Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Wordy Wednesday: My Father's Dragon

Goose is growing up. Her hair is halfway down her back, she can put her own dishes in the sink and she says profound things that blow my mind (Last night; Goose: Mommy, Daddy, you know time takes time.)

So we've been reading chapter books lately. We started with Dahl, did some Blume, read the first Harry Potter (which might have been a little too scary and she says she'll watch the movie "when she's a little older" though she still goes around the house saying "wingardium leviosa!") and now we've just finished the My Father's Dragon series by Ruth Stiles Gannett.

There are three books in the series. The final one, The Dragons of Bluebeard was Goose's favorite, I think because of the flowers surrounding the dragons' home. The books follow pretty simple plotlines with Elmer Elevator overcoming about three obstacles to achieve his goal, which is most often free the dragon.

I think it was a pretty good entry level book and could be great examples for charting a storyline. My neighbor, a former teacher read them with her first grade class, but I think they would easily be read with three year olds (especially if your three year old likes to sit on your back while you read and do your hair!). The biggest drawback to me is that it's pretty dry, like all the humor of Watty Piper's The Little Engine that Could. I was a bit bored, but clearly not Goose, who conned me into reading an entire book in one day (but oh, did my hair look good!)
posted by Lori @ 6:11 AM   0 comments
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Nerds Have Rights, Too!

Ok, HBO what the hell! We Netflix True Blood which is great and are getting one disc at a time thinking that we're getting four episodes per disc but no! Oh, no! TWO episodes! That's ridiculous, HBO! Now I have to track down a Redbox with it somewhere because Anna Paquin, her best friend, her boss and that vampire guy are awesome!

So in the meantime, I'll show off my dorkiness and continue to watch and rewatch Nova, which if no one has seen "Musical Minds" based on Oliver Sachs' Musicophilia, it's absolutely amazing and explains so much about music making people happier (well, me anyway).

I'm also addicted Showtime's new show Nurse Jackie. Edie Falco is great, and I love Peter Facinelli (especially without his ridiculous Twilight hair). The girl from Into the Wild is great in this show too.

So how about you? What shows are you in to? Do you watch any of these?
posted by Lori @ 10:37 AM   2 comments
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Day-Cay: SF Zoo
I've never liked the term "Vay-cay". It's one of those turns of phrase that I hear people use and think they sound like morons, like "chillax" or "bromance". But I give in and say that yesterday, we had the perfect day-cay.

Some friends of ours invited us on their family vacation, and since Ziggy had already taken time off, he couldn't go, so I took the kids for one day. The Zoo is about two hours from our house so at seven we took off. California is the best state ever! We've got snow and ocean within a few hours of each other. Hot air balloons happen near Napa, so the kids were amazed by this and seven others like it for about twenty minutes.

We hit the carpool lanes perfectly and I thought that I totally cheated the Bay Bridge four dollars as I drove through the Carpool/Bus lane that went by the tolls, but apparently if you are carpooling during rush hours, you don't pay! (And here I thought the law'd be after me, though since we still have dealer plates on the new car, I didn't think they'd get far.)

It was rainy and wonderfully cold when we got there (we've always wanted to live in Seattle for that reason) The kids bundled up and we headed in (if you're going and you get there early enough, you can park off Sloat for free).

The zoo is great! Ignore the tiger mauling, we were there two days before it happened, and let me just say that while the zoo should have been up to code, the guys had to have been taunting the hell out of those tigers. I could have sat and watched the penguins for hours but for my crazy-climb-on-everything kids, plus there were a lot of people due to cleaning time and poor Harry and Pepper--breakups are always hard!

If you can, pack your lunch! It was perfect for Goose and Monkey to have a sack lunch, but I watched the table next to us drop fifty bucks on lunch for four (though, they did get crazy animal straws and lunchboxes).

I was really impressed by the kid's area, which for some reason we've never made it to until now.
You could touch so many animals and brush out those in the petting zoo. Monkey got to manhandle a ferret and Goose got to race a drunk tortoise (who was pretty fast). I did think it a bit ridiculous that while the docent was showing Goose and her friend a falcon, (the birds are tethered and out in the open, but free to fly a ways should they want) when the docent freaked out saying "AH! Something's flying! Something's flying" when a bug was flying around her head. Talk about the wrong line of work!

It was a really great for running around and being at the beach and seeing the animals and learning, but how do I know it was perfect?

posted by Lori @ 8:44 AM   1 comments
The Nicest New Thing I've Ever Owned
So last week we took part in Obama's Cash for clunkers program and got this:

And while I was so proud of Ziggy for negotiating $5000 off the price, I can't help but wish that we'd taken part in this program. Hi, Missouri, this guy doesn't make you look good.
posted by Lori @ 8:31 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Happy Bastille Day (or why Iraq Hates the Ziggy Household)

Happy Bastille Day or le quatorze juillet! Sorry Iraq, we didn't know you were going to make this your independence day too until too late. No libraries were open!

I sort of felt like the mom in Better Off Dead today, since I don't know much about French culture, but I did abstain from FRENCH fries and FRENCH dressing and Perrier. (I love that movie!)

We started out the day storming the Bastille and reading about the French Revolution from our France fact book. We have read all eight of our Fancy Nancy books and written down all the French words.

Goose's favorite activity was the French Flag we made with melted crayons (I'll post pictures later).

On our menu for the day was cereal (was going to be french toast but I was too busy cleaning) quiche for lunch (this is amazing, it had broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, onions and a little cheese--the best way to get the kids eating veggies!) and even though it's Swiss, the word is French so we're having fondue tonight for dinner. For dessert it's sorbet and afterward fireworks! YAY!

Perhaps the biggest tip off that Goose and Monkey are down with the French Revolution facts I've been throwing at them all day? They really didn't want to take naps and totally tried to overthrow my government! Mommy Antoinette put the smackdown on them though, and offered not cake, but gummy worms. (Please forgive the terrible changing of history it's a total faux pas!)

And if you like French music, this is a song Goose and I have been listening to today. And of course you can watch great fireworks displays on Youtube, too!
posted by Lori @ 4:35 PM   1 comments
Cheese with my Whine
It occurred to me that all I did was whine about our trip last week, so here are some of the positives:
It was such a flat beach right next to the house, that Monkey could wander around a big area in only four inches of water. Ziggy and Goose could walk out about three hundred feet. Ziggy is petrified of things much smaller than him, so he was freaked out about crawdads but that made his high pitched girlish screaming all the more hilarious (most people thought it was Goose). Plus it was only about a two minute walk to the beach, and even though the other moms looked like they had never before met chocolate, I was comfortable enough to venture out into the water!

Monkey is sick. His favorite animal? A stuffed animal! We're talking diorama taxidermy! And the main room in the house had "Gilbert" and "Sullivan" Monkey's new best friends!

We partake in lots of free activities, but the most common? Disc golf! The courses are all over and great for kiddos provided you can escape the drunkards or totally baked idiots who let their pit bulls run wild. Goose and Ziggy play almost every week and this bomb was courtesy of Goose. This was a beautiful course, though the kids and I thankfully didn't play the five mile back nine on account of Goose falling down a mountain and cutting up her hands, arms ribs and face. (She totally takes after her mom!)

Plus I had the best meal of my life, and even though my plate alone was $32 and something I would never normally do, it totally got me out of my-two-year- old-equivalent pallette for a night! The Lone Eagle Grille is amazing!
posted by Lori @ 9:06 AM   0 comments
Sunday, July 12, 2009
A Vacation from Vacation

We were on vacation last week from Tuesday to Saturday, renting a cabin with Ziggy's parents up in Tahoe. It sounds great, right? A beautiful place right on the water, gorgeous view and built in babysitter, right?

I think everyone can guess that this was not the case. It was worse than sticking my hand in Monkey's blowouts. More awful than getting kicked in the groin (I can only assume) and more agonizing than sitting through a televised baseball game.

The house was over seventy years old and billed as "quirky" which meant no one could open the front door because of how warped it was, so fine, back door then. But to go through the back door you had to be attacked by two snarling Golden Retrievers that the rental owners let loose (they lived next door). And since they lived next door we had the added bonus of them filling up the garbage can, which they charged us for and saying no excessive noise after nine, which could be as much as the kids crying. There were probably a thousand stairs and everything squeaked--not great for Goose and Monkey. So my mother-in-law did not want to be left alone with them because of all the danger.

Plus they had "antiques" in the house, which of course Monkey knocked over a torchiere lamp and broke the glass shade. In horror we called the woman who said it was her grandfather's and they'd try to replace it. She later informed us that she was having new shades shipped out and "hoped" they worked. Guess who'll be paying for hope! Let's just hope it works on the first try or she'll have us over a barrel.

Why would you put a cherished antique in your rental house? Seriously, if it holds that much sentimental value, then keep it around your house!

Obviously it's my fault I didn't catch the lamp in time and we're paying for it, what is reasonable in this case? What would you do?
posted by Lori @ 6:40 AM   1 comments
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger
I've been told I'm not very patriotic.

And while I have very different political views than most of the people in my family, I have voted in every election that I've been able to since I turned 18. I have partook in activities protected by the first amendment and I am proud to be an American, even if it's not the version that's dressed head to toe in red, white and blue today.

Happy Fourth!
posted by Lori @ 8:32 AM   0 comments
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wordy Wednesday: Canada Day

We won't be lighting fireworks on 4th of July because of fire safety laws in our county and where we;ll be, so instead I decided to use the other independence days this month as an excuse to light fireworks.

SO of course July 1st was Canada day. To get Goose in the mood we checked out some books from the library and our favorite was Canada ABCs.

This is a great book for breaking facts down about Canada. Each fact is perfectly geared for the 3-5 year old crowd. They're not super long, they have some great illustrations and a good mix of current facts, historical facts, geographical and population based things as well. Goose was able to tell me what "pelts" (one of her favorite words, thanks, Ogden Nash) the XY company traded by the end because they did a good job tying facts back to one another.

I did find the "C" fact a bit ridiculous. Ok Canada, I know you're proud of your comedians, but given that your country begins with "C" I think there could have been better facts than some picture of Jim Carrey, Mike Myers and Michael J. Fox. Goose might know who Shrek is, but the other guys are ancient history.
posted by Lori @ 6:58 AM   0 comments
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Name: Lori
Home: Sacramento-ish, California, United States
About Me: I want to make things better.
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