Sunday, January 31, 2010

Book Club Update

So here’s what I’m getting out of being in the Book Club so far.

1) I’m actually motivated to read the book instead of setting it down and feeling guilty every time I pass by it’s new resting place. And it’s pretty good. I’ve only had time to read the intro stuff, as per the group’s reading plan, but I intend to sit down with it later this week and start getting into the real meat of the book. I’ve read skimmed the first Covey book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and was really impressed with what I saw there, so I am ready to see how it correlates to family life.

2) As for a sense of community, I feel a little, um, I guess estranged from most of the other club members. I guess that comes from the fact that the Simple Mom blog tends to cater more to a stay-at-home-mommin’-home-schoolin’-earth-savin’-church-goin’ kind of reader. Which is ok. I don’t have anything against any of those segments of society. I just don’t have a whole lot in common with them. I work outside of the home and my kids are in [gasp!] daycare and [double-gasp!!] public school. I did the majority of my earth crusading when I was in junior high and, sadly, don’t really concern myself with how ‘green’ my house is. We recycle because the city provides the service for free (or rather, through our regular trash pickup) and they pick it up. I teach the kids to turn off the water when they’re brushing their teeth, that kind of thing, but I also wash and dry my clothes in machines with poisonous soaps that are killing Mother Earth and our budget. And church? We’re lucky to make it once a month, and it’s not your traditional congregation.

So yeah, I don’t really relate when they say that to keep their husband’s Love Tank full, they try to make sure that dinner is on the table when he walks in the door and that all the clutter is picked up from the day and that the high point of their day is when they all pray together.

But that’s what book clubs are all about, right? Discussing books with people from different walks of life, getting glimpses of their lives and sharing glimpses of yours? Seeing different points of view?

I don’t know. I’m still going to read the book on schedule and I still plan to check in on the boards and see what others are saying. I’m interested in seeing how these principles can apply to our lives and I look forward to discussing them with my family and friends. I might even throw in a dissenting opinion on the boards from time to time and see where it takes me. :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Inane Sick Woman Ramblings

So the whole house is covered in snot and coughing and, frankly, it’s getting old.

I hate being sick more than just about anything else—it just seems like a total waste of time on everybody’s part. Worse yet, it always seems to happen when I’ve got stuff planned. Some would say that I make myself sick by overextending myself, weakening my immune system and thereby letting the nasty germs in.

I think it’s got more to do with the fact that my kids cough and sneeze and I’m breathing around them and don’t bother to wear the creepy Michael Jackson mask.

In any event, Laura is, for the most part, getting over her crud. I wobble between feeling better and feeling like my throat needs a good scrub with a wire brush. Robert has been cruddy the last day or two but has been very valiant about the whole deal, barely mentioning it. Harrison started coughing a few days ago and was running a low-grade fever today.

So yeah. We got germs.

On another front, the Boy lost his firth tooth tonigth. I’m about to go see if the Tooth Fairy has come for a visit yet and then I’m going to head on to bed myself.


I’ll be posting more reviews pretty soon—I’ve got several things I sewed up last year that I got on the blog, but that I never formally reviewed, so that’s on the horizon. ( I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m trying to get my PR star rating up to two stars. I know it’s silly, but there it is. I’m a terrible attention whore. Love me. Please.)

I’m also going to be in charge of the sandwiches at the Boy’s Valentine’s Day party at school (how pretentious does that sound!?!) so if anyone has any suggestions for easy recipes that don’t involve peanuts (allergies—meh), please share. Otherwise, I’m going to have to resort to ham and cheese. I’m thinking something I can cut with a big ol’ heart shaped cookie cutter (because, Lord knows, I never make cookies with it!). Dunno. Ideas?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Trying to Make Mommy Feel Better

“Mommy, I was going to think of a game that would make you feel better.” Said hopefully.

'”Does it involve sleeping and taking medicine, because if it does, that’s exactly the game I was hoping to play.” Even more hopefully.

Dejected. “No. It was more like checkers.”

He’s trying. Sweet boy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Need a Happy Thought

Worn out with teenagers. Worn out with being sick. Just worn out.

Hoping that I’ll get my mojo back pretty soon. We’re starting a new unit in class—linear perspective, which I really, really enjoy—so I’m hoping that that will lift my spirits. We’re watching a video this week that details how perspective was developed during the Renaissance and it shows some awesome footage from Italy. All that does is make me want to go back to Florence, eat some gelato, drink some wine and draw.

Maybe in a few years when Laura is Harrison’s age now. We should have our money situation in hand by then, barring any big catastrophes, and the kids will be old enough to not have to be carried and cognizant enough to enjoy themselves.

Yes. I think when Laura is five, we need to go back to Italy. I think that’s a goal worth shooting for.

Saving my lira now. (Yes, I know Italy’s on the Euro now. Whatever. I still liked the lira.)


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Making a little headway in the Seven Habits book. Pretty interesting, although I’m still in the intro stuff. Between that and the library books I got last week and the two waiting for me that have been ordered through interlibrary loan (Celia Rivenback is a new favorite…), I feel like all I’m doing lately is reading. Which is good. But I feel pulled in lots of directions.

Add to that the fact that Laura has so graciously shared the cold she’s been harboring for a week and, well, you can guess how pleasant a bear I’ve been the past few days. I’m about to go dose up on NyQuil and hit the hay. Should have done so earlier, but I’ve been catching up on emails that I’ve missed from being in bed so much from being sick…

Incidentally, I placed the taste of the green NyQuil: black jelly beans. Don’t know why I picked that one. Normally get the red stuff. Never let the sick woman shop. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

24 Body Count

Update on 24 body count:

Episode 5: 8 pm to 9 pm

  • The Russian weasely guy whose thumb Renee sawed off last episode (so she could remove his tracking bracelet)

And that’s pretty much it. Total is up to fourteen confirmed dead.

Not sure how I feel this season. Renee seems kind of whiny (I know, she’s been under terrible stress, but still…). Chloe, who I love because of her caustic attitude and unwavering loyalty to Jack, seems to have forgotten how to act. I’ve seen less stilted dialogue in junior high stage productions. Bubba Gump is running CTU, and so all I can do is wonder what kind of srimp he’s going to be having that day when he’s on screen. (I know, he’s an actor and that role was a long time ago. It’s not fair. Sorry. Can’t help it. Also, I know his last name wasn’t Gump. I just call him that. It makes me smile.) The blond chick who insists on having her hair pulled over one shoulder (Hollywood: NO ONE wears their hair like this! Seriously! It makes her look like Napoleon Dynamite’s girlfriend with the one-sided ponytail!) irks me. I’m sure she’ll survive the season and her ex-boyfriend will get his comeuppance, but I just don’t care about that storyline. And Scooby-Doo? (Yeah, I know Freddie Prinze, Jr. didn’t play the dog and, in fact, played Freddy, but again, I name ‘em what I want.) At least he’s not as obnoxious as the programmer/kid who keeps trying to push his way onto Blond-Hair-Over-Her-Should girl. Seriously—that guy would totally have a sexual harassment case on his hands in the real world.

And Jack. He’s a grandpa. I have to admit, that kind of takes away from it for me a little. I just have trouble with that concept because I always think of my own grandfathers trying to take on a terrorist and I just laugh. Maybe this makes me ageist, but so be it. I tune in to this show (how old am I that I say ‘tune in’?!?) to divorce myself from reality for an hour or so. Maybe this is as divorced from reality as you can get? :)

But the season is early. I figure I’ll get sucked in pretty soon and none of this will matter. I really do like the old skool vs. new technology slant they’re running with. I enjoy seeing the ‘old’ people walk on the scene and blast the newbies out of the water. That’s kind of fun. Predictable, but fun.

Looking forward to next week.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Gearing up to read Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families through the Simple Mom bookclub. I’m not usually a bookclub kind of gal, but I already had the book and have been meaning to read it. You know, to make my family all great and stuff. When Simple Mom decided to make it into a project on her website, I figured I’d follow along. I mean, she’s done all the work—all I have to do is read and have an opinion. That seems pretty doable.

So, I guess I’ll be talking about how great this book is over the next few months. It really does have some good stuff in it—I’ve skimmed the book, even if I haven’t really read it.

Now if I could just find a book that tells me how to get rid of the cold that I have apparently contracted from my kid and/or my students.


Off to get my 24 fix before crashing into bed. Maybe some more warm tea. Wish I had honey for it. Oh well, some is better than none.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bed-ward, March!

No reviews tonight. I’m tired and will be hitting the hay soon. I did get some patterns traced—a long sleeve t-shirt and a button down shirt from the new Ottobre. Very much looking forward to getting them cut out and sewn. I think the t-shirt will go together very easily—I’ve got five fabric combos picked out for the boy so I think I’m going to assembly line them using the same thread for them all. If I play my cards right, I could have them all done in about a week or so—it very much looks like a ‘zip zip zip’ type of pattern.

Some day I’ll be making something for myself again. At least I keep telling myself that. In my free time.


Had fun with Cody and Amy coming over for dinner tonight. Good food, good visiting, good times. :)

Off to bed now. Maybe my sweet husband will let me sleep in a little bit in the morning… (Subtle? Nah.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

It’s Bear-able

Posted on Wanna Share a Needle?

P.S. I promise—it’s not going All Sewing, All the Time. I’m just catching up on some housework I’ve needed to get done on my sewing stuff. I’ll go back to inane observations about laundry and sick kids soon.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Soul draining out of my ears.

Do you have any idea how terrifically boring it is watching kids take a major, life-altering exam?

You don’t want to know.

We did benchmark testing today at work, which is a fancy way of saying that we pretended we were taking our TAKS test (look it up if you’re that bored—basically, the Devil of education—the test we’re all teaching to these days) so we’d have an idea of how the kids will perform on the real TAKS test in March.

I think watching paint dry is more interesting than watching Freshmen take an English/Language Arts test.

I won’t go into the intricacies of how the system works; I don’t want to bore you. Suffice it to say that the kids are read to as if they are idiots, given the rules for the test that is the same set of rules they have been hearing since the 3rd grade. They’re bored. I’m bored.

It is so silly that this is where our education has gone. It scares me that my son will be starting this mess in three years.

God, I wish we could afford for me to not have to teach so that I could stay home with him and Laura and just home school them.

God, I wish I had the patience to actually spend the entire day home with the two of them (or even one of them), week after week after never-ending-week, without needing a stiff drink.

I teach high school for a reason.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sunday, Bloody Sunday (and Monday)

Ok, I know I’ve been a bit 24 obsessed, but you must understand that I have very little TV time in my life and so the things I do enjoy watching, I tend to go a little, um, overboard about. [Former English teacher snark: Yeah, I ended a sentence with a preposition. What of it?] This show is one of my few guilty pleasures and I’m enjoying it right now. So sue me.

So, anyway, I’ve decided that this year I’m going to keep a running log of the body count. Just out of curiosity. I know it’s always a lot, but I’m curious to see just how much blood and gore I’m absorbing through my favorite television show. So far, I’ve counted up to thirteen with another unconfirmed (read: I’m guessing on this one, but the Fox website doesn’t mention it). They are as follows:

Episode 1 – 4 pm to 5 pm

  • Informant Victor Aruz’s business associates, Manny and Mauricio
  • two NYC officer arresting Jack in the alley when they see him trying to field dress Aruz’s wound
  • the sniper and spotter who were responsible for Aruz’s wound
  • Victor Aruz

Episode 2 – 5 pm to 6 pm

  • two CTU helicopter guys, killed along with Aruz
  • NYC cop Jack Koernig and his wife Maggie

Episode 3 – 6 pm to 7 pm

  • No dead folks in this one. Weird. I know.

Episode 4 – 7 pm to 8 pm

  • the CTU agent stabbed by President Hassan’s brother, Farhad
  • Darvos

The unsubstantiated death from this episode is Hassan’s driver. I know his bodyguard survived, but we don’t see the driver and I’m assuming that he probably didn’t make it through the fiery rolling crash, although Hassan and his man do.

Oh, and I have put Jack’s kills in bold. So far there’s not that many. I don’t see that trend holding.

Yeah, I know, I need a hobby.


Let the games begin!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Went to a sewing…not really a class, per se, although they did teach about different feet and how they affect your sewing machine, but more of a…gathering, I guess I’d call it. The quilt shop lady showed the new stuff they had at the shop (lots of cute stuff that would make adorable clothes for my kids—would that I had money!) and then gave the aforementioned foot talk. They meet once a month at this shop and apparently they’re going to be discussing all the different types of feet and how they can be used. Looks to be pretty interesting.

Finished the…gathering…with a show and tell from the members. Everyone else brought quilts or quilted things. Most of them were embroidered on fancy-pants embroidery machines. As I have no emb. machine (nor do I want one any time soon—when would I use it?), nor do I quilt in any active sense of the word, I was the lone garment bringer. I brought the dress I finally finished for Laura’s birthday to show. There were many, many ooohs and aaaahhs, as could be expected in a room in which I effectively brought the median age down to the lower 40s. (Read: there were lots of grandmas there. I was the only young mother there.)

Which is not to denigrate the dress—I think it came out spectacularly. I’ll post pictures and details probably tomorrow as I’m running late for my second date night with Jack Bauer.

Let me just say quickly, though, that being in a room with a slew of menopausal and post-menopausal women into which I didn’t wear my jacket was an experience. A very cold experience.

I’ll not be forgetting my jacket again. Even in summer.

All told, though, it was a really interesting night and it was cool to be around people who have the same hobbies and obsessions as I do. Looking forward to next month.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Le’mme Alone, I’m Busy!

Instead of posting about how I’m almost done with Laura’s pink birthday dress (New Look 6448, if you’re interested) and how awesome and cute and all those other obnoxious parent adjectives parents apply to their children and the adornments they choose for them…

Instead of posting about how my mom brought over her new Cricut toy (holy bejesus, that’s a cool gadget!!!) and telling about how we sat around for hours, playing with it and picking out the details that are going to encompass Laura’s birthday party invitations …

Instead of telling about how cute my son was tonight ("I don't love Valentines Day because it smells like girls. Because girls love girl stuff and boys love awesome stuff." and, while sitting at the table, eating, with his head propped up on his arm: “Momma, please may you get me a napkin because I'm thinking with this arm and can't get one.")…

…I’m here to tell you that I’m not really posting tonight. I’ve got a date with Jack Bauer and so I’m on the couch, snuggled up in my Snuggie and watching with bated breath.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Leaving Cody and Amy's house after a night of beers, brats and Scrabble. The kids are passed out in the backseat, wiggling around in search of the comfort of their respective beds. I'm ready for my own bed. :)
Had fun with all and look forward to doing it again.
As a bonus, there were no missing turtles this time. :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Howl at the (New [But Not Sparkling Vampire Related]) Moon

I’m not sure of the validity of the science behind it, but I have heard that the pull of the new moon is much stronger than the pull of the full moon. Assuming you believe such (I do), it (theoretically) would make people act more crazy than a full moon and certainly more crazy than any waxing or waning moon.

It has also been said that teachers can tell when a full moon is rising just by the behavior in the classroom.

Alls I’m saying is that, based on the behavior of my students the last two days, the behavior of my own kids the past two days and my own jumble of non-PMS-related anxieties, I think there’s something to it.

If it’s not the moon, there’s a heck of a lot of crazy floating around right now.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


This is the real deal, this time.

I thought, feeling Laura’s gums last night, that they were particularly bumpy but as she wouldn’t let me keep my finger in her mouth for longer than a split nano-second, I couldn’t really tell. Upon trying to feel it again tonight, I felt the first seashell-gritty texture of a tooth extruding from her lower gums.

Yay! My ten-and-a-half-month old daughter finally has a tooth!

I mean, I love a toothless grin as much as the next gal—they’re truly adorable. On the practical side of it, the longer you are without teeth, the longer you are (theoretically) without cavities, so that’s good. Also, the absence of teeth tends to make any mindless chewing on your hand/finger/whatever much more pleasant than a series of nibbles from baby incisors.

But the only thing cuter than a toothless grin is a baby’s three-toothed grin and as of tonight we’re well on our way to it.

Considering that she was not real hep to me checking out the protrusion, I think it’s pretty much a good assumption that it will be a while before she opens up enough to get a picture of it.

Just take my word for it, though.

The girl’s got [a tiny bit of] a tooth showing!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men…

So, an hour ago, I was all, “Imma go read my emails, do a quick post and them Imma go to bed ‘cause I’m mad-tired!”

Yeah, I just got done reading emails and feeds. It’s almost midnight. Yet again, I’m up late, getting more and more behind on sleep.

Maybe my exhaustion is based on a thyroid problem—my mom tells me that that’s kind of a family issue and that I should get it checked.

Maybe my exhaustion is based on the fact that I stay up too danged late night after night and don’t get to bed early enough.

BTW, if you’re wondering, typing with a band-aid on your finger sucks.

Peace out. Imma head to bed now.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wounded by Winter

It’s cold. When it gets cold, my already somewhat dry skin gets even drier. Sometimes, like today, it gets so dry that it spontaneously splits and I get these painful, very deep cut-type things that look like paper cuts, feel like paper cuts, but that are definitely not paper cuts. I then get to slather on the Neosporin and pop on Band-Aids which promptly fall off because the cuts are never in a place where my skin is Band-Aid shaped. If I weren’t so darned cheap, I’d go buy those butterfly-type Band-Aids that you can wrap around your fingertip that won’t fall off within the hour. Or, I might get the foamy-type bandages that have really good flexibility and stick really well. Instead, I make do with the bacon shaped bandages I bought Robert for Christmas last year (came with a little pig toy—bonus!) and the last of Harrison’s Transformers bandages. The former have little stick to them, so they de-adhere pretty much the first time that I breathe in their direction. The latter stick better, but when I bend my finger they break open; thus, I’ve now got a piece of tape wrapped around my Band-Aid to keep it from falling off my hand.

I hate winter.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ninja Boy

We’re all just kind of hanging now. Harrison’s got karate starting back up Wednesday night. He has kept his room really clean since we finally got it picked up and consolidated and so when Mrs. Fletcher asks about it this week, he can honestly say that he’s been doing his upkeep.

His physical work, on the other hand, needs some attention. He just got to thinking this week about how he’s not done pushups or sit-ups in ages, so he’s been doing them the past few nights. Pushups have never given him problems, but the sit-ups are kicking his butt (and always have). I’m not sure how to teach him how to do them the right way. I’ve tried explaining that you have to pull with your stomach muscles and not pull on your legs or use the inertia of swinging up, but he’s just not getting it. For now he’s practicing with his feet under the couch or a counter or any place he can fit them, but I worry about how he’ll do in a room with nothing under which to squeeze them.

As for the techniques, I think he’ll do fine once he’s in the room with the others. He really seems to enjoy the classes and so I’m looking forward to seeing how he’s going to do with this new belt color. Ninja camp is at the end of the month and I really want him to get to go to that again—he loved it the first time!

Harrison with KatanaHarrison with Katana

Practicing his katana skillz…

Harrison getting ready to spar!Harrison sparring with the Katana

Getting ready to spar…and getting crowned by the other kid. :)

Harrison with Nunchucks

Practicing with the nun chucks. Santa brought him a pair suspiciously like these!

Harrison tug'o'war

Playing tug-o-war with the black and brown belts. The yellows, of course, won and the black and brown belts had to do pushups as punishment. Rest assured—those were some happy children! :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Air Guitar Hero

It’s hard not to be swayed by the infectious energy of a five-year-old air-guitaring to rock music.

I love watching my son enjoy music. I love even more the fact that he doesn’t have the hang-ups for crappy kid music—Raffi, the Wiggles, et al—that most other kindergarteners have. We’ve had a No Barney Policy in our house since day one and I think it speaks volumes that the boy is, to this day, not interested in watching it. I think that if you just don’t have some things around, they just don’t know what they’re ‘missing’ and so are more inclined to accept what you do give them.

He’s always enjoyed ‘real’ music way more than designed-for-kids music. I mean, he enjoys an episode of The Imagination Movers from time to time, but I don’t know that he could sing the songs from the show.

The Beatles, on the other hand, are very near and dear to his heart. Even before we got the newest RockBand game, he was totally wanted to Hold [My] Hand and his idea of a cool vacation would be to go on a Yellow Submarine to see an Octopus’ Garden. Now, playing the game, he gets anywhere from 95 to 100% singing. He went so far as to name his stuffed walrus, a toy he’s had since before birth, John. He IS the Walrus!

Other favorite musical influences over the years have included The Ramones (I remember walking by his room when he was three years old and watching him play with a toy while mindlessly singing “Blitzkreig Bop”), The Police (Roxanne is his favorite there—and yes, I’m aware that all his favorite songs are sex-related) and his newest obsession, They Might Be Giants. I think TMBG is the closest he’s come to liking ‘kid music,’ what with their Here Come the ABCs and Here Come the 123s. When I told him tonight that there was now a Here Comes Science album, I thought he’d come out of his seat.

So I’m pretty pleased about not having to listen to pseudo-music that panders to the age group he happens to be in right now. I’m just waiting for when he’s old enough to enjoy some Nine Inch Nails with me—that will be some good stuff, I think.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Just about done with God knows how many loads of laundry. Got one more to wash and dry, and there’s one load in the washer right now. At this point, I usually get just about done and the boy or the husband will drop a garment or two on the floor and I’ll just go ballistic. I, of course, contribute with my own pile between the bed and my bathroom.

It’s just a never ending cycle.

I guess I shouldn’t complain. There are plenty of folks out there who don’t have enough to wear at all whereas I’ve got so many that they can pile up in baskets, waiting for me to put them in their proper place.

It just seems endless.

I watched the last 30-45 minutes of Groundhog Day this afternoon. I sometimes feel like that’s me—stuck in a single day, always griping about the same things, always doing the exact same things and never really accomplishing anything. I feel like I spin my wheels a lot.

Don’t think there’s a solution to it all. I know that no one wants to hear me whine about my problems. I know that there are people with real problems.

Sometimes, I just want to get the words out. I know it doesn’t matter to the world. Sometimes, it just matters to me.

Maybe being able to talk about them, while not actually solving anything, can just serve to make me feel better. And maybe if I feel better, I can stop being such a bitch to my husband and kids and everyone can go on being happy.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Winding down from the day and, in a bigger sense, the week. Kids are fed and Harrison is brushing his teeth. Laura will be drinking her last bottle of the night here in a minute before crashing for the night. Robert brought home some pork pad Thai and we're going to watch an episode of The Unit before I crash for the night.
Thank god for Fridays. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Waiting for the laundry to dry so I can go to bed…

Beginning to feel like I’m drowning in laundry. I’ve got baskets—baskets—of the stuff waiting around for me to fold and put it away. It’s terribly wrinkled at this point and I have to wonder if my magic wrinkle remover stuff will ever get it wearable or if I’ll be forced to wash and dry it again or <gasp!> iron it.

God I hate ironing.

The laundry that isn’t in the baskets waiting to be folded and put away is in the floor, mostly between my bathroom and my side of the bed although quite a bit of it found its way to the closet floor. I look at it each morning, think to myself, ‘I’ve got to get some of this stuff taken care of tonight!’ and rush off to work. When I get home, I’m so spent that I just look at it, think to myself, ‘Maybe I’ll put a load on after I take a nap…’ and then I promptly forget it. Until bedtime. When I realize I have nothing to wear to work the next day.

God I hate laundry.

I mean, I don’t hate it as much as I hate dishes. At least, for the most part, it’s not terribly gross. It just never ends and it’s frustrating. I hate going through all the work to get clothes clean and put away just to know that in a week or so, I’ll be in exactly the place I am now, looking at piles of work, ready-made and mocking me in its never ending drudgery.

God I hate maintenance.

I just wish that something would stay fixed for an amount of time.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Should be working.

Should be doing lots of things.

Should be folding muchly wrinkled laundry in the bedroom.

Should be washing more laundry so that I’ll have clothes to wear to work.

Should be painting demo pieces for class so that my Art 2 kids will have an example to follow.

Should be giving a crap.

I don’t.

I’m not.

Being back at work is tiring. It’s surprising how soft one can get when off for just two weeks, even with a five year old nipping at your heels constantly.

Think I’m going to hit the bed and try to play a little catch up. I’ve had my hot cocoa and cookies for the night (thanks honey!) and the kids are out, so I think that might be the best course of action.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll get my Herculean list of things to be done done.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Got to spend some time with my brother and his family again tonight. They are in town from California and have been staying with my parents for the past few days. We rarely get to see them—he’s in the Air Force and has been stationed in California for the past year or two and he was in England for about three years before that. I hate not seeing him and his kids. I think Harrison misses out on them even more, though, because he’s not getting to be close with his cousins. I’m thinking of seeing if Harrison wants to start writing letters with Aaron, kind of pen-pal style, so that A) they can keep in touch easier and B) they can both get mail regularly. (What kid doesn’t like getting mail? I like getting mail!)

In other news, Harrison’s teacher has asked for permission to have him tested for the gifted program at school. I’ve avoided thinking about this for several reasons. First of all, I have to wonder how much of his ‘brightness’ is nature versus nurture. I mean, yeah, Robert and I were both in gifted classes when we were in school, but that doesn’t guarantee that our kids will be that way. What if he’s just ‘gifted’ because we spend more time with him reading and talking to him. We explain things to him when he asks questions and try very hard not to tell him, “I don’t know.” as a final answer. If we don’t know the answer, we try to help him find the answer.

I’ve also avoided it because, frankly, it sounds pretentious. While these guys laugh about the abundance of gifted children, I have to see a bit of truth behind their satire. I know waaaaay too many people whose kids are ‘gifted’ and it always seems a bit grandiose. I mean, the kids actually are smart; I can’t contest that. It just seems funny that so many of the people I know have ‘above average’ kids. Almost all of them are teachers’ kids, which brings me back to the original question: are they actually smarter, or did their parents pay more attention to them in the formative stages to the point that they got an advantage over the ‘regular’ kids.

I don’t know.

I’m going to have to think about this for a while.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nice Surprises

Oh, holy WOW!!!

Good quasi-last day of my holiday!

Quasi-, because, first, I found out that I don’t actually have to go to work tomorrow like I thought I was going to have to do. Comp days rule; surprise comp days (because you were too stupid to read the calendar and know what the score was) are even better! Merry Christmas to me!

Secondly, several days ago Robert’s mom gave us a ticket to Santa Land out in Lindale. Now, I knew the tickets were $20 per car load, so I knew that it had to be at least somewhat impressive, but lemme tell ya, that place is amazing! The signs outside of it boast that there are more than two million lights used there. Having driven through it tonight, I can attest that there are easily that many, if not more. Simply stunning! I’ll be honest: considering that today was the last day before it closes for the season, I totally expected it to be all worn out with bulbs burned out and strings hanging wonky and such.

No such thing.

They were totally in tip-top shape and I can’t imagine that it would have been any more impressive on the season opener.


I know I’m going to burn in Hell for this, but the one thing I had to laugh a little tiny bit at was the “Religious Section” (their title, not mine). I didn’t laugh because of the content because, well, I don’t roll that way. I did laugh my butt off at the facial expression on Jesus’ face in the Last Supper tableau. I really don’t intend to be all uppity about other peoples’ art because I don’t know that I would have done any better…but I’d like to think that I might. He just looks…bemused. From a slightly different angle, he looks a little pissed. Either way, it made me laugh. Hopefully, lightning won’t strike me for finding amusement at a very earnest depiction of Jesus. Somehow, I think he’d think it was funny, too.

That’s my story, anyway.

That being said, I was absolutely blown away by the place and I can’t wait until next year to go again. Harrison loved it and has asked if we can go back every day, every single day, until he’s an old, old, old man. I told him we’d have to think about it but probably not since we can’t afford a $20 a day Christmas light addiction.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Had a good day. Donated blood this morning and found out that, because of previous donations given throughout my college years, I have given a gallon of blood. This, of course, is only the blood collected through what was formerly Stewart Regional Blood Center (and is now Carter BloodCare). I remember doing several of the mobile donations and I think some of those were Red Cross. Either way, I thought that was pretty cool. I’ve set up my email reminder to alert me at the end of February to go back and give again; I’m 1/6th of the way through my goal of donating six times this year!

After donating, we packed up and headed over to Flint to visit with some friends. We never get to see these folks, so it was cool getting time to spend time with all of them. One couple have an older son—he’s ten to my boy’s five—and he’s always been kind of impatient with Harrison. This time, though, the boys played and I think they’re finally getting near enough in age and capability that they can kind of be friends, which I thought was cool since we like the parents so much. The other couple have a girl who is about a year older than Laura and the two babies really seemed to enjoy each other’s company. They did that ‘I’m playing near you but not necessarily with you’ thing and occasionally one would look over at the other one and decide to go visit and see what was up. Margaret really enjoyed giving Laura her bottle and basically treating her like she was a giant, live baby doll, which was really cute. We, of course, like this couple a lot, too, so it’s cool that we all got to hang out and be families together.

Now I’m working on Laura’s dress, hoping to get it done before too long. I’ve got the bodice pretty much done and hopefully the skirt shouldn’t take too long. I wish I had pink serger thread because the white is kind of showing up a little, but in the grand scheme of things, I guess it’s not really that big a deal. Maybe I’ll put some ribbon or something along the seams that have the serger thread showing. I don’t know—I’ll wing it when I get to that part.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Holiday Winding Down

Enjoying the last few days before I have to go back to work. The boy is at my parents’ house tonight, getting a break from Mommy and a haircut in the bargain and we’re sitting around, eating pizza, drinking beers and watching movies you can’t watch with a five-year-old around. Good stuff. :) (BTW, The Hangover is as good as everyone has said it was!)

Planning on going in to donate blood, hopefully tomorrow. Not sure if I’ll do it here in town or if I’ll wait until we get to Tyler to do it. A friend said that Tyler’s banks are getting pretty low (she’s a nurse over there), so I’m kind of leaning in that direction. Either way…

Hoping to sew for the girl pretty soon. I’ve got a dress I cut out when my youngest niece was a baby that I never got around to getting together, so all I have to do is thread up with pink and go to town. I’m just glad I found the bag with all the pieces before the pattern was too small to fit her. I’ve also got another dress that is more size 2T or 3T (can’t remember, but I know there’s several years before I’ll be ready for it). This is the first pattern I’ll have sewn that wasn’t Ottobre in a long, long, looooong time. Not sure how well it will go together, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

So, on to more deviant humor—the cats are playing while the mouse is away.