I think I would have been a better mom to her, then, and I know I would have been a better wife to BJ if I had been a little more social.

It was better by the time Claire came along.  By then I had found quite a few mom friends, and I had a much better support system, in general.  Plus, I knew what I was doing with her, which really helped.  Oh, and she slept like a normal baby.  That really helped.

I need to work on getting us out of the house in the afternoon.  I'm beginning to think that a weekly schedule (library Monday, museum Tuesday, gym Wednesday, etc.) would be good for us.  I just wish I could think of 5 outings that we could do regardless of weather that don't cost a lot of money.  Suggestions?

This time of year, when the weather sucks and it's such a pain to get out of the house, is so hard on parents of little kids.  Do you have someone in your village who might need some company?  Do you need to push yourself a little more to reach out?  Have you joined the La Leche League, or MOPS, or MOMS Club, or one of those?  How do you keep your sanity with little kids?

I Blew It

I'm not even sure how it happened, but I missed yesterday.  I made it almost 2 months, though.  Not bad!  I'll keep trying.  Perfection is the enemy of the good, after all.

BJ and I were talking about my post about The Patriarchy last night, and he brought up the point that in debate it's pretty standard to have one argument presented, and then the other, and that might be why that first panel was all made up of religious men and not a woman or a doctor among them - because they probably couldn't find a woman or a doctor who would say, "Yeah, you should limit women's access to birth control."

He said that no one really knows what those 5 dudes said (although it doesn't take a big logic leap to guess) because everyone is so focused on their lack of uteri.  I spent at least 20 minutes trying to find a video of the session on C-Span, or a transcript, but I didn't find a thing.  I found a lot of responses by various members of congress, but not the original hearing.

I'm willing to hear the sausage fest (to quote Jon Stewart) out.  Can anyone find a link or a transcript to the first session of Issa's hearing on contraception?  If so, link to it in the comments and I'll post it for everyone.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Say Cheese

Megan had to practically do cartwheels to get her to cooperate, but they finally got a good 3-D ultrasound image of Kate, my niece!

I think she looks like me.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sexual Politics

Yesterday I pointed out absurdity of a bunch of non-uterus-havers making decisions about women's reproductive health and freedom (in 2012, for Susan B. Anthony's sake!) and Ann had this to say:
I enjoy reading your blog and stories about your family, but I couldn't let this one go. It is called religious beliefs and values. You would not ask the Amish or Quakers or any other religion to do anything that is fundamentally against their beliefs why is it ok to demand and force Catholics to abandon one of their core teachings. It is not a male/female issue. It is a religious belief issue. Would it make you feel better if it was a table full of catholic women holding their babies sitting at that table? 
Leaving aside the irony of an institution which has sheltered and enabled sexual predators for generations throwing any stones when it comes to sexual politics of any kind... Here's what's going on:

The Catholics don't want to cover birth control for their employees.  So, for example, if you're an agnostic or Buddhist or whatever secretary who happens to work at a Catholic university or hospital, or even a private company owned by a Catholic, they have the right, under the law, to not cover birth control pills under your insurance plan.  This actually happened to me in my early 20s.  Irony of irony, I was taking BC for raging PMS, and not for the sake of contraception, but it didn't matter because the family owned company I worked for at the time was owned by an Italian-Catholic family, and they refused to cover BC.  It kind of pissed me off.  Guess where I went for my pills instead?  (Planned Parenthood)  Guess what organization the religious right would love to see wiped off the face of the earth??  (Planned Parenthood)  ARGH!

Fine, whatever.  Religious freedom, blah blah blah.  So Obama said, "Whatever, jerks.  We're going to require the non-religious insurance company to extend birth control coverage to your employees for free, so that your non-Catholic or Catholic-light employees who choose to use the pill are able to, without having to go get it for a discounted price at Planned Parenthood and have eggs thrown at them by protestors."  Obviously I'm paraphrasing.

Egg Throwing Protestors
And apparently that wasn't good enough.  Because it's not just that Catholic companies and institutions saying, "We don't want our money going to pay for something we disagree with."  That's not it at all.  They don't want you or I to have access to birth control of any kind, period, regardless of what church you belong to or what you believe or whose money you use to pay for it.  (Incidentally, insurance companies are cool, because it's a lot cheaper to give away birth control pills than it is to cover pregnancies and to insure children until age 26.)

This also isn't about Catholics' closely held religious beliefs - because according to recent polls, 98% of Catholics have used birth control themselves (that link contains a very good description of what's going on, by the way, if my little lecture hasn't been enough for you).  This is about a very small group of (celibate) men trying to dictate the terms of what goes on in your relationship, your marriage, your bedroom, and your body.

If that doesn't piss you off, well, I don't know what will.

Reproductive freedom is a basic human right.  The World Health Organization says:
Reproductive rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free discrimination, coercion, and violence.
If it's true that "every sperm is sacred" for you, fine.  Good for you.  I hope you have a great job because I don't know how we're going to put our three pretty babies through college.  Assuming that you get married at age 25, like I did, and that you hit menopause at age 50, you've got 25 years of fertility there - and let's assume you have a kid every 18 months - we're talking 16 or 17 kids.  You must either come from money or plan on winning the lottery, or maybe you have different goals for your kids.  I don't know.  But it doesn't matter.  When YOUR religious beliefs start infringing on MY right to determine the size of my family, we have a serious, serious problem.

And furthermore, this planet just passed 7 billion people.  We can't all be Duggars.  Where are we supposed to put all these people?  Who is going to pay for them?  Two cats, if left to their own devices, can have over 80 million kittens in just 10 years.  Now, can you imagine how many people 7 billion people can have in the same time period?  Who is going to take care of all of them?  A bunch of celibate Catholic priests?  HARDLY.  (On the other hand, we may need all those people to take care of all the cats).

And what about the people, like my good friend Julie, who would dearly love to have more children but who can't because a pregnancy would literally kill her?  She has a heart condition.  She's a non-Catholic Christian.  Should she have to risk a pregnancy, and risk leaving her husband a widower and her children motherless because some celibate man thinks that his God is going to be pissed with her if she doesn't?  Should she and her husband have to endure a sexless marriage because of someone else's religious beliefs?  Why does the religious freedom of the Catholics trump her reproductive rights?  (Hint: it doesn't).

(And we haven't even touched on the whole abortion thing.  I do not have it in me to go there today.  Migraine.  Ugh.)

Even if it had been a table full of Catholic mothers, Ann, it wouldn't matter.  It would have been marginally less offensive, but frankly I get offended when any person of any religion tries to impose any of their religious values on anyone to whom they haven't personally given DNA.  And honestly, if you have a functioning uterus, I think you should too.  Because they aren't going to stop at not allowing their own employees access to birth control.  This is just one step in a systematic plan to strip all women everywhere of their basic right to determine the course of their own lives.

Why?  I wish I knew.  Maybe someone can explain it to me.  I welcome open discussion in the comments.

(And since they haven't thought of this, maybe the Catholics ought to start their own insurance company - Lord knows they have enough money - so that all the Catholic churches, universities, and companies can be insured by a Catholic insurance company which would therefore be religiously exempt from providing birth control.  But until they smarten up and do that, they're just going to have to STFU.)

Oh crap, one more thing.  Amish and Quaker people pay taxes, right?  And those taxes go to fund all kinds of things like war and electricity, that Amish and Quaker people don't believe in.  That's called "being a part of a society."  Sometimes your money gets used for things you don't personally approve of, but unless you're also willing to give up roads and police departments and fire departments and national security, you just have to freaking deal.  Personally, I choose to believe that all of the money we pay in taxes is the same exact money that comes back to us in research grants and contracts, which makes paying taxes a lot less painful.  I suggest that you adopt a similar belief.  If you're a really big fan of NASA, imagine that all your money goes directly to them.  If you hate NASA but love farmers, imagine your money being redistributed in the form of subsidies.  See how easy it is?

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Patriarchy

If we're going to let these people

picture from Uppercase Woman
decide whether or not women should have access to birth control, I think we ought to let these people

picture from
decide whether or not men should have access to Viagra.

I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nothing to Report

When serious things happen to my friends, I find it really difficult to write about my frivolous little concerns here.  Everything (even Jack's $25 virus which caused him to cry non-stop from noon until 2:30 until I finally, brilliantly, put him in his high chair with an Oreo and Sesame Street and there was silence for 10 whole minutes) seems so tiny and solvable by comparison.

We must remember to enjoy these years when our children's biggest problems can be solved with a boob or a bottle, a clean diaper, maybe a Band-aid or a cookie...  It doesn't stay that way.  All too soon these kids will be adults, with adult concerns and adult problems, and then we won't have the power to fix anything at all.  I got a peek into that world, and it is really scary.

I don't know if I can do it.  My kids might just have to stay little.  

Everyone's fine, everyone will be fine.  I'm just feeling too serious tonight to complain about my silly little life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another $25 Virus

I swear to God, the doctor ought to just put an ATM in the lobby, and I can swipe my card and it can withdraw $25 and say, "It's just a virus, keep doing what you're doing."  Honestly.  But the one time I don't take him, it'll be pneumonia.

It seems to me that it's excessive to have another horrible cough a mere 3 weeks after the last horrible cough.  His temperature was 103.1 at the doctor's office.

<insert rant about medicine doses and how stupid it is that they don't put them on bottles for anyone under 6, anymore, here>

<insert additional rant about how grossly inaccurate all my thermometers are, here>

I'm too tired to rant.  We were up all night.  Jack would settle down, then he'd cough and wake himself up, then he'd cry.  He's slept most of the day, today.  Some of us didn't have that option, Jack.  He'll probably be up all night.  Being sick is crummy, but having sick kids is bullshit.  I am ready for spring.

Dad is getting me an Italian beef sandwich from my favorite place, so that should help.  The kids are having fish sticks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Word of the Day...

The word of the day is SUGAR.

If Valentine candy isn't the best reason to get a sitter and go out for dinner, I don't know what is.

Sorry, Grandpa Bob.  Heh heh heh...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Eve

In spite of Pinterest, this year I resisted the urge to do Extremely! Cute! Things! (that the kids would not appreciate unless they were dipped in chocolate) for their classroom Valentines.  In fact, I bought a package of Star Wars Valentines and made the kids write their own, because I'm all anti-establishment like that.

But I just know that tomorrow, some kid whose mother is practically perfect in every way - like Mary Poppins, Martha Stewart, and Maria Montessori all rolled into one - is going to show up with the cutest, most adorable, most crafty, most thoughtful Valentines in the history of papercraft, and they're going to have made them by hand, while incorporating a thoughtful lesson on history or culture.  Perhaps they will be red, pink, and white paper cranes that the child made while listening to traditional Japanese ongaku, eating sushi, and learning all about Buddhism.  Perhaps they will be paper tulips for the girls and little paper wooden shoes for the boys, crafted while listening to Levenslied and eating soused herring, while their Franken-perfect-mother read them the story of The Little Mermaid.  The real one, of course, not the crappy Disney version.  Oh crap, that was Danish, not Dutch.  You catch my drift.  And I will feel shame.  I will feel guilt.  I will feel like the Worst Mother EVER when my kid shows up with her crappy Darth Maul suckers and the hearts cut out of foam that say To: L From: MG because MG got bored and decided that L was sufficient detail for Lilly's Valentine - nevermind that there are multiple Ls in her class.

Hey I COULD do these sorts of lessons with my kids.  There is no reason why I couldn't bust out with the leiderhosen and make schnitzel and show them The Sound of Music while we make adorable punny Valentines that look like sheep (made with cotton balls, of course) and say, "I like ewe!"  (There were goats in The Sound of Music - in the part where they do the puppets.  Shut up.)  I HAVE done these things with my kids.  I have exhausted myself with thoughtful and multi-sensory engaging activities which involve food and music and culture and craft - and generally the very next day we'll go to the store and they'll see the box of 30 Star Wars Valentines and they'll say, "Gosh, I really wish we could have Star Wars Valentines..."

In my nearly-7 years of parenting, I have learned that they're going to be disappointed no matter what I do.  If I go homemade, they'll covet the storebought.  If I go storebought, I'll feel inadequate in the face of the beautiful Valentines they bring home.  I might as well save myself the trouble and aim low, if I'm going to end up feeling crummy either way.

Maybe next year we'll go with anatomical correctness as our theme, and I'll give them a lesson in the circulatory system, as we create 3D paper versions of a human heart.  And we'll eat chicken hearts.  And we'll listen to Heart.  See?  It's not hard for this to veer completely out of control.  It's better to resist.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Miscellaneous News

When BJ and I learned last night that Whitney Houston had died (age 48), I said, "I just don't understand... why would anyone seek fame when it's so deadly?  Look at all the celebrities who have died from drugs.  Amy Winehouse, Elvis, John Belushi, Marilyn Monroe, Brittney Murphy, Kurt Cobain...  I could go on and on.  So why would anyone want to be famous??"

Genuine question.  I honestly have no idea.

Her daughter is only 18.  I sure wasn't ready to lose a parent at age 18.  I'm 35, and the thought of it still makes me tear up.

In other news, One Million Moms, a division of the American Family Association, decided to boycott JC Penney because Ellen was named as their new spokesperson, so all the mommybloggers of the world, who love Ellen, decided to go shopping at JC Penney today to support Ellen...  and even though I love Ellen and find the AFA obnoxious, I'm not going to go.  It seems to me that the whole thing smells of invented controversy, to win back the mommybloggers after the whole, "I'm too pretty to do my homework so my brother does it for me..." t-shirt thing last fall.

Much closer to home, the news is good.  Claire's fever is gone and she's back to fighting with her siblings.  You can always tell when people are sick around here, because they're too tired to fight.  She's still coughing, but I expect that to last until May or June.  This weird weather...

Penny cleared 6 months of age without us sending her back, and she is actually showing great improvement.  While she still steals toys all the flipping time, at least now she drops them when we tell her to, most of the time.  The kids are also getting much better about not leaving their crap everywhere, which has been an unexpected bonus.

Jack is getting new teeth - the really big ones toward the back, which is hateful.  But the reflux thing seems to be improving.  My friend Monica was here shortly after we took him off of his meds, and she pointed out that while the cough sounds hideous, it doesn't really seem to slow him down at all.  He just keeps going.  He doesn't even come to me for comfort.  So we're just kind of letting it go, for now.  It seems to be improving since he's started walking - maybe being upright more often helps, too.  Who knows?  But it doesn't seem fair to put him through a bunch of painful and dangerous tests if he's not really bothered by the cough.  I'm watching him closely, and the instant he seems to be bothered by it again we'll do something, but for now we're just watching and hoping that he continues to improve.

Dad brought KFC over for dinner last night, immediately after going to the doctor about his blood pressure.  "I think we've found the problem, Dr. House!" I said.  (Sorry, Dad, that was just too funny to leave off of the blog!)

Mary Grace is fine.  No news is good news.

And finally, my behind.  Would you believe that after a full week, it is still swollen and sore?  It still hurts to put pressure on the bruised cheek, so I end up sitting crooked, which is starting to really annoy my back and neck.  I think I might need to see a chiropractor, once things are better, to get everything back where it's supposed to be.  The bruise is spectacular.  I look kind of like a peacock.

BJ wants to go ice skating this afternoon.  Jack and I are going to watch.  I don't want to risk a matching bruise on the other cheek!

All right, gotta go.  The kids are driving me insane because they want lunch.  Happy Sunday!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pardon Me While I Brag

One of BJ's friends posted a picture of a girl on Facebook, in the style of those "Successories" posters.  The girl in the picture is wearing very little clothing and making a sandwich (in the laundry room, which I still haven't figured out).  The caption was "Perfection:  In the kitchen, making a sandwich."

BJ's comment, which he didn't even think I'd be able to see, because I'm not friends with the original poster:

B.J.  She could use one of those sandwiches.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Still Sickish

Claire's virus was a little more impressive today. We had to run a bunch of errands in the snow in spite of it. Poor kiddo. I did buy her cinnamon rolls from McD's to thank her for being good and make it up to her a little.

Probably a quiet weekend at home for us. How about you?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Not Quite Enough

Yesterday when I picked Claire up from school she felt warm, looked pale, and seemed kind of puny.  Rather than get her things together to leave, she just wanted to snuggle and hide her face in my armpit.  I was shocked when I got home and took her temperature (twice!) and it was normal.  (I think my thermometer might be broken.  Actually, I am developing a strong distrust for thermometers in general, because none of mine seem to work - whether they're for people or for meat or for the crock pot.  What's up with that?)

She went down to Grandpa's with cookies and stopped briefly at home before going with her sister to play at the neighbor's.  She acted fine.  I figured that maybe she had just been too hot.  Maybe they had just come in from the playground and she left her coat on too long and that was why she felt warm.  Maybe it was just a fluke.

Then I picked her up today at 11:40ish, and the teacher said, "We took her temperature at 11:10 and it was 101, but we knew you were already on your way to get Mary Grace so we didn't call you."  I told them I'd keep her home tomorrow, just to be sure she's ok.  I felt guilty for sending her to school (and grandpa's, and the neighbor's!) sick, but she hadn't acted sick at all, except for a few moments when I picked her up yesterday.

I brought her home, made her soup and hot tea, changed her into her pajamas, and she has been driving everyone insane ever since.

She's just sick enough that she can't go to school tomorrow, but she's not sick enough to stop fighting with her sister.  She's sick enough to be whiny and screamy, but not sick enough to hush up already and go to sleep before she drives us all crazy.

Mary Grace just said, and I quote, "Claire, you need a nap!"

I think it's better to get sick all at once and, most importantly, to have to go to bed, rather than drawing it out into several days-worth of being sort of well but not quite, but too sick to go anywhere or do anything.  I would gladly sit on the couch and snuggle and read books and rub her back, if she would just sit still and quit whining.

Of course, now that I've had the audacity to write down, "I wish my kid would get just a little bit sicker," she's going to start projectile vomiting or get chicken pox or something really impressive.  And then the other two will start, too, and by this time next week I'll be up to my elbows in vomit and/or calamine lotion, wanting to come back in time to this very moment and hit myself over the head with something large and heavy.

I should probably go bash myself in the head, on behalf of my future self, just to be safe.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Neighborhood Grandparents

Jack is taking a nap.  Polly is here cleaning (hooray!).  I just sent the kids down to Grandpa's with a box of cookies.  Who can resist cute kids with cookies?  Not Grandpa, that's for sure.

If you don't have a grandparent close enough that your kids can walk to their house, I recommend that you run out and get one ASAP.  If none of your parents cooperate, borrow someone else's.

When I was a kid, my great-grandmother lived next door.  It was AWESOME.  She was my mom's mom's mom.  My mom's mom and my mom's siblings all lived in Grammaland and so everyone was always coming over for one thing or another - to see us or Great Grandma , to pick something up or drop something off, so we got to see our aunts and uncles all the time, and our Grandma, and our Great-Grandma.

Great Grandma would tell me the most wonderful stories about when she was growing up, and when she was raising her family.  It was like talking to Laura Ingalls - what do you mean, you didn't have a TV or a phone or a car or INDOOR PLUMBING?  Wow!!!

She always had a tin of fun-sized Snickers, or some bridge mix, or something sweet in the house, and I was allowed to snitch as much as I wanted.  She let me experiment in her kitchen.  She ate popcorn with milk, like cereal kind of, but only a few pieces of popcorn in the milk at a time - she didn't dump milk over the whole bowl of popcorn.  She liked Spam sandwiches and fried cornmeal mush with maple syrup.  She made awesome French toast.

Funny how many of my memories of her revolve around food!

She painted and wrote poetry.  She wore old fashioned shoes.  She had a wonderful attic full of treasures - old hats from the 20s and 30s that still had their feathers - and I was allowed to play dress up in them.  I wonder what happened to all those old hats.  She had hundreds of old black and white photos, and I would get them out and she'd tell me stories about the people in them.  We watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, and WKRP in Cincinnati together.  If I said, "So..." she would reply, "Sew buttons on your underwear!" which I still don't get.  I still say "so" too often.

My sister and her husband live in that house, now, and Mom still lives next door.  I can feel her there, sometimes, but especially when Megan and I cook together in that little kitchen.

I'll tell you what, it's not the big stuff that kids remember.  It's not the trips to Disneyworld or the extravagant gifts.  It's the stories, the food, the Wheel of Fortune, the lazy afternoons poking around the attic's treasures.  That's the good stuff.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Kids Ruin Music

After we went to Florida for our friend's wedding last fall, and we heard the song, "Someone Like You," on the radio a thousand times, I bought the CD.  It's a beautiful song.  The rest of the CD is pretty great too.  Or it was, anyway, and then my kids decided to like it.

Before we even get in the car, they start asking me to "turn on Adele" and "start it at the beginning" (of the CD).  The problem is that everything we drive to on a regular basis is within 5 minutes of our house.  I have heard "Rolling In The Deep" about 174,248 times.  This week.

And as if that wasn't annoying enough, they've started changing the words.  To Star Wars.  "There's a fire, starting in my heart.  Reaching a fever pitch and it's bringin' me out the dark SIDE....  Don't underestimate the FORCE that I will use."  Good grief.

I just started the song to make sure I got their weird lyrics right, and they rushed in here to see the video.  Now Claire is singing it.  Again.

This is just wrong. Some things don't go together. I blame their father.
The obvious solution would be to stop playing Adele, make 'em go cold turkey, and start playing a CD that I don't hate.  Except then they'll ruin THAT too.

I'm starting to re-think my no-TV-in-the-car-unless-we're-on-a-roadtrip rule.  Either that, or I'm going to invest in earplugs.

Monday, February 6, 2012


High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Goodbye, Susan.  I learned so much from you.  You will be missed.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My New Nickname

Last night I put Jack to bed, and then called BJ.  I went into a the front room of the B&B to talk to him.  This B&B has lots of different levels - you go up three stairs here, down six there...  All weekend long I was telling Jack to "go down safely."  He's just learning to go backwards down stairs, and I was sure that he was going to tumble down and bust his head before we left.

After I talked to BJ, on the way down the six stairs to the scrapbooking room, the slipper socks I was wearing decided to be true to their name, and I fell.  Hard.

Since the staircase is behind a half-wall, all the girls in the scrapbooking room saw was this:

...and all they heard was a thud, and then silence, because I was trying SO hard not to cuss or cry, that I didn't make a sound.  They thought I'd knocked myself out.

I did some Lamaze breathing.  It's amazing how often that comes in handy.  It works almost as well as dropping a few F-bombs, and is much more socially acceptable.  The first thing I did when I could open my eyes was check to make sure I didn't break my phone.  I have issues.  My phone is fine.  My behiney, however, is not.

You know how when you hit your head you get a goose egg?  Did you know that you can do that to your butt?  I didn't either, but sure enough last night it looked like I had something the size of a lime under the skin.  Today it's still swollen, but not as badly, only about half a lime.

I am not so bold that I will post an actual picture of my butt on the web, but I will give you an artist's rendition.  I've worked really hard for several hours to get the shape and the color right.  It looks like this:

Do not adjust your monitor.  Most of my left rear end is actually the color of eggplant.  Now that I think about it, that's backwards, but that's what I see when I look in the mirror, so we're just gonna go with it.

Anyway, the egg part isn't bruised.  (There also isn't an actual circle around it, but I can't figure out how to post in three dimensions, so use your imagination for that part.)  Jenny, one of the scrapbookers, told me that when her kids bump their heads, if you put (real, not imitation) vanilla extract on the bump right away, the bruise doesn't come up.  So my cousin Kelly got some vanilla and we tried it.  What the heck, right? And the egg part is where I put the vanilla, so we'll see if the bruise ever comes up.  I almost wish it would, if it would take the swelling down.  I didn't think to coat my whole cheek in vanilla, so maybe the bruise is just coming up where I didn't put it.  We'll find out in a couple of days.  I sat on ice for over an hour, too, so that might have helped.  (Get it?  Karen dubbed me Vanilla Ice.  Word.)  I don't think I'd be able to walk today if I hadn't sat on that ice.  It still really hurts.  (Will it ever stop?  Yo, I don't know...)

You would not believe how uncomfortable the two hour drive home in the car was.  I never knew that my seats were so hard.

And yes, when I told Jack what happened, he thought it was funny.  Word to your mother.

What a Man!

This is what I came home to. And he has laundry going. What a mighty good man!

Later I'll tell you why my new nickname is Vanilla Ice. Right now I need to snuggle my kids and unload my car.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nappanee 2

So it turns out I'm kinda good at card making! Who knew?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Scrapbooking Weekend

In Nappanee, Indiana. For the record, I would make a terrible Amish person.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ceramic Tile

I broke fewer dishes before we put tile in the kitchen.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Free & Clear

We finally made the last payment for Jack's birth today.  I guess we'll keep him.

(For the first time in my LIFE I have managed to keep a New Years Resolution for an entire twelfth of the year!  I posted every day of January.  It kind of makes me wish that I'd been more ambitious with my resolution, if 2012 was going to be the year of actually keeping it.  I could have lost a bunch of weight by now or something.  On second thought, I'm not going to diet in 2012, just in case there's something to this Mayan end of the world thing.  It would be just my luck to spend the last year of the world eating carrot sticks and celery instead of chocolate and pasta.  If the world is still here next January, I'll work on the weight thing.  That seems sensible to me.  I'm sure that the Mayans would agree, since they invented chocolate.)