Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Created a Monster!

Or, a ghoul, goblin, wizard? It's Harry Potter craziness here at our house. And before I talk about that can I just say that you are the best bunch of people ever?! With all that great feedback on chopsticks with cheerios mornings I'm tempted to confess more of my mothering blunders! That had me smiling all day...perhaps even better than a package from Etsy! (but those have given me happy days too- thanks!) You guys are the superest! Thank you! much as I would like to digress...i simply can't escape the Harry Potter frenzy we've been whipped into. I'll admit it's MUCH better than reading ameilia bedilia crap and that predictable curious george...don't even get me started on the bunny with the pink nose! Billie says it in a taunting voice with such glee "I get to choose the story...and it's going to be a LAME one!!!" Bill and I both roll our eyes and give in to ONE lame story but refuse to re-read in one's just beyond our parenting patience limit.
So..we've usually got some pretty good reads going on around here. I throw all my un-used acting skills (Best Actress award- 1993, Annandale High School thankyouverymuch) into personalizing the characters with accents of their country of origin (or a made up accent...if it suits me), using facial expressions, and introducing otherwise forbidden phrases to my children like "shut up you idiot!" I know the bad language isn't much of a learning 'ideal' but the rest really get the kids riled up. Jackson will be shaking his fists back and forth while jumping on the couch next to me as I read an especially frightening, hanging-on-by-the-skin-of-your-teeth scene from the book. He's nearly acting things out as they's kinesthetic.
Billie can't stop herself from interrupting with 'useful' (?!) bits of information ("he should have listened to Hermione...he's going to get into trouble!") but also gets caught up in the plot and perils. And then...THEN...after finishing the first book in a grande 2 hour reading finale...they were bouncing off the walls with the thrill of the ending (I nearly had myself in tears I was reading it with such feeling) and THEN...we let them watch the movie (which they didn't know we had). I must say, there is all SORTS of creepy stuff in here...but it was already in their heads via the book, so, we thought...what the heck? And it was SO funny to hear them comment on the movie. "I thought Fluffy was white" "I thought Uncle Vernon was skinny but he's fat" "That's not really what happened to Norbert!" "But Dudley doesn't have his smelting stick" They noticed EVERY difference. I can NOT believe all the details the kids got out of that book...i just could never name them all. But it's SO cute to think of them having these ideas in their heads- clearly Billie had pictured Fluffy the 3 headed dog with white fur. I LOVE seeing how their brains work with these little insights. Geez, people are worried about kids learning enough ..but what are they NOT learning? That's what i'd like to know...they notice EVERYTHING and then they think about it.
Of course, we had to start book two that night...and both children crawled into our bedroom sometime during the night because they "had bad dreams...not just about Harry Potter!" (yeah, right! this following at least 2 years of no bad dreams) And i'm reading during breakfast, i use it as an incentive to get them to do a quick playroom pick-up, it's Harry Potter all day and all night. I think we're on Chapter 6...and this is day, it's officially an obsession. Just thought I'd share that with you...since it's what's happening with us. Tomorrow i'm taking them to Mt. Vernon because Jackson LOVES George Washington and anything to do with him...hoping to get them on another topic for a couple hours at least.
Haven't gotten pictures of the kids up in a's what's up: still-walk-with-a-peg-leg-even-though-i'm-cast-less-Sloane, drama class, and home puppet's better than looking at shirts and kitchens, right?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Get out of the kitchen

So, i hear a lot of comments that seem to indicate i have a perfect life, it's true my life is pretty awesome but i have problems too, i just don't usually dump them on you blog readers (the 4 of you might stop reading if i do) but here's a dose of reality...i hate my kitchen. i've tried to adjust...but i can''s just awful. how can a room with 40% of it's wall space taken up by windows be dark and creepy? i don't know but my kitchen is. there are 4 drawers. that's right 4 and they are all VERY small, so utensils like whisks and spatulas (see...i know kitchen lingo) are forced up on the counter tops in ugly display next to the appliances which have no room in the 4 cabinets (because plates, cups and food have to go somewhere). And that's my kitchen...which was not a roaring success but somehow tolerable until the dishwasher broke and now...well, it's beyond hope. I don't even want to go IN there! So, i dare you to compliment me you like the way that there's one clean dish in the dish rack? Or the way I've posted vacation type postcard art up so that I can imagine myself somewhere else? How about the big bag of rice, which can't fit anywhere and so has a place between the dishwasher and the back door? Or how about that the microwave blew up with sparks and freaky-ness after we were NOT able to fix the darn dishwasher with the new parts we bought and waited for them to come in last night? Is that fun? And then, it's not really's my Mother-in-laws (who I think has seen the light now that she has a big Paris place) but handled this teensy room with such grace that she actually believed it when she said "It works really well for me!" and came up with all kinds of responses for the inevitable look of shock and "My GOD! How can you DO anything in this kitchen?!" remark that comes from each new house visitor. My responses are things like..."well, we eat a lot of 3 minute ramen noodles" and "i's really hard because Sloane can reach the stove from any point in the room, so I can hardly hold her and get a glass of water." I don't know how Pat did it- but she's a chef, and possibly just much more optimistic or determined to make it work than me. In any respect, she's a better person than me. And there's your answer to the question I always get: "how do you find time to sew? /read all those books? /order 26 things from Etsy in one day?" I have nothing but time...because i avoid the kitchen, eat P,B &J, ignore the dishes, eat with disposable wooden chopsticks when all utensils are dirty (i suppose some Moms will clean some spoons before breakfast but billie and jackson have totally had cheerios with chopsticks...because i had to finish this really great chapter in the book i'm reading RIGHT NOW...for Sloane? frozen peas- no utensils required!). So, that's my world...not perfect at all, as you can see. And i hope in proving that i'm not the perfect Mom i won't have offended you all into not being my friends. There's worse things than wearing a pair of jeans out of the laundry hamper and eating breakfast with chopsticks? right? By the way, these pictures are taken on two different days of dirty dishes and 2 seconds after this picture was taken Jackson broke this fake drawer off the cabinet! perhaps the kitchen senses my hatred and that's why it's rebelling against me so?!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I can't stop!

Look at this cuteness- so, while everyone is frolicking in the snow- I'm downstairs turning out a shirt every 15 minutes. It's so cute and too easy...if we had a cute shirt that has a stained bit on it...i can just cut that bit out and replace it with another shirt transplant! I've made like 4 shirts from that original stock that i bought (at the thrift store) so the total for 4 shirts is like $4!! AND nothing is going to waste or to the trash's recycling for everything. i'm never buying anything new again. (though, i still have to convince jackson to let me cut up some of his clothes...he's sure he likes them the way they are).

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Just for you

So, I've got a new addiction. Perhaps it comes from moving and having no friends (I have made one friend now...hi, Maria!). Maybe it's cuz I don't have a "J-O-B" where I accomplish things and put them in the 'completed' file. Or it could be a desperate desire to be original in this land of manufactured-in-China-by-the-3-millions. Perhaps Japan was such a good source of funky oddities that now I hate to walk into Target and Ikea and see a trash can that's nice, red and shiny and if I buy it I'm sure to see it in the next 30 stores and homes I walk into. So, I've recently developed this craving for hand made things. Like, I've always liked them...but now I want to own them all, and pass them on to my children and create things from nothing (or from old things) and turn them into something new with my own two little hands. I want to have things that no one has ever seen before and I need to have NOT the same picture frame as you. Then I want to go to everyone else's house and be treated to looking at all the incredible 'i've-never-see-anything-like-it' s that they've collected! So, that's all good but just how many children's artwork inspired embroidery pillows can i make? And, how can i take the kids to those arts and craft shows when there's all that glass around? poor little craving gets denied. UNTIL NOW.
It's ebay for handmadeness. And it's inspiration for me. After last night when I saw this but didn't buy it because i had already bought this and this.
I had to run to the thrift shop this morning and get a bunch of old kids T-shirts with cute prints to cut up and turn them into THIS: Pretty cute for $3.50- huh? AND I have enough left to make a match (mismatchy) for Sloane!
Now- here's for my cool plan. (It's more than just a way for me to get all the things on my wishlist...i swear!). How about I send something cute and handmade to everyone I know? You'll get a cute little package in the mail, you'll smile for the rest of the day (at least until one of your animals or children throws up on it): happiness. AND THEN- this bit is important because you've got to pay it forward- you go onto Etsy. Check out my list (because i'm the one who just made your day) and order something for me...or something off my list and suprise me with a toothfairy pillow or a robot monster. There's heaps of things for like $3, so that's totally reasonable...and how fun will it be for us to be getting packages of loveliness?
Plus we're supporting these folks who are using their creative genius to make things! So, it's a good cause. And these are independent people so they're all willing to make something to your color specification and ship them to the address you say (even if it's in France). Nothing expensive, just like a barrette, headband or little necklace pendant.
ooh, goody...this will be so fun!
Send me your address if you're not sure that I have it (I have lost a thing or two in my life...if you got a Christmas letter...that's a good sign I have it!)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Maebel gets on my nerves

Here's a happy little Sloane with one of her favorite Christmas gifts- it was to Billie. A teddy bear named 'Maebel' who sings at a MOST annoying pitch repeatedly and Sloane instantly starts in with the head-banging each time she hears it. She LOVES her.
This week we had an animal field trip and another class at the Corcoran, then it was to the zoo where Jackson attended 'Sneaks & Cheats' with his buddy Nolan to learn about the ways animals are 'sneaky' and Billie went to 'Animal Folktales' taught by a wonderful storyteller and she's been telling stories ever since; in an even MORE dramatic fashion so that each 'story' is a performance. She instructs: "Jackson, each time I do this I need you to play a pretend flute for audience participation" I'll write something interesting later- just thought I'd keep up with our's almost like having a real life. In the pictures: Sloane hugging Maebel. Kids pretending to be Vets at the Zoo. Kids at the Zoo with Nolan, aside from this last picture we have no other reason to assume that Jackson will turn out to be gay.

 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

She thrives!

So, the big's Sloane doing with her cast? Answer: She's great. She's happy, it doesn't seem to bother her at all. She's even started walking with it (she'd been crawling in it for the first week). She's SOOO high-strung overall that I thought she'd be pulling at and bothered by her cast, making baby sign language up to say "get this purple crap off me!!!" but she's not. Not at all; she's happy, she dances, walks around like a gimp, eats, sleeps, goes on trips in the backpack, smiles, waves and does 20 more tricks than she started the year off with. Kids are SO resilient. And now it's less than 2 weeks to go until the cast will be off and she can get back in the bathtub. Yay!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My Left Foot

I titled this blog my left foot because 'Sloane broke her leg' sounds so sad. want to hear something worse? "My one-year old has a broken foot" or what about "I fell down the stairs when I was carrying my baby and now her ankle is broken." At least I don't have to say that last one...Bill does. I HAVE fallen down the stairs while carrying her, but no injuries resulted. Bill and I were both wearing an evil pair of slippers at the time...those slippers are in the dumpster now. and poor little sweet Sloane's ankle is in a big purple cast. I don't have to say anything really, ...just be the mom walking around with a baby who she somehow let fall into a disaster that required a huge purple cast!!!
more bad stuff? okay...we didn't notice (because she didn't cry or fuss, really) so we took her to a baptism and party all day on Saturday. I noticed she didn't want to walk, but just thought she was feeling clingy and we carried and held her all day. We did little foot bending, knee moving experiments to make sure nothing was wrong and she acted fine, like she didn't mind us wiggling her limbs cries, not a sign...just didn't want to walk. can't be broken then, right?
so, at the doc office i was all ready for them to say she must have a sprain or bruise after looking at the x-ray. when the doc said 'fracture' i burst into tears. she's JUST ONE!!! i have never broken a bone, been to the ER twice in my life, once with Jackson, once when the train dumped Billie off at the fair in Minonk...that's it. that's the full extent of serious illness or injury and little Sloane only stayed intact for one year!! oh. thankfully, i'm CLEARLY more upset and bothered by this whole thing than she is.
pictures: does this foot look broken to you? i took a picture because i won't be seeing it again for 3 weeks, in the rocking chair with billie, billie and jackson work on lincoln logs...unaffected and whole.
i hope 2007 gets better.