Friday, January 30, 2009

Me and Amy

A while back Amy and I were sitting around her apartment with a digital camera and we decided that there aren't too many good pictures of either of us, and we need a few, so we decided to take pictures until we got good ones. Here is the pictorial journal of that adventure.

Here's the picture that started the whole thing. I took this of Amy and we looked at it, laughed and then decided that despite being unbelievably un-photogenic (or uglier than we think we are) we were going to get some good pictures of us.

This is the first attempt at a good picture. I look a little chunky (I was a little chunky). It's an okay pic, but not exactly a glamour shot.

Here's the second attempt. What is my eye doing? I'll tell you, I was stretching my chunky face back to give myself a poor-man's face lift and I made my eye go wonky. Again, no glamour shot.

Okay, this one I was really going for the glamour shot. You can tell by the sexy arm position, the tousled I-just-had-sex hair, and the attempt at a seductive smile. It looks like I have Bell's Palsy.

Amy suggested I go lower and look up at the camera in order to downplay my chubby chin. My arm looks like a ham.

Amy said, "That looks good, go lower, the lower you go the better you look."

So I went lower...

and lower....

Until we finally got it perfect! We were on to something. Amy's turn!

I told her to look like a sexy librarian. She doesn't.

So we tried a different tack. Totally hot and sexy, leave nothing to the imagination. This is Amy's best slut look. That's mom having a little nap in the background, (Hi Mom!) I suppose if you are trying to take a sexy pic, it helps not to have your mom in it - Photography 101.

Next we tried the "the less you see, the better we look" method. I like the fingers clutching the pillow. She looks like a peeping tom. Back to me...

Amy said, "Let's try for an up close candid!" Here's me being candid. I was trying to look like I was having fun, laughing with friends, happy-go-lucky. No, I was not drunk. Or tired.

We looked at the last one and Amy said, "Oh... let's try again, we can do better. Cheekbones, give me cheekbones!" I gave her nostrils. Modeling is hard!

Amy told me to pull my neck flesh back and try to make my lips look like they've had collagen. This is that attempt. It's ridiculous isn't it? Now that you know what I felt like I looked like, and this is what actually came out. I look like I've been caught practicing auto-erotic asphyxiation.

So we gave up on the glamour and tried to take a good one of the two of us.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Robot Brother

Every March the Mini-Mite hockey teams have a tournament in Silver Bay. The kids love it because we stay at a hotel with a water slide. Usually my nieces, who also both play hockey, participate in the tournament too, and they stay with us at the hotel. I came across this picture today and it reminds me of a funny story.

We were driving in the car on the weekend of the tournament. Rory (niece) Sam and Kira were in the back seat and they were getting really silly and loud and obnoxious. They had snacks and were throwing food around and just generally being annoying. We had asked them to settle down several times, but they were tired and punchy and weren't listening. Mitch got mad and told them to knock it off and clean up everything they threw around. Sam and Rory felt bad. They are sensitive and don't like to be in trouble, but Kira doesn't care. She doesn't have the ability to feel guilty about things like that. The kids were picking up their mess as we were driving into Silver Bay. At the edge of town there is a statue of a miner (pictured above) that Kira loves. When we drove by it, Kira started talking in monotone, like a robot, and said, "HELLO ROBOT BROTHER. MAY I OFFER YOU A CHEEZ-IT?" Mitch and I were still trying to maintain a level of tension so the kids would know that we were in charge and were serious, blah blah blah but we were both laughing so hard tears were streaming from our eyes. It's really hard to laugh silently too. It kinda hurts. Later that day when we were leaving town to go home and we drove by the statue again, Kira said "FAREWELL ROBOT BROTHER... UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN."

Rory and Rheo

Hi. This is a picture of my kids with my nieces Rheo (left) and Aurora (right). Aurora is three weeks older than Kira, and Rheo is six. I'm crazy about these girls. They are so great. Rory (Aurora's nickname) spoke really early but she had all these crazy made up words for things. One time she was over at my house when she was about three years old. She could speak perfectly clearly and she came up to me and she told me she wanted some eeps. I didn't know what that was so I had her repeat herself over and over and say it slower in case I just wasn't understanding. Nope, I heard right, it was eeps that she wanted. I learned later that eeps was her word for water. The poor little child was thirsty and wanted water and I didn't give it to her because I didn't know what the hell she was talking about.

The first time she saw a helicopter flying she said, "Hey Dad! That plane is flying with it's antlers!" Another time she told me a long involved story about how they ran over a porcupine with their car and the "porks" popped all four tires. (The whole story was made up, but she is a fantastic liar. She puts lots of details and never cracks a smile when she's telling tales.) One time shortly after that, she and her sister were on a hike with their parents and they came across a bush with lots of thorns. She said, "Rheo, watch out for the porks." Makes sense! Why else would a porcupine be called a porcupine? She calls the cement things in parking lots that mark where you are supposed to stop "cementiums." Also, makes sense. Better than calling them "cement-things-in-parking-lots-that-mark-where-you-are-supposed-to-stop."

Last weekend the girls were visiting us and we were driving somewhere and Rory and Rheo made up a game to play. They had to combine the qualities of two animals that they like to make one animal they really like and make up a new name for them. Rory made up snake-bird type thing and I can't remember what she called it, but I could picture it. It has four wings. (gross) And Rheo made up a "horsegg." She said, "It's an egg and when it cracks a tweensy horse comes out!"

Mama, I'm a Comin' Home

A few weeks ago I wrote about Kira's amazing song-writing ability. We found her long song, "Mama, I'm a Comin' Home" and she wants it published, so here it is: (it's a ballad, sung mournfully)

Oh one night I left my Mama
I went into the woods
Whenever I saw my Mama in the clouds
I thought sooner or later I'll find my way back
Usually I was out hunting
I usually wouldn't get a full meal
Every night when I'd look up at the starlight
I could hear some wolves in the distance

After a month or two I found a stream
And decided to camp there
And that same night that I saw that stream
I saw some lights in the distance
It was probably a mile or two
I set out the next morning
And I found out what it was
And it was a bear trap and a hunter
So I crept back to the stream
And never went back there again

The next day I started to go hunting as usual
And that day it was a very good day for hunting
And that same day I fount my Mama
And told her I'm never running away again!

That's it! She is practicing it now and when she gets good at singing it she wants to put it on YouTube.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kira in the car (part II)

Tonite with Mitch, Kira asked, "If you could have any super powers which would you choose: Flying, turning invisible, super strength, the ability to turn into goo, or the ability to turn into a hamster?" Mitch said he would like super strength and to be able to fly. Kira thought about it and then said she would like the ability to turn into a hamster. Mitch asked why and she said, "You know, to defuse bombs and stuff." (duh) He asked how a hamster would go about defusing a bomb and she said, "I'd chew the wires... (pause) ... I'd probably get electrocuted a lot." Then she said the worst power would be to turn into goo. She said, "What if you wanted to hide from someone so you turned into goo, and then they stepped on you and slipped and their butt hit you in the face." Indeed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Potty Mouth

Kira's been having a lot of fun with me lately by making me think she is blatantly swearing. She says things like, "Hell.....'s Kitchen was a fun restaurant to go to." Or "Shiht...zus are cute dogs." Or "Dam... is what a beaver builds." I'm waiting for her to combine them all into one sentence. She's not there yet. Today she said to Mitch, "Dad, did you know that bird skin is see-through?" He asked her how she knew that and she said she looked at our cockatiel's stomach. He said, "How did you do that?" and she said, "um..... she let me."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The new math

My kids and I invented a fun and educational new game we call Child Abuse Math. It's totally sick and they love it! It started with me holding Kira's hand and telling her that she had to tell me what three times two was. I wouldn't let go until she told me. She told me that if she gave the wrong answer I had to squeeze harder. (SHE told ME that)

She gave the wrong answer, I squeezed harder, she flinched and laughed and laughed and then gave the right answer. Sam heard the fun and wanted in on it. He literally shoved his skinny little forearm into my fist and said, "Give me one!" So I asked him to tell me what three cubed is. He said nine, I squeezed, both kids squealed with glee and pain and then he gave me the right answer.

Then I started making up word problems like, "If you have 28 teeth, and I give you a roundhouse kick to the face that knocks out 9, how many teeth do you have left?" They were in hysterics. What is wrong with these children! Then I asked Kira, "If you have 32 liters of blood, and I beat 8 liters out of you, how many liters of blood do you have left?" I thought she was going to pee her pants she was laughing so hard! I think I've stumbled onto something big here!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Student teacher

I get to do a month of student teaching starting tomorrow. I'm expanding my license so that I can teach middle school as well as secondary school so I had to take some classes and now I have to do a month of student teaching in sixth grade. I am not looking forward to it very much. The schedule seems easy enough, and the teacher I'm teaching with seems nice enough (even though she's about ten years younger than me - WTF?) but I really really hate getting up and showering at 6 am. I am not a morning person so I'm not crazy about getting up two hours before the sun comes up, but I'll do it. It's not that, it's the combination of getting up, and immediately showering. Something about being wet and naked in what seems like the middle of the night in January is extremely unappealing. Maybe I'll just go to school dirty. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Why I Married Mitch

A long time ago, when Mitch and I first started going out I had a dream, and at that was the day I knew that he was the man I was going to marry. It was one of those dreams that is so real, the kind that keeps you thinking all day long.

Here it is: I was in high school (in the dream, not in real life) and school had just been let out for the day so the parking lot was full of kids and teachers. All of a sudden, Libyan terrorists in a white van drove into the parking lot (think Back To The Future), and started menacing all of the students. Chaos! Students screaming, Libyans shooting in the air and yelling at kids and then a hush descended on the crowd starting by the arena. Then there was some whispering, "Is that the Sultan?... I think it's the Sultan,... That's got to be the Sultan...." And then people starting yelling, "It's going to be okay! The Sultan is here!" and sure enough, a man with a veil over his face came out into the parking lot and started KICKING ASS. He had those terrorists back in their van and running home with their tails between their legs. Everyone was totally impressed and amazed with the Sultan. There were cheers, "Yay Sultan! You saved us!" I was every bit as dazzled as everyone else and then the Sultan walked up to me and briefly lifted his veil.

It Was Mitch.

He put his finger to his lips in a gesture that told me to keep his secret and then he ran off into the sunset, with all of Falls High cheering him on. And that is (one of the many reasons) why I married Mitch.

Friday, January 16, 2009


This is my new favorite picture of my new niece Sidney. Not because her face is ugly, (her face is adorably gorgeous, even if she is a little cross-eyed) but because there is nothing cuter than the back of a baby's head. My mouth waters when I look at this because I want to pinch her soft scalp with my lips. I also want to pinch her chubby little shoulders and bite her little ears. I used to think this urge to bite and pinch babies was a little sick until one time when Sam was a baby I admitted to my sister Amy that I wanted to bite his head, and she was unphased. She then said, "I want to break his arms."


I found this picture on our fridge. I don't know which one of the kids drew it but I love it because it really sums up their relationship with our cockatiel. We got her a few months ago, she's very sweet, but I know if you're not a bird person, no amount of bird charm will win you over. I can understand the aversion. Just the other day I was telling Auntie Sarah how this bird is so much better than the parrot I used to have. I said, "She doesn't scream very much, she doesn't bite the kids, and when she poops on me it's really small and hardly wet at all." Wow, that sounds so great doesn't it? All good qualities to have in any pet. The kids love her but they trigger her "Oh my god a predator!" instinct mostly because they are able to startle her on a pretty regular basis, (she'd be dead in five minutes in the wild) usually with a poke to the back of the head, as depicted in the picture above. The picture doesn't tell the story of what happens after though, when she screams and flaps, and sometimes falls right off her perch (birds are VERY clumsy) and then complains for 20 minutes afterward with little bickering chirps. Hard to draw a picture of that.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Boring weekend (but productive!)

I spent almost the whole weekend cleaning my house. It was disgusting. It's perfect right now, and Kira is out and will be gone for about another hour and then the dream is over so I have to enjoy it now. I shouldn't say it's perfect, Sam has been in his room cutting styrofoam and building things out of it all day so there are little static-charged bits of white stuff carried out of his room every time he walks out of it. We got him a hot-wire styrofoam cutter (that's his medium of choice) for Christmas and all he wanted for his birthday was styrofoam so that's what he got. Twenty five bucks worth (that's a LOT.) Happy Birthday. His current project involves taking apart some of his old R/C toys and making new, home-made R/C toys. He's learning a lot about electronics. Right now he's working on a snow plow.

Friday, January 9, 2009


This is what I came home to today. This is the snowbank next to our driveway. If you can't tell, it's "Mitch J" written in pee. I can't be sure, but I think I know who did it. But why would he do it? I don't really know and I haven't seen him yet to ask him. I'm wondering how awkward it will be if any actual grownups come to our house and see it. (but I am posting it on the internet, so how embarrassing could it be.) I found myself standing out in the cold admiring his work (the letters are very big and it was obviously a thick ropey stream) and I think he must have been holding it for a long time today, perhaps planning it. He should have drunk more diet coke and then he would have had enough for the "ohnson" if that is, in fact, who wrote it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sing it!

Kira made up a song on the way home from school today. It is sung to the tune of Deck the Halls:

Sa a a a a a am is u u u u u u u u gly... That's about it. She said she likes it because it's a good tune and it's true. (it's not true)

She wrote a long song a while back called Mama, I'm A Comin' Home and it was fantastic. It was a ballad about how she ran away and had to live in the woods and hunt for food, and one day she saw a bear etc. etc. (there was an exceptional amount of hunting) We wrote it down, but we can't find it anywhere! How frustrating! I asked her if I could post it and her answer was, "of course!" She wants to make a video of us singing it and put it on Youtube.

She used to sing made up songs in the car all the time. Our favorites were Dirt Bag and And the Ball Got Lost. Dirt Bag was a naughty little tune about things getting flushed down the toilet that would send Sam into hysterics, and And the Ball Got Lost was a very sad ballad about a boy who lost his ball under the Christmas tree. She sang it in a very quavery voice and Mitch and I had to try excrutiatingly hard not to let her hear us laughing or else she would stop singing. I will keep looking for Mama, I'm A Comin' Home and if I find it I will post it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sport rant

I was thinking about sports today, and I'm not a fan. (Although I love watching the olympics. hmm...) My whole family and all my in-laws are in love with hockey. I was thinking, in general about different sports today and I think hockey is the third stupidest sport. Football is first, by far. Any sport where you know there's a better than average chance that you'll become crippled, either from an immediate snap to the neck or from arthritis later in life, is idiotic. That's just a fact. Hockey is the third stupidest because in order to play, you have to have a special climate controlled building (expensive) so you can freeze a sheet of ice and then strap sharp blades to your feet (dangerous) and go slide around on it and chase a puck with sticks. As a parent it's no fun for me because I can't actually see my kids. They are hidden behind about 40 pounds of padding and clothing to keep them warm and to protect their bodies from the rock hard ice, and razor sharp blades on everyone's feet.

There is a whole hockey culture that grates on my nerves too. The parents are super fans. I kind of feel bad for not being that in to my kid's activities. (sorry honey, I'm just not that into you) The moms run the concession stand at the local rink every day. The first year Sam was in hockey one of the moms called and left a message on our machine telling me my volunteer schedule for the concession stand. I don't think they really get what volunteer means. The dads flood the outdoor rink every night. They do it in shifts so each shift has to do it about two or three times a week. During games the parents come totally decked out in the team colors or in team jerseys and jackets and sweatshirts, and they scream and cheer and ring cowbells. Yes, I said cowbells. Why? I'm flabbergasted by it. It's not like that in soccer. The parents all go, but they sit on the sidelines and make jokes like, "So, what DAY do you think this game will end? Ha ha ha." Hockey parents never do that, and a little tip - they don't like when other people do it either. Oh, and the locker rooms in arenas STINK.

The second stupidest sport is figure skating, for all the same reasons as hockey, but without any protective gear for the scantily clad little darlings doing spinning jumps with blades on their feet. Hello concussion! Nice to meet you!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Kira's New Move

Kira has a new hockey move that she tried out last week. She gets the puck in a breakaway, and when she gets close to the goalie she yells, "Watch this!" and throws a glove, and when the goalie looks at the glove, she scores. It works but she's been discouraged from doing it. I suppose it's like a "cry wolf" type deal and she should hone her actual hockey skills instead of her I-can-outsmart-an-8-year-old skills.

There was a hockey tournament last weekend. We traveled to Aurora/Hoyt Lakes and watched a LOT of hockey. After the exciting first 10 minutes of the first of many MANY games, I went to the local Ben Franklin and got some yarn and a crochet hook and crocheted four hats.

I'm an old wife

I figured out where old wives tales come from. They come from mothers lying to their children to get them to do what the mothers want. Over the excruciatingly long vacation from school, I convinced Sam to shave off his creepy little mustache. He was really proud of it, but it was pervy looking. He looked dirty. So I nagged and nagged about it and then when I told him it would come in fuller, he finally gave in. Now I think he's expecting to look like Magnum P.I. by Valentine's Day. I wonder what kind of memory he's going to have of the whole experience too, because he was too chicken to shave it himself, so I had to sort of put him in a head lock and make faces at him to show him how to move his mouth so I could shave it. He looks SO much better now.

I turned into a total slug over the break. I got an incredibly bad cold so I sat on the couch, watched TV, played computer games and bossed my kids around. Good times. Now I have to get back into real life: working, exercising, answering the phone, getting dressed, showering... etc.