Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30th Post - Holiday Spirit

She is playing with two action figures and she pokes them into the branches in the Christmas tree. I tell her to be gentle with the tree, she says "I will be gentle". Then, I ask her what she is doing...she says they are living in the tree--playing house. I ask her if it would be a good idea to ask Santa Claus for a dollhouse. Her reaction is instantaneousness...she turns around, eyes huge and she squeals in delight at the idea. (Luckily, Santa has gotten the dollhouse for her already)

I am finally excited about the holidays. For some reason, after it became apparent that fall was falling and Halloween was around the corner, I was not looking forward to the changing seasons as I usually am. Maybe it was because summer went by so damned fast. Maybe it was because I was having such a great time.

Now, however, I am enjoying the season because I am enjoying seeing the holidays through their eyes. The older sibling helping his sister understand the concepts of Hanukkah. Everyone reading book after book after book about Santa Claus. Watching our favorite holiday programs and listening to the music.
And shopping for presents.

Tonight I wrapped their first night of Hanukkah gifts. I cannot wait until Wednesday night...the first night. A night of latkes and pot roast, dreidals and gelt.
I finally found my holiday spirit, it was there all along...in my children.

Note on 30 Posts in 30 days: Well, this is the last day. I only had a few days where I had not much to say, but I must say that it is hard to be obligated to write every day. I am glad I did it, but also glad its over. Thank you for reading.

If you are interested in seeing other 30 posts in 30 days writers, please stop on by NaBloPoMo, or stop on by Suzy's place.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday - Post # 29

Please click HERE to see this week's Perfect Moments.

Moment #1: I show him the buttons and how to separate (not like we do much of that around here--the usual way for us is just throw some in). As is typical of him, he asks lots of questions (I picture his head is full of questions that he must have answered). I expect that he will be interested enough to learn how the washer and dryer works, but little else. And that is where I have underestimated him (yet again). He enthusiastically takes to laundry. He asks a fewe times this weekend if there is any laundry to be done (there always is). And he quickly gets his shoes on (laundry is downstairs in the kinda creepy basement), and rushes down there to put more laundry in. He asks a few questions more, but, so far, the laundry has come out great. (and, with some prodding, he even puts his share of laundry away!)

Moment #2: This morning. I am saying good-bye on a Monday after a long weekend. This morning she came into our bedroom flush with sleepy-morning-ness. And she cuddled in my arms, her thumb in her mouth, her eyes half-closed. It reminded me of when she was so small (how could she have ever been that small?). Fast forward to the good-bye. She is snuggling on the couch with dad, as I rush along to say good-bye. And she asks for kisses ("tisses") and kisses me and hugs me and says "You have red hair!" (like it is something new and wonderous that she has just discovered)

Moment #3: Last night, of course just before you go to bed, you start worrying about things. And we talk about our worries and just when I am getting upset and frustrated at life, he comes up with something ridiculous and makes me laugh--diffusing the situation as he usually does, reminding me what is important in life and love.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Non-Traditional Tradition Day

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is our traditional day to put up the holiday decorations and the tree, etc. We even got the decorations up from the basement on Friday night so we were prepared. As we figured out last year, decorating with a Todd-lor is a bit more time consuming...so I planned that the whole day would be spent doing a little bit here and a little bit there.

BUT. I did not plan that on Friday night I would have what looked like an insect/spider bite...that would turn out to maybe/possibly be cellulitus (which I had when I was pregnant with Willow). So.
Saturday morning, I got up and we could tell the red welt was spreading...at first I just tried to call into the Dr.'s office to just get a prescription for an antibiotic...so I kept things going by starting the Christmas music and getting out the Hannukah decorations (yeah, we go like that...you try finding some jumping Hannukah songs--other than Driedel, Driedel, Driedel).

Alas, they would not give me an antibiotic without seeing me...I actually cried a little cuz I really was getting a kick at watching the kids go through all the stuff...

Hubs kept the kids busy while I was gone, tho...Willow asked him to read EVERY SINGLE holiday book we have (we have a TON of Hannukah and Christmas books).

After coming back armed with my antibiotics AND being told that most of the time I was to keep my leg elevated (and definitely not stand around and decorate!)...we put the tree up FINALLY.

And I watched as the traditions were non-traditionally accomplished---my son (not me) and my husband put the lights on the tree. My son and husband positioned the lights and got the Santa Hat topper on the tree. They put on the music...I sat on the couch, leg propped up.

Luckily, the doctor did say I could walk around (a bit)...so I did help, like everyone else, in putting the ornaments on the tree....which was also a bit non-traditional, cuz I decided to save myself headaches this year and not put any (well, hardly any) glass ornaments on. And not put most of the ornaments on the lowest branches so that Kif will bat at them. (Although as I write this, the cats seem to have found ways...I need to buy a spray bottle...really, I do)

So, finally, our traditional (non-traditional) tree is up...the lights are kinda crooked looking and there are bare spots where lights should be...there are tons of ornaments on the top of the tree, barely any on the bottom...hardly any rounded glass ornaments...Willow tried very hard to put multiple ornaments on the same branch, one after another after another...but, its our tree!

I had originally thought that we would celebrate by going to the Festival on the Commons, but our timing was off (and we had plans to see a movie at Chunky's)...so, another non-traditional start to the holiday season---but wait, dad took them, while mom stayed on the couch...wishing she could see Willow's eyes light up.

P.S. On the drive back from the movie, 9:30 at night, we pull over at the Commons. And I get out and do a short walk in the very cold night air with my two children, who show me the decorations....yeah, I did get to see her light up.

If you are interested in seeing other 30 posts in 30 days writers, please stop on by NaBloPoMo, or stop on by Suzy's place.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Laser Tag

Went to play laser tag with Michael yesterday. It was his first time playing laser tag--I am ashamed as a geek parent to say that. Frankly, it never occurred to me that there were any laser tag places around anymore. It was really fun. We divided up...husband took the first round of games while I took Willow around the video arcade. Then, we took a break for lunch and then I went and played laser tag with my son.

We were on the red team. It's been a long time since I have played laser tag, but it was such fun, and especially fun to play it with Michael being on my team. Unfortunately I was the only mom playing (although I saw a couple dads), so I was having to be kinda unsportsman-like and shooting little kids...but I spent most of my time going over to the other team's base and shooting the heck out of it (more points that way). The technical way laser tag is done is different from when I used to do it--and I love it! The time just flew by! (Oh, the red team won--we kicked green team's butt!)

Michael had fun and I think we will do it again real soon!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pictures from Thanksgiving

Willow drawing a hand turkey.

Michael drawing a hand turkey.

Pie for Breakfast!

Getting ready to go to a friend's for Thanksgiving...Willow started being her whirlwind-self....

As is evidenced by this video...

Food, food and more food...

Willow made a work of art out of her food...did not eat that much of it, but she had fun with it, all right.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for so much and for so many people. It has been a pleasure to meet so many wonderful people through the internet, and I am especially thankful that I got to meet a lot of them in person this year. I am thankful for my wonderful son, my caring and giving husband, my whirlwind of a daughter. Our wonderfully laid back cat and our hyperactive kitty.

This year has been stessful, and we are still in the midst of some major anxiety and stress in our lives...but for today, I am happy for who I am and where I am and for those around me too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Personal History

Last night I was getting ready to go to bed, when I started to rummage around in books. We have a bedstand that has doors that open upon hidden book shelfs. And I was putting some away into the books on my husband's side of the bed, fixing the books up when I found it. The Lincoln plaque. I thought I had lost it.

The Lincoln plaque is a small brown hanging plaque that has Lincoln's Gettysburg address written on it. I always had it hanging in my room somewhere when I was young. I am not particularly sure where it came from...I suspect that it was my Grammies or my father's from when he was a kid. But I have always had it. Specifically, I have always had it hanging in my bedroom. I liked reading those passionate words, it always gave me chills and made me humble. And I brought it with me to my new home and hung it up in our bedroom.

And then...well, then the age of it caught up with it. It is warped (possibly by being hung up in my bedroom when I was 16--living in the basement next to the furnace (it was a remodeled basement). The heat and cold weather probably caused the warping. But now it cannot hang very well. It kept falling off. So I remember putting it aside at one point a few years ago....and then it vanished. (I think someone tiding up put it inside the bookshelf)

So. I look at this plaque. I remember this plaque as being wooden, but now I look at it and I think it may be plastic (just painted to look like a dark wood?). The raised lettering that says "Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address" used to be painted gold...most of the gold is gone now. I have a strong urge to go hunting in my Grammie's old cedar chest to find her letters to me that I put there after she died (maybe I will pull those out this weekend). The Address itself is on cheap paper (I had memories of it being engraved) and some of the letters are faded. I read it, partially from memory.

I have chills and I am humbled.

(I am thinking on how I can get it to hang...perhaps some ribbon through the hole? I am also thinking about giving this to Michael)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Away

We moved 800 miles away from our families, so Thanksgiving was a particularly hard holiday to be on our own (like, truly on our own).

The first couple of Thanksgivings were pitiful. We were a young couple, just starting out, homesick, trying to mesh two different family traditions together. We tried to be like our parents. We tried to cook a turkey (disaster), we made too much food and sat in our little apartment. It was not awful...it just did not feel like Thanksgiving.

And then we met Liz and Jesse. They were a bit older than us. An established couple who lived nearby. And the next Thanksgiving...they invited us over. Jesse was a wonderful cook. He was born near Roswell, New Mexico. She was from Texas. The traditional turkey and stuffing we were used to gave way to a spicy difference. It was the first time I had jalapeno corn bread (YUM!). They made us feel at home and we were comfortable and happy. We were over to their house for a few more Thanksgivings and then they had their daughter and were called upon to visit their relatives.

It was time once again to be on our own for Thanksgiving. But this time--we bought a small Turkey breast. We had a small little feast. And we were comfortable in our skins, in our homelife, in our own traditions.

And then we had Michael. And the time to make our own traditions became stronger. Each year, the holidays became our own and our family integrated traditions from our families and changed them to fit our situation. The Pie For Breakfast tradition was born. The stay in our pjs for Thanksgiving tradition began.

And now. Well, now we are invited over to our friend Colt's house. This makes the third Thanksgiving in a row. Sometimes I miss our pjs tradition, but it is nice to feel like we are part of a family bigger than our own. It is definitely more of the traditional Thanksgiving over at Colt's house--turkey, homemade mashed potatoes and stuffing, pumpkin pie (Colt's a good cook--and doesn't like help--he's kinda persnickety about that--which is fine--I don't really like to cook!). Football is on in the background, relatives are there (alternatively cooing at how cute Willow is and helping to keep her out of trouble). Colt has an old Atari 800 and some point Michael will beg to play it for a while.

I guess each phase of our Thanksgivings have reflected where we were in our life. Right now we are in the phase of a toddler and teenager and established friends.

But we still have Pie for Breakfast.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

Please click HERE to see this week's Perfect Moments.

Moment #1: His assignment is kinda vague. Write down a quote from someone that has inspired you, and then explain why and how it inspires you. Pretty complex stuff for an 11 year old. Especially one that, while there are times he does get philosophical, most times is interested in Mad Magazine, Star Wars and SuperHero Squad. I try not to lead him--this has to come from his own experience. I tell him that he should think of a famous person that he is interested in. I mention Gandhi (he doesn't know who he is, I explain a little of the history of Gandhi, etc. and realize we are getting off track). I then think about that biography project he had last year on Albert Einstein. He was really excited about him and talked a lot about him for weeks afterwards...even said that he wants to be a scientist when he grows up. I mention this to him. And he comes up with a quote on his own. And it fits my son very well. I don't even think he realizes how well it fits him.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”--Albert Einstein

Moment #2: She is so deeply frustrating! She likes celery--sort of...cuz I find bits of celery on the floor...and then find her taking one stalk after another stalk and chewing on it. And then--she spits it out...ONTO THE FLOOR!! She is into everything, climbing on top of the couch, trying to open drawers. And now she is under foot while I try to cook. Ugh! I want her to go away, so I can do this! But. I help her get the step stool over near me. I give her the bag of peas ("Ooohh...cold!") and I help here pour them into the pan. I have her hold the measuring cup while I pour the liquid into it. I watch as she pours the dry ingredients in (some are all over the counter now). And I do it with a smiling encouragement. And she is beaming and proud of herself for helping me cook!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Extras

Now that I am re-watching some of my very favorite television shows in the morning while I exercise, I finally have the time at last to see a lot of those DVD extras that I skimmed over when we first got the DVDs.

You know how it is—you finally get the DVDs of your favorite show, you re-watch it and maybe go through some of the extras—maybe the “making of” featurette. But you never really get to ALL the stuff.

Unless you are me and you want to make the experience last and keep your interest while trying to get yourself up early in the mornings to work out.

Before my recent kick of re-watching (mostly sci-fi) television shows, I would watch movies, etc. Its far more interesting, actually to re-watch the shows. Seeing relationships develop, remembering when which character did what.

But the commentaries and extras have been the surprise to me. Most have been stimulating and add something to the series as a whole.

The Doctor Who had the Dr. Who Confidentials and David Tennant's video diaries. Those were fun to watch, the giddiness of everyone--obviously enjoying doing the show.

Babylon 5 commentaries were very informative. Especially since JMS wrote all the episodes in Season 3. For more of a fun behind the scenes, commentary with the actors was hillarious. The making of the various aliens and their make-up was after my own heart.

For a break before I went onto Angel, I re-watched Dr. Horrible. And the extras included audition videos that people sent in to be part of the Evil League of Evil. Very creative and fun...the whole family started watching them. This one was one of my favs.

So, now I am re-watching Angel. I just watched my first commentary, and it was great to hear about how the pilot was made.

I am glad DVDs have all this extra stuff--and I am glad I actually have been making the time to watch them.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Report Card Time...

Michael got his report card on Friday. Modestly he mentioned that his conduct rating was not totally the way he wanted (he has had behavior issues at school). But I cannot see anything wrong with this report card.

To see those A's and A+'s and know how hard he has to work everyday to keep himself focused and on task. To see him struggling to get that homework done. And to see that...just makes my heart burst.

Click on image to enlarge.

Well done, Michael, well done!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Busy, Frantic Day - Updated

Today (Thursday)has been an especially frantic day. It started off with the thought of being a little bit of a hassle, but not too frantic (for me, anyways).

Kif had his neutering done on Wednesday.

Ana sent this picture of a "happy, healthy, neutered kitty" last night.

She lives about an hour away from us, so it was decided that since she had a medical conference on Thursday in Boston, she and I would meet about 15 mins. away from my home (as I live about 20 mins. away from Boston). I hesitated, as I had a doctor's appointment that morning, but as she said it would be around 6 a.m., I knew I would have plenty of time. Until she overslept. So, we did the Kif Exchange, but at 8 a.m. which meant I went right from dropping him off at home to my doctor's appointment (routine check up, a-okay!).

Then it was onto work (after a quick stop off to get breakfast, later than usual). At work I got texted by my daycare provider. My daughter fell at the Children's museum, had a gash on her head near her hairline, and many band aids were applied, but it was still bleeding. (She texted me because it was too damn loud there at the Children's Museum--yeah, I can believe that--its like a zoo there!) Since Willow seemed to be fine (she had lunch, was running around, etc.) We took the wait and see approach.

Later, after I was able to actually speak with her and our doctor, it was decided that it was okay. Crisis averted! Although later on tonight I gave her a bath and got the bandages off (not fun, cuz the band aids stick to the hair), and made sure to consult Ana (who is a Physician's Assistant) as to what she thought--Neosporin was applied and all is well.

Meanwhile, while my daycare provider was texting me, my brother was texting me that his wife was being admitted into the hospital. She has Pre-eclampsia with twins (girls). Luckily, they got her blood pressure down and they are at home....but that added to the drama of the day. (She is at 34 weeks+, so things are being monitored but every one is doing well---oh, and I get to be an Aunt real soon!!)

Home, made dinner, did the aforementioned band-aid-ectomy, helped Michael with his homework. Later, he was still doing a project that was due the next day. And he had not really worked on that much. So. He was up until 10:30. And it was math. And it was hard. And he kept asking the adults for help. And one of the adults hates math and doesn't understand it (that would be me) and the other one was trying to work from home (that would be hubs).

Oh.And the girl would not go to bed. Until 10:40 p.m. (when she was inserted into tired Michael's bed to snuggle)

Yeah, weekend, hurry the hell up already.

UPDATE: I don't know where they get it. really. how can they possibly go to bed around 10:30 p.m. and be up at 5:45 a.m.?!?!?! Um, the time change definitely has not been helpful around here...
(Oh, and Kif--he likes being home. So much that he nuzzled me and nuzzled me--at 4 a.m.!!!)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Playing with Toddler

Scenes from last evening:

She climbs upon my shoulder and wants me to walk her around being "Tall"

Willow crawls upon the floor with me, approaching me, panting and barking. The little dog comes up to me and licks my face. And then she leaves and comes back and makes a small noise that takes me a while to realize--she is roaring and she is a fierce (?) lion. Then a pig, a cat...and another unrecognizable noise--oh, she's a turkey!

I check on how Michael is doing with his homework in his room. She follows. And discovers some of his toys. Specifically, a Spider-Man doll. She plays with it and she trys to find the little Spider-Man doll that she had in her toys--its the Baby Spider-Man.

Then, we sing "Happy Birthday" to someone (I don't know who) and eat "cake" made of building blocks.

Finally, after running around in the kitchen to no music...time for books.

And bed.

If you are interested in seeing other 30 posts in 30 days writers, please stop on by NaBloPoMo, or stop on by Suzy's place.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hey, it Took me Until the 17th Post...

to have nothing really much to say.**

So, I guess I will just do a status report for this week:

--Kif has been transported over to our friend Ana's house, since she lives closer to the animal shelter that is going to do his neutering today. The exchange was made at a sort of undisclosed location (an Indian restaurant half way between our houses) and this morning I got a great text from Ana saying that he was doing fine and that she feed him a little more food just before midnight (no food before the operation this morning)

--Had good Indian food and went shopping with Ana (feel a LITTLE guilty about that cuz poor Kif was sitting in his carrier in my car the whole time)

--Michael finished the newest installment of Wimpy Kid within 2 days time. (picture of him getting the book on Saturday)

--Willow is on a milk strike. Doesn't like milk anymore...unless its chocolate milk! (Well, at least it gets her to drink it!) Luckily, she loves cheese still, so she gets her dairy in...

--Her "main" present came in the mail yesterday (right now it is safe from prying eyes here at work)

--I have most of the kids presents purchased and some others have been purchased too.

--Debating on holiday cards. Almost bought some yesterday. But I want to try to scan in some professional photos for cards...wondering how to do so on the cheap...

--I get to go scrapbooking on Saturday!!

--I also get to go to the Dentist on Saturday! (yay?)

--Is it Saturday yet?

If you are interested in seeing other 30 posts in 30 days writers, please stop on by NaBloPoMo, or stop on by Suzy's place.

**Despite what the date says at the top here--I wrote the title last night, but the main body of it today (11/17)

Perfect Moment Monday

Yay! Perfect Moment Mondays are back!!

Please click HERE to see this week's Perfect Moments.

Morning Interruption:

Trying to get some extra sleep on the weekend. Sleepy Sunday it is not. Lying on my bed, I hear commotion downstairs, but I turn over--and my face touches the cat's face. Our fat lazy companion cat wants to snuggle. I let her sleep on husband's side and I turn over. Then onto my stomach. Just as I drift off...I hear russling behind me. And she is there, asking if she could have a juice box. And would I look at her finger, cuz there might be a boo-boo there. She has snuck away from dad. I kiss the boo-boo, tell her yes she can have the juice box (more because she will then go DOWNSTAIRS--usually I try for alternatives--or at least a "please"). I roll over onto my stomach again. And as I drift off to sleep again...he comes in. He has finished a reading assignment and has to have a parent sign off on it. And dad's handwritting is awful. And he has to have this done RIGHT NOW (cuz he is anal like that). So I sign his paper. (He says he is sorry to disturb me--oh, and can he go on the computer now?)

You might think I would have been upset with all the interruptions. I wasn't even annoyed. I just chuckled, figured I should write a post about it....and then FINALLY got my hour's extra sleep in.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Saturday morning, and I had a request from Willow to make pancakes. I actually haven't made pancakes in a while--we have been on a waffle kick for a while...so, I thought it would be fun to use my ole' pancake molds...

As usual lately, Willow likes to "help" me cook...she helped me mix the batter and then watched while I made two pancakes.

The molds are a heart and a bear.

I'm afraid I put too much batter in them this time...

So, when I flipped them over, they kinda did not keep the shape totally. Michael's heart shaped pancake fared better. I am afraid the bear one got a little more mangled.

But, in the end, the shapes are not what really counts anyways!

The next shaped pancake came out better--and I gave the dinosaur one to Willow. (The little bitty pancake by the tail is for the dinosaur to eat)

(Dad and I got regular old round-ish pancakes)

If you are interested in seeing other 30 posts in 30 days writers, please stop on by NaBloPoMo, or stop on by Suzy's place.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Early Present

The afterschool program that Michael attends has a little shop off their front lobby. They sell foam swords, cloaks, shirts that say "Zombie Academy", Star Wars figures, etc. (i.e. essentially a geek child's fantasy)

Every day for the past, oh, I would say 2 months, Michael has went in there to look around. For the past month he has been drooling over a General Grievous Star Wars figure.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought it for a Christmas present for him. It has been sitting in the trunk of the car, the perfect hiding place.

Friday night he was looking and playing with a General Grievous in the store. And as we sat in the car, he asked if he could go home and get his saved allowance money and then drive back so that he could purchase it himself.

I am good at surprising people, but even I know my limits.

His eyes grew big as I showed him the "body" in the trunk. I warned him that if he got it now, he would be one present shorter at Christmas/Hanukkah. His amazement and his profound gratitude (he said he loved me several times in a row) showed me that he did not mind.

It's a pretty cool General Grievous, if I do say so myself, and seeing him play with it now warms me just as much as it would on X-Mas morning. (and...he doesn't know there are already more surprises for him scattered in hiding places around the house!!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I was going to read, but got caught texting. So it is close to midnight and I am texting laying sort of on the bed and sort of not. He comes and sits right on my chest. And then he nuzzles my hands and my face. I stroke his fur and rub his belly. He is annoying me, but is cute in doing so. And soon I am just fascinated at this small creature (not as small as he used to be) and how beautiful he is. I finish texting and I spend some time just looking at him and petting him. Looking into those eyes and hearing his LOUD purring. It is no wonder that they say pets can help relieve stress. I try to read a little, despite the time. He nuzzles under my chin, making it almost impossible to read. But I reposition him and the book. And I lay there at midnight, reading a book with a kitten under my chin.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Girl

Helping mom cook...

Willow is a Whirlwind. She is in motion as soon as she gets up in the morning. She loves jumping, running, spinning and climbing.

Things she can do astound me. She can express herself in so many ways, not only verbally, but with body language and expressions. She knows what is right and wrong (generally). She plays with dolls playing house. She pretends to be a cat (to the point of trying to have me pet her and give her cat treats). Lately, she points to me and says "You -- Willow. I'm mommy." and we role play.

She likes to go down the stairs on her bum sometimes. Or sometimes she gets to the bottom stair and jumps down. She wants to do most things herself...but yet has no real interest in potty training or getting herself dressed (undressing--no problem).

After being a child not at all into books, she has become a book devourer. She loves handing books to me one after the other. She is also a book destroyer...but we are working on that.

Willow loves juice and juice boxes, has a wicked sweet tooth. Doesn't understand when we say to ask for things "nicely"--she then says "I want _______ nicely." Once we tell her to say "please" she says "pleeeeeeeeeeze" with a huge smile.

She is growing and growing--into 3T clothes and her opinions of shoes and clothes keeps being refined. I can tell I won't have as long as I had with Michael to dictate what clothes I want her to wear.

She is becoming opinionated and sparky...wonderfully curious and smart.

She is 2 1/2--where the hell did the time go!?!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Random Songs In My Head

My job is fairly quiet. Well, the office is fairly quiet. I work with three attorneys, who often are either quietly working in their offices or they are brainstorming (or BSing) in their offices with the doors closed. It is a small enough office that I cannot indulge in one of my past favorite activities--having a small radio/Ipod set up so I can hear music through the day. (Oh, I have a small set up, but I can only use it when they are not there--cuz its "too distracting")

I don't really mind too much--but it does mean that when it gets quiet--too quiet--my mind starts running through various songs in my head. And then. Then I am in trouble--cuz they won't Go.Away.

So here are some melodies going on lately in my head (and why).

Spongebob Campfire Song This is actually on my Ipod in my summer mix. I recently used Genius on some other song (from Juno Soundtrack) and this song was put into the mix. Jarringly so.

Go, Diego, Go! Obvious reasons, really. He is in our house every morning and every evening, whether I like it or not. Crys of "Iego! eeeagggooo!" are heard. Okay, he isn't as annoying as his cousin (DORA), and...well, he did have a show about Chinchillas (saved indefinitely on our DVR--not cuz she wants it saved, mind you.)

Mad TV Michael's been watching the new Cartoon Network Mad Magazine show...but for some reason, this tune keeps popping into my head.

Melanie by Weird Al
I have no idea why this, of all the Weird Al songs that my son plays in the car, why is THIS one sticking in my head?? I don't even like it that much!

The Freeze Ray Song from Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog
This is more because it randomly popped into my head. Of course, I then had to watch it again.

Add to this mixture some random Violent Femmes songs, some They Might Be Giants, soundtracks from Lion King, Joseph and the Technicolor DreamCoat and various other artists that just pop in every so often, and its musical chaos! (Yeah, I got an eclectic palette)

So on my drive home...sometimes a nice ole' Podcast of This American Life is a nice change. (Or blaring one of those Violent Femmes songs...)

So, what do you have randomly playing in your head?

If you are interested in seeing other 30 posts in 30 days writers, please stop on by NaBloPoMo, or stop on by Suzy's place.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Cats

Gabrielle (named after that Xena character) has gotten a lot heavier lately. Which is interesting because if we did not intercede, I am sure she would not get food because Kif eats up every thing he sees...

Gabby is our older cat. Isn't it the way of things--you do not realize how old you (or your pets/kids) are until they are compared to a new addition. I think that Gabby is both pleased and irritated with the new addition. The picture above shows them at their most happy--cuddling up with each other, licking each other softly.

Unfortunately, there are also times where we hear running running, thump, thump, crash...as Kif chases Gabby around the house to tackle her. Most times she is fine with it...but there are times when we really think Gabby would like to kick Kif's ass.

Maybe things will be a bit more calm once Kif has his neutering. I hope it doesn't change his personality TOO much...but it would be nice if he was not like the second toddler in the house.

Kif is rambunctious. He is into everything. He wants to eat any food left out in the house. He wants to cuddle and lick your face at 4 a.m.---he wants to bite your socks. Right now he is moving the huge water dish around the kitchen floor (it has a big water bottle on top).

Kif is damned lucky he is so damned cute.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Boy

Outside of After School program, last week.*

I had to take this picture of him. Of course, it doesn't do him justice, but I was just struck at the time how he is starting to come into his own in so many things lately.

I think school has been good so far. He has had a few incidents. He is definitely having anxiety/OCD issues. But he is also getting 100%'s and A's (except for having a bad grade for the evening reading assignment--he just cannot read as many pages as needed to get a good grade on that--but he is trying and I think we have figured out how to help with that). He is enjoying the freedom the variety of classes give him. He really enjoys French and Science class. He is doing well with Band--they have a concert in about a month. Tonight he brought home a stuffed penguin pillow that he made in Sewing class...and boy was he proud of it! (woodworking class is next term)

I am proud of him and I am glad he is gaining self awareness and confidence.

*Cthulu is his familiar in his After School Role playing game. He is also wearing a new winter coat.

If you are interested in seeing other 30 posts in 30 days writers, please stop on by NaBloPoMo, or stop on by Suzy's place.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Fun With Girls

On Sunday we went to Chunky's and watched Mega-Mind with a few friends. Afterwards , the girls all hung out together, as only little girls can...

It got me to thinking about how different it is to have a little girl. I actually did not think there would be so much of a difference between having a boy and having a girl, but even at this early stage--I can tell there is a difference. And its not like I am trying to perpetuate stereotypes or anything...I was a tomboy as a child, I have given both my kids gender neutral toys and both gender equivalent toys (i.e. my son got an easy bake oven one year, my daughter gets cars and trucks, etc.). And yet...she definitely has a more feminine bent. It will be interesting to see how this evolves...and fun!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Morning Snuggles

Laying in bed, its the weekend. Long night last night (full of fun, but still long night).

It's 6 a.m. I don't have to get up! Which means that the small voice asking for "daddy" is not what I want to hear. We tell her to come on up---and into bed she comes. She is surprised that I am here "You are HERE?!" (I went out the night before, to her chagrin). She snuggles in.

And then the kitten comes up and snuggles on my right shoulder...purring, purring. His collar is gone...where did it go? Then the other cat comes in and snuggles on my feet. I try very hard not to move. Let all the small creatures settle and let me sleep. (Hubs has no issues--still sleeping)

We rest. I do not sleep, but I think how wonderful this is--how it is missing one crucial element--30 mins later that element bounces into the bed--yep, no my son has joined the crew--and now I am barely in the bed anymore. But I am complete.

(Daddy decides the group hug is over--takes everyone downstairs so I can get some sleep!)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Bloggy Love

The wonderful Mel from Stirrup Queens is in town to be the keynote speaker at the Bay State Resolve Conference.

So a few of us Boston area bloggers (I had never met any of them before in RL) went to her hotel last night and had a wonderful time at the nearly empty hotel restaurant...we spent over 3 hours laughing, talking and generally enjoying each other's company. It seems that with each and every blogger I meet, I can sense a real rapport with them from the start. It was like we were just old friends hanging out...and I LOVED it!

It was so much fun that I barely realized the time--and was sad to have to say good bye.

Thank you Mel, for giving of yourself and your time! Thank you gals, for a great and stimulating time!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Life Alphabetical

A twist on some of the alphabeticals out there...

A - The amount of apples my children eat is astounding. Apples sliced, diced, whole or in parts. Applesauce, apple juice (rarely). Apples--its for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

B - Bears are a big thing with Willow. Bears of all types, bears in books, stuffed bears, animals that look like bears (like Koalas) are BEARS! Not sure where this fascination with bears comes from, but it is almost as strong as her love of BABIES(!)

C - Cats. We have two of them. One is big and a bit lazy. One is small and a bit of a rascal. For instance, the other morning he got up on the counter and was able to push and pull enough to get the dry food container to fall onto the floor, spilling all the dry cat food out, where my husband found him gorging himself.

D - Dancing. She does a LOT of this in our kitchen. Usually to They Might Be Giants or Dan Zanes. Often she drags me in, so I can go around and around and around with her, until I am DIZZY.

E - "E" eats everything.* (He must know my son)

F - Finding things. We have a lot of fun finding things that are lost in our house. Well, I guess the word "fun" can be interpreted differently for us. I guess some "people" (Willow & KIF) would find what they do with our items FUN. We find it amusing at first and then frustrating (especially cuz those two are not so good with the descriptions on where they put things). Especially when we cannot FIND said items (oh, like daddy's car keys, the new DVD we just bought, our glasses)

G - Grover is a nice monster (see below). Do not innocently start reading "The Monster at the End of this Book" before bedtime when your house is under siege by monsters. Even cuddly Grover can be a menace in those situations.

H - Holiday shopping has already begun (actually began in September). I got Michael a Weird Al DVD and CD (yeah, a CD--I want him to have something to hold--and the liner notes are cool) for Hannukah. In the trunk of my car are two Christmas presents for Willow. And my excel spreadsheet has begun (adults on my list are not going to get much if anything this year--spending the money on the kids in the family).

I -Two Iguanas died in this house. TWO. Now whenever we see iguanas (whether live, stuffed animals or on video) we sigh.

J - Jumping. Its another thing that is big with the kids. Jumping and more jumping. Jumping in the kitchen, in their bedrooms, on their beds (somewhat allowed)...just (apparently) not jumping in the kangaroo costume.

K - The kangaroo costume--was a hit again and I feel that now the expensive of it has been earned. We used it two Halloweens and now the feet have little holes in them from all her walking around this past Halloween. So...now it goes into her toy box for dress up.

L - LOLLIPOPS. Tons of them in the house right now. They are the STICKIEST things in the world. I think I am starting to hate lollipops and the sticks that are left gnawed and sticky around my house...

M - Monster Patrols have gotten to be a regular fixture of our house right now. Just tonight I sent some monsters packing...I clapped my hands, told them sternly to get out. She said I needed to get the ones downstairs too. So down I ran, and gave them what for. Along with a good old kick. Those monsters are OUTTA HERE! (until tomorrow!)

N - Neutering...as it what is going to happen to Kif in a couple of weeks. And it cannot come soon enough sometimes...

O - Offensive smell in my car...not sure what it is...thought it was a sour milk bottle, but I guess (from what my husband says, cuz he has an acute sense of smell) the smell is still there and I have cleaned everything out...I guess detailing is in the future...

P -Patience. I want more of them, but someone keeps taking them and hiding them where I cannot find them.

Q - "Fry: What do you monsters want?

Donkey Kong: One thing and one thing only: Quarters! A million allowances worth of quarters! No slugs or tokens.

Beserk: Fork 'em over! Fork 'em over!"

R - Repeated viewings in our house (thank you DVR): Superhero Squad, Mad (new cartoon based Mad Magazine satire), X-Men, Go Diego Go, 30 Rock, Family Guy, American Dad, How I Met Your Mother.

S - Michael's school pictures came in. They are the best school pictures I have ever seen. And of course I did not buy enough of them (cuz the packages were $$$). He looks so 13 in them...but he is only 11 1/2! But he looks so grown up and mature! Damn! I am going to have to buy more school pictures...

T - Yes, our Turtle Congo is still alive and swimming. In dirty water. Cleaning his aquarium is on my list for this weekend. As it was last weekend. Turtle doesn't mind...I do.

U - If you cannot find me and Willow--we are under the blanket over there! She is now enjoying a classic game that Michael used to call "fort" but she calls "house". Her 'house" is under a blanket (where it seems there is very little breathing room).

V - Victory is Mine! I finally got the kids to bed!

W - Love our Wii. Well, in reality, it's our second Wii...cuz the youngest members of the household (Willow and Kif) ganged up on our previous one. But, I still love our Wii...it is fun and helpful too. And now its stored in a plastic box so little fingers cannot put disks or coins in the slot; and wires cannot be chewed.

X - Oh, and we have an X-Box too. An old style one, and every so often we play him. Poor, sad lonely X-Box....why could they have not destroyed YOU so that we would have felt compelled to buy a 360?

Y - This is yet another post for the 30 posts in 30 days. Yay!

Z - Zen. I need some of that right now. Usually my zen is gotten through reading, but I also think I need a chance to go to a day spa or even just a 2 hour spa....to just be Zen.

*TMBG's song reference. If you know the song--can you get it out of your head now??

Thursday, November 04, 2010

There is always time...

Trying to get him to bed so that I can go down to get the kitchen cleaned up. It's been a long night and I just want to get that one thing done so that I can finally relax after the long day.

But. He is supposed to read at least 20 mins. a night for school. He is reading The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (I bought it for him a while ago and he picked this book above all others to read).

Now he suggests that he read it out loud to me. (I hate being read to--I really like the feel of the words drifting past my eyes, I like to be in control) I hesitate and then say I really have to get downstairs to do stuff. His expression shows his dissapointment. I instantly feel like scum and I try to take back what I said. At first he says it is okay, I should go ahead and leave.

I then sit down and tell him that I do want to hear him read this book, one of my favorites. He reads to me. He has an interesting reading voice, at first faltering over some of the bigger words, he has a small voice. But there is authority there, and you can tell that he is enjoying reading this to me. He reads "against" with an accent that sounds almost British. I want him to say "against" again and again. The kitten comes up on my lap and purrs and nuzzles me. I am happy for this perfect moment that I almost missed.

There is always time.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Before they even were falling she was intrigued by them. Finding the most tattered, green, dirty leaves she could find. Some brown and crinkly--great toys for the cats who then distributed parts of the favored leaves throughout the house.

Driving around New England, I see yellows and oranges and reds unfolding in front of me. It is hard to not keep driving and enjoying the view.

One of my favorite things is to shuffle my feet with a big pile of leaves in front of me. The crunching, rattling sound and the crisp smell of the leaves reminds me of a time when I was young and I walked home from school with my best friend and we would talk about things (some important and existential, some superficial and long forgotten) as we shuffled the leaves under our feet.

I bought wax paper again this year. Every year the leaves remind me of my Grammie. She and I would pick out our favorite leaves and put them between wax paper. Then she would use her iron to wax the leaves. I would gently pull the wax paper apart to find waxed leave decorations. We would then arrange them on her kitchen mirror.

As I wax the leaves this year, they are a paltry bunch. I only picked a few, I let her pick the majority (her taste still seems to be for the forlorn ripped, dirty leaves). He picked a few too, but not as many as he used to...too busy being a teenager to want to do the leaf thing this year...and she is too small, but interested, so she watches while I warn her that the iron is too hot for her to play with.

I tried to put them on our big kitchen window, but Kif went right for them, so my efforts this year were hastily relocated before he got them all...

There is a pile of leaves in my yard, soon to be jumped into and thrown about.

I love autumn.

If you are interested in seeing other 30 posts in 30 days writers, please stop on by NaBloPoMo, or stop on by Suzy's place.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Motivation - Or How Punching Bears Inspires Me to Work Out

Every morning I get up and get on my stationary bike. And I look forward to it (GASP!) Why? Cuz I gots my secret weapon--DVDs!! My carrot in the morning is Babylon 5 and I am greatly enjoying reliving this television series (before B5, I have re-watched all the New Dr. Who's). Unfortunately, I am almost at an end of the series...I have to come up with another one...I was thinking Angel...see, it has to be something I look forward to. Something that I will be wanting to watch more of...so I will get my 40-45 mins on my bike and mini-stepper in the mornings. (Sometimes I miss it on the weekends...its that good of motivation)

As for my other motivating work out--I punch bears. Or air. I love my WiiFit, but I especially love my Gold's Gym Cardio WorkOut. One of the exercises is a Roadwork run--on a wooded path, where every so often you stop...and "cardboard" Bears pop up and you punch them. (Oh, and be careful, sometimes a person pops up--and although his expression makes you want to punch him...if you do, you lose 10 seconds on your time!) I usually do the Wii in the evenings, 2-3 times a week--usually when the kids are asleep...although one time I did do it while they were up. And Willow then took out a Wii remote (no batteries in it) and ran along with me. And kept shouting--BEARS!! (her favorite animal)

If you are interested in seeing other 30 posts in 30 days writers, please stop on by NaBloPoMo, or stop on by Suzy's place.

30 Posts in 30 days

I have decided to do NaBloPoMo this month...which means you post each day of November.

I have thousands of stuff I have thought of to post--and not always had the time to do it. So, I hope this will get me to get some of those "only in my head" posts out there.

Of course, there is still the whole "time" issue. But we shall see. (Like, right now--I started this post and then I heard THUMPING in our downstairs bathroom...my son was jumping up and down for no apparent reason when he should be going to BED...) (Oh, and I should be using this precious time while Hubs is putting Willow down for some Wii time....um, after this post, eh?!)

So, for post number one...let's see what I can write...about....KIF, will you please stop trying to chew on my socks?!?! (with my feet still in them?!!?)

Post number one....Michael. Will.You.Please.Go.To.Bed. (Thumping has commenced upstairs in his bedroom)

(Oh, and did I mention the computer chair is in the kitchen right now so I am on my knees writing this?)

Okay, hubs is now calling for a sippy cup of water.......

Growing up....

We finished off the summer activities with a BANG, with Tom coming up for a two week whirlwind visit.  We did the touristy things with him a...