Thursday, January 31, 2008
My pop-radio proclivities have now been outed and there's nothing I can do about it.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
- The Wii fitness test now believes I am only 41! I don't care that this is a full decade older than reality. I shaved 35 years off my life yesterday! I don't know how they determine this nonsense, nor do I care. But I will admit I was getting pretty damn frustrated with performing like a 70-something. Jeremy can attest to the bad case of perma-scowl and sailor-mouth I was developing. Oh right, that's not new.
- My "Wicked Good" slippers arrived from LL Bean. My feet have never been so cozy. Sometimes they can getting a little overwhelmingly "cozy" but taking them off just seems wrong-- and cold. They have only left my feet long enough for me to sleep last night and take a shower this morning. I think I understand that whole Ugg craze now. Even if I still think they are appropriately named.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Note the messy hair and round body. At least my arms and legs still look skinny.
So the last 24 hours I have cleaned up my act. Witness:
- I made a healthy dinner of brown rice, flax and amaranth pilaf with chicken and veggies.
- I went to the deadly exercise class and did not skip even one repetition of anything.
- I had popcorn and dark chocolate for a snack, instead of corn chips and milk chocolate like usual. (Hey, it's a start.)
- I did even worse on my Wii fitness test than before, scoring a grand fitness age of 76. (I was very sore from the hour of weight lifting I had just done. That's my excuse. And I suck at both real and imaginary baseball.)
- I got 10 hours of sleep.
- I did a cardio workout when I woke up which resulted in Sebastian having to fetch me a glass of water when I almost fainted after 12 1/2 minutes. But I did it.
- I ate a nice breakfast of oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins and only a 1/2 tsp. of maple syrup.
- I had a nice lunch of spinach and red cabbage salad, hummus on 3 seed bread, almonds and some grapefruit.
Now I can feel all virtuous until my next snack attack. All I know is that I refuse to buy bigger pants. Or to allow my children to draw round pictures of me ever again.
There are 2 children of the same sex born exactly 3 years, 3 and a half days apart
Child A is 5 years old wearing size 5 shirts and size 5T pants, but size 3T underwear that are still baggy
Child B is 2 years old wearing size 3T- 4T shirts and size 3T pants, but size 6 diapers because he has no interest in potty training
At what age will they be able to just have one wardrobe they both share so I can stop sorting laundry?
At what age will Child B surpass Child A in height, weight and clothing size?
Monday, January 28, 2008
When I was 11, my mother moved us to Baltimore, variously known as "Charm City" and "The City that Reads" (or breeds depending on whom you ask). Our neighborhood was relatively quiet and almost suburban. The elementary/middle school was right behind our house. Unfortunately, they did not have an "Advanced Academic" program at that school, so I only spent about a month there before being transferred to a school which was an hour and a half away by bus. My sixth grade class had more than its fair share of class clowns. Instead of the usual one, we had three, one of them being a boy named Ransom. He frequently did his impression of the Lollipop Guild from Wizard of Oz always calling them the Lollipop Kids. We ended up sitting near each other in almost every class. He was forever getting in trouble, both in class and outside. After a number of suspensions, Ransom was transferred to a less academically challenging class. I never really saw him much after that, as they sheltered the smart kids to the point where we never even got to take gym in the three years I went there. Anyway, the Ransom I knew was smart and funny, but "didn't work to his potential."
Fast forward 13 years. I'm still living in Baltimore and I pick up the new copy of the City Paper. On the cover is the headline "Murder One: A Baltimore Killing Behind the Numbers." Baltimore at the time was averaging a murder a day, and was widely considered a dangerous town, though I rarely felt unsafe there. Something told me I would know the subject of the article, but I expected to know the victim, not the perpetrator. Ransom, the goofy kid I went to middle school with, turned out to be a murderer. It really shook me. I have yet to watch The Wire, but I imagine that the season centering on the school system will probably hit pretty close to home for me. It was a tough place to go to school. There was a lot of violence and a lot of suspicious behavior. It's sad that so many children there find it so hard to work to their potentials. Few of teenagers I knew escaped without an unplanned pregnancy or some sort of substance abuse problem.
I still like to poke around the internet looking for information about people I remember fondly, but this experience makes me a little cautious. Every murderer, molester, and terrorist was also once a child who may have been sitting at the next desk.
And you want to know why I'm wary of public school...
Sunday, January 27, 2008
This was obviously the way to quiet the little devils down (including Nathan). And thank goodness, or Davey would never have been able to sleep. The video game pacifier: guaranteed and endorsed by Hott Mama. We finished off the evening with some Wii tennis, where Jeremy was floored, literally, by Christine's power backhand, and some Wii bowling where Amanda showed the 5 year olds how it's done.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I am currently mystified by Bob's Red Mill brand. I can stand behind their products. They are generally organic, or at least all natural. But their recipes! I was given three of their products for Xmas: Kamut Berries, Golden Flaxseed, and Amaranth. I managed to horrify the children with the amaranth, which is much like grits and therefore repellent to children north of the Mason Dixon line. Jeremy and I liked what I made, which was basically just the grain made with some chicken bouillon and veggies and cheese. I haven't yet embarked on using the kamut berries since they require both overnight soaking and one and a half hours to cook. But wait, there's more... the recipe on the kamut is for a fruit salad. Essentially they are asking you to soak organic grains overnight, cook them for and hour and a half, let them cool and then smother them in Cool Whip, instant vanilla pudding and canned pineapple. Not organic whipped cream. Not homemade vanilla pudding. Not a fresh pineapple. Cool whip and instant pudding and canned fruit. Why even bother with the organic grain from prehistory?
Which brings me to today. I decided to make the 3 seed bread from the package of golden flaxseed to bring to a potluck dinner this evening. I get all the ingredients out of the cupboard, get my mixing bowls and trusty wooden spoon, tie on my apron. I read the directions. "Add ingredients to bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer and select the basic bread cycle." Are you kidding me? I am the bread machine. At least I have made enough bread in the past to have some clue what I'm doing. But why?! Am I the only one who actually enjoys kneading her own bread? Where's the fun in dumping everything into a contraption and coming back 2 hours later to a square loaf?
Friday, January 25, 2008
So anyway, I'm writing these notes on some sweet stationery Jeremy got me a long time ago and thinking to myself how happy I would be to find this cute little envelope in my mail box. And then I immediately felt guilty that I don't send them letters more often. It must be pretty lonely being an elderly widow, as they both are. They both live in retirement communities, but I know that at least one of them wasn't that happy to move there. And just because you are surrounded by your peers doesn't mean that you have lots of friends. With all the other problems that getting older brings, I imagine loneliness to be the worst.
Alas, I am a solid 10 and a half hour drive away from them and the occasional letter or phone call is generally the best I can do. That's why, despite how hard I know it is for her, I'm a smidgen jealous of my friend Christine who cares for her 95 year old grandmother 4 days a week. Frankly, most of the time, it sounds terrible. But she does have the satisfaction of knowing how much it means to her grandmother to have her granddaughter and great granddaughter with her. My grandmothers will be 93 and 87 this June, so who knows how much more time I'll have with them. But at least I will be visiting them this March, which will be almost 2 years since I last saw them. They are both sweet, funny old ladies and I'm glad to call them Grandma.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Sebastian made two valentines today.
Butterfly my valentine and I will call you nectar.
Love bug my valentine and I will call you leaf.
"That's because love bugs eat leaves, Mama."
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
So, today featured my children in capes a la Abe and the sorts of questions posed by Will. Our lunch conversation went a little like this:
"I think I'd like to go to church because, you know, I believe in God."
"You do? Well, tell me about this."
"I don't know. Can you tell me about God?"
"What would you like to know?"
"Is he up in the air or a little down lower?"
"It depends on who you ask." (Brief explanation of several theories of God's location)
"Well, what does he do?"
"Some people think he created the universe and now he just keeps an eye on things. Some people think that he is up in heaven listening for people's prayers to help them out. Like, if you prayed, 'Please, God, help my poor, sick mother feel better.' "
"Or if you said, 'God, please look at my big fire and call the fire department.' "
"Yes, you could pray that."
"What else could God do?"
"Well, some people think that if you are too naughty and make God angry, he will send you to a place called 'hell' to live with the devil."
"Some people think it is very hot there with lots of fires."
"Oh! I would not want to live somewhere all fired! Why does the steeple not have a hole in it? How does God get in there?"
At this point, I had to explain that God does not need to pop down the chimney like Santa to every church service. These conversations are nothing if not thought-provoking.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I finally took the two bags of clothes to the Drop In Center for the people who can use them more than the corner of my room can. Then we went to the library where we returned the library books on the due date and found some nice replacements. Yeah, yeah, sounds terrible, right? Here's where Hell starts breaking loose:
I tell Sebastian he has 2 minutes to finish what he's doing and I go tell Dorian it's time to leave. Magically, the child actually starts putting away the blocks, so I get fooled into thinking we are on our way. Of course not, as it is obviously time for Sebastian to start pulling all the blocks back out of the box. I tell him it is time to go. He resists. I take his hand and guide him over to his coat. He screams that I am "horribler" than he. I wrestle them both into their coats and we finally leave.
On to the co-op which is now experiencing the usual lunch-hour rush. All I needed was some oats and a bottle of milk and I promised Dorian some prunes. (He loves prunes. What can I say?) I also told the kids they could get a bagel for lunch, but Sebastian was warned at the library that his behavior had better improve if he wanted to have any. We head into the bulk section and over to the table of dried fruits. We get Dorian's prunes and some apricots and Sebastian decides he wants some papaya. He starts to take a bag of the sweetened, sulphured kind, so I told him we needed to get the organic, unsulphured variety. I pick up a bag and he yells, "No! That's not even papaya!" I show him the label. "I don't care. It's not papaya. I don't want it." I put it back and move over to the oats. "You need to go back over there and get that papaya! I want the papaya!" So, I calmly explain that yelling and complaining about something does not get you what you want, so next time we come I will be happy to buy it if I am asked nicely. This prompts a lot of whining while hanging on the cart. I grab the last item and head for the checkout where we have one last mini-fit before heading out the door.
Now, we go to drop off the cart, and Sebastian decides to step it up a notch by announcing in front of everyone entering the store, "Now I've really decided I don't want to be your child anymore!"
Thank God I've got a sense of humor. And considering his plans dovetailed nicely with my own, I offered to drop him off at the orphanage. No dice.
Much screaming ensued later when he found out that Dorian would be enjoying the entire bagel and not have to share it. I was told that "when I have a fit, you will know what I want and give it to me right away!" Funny, that's not the way it ever works around here.
I called and asked my supervisor for a raise. It better be a good one.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
- People seem to especially like to comment when I reveal how lazy I think I am regarding housekeeping.
- People find my blog by typing "children exercise throw up" into Google.
- Some people check this blog more than once a day-- you know who you are.
- I can become absurdly flattered that a complete stranger, namely the Bloggess, has read my blog at least twice.
- Sebastian thinks I will hurt my eyes if I continue posting.
- Everbody will start their own if given only the slightest push.
- I have absolutely nothing to say to people in real life anymore as I use up all my "good" stories on here. (This probably seems a little pathetic considering most of my stories aren't that good to begin with. Yet you keep coming back.)
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
But, you know what? We have been pretty happy and productive this week despite being total homebodies. We made caterpillars, robots, recycled paper, and Sebastian learned that line graphs aren't only for the stock market. I cleaned up the living room the other day and today I will have done the laundry, cleaned out the refrigerator, and baked a chocolate cake in addition to my regular duties. Dorian completed a 24 piece puzzle all by himself, and Sebastian almost finished a 55 page workbook in one morning.
I guess what I'm learning is that I need to make more room in our schedule for just being home. And I swear this has nothing to do with video games.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
"I want to play a video game..."
Smirk twitching the corner of his lips, he replies, "Well, you can if you want to. What do you want to play?"
"Super Mario Galaxy"
"Just go put it on. You should put it on if you want to."
Is he modeling behavior he wants me to exhibit?
"Well, but Daddy hasn't seen that one yet, so we should probably wait for him."
"We don't have to tell him..."
Excuse me? What a little sneak! Why did he have to inherit this from me?
I explained that this was not the way to go about things, so he ran and got the phone.
Luckily, good ol' Daddy gave us the go ahead.
But I swear we will not be living the scene depicted by my overly imaginative brother-in-law in the comment section for "Oh, the sickness" if only because I have no idea what "Holiday in Cambodia" is. I do have some self-control which should be obvious to anyone since I made it all the way to 2pm before playing anything today. I deserve a medal. Really. I do.
- An inability to think about anything without thoughts of video games intruding.
- An inability to listen to any rock song on the radio without imagining how it would be played on Guitar Hero or Rock Band.
- Lack of awareness of any bodily functions such as need to urinate, hunger, thirst, fatigue, or body temperature while playing a game.
- Scheming how you can get your children to bed by 5:30 so you can play video games.
- Complaining that your friends forced you to watch 2 episodes of Flight of the Conchords during an 8 hour Rock Band session. (I don't care if it was funny.)
I know I'm not the only one with an easily diagnosed case... Admit it!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
So, tonight I go to exercise class, and when I come back, lo and behold Jeremy is setting up the Wii. Of course, the kids are crawling all over everything and Sebastian is begging to play. Then, Jeremy has a freak out because the remote that came with the game doesn't fit into the guitar and he's convinced that I need to take it back. Despite the fact that he's the one who has been setting it up, he makes me call the store. They tell me that we have everything we need, blah blah blah. So, guess who got to drive over the river again to show them how it didn't work. Except it did. He neglected to notice the panel on the back that you open to insert the remote. So I have now embarrassed myself twice in two days at the video game store (and I was still wearing my workout clothes, no less). So then I end up spending an ungodly amount on an extra remote, a charger and Super Mario Galaxy.
But look at how we rawk! And wireless, too, so in your face, Dustin! Less tangling during kick jumps. Looks like we'll be "reading" Manix style every night before bed.
Does Wii Sports count as homeschool phys ed?
So, here's the point. The point is I'm just lazy and these pictures are the proof. Last night, January fifteenth, we finally decided to take down the tree. I went out and bought a new container to pack all the ornaments/other Xmas crap in instead of using the same 2 raggedy cardboard boxes which were falling apart. (One of these boxes actually has a label on it reading "Dolls" that I wrote when I was 12-- almost 20 years ago.) So we took down all the ornaments, the kids' tree, packed everything up neatly. So far so good, right? Well, then LazyBoy says, "Let's just leave the bare tree up for now since they won't be picking it up until Saturday." Or something to that effect. I don't need this kind of encouragement. Luckily, one of the wires holding up the tree broke and forced the issue. So, the tree went out on the porch. Yay! Mission accomplished.
And did I immediately go check his bed and deal with the potential problem? Hell no, I went and took a shower instead. (Fortunately, by some miracle, the bed itself was not wet. Which is good because I've been too lazy to go out and buy a new waterproof mattress pad.) And then I took the kids out of the house for the morning, and still didn't clean up.
When I got home, I put Dorian down for his nap and decided to time myself. I didn't even rush the job and it only took me 7 minutes. 7 minutes. The floor still needs a good vacuuming, but overall the room is picked up with very few pine needles lying around.
I know it's not hard, people. I'm just too lazy to do it...
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Our library had a copy of "The Road to Avonlea" the first season on DVD. Of course, I snatched it up because I love to find out how much I really don't like the things I loved when I was younger. I only watched the first episode so far, and it is holding up better than I expected.
The question is: Why, when I watch or read things based on this particular period in history (modern enough not to be totally primitive, but not modern enough to have many conveniences), do I always decide that that is how I should be living? Do I know how much work that life really was? Ummm, yes. Do I know how much I hate sewing things by hand, or on a sewing machine for that matter? Yes again. Do I know how lazy I am? Yes indeed.
So why am I so drawn to this way of life?
I'm sure it is partly that I would love to send my kids out of the house so they could play in the forest and fields all day, and just show up when they are tired and hungry and filthy dirty, without having to worry about all the stuff people make you worry about. (Yes, even here in bucolic Vermont.) And I really do love to garden and cook things from scratch. But I wouldn't like trying to maintain a woodstove at a constant temperature to do it.
Obviously, my best compromise will be to find a house with all the mod-cons that also has enough property to enjoy. If only we could afford that...
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Cases in point:
1. We go to the grocery store last weekend. I choose some kumquats for a salad. (Your salad rocks, Mothra! Thanks for the idea!) When we get to the register to pay, the girl looks at the bag and is completely mystified. I can only imagine she thought we shrank our oranges on the way from the produce department. Jeremy tells her nicely that they are kumquats. She looks over to the floor manager, who tells her they are kumquats. She then proceeds to inspect them closely, as if there will be a little sticker with the code on each individual fruit. Shockingly, she finds the code in the computer relatively quickly. I'm convinced that she probably wouldn't even consider using a "c" for something starting with a "k" sound.
2. Yesterday, we went to Target. As usual, I had to return something, and this time she gave me a gift card for the return. I also had a $1 coupon and a $5 coupon. We bring our things to the register and I hand the coupons and gift card to the cashier. Meanwhile, Jeremy swipes his debit card through the little reader. The cashier says with utter disdain, "I guess you won't be using these then." This was almost $14 we're talking about, so I said, "Yes, we are." She says, "Well, he's already paid." Now, she had not accepted the payment, and we all know they let you swipe the card at any point during the transaction. So, I said that I was sure she could cancel that out and I wanted to use the coupons. Begrudgingly, she does just that. Of course, when she tries to use the gift card, she ends up charging us for one. I said, "Look, she just gave this to me, here's the receipt." She ends up calling over this poor, beleaguered pregnant woman, who tells her that she needs to put it in as a payment (duh!) to which she replies, "I always just do it from here." Well, she must always do it wrong then. If her attitude hadn't been so combative, I probably wouldn't have even cared.
Now, I have worked enough retail to know that it is not often much fun. But I also know that the cash registers of today practically do all the work for you. It doesn't take a genius to run one of those things or they wouldn't put in self-serve stations in some stores. It depresses me that shopping at Target has actually become worse than shopping at Wal-Mart. Cleaner, but worse.
But otherwise, pretty hott, no?
Perhaps Sebastian's puke-tastic hissy fit last weekend was a necessary evil, because we got to the store yesterday to find a massive sale going on. So, we got Jeremy's suit plus a shirt and 3 ties for half (yes, half) of what I had originally budgeted for just the suit!
You know what this means... cash left over for more video games!
[Note the lack of a watch. He has a magic algorithm based on the distance between freckles for telling time. It is truly impressive.]
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Well, that bad habit has now been replaced by nose-picking with his forefinger. So, now instead of calling out, "Watch that thumb!" I find myself saying, "Watch that finger!"
So, Jeremy and I realized that it is quite possible the progression will look something like this:
At least with the last one, I can keep his fingernail clipped as a preventative measure...
Friday, January 11, 2008
Well, I call to sign up only to find out that we are the only ones interested in the class. So, the program director said she'd call the people from other sessions and see what she could do. Apparently, what she could do was schedule the Saturday class. Which was not the class I wanted. I was actually counting on it being cancelled altogether.
Of course, as soon as I make that assumption and start making plans, I come home today to find a message from her saying the class starts tomorrow morning. So, he'll definitely be missing one class for a birthday party that we wouldn't miss for the world. And I was thinking we might clear out of here when Jeremy takes his business trip, which is now out of the question.
On the other hand, Sebastian has dropped the label making obsession for an Animusic drawing obsession, so I'm sure he'll enjoy the class. Assuming the teacher doesn't mind him only drawing musical robots...
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Then she asks how my children will "socialize"-- a nebulous term. So, I had to point out to her that she sees us out everywhere. We are always doing something where there are other children around. And we're not hermits, although the idea is more appealing all the time. Both of my kids are friendly with people of all ages which is socialized enough for me.
It's not that I don't understand people's arguments. When Sebastian was 9 months old, a friend with a slightly older toddler loaned me a copy of a book on homeschooling. That book made me so mad. It was written by a disciple of John Holt, who has authored many books on the topic. In that book, I discovered that Holt was not even a parent, much less a homeschooling one, so who was he to extol its virtues? What did he know about being home with your child day in and day out forever? One 9 month old nursing baby was burning me out, and we weren't even tackling algebra yet. And I was angered by the abandonment of the public school system, which I believe in wholeheartedly. The woman who loaned me the book was a former public school teacher and she didn't think it was good enough? And what about learning about deadlines, and how to get along with others from different backgrounds? We debated the topic on several occasions, neither of us ever changing our minds.
Funny thing: her daughter started public Kindergarten this fall, and my son is at home.
The fact is that before you have kids, or really know who your kids are, you can have all the philosophies you want. In the end, you have to do what is right for your individual child. And I don't believe that the school system in place in our town is equipped to effectively challenge and educate a 5 year old who can read better than most 5th graders. Their only concern, based on my conversations with them, is the fact of his November birthday. Like a lot of bureaucracy, it is entirely arbitrary, and does not take into account his individual skills. And until we see that he will be better off in school, he is going to be home with us where he is thriving.
Feel free to comment with any of your own questions or concerns, and I will be happy to address them.
Well, I have made some progress on the never-ending blanket project. This quarter needs two more panels to be the same size as this one. I have yet to determine what they will be. Since the last two panels I did were a little over 100 stitches wide apiece, I'm not really looking forward to picking up the stitches for these as they will probably be around 150 stitches wide, which can get a little tedious.
This is a close up of the infamous cluster stitch featured in the black panel at the bottom of the first photo. It's just a K2 P2 rib that you wrap the yarn around at certain points. Not much fun. I don't recommend it, even though I am happy with the result.
I started this section of the next quarter at KidsPlayce yesterday. The other part is way too big to lug around and I needed something I could put down easily if necessary. And it's always necessary. So I started with the braided cable on top. Today, I finished that and then did the pink panel in rice stitch while we did our co-op hours in the kids' room. It is now 6"x12".
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
- from level with hip 15x
- from halfway up 15x
- touch the floor and all the way up 15x
The above was 1 set. We did 3 sets in a row on each leg.
For those of you afraid to do the math, that's 135 leg lifts on each side. 270 total.
Yes, I was crying and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Monday, January 7, 2008
Am I just too anal? Do I need to lighten up? Or do these people need to get their shit in one sock as my aunt Marian is wont to say?
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Even so, our upstairs neighbors make me insane. They don't really make much noise until approximately 10 minutes before I want to go to bed. Suddenly, at 10:30pm, it becomes time for furniture moving, stomping up and down the stairs, or pencil dropping. They either have the rolliest pencils or slanted surfaces to place them on, because this happens a lot.
I became concerned a while back that they had some sort of meth problem as there seems to be someone awake up there at all times. And one of the guys who is a frequent overnight visitor has only one tooth on the top row, rotten of course. I'm still not ruling out controlled substances, but new evidence has come to light recently which points in 2 other unsavory directions.
- While we were all out shoveling the abundance of snow, I discovered that they all chew tobacco. Gross.
- The most recent batch of recycling featured no less than 3 cases worth of Mountain Dew cans. Insomnia explained.
So, tonight as we were getting the kids out of the tub, a knock came at the door. It was a cop. My first thought was that we were not being that loud. Apparently, it wasn't to do with us; he was looking for another cop who was supposed to be in our apartment and most decidedly was not. This piqued my interest and after an eternity of pajama time, I looked outside to see not only 2 police cars, but an ambulance. What could this be?! OD? Suicide? (I know I'm sick--shut up.)
And what was it? I'll never know because it wasn't happening upstairs after all, damn it. It must have been across the street. This has been one disappointing day.
I stumble out of bed, no glasses, into the boys' room to discover Sebastian sitting up facing the head of his bed.
"I think I'm going to throw up."
I get him into the bathroom.
"Why did I have to have those 2 shots for 6 diseases and I'm still sick?"
I was not really coherent enough to explain that this must not be polio or tetanus. I managed to get Jeremy up to help, got my glasses and the frog flashlight (thanks again, Jamie and Kaci! You must have known...) and found out that he'd already thrown up all over the bed. Great. We got him set up on the couch and the rest of the night passes uneventfully.
Jeremy and I are trying in vain to get the kids motivated to go to Keene to try and find a suit for Jeremy. Sadly, he has been wearing his father's 20 year old cast offs. At 30 years old, I think he's ready for his very own and we wanted to get it before his business trip next month.
Sebastian pitches an epic fit about not wanting to go despite the lure of eating in a restaurant. Ultimately, we discover that he thought if we didn't go get the suit, Daddy wouldn't leave on his trip and never come back. Umm... that was never the plan, but try telling that to a melodramatic 5 year old.
Crisis finally averted, we eat lunch at home (boo!) and plan to go later in the afternoon and go out to dinner. No such luck. In an effort to get a pickle, Sebastian forced himself to eat an entire grilled cheese sandwich he clearly should NOT have had and threw up again.
So, instead of getting a picture of Jeremy in a new suit, you are stuck with this boring bit of pukiness. Lucky you.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Christine and I went to see Juno this afternoon. I was a little afraid to go to this movie simply because of the whole hype cloud hovering over it. I read a couple of rave reviews which quoted the dialogue and I was horrified. I liked the idea of this movie but I was not sure the execution was going to be very good. So, at least I had appropriately lowered my expectations.
The beginning of the movie seemed to justify my worst fears. Overly snappy dialogue was flowing freely. I knew I was not going to like this Juno character at all. And I still don't, but I did get used to her as time went on. Of course, Michael Cera and Jason Bateman were the real stars. Cera's delivery made the lines much more believable. I think he could pull any movie out of the toilet. Despite the overwrought, overthought dialogue, I found the basic reactions and feelings expressed pretty realistic.
Seeing this movie in a theater mostly populated by teenagers reminded me of when Jeremy and I went to see Mean Girls on our 4th anniversary teen date. The adults did more laughing because the teens don't have enough distance from their current situations to see the humor inherent therein. Not that I think the youngsters necessarily liked these movies less, but the oldsters have a different level of appreciation.
I liked Kimya Dawson's choices for the soundtrack. I love me some Moldy Peaches and a couple of my favorite songs made appearances, including my favorite Belle and Sebastian song.
Overall, it was an updated John Hughes movie and I love John Hughes movies. But I just liked Juno. Maybe I have too much distance.
Friday, January 4, 2008
The first was the totally disappointing Waitress. Oh, Adrienne Shelly (R.I.P.), why oh why did you make this film? And after I went and got a "Maria" dress that won the heart of my beloved Jeremy some 12 years ago. This was the most treacly, ridiculous, boring, predictable movie I have seen in a long time. Basically, it served as a backdrop to knitting time. I did get a lot accomplished with the dread cluster patterned panel of the blanket simply because I had no interest in looking up at the screen. I should have known not to watch something with this level of hype (a mistake I am sure to repeat with Juno). I am really tired of people fawning over work by people who they like, or admire, or who died, regardless of whether it really has any redeeming value of its own. Had someone else made this movie, would the critics have praised it so highly? I doubt it. And to hear them tell it, old Felicity Whats-her-face was supposed to be amazing and I imagined a performance akin to Jennifer Aniston's in The Good Girl: surprisingly realistic. I don't know whether to blame her or the direction, but she was a walking cartoon. If you haven't already seen it, don't bother.
On the other hand, I really enjoyed Once, the Irish modern musical. I thought it was sweet without being cavity-inducing and earnest without being obnoxious. The music was not something I would necessarily want the soundtrack of, but was definitely palatable in the context of the film. Watching the protagonists' creative process was enjoyable for me. And I liked the casual, flirty conversation between the two leads. What this film made me think about, though, was the thirty-something bachelor so often portrayed as still having rock posters on the wall and living life basically the same way he did as a 15 year old. I know these men exist in real life. But I wonder if this is a modern construct or if in say, 1808, these men existed. And if so, how was it expressed by them, when there were no rock posters? Is prolonged adolescence a new thing? Is our longer life span encouraging this behavior, when people don't see a rush to grow up? Being an adult at 16 makes sense if you are going to die at 50, but if you expect to live to 100, when do you really need to step it up? What do you think?
Thursday, January 3, 2008
So it was no surprise when 10 minutes after kisses and lights out Sebastian appeared at the door. "Dorian needs Mama!"
I go in there to see what's up.
"I tried to give Dorian a kiss, but he won't let me. He just wants you. What does he like about you so much, anyway?"
Wow. Good question.
"Well, do you like me?"
"It's probably for pretty much the same reasons."
So I explain that it's pretty frustrating for him that Dorian wasn't accepting his offer of help, which was very nice of him, blah blah blah... He gets back in bed.
"Okay, Dorian, one last kiss and then you need to go to sleep."
"No! Right here!" [points to my upper lip]
I kiss his upper lip.
"No! Right here!" [points to my upper lip again]
I try again. He screams No! while jabbing me in the face.
"Do you want me to kiss my upper lip?"
Picture me with my lower lip over my upper lip making kissing noises.
I really should be getting paid for this job.
But what really gets me is how absolutely nothing I ever read in these updates is any surprise to me. Nick is still a serious musician. Ben is still a goofy jock. And Molly straddles those two personalities.
Which leads me to the conclusion that I already know exactly who my children are. There will probably be events in their lives that shape their world views, but at their core they already are who they are going to be. This is not to say that I am going to just throw up my hands and start slacking in the parenting department. I do think I can influence things like manners.
But I wouldn't want to change their personalities anyway. Sebastian will probably always be independent, fiercely protective of justice and musical. And Dorian will probably always be a sweet, mischievous, goofball. It will just be our challenge to make those attributes work in a positive way in the world.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
- Continuing to enjoy being at home with 2 crazy monkeys. I have made great strides in this area over the last year, and want to keep it up.
- Getting more exercise. One 1 hour class per week probably isn't enough. Even if it is the hardest class on earth.
- Improving our living situation. Whether this means buying a house, or finally getting the appropriate storage for this one, things could be better.
- Not beating myself up for eating too much. I like eating and I should allow myself to enjoy it responsibly.
- Making sure I continue to respect my own needs as much as I do those of the other people in my house.
Sounds reasonable, right? I can do this.
Most notably gone are:
- The old, lumpy mattress which caused countless sleepless, sciatica-ridden nights for me
- The horrible beast of an entertainment center. (Bonus points for giving it to the furnitureless college students next door.)
- The fish shower curtain. 4 years was long enough.
- Massive quantities of baby items and maternity clothing.
- Our ability to reproduce. (Technically, this happened at the very end of 2006, but wasn't made official until 2007.)
- Our debt.
It's hard to say which of these was the biggest relief. Combined they were a massive burden, that unloaded is making our lives much, much better.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
As most of you reading this know, I have one brother and no sisters. I definitely found the brother film much more relatable, especially the scene where Adrien Brody's character hits Owen Wilson's in the face with a belt. Brody's face in the immediate aftermath so perfectly summed up every fight I ever had with my brother-- lashing out, realizing immediately what you did was horribly wrong, continuing to beat each other senseless. I found much less to relate to in Margot, although I wonder if my brother saw the two films which he would see more of us in.
Both films featured actors I was not expecting to like as much as I did. With no real reason, I went in to Darjeeling Ltd. without high hopes for Adrien Brody. I don't know what I was thinking, because he was amazing. Jack Black in Margot was by no means amazing, but neither was he chewing the scenery as he usually does, so I left with a much better impression of him as a human being.
Upon reflection, I think what was saddest for me about Margot was how her character has made me review one of my life's goals. I love the cantankerous older women characters who say what they want, when they want, and are at once horribly scathing and terribly witty. I've always sort of hoped that one day I could be like them, only without the high-necked dresses. (But who knows, my throat might get cold when I'm old, too.) Margot was so awful, though, that I realized how fine that line really is. And how unattractive that behavior can really be. So, maybe I will try to be a nice old lady instead, but it will be an uphill battle I'm sure.