Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Cass's primary and first grade mixed class has thirteen children in it (and you thought I was kidding when I said a tiny school, right?) and they all lined up on the stage on bleachers, most of them pulling horribly stretched smiles that grimaced how freaked out they were to see an auditorium full of people looking at them.
C even helped introduce the song (It's a Barney song, whispered one of the mums next to me) and they started out:
If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops
Oh what a rain it would be
Sit-ting outside with my mouth open wide
There's a little girl in Cass's class that really got into the song and stretched her mouth open like a baby bird, waiting for the manna to drop in, swishing her skirt with her hands back and forth.
If all of the snowflakes were candy bars and milkshakes.....
Tomorrow is his solo. He sings about a train. And as he explains it, the song is a round: There's a place where each of us is silent and listens to the other people!
He's stoked. I'm ecstatic that it wasn't a horrible experience and he might like to do this again.
If all of the sunbeams were bubble gum and ice cream......
No pictures. We weren't allowed cameras in the theatre. Tomorrow, though, I'm going to try and get a few pictures of Cass and his train buddies after the performance.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Cass sings at the Music Festival.
He's a little leery of this and not sure he really wants to, but three months ago it sounded a lot more fun, you see, and so now he's signed up for not only the class presentation but a solo performance as well.
(A solo....that he's singing with two other boys. Not exactly sure how this works, but it'll be good. I'm sure.)
Tomorrow is the group performance. He picked out his clothes tonight, agonizing over individualism versus blending in (and the Hawaiian shirt won again, at least as of now)
and went to bed humming.
Tomorrow afternoon I'll go and cheer him on.
In a world where so many things are thrust upon us at once, sometimes it's just nice to stop
and hear the young'uns sing.
Monday, April 28, 2008
past the falling apart bridge, built on an island, that walkers can't get to to cross
past the remnants of an ancient dam, useful back when the river was used to float timber down (the lumberjack history thrills you)
just under the whispering big trees with the crooked arms that call out for you to climb
is a little lake. Someday, when you're older, your Mom will probably let you take the boat out in it. She's said so.
But right now? You love the bridge. Love the giant dark timbers that support it, love how it's big enough for your bike and decrepit enough that you can see the wood strips under the asphalt along the fraying edges.
You're sure there are giant fish swimming silently under the dark waters, waiting for you to learn to hold a pole, fish with teeth, and you use that knowledge to scare your sister.
And it's the best (the best!) place to show off how well you throw rocks.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
and took her with me.
Now, I'm not given to china dolls. I'm not.* But - why not? I could call it a restoration project.
So to the house she came. Her clothes were in good shape, just dirty, so off they went and I tossed them, turned inside out, into the washer. Her soft cloth body was wiped down with a wet rag, then febreezed and set to dry in a sunny windowsill. I squirted windex through her (still separate from her body) wig, rinsed, then blobbed conditioner through and let it sit for awhile. I scrubbed the top of her naked head and got all the old glue remnants off the top, then put her away in a high place for a few days.
Yesterday I glued her hair on (after rinsing and rinsing and gentle brushing and shaping - God, the hair was a long time to do!) and today Rosey saw her for the first time.
And I lost my doll.
"Oooh" said Rosey, "What is that?"
Now, the last china doll we had in the house died...traumatically. But my girl's eyes were lighting up and she was hugging the doll to her heart and talking to it and....
she's Rosey's doll now.
"What's her name?"
I searched for an old-fashioned name. 'Penelope.'
Rosey hugged the doll again. "Okay, Mama. Penwipy and I are going out to the livingroom now. But I'm going to call her Jill."
I looked at the doll - was she smiling? - and suddenly had a pang of longing for my own sweet-faced Tilly from when I was growing up.
Every little girl should have a doll. No matter how long they last.
*Yeah, the last one? Creepy Sailor Doll? She finally broke. All together...awwwww!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
My son's school playground doesn't have a slide. Swings, yes, several different climby things, yes, monkey bars and soccer nets and woods to run in but no slide.
It was either deemed unsafe (too tall!) or taken out because of its age (or both, I suppose) and now the Parents Group has been raising money for new playground equipment.
Our big fundraiser today? A bottle drive. Posters went up all over town and notices were put in the paper. People who don't save their bottles or don't drink pop gave toonies and loonies. (Two dollar and one dollar coins, respectively!) Very few people around here wouldn't give something towards the school - supporting the kids, supporting our town.
We expected a good haul.
What we got was monstrous.And wonderful.
About an hour into it, we'd sent a load to the depot already and were quickly running out of room on the trailer we'd been filling with bags of sorted, counted 5-cent cans and bottles.
We ended up filling a dump truck. A dump truck, along with several pickup loads of glass bottles.
The total? From this little town?
Over a thousand dollars.
Margaret Mead was a wise old girl.
Friday, April 25, 2008
McCain opposes equal pay bill in Senate
The Arizona senator said he was familiar with the disparity but that there are better ways to help women find better paying jobs.
"They need more education and training... endquote
Thanks, John, but I don't need more edumication to know that with a statistical average of women getting paid 77 cents to every man's dollar (for equal work) that I'm being screwed.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
This July, I'm going to be in Niagara Falls for a few days to attend a small blogger convention - the Blog Friends Festival. (Wanna come? Please come!) So, of course, I need great glasses and a haircut. (Yes, I'm aware that the haircut won't last until July. This way I can find something I love -and- bonus! figure out how to do it before I get there.)
I scored on the glasses.
My last pair was six years old. They were purchased right after the Harry Potter round specs fad finally went out, so they were rounded rectangular, a pinky-coppery metal, and designed so they didn't show up so much. Here. See? Unobtrusive.
Not so these. My new glasses are not shy. They are forward-thinking and opinionated, and if you ask, they will tell you what they think.
Or at least that's how I feel in them. Smart and sassy.
And I am sick in love with them. They are maroon. With bling. And curlicues. These are the first not-so-serious glasses I think I've ever had, and I love them. To the point of being gushy.
Bear smiled. 'I like your new glasses.' he said.
I launched into the Loving Of The Specs, Part One: 'Did you see the bling? On the sides? And they're red! And they make me feel smaht! And did you see the blinginess of them?'
He looked a little bewildered. 'Bling?"
I waved my hand at the side of my face. 'The crystals! On the temples! They look so cool!'
(Coming from a woman who is so indifferent about jewelry I often don't wear my wedding ring, this is a big change.)
I smiled all day. Aren't they yummy?
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Time when I can whiz along the highway* and turn the music up.
And loud music and faster speeds? Cry out for a little front-seat dancing.
So there I was tonight, tooling along, shaking off the sick-kids-and-sick-husband-mindset, doing head bobs and alternating shoulder swoops and getting down with my (really not so) bad self, she moves her body like a cyclone blaring on the radio and singing along as best I can and feeling like a teenager at the club, all funky and badass and NotMom
and I look next to me at the car pulling level with my own, waiting before I pull into the passing lane
and there, Oh God, MOUTH OPEN, brows knit incredulously, is one of the women I sit with on one of my committees, and in the backseat?
(watching just as intently)
Two other women, both of whom I know from town somewhere. Lord knows how long they'd been following me. The radio kept pumping out noise and I gave a quick, embarrassed grin and a sketchy wave and they pulled ahead and I slowed a bit and made sure not to follow too closely.
I had a hard time meeting her eyes at the meeting tonight, sure every time I spoke she was remembering me jouncing and the loud music and the singing.
And then I thought Eh, and went on to other things.
And I danced in the seat going home.
*note to husband: Am not leadfoot. Am NOT.
Monday, April 21, 2008
It's been a hard last few days here - the barfing pestilence has taken down both children in turn and B has been fighting off a cold. We've been trading night-duties with the kids (wow, so this is what four am looks like! I haven't seen this in years!) and the resulting sleep fog and general uncertainty has made for some harrowing conversations.
Because while I have sympathy for those feeling ill, I do not have unlimited patience with trashed houses and things left undone.*
Being sick brings out the worst in us as a couple. I snap because I am so freaking busy, are you kidding me? and B feels like I am targeting him and gets defensive and mulish.
So this morning I was at the computer, reading about something and B called my name.
I was sure he was going to ask for a drink. Or could I do something....and I'd just sat down, and 'WHAT!' I ungraciously trumpeted back, barely stopping myself from clutching my head with the injustice of it all. Could he not see that I needed a few minutes to myself? Why didn't he see that I was going to explode if he didn't just get the goddamn tissues himself!!
There was a small silence. 'Happy Birthday' he said.
I spoke around a mouthful of leather. "Thwanks."
*We picked up something from that Gawd-awful kid show the Big (Blue??) Couch (CLOWN/woman and her clown/rag doll have adventures in their livingroom. It's RIVETING stuff.) about a ten-second tidy. I don't care if you are near death, you can do anything for a minute. One child gets the toys, one gets the shoes/assorted crappe and the adults get whatever's left. It's fairly effective and keeps me from going batshit crazy from the clutter.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
All credit to the Aussie Geek, as I saw this on his site as I surfed by
HTML DOM visualization legend:
blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags
They're all beautiful - here's a sitemap for a fledgling little poetry site with only fifteen entries. This one's so pretty I could frame it...
want one? Use this
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Chapter two and three are available too! Oh please watch Chapter three! It's Hugo as every Star Wars character - in order of appearance!
I have been howling at the screen for a few minutes - it's been a lovely break in my day!
'Hold on honey,' I tossed back over my shoulder, 'we're almost home.'
I snuck a look back at my son. He was white again, damn it. A spasm worked its way across his face.
'Mo-om! I need another bag!'
I increased my speed.
Somehow I never pictured this when I went for my first ultrasound.
Cass went to a birthday party this morning and bounced his way through, no signs of trouble - then began
Wheee! Another ride on the Ick Express.
Friday, April 18, 2008
My friend (who reads this blog, and saw the pictures yesterday) eyed me strangely.
'Still wishing you had the big hair, Jess?'
I blink-blinked at her. 'Wha?'
She shook her head. 'It's not fair to make your children suffer because you wish the eighties had never stopped, you know.'
What in hell was she on about? I looked at Rosey, playing in her jacket, her little outfit of striped tshirt and pink jeans, her crocs and ponytails. Nothing about her screamed I Am A Child Of The Eighties. No instant mullet, no plastic bracelets. Maybe her jeans were a bit too vividly pink, but the child likes brighter colors, and.....
Her jeans. The ones I'd just cuffed. TIGHT TO HER LEGS.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Six-eight months old? The picture on the right cracks me up. I have no idea what I was afraid of - but suspect it was the bedspread.
14 months old. Rosey gives me this look all the time.
Close to two. Opinionated even then. Also had a penchant for hats early on.
Three years old. Look, I'm missing teeth too! And my lord, I look like a Breck commercial! I'd kill to have that hair now....
And then I was seven. And got gangly. And uncomfortable with my body. Actually, the only one who looks comfortable in this picture is my mother, and she looks....stoned. (Not saying she was, but Jesus, mom, the glasses?)
Sixth grade. I took my much-hated retainer out for the picture. That was a hard year. I switched schools, and it was tough to make friends - I didn't help by being snooty (I'd just come out of a private school.) Once I stopped playing someone I wasn't, though, I fit in better. Amazingly, I still have some of those friends. But I don't still have the sweater.
Whoo-ey! Betcha can't guess what era this was taken in!?! And I would lay odds I was wearing gauchos on the bottom, too. And possibly boots. And most definitely bracelets that matched the earrings. My god-father there is probably trying not to burst out laughing at my outfit. Or it may have already possibly broken his camera lens.
And there's the Whitesnake hair. Big Hair? I has it.
Senior picture, 1989. My dad took them - I was the only one in my graduating class that had black and whites, and I still love them.
Okay! I cannot be the only one who has Whitesnake hair and bad outfits hiding in their photo albums. I'd love to see yours. I'll snicker quietly. Promise.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Last weekend, we had one sad and lonely one.
Then Tuesday, there were three.
Then tonight (so far) I've heard at least six....
Do I live in a rotten neighborhood? Have strangers roaming around my house all the time! No!
This article has sound recordings of them about halfway down the page.
Wanna hear what my neighborhood weirdos sound like?
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Or so we thought until nine pm tonight, when Rosey woke up with a full-volume wail and then vomited copiously over everything in a five foot radius. (Me, the cat, her floor)
Her fever has been flashing on and off like a neon sign in Vegas and after trying her on Gravol the down-the-throat way (she threw that up on the dog - why yes, I have been bathing everything and one in sight, why?) we pulled out the big guns and used the suppositories.
We've used them before on her, but this time I had to explain the whole thing. And she hated it. (Of course, wouldn't you?) And after I helped her pull up her pants and she'd given me a long, cool look of derision she trotted off to the livingroom to tell her father what horrible, degenerate thing her mother had forced her to go through...
'Daddy! I had to have a suppose-story! She (complete with pointing outraged finger) did it!'
Monday, April 14, 2008
Rosey went to a program today to learn songs and dances and things. (Part of Operation Pump [clap] Her Up) It was a lovely program and R had a good time, but sadly she was the oldest child there (I was hoping for more kids her age for her to interact with) and spent most of the time watching the babies and eying the slide in the corner. Next week, though, I think she'll be more relaxed and interested.
B slept most of the day and jollied Cassidy out of the 'It's nice outside and you won't let me go ouuuuuut' (otherwise known as the Slightly-Still-Sick Kid Blues) and then escaped to go cut wood.
I spent the day with a can of shaving cream and some food coloring. I'm now bald and six different shades of splashy blue.
No, not really. Tell you later. (wink)
*I can hear the cries of outrage winding up. Let me face this head-on. I give both my kids cough syrup. I know about the studies that show they don't work. I also know that both my kids sleep better and don't cough as much when I give it to them.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
The coming attractions were especially nice, with a long trailer all about Jack Sparrow (Mama says yum) and his dastardly adventures of the high seas.
'Oh, ' Cass said, 'that's Pirates of the Carabiners.'
I looked at the tv again. There was a mountain-climbing sequel? And I'd missed it?
Ohh...'No, honey, that's not carabiners. Try again.'
'Pirates of the Cabana?' Suntan oiled Johnny Depp with little umbrellas?
Saturday, April 12, 2008
ACTUAL REPLY FROM HUSBAND: (as he fights off quarreling children and deals with 100 lb puppy who wants to sprong on everything) Really? But why?
Friday, April 11, 2008
R is all pink and purple and 'Princess, Princess!' right now. So when she spied this, I said okay.
Her glee lasted about ten minutes. Then suddenly, things were missing, parts were falling off, and it became a 'Mama! Help meee!' thing.
Disney, how we loved thee when we were growing up. Your movies and books took us away on flights of fancy. We expected that our children would use their imaginations with your toys. Their imaginations, Disney. Not constantly-needing-something-to-be-fixed irritations. Have you ever seen a three-year old cry?
Let me give you an example. The toy is cunningly made to fold out like a book from a case - making four separate rooms. The prince and princess dolls are fabric clothed and plastic-haired, as are many in this
The shoes. The removable pink shoes that don't fit the Princess's feet.
The eeny-weency pink shoes (see the penny there for size reference? I hunted up an Amurrican one just so I wouldn't confuse your head with any Canadian references. 'Cause I'm nice like that.) Well, one was lost within fifteen minutes. Likewise the cups for the teaset. (I gave up trying to take a clear picture of something that minute.) The swing popped off a few times, and I still haven't figured out why poor Prince Phillip gets stuck with what looks like a red rubber condom for his cape.
There are structural problems, as well. Was this toy developed in California, Disney? Maybe during one of the quakes?
That would explain the floors....
But that's a small thing.Since the Princess can't get her feet into her shoes at all, one would have to assume that she doesn't really need to walk anywhere, right? Or is that why the Prince is there?
Disney, Disney, Disney. (shakes head) I had high hopes for this. A pretty castle, a story my daughter loves and will re-tell again and again, cute accessories.
Rosey was happily setting up the dining area. 'Oh, Princess, what are we having for dinner?' I said, fluttering the prince doll around. Rosey stared at the prettily-laid little table, with the golden forks and napkins (in the wrong places, but I don't expect you to teach my child to set the table) and food-filled plates. 'Candy!' she said, happily. 'We're having candy!'
'Lemme see, honey'. Surely that was wrong. But I was curious. What healthy, happy meal did the Prince and Princess sup together on their first night after Aurora's waking up?
Ooh yeah. Disney, you old paragon of happy endings and healthy living, you'd done it again.
Apparently, Princesses and Princes? Eat nothing but chocolates, whipped cream and strawberries, lemon filled pastries, and.....pats of butter.
Forget the spanking, Disney. You need more help than that. More help than I (with my hands full of bits of popped-off plastic) can give.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Hi! I like you. Or I did. Man, my teeth hurt. Yes, I'll try to floss more (mutter mutter mutter)if you'll promise me you'll never come near me with that BIG-ASS syringe and expect me to sit still while you jab it into my poor defenseless mouth.
Holy crap on a cracker, Bat-Man! It's been a long day.
Must zzzzzzz. Back with saner stuff later.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
This blew me away. (No pun intended.)
It gives a whole new meaning to 'I just hafta run back to the car for something....'
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
At home, she's crazy and laughing and hopping and jumping everywhere, fastest in the house to make a comment or laugh. A real clown.
At school? She's the shy one.
We've been keeping an eye on it - some kids are slower to blossom - but today one of her teachers and I had a good long talk, and now I'm concerned.
Rosey has a few friends that she plays with everyday, but we've begun to notice that she doesn't suggest things to do - that she follows the other children's lead exclusively, and doesn't speak up for herself when the other child takes all the crayons or the paper or the doll she was playing with.
We're all going to work on helping her find her words to say, first off, 'Don't do that!' and secondly 'I don't like that, and if you aren't nice then I will play with someone else.'
And it hurts me to see her so unhappy at the thought of hurting her friends' feelings - but if we don't nip this now, this could lead into trouble when she hits elementary school.
No one wants their kid to be the wallflower.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
This is suspect. Highly suspect. While I like him (a lot) and he likes me, usually we're not cuddly-buddies. He's not usually sitting with his head on my knee, looking at me with soulful brown eyes and whumping his tail against the tiles whenever I turn my head that way.
I understand that he gets lonely down here by himself at night. I do. But given the Spitting Tiger, Dog-Heart-Eater Dragon act the cat puts on when he sneaks upstairs, it might be safer for him to remain on the first floor. (Really. Chumba was pissed. And that's 30+ lbs of frenzied angry yaller cat coming out of nowhere to hiss and pound Jasper with flying paws o' fury.)
He doesn't have to go out. We (he and I) just made the rounds.
Shall I eat an acorn? Whassat? Was that a noise? Should I stand here for hours like a stone and growl softly, freaking you out? Me: Dumbass, that's the wheelbarrow. Oh! Okay. Let's circle and circle and circle and circle and look! Another crunchy acorn! Maybe I should pee here. No! Here! Wait for it...wait for it....psyche! I was never going to pee there! That joke never gets old, does it?
He's not hungry or thirsty or needing a treat* (he did have those acorns, after all!)
He just wants cuddles and a hug before I go upstairs.
Sometimes, that's all we need.
*Poor dog, what a terrible life. I should take pictures of him at three am, when he's sacked out, happily snoring and spreading hair on the EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN couch, all legs in the air.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
These obviously changed over the years. If they hadn't, Rosey would have been London Magdalena Chardonnay - a pretty name, but perhaps more suited for poodles, and Cass would have been...well, something unintelligible.
I've only had a few planned out rules. Nothing too freaky-deaky, (although I'm guessing I blew that with Chardonnay) and no obtuse spellings. Nothing that my child would have to keep explaining year after year.
Naming Cass was (in hindsight) easy. After some pondering and the sad realization that my father's name was very close to the sound of my husband's last name (put together, it sounded like a stutter) the rest of his name was cemented quickly.
Rosey was different. I'd long wanted to name any girl-child I had after my grandmother (who is still one of the best people I know) but the derivative 'Rosie' or 'Rose' just didn't sit right. Rose was too grown up, and choppy. 'Rosie' was just wrong. But (and I refer back to my obscure child naming-rules here) no odd spellings, right? Rosemary seemed too heavy a mantle for a small girl to wear - when she grew older, it would be beautiful - but until she grew up? Rosey would be fine.
Help came from the oddest source. I was at one of my
Ta-da! We had a winner!
I was reminded of this tonight when Rosey and I were reading her book before bed. Her latest choices from the library include a Franklin book, a book about cats, and a book about a small girl teaching her dog tricks called 'Roll Over, Rosie.'
Rosey stirred next to me in the bed and pointed at the letter R. 'R is for Rosey!' she exclaimed. 'And here's O, and S....her voice trailed off.
'This name sounds like yours, doesn't it?' I said, rallying myself to talk about words that wounded the same but were spelled differently, and how this didn't mean she was a dog, and...
Rosey cut me off. 'Her name is spelled WRONG, Mama. It's WRONG. That's NOT MY NAME.'
Right on, baby girl.
*As does my grandmother Rosemary, as she lives in Kentucky.
Friday, April 4, 2008
The e-mail I received says the picture was taken in 1918.
So allowing for the thin-ness of the column, and the (other reasonably useful calculations) depth of the photo, 1/3 would be what? The torch, the arm, and the head?
1/3 = 6,000.
6,000 men. That's right about the number of American casualties since the beginning of this war.
6,000 men. A headless Liberty, indeed.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I'm waiting for the wind to braid the power lines and a sudden darkness to fall.
The lights have flickered a few times today, resetting the microwave and starting small electronic things shrieking, startling Rosey into falling off the couch and landing onto the dog with an audible whump (oof! from Jasper) and a waaaaah! from the girl.
Sometimes mommy-ing is all patting and shushing and making things feel better.
And some days the best part of the day - better than the latest political craziness or having time to yourself or even a bath is looking at the photos of your daughter learning how to roll down the hill.
It's still windy, and bitterly cold tonight. But with these photos in hand, I can almost believe that spring... is creeping in.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
The dentist was concerned that he's grinding his back teeth away to nubbins, so now he has a plastic doo-hickey that he wears to bed that looks rather like a football players' mouthguard.
I forgot about it until he came downstairs looking grim and slightly puffy-cheeked, startling me.
He spoke through the bite plate. "Noffing." Then, as he looked at me beginning to giggle, he shook his head at me. "Why ar oo waffing?"
When I was thirteen I had a retainer that made me talk with my teeth together.
Yeah. (I spoke with my teeth together.) And it's all coming back to me now.
Bear eyed me for a moment, then nodded. Foot on the bottom stair, he reversed and came back to the computer desk, tapping my shoulder.
He looked resigned. "You're bwogging thith, aren't thu?"
I nodded. Some things are too good to pass up.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Barbie tried to reassure Skeletor Transformer Man that surely the Boy would find him soon (he would be home today before the Girl-Child, anyway) but stopped abruptly when he waved his knives and muttered something about cutting her if she ever spoke about this again. To anyone.
Hmph, thought Barbie. Some people just don't realize when pink is their color.