Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Book Reports: Not For The Common Good Of Mothers

Core Democratic Values. You know what those are, right? All eight of them? And I'm sure you can define them both clinically & in your own words and then provide three illustrative examples for each? No? Then you must not have a 5th grader.

I know all about the CDVs because a few years ago I wrote a nauseatingly dull report all about them. I mean I helped my daughter write a nauseatingly dull report all about them. Now, three years later, I get to write it again. I mean I get to help my other daughter write it. Again. I was moaning about my predicament when Liz helpfully suggested "Mom, my report is still on your computer. Maybe you could just, um..."


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hmmm... Apparently I Forgot To Post This Last Week In Our Shuffle To Leave

I just got off the phone with my three-year-old nephew, Wyatt. I was explaining how we're flying on a plane to come and see him tomorrow. He reminded me that they'd recently painted their house so it might be a bit tricky to locate. "Now it's a blue house, but last night it was pink."

We'll be there all week, including Thanksgiving. Wyatt says they have "lots of food so it will be cool." He also said after we all finish playing with cars then Emily, Elisabeth, Uncle Kenny, Liz and Auntie Lisa can walk with him to the park where there's a big slide. I just hope he isn't too disappointed when we show up with only two kids and no fluffy brown dog...

Thanks to Auntie Joannie, by the way, for saving my butt and graciously agreeing to watch my little fur ball while we're gone!

Happy Thanksgiving!
See ya next week!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Happy Birthday Kenny!

Happy 40th Birthday Ken!

Aw, isn't he cute in his first grade picture? I really wish he'd still dress like this... so dapper!

When I married him he had gray hair, bifocals and his favorite restaurant was Bill Knapp's. (yes, it's a mixed marriage) But alas, Ken is officially an old dude now. That's the first thing he said this morning. And then he ate his first bowl of old guy colon blowin' cereal. If you see him today, ask him how it's going... and be sure to wish him forty more.

Kisses Kenny!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sooo Not-Cool

Just two days ago in an online poll asking for one word to describe me, Liz said I was "cool." She's what my sister calls "a young thirteen" in that she's perhaps a smidge behind other teenagers her age in a few things.

Today in carpool, a really good Prince song came on the radio. Of course I turned it way up, sang along and danced in my seat while driving as per usual. I was most of the way through the song when I noticed fiery-hot laser beams shooting out of Liz's eyesockets, burning holes clean through me and into the seat. Oh yeah. I was definitely getting the look. Not so cool now, am I?

Why He Makes The Big Bucks

Dr. Pediatrician: Your test is negative. You probably don't have strep throat.
Emily: Oh, that's too bad. I wanted to take medicine and feel better in one day.
Dr. P.: Hmmm.
Lisa: It seems some people get strep and others just don't.
Dr. P.: Yes, it's true. Just like ear infections. We don't know why.
Lisa: Interesting.
Dr. P.: Any other questions?
Emily: Yes. Why do humans cry when they are sad?
Dr. P. : Um... I don't know. I don't think anyone knows.
Emily: I think it's because... (very long explanation neither he nor I could follow)
Dr. P.: Interesting. I'm going to have to think about that.
Emily: Okay. Bye!
Dr. P.: (charmed) Bye!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

No More Should

I was just thinking I should write a post, add something here to the ol' blog... and then I took issue with myself for telling me I should do something. I mean, who do I think I am, anyway, talking to me like that? I read somewhere how the word should creates...blame? shame? Something bad like that. Should is not a loving-kindness type of word. Buddhists never say should. Ever hear that little saying about how we are allowed to hate one person? (Buddhists probably don't go along with this part...) I think it'd be wise, at least for me, to go right ahead and allow myself to hate one word too. From now on, until further notice, my hated word is should. No more should! Should sucks and I hate should. And your little dog too!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Why Don't You...

start whining & crying (just the right amount to wake me but not Ken) at 2:30 in the morning to go outside every night?

(Edited at noon on Sunday to add photo)

Friday, November 11, 2005


I bet it will feel really sucky for Jennifer Aniston when she opens up her Pottery Barn Holiday catalog and sees the Jolie bedding set and matching Jolie Giftmas stockings being offered.

Oh, What A Beautiful Morning!

Visions of breath-taking & indescribable beauty this morning:

* The young middle school couple, standing on the corner. She, vigorously swinging her arms back & forth, back & forth, not facing him directly, but smiling broadly. Him, nervously laughing and fully engaged by her.

* The woman who walks her matching water-type dogs whose breed I can't recall. The sunlight streaming majestically through the trees in bright golden beams of light that just catch the furry edges of her dogs, gloriously outlining them all in sharp relief.

* The house perpetually under construstion for as long as I've lived here. Today, the mailbox post newly handpainted with a delicate vine of ivy and tiny white flowers. The tender care someone used to decorate a post in front of a jumbled wreck of a house.

Why yes, I did have an extra cup of mood-elevating coffee this morning. Why do you ask?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My Children Could Not Be More Different

Putting Liz to bed

Lisa: Liz, go to bed.
Liz: Okay.
Lisa: Goodnight.
Liz: Goodnight.
Lisa: I love you.
Liz: Love you!

Putting Emily to bed

Lisa: Emily, go to bed.
Emily: Do you think I should get a Ph.D.?
L: If you want one. Go to bed.
E: Do you think I'm smart enough to get one?
L: Yes. Now go to bed.
E: What kind do you think I should get?
L: The kind you want to get; you'll know.
E: Would you still love me if I commited a crime?
L: Yes. Go to bed.
E: What if it was really bad and I went to prison?
L: I'd be very disappointed, but I'd still love you.
E: What if I kill someone?
L: I...I... I'd still love you.
E: What if I tried to kill you? Would you love me then?
L: Uhhh... yes. I'd still love you. Time for bed!
E: What if I get a disability? Would you still love me then?
L: Yes. Did you brush your teeth?
E: Not yet... Why did you want to have children?
L: I just did. Go brush your teeth.
E: Do you regret having kids?
L: No. I love you very much. You need to go to bed.
E: I want to be a lawyer when I grow up.
L: Really! Why's that?
E: Because it's fun to handle things like solving problems for people.
L: You'd be good at that. Now go to bed.
E: Why do you want me to go to bed?
L: Because it's 10:30. It's very late! You need to go to bed.
E: Why?
L: So you can get plenty of good sleep.
E: But why do you care?
L: So you can be happy & alert tomorrow.
E: But why do you care so much about it?
L: Emily. Go to bed. I love you. Go to bed.
E: Okay, okay, okay... Jeez.

Wrapper Lust

Did you know Tori Spelling grew up in a house that has its own gift wrapping room? I don't know how I know that, but I do. Or maybe I made it up and now I think it's true. Anyhoo... access to a gift wrapping room is the only reason I'd ever be jealous of her. Or her parents, since I suppose the gift wrapping room probably belongs to them, but still. My giftwrap wrapping paper gift tag tissue paper ribbon & bows area is a disaster. That's to say nothing of my tangled sea of gift bags...

I decided in about April that I wanted to organize the whole mess by getting one of those Rubbermaid wrapping paper organizing things like my sister has. I liked hers because it holds a bunch of rolls of paper and it has a little storage area for bows and tape. Cool. Except I couldn't find one in April because no one sells it at that time of year because apparently no one wraps gifts in the spring? "They" only sell wrapping paper organizers during this part of the year, as Giftmas approaches. (I call it that now, Giftmas instead of Christmas because that is certainly how it can start to feel if one is inclined towards that direction. I wish I could take credit for coining the term Giftmas, but I ganked it from another blogger. (gank is a blog term for stealing something clever or amusing off another blog)). I've had to wait months to buy myself a Rubbermaid thing. Now that we are well into November, if they haven't already, then Target (for example) should be putting a bunch of those babies out on the shelves any day now.

I went online to see if it was time to run out to get my organizing thingy when, just this close to realizing my dream, I ran across something else. (see photo at top). May I introduce the elfa Gift Wrap Cart? Not only does it handle the paper situation and have a place for bows and tape, but there are special spaces designated for scissors, ribbons, a shelf for tissue paper and, god help me, drawers and hooks for gift bags. The best part is the clean flat surface on the top, positioned at the exact perfect height, where the actual wrapping of my gifts could happen all with the greatest of ease, just like at Tori's parents' house. Imagine how organized I could be if I had this thing! The one little catch is that it costs TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS. Actually, it costs more than that, what with shipping & sales tax, which means I'm probably not going to be getting my very own elfa fantasy wrapping cart anytime soon. That is, unless Ken or I become successful TV producers.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Thread Count Sheets

Emily came into our room the other night at about 3 a.m. saying something about a bad dream. I said "get in" and went back to sleep. The next morning she didn't want to get up. I thought she was overly tired from a fretful night. She said it was my cozy-smooth sheets. What Emily wants for Christmas: "Thread count sheets."

Edited to add: I went out this very afternoon and got her some nice smooth sheets of her own, instead of the burlap ones she'd been using. I want her happy, well-rested... and in her own bed!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Plays Board Games

The fam just returned. I'd sent them all away for the evening as I was having a few of the gals over for a PBG gathering. Liz just came in and said... "I know what PBG means: Plays Board Games." I can't believe I haven't heard this one before! Nice try, honey.

My First Genuine Online Rant

I promised at the beginning there would be some occasional ranting. So far I've only whined a bit, but now I'm ready. WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH ALL THE LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDRAISING???? It feels like Fundraiser Of The Week at my house because it is. My kids have sold magazines, pizzas, t-shirts, more t-shirts, still goddamed more t-shirts, wrapping paper & candy, etc. (Please feel free to leave comments of any I've forgotten.) Oh, there's also the grocery store cards, which I participate in, btw. Plus we've eaten at Max & Irma's and Chunky Cheese, although I have to say, HND was there and he crawled around in the tunnels with his kids, so that was pretty nice... but anyway.

Now THIS. Emily has brought home a magnet that she colored her very own self. And it's kind of cute. If I'd like to purchase it I can send in five bucks. But if I don't want to purchase it? Then I have to send it back, within five days and clearly labeled so they either know who did not participate in the fundraiser du jour or so they will know who to harass to get their stupid fucking magnet back. I HATE THIS.

I don't want to get started on how much I pay in taxes for the priviledge of living here BECASUE IT'S A LOT. And yes, I support quality education, and they are building a new high school, and there was that messy business with the substitute teachers a few years back whereby they lost millions of dollars in a lawsuit, and I might as well toss Proposal A in there (or are we not pissed about that anymore?) and maybe all of that has absolutely nothing to do with ANY of this, and maybe if I could stomach going to PTO meetings I'd have a better idea of what's going on...

Maybe they really need the money and really need to have the kids sell all this shit. But I can't be the only one sick and tired of being hit up every few days! (That's to say nothing of the constant car washes all summer long and the little boys in front of Busch's with popcorn, and the little girls pretty soon with the cookies, etc.) The worst part is how the school is now pimping my kid, worse than usual, by getting her emotionally involved "creating" this thing, so she feels attached to it, genuinely cares about it and then goes about applying her big, brown-eyed pressure to try and get me to buy a magnet I don't want. When I don't want pizza or cookie dough I just recycle the order form, but this has now gotten personal. And that's what elevates the magnet sale beyond irritating & annoying to WRONG.

Besides, isn't it illegal to send something to a person unbidden and then insist that thay pay for it or arrange its return? Or is that only when the postal service is involved? Or does there have to be some kind of threat too? Is this extortion? Or a form of it? Harassment? Or some other illegal thing? LAR! Are you there, sweetheart? Surely you have a magnet, too. IS THIS LEGAL?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

L-I-S-A Con't.

Ken and Emily were playing around with one of his favorite goof-around sites when they found my name.

Ken liked: Local Integrated Software Architecture

Emily liked: Lost In Space Again

I'm not even sure what the first one means; the second one is, of course, the reality.

Gratitude: Small & Grande

Small: To the person in our neighborhood who handed out Take 5 candy bars. I'd never tried one or even heard of them until finding some in Emily's loot sack. I have a new favorite!

Grande: To the Post Office on Green Road for adding a fantastic machine that weighs packages & letters, and then with a simple swipe of the Visa accepts payment for postage. I can do whole postal transactions now without ever talking to a human! Or waiting in line! This has all but eliminated my irrational fear of the post office. I'll never have to deal with Tall Creepy Postal Guy ever again!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Housekeeping Tit, Err, Tip

Sooo... I found a great way to motivate myself to clean the house! This morning after checking on my own blog, I clicked the harmless-looking little button that says 'next blog.' Have you tried it? A few people have mentioned how this is a fun thing to do because "it's pretty amazing what's out there." I only allow myself one 'next blog' hit so I don't sit here all day reading blogs. Because that would be wrong. One time the 'next blog' was a Japanese teenager who really wants an Adidas wallet... Another time the blog was in some other language and I couldn't understand it or even decide what the language was...

This morning's 'next blog' was so random I couldn't figure out what it was. It said... something... but then it changed... and... I don't know. So I reasoned that one didn't count and I'd just click the 'next blog' button one more time. That's when I found Slutty Sally, the whore who blogs e-v-e-r-y-thing. I didn't realize what it was right away, of course. I just noticed that it was in English and the spelling looked pretty good, so I started reading it... and looking at the pictures... and then I couldn't stop because not only is Sally really really slutty, she's also a pretty good writer. But then Oh. My. Gawd. I went too far (no such thing for Sally!) and I could feel trauma starting to set in. I told myself it was definitely time to walk away.

The next thing I knew I was downstairs maniacally organizing my cookbooks and scrubbing out the already-clean microwave and sorting & doing laundry with new & amazing vigor, all just as fast as I possibly could with thoughts passing through my head of clean, clean, clean, must clean, must make it all cleeeeeean...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Trick or Treat!

Emily went trick or treating as a devil/angel hybrid. She was disappointed to see other kids with the same costume & thus declared it "not cool." But I thought it was perfect. Here she is with the little neighbor girl who isn't usually a hideous monster.

Clever Lizzie made her own costume & went as Madeline. People either knew exactly who she was or had no idea. Pretty cute, huh?

Halloween Update:

I didn't manage to go as Soccer Mom after all. I just did the usual, which was Harried Mom Pushing Kids & Husband Out The Door (So I Can Go Sit In The Driveway To Drink & Eat Candy). But I wasn't alone, so it wasn't nearly as pathetic as it sounds.

Our House Halloween Stats:
Beggers: approx. 25-30
Candy bars Shelby ate: 5
Wrappers to watch for: 4
Hours sitting in driveway: 2
Hours sitting in rain: 1
Cell calls from Away Team: 4
Supply runs to Away Team: 1
(dads ran out of beer)

We had a fun time; hope you did too!