Tuesday, September 30, 2008

100 Things About Me

Yippee! It's hard to believe, but is my 100th post. In the tradition of the blogosphere, here is a giant list about me. I have to be honest...after I got on a roll, I think it would have been pretty easy to continue on to about 2000. That reminds me of something I forgot to put on the list...I like to be the center of attention. :)

  1. I like very tiny things…especially tiny food.

  2. My favorite tiny thing is a set of carved ivory animals called “Noah’s Ark in a Seed.”

  3. Whenever I vote, I get teary eyed.

  4. I don’t mind peeing in the woods.

  5. Once when I was peeing in the woods I didn’t know how close I was to the road and a truck went by. I couldn’t stop, so I waved.

  6. I had to have about 6 baby teeth and 3 adult teeth pulled when I was in elementary school.

  7. I’m afraid of the dentist.

  8. My dreams are vivid and in color.

  9. Sometimes I can change my dreams and do whatever I want. Once I flew into the clouds and ate asparagus…I could actually taste it.

  10. When I was very young I had a recurring dream about a cartoon boy chasing me around the house. Eventually he would explode and I would see the word “Pow!”

  11. I have run 4 marathons. They were so slow and so long ago that I think I’ve lost bragging rights.

  12. I panic in deep water. I imagine that something is going to grab me from below.

  13. I used to have 4 piercings in one of my ears. Now I wear no earrings at all.

  14. I hate watching TV shows or commercials with hidden cameras. I feel sorry for the people who are embarrassed.

  15. I don’t understand calculus.

  16. I love the song, “Copacabana” by Barry Manilow.

  17. Someday I would like to sit at the piano and play a song while someone else sings along with me.

  18. I get angry when people try to get on the elevator before they give me the chance to get off.

  19. I almost got fired from my internship at Seney Wildlife Refuge because a visitor brought my boss’s dog to the pound…it was running loose in the marsh chasing geese and it was so muddy I didn’t recognize it.

  20. I’ve hunted grouse, woodcock and rabbit, but I’ll probably never do it again.

  21. I was a vegetarian for about two years.

  22. I like to scoop up handfuls of coins and pour them out.

  23. I like to sort coins into little towers.

  24. My dad used to bring me grading books home from his job and I would play school.

  25. There was always a kid in my pretend class called “Missy” and she would always fail.

  26. A real girl named Missy lived down the road and she had a pet squirrel in the cage. If you tried to pet it, it would bite you.

  27. Growing up we had a guinea pig named John Boy. When we found out it was a girl, we renamed it John Girl.

  28. I love genealogy. I think if I could make a living at it, I would quit my job and research family trees for other people.

  29. Sometimes genealogy makes me sad because I think about all of the information I will never know.

  30. In Kenya, I laid awake for an entire night because a lion was roaring very close to our lodge. I was both petrified and in awe.

  31. I’m rarely late for anything.

  32. When I was about 8, I wiped out on a neighbor’s skateboard while trying to prove to my parents that I was responsible enough to own one.

  33. I take a shower every morning. I am not happy if I don’t shower.

  34. When I got married, I took my maiden name as a second middle name. That makes it hard to fill out forms, but it’s legal.

  35. I was born in Peekskill, New York.

  36. When I was young I liked to tell people that “The Facts of Life” was set in Peekskill…then I would tell them that in actuality the girls’ school didn’t exist.

  37. In 8th grade, I got a 100% on the algebra Regents Exam.

  38. When I wear turtlenecks, I feel like I’m choking.

  39. Once when I was teaching, the door to the classroom got stuck and we couldn’t get out. I had to calmly call the office and ask them to come let us out. Inside, I was panicked.

  40. I think I’m a little claustrophobic.

  41. With M, I managed to squeeze through a 14 inch space between two rocks as part of a guided hike. I consider this a huge accomplishment.

  42. I love reality shows…even the REALLY bad ones.

  43. I watch more television than I’d like to admit.

  44. I hate being tickled, even by my daughter.

  45. I was in many musicals in middle school and high school.

  46. I wanted to win “Most Dramatic” my senior year, but I didn’t.

  47. In high school, I attended an Episcopal Youth Event in San Antonio, Texas.

  48. Once I got to college, I stopped going to church.

  49. My least favorite foods are broccoli and mushrooms.

  50. When I was in high school, I went to a computer programming competition where I was the only girl. If I had known that beforehand, I wouldn’t have worn a dress.

  51. I do things in sets of 5 or 15.

  52. While walking, I either count, spell, or sing (in my head) along with each step I take. Always.

  53. When I’m trying to learn something, I try to place it in a “slot” in my brain.

  54. Until I took a learning style test in college, I thought everyone had slots.

  55. Driving to Michigan to start graduate school, I witnessed a rollover accident on the highway. I stopped my car and as I approached the scene, I was sure I would find fatalities. All four people in the minivan were fine and were able to walk away.

  56. I always wear my seat belt.

  57. After I graduated from MSU, I would wake up in a cold sweat every day, thinking that I had forgotten to study for my exams. That lasted for about 6 months.

  58. I’m not a team player.

  59. I’m not a good boss.

  60. I am, however, a pretty good teacher.

  61. I grew up believing in my heart that I could be anything I wanted to be.

  62. We had a dog named Puppy Wiggles…we called her that because the family couldn’t agree on a name. I wanted to call her Cinnamon.

  63. I clearly remember the day my parents had to put my first dog, Ginger, to sleep.

  64. Once I carved an “M” on a table in our playroom and blamed it on my sister.

  65. I let my daughter eat too much junk food.

  66. My wedding day was the happiest day of my life.

  67. There was a “hole” in the hedges between our neighbors’ house and ours. As a kid, I would stand at that spot and yell “Can I come over?” because my mom said I couldn’t go over unless I was invited.

  68. My first job was at Waldbaum’s as a supermarket clerk.

  69. At that job, a lady yelled at me for ringing up her rolls as $6 each instead of 6 for a dollar.

  70. I have worked at two different pet shops.

  71. I was promoted to assistant manager of a pet shop at age 18 because the manager didn’t want to stay at work late enough to lock up.

  72. I have worked at two different veterinarian’s offices.

  73. One time, a man asked me to come to his car because his dog was very sick and he needed help to carry it. When I got to the car, the dog was dead. I decided shortly after that that I could never be a vet.

  74. I cry when I hear “Amazing Grace”, “Ode to Joy”, and most Easter and Christmas Hymns.

  75. I cry at the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Fifty First Dates”, and “Love Actually.”

  76. I consider myself a morning person.

  77. For an entire year, I lived almost exclusively on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Ramen Noodles.

  78. Sometimes I buy things for my daughter not because I think she will like them, but because I think I will like them.

  79. I hate having my picture taken.

  80. There are some people who really, really don’t like me…for good reason. That drives me crazy.

  81. When I was little there was a tame crow in my neighborhood named Amos. I liked to feed him from my hand.

  82. Computer glitches make me very, very stressed.

  83. Sometimes I fantasize about having a job at a coffee shop.

  84. I was in the Girl Scouts for 5 years.

  85. I got in trouble on a Girl Scout field trip when I flushed a bowl of cereal down the toilet.

  86. I’m not that responsible.

  87. But I love making lists…especially checklists.

  88. If there’s ice cream in the house, I will eat it.

  89. If there’s an open can of frosting in the house, I will eat it.

  90. I am the youngest child in my family by 11 years.

  91. I don’t wear a watch but I always need to know what time it is.

  92. I love to entertain. I want the kind of house where people just “stop over” and stay awhile.

  93. I don’t know how to put on make-up.

  94. I sometimes worry about who will teach my daughter the “girlie” things.

  95. In college I dropped my second major (computer programming) when it became “too hard.”

  96. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I had dropped Zoology and kept Computer Programming.

  97. About 10 years ago, I earned a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do.

  98. “I love the whole world, it’s such a brilliant place…boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada.”

  99. I think my family is a little crazy…I think they think I’m a little crazy.

  100. I consider myself a very lucky person.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Questionable Parenting

Days like today, I look back at my decisions and wonder how I ever got my license to parent. When I picked up E, she wanted to stay for a few minutes so that she could visit the Pre-K room. No problem. We walked down the hall and entered chaos...in retrospect, I should have known that she would be overwhelmed with the energy of a dozen four-year-olds. She really wanted to play with the harvest corn on the sensory table, but the 2-foot tall queen of the classroom stated, "No. Only two friends at a time." She then grabbed the corn out of E's hand, and threw a few kernels in her general direction. In my defense of my child, I took E aside and said (loud enough for the queen to hear), "That's okay, honey! We'll go to a farm on the way home and get you some corn all for yourself." I thought I saw the queen wince a little as we left the room.

Yes, on the way home we did stop by a farm (it's practically on the way) and I bought a few ears with purple and orange kernels. At home, I put a cookie sheet on the kitchen table and E had a great time picking off one kernel at a time. So the question is, is she young enough that it's okay just to protect her and heal hurt feelings with corn? Or did this call for some sort of pep talk, encouraging words, empowerment, yada yada yada? Why did I feel proud that I had bullied the bully? Is this success, being snarkier than a four year old? Sadly, that's the most successful I've felt in a week.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Unplugged - Fruit

This week's Unplugged Project theme was fruit. Thankfully I have never had a problem coaxing E to eat plenty of apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, you name it. So we raided the fridge for a "Fruit Face" snack.

I set out a plate of sliced fruit, raisins, peanut butter, and baby marshmallows and called E into the dining room for some unplugged fun. I had a design in mind, having read an online suggestion to use apples and marshmallows as a mouth. With Baby m safely out of reach in his high chair, I gave E a bare plate and we got started.
I used my plate as a model. First I took an apple slice and spread some peanut butter on it. I showed E how, but she wanted me to do hers for her. Then I placed the other apple on top, making a pair of lips. E followed my lead, and then we placed some marshmallow teeth in between. Then we used the bananas and raisins for eyes. All by herself, E came up with the idea to glue the eyes and nose to the plate using the peanut butter. The results on E's plate were pretty, um, hmm...what's the word...strange? But she was VERY proud.

She ate the apples, peanut butter and raisins, and Baby m ate the bananas. As expected, I had all of the marshmallows to myself. Then we went outside and played a game of "Guess the Fruit" with sidewalk chalk. She guessed all of the fruit correctly except for the grapes, which she called "Purple bubbles!" When it got to be her turn, she would only draw asparagus...little pink and purple lines. I decided not to distinguish between vegetables and fruit (or to say that I've never seen pink asparagus), since we were just having so much fun.

I'm glad that E is of the age where she can and wants to play in the kitchen. She wants to stir, mix, measure, and pour...so we're going to have to come up with a lot of ideas to get Unplugged in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Existential Baby

This is an actual conversation, as close as I can remember it, between myself and E over dinner last night...

Me: We are going to K's house to have cake because it is her birthday.
E: It's my birthday today, too.
Me: No, it's K's birthday.
E: My birthday is March 14th.
Me: That's right.
E: But why isn't my birthday today?
Me: Because today isn't March 14th. Today is September 23rd.
E: Why?
Me: E, these questions are so hard for Mommy. Maybe you should ask God why today is September 23rd.
E: Where is he?
Me: (Gasp) Well, that's hard to say. Some people say he's everywhere. Some people look up in the sky when they talk to him, because that's where heaven seems to be.
E: Is he in the sky in church?
Me: Yes, God is in church, too. People go to church to feel closer to God...Father John says words that make people feel close to God.
E: Where is Father John?
Me: I think he is at home eating his dinner.
E: (Leaving the kitchen table with her piece of pizza) Can you go look for God in this house?
Me: (Silence)
E: (From the other room) Mommy? Where is he?
Me: I'm not sure honey. I guess he's everywhere. He's in your heart, and he's in the hugs and kisses we give each other.
E: (Returning to the table) Where is his kingdom come?
Me: Well, his kingdom is heaven, and his kingdom come is a wonderful day when we can all be together with God in Heaven.
E: Oh.
Me: (Phew)

Remember, she's not yet three, not yet potty trained, and still drinks from a sippy cup. I am in BIG TROUBLE.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Toast

Here's to Mr. O...I'm having a beer for you tonight. Thank you for the friendship that you gave to my father. You were a great friend to him, a great father, a great man. You will be missed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Unplugged - Hard

When I read this week's theme, I couldn't get past the meaning for "difficult." I kept coming up with ideas of doing something that was "difficult" for E...but I wasn't happy with any of them. So when all else fails, look to Google. Believe it or not, the very first search result was "hard-boiled eggs." Yippee! E had been asking me for months to color Easter eggs...ever since a well-meaning lady gave her a free egg decorating kit at a garage sale. Note for your next garage sale: The best way to get rid of the junk in your "FREE" box is to hand it to a 2 year old when her mother isn't watching.

I decided that we could color Halloween eggs. The night before our project I boiled 10 eggs, and selected the orange, yellow, green, and purple tablets out of the packet...we saved the other colors for the real deal next spring. Then while E was napping I set up the table with the vinegar, crayons, cups, and all and waited for her to discover it.
She was so excited to finally use her egg kit, that she actually shrieked with glee. We colored the eggs with crayons...I made a jack-o-lantern and a ghost and E made some nice scribbles. She measured the vinegar and dropped one tablet into each cup. The sizzle made her very happy...but her very favorite part was using the little dippy-doodle thingy to drop the eggs into the cup. She held onto it with a white knuckled grip and made sure each egg went in and out without harm.

Her coloring was not so careful, though, and she managed to break one egg with the crayon. That's when we discovered that the hard-boiled eggs were not HARD boiled. In fact, they were barely soft-boiled! What the heck? I've made eggs like this FOR EVER...bring them to a boil, take them off the heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. I even set the timer. I have no idea what happened, but I tried not to let on that I was pretty disappointed that our "hard" project was, well, not. When the eggs dried I gave E some gourds and a little pumpkin to arrange with the eggs in a bowl for a centerpiece. In true E fashion, she discarded all the pretty gourds and went with just one pumpkin and a pile of eggs. That's my girl.
In the end, I found out that I could scoop the runny egg innards into a bowl and microwave them to a passable scramble...but I'm the only one who's eating them, because I don't want my Unplugged Project to poison the family.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Not Baby Talk

E has a great vocabulary...it's pure pleasure to listen to her speak. Here are some of her winning words from this week, age 2 and a half.

Yesterday in the front yard, she saw a sunflower that had been bitten off at the stem. She asked me, "Who did that?" I asked her, "Who do you think?" She responded, "Maybe a reindeer. Or a bird, or an airplane."

This morning we told E that we were taking Baby m to the doctor for a check-up. She asked, "Mommy, does he have a beaver?" I thought she was talking about a little beaver toy that Baby m had been playing with. So I said, "It's in the kitchen." She looked confused and a minute later she said, "No, Mommy. A beaver on his head." That's when I realized she was asking if Baby m had a FEVER.

In the middle of playing with puzzles this afternoon, she paused and said, "Mommy, I'm a pot whacker."

Later, she found a big inflated Scooby Doo at a garage sale down the street. She picked it up and said, "This dog is enormous!"

Just an hour ago, when reading a favorite library book called Turnagain Ptarmigan, I asked her, "What's another name for the Northern Lights?" (We've been working on this one.) She answered, "Rory bory lalis." Close enough!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Living on the Edge

When I was in graduate school studying grouse, I lived in a cabin in the woods of northern Michigan for 8 months out of the year. It was shared housing, and you just never knew who would be bunking with you from night to night. We had foresters, hunters, deer researchers, and a few people who may or may not have just wandered in from the nearest two track. Mostly we all got along, and when we didn't, somebody would just camp out in the backyard until the other person left. It was a good deal either way...the backyard was the bank of the Pigeon River.

At one point during my second or third year, a woodsy kind of guy was calling the cabin home for a few weeks while he worked in the area. He was a nice enough fellow, but maybe just a little bit socially challenged. Returning from a hard day of trap setting, my crew and I entered the cabin to find the visitor with the heel of his foot resting in a cereal bowl. It seems he had some sort of injury or infection, and he felt the need to soak it in a little warm water. Now, I would say he had every right to soak any sore part of his body, except that it was a community kitchen, and that was a community bowl. He probably had to rinse some one's breakfast out of it to make room for his foot.

In the moment, none of us had the nerve to challenge him on his strange choice to use a bowl instead of say, a bucket from under the sink or the river out back. In hindsight we were probably too scared to find out what he had been doing with the spoons. So we just shot each other "Eeeewww!" looks and went about our business.

In the morning, the bowl of water was still resting on the table...but did we toss it in the trash, where it so clearly belonged? No. Somebody found a Sharpie, and somebody turned it over and wrote "Foot Bowl" in prominent letters. Our visitor never knew it, but he lived in infamy...each time we went in the cabinet, we would make sure we weren't putting our Ramen noodles or mac and cheese into the "Foot Bowl." We would howl in laughter if some unknowing soul (or better yet, one of us) made the mistake of using it. "Uhhh!" I can remember groaning as I discovered that in my sleep deprived, grouse trapping stupor I had grabbed the "Foot Bowl" by mistake and was eating out of it. What is a person to do? Dump out perfectly good Lucky Charms just because they might have foot cooties? When you think about it, perhaps we were all a bit socially challenged.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Better Bread

Of course this bread is better...it has beer in it, after all! I found a recipe online after a futile search for K's recipe...I know it's in the office somewhere. After Baby m went to bed, I told E that we were going to cook. She was excited, of course, and helped me gather the "igredents". No, I didn't send her to the fridge for a beer! But we named off all of the dry goods as we added them to the bowl, and she stirred her little heart out. Even when I left the table to answer the door, she just kept on mixing happily and humming some unknown tune. :)

I did remember that K said cheap beer works great, so when I returned I got a Miller Lite (sorry, M!) and poured it into the mixture while E attempted to keep stirring. I had to take over as the dough took form, but E was insistent that she could put it in the bread pan. So I tipped the bowl and she used the spoon to pry it out. Some melted butter over the top, and into the oven it went! We turned on the oven light and watched it bubble and rise. I think that watching through the window is E's favorite part of cooking. Before she went to bed, she asked, "Can I have my bread yet?" I told her she could try some in the morning. No, Miller Lite Loaf is not exactly a breakfast bread, but unlike the bread machine fiasco, at least it's edible.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Unplugged - Sand

We started this week's project with a call to my sis. When I told her the theme, the first thing she said was, "You can mix sand with Elmer's glue and then mold it into different shapes..." That sounded perfect for us! We have a sandbox full of sand, plenty of glue, and some really cool candy molds that look like shells. So I gave E the ingredients and she stirred away, until the goup was about the consistency of clay. Then she pressed clumps of it into the molds and we set them in the sun to dry. Some of them disintegrated because we didn't press them in tight enough, but the starfish came out pretty cool.

The next day, I glued some sandpaper to a piece of cardboard (the back of a cereal box) to represent the beach, and I collected some shells, sea glass, and "watery" looking things for a collage. Having learned from past projects, I only put out what I thought E would use...nothing extra, nothing that she couldn't do herself. She had a grand time gluing each treasure onto the sand, and she loved the waves I had cut out of shiny paper. The result was a very pretty 3-D collage, with only one rogue wave (bottom left corner).

As we worked, we talked about our beach vacations this summer, jumping in the ocean and visiting with family. We don't keep all of our craft projects, but I might have to find a shadow box for this one. It's a keeper.

Dead Bread

I pulled out the bread machine yesterday after M suggested we have "make your own" pizza for dinner. I've only tried the recipe once, but it passed the toddler test, so why not try again? While E was asleep, I put the ingredients in and an hour and a half later, perfect dough! Yippee. E seems to like "cooking" with me, so she was all into it when I put the dough and toppings on the table for her. She shmeared the sauce around, then placed the cheese carefully over every inch of the pizza. I was a bit surprised because usually she makes "anchilla mountain" out of any given medium...sprinkles, glitter, whatever. I expected to see the leaning tower of mozzarella, but instead I saw a perfect little pizza!

Dinner was delish, and I figured that since I had the bread machine out, why not try another something? So I pulled out the book and picked one that had applesauce and oats. What's not to love? E helped me dump the ingredients in, and just before bedtime the house smelled fantastic! Imagine my surprise when I peeked into the machine and found a hard, misshapen blob! Where did my beautiful bread go? I mean, this bread is UGLY. Okay, save your judgement for the taste test, I thought. Um, still a problem...this bread tastes as bad as it looks. Dry, tasteless, hard...even butter and cinnamon don't help.

Stupid book! It's obviously not my fault. Except that I think it is my fault...I did a Google search this morning, and found that one thing that can go wrong is that you can kill the yeast. But I knew that! I'm always so careful to use just lukewarm water. Never, ever hot. Oh...my...flashback to the point in the recipe that called for honey. My honey was solidified and I just put it in the microwave for a quick second to soften it up. When I pulled it out, it was so hot, I could barely hold onto the bottle. So what did I do? Quick like a bunny I dumped it into the bread machine...poor little fungi. They never had a chance.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Gotta love those calls..."No big deal, but E got a small bite on her hand today. We put ice on it, and she's fine." She was fine, just a tiny red mark on her knuckle. As far as I can tell, she wasn't really damaged by the experience...just a little confused. It was her friend N who bit her, and the teacher said it was "unprovoked." Hmmm...so it wasn't her fault? Good, because the last time she got bit it was because she was trying to steal the blankie off of a drowsy classmate. Yeah, she's lucky the kid just nipped her.

Provoked or not, I have to think that the parent of the biter is the one most traumatized. I mean, I get to be sympathetic, say "Awww, poor baby." The other Mommy has to sit at home and worry about the "unprovoked" attacker sitting the other room watching Blue's Clues. I know exactly how she feels, because I've been there. E never did bite her friends...thankfully her biting phase lasted only about a week and I was the only victim. But E did regularly hit, push, and generally instigate chaos in the toddler room at her last school. I would watch from the little window as she shouted in K's face every time she approached, and shoved her in the chest if K got in her personal space. E grew out of that, but at the time I was mortified. My little princess beautiful blonde girlie from heaven was acting like a little monster. It hurts a Mommy's heart.

Thank you, E, for leaving that behind. And to N's Mommy, don't worry. N is still your beautiful princess...she's just "tasting the world!"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Acorns of Knowledge

While surfing around my Unplugged friends sites, I came across a link to free printables for preschoolers. I found a counting activity with squirrels and acorns that I thought E would really like. I cut out three squirrels with numbers on their tails, and three matching acorns. There were actually fifteen squirrels, but I thought it would be good to start with something easy. It seemed like a "schoolish" activity and I wanted E to be successful. I'm afraid sometimes that I overwhelm her with information, and I don't want to scare her away.

I didn't tell her about the game, I just put it at her place at the table. When she found it she said, "Hey, Mommy! There's squirrels here! And acorns!" I asked her, "What's on the squirrels?" She said "Letters!" I told her that they were numbers, not letters, but I took her answer as a good sign. Until this point I had never even heard her talk about letters at all.

It took her all of thirty seconds to match up the squirrels with their respective acorns. I even tested her by trying to match up the number two squirrel with the number three acorn...yes, she corrected me. Before she went to bed, I promised her that there would be more squirrels in the morning. But what will I do when she matches all fifteen? I mean, even Doogie Howser didn't graduate from college until he was a teenager!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Unplugged - Soft

I guess this week's project is about as close to a failure as we've come while doing our Unplugged Projects. The theme was soft, and I immediately thought of the soft insect puppets I found at a Labor Day weekend garage sale up north. What a bonus...another unintentional "link-em" week, where I combine two themes in one (last week we did cylinder insects).

I've been intending to get E excited over her puppets...they're so much fun and just beg for "unplugged" time. So over the past few nights I've been writing my first puppet play, using a frog, a dragonfly, and a blue morpho butterfly. When E is a little older, I'll help her write a play too...I used to help my nieces and nephews write scripts and then video tape them acting them out. I am so proud of my play...it's cute, it's corny, it has props and involves throwing candy at the audience. This is the first time I've written actual lines instead of ad-libbing dialogue between E's many puppets. And tonight was to be the debut, until "the problem." While gathering the props and deciding on a venue (back of the couch, behind the kitchen table), I couldn't find the dang puppets. Further investigation revealed what I had feared...I left the puppets up North at the cottage. Oy.

I was ready to call it quits, but M was a trooper, and suggested that I substitute other animals, and go on with the show. Okay, well, the frog became a lion, the dragonfly became an elephant, and Seniorita Morpho became Seniorita Big Chicken. She was, after all, bigger than the elephant and lion combined.
My audience listened intently, M laughed at my corny jokes, and they appropriately surprised when I threw a Ziploc bag of M&M's at them during the pinata scene. After I was through, E said, "More puppet show, Mommy." I'll take that as a good sign. Apparently the plot made sense to her, Costa-Rican-beans-and-rice-eating chicken and all.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I tend to think of myself as a nice person. Patient, understanding, and kind. But sometimes I'm none of those things. Sometimes I'm impatient, snotty, and obnoxious. Sometimes when I'm tired I just lose my composure completely and nothing but a good night sleep can get it back. Sometimes I'm downright mean.

I don't want to be that way. I want people to smile when I enter the room. I want to be a good friend, a good wife, and a good mommy. So I'm sorry, world. I'm working on it.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Him Likes Him's Milk

Oh, Baby m sure has a mind of his own...you know, we've been trying to get this kid to take a bottle since he was just a few weeks old. Well, he started day care (3 days a week) when I started back to work and he has been refusing to take ANY liquid from his kind and patient teachers. As a result, when I come to pick him up, the little dehydrated prune gives me an instant boo-boo lip and makes a beeline for my chest. Yesterday he had to plow his way through piles of toys, throwing them aside in a panic to reach me, his milky machine. In my desperation I told the room leader, "Tomorrow, why don't you try feeding him the formula with a spoon?" It was worth a try...after all, he has taken water from a spoon on a hot day, and he assumes baby bird position if he sees an eating utensil within ten feet.

So today they did it, they fed him his formula on a spoon...and wouldn't you know it, the stubborn little critter took it. I have a cupboard full of expensive b**b shaped bottles but no...he wants a 50 cent plastic spoon. Now that we've discovered a delivery method that works, I can feel a little better about leaving. At least I know that he won't have to muscle past the other children to "get his milk on" at the end of the day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rated G?

At the moment, I'm a little peeved at children's book writers. It started back when I was looking for books for E about the beach. There was a lovely looking book called, "I Saw the Sea and the Sea Saw Me." I was reading it to E that night, and all was going well until the main character got stung by a jellyfish. I turned the page and the character started shouting, "Stupid Sea! Stupid Sand! Stupid Shells! Stupid Jellyfish!" Before I knew it, I was yelling, "Stupid stupid stupid!" right in front of E. Come on, authors. You've got to know that the mommas and daddies reading your books are sleep deprived and unaware of the words coming out of their mouths. Don't blindside us with words that most parents try desperately to keep out of their children's ears.

Then the other night, another pretty book about clouds turned ugly. In the beginning, the author asks what clouds are...are they pillows? Are they ice cream cones? Are they made by a little cloud machine? Then, out of nowhere, Are they monsters that eat your kite? Excuse me? And the picture on that page is of a cloud overhead with big pointy teeth and dead kites hanging out of its mouth. Really, please. Have the decency to call this book "Attack of the Killer Monster Cloud" and give me the opportunity to leave it at the library.
Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr