Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Silly Haiku Wednesday: Changes
Join the fun!

My Life

Bowie filters in
"Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes" starts
Another diaper...

And then, just to share because Goose is awfully proud of it, here's her parody of Browning's famous Sonnets from the Portuguese "Number 43" (Ok, I know it's not a full sonnet, but she's four!). The last bit she wrote out herself.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee as though I were running down 16 stairs.
I love thee all the while I brush my stuffed animals' hairs.
I love thine enforcement as one locks another away in a dungeon.
I love thee as much as my mom.
posted by Lori @ 1:57 PM   2 comments
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When the kids and I were bowling a month or so ago at my brother's work, we waited for him to take a break. While waiting we walked through the neighboring thrift shop and found a dresser that was 1.99, marked "final sale". It was a bit beated and had the most hideous hardware I've ever seen, but still I was fairly psyched and snatched it up.

One month later and we now have yarn storage for Ziggy's projects, but better than that I have memories! After puttying up some damage, Goose and Monkey helped me unscrew the pulls and sand it. They put down the first coat of Kilz via finger-painting. I threw on some wall color we already had and Goose helped me rub som stain into the grooves. Then I loaded it up on polyurethane and voila! Furniture for $7 total, including the generous donation of 25 cents when I bought the dresser to Goodwill.

Then, while we were house/dogsitting for my parents a couple weeks ago Goose wore me down and we grabbed my old dollhouse from the rafters.

As a kid, I never played with it, really. But my Grandma and Grandpa made it for me and I wanted it to have a good life somewhere, so I think Goose will be very happy with it.

I was a bit reluctant to paint it, as my Grandma had picked these sort of Holland-inspired blue/red color scheme, but Goose really wanted it to be pink and purple (of course). So we compromised. And maybe someday she'll paint it with her kids' favorite colors.

We still have a long way to go before we could get to something like Michelle of Scribbit's dollhouse, but Goose is a gal of lofty ambitions and mentioned something about a slide coming out of the upstairs window. We'll see...

All of those projects under my belt and now on to making Valentine's Day cards. While getting the yarn together, what did miss Holly Hobby complete for herself an "upcycled princess crown"... Maybe we look around on Etsy too much?
posted by Lori @ 11:00 PM   1 comments
Monday, January 25, 2010
Just When you Thought it Was Safe...
Silly me!

I thought I could take a shower. The kids were playing at the train table and since I have my showers at like a military style, break-neck pace of five minutes and the door would be open I thought, "go for it!"

I was in the home stretch--toweling off when Monkey comes around the corner with a handful of blood.

My heart froze.

He was crying, but not in that "sister just beat the heck out of me" sort of way, more like the annoyed at being dirty sort of way.

Then I noticed the red cap in his hand.

And the tube on the ground.

Little Man had found the fake blood from Halloween. And despite the fact that our carpet is now permanently stained in (no exaggerations here) sixteen places, I'm relieved. It could have been so much worse!

Can I make a request that Crayola come out with a line of fake blood?
posted by Lori @ 11:04 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
A letter to IKEA!

Dear Ikea,

I thought you might like to know, I beat you. Sure I may have almost been crushed to death by the bookcase from falling down the stairs trying to get it up to Monkey's room. And sure I probably made the carpal tunnel onset a few years earlier from the dowel forcing. And I may have given myself a bloody nose by punching myself in the face whilst tightening the forty thousandth screw, but it's there. So suck it, Ikea!

And then I turn to the simple boxes for storing Monkey's cars and notice that you are the bane of my existence. You sneaky, awful place, you! Who knew you'd pack 24 bolts for your boxes?!

Final round, Ikea. You and me and 24 barbaric bolts later, Monkey has himself some organizational items to trash.

Who's laughing now, Ikea?

Your loyal customer,
posted by Lori @ 3:49 AM   3 comments
Silly Haiku Wednesday: Wind
Join the fun!
Did anyone else find it harder to work without a topic?

The Wind

Trees Bend. Playhouse falls.
It's a force that can't be stopped.
I write snug from couch.
posted by Lori @ 1:57 AM   6 comments
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
What we did for Martin Luther King Jr. Day
If you think your four year old is going to respect the amazingness of Why We Can't Wait, then you're a fool. And while Goose did sit and do my hair and listen while I read her "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", I had to stop and explain even some of the simplest concepts like "injustice" fairly often, so an impactful line like, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" was lost. I was just glad to read it though and Goose did make my hair look extra beautiful.

Dean Koontz's Martin Luther King poem from Every Day's A Holiday was much better for both Goose and Monkey to sit through--and both of them did on several occasions (though the whole thing takes about thirty seconds to read).

We really don't watch much tv or movies, so Goose is a zombie in front of any film and sat through Martin Luther King's famous speech. When I asked what she thought she said "he talks funny but he doesn't hurt my ears".

We did this reading comprehension activity on Enchanted Learning which was very successful and she liked that it made her relative. But far and away this coloring sheet was her favorite and she was very upset when I made her get off the computer.
posted by Lori @ 1:58 AM   0 comments
Monday, January 18, 2010
The Art of Getting Things for Free

My kids get a lot of free stuff. Ziggy and I took them to lunch at an old high school hangout of his on Saturday and the guy brought them half a pound of meat and cheese in addition to the sandwiches we had purchased for them.

It's normal for me to daily turn down cookie requests, and perhaps the reason juvenile diabetes, cups of whipped cream on their behalf.

I get it. They're cute. They like to talk to the people at Starbucks or the grocery store and Goose is pretty good at shaking down those who she thinks will give her even the crust of their sandwiches (gross, but it's happened...).

Ziggy can talk his way into anything. He doggedly pursues a price he wants and free stuff added onto that is icing on the cake for him. There's a reason that his work makes him collect fees and payments in addition to doing his regular job. He's also imposing, and like Shaq, he will back anyone down. The last time he called, he talked the cable people into a cheaper bill and adding on two extra premium channels plus a $50 gift card (and that was the third time he had talked them into a lower payment).

Them there's me. I'm not cute and I don't hold my ground enough to ever be imposing, but I can play dumb. The fine art of pleasantness, asking questions and playing dumb landed me with an $800 auto service bill (though his original estimate was $1500), my next service free, a free meal at a local Mexican food place and a free car wash.

And while I felt a tinge of guilt as the service manager gave a stern reprimanding to the employee who helped me out, I felt pretty elated as I walked past them, keys in hand to my sweet ride.
posted by Lori @ 3:15 AM   0 comments
Friday, January 15, 2010
Help for Haiti
It seems like all of us are glued to the tv or computer watching the devastation in Haiti.

It's horrific. I wish I could be on a plane to go help, but the news isn't asking for SAHMs with BAs in English. So instead I open my pocketbook.

Granted, I haven't opened it very wide ($10 through Yele), but it's something. And little bits can add up.

I donated all the swagbucks I could (and you can use your three A7X bucks from that code a while back through here Here's what they're doing:
SwagNation has shown an outpouring of sympathy across all our online communities, asking how they can help. Here's your chance to use your Swag Bucks to support a great cause. Please consider donating some of your Swag Bucks to our Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. All Swag Bucks we collect will go directly toward a donations to three major relief organizations:

* American Red Cross
* Doctors Without Borders
* (Wyclef Jean's relief effort)

If they can get to one million swagbucks then they will donate $100,000.

Then there's the blog effort.

Bargain Briana
is donating $5 for every blog post linked to her site. Or 0.25 per comment left on that post.

Money Saving Mom, is donating $10 to Compassion’s outreach in Haiti, for each link
$5 Dollar Dinners is donating $5 per comment or link.
Common Sense With Money, is donating $0.25 per comment on her post for Haiti.

So hopefully that helps.

Ziggy wanted to remind people to donate here within your own community as well. He had a bit of a ranting moment as he went on about how it takes a disaster to get people to donate. So help those hurting in your community if you can with clothing and food donations.

Also check that your donation is being used well by the organization that you donate to!
posted by Lori @ 6:58 PM   3 comments
One Reason Goose Is My Best Friend

She Tells It Like It Is.

Maybe it's the four year old. Maybe it's the fact that her mom revels in correcting people, but Goose likes to keep it real.

So she'll tell me if my food stinks, or my shoes for that matter. And she tells me if my new voices for story reading are funny enough.

And when we were at Peet's today they had samples. And Goose grabbed hers and then with a look of utter shock she turned to me:

Mom! That lady just took three samples!

Shushing Goose as I finished up our transaction, I glanced over my shoulder to see the woman in question tossing a sample wrapper in the garbage and munching on one. Giving Goose the head shake to say "no more" we then chatted while I waited for my coffee. As I was putting on the lids the woman grabbed one more for the road.

Goose turned to me with her big eyes and said "Mom, that lady's a thief!" The woman glanced at me and what could I do but shrug?

Because Goose was right.
posted by Lori @ 12:02 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Silly Haiku Wednesday: The Road
Join the fun!
This week's theme is "the road" and I wrote two of them one not silly and one very much so.

Road of Life (inspired by Karissa, and a friend of mine who took her life five years ago)

Then she traveled north
Like Cortes or the dead past
To a new frontier.

Silly one now?
Traveling with kids

Vast is the I-5 stretch
How much Disney do we own?
And will the kids watch?
posted by Lori @ 11:19 AM   4 comments
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
This is What Happens When You Put Something Off And Your Kid Screws Up Her Face

I, being amazing at procrastinating, of course put off Goose's kindergarten admission paperwork. After realizing this morning that I had missed the deadline by four days and cursing my lazy butt in my mind, I began filling out paperwork like a madman for the follow up lottery.

Now this school is fairly involved. A physician has to go over medical records in addition to giving her a physical. A dentist must fill out a form (unless your "religious beliefs prohibit" this--what? what does that mean? What do those people do?). A child psychologist must interview your child and then a background check and psych evaluation is done on you, the parent.

So fine. I'm happy to do it because this program sounds perfect for Goose, though it's a long shot that we'd be able to inter-district into the program (even though it's closer to us than the school we're supposed to go to, but don't get me started on that).

So, I'm writing Goose's birthdate for what seems like the five millionth time and thanking god, Allah, whatever thing those people worship that makes them not go to the dentist that Monkey is sitting beside me playing contentedly with his trucks and cars, when Goose sidles up to me waving her Disneyland Princess Pen in my face.

Me: Thanks, Goose. I've got a pen.
Goose: Mommy (trilling like she's doing a kids' musical)
Me: Babe, I've gotta do this right now.
Goose: Look at how beautiful I am!
Me: You're always beautiful, Hon...

And there's where I stopped because there's when I look up to see. Her face! Dear Aforementioned Creator!

That stupid Princess Pen that Ziggy had to get her was all over it. And we're talking ball point pen! Across her cheeks. Up her forehead. In the corners of her eyes. She had thought it would make her very princess like if she colored her face!

And I froze. Today was supposed to be our psych evaluations! Not only that, I wanted so badly to laugh and take a picture.

You'll be happy to know that I didn't. Instead I took her quietly to the bathroom and tried scrubbing. We rescheduled the evaluation and I'm hoping that by tomorrow my baby girl will no longer look like Freddy Krueger
posted by Lori @ 4:33 PM   0 comments
Music Monday: 3eb

Ack! I fell asleep watching Heroes again. It's a good show, but we're watching like two to three hours a night because Ziggy wants to catch up and it's grueling. Now I know how marathon runners feel...

Anyway, since I'm a bit groggy and I meant for this to be posted on Monday but it's an hour into Tuesday already, I'm going to gush a wee bit.

Third Eye Blind's self titled album from 1997 is yet another that you should buy in it's entirety. There isn't a bad song on there. In fact I can remember 1997 and having that cd on repeat in my room on my cheap Toys R Us cd player, obsessing. 3eb is the only band that I ever joined the fan club of. Geeky, yes, but I was thirteen and a geek also.

I do favor the beginning tracks, but "God of Wine" and "Motorcycle Drive By" are some of my brother's favorites. I think "Narcolepsy" is one of the best songs. I remember when it played in the show Jericho and being totally ejected from whatever was happening plot wise so that I could go listen to that song fully.

Stephen Jenkins maybe weird and not a very good interview per (Chelsea Handler on Chelsea Lately) and his nail polish wholly unflattering, but that cd is one of the best ever.
posted by Lori @ 12:59 AM   0 comments
Saturday, January 9, 2010
What is Wrong With Me?
A: A Whole Lot

I need sensitivity training or something. I made myself throw an ad away yesterday when Ziggy pointed out that what I was saying was mean and shouldn't be repeated in public.

Well how public is a blog with a readership of three?

The ad was for Beano and they used this "woman" to hold the bottle. I don't know why they used this model, if she is in fact an actual model. It looks like a dude in an ugly wig with a thin-lipped, uncomfortable, I-have-to-pass-gas-and-can't smile. My only hope for this guy is that they didn't want to pay someone so they animated him using bits of body parts photoshopped together. Otherwise that has to be the least successful model ever and what a resume!

So that was the nicer of the two pearls of sensitivity...

Goose had a nightmare last night. She dreamed that spiders were all around and on her face. I ran to her room flipped on lights, installed a nightlight, rubbed her back and held her. I then turned off the light and she freaked a bit asking me to check her for spiders. I assured her that there was nary an arachnid to be found beforerecovering her with blankets and singing a lullaby.

The song?

I couldn't stop myself... "Itsy Bitsy Spider"
posted by Lori @ 5:52 AM   1 comments
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Happy Birthday, Grandma

Today is my Grandma's birthday, or would have been, as she passed away 13 years ago.

I've reached a precipice. I've now hit a point where I've been alive without her as long as I had with her. And while I love her so much still, I find it harder and harder to remember things. Goose asked me questions about her on the way to the cemetary today and I couldn't remember the answers to some, or didn't know the answers (did she like planes?).

And eventually I'll only have a handful of memories about her to tell. But those memories... Well let's just say they capture the selfless, kind, and wonderful Grandma that she was.

Happy Birthday, Grandma!
posted by Lori @ 3:03 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Silly Haiku Wednesday
I love poetry. I like all kinds (though rhymed like rondells or sonnets are my favorite). So to get back into the poetry groove I want to start participating in this meme. Sounds fun, no?

Join the fun!

A year has passed by
So without further adieu
We begin anew
posted by Lori @ 9:37 AM   5 comments
Wordless Wednesday: Go Fly a Kite

posted by Lori @ 7:55 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Just Like That

I feel like a total fool and my day is a ruined (ok, well the kids haven't been following each other around and screaming at each other much today so it's not a total loss).

I got the box today. The one I'd been waiting for for a year and a half!

I love Jasper Fforde. His writing is insanely creative and funny and while he PROMISED that he would write a book a year, he had a daughter last year so it's been a while.

So after all the waiting why am I bummed?

The book isn't the continuation of the Thursday Next series. I read somewhere (his fan site I think?) that he had changed the name of the newest Thursday Next book to Shades of Grey and that would be in my hands last March. Then it was delayed and delayed again and now, it's a new series.

Don't getting me wrong, any Fforde is still fantastic. It's just not the same as a continuation of the books I have come to know and love, and tout as the funniest books ever.

Oh, and get ready to hear about how wonderful this book is, because that's how great my resolve is.
posted by Lori @ 2:37 PM   0 comments
Monday, January 4, 2010
Musical Monday: Here Comes Science

Do your kids have songs that they listen to over and over and over again?

Are your kids still involved in Raffi? Or Schoolhouse Rock?

Well this is better. WAY better! They Might Be Giants is a wonderful band and more than likely you know them from their Malcom in the Middle theme or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme if not "Istanbul not Constantinople", "Dr. Worm" or "Particle Man". This has the cred of real songs but backed up with clever lyrics and information.

Can you verbalize the difference between speed and velocity? Seriously. I didn't know that all living things were mostly made of four elements. Did you? Can you name them? I can--thanks to the song aptly named "Elements". (Sorry, the video has a weird hiccup from the BoingBoing co. but the rest is great!)

This is an album that I won't kick off when the kids aren't in the car and it comes up on the ipod. I love that they're even will to make fun of themselves in "Why does the son really shine?" I love that these lyrics will stick in their heads and then be pulled out and dusted off ten years from now in a science class. It'll help things click.

So if you're in need of new kid music that won't drive you up a wall, or even just want to check out their cute videos on youtube, go for it. (this one is particularly cute).
posted by Lori @ 11:05 PM   0 comments
Saturday, January 2, 2010
A Letter to a Dead Man in Denmark

Dearest Mr. Ole Kirk Christiansen,

I know you won't be seeing this as you have been departed for over fifty years, but let me tell you, I'm not a fan.

You see I live with a big kid. And that big kid has started his kids up with your little invention. And in a family of kids who like to take things apart, take things from one another and take little to no time for cleaning up, this has been disaster.

In fact, my bare feet are giving you the middle finger.

Legos are hard! And small. And sharp!

And you know what else? Expensive! Forty bucks on some little ship because it's Star Wars? Are you kidding me, Christiansen?

I'm glad that thusfar everyone enjoys playing with plain blocks and inventing their own stuff, but trust me, should Goose start asking for a Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series Tantive IV Rebel Blockade Runner (10019) your butt is getting exorcised!

posted by Lori @ 2:20 PM   0 comments
Friday, January 1, 2010
Merry New Year
posted by Lori @ 12:34 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Lori
Home: Sacramento-ish, California, United States
About Me: I want to make things better.
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