Friday, March 20, 2009

We Have a New Record!

A half gallon of milk in three hours. That's $3.49. BAM! Normally it would be $2.75, but we ran out of the cheap stuff and had to go to the grocery store for the inferiorly* farmed, yet vastly overpriced version. Not that you even care, but damn people, I was impressed and had to share.

We had a wonderful visit with Simon's folks. It was truly a lot of fun. Grandma and I took the girls to Rough and Tumble, an indoor gym that the Bean's speech pathologist had just opened. It was a blast, not the least because we were the first people there. A TV crew stopped by unannounced, so the only children they had to film were mine. TA DA! I give you The Bug.

's head.

Ok, it's not a great shot of her, but it's not about her, so I can't blame them. And yes, that is my cr0tch.

Mostly the visit was us doing the things we always do, watching the girls do what they do, and laughing. Although, we did get all gussied up to watch Boy play trumpet in the All-County Band. His band gave an excellent performance. I mean it. It was a joy to listen to. As was the chorus. The orchestra had tuning troubles, but it's harder to keep the strings in tune- it's not like violins come with frets.

What else.

OH! Boy's Bday! We did good on the presents. At least, he says we did. He wouldn't tell us if we didn't though, so I'm left hoping that he truly is pleased. I know he knows we love him, which is the point, I guess. Here is the t-shirt I made him.

That's Bob Ross. It came out so well, I can't even tell you. For almost every gift giving occasion we make a t-shirt, and this is the best one yet. I also finished the booklet at the very last minute. Imagine the following, printed on square pages in various colors, fonts, and with nifty pictures, bound with little metal jump rings:

Create a list of the 25 most influential or important people of your life. Do not explain the project, but ask them if you can take a picture of them, and allow them to choose the spot. If they are far away, ask they to have someone take the picture for you. After you have 25 portraits, print doubles. Display one set somewhere in your home. With the other set, write a note to the person featured in the portrait on the back of each photo. Tell them why they are important or influential. Send the photo to them in the mail. Or you can hand deliver it but make sure you are not there while they read it.

Perform a random act of kindness.

List all the schools you can remember going to, then describe the classrooms in as much detail as you can - the toys/materials you liked the most, the way the room smelled, where you kept your coat, how the daily routine went, etc....

Grow something. It can be inside, outside, big, small, edible, pretty, plant or animal. Document its growth.

Have your portrait made by someone who loves you. Make a portrait of yourself.

Protest something.

Make something from scratch that you would normally buy.

List 100 of your favorite things.

Make an action figure of someone.

Make an illustrated timeline of your life.

Make a list of 10 things not to do before you die.

Perform a scene from a Shakespeare play with one other person, unrehearsed, while someone records it.

Make up a game,complete with rules, playing pieces and game board.

Think up your own project.

I gave it to him instead of a store bought card.

I've actually been piddling away on some projects myself. It makes me happy to make things. Truly theraputic. There were Boy's presents, of course, but I've also been working on that mix "Tape", and a sweat shirt, and learning to play the penny whistle. I can play the music as written, but you're supposed to slur and embellish, not tongue, which is hard to do, and probably hard for you to understand unless you play a wind instrument yourself. Sorry.

I've also been having a ton of fun taking pictures. A friend of mine from college must have noticed, because out of the blue he gave me a Pro membership to Flickr. I am deeply touched by the gift. I've wanted to upgrade for a while, but I kept putting it off because it felt selfish and unnecessary. Now I can look at all our pictures, load videos, etc. If you'd like to look, just let me know in the comments and I'll send you the link. If and when you go, be sure to click through to the very first page, I think it's page 23. Marvel at the Tiny Bean.

I probably have a lot more to say, but I can't remember it and there are a lot of dishes to wash, so
OH YEAH! Simon's step dad can't stand to have us wash dishes,apparently, because everytime he visits and we don't have a dishwasher he makes sure we get one, so this visit that means he bought us one, so as of next Weds we will be joining the modern age again. THANK YOU DEAR O!

Off to go take care of some crap,

* I know this isn't a word, but I can't think why it isn't....

Friday, March 13, 2009

I need your input!

I'm trying to make a "mix tape". The songs have to be so catchy you feel compelled to sing, but the words so unintelligible you to have to sing in tongues. So far I've got Matalli Ja Mustii by Varttina*, Bathtime in Clerkenwell by the Real Tuesday Weld, A folk song by a Thai street singer, and just about anything by Tom Waits. Not enough to fill a CD, obviously.


Because she's perverse,

*If you have children, perhaps you know it as The Binky Song.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Bean wants poo.

Our dog was naughty. The Bean, being a resourceful girl, got a rag, picked it up, then came and told me "Lucy pooped!". The Boy, when similarly informed, refused to deal with it. He said he didn't know what to do. I replied there was a reason that janitorial positions aren't degreed. * After he cleaned things up, the Bean cried and cried because She wanted to clean up the poop. So I suggested that we clean up pretend poop. Since then she's been exclaiming over a rock. It's a big one. And stinky.

It was a big day for her. I am here to inform you that today, for the very first time, the Bean peed on the potty. I am greatly relieved, as there was some doubt we were going to get the concept across any time soon. There was much clapping and hurraying and even- gasp- celebratory sparkly pink monkey panties.

That she promptly peed in. Then she peed on the floor. Twice. Then she put on a diaper and peed on the floor again somehow. I didn't think she had had that much to drink today. At least she has a notion of what's going on. I wasn't prepared for this sprinkler reaction to the concept, though, and am retreating a bit as I gear up for a messy learning process. And try to find even tinier panties.

Also- today we had friends over for playgroup. Whee! It was good to have a house full of friends, and I hope it happens more often.

Now I am going to comfort the smallest daughter, and relax. We'll have company for the next week, so it might be a while before I post a pic of the sparkly pink monkey panties....

She knows you want a pair,

* I'm not saying you have to be stupid to do the job, I'm just saying you don't have to be smart. I've made my living that way several times.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Ta Da!

Ever since we moved in there's been a pile of stuff sitting in the corner of the dining room. Random papers, the cuckoo clock, tools, things that needed to be dealt with. This weekend my family and I dealt. Then we de-piled all the other horizontal surfaces too. I still feel somewhat assaulted by the number of objects that are visible- I prefer the look you get when everything is behind cabinet doors- but in terms of how it feels to live here now, well the difference is night and day. When you want to put a dish away you don't have to figure out how it's going to fit with the books and hair clips and papers and whatnot, you simply put it away.

Having conquered the downstairs, I sallied forth to the girls' room where I put all the toys away, and the clothes, and vacuumed and straightened and TaDA! As long as nobody goes into the basement, attic, or our bedroom, I don't have to be embarrassed. Which was my goal. I wanted them to visit without me feeling embarrassed that we live like we do. Now I can relax and enjoy it.

As soon as I clean the fridge and the car.

The weather has suddenly warmed. First there was snow, then more snow and freezing temperatures, then nothing but warm. In all the years that we've lived here this first blush of spring has been followed by threeish feet of snow in one day, so I'm not too excited yet. I do have plans to start the seeds though. This year I want to pretty up the yard with flowers, and maybe try to do something with hops up the side of the house, since the landlord chopped down our trees. We're going to need some kind of shade.

Boy was such a huge help this weekend. He had to clean up all the dog poo that materialized in the thaw, and he didn't complain much at all. The girls did their part by playing nicely with each other, and Simon helped by washing the kitchen and cooking.

Now then.

I'm a little baffled. Usually I end up attacking the house the day before company comes, maybe even the day of. It's weird to not have this house looming over me. Not that there isn't anything to do, but there isn't anything that needs to be done right now, and really should have been done days ago. I suppose I'll go and see how hard it is to keep things this way. I can't believe it's as hard as this weekend was. Maybe I'll even find some time to work on a Project.

Simon is starting his new schedule today. I don't think I told you about it. Huh. That's odd, because it's the most life altering thing that's happened to us in a while. His company changes the schedules of everyone who works there on a fairly regular basis. Changes so drastic that whole families have to rearrange their lives. Just about the time that everyone gets settled, they up and do it again. Just now they've decided there must be three shifts instead of two, and everyone should work Monday through Friday. This would mean Simon couldn't work his other job, so he took second shift. Now he'll be working four hours in the morning at one job, come home for a few hours, then go back for a shift at the other job. This will be the plan until I can get a job. Until then, it means Simon won't hardly get to see the Boy. It means we won't eat dinner together every night, or watch TV as a family either. It means Simon still won't get enough sleep, because he won't get home till midnight and he has to be to work again at 8. I have no idea when we're going to have sex. The good thing is it means we will all be home at the same time for two whole days, which hasn't happened in almost a year. And he'll be making $30 an hour at the one job, which is also good. It isn't going to last forever, which is the important point. Once I get a job he'll be able to stay home with the girls and get enough sleep. Not that me going to work isn't a major change either, but at least he wouldn't be working himself silly.

On a completely different note- All winter long our house has been traveled by box elder bugs. What do they run on? There is nothing for them to eat here, but they're still plodding about the place as resolutely as ever.

Enjoying the view from the top of the ball,

Friday, March 06, 2009

No really, I'll do them today.

Simon says that all we need is for the dog to poop on the floor, and we'll be an article on fark. I say it's not that bad yet, but today is the day, for reals. Once I finish this coffee.

I can't tell you the pleasure that fills me when the clock peeps. Glee. Pure glee.

Yesterday I took the Bean to playgroup. The other children all cried when their mothers left. The Bean watched them with wide eyes, as if she was trying to decide whether she should be upset too. She was so excited to go, chatting and laughing in the van, but the group grief was very intimidating. I left her behind with some intimidation myself. Not so much for her, but for the other little ones.

In the afternoon Simon and I packed up the girls and went to see the Ear/Nose/Throat doctor, where they gave Simon a high five for using his medicine and preventing future troubles, then tested my ears and told me I can hear like a little child. Apparently my hearing problems aren't hearing problems. I'm calling it good news and leaving the subtitles on the TV. I'm very relieved that I still have functioning ears, because once the bits go they don't grow back. I must just need to practice listening. Maybe I should turn the subtitles off.

I went to bed when the girls did. Can't explain the tired, and can't be bothered to fight it. Hence the house. Today is the day though, because I have extra chores to complete before the visitors arrive, and I can't very well get them done if I'm still playing catch up on regular house work. It really looks like a bomb went off. A small, two-monkey bomb.*

With that in mind, I'm off.


*The Bean can now say "Naughty monkey" clear as a bell.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


When I was 15 I went on a tour of Europe with a band from Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. We were there for almost a month, if I remember right. Our first stay was in the Black Forest, and I decided to buy a small cuckoo clock. The dude who sold it to me couldn't speak English, but he made sure I understood you couldn't tip the thing upside down. So. I spent the entire trip carrying the clock around in a bag. It was my pet clock, and if jostled too much it would complain with a tiny Bong! noise. I babied that thing across Europe, through several airports and state-side visits, and finally home. Once there, I pounded a nail in my wall, followed the instructions for setting it up, and hung it up in eager anticipation of hearing the "Cuckoo" for the first time.

Instead, it promptly pulled the nail out of the wall, smashed to the floor, broke some of its ornamentation and LANDED UPSIDE DOWN.

I don't know that I have ever sworn so mightily, before or since.

Several times I have tinkered with it, trying to put the chain back on its gear. Coaxing the cuckoo to chirp.

Yesterday, in a fit of housekeeping mania, I decided to tackle the last Pile in my house. I decided that each item I picked up would be Dealt With. One of the things in the pile was the cuckoo clock. It took me all day, and several false starts, but after 19 years of sitting broken in a box, my pet clock is merrily ticking on the wall.

Isn't she pretty?

I also ran a new phone line so our house isn't festooned with phone cords. Yay me!

Still didn't wash dishes. But! But! you say, How do you have any dishes left? Ummm, we don't. And it's Simon's day off, which is sad because it annoys him to have the kitchen knee deep in dirty dishes. You can' find anything to eat off of, and even when you wash something you have no place to set it down to fill it. I'll be working on that today. While listening to the tick-tocks and pleasant peeps of the clock.

No therapists today. Developmental play group instead, which is a collection of kids who receive Early Intervention services getting together to play and pick up contagions in a daycare setting. Last time the Bean managed to bring home an unusual cold and the throw-ups. Two for one. Keep your fingers crossed that she only brings home some scribbles on construction paper.

Cuckoo, Cuckoo,

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Let's see...

Yesterday... Yesterday was one of those days where you feel like you're in a movie, and you're being filmed in slow motion, but everyone else seems to be clicking along just fine. I thought slowly, I moved slowly, I ran late and felt tired. It's like being high, without the giggles. The important things got done anyway. Mostly.

I tried printing Boy's birthday present out again before we left to go to playgroup, but then I touched some wet ink and got it on several pages and felt The Seether rear its head so quickly and viciously that I decided to screw it and come back to it later. In the mean time, I took a shower, dressed the girls, packed up the squash and headed over to Saille's.

Saille has knitted some really spiffy socks, which makes me want to knit socks. Saille's son is impossibly cute, and says many cute things. Saille turned the squash into a yummy risotto.That's quite a trick, you say, because you thought risotto was made of rice. It is. I should have said, Saille used the squash as an ingredient in a yummy risotto, which I'm hoping will become staple recipe for our family.

Poppy cooked dinner, which was very yummy. Nobody washed dishes, which was very bad. I went to bed when the girls did and slept all night long. I didn't wake up when Simon came to bed, or to get up and pee, or because one of the girls coughed, or because the people on the street decided to get into a yelling match or share their music. That, my friends, never happens, and is worthy of note as far as I'm concerned.

Which brings me to now. Now the house is a MESS. There are two therapists coming over this morning, library story time after, and I'm bound and determined to do something to this place so that I'm not embarrassed when Simon's folks come over. Busy day for me, then. Also, I feel obliged to tell you that this "Day in the life" thing will go on for a while, and then I'll do something else for a while and return to it later. I'm thinking the something else will be some projects, because I like the projects I'm giving Boy, and maybe I'll do some myself. Like draw a picture of The Seether.

Wishing she had a house elf,

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

No Spoons

Yesterday I ignored the dishes, let the toys free range, and worked on making a book for Boy's birthday. It's a book of fourteen project ideas, since he's turning fourteen. They seem pretty cool to me, I'm hoping he likes the idea.

What he wants for his birthday is a trip to MI for his friend's bar mitzvah. We don't have the money just now, and although we might have pooled everyone's efforts together to pull it off, the idea should have occurred to us sooner. I'm still racking my brains though.

It took me all day, but I got the diapers washed and dried. If I had my poop in a group, I would wash and dry them every night after the girls go to bed. There's enough time there, but I FORGET. ARG. Cloth diapers don't save you any money at all if you have to use disposables because you forgot to wash them.

What else... Oh. Simon says he couldn't sleep the other night because I spent the whole night running in bed. Like a dog. I woke up feeling like I had slept unusually soundly. Go figure. This morning I woke Simon up because it was 6:30 and I was sure he had to be at work. Nope. It's his day to sleep in. My bad. Then I went back to sleep and dreamed I was working for my old boss, but instead of making pregnancy tests we grew velociraptors. They were wily and kept getting out and running around the office trying to eat us. Oh the hijinks!

I bought groceries last night, and stayed well within the budget. Yay! For future grandchildren's benefit: I spent about $80, and bought less than is really comfortable. When we run out of things I don't buy more unless I planned that thing into the menu. Which means the cupboard is getting bare, but we're still eating nice dinners. Lunch is always peanut butter sandwiches, and breakfast is down to toast and oatmeal. The grocery spending is the only place in our budget to squeeze, so we squeeze. Other people have much smaller grocery budgets, but they tend to use coupons and sales to their advantage. I have never seen a coupon for apples. Or potatoes. I don't seem to be able to find the ones for whole wheat flour or oats. I suppose there might be some now and then, but by and large it's hard to find discounts on what we eat. Although- I did see a sale on frozen pizzas and bought some for dinner last night. I asked the Boy to cook them whilst I ran to the hardware store. He put them in the oven and forgot about them, and by the time I got home they were charcoal. Poor thing. He was very upset. I told him these things happen and you move on, but mostly I think he was upset because it meant more peanut butter sandwiches for dinner.

But! I was at the hardware store buying D rings and clampy businesses and screws so I could make attachments for a strap so he could carry his trumpet conveniently. It worked like a charm and looks lovely. We'll see how it holds up. I find myself being inordinately pleased with these little successes.

Today I'm off to take the girls to a playgroup with friends. The Bean is singing "Loodaloodalee", and the Bug has a poopy diaper. I have to pack up a squash and some coffee and get out of here.

On that note,

Monday, March 02, 2009

This thing I'm a gonna do.

So, again, in keeping with the purpose of this blog, I've decided that I'll try to post a one sentence summary of what I did everyday. This will not be interesting to most of you, but someday my great grandchildren will enjoy it. I'm also hoping that doing this will create the space in my life to record the things that I keep meaning to put here but never get around to.

Such as, the fact that lately I've taken to pulling the largest wooden spoons we have out of the drawer, making the best Maori attack face/stance I can, and chasing the Boy around the house. I can't tell you the fun. I've again said thanks to the gods of Architecture who designed the loop around this floor, which means that, once out of sight, one can still and hide in wait for someone else to come around the corner. It's a HOOT!

Let's see. One sentence. Ummm, Yesterday I stayed on the ball- that is, I kept the house as clean as it was the day before, made dinner, and even went so far as to bathe.

I'm working on an idea for Boy's Bday that I will share with you after it's given. I don't think the Boy reads this, but I'm fully aware that if he doesn't, it's only because he knows I don't want him to. I post this tease as a reminder to follow through.

See you tomorrow,