30 June 2008

There And Back Again

Highlights from Wizard World Chicago:

1. Frank and I got a day to just be with each other and not be on-duty Dad and Mom.

2. I discovered a new book, Mouse Guards, written and drawn by David Petersen. I love it! It's a little like Brian Jacques' Redwall (only this book's drawn and the main characters are mice not rats) or as the official site tells it, "The mice struggle to live safely and prosper among all of the world’s harsh conditions and predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed." Dave was at the con and signed my hardcover copy and drew a cute little mouse guard in it. He's a nice guy who draws a great all-ages comic. He's also an independent artist, so that's another reason to check out his work. I'm sure you could purchase Mouse Guards at G-Mart in Champaign.

3. I also got lucky and found one of two missing volumes to my Cerebus collection. Yay!

4. While Frank was rifling through some long boxes, I got to eavesdrop on the following conversation between a trio of fanboys (my guess is that 2 were about 15 or 16 and were friends and the other kid was a Little Brother of about 13).
Teen 1: "Dude! I just found issue 6! Issue 6!!!!!!!" (Issue 6 of what I don't know but it was incredibly exciting for this kid).
Little Bro (with an air of dejection): "There is entirely too much Avengers for any one person to possibly have."
Teen 2: "Dude! I just got the Iron Sheik's autograph! It only cost me $20."
Little Bro (sighing): "If I had a hundred dollars I could buy this entire box of G.I. Joes."

5. Both Andy Runton and Alex Robinson were at the con and signing their books. We bought their new books, which they both signed and added a little sketch. Honestly, if you aren't aware of Owly or haven't read Box Office Poison (or any of Alex Robinson's stuff) get to G-Mart, or your local comic book shop, pronto. You'll thank me later.


Flynn said her favorite part of the convention was having her picture taken with "Woman Woman Girl" (what Flynn calls Wonder Woman). The girl dressed as Woman Woman Girl was so nice and addressed Flynn as Supergirl. She gave Flynn a hug and my little girl was just beside herself, which you can't really tell from the photo, but she was very, very excited.

Evan's on the left, posing with a Clone Trooper from the 501st, a Star Wars fan club. They had a fun "droid hunt" going on that day that ended in a raffle. One of our numbers was called and we walked out of there with quite a bit of swag (a Darth Vader stein, a 501st t-shirt, and a bunch of other stuff). Evan's favorite parts of his day at the con: "Seeing G [one of his best friends, who happened to be there with his family] and the toys." Evan likes his comic books, but he's really a Star Wars toys aficionado. Of course, we bought a few things.

Flynn with Pooh, her favorite dog in the world. Pooh is also the only dog in the galaxy Evan likes. Pooh belongs to my dear, dear friend Tim and his wife Teresa who were kind enough to invite us to their home in Oak Park for dinner. Pooh's a sweet dog who tolerates a lot of love from Flynn. My daughter follows Pooh everywhere checking to see if Pooh had enough to eat and drink, sitting with her on the porch, hugging her, petting her, talking to her using baby talk, asking Teresa if Pooh could have more treats. Pooh soaked it up like a sponge.

Evan also tried to wheedle Tim's Star Wars toys into his possession.

A good meal, great conversation, happy children. That's what it's all about. Thanks, T & T!

Sunday we did not attend the convention. Instead, we went to a birthday party for a family friend's little boy. The party was about an hour, north and west, away from my mother-in-law's home. At least Flynn slept on the way there (several days of very late nights/relatively early mornings takes its toll on all involved). The party started at 3. Our intention was to stay until 4 or 4:30 then head home. We had a good time catching up with family friends we don't see very often.

We left after 6.

Which put us home well after 10 p.m. With both kids wide awake.

Today was spent unpacking (clothes, comics, toys) and getting a start on the laundry. We're keeping it low-key today and hitting the hay early.

At least I am.

26 June 2008

So Long, Stink Town

In a few short hours from now, my family and I will be en route to Chicago and the big comic book festival therein known as Wizard World or The Con. We won't actually be in the city, but in one of the northern suburbs conveniently located near my mother-in-law's home.

The Con is something we attend every year. We plan our vacations around it and we have a routine: Friday the kids stay with their Oma while Frank and I traipse off to go through long boxes and people watch, Saturday the kids come with us (this year they are dressing up - Evan as a Star Wars Clone Trooper and Flynn as Supergirl) and we usually meet up with my good friend Tim and go to lunch. This year we'll head out to Tim and his wife's home in Oak Park after we're done with the convention to gab and grill out. Sunday we usually don't attend the convention and this year we'll be going to a birthday party then heading home.

A busy weekend for sure.

In years past, when it was just Frank and I, it seemed that I was in the minority (it was rare to see just a "regular" girl there - someone not dressed up in Sad Girl goth gear or some skimpy Japanese School Girl/Sailor Moon get-up). Now there are tons of families mixed in with the Goths and "alternative" teens, who are fun to watch. As comic fans have aged and had families, the convention has grown to accommodate us yet still caters to the teenagers the industry believes are its core demographic. Its a nice mix.

And plenty of people in costume. I'm sure we'll see tons of Star Wars people and the Trekkies come out as well (any excuse to dress up as a Klingon, I suppose). Superheroes are a given (some of the costumes are really well done, some not so much).

I'm anxious to see what artists will be there. Alex Robinson, one of my favorites, has a new book out so I'm hoping he'll be there. And the kids are desperate to meet Andy Runton, creator of the superb Owly books (we all adore this comic).

Well, time to pack up the van and head out. Wish us happy hunting for the comics missing from Frank's collection and I'll tell you all about it Monday.

Have a great weekend, I know I will.

25 June 2008

Sushi Dress!

I know, I know. I said my next sewing project was going to be dino pj's for the kids, but I got inspired and skipped the jammies for now.

I've been in love with this Robert Kauffman fabric, titled "chopsticks please", for a long, long time. I used some in a quilt a couple of years ago and had leftover yardage stashed away.

Until now.

I used some of what I had left to make a dress for Flynn from a Simplicity "Project Runway" pattern. I cut a size 3, which fits her just right.

I paired the sushi fabric with a coral-colored quilting cotton I had lying around (also stashed away - yes, I am a fabric hoarder). The coral picks up the pink in the shrimp and fish in the sushi pieces. I think the two fabrics complement each other well.

Here's the end result:

This is a shot of just the dress. You can see the details of the fabric and embellishments (like the placket with the buttons that Flynn picked out on the front and the pockets). Let me tell you, sewing ric-rac is a right pain in the tuchus. I think somebody should invent no-sew, heat-bonded ric-rac.

Not too shabby.

Up next: birthday dresses for my niece.

24 June 2008

Kids In The Hall's Dr. Seuss Bible Sketch

Oh, those silly boys from the Great White North. I love The Kids In The Hall and this sketch is hilarious.

23 June 2008

String Theory

Harper's Bazaar magazine never fails to educate me in the ways of high fashion and the latest issue is no slouch as evidenced by the following photographs.

Um, excuse me, but it seems you have a thread loose here. And here. And here.
Does this make me look fat? Fat, no. You look more like a shaggy dalmatian. Or a hairy cow.

Apparently, these two looks will be all the rage this Fall. I mean, really, is there any woman who would walk down any street in these clothes? It seems more like unwearable art - made just for its own sake (or the photo shoot). All I can say is this look ain't gonna fly in Fly Over Country.

22 June 2008


My son has a posse of 4 other boys that he considers his "best friends". They formed a strong and lasting bond during kindergarten while discovering a mutual love of all things Star Wars, Lego, robots and dinosaurs.

Then he found out two of his friends are moving away; one to Wisconsin, the other to Boston. One of the boys leaves in two weeks, the other in 3. It's been a difficult time for Evan, at once filled with sadness at not seeing his friends, disappointment that they're going away, and excitement that his friends get to explore new places. We've made pacts with his friends' families to keep in touch via email and/or visits, which has eased the pain a little. When he was told that his friend was moving to Boston he remarked, "Well, I'm just going with him." He said he'd stow away in a box or a suitcase.

A few weeks ago, Evan approached me and said, "I want to have a Best Friends party before my friends move away." I thought it was a fantastic idea and set the wheels in motion.
We sent out e-vites to his buddies and, thankfully, everybody could come. One of Evan's friends plays baseball and dropped by between games, which meant a lot to my son.

The boys arrived around the designated time of 3 p.m. They were brandishing light sabers within 3 minutes of walking over the threshold of my home. Then, after putting on their swim trunks, they headed outside for a water gun fight which lasted for about an hour. They had a ball soaking each other and making up rules and teams for their Aqua Battles. While they were playing,
I took a picture of the boys and gave each one a framed print to take home.

Wet and a little cold, they came inside and dove into building an Ewok village out of Lego. It was pretty neat to watch them as they cooperated and shared ideas on their project. And another good thing is they played with Flynn and did not exclude her. They also drew pictures that I, in turn, made into t-shirt iron-ons so they'd have another keepsake of the day.

Pizza was cooked and devoured, as were chocolate chip cookies and "Sith Sodas" (a strawberry flavored soda and raspberry sherbet float).

The boys left at 7, exhausted and happy to have had a nice long time in the company of their best buds.

Just as Evan planned it.

20 June 2008

Triumph and a Good Question

Today saw us out of the house around 8:30-ish. We didn't return until around 5 p.m. It was a long, glorious Summer day.

I wanted to run to the Evil Empire before heading to the gym today so off we went. I had 4 things on my list. A couple hundred dollars later we sally out the door. Whaaaa? How did that happen? Oh, yes, there was a birthday present for a family friend's little boy to purchase, printer toner, photo paper, favors for Evan's "Best Friends" party tomorrow (light sabers and picture frames - I'll explain in more detail tomorrow), and a few other "essentials".

Then on the gym for a quick 30 minutes on the elliptical. No time for anything more, otherwise I would've hopped on the stationary bike for 40 or so minutes.

In the car and off we go to Hessel Park to meet up with some of Flynn's preschool friends. The kids changed into their swim wear and played in the water for a bit, then sat down to eat. An hour later, they were ready to leave.

Next stop: the pool. We arrived around 12:30, slathered on the 70 SPF sunscreen and headed for the water. [On a side note: Even though I reapplied that sunscreen every hour on the hour, Flynn still ended up with a very slight sunburn. What's up with that?] Evan was elated to see that a school chum was there so he headed off to play. Flynn spent her time being a "dancing octopus" (if you're familiar with the Wiggles you'll be picturing a purple octopus in plaid pants right about now, but Flynn doesn't know Henry since she was never the Wiggles freak Evan was). Although, this little octopus did not once put her face in the water. It's just something Flynn did not do. She loves the water, but had steadfastly refused to put her face in the water or blow bubbles. Until today.

My sister and her family showed up after 2 p.m. and my children welcomed them like royalty. Evan and his Uncle headed for the Plunge, a water slide. The girls frolicked in the water, my youngest niece munched on Twizzlers (she immediately headed for their "snack bag", I think when she sees me it triggers some kind of Pavlovian response). Katy and I sat on the edge of the pool and chatted when Flynn, put her head completely under the water and swam without any help. "Oh my God. Look at Flynn!" I yelled as she wriggled like a true little fish. She popped up and, with her fist pumping in the air, said, "YES! I did it! Mommy, did you see me? I swam all the way under the water!" There was much cheering and high-fiving. She was so proud of herself, it filled my heart near to bursting. Later that afternoon I heard her say, "I could live like this forever," before submerging for the umpteenth time.

Spending the day out and about, especially spending the bulk of the day in the water, makes for tired children (and mom). I took the easy way out for dinner and grabbed the kids Happy Meals on the way home. They were fed, showered, and jammied before 6. Flynn conked out as soon as her head hit the pillow.

While loading up Lego Star Wars on the X-Box 360, Evan saw that we save games on the Hard Drive. His brilliant question: "Is there and Easy Drive?" Hiding my smile, lest he ask what's so funny, I replied that I didn't know but it was a good question to ask his dad.

19 June 2008

The Fabric Fairy Cometh

Despite the fact that there are several usually well-stocked fabric stores in the area, I find it difficult to find knits that are not babyish or covered in monster trucks. And nobody carries a solid orange interlock or rib knit, much to my consternation.

I'd lamented this fact to Sarah over at Jinjur (if you haven't checked out what this incredibly creative woman can do with a sewing machine, you should) and asked her guidance in finding cute knit fabric. Upon her suggestion, I checked out a couple of sites and then googled "Japanese fabric" and up popped The Fabric Fairy.

I'm pretty much a sucker for all things fantasy-based and how could I resist the cute little hedgehog and other woodland creatures? I couldn't so I clicked on the link and poked around.

Oh. My. Good God.

I was in fabric heaven. The amazing selection of knits (and fabric in general) in fun, funky and mod patterns nearly overwhelmed me. Yes, I swooned. Then I ordered.

I bought some of this (which will become a birthday dress for my puppy-obsessed 3-year-old niece):

And this neat print of white silhouetted penguins on a navy background (pj's for Evan - he chose the fabric):

And these (more pj's for Evan and possibly dresses for Flynn and Emmy):

I placed my order on Sunday and it arrived via Fed Ex today, very well packaged and the nice people there included a coupon for 10% off my next order, which I happen to already be planning. I have to say, their prices were not any more expensive than I'd find here and shipping wasn't that exorbitant.

The fabric is in the washer as I type this, getting all nice and clean and ready to be made into goodies for the kinder.

18 June 2008


I've been a fan of Barenaked Ladies for well over a decade. I just love them and this video for the song, "Drawing" from their latest album, Snacktime.

Hope you like it, too.

Why Did It Have To Be Snakes?

First off, just let me say for the record, I have no beef with snakes. I like them just fine. Behind glass. I find snakes to be fascinating, beautiful creatures; I enjoy watching nature documentaries on them, reading books with the kids about them, looking at them at the zoo or children's museum. I have been known to hold one or two on occasion (these were other people's well-fed and lazy pets - no freaking way am I picking up a "wild" snake Crocodile Hunter-style). Live and let live is my motto, and I like the snakies to live far away from me. That being said, I think what I find so skin-crawlingly repulsive is the element of surprise. Snakes are unpredictable. And fast. Oh, and some of them could kill you.

The Fearless Freak, after a nudge from yours truly, wrote about her recent encounters with the slithery kind. I feel a little guilty for badgering her into it, so I thought I'd share one of my own snakey stories.

Frank and I had been married for two years and we were renting an old, somewhat well-maintained house in Urbana. I was teaching English at my old high school and Frank was beginning his search for a job in the computer gaming industry. We had one car.

One day Frank picked me up from school. On the way home he says to me, "Whatever you do, don't go in the basement."

This immediately made me suspicious. "Why?", I asked.

"Just don't go in the basement."

"Is there a snake in there?"


That's all I needed to hear. I was ready to abandon our house and move into a hotel.

"How did a snake get in the basement?"

Frank said, "I was mowing the grass when I saw this thing on the sidewalk by the back door. I thought it was a hose, then I remembered we don't have a hose. I tried to chase it off, but it reared up, looked at me and slithered into the crack in the foundation."

"Oh, Holy Christ," I said, picturing this big ass snake in our basement, which was probably a harmless garter snake but that's beside the point. I pictured it slithering between the floor joists or curling up on the washing machine making itself at home. Then in my mind's eye I saw it creeping up the stairs and into the kitchen where it would make its way to our bedroom where it would eat one of the cats. My blood ran cold. You may recall I have a very fertile and active imagination.

Thank God it was a Friday and I didn't have to be anywhere on Saturday because I did not sleep that night. Really. I stayed up reading and freaking myself out about the effing snake in the basement.

Around 3 a.m. I realized I needed to use the bathroom - that was on the far side of the kitchen. I'd have to either go upstairs or pass the basement stairs. I tried not to touch the ground as I walked out of our bedroom and ran up the stairs, used the facilities (all the while picturing a snake in our toilet a la urban myth) and ran back to bed.

After that little incident, we did our laundry at the laundromat. I didn't go back in that basement for the duration of our lease and after a stint in a second floor apartment, we haven't lived in another old house.

No more legless visitors, please.

17 June 2008

Feed Me!

Yesterday I babysat my sister's two daughters, Ashlyn's 6 and Emmy's almost 3. Pretty much we can guarantee that within five minutes of arrival, I will hear the following, "Can I have a snack?"

The girls arrived before 11. Sure enough by 11:03 Emmy asks me, "Aunt Missy, can I have a snack?" and heads for the pantry. Since my sister lives 15 minutes away, our kids spend a lot of time together (I've watched both girls when their sitter's ill or out of town and Katy can't take off school - she's a teacher) and they know where the snacks are.

After Emmy retrieves her snack, the other three decide they're hungry too. So they eat.

11:30 rolls around and I start making lunch.

Which is devoured by 12:15, and I take Emmy up to nap in Flynn's bed. Evan retires upstairs as well to play Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga on the X-Box 360. Flynn and Ashlyn plan to camp out in the guest room and give each other make-overs. After wishing Emmy sweet dreams, I return downstairs to clean up the lunch dishes and whatever else.

After about an hour I hear a loud rumpus emanating from my room, which is just above the kitchen.

5 minutes later four kids come downstairs and I'm told, "Emmy woke up." Hmmm, I wonder why? I was a bit peeved with the older kids because normally Emmy naps for 2 1/2 or 3 hours. But Em was good to go, so they put on their swim suits and headed to the back yard. I filled the pool and they had a blast. I sat outside with them, sipped my water and read a magazine.

"I'm hungry. Can I have something to eat?"

"Me, too! I'm hungry, too!" (echoed three times)

First I retrieved Popsicles.

They were still hungry.

Apples and melon balls were next on the menu.

They were still hungry. They wanted popcorn.

So I made them popcorn.

They've (finally) filled their little bellies, so I thought. By this time is was about 3:30 and I wanted them to be hungry for dinner so I cut them off. I declared, "No more food until dinner."

The girls found a daisy that had gotten blown over and floated it in a cup, adding more and more little daisy-like weed flowers (I don't know what they are, all I know is I didn't plant them). I think it turned out really nice.

They were rather pleased with the end result.

By 4:30 Ashlyn was asking me if I had started cooking dinner yet. It was on the table by 5:15-ish. They ate like I'd been starving them all day. And they asked for dessert, which I had promised them if they all ate well (I really dislike using food as a bribe, but, hey, it works). I made them wait 25 minutes so I could load the dishwasher, wash whatever didn't fit, and generally tidy up. You'd think I was torturing them.

Ice cream was served, appreciated, and sucked down in record time.

Katy picked up the girls around 6:30.

Emmy wanted a snack for the road.

14 June 2008

Daisy and Iris

While I pretty much have a black thumb when it comes to gardening, a couple plantings have survived my neglect: my irises and Shasta daisy.

The irises are on their second blooming of the season. They remind me of my childhood since we had clusters of flowers just like these scattered all over the yard, though my parents were much better gardeners than I (Mom still is).Baby daisies:Just bloomed:

13 June 2008

You Can Call Him Loretta

At dinner the other night, Evan looked wistfully out the back door, sighed and uttered the following statement, "I wish I was a girl. I wish I was a girl."

Me: Why do you wish you were a girl?

Evan: I want to make more people. I want to have a baby.

Me: Evan, my boy, it traditionally takes two people - a mom and a dad - to make babies.

Evan: No, it doesn't.

Me: Trust me, it does.

Evan: No. It. Doesn't.

Rather than argue the facts of life at the dinner table, I let it go and Evan went back to eating his dinner.

My son's longing to have a child put me in mind of the following scene from Monty Python's film, The Life of Brian.

11 June 2008

Utter Laziness

My kids have been at karate day camp this week and so far, it's been glorious (except for last night when Flynn, who was beyond exhausted, went completely Chernobyl because I asked her to brush her teeth).

Today was my day to luxuriate in being kid-free for several hours - no pressing errands or housework.

Frank and I went for coffee this morning after dropping off the kids. An iced vanilla latte never tastes as good as when it's shared with conversation and the excellent company of my husband.

Then off to the gym where I put in my miles - this time on the treadmill, after a 1/2 mile warm-up on the elliptical. For the first time since January I'm able to run without pain. It was glorious. While I was running (I'm taking it easy, which is sooooo hard - I just want to flat-out sprint), it occurred to me that a year ago being able to run a mile without stopping was something I didn't ever think I could accomplish. Now I can run over 4.

I did some window shopping at the mall. And stopped in at Macy's where I picked up a very cute set of earrings and a necklace, indulging my inner 4-year-old. Flynn told me I need to wear a necklace every day and I think she's right. I also found some cute clothes for the kids on clearance, for this summer and next Fall/Winter.

At home I had some lunch, checked e-mail, threw a load of laundry in the washer and did something I haven't done in over seven years. I turned on Sirius Radio's "First Wave" early alternative music channel on the satellite, grabbed my book, and settled into our easy chair to pass a few hours reading, the breeze blowing in through the open windows occasionally ruffling my book's pages.

And even though my current reading selection isn't completely engrossing, I can hardly think of anything better to do when I'm by myself.

Listening to music and reading is pretty much how I passed lazy summer (fall, winter and spring) days during my childhood/teen years/early adulthood. Before we were parents, Frank and I would spend our weekends lying around reading comics and/or other books. And then I became a mom and all that solitude went right out the window.

It was sheer deliciousness being utterly lazy and alone, if only for a little while.

Psst, I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm something of an introvert. No. Really?

Now the kids are home after a fun-filled day at camp and are currently vegging out on PBS kids and I'll tuck this day away in my memory for days that are a little harried, hectic, stressed out.

And this day will be a calm, soothing tonic for my frazzled nerves.

10 June 2008

Code Monkey

I was accidentally introduced to the world of Jonathan Coulton's geek rock many months ago when I saw a story on Yahoo! news about him.

I was smitten by his well-written, smart and funny lyrics and great music.

This is my favorite song of his, "Code Monkey", from his album Thing A Week Three. This isn't an "official" video - just a fan's AMV (anime music video) that goes surprisingly well with the music.


09 June 2008

2 For Her, 1 For Me

Last Friday while Evan was at a friend's house, Flynn and I went to Hobby Lobby where she spied (and fell in love with) two fabrics; one had a cartoony print of the states and the other had a print of bowling pins and balls with the words "retro bowl".

My daughter is the queen of the "neck dress" (what she calls a halter dress), so I thought those two fabrics would make cute dresses.

Saturday after we came home from the movie I whipped up one of the dresses. I made the other one today while the kids were at karate camp. The pattern, a Simplicity, was very easy and the whole thing took about an hour or so, except that even though I cut a size 3, the "states" dress was still too big in the back and I had to take it in (with the "bowling" dress I just reduced length of elastic by 2 inches).
This is what the back looks like:
The red at the bottom is leftover quilt binding that I added instead of hemming. It adds a little sump'n sump'n. I think all she needs now is a chiffon scarf and cat-eye glasses and she'll be super-stylin'.Then I made a pair of jammies for me. I swear I had to cut off over a foot of the pattern just to make pants for myself (I don't know who Simplicity thinks uses their patterns - possibly Amazons or giants). I used a knit fabric that is blue with brown polka dots (I don't know if you can tell it's brown in the pix). The top is a brown Old Navy tank on which I sewed a handmade applique .Next up: dino pajamas for both the kids, then the quilt for Evan's bed, then I might put the machine away for a while.

07 June 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoon

This morning our Tae Kwondo school sponsored a showing of Dreamworks' latest animated film, Kung Fu Panda.

At 9:00.

I woke up a little after 8, and startled at the late time into full alertness, jumped into the shower. At 8:25 I woke up Frank with, "The movie starts at 9. It's almost 8:30."

That left us with 30 minutes to get the children dressed, fed, in the car, drop Frank off at work downtown (his car's in the shop until Monday), and get to the theater in Savoy.

We made it. The kids ate Lego-shaped toaster waffles in the car. My breakfast consisted of the ultimate breakfast of champions, popcorn and a soda, scarfed down before the film even started.

This early showing was just for members of the TKD school, which was pretty darn cool. Each of the kids got a poster and a temporary tattoo. After the movie, Po the Panda was there to pose for pictures, which my two kinder veered away from (for as much as they love stuffed animals, they are freaked out by giant moving ones).

The film itself was a lot of fun. The reviews, I think, have been unkind and the reviewers are not familiar with old school martial arts films. If you've ever seen an old Jackie Chan (and he has a small part as Master Monkey) or Bruce Lee movie, you'll get a lot of the gist of
Kung Fu Panda, an animated love letter to that genre. The cast is superb (with Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie and a host of other A-listers), the film itself is gorgeous and seems to tip its hat art direction-wise to Genndy Tartakovsky's Samurai Jack series especially in the opening sequence, but not as stylized - you can tell it's a Dreamworks film.

Even though this is a kids' film, adults will be charmed as well. I was.

Not a bad way to spend a dreary, rainy Saturday morning.

05 June 2008

Banner Day

First things first, Evan lost another tooth last night as evidenced by the gigantic hole in his head (the upper tooth - #7 or 8, I think). This is the second tooth in as many weeks for that kid.

My sun-kissed sweetie was a complete darling last night when he wrote a thank-you to the Tooth Fairy, written on a post-it so it would be small enough for her to carry; "
Dear Tooth Fairy, Thank you for the dollars and the note [she left a note for him when he lost a tooth last August while we were vacationing in Colorado]. Love, Evan". She left another note for him along with a dollar's worth of quarters.

Evan also received a letter and the latest copy of Star Wars Insider magazine from George Lucas's secretary in today's mail. About two months ago my Star Wars-obsessed son typed up a letter asking Mr. Lucas if R2-D2 could come live with us. Evan was very concerned that the little droid didn't have a family or anywhere to live. The bulk of the response was a form letter, but she did add a personal post-script stating that it was nice of Evan to ask if Artoo could come stay with us but he's very happy living at Skywalker Ranch. I thought it was cool that he even got a response and Evan was thrilled. He's been reading and re-reading that magazine all afternoon.

I've had the kids' pajamas made for a few days - finished Evan's and made Flynn's on Sunday - but haven't had an opportunity to take any pictures until now. So here they are. Both sets are made from knit material, though Evan's bottoms and the applique on his top are a waffle weave. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but Flynn's bottoms are hot pink to match the flowers in the print on her top.

They both want a set of dinosaur pj's now. I have the fabric, but instead of making Flynn's top I'll take a tip from Sarah and use a ready-made tank top. I'll have to make Evan's long-sleeved because he's one of those kids that sleep in winter pajamas all year long, even when it's over 90 freaking degrees out with a dew point temp of 70.

Evan asked me if I'm going to make an jammies for myself. I just may do that.

04 June 2008

Oh, What A Night

For the first time in a long while, other than the monthly test, the tornado sirens went off in Champaign last night.

The kids had decided to have a sleep over in Flynn's room and took an inordinately long time to fall asleep. They'd been out for about 30 minutes when I heard the sirens. Luckily, Frank was home "early" last night (8:30-ish) so he was in the basement clearing space for us to wait out the warning (our basement is a disaster area in and of itself - something we hope to remedy this year). He also inflated an air mattress so the kids could lie down and not be on the cold floor. We gathered the kids, their blankets, pillows, assorted stuffed animals and flashlights and headed down. I worried that Evan would freak out, which he tends to do when there is severe weather. He must have been really tired because he looked around wide-eyed and cried a little bit then went back to sleep. It helped that the power stayed on. Flynn took a little longer to go back to sleep, but she did so clutching a flashlight to her chest.

I laid down with the kids and read for a bit, while Frank monitored the weather on the computer. The tornado watch was in effect until 2 a.m. and we made the call to sleep in the basement. Frank got another air mattress and was going to sleep in the area we call "Fanboy Land" or "Gamer's Paradise" - Frank's area of the basement that looks like a comic book shop. Next thing I hear is, "I need some help. We've got water." Water was coming in the egress window and pooling on the floor (this has happened before but we thought we'd solved the problem - guess not). Luckily, all of Frank's comic boxes are off the floor. We cleared stuff out of the way and Frank started vacuuming up the water with the shop-vac we keep down there. Surprisingly, the shop-vac did not wake the children and that thing is loud. It was 11:30 before we were finished and the worst of the storm had passed. I decided we didn't need to sleep in the basement and brought Flynn upstairs (quite a work out since she was about 35 pounds of dead weight). Frank brought up Evan.

I don't know why we put them in other beds, because they woke up in the night and came in with us, which made for a restful night's sleep.

It was after midnight when I went to bed. Frank was up in the night checking to see if more water came in (it didn't). We're all wiped today and I'm about to say "hello" to a steady diet of caffeine and sugar to get me through. I'm foreseeing a day of crankiness and temper tantrums. Whee.

It will be an early night tonight for us all.

02 June 2008

Get A Grip

As we were walking out of the gym today Evan says very matter-of-factly, "I need a Bowflex."

"Why do you feel you need a Bowflex?" I ask, wondering how he even knows what a Bowflex is. Then it occurs to me that he's seen the commercial (which I hate, by the way - I just cannot stand that jerky "everyman" spokesdude).

"Because, I have weak hands, " he replies holding his obviously feeble 7-year-old appendages in my face.

"Well," I counter, "a Bowflex isn't going to make your hands stronger and they aren't made for kids anyway."

Then he mutters the phrase that has, of late, become his personal motto, "That's just not fair."