Sunday, November 30, 2008

The end of Nablopomo

This is what happens when you leave a 2 1/2 year old alone in a room with a tree. Please note that no children were actually hurt in this picture, but there were quite a few ornament casualties, and we rehung the gingerbread cookies without thinking that then rendered all of the cookies inedible (since they likely have glass shards in them).

Otherwise, the weekend was great. The tree looks great (again). The outside lights are up and cheering up the early arriving dusk. I am currently enjoying my Thanksgiving weekend tradition of Beaujolais Nouveau with the leftover cheese as a pre-dinner snack. Tonight's application of leftover turkey is Stroganoff. Alec has stock going with the turkey carcass, so the whole house smells wonderful. We have a loaf of baguette in its first rise, and a batch of peanut butter cookies resting in the fridge. Tonight will be a bit of baking before we get into the hustle-bustle of December.

We did some new stuff this year - we ate the turkey liver sauteed with bacon, onion, and apples on Wednesday after we set the bird a-brinin'. It was very good, although Alec and I were a little timid, the girls thought it was terrifically delicious and demanded more. We shared the holiday with friends. We went to see a matinee movie. We didn't shop until today, and that was only to stock the Advent calendar (since tomorrow is December 1) and we picked up a few baking items we'd maxed out over the weekend.

Oh, I should say something about this year's NaBloPoMo, even though I failed. Twice. I should resolve to post more often just for me because the formula is easier. It works better. Every year it has improved my writing. Having said that, I don't know that I will even try to post every day in December. In fact, I will probably take Saturdays off.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What is with Saturdays?!

Sorry, gentle readers. I failed yet again. I did have a paper due yesterday, spent an ungodly amount of time in the car and had to spend the afternoon with my inlaws, so perhaps that might give me a bit of a reprieve.

Nanny gave both of the girls dolls yesterday. Lindsay declared that it was, "Her very favorite doll". When asked what she named her doll, she replied, "Sharon."

I looked up at Alec, "That's cool. We don't have anything named Sharon. She named her last doll Missy."

"Yeah, well I guess we know who will be the novelist."

"What do you mean," asked Alec's father.

"Lauren still names stuffed animals things like 'Turtle'."

"Actually," I replied, "I think she branched out and called the newest one 'Turty'..."

"Very clever." Alec retorted.

Friday, November 21, 2008

And the first rule is...

Lauren, Lindsay and I helped out with a craft hour after school to create snowflakes for our winter community service initiative at school. We were there until about 5 PM with another mom and her son. Adrian is a year younger than Lauren, but they were playing some sort of game that was somewhat violent while Maddie and I finished stringing snowflakes and cleaned up all the crayons and scraps of paper. At some point, a para came in and had an exchange with the kids. It ended with her yelling at Lauren for blocking the door with a foot raised.

At talking time once Alec was home, we discussed the days events.

"And then Lauren got in trouble for trying to kick a para..." I said.

"What made you think that that was a good idea?" Alec asked.

Lauren erupted into tears. "I...don't know..."

"I think that maybe Lauren and Adrian were playing a game and they thought that the para was playing too until she...wasn't..."

"Is that what happened?"

Lauren sobbed.

"Why don't you tell me what happened?"

"Adrian and me were playing cops." She said through tears. "And we were investigating a perp who tried to get away, so I was trying to stop her."

"Was the para playing?"

"I thought she was, but then she got mad." Lauren once again began sobbing.

"Alright. You don't have to cry about sounds like a misunderstanding. But Lauren, trying to kick a teacher is not a good idea - that will always get you in trouble. So, it sounds like you were playing, and there was a misunderstanding and you made her angry. What are you going to do about it?"

Lauren hiccuped.

"What do you think the first thing is?"

"Don't kick a para?"

Alec and I avoided each others eyes and stifled a laugh.

"To say, 'We were playing yesterday, and there was a misunderstanding. I am sorry for making you angry.' to the para."

"Okay, Daddy."

"Oh, and Lauren?"

"Yes, Daddy?"

"Don't kick a para."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Things with a very high Eww factor

I had said to a friend yesterday that I really need to blog about something besides Lauren's school and church. Today is not the day to start that.

A friend of mine called me yesterday. "Do you know where you can bring kids to get them deloused?"

I took a deep breath. Before I could even answer I realized I was scratching at my scalp because just the mention of lice makes me itchy. And it's a kid Lauren plays with a lot - they were at Katie's birthday together on Saturday night watching a movie. Oh gosh, were they sitting next to each other? Touching heads? Eww!

"No," I replied. "You really need to call a townie for that," and I suggested a mutual friend who might know.

When Lauren came home I grilled her about whether the nurse had done a scalp check. She looked annoyed, "No. She measured us and checked our hearing."

I carefully looked at her head. No bugs.

I told Alec this morning while he was getting dressed. "Ew. Don't get near anyone's head. No hugging."

"Why?" Lauren demanded.

"Lice are worse than fleas. They lay eggs on your head."

Lauren, who has a fascination with bugs, blood, boogers, and all things icky, replied, "That is the grossest thing you've ever said."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Welcome to 15

I've been magically transported back to age 15 this week, starting with a visit from a friend from high school. We discovered a week ago that we live about a mile apart, and her daughter is about 4 months younger than Lindsay.

I don't have a lot of good memories of high school. With my overloaded academic schedule, chamber choir, orchestra, a smaller string group, a civic orchestra, drama club and working 2 part-time jobs, I was always running around like a crazy person. Near the end of my sophomore year, Carolyn and I became friends along with a couple of boys from the next town. They were all seniors. There was another girl who hung around with us who was a junior. I remember we had a good time that summer, and then Carolyn and the boys all went off to college. Most of the rest of the details pretty much escape me - other than it was a very straight-edged crowd: no one drank, did drugs, or had sex.

"Do you remember when we used to decide whose house we were hanging out at based on who had Tostados and salsa?"

I squinted at her. I have no recollection of this at all. I remember we played a board game called "Encore" that involved a lot of singing. I remember we went to see the laser light shows at the Science Museum's planetarium, but I don't remember any details about that other than we were probably the only ones there who weren't stoned.

Perhaps my life became very tumultuous after that? A lot of bad things happened to my family - death and divorce. I got into a relationship that wasn't good for me. I don't regret the things that happened. They made me who I am. The year and a half that followed eradicated that summer. Or maybe it is just it's now almost 20 years ago.

We listen to a radio show when our alarm goes off in the morning. Every day at 7:10 AM, they have a call-in contest. If your initials match the ones they announce, you call in to win $1000. This morning they called my initials. I squealed and ran downstairs to grab my replaced cell phone. My hands were actually shaking when I tried to key in the number.

But with my replacement phone all of my user preferences haven't been added yet, so there's no auto-redial when I got a busy number. I tried a bunch more times and finally got through, but no one answered - someone must've already called in. As I listened to the phone ring I thought, I haven't called into a radio station since I was trying to win tickets. I was 16, I remember driving around trying to find a pay phone to call.

I know a lot of people say they'd like to turn the clock back 20 years, but after this week, I think I'll pass...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Happy birthday, Dad!

Dad turns 57 today. If you have moment, go over and wish him a happy...

I wrote this post a long while back. It was my post 300, and I'm on post 870 or something. I think it encapsulates both our serious and silliness. I hope my dad is around for a long time, purely selfishly, because he has great perspective and doesn't take himself too seriously which is a lesson at 34 that I haven't quite learned. Also? We had our first summer vacation in August with Ben and Maria, and it was just awesome.

Here are 100 things that I learned from my dad:

1. To keep my eye on the ball.
2. Honesty is the best policy.
3. Except when it isn't.
4. To distinguish right from wrong.
5. That there's a lot of gray area in life.
6. Sometimes good people do bad things, and that doesn't necessarily make them bad.
7. Sometimes bad things happen anyway.
8. To ask for it "Medium Rare".
9. To order it "very dry on the rocks with an olive".
10. That olives out of a vodka martini are very tasty.11. That two wrongs don't make a right.
12. Don't put it in your nose.
13. Don't put it up your brother's nose.
14. And certainly don't eat things that came out of your nose.
15. Or (JESUS CHRIST!) your brother's nose either.
16. How to play PIG.
17. How to play HORSE.
18. That HORSE is just a long version of PIG.
19. That I was never going to play professional basketball.
20. How to back in to a parking space for my driver's test.

21. How to look up words in the dictionary.
22. How to properly hold a fork.
23. To chew with my mouth closed.
24. Not to wiggle in my chair with my fork in hand.
25. Not to run with scissors.
26. To enjoy escargot.
27. How not to mortify Gramma while dining out at "her club".
28. To be a ham.
29. How to eat a lobster.
30. That my napkin belongs in my lap.
31. How to do the crawl stroke.
32. How to play Monkey in the Middle.
33. That the game was more fun when you're NOT the monkey.
34. To be able to name any Beatles song ever recorded just by listening to the opening 5 chords.
35. Not to do something simply because I can.
36. Different people like different things.
37. Ninety-five percent of the people you encounter are assholes.
38. That we're part of the other 5 percent (most of the time).
39. Sometimes the best laughs you have are at your own expense.
40. Particularly when you've forgotten your own birthday.

41. All the words to Don McLean's American Pie.
42. My multiplication tables.
43. How to ride a bicycle.
44. Not to ask someone to do something I was not willing to do myself.
45. To always end a conversation with "I love you".
46. That respect is something you earn.
47. That it's possible to have faith and to be a good person without belonging to or attending church.
48. That there are 3 sides to every story: mine, his, and The Truth.
49. That it's possible to forgive someone without forgetting her transgression.
50. That a firm, strong handshake is important.
51. The difference between a Phillip's head and flathead screwdriver.
52. To love Casablanca.
53. Not to say "I can't", or "I'll try", instead to say "I will".
54. That anything worth doing is worth doing well.
55. That truth is stranger than fiction.
56. That even a truly mundane experience can later make a funny story.
57. That it's a good idea to have a back up plan.
58. How to ice skate.
59. Not to be the first person out onto the ice.
60. That making people laugh is a good ice breaker.
61. To love music.
62. To listen to different types of music, whether or not you think you like the genre. You're usually surprised.
63. To be comfortable on stage.
64. How to make hospital corners.
65. How to operate the washing machine and dryer.
66. To learn from mistakes, but not to dwell on them.
67. To accept responsibility for my actions.
68. To graciously accept praise.
69. That a good sense of humor can carry you through many unpleasant situations.
70. That it's best not to play favorites.
71. A drink won't fix it, but it can't hurt either.
72. Not to date famous rockstars in their 60s.
73. Even if they have a lot of money.
74. That persistence sometimes pays off.
75. That sometimes it's better NOT to try to fix it yourself.
76. That "texting" someone is just dumb.
77. To appreciate Alan Alda's sense of humor.
78. That in every generation, there was a "right" way to do something that we now look back on wondering what the hell people were thinking.
79. To love your mom even if she is a crazy nutball sometimes.
80. How to keep a scorecard at a baseball game.81. To order it with hot fudge, whipped cream, salted nuts, and a cherry.
82. To be patient.
83. That being patient isn't always the correct response.
84. How to memorize a script.
85. That the spinning rides at the amusement park were a lot of fun, and more so before eating.
86. To like pistachios.
87. To appreciate the relationships I have with my siblings.
88. To listen without judging.
89. You can't lose if you don't play.
90. Never get into a fight with an ugly person.
91. Never argue with crazy people.
92. Always wear clean underwear in case you get hit by a bus.
93. Sometimes it's really funny to state the obvious.
94. Parsimony.
95. That if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
96. To wait for a better offer.
97. That tough love has its place, and so does telling someone what they need/want to hear.
98. That making my bed and keeping my room clean were a good start.
99. That if you can't knock 'em dead, at least leave 'em laughing.
100. To live well, to love completely, and to never regret anything.

Happy Birthday, Dad! I hope you have a great day.