29 June 2006

Boy Scouts, beware

Items found in a large red knapsack the children took along for their hike in the woods today:

Houseshoes, two pair (red & blue)
A Bob the Builder plastic saw
Pokemon Suduku stickers
Pokemon Crackers
Pokemon Notebook (for use in writing down clues)
Baby's bottle & rattle (baby was carried along, wrapped in his blanket)
One blue hockey puck
A Japanese Pokemon Card
The Pokemon Suduku game board
A miniature deck of Old Maid cards
A purple eraser
One large, rectangular, green foam block

Clearly, they were prepared for anything.

Public Displays of Bad Grammar (PDBGs)

Public displays of bad grammar usually annoy me. Today’s example, found in our pediatrician’s office, is much too funny to be annoying:

Were diaper snacks really enough of a problem to warrant a sign?

26 June 2006

Sin & Atonement

We're going to a wedding next week and Lars has outgrown the arms on all his dress shirts (further proof that he actually is his father's son). So I took a quick swing by Talbots yesterday to pick one up...and discovered myself smack in the middle of their semi-annual clearance sale. I adore the Talbots sale! I usually live for the Talbots sale but was ignoring it on purpose this year in light of our restricted finances. Alas, fate was looking out for me (or not) and so, in spite of my plan to have the kids look a little stained and patchy this summer, they got another round of very nice clothes at a fabulous discount rate and will therefore be able to look cute and well heeled when required. Please don't even ask about whether or not I stopped to see if there was anything useful in Talbot Petite for myself. Not even if you see me looking cute in flowered pants (deemed "cool" by Ross) that you've never seen me wear before.

As atonement for my sin of overspending the budget, I finally kept my vow to update Playroom. Gone are the toddler toys, broken Happy Meal knickknacks, coloring books with no pages left uncolored, crayons too tiny to use! Game boards are reunited with pieces and cards! Games with too many missing bits are simply missing - if anyone asks about them, I'll consider replacing the game but my feeling is the missing bits have been reassigned because nobody actually likes the game. Playroom actually looks like a room it might be fun to play in again…rather than a heap of things forgotten. Best of all, we’ve got half a year before anyone’s birthday so there’s a chance the stuff level might stay manageable for a while. I’m off to bet Chris how long it will be before the kids make a wreck of the room again…

From the backseat

"Mama, look! My knee!" I glance back and see that, where yesterday there was a skinned knee, today there is a scab. My five year old is stroking it lovingly with one finger, a dreamy sort of look on his face. He sighs and says, around his thumb, "It's at my favorite part...scabby!"

From the other side of the car, my seven year old pipes up, "Check this out! Here and here! [indicates small scar on his own knee and then a current scab on his arm] - I've been scabby for SEVEN YEARS."

24 June 2006

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated Chris' birthday last night with dinner at a fantastic restaurant near our house. We hadn't been in before but will surely go again! In addition to fabulous food and excellent service, it's the sort of place that's at once formal and comfortable, making it a perfect spot to enjoy a special meal. Many, many, many thanks to Bibliofilly for coming over to stay with the boys while we went out!

23 June 2006

I couldn't be more proud!

Some kids use sidewalk chalk to make hopscotch or four-square boards. My kids use sidewalk chalk to make a hockey rink:

22 June 2006

Risking arrest

Chipmunks are cute! Really, isn't this guy adorable?

Adorable, until you meet his 87 siblings and discover they're all living under your house. Then you start to think cuteness is more cute from a bit farther off. Someone told me to scatter mothballs around to ward them off but the exterminator said all that does is make your place smell funny and potentially poison children, pets, and your water supply. I keep hoping the hawks (yes, we have hawks) will notice the wealth of food and start hanging out here more often... but I think the chipmunks know about the hawks and have based their operations under the porch for a reason. After a bit of internet research involving exterminator sites, Cooperative Extension sites, and personal pages of others who have survived a chipmunk infestation, I've determined that the most effective way to get rid of chipmunks is to actually get rid of them. This means trap them and then either take them miles away to some other field or kill them. One website shows instructions for how to hook up an Electrocution Pad to your Have-a-heart trap - a rig that gave me a giggle. Why go to the trouble of using a Have-a-heart trap if you're going to fry the catch? So, this morning finds us with a small trap (sans electrocution set-up) in the front yard, baited with peanut butter. Considering the number of times the "peanut note" was sent home this year, I'm wondering if we're risking arrest having peanut butter in a cage trap on the front lawn. What if, rather than a small rodent, an allergic child is hypnotically drawn to the globby brown, peanutty goodness? If you hear sirens coming from our neck of the woods, send Epi-pens and bail.

21 June 2006

Breakfast discovery

"Mama, sweeted wheat puffs* stick to your skin. You put them on your face and when they're done sticking, they fall off!"

"What do you do with them then?"

"You pick them up and you put them in your MOUTH."

"Do they stick to your tongue?"

"Ummmmm, no."

*'sweeted wheat puffs' = store brand honey smacks

20 June 2006

Skating with the Devil

Although we remain a family of Sabres fans (well, except for Ross, the Rangers fan - traitor!), the kids jumped at the chance to skate a clinic with an NHL player...even though he was a NJ Devil. At least he was rooting for Edmonton to win the Cup! They're the two #20s in the picture, Ross in gold, Lars in red.

19 June 2006

We interrupt this school day...

Periodically, a notice will come home from the elementary school informing us of a potential danger in the neighborhood - a bear, a person sighted too often where they shouldn't be, peanut butter sent to the school. Today's note bore the news that the Police were called on Friday to remove a person found "sunbathing in an inappropriate manner" on the back fields at the school. The notice contains an apology that we were not told on Friday (the timing was such that a message was not able to be crafted before dismissal) and an assurance that no one was in danger at any time during the incident or arrest. I think I'm more disturbed about the bear than the topless sunbather. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever been killed by an angry boob...

The mow-lawner

"That guy cutting the grass has a REALLY big mow-lawner! Look!" I glance out the car window and see that yes, in fact, the landscape service guy is riding around a somewhat modest lawn atop a very large tractor-type mower. "Do you think he will come to our house next? If we stop and ask him with our polite words?"

"Polite words are always a good idea but, in this case, I don't think they'd be quite enough. It looks like landscaping is his job, so he probably won't do work at our house unless we pay him for his service."

"We should stop and ask him. Don't you want a mow-lawner guy, Mama?"

"I already have three "mow-lawner" guys, little one. You, your dad, and your brother!"

"But Daddy says I can't do the mowing yet."

"You'll be big enough sooner than you think. Until then, you can keep helping with the trash and the dishes."

"Am I still the luckiest boy?"

"Are you?"


"That's what I think, too."

14 June 2006


Unexpected help (from Pixie) has caused a random template change and loss of all my links and whatnot on my sidebars. I haven't got time to fix it right now and Pixie is napping, blissfully unaware of what she's done. Note to self...cat using keyboard as a step up to windowsill: BAD.

Everlasting fun

Then (Christmas 2001):


13 June 2006

Lovely language

"hole bowl" = colander. As in, "I'll get the hole bowl so you can wash the grapes for my snack."

12 June 2006

...and pretend you said, "...

"...and pretend that was my robot you were talking to."

"You know you were speaking to MY robot? And you saw what happens, he does this and then his web comes out from here and goes like this and it's so long that he floats away and you can't catch him. So you have to put on your jet-shoes and then you caught him and he's floating with his feet up here and you have to jump down and so you SWOOOOP like this and you go HUHWWAH - WOOOOOAH and then he jumps back and it's like he's flying."

"YEAH! I AM SO COOL! When I do all that stuff! And pretend you said, 'WOAH! You are so cool!'"

10 June 2006

How to treat a splinter

"Dr. Mama! I have a splinter in my hand!"

"Come into the kitchen and I'll take it out - there's better light." [CLOMP-CLOMP-CLOMP] Lars appears in the doorway clad in shorts, t-shirt, and winter boots, a wooden sword stuck down the back of his shirt, Glubby (his yellow bear) dangling by a ribbon from one wrist. He sticks the splinter hand out toward me as he enters, then abruptly stops and yanks his hand back.

"Do you know what I need? To cool me and help with my splinter? And it's a big splinter, see?" He purposefully shows the heel of his hand but keeps it close to his chest.

"That is a pretty big splinter, Little. What do you need to cool you?" I manage
not to snort and to keep a mostly somber face.

"Cake," he declares, eyes on the freshly baked good on the counter. "I need cake to cool me." I have to turn around so he can't see my face and hold my nose to keep from bursting out laughing!

Luckily, there's a portable phone sitting right in front of me. I pick it up and dial my mother, holding out the phone to Lars. "Here, ask Grandmoo about your cake," I say, and pick up the tweezers to deal with the splinter. There's a chance she'll agree with him but it's more likely that using the phone will distract him from the cake altogether (or at least until after dinner). The splinter is easy to remove and my mother is delighted by the call. She totally misunderstood what Lars had to say and he, as expected, forgot what he wanted to ask in the middle of all the explaining he was trying to do.

As soon as the splinter was out he shouted, "Goodbye! I love you! I have to go and fight the dragon!" down the phone and hung up, racing out of the kitchen to catch up with his brother in the yard. At the front door he paused and called, "Oh! Mama! Thank you for getting out the splinter!" The door slammed behind him and I heard the clomping on the porch get fainter and then louder again. "Oh and Mama," he said through the screen, "I even thank you even though you forgot to give me my cooling cake." I guess he didn't forget after all!

09 June 2006

Overdue vacation post

We spent Memorial Day at the lake with Chris' family with lots of cute kids and lots of things to do wtih boats:

07 June 2006

Karen needs...

While randomly clicking from blog to blog today, I encountered a meme that actually made me laugh and I decided to try it for myself. Here’s what you do: Enter your FIRST name followed by the word ‘needs’ into a Google search. Read and copy the Title for the first 15 search results (sans repeats). You might be surprised to find what you ‘need’ - things you never knew you needed before! I found that:

1. Karen needs to Grow Up!
2. Karen needs a New job
3. Karen needs Cardio Strength Circuit Training
4. Karen needs Professor Pelvic (to) Practice(-s) His Thrusts
5. Karen needs a World Gospel Mission Following God’s Call
6. Karen needs a Msg. from Karen’s Nana
7. Karen needs to Search and dedicate herself to someone special
8. Karen needs a therapist
9. Karen needs a Jack
10. Karen needs a Data meeting in Porterville with Lew Jump, Tony Caprio…
11. Karen needs a Free Range Librarian
12. Karen needs Kiwis Graphics Business Website Templates
13. Karen needs Better Homes & Gardens
14. Karen needs Loans 101
15. Karen needs The WB – Talk

The blogger I picked this meme up from “added an add’l hoo-rah-rah” and squished all her needs into a single paragraph, which reminded me of Julie Berry’s (like the fruit) Vocabulover’s challenges and made me appreciate the meme even more. In the name of random silliness, here’s my “meme-agraph”:

According to a Msg. from Karen’s Nana, Karen needs to Grow Up and get a New Job! If she keeps running the World Gospel Mission Following God’s Call, she’ll become the poster girl for Loans 101; she’d surely do better designing Kiwis Graphics Business Website Templates or writing articles for Better Homes & Gardens about how to Search and dedicate yourself to someone special. Jack may not think Karen is a reliable authority on the topic, especially not after the Data meeting in Porterville with Lew Jump, Tony Caprio… but what can be done? All that Cardio Strength Circuit Training really prepared her for Professor Pelvic to Practice His Thrusts. Her therapist maintains that if Karen returns to work as a Free Range Librarian, The WB will Talk for sure!

02 June 2006

Tonight's lotto numbers are...

As long as I'm not winning lotto, Heather had better be the one to hit. Following a week (a WEEK) of uncomfortable labor, she contracted a UTI which turned into a kidney infection which led to an exciting day in the ER today. Well, exciting if your idea of excitement includes hours spent in a split-back gown wondering if you will be reported because your cell phone keeps going off... I must admit our dish session was fun but the venue left a little to be desired. Next time, we'll have to try for manicures or martinis or maybe both (we should be so lucky)! It's less fun when your chats are interrupted with hunting down your sister's (heh...) nurse and lobbying for breast pumps, pain meds, and food. Food? She's hungry? Uhhhh, yes. Eight hours later, the nursing mother is, in fact, hungry. Now that we're pretty certain surgery is not on deck for today, could she please have something to eat? So, certainly next time, food. And drink. ha-HA!

P.S. The result of the week of painful labor is a beautiful baby girl!

01 June 2006

No known cure

Most of WNY and many WNY ex-pats are having the now all too familiar feeling of major sports loss. The first Superbowl gave us the virus and every near-win since has caused flare ups. WNYers are historically tenacious (you have to be to live through the winters) and I remain hopeful that the elusive cure (no doubt an actual win) will be discovered in my lifetime.


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