On Her Flying Trapeze

Monday, October 31, 2005

Tip Tuesday Archives

  • 07.25.06 Small Talk
  • 07.18.06 Tip Topics
  • 07.11.06 More Readers
  • 06.27.06 Cooling Down
  • 06.13.06 Vacataion Planning
  • 06.06.06 Father's Day Fun
  • 05.30.06 Soft Foods
  • 05.23.06 Moving Tips
  • 05.16.06 First Impressions
  • 05.09.06 Put Them to Work
  • 05.02.06 Best Children's Book
  • 04.25.06 Birthday Party Ideas
  • 04.18.06 The More the Merrier
  • 04.11.06 Potty Training
  • 04.04.06 Family Films - Off the Beaten Track
  • 03.28.06 Dirty Laundry
  • 03.21.06 Best Book - Alive or Dead
  • 03.14.06 Kitchen Effitchency
  • 03.07.06 Making Lists
  • 02.28.06 Babysitter-Free Date Nights
  • 02.21.06 Losing Weight - No Crazy Diets
  • 02.14.06 Repressed Passion Movies
  • 02.07.06 ALL Day LONG
  • 01.31.06 Valentine's Day - Romantic Surprises
  • 01.24.06 What's For Lunch?
  • 01.17.06 Eating out With Kids
  • 01.10.06 To the Happy Couple
  • 01.03.06 Name My Van - A Tip Day Contest!
  • 12.27.05 Ringing in the New Year
  • 12.20.05 Driving With Kids
  • 12.13.05 Holiday Traditions
  • 12.06.05 Christmas Gifts-For People Who Have Everything
  • 11.29.05 Keeping a Toddler Occupied on a Rainy Day
  • 11.22.05 Making Time for Yourself
  • 11.15.05 "Cleaning" Your House Quick - somebody's coming over
  • 11.08.05 Eating More Vegetables
  • 11.01.05 Dejunking without Waste
  • 10.11.05 Outside Help
  • 10.18.05 Kitchen Organization
  • 10.25.05 Getting Rid of Telemarketers
  • My PDA is Possessed and Schizophrenic

    Recently Jessica wrote that her Parenting Magazines were talking to her. The same sort of thing has been happening with my Palm.

    Tonight I was using the calculator when the thing freaked out, turned black and asked me if I wanted to erase all data. Hmmm….let me think about that. My entire life plan is contained on that little piece of equipment and if all data were erased, I’d most likely disappear in a puff of smoke or crumple to the ground like the wicked witch, “I’m melting. I’m melting.”

    “No thank you,” I replied.

    My data was not lost but I had to reset all my preferences and when I went back to the calculator, it had the number 666 on the screen. Do do Do do Do do Do do. Freaky, eh?

    A more uplifting message came during my anxiety-ridden weeks shortly after Magoo was born. During that time I became super, uber religioso, hoping to pray my way out of a chemical imbalance. I’d downloaded my scriptures and hymn lyrics to my palm and was reading them one day when my Palm lost its mind.

    After resetting and recovering the little computer, I reopened the scripture program and it had skipped from the scripture I was reading to this hymn:

    The Lord Is My Shepherd
    1. The Lord is my Shepherd; no want shall I know.
    I feed in green pastures; safe-folded I rest.
    He leadeth my soul where the still waters flow,
    Restores me when wand’ring, redeems when oppressed,
    Restores me when wand’ring, redeems when oppressed.

    2. Thru the valley and shadow of death though I stray,
    Since thou art my Guardian, no evil I fear.
    Thy rod shall defend me, thy staff be my stay.
    No harm can befall with my Comforter near.
    No harm can befall with my Comforter near.

    3. In the midst of affliction my table is spread.
    With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o’er.
    With perfume and oil thou anointest my head.
    Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?
    Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?
    Text: James Montgomery, 1771–1854; based on Psalm 23

    These words brought me a lot of comfort when I really needed it. Maybe the spirit controlling my Palm is a good one afterall.

    The first story seemed more creep-propriate for Halloween, though. Happy Halloween everybody!

    Sunday, October 30, 2005

    Okay Ladies, Get out your Needle Point

    Cause it’s inspirational quote day on Daring Young Mom and this one’s definitely worthy of inscription on a table runner or pilla’ of some sort.

    Take a minute, bust a prayer and you good to go.
    ~M.C. Hammer~

    Saturday, October 29, 2005

    What Did he Say?

    Surcie has inspired me to talk about what the heck our kids are subjected to on the radio lately. I personally think it’s quite precious that Laylee (Little-C) says “Bob Marley is my favorite mutsic.” I especially like it when she quotes him in casual dinner conversation.

    “Mommy, stand up for your rights.”
    “Okay, I will.”
    More seriously now, “Don’t give up the fight.”

    She’s not quite old enough to ask about drug use or civil unrest and uprising. We’ll have to grow into that one.

    She is REALLY good at picking up on lyrics and lately she’s started singing along with Lenny Kravitz, Raffi, John Mayer and Green Day, anybody that comes on the radio and asking me what they’re talking about.

    As much as I love the Kravitz, I don’t want my kid singing or saying the F-bomb.

    Raffi is excellent. “Robin in the rain, what a saucy fellow.”
    “Mom, what is saucy?” I’m totally on it.

    We love the John but I don’t think “Your Body is a Wonderland” is something I want to explain.

    Green Day? I’ve listened to them on the radio since junior high but I pretty much want to steer clear.
    “What did he just say?”
    “Oh, they bleeped that word out. That’s why it sounded funny”
    “What word?”
    “Let’s listen to Raffi again.”

    Lately we’ve been listening mostly to church primary songs in the car. She begs for the Apricot Corn Song – Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree. I was a bit confused when she asked me to please do the “Asians” while we were listening to it this week. (Mother as mind-reader strikes again – she wanted the Actions!)

    Friday, October 28, 2005

    I Will Take Your Used Bedroom Set

    Yes, that’s right. I am willing to take one for the team and obscond with your exquisite bedroom set. You know, the extra one you ordered from Pottery Barn “just in case” and now have no idea what to do with?

    We’re still in the free furniture stage of our marriage. I’m not really sure if we’ll ever exit this stage as long as our friends continue to be so generous. We are sort of the babies on the block and have awesome friends who’d rather share their belongings than sell them when they upgrade.

    We don’t yet have the money to buy the pieces we REALLY want and we don’t want to waste money buying half-steps, so we just go for free, and a lot of this free stuff IS what we really want. We’ve scored bigtime!

    Oak dining table and chairs – The Matsonites
    Bookshelves, end tables, dresser, reclining rocker, file cabinet and piano – Dan’s parents
    Office furniture, side table, chest of drawers – Hi and Ri
    Dresser, crib, bookshelf, our mattress and box spring (from wedding budget), handmade hope chest – my parents
    Toddler bed – J.K. not Rowlings
    Changing table – Leese
    Armoire for children's books – Target gift cards from our wedding
    First free couch – Jules
    Upgraded free couch (sorry Jules) – Dan’s work classified adds
    Entertainment armoire and TV – Jud Ed

    Now don’t be hatin’! We’ve actually purchased a few things here and there, several bookcases, storage armoires, old furniture we’ve refurbished, slipcovers, etc.

    One thing no one has found it in their hearts to give us is a bedroom set or a headboard, which brings me to a point – Friday Show and Tell.Here’s my bed – with a few “embellishments” courtesy of my kindergarten-level abilities with Paint:


    I would like to mention that our beautiful quilt was also a wedding present. Sadly patriots, you will not find another star or stripe of any kind scattered throughout our room, not for lack of free gifts but because I don’t want to sleep in the Fourth of July (you know, fireworks and all).

    If you’d like to see any improvements to this lovely picture, please send bedroom set – STAT!

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    I am ¼ Indian

    I have no scientific or genealogical evidence to prove this theory but I do have a strong feeling that my stomach originated in the country of India. When I was pregnant with Laylee, the only food I enjoyed and could consistently keep down was Indian food from my favorite restauraunt.

    I would like to stop at this juncture and give a shout out to the Bombay House Indian restaurant on University Ave in Provo, UT. Can I get a “Whoop, whoop!”? I do not think I can over-emphasize their role in my healthy pregnancy.

    When we moved to Washingtonia, I greatly mourned the loss of this fabulous eatery. Then Real Simple got several hundred chefs from around the US to vote on the best cookbooks representing the foods from various countries. I rushed to the library and got the one they suggested for Indian Cooking. After a couple of weeks of dining ecstacy, I purchased the book and have loved everything I’ve made from it.

    Jessica, in answer to your question:

    “I love indian food but can only find really lousy recipes. Do you have any good ones?”

    I have two words for you – Madhur Jaffrey. Everything in this book is absolutely fabulous. The Rogan Josh is our favorite, served with Aromatic Yellow Rice and Gujerati-style carrots and cabbage. One little hint: fresh green coriander = cilantro. That took me weeks to figure out. None of the grocery stores around had ever heard of it and she uses it in a lot of her recipes. I finally found a produce guy at an upscale store who looked at me like I was a moron and said, “It’s right over there….cilantro.”

    Discussing Disney Death with Two-Year-Olds

    Laylee: Where's Cinderella's mommy?
    Me: She had to go away with Bambi's mommy.
    Laylee: But where's her daddy?
    Laylee: Oooooh, okay.

    (strangely enough, Laylee likes the part of Bambi where the mom gets offed. She says, "Oh, now's when Bambi's mommy has to go away so he gets to play with his daddy cause he came home from WORK!")

    Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    Mullets, Ghosts, Sumo and....A Shiny Person

    Whilst wandering through the isles of Halloween treats this week, I spotted the perfect accessory for my shmoop, a sweet black-haired mullet wig. Yes folks, that’s right and since the wonderful holiday is only days away, it was 30% off. 30% off of what, you may ask. But that doesn’t matter because it was on sale.

    So right next to the frozen edamame in my cart goes the mullet (I actually don’t think it fell anywhere near the edamame since I hadn’t picked that up yet, but I’m trying to sound healthy, vegetarianish and chic. Is it working?)

    When I told Danny about said mullet, he asked, “What am I supposed to be?”

    “Why, a mullet of course.”

    “What are you going to be for Halloween this year, Dan?” his programmer friends will ask him with giddy girlish excitement.

    “A mullet.”

    Iiiiiiiiii don’t know why that conversation seems so funny in my mind, but there you are. I once promised a group of his co-workers that I would bake for them every week for a year if any of them would grow a long, sweet mullet for me. Imagine my shock when they all refused. I am somewhat of a celebrity amongst the boys, most of whom are single and not accustomed to baking anything without the help of a doughboy.

    halloween fam

    Anyway, we decided to kick things up a notch and have him go as a mullet-wearing hockey player. I went as a Texas high school home-coming queen, really just an excuse to wear my massive mum (not seen in this picture). I had to remove the mum halfway through the party due to its massive size and weight. Then I just looked like a sparkly person with way too much makeup on. Laylee was a fab ghost and Magoo was a huge hit in his sumo suit.

    And we may just call that a wrap on the Daring Young Family Halloween. Everyone backed their cars into the church parking lot and Laylee got to “Trunk-or-Treat” for more candy than she’ll ever be allowed to eat. For all she knows, tonight WAS Halloween. I may not dress them up again on Monday, except of course Dan who MUST WEAR THE MULLET to work.

    Oh, and right before we left for the party, Laylee informed me that she no longer wanted to be a ghost. "I want to be an alligator like Ducky!"

    So I gave her the same response she gets when she asks for something without saying please.

    "Mommy, I want some juice."

    "That's interesting."

    I am a Pancake Loser

    All modesty shoved under the sofa, I think I’m a pretty great cook. However I don’t usually have the slightest desire to cook first thing in the morning. So, Laylee is addicted to cold cereal, scrambled eggs and toaster waffles.

    pankcake1This morning after my early walk with Sandra, I decided to fully take on my role as domestic goddess and make some whole-wheat pancakes from scratch. I’ve made this recipe approximately 4 billion times (usually for dinner). I ALWAYS burn the last pan.

    Well this morning I burned every single stinkin’ heart-healthy made-from-scratch why-did-I-do-this pancake. Little black hockey pucks all. I guess black is a fitting color for a hockey puck and I’m Canadian, I should know. I sort of freaked out. Laylee’s response to all the turmoil?

    “When the pancakes are burnt and yucky for you, I would eat them all for you.”

    pancake2And she did. I ate one too. With LOTS of peanut butter and Mrs. Butterworth’s. I’m not sure if it’s smart to eat two things that have “butter” in the title at the same time, but it hid the charcoal-ish-ness of the pucks…….sort of.

    Random side-note – I just asked Laylee what Ducky is gonna be for Halloween (I hope it’s okay that I use his real name here. There are no small stuffed duck stalkers out there, right?). She got a huge grin and said, “He wants an alligator costume cause I’m making it for him toDAY so he can go trick-or-treating with me toDAY because I’m making him an alligator costume so he can get some candy and I will share my candy with HIM!”

    (This was said very quickly, but I think my transcription is fairly accurate.)

    To Coin a New Phrase

    The other day after I fed Magoo, Dan was trying to burp him. After quite a bit of pounding, Magoo let out a small “Urp” and smiled at Dan as if to say, “I’m done.”

    Dan would have none of that.

    “Come on Magoo, you can do better than that. That was just a courtesy burp.”

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    Tuesday Tips - Getting Rid of Telemarketers

    Okay. These people are driving me nuts. Since we bought our home, we've been inundated with telemarketing calls, especially those asking us to refinance our home. These started maybe 2 weeks after we signed our original mortgage. Sheesh!

    We also get a ton of calls for home security systems, calls to thank us for past donations we've never made and ask for future donations to all kinds of causes, calls telling us we've "won," you name it.

    I've put our number on the National Do Not Call List but this does not stop people calling for "charitable donations," if we "have a prior business relationship" with them or basically if they are in any way associated with any organization with whom whence and therefore we have done business with at one time in regards to the aforementioned.........AHHHHHHHH!

    So, I'm asking for your ideas on how to stop them - or at least drive them nuts. I have two suggestions:

    telecrapper1. Dan found a marvelous little device called THE TELECRAPPER 2000 TELEMARKETER INTERCEPTION SYSTEM. It is "a computerized system designed to intercept incoming Telemarketing calls on the first ring, and then carry on a virtual conversation with the telemarketer."
    If you go to their site and click on "example conversations" you can hear the machine carrying on long and laugh-until-you-cry-funny conversations with unsuspecting telemarketers. We do not have the device as it is not exactly “market ready.” However, it’s definitely worth a listen.

    2. Refinance your home. That’s right folks. Now that we’ve been out of college for more than 10 minutes and are “land holders”, we can get a much better rate on a real home loan from a reputable lender. So now when they call we say, “What a great idea! We’re doing that right now. Can you please take us off your calling list?”

    What have you got for me? I’m sure you can do better than this. I dare you.

    Monday, October 24, 2005

    Move over Montessori – You don’t stand a chance!

    Some friends and I decided to start a home school preschool co-op for our 2-3 year olds. Today was the big first day. We settled on doing a song, a story, a craft and a snack – all based around a theme. Simple enough, right? Well my friend - let’s call her “Lucy” - was first. I was the designated helper today. This is a chronicle of what I witnessed (and some thoughts):
    • She moved every piece of furniture in her family room so that the kids could sit on cushions in a big circle. (I may do something like this too)
    • They sang a welcome song, a song about the days of the week and some other song I’m forgetting. (Well, her songs are more copious and more educational than mine were planning to be but she’s got to fill 2 hours, right?)
    • They learned about squares, the number 1, the letter O, and the color orange. (No, she did not also teach them to write computer code in binary. However, I am planning to save the 1s and Os for that purpose when they come to my house next week.)


    • She had the letters, numbers and shapes taped around the room for them to find. (Doable. I can draw. I can tape.)
    • Then they hunted for other orange objects. (I eat meat but I’m not a big hunter….here’s where she starts to lose me.)


    • They learned how to predict the weather and sang a song about it. (Don’t know the first thing about meteorology so we’ll probably have to skip this one. I left my Doppler radar in my “other” diaper bag.)
    • She traced their bodies and then dipped their hands and feet in paint and helped them make prints on their life-sized drawings of themselves. (Paint, feet, hands, 2-year-olds, my carpet. AHHHHH!!!! Better enjoy it here kiddies. This is where the fun lives.)


    • There was a bowl handy to wash their hands and feet as they finished (here’s where I “helped”).
    •They took turns feeding "Dish" the Betta fish. (I'm sure Jack could out-chow Dish any day but I'm not sure I want to exploit his eating disorder.)
    • They listened to their own hearts beating with a stethoscope and then pasted hearts to the chests of their paper clones. (Again with the science, nicely executed but probably still beyond my realm of imaginativeness.)
    • They learned about tummies and then pasted ORANGE stomachs onto the giant paper dolls.
    • They filled their tummies with a smorgasbord of snacks, including vegetables, fruits, crackers, yogurt, string cheese and ORANGE cheese cut into little LETTER Os. (Animal crackers and apple slices, anyone? I got me some cheerios too, out in the garage.)


    • THEY WENT OUT BACK TO PLAY IN THE BOUNCY HOUSE!!!!!! (I’m sorry to yell, but that sentence calls for ALL CAPS. We have no yard which was a decision largely based on the fact that we have no bouncy house to go in it, so what’s the point……I mean really?)


    • They read a story about feet (This I can do).


    • We took a picture of their feet (This I did do).


    • They played instruments. (I can hook them up with some sweet maracas, drums and a kid-friendly piano.)


    • The children formed a focus group and decided that they will never be satisfied with their own pathetic moms ever again.

    My conclusions based on this evidence are:
    a) Lucy is a professional, using us as test specimens before starting her own multi-billion dollar preschool empire.
    b) She decided to use a Shock and Awe offensive strategy to throw us off our guard so we would spend the next weeks scrambling around for ideas, with no leader and complete civil unrest….
    c) She is the cutest person ever and I’m so glad we’re doing this little experiment together.

    Don't forget tomorrow's tip - How do you get rid of telemarketers?

    Sunday, October 23, 2005

    Mormons Don’t Go to Confessional

    So I’ll do it in my blog.

    Confession #1: I let my daughter put Ketchup on ANYTHING if it will get her to eat food.

    Conversation this afternoon as the fridge door stood open:
    Laylee: Is that Ketchup Sauce?
    Me: Nope. It’s Mirin.
    Laylee: Is that Lemon Juice?
    Me: Yes.
    Laylee: Is that rice?
    Me: No. It’s diced garlic.
    Laylee: Is that Ketchup Sauce?
    Me: No. (It is a bottle of chocolate sauce but I decide its best not to open up the Pandora’s box that is….a liquid form of the “c”word in our very fridge.)
    Laylee: Is that Ketchup Sauce?
    Me: No. That’s Teriyaki.
    Laylee: Oh, is it for Carrie?
    Me: No. It’s not Carrie’s Yaki.
    I close the fridge.

    Confession #2: Since I was in elementary school, I have eaten Kit-Kat bars like this:

    Confession #3: We have already re-bought Halloween candy “for the trick-or-treaters” twice this season.

    Whew! I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

    Side-note: Blogger ate this entry right after I typed it and uploaded all my photos the first time. Laylee was sitting on my lap when Blogger lost its mind. I asked her to get down because “mommy needs to whig out now.” She got down but stood at my feet pleading, “I wanna wig too, mommy. Please. Please can I have a wig too?”

    So Funny

    Okay, here's another link to Heather's blog. I just love this entry. It's too flippin' true.

    Saturday, October 22, 2005

    Please Don’t Make me Go To Bed

    In a moment Dan will come in and he will say its bedtime and I really should go. We have to get up for church at ridiculous o'clock in the morning to get everyone ready and out the door by 8:30am. But I don’t wanna go to bed!

    Do you ever feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day when he and Andie MacDowell stay up all night so that the inevitable next day will not come, he will not have to face that Sonny and Cher song, Ned Ryerson (Bing!), Punxatony Phil and all those crazy people one more day?


    Sometimes I feel like that. I was at a party tonight, the ending to a fun but much too short Saturday. I did not want to leave. We were the last people there, they were putting their kids to bed, our kids were on the verge of major meltdown and I just planted myself and refused to leave. It was 3 hours past Laylee and Magoo's bedtime when we finally shuffled out of there, the last guests at a really fun party.

    I just had this feeling of dread. If we leave now, then we have to go home to our messy house. If we go home to our messy house, then we have to clean it and go to bed. If we go to bed, then we’ll have to wake up, go to church, have a nice but much too short Sunday, go to bed again, get up again……and the weekend will be OVER!!! AHHHHH!!!! Then that Sonny and Cher song will come on the radio, we’ll have to get up, Dan will go to work and we’ll start all over again. No, we definitely cannot leave this party!

    I am addicted to weekends. Today:

    -Got up and went to a women’s church service day with Magoo and Karli.
    -Heard some great talks and beautiful music, got all stoked to do better and be nicer to people.
    -Took Magoo home for a nap and returned to women’s thingy.
    -Called Karli on her cell phone from within the church because I couldn’t find her.
    -Sewed 3 teddy bears for orphans (No, I am not making this up).
    -Ate a boxed lunch salad with friends where we taught my good friend L, who grew up in Honduras, how to play MASH to foretell her future. She will marry David Letterman (not her first choice), live in an apartment, drive a limousine and have 4 children (she is married, turns 40 next week, has two kids, lives in a nice house and drives a sweet minivan).
    -Got into a discussion about the merits of Oprah and whether or not she ever makes anonymous donations.

    -Drove home with Karli by way of the library (where I picked up the book Blackbird recommended for Laylee) , the post office (where I mailed a frugal reader book) , the DQ where we ordered frosty treats to balance out the salads.
    -Read Laylee library book multiple times.
    -Cuddled with my shmoop.
    -Went and got my hair cut short because it’s still falling out and now I look like a short-haired witch.
    -Cuddled with my shmoop.
    -Made a yummy cream-cheesy sausage dip for L’s 40th birthday party.
    -Socialized with great friends while the kids played and were read to by adorable older children.
    -Turned on the light in the room where Laylee was playing the piano and she said, “No. The light has to stay off. I’m playing Dark Music.” This may be one of my favorite things she’s ever said.
    -Told Laylee it was time to go home and she said, “No, I have to play some lots of songs.”
    -I said, “Okay, you can play one lots of songs and then we have to go home.”
    -Laylee said, “Please, can I play 5 lots of songs?”
    -I couldn’t resist so she played a song with words something like, “then, I go to nursery and na na ra ma so shusi ma na oh oh and there was bugs on the floo-oor. The End.”
    -I said, “Okay, that’s one lots of songs.” And she corrected me, “Nope. That was lots of 5 songs. Let’s go!” and hopped down.

    Now we’re home, Dan’s in bed and I’m typing until my head stops spinning, thinking about the wonderful minutiae of my day. Laylee is still talking to Ducky. She’s telling him, “You don’t hit people. You don’t hit people. You just go to bed and eat lunch and have a star-shine, and have a wall, yeah a wall, and a nightlight and a room, and a diaper to wear on your bum, a diaper to wear when you’re a baby. The end. You are my little baby weeOOOOOOOO. We don’t hit people.”

    Is it just me or does everyone want to keep baby monitors in their kids’ rooms indefinitely just so they can hear what they DO in there? Her conversations are fascinating.

    Lately she’s been giving Ducky a lot more positive reinforcement than negative and that’s a relief, “You did a GOOD job Ducky. Does that make you feel glad? Does that make you feel glad if you’re obedient, Ducky?”

    I wonder if I went to bed if it would make me feel glad. Hmmmm? Maybe so. My shmoop is in there…and my pillows.

    OOOOOOHHHHH! By the way, you know you’ve “made it” in the internet world when you type the words – high waisted jeans- into msn search and your site is the TOP HIT! Yep, I’m famous for talking about mom jeans. Yippee!

    And goodnight.

    Friday, October 21, 2005

    Big C....Little C

    Little-C (Laylee) loves stories more than anything in the world. The other night we found her in bed like this. I swear we did not pose this or even turn the page on the Doctor Seuss book. It was just too perfect. When we pulled back the covers, we found about 20 more books in bed with her, several under her body. That's our Little-C, avid reader and book hoarder. Her choice of pages to stop on does seem a bit narcissistic.


    Good Morning, 6..2..3..5..Cookies, Cute Husband and a Cabinet

    Laylee begins every day by waking up, closing her door so she won’t get caught being awake and then turning on her light and playing for about a half an hour. I can’t bring myself to go in there because it’s so cute to listen to her talk to herself. After a little while she ventures out where she finds me and says in a wide-eyed, head-shaking, I’m-so-surprised, can’t-believe-it-myself sort of voice, “I’m AWAKE!” She then runs to me. I pick her up in a huge hug and say, “Yay! Now we can eat breakfast and play!”

    This is the way our day starts every morning that I’m up before her, which is more often now that I’m walking with Sandra again. Otherwise, the only difference is that when she finally comes out of her room, she comes into my bed and says, “I’m AWAKE! Please get up on the carpet Mommy.” This makes me feel like a lazy slacker piece-of-cheese mom so I’m trying to beat her in the wake-up department (beat, meaning win - not in the please call the authorities now sense of the word). It’s a goal.

    I’m still cheap. I accepted my free gift of books and flashcards from Readers’ Digest Families and returned the one I had to pay for. Then I canceled my subscription. I hate when parents drill their kids relentlessly with flashcards but they’re fun for Laylee to play with and we made a game out of her telling Magoo what the different numbers were. Yesterday it went like this:

    I show her a card - she responds.






    I will give you a rare peek today at my husband and his complete adorableness. I try to limit these as not to make you weep with frustration at your own husbands’ lack of promise. So, Dan was trying to add my blog feed to his aggregator at work. Somehow Blogger had a bug (I know everyone is now shocked! Blogger, have a bug? NO!!) that was bringing up some other random blog when he typed in my address. He wanted to email them about the bug but they said he had to have a blogger account first. So he set up his own blogger site. Check his links and then try and tell me he’s not the cutest man on this planet.

    Finally, my show and tell. Not much to see here. I keep most of my medicines and exciting things locked far away but here’s the unchanged-to-make-myself-look-cooler version of the cabinet. This is a weird one Blackbird, but very telling. Click on the picture to read the deets. Enjoy, folks.

    Thursday, October 20, 2005

    I’ve Created a Monster……NO, A GHOST!

    hall 8ballI love dressing up. My first year working at a public library I somehow conned the entire staff at my desk into dressing up as characters from the Wizard of Oz. I think it was more about humoring the new Associate Librarian than about a real desire to wear a lion’s mane to work, but they looked great and we (at least I) had a really fun time.

    A year later, I was married and pregnant so Laylee got her first Halloween costume. We went as an 8-ball. Someone suggested that since Dan was tall and skinny, he should go as the pool cue. Considering the new life burgeoning within my womb, that costume seemed a tad Freudian for my liberal-arts-educated mind to handle. Instead, I made him a green shirt with 6 pockets.

    hall princessThe following year, Dan dressed up as his boss. They are computer guys and all wear t-shirts and caps every day. So Dan used crayons to draw his boss’s college and hockey team logos and pinned them to his own hat and t-shirt. Voila! You could hardly tell them apart. It was pretty much hilarious. But for our church Halloween party, he humored me and dressed up as a dwarf to carry Snow White around. Is it just me or does she look exactly like Magoo in drag?

    The following year I chose Eyeore because – hello! So darn cute. And again Dan played along with the weird hats. Aren’t we precious? I was a few months pregnant with Magoo and already showing because he was - and is - a giant.

    hall eyeore

    This year I really wanted us all to dress up as characters from my favorite show, The West Wing. Magoo could easily pass for President Bartlet. Just give him a 3-piece suit and some reading glasses. Dan and I would be the bodyguards and Laylee could….um….be……Congressman Matt Santos, Latino for President?


    Well, I could get everyone on board with my plan except Little-C. She apparently has developed a mind and opinions of her own.

    How about C. J. Craig?
    Donna? She’s so cute. You know she ends up with Josh.
    No can do.

    hall woodland fairySince she’s never seen the show and I suspect she’s an aspiring right-wing extremist, we settled on dressing her as a woodland fairy and Magoo as a sumo wrestler…….until we read the little ghost story board book that Grammy sent in her Halloween package.

    Now there will be no more discussion. Laylee MUST BE A GHOST! Never mind that I’ve already spent mega-bucks buying the fabric and billion little flowers for her fairy costume. Never mind that she was gonna be so cute and everyone would gasp and say, “No! You made that? You are a woman of unspeakable genius!” every time they saw her in the costume.

    It took me a couple of days to get over myself and realize that if the kid wants to be a ghost, she can be a ghost. If she wants to dress up in a sheet with a hole cut out for her face to peek through – no assembly required – that is just fine. It shouldn’t be about me.

    Heather, one of my favorite new bloggers, has a great post about our need to dress our kids to stoke our own egos. You should check it out.

    When I have pictures of the ghost and the fat man, I’ll post them. As for me and Dan, I think we’ll keep a low profile this year…..unless anyone has a good idea for funny hats, especially funny hats relating to ghosts and large men in loin cloths.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    Constable Harvey is Evil – and other moments of childhood disillusionment

    This morning while Sandra and I were walking in the wet dark foggy beautiful morning (get used to the copious adjectives. It’s the only way I’ll get enough words into my NANOWRIMO book by November 30th and I’m practicing.) we started talking about school patrols.


    Picture "borrowed" from my local Police Service website

    Actually, she was talking about wishing we had a stop sign to carry around so people would stop running us over in the dark and I couldn’t help shamelessly telling her that not only was I a school patrol in grade six, I was an HONOR patrol, pretty much the most prestige you can have as a grade six student at my school.

    honor patrolBeing an honor patrol meant you got a cool patch for your Girl Guide poncho, respect and awe from the other children, free trips to the roller rink, AND (could there be anything more?) a chance to go to patrol camp out in the mountains. Patrol camp was a place where you were rewarded for your efforts with a teeny bit of training from Constable Harvey and other saintly police officers and then a whole lot of free time with your teenage camp counselors who introduced you to 80s rap music and just the complete coolness that was high school. Then there was a dance....which I was not allowed to go to.*

    Any kid’s dream, right? Well, not mine. I had so much fun the whole first day but when night came, I remembered, “Hey, I’m scared of the dark, 11 years old, stuck with a bunch of people who are not like me and listen to fun but probably evil music, and my mommy is nowhere to be seen.” I freaked out. I woke up my counselor and begged her to call my mom and have her come pick me up.

    She said, “Let’s go talk to Constable Harvey and see what he thinks.” Hallelujah! I was saved. Constable Harvey was a childhood hero. He was one of the hallowed police force who, as far as I was concerned, practically walked on water. He taught us about bike safety, not talking to strangers and to say no to drugs. This guy was a straight arrow, upstanding citizen I could trust with my life.

    So she walked me into a smoky back room where Constable Harvey was SMOKING...dun dun dun….A STOGIE!!!! Stogies are drugs. I thought we were supposed to say no, just say no. The stogie hung from his lips and in his right hand was a glass of LIQUOR and in his left, a hand of PLAYING CARDS for playing POKER. Help, oh help, my sweet and unbesmirched Constable Harvey was now pretty much the closest earthly incarnation of Satan I had come across in my 11 years. SMOKING, DRINKING, and GAMBLING all at the same time. My little Mormon brain nearly exploded. I didn’t know you could do so many bad things at the same time. Constable Harvey was now a stranger……and I wasn’t supposed to talk to them…….according to Constable Harvey…….who I could no longer trust……so maybe I SHOULD talk to strangers…..but then I’d have to talk to HIM and oh yeah, the evilness.

    Anyway, Constable Harvey hardly looked up as he spoke to the counselor, telling her to “send the kid back to bed. If we let her talk to her mom on the phone, she’ll only freak out more.” And that was the end of it. I cried myself to sleep in my sleeping bag, in my bunk bed, in a den of sin and just mean meanness.

    I have long since come to realize that not everyone has the same beliefs that I do and that’s okay. Not everyone is perfect and if he’d let me call my mom, I would have indeed “freaked out even more.” But it chipped a big chunk out of my childhood innocence and for the first time I realized that police officers weren’t all hiding a halo under their helmets, that not every good man acted exactly like my dad, and that sometimes people were hypocrites. It still makes me sad when I think about it.

    On a lighter note, another big moment of disillusionment came when I went away to college and learned that Barnes and Noble was a CHAIN STORE. Okay, gasp if you must because the cat’s out of the bag! The B&N I discovered as a quaint high school hangout in the town where I grew up is not unique in all the world. No, there are definitely more than one. They are, in fact, everywhere. They are not, in fact, quaint. They all, in fact, look the same and here is the scariest part: They are owned by a giant corporation. AHHHHH! Constable Harvey, save us all!

    Pick yourself up off the floor. Don’t worry. There is still a Santa Claus and if I lose teeth anytime soon, I will be putting them under my pillow and collecting my 50 cents.

    *(In my house, dances were for when you turned 14 and dating for 16.)

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    Colors of Fall

    We're painting our house. Yay!! Actually, we're having someone else do it. Double-yay!! We moved in a year and a half ago and still have that disposable white-wash paint on the walls. It gets dirty really easy and you can't clean it or you wipe through to the drywall. I have been DYING to put real, washable paint up.

    I have a friend who researches everything, gets bids, gets quotes, gets the deets and the consumer reports. I like this friend. When I'm ready to do my research, I call her and say, "What stroller should I buy?" or "Who can I get to paint my house for a good price?"

    She recently told me about a super-hero named Arturo who brings in a huge crew of guys, moves your furniture out of the way, tapes, paints, and moves all the furniture back - IN ONE DAY! He also charges less than half of what anyone else around here charges so its actually affordable to hire out. I'm not sure why he's so cheap. I don't really want to know if he's involved in some sort of paint crime-ring. So if someone out there has details on this, please don't tell me.

    I got him out to our house for a price quote and decided I would slowly save up the money with what was "left over" from our budget every month (feel free to laugh openly). Well, the bid just sat and sat and finally I couldn't take it anymore. I said, "Dan, we need to get this painting done. I'm gonna find some extra money somewhere."

    The next morning, I opened up some mail to find...you guessed it! Free money..enough to get the painting done. So here we are, choosing colors.

    paint colors

    hall carmels
    We've made our final decision. If you click on the photo and then mouse over the colors, it will tell you what we chose. One small hint:

    In other fun fall news, we made it out to the pumpkin farm, a wondrous place full of fallish activities. A joyous time was had by all.

    A ride on the tractor train

    I think she's stalking this one

    Mission Accomplished! The "Farmer Judd" look on her face kills me (as in, "I got me this here punkin. I growed in mah-self").
    farmer c

    And even the littlest of peasants has cause to rejoice.
    Big-O awakened