Thursday, July 31, 2008

And the winner is . . .

Commenter #5, Tara!

The decision making process was done with considerably less fanfare than the last time, as it was far too hot to be outside for any length of time. This time it was done by Ye Olde, quite a handy-dandy service.

Tara, email me with your address, and I'll send the book out, pronto!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And from this corner

A whole lot of nothing. Temperatures that are 100+ will do that to a gal. And her urchins. The "stay at home" part of Stay At Home Mom is certainly true lately. We've been mostly avoiding any reason for going out, and that perfectly fine with us.

Our last daytime outing was Friday, when we braved Chuck E Cheese with Brenda, her children, and an extra friend. And oh yes, we were the people in line who had so many coupons that we had to split them into two transactions. And completely annoyed the people in line behind us.

We did manage a trip to the Y last night, to swim in the indoor pools. Yes, the urchins feel that it's even to hot to swim outside. That's bad, yes?

So what have we been doing? Cleaning out Sass' room (a major undertaking). Next is Spyder's room (even more of an undertaking). Sass' room is easier, but Spyder's is more fun. You never know what you'll come across. Plus, I think it's a riot that we can be putting books into the bookshelves at one moment, then it turns into a history or literature lesson because one or the other gets interested in a book.

But today, we're making an afternoon of movie watching.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Reading

I'm normally quite a voracious reader, but lately I just haven't been reading as much as I normally do. I actually just finished a book that Julie gave me while we were on vacation. That was in late May, and I'm just now finishing two months later. I think that's some kind of record.

The book I just read was By Bread Alone by Sarah-Kate Lynch. Quite a good read, although probably not something I would have chosen for myself. And in celebration of finishing -- tada -- a giveaway! Plus, it's a sneaky way for me to find more book recommendations.

Update: Apparently I wasn't clear that I'm giving away By Bread Alone. Whoops! This is what I get when I write with the urchins interrupting constantly.

Have you read any good books lately? Just leave a comment on this post about the best book you read this summer. Comments will be open until Wednesday, July 30, 11:59 pm CST. Winner will be chosen randomly and posted on Thursday.

So speak up and share the book love!


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Best email I've received lately

This email from a friend had me laughing out loud. I need one of those shirts too.


The three of us (kids and myself) are driving down the road yesterday, on our way home from the grocery store. [Little Sister] is screaming, hollering, snatching toys, throwing stuff, etc. I gave her "the look" and said "Do you want me to pull this truck over and come back there.. you are acting UGLY!" - t
o which she started crying, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy..!!" (That's her thing, to cry for the other parent when one is getting her into trouble.)

[Big Brother] didn't miss a beat, he just looked at her seriously and said "Daddy is not going to protect you from the wrath of Momma."

I informed him I wanted that printed on a t-shirt...


Saturday, July 26, 2008

A promise is a promise

I promised myself that I would write something today. And I am, despite that I am exhausted and would really rather not.

LAWZY DAY it is hot. So hot that it actually interferes with our plans.

Skeeter's employer hosted a "family day" at the local baseball park. Excellent park, normally tons o' fun. Today we went to the game and the urchins were ready to leave within, oh, three minutes. If that. So we did, although we did wait about 30 minutes.

Last year's family day was a blast, but it was in late September. Please make a note, oh Ye Family Day Planners. July is not a good time for outdoor fun. Hello, people who live in the south. Why do I need to remind you of this?

The one reason I am not absolutely livid about the whole experience is because on our way out I saw a friend from my days at the comedy club. For some strange reason I think about her relatively often, and I had always wondered where she was. She was going through some tough times when I moved away, and I never knew how things turned out for her. I'm glad to know she's doing really well, married, child, all that. She looked happy.

I had promised the urchins that we could go to the bookstore, which is just about their favorite place in the world, aside from the children's museum and Brenda's house. I had emailed Yvette about possibly meeting us there, and she could! Awesome! It was a fun time, despite that my children were behaving like the rotten little urchins I always accuse them of being. Seriously, they're pretty good normally. They know the rules and they are good about not testing the boundaries. You'd think that they assumed meeting new people meant that all of the rules didn't apply. Uh, no.

But -- awesomeness! -- I got to play bookstore employee when her oldest daughter was choosing an audio book. I love that! I stopped before I went into full-on bookstore self, but on the drive home I was making a list of books to recommend. But I'm sure everyone does that. Right?

Well, I suppose that wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I think beginning is the hardest part.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The urchins have discovered the joy that is rollerskating.


The first experience (which I oh-so-wrongly thought was no big deal) was in June, at the kickoff party for Vacation Bible School. It was a private party, and even at that the drama began. Some girl (he didn't know her) had a friend tell him that she "liked him." It was a short-lived romance, as he hasn't seen her since.

Oh lawzy.

I should have known then. Perhaps I did, and I chose to ignore it.

The urchins decided that skating was a fantastic time, and we've been twice since that fateful first. Last time we invited friends along, and the children mostly stayed in their own little group. We invited friends this time, but they had relatives stop in at the last minute, so the urchins were on their own for this trip.

Spyder is a friendly little cuss. Sass is too, but Spyder is fearless. He can (and will) talk to just about anyone. (Shhhh ... I think he gets that from his mama.) Anyway, he somehow managed to play a game of air hockey with a girl, probably a little younger than he is. They had a fun game, and at the end of the game the little girl skated over to him and said


At least, I'm pretty sure that's what she said. She didn't put any spaces between her words either. And then she skated off. I'm pretty sure he had no clue what she said, since he called after her, "Good game, but I won!"

Doesn't that kind of sportsmanship make you just swell with pride?

Let me tell you, that little exchange created a little time warp for me. All of those long-forgotten skating memories of my youth came rushing back. And it absolutely cemented my decision never to just drop them off at the skating rink.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just do it

I've gotten out of the blogging groove. I find that I'm prone to it when my schedule is off. And it's been seriously off.

So I think the only thing left to do is admit it and move on. So there it is.

The weekend was good, and surprisingly busy considering that we had been on the go for a solid week. Spyder declared that Sunday was the Best Day Ever, but I think that's because it ended with fishing at the pond. He still hasn't caught a thing -- ever -- but he has fun baiting and casting.

Yesterday was a complete at-home day, resting and catching up on chores. The midday temperatures have reached the "severe" stage, so it's better for us to do indoor activities anyway. Spyder is working on a Nancy Drew game, The White Wolf of Icicle Creek, so he's happy to stay home and inside. Sass is perfectly happy playing with her stuffed animals or helping me in the kitchen (yesterday - chicken salad; today - rice krispies), so it was a win-win situation.

Today I think we'll go out for something though, even if it's just the library. I have books that are due anyway, and I need to report Spyder's lost book.

And then tonight, I'm planning to talk Skeeter into roller skating.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

To the people who drive a lot

I feel your pain.

I normally don't drive very much. That's one of the good things about being a stay at home mom. We make the schedule and we decide how much we want to be out.

We live in a relatively small suburb of a Big City, at least in area. It takes nearly an hour to drive to the opposite end of the metro area. Any trip into Big City takes at least 20 minutes each way. But really, I don't have the need to do that often. The bank and library are a block from our house, easily within walking distance. The grocery store is about 4 blocks away; the post office is also 4 blocks away in the opposite direction. They are on a very busy main street and aren't walking-friendly, but at 4 blocks, it doesn't bother me so much. And if I need more than those few usual places, almost anything is available within a three mile, seven minute drive.

I am spoiled.

This week Spyder is at scout camp. The camp is 24 miles from our house, and I've been making the trip twice a day. The time doesn't bother me very much. We chat or listen to books or music. But the gas? It is killing me.

On a normal week, I usually spend about $35 on gas. I have a small car. The combination of small car and not driving much means that I seldom use even one full tank of gas in a week.

This week though, I've spent $120. So far.

I'm glad Spyder is having a great time at the camp. The budget isn't enjoying it one little bit.


Sunday, July 13, 2008


My children have become infatuated with Shirley Temple movies lately. Captain January is their favorite, and it's not unusual to hear them singing this song in the back seat when we're driving around.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Paying for your raising"

That's a popular phrase around here, meaning that you as a parent will have to deal with all of the stupid and/or annoying stuff that you did as a child.

How true; how true it is.

Spyder is a reader. He always has his nose in a book, and on any car ride, he has a minimum of three books in his backpack "just in case." I was a reader like that too, although I usually limited myself to one book at a time.

Every time someone we don't know (or don't know well) sees Spyder reading, I always hear a comment like "It's so great that he likes to read." And it is. I love being able to read with him and discuss our views. I really love it. Most of the time.

When do I not love it?

I do not love it when I tell him to get in the shower, and 10 minutes later I find him sitting on the (completely dry) floor of the shower -- reading!

I do not love it when I ask him to clean his room (usually meaning "get the books back to the bookshelf") and I find him on the floor in a pile of books -- reading!

I do not love it when I ask him to go outside to clean and refill the dogs' water dish and I find him sitting on the swing -- reading!

And yet, I think my parents probably dealt with the same thing. We had a rule of "no reading at the dinner table." That's the only rule about books that I specifically remember, but it probably tells the story. I'd be willing to bet that I was just as bad as Spyder.

I need to call my parents and apologize.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Super Whine

Sass loves to start her morning with Curious George and Clifford. They are her favorites, so she thinks it's absolutely blissful when she can start the day with them.

Super Why comes on just after. She used to watch that sometimes as well, but lately the theme music elicits an "Uuuuuugh! Why does this have to be on!?!" and she turns it off.

Obviously, turning off the television doesn't bother me at all, but I have been wondering why she no longer likes it. This morning I decided to ask.

ME: So why don't you want to watch Super Why any more?

SASS: They always tell me to do stuff for them! "Put your hands together like a fish. Run. Jump." {scoff} They can do all of that themselves!

Now I get it. She just sees those kids as a bunch of needy little bastards.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My mama, or why I should never put my phone on silent

Apparently my mom had been trying to get in touch with me since yesterday. I got an email from my sister Lisa this morning. The subject line was "Hey! Mom's worried about you!"

I had put my phone on silent. I do that sometimes when I'm out because I don't necessarily want to be disturbed, but some people rely on the missed call rather than leaving a message. (Brenda! Mom!) (And let it be known that my mom didn't leave a message!) So anyway, I had forgotten that I had it on silent, and I didn't move it back to the usual ring.

Mom had also tried Skeeter's (completely abandoned) personal phone, which has been dead for months. Then she started getting worried. So Mom called Lisa to find out where I was, speculating whether I was dead in the street if I just hadn't paid the bill. Dead or deadbeat, I suppose.

Lisa emailed me. I didn't respond right away because I wasn't at the computer. When I did get the message not long afterward, I also had an email from The Michael. Later I found out that when I hadn't responded, Mom decided that Lisa should call The Michael to see if he knew whether I was still alive. (I was, obviously, although I hadn't talked to him either.)

By the time I did call Mom, she was in a bit of a panic, which I found incredibly amusing since I had been "missing" for all of 13 hours.

And why had she been trying to call me? To remind me it was my grandmother's birthday, which I did completely forget. Oops.


Monday, July 07, 2008

"I'm imagining."

That's always Spyder's answer when I find him doing something odd. Not necessarily something that he shouldn't do, but just . . . odd.

Last night he was taking a bit too long with his shower, so I knocked on the bathroom door to hurry him a bit. Immediately after my knock, I heard a *thud* "OW!" I opened the door to find out what was going on.

Skeeter's sink was filled with shaving cream. Spyder was standing in front with shaving cream all over his feet. We had the usual Mom Inquisition.

ME: What were you doing?

SPYDER: Oh, I needed to wash my feet.

ME: You didn't do that in the shower?

SPYDER: Uh. Yes?

ME: So then what were you really doing?

SPYDER: I was imagining that I was making this really cool acid paste that would blow up the door.

Life is never dull around here.


Saturday, July 05, 2008

A couple of favorites

Both of my children love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom -- the book, the audio book (read by Ray Charles!) and this video. Loads of fun!

My daughter (the animal lover) giggles through this whole song.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

A post about other people's dogs

I like to talk about my dogs a lot. What can I say? They make me laugh, with their funny little personalities.

One thing that does not make me laugh: Brownie, digging through the trash. As he does every night that I forget to move the trash can. He also likes Ben & Jerry. That little trait? Not so endearing.

But this isn't about my pooches. This is about the neighbor's dogs. The dogs who are, at this very moment (1:28 am) barking quite excitedly, in an annoyingly incessant pattern. And have been for the last hour.

bark bark BARK

bark bark BARK

bark bark BARK

The police department around the corner likes us. We bring them cookies occasionally. I'm wondering if that gives me enough pull for them to come and take care of this little problem.

(Oh, I wouldn't do that. But I can dream daydream, right?)

Seriously though, I have dogs who like to bark. Brownie will bark at anything that moves (the reason that I call him Woofy McBarkers some days). Lucy will bark because Brownie does. That is a big reason that they are inside at night, making those funny snuffling noises at my feet -- because I don't want them to disturb other people.

I'm all neighborly like that.

You'd think that the people who live in the house (and thus, are closer to all of the aforementioned barking) would get up and deal with it. Obviously the dogs can't settle it with the patterned barks.

Maybe I can.

Grrrrr bark bark GRRRR

Grrrrr bark bark GRRRR

Update: It's 3:21 am, and the dogs have been quiet for the last 20 minutes. It's about time.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Watermelon Shoes

These are Sass's current favorite shoes, which she has named her "Watermelon Shoes."

It makes me smile every time she says it.