Monday, December 31, 2007

take a hike

today we took a hike...

it was a beautiful day.  sunny, clear and cool...

we followed the trail...

we were the kings of the world...

we found ginormous leaves...

we even found a star!

we found a stream and had a snack...

we found the rocky river.  we peed in the woods and wiped with leaves.

it was a good day for all of us.

happy new year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

fashion plates

are you a child of the 80's?  do you remember fashion plates?  did you HAVE fashion plates?  or maybe your kids have a newer incarnation of the classic tomy toy?  anyhow, fashion plates were an art toy where you mixed and matched fashions, each in raised plastic on it's own plate, and did a crayon rubbing of your creation.  once you had your girl done, you could add your own colors-- and even textures!  the textures were on the back side of each plate.  i stole this image from somebody on ebay.

my incomplete set, partially melted by attic heat, is vintage from bygone days.  the featured fashions are gauchos, feathered hair and neck scarves circa turn-of-the-decade 80's.  i'm not quite sure how it survived garage sales and purge-fests, but somehow it lived to be used again by my darling daughter.  it's been a great way to pass the anxiety filled hours leading up to christmas morning.

of course, my little sweetheart can't just make fashion combos.  she has made "owl-girl"-- a completely brown, scallop-textured lady, and these multi-headed monsters shown below.  she's cackled her way through science experiment after science experiment in true frankensteinian glee.

i hope that you and your families all have a wonderful christmas (if that is, indeed, what you celebrate) and that santa has you on his NICE list.

Friday, December 14, 2007

a few of my favorite things...

j at tagged for a meme about my 12 favorite things about christmas.  here goes nothing!

1. the smell of the fresh cut pine tree in the house.  i keep threatening to buy a pre-lit fake tree and avoid the hassle, but i would sorely miss that scent.

2. christmas carols.  i just love to sing along to the old standards like bing crosby's "white christmas."

3. rudolph, frosty, the grinch, and the peanuts christmas special.

4.  buying way too many of the fun things the kids want and having an excuse for it.

5.  watching the kids open those way too many gifts.

6.  christmas lights strung on houses.  i wish we lived in a neighborhood where the houses were more visible.  those 'hoods where each house is glittering in the night are wonderful.  as a kid we spent many christmases at my grandparents' trailer park in florida.  almost every place was decorated and we reveled in it.  here is a photo of me at maybe 8 years old in florida...

7.  i was feeling scroogey this year, but begrudgingly went to lowe's on december 1st, bought a damn tree, heaved it into the back of the minivan cursing at the dropped needles and heaved it back out into the garage at home.  swearing at the pine sap all over my hands, i sawed the end off with an angry vigor and dragged the thing through the house, all the while uttering oaths under my breath.  i screwed the damn thing into the damn stand, and that's all the christmas spirit i could take that day.  i told the kids we'd get out the decorations tomorrow.  not to be deterred, they spent the rest of their afternoon diligently cutting, pasting, stickering and sculpting their own homemade ornaments and hanging them eagerly on the tree.  i cried.  they brought the spirit back to me, and i got out the lights and tinsel.  here is an ornament made by s...

8. the pink tinsel tree in s's room that she chose when she was about 2.  it still suits her personality so perfectly, and i love getting it out each year and putting it in her room.

9.  those soft peppermint stick candies.  not regular candy canes but the kind that melt in your mouth, or that you can poke into an orange and suck the orange juice through.  does anybody know what i'm talking about?

10.  the angry throngs of pissy christmas shoppers packed like sardines into understaffed department stores.  just kidding!  at christmas, i LOVE being home with my family, just like the crabby hermit that i am.

11. the madame alexander christmas angel that t and i bought together for our first tree.  i have collected and loved madame alexander dolls since before i can remember, and having her on the top of our tree each year reminds me of all the christmases that we've been a family.

12.  remembering our first christmas with h.  he was a little over a month old, and he was the best christmas present we could ever imagine.  there was a freak ice storm that year, and we were without power for 3 days.  we mostly stayed at our friends' apartment for whom we were pet sitting, but on christmas morning we bundled up and went home to our frigid little house.  we snuggled with our bitty baby while we opened the few gifts we had, and it was really just the warmest christmas i can remember.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

santa photo: version 2008

the kids and i played hooky today.

well, not REALLY.  they did have a dental checkup to make our day off legit, but we did have fun with the rest of our day.

first, h spent his birthday $$ on an ipod shuffle.  the cool special edition RED one, too.  good choice for a 9 year old boy, huh?

then s spent her saved allowance (and some certificates i had) on a polar bear at build-a-bear.  she named it knut after "knut the cute" from the berlin zoo.

then we visited santa.  s asked for an american girls OUTFIT (the blue one that matches the just like me doll she got last year from santa).  h asked for avatar: the burning earth video game for his xbox.  santa looked befuddled.

we went to the park to bask in the 80 degree record-breaking heat.

it's nice to take a day off from school, isn't it?

Friday, December 07, 2007

is the world ready?

t went on an escapade today with his friend sean from pop the cap.

as a token of love, he brought me back a beer.

i know you're thinking... "that looks DISGUSTING!"  but let me tell you... it wasn't just disgusting.  it was vomitously vile.  it was rancidly revolting.  it was... it was... many other alliterative descriptions.

why on earth would anyone market this spew?  i mean, i always say i'll eat just about anything, and, true to my word, i tried it.  but it was just plain gross.

would YOU drink this?  and not just ONE sip as i did, but the full 24 fluid ounces?  *gag*

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

my baby!

those who know me well know how much i love my car. the darn thing is 4 years old and has 76,000 miles on it, and i love it like i just got it yesterday. we are in the car a LOT since we live far from anything, and having my nissan quest makes every trip comfortable and enjoyable. really!

y'all know it's deer season, and the normally insane amount of deer is at a fever pitch right about now. it's not uncommon to spot 13 different GROUPS of deer on any given night on your way home. just 2 days ago, a little deer in the neighborhood walked out in front of my car (now at a full stop since i saw him coming) and almost bonked his head on the bumper!

anyhow, i had just taken the kids to get some takeout indian food (a whole other blog post... this woman does it weekly from her kitchen) and was on my way home, nibbling pakoras along the way when... WHOOSH! from out of the trees bolted a graceful deer from the passenger side. i didn't have much time to brake, and i hit the deer on the driver's side.


my baby is all smashed up. luckily, we were only a mile from home and everything was working properly. i drove home, and savored chicken korma, beet raita, and potato bhaji while i filed a claim with the insurance. this morning i ran over to the autobody place to get an estimate. the damage was $3600! good thing the deductible is only $50. yay for auto insurance.

i must brine the turkey now, but i'll leave you with the parting shots of my squished baby.

happy thanksgiving, y'all!

Monday, November 19, 2007

what do we think?

i just read this article and am so disheartened! as an avid reaer, i am attemting to raise two readers, and find that a life of reading has increased my awareness of language, social and cultural issues, history... the list goes on and on! i think we'd be a better educated society if everyone read just a few more books. and not the "goosip girl" books.

NEW YORK — The latest National Endowment for the Arts report draws on a variety of sources, public and private, and essentially reaches one conclusion: Americans are reading less.

The 99-page study, "To Read or Not to Read," is being released Monday as a follow-up to a 2004 NEA survey, "Reading at Risk," that found an increasing number of adult Americans were not even reading one book a year.

"To Read or Not to Read" gathers an array of government, academic and foundation data on everything from how many 9-year-olds read every day for "fun" (54 percent) to the percentage of high school graduates deemed by employers as "deficient" in writing in English (72 percent).

"I've done a lot of work in statistics in my career, and I've never seen a situation where so much data was pulled from so many places and absolutely everything is so consistent," NEA chairman Dana Gioia said.

Among the findings:

• In 2002, only 52 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24, the college years, read a book voluntarily, down from 59 percent in 1992.

• Money spent on books, adjusted for inflation, dropped 14 percent from 1985 to 2005 and has fallen dramatically since the mid-1990s.

• The number of adults with bachelor's degrees and "proficient in reading prose" dropped from 40 percent in 1992 to 31 percent in 2003.

Some news is good, notably among 9-year-olds, whose reading comprehension scores have soared since the early 1990s.

But at the same time, the number of 17-year-olds who "never or hardly ever" read for pleasure has doubled, to 19 percent, and their comprehension scores have fallen.

"I think there's been an enormous investment in teaching kids to read in elementary school," Gioia said. "Kids are doing better at 9, and at 11. At 13, they're doing no worse, but then you see this catastrophic falloff. ... If kids are put into this electronic culture without any counterbalancing efforts, they will stop reading."

Publishers and booksellers have noted that teen fiction is a rapidly expanding category in an otherwise flat market, but the NEA's director of research, Sunil Iyengar, wondered how much of that growth has been caused by the "Harry Potter" books, the last of which came out in July.

"It's great that millions of kids are reading these long, intricate novels, but reading one such book every 18 months doesn't make up for daily reading," Gioia said.

Doug Whiteman, president of the Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA), said sales of teen books were the strongest part of his business. But he added that a couple of factors could explain why scores were dropping: Adults are also buying the "Potter" books, thus making the teen market seem bigger on paper, and some sales are for non-English language books.

"There are so many nuances," Whiteman said. "Reading scores don't necessarily have any relevance to today's sales."

The head of Simon & Schuster's children's publishing division, Rick Richter, saw another reason why sales could rise even as scores go down: A growing gap between those who read and those who don't. Richter considers it "very possible" that the market is driven by a relatively small number of young people who buy large numbers of books. Test scores, meanwhile, are lowered by the larger population of teens who don't read.

"A divide like that is really a cause for concern," Richter said.

The report emphasizes the social benefits of reading: "Literary readers" are more likely to exercise, visit art museums, keep up with current events, vote in presidential elections and perform volunteer work.

"This should explode the notion that reading is somehow a passive activity," Gioia said. "Reading creates people who are more active by any measure. ... People who don't read, who spend more of their time watching TV or on the Internet, playing video games, seem to be significantly more passive."

Gioia called the decline in reading "perhaps the most important socio-economic issue in the United States," and called for changes "in the way we're educating kids, especially in high school and college. We need to reconnect reading with pleasure and enlightenment."

"'To Read or Not to Read' suggests we are losing the majority of the new generation," Gioia said. "The majority of young Americans will not realize their individual, economic or social potential."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

turkey trot

last night i reminded h that today is the school's annual "turkey trot." it's a race for all the students, and you win a turkey if you're the fastest in your age bracket.

"turkey trot is the worst!" he whined. "you have to run, like, 12 miles, and all you get is a dead turkey."

better motivation needed?

Monday, November 05, 2007

that's mah boy!

the whole cub-scouts-weekend-camping trip is not my story to tell, but from what i hear it went better than expected. it was 32 degrees that night, so they really braved the cold!

i just love these 2 photos of the trip. they just look so wholesome and all-american. so... norman rockwell.

h and jane gone fishin'...

a boy and his dog on a hayride.

and here's a little something i pulled out of his bookbag after school that made me laugh.

that's mah boy!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

will i get a shower today??

at 7:30 this morning i opened my eyes, looked at the clock and realized something.

i was supposed to take coffee to the girl scouts' yard and bake sale by 7:45.

crap! i jumped up, put the first pot of coffee on, got dressed, and got the borrowed carafes out of my van.

brewed the pot of decaf, piled everything in the car, and thanked my LUCKY STARS that the sale was taking place in my neighborhood. i got there by 8, not TOO late, but the earlybirds were circling and would probably have bought a cup or two by now. the girls were red-nosed and freezing, begging me to bring them a pot of hot cocoa.

when i got home, t and h were in a tizzy preparing for their very first cub scout camping trip. the ceremonies started at 11:30, so they had loads of work to get done in time to leave. i was helping them get organized and packed when the phone rang. in only a half an hour they were out of coffee at the sale!

back to the brew center went i, and since i was feeling solicitous toward the girls, i made them a pot of cocoa. then back to the yard sale. the cocoa sold out while i stood there, so i went home, made ANOTHER pot and went back. the girls drank that pot so i made ANOTHER pot and went back.

of course, in between, i was packing for the camping trip, feeding children, dosing children with appropriate cough & cold meds, etc.

finally, the boys left. they even took the DOG! it was just me & my sick girly who was sad to miss the girl scouts' sale. she has a nasty virus that's left her unable to talk. it's WEIRD. also, her throat hurts, she has a croupy cough, and is wheezing when she breathes. i guess it's going around the 1st grade.

i got one more call to bring coffee & cocoa. no problem. i had taken photos of the kids, but had no way to share them. that's when i got the brilliant idea of starting a private blog for our troop. i got to work on that & got it all set up. i think it'll end up being a valuable resource for the troop.

now i'm stuck cleaning coffee pots, carafes and pitchers! it's 1:33 pm... will i ever get to shower?!

Friday, November 02, 2007

i'm such a schmoozer!

thanks to lotus for the honor of this schmooze award. this award is for bloggers who...“effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”

what an honor!

i would like to give this award to 3 bloggers:
green mountain country mama
family adventure
j of thinking about

Thursday, November 01, 2007

we went a-haunting...

ok, a bland post content-wise, but heavy on photos.

a girly leopard...

a boyish doctor who...
a piratical husband...
a daunting duo...

a spooky family...
and a really fun night.

good thing the girly leopard waited until AFTER the best night of the year to burn with fever and start a raspy cough and wheezy breathing. she's home from school today.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

happy halloween!

my jane-- "dogothy"-- and me, ready to set out on our halloween walk.

guess what i am?

i am M.O.M. which stands for..

M ean

O ld

M ama

hee hee! my shirt has a skull and crossbones and says, "don't mess with mommy.

i'll post pics of the kids tomorrow.

until then, have a happy, safe, fun haloween! bwah hah hah!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

separation anxiety

for the first 5 years of our daughter's life, we could have given her away. she was one of those easygoing kids who would let anyone pick her up, hug her, kiss her, anything. after having a son who wouldn't even LOOK at anyone else before he was 5, she was a novelty. babysitters? no problem. grandparents? no problem. preschool? no problem. we were flabbergasted. we could have told her that she was going to live with another family and that she'd never see us again and she would have said, "BYE!" in this scaryish world, it was a little bit freaky.

right around the time she turned 6, the whole situation began to change. toward the end of kindergarten she started worrying about playdates at friends' houses and wanting me to stay with her for the entirety. then, she wept bitterly on the last day of school for the teacher that she'd bonded with. she even slept with her picture that night and cried for her intermittently over the summer.

when t and i went to london last summer, we left the kids with a VERY familiar grandma & grandpa, just as we have done several times over the past 2 years. she was inconsolable. "BUT IF YOU LEAVE ME HERE, THEN I WILL MISS YOU!" she wailed. while we were gone, it was better than before we left, but still was an emotional struggle for both her AND my folks. not to mention t and me!

after a month with my folks, she cried about leaving them. occasionally, i find her in tears, only to discover that she misses them. i can't help at these moments to feel a little despair, like, what's next? the leaves on the trees? the daffodils? the CAR?

since school began, she has had MORE than an average amount of bad days. there are almost no more playdates or sleepovers (although she will attend girl scouts with our neighbor). she cried regularly for her daddy on his recent business trips. on sunday nights she is hysterical. "i only get two days with you and then i have to go back to school!" she hiccups. i tried giving her something to have, of mine, to console her at school. "it didn't work," she said, "it only made me cry SO HARD when i saw it!" and she LOVES school! she wants to go! she just wants me there, too. and one day a week, i am there!

i know many many of you parents out there have lived with this in some shape or form, but this is beginning to tear me up. she's the apple of my eye, and i love her so dearly, but when i find her curled up in a ball, crying, and when i ask why, she says, "it's just 'cause i love you so much!" a part of me melts, but a part is so frustrated. i keep thinking it's just a phase, but the longer it goes on, the more i'm wondering if we may need a little help.

anybody have a suggestion? the end of my rope is coming up fast, and i may still have a long way to go on this one!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

school pictures

to answer lotus' question... i am here! life has been very full lately, in the good kind of way. not much time or interest in sitting in front of the computer these days, but i'm thinking of you all and blogging in my head on a daily basis. just when it comes down to actually blogging, or reading YOUR blogs, i'm tired out! maybe things will calm down and i'll be able to catch up (again) and be here more often.

last week we got the kids' school pictures sent home. remember school picture time? when you, or your mom, would choose the perfect outfit or do your hair in just the right way. when you got to the gym or cafeteria you'd get a little black plastic comb? everyone would practice their best smiles... deciding whether or not to show teeth. one by one, your classmates would be seated on a brightly lit little white box in front of a pull-down background. the assistant would pose them, tilt their heads just so, and FLASH! it was all over. when it came your turn, all the preparation and anticipation was over in that flashy instant, leaving you wondering... was my hair right? was my smile ok?

then came the day when the packets were distributed. is that REALLY how you smiled? REALLY? the best laid plans of hair and smiles came out like THIS?! no one could WAIT until their mom said it was ok to cut them up so they could trade photos with their friends.

here's what my kids came home with. the portrait package is $45.

this is a pretty cute photo of her, but she has jutted her lower jaw out and grinned perfectly so that her "tooth-hole" shows. the shirt UNDERNEATH the coat is the one she chose to wear for pictures, but when it came right down to it, she wanted the fur collar in her photo. very, very in keeping with her personality. don't think i'll spend $45 on it. we have better snapshots of her.

poor h. he hates having his picture taken. he runs and hides. probably because when the photo isn't candid he looks like this. like he's in pain. this is not a smile, it's a grimace! although i do like his choice of shirt and the color they chose for the background. red has always been his favorite color. again, why waste $45?

the frenzy is over until next year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

the winner is...

okay, i'm literally digging in the hat through the book giveaway entries to find a winner.

and that person is... none other than...

ML at zee's space! YAYYYYYY! congratulations ML!

thanks for entering, and i'll try this again soon, i promise.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

inherit the book!

last night, while "reading silently" alongside my daughter (who was finishing her first "junie b jones" novel) i finished "the boleyn inheritance."

i'm just a sucker for stories of british royalty, and historical fiction in general. give me a fictionalized tudor romance and i am in heaven! philippa gregory did not let me down with this one. although less sweeping and romantic than some of her other novels (the queen's fool, the contant princess), it still described a time in the tudor history that is not often written in novels.

this book follows each of the lives of 3 women in first person: anne of cleves, jane boleyn, and katherine howard.

anne of cleves came was chosen by henry viii to be his fourth wife after jane seymour died giving birth to prince edward. anne was a lonely german woman who was purportedly disgusted by the king (not knowing who he was) upon their first meeting. he marries her regardless, but then divorces her 6 months later. he allows her to live (!) and calls her "sister" from that point on.

jane boleyn was the sister-in-law to anne boleyn. she was married to anne's brother george and gave testimony that sent the both of them to be beheaded on the tower green. she is a lady-in-waiting to both anne of cleves and katherine howard, and her scheming in these courts just may be her downfall.

katherine howard, cousin to anne boleyn, was a maid in waiting to anne of cleves when she caught the eye of the king. at only age 15, she was made the 5th queen of henry viii shortly after his divorce from anne. she is portrayed as young, vain and fickle.

i'm giving this book away to anyone, anywhere that wants it. if you'd like to throw your name into the hat, just leave a comment on this post. i'll pick a winner from the comments next sunday.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

kinz craze!

i can only imagine that a few of you parents out there are shaking your heads sadly at the title of this post. you know, all too well, the fury that is webkinz. it's the phenomenon sweeping the nation, selling out stores, and causing a frenzy in the elementary-school set, much the way that beanie babies did in the last decade.

here's the deal: you buy the small plush animal for an exorbitant price. regular sized webkinz are not much larger than a beanie baby and cost between $12 and $15. their smaller cousins, the little kinz, cost $11- $13. OH! that is unless it's a hard-to-find kinz, then you'll pay out the nose for it on ebay.

next, you find the code on the tag secured to the webkinz' leg. you enter the code at the webkinz website and "adopt" your pet into the webkinz world. then, and only then, can you be a part of the webkinz mystique.

once into the online webkinz world, your adopted and named pet gets his or her own room to decorate. for this you need kinzcash, and there are several different ways to earn kinzcash on the site. the easiest way is to play arcade games or answer trivia questions. other ways include gem hunting or "caring" for your pet by clicking a button that proclaims you care.

you can also dress your pet, make it do specific movements, garden, bathe, and take your pet to the doctor. there are chat rooms decked out to look like pool halls and playgrounds where you can "chat" using a set number of pre-approved phrases. you can find your friends' pets, and invite them to your house, or challenge them to a tournament.

my kids, as well as all the other kids on the bus, are simply gaga over webkinz. it takes my kids almost a month to save up the allowance to buy a new one, and they patiently bide their time until they have the cold, hard cash in hand. then we go on a hunt to find the little critters. the dilemma then is WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE? and WHAT TO NAME IT? it's so engrossing and important to these kids. and they must go on the website every day to care for their virtual pets. they've even worked out petsitting deals with kids who will be out-of-town.

it's craziness, the likes of which i remember from the cabbage patch frenzy i experienced as a kid. i keep thinking, "this too shall pass," but i'm afraid it will be around a whole lot longer before it passes. i'll keep you updated!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

message in a bottle

just a quick post...

my parents' neighbors were walking along the beach, picking up garbage one day recently when they found a sealed bottle with a note inside. they opened the bottle and found wedding vows and a wedding date from a couple in wisconsin.

the eerie thing was that they had been married on the same date 28 years earlier! they got in contact, and are going to be on the cbs early show this morning. for the full version read here

isn't that cool? haven't you always wanted to find a message in a bottle?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

the tooth fairy strikes again!

yesterday afternoon, s an i were sitting in the dance studio, waiting for h to be done with his class. she was talking, and i could see that her lower tooth was sticking out just a little bit.

"hey, do you have a loose tooth?" i asked her. she wiggled at a couple, asking, "this one?" "this one?" and i said "no, THIS one," and wiggled at the tooth. sure enough, it was just a little loose.

what a novelty to her! her first loose tooth! she got this deep belly chuckle, and she wiggled and giggled. the laughter was contagious, and a few people started laughing too, and encouraging her. the laugh got deeper and deeper as the attention and excitement mounted and then, *POP*! the tooth snapped forward and almost fell out. although it was bleeding a little bit, she just couldn't stop laughing.

we went to get pizza before we went home, and she got a little whiny because that tooth made it hard to eat. she managed well enough with little nibbles. when we got home, she raced out to the studio to show her daddy the loose tooth.

we all sat down to do homework, and as she was working, she was also wiggling, wiggling. i was helping h with a math problem when she started shrieking. "I LOST IT! I LOST IT!" we raced back to the studio to show daddy, and made plans for the tooth fairy. so much excitement we almost forgot about homework!

she called grandma and told her the story. she added that she was a bit "cantankerous" (her word, not mine) that she wouldn't have a tooth to wiggle anymore. heck, i think the cantankerousness will vanish as soon as she sees that green under her pillow. all the more money to buy webkinz!

Monday, October 01, 2007

the war

has anyone been watching the war? it's a pbs documentary series about wwII made by ken burns.

it's been on for about a week now, but since we had planned on buying the dvd set, we hadn't been watching. while flipping channels last night, we got hooked and drawn in by the most recent episode. it is so personal and sensitive, gripping and terrifying. t and i were unable to tear ourselves away, and wept openly at the images, footage, and reminiscences.

after recently listening to an acquaintance bitch, whine, moan and complain about her terrible life (that is really quite blessed) and how no anti-depressants will work for her, i thought to myself... perhaps therapists should start prescribing "the war." this documentary really takes you out of yourself and your own problems and into the difficulties faced by these people in that time of world war. nothing in my life, or the lives of anyone i know at the moment, could even compare.

it made me grateful to the soldiers for securing the world in which we now live. it made me thankful for every single last person, thing and minute i have in this life. and that was only part of one episode.

kids, it's that good.

Monday, September 17, 2007

busy weekend!

i'll apologize in advance for the image-heavy post. sometimes pictures tell the story better than words can, especially when it's morning and the coffee is only half-drank. half-drunk? which is it? see, i can't quite form a complete thought yet.

first thing this weekend, the kids got proactive and made their own halloween decorations. this lovely bat made by h is hanging over our heads in the kitchen.
and this one-eyed giant greets us when we walk into the garage.
then, t decided to take the kids to the chatham county fair in pittsboro. it's a complete rip-off, almost $4 per crappy little ride. but hey, it was fun, and it was something to do. all the fair photos were taken with his iphone, btw.

they both got to try their hand at milking a "doot," more commonly known as a goat. "doot" is what h called 'em when he was a tiny little guy.
they got home and got ready for bed. s fell fast asleep while h buried his nose in harry potter until he got sleepy. the phone rang, and it was the people that run the fair. guess what? they had some door prizes and h won a brand-new bike and matching helmet. t jumped back in the car to retrieve it, and before h went to sleep he got to see the shiny new bike. i'll bet he had sweet dreams, 'cause at 7 am sunday morning he was ready for a ride. he and i, along with jane (the dog who loves to herd bikes), took a spin around the block to test it out. luckiest kid on the planet, huh?

Friday, September 14, 2007

not MY daughter

at the beginning of first grade, the teachers do reading, writing and math assessments to discern a student's level as well as their strengths and weaknesses. the writing assessment came home today in my daughter's backpack. among the written pages was this one:
now personally, i think SHE has lost her minb if she likes spongebob better than any other tv show. why?? what is it about spongebob? does anybody get it? i can't believe that a child that sprang forth from my loins could like this show. i have seen every episode 42, 987 times (only a quarter as many as my friend kim has seen it) and i still don't understand. i am so baffled by her choice of animated shows. i mean, what's not to like about the fairly oddparents?? timmy turner ROCKS! floaty crowny things make me laugh! oh, and don't even get me started on foster's home for imaginary friends. the antics of that crazy bloo! pure entertainment.

so why does she watch hour upon hour of spongebob? *sob* why?

can anyone help me?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

t's new coif

my sweet and darling husband is infamous for his hair. he has massive hair, hair that almost has a life of its own. on top of his enigmatic personality, it takes on even more life. it's BIG. really big. here's a recent photo of his hair, looking rather tame, on the first day of school:

he finally decided it was time for a change. it hasn't been short-short in years! but when t goes short, he has to do it in true t style. nothing conservative, boring or bland. we both are hair adventurers and we have the irrepressible andrea (pronounced "ON-drea") to continually, over the course of many years, to make our dream tresses become reality.

here's the result:

and here's the leftover pile: