Friday, November 30, 2007

Another giveaway! For YARN!!!

Knitting Daily is giving away a gift certificate to your local yarn shop for $300 of yarn. Or $200, or $100. Go now! I have already mentally spent MY winnings. Ah, that yummy Alpaca I saw just last week. You are mine (I hope)!!!!!!!!

And thus ends the month of November. Hallelujah.

Breakfast with Santa by the Numbers

300 tickets

12 dozen goody bags

18 loaves of bread

22 quarts of half and half

23 dozen eggs

5 pounds of broccoli

7 pounds of sausage

10 pounds of cheese

25 boxes of mini-donuts

9 dozen bagels

6 crates of clementines

10 bunches of bananas

15 gallons of OJ

12 gallons of apple juice

1 parking ticket

2 LARGE glasses of whine

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mystery Yarn

It arrived! And I was thrilled to see the beautiful yarn. Yummy, yummy new yarn.

Brown wool for a hat and convertible mittens for my brother-in-law.

A fabulous reddish-purple for the tilted duster. It so totally rocks, this yarn.

And then there was this.

Lime green cashmere. I have no idea what I was planning to use this for. Clearly, I had a plan. One does not buy lime green cashmere without a plan. But I have no fricking idea what that plan was. Ideas anyone???


I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the mail, as hopefully my new yarn should be arriving with it. I really want my new yarn. I have become fixated on my new yarn. If the new yarn does not arrive, I will be very, very sad. The mail is always here by noon, and here it is, almost 2pm and still, no mail. Of course.

You don't think I have a yarn problem, do you?

Overheard in the playroom

C: "A stay still! Stay still!!!!! You have to stay STILL to play this game!"

A: "I am! I'm trying! I can't!"

C: "You can! I want you to stay still just like we do in church. THAT's how still you have to be!"

A: "Well, that's not a very fun game."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Is it December yet?

Because on December 1st, Breakfast with Santa will be over. My dining room table will stop being a repository for stacks of BWS crap. My phone will stop ringing off the hook with desperate pleas for tickets, more tickets, changes in ticket times, questions about the menu, the decorations, and the toys. My fridge will be turned back over to our household's food. My living room will no longer house 300 goody bags. And my children will get their mommy back.

C's opinion of the whole thing? "I think we should give more money to the church. Because maybe then you won't have to work so hard." Ah, if only that was how it worked...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday Gifts: Solved

At pick-up yesterday, a friend approached me and asked what I was planning on doing for all of the teachers. I looked blankly at her and said "Huh?" And she reminded me that now that C is in kindergarten, there are music teachers and gym teachers and librarians, and art teachers, and etc, etc, etc. I literally groaned and said "Really? I am supposed to give something to all of them too? What could I possibly give that one of the billion other students they have hasn't already given? And I don't care how much they might love cookies, I am fairly confident that they don't want ALL. THOSE. COOKIES." I refrained from adding that I was also pretty sure that they really didn't want cookies from my kitchen.

After getting over the initial wave of horror, I came home and pondered whether I should do anything at all, and if so, what. And I came up with this. Yes, every "significant adult of the teaching variety" is getting a share of a sheep from the Heifer Project for the holidays. Because it makes me feel good, and I will bet dollars to donuts that at least 9 out of 10 of them will be thrilled to not receive something to clutter their desks or their thighs.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Never say never

My long time readers may remember my horror at the resurgence of the skinny jean. And my equal horror that Rebecca had embraced the trend while living in London.

Today, I have on a pair of skinny jeans and a cashmere baby doll top (Old Navy! $40! $40 cashmere! Only in the store! Merry Happy Holidays!). And I have already gotten three compliments on how skinny I look.

Clearly, I have no idea what actually might look good on...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas had Sprung

Christmas has come a bit early Chez J-E, in an effort to perk myself up a bit. And so, even though I generally don't start decorating until the second (or, really third, because I'm lazy like that) weekend in December, this morning I put up the outdoor trees and window swags.

Now all we need is a little snow...and some cookies.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Knitting diet week 3

Projects knit - 1 shawl and 1/4 or a hat (pictures to come later when I have access to a card reader).

Pounds lost - 2

Are you seeing a trend here? Me too. I have two more holiday gifts to finish, then I am going to give the tilted duster a try. The yarn for it should be arriving early next week. M says that the knitting diet might end up being the most expensive weight-loss tool out there, given my love of soft and yummy yarn.

And in January I think we should have a knit-a-long. Because I've always wanted to do one but am too shy to break into someone else's. I think I have enough knitting readers to make it fun. So if you're interested, chime in on what you would be interested in knitting. And lurkers who knit, this means you too. Because if I'm throwing a shy gals knit-a-long, then it's your chance to enjoy one too...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving leftovers

  • As lovely as it was not to cook Thanksgiving dinner, I think I much prefer hosting.
  • It turns out that I have several strongly held beliefs about Thanksgiving.
  • Stuffing must be Pepperidge Farm, the blue bag.
  • Turkey should be cooked the same day that it gets served.
  • Mashed potatoes should be made a day ahead, and be lumpy.
  • Cranberry sauce should be whole berry, and lots of it should be provided, even in the doggie bags.
  • Regardless of my laundry lists of beliefs, the meal was delicious and our hosts were lovely.
  • But is rather odd to sit in on another family's Thanksgiving.
  • The inside family jokes totally flew over my head, and I felt a bit overwhelmed by trying to keep everyone's name and relationship straight.
  • And then when I realized that not only is this not my family, but I also would never see these people ever again in my life, the effort seemed somewhat pointless.
  • So I kept wondering how Rebecca's family's game of charades was going.
  • And who was cooking the bird at my dad's place this year, as that totally changes the whole dynamic of the holiday.
  • And I really, really miss my cats and my bed.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ding Ding Ding

We have a winner! At 8:09 PM, C announced that he felt hot and had a tummy ache.

I just love the predictability of my children...

Gobble Gobble

This is the first Thanksgiving since M and I were married that I'm not cooking. It is really rather odd. Refreshing, actually. I think I could perhaps get used to going elsewhere for Thanksgiving. It is also the first Thanksgiving since C was born that one of the kids isn't running a fever. But, I suppose the day is still young, and one of them could pull through for me yet. We've already had the requisite fall that may or may not require stitches to the chin.

And just to leave a smile on your face as you head off to do whatever it is that you do on Turkey Day, my entire outfit is being held together with binder clips. Because I couldn't find safety pins and apparently my boobs don't quite fill out the wrap top I grabbed from the back of my closet the way that they used to. Hopefully the kids won't start tugging on my shirt too hard, or else everyone will be in for quite a surprise around the dinner table...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Life in the fast lane

Despite my post from yesterday, our trip actually went much smoother than I had anticipated, thanks in no small part to the fact that M travels extensively and has super elite status just about every place. So when we arrived at the airport, our bags were wisked away and we got to go through a specail line at security. We could have headed to the special waiting lounge (with free! drinks! free! snacks!) but decided to stay close to the gate, just because. I'm not sure why. We were the first folks on the plane, and our bags were the first off the plane. When we arrived to pick up the rental car, we had been upgraded to an SUV. It made it all much nicer than anticipated. And maybe, just maybe, I'll think twice next time I snark about M's travel.

But only if super elite status starts providing back up batteries...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Note to Self

Note to self: the portable DVD player only works on an airplane if the battery is charged.

And a very special thanks to the very lovely woman who sat in front of us. May she be blessed with fabulous grandchildren, as she has the patience of a saint.

Nuff said.

Sibling Rivalry

C has been acting out for reasons that escape us all. Temper tantrums, floor kicking, screaming, utter rejection of anything M or I say or do. I feel like I have a teenager and a two year old living in the same body. Not. Fun. Is any one else with an almost six year old experiencing this? Is it a developmental thing or and issue????

Anywhoo, A has been taking this all in, and decided that SHE will be the good child. So anytime C refuses to eat something, she gobbles it up and announces "I LOVE it! I am a GREAT eater! Look at me C, I LIKE it!" Or, this morning, when they both woke up at 6 am and C pitched a fit because I refused to go downstairs until at least 6:30, A, who generally is the one insisting on going downstairs, crawled into bed with me and announced "I'm just happy to snuggle with you mommy. I'm being good!" Which, of course, sent C into an even bigger tailspin.

On the upside, at least I have only one child who acts like the world is coming to an end at any given moment. On the downside, I have a feeling that A is not helping matters and I'm unclear how to address the issue with her, or if I should even try to...

Monday, November 19, 2007

The foundation of a wardrobe

I've been watching a lot of Tim Gunn and What Not to Wear recently. I have no idea why. Well, actually I do, because I know my wardrobe needs serious help. But they keep harping on how bras only last 6 months, and how many women are wearing the wrong bra size, and finally I thought about when the last time I bought a bra was. I think right after C was weaned. Which was almost five years ago. So I decided to take the plunge, so to speak.

I took a poll at the gym this morning, and the consensus was Victoria's Secret. So once I dropped the kids off this afternoon, I headed over there and was both horrified and disappointed. I am no where near the size I though I was, and have gone down TWO cup sizes since before I was pregnant. Yes folks, I am now an A cup. So help me, because I swear my boobs are bigger than they were a decade ago. But, apparently, they are just more droopy. And the side that both kids preferred when I was nursing? THAT one is even smaller. Which makes me rather lopsided. Of course.

The sales lady at Victoria's Secret finally gave up and basically told me she couldn't help me. Fabulous. I did buy one bra there, the best of the sorry bunch, just in case I couldn't find one someplace else. Then I headed to Lord and Taylor, home of the little old ladies in our town. I couldn't find a clerk to help me, but since I now had a general idea of what I was looking for, I was able to collect a fair number of bras to try on. The only one that fit perfectly? The $60 bra. Of course.

I couldn't bring myself to spend $60 on a bra that was supposed to only last 6 months, so I purchased two different, much cheaper, alternatives figuring that I would wear both of them for a while and then I would go back and purchase more of whichever one I would groan about if it was in the wash. At pick-up, as I was regaling everyone about my afternoon (why yes! You don't converse with perfect strangers about your bra size, or lack thereof?), someone suggested a specialty store near here. Where apparently you can get someone to help you, and they won't give up on you just because your boobs are lopsided and rather oddly shaped.

So Rebecca doesn't know it, but when she arrives here from London, I'm taking her to get me fitted for a bra. Because that's what friends do when they haven't seen each other in close to a year...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Who couldn't use a $150 Amazon certificate during the holidays?

Teeny Manolo is having a sweepstakes! Yes, indeed! Just in time for the holidays. Teeny Manolo is smart, very smart. Go, enter, and keep your fingers crossed that you'll be one of the lucky winners of a $50 or $150 Amazon gift certificate!

In defense of Rebecca

Rebecca has been rather concerned that everyone thinks her to be a lousy friend because I continually mention and link to her, and she never reciprocates. I try to reassure her that y'all are smart people and have figured out that the whole town reads her blog and, therefore, if she started linking to me, the whole town would read my blog as well. Which is not exactly what I am looking for in a semi-anonymous blog. Even though I try to keep in mind that anyone could (and quite honestly has) stumbled upon my blog (waving hello to the folks I know from past and current lives who read and don't comment).

So, there you have it. Rebecca is indeed a good friend, as she is under instructions from me not to link to me.

(And, since I am defending my favorite people to folks I don't even know, M had been concerned that he is coming across as a not very nice person on my blog. So for the record, M is a wonderful husband and father, despite how he might appear during my grumpy moments. But y'all figured that one out too, I am sure.)

The knitting diet week two

Projects completed (or even started): none.

Weight lost: none.

I think there might be something to this diet after all. I figure next week is probably a total wash since it will be Thanksgiving and I won't be able to make it to the gym at all, or even walk C to school because of the forcasted downpour both Monday and Tuesday.

Regardless, I do need to make a decision about what to make next. I've tried casting on a pair of mittens a few times, and have had limited success. Perhaps I will try again this morning, and revert back to my standard cast-on instead of the new one suggested by the pattern.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Because I know someone out there is more creative than I

Celebrations, a new party idea site, is looking for an expert. I ran across it in my hunt to try and find some work-from-home writing jobs, and briefly debated applying myself. But we all know that creative party throwing and crafty are not words that folks usually use in conjunction with my name. And while I am pretty sure I could come up with some great ideas to pitch myself, the thought of having to keep coming up with them made me shiver. So, I pass the opportunity onto all of you.

And if you run across any writing gig that requires a little less Martha Stewart, keep me in mind, OK?


After weeks of temper tantrums, hysterical pleas for more sleep, and general miserableness by all parties, I think (please, oh please) that we have finally made the transition to standard time. 7 am baby!

Now if only we could get Dumb Cat to sleep past 4:30....

Friday, November 16, 2007

Go figure

I took this quiz, as seen at Revdrmom's, on which candidate held views closest to mine. The result? Joe Biden. Go figure. Every time I see anything about him I scream at the TV "Stop running already! Who is giving you money???? You are NEVER going to win!" Apparently, people like me are giving him money (hangs head in shame for doubting the one who is obviously my political solution). Hilary came in a distant second, which is the direction I am leaning even though it pains me to no end. Really, there is no one who I am willing to throw myself behind like I did Bill Bradley (I still have my Bill Bradley hat. And clearly I have a tendency towards agreeing with folks who don't have a shot of winning).

I actually think I played the role of Joe Biden's campaign manager in high school at a mock election. In which he got clobbered by Dukakis (hey, I went to prep school in Massachusetts, he didn't have a shot).

Go take it, it's fun. And I suppose eye opening, if you believe in such quizzes...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fly, fly away

Next week we'll be headed south for the piggroom festivities. The last time we flew with both kids it was, how shall I say this nicely, disastrous. I know there are folks out there who fly frequently with small children, so please, take pity on me and tell me your travel secrets. Here are the facts, so far:

  1. We will be traveling on the busiest travel day of the year. Because I totally messed up the ticket ordering.
  2. Our flight is at 3pm, give or take.
  3. Currently one parent is sitting with both children (guess which one) and the other is a few aisles up the plane.
  4. The flight is supposed to take three hours, give or take.
  5. There is no food being served on the flight. One child is already hysterical about the fact that there will be no cute little turkey sandwich on a cute little tray (which neither child would ever eat anyway).
Thoughts? Tips? Tricks? Any ideas on good packable travel games/activities that a three-year old and a five-year old might both enjoy without fighting over?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Two comments have been made to me this week that I would love to expound upon, but I just can't find the time to sit down and really address them as I should. But because I want to get my thoughts out of my head, you'll have to suffer through my less than thoughtful prose on one of the topics as I stand in my kitchen trying not to burn dinner.

Sitting at one of the kids activities the other day I was chatting with another mom who I keep running into at random places. Somehow we got to talking about how in a few years our youngest were going to be in school full-time, and suddenly we were going to find ourselves "out of a job" so to speak. She asked if I was planning on going back to work then, and I replied "Yes, but I don't really know what I would do. And given M's travel and work schedule and my tendencies towards perfectionism, I'm not so sure it would be the best thing for our family. I certainly won't be going back to my last career, that's for sure. We couldn't have two people doing that commute and working 80 hour weeks."

She nodded and said, "I know! I feel the same way! My husband just wouldn't be able to be so successful without me at home!" I think I startled a bit, because that wasn't actually at all what I meant, and it just struck me as so fifties-ish. And then it reminded me of a book I read in one of my graduate school classes called Men and Women of the Corporation. A chapter or two addressed the role of the wife in a successful man's career, and I remember finding it both fascinating and a bit horrifying, in a Stepford Wives sort of way.

At the point in time that I read that book, I was in graduate school with all intentions of pursuing a career of my own, and engaged to be married to M, who was clearly a career driven individual intent on climbing the corporate ladder. I was actually so intrigued by the topic that I wrote a short paper on it, which I would post for everyone if only I had any idea where all my graduate school work was stashed. I remember being somewhat horrified by the thought that all of these women had devoted themselves to furthering their husbands careers at the expense of their own. I also remember realizing that many of these women had to have been intelligent, capable, organized individuals to keep their households running so seamlessly and provide their husbands with the advice and support they needed to climb that career ladder.

I plan on hunting through the boxes in the attic to find that book so I can re-read that section given my not-so-new anymore role of stay-at-home wife. I have a feeling that I'm going to see a lot more of my current life in those pages then I ever imagined that I would. I do know that as each year passes, more and more of the household responsibilities, which used to be shared more or less equally, fall onto me. Which makes perfect sense in some regards, since I am home and M is generally not. What I don't know is if we will ever be able to make the transition back to a two career family.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Piggrooms

Nana sent the kids some books about Thanksgiving (they arrived today, thank you!), and so we settled in after bath to read up on the fast approaching holiday. On page three of the first book was a picture of people with muskets. And A, having never seen a gun before, asked "What's that?" So I took a deep breath and launched into "Well, that is a gun, and guns are bad because they hurt people." "Are they shooting at bad guys? Are they KILLING people?" "Well, they are shooting at people they THOUGHT were bad guys. And yes, they killed people."

C proceeded to cover his ears and declare the book too scary. A, of course, continued to question. "But why did the piggrooms think that the people were bad?" "Well, because they were scared." "I get scared, but I don't kill people." "Well, that's a good thing. It's not right to kill people."

C uncovered his ears at this point and jumped in with, "They're killing the Indians, aren't they?" "Um, probably. Perhaps the British, but since we are talking about Thanksgiving, my guess would be the Native Americans." "Why do you call them Native Americans but some people call them Indians?" "Because they used to be called Indians, but really, the Indians live in India, and the Native Americans lived here before the pilgrims came here from England. But they thought that they were in India, at first. But really, they weren't Indians. It's kind of like if people kept calling you John but your name is really C. You wouldn't want to be called John, right?" "I guess..."

A then breaks in with "But the piggrooms. Why were they scared of the Naive Mericans?" "Well, because they sometimes painted their faces, and wore clothes that were different, and the pilgrims were afraid of that." A nods. "Ah. The Naive Mericans liked to play dress up, but the piggrooms didn't. But the piggrooms shouldn't have hurt the Naive Mericans just because they didn't want to play dress up."

"How about we read a Christmas book now?" "Yeah! Let's read the one about the Virgin Mary! Why is she called the Virgin Mary?"

"How about Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel?"

Monday, November 12, 2007

If a tree falls in the forest...

So Bloglines is apparently down. Leaving me flailing around the internet without any direction whatsoever. Never a good thing. I would ask if it were down for you too, but my guess is that no one would answer because, well, hello! Bloglines is down, and I know that a significant number of my readers come in through Bloglines.

Bloglines has become like caller ID on my phone. I don't actually know anyone's blog address, I just rely on Bloglines to tell me when you've updated and where to go to find you. Just like I rely on caller ID to tell me what Lovely Friend's phone number is, four years into the game. And if I suddenly stop appearing at your blog, come knock on my door as it just means that Bloglines lost my subscription to your feed. BoogieMum seems to drop off with alarming frequency, for example.

So as I sit here willing Bloglines to magically fix itself, I will pose the question: "What internet tools do you use the most?" What am I missing out on that I could be occupying myself with during this unexpected outage?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Knitting Diet: Week One

Week one of the knitting diet: down two pounds, up one Nomad Hat.

Except I'm pretty sure I erased that two pound loss this weekend. Ah, sushi, how I love thee...

Saturday, November 10, 2007


So are we the only dorks who watch every single movie or TV show with IMDB running on the laptop? Seriously. It is rare that we don't query IMDB at least three seven times an evening. Clearly, neither of us were good at Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.*

We saw two movies today, one in the theater (The Bee Movie) and one on DVD (Knocked Up). During The Bee Movie, M kept leaning over to me and asking "Who is that?" And I kept saying "I have no idea. We'll have to IMBD it when we get home." Then tonight, we just took turns manning the laptop while guessing how old everyone was and what previous roles they had played.

How did we live without IMDB? And do you think it would be totally rude to bring the laptop with the wireless card into our next real live movie???

*And don't listen to Wikipedia on this one, I was playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon in college, well before 1994. So either we invented it and we should be suing someone for royalties, or Wikipedia is dead wrong. Shocker, I know

Friday, November 09, 2007

Really, I swear

I really want to go to London to see Rebecca, I swear. But my flight options? They suck. We can leave here at 9 am and get in at 8pm. Which sounds great on the surface. But you KNOW my kids will be up until midnight, for the whole trip. Or, we could take the red-eye. Which results in them getting about five hours of sleep and us getting none. At best. Oh, yeah. They'll be fun then. Because we all know how wethey operate on limited sleep.

When she left, Rebecca said she knew I was a true friend because I refused to say "Oh, of COURSE we will come visit you." Instead, I kept saying "I love you dearly, but I refuse to commit." Well, we have committed, but man, do my options have to be so horrid? Clearly, I need to stay two weeks as given my kids track record, that is about how long it will take us to make the time zone shift...

So, which door would you choose, A or B?

Musical Beds

Last night I played a little game called musical beds. First A wanted to snuggle in our bed, but I convinced her that hers was more comfortable (it is). Then while I was dozing in her room, I heard C wander into mine and question M as to my whereabouts. I quickly scooted out of A's room and led C back to his room, which also required a snuggle (his bed, not so comfortable. There was no dozing). Then once I made it back to our room, A appeared wanting to snuggle with mommy and daddy and a gaggle of stuffed animals. I pared her down to one stuffed animal and in she came.

On the upside, she then slept til 6:20 or so. Ad C made it to 6:30. Too bad I didn't sleep at all...but at least I'm not likely to throw myself down in the middle of the grocery and sob about the injustice of life.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I so wish I had someplace to wear this dress. Sigh.

Random Bullets of Tiredness

  • Still not transitioned to standard time. Please, please put me out of my misery. I am somewhat doubtful that we will survive this intact.
  • Thanks to a somewhat bizarre school schedule this week, and my lack of sleep and general disorientation, I have no idea what day it is. C tells me it is Thursday, but since he was not the calender person this week I have no real faith that he is correct.
  • Instead, C was apparently the "messenger" this week. When I asked what exactly the messenger does, he informed me that they take people to the nurse. Which then led to the question "How frequently do kids in your class have to go to the nurse?"
  • The answer was, "A lot." Apparently, this week alone there were five trips. And it was a three day week. In which the half-day kindergarten met for a whopping hour a day.
  • I guess with 24 kindergarteners in a room, accidents are bound to happen. But still...a bit concerning.
  • It makes one wonder what particular illness is circulating. I'm guessing tummy bug.
  • Holy random transition batman, but for those of you near a Trader Joe's, they have organic mini-sweet potatoes that cook in the microwave in five minutes. Guess what I have been eating for lunch on a daily basis?
  • Speaking of lunch, I had all intentions of posting an update on the knitting diet, which went surprisingly well this week, despite the excess Halloween candy floating around. But the camera is MIA, so you'll have to wait until I clean out my purse(s) tomorrow.
  • And I just mistakenly added "suprisingly" to the spell-check dictionary instead of correcting the spelling, so forgive me in advance for all misspellings of the word in the future. Because if you hadn't noticed already, I am a lousy speller. And I have no idea how to go in and change my mistake.
  • My high school English teacher taught me how to spell believe by telling me "never believe a lie." I recite that to myself every time I write the word. Anyone have any suggestions for surprisingly???
  • And now I am off to bed, because if the kids won't alter their wake up time then I clearly need to alter my bedtime for the duration...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Awesome Dude

I signed my kids up for an eight week basketball class. Because they could both take the same class, at the same time, at the gym where I could work out while they shot baskets, and it was only $50 for the two of them. Win, win, win. The kids have been beyond excited about playing basketball together, and I have been thrilled about the opportunity to plod along on the treadmill and watch the news Oprah.

We showed up to the first class today, late, because I had a hard time convincing C that basketball requires sneakers, not crocs. And I walked in to a sea of mommies hanging around the back of the gym. "Oh God. I'm not expected to STAND here for the whole class," I thought. Not that I wouldn't LOVE to watch my kids play basketball, but I was really looking forward to my guaranteed thirty minutes on the treadmill. So I started to look around for the coach.

"Hey dude and dudette! What's your name?" a voice called out from the center of the court. And there stood two teen boys who looked like they weren't even old enough to drive. Around them stood a gaggle of three, four and five year olds hanging on their every word. C's eyes widened, and he went running over to deliver a high-five to the outstretched hand. A looked less thrilled, but trotted after C because that's what little siblings do (most of the time).

I looked at the other mothers and asked "Are these the teachers?" One shrugged and said "Well, we guess so. But HOW are two teenage boys going to manage with THAT many small children? What if someone has to go pee????" And I realized why everyone was standing around in the back of the room. I eyed the situation for a few moments, and then announced "I was babysitting at 14. Surely these boys are more than 14 because of child-labor laws. And I am all about gender equality, so I think they'll be JUST FINE." And marched out of the room and down the hall to the treadmill. The rest of them slowly followed, throwing backwards glances back into the gym.

When I arrived to pick the kids up, everyone was lined up in a nice straight line, waiting their turn quietly. The boys coaches saw the moms arriving and whipped out their cell phones. "Whoops dudes and dudettes, time's up for the week. We'll play the really awesome game next week. It's totally rad guys." I asked the kids how they liked the class, and the response from both of them was "Awesome!"

The treadmill time is worth the language reprogramming right? Right?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Shiny and new!

Look! New bar stools! From Target!
(and yes, I did manage to stay out of Target for an entire month, except for one trip to pick up teacher-dictated supplies for the Halloween party. For which I should be reimbursed, if I can just remember to track down the head class mom and keeper of the class party money...).

It is actually amazing what a difference these stools make to my kitchen. Or, maybe I am just telling myself that because of the blisters on my hands after spending three hours cursing and trying to put these together...

Hello! Good Morning!

I am going to try to be one of those artificially cheerful people today, you know, the ones you want to strangle. Because my other option is the grumpy old bat in the corner swiping at imaginary things, and I think artificially cheerful is probably the way to go.

Isn't it a lovely day! The rain, it is soooo great for the lawn. And really, I think the fact that our new wake up time is 5 am is just fantastic! Think of all the things I can get done between 5 and 8:30! And it is even better this week because C has school for only an hour and ten minutes because of parent teacher conferences. So I get that many more hours to spend quality time instructing my children on how to behave like contributing members of society. I am beyond excited. My lungs needed some exercise today.

Now I am off to clean the house for the playdate who is supposed to come over after school with his mother. Because even if they cancel for the fifth time, I really needed to clean the house as the cleaning service is coming tomorrow. And I just hate to actually ask them to clean.

Have a super duper day!!! Muwah!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Must. Post.

I came this close to bagging this NaBloPoMo thing today. I had grand plans for my post this morning, but thanks to my friend the time change and two children who refuse to acknowledge that the day does not start at 5:30am, my day alternated between kid time-outs and mommy time-outs, where I locked myself in the bathroom before I became a raving lunatic. So you are just going to have to wait on that post. But never fear, the month is young and at some point the kids are going to have to cave to the power of the clock...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Daylight Grumping

Every year, I rejoice when we spring forward and grump when we fall back. Backwards, I know. But when you have children who would go to bed at 6pm if you let them, and would wake up at 5am given their druthers, you would grump too.

Last night I made the horrific mistake of setting my clocks back before I went to sleep, which resulted in me staying up way too late. And A, who has no idea what Daylight Saving (and yes it is saving, not savings) is all about, was up at 5am. C actually slept until 6:20, which was a perfectly acceptable time given the circumstances. But now I am going spend the day fighting with the kids internal clocks in a futile attempt to get them switched over to standard time in a timely manner. At the moment they are begging for breakfast, which I am refusing to serve to them before 7am. It is going to be a fun, fun day.

Yawn. Wake me when it is spring...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

All Growned Up

"Mommy, when am I going to be all growned up?" is A's new favorite phrase. Anytime there has been a silence of more than a few seconds, she comes out with that. And when she isn't wondering when she is going to be "all growned up," she is planning what her "all growned up" life is going to be like.

As we walk C to and from school, she discusses the pros and cons of each house on the way. "Well, that one is a pretty color, but it is too small. And that one is brown, and I don't like brown houses, but it has a tree swing and good Halloween decorations." I try to point out that she could change the color of the house and that Halloween decorations don't actually convey when one purchases a home, but she seems unconvinced and continues to use those as her primary criteria for choosing a home.

She is planning on having three kids (actually, two kids and a baby) most days, although sometimes she wants five. But after I point out that five kids translates into an awful lot of sandwiches to make in the morning, she scales it back to three again. She has decided that she and C are going to live three houses apart, so the cousins can see each other all the time. And when C dares to mention that he wants to be an astronaut, and astronaut's don't actually LIVE where we do, she glares at him and announces that he will JUST have to be something else because that RIGHT THERE will be his house and he will come for dinner every Friday.

The latest addition to her all growned up repertoire is playing wedding. Clearly, someone in her class recently went to a wedding as she knows exactly how it all works. "You sing the song while I walk down the rug. Then you announce me husband and wife and I run back down the rug and you throw birdseed. Then we dance and have cake, and I go have honey. Why do you have honey at the end of the wedding?"

Yesterday, as A was dancing with her phantom husband, she turned to me and said "Mommy, I want to dance with you now." And so, with A all dressed in white with a princess tiara on her head, we shuffled around in a circle. She looked up at me, as happy as could be, and said "I love you Mommy." And, just for an instant, I saw my little girl all growned up, a wonderful, smart and beautiful woman who was leaving me to start her own family.

"I love you too A. How about some snack?"

"OK, will you feed me like a baby?" And, just for an instant, my wonderful smart, beautiful little girl wanted to be taken care of by her mommy.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The day that got away

Today was a day that I should have gotten much accomplished. We had nothing to do besides get C to and from school and feed a classmate of C's lunch. I had a list a mile long of things to do around the house: vacuum the kitchen rug, sort through the beginnings of Christmas in the guest room, finish putting the garden to bed. And what I got accomplished? Nothing. The lunch/playdate did not go as well as anticipated and on top of that, A was distraught about being excluded from said playdate, so I spend the early afternoon playing princess and wedding while refereeing two kindergarteners who should really know how to play store on their own.

Once the playdate decided that his time here was over we walked him home and then came back. I had all intentions of starting in on my list, but then I got a phone call from a friend I hadn't talked to in ages and after I hung up with her I decided to wash all the comforter covers (which was no where on the list). That turned into a romp in the basement with the children in an ongoing attempt to convince the kids that the basement is fun and exciting and where they should play all. the. time. instead of treking the toys from the basement to the living room and then leaving them there.

Once I had the kids installed downstairs, I headed upstairs with all intentions of vacuuming the kitchen rug, but then saw I had messed up the pattern in my new knitting project and started ripping that out. I got it ripped out, but then the kids decided that the basement was not all that I had promised it would be so we headed out to the yard to work on the beds. But it was "too cold" so we quickly headed back in and then got sidetracked by snack. Ahh, snack.

So instead of eating snack, I quickly turned to my knitting. And then it was time to watch shows and I kept knitting. Then dinner, bath, and bed, with none of my to do list accomplished. But I did get this far on my new project...

and now my sushi is here, and the knitting diet is about to head out the window for the evening. Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I bet you thought I was already out

Hey, NaBloPoMo doesn't say WHEN during the day you have to post, so here I am, fashionably late and not terribly inspiring. Do you want to know why I am not inspired? Probably not, but I am going to tell you anyway. Because I know you will just walk away from the screen when you are done reading my ramble so I don't feel guilty about burdening you, and yet I won't know that you walked away and therefore my feelings won't get hurt. That is why I love blogging in a nutshell.

Anyway, I am not inspired because we have spent the day coming down from the excitement of the past few days and it just was not at all pretty. I actually came very close to spreading out the kids' treat bags and telling them to eat as much as they wanted just to end the horrific begging for candy that has been happening. Last year we had a one candy a day rule and that went over fine for about a week, at which point they forgot about the candy and it all went into my secret stash.

This year, A went to bed begging for candy, woke up at 3am begging for candy, and never went back to sleep after that. Which should give you an idea of just how my day went. C was OK with the one candy a day thing until he listened to his sister begging every thirty seconds, and then he felt obliged to jump in and join the fun. On the upside, this was not the year in which the kids figured out that trick-or-treating is not restricted to the houses of people we know in a one block radius so the amount of candy they have is pretty minimal. But still, I think the parents who let their kids eat it all in one fell swoop and just deal with the sick children for an evening might be onto something...

Anyway, much fun was had by the younger set yesterday. And Snow White was much revered by all of the seven and under girls at the elementary school, yet sneered at by the eight and up set. So now I have a general idea when to expect the eye-rolling at grownup antics to begin. I also have decided to petition to have the kindergarten teacher declared some sort of saint, because by the end of my two hours there I felt like a mac truck had run over me and she was rip roaring ready to repeat the whole day over again for the afternoon session. I seriously want to bottle up her energy and market it.

On a totally different note, I am about to embark on a new program I am going to call "The Knitting Diet." Because I still really need to lose the rest of that baby weight (and don't even TRY to tell me that my baby is three and it is therefore no longer baby weight, as it is. I swear.). Why the knitting diet? Well, I have discovered that 90% of my "extra" calories are consumed in the evening after the kids are in bed. But the nights I sit and knit, I only make it through half a glass of wine and a chocolate kiss or two. So from now on when I feel the urge to whip out the chocolate chip cookies or whatever looked particularly tempting at Trader Joe's that week, I am going to sit down and knit a few rows. If nothing else, I should get a jump start on my holiday gift making.

And that folks, is about all I have in me for the evening. So I am going to go find my knitting and pour myself that glass of wine and see what's on TIVO. Stay tuned tomorrow for some knitting pictures, if I can remember to charge my camera battery.