Friday, February 29, 2008
Then I decided to update my stats and what should I see on Yahoo? This entry about whether the dance video games have potential to get people in shape. I'm hoping that they do. It has to be better than the sitting around I used to do.
I love snow. I truly do. And I love winter. I am not one of those dummies that moves up north and then complains that winter is longer here. But this winter has been pretty brutal. Not only have we gotten a ton of snow, but we've had over 30 freeze and thaw cycles which just turn everything to ice. We haven't even been sledding in months because I'm not sure we could climb the hill without crampons. And I won't wear anything on my feet that sounds like it involves my menstrual cycle. I just won't.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Anyway, I got that fluffy pink yarn at the thrift store and decided to make some armwarmers. I tried two different patterns, but neither of them were intended to be made with fluffy yarn. And frankly, there was a good reason for that. Instead of ripping it all out a second time, I thought, "Hey! This is a good opportunity to act on that doll idea I had." So, I decided to use the fluffy pinkness as the skirt, made a black ribbed body, and added some jauntily striped tights/legs. This is as far as I've gotten, and I have yet to figure out the whole head thing, but I know what I want to do with the arms. This will most assuredly be finished before the endless blanket. I haven't decided what I'll do with the doll when it is finished. It kind of depends on how it turns out, whether I will keep it, or give it to someone, or I could always reopen my Etsy shop. Sebastian suggested the name Sheena, and since her tights are pretty punk rock, I think it may stick.
And in other news, Sebastian's penchant for skirt and dress wearing had diminished dramatically in the last few months, only to reemerge in February. There was a short stint of "Ava the fairy" who wore the Tinkerbell costume I slaved over for Halloween. And now, post-sleepover, Mimiko from Panda! Go Panda! is back on the scene, somehow inspiring this outfit. Yes, my friends, that is an orange t-shirt with a red polka-dotted tank top and a blue paisley skirt. He insists this photo be titled "Mimiko and the Precious Pink Gem" because that is what he's holding. I really don't care if he wants to wear a skirt, but I did care that he thought he could go out without anything on his legs despite the balmy 16 degree temperature we were experiencing.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
But then yesterday, Dorian was getting a piece of Valentine chocolate and I offered one to Sebastian. Which he took. And ate. And then had the temerity to say, "Why did you give me a piece of chocolate when I'm sick? What were you thinking?"
No child of mine would ever bemoan the offer of chocolate, I'm sure of it.
Are these even functional? I don't know. But they are hilarious. And for only $596 they could be mine...
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
One of the big highlights of the film, for us anyway, was seeing our favorite arcade, Funspot, pop up repeatedly. Funspot is near Lake Winnipesauke in New Hampshire and features all the classic video games you remember and some you probably don't. Any of Jeremy's family functions are just excuses to get closer to Funspot. (For us. I'm sure they think we're just there for the baby shower/wedding reception/80th birthday party.)
Sebastian's first trip to Funspot was in utero, when we went to my surprise baby shower in Laconia. His hearing had already developed, and I'm sure that the wokka-wokka-wokka of Pac-Man penetrated the whooshing of the womb sounds. This was quickly followed by another trip when he was a few months old. Get ready to lower your opinion of my parenting... He spent a couple of hours there in the sling staring at all the falling burgers and condiments of BurgerTime. Don't worry, I had the sense to feel guilty. But then I looked around and remembered. Hey! I'm in New Hampshire. Live free or die, baby! You don't want to know how many other babies were languishing in strollers and backpacks while their parents jammed more tokens into little slots. We have since been back several times. Sebastian has been begging for a while to return, but we haven't had the occasion. Maybe Jeremy's family finally figured out what our primary motivation really is...
Anywho, the movie is wonderful. You've got the Everyman trying to triumph over mulleted Evil. You've got some of the creepiest sycophants you can imagine. And you've got video games. What more do you really need from a film?
Monday, February 25, 2008
- Thank you to those of you who have commented recently, especially about the school thing. I know that it is important to be prepared for as much as possible. Just ask Listmaker about the 5 Ps-- Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Or something like that. And that is generally my motto. I'm just concerned about children losing their innocence so quickly, and how soon they are inculcated with our society's fears, whether legitimate or not.
- Losing some sleep was completely worth giving the kids a great first sleepover experience. Following what I just said, it is important to me that my kids look back and remember the good times of childhood. I don't want them to have to grow up too quickly. I know that everyone wishes they had done some things differently, done some things more or some things less. I don't expect them to look back and think they had the "perfect" life, or the perfect parents. I just want there to be plenty of evidence that they were loved and that we tried to give them a fun, happy, healthy start to their lives.
- On an entirely different note, Dorian aka Panny the little panda has recently discovered a love for Morrissey aka Anotherrissey. (Think about it. That name makes complete sense to a 2 year old.) Ask him to pick out a CD for dinner music and that's what you'll get.
- My favorite (please read that word facetiously) interloper interrupted my conversation with a member of my former book club this morning. We were talking about what book they were reading this month when she pops in, "Oh, are you talking about dogs?" No, we weren't. Then she starts talking about a book she's reading/has read and as she is talking my friend realizes that she has read this book and that at least half of what she's saying is totally wrong. Later, Interloper tells me that her 2 and a half year old daughter is "still figuring out the social thing." I commented that it often takes a while, thinking that her mother is certainly no role model for proper social behavior.
- Last night, before the Oscars started, Jeremy and Quinn and I were all making our picks. Jeremy suggested we come up with a tie breaker. I replied that we have never had a tie, so I didn't know what he was worried about. So, you already know where this is heading... We had a tie. Jeremy and I each had 11 and Quinn had 10 correct. He said we'd have to wrestle for it, but in the aftermath of the sleepover, we were too tired.
- I just finished a really good book, A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton. I was just about to say that it was a little Oprah's book club-ish, and then I looked it up and it was an Oprah pick. Whatever. I liked it. Between this book and No Country for Old Men, I have rinsed some of the sugar overload from my mind, induced by too many video games and sitcoms on DVD. I was lacking for entertaining drama, and now I feel more balanced.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Call me crazy. Crazy for entertaining the idea of having another (almost) 5 year old overnight. Crazy for being excited about it. Crazy for feeling so lonelyeeeee... No, wait. No Patsy Cline.
Having sleepovers is one of those things I wish I'd had more opportunity for when I was growing up. During my prime late elementary school age sleepover time, we were living with another family and for a variety of reasons it was not really feasible for me to host a guest. Then I was a complete loner bookworm in my middle school days. In high school, I had a handful. But overall, it's one of those things I now look back and wish I'd done more of, like riding more roller coasters before my crippling case of motion sickness developed.
I started thinking back in November when he turned 5 that Sebastian was probably about ready. His best boy friend is not the best candidate for staying here. Even though he has been to our house a million times since he and Sebastian were toddlers, he definitely requires a larger time for adjustment to new situations. Sebastian, I know, would love to stay at Riley's house which is also Sebastian's dream house. If I have to hear again how I need to buy a house with 3 bathrooms... (I think we all know I have a hard enough time keeping one clean.)
So, I had suggested to Lydia's mom that we would love to have Lydia stay over with us, seeing that she is Sebastian's best girl friend and all. But Lydia was a little thrown by the idea that her parents wouldn't be sleeping over also. As fun as that would be, it really isn't the point. Then, I told Christine that she and Steven had to let me babysit Lydia. They need to have a date. I was not going to take no for an answer. And the next thing I knew Lydia was asking if she could spend the night here instead of my coming over there to keep her company. Of course, Sebastian was thrilled! We're all very excited.
We've got the new sleeping bags ready to go. Sebastian has chosen multi-colored alphabet pasta for dinner. There will be popcorn and Panda Go Panda (the source of Sebastian's old alter ego, Mimiko) for movie night. There will be squealing and giggling and silliness, and hopefully very few tears. And if all goes well, three children asleep by 9. Or at least 10. 9 would be better.
I can't tell you how inordinately happy it makes me that we get to do this. I'm excited that my little boy is getting old enough to do real kid things. I'm happy to have a home that another child feels comfortable staying in without her parents. And I'm absolutely thrilled that Christine and Steven are going to get a little of the alone time they so desperately need. How cool will it be for them to have the whole house alone-- sans the early wake up call of the small child?
Tomorrow morning I may have a different opinion on this matter. But for now, I can't wait!
Friday, February 22, 2008
I will say that the K day sounded very much like Sebastian's preschool day. Lots of "choice time" and a few structured activities. So far so good. Academically, there would be absolutely no challenge for my child, but as I said I had no real intention of signing him up anyway.
Here was the kicker. One of the fathers asked whether there was security at the school. I found this a little disturbing that someone would think it necessary in this relatively small town. But the Principal's response was truly terrifying. They have fire drills once a month. (Good idea. I imagine Sebastian totally freaking out about the noise, but that's his problem.) They have evacuation drills regularly. (Also a good idea considering we live a few short miles from the nuclear power plant.) And they have "lockdown" drills where all the doors are locked and the adults and children "huddle in a corner." What?!
What does this say about our society that in a town of about 15,000 people in the second least populated state in the nation, our children have to practice hiding from gunmen? At least, that's what I'm assuming they are hiding from. How does your 5 year old, or your 10 year old for that matter, not have nightmares after been presented with the information that not only could this happen, but that we had better prepare for it?
I don't know if this is some federal policy, or the state's, or the town's. I was too agog at the very thought that this happens at all to think to ask. Those of you who work in schools, or have children in school: is this normal? Does it happen at your school? If so, how do the kids react to it?
Thursday, February 21, 2008
- I pitched that hissy fit when things weren't going my way during Dance Dance Revolution. Behavior level: 5 years old.
- I had a phone conversation on Saturday that really pissed me off. Behavior level: very angry 31 year old.
- I tried to go out by myself on Sunday but couldn't think of anything to do. I really wanted to go for a walk in the woods but everything here is covered in a sheet of ice. So I was settling for going to the town sand pile for a bucket of sand. Woo-hoo. I said something self-deprecating which was reinforced by Mr. Jeremy. This resulted in my bursting into tears, slamming the bedroom door and throwing myself across the bed sobbing. Behavior level: 15 years old.
- I have also become so bone cold, I just can't shake it. At the same time I'm cursing high oil prices and putting on a hat in the goddamn house for chrissake, my children are mocking me by running around in their underpants/diapers. Behavior level: 90 years old.
- I have reached the point of complete dissatisfaction. While I think if I have to stay in this apartment another minute I might strangle someone, the thought of going out into the cold to the same old activities we've been doing for months now is no more appealing. Behavior level: sulky preteen.
On the other hand, the sky is clear and blue today for a change. And last night as I drove to exercise class, the full moon was rising over the mountains and it was just breathtaking. I wished I had my camera. I just need to focus on the good and the beautiful. Because we all know that mud season is really no better than this.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Sebastian's new obsession with Calvin and Hobbes has deepened recently and it's starting to get a little ridiculous. (At least Animusic is on the wane.)
He runs around naked all the time. We bought the kids some bathing suits at the thrift store and whenever he wears his, Sebastian does that pose in the photo. And he walks around having comic-style reactions to things, ie. ACCKKK!!! and WAAUGHHH!!!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
For those of you who haven't seen No Country for Old Men, it is basically the story of a hunter who stumbles across $2 million and the man who will stop at nothing to get it back. And I mean nothing. Not one thing.
From the start, I feared having an ulcer by the end of the film. Instead, what I got was a depiction of one of my worst nightmares come to life on the silver screen, and a third of the way into the movie, I was so caught off guard that I almost threw up. I tasted it in my mouth and felt like I had been sucker punched in the gut. 12 hours later, I have not fully recovered.
I don't think I have ever seen a movie as scary as this one. The only one to even come close is When a Stranger Calls Back-- a very different film. During No Country, I was in the fetal position 75% of the time and peeking through my fingers 10% of the time. I was very happy that Amanda* and I passed up the chocolate treats. I do not recommend eating during this film.
I had heard that this movie wasn't going to be as funny as some of the Coen brothers' other work, but the people who say that are liars and you should disregard everything they ever have said or will say to you. I laughed many more times than I almost vomited.
I had a similar reaction to seeing Woody Harrelson pop up that I had to Ted Danson in Saving Private Ryan, but I think he did a fine job. Overall, the acting was amazing, the setting was as dusty and yellow brown as you could hope for, and a more genuinely gruesome film would be hard to find.
Even though, or perhaps because, my intestines have yet to recover, I strongly suggest you see this film as soon as you can. It's well worth the big screen viewing. If you liked the woodchipper scene in Fargo, you will love No Country for Old Men.
* Thank you, Amanda, for coming and for driving me home. I don't think I would have survived seeing this alone and then walking by myself up that icy hill. And I'm not being melodramatic. I was so jumpy, any little sound would have pushed me over the edge.
Monday, February 18, 2008
I've also added a list of the ridiculous Google searches that have resulted in visits to my blog. Enjoy!
"Umm... that looks like something Cricket would wear."
"Some weird girl from my school."
"And her name is Crooked?"
"No, Cricket. She is crooked, though."
Your guess is as good as mine as to whether she is morally or physically crooked.
*What is a Peebles you ask? Only a terrible department store that I enter once a year and just to vow never to return. Except that one time I got flame Chucks for Dorian for only $3 and that memory messes with my fortitude.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
2. Flight of the Conchords = Extras + Weird Al
We have recently been watching Flight of the Conchords, and even though I think it's funny, I just can't help but feel a little disappointed, much like I felt about Big Love.
I really loved The Sopranos and when Big Love came out, I was poised to love it, too. But it just paled in comparison. Both shows focus on the day to day life of a man on the fringe of society. Somehow, despite never being the least bit interested in the Mafia, I was completely drawn into the lives and business of the Soprano family. With Big Love on the other hand, I was only finding myself interested in the wives on the show, and not with the business or religious stuff. I enjoy Chloe Sevigny's performance immensely, and I really like Margene's character, but that's about it. The whole time I was watching, I would think that it was following the Sopranos formula, but wasn't as good.
And that's what I think every time we watch an episode of Flight of the Conchords. It's no Extras. And, really, I can't help but compare the two. Both feature inept agents/managers and shlubby "talent." One parodies movies and sitcoms and one parodies musical styles. Overall, Extras is totally hilarious and I think I could watch it repeatedly (and not just for the glimpse of Stephen Merchant's sweet ass), where I think one viewing of Conchords will be enough for me.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
So, GameStop happens to be in the same shopping center and, even though I had been checking online and it still said Dance Dance Revolution for the Wii was backordered, I stopped in anyway. And they had it! Boy, was I pumped. It was all I could do to wait until after Jeremy came home and after dinner to try it out.
I'll tell you what. We played that damned game for 3 hours yesterday, and I don't think I have improved at all. It is hard. Really, really hard. The arcade version seems difficult enough, but because it's for the Wii you have to wave the remote and nunchuk around to the beat, too. I don't think I am too poor a dancer in real life. But this game is more like my complete inability to follow along during an aerobics class. Tripping over myself, finally getting the hang of one move just as we're changing to another one, you get the picture. It's not that I don't like it, even though I did have one hissy fit that would have resulted in the remote being thrown had it not been strapped to my wrist. It's just going to take a ridiculous amount of practice.
Jeremy, of course, was a natural immediately, damn him. Those of you who have played Guitar Hero or RockBand with him will understand my mixture of admiration and frustration. Sebastian obviously gets the rhythm thing from Daddy, not me.
Friday, February 15, 2008
I would just like to say that I love Mary Roach. Those of you in the San Francisco area need to stalk her and find out if she is as funny in person as she is in her writing. She is at once intelligent, witty and totally immature. Just like most of you.
That said, I loved her other book Stiff, which was all about what happens to cadavers. And you would be surprised how many different things happen to them. Or maybe you wouldn't. I guess it depends on how much cadaver experience you have. I only have one such experience involving my grandfather's open casket funeral. But I digress.
Spook is all about the afterlife, the many differing theories as to what happens to us after we die. She starts with reincarnation, but also covers things like mediums and ectoplasm and all sorts of gadgetry used to detect the discarnate. It's a fascinating topic on which I'm sure we all have an opinion. Some believe in God and heaven and therefore the persistence of the soul. Others think it all goes black and that's it. Still others believe in ghosts. (I have much more experience with those, but that's a story for another time.)
And you know what? There are scientists out there trying to prove or disprove all of these theories and more. And because of the nature of the questions they are asking, the bias of these scientists is pretty obvious, despite the fact that science is supposed to be objective. Alas, we are human, so what can we really expect?
Anyway, I guarantee you will love this book. And, Mr. Jamie, it's non-fiction so you have no excuse not to read it.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I have been using my market basket and 2 reusable cloth grocery bags from Hannaford (which I love because they fold and snap into a neat little package) for some time now. I also have been making an effort to not contribute to the rampant consumerism in our country, and have spent much less time at Target, the dollar store, etc. Prior to this, we would accumulate massive amounts of plastic bags which we would repurpose as much as possible and the rest went in the recycling container at the grocery store. A couple of months ago I asked myself why I was paying for plastic bags to throw our garbage away in, and stopped. Now we are out of plastic bags. We have broken down and purchased a box of garbage bags again.
I was thinking about what would happen if all stores started this policy of no plastic bags. On the one hand, I think it's great-- less pollution from the production and distribution, less non-biodegradable junk in the world, less risk to the animals who accidentally ingest or get tangled up in the things. But on the other hand, it ain't so great-- no more free trash bags or bags to put sandy, wet clothes in at the beach or bags for dropping a few things off with a friend. We use these bags all the time, for a variety of reasons, and I'm already feeling the pinch from my choice to not take them from the store.
So what do you think? Could you live without plastic bags?
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sebastian is a bright, inquisitive child who needs little direction for learning. He totally immerses himself in whatever he's interested in and comes up having gained all kinds of new skills. I was reminded of this last week while talking to a friend. She was asking "the question" and wondering how I would know he was learning enough. So, I gave her Animusic as an example and realized that Hey! it's not just an infernal DVD full of catchy instrumentals that take over my brain when I'm not paying attention, he's actually learning something! Here are just a few of the things he has gained from his obsession:
- He spent hours and hours drawing and writing about Animusic which refined his fine motor skills immensely. His penmanship has improved, and his drawings have become more detailed and accurate.
- He learned to play the beginning of "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Mussorgsky on the keyboard and to play some new drum beats.
- He became interested in how the segments were animated which led to his creating "computer code" with the alphabet refrigerator magnets.
I believe that people, not just children, are more likely to learn by doing than by listening to someone's explanation. And people need to have the room to learn at their own pace in a supportive environment. That's what we are trying to achieve for our kids.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Ready for one of my "recipes"?
Get yourself some beets, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Get as many or as few as you would like because we are not going to be measuring anything. I used 3 huge beets, 2 largish red potatoes and 1 medium sweet potato. Scrub the veggies well. Trim off the ends and greens of the beets and peel any of the tough/hairy skin. Do not peel the potatoes or sweet potatoes-- just trim off any ends or eyes you find unappealing.
Dice the vegetables into 1-2" chunks. Put the red and sweet potatoes into a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil to coat. Don't go crazy with the oil. Or go crazy if you want, but don't drown the vegetables. Dump the potatoes in a casserole that is large enough for all your veggies. Now put the beets into the same mixing bowl and toss them with a little more olive oil. (I do this so everything doesn't get totally stained with the beet juice, but if you don't care, you can toss all of them together.) Dump them into the casserole and gently combine. Sprinkle some sea salt on top.
Admire the beauty of the beets. What gems! You can almost imagine wearing one. Then you look down and realize that you are. (Did I mention you should wear an apron for this one? Because you should.)
Stick the casserole in a preheated 400 degree oven for about an hour, more or less. This will depend somewhat on how many gigantic beets you use and the size of your pan. Less veggies or bigger pan=less cooking time.
Use your hour wisely. I used my time to write a long overdue letter and prepare something else for the children, but you know best what needs doing at your house.
As accompaniments, I also prepared pan roasted chickpeas (Drain and rinse one can chickpeas, saute in a small amount of olive oil until they are browned. Be careful, some of them pop like popcorn! Sprinkle with garlic salt. My kids LOVE these.) and steamed spinach (if you don't know how to do this, it is a real problem).
Simple, healthy meal complete! Beets are very good for you. They are high in calcium, iron and folic acid. And apparently, they are good for getting rid of urinary tract infections, just like cranberries. Must be the color.
I love vegetables prepared simply so I can just enjoy their natural flavors. A big proponent of this is Alice Waters of Chez Panisse. She has a great cookbook called The Art of Simple Food which I received for Christmas. (Thanks, Mom!) I definitely see it as being one of the few cookbooks I actually use, since the cooking style is right up my alley and it covers all the bases like my trusty Joy of Cooking and America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. And it doesn't bother with a fussy dust jacket that will just get in the way anyhow.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
- The dishes got washed when I wanted them washed.
- I didn't have to share the Wii.
- We could have dinner at 4:30. That's right-- earlier than the old people.
- I could have Christine and Amanda (the 2 best hot mama friends a girl could ask for) over for gossip, tea and chocolate until midnight.
- I had to wash the dishes myself.
- Less cheering when I broke my Wii fitness age record. (28!)
- Boring old kid food for every meal since there was no one else here to appreciate real cooking.
- No Mr. Jeremy. I missed him. Hopefully the snow won't present too much trouble and he'll be back in 6.5 hours. Not that I'm counting...
Friday, February 8, 2008
My mother's side of the family is big into mysteries, and as far as I can tell not too particular in their choices. When Jeremy and I decided to move to Vermont, I came up first and stayed with my aunt for a month to find a job and a place to live. (We are not big risk takers in this house. We don't just pack up and go. Oh no.) Marian has a huge collection of mass market paperback mystery novels including one in which the lead character was named "Del Capslock"-- writer's block anyone? I also read a couple by Archer Mayor, our local coroner. Despite the fact that Brattleboro does have 6 Chinese restaurants for 12,000 people, I don't believe we have a Chinese Mafia as he suggests. (Yes, I know it's just fiction. But it isn't good fiction.) Reading all this nonsense really made me evaluate my standards. If you are looking for an intelligent, fun read here are some of my favorite authors:
- Agatha Christie I was obsessed with her during my second pregnancy. Obsessed to the point that I was reading an average of 2 of her books per week. (This is where Sebastian gets it from, make no mistake.) Luckily, she wrote 70 or so and our library had most of them. The first one I read was Murder on the Orient Express and it was an absolute revelation. She is a very witty writer and her recurring characters, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, and Tuppence and Tommy, are very charming and likeable. And Agatha Christie was homeschooled. Bonus points for that.
- Colin Dexter I can not begin to tell you how sad I am that there will never be any more Inspector Morse mysteries. Morse is an alcoholic, he's pushy, and yet I couldn't help but like him. Not just because he drove a Jaguar either. The last book made me cry. Dexter peppers his books with literary references, poetry and Wagner and has a knack for description that is not overly wordy. I appreciate that, especially when I find myself reading books by the insufferable Elizabeth George and wondering why I am.
- Peter Lovesey He wrote a wonderful, but short, series featuring Victorian detectives Cribb and Thackeray which I loved. I am not a fan of his "Bertie" books, but he also wrote some stand alone suspense and mystery novels which are also fantastic.
- Dorothy L. Sayers She's my new favorite. Her Lord Peter Wimsey novels are very smart and very funny. I often find myself laughing out loud and reading passages to Jeremy. The books are set in the 1920s, an interesting time for women and for the aristocracy in England. I'm only finishing my second one now, but I can see myself exhausting the library's supply within the year.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
It all started with a dream. A dream that my pants felt uncomfortable and I reached down to discover a poop. In my pants. That was not mine. I then tried, unsuccessfully, to hide it under the foundation of a house.
Then I woke up to Sebastian complaining that he'd had a little accident. I groggily stumble to the bathroom to wipe his butt. At least it was a little accident.
After breakfast, I stuck the kids in front of Blue's Clues so I could get that all important shower time. Go into the bathroom, lean into the tub, toss out the 2 boats left over from last night's bath, only to discover... you guessed it... shit. Crusted around the drain. Shit. I don't know which of those little dirtballs did it, but I have my theories.
I also have a working sense of humor today, thankfully, and am therefore in a much better mood. At least we didn't offend the disabled...
The boys and I did our co-op hours in the kids' room today and they were very well-behaved. (The kids not the hours.) They even stuck right by me in the store afterwards while we were making a few purchases. Much better trip than last time. When we went to buy our milk, Sebastian asked if we could have some chocolate milk this time. Why not? We can use chocolate milk as a crutch to make us feel better while Daddy's away, right? I was going to buy the brand I usually get, which is also in a glass bottle, but it just wasn't as cute. I fall for the fancy packaging, what can I say? But I'll justify it because it's organic and the other kind is not. This picture of the pint bottle was taken literally 5 minutes after we entered the house. No delay of gratification here, no sir. And check out Mr. Dorian, I mean Skeleton, sporting not only a chocolate milk moustache, but a "smile" from pressing the cup so hard against his face to get every last drop. Sebastian, I mean Animusica, wasn't such a big fan-- so, more for me!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
You know what they say about the best laid plans... Guess who decided not to nap after all today? So guess who packed to the kids off for the library 2 hours earlier than planned? And guess who was mortified by her child's behavior at said library?
Lovely, darling Sebastian.... the child who plays drums as hard as he can... the child who tried to deafen his brother by tooting a recorder directly in his ear... the child who whines at me to turn up the radio... is also the child who is disturbed by every noise out of his control. He covers his ears all the time in response to sirens, other children yelling, etc. So, we're hanging out in the library where the computers aren't working and Sebastian was already disappointed, but happily reading. Then this mother walks in with her preteen son who is disabled. I don't know what his disability is, but he can't walk unassisted, drools, is relatively spastic, and can't talk. We see them out occassionally, and it always disturbs Sebastian because the boy grunts a lot and his laughter doesn't exactly sound happy. This boy is always very happy and "laughing" and loves to see other kids. He comes in today, makes one loud grunt and then is silent, playing with some blocks. Sebastian looks up from his book and freaks out, covering his ears and looking terrified. I decide to ignore the whole situation in the hopes that he will go back to his reading and Dorian and I can go back to ours. No such luck. Sebastian feels the need to say loudly within earshot of the boy and his mother, "Do you see what's here? Look in front of you!" I said, "Yes, that's E____." "I don't like his noises!" I pointed out that he had been quiet now for some time, and that Sebastian needed to relax. I reminded him that E____ is disabled and so he does some things differently. At this point, my child decides to put up a big stink about leaving and how noisy this other boy is, refusing to see that in fact HE was the noisy one, and all the while keeping his hands firmly planted on his ears. I tried to get him to think about how he would feel if other people had the same reaction to him, but there is only so much I can reasonably expect from a 5 year old. We finally got our books checked out and got the hell out of there, but not before I apologized to that poor mother. I'm sure she understands that he's little, but it must break her heart for people to have that reaction to her son. And then I feel bad because that is certainly not the attitude I'm trying to raise my children with. But I also need to respect that Sebastian is sensitive to those noises, and frankly, they are a little disturbing. If you didn't see his face, you would have no idea how happy this kid really is.
It's just so frustrating. I try and try, and yet I continually fail.
My plan for today is to try to get to the library after Dorian's nap if the rain is not too heavy. Then we can pick up some dinner because I'll be damned if I wash another dish today. Then I'll let the children flood the bathroom with a bubble bath and off to bed they go. Then I can play video games and mope in peace.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Bob (who is 70 if he is a day) dressed in short pants with suspenders, a shirt and what appeared to be a dunce cap, all festooned in triangles, sings, "Triangle Bob Trianglepants" repeatedly to the tune of the Spongebob Squarepants theme.
I know that Sesame Street tries to stay "current" and I'm quite sure I missed a lot of references in my youth, but the ones I have seen since my own children have started watching the show have been pretty depressing. Dr. Feel facing off with Dr. Phil in an argument over whose set the show was being taped on? Give me a break.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
a. an elf's thimble
b. a midget's nostril
c. a beetle's bellybutton.
We were talking about Super Bowl pools today at lunch and apparently there are certain numbers or combinations of numbers that are practically impossible to end the scores. So, getting the block for 8-8 is unlikely to be lucky... I guess. I have no idea still. I was thrown off by the fact that everything I thought I knew about football was very, very wrong.
For example, I thought that a touchdown was 3 points and a field goal was 1. Now, I don't remember what the right answer is, but that is NOT it. And I finally figured out after 29 years what 4 downs were, but 2 years later all I could remember was that it was 4 tries for something and when Jim said that something was 10 yards, it didn't sound right, but I trust him. If that is true, it is no wonder that game takes forever to play. Christ, anything more than 3 tries is obscene. 3 strikes and you're out, right?
Either way, I will only be paying minimal attention in the hopes that we win some $ in Jeremy's pool at work. 5-4 better not be unlucky numbers, but I wouldn't know.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
I was thinking about my slippers (sadly, this occupies at least 15% of my time) and how they so quickly have become one of my favorite things. This lead me to thinking about the other items that I find completely indispensible, the ones I can hardly imagine my life without.
Top 3 (in no particular order, since trying to choose which one was my absolute favorite caused severe mental anguish):
- The slippers. Pure sheepskin joy.
- Our wool mattress. 3 inch thick wool batting encased in cotton canvas which we hav on top of our regular mattress. My back feels at least 85% better since we got this last year. And the wool's natural temperature regulating properties have kept me both cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- My Reisenthel market basket. I use this basket all the time. It is of course perfect for both the farmer's market and the grocery store. But the two things I love it for are library books (it holds 55 lbs which is at least how much the picture books weigh every week) and for taking baked goods/casseroles to potlucks. It's lightweight, until I fill it with junk, but nice and wide and deep for holding everything. I used to use all those canvas tote bags people are always giving us for free, and while those were economical, they were not good at keeping macaroni and cheese level.
So there you have it. If I were Oprah, I would give each of you one of each for your very own. Then you would squeal and clap and adore me, read everything I suggest and worship all my gurus. But as appealing as that may be, I just can't afford it. I'll let you try mine if you ask nicely though.
Friday, February 1, 2008
So, they cooked and cooked and cooked. Then I mixed together a drained can of black beans; a can of diced tomatoes with roasted garlic and onions; some chopped spinach, onions, and red pepper; a 1/2 tsp of crushed garlic; some frozen, chopped basil in olive oil (a relic from last summer's garden that was probably equivalent to 3T fresh basil); a tablespoon or so of olive oil; and a generous sprinkling of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. I mixed in the cooked kamut, put it in a greased casserole, and topped it with a kind of "bread crumb" mixture of wheat bran, organic margarine, garlic salt and flaxseeds. I baked it for 45 minutes at 375.
And it was super delicious! It would probably be good with brown rice instead, but I did like the nutty taste and texture of the kamut. I'm sorry if the recipe is a little difficult to replicate. (If you are even interested in doing so. Frankly, I'm shocked you made it this far in my ramblings.) I generally sort of just throw together whatever happens to still be reasonably fresh in the pantry and fridge. I was also trying to stay lactose-free for the visiting lactard, but it would have definitely been even better with some mozzarella cheese either incorporated or melted on top.
I've been enjoying experimenting with the new grains. I'm a bit of a fiber/whole-grain addict (as you may have noticed) and it has been nice to expand my horizons a little bit more.