28 July 2008

27 July 2008

The Perfect Beginning To A Vacation

"Mmmommmmm! Flynn threw up in the bathtub!"

They were in the bath at the time.

It wasn't a lot of vomit, thankfully, and she's not sick (something just triggered her gag reflex).

But now their bathroom smells of lemony fresh vomit.

Mmmmm, lemony fresh vomit.


Frank came home today from the San Diego Comic-Con, or "Nerd Prom". We all missed him terribly and are thankful he's back.

He came home loaded with toys. Sorry, I mean action figures. No, toys. He brought the kids some things and something is coming for me. It should arrive while Evan, Flynn and I are in Ohio.


The kids and I leave tomorrow bright and early for points north and east. We'll be picking up my sister and her two girls (ages 6 and almost 3) then drive to Indy and the Children's Museum. Hopefully, there won't be too much construction and we'll make good time (knock on wood). Our plan is to spend the morning/very early afternoon in Indy then head to Columbus, OH where we'll camp for the night. Tuesday we'll drive up to Cleveland where we'll spend the rest of the week with our aunt and uncle. It looks like the weather'll hold so we'll be able to take my uncle's boat out on Lake Eerie. When my sister and I were kids, they had a sailboat but they have since traded in the sails for a power cruiser.

So, auf wiedersehen until next week.

26 July 2008

Could Only Have Been Written By A Parent

I finished Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union last night around 11:30. I'm a fan of Chabon's writing - as a reader you get the feeling that he's invested a lot of thought in the words he was choosing to put down on the page, wanting to get it just right (unlike Anne Rice who does not edit and it shows). As with Chabon's other writings, the characters in this novel are lush and very human. And while I thoroughly enjoyed this book, there was one passage that struck me as so true to life, I committed the page number to memory (page 192 in the paperback edition). The book is long like Chabon's other excellent novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, but so worth the time and effort.

I'm not going to bog you down with plot points, but the main character, Detective Meyer Landsman, is recovering from a minor gunshot wound in the bed of his partner (who is also his cousin). The partner is married with two small children.

Sometime in the middle of the night, Goldy [one of the little boys] careers into the room. His tread is heavy and lumbering, a baby monster's. He doesn't just climb into the bed, he roils the blankets the way a wire whisk roils a batter. Its like he's fleeing something, panicked, but when Landsman speaks, asks him what's wrong, the boy doesn't answer. His eyes are closed, and his heart beats steadily and low. Whatever he was running from, he found shelter from it in his parents' bed. The kid is sound asleep. He smells like a piece of cut apple that's starting to turn. He digs his toes into the small of Landsman's back with care and without mercy. He grinds his teeth. The sound of it is like dull shears on a sheet of tin.

After an hour of this kind of treatment, around four-thirty, the baby starts to scream,... Landsman can hear Ester-Malke
[his partner's wife] trying to comfort him. Ordinarily, she would bring him into her bed, but that's not an option tonight, and it takes her a long time to settle the little grandfather down. By the time Ester-Malke wanders into the bedroom with the baby in her arms, he's snuffling and quieter and almost asleep. Ester-Malke dumps Pinky between his brother and Landsman and walks out.

Reunited in their parents' bed, the Shemets boys set up a whistling and rumbling and a blatting of inner valves that would shame the grand pipe organ of Temple Emanu-El. The boys execute a series of maneuvers, a kung fu of slumber, that drives Landsman to the very limit of the bed. They chop at Landsman, stab him with their toes, grunt and mutter. They masticate the fiber of their dreams. Around dawn, something very bad happens in the baby's diaper. It's the worst night Landsman has ever spent on a mattress, and that is saying a good deal.

I'm guessing this was written from experience as Chabon is father to 4 children. This passage made me laugh out loud because I've been there so very many times.

25 July 2008

Birthday A-Go-Go!

Today my daughter is officially a "big kid" - 5. years. old. It's hard to tell looking at her, most people asked her if she was 4 today; she's "vertically challenged" like me.

I was up at 6:30. By 6:45 Flynn was knocking on my bathroom door asking if she could open her presents. I have to say she exhibited remarkable restraint when, yesterday, she saw me carrying up bags full of goodies to the guest room so I could wrap them undisturbed. She left me alone to wrap her gifts. Her brother, on the other hand, kept coming in and asking me all sorts of questions.

The three of us (Evan, the birthday girl and myself) assembled in our living room so Flynn could unwrap her presents. I think she ripped through that paper in record time - unveiling a new doll (that has a baby with her to babysit), Polly Pockets, jewelry (a charm necklace from her brother), lip gloss, stationery and pens, a couple of notebooks, a bathtub for her stuffed dogs (it goes with her dolls - Target's American Girl knock-offs). She was so happy and proceeded to open each and every thing before breakfast.

I had to be a mean mom and suspend birthday play to get her dressed and ready for karate camp - how she chose to spend celebrating her birthday. I dropped her and Evan off at the studio where she was joined by 2 of her best friends from preschool.

Then my mission began: last week the kids saw a Wall-E cake at Meijer's and decided that's what Flynn wanted for her birthday. I promised to get the cake when Flynn's birthday rolled around (my first mistake). So, I get to Meijer's and, you guessed it, no cake. I figured I could find Wall-E toys and put them on a plainly decorated sheet cake. I throw a cake in the cart and go wander up and down the toy aisles for said toys. No dice. No Wall-E toys to be seen. I buy my groceries and drove across the street to Wal-Mart. No Wall-E toys there, either.


Toys R Us had them a few weeks ago when Evan and I went birthday shopping for Flynn so I headed over there. I grabbed the last set of Wall-E and Eve, zipped home and decorated the cake, picked up the kids, took Evan to another birthday party and brought Flynn home where she fielded birthday phone calls from her grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins and Frank, who's been in San Diego since Wednesday at the "nerd prom" (Comic-Con) demoing the game he's art directing (he comes home Sunday).

Thankfully, Flynn approved the cake.

After picking up Evan at his friend's house, we met my family for pizza and games at Jupiter's, which is a stone's throw from my home. The kids had a blast and it was a fun time.

Evan and Flynn are now soaking in a bubble bath, in the "big tub" (the insanely large bathtub in my bathroom). They'll get their jammies on and pile in the bed with me and we'll all go to sleep - a 7 and a half-year-old, a 39-year-old and a newly-minted 5-year-old.

Life is good.

24 July 2008

For My Daughter On The Eve Of Her 5th Birthday

When Flynn saw this for the first time her first comment was, "I like the girl's dress and her long hair." 'The girl" is the lovely and talented Kate Pierson from the B-52's. When it was over she wanted to watch it again and again (she now knows the names of the members of R.E.M., one of her mom's favorite groups). And she can shake it like Kate. Yes sir, that's my girl.

We did a comparison between the original video (this one) and the version REM did for Sesame Street, "Shiny Happy Monsters". Flynn preferred the original but said she liked the Sesame Street one too because the "monsters are funny."

Happy Pre-Birthday, Flynnie Roo.

23 July 2008

The No Waste Lunchbox

I've been a fan of the Laptop Lunches bento-ware lunch box ever since a friend introduced me Jennifer McCann's blog, The Vegan Lunch Box, approximately 2 years ago. After perusing Ms. McCann's recipes and insanely creative ideas for her son's lunches, like the one pictured here (and after Evan's Spider-Man lunchbox broke), I bought her book and ordered my kids each a bento box set from the kind folks at Laptop Lunches.

Their philosophy is simple, "to create fun, practical food containers and user guides that promote better nutrition and waste reduction." Laptop Lunches are American-style bento boxes (Japanese lunch boxes) designed to help families pack nutritious, environment-friendly lunches for school, work, and travel. Their sustainable lunch containers--which come with a book of healthy lunch ideas and lunch-making recipes--are reusable, recyclable, and dishwasher safe. The lunch boxes do not contain phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), or lead. The containers and carrying cases come in a variety of colors, Evan has the "primary" set with the blue carrying case and Flynn has the pink set and a purple carrying case. The lunch box comes with a water bottle and a fork and spoon set. When Flynn got hers she kept carrying it around (even though there was nothing in it) and poured over the aforementioned book, calling it her "cook book". I use the Laptop Lunches bento-ware not only for school lunches; my kids pack them full of snacks to take to the park or pool or on long car rides. No more plastic baggies! The containers hold plenty of portion-controlled food for a kid or an adult and are easy to clean. During the school year, Evan takes a cold lunch 4 out of 5 days of the week and his Laptop Lunchbox has held up extremely well. When the outer carrying case gets dirty, I pop it in the washer on the delicate cycle and air dry it. These babies are meant to last, not like the vinyl character lunch boxes you can buy just about everywhere (went through 2 of those during kindergarten, not to mention lots of ziplocs).

I've been contemplating getting a Laptop Lunchbox for myself because I just love them (I'm contemplating the "whimsical" set) and Nancy over at Obentec (the Laptop Lunches people) sweetened the deal by offering 10% off to me or anybody else who places an order and uses the code misc.

So do yourself and the world a favor and get yourself a Laptop Lunchbox.

22 July 2008

Penguino Dress

A few weeks ago my sister put in a request for a penguin dress for her youngest daughter who will be 3 in August (Emmy is nuts about penguins). We scoured the Internet looking for something cute, but not too wintery. Katy was the one to find this fabric, so I ordered a yard, dug out a pattern and got cracking this morning.

This is the front of the dress. I made the sleeves, the ties, and ruffle out of black and white gingham, since I only had 1 yard of the penguin fabric and the pattern called for 1 and 1/8. There are also 3 small black buttons on the bodice to add a little something.This is the back:

All in all, I think the dress turned out well. I think Emmy will like it.

21 July 2008

Word Vine

Games at Miniclip.com - Word Vine
Word Vine

Place word on the vine and link every word to finish the level!

Play this free game now!!

Every once in a while when I have a few minutes to kill, I zip over to Miniclip to play one of their many cute and free games. Word Vine has quickly become one of my favorites.

19 July 2008

Just A Couple Of Things

I've been away from the computer for longer than I anticipated. I spent 2 days cleaning the house like a mad woman because I got a call from my truly excellent Mother-In-Law the other day stating that she and my equally excellent Sister-In-Law and her two daughters would be coming down a day early (Fri.) and going home Sat. evening instead of Sunday.

1. Frank is mostly back to normal after his trip to the ER Wed. night. He got home around 11:30 after sitting there with an IV of antibiotics circulating through his system and a diagnosis of a peritonsillar abscess. By Thursday he could go back to work so hooray for drugs.

2. We have friends who are currently out of the country and were expecting the delivery of the Mr.'s new motorcycle. I was designated the signor for said motorbike, which meant I would be toting my kids over to their home to await (and wait and wait) for the chopper delivery man on whatever day they deemed worthy. The bike finally made it's way here on Friday and was supposed to be delivered between the hours of 2 and 3 in the afternoon. At 3:00 I called the delivery man and asked where he was. I was told it would be another hour or so. It was 90+ degrees out and my kids were in the car watching a movie (I didn't want to mess up our friends' home so after a bit of playing inside I brought my kids out, plus they didn't have their ac on and it was stifling inside). And I was expecting my MIL & SIL around the now-expected time of the bike. Fuming, I took the kids home in case our company arrived early. At 4:00 I put the kids back in the car and drove back over to Savoy (or Puerto Rico as dubbed by Looseyfur) and met the motorcycle man in the driveway. All I had to do was open the garage, sign for the bike, and close the garage. Grrrrr.

3. My MIL, SIL & nieces showed up around 4:45. The kids and I had been home for 30 minutes. The ladies came down to celebrate Flynn's birthday (actually this Friday) and to attend Evan and Flynn's Taekwondo graduation ceremony on Sat. We haven't seen them in a month so it was really good to catch up.

4. As of today we have cut our time at the Taekwondo studio in half (from 4 to 2 days/week). Yipee! Flynn earned her camouflage belt and entry into the "big kids" class (i.e., her brother's class). Evan is now a red belt and will be a decided black belt before his next birthday. My mom and step-dad came, as did my sister and her 2 little girls. Both my kids were so proud to show off their moves for their aunts and grandparents.

5. After viewing my photo mosaic, Evan and Flynn said, "Me, too! I want to do one!" So we did.
Here they are:
1. Flynn 2. chicken nuggets 3. catholic school 4. red, pink, purple 5. Hannah Montana 6. Root Beer 7. Disney World 8. mint chocolate chip ice cream 9. veterinarian 10. playing with my brother 11. loving 12. Roo1. Evan 2. tomato 3. catholic school 4. red 5. George Lucas 6. hot cocoa 7. Antarctica 8. cupcake (and that some person has made Totoro cupcakes was just perfect) 9. astronaut 10. playing with my friends 11. curious 12. monkey (it's a picture of Jupiter)

What I really like about these mosaics is that you really get a sense of each person's personality through the pictures they choose. For example, if you know my kids in real life, you can look at those mosaics and think, "Yep, that's Flynn" or "That's totally Evan."

Tomorrow I reclaim my dining room as my sewing pit and get cracking on dresses for my niece and assorted other projects. That is, if the kids and I aren't at the pool...

16 July 2008

3rd Post Today or Illness Update

OK, so you all know that my husband's been down since Sunday with the ick.

Monday, he went to Convenient Care and had a rapid strep test taken (that came back negative). He still had a fever of around 102.

Yesterday the fever broke but his throat was still killing him. He hasn't been able to get much sleep because of the pain.

Today he called in for the results of the cultured strep test and was told, "You don't have Strep A, but you do have a strain of Strep. You can pick up your antibiotic prescription in an hour."

I took Flynn to school, her last day ever of preschool, went to the gym, picked her up and ran some errands then went home. Evan stayed home with his dad.

Frank's throat hurt so badly at dinner he had to leave the table. "How late is Convenient Care open?" he croaked when he returned a few minutes later. Off he went, where he saw a resident and then his GP who happened to be on call. His doctor told him, "There's an abscess in your throat. You'll want to go to the ER tonight and have them take care of it. It's not normal." The resident caught Frank on the way out and wanted to show the abscess to another doctor-in-training. You know, because it's just so cool. Or whatever.

So my husband's been at the ER for well over an hour.

I'm not expecting him home until really late.

Oh, and Flynn? She slept 13 hours and woke up yesterday with her temp hovering just over normal. She's fine.

Photo Mosaic Meme

1. Missy, 2. Spears, 3. Tolono, 4. green mantis, 5. Ardal O'Hanlon, 6. milkshake good, 7. (KILKENNY, IRELAND), 8. Ice cream, 9. teacher, 10. family, 11. bookworm..., 12. misc

My good friend Stacy over at Oliveloaf Designs hipped me to this super cool photo mosaic meme.

Here’s what you do:

  1. type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search.
  2. using only the first page, choose an image.
  3. copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker over at FD’s image maker.

the questions:
what is your first name?
what is your favorite food?
what high school did you attend?
what is your favorite color?
who is your celebrity crush?
favorite drink?
dream vacation?
favorite dessert?
what do you want to be when you grow up?
what do you love most in life?
one word to describe you.
your flickr, blog, website name or a nickname

Thanks, Stace, this was tons 'o fun!

Now it's your turn, people. Go. Do.

Dig Those Crazy Puppini Sisters

I have a very soft spot in my heart for Big Band and Swing music. The Andrews Sisters' tight harmonies send good-time shivers up my spine every time. So imagine my delight when I recently discovered the Puppini Sisters! This London-based trio look like 40's era pin-up girls and sing with the voices of angels. What I love about their albums is that they cover old standards like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" but also tackle and rearrange contemporary music like Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" and Beyonce's "Crazy In Love". "Walk Like an Egyptian" is pretty fun, too.

I have an inkling that if you like Anne Taintor's artwork, you'll enjoy the Puppini Sisters.

14 July 2008

This Could Be Fun

I stole this from SugarMag.
“Someone” reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. It’s not the Big Read though — they don’t publish books, and they’ve only featured these books so far. In any event...I am not sure who's list this is, I didn't follow the links back far enough.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.

2) Italicize those you started but did not finish.

3) Reprint this list in your own blog so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 or less and force books upon them.

1. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
It's in my TBR pile.
2. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
3. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

4. Lord of the Flies - William Golding

5. Life of Pi - Yann Martel

6. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

7. The Color Purple - Alice Walker

8. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

9. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
10. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

11. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

12. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

3. His Dark Materials (trilogy) - Philip Pullman
14. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

15. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

16. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

17. Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

18. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

19. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

20. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
21. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
22. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
23. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
24. Animal Farm - George Orwell
25. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

26. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

27. On The Road - Jack Kerouac

28. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

29. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

30. Hamlet - William Shakespeare

31. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

32. Complete Works of Shakespeare
Well, not everything the man ever wrote, but pretty damn near.
33. Ulysses - James Joyce

34. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
35. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

36. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

37. The Bible

38. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

39. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

40. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

41. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
42. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini Another one in the TBR pile.
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
45. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
46. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

47. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
48. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

49. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
50. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
51. Little Women - Louisa M. Alcott
52. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

53. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

54. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

55. Middlemarch - George Eliot

56. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

57. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
58. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
59. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

60. Emma - Jane Austen
61. Persuasion - Jane Austen

62. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
63. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

64. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown It's in "the pile".
65. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

66. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

67. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
68. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
69. Atonement - Ian McEwan
70. Dune - Frank Herbert

71. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

72. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

73. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

74. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

75. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

76. The Secret History - Donna Tartt

77. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

78. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
79. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
80. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
81. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

82. Moby Dick - Herman Melville

83. Dracula - Bram Stoker

84. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
I haven't read this one, but have read other of his books.
85. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
86. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

87. Germinal - Emile Zola

88. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

89. Possession - A.S. Byatt

90. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

91. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

92. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

93. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

94. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

95. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

96. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

97. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
98. Watership Down – Richard Adams
99. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

100. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

I'll admit there are titles on here that I've never heard of. And some I just wouldn't read - not a fan of schmaltzy Mitch Albom. Oh, and I've read about 60 of the books on the list. I was an English major/teacher, you know, and the list is a bit British classics-heavy and features many, many books by dead white guys.

It's February All Over Again. Dammit.

On July 4th, my family joined the Freak Family for a cook out. Met some cool people (you know who you are), ate massive amounts of delicious food, the kids had a great time (Flynn hardly left the swing set from the time we arrived until it was time to watch the fireworks and Evan palled around with The Boy, one of his favorite people).

The next day, I got an e-mail from Fearless Freak stating that The Boy was running a fever and had a sore throat.

Exactly 2 days later Evan said to me, "Mom, my throat hurts."

Uh-oh, I thought, here we go.

But no fever.

Until Tuesday when he got hit hard - high fever, scorchingly sore throat, headache, the works. My poor boy was sobbing, "My head hurts so much! My throat hurts!" I gave him some children's Motrin and put him to bed. I read some Harry Potter to him until he fell asleep. I think he was slightly delirious because he kept saying, "I want to call Dad. I want to go to coffee with him but I'm sick." His symptoms gradually subsided over the week until by Friday he was back to normal and we were living it up at the pool.

Yesterday, Frank mowed the yard, came in and went up to shower. A fair amount of time had passed and he hadn't come down to join the family birthday party for Flynn already in session. I came up to see what was going on and he was lying down. "I don't feel so good, " he said. I took his temp and it was a bit over 103 degrees. He came down to sing "Happy Birthday" then retired to our room. He has the same thing Evan had. Great.

At dinner tonight, Flynn ate approximately a tablespoon's worth of Annie's white cheddar shells n' cheese (which she normally loves). "I'm cold. I want a blanket," was her response when I asked her to eat some peas.

She'll be joining her daddy in the sick bed; her temp was hovering around 101 when I ran down the street to the drugstore to get some Motrin for Frank.

My girl is presently curled up on my lap asleep. She hasn't fallen asleep this early since she was a baby.

What the hell? It is freaking July! We aren't supposed to get sick in the summertime. Summer is running around outside, swimming, riding bikes NOT being laid up with a fever and a sore throat. All I'm saying is that this month better not turn out like February, that month of influenza and general ugliness. Or I will be one. unhappy. mommy.

So, thanks for the cook-out Freak Family.

12 July 2008

It's Not A S'more

"Mom, I have a brilliant idea for a recipe!," says my 7-year-old budding chef.

"Oh? What is it?"

"First you take a graham cracker and put a marshmallow on it. Then you put it in the microwave until the marshmallow melts. Take it out and put another cracker on top. It's a marshmallow sandwich and it's my idea."

"So, it's kind of like a s'more but without the chocolate."

"No. It's a marshmallow sandwich, not a s'more."

11 July 2008

Like I Need A Reason To Celebrate Ice Cream

But Baskin-Robbins says that National Ice Cream Day is Monday, July 20th. And I just found out that July is National Ice Cream month. How could I have been on this planet for (barely) 39 years and not know this?!?

Because I love me some ice cream. My love of the frozen dairy desert borders on religion. Nothing but nothing tastes as good as a well made ice cream. Am I right or am I right?

My ice cream maker sees a lot of action through out the year and I have a big binder full of recipes, my family's personal favorite being the watermelon sorbet. And for the grown-ups, I make a pretty tasty margarita ice that has tequila in it. I made something approaching Baskin-Robbins' Grape Ice flavor for a family friend's birthday once (his very favorite and he's an ice cream junkie, too).

Dunno if BR will be offering any deals or just wants people to come in and buy a cone, but I might whip up a batch of something.

Any ideas?

10 July 2008

Unintentional Disconnect

No Internet or email make misc go crazy.


I never realized how much I depend on e-mail and my Internet access until yesterday when I couldn't log on. At all.

At first I thought it was something on my end. I turned off the computer and all the accouterments, disconnected it from the wall, rebooted all to no avail. No nothin'.

Then I soundly cursed my provider.

I check my email several times during the day. And yesterday I caught myself heading up the stairs a number of times to the guest room where we keep our computer because I wanted to price check uniforms for Flynn, check and see what the weather was going to be, send a couple of emails. Couldn't do it. It made me jittery and irritable.

Then today I checked the access settings on our firewall and fiddled around. Et voila! I could get my mail! I could log on and check up on stuff (sites my sister and aunt wanted me to check out for our big trip to Cleveland at the end of the month, the weather, other blogs)! I don't know why I didn't do this yesterday. It would've saved me much ire.

I don't think I'll apologize for cursing the Internet provider. They probably deserve it.

08 July 2008

Words of the Future Spoken Today

"Mom," she said, "pretend we don't know each other."

Honestly, I didn't expect to hear that from her for at least another 7 years.

She will be 5 in two weeks.

07 July 2008

I Wish I Had Photos

I mentioned the other day that I wanted a cinnamon roll for my birthday. The "gooey buns" at Le Peep had to make do. After brunch (totally delish, by the way) we came home, read the paper and generally fruited around until it was time to change and leave for the Renaissance Wedding. I had intended for us to leave the house by 12:45, giving us ample time to get the kids to my sister's house in Philo and then to Monticello.

We left at 1:10. The ceremony was slated to start at 2. Philo is southeast of Champaign, usually a 20-25 minute drive from my house. Monticello is west and easily a 30 minute drive.

Frank totally busted a move and hauled our asses to my sister's in record time. We didn't even turn off the car when we took the kids inside - it was more like, "Unclick your seat belts! Go! Go! Go! Hurry! The car's barely moving, go ahead and jump out the door!" (well, not exactly like that but I think you get the idea).

Frank pretty much had the pedal to the metal the entire way to the wedding site.

We pulled into the parking lot with 10 minutes to spare, smoking tires and all.

A brisk walk from the car to the sunken garden took about 5 minutes.

The garden was decorated with various felt pennants and the bride and groom's families were decked out in costumes of various nationalities and decades surrounding the Renaissance (in a former life I was a costume designer/builder and can be a stickler for detail), though I think the overall effect was more Fantasy-like than historically based Renaissance but whatevah. A couple nerdy-boy tweenie cousins were archers, one of the dad's looked king-like (no crown, though), aunts wore various wenchy/peasanty-type costumes. The best man had made his costume by hand, I believe, and spent the wee hours of Sat. night/Sunday a.m. finishing the bride's gown (she had made the 2 bridesmaid dresses and wanted to do her gown as well). The groomsman had hand-cast and sculpted his Roman Legionnaire "armor" (it was pretty impressive). Matt, the groom, sported a sword that matched his scarlet and black outfit. A couple of guests were dressed up. But not me. Or Frank. Or many people over the age of 25, other than family members.

Like I said before, the ceremony was supposed to start at 2. Actual starting time was after 3 because Erica, the bride, was running late.

Matt and Erica couldn't have asked for a better day. The weather cooperated - not too hot or humid like it can be here in Illinois in the summertime. They looked great and their vows were touching and heartfelt. Alas, I did not take any pictures. In the hustle and bustle of getting to Allerton, I forgot the camera. D'oh!

The reception was held at the scrumptious Silvercreek Restaurant in Urbana, which Matt and Erica had rented out for the occasion. A variety of appetizers were available to munch on while we guests awaited the arrival of Lord and Lady Curry (seriously, they played up the theme big time - it was kind of cute) and the bar was open for the night.

By 7 we were seated for dinner and then my phone rang. It was my sister, "I've had a request for a sleep over, " she said, "It's OK by me if it's OK with you." "Sure," I replied, "what about Evan?" (my son does not like sleeping away from his parents at all). "He says he's going to stay but why don't you call before you leave and talk to him."

The reception was winding down around 9, so that's when we decided to take our leave. I called Katy and got the answer I had anticipated, "Evan changed his mind. He wants to come home." So off to Philo to retrieve our boy. Of course, Flynn stayed and Evan and I had to go get her in the morning and get her to preschool.

We wish Matt and Erica a lifetime filled with love and laughter and thank them for including us in their wedding day. And for making my birthday that much more special.

06 July 2008

40 minus 1

That's me.

Today is my birthday.

I was up early and at the gym for a long run (~ 5 miles). Yes, that was my choice. As I was walking out the door, one of the trainers wished me a "Happy Birthday", which I thought was nice.

I'm going to have a gooey cinnamon roll with lots of icing and later we're going to the Renaissance/Medieval-themed wedding of one of Frank's coworkers at Allerton Park's sunken garden, which should be beautiful. The kids are spending the afternoon at my sister's, rather than attend the wedding.

All in all, not too bad a start to my 39th year.

05 July 2008

Another Good Reason To Run

In May a former student of mine gave birth to her first child, Raley.

Raley was born with a Mitochondrial Disorder, a chronic genetic disorder that occurs when the mitochondria in cells fail to produce enough energy for cell or organ function. She died on June 13.

In an effort to raise awareness for Mitochondrial disorders and to honor their daughter, they have quickly organized a 5K run/1 mile walk to be held in Philo, their hometown.

As a way of showing support for the Kirby family, I plan on running the 5k race (my first).

Wish me luck and send some healing thoughts/prayers Luke and Leslie's way, will you?

04 July 2008

Happy Birthday, America!

This chapter of Schoolhouse Rock helped myself and many an Illinois 7th grader pass the written "Preamble" test in U.S. History.

And it remains one of my faves to this day.

Happy Independence Day, everybody!

03 July 2008

Rhymes With 'Godzilla'

You Are a Vanilla Shake

Vanilla, yes, but definitely not boring.

You are subtly complex and deeply sophisticated.

You're the type of person who has always been ahead of their time.

You don't fall for gimmicks or tricks. You are drawn to what's true.

02 July 2008

Take Away The "R"

And you get Flynn's first written swear word. A milestone of some sort for sure.

My daughter keeps notebooks stashed all over the house and in every one of her many tote bags. Those of you who know her in real life are aware that Flynn rarely leaves the house without a bag stuffed to the brim with various and sundry "needs" (a notebook and writing utensil included).

Anyhoo, she was writing in one of her notebooks yesterday and said as she handed this to me, "This is for you, Mommy." I thanked her and then read it. I don't think she knew what she had written. She can write the names of our immediate family and a couple other words without asking for spelling clarification, but I don't think she's ever heard the word "piss" let alone knows what it means.

Oh, but it is funny.

01 July 2008

One of Two (or Three)

This is one of the dresses I'm making for my niece, Emmy, for her 3rd birthday. I hope she likes it. And I hope it fits. If it's a little too short, she can always wear shorts or leggings underneath, I guess.

I'm on the hunt for some cute penguin fabric (Em changed her mind from having a puppy party to a penguino party and my sister put in a request for a penguin dress, which I'm happy to make).