Archive for February, 2008


Creativity Kicked Out of Me (for now)

February 28th, 2008 at 5:12 am » Comments (7)

I’ll be gone for a few days.

My battery is about to die, the plug is in the other room, and I”m completely worn out from kickboxing class. SO. I’ve tried to come up with a slightly more interesting version of “I’ll be gone for a few days. See you soon.” And it’s just not happening.


Early Voting, INDEED, Mr. Seth-2yr

February 25th, 2008 at 7:18 pm » Comments (9)

Today I thought I’d early vote in the primary. I timed it so that no one else would be there, since I’d have Seth-2yr on my left hip. (His regular post for the last 2 years.) The women there complimented my driver’s license photo (it’s atrocious. i think they were bored) and gave Seth-2yr stickers that read “I Voted!”

Wouldn’t it be great if that’s all your little two year old needed to get through the three minute procedure? But no. After about 90 seconds at the voter’s booth Seth-2yr got antsy on my left hip. I was almost done. He grinned at me. He has at least three dimples, sometimes as many as five, so it was quite a grin. Then he suddenly leaned forward and pushed the Big Red Button that reads “Cast Ballot.”

I heard one of the women working there gasp. I thought that was a bit overkill. I was pretty much done. i told her it was fine. She said, “Well. I think you just voted for the first time, young man.” (Well i should hope so.) And she gave him another sticker.

If you’re one of those peole who manages to research every single candidate in every race, frankly, I love that about you. You GO. But I don’t. I care about a few certain races, and the rest doens’t matter much to me.

Which is probably why I chose a candidate in one of the last races listed on the ballot, sheerly because I liked his name. He happens to have the same name as my mother’s cat, and it’s an unusual, slightly humorous name. Reason enough.

I was reconsidering this, just because it’s insane to choose a candidate because he shares the name as your mother’s cat. I’d really rather choose another name just so that I am NOT the sort of person who would do that.

But then Seth-2yr took care of that decision when he pushed the Big Red Button. No more second thoughts. Then he grinned, with at least 3 dimples, and squeaked proudly, “I did that!” He likes to make sure he gets credit for things.

Anyway, J-mom’s cat for pubLic office! *

You go, cat.

(He’s currently violating his residency restrictions, by running for office in West Texas, but maintaining a primary residence in
Australia. Scandal!)

*The all important letter “L” in this word was brought to you by Amanda. I think its omission certainly illustrates how important it truly is. Yea, Letter L!


Winner!

February 23rd, 2008 at 1:38 am » Comments (4)

According to my new friend, the online random number generator, Karla is our winner! YEA! I actually know Karla in the real, nonvirtual version of my life.

I’ve taken the last days to write, so I was surprised to see the comments and prayers going on here. Thanks to all of you. I checked bluepaintred’s site and (hello? she’s crazy funny. did y’all know that?) I think the preliminary report is that everything is okay. I emailed just now, but haven’t heard for sure.

Jodi, would you keep us updated on Telesa, please?

Now.

I’m signing off again, where blogs and ebay cannot beckon me away from writing. Just lately, I’ve found that Bocelli in the background is fantastic. I’m not distracted by the words, since I don’t understand Italian anyway, but the romantic vibe comes through loud and clear.

Sigh.


Club 17, February

February 18th, 2008 at 1:47 am » Comments (17)

It’s that time again. If you’ll kindly go do a BSE and return right here and leave a comment that you did, you will be fantastically health conscious and eligible for a wonderful prize.

We meet here each month, holding one another to a highly informal level of accountability for doing those all important self breast exams. For all of you who start googling ‘ HolyMama’s Club 17′ on the 14th and 15th of each month, you might want to take a second to bookmark this page. Another option is to consider subscribing, either with Bloglines or just by clicking that option over there to your right. Then you’ll know you won’t forget next month.

If you’re wondering why I do this, it’s a long and painful and lovely story dating back to a very dark period in my life in which I was sure death beckoned. You can read it here, if you’re really interested.

If you would like, please help yourself to this button for your own blog.

club17_2.jpg

If you’ve BSE’d 6 times or more, take the one with the tiara, because that’s awesome of you. (Isn’t she cute?)

club17_2_princess.jpg

If blog buttons confuse you as much as they do me, head over to this post at Desert Diva’s. She created them, and explains how to make them work.

In the past, I’ve never publicized what the prizes were. There were two reasons for this. One, I rarely had them ahead of time. Two, it just didn’t occur to me that if I told you it was something great, more of you might feel yourselves up.

I’m rethinking that after participating in Shannon’s last Bloggy Giveaway. The power of the prize is now crystal clear. Got it.

So.

I need to make some more truffles since I promised some to Shalee. This month the winner will receive truffles and….? And something truly weird that I got for free from Sephora. Free, meaning, they sent me an email telling me that shipping was free during the Superbowl and so I fell for it and spent way too much and ended up with this *free* thing.

But I like it. It’s a lip gloss ring. Not a ring made of lip gloss, that would be dumb. This is like the sort of ring you lift up the plastic ‘stone’ and inside – where you could also store poison if you were starring in that sort of play – is a pretty pink lip gloss. Fun! Click here to see it. It’s still in the box, since somehow I have resisted the urge to wear it.

If you win and you are on a diet and do not want a huge caloric load landing in your mailbox, then by all means please tell me. I will gladly come up with something else that is fabulous that can accompany the lip gloss cocktail ring all your friends will be fawning over.

So. In review. Get a blog button if you’d like. Do a BSE. Leave a comment. Possibly have truffles and jewelry sent your way. Go, team!

I’ll draw a winner in 4 or 5 or 6 days, because precision is everything.


Mother Decepticon

February 15th, 2008 at 8:15 pm » Comments (9)

A few days ago i was standing in the kitchen, putting birthday party favors in little goody bags and talking to Caden-4yr. I don’t remember the conversation, but it was a pleasant one. Then he said, “OH! Mom! When you do that, your face looks like Starscream’s!”

Hmm. Starscream? A Transformer. Transformers are really good in our house. So I thanked him, and he ran out of the kitchen as fast as he could. And then I started thinking that ‘Starscream’ sounded like a bad guy.

I was trying to go to sleep last night when I remembered this conversation. This morning it was still bothering me, so I decided to google Starscream. Sure, there are Transformers eveywhere in this house, but they don’t wear nametags and they all look alike to me. Caden-4yr was safely at preschool, or I would have asked him to point out my lookalike.

Unless you are already perfectly familiar with Starscream, could you just click here, please?

Thanks so much, Caden-4yr. It turns out that Starscream is a Decepticon, or a Transformer Bad Guy. An ‘evil robot’ with glowing red eyes. “Ruthless, coldblooded and cruel.”

I WAS ORGANIZING PARTY FAVORS!

Uh huh. No wonder he ran out of the kitchen. He’d just gotten off with my polite thanks after telling me I looked pretty much like Satan.


Partying with the Four Year Old Crowd

February 13th, 2008 at 3:28 am » Comments (8)

Maybe it’s that Yahoo is constantly in the news, with their layoffs and possible takeover by Microsoft but do you know what is CONSTANTLY going through my head?

Do you?

Is it happening to you, too, and you can’t make it stop?

Come on, sing it with me, “Yah – HOooooOOO!”

I’m hoping that will make it go away.

Now. Tonight was the party for Caden-4yr, in the land of All Playthings Large and Inflatable. So fun! I usually play, but tonight I had the privilege of holding a teeny tiny baby. He curled against me, sleeping, and making soft squeaky dinosaur noises. Those are the best.

Caden-4yr kissed me goodnight just now and formally said, “Thank you for coming to my party. Thank you for inviting all my friends.” Then he kissed me again and smiled and picked his nose. Now doesn’t that just melt your heart?

We could practically see Ethan-7yr making copious mental notes. His birthday is next, and his plans are everchanging and elaborate. He found it completely offensive when last year I said that no, there would be no parties. I just don’t want them to grow up thinking they are entitled to a huge birthday party every year. Is that so bad? I think there’s great value in making them less frequent. I mean, they can still HAVE a birthday, and a special family gathering and candles, and the honor of bumping up the age by a year – I’m not that mean. They can age. But sometimes it feels sooo right and noble to say ‘No. You are not entitled to that, and it’s just not happening.’ Some people feel all wickedywitch about ‘no’, but i not-so-secretly love those moments. I can practically SEE character sprout out of them in those moments.

And so tonight it was even more sweet to see Caden-4yr so happy with all his friends. They ran, and played, and held hands, and chased and climbed and completely delighted me. It was wonderful. (Well, there was the one time where we briefly lost him, but he was okay. And not far away. And not scared or concerned.)

The purple cake with the photo of his face looked sort of cool. Not nearly as creepy as I was afraid it would turn out. And there was lots of pizza left over. I think I hear it calling from the kitchen. I love cold pizza. Is that it…? Calling?

Yah- HoooOOOooo!

Ah yes.


I NEEDED a HBofH today!

February 12th, 2008 at 8:37 pm » Comments (2)

Typing fast in order to outsmart my moody computer…

it keeps freezing up. I was writing a scene, it was all going very well, and then it started. freezing. for a few MINUTES. every other paragraph or so. unbelievably frustrating. writing is usualy relaxing. especially when it is going well. but this was torture.

it’s a fairly new computer. it’s in good shape considering Seth-2yr went through a long phase of eating off the keys. (Yes. This IS one of the kids who generally will not eat things that I cook, and yes he actually DOES eat keyboard components.) The keyboard has lots of holes in it, but I don’t mind. i like to think of it as a bonus tactile experience.

i won a Box of Happiness! DId you even know one was available? (Actually Seasonal Learner calls it a Haphazard Box of Happiness. ‘HBofH’ –Even MORE mysterious!) And oh my goodness, why in the world has no one besides thought of this?! Love it!

This crazy-short post has no FLOW. That is because the computer has frozen six times, one little boy has refused to nap (or flush the toilet), and the other little boy just tiptoed out of his room and is looking for trouble.

If I had more time I would tell you the most amazing story though, about how if you send out truffles through the mail you will mysteriously receive a new and unique shipment of unexpected truffles. LOVELY surprise. Another HBofH, actually.

More later. The littlest one just found the trouble he was looking for.


First Aid for the Dead, by Caden-4yr

February 10th, 2008 at 4:51 am » Comments (11)

Yes! Did you notice that Caden-3yr is now a Caden-4yr? Big stuff. I asked him what he wanted on his cake – a cake that i would NOT be baking in any kitchen, for any reason, since i would surely screw it up. Good thing, because he wanted a purple cake, with a PHOTO OF HIS FACE in the icing. JUST his face, his hair, and specifically his head – but not his neck or body. Riiiight. So my favorite bakery actually can manage that, so I agreed. Also, the cake has to have an Optimus Prime and sprinkles. I went to the bakery, explained our unconventional dream cake, and handed over a new Optimus Prime guy. He snapped in half. Apparently he was not at his optimum prime, but I shoved him back together and sent him off to do his duty on the big purple cake with a face.

Caden-4yr had strangely thought that turning four meant he would have to drop out of PeeTool (how he pronounces Preschool), and the milestone would also somehow bring about a rather dramatic growth spurt that would instantly take him to adult height. Interesting. I asked him, after he had officially turned four, if he ‘felt’ different. My mom always asked me that, and it was probably just to see me get annoyed and roll my eyes. Because we moms can’t get enough of that. Anyway, he said very seriously, “Yes. I feel different. Four.”

It’s a funny age, this end of the third year, beginning of the fourth. Last week at PeeTool they had studied first aid. One day I found in his backpack a clear plastic baggie with the words “I CARE” written on it. Inside were a few bandaids, cotton balls, and a package of tissues.

“Hey, Caden-4yr? What’s all this?” I asked him.

“Oh. This is for when I need to help people who are sick. Or dead. Because I CARE.”

“Um..? You give someone who is dead a cotton ball?”

“NO! MooOooM!” He shakes his head at me like that was stupid thing to say. “If someone is dead I give them a BANDAID.”

Now doesn’t that make more sense? I know I’m going to feel so much better if Caden-4yr has his I CARE baggie with him the next time we run into a corpse.

I love hearing him talk. It helps that he has that thick, unexplained Austrian accent. I love that about him. But his way of looking at the world is fascinating, even without the accent.

Today he picked up a toy with his toes. Then Ethan-7yr did the same. They looked at me to see if I was impressed. I wasn’t. “I’m the reason you two CAN do that, you know.”

Two blank stares. One blue, one brown.

Ethan-7yr figured it out and said, “YOU can pick stuff up with your toes?!”

“Yep. Pretty good at it, too.” They’re so easy to impress with useless talents. I have few of these, so I enjoyed every second of it. “Soooo, boys. Do you think Dad picks up stuff with his toes?”

Dad is the hero. Dad can do all things in their eyes, and I knew I was in a rare position to take advantage of this difference. A more mature being might have passed on such an opportunity, but I pounced.

They both nodded furiously, as if it were a given that Dad would do something so cool.

“NOooOO! Your dad most defnitely does NOT pick up stuff with his toes.”

Caden-4yr decided instantly that this was my fault. Why do kids DO that?! “Mom! Why did you not TEACH him?”

I thought about it. I don’t think Mike ever wanted my services in that area, to be honest. I don’t think he has ever aspired to be able to pick things up with his toes with the ease and grace that I do. Just not his thing. He tends to bend over and use hands in a very human sort of way. He’s funny like that.

I looked back at Caden-4yr. “I dunno.”

He shook his head in disappointment and scolded, “MOM! We are supposed to love one another.” Which would be hilarious enough all on its own, but it’s notable that Caden-4yr does not pronounce the ‘L’ sound. So it came out that we are supposed to “YUV one another.”

“Um….? And loving one another means teaching others how to pick stuff up with their toes?”

“YES!” He said, shook his head in disgust and walked off.

That conversation had a few seriously unexpected turns in it, but I was determined to get it right with Caden-4yr, even if that meant briefly sharing his bizarre definition of love and his important view of toe dexterity.

I called the boys into the kitchen, laid out a burp cloth, a tube of chapstick, a teenage mutant ninja turtle keychain, a miniature mr. potato head, a roll of blue Hello Kitty tape (mine), a pink pen, and a tiny flashlight. I set the kitchen timer, and picked them all up with my toes and deposited them on the kitchen island in a blazing fast 22 seconds. Caden-4yr had a good run, and completed it in three minutes where there was much giggling. Ethan-7yr finished in 90 seconds, and Seth-2yr tried for a full 30 seconds to wedge a tube of chapstick between his first two chubby little toes to no avail. He high fived and celebrated when congratulated on a good effort. Caden-4yr had the nerve to stop his session and say “WHY are we doing this, Mom?”

“We are LOVING ONE ANOTHER, Caden-4yr! Now pick up that teenage mutant ninja turtle with your toes!”

So he did. And we applauded and high fived, and yuvved him for it. Later I asked Mike why he doesn’t pick stuff up with his toes. He sighed and said, “Well. I guess nobody ever taught me how…”


A Super Tuesday, Indeed.

February 6th, 2008 at 3:18 am » Comments (12)

Did y’all have a good day? I did.

My current novel in progress is coming along well, thanks to a renewed commitment to my self imposed writing schedule. It doesn’t matter that I’ve completed three novel length manuscripts. Whenever it’s time to start another one there are huge doubts about if I’ll ever finish it or if I even know how to do this. Anyway. Overcoming.

With a similar ”overcoming” attitude I forced myself into the kitchen tonight. It was hard, because after Mike read this, he went in and cleaned it really well. Oops. So I made a mess and also chicken and rice. I know. All of this drama for chicken and rice? Yes. (and no, Mike did not help cook. He can outcook me any day, but he’s out of town briefly.)

My kids are well behaved, but they almost always completely forget their manners when confronted with a plate of food they know I had a hand in preparing. Ethan-7yr immediately screeched, “AH! I do NOT like this kind of rice!” I gently corrected him. As in, my voice was gentle, but my eyes were pure steel. He got the point.

We ate our first few bites in shock. I wasn’t particularly impressed, but the three little boys were blown away by my sudden culinary abilities. I cannot remember the last time they all ate the same meal, and ate it well. And that it was ALSO one I cooked? I really think that was a first.

Anyway. I was too shocked to react when Seth-2yr and Caden-3yr got frustrated with the task of rice scooping, and starting forming ‘snowballs.’ “BALLS!” as Seth-2yr said. “No-balls!” as Caden-3yr said. (He doesn’t really have the ‘s’ sound) Normally, I would never allow my children to form rice snowballs (regardless of pronunciation). But! They were actually eating them. It was beautiful. Messy. Weird. And beautiful. Ethan-7yr retracted his earlier protest and claimed he actually did like that kind of rice, and he even ate it with a fork, bless him.

At the end of the meal imagine my combined horror and pride as three happy little boys decided they should pull up their shirts and show me how stuffed their little tummies were. My mouth hung open at this bizarre, heartfelt, spontaneous little boy display of appreciation.

So I get it now. That beats a clean kitchen any day.


Chocolate Mint Truffles… Gladly Given Away

February 3rd, 2008 at 11:37 pm » Comments (6)

So glad to be wrapping up the Bloggy Giveaway hosted by the lovely and fair Shannon.

Thank goodness for online random number generators. I would have been completely swayed by all the ‘it’s by birthday!,’ ‘my very favorite,’ and ‘i’m pregnant’ and ‘you’re my favorite, Kelsey.’ Wait. No one tried that last one. That one would have totally worked, y’all.

And the winner is Piseco! Take a sec and visit her blog, Mind Games, and tell her congratulations! Actualy, I just got back from there, and in her current post she says she has better than average luck at giveaways. Well, I’d say so, and I just wonder what the online “random” number generator has to say to THAT. Apparently the Random Number Generator has a bit of a crush on Piseco.

For all of you who asked, the recipe is easy.

Chocolate MInt Truffles

1 package oreos (use mint like i did, or the plain ones are really good, too)
1 8 oz. package Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
almond bark

Make the oreos into a fine dust of crumbs, using a food processor. Mix with cream cheese. (using hands works the best)

Form into 1 inch balls on cookie sheet. Freeze. Dip into white almond bark, or chocolate bark. Freeze. Drizzle with opposite color bark, melted chocolate, or sprinkle the mint ones with chopped up Andes mints.

They keep well, mail well, and I like them best served slightly cold.