Saturday, February 28, 2009

I hate Suze Orman (part II)

This actually has nothing to do with Suze Orman, but I hate her so much, I chose that for the title. But it is related; today on NPR some guy was giving financial advice and he said that he could tell us how to bring our everyday spending down to $50 a day. Who spends $50 EVERY day on coffee and movies and incidental stuff like that? Don't these people have kids? I can't remember the last time I saw paper money.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Cabin fever sets in

I couldn't find the toothpicks so I asked the kids if they knew where they were. They were in Sam's room. He and Kira had used them to make a project with some packing peanuts they found.

They must be getting desperate for things to do because these peanut-packing men are intricately done, especially for a Kira-project. Sam is usually pretty diligent and crafty, but when Kira has a craft idea she loses interest before they actually get done. She gave Mitch a string and a bunch of beads one time and said she thought he might like a bracelet and he can make it himself if he really wants it. For my birthday last year Kira saw me opening presents from other people so she went in the yard and got a stick and quickly duct-taped a piece of gift tissue from another present to it and told me it was a birthday flag.

I like these peanut men. Especially the one on the right because he has a peg leg. The one in front is the only one with hands, and the one on the left only has one arm but he's okay with that. I can tell because he has a big smile on his face. Maybe it is a peanut-man amputee support group and the front guy is the group leader.

Kira in the Car (Part VI)

"I'm not afraid of ghosts, you know why? Because what if a chicken laid a ghost-egg? That wouldn't be very scary... And you know what I would say to a ghost-egg? I would ask it why eggs are so slimy and chickens taste so different."

We are terrible parents

Kira had an early release day at school today. She got home two hours early, so at 1:00 instead of 3:00. Was I here to greet her and give her a snack and ask her about her day? No. Was Mitch? No. We were out having lunch together. We totally forgot it was an early release day so we took off at about 12:30, had a long leisurely lunch at Erbert and Gerbert's, and then went our separate ways to run our respective errands. We got home about the same time (2:30ish) and she was here, sitting downstairs by the woodstove, watching cartoons and holding the bird; just waiting to show us how she did on her spelling test. I asked if she was worried and she said she was glad to have the place to herself for a while. But now I think she is sensing that I feel guilty so she's trying to make it worse. She just told me that she didn't get home at 1:00, she got home at noon. (she got home at 1:00) Pretty soon I am expecting to hear she never got to eat lunch, or that she felt like an orphan while she was here alone.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mitch is hard boiled

In this picture: Sneezy bird and honey sticks

Mitch listens to a lot of old time radio over the internet when he works on his computer and today I think he must be listening to old detective shows because he came upstairs and said to me in an old timey voice, "Hey baby, I like the look of your honey sticks, whats say we go see what's at the top of them stems!" I think those are euphemisms for legs. He also called me an "oven jockey" which I think means wife. The forties, what a fantastic time to be a woman!

In other news, the bird was just sitting on my shoulder and we were sharing a bonding pet/owner moment, and as I was looking lovingly at her, she sneezed in my eye. It was surprisingly phlegmy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I love my Dansko Clogs

Today I put on my Dansko clogs which I love love love, and I decided to start posting about things I like (what a concept!). They have really thick soles and they feel like they are made of wood. They're really heavy and make me taller and I feel tough, like I could literally kick the shit out of anyone who messes with me. Mitch calls them my hooves. I asked Sam what he thought of them when I first got them and he put his arms out in front of him and walked stiff legged (more so than usual) and said, "ME - FRANKENSTEIN!" ha. ha. Doesn't matter. When I wear them I'm tall, and I have a cool looking strut.

Bad hair day

This morning, after looking at my hair in the mirror I decided that I need to use conditioner because it looks like a thin stack of hay on my head. I've been watching a lot of early episodes of Mary Tyler Moore and I am fascinated by her hair. It's long and thick and moves as one unit. Do you think she was wearing a hair piece? I bet she was. Each individual thin strand of my hair moves independently, totally disregarding all the other hairs, and gravity; like Medusa, but with strands of cotton candy instead of snakes.

I hate Suze Orman

After the kids left for school this morning I sat down to watch the Today Show. Suze Orman was on and she said that because the economy is in the state that it's in, NOW is the time to take that $100,000 you've got stashed away and invest it in diversified funds. Can you believe it? WHAT A GREAT IDEA! I'll do that tomorrow!

I hate her.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sam in hell

Yesterday was a great day for Sam: permission to have free reign on the snowmobile sitting out in the yard. Today was hell. He got an ear ache last night and was up most of the night because he was so uncomfortable and congested. I brought him to the clinic this morning and he has a sinus/ear/throat infection. He hates going to the doctor (who doesn't?) and the doc had to pick about a pound of ear wax out of him before she could get a good look. Sam is INCREDIBLY ticklish, even in his ears, so that was very unpleasant. For both Sam and the doctor. Plus he's getting to the age where everything is embarrassing and the doctor was very cute, she looked to be about 21, so that just made it more embarrassing. Then we came home and Sam stared longingly at the snowmobile sitting in the front yard, just begging him to ride it, and he couldn't because he was just too tired.

Kira in the Car (Part V)

I picked Kira up from school today and when we got in the car she said, "If I was a monkey and I didn't have a tail, on Halloween I would walk around upside down, you know, on my hands. And in my feet, (which on a monkey are hands too, Mom) I would hold a mask where my head would be if I was standing normal."

That's what she was thinking about at school today. Her spelling test: not so hot, but at least she knows how she'd dress for Halloween if she was a monkey without a tail.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kira in the Car (part IV)

"I think that if bullriding used tigers or walruses instead of bulls, it would be pretty much the same. Just bloodier."

Sam in heaven

Rich and Julie are letting us use their snowmobile for the rest of the winter. Today Sam got permission from Mitch to ride it by himself around the yard. He drove it for about an hour straight, and would still be out there if Mitch wouldn't have told him to stop and come in and eat and rest (he's sick with a cold). He's wearing a hockey helmet. Nobody told him he had to (because the trail is tree and obstacle free and he doesn't go more than 10 mph). He just thought it was prudent. Smart boy!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's still a mystery

I forgot to write about this the other day. When we cleaned the kids rooms, we moved all the furniture and re-arranged everything and I thought we would find the crayfish that escaped from Sam's aquarium. We didn't. This only solidifies my suspicion that it is living in the toilet, and will look something like this when it emerges. Ow Mr. Pinchy! Don't pinch me there!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Crotch Watcher

Mitch has a junkyard connection and his contact is named The Crotch Watcher. (actually, I'm not sure how to write it; Crotch Watcher, Crotchwatcher, or Crotch-Watcher) I don't think that's his real name, but that is what Mitch calls him because among the junk in the junk yard is a bug deflector for a truck that says "Crotch Watcher" on it. One day Mitch spotted it and asked the guy (who is old) who the Crotch Watcher is and the guy said he had that bug deflector on his truck for a long time so he IS the Crotch Watcher. Mitch almost ruined their relationship by trying to be funny and saying, "So, are you watching my crotch right now?" The Crotch Watcher did not think it was funny and their relationship was strained for a while, but thankfully it got back on track. The Crotch Watcher had to move from his place of business in a pole barn, to running his junk yard out of his home. I love driving by there because it is so interesting and there is always a cruddy looking sign by the driveway that says, "Free Cats." I bet his neighbors are crazed with all the junk, and feral cats, and crotch watching.

Good mood and a baby bunny

I'm in such a good mood today! I think it's because I am done with student teaching and going to classes, and now I can spend all my time doing what I want, which will be working as much as possible because we are b-roke! I didn't think this "economy" would have much of an effect on us, but everyone is paranoid about not having money so nobody is paying Mitch for services rendered so, that blows, but I'm still in a good mood!

The picture is one of a baby bunny Kira found a few years back. She brought it in the house and I thought it was a mouse. I looked up baby bunnies on the internet and judging by the size, I guessed that this one was just a few days old. We fed it with a tiny bottle. There is kitten formula in the pet store that you can buy and that's what we gave it.

I had to feed him about every two hours and at the time I was working as a teacher at the county jail. I was in a quandary because the poor little fella needed to be fed and I was going to be at work for 8 hours. So I wore overalls and put him in the front pocket. The jail is maximum security and I had to go through a metal detector every time I went, and sometimes I had to get wanded with a super strong metal detector. But they didn't have rabbit detectors! He was fine there in my pocket, but I was so excited to have him with me and so exhilarated that I snuck him past security that about half way through the day I showed my boss, Robin, who tried to be a hardass about it, but couldn't stand her ground because the bunny was so darn cute! She found me a little cage that she had in her office (I don't think I'm the only one who snuck small animals into the jail) and then she said she'd feed him while I taught my class. When my class was over I went into her office and it was dark. She had shut the lights off so he could sleep and was just sitting there quietly in the dark. What a softy.

We kept Scat all summer and he got about as tame as a wild rabbit can get. We had a pen for him under a tree outside and one day he hopped out and we like to think that he is still around making tons more baby bunnies, but he had a habit of laying down flat when he got tired and sleeping HARD. He wouldn't startle when there was a noise or anything, so in reality, I think he probably got picked off within the first hour of being free, especially if he got tired and decided to take a nap.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sorry, the game of sweet revenge...

Sam and Kira and I went to the library today. When we go to the library they always ask to play the game Sorry. I don't know why this is because although they GET why it's called the game of sweet revenge, it totally pisses them off when somebody draws a sorry card and sends them back to the start position. Under 99.9 percent of circumstances they are even tempered and emotionally stable, but when they play this, they lose it, turning red in the face, trying (and failing) to hide inner rage (gritting teeth, suppressed growls), crying, walking away, quitting. EVERY time!

But if they are winning, they are giddy like they are on drugs; giggling, hopping up and down, talking loudly to strangers... It's hilarious for me because before we start playing I say, "So, who do you think is going to cry this time?" Nobody denies that they will cry. It's just part of the game.

There's something about THIS game that makes them go on a bi-polar emotional roller coaster ride. I've had to physically stop Sam from flipping the board over when Kira sorried him once, and today Kira was almost done, about two spaces from the safe zone, eyes wide with joy and euphoria, and she got sorried and had to move back to start. The game had to have a ten minute time-out while she cried (angrily wiping the tears away before they could actually fall down her cheek), raged her inner rage, got ahold of herself and finally, regretfully, moved her piece.

She eventually won two games in a row while Sam was seething, just happy that he at least beat me, and Kira said, "We should come to the library more often to play this game, it's a lot of fun." I told her she could just buy the game at Target with some of her Christmas money. She said, "THEY HAVE SORRY AT TARGET?" So we had to stop there on the way home and pick it up. Now we have the source of their emotional turmoil at home.
Thanks Hasbro!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kira in the Car (part III)

Tonite on the way to hockey Kira asked Mitch, "What do you think would be harder to train to walk on a tightrope, a fish or an eyebrow?"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My children are hoarders

I took out ten, count 'em TEN bags of garbage from my kid's rooms this week. And an additional six bags for Goodwill. How in the heck did they accumulate so much stuff in such young lives?

They found some things they forgot they had, so it was a little like a shopping trip for them. I had to stop them from rifling through each other's Goodwill and trash bags and simply trading garbage. They were pretty good about getting rid of stuff with only a few minor arguments. Sam wanted to keep a broken spark plug he found on the road last summer. I found about 25 socks strewn throughout Kira's room and a pair of old "accident" underpants hidden in a puzzle drawer. When I pulled them out and showed them to her she said, "What? I did that a LONG time ago." Like the statute of limitations for being in trouble for that was up. Gross.

Today they went with Mitch to the dump and they were DYING to get out and forage through dumpsters to collect more crap. They are going to be on Oprah someday because their houses will be full of old newspapers, half done craft projects, random electronic components, socks and dozens of cats and they will only be able to get from one room to another through narrow corridors carved into the garbage, and when Oprah's home improvement team comes in they will discover mold problems which will render their property worthless.

That's kind of a downer. Kind of glass-half-empty. On the up side, they seem to be pretty happy with all their newly accumulated space and newly discovered old toys so maybe they have learned a valuable lesson. Look for your freaks elsewhere, Oprah!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Random thoughts...

I'm up super early today because my bed has a pothole in the middle of it and it makes my back hurt so I got up. The kids have the week off of school so today I am going to make them spring clean their rooms. Julie always teases me that I'm constantly making them clean their rooms, but they are disgusting. Kira crawled under her bed for something the other day and came out DIRTY. It's more than dust bunnies and it's impossible to clean in either of their rooms because they are so packed with crap. I am going to make them throw away a bunch of stuff. Nothing important, just broken toys and garbage that they insist on hanging on to.

I have to go shopping today too. I have to go to Sam's Club and I hate going to Sam's Club because of the incredibly long lines to check out and then having to immediately get into another line show someone my receipt to prove that in the 20 feet from the checkout to the door I haven't stolen anything. Makes me want to steal something. Then I have to go to the grocery store too. Ugh. I shouldn't complain, I was thinking about going shopping when the kids were really little and how hard it was compared to how easy it is now. These are the steps I used to have to do simply to go grocery shopping with Sam and Kira when they were about two and five:

1. Determine whether we can go another day without milk, realize that grocery shopping is inevitable no matter how much I bought the week before.

2. Look in every room, closet, and under every piece of furniture for the shoes and other random clothing Kira has lost around the house.

3. Get jackets on. There was a dialogue that went with this step: “No, that is not your jacket, get YOUR jacket.... not that arm.... other arm.... other arm.... other arm.... It doesn’t go on that way.... Why are you crying?

4. Get in the car. This took at least fifteen minutes. Kira insisted on hand picking her toys from the car toy box BEFORE she’s buckled in. Sam forgot which side of the car was his side EVERY TIME.

5. Drive to our destination. Usually this was the easiest part -- unless, of course, Kira got out of her car seat, which she did pretty regularly.

6. Get from the car into the store. Parking lots were difficult to maneuver when I was carrying a purse, diaper bag, and Kira in one hand, and holding Sam’s hand with the other while he is trying to lean down to pick up old gum from the parking lot.

7. Shop. Kira sat in the cart seat, and Sam sat in the big-kid seat that faces the cart seat. Kira would take this opportunity to hit Sam in the head because he couldn't move out of her way.

8. Pay. Kira seemed to think that if the cart wasn't moving, she should get out. While I was writing the check with one hand I was usually pinning her down into the seat with the other.

9. Repeat step 6, in reverse. Only add ten bags of groceries.

10. Drive home. NAP TIME!

Now it's easy. They even help! So I will just shut up.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My dog got fat

I walked outside the other day and Maisy ran up to me, and it was like I was seeing her for the first time although I see her every single day. She is FAT! I couldn't believe it! It's like it happened over night. And it's not just fur either. I got ahold of her and she has a layer of blubber that is around her whole torso like a life preserver made of fat and fur. And now her feet look pointier than usual. I don't know why this is happening because I'm not feeding her any more than usual, she must be charming a neighbor and getting treats. LOTS of treats. She usually goes jogging with my neighbor Laura when she goes, but I suppose because of her new baby, and all the ice and snow, Laura isn't jogging as much (lazy) so Maisy is missing out on miles and miles of running. Thanks a lot, Laura!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oh, my poor guts

I bought Brach's peppermint nougat candy for Valentine's day this year because I didn't think I liked it as much as other candy. Turns out I love it. I've eaten oh,... I'd say about 75 pieces of candy today and my stomach is now gurgling and producing unbelievable amounts of gas and is kind of crampy. I bet this is because that particular candy doesn't even resemble anything close to actual food, and I've been eating the equivalent of peppermint scented candle wax all day, although I don't think that candle wax would produce quite so much gas, or coat my mouth with scuz that is almost the consistency of gum. Now I can't even go anywhere. I'm just going to have to sit here and expel gas and suffer through the stomach cramps until I feel better in a few hours, and then (I just know I'll do this) I'll eat more of the candy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Child Abuse Academics

After the amazing success I had with Child Abuse Math, I have adapted the concept to other subjects for Kira and Sam. Kira is really lazy when it comes to handwriting, to the point where what she writes is totally illegible. So I told her to write everything like she has been kidnapped and what she's writing is a note that will let the authorities know where she is so she can be rescued. I say, "Remember, write like you're a hostage!" She says that's annoying, but her writing IS better. Also with her spelling, I give her practice spelling tests and use sentences like this; "Yanked... yanked... The child spelled the word wrong so the teacher yanked her hair out of her scalp." Kira really responds positively to violence. Sam just gets the giggles. Today in school during my LAST DAY OF STUDENT TEACHING (see previous post) the kids had to read about decompression sickness. The text was really dry and boring so I told them that if they were somehow immediately transferred to deep in the ocean the pressure would be so great that they would implode. They wanted to know what that meant so I told them that their bones would all break, their organs would be crushed, blood would ooze out of every orifice of their body, kind of like if you took a mouse and squeezed it in your fist. They were all totally engrossed and more attentive than when I told them anything else the entire month I was there. Kids are sick.

Done student teaching

I'M DONE STUDENT TEACHING! Isn't that awesome! It wasn't so bad because my cooperating teacher was very good and fun to work with, and I really liked the kids (other than one eighth grader who is perfecting his asshole skills). I wasn't looking forward to it at all because who wants do someone else's job in front of them (awkward) and pay to do it? Nobody does. But now it's over, yay!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kira and Me

Kira and I have had two days off of school because of the ice storm that never actually materialized. Sam goes to middle school in a different district and they didn't cancel school so, too bad Sam. I have been "working" (student teaching) so much lately that I haven't had a full dose of Kira's crazy for a while. I got a good dose the last two days. I missed her! She's such a nut!

First of all, we have spent every second together, I mean EVERY SECOND. When she gets up in the morning, she snuggles with me on the couch, and then yesterday and today, we went back to bed after Sam left and read books and then fell asleep. Then we got up and exercised together. I usually exercise after she goes to bed, but why exercise at night when I have the whole day, am I right? She didn't actually exercise as much as harass me. There is this one move about 3/4ths of the way into the impossibly hard workout I did today that is really tough. You have to be in a plee-ay (oh, how do you spell it, Frenchy?) position and then put your hands behind your head and then touch an elbow to a knee, and then go the other way and back and forth to the count of a million. While I was struggling through that, she snuck up behind me, wrapped her arms around my middle and said, "Flex harder! You're not flexing!" I also got countless slaps on the butt, and a LOT of criticism on my form (curious, coming from someone who has never actually seen the video before).

After that we (I) cleaned up the house and she chatted away to me about anything that popped into her head. Then we ate our lunch while watching movies; yesterday it was the Apple Dumpling Gang, and today it was Ice Age. Today we made banana bread and Jello (Kira's favorites). We also made dinner together, spaghetti. While we were eating, Kira told Sam that if he is ever a billionaire, she is going to kill him with a poison potato and take all his money. Oh, and she hasn't stopped humming all day long.

Right now the kids are watching Charlie Brown and Kira is cutting out Valentine's decorations. She made some paper people chains and then adapted the concept to make paper wiener dogs chains. Nothing says Valentine's Day like a long chain of wiener dogs! Oh, today she also played around on and made this picture of me. The speech bubble says, "I'm not crazy! Whose crazy!" and the thought bubble says, "Yes I am."

Sam made this picture of Kira on Photobucket.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Thank you!

Finally, I can shrink my chin, erase my wrinkles and enlarge my front teeth! I can't seem to stop there though....

Friday, February 6, 2009

What the hell?

This is in our yard right now. A huge dead Norway rat. Where did it come from? Do rats just live in the wild or what? The kids say they've seen it (alive) in the wood pile, and Mitch swears there has been a rat in the garage that is immune to rat poison. Is this the same one? Or are they like roaches, you see one, and there are 100 more hidden in the walls? And what did it die from? Maisy seems to be afraid of it even when it's dead, so I don't think she killed it. Did it have a heart attack from eating all the rich delicious food my kids leave in the basement? Old age perhaps? I am teaching 6th grade science right now, so I suppose I could take it in and we could have a lesson on how to give a rat an autopsy. Tom went outside and took this picture of it and when he came in he said, "Its kind of cute in the face." I am so grossed out by the thought of any rat being anywhere near our house. I'm terrified that they will get into the septic tank and swim up the toilets and then not only will there be rats in the house, they will be covered with poop. What could be worse than being terrorized by poop-covered rats crawling up under your covers in the middle of the night? Nothing, that's what.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I miss summer (part II)

I miss summer

This picture is Kira waiting for hummingbirds to drink nectar out of her belly button. She drew the flower and put sugar water in her belly button (sticky). She had to borrow the shades because she was getting blinded by the sun. No hummingbirds actually came to her. They could sense the urge Kira had for wanting to hold (squeeze- the-life-out-of) and snuggle (kill) and their survival instincts wouldn't let them go within a mile of her. Oh well, kept her busy for half an hour.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pashmina fun

My sister-in-law gave me a pashmina for Christmas and it is the most fun toy I have had in a long time. I love it but I don't think I've got anything to actually wear it out with. I took it in the bathroom today and took pics. Let me know what you think I could get away with in public.

This is the regular old scarf look. I'd wear this. No problem. In fact I wore it to Wal Mart today to buy b.b. gun b.b.s.

Here's a shawl. I wish I had the guts to wear this but I already get enough crap from Mitch for wearing "granny" sweaters.

Bad hair day? Alopecia? No problem! This look can either be called "the Rhoda" or "the Steven Van Zandt"

The Turban. I wish wish wish that turbans were in. I love the feel of a turban! In fact I wish I could wear things on my head and not feel self-conscious, but I do, and I'd end up snapping at people who would inevitably be staring at me (probably admiringly and jealous) and say, "WHAT! NEVER SEEN A TURBAN BEFORE! RACIST!"

The Burka. I would like to have to option to wear a burka some days. Is that not PC? Well I would. No hair doing, no getting dressed, slip that baby on and your ready to go.
Muslim fashion = practical.

At this point, Kira knocked on the door and said she had to pee. So I let her in. She didn't have to pee, she had to poop. Thanks Kira! She saw what I was up to and wanted in on it. This is her as little brown riding hood.

This one is my favorite. This is the way I would wear it for going for Sunday drive in a convertible with Carey Grant. Oh Darling, it would ever so much fun!

The magician. Or The Bat. Cold arms? Cold neck? No more!

The shirt. Hot. I could be fully dressed with two pashminas. Hmmm....

Finally, the toga. I can see now that I could be fully dressed with one pashmina. Well, what can I pull off?

Happy Birthday Kira!

Kira's birthday was yesterday. She is nine years old now. She had a good day skating, swimming, eating cake, opening presents. She got a pottery wheel and made a pot in about five minutes. She's a natural.