The United States
January 31, 2007
MIranda has a new party trick. On a challenge from her teacher, she has learned to sing all fifty states in alphabetical order. I say challenge because it was educational, but her teacher also put 50 cents on the line. Miranda earned her cash last week. With the Tooth Fairy money ($1/tooth going rate here), she was rich in Target today.
In the car on the way:
Miranda: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California...
Henry adds an occasional grunt or yell
M: I haven't been to very many states, like Alaska, I've never been to Alaska
H: I want to go there
M: You can't go there. It's an island.
R&S: Alaska isn't an island
M: Well it's not one of the United States.
R&S: yes it is.
M. No .United means all together
R&S: Alaska is one of the United States
M: Well it's an island. How can you drive to an island?
Let's Do the Time Warp Again
January 30, 2007
It has been a wild day. Miranda lost her first tooth during indoor recess at school. She misplaced that same tooth before she got home from school. Her second loose tooth ached throughout her afterschool art class. With nary a cry and a quick yank, she lost her second baby tooth after supper.
That second baby tooth is safely ensconced in the tooth fairy pillow we thoughtfully picked up a few weeks ago when a tooth first loosened. After a short conversation about the Tooth Fairy knowing when your teeth fall out regardless of whether they make it into the pillow, Miranda is satisfied that the Tooth Fairy will know this is a two-fer.
What is up with the Tooth Fairy. i can spin Santa Claus and with a little pagan voodoo, I can even do the Easter Bunny. But the Tooth Fairy? Does she keep the teeth? Why? My mom revealed that she still has the first baby tooth I lost (retrieved from the Tooth Fairy at a later date, I can only assume). I decided that once you start saving that stuff, you're stuck with it forever. And so I will let the Tooth Fairy keep Teeth 1 and 2 for me forever.
Is it someone's birthday?
January 29, 2007
Of course, I realize it must be someone's birthday. But someone I know? The date is stuck in my head. If I know you and today is your birthday--Happy BIrthday (said like Frosty the Snowman, if you must know). Sorry the card is, um, lost in the mail.
And mysteries are revealed! What does Finslippy mean? Have you always wondered? Alice is giving it up today.
1.2 (I promised daily, I didn't promise great)
How I spent the last Sunday in January
January 28, 2007
There was a time when the last Sunday in January was an event, a day marked by good television commercials and a sense that the football season was finally over, Hallelujah! Thank god the Pro Bowl does not count at my house.
But not this year, or any of the last few. The Superbowl is stranded in February. There was no football at all this weekend. And so today, I had a fabu day. I woke up, had a breakfast at my favorite breakfast place, City Market, and had a nice chit chat with a friend. After fighting off the cat love, we headed out to have a muffin and then to facials. After our spa experience, we went shopping, just at the stores full of breakable objects. We looked a vases and potpourri. We then had a nice supper. It was very pleasant day. Serene.
If I enjoyed the fruits of the day, Rob performed the back-breaking labor. And like the vineyard guests who think stomping the grapes is fun!, Rob had a nice day, but I think he worked hard for it. We diverged after breakfast. Rob and a friend headed to the J for swimming. Henry has been having a hard time being independent in swim class; Rob took him in the non-class part of the pool and played with him. After swimming--the Family Gym!
The next destination was the Milwaukee Public Museum. The kids find the Museum both frightful and fascinating, but with two resourceful men to guide them, they did pretty well. Miranda still was afraid, but it helped to hug P at those moments. They didn't take a camera, so I made up pictures of their day, based on the stories regaled at dinner.
Dinosaurs are practically the name of this museum for Henry.
The European Village is entirely too dark. My visits as a grown-up make me wonder if good lighting would be such a sin? Is it the European Village at night?
This was their first visit to Temples Tells and Tombs. Mummies. Hmmm. NIghtmares anyone?
Africa was a hit.
And the strange half floor up to the Ocean
The kids do not look scared enough, but they are fake photos, so what can I do? The actual photo is one Miranda wanted me to take early in the week, because they looked so cute. She is patching for her amblyopia.
January 25, 2007
I am not fixing the red eye in this picture because it totally looks like S and Henry have laser beams for eyes.
Where's the Panther?
January 23, 2007
For Christmas, we got Rob tickets to a UWM Women's basketball game. The game was Saturday. We were nervous that the kids would be wild, the seats crummy, the game boring. Were we ever wrong! We sat in General Admission. I love seat backs and as grown-ups, you only save $2 per seat. General admission rocked. We had bleacher seats and we could sit as close to the floor as we wanted. The game was good, at least according to the sports fans. Miranda watched the score and the ball as it moved up and down the court. And UWM won! One of the players set a school record for most points in a game.
What we didn't count on was the Panther. Henry was scared straight by this furry suit of school spirit and good cheer. Henry sat on my lap or Rob's lap the entire game. He held on to us and never tried to wiggle away or climb on the court. He asked "where's the panther?" whenever he couldn't see it. The Panther circled the court throughout the game. He high-fived Miranda on almost every pass. Henry spent the first half playing possom--either burrowing into me or sitting so still the Panther might not see him. By the second half, he worked up a few waves. He never got the high-five in, but he didn't recoil in horror when the Panther captured his sister.
Grumble, grumble, laugh, sigh
January 22, 2007
Today is a day that lacked narrative structure. I may have to go with bullet points:
- Miranda went the eye doctor. After being delighted all morning that
she could see out of the 'bad' eye, she managed to only improve a half
line or so. She is at 20/60 vision in the left eye. This means more patching
per day. And the doctor's office drove me crazy waiting in the exam room
with two small children and a bad movie. And then I have to prevent them
from playing with the ophthalmologist's heavy equipment
- Henry is at that terrible age ...almost 3. He questions everything I
say or do. He is trying to make the world make sense, and let me tell
you, it doesn't really. He is at the crossroads of pulling Miranda's hair
when he is mad and telling her to "go away Miranda Robert!"
- Despite my ability to write about the wonder of the 3 year old, today
was torture. He drove me insane.
- Miranda's gym teacher had a baby. And gym classes have moved to Tuesday
from Monday to accommodate the sub. Miranda thinks this is very temporary.
But she did ask where the gym teacher will put the baby when she comes
back. It doesn't seem quite safe to have the baby in the gym.
- Today is National Blog for Choice Day. The idea is to say why you're pro-choice. I am. I have too much imagination to not be pro-choice; there are too many cases and situations and scenarios in my mind to not leave a decision like abortion up to the woman doing the gestating. And to acknowledge that the law is a poorly equipped to deal with compassion.
I wuv those guys
January 19, 2007
Today we made a short trip to Mad-town, the same trip we made 4 years ago, for the same reason. Happy Birthday S! The kids and Rob enjoyed the nature walk. I stayed warm inside, waiting for the apple cider to warm up.
After we picked Miranda up from school to start our mini road trip, Henry asked if we were visiting our friends J&J. We said, no we're seeing B&K&S&O in Madison. Henry said, "oh, I wuv those guys!"
Remember that movie with Reese Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire
January 18, 2007
I think it was called Pleasantville? Why? No reason.
I went to the open house of the preschool we will probably try to enroll Henry in for fall. It was so nice. And well-equipped, and great ratios, and well-organized. And it will let me meet other parents. And they'll go to the pumpkin farm. And their biggest concern was separation anxiety. And they'll even help set up special ed services with the school district if needed. And the place felt down to earth and funny and sweet. And any fear I have of how perfect the school is is bound to be tied to my own wacky neuroses rather than the sheer perfection of the place.
man oh manischewitz
January 17, 2007
It is a good thing that I have not started any new blogging challenges yet. I got so sick last night. Disgusting and TMI and it knocked me flat on my back all day. The kids each had a bout of vomiting in the last week, but there illness was done as soon as they threw up. I wish!
I want a friend who I can call when Bohemian Rhapsody or American Pie comes on the radio. We could just observe the goodness of the moment and then sing it loudly. Perhaps each privately.
January 14, 2007
It is one month until Henry's birthday. I have started some party planning. Three is a wondrous birthday. As long as I do something, it will be great. As long as there are packages to open, cake to eat, balloons to bop, friends to hug, it will be great.
I wish I knew what to buy him. We are in such a downsizing moment, nothing seems like it will fit on the carefully pared-down shelves. New toys don't feel needed--he is happiest with the pirates from a set Rob and I have had kicking around my mom's basement for 10 years. He will [probably get more race cars or dinosaurs or pirates. It kind of makes a mom yearn for a never-ending toy collectible. When do Legos begin?
And now for something completely different
or I stake my claim for this!
January 12, 2007
I declare my claim for this idea, one that is superficial and silly. But if it becomes a blockbuster, you saw it here first. Firs the background: There is a song we sing often and usually in the car. It is Ohio (Come Back to Texas) by Bowling for Soup. I think I have detailed Henry's new singing prowess. Texas is one of his favorites. "Come Back Texas." He will make a gigantic fuss if too many song play before his beloved Texas. I have considered introducing more Cake to the kids, but really, it is hard to keep it clean. And not introduce the need for important life discussions. We listen to Bowling For Soup because it is funny and sing-able and not too explicit. There are explicit songs, but I play those when there are no small ears in the car.
The plot of the song is a Texas guy missing his Texas girl who has left town with a guy from Cleveland. He makes clear that he isn't mad at Cleveland, but just wants his girlfriend to wake up, realize she isn't in Texas anymore and she isn't with him anymore and come back to him. The naughtiest it gets is
"So when your done doing whatever,
And when your through doing whoever,
You know Denton County will be right here waiting for you....."
At some point in the next ten years, my children will realize that "doing whoever" is a euphemism for casual sex. Or at least, I think they will. I am not sure that 'doing' someone is quite the slang it once was.
But onto my big idea: The setup of the song is:
She said she needed a break
A little time to think
But then she went to Cleveland
With some guy named Leland
That she met at the bank
And then I envisioned a SITCOM. With a sadsack rocker from Texas, 20-something. Into music and not growing up. His girlfriend is lacking direction with her life. After college, where is her life going? Will the rocker ever grow up and commit? She meets this guy named Matt Leland at the bank, waiting to deposit her paycheck. He's successful, gainfully employed, smart and funny. And cute, in a much cleaner way than her rocker. He's heading home to Ohio and offers her a ride and a place to crash. Our hero decides to chase after her. For Season one, our hero discovers that Matt Leland is a really nice guy--he helps him find a gig in Cleveland, his girlfriend is flaky, but that he loves her. He spends the season convincing her to move back to Texas. For season Two, she returns to Texas, but Matt Leland comes too. And wacky hi jinks ensue.
And as much as I can envision this as a sitcom on ABC on Wednesday nights, I fully acknowledge that Bowling For Soup owns the song and all rights. But the sitcom spin--I at least want bragging rights :)
OK, I would watch the show. But I try not to watch the first episode of a sitcom because that is pretty much the kiss of death.
Why am I writing this? It is a challenge to T. How many posts a week and what is the prize?
At least the car didn't suffer yesterday.
January 11, 2007
During supper yesterday, our carbon monoxide detector started beeping. It was quite unhappy and didn't stop beeping. We opened windows. I checked the internet. It said call the fire department and leave the house. Miranda and I had a scheduled appointment anyway, so we left. Rob called Poison Control, who were very helpful. They had him call the fire department. The fire dept is amazingly quick. They arrived moments after the call, although I will concede that we live close to a fire house. The fire battalion chief checked the house for CO. No levels above what normal cooking/appliance use would account for. The verdict was that the detector was malfunctioning or needed a new battery. Or the CO sensor had gone bad. We weren't going to die. The excess fatigue I felt all day--just tired. What a disturbing experience.
This morning, Miranda complained of a stomachache. She didn't want to go to school. She has been grumpier than normal. Henry stayed at Grandma Bonnie's last (Wed) night. Miranda has been anxious all week. It seemed a throwback to fall, when she couldn't walk into school without shedding a few tears. I have been consciously trying to not mention what Henry is doing for the day--to encourage a bit of solipsism and to not think about what Mom or Henry or Grandma are doing all day. I was being high-minded, thinking long-term, focusing on the g picture.
I blew it.
Miranda was more than anxious; she vomited in her classroom. Her teacher called me for he first time in 3 years: please come pick up Miranda. We agreed that neither of use quite took her seriously. She is as injured by my lack of trust as by the virus. But her 4 hour nap this afternoon helped. She is only mildly unwell and only mildly annoyed with me.
She was downright perky in the classroom before leaving. I neglected to arrange any protection for my car. And Miranda threw up in the back seat. I suppose the christening couldn't wait until August. The past two Augusts, Miranda has thrown up in my car. She throws up rarely and she doesn't get car sick in general But when those two collide, it is a sad smelly mess.
I had the spot cleaned at a detailing shop. Last time, I went for the full shampoo and the car took days to dry. The time before, we scrubbed it ourselves. The spot cleaning, both affordable and dry and not smelly--as perfect as this day will allow. But to add insult to injury, the passenger side mirror was befelled by the garage door. I didn't do it, for once. My dad feels awfully. And the dealer will make an outrageous profit getting the car back to normal.
Let's hope tomorrow will just be normal.
All the sing-song day
January 9, 2007
As we returned to our ever-riding life in the car (classes at the J have resumed), there has been more singing. There has been more singing in general because Henry sings. All the time. His favorite song is "Come Back to Texas" by Bowling For Soup. It is a funny song, even when you only say 1/3 to 1/2 of the words.
But to recap some funny lyrics I've heard recently:
Henry, roughly to the tune of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."
You better watch out
You better watch out
You better watch out
Cause Santa Claus coming to town!
And Miranda is learning "Wonderful World" (The Louis Armstrong wedding standard) for a school program. There is a great line in this song. The fourth verse goes like this:
I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
They'll learn much more.....than I'll ever know
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world
But Miranda has tweaked this second line to::
They'll learn much more.....but I'll never know
with a tone that say "but I'll never find out if those babies learned anything," not "those babies will learn so much more in their lifetime than I will."
News! There is news!
January 4, 2007
Miranda has loose tooth. It is one of her bottom middle ones, on her right. She is excited and nervous and convinced we must go to the dentist. This feels like, OMG my baby is growing up. Like that special episode of Franklin, it's a physical sign! Thank goodness she's isn't a turtle. Wow. We will soon find out how sweet is the tooth fairy.
Happy New Year
January 1, 2007
How does it happen, another year rolled out and up? We had the paradox of time this weekend--the shock and awe of the children growing, another year of Rob-and-Sarah togetherness--while at the same time, the children were wild and untethered. We stayed up until midnight last night, all of us. Miranda and Henry have been loud and squabbling and funny and inventive and energized. I have started Operation House Sell, which at the present time means packing up all of the extra things in our lives. The things used seasonally, the things not needed for day to day living. Some of it is memorabilia and memories--as we have packed things away, Miranda has been keen to point out what things have memories for her and that she doesn't have to put away memories. The change inherent in packing up and rearranging furniture and creating new vistas within our house--it is getting to the children. They want to jump on the beds, wrestle on the floors, throw pillows about and dress in costume. They could pull all of the books off the bookshelf I arranged twice in different spots this weekend. They want to pull the nails out of the wall and put the new nails in, just like Momma. And they want to sit on me, climb on Grandma, lay on Rob, ask Grandpa for something. They want to be near us, I think just in case we climb in a box until July too.
At the same time, my trepidation about house-selling in the present housing market shows. There are no dates, no definite plans. I can't swing two mortgages, so no one will move until this house is sold. And my parents are joining us in the next house, so really, no one moves until both houses are sold. That will be wild. I can only say--yes, we can store the Christmas and even the Halloween decorations, because we will be in a new house when we need those next. Right?
This day has not prompted well-thought resolutions, beyond my attempt to say I wouldn't eat chips this year. Ha! That lasted until supper. I did resist at lunch. Not too be too affected by the Dr. Phil article in Good Housekeeping, but I can't just say I Want to lose the weight I gained in 2006. I do want to lose it, but Dr Phil demands a plan. And Dr. Phil is not my guru, so I am not sure where that leaves me.
So to write down goals for 2007:
1. Lose weight. At least 10 pounds. By not eating so many chips.
2. Sell my house
3. Sell my mom's house
5. Get pregnant (any babies conceived from this point on are planned :)
6. Visit parts of Wisconsin I haven't been to in years. See family and friends we don't see enough.
7. Record the events and news and funny stories of my family on this website so at least I can send the kids here when they asked what they did when they were small. And in that light:
My grandparents visited this weekend. Henry looked around the house for his great-grandfather, "where is the old Grandpa?" he asked. He later referred to my grandmother as the old Grandma as well. We all stifled a laugh, to not encourage him. Oh child.