Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Around here, lately

Parker in his new vest from his grandma in Florida

And the back of the vest - Just As Nice

Trimming of the house; note the train track going in under tree

The bannister with its red bows.

The creche. The boys are giving Baby Jesus 'some private time'.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Wide open space sunsets

Hope you've had a great weekend.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings:

  1. Teacher ::

  2. Fifty ::

  3. Crossword ::

  4. Stuffed ::

  5. Family ::

  6. Purr ::

  7. Toad ::

  8. Cocktail ::

  9. Insecurity ::

  10. Magical ::

Teacher: Teacher!
Fifty: Bucks
Crossword: Puzzle
Stuffed: Shirt
Family: Feud
Purr: Fect
Toad: Stool
Cocktail: Party
Insecurity: Alert
Magical: Mystery Tour

Does this yell "70's'" to anybody else? Were any of you even born in the 1970's?!

And this overheard by Parker, whispering into his Nana's ear, about a whipped cream/fruit cocktail/nut concoction that we call Heavenly Hash, which she makes every holiday: "Nana, I just Love Your Heavenly Cash!"

Monday, November 20, 2006

Doing backflips of Joy!

A DEAR friend, with 2 chilluns of her own, picked up my two for an out-of-the-house playdate.
The house is
I am wrapping Christmas presents, and starting on my cards.
For the first time in 6 years, we might send holiday cards.
I hired a team working on a neighbor's house to do fall yard cleanup. It is
We are going to have a 70 degree Thanksgiving.
Very Very Strange

It's 4:30 and the children are just now home.
More later.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I wish we could afford a live-in CARETAKER

Not a medical type; a PROPERTY CARETAKER.

The endless list of unfinishable tasks grows ever longer.

The windows? Are FILTHY.
The exterior maintenance? Deferred. I'm sure we'll be getting a NastyGram from the HOA any day now "Paint or Die!"
The cleaning out of the garage? One area has been attempted. I've sold off some of the baby stuff. (That was more difficult emotionally than I thought. Even at 53, I think I'd love to have more children...but it would be a selfish thing to do.)
The lower level storage rooms? Shambles! Scary shambles!
The Christmas lights? TBD
The 12' Christmas tree? Each piece weighs a bloody TONNE.

The husband? Besides being out of town for this week, is sporting carpal tunnel, or somethin, in both arms.
The very idea of me doing any of these things? Makes Ken shudder at just the thought. He does things with much thought, attention to detail and perfection. I accomplish tasks with much gusto, speed and my version of attention to detail. Which always involves multi-tasking. Because I can. You know, the GIRL chromosome? The one that Gets Stuff Done on this planet?
(Aside: We are watching Caillou on PBS. I love the way Canadians say "About". I cannot mimic the sound.)

And sitting here perusing blogs, I've decided to do Joke's pie and dressing for Thanksgiving, which my parents are graciously hosting. Because they have new kitchen appliances! Fancy Miele ones!

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Procrastination Meme:

swiped from blackbird, and I know why it's called the procrastination meme. As I am procrastinating by doing this. Chores? A million of 'em, hooting my name. Pffffffft say I.

Explain what ended your last relationship?
I shall repeat: "Marriage".

When was the last time you shaved?
This morning.

What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?
Avoiding parenting by pretending to be asleep.

What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
Making 'Eggs McMommy', a variation of the only item on McD's menu worth replicating.

Are you any good at math?
When it's the only option left.

Your prom night, what do you remember about it?
ExHusband and I flew to San Francisco to see 'HAIR' - so yeah; I remember that vividly.

Do you have any famous ancestors?
A couple of names you'd more than likely recognize. Some of whom were mistresses to famous men and caused an uproar.

Have you had to take a loan out for school?

Last thing received in the mail?
Catalogues! Christmas catalogues! (verbatim from bb)

How many different beverages have you had today?

Do you ever leave messages on people’s answering machine?
Well, yes.

Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?
Way too long ago to remember.

Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?

What’s the most painful dental procedure you’ve had?
Cleaning is No Fun.

What is out your back door?
Deck off one and patio and gravel diggin' pit off the other.

Any plans for Friday night?

Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
No - salt and my skinny, but Really Thick hair is no good.

Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
Yes. And 2 of the 3 were icky.

Have you ever been to a planetarium?
Yes, we try to go every place we visit.

Do you re-use towels after you shower?
Yes. Things dry fast in the desert.

Some things you are excited about?
Cool weather, Fancy coffees, CHRISTMAS YAHOO! and youngest's new speaking abilities. He is Almost. There.

What is your favorite flavor of JELL-O?
Invisible. Used to be jello shots.

Describe your keychain(s)?
It's a heavy Italian chain with a heart, and a coin purse attached. It is my purse, in fact.

Where do you keep your change?
In 2 eager little boys' piggy banks.

When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
A couple of years ago at the Home Builder's Association.

What kind of winter coat do you own?
Columbia parka system for knocking around and Fluerette cashmere for finer occasions. It is my 'mink'. I love this coat.

What was the weather like on your graduation day?
Never graduated.

Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
Closed per the Fire Department rules. Our Watch Dad is ever alert, however. If one of them so much as gulps loudly, he's up like a shot.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Things we DO here, even if there's something wrong with them

Stolen from Badger, et al, and modified into oblivion

There is too much we don't do, whether wrong at any level or not. It's far easier to list what we do:

We DO these things, oh yes indeedy:
3 substantial, mostly organic meals; no snacks
Beddy-bye at 9 (even the adults - we are whupped)
Water all day/night (okay, the Daddy enjoys a libation or two)
Occasional tea/coffee (not a daily occurrence)
Candlelight dinners
Mini Van
House Rabbit
Tae Kwon Do
Speech Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Scholastic videos
Outside Play
Toy Trains of every sort


We put the boys to bed, asleep, after reading and rocking. Alot of parents around here think we are nuts. But holding a sleeping child? Is the sweetest thing I get to do every day.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Few Good Things

These? Did NOT get put away yet. But they are fun to look at, and we are still enjoying them.

All this Plastic and Tupperware, etc? DID get put into a "Totin' Privileges" Rubbermaid Tote, as we are now going to use Glass...

YES! Glass Storage Containers!

These are my new 'slippers'. G-Series ballerina flats from Cole Haan. They have gel in them. My feet? Are So Happy!

My beautiful sons gave me these. I wear them constantly. The bright topaz is wonderful, a cheery thing. My life is complete!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Stolen from My Float:

You Are From Mars

You're energetic, althletic, and totally hyperactive.
You love playing sports and being in the middle of all of the action.
You're independent, corageous, and brave. Unafraid to do things your way.
Mars can be reckless, quick tempered, and a little too spontaneous.
So think before you act - and resist your natural urges to dominate others.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Got this idea from an aussie

named lazy cow who is posting an encyclopedia of the Letters of her Life, from A - Z, as it were. Today was coffee, cricket and chalk. Chalk? It's okay, haven't had any mishaps. Cricket? I have no idea about cricket except it has bats and hotties in white trotting around a field, and 'sticky wickets' fits in there somewhere. But Coffee? I Love me some coffee (and tea).

The lovely blackbird already had us post coffee pots a while back in one of her Show and Tells.

But Tea has been an Unexplored Thing, at least in my Blogging Memory. (Which is less than a year old - Forgive me)

So, here's my Tea Stash.

This is Drawer #1, All teas, all the time.

This is a tea mix called "Mental ClariTea". It's made by a rather kooky local herbalist. I have no idea how aged this tea is. Or whether her company is still in business.

Since it's fall, I got out our cheap-o espresso machine, which has served us faithfully for at least 10 years. I'd love the one joke scored, but he got the Only Deal in the World on that one. Due to a MISPELLING! ARGH! Lucky man.

This is Tea Drawer #2. Full of teas from a local company, started in the 70's by a hippie, who is now a very Rich Hippie. And a pretty nice guy. At one point he sold the company to a big food company, but I think he bought it back.

And there's plain old Lipton. Oh, and please notice the ancient tin of Constant Comment! And that dreadful Sand Art kit? It's the reward the boys earned for cleaning up the entire playroom tonight - tomorrow we'll attempt this project. And OH JOY I JUST CAN'T WAIT! And then we'll get to display it! I think the boys will make one for each of their teachers, heh heh heh...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Planting a Spring Garden

Talk about delayed gratification - planting Spring bulbs, in fall, in CLAY soil, and having to move landscaping rock, cut weed guard fabric,
Attempt to get the clay plug out of the blub digger (A Bitch of a chore) and then add compost, bulbs, more compost and pack the clay back on the top, fold fabric back over clay, push rocks back over.
and WHEW
I planted about 75 bulbs, 3 in each hole, kind of close together. I also go for the Big Bang and sacrifice the top bulbs the 2nd year, as they aren't deep enough to survive 2 winters. Tulips only last about 5 years, anyway in this climate - they perk to the surface in the freeze/thaw cycles.
If any rodents start eating them I am going to hire the pigeon slayers in the neighborhood to rid us of the next menace.
This took ALL Day! But I did it in peace and quiet. Every time the boys made an appearance, hopefully hopping from foot to foot and yelling "MOMMY MOMMY LOOK AT THIS!" I said "It's LOVELY! Now, back to your dad and working on the railroad!" If they balked I gave them The Evil Eye.
Now for a nice, steamy hot bath, some arnica cream on my soon-to-be-aching shoulders and arms and a nice hot cup of tea. I may even watch Sunday TV! What's on Sundays? Nah - I'll probably sit in our beautiful bedroom, with a roaring fire, and read books with the boys and then the newspaper.
Parker and I are reading the Magic Treehouse series. Ryan is listening, a bit. But mostly, fidgeting and yelping about his turn.
I am also reading the Sunday funnies to them (Comics in the newspaper, for you feriners.
Hope you all had lovely weekends!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

As they are, lately

Today, was a get-nuttin-done-day. Except for shuttling to birthday parties, laundry, cooking, eating Vietnamese food out by myself for lupper, picking up from birthday parties (love that they are now usually drop off, since Ryan is five. Five seems to be the magic age for drop off around here). Then we got back, and hustled to the Fall Festival (fundraiser for the school) to bid on the dozens of baskets available. They were great! I wish I would've brought my camera.

I bid on 5 baskets and won 2. I couldn't believe that some assholes were SNIPING AT A SCHOOL FUNCTION. This is not Ebay, people. This is a fund raiser for the school. You are supposed to 'play the game'. Which meant I had to run around like a crazed Border Collie at the end of bidding, as OF COURSE the baskets were all over Hell's Half Acre. Two other parents were doing the same thing at the end. One of the auction volunteers saw that I was practically careening around corners, so she decided to announce an extra 30 seconds for Table 5, and I barely made it for our Class Basket. Same thing was happening on the basket next to our class basket - it was a high-end vacation at a luxury resort, with more perks thrown in. One of the dads finally said "To Hell with This!" just as I was writing in the last bid on our class basket. I looked over and he had bid $500 OVER the last bid on his basket! I told him "I like your style!" He smiled and said "Thanks! This is a good deal... " Yeah, you Old Softie! I love good hearted folks.

A few parents and I ran around bidding on every basket that didn't have anything on it yet. Not many, but a few. At the end, other people came up and bid over us, which was a bit of a relief. Every basket sold. The children had an area that they were bidding on, too. Ken and the boys ate at the festival and played Bingo as well. While I was doing the Mad Dash around the baskets. Damn Snipers!

For those of you with school-age kids, do you attend these fundraisers? If so, what works to get people to attend? I was a bit surprised at how few people attended - but the PTA had to drop the Food and Games portion of the event due to lack of volunteers.

Tomorrow? I'm doing non-parenting stuff. Maybe some laundry. I want to cut out the aprons I'm going to make for gifts, and start assembling the teachers/therapists/Paras gift baskets. Another mom and I like to give the Christmas Gifts at Thanksgiving so the recipients can use the Christmas-themed goodies in the season. I bought a ton of candles and other non-perishable stuff at the end of last Christmas season.

But for now? It's nighty-night time. There are two little guys just about falling asleep in daddy's arms. They are all watching a Scholastic video, featuring a Scottie. 'Angus Runs Away'. New one on me.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

These are the Days to Remember, for they will not last forever

I have been humming that song for 2 days straight. Billy Joel? (A 'no shit, Sherlock, if that's the case - he sure took the bullet train to Hades for awhile. But I digress... )
We watched a movie a coupla nights ago - something we rarely have time to do anymore. Plus, the media room is kaput since the projector
Ken refuses to believe it's a goner, and tries to lure me down into the basement with promises of hot
(Oh Get your minds OUT of the gutter)
But I am much wiser than that, and insist on watching movies on our measly 32" 20-year old, busted remotes tvs. (WHY are there always three flippin' remotes involved to watch a movie these days?!)
Long story to get to the movie, which was The Big Labowski (I almost typed 'The Dude Labowski') and had some oldies but goodies songs in it. And I still laughed. Then last night we watched the Life and Death of Peter Sellers. What a Schmuck! And we love the Pink Panther movies! Will I be able to watch them anymore. Ah, probably...
Well I got off on a tangent. That's the problem with stream-of-consciousness posting. I don't save as draft and edit. I type and post. Who else does this? I also have no idea how to spell check in Blogger.
Let's see; Hallowe'en. It was Most Excellent this year. Ryan wore a costume - Lightning McQueen of Cars. Which was a step-into, hooked over his shoulders type of thing, with a hat. We only had 2 wardrobe malfunctions. It was less than 25 degrees here at 6 p.m. when Ken and the boys decided to make their foray. We had a bit of an issue finding a coat that fit under Ryan's get up. He started to ramp it up, crying and whining. I did the old "Fine! You can just stay home with me and hand out candy." which was a mean thing to suggest to a 5 year old. Ken stepped in with a remedy - he removed the guts to Ryan's 4 in 1 parka system, adding another choice to our daily coat tango, and solving the skinny-enough-yet warm problem. Meanwhile Parker is leaping foot to foot, getting overheated in his triple layers of insulation under his Clone Trooper Star Wars costume. FINALLY, they set out. And had a grand old time. Just the right amount of candy was procured.
I, unfortunately, did NOT have enough candy this year! There was a never-ending stream of bigger kids. It was almost too cold for the little ones. The best thing was alot of the parents dressed up to take the kids out, and they were more excited about their costumes than the kids were about theirs! Ken donned his knights of the indoor round table thingy he made 20 years ago. Complete with Hide Of The Naga wide belt and sword. Impressive in the fact that he could still fit into it.
So, that was Tuesday night. Wednesdays we have too much going on in the way of TaeKwonDo, therapy, playdate exchange (mornings) and game night at home. Tonight we had a party at Pump it Up, with at least 7 autistic kids out of 16 guests. It's a perfect place for autistic kids; we had them cut off the music, keep the lights on (you should have heard the screaming when they tried to do the disco thing! It was not a happy place.) We've seen alot of these little ones for 3 years now. Their accomplishments are amazing! Most are talking, communicating and getting needs met by ways other than beating on their mothers. (And yeah; it's usually the mothers doing the caretaking. A parent needs to stay home with special children. Whomever earns the most, works. Men usually make more. So the women stay home, whether they are emotionally equipped to deal with the stress, or not. But this is a whole other post.)
The opening presents part got pretty amusing. Just try to have an autistic child rip open presents, take a quick look, cast it aside and move to the next one. HA! It was hell getting each present out of JoJo's hands and moving him on to the next. And that's when the ratio of specials to typicals came into play - the typicals were on a demonic mission to Get Those Presents OPENED, and would tolerate nothing but a thorough shredding. JoJo, being one of the younger kids there, didn't have a chance. The opened present would be admired, then quickly slipped to the back of the circle where I would whisk it away. At one point, JoJo wailed "Missvicki; I want that one!" and I handed it back, to the yelps of the other children. Thinking back, it was the most enjoyable Pump It Up party I've been to, ever. 15 kids is the key. More is awful. Chaos. But, yeah, I would recommend it to other parents with SN children. 86 the music and disco option (lights off, with mirror ball and lights making crazy patterns), serve cheese pizza, cake, open presents or not and then candy bags to get the children to the car.

The chapter book reading aloud is going well. Ryan wanders off, starts to get noisy and has to be reminded that his turn is next for a picture book. Game night is a hit - we have carry out from a great place called Good Times and then play games 'til nearly bedtime. The play date tradeoffs are going well. Parker and Ryan go to 2 other children's homes on Wednesday mornings, and then those 2 boys come here on Friday mornings. 3 was an evil number, so we invited one of Ryan's buddies, Eddie, to participate in the exchange. It take more supervision as the older guys try to upperhand the younger kids. Normal stuff, nothing too mean. Plus the 2 little ones have to eat lunch before 11 so they can get on the bus at 11:20. The 2 bigger guys go at 12:45, so they have plenty of alone play time without the pesky guys.
Why am I telling you all this tripe? Because, these are the days to remember, and they will not last forever.
Soon they will be big boys, and the problems will be bigger - drugs/alcohol/driving/icky friends. I can fix almost every problem now. In the future? Not so much. So when I get pissy about my days of No Time For Me, I keep telling myself 'Ah, but these are the gravy days, my dear. Life is good. These boys of mine are beautiful, innocent and so sweet. I am their Everything, right now. Enjoy this time.'

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

As I am, today.

Hello, this is me at 53.
No makeup.
Lots of moisturizer.
No. Work. Done.
blackbird did a post on women today.
Us Old Girls?
We are not invisible anymore.
We are being applauded for allowing age to happen.
I reckon I earned every line and wrinkle.
And most of them from laughing.