Tuesday, November 28, 2006
i have f through friday. it's been fun and successful... hopefully we'll get a few more days of enjoyment and then she can go home. the summerlike weather has put all of us in high spirits. having a warm breeze blow through the house at this time of year is heavenly.
obviously, there's a ton more to this whole story, and my emotions are running exceptionally high. i'm so fortunate to have such a supportive and wonderful family behind me-- especially my husband. he's my hero.
Monday, November 27, 2006
today i kept the 7 yr old boy-- "m" home from school with his 3 year old sister--"f" while my kids went to school. hey, i'm playing this by ear, and since they're not my kids, i must bend to parental authority. anyhow, we had a successful day walmarting and playing outside in the 70 degree sunshine. beautiful! we all got my kids off the bus at 3 pm and more playing ensued. their mom was dealing with funeral arrangements, but came at 5 or so to see how things were going.
OH BOY did the poop hit the fan. those of you with children understand that kids are immaculately behaved for strangers because they are outside their comfort zone. they know that if they misbehave for mom and dad, well, mom and dad will still love them! when they are not so comfortable, they rein in their emotions. apparently f and i are still in the honeymoon phase because for me, she is an angel. mom came and she was clingy, cry-ey, whiny, and just a terrible pain in the patella, which overwrought mom just didn't know how to handle in her emotionally fragile state. whew!
i had been brewing turkey rice soup all day with the thanksgiving leftovers (YUM!) so while we feasted on that, mom pondered what path she would like to take. it was decided that both kids would stay here again tonight (m decided for himself) and i would meet her at m's school tomorrow morning, without f.
distracting f was amazingly easy, and she has completely readjusted to our routine with not even a mention of mom. whew! i'm glad to keep her here in happy oblivion for a while longer.
so the status is: girl for one more day, boy for morning and possibly after school.
and to sruthi's question of the animals: yes! we have a dog and a cat, and since they have 2 dogs and 2 cats at home, they're all getting along famously. and jane (our crazy border collie) gives us a reason to all go for a long hike in the fresh air every day. it's for the dog! really! she REALLY needs to take a walk and herd us all together! yeah! absolutely NOTHING to do with burning off juvenile energy AT ALL!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
i mean, normally i steer as far from personal dramas as humanly possible as i don't want anyone else's stuff to possibly break or harm the sanctity of our home. i'm a "family first" kind of gal, and protect my cubs (and my man) with a fierce loyalty. but when these dramas affect little children, i go all cuckoo. i know, i know, we can't save them all. but when entrusted with said 3 year old for the time being, of course i can't say no. it means keeping her out of some pretty intense emotional turmaoil and family upheaval; instead, she's in the most boring, stable, warm, happy, loved place-- our house. i'm sure that being apart from her family is causing her stress, but we all are trying to keep her so busy with the normal goings-on of our house, all i see on her little face are smiles. we're loving her up one side and down the other.
honestly, i'm enjoying the heck out of this. can it really only be 2 years ago that we had a three year old girl running around OUR house?? impossible. this boundless excitement for every box of toys and every puzzle and every silly preschool tv show is insane. no eye-rolling, "do-i-have-to" sarcasm at all. she BELIEVES you when you tell her she's the very best picker-upper in the whole wide world and picks up the toys with wild abandon just to get a sticker.
my kids are on the moon over this... i hear their cackles over this little girl's antics ring throughout the house. of particular hilarity is the fact that when she says s's name, it sounds remarkably like "toilet." so, s has a new and uproarious nickname, added to the long list of nicknames that start with "the beast" and "the bee" or just plain "B." now she's "toilet," too.
i'll let y'all know how this plays out, but i feel like the longer i can keep her here in steady normalcy, the better. i just wish i could grab the other three kids in the family and help them, too. perhaps this little girl is just who i was meant to help right now... one child at a time, right?
Friday, November 24, 2006
count me out.
for those that know me, i abhor heaving throngs of humanity. i'd rather pay $50 more for an item than fight a crowd for it. i love internet shopping, and walmart on monday morning. i'll suffer with no milk all weekend rather than fight the after-church sunday crowd for groceries!
how about you? were you the first lined up at the door for the sale, or are you in your jammies sipping coffee feeling sorry for all those folks shoving their way to the best possible prices??
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
my itsy-bitsy, teensy-tinesy, little bitty baby boy turned 8 years old today.
happy birthday, little buddy. we love you more than you'll ever know.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Ladybugs. Innocuous, sweet ladybugs. These little beetles, known as coccilinidae have become a sort of symbol of everything that is cute in the natural world. They’re small! They’re shiny. They’re bright RED! They have adorable little polka dots! Everywhere you look, you see ladybugs adorning products. Products ranging from bed wear to bath gear, from stationery to rain boots. Everyone seems to just love ladybugs! I used to love ladybugs! I mean, what’s NOT to love about ladybugs? Even the wikipedia states that, “Because they are useful, colourful, and harmless to humans, coccinellids are typically considered cute even by people who hate most insects. Some people consider seeing them or having them land on one's body to be a sign of good luck to come, and that killing them presages bad luck.”
I’ll tell you what’s not to love.
The fact that they are helpful to humans is what’s not to love. Here’s the deal: ladybugs are natural insectivores and will consume nasty pests like aphids and fruit flies that may cause damage to crops. Thus, each year in the mountains of western north Carolina, usually in October or November, the great state of north Carolina releases oh, maybe about seventy five gazillion ladybugs to defeat any damagey pest that may come their way. And then, as the weather grows colder in the mountains, they slowly fly their little wings westward towards-- who else?-- ME!
i'll tell you what happens then. the little things creep into every crevice of our home, wheedling their way it to even the tightest cracks. those "cute little ladybugs-- by the HUNDREDS-- swarm the air, clog the windows and INFEST the whole place. mostly in sunny rooms with windows, they leave slimy brown trails of muck on white ceilings and woodwork. they congregate in ceilings where they proceed to die, dropping onto the floor where you might step on them, or EVEN BETTER into your DRINK without you noticing. then, if you take a sip, you'll find out that ladybugs TASTE much like they SMELL. a rotten, sawdusty type nastiness that haunts us several months of the year.
what's even better about these little-- BUGGERS-- is that if you're RWALLY lucky, they'll make an undetectable nest in your home so you can enjoy them ALL YEAR LONG!!! woo-wee! i can't even begin to tell you how many ladybugs i've swept, vaccuumed, picked, dumped and cursed at over the years. they're on the sills, in the dog water, in the tubs and toilets, on the mantel... you name it. they're invading us.
so, next time you see a cute, sweet, innocent little ladybug, think of me cursing them to bits instead. they're foul! i'm boycotting all those sweet little ladybug products by the way. it's time these marketers learned the evil truth.
a difficult- to- decipher photo of dead ladybugs on our bathroom windowsill
Thursday, November 16, 2006
as you can see, i've finished 4, and have 3 ready for assembly. and enough cut fabric to make maybe 40 total bags! they are all fully reversible to another matching pattern on the other side. hopefully the teachers and a zillion other people will be happy to get one of these puppies. i feel like a factory!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
i'm doing the "from the stacks" reading challenge... 5 books that are sitting around just waiting to be read. i chose:
the inheritance of loss by kiran desai
the reader by bernhard schlink
the death of vishnu by manil suri
a sky so close by betool khedairi
balzac and the little chinese seamstress by dai sijie
i have to finish by january 30, so i chose relatively short books. i'll let you know how it goes, as it goes. first up is "inheritance" as i am tandem reading it with lotus. we're sure to have a spirited discussion of it over at her site soon, so check it out.
tomorrow is yet another field trip, this time with the second graders to see a production of "the wizard of oz" in greensboro. hopefully i won't hack up a lung in the middle of the performance! i'll take along an extra dose of delsym, just in case.
promise to be back to myself soon, just bear with me.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
today is a big day at our house, as the first issue of the long-awaited comic book that t has been working on diligently for months has FINALLY hit the stands! the book is marvel comics' "BULLET POINTS" #1 written by j. michel straczynski (the creator of babylon 5 for you sci-fi geeks out there) and illustrated by none other than tommy lee edwards-- a man close to my heart, and at this moment even closer to my neck. anyhow, we're excited, and will probably have to go to the comic shop and geek out a bit today. it's the first issue in a 5 issue limited series. right now, at home, we're working on #4.
if by any chance you'd like to do the same, i'll prepare you for the experience NOW. first... DON'T SHOWER! this is VERY important for smelling as if you belong in your local comic shop. next, dig out the clothes from the VERY BOTTOM of your hamper and put them on. bottom of the hamper is important as well. next, watch an episode of "the simpsons" with the unnamed comic shop owner. this will help you to understand the person behind the counter when you purchase the comic. if you want to be ULTRA prepared, go on starwars.com and have a bit of lucas trivia to drop on the unsuspecting clerk to throw them off balance. when they effusively respond to your comment for a half an hour, just nod and smile.
if you are in the us or canada and need help even FINDING a comic shop (yes, they are out there, just sometimes stuffed in stinky back alleys or up 2 flights of rickety stairs) click here. if you don't trust my recommendation, you can find actual reviews of it here, here, here and here.
thanks for listening to my rant. now for the big shocker: britney filed for divorce from kevin! and i never even saw it coming.
Friday, November 03, 2006
when george lucas decided to wreck the entire classic 'star wars' legacy by making a trilogy of prequels, he wrote a weak and terrible screenplay called "the phantom menace" which had little or no interesting characters or plot. the world clamored for this film to be made, not knowing what a piece of crap they might be in for, and a worldwide frenzy surrounded the opening weekend. the resulting film lacked good acting, directing, emotion or believable scenery. it did, however have excellent makeup, costume design, and ship design. but i digress.
one of the only redeeming factors of this film was liam neeson in the character of qui-gon jinn, who was the jedi master and trainer to obi-wan kenobi. unfortunately, most of his fine performance was hideously upstaged by the horrific cgi (computer generated) character of jar jar binks, shown below.
now, my husband had been a star wars fan from waaaay back when he was a little boy, and he passed that love of star wars down to our children (someday i'll post a photo of h's room) and when he found out that his woman could sew, he commisssioned a fine looking jedi suit. he's had it for some time now, but every now and again he cracks it out of the costume corner (no, really. there's a costume corner is his studio) and wears it for a convention, masquerade, reference, or halloween. below is t's rendition of qui-gon's world-famous lightsaber swallowing act.
there you have it, susan! is that more than you ever wanted to know??? :)
disclaimer: i love george lucas (i even affectionately refer to him as 'uncle george'), his entire creative world, and especially all the work that he has given to t. the fact that he is the biggest single collector of t's original artwork doesn't hurt either. but i'm entitled to my opinion of this movie, right?? right??!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
heck, i don't know about the rest of y'all, but i feel like the only person left on the planet that really doesn't want to think about christmas until december. or AT LEAST give me 'til thanksgiving. i mean, i love christmas and carols and santa as much as the next girl, but WHOA man! back up! it was halloween two days ago! it's fall, the leaves are gorgeous, thanksgiving's coming and i DON'T WANT TO SEE SNOWFLAKES painted on store windows yet! am i nuts?
here's to halloween, whose photos i am just now posting and i must say a prayer to the gods of blogger that they ALL LOADED at the SAME TIME on the FIRST TRY. yeeeee-HAW! now to see if they all post properly... hmmmm... immediately below is s carving our pumpkin. we used a whole lot of brain power, but it didn't turn into a coach to carry us in style from house to house while we trick-or-treated. eh, it was worth a try.
the finished product, well designed by h, is shown below. we toasted the seeds with olive oil and salt and they were soooo delicious! and surely they will keep us regular for at least a day. mmmm! fiber!!!here are the finished costumes: s the bat and h the pirate. we had so much fun getting dressed up and painting faces. the pirate jacket i made ended up really nice, and i actually didn't want to tear my hair out at the amount of sewing. but i'm still picking fuzzy red boogers. ha! just kidding.below is my melacholy looking pirate. it's hard to tell, but he had on a black wig, a bandana, the big red hat, a dark red velvet jacket, a glow in the dark skeleton shirt, an orange sash, a pistol, and black pants tucked into cowboy boots.
s's makeup worked out really well, i modified a vampire design that we found in a book of face painting. she's carrying her little plush bat from the zoo.
after we were all prepared, we headed over to our friends' jen and ray's. ray was dressed as darth vader (he needed to borrow h's mask!) and t went as qui-gon jinn. what geeks! i haven't loaded the photos yet, but i'll try to get one soon... very funny. their 3 daughters, our kids, and the dads all loaded into a truck to trick-or-treat... the houses in this neighborhood are too far apart for walking. in other words... lots of walking for not lots of candy. jen and i stayed home with their almost 2 year old who was ill with pneumonia, and we decided to pick up and clean up while we drank red wine, yum! earlier in the day they had to put their 14 year old dog to sleep, and jen was pretty upset at the loss of her first baby (if you're reading this jen, i'm still sad about rover!).
the kids were on fire, and completed a massive amount of trick-or-treating by nine o'clock-- a full hour and a half past their usual bedtime. y'all know that the vomiting incident followed, but other than THAT, the night was a resounding success. it's nice to have the kids getting a little older, a little more responsible, and a little more FREAKED OUT at how fun halloween really is. it's about time! and they've already decided their costumes for next year... darth vader and vampira. say cheeeeeese!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
the only reason this blog was even a twinkle in my eye is because of lotus, my very first internet friend. yes, i am a geek. we met on bookcrossing.com while swapping stories-- literally-- and just found that we had too much in common. although we've never met face to face, i count her among my close friends. (shout out to you, lotus!)
a ways back-- maybe about 2 years?-- lotus told me that she was starting a literary blog and to check it out. maybe i would evenwant to start my own? i really had no idea what this thing called "blog" was, but i checked hers and promptly signed up for one of my own. and promptly left it to sit empty for several months. hers blossomed beautifully into a very cohesive, respected blog of book reviews. i simmered on what MY topic would be. i sat, i thought, i pored, i pondered, and i let that naggy little critic in my brain carry me off into no-creativity land. finally one day i decided that "hello, melissa!" didn't have to be about anything. i shoved my little critic (he kinda looks like napoleon) as deep into my subconscious as he could possibly go, and wrote whatever came to mind.
which wasn't much.
but it was good for me to grasp the english language yet again after toddler-speaking for several years. writing each day may not have made me a better WRITER per se, but that was not the goal. the goal was simply to write for me. gradually, due to lotus, j, susan and other friends (you KNOW who you are!) i suppose i've developed a small circle of readers. wow! i would have never guessed that anyone other than my mom would care to hear the incohesive rambings of me. and mom, i love you for it. but the rest of you? you have NO obligation to love and support me, and yet you do... day after day, week after week. thank you!
the rewards i have gotten from this community are uncountable. i have learned new cultures and cultural attitudes. i have tried new recipes, done a few memes (which really are introspective), and thought about the things that are really important to me to write about. i've read a zillion books that i may otherwise have never even known about, and watched more than one movie that i would never have chosen on my own. more than anything i have LAUGHED every day, and have become so much more aware and empathetic to those around me. reading your stories, trials, and triumphs has been incredibly rewarding. thank you!
so here i am, grovelling, in gratitude for giving me a reason to keep writing my silly stories of suburban momhood. it's been fun, and as i look back, i am SO GLAD that i stuck with it. my kids now have a legacy of our lives to read in the future. well, i'm assuming that they'll read it! maybe not, but that's ok. i'll know that our history has been kept in a haphazard, sloppy way, and i'll be happy.
on monday (yes, i know, it was 2 whole days ago) the kids had the day off school and h had it in his mind that we NEEDED to go to the zoo. it's an amazing zoo, and it's only about an hour from here. no matter that i have to go as a chaperone with the kindergarten class NEXT WEEK, we all packed up and took a gorgeous drive on a stunning, sunny, warm fall day out to asheboro. i think the day was hand-picked for us... the colors, the smells, the air... it was just what you picture in your head when you think of the reasons you love autumn.
there's a cool playground with oversized bugs and plants, and it has that awesome recycled rubber-tire mulch that makes you feel as if you're walking on a cloud. the kids wanted to stay there for hours. and look! they got to climb a spider web.
s liked the lions the best, although there was only a male and he was barely visible. the lioness gave birth to 3 cubs last week, so she was a little busy. h didn't tell me his favorite, but he was way impressed with the zebras and giraffe. t liked the gorillas, and i concur. i could sit and watch them forever! so expressive.
the sea lions were one of the last things we saw, and they are always a hoot. they put on a show for the viewers, and it's awesome to see the animal in action rather than just lying around. the animals at this zoo are so lucky to have gigantic natural habitiats in which to live... but it makes for a TON of walking for humans, and at the end of the day we were pooped!
halloween photos later, probably tomorrow, with any cooperation from blogger. today i have to care for sick child, get my teeth cleaned, and pick up the massive mess that we call "home."