Sunday, November 30, 2008

Morning Stretch

Kate came skipping into our bedroom holding the Karen Voight Yoga Strength DVD. "I'd like to do some yoga." She informed me, proffering the DVD. "What's that you've got there, Kate, Jon Voight yoga?" (eeeewwwwhhh) Jeremiah asked. I put the DVD in for her while Uncle Chris was dispatched to retrieve my yoga mat for Bendy Kate. For at least 10 solid minutes, our 4-year-old yogi followed the instructions as closely as she could, roping her grandmother in at one point. Then she got bored and wandered into the playroom to see how much stuff she could throw on the floor.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Beauty and Agility

Kate and Sarah were in the TV room, watching Annie*. Out of nowhere Kate said "Sarah, you're beautiful!" and then, in an unexpected burst of sweetness she got up and leaned in to give Sarah a hug. Sarah ducked what I suppose she expected to be a punch. Kate said "Sarah, you're also really fast."

*I saw Annie in the $5 DVD endcap at Target and mentioned I thought the girls would love it. Sonya picked it up and gave it to them this afternoon. Kate did seem enthralled but at one point after Hard Knock Life and before Annie wins the heart of Daddy Warbucks Kate came and found me, insisted on being picked up, buried her head in my neck and murmured "I don't ever want to be like Annie." I filed the moment away for the next time she announces she doesn't want to be in this family anymore.

Friday, November 28, 2008


I posted over at WME tonight so don't expect much from me here today, got it? I did, however, want to share with you the lovely place card holder owls the girls constructed for last night's meal. Kate shows signs of being a born manager; she deftly delegated bits of the actual name-writing labor to yours truly.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Very Merry Thanksgiving to You!

How many times in a single day can I wash the same dish? Today was an exercise in finding out, exactly. Unfortunately, we've been drinking since about 11:30 and no one kept count. I will tell you this - it was a lot. I am certain we used every dish in the entire kitchen at least once and most of them more than once. All worth it. Aside from the fact that I sliced my finger wide open with my freshly professionally sharpened chef's knife (ouch) the food was all a smashing success. (The extra ingredient is blood...I!) We are all still so very full that we didn't even touch dessert. I know this will be a disappointment to some of my friends (Sybil, I'm looking in your direction) but I am certain we'll dive into that stuff tomorrow.

Now we are all lying around in the mostly dark living room groaning and mumbling, 3 dogs included. I have pictures for this post but I am unwilling to trek up the stairs carrying the extra dining room chair we use as our desk chair to upload them, so you'll just have to wait until I've lost about 5 pounds.

Mom will be pleased to hear that although we haven't quite gotten to dessert yet, the girls were sure to save room and they love the butterhorns. They helped make them (they have their own silicone rolling pin now) and we topped them off with sprinkles. Everything is better with sprinkles, it turns out. Those wee tykes are nestled snug in their beds with visions of butterhorns dancing in their heads while we loll about feeling sleepy. And so, on this delightful evening while we unbutton our pants at the top, it is the wish of all of us stuffed in Atlanta that all the world's people might one day feel so sated, cozy, safe and loved. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Just in the nick of time...

...the dishwasher has arrived!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Car Talk

Here are snippets from today's ride home from daycare. Feel like you were there!

Kate: I want to roll my window down.
Me: No way, it's cold out there!
Kate: But I want to!
Sarah: It's cold out.
Kate: You don't tell me what to do!
Me: Are you talking to me?
Kate: No, I'm talking to Sarah. Sarah, you're not the mommy. Lisa's the mommy. You can't tell me it's cold out.
Me: For a minute there I thought you were talking to me.
Sarah: It's cold out, Kate.

After the screaming argument in the back seat died down:

Sarah: My Jo Jo isn't coming over for dinner tonight.
Me: No, Aunt Jo Jo and Uncle Steve went to Virginia to see GramaGramps Provost.
Kate: Oh, like when we went up there to see Farley? Farley met us at the door and wanted to see our beautiful outfits [unintelligible chatter] and then [unintelligible].

(Farley's the dog.)

Me: Er...yeah. GramaGramps Provost are my mommy and daddy and Grammy Margie, who's coming tomorrow, is Daddy's mommy.
Kate: Whaaaa...? I never heard of a grown-up having a mom!
Me: Of course grown-ups have moms! Some day you'll be grown up and I'll still be your mom.
Kate: When I'm grown up I want to have kids. I want to have kids and I want to teach them. I want to be a teacher.
Me: That's a noble profession, Kate. I bet you'll be a great teacher.
Kate: Yeah, and when I have kids I'll be all grown up. I'll be 45 like you.
Me: I AM NOT 45.

Here's what I get when I grab the camera and say "pose together like you love each other" 87 times in a row:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Observation

When it comes to arts and crafts with with very small children it is probably best not to enter into projects with a mind. We completed the "fun" and cute kids' contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. I now have even greater respect for early childhood educators. Also, I have some strange things glued to me in unexpected places. Pictures will have to wait as the girls wanted to surprise the family with their artistic acumen. It is indeed, surprising.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What I Hope Is Enticement

I used to be able to sit down with a pile of books and make the menu and shopping list for the week in under one hour. Now I sit down with a pile of books at 8AM, break to make kid- breakfast. Break to change a stinky diaper. Break to prep paints for young artists. Break again to put a load in the dryer. Break again gotta be kidding me...change another stinky diaper. Break to let the dog out. Break to let the dog in. Break to relocate my coffee. Break to turn on a DVD. Break to put shoes, socks, jacket and hat on small child and usher her outside. Break to relocate my coffee...

Creating my Thanksgiving week menu along with the plan for the week regarding how the holiday's festive eats would be prepped and cooked took me until 1:30PM. So, today's menu-making experience also included a break to make lunch and tuck Sarah in for her nap.

So anyway I completed it - shopping list written and then re-written in the order we come to all the stuff in the Farmer's Market. Daily and then hourly schedule of when to prep what. All done. The Virginia Druekes will be getting a late start on Wednesday and in an effort to attempt to convince them to drive straight through and collapse at our house late Wednesday, rather than make us wait until Thursday to see them, I shall list here what we'll be having, emphasis on all the goodies we're planning before the actual feast.

keep on truckin'!

FIRST, I will stagger out to the kitchen after Kate awakes us earlier than we'd hoped and I will drop bagels into boiling, sugared water and then bake them. Once only slightly cooled, we'll enjoy them with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, thinly sliced red onion and, of course, coffee.

We're planning dinner a little later than usual, 5PM, so of course, we'll need to be sure there's a non-stop parade of snacks to get us through the day. To fill that void we'll have smoked rosemary walnuts and smoked curry pecans as well as artichoke crab dip on toasts of homemade baguette. The strike of noon heralds the socially acceptable hour to begin drinking.

Jeremiah will be grilling the turkey as usual. Before we serve up the bird I thought I'd do a soup course (roasted butternut squash and roasted parsnip soups together side by side with a drizzle of tarragon oil on top) followed by a nice arugula salad whose real name is much too long for me to remember as it seems to encompass every ingredient in the salad.

Along with the turkey, Jeremiah is in charge of grilling the Southwest Potato Cake Grande. I've found a sweet potato casserole recipe that is probably similar to the one Aunt So-So recalls, a classic cranberry sauce recipe, that yummy cheese & beer bread, sourdough bread stuffing (Jeremiah insists I throw some sausage in there) and we'll make up the gravy depending on what drippings we get when the bird comes off the grill. For dessert (perhaps will take a short jogging break before this course) there will be pumpkin cheesecake and my mom's butterhorns. What? The salad is green!

If the VA Druekes decide they're going to tough it out and they let me know ahead of time, I can also have some sort of warm, spiked cider or other hot toddy before bedtime beverage awaiting their arrival. Just putting that out there.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Paige, bless her, tagged me with this meme and it would just be rude not to respond. The "d" on this keyboard is really sensitive and I keep finding that I've typed a series of them while momentarily distracted. I think I'll just start leaving them in when it happens. ddddddddddddddddd Like that. Here's the meme. Bear with me, it's freakin' long.

1. Do you like blue cheese salad dressing? No, but I do like blue cheese.

2. Favorite late night snack? I don't know, I don't really snack late at night. I would probably go for a bowl of cereal, if pressed.

3. Do you own a gun? I own 2 huge guns attached to my shoulders, baby. Don't make me take you to the Gun Show!

4. What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks or other specialty coffee shop? The one in my hand.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Only if I haven't memorized my lines.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Cute but I hear they can sometimes be mean.

7. Favorite Christmas song? The Ukrainian Bell Carol.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee. No water. Oh, I don't know. The one in my hand.

9. Can you do push-ups? Of course.

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? I don't know...I hear the Hope diamond is really nice.

11. Favorite hobby? Noodling.

12. Do you have A.D.D.? ddddddddddddddddddd

13. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? Inability to take memes seriously.

14. The last disease you contracted? Who told you about that?

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
  • So. Tired.
  • ddddddddddd
  • I need a nap.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water. Coffee. Wine.

17. Current worry right now? Will I finish this before falling asleep?

18. Current hate right now? The haters.

19. Favorite place to be? In a world of my imagination.

20. How did you ring in the New Year? Is it already the new year? Have I been sitting here that long?

21. Like to travel? Do fish know how to swim? yes and yes.

22. Name three people who will complete Sunday Stealing this week:

  • I cannot
23. Do you own slippers? No, I prefer to ruin my socks.

24. What color shirt are you wearing? Clear.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? I have never slept on satin sheets

26. Can you whistle? Yeth.

27. Favorite singer/band? Hmm. Los Lobos? I reach for them from the CD shelves an awful lot.

28. Could you ever make it 39 days on the show Survivor? I can't even make it 30 minutes WATCHING the show Survivor.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Standing in the Shower Thinking

30. Favorite girl’s names? My favorite girls are named Katherine and Sarah

31. Favorite boy’s name? His name is Jeremiah.

32. What’s in your pocket right now? My precious's ring.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Jeremiah.

34. Like your job? Ask me in a few months.

36. Do you love where you live? I love wherever I am. I'm a lover.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? One.

38. Who is your loudest friend? Lola.

39. Do you drive the speed limit or speed? I try to drive the speed limit, don't want to consume too much fuel, you know.

40. Does someone have a crush on you? Jon Stewart totally wants me.

41. What is your favorite book? To Kill a Mockingbird.

42. What is your favorite candy? Are chocolate covered pretzels candy? Those.

43. Favorite Sports Team? Atlanta Braves (but only when they're winning, because that's how we roll in the ATL).

44. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Trick question! Twelve AM only happens in the morning.

45. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up today? I feel a meme coming on.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Voices Tell Me To Wear Leg Warmers

When left to its own devices, my brain plays horrible music. I mean, sometimes it's OK, I guess, but always it's unexpected. Usually it's something I haven't heard in a long time. Right now it's playing Bob Geldof's I don't Like Mondays. I don't know when I last heard that song, but it's Thursday now and therefore irrelevant. When I traveled to Europe with Anni back at the beginning of 1997 I didn't bring any music with me. We weren't driving anywhere and since we were traveling together, a walkman seemed unnecessary if not downright rude. My brain forced me to listen to the most trite, bubble gum mid-80s top 40 it could come up with almost the entire time.

When my cousin Lauren got married the DJ at her reception liked to play OLDIES. He would pull something out that was 20 years old and preface it, in the voice of the guy who reads the copy for local, used car lot television ads, with "It's an ooooldie!" The best was when he asked "Who likes Canadian rock?!?" and we were all like "oh sweet, he's going to play Tom Sawyer" but no. He played some Ann Murray. I'm not making this up. It would be a lot funnier if that guy wasn't actually my brain. That's the just the sort of thing my head does to me. I can't figure out how I know I don't really like that music if that's what my brain is selecting for me. The other day I was forced to listen to Howard Jones' Life in One Day all day. I really like the Howard Jones song from Better Off Dead but my mind doesn't care about that, it wants to play the crap! I'm ashamed to admit that I kind of enjoyed the afternoon it set some Roxette on repeat, but given its usual playlist that was pretty rockin'.

I assume this is some sort of karmic punishment. This, and the fact that no matter how it seems like it's going the line I get in at the grocery store is always the slowest, (Express lane with a guy handing over exact change for a single pack of gum? Seems like the perfect choice, but it's time to change shifts!) are what make me think I was probably a real ladder-climber at the IRS in my previous life. The real insult to injury bit of this is that usually when I'm at the grocery store my brain DJ gets to take a break because they're playing the muzak version of something from Dennis Deyoung's solo catalogue. If I could just go back to my IRS life and do something, anything to prevent this torture...I can't of course and you can bet if I forget to grab some music on my way out the door tomorrow my head is going to spin some classic Debbie Gibson. I hate you brain DJ!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Morning After

I was standing at my bathroom sink putting my contacts in while Jeremiah showered, when Kate slinked with cat-like silence into our bathroom this morning. All tussled blonde and purple princess nightgown, she was groggy but smiling. "Daddy" she said, as Jeremiah shaved "I'm sorry I was so bad last night." I didn't even hear her, she managed to truly only say it to him; he told me about it tonight.

When Jeremiah told me I thought of my post from last night, and of the conversation we had Saturday night, after I'd spent the entire day cleaning, only to have the kids trash the place before they went to bed so it seemed as though I'd done nothing, causing me to become somewhat unpleasant, about how great our lives would be if we'd never had children. I then felt like a total asshole. This, I suppose, is the how it goes.

I went out with my girlfriends this evening for drinks and a mani/pedi. Yes you heard me right. A mani/pedi. I haven't had a pedicure since before the 3-Day last year so don't look at me like that. We drank a few beers before and a bottle of wine during the pampering and reflected on how this is what we'd do every week if we'd married rich husbands. We didn't, though, so instead we ended up talking about work a lot and no one was quite willing to put her Blackberry out of sight. Never-the-less we had a delightful time and I am still feeling relaxed and lucky. This afternoon made possible by an awesome husband who picked the girls up from daycare, fed them and got them changed and ready for bed.

When I got home Kate & Sarah were just about to get into bed. Kate ran to me and gave me a big hug. Sarah was next. "Were you girls good for Daddy tonight?" I asked, smooching each of them. "Yes!" Kate said, "I didn't throw nothing in the toilet!" Sarah nodded in agreement. "Anything." I said, "you didn't throw anything in the toilet".

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Need Reinforcements

My dad had a look he could give me that would cause me to flee in terror. I think in all my years of childhood and absolutely obnoxious behavior he spanked me once, still, I had that fear. I thought of it as a healthy fear. Today I wonder how he managed to instill that fear because my children lack it. Both of them. They like to look straight at me and continue to do exactly what they've just been told not to do. It's not just me, either. They do it to Jeremiah.

Tonight while getting ready for bed Sarah discovered some hair clip that, for whatever reason, made her excited and happy. She picked it up, exclaiming over it and Kate snatched it from her and threw it into the toilet as the toilet was flushing. Sarah was, of course, reduced to a torrent of tears. "NO STORY" was Jeremiah's apoplectic response to the event. I missed it. I was sauteing some kale. Steve and Joy were here and we all heard the screaming but it's pretty par for the course at bedtime so we thought nothing of it.

So Kate did not get the bedtime story and she was furious with her Dad about that. By the time I went up to kiss them goodnight she seemed to be over it. Sarah was not. She told me all about how Kate had something something down the toilet something something that's BAD. Kate appeared not the least bit contrite. At 4, she is a million times worse than she ever was at 2 or 3. Everyone talks about the Terrible Twos and warns that at 3 they're even worse, but neither was all that true of Kate. No, she's really hit her stride at 4. Petulant, I'd say. What was Dad's secret? I knew better than to even strike "a tone" with my mom, too. I need to know how to get my kids to that point because right now I'm reasonably certain they are killing me.

Monday, November 17, 2008


We've been trying to convince Sarah to give up the pacifier. She's on the fence about it, but has made some progress. We only let her have it during the sleeping hours, we make her give it up otherwise. She never has it at daycare or, indeed, anywhere she's not with her parents. We're know we're being played. The other night right before bed she'd been walking around with a pacifier in her mouth. She walked up to me, took it out and handed it to me and said "I'm a big girl. I don't need this" and then went to bed without it.

The moment caused me to reflect because we've been watching the first season of Mad Men. We're not quite through it yet, 3 or 4 more episodes to go, I think. We started it after entire series of The Wire. I loved The Wire, even though we sometimes had to watch a cartoon before bed after viewing an episode of it. You know a show is good when you're fooled into thinking you're actually reading a book. I loved those characters and when it ended I was sad; I miss them.

We took a short 30 Rock, season 2 break and began Mad Men. I'm enjoying it but I find it roundly more depressing than The Wire. The characters in The Wire caused you to feel righteously ambivalent because, which ever side they were on, they had a code. Sorry, a Code. And they lived by it. Omar Little, for example, robbed drugged dealers and killed will impunity. But he never killed a citizen and he never worked on Sunday. Also, he didn't cuss and as best I can remember, he didn't lie. In Mad Men, the characters seem to be lacking any sort of code. They all seem miserable, forced to live under the auspices of some fake code no one can really get behind. What's really so amazing to watch is how very different the mores were regarding relationships, child-rearing and health. Pregnant women smoking and drinking. Drunk driving as a normal daily routine. And of course the rampant sexism. The show begins in 1960 and it's pretty clear 1968 is eagerly gestating.

When Sarah handed me her pacifier and repeated the very words we'd been saying over and over to her I wondered if the scene would be something horrific 50 years from now. Some young mother might have watched it thinking "why on EARTH would they make that poor kid think she was being somehow bad by sucking on a pacifier at age 2?!?" What things seem so normal right now that will be completely nuts when I'm a grandmother? I think of all the people one or two generations ahead of us who just couldn't believe we weren't feeding Kate solid food by the time she was one month old...and for some reason, seeing Sarah hand over her security bobble made me feel potentially mistaken.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Day of the Feast Approaches

Tuesday night (Wednesday morning, really) we awoke to the sound of a bomber landing in our living room. Or so we thought. Once we were fully awake, up with all the lights on and had stopped running into each other and the walls we learned it was just the dishwasher in what we now know to have been death throes. Yesterday we paid a guy from Sears $70 to call it. So we've got under 2 weeks until we host Thanksgiving dinner and no dishwasher. My mother accurately predicted an event like this when she first visited us in this house and discovered the appliances were all GE. "I hate GE appliances" she said. I knew she would. She says it more often than she says "I love you." I've come to think of it as her own special term of endearment, in fact.

(As I write this, Sarah, who is supposed to be napping but is most definitely not, is putting an overnight diaper on her gigantic stuffed bear. No, wait, it's mid-day, she's returned the overnight diaper to the drawer and replaced it with a pull-up.)

So anyway, dirty dishes are piling to the ceiling in my kitchen right now because I'm sampling every recipe I can think of that might be good for Thanksgiving. Today we'll be smoking some pecans and walnuts. I'm making cheese & beer bread at this very moment and considering a go at the pumpkin bread recipe I just found. Lentil soup (I added bacon) is simmering on the stovetop, even though I'm not considering it for Thanksgiving. It just sounded good on this cold day. So - Virginia Druekes, if there is something you're craving or even something you hate, now's the time to speak up. This week has been dedicated to sampling recipes and once it's over the menu will be set in stone!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Photographic cop-out

Sarah's Vogue interview photoshoot -

Kate happy at "The Jumpy Place"

Sarah longs to go in the one forbidden place...

Max luxuriates while the children are out. Who's that little bitch in bed with her?!?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 15 - Half Way There

As some of you may know I'm a polyblogger. I'm polbogimous. During this month of daily posts Friday (that's today for those of you keeping score at home) is my day to post over at Worst. Mama. Ever. And I have. I feel that counts.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Evening Things Up a Bit

Time for a list of a few things I love. This is to make up for the other day when I listed some things I hate. I still hate those things (with the exception of France, about which I was only kidding. It's really Finland that fills me with ire which I know is unexpected. Seems like it would be Ireland) and many, many more but I figure I should try to balance things somewhat. So here we go with some warm fuzzies.

1. Whiskers on kittens. Ha! Just kidding. Jokes on me, though, now I have that song stuck in my head (note to self: add Julie Andrews to earlier list).

2. Vanquishing my enemies. There's nothing quite like bringing down a foe, severing his head and placing it atop one of the spikes on the 8' tall concrete wall that surrounds your house, as a warning to others. If you're feeling really Old School, you can also cook up your enemy's brains and eat them for dinner (or just a snack, depending on who your enemies are. Mine are often errant Palmetto bugs) thus gaining all his knowledge for your own. As an added bonus here, I just really like the word "vanquish".

3. Chickens. Chickens are inherently funny and if you want to argue that point with me I refer you to number 2 on this list. Just sayin'.

4. The smell of Scotch tape. How very bourgeois of me that this is a scent that makes me think of Christmas. Still, it does and every year when I go through mounds and mounds of it... and then take it off my face and start wrapping gifts, I am magically transported back to a more innocent time, when I didn't have to do all the @#$% gift wrapping and believed that a big fat guy could actually fit down our chimney.

5. Warm sheets straight from the dryer. What? Am I not human? If you cut me do I not bleed?

6. Maintaining a list of famous women for whom I would go gay if I were going to gay which I am not but dang it all those chicks are smokin' hot. This list changes from time to time but Ashley Judd has topped for as long as I can remember. A few others on there are Elizabeth Shue, Catherine Keener, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Charlize Theron. I feel like I should add someone like, I don't know, Bell Hooks, to the list to seem like I have substance. But I don't.

7. Sunday. A lot of my friends think I don't go to church because I take issue with organized religion and all its ridiculous rules and wars fought in the name of God but really it's because I just hate having to go somewhere on Sunday morning. Getting up, getting everyone dressed nicely and out the door by 10 or whatever is work in my book. I thought you weren't supposed to work on the Sabbath. Instead, I used that day to hang out with my family, take long walks, cook up a mess o' food for the coming week and feel like life is good.

8. My bicycle, BICYCLE!

9. When the best response leaps to mind at exactly the right time. Oh that is rich. Too often I am in my car on the way home or even lying in bed long after nightfall when what I should have said finally makes it to the front of my mind and the moment will never return. Tragic loss, really.

10. Cars with lots and lots of bumper stickers. Bless those people! I like to use my idle time to read and when I have plenty to read while stuck in traffic I'm thankful. Plus, it's nice not to have to get to know the person in the car. They have thoughtfully placed all the important information about themselves right there on their car, begging you to judge them. I get extra excited if the bumper stickers are at odds with each other, but that seldom happens.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today's Show Brought to You by the Letter...Is That a 3?

Kate has really mastered her letters. She, like her mama, likes to write in all capital letters. If she keeps that up forging letters to school from mom will be much easier than it was for me. I think that's kind of a shame; there was real fun in the mastery of it. Anyway, the thing she does now that's of great interest is this: she writes backwards. Perfectly. For a second I feared she was dyslectic, but no, her letters are all consistently backwards. Often she writes from right to left, too. Always she writes with her left hand.

I asked Kate why she wrote everything backwards. She said simply "because I want to!". I tried to explain to her, in my crunchy liberal mama fashion, not wanting to crush her spirit (that's what school is for) that writing is for communication and if she writes everything backwards people won't know what she's talking about. Except for that midget from Twin Peaks and the little kid from The Shining. She pointed out that I knew what she'd written and I had to concede defeat, there. She'd written "KATE" in roughly 36-size font, but I could tell she wasn't going to be swayed by any argument.

We're more fascinated than worried. I asked her teacher if it was common and she just shrugged it off. "She'll stop eventually" she predicted. I left vaguely dismayed by her teacher's failure to seem curious about what would cause a person to do that. Is she just so worn out by her task to train so many youngsters to write the proper way that there's no time for musings regarding the inner workings of the human brain?

Kate, incidentally, has always favored her left hand. Everything I read said you really can't be sure until the child begins to write, but with her, she never seemed to doubt it was her dominate side. I'll have to read up on the backwards thing. I have seen her execute perfect forward-facing letters as well, so I believe her when she says she's doing it because she wants to. Rebel.

And now for some Cute from this morning.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This Is The Rat

For those of you who remember 2 days ago, I was sad not to have photographic evidence of the rat. Tonight, Steve & Joy came over for dinner. Joy brought the rat. We drank 3 bottles of wine and then took pictures of the rat. This is what you get when I've had too much wine. Hunter S. Thompson I am not.

I dreamed of wine bottles and a terrifying rat, am I a hobo?
Spinning rat
Rat on napkin
The 5 themes of all literature: Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, something something something, Rat vs. Squirrel

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some Stuff I Hate

Ordinarily, I try to keep things positive. Negativity can really do you damage. Depending on how much you take you can end up anywhere from slightly annoying to your friends to dead but no matter where you fall on that scale it's...well it's negative. Still, I'm in that place so it's time for a list of things I really hate. I'll try to keep it short but I hate a lot of stuff. Here we go. Things I hate.

1. France. (oh, settle down Frog friends, I'm just joshin' ya. Where's all that jzwah da veev I hear so much about?)

2. Superfluous quotations marks. The sign at the bus terminal in NYC said to KEEP BACK "13" FEET. What does that mean? The only place I ever really appreciated this horrifying grammatical slight is when I was reviewing resumes for potential new hires. The company made people fill out a little form to turn in along with their resume, but the thing asked for resume info, which is kind of dumb and maybe deserves a spot on this list, but the applicant wrote, I love this, SEE "RESUME". Come to think of it, unless that 23-year-old bartender really did speak 18 languages including Esperanto and know how to drive a forklift, those quotation marks might not have been superfluous.

3. Being handed my cash first and coinage on top of the cash. Why don't you just throw it in my face?!? ARGH that galls me. How many times a day do people who give out change, give out change? Surely they notice that this arrangement nearly always causes the coins to go rolling off the large, flat cash surface and require time-consuming retrieval. Jerks.

4. Styrofoam. More specifically, the sound of styrofoam against styrofoam. Note this, my enemies, if you need to defeat me in battle, this is surely my Kryptonite.

5. Lying Playboy Centerfolds. Oh, McKinzie who was born in the late 80s, there is no freakin' way you are 5'8" with 36DD boobs but weigh 112 lbs (except maybe on the moon). You're doing a disservice to all women when you put that crap in writing. Aside from the fact that you are causing people to think it is possible to be those dimensions without having to being hospitalized, you're a Playboy centerfold. Why not round way up? What do you care? Say you weigh 180. Will it make you less hot on the glossy, Photoshopped page? I think not. If you weigh less than 140 I'll send you a home cooked meal. But you don't, you big liar.

6. The Fraternal Order of Police. Stop calling me!!!

7. All television news. Even public broadcasting. I don't need to know what those people look like.

8. Whatever-Me Elmo. I hate all iterations of this doll. Sometimes when I feel a little bit down and the imagery of chickens doing common household tasks doesn't make me smile I think about a giant bonfire of Elmo dolls and it works right away. Why won't the batteries just DIE already?!? OH THE HUMANITY.

9. The word moist. I'm not sure why, that one just always kind of bugs me.

10. Laser Tag.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Block Party

We've just returned from the Third Avenue block party over at Steve & Joy's (and Brendan & Kore''s a big block.) We don't live on their block but I think of us as ambassadors from Atlanta. Plus, we brought food and we know that if we just show up with food we're always welcome.

I'm tired of lugging the camera with me everywhere. Why does it always have to be about potential blog fodder, I asked myself and left without the camera. That left my hands free to pick up a latte en route. When I arrived all the kids were in full-on cute mode and I instantly regretted my decision. Let's face it, sometimes they're not that cute. There are 4,000,000 small children now residing on and immediately around Third Avenue. They're all cute. I have no idea how that happened. Something in the water, I assume.

What I wish I had on camera, well, on video really, was all of them playing with the rat. (A rat?!? Adorable!) No, it's not real. It's furry and has glowing red eyes and is remote control. Joy picked it up at Target in the Halloween goodies and I've just spent a solid 15 minutes scouring the web in search of a photo of the thing and can't find it. There are other remote controlled rats out there (obviously) but not as good as this one. The other ones aren't covered in varying shades of wiry, gray hair. The rubbery black tail is the antenna. They were sweetly taking turns controlling the thing while the rest of the kids would scream and scream and run from it. All of them liked to run the rat directly under the cast iron fireplace, which was filled with bright orange flame.

At first all the adults would lunge toward the fire as the rat approached it and try to explain the inherent danger in sending the rat under there. But then it became clear we were all sort of looking forward to seeing the thing emerge on the other side, red eyes still glowing, fully engulfed in flame. If only for a moment. Once it became clear the rat wasn't going to ignite, we left that scene. Fun party, though. Sorry we don't have any pictures. That's on me.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Autumn's Pretty

First, the temperature drops. Then, the time changes and it's dark in the afternoon. Then, I get homesick for Richmond (shuffling through inches of fallen leaves on cobblestone beneath gas lit lanterns...).

Then I get homesick for the valley (breathtaking views right out my bedroom window of the mountains aflame in reds and oranges and yellows. Hikes to Big Schloss. Fire in the fireplace.)

But then I come around and recognize that it's nice here, too. While Jeremiah and Kate were at the Y, Sarah and I took a long walk around town to admire the crisp, cloudless sky and the colorful leaves swirling over our heads in the perfect breeze.

We visited the gazebo on the Square where Sarah took her very first steps. Park-schmark. Kids love running in circles around that thing and into the plaza next to it. Over and over again they'll just run like puppies. Arriving to find the gazebo free of frolicking children is rare. Today there were 4 or 5 involved in a difficult game of hide and seek (there are a few bushes, but that's really about it...)

Friday, November 07, 2008


I already posted once today, over at Worst. Mama. Ever. (right where I belong). But what the heck, let's clutter this page a bit. My Kitchen Assistant Sarah has become expert at climbing. It's impressive to watch her go. When I really think about the kind of upper body strength she must be using to get on top of things that are at perfect adult butt-height for simply sitting, it's impressive.

There's a problem, though. Sarah keeps climbing up on the small kitchen stools, and she does it so well she can even sort of dance around on them and perform other feats of strength while up there. Because of her stool-standing acumen, we keep forgetting she's a tiny thing atop what is for her a great height. And she keeps falling off them. I think this morning was her 4th tumble, but it might have been her 5th (I should probably still be posting at WME...) I don't know, the new cork floors were installed in part for this purpose, but I worry she's knocking loose future potential.

She cries and cries but then gets right back up there so you can see why I think she might already be making herself a little on the dull side. So far she's never landed on anything scary like a table corner or the dog, but it's somewhat worrisome. And it's not as though we're not in there with her (usually). I keep thinking all the falling will teach how to, you know, not fall. But she seems to just be getting better at falling. I hate to ban her from her monkey antics but I can't afford to be caring for her beyond age 18 so she's going to need every ounce of IQ God gave her. Maybe we'll just get her a helmet.

Here's some photos of us making election night chocolate chip cookies. Why chocolate chip, you ask? Well, they're mostly sort of beige in color, and the beige parts are great, but they're so much better with plenty of brown mixed in. Sorry about the really offensive t-shirt. My big brother made me wear it.