Saturday, November 14, 2009

In My Opinion

Right after Caroline was born there was a show on TV that listed the greatest inventions of all time. It was broadcast over a few nights and Rob and I eagerly awaited each episode. We are suckers for lists and made bets on what would be number one. It was the printing press. I agree whole heartily with that one, even thought that wasn't my guess. I now humbly submit my list of the greatest inventions, concepts, stuff that make my life better. These are in no specific order and subject to change on any day at any time:)

DVR- My favorite shows, any time without commercials? Awesome! The ability to say "Guys we have to go just DVR it"? Priceless.

The computer and all of it's time suck activities that draw in a techo -peasant such as myself- Email great, but Facebook with the chance to catch up with friends and see their pictures? That's even better. Just don't send me quizzes or ask me for crap for Farmville or Mafia Wars.

Blogging- I know, this falls under computer, but it deserves it's own category. I get to write, which I love and see what other parents are up to. I have found so many people like me through blogging. I am not alone! My life isn't as crazy as I thought either.

Diet Coke with Lime- What's in this stuff? Crack? Holy cannoli it's the best tasting thing in the world (well, next to a nice cup of tea). Like some sort of addict, I limit myself to one and slowly nurse it through the afternoon.

Cookies! -I don't need to say anything else.

Pumpkin pancakes- I think that I am hungry.

GPS- I can now travel without the fear of getting lost of rear ending someone because I am fumbling with a map. Plus, when I inevitably make a wrong turn, it helps me find my way.

Birkenstocks- Oh my happy feet!

Polar fleece- Warmth without itchy wool.

J Jill- God, I wish I could afford these clothes. Our outlet is closed and I think the entire chain is in trouble. This could be a fleeting love.

Slings- Couldn't have survived "Velcro Baby" without one.

Noggin- Appropriate shows for Lily anytime.

Netflicks- So many movies, so many choices, so many surprises when I forget to update my que and random forgotten movies stream into my mailbox.

Artistic-ish reality shows- Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance, Top Chef, Iron Chef, Cake Challenge, Ace Of Cakes.... I love them and so do the girls. Fun for all!

Well, this list could go on, but I'll end with one final item....

The printing press! Without books I would loose my mind and I think we'd loose civilized society. Screw the Kindle, give me a real book and a library any day!


I've figured out why I hate cleaning the house so much. It's not the dirt or the toilets; it the random project generated by each attempt to clean something. This morning, I was throwing clothes in the dryer when I noticed that a plastic bag was sucked into the filter. I don't want to risk a fire, so I get out the screw driver and take apart the lint filter to dig it out. All of the sudden a five minute job has morphed into a thirty minute one. This type of thing is constant. I've seen it referred to as "stream of consciousness cleaning" and parodied in a If You Give A Mouse a Cookie type of email, so I know that I am not alone. Do all women clean this way? Am I the only one who has started to put towels in the linen closet only to be shaken back to reality by my husband yelling "What the heck are you doing up there?" Well, I saw the old medicine that I keep at the top of the closet and decide to clear out the old pill bottles. Studies have shown that multitasking is inefficient, yet I can't help myself.

Rob's method is to start a project, get almost finished, get pissed off, and leave it for weeks, months, years.

We are going to combine our styles and try to go against type by redoing the dining room. We are going to stick to it from start to finish. We'll paint, buy furniture, arrange furniture, and install lighting. All without stopping or moving onto something else. Do you know how hard it is to keep painting when the closets are calling to be reorganized and the laundry wants to be folded.

This will be a challenge and we are up to it! I'll let you know how it goes when we finish it in a year.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Adolescent Boys?

Somewhere, up in heaven, my dad and papa have fallen off of their celestial bar stools and are laughing their butts off. Why? Because they sent us Lily. Lily, who is one Wacka, Wacka short of Fozzie bear. Lily, who has started channelling Beevus and/or Butthead. Lily who makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts.

Lily is going through what I refer to as a growth spurt of the mind. She asks at least 20 whys a day. She will not be satisfied with my tried and true strategies of a silly answer and then Woodie Gurthie's Why Song. She wants her answers "for real, for true." She wants a google search and Discovery channel to back you up. She is quiet honestly simultaneously thrilling and exhausting. She is running around explaining how an asteroid will kill the Earth (thanks Daddy) and why it is better to let our pumpkin decompose outside so it doesn't stink.

When she isn't a little scientist, she's a teenage boy. "Do you smell my stink?" she bellows from the bathroom. "I hold your family responsible for that gene." replies her embarrassed father. The more uncomfortable it makes us, the more likely Lily will do it or say it. She was placed here to remove the proverbial stick from our asses.

Last week I was reading to her from the most beautiful book about babies. You could tell this illustrator was a mommy. It was full of lovely drawings of parents doing what real parents do; parents passed out next to a cradle rocking it, daddies holding babies on their knees and gazing at them, and my favorite: a mother nursing in a rocking chair holding a book, head rolled back in exhaustion. The baby had her shirt clutched in his hand in that sweet gesture that I miss so much. The picture was enough to make me want to start it all over again, until:

"She's not feeding that baby! What's going on there?!" First I wondered why the hell I suffered through a year in a half of breast feeding when she doesn't even remember it. Then I started to explain (scientifically of course) about breast feeding. I got no further than breast when Lily stated to snort "Breast is a funny word." I explain that breast is a part of our body that is normal and plunge forth with my explanation. I am all ready for a bizarre response. When I explained breast feeding to four year old Caroline, she first asked why I didn't just give her milk from the fridge. After I explained that her milk came from my breast she looked at me in awe and asked how it opened up (yes folks, I'm a cooler).

After my explanation, Lily looked puzzled for a minute and then her face clouded over in horror. "You mean I drank BLOOD!?" Of course this makes sense in Lily world, she only knows of one liquid that comes from people (besides pee) and that's blood. I assured her that she wasn't a vampire and that mommies could make milk. Then I explained about cows and baby cows, mommy dogs and puppies etc. As she snuggled down under the covers she looked up at me with an angelic smile "Mom? Breast is still a funny word." As I told her to go to sleep and kissed her sweet little head, she whispered "Guess what Mom? Poop is funny, too."

Wild Child

Caroline and I finally saw Where the Wild Things Are. All along, I had no intention of taking Lily. Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers does not a children's film make. At least not for little ones. Caroline and I loved it. Are you all surprised? I was especially thrilled with Caroline, my Indie Kid in the making. We went with a friend who really didn't care for it and Caroline had no problem telling an adult that she liked it and wasn't at all embarrassed or awkward.

The movie was exactly what I expected (Well,the monsters were a little chatty/whiny/self-absorbed. At times they reminded me of my art school friends. All they were missing was a couple of lattes.). The movie was filmed beautifully. Especially the opening. It reminded me so much of being a child, especially my brother (whom I believe Max was modeled after.) I knew it would completely tap into my feelings about the primal-ness of children.

In this movie, Max had every right to be angry. The issue with Max was how he chose to deal with that anger. Kids are not angelic beings. I think they are awesome, but they are people in the making, trying to find their place. The rest of the movie is how Max works through this in his imagination (my favorite way to cope). The movie is violent. As much as I don't like to think about it, kids are violent. I had to eliminate the table point system in my classroom because I was afraid one of my kids would "shank" another with a sharp pencil because he wasn't quiet enough to earn them points. Now we have a very peaceful new age policy where we all work in harmony to earn a group activity. I also know these guys aren't leaving the school singing "Free to Be You and Me" everyday. There is still aggression. Hopefully, I can help them find better ways to deal with it (my current plan is basketball and running). I am going to close now. There is primal screaming coming form within my house. Hopefully, no one sails aways for a day and another day.