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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Up Close and Personal

I was barely awake this morning when I looked out the window and wondered if I was really awake at all. "Conner! quick! come look!" I stage whispered, lest I scare them off. "And bring my camera!" So rare is a show of emotion from me so early in the morning that Conner came running, and my camera was actually where it should be. I kept my eyes glued to the window in case they really were an apparition and threatened to disappear. Indeed, one of them almost did, if you look carefully at the photo I caught of them with my point-and-shoot through the glass.Deer? In our yard? This is suburbia. It was so cool.

I gathered they had wandered from the Nature Park a mile away or so. Thing is, they were headed away from it. Looking for some last-minute morsels from neighboring gardens? Out for a last jaunt before hunkering down for the winter?

Because it is cold here now. Not that you would know it by watching Conner walk out the door in shorts to catch the bus. When I question his choice he says it's just easier because this quarter he has gym class and shorts are required. Oh but you can change clothes, you say. Yes, but it's such a pain because the teacher was so disgusted with the mess in the boys' locker room because "someone couldn't control his pee" he shut it down and the next closest bathroom to change in is just too far to be worth the trouble. Besides, like, half the school is still wearing shorts, Mom. He's usually walking away by this point but I can still see his eyes rolling.

This kid was the three-year-old who always balked at wearing a coat. I finally decided not to fight that battle and figured he would learn on his own when he got cold and I could say, "See, that's why I told you to wear a coat." Except I never got to say that because he never got cold. From that day I learned that his need for a coat was at least 10 degrees lower than mine.

But sheesh. Today was a high in the 40's. So when I was checking my email later this item in his school's Daily News caught my eye:

"DRESS FOR THE WEATHER: We would ask that parents make sure that their child is appropriately dressed for the weather when leaving for school in the morning." A-ha! They're talking about my son. I knew it. "..... As the weather continues to get colder, students should remember to wear a coat and/or sweater/sweatshirt to school to keep them warm." Uh-huh, uh-huh. I am totally nodding. Even though he totally does this already, I'm sure they're about to make my point about the shorts. ".... Also, although it is not in the Student Handbook, we would appreciate it if students did not wear pajama bottoms to school."

Wait, huh? Pajama bottoms? Never mind. I guess my standards are too high. At least my son is getting dressed.

I did dress my younger son more appropriately this morning, this still three-year-old who seems to have a normal body temperature and doesn't balk at wearing a coat when it's cold outside. I put him in his winter one with a stocking cap to boot in preparation for a field trip his preschool class had today at that same Nature Park I suspect is the home to the two errant deer.I just can't get enough of these trees. They don't make 'em like this in Kansas. Really, can you believe the beauty? This is so much to me what Ohio is all about. Even the little guys are in awe.

And they got to walk through this glorious wonder like scientists and examine nature through their magnifying glasses:
And walk through a meadow like they were deer:
And climb on an alligator log:
They even got to experience one of God's creatures up close, a not-pretend kind:
This one's for you, mom, since I know how much you love snakes.
Let's focus on the fact that he actually touched this texture, okay? Even if it is just with the tippy tipness of his finger. And, yes, he washed his hands.

Even though I had met the class at the park, which was, like, five minutes from our house, I still let the guy ride the bus home. Which meant he rode the bus back to the school, then got on his regular bus to ride back toward home, where he arrived a full 40 minutes after I did.
What can I say? The kid loves that bus. But at least he keeps his coat on.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Must. Get. Conner!

This is what happens when overtired kids get pumped up on leftover birthday cake...

Ah...finally, success!

I always have to wonder -- why do they insist on always doing this in the smallest possible space in the house?? At least it wasn't on the hard kitchen floor. (This time.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Someone's 38!

(Hint: it's not the short one.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

None of you were right! (I think)

My oh my, such anticipation for the price of a chair! I wish I could say I’ve been leaving you all on the edge of your seats (heh-heh) on purpose. Alas, I am simply finding it very difficult to sit down (oh har-har!)at this computer for a myriad of reasons. Some of which are noble and involve reams of wallpaper border needing stripped and miles of trim needing painted glossy white. Oh, and the doors. Mustn’t forget those wonderful 70s-original hollow-core doors, their deceptive beigy-ness all the more glaring against their freshly painted borders. Must. Fix. That. (Preferably before it’s time to put this house up for sale.)

And I have been reading, again, finally. I discovered the novels in the travel section at the library and have been going through them. One. By. One. A few goodies so far: Rita Golden Gelman’s Female Nomad, David Elliot Cohen's One Year Off, and Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss. And did I mention I DVR’d all the back episodes of House? Oh, woe me, another obsession. Must watch. Them. All.

Another reason I find myself going days without even checking my google reader is because I have a teenager constantly vying for time on the computer to get his fix on things like Navy Field and Tribal Wars and fascinating you-boobs you-tubes like the one below. Go ahead, watch it. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. Because stealing a glimpse into what 13-year-olds consider entertainment is a bit, er, disturbing mind-boggling numbing. It reminds me of the first time we discovered Teletubbies, stuck in a motel outside St. Louis while attempting a cross-country move with a three-year-old (yes, the same son) during a blizzard (not advised). John and I realized that we had both stared at the Tv screen, numb and mute, mesmerized by what can only be described as cartoon crack. Seriously, is something embedded in the video stream that attacks your semi-consciousness? Hmmm...that might explain the video below.

But wait, I’ve almost forgotten the chair. That beautiful hardwood chair that YES was a bargain at (drum roll please) ... $20! I found myself getting a little confused with the Starbucks analogy that I foolishly introduced (since I don’t actually buy coffee at Starbucks that often) but the gist I got was that I need to find out where you all go shopping! Seriously – where do you find chairs like that for less than $10? Please take me with you! I’ll even let you blindfold me so your secret will be safe.

But first watch the video. Apparently this Fred character is all the rage, at least if you’re an American middle schooler. So don’t blame me; I’m just trying to keep up with my son’s influences. Some of which are points to argue for moving back overseas, if you ask me.

Fred Runs for President!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

That's the best reason I've ever heard for loving dark wood.

*** Update ***
Are there no more takers on guessing how many Starbuck coffees it took to buy this chair?? Come on, play along ... and I'll be posting about something else soon, I promise. Maybe I'll even get around to updating Sean-Peter's speech progress. So much has happened there, it might take a book, so we'll see...

Ooh, there are so many things I've thought I should blog about, but obviously none of them got past the thinking stage. But today Olivia said something so cute and close to my little HGTv-addicted heart, about this chair I recently brought home from the Thrift Store.

Alas, even spending money at the thrift store is supposed to be on hold right now, in light of These Times and our waiting for some new tenants to rent our cute little house in Vegas and send us a check already. A coffee at Starbuck's is a splurge right now, for pete's sake.

But I am perpetually on the lookout for some decent incidental table chairs, since the ones we are using are so country-ish (and we are so not country-ish). I don't even care if they match. Antique would be nice, but not necessary. But they must be sturdy. We have a monkey living in this house and I would like them to survive his childhood.

So this is the first one I've come across that I deemed worthy of bringing home. Any takers on guessing how many Starbuck coffees it took to buy this chair? Anyone? Anyone? Low-ballers are not welcome. The price was very fair, but it wasn't free for pete's sake.

Besides, I figure since we apparently have two democrats running for office, if we really get in a bind with our mortgages the government will just bail us out. Who needs savings?

Oh -- but the cute thing Olivia said? I asked her today if she had noticed the "new" chair.

"Of course," she said. "I noticed it right away, because it's my favorite color!"


"Oh yes, because it reminds me of chocolate."

That a girl. That means I just satisfied two cravings in one blow. I love multi-functionality.