Tuesday, February 28, 2006

And Again...

If you missed 24, you can still catch up with Terry's "I'm working and not blogging" sneak recap.

Why Not Chester Arthur?

The Boy has a problem. He's fascinated by Franklin Pierce and wants to read a biography about him. Unfortunately, there aren't many children's biographies of our fourteenth president -- at least not at our library.

Five Simple Things

Lenise tagged me for a meme.

5 Little Things That Bring You Satisfaction or Pleasure

1. My children playing together and laughing.

2. Clean rooms.

3. A cup of hot tea.

4. A hot bath.

5. Sleep.

I don't feel like tagging anyone, but feel free to do this if you wish -- and let me know in the comments.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Arkansas Traveller

I am trying to find a recorded version of Arkansas Traveller with the lyrics. On iTunes all 15+ versions have no singing in the music sample, so I can't tell if anyone has singing at all. Does anyone know of a good version with the words out there anywhere?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Presidents

In honor of Presidents' Day and yesterday being George Washington's birthday, we've had the presidential placemats out on the table.

The Boy has been commenting on presidential hairstyles, middle names and picking up other important pieces of information. He's morbidly fascinated by how many of the presidents are dead and rather sad that George Washington isn't around any more. He loves that he shares a first name with three presidents; his middle name is the first name of one president; and two presidents had his last name. Of course, he's also been known to ask if Thomas the Tank Engine was named for Thomas Jefferson or vice versa.

The presidential fact that I'm most proud of teaching him though? Just ask The Boy to find "the very foolish president" and he goes right to Jimmy Carter every time. Heh. This was made even better, when this morning, unprompted by any political commentary on the part of his parents, who actually don't tend to speak ill of either party, since we don't want any small, big mouthed, children repeating things to our Democratic friends in high places -- The Boy was studying political parties, noting the fall of Federalists and Whigs from favor and then came out with, "I'm not surprised that Jimmy Carter was a Democrat." Again, heh.



Back to Normal

Things around here are slowly returning to normal. I'm home with the kids and Justin is off at work doing lawyerly stuff. No one has thrown up since Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Vomit and Home Improvements

I'd love to say my absence for the last few days was due entirely to being consumed with home improvements and the like. We have been plugging away at restoring order to the morning room and would be done if we hadn't decided we wanted to put better casing around the doors in the room than the 1x6 pine boards that had been used in the past. But we did decide to change the casing, which meant buying new stuff and painting it. Even so we'd probably still be finished, but for two things.

First, I didn't like the plinth blocks available from the millworks company where I bought the casing and rosettes. So I ordered some online, but they won't be arriving until tomorrow.

Second, on Sunday morning I woke up feeling slightly dizzy and just not right. About halfway through breakfast, I decided to return to bed where I dozed while my husband got the kids ready for church. Immediately after they left, I had to rush to the bathroom. That and sleeping were the highlights of the rest of the day.

Yesterday, I was no longer sick, but felt extremely weak for most of the day. Justin worked from home, so that he could help out as needed with the rugrats. By evening I had perked up enough to be annoyed by all the crumbs on the floor in the kitchen, but sweeping them up wore me out. After dinner and putting the kidlets to bed, I felt well enough to finish priming the casing while Justin touched up some more spots on the walls.

That done, we went to bed and slept well until around 3 a.m. when my husband began praying to the porcelain goddess. He's sicker than I was and naturally The Middle Girl threw up in her bed last night too.

I'll be back when stomachs stop heaving or we finish the morning room.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Home Tour

Our neighborhood has had a home tour for the past two years. Although we aren't running out of neat houses, we seem to running short of people that are willing to let their houses be shown on a tour. Which means some of the people who said they'd put their homes on display as a last resort will probably be appearing on this year's home tour.

Um, that would be us. Yikes. There's nothing like knowing that people might be wandering through your house expecting to see something interesting to strike fear into a homeowner's heart.

We have three children and a dog. Our house is never clean, although we're getting pretty good at tidy, and there are lots of little things we've been putting off doing that we need to crank into gear on if we're really going to be on a home tour in April. In fact, as soon as we heard we might have to show our house we started painting our morning room, which we'd put off for the last year.

Below the jump is the to do list I've made up. I have no idea if we can get it all done in the next month.



Repair/paint back side of front door (scratched by the dog)
Paint morning room (mostly done except for a small spot where we had to patch some drywall)
Paint girls' room
Paint upstairs bathroom
Paint dining room and hallway
Paint back door
Replace mirror in upstairs bathroom
Fix grout in upstairs bathroom
Sand/repair/paint baseboards chewed by the dog
Shorten dining room curtains
Hang curtains on backdoor
Switch light fixtures in hall and morning room
Restain front steps
Repaint the trim around porch columns
Wash siding

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Right To Privacy

I beginning to think that the pro-abortion side isn't worried so much about a woman's lack of privacy before having kids. Instead, they realize that if a woman has the little rugrats, all her privacy will be forever taken away from her.

For many years now, I've had few opportunities to go to the bathroom and actually close the door. When I close the door, I usually hear banging and they start wanting descriptive details of what I'm doing in there.

We've now hit a new low. I had just closed the door and lowered myself onto the toilet when I heard a small voice.

"I'm watching you through the keyhole."

There is no escaping my captors.


Monday, February 13, 2006

A Holiday For Everyone

Last fall we got an Audobon calendar from our insurance agent. It wasn't quite what I wanted to hang on the wall (what with the insurance advertisement at the bottom of each page), but the pictures were pretty, so we stuck in the art cupboard with all the papers and detritus. Yesterday The Boy pulled out the calendar and excitedly announced that he'd found the calendar we should use next year.

I attempted to explain that a 2006 calendar wouldn't really work next year, and although I don't think he ever really believed me, he lay down on the floor to study the pictures and all the holidays on the calendar.

He was a bit disturbed to discover that April Fool's Day was not listed as an official holiday, but was glad to know it fell on the same date every year. I was able to raise his estimation of my intelligence by successfully predicting the days that Easter, Thanksgiving and Election Day fell on. He was also impressed that I knew the Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve were on the same day of the week. Sometimes The Boy seems teenager-like in his ability to think his parents no nothing, so it is pleasant to be able to wow him with some basic trivia.

Then he exclaimed, "Vegetarian's Day!?! I didn't know they had a holiday for vegetarians!" I glanced over his shoulder. "Veteran's Day, Son. Not Vegetarian's Day."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Date Night

Not with my husband. Shocking isn't it?

I'm going to see Iolanthe with a college friend who lives in town. She was one of my bridesmaids and every now and then invites me out for an evening of cul-chuh.

I'm looking forward to a girl's night out.

Eruption of the Blender

We have too many frozen berries in the freezer, a bunch left from when we picked about 19 bajillion gallons last summer at my grandfather-in-law's house and some store-bought ones as well. This morning seemed like a good day to make smoothies. I had yogurt. I had berries. Mmmm...smoothies.

Everything was going perfectly well until I decided to throw in a few more strawberries. I have a very strong Waring blender, but a berry decided to gum things up. I turned off the motor, stuck an extra long chopstick down and started poking around to loosen things up. It got to blending again, but was still not chopping the berries as much as I wanted them to be chopped -- despite having plenty of liquid.

I took off the top and was stirring the surface with the chopstick. The kids were talking, the Toddler was demanding more cheerios, Justin was telling me something interesting. Absentmindedly I stuck the chopstick down just a bit further. Kablooie!

Purple (blackberry and strawberry) smoothie all over me, the counter, the floor, the shelves. It's a good thing we have 10 foot ceilings of it would have been up there too.

So just a reminder folks. Don't stick things in the blender when the motor is running and blend with the lid on.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Architechture -- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I haven't played along at home on the Thursday Three in a while, but for once I actually have a bit of time.

1. In your own hometown, what is the best public building?

Of course this depends upon what I want to choose as my hometown. The city in which my parents still live, or the city in which I live now. First, my childhood hometown. My two favorite buildings: The Courthouse and the old high school (now an elementary school).

In my current hometown, there are many buildings I like. The old Customs House, the Main Library, The Parthenon, War Memorial Plaza, and The Frist Museum.

2. Again, thinking of where you live, what is the worst public building?

There are, of course, many worsts in both my old and new hometowns. I think the new high school building where my parents live, ranks right up there. As does the junior high.

Here in Nashville, there are many awful buildings downtown. Most of which I can't find pictures, but the Estes Kefauver Federal Building rivals any East German architechture for pure ugliness and Andrew Jackson Building is hideous too. I'm also not crazy about either the Country Music Hall of Fame or the GEC.

3. And finally, either in your own hometown or just in general, what do you consider the best modern public building? (For the sake of argument, let’s let “modern” mean anything done since 1962, and not necessarily tied to the Modern style. Purely arbitrary, I know.)

Hands down, bar none, I love Nashville's Main Library. They did a beautiful job down to the smallest details making it an absolutely fabulous public building. Inside and out, it looks like it has always been there and always should be.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Get Your Jack Bauer Update Right Here...

Well, not here actually. Over there.

Another Thing They Don't Teach You in Parenting 101

Popsicles. Always have popsicles in the house. Besides being useful for rehydrating children who have been up all night puking their guts out, they work much better than an ice pack on a child's split lip. With a toddler in the house, we have lots of tripping and biting of lips.

Today it was The Middle Girl. She was running laps around the dining room table. My brain kept telling me to make her stop, since unlike our kitchen, there isn't a lot of space in the dining room. My brain didn't yell loudly enough. Bonk. Right into the buffet at full speed.

Popsicles. After cleaning off the blood with a damp cloth, I gave her a popsicle and immediately the suffering one was feeling 90% better. Her sister was screaming to have one too, of course, but I have to keep the supply for the next inevitable accident or stomach bug.

Doom

Doom. We're all doomed!

The Toddler Girl has discovered that climbing on the chairs and from there onto tables is easy.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Be My Valentine

At Hippie German School, the kids have to make the valentines they give out. No pieces of pre-printed paper with Spiderman or Hello Kitty allowed. No candy either.

Last Friday The Boy and I got busy working on his valentines. We got out a heart shaped stencil, traced the hearts on sheets of card stock and then he started drawing a picture in each heart for each child. Not something specifically for any one person, but a different picture in each.

For all that he's the ladies' man and perfectly happy making sweet little hearts with pink flowers, hearts and rainbows for the girls, he was most excited about the valentines he planned to draw for the boys in his class -- until I told him he couldn't do any heads on pikes, skeletons or explosions. We compromised and the boys will be getting valentines with things like dragons, Vikings, pirate ships, knights, and I think a haunted tree or two. His uncle will be getting the valentine with a row of heads on pikes.

Note to self: Must stop reading to The Boy about Cromwell.

Fat, Drunk and Stupid Is No Way To Go Through Life

All this stuff about obesity being a "national crisis" is irritating. What are we going to do now? "Don't come near me! I might catch that fat from you."

Next thing you know, the new leper colonies will be fat camps.

Music, Again...

Would it scar the children too much next winter if I put Tom Lehrer's Christmas Carol on the Christmas music playlist?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ladies' Man

My son is going to kill me some day for the things that follow, but so be it.

The Boy has always had an eye for a pretty lass. When he was two and three he would find the prettiest woman at a party and attach himself to her. His four year old infatuation for one of the doctors at our pediatrician's office is still spoken of by the office staff. Last year in preschool he fell in love with a Kindergartener and told me once that she "made his heart sing."

It came as no real surprise that this year he would again find a cute girl in his class to be his girlfriend. "She's the prettiest girl in Kindergarten, Mom." He adores her and sleeps with the toy stuffed snake she gave him every night.

Another thing one should know about The Boy is that he is a bit of a klutz. He will be sitting on a chair at dinner time and suddenly have fallen, for no obvious reason, on the floor. Yesterday, I was talking to one of his teachers who said he managed to fall off his bench during snack time in a similar fashion. While lying prone on the floor, he gazed up at his love and told her, "You get prettier and prettier every day. You're the only girl who has ever made me fall off my bench because I love you."

And he wonders why he always gets time outs for flirting.

Diapers As Packing Material

I've heard of parents using clean diapers to pad dishes when they pack up for a move. It makes a certain amount of sense, because the parents know they'll use the diapers eventually and therefore aren't wasting a bunch of paper towels or whatnot. And since they did the packing it doesn't seem gross.

However, when I opened a box of bowls I bought on eBay (my children have a bad habit of smashing my Desert Rose dishes) and they were wrapped in adult diapers (yes, clean ones) I was a bit grossed out. I tried not to be, but still -- yuck.

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