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Showing posts from 2011

You found me how?

Every so often, for my own amusement, I log in to my Google Analytics account and review the keywords/phrases that people used to find my humble blog. The results are, um, interesting.

A sampling of recent searches that led people to my blog:

can i superimpose a photo of my dad with the american flag and an eagle? - No, no you may not. I hope that settles it. But if you do, be sure to put a tear in the eagle's eye.

mom pee - EIGHT people used this keyword phrase to find my blog this year. EIGHT. I do not know what to say about that.

"my kid bit another kid" - We definitely went down that road a few times when A was a toddler. I'm not sure which is worse - when your kid is the biter or the bitee.

"plastic poop" - I'm starting to think my blog is a lot less sophisticated than I thought it was.

"you farted" "i did not" - And now I'm sure of it. I'm as low-brow as it gets.

booger back - Oh, for the love of . . .

childern and dogs -…

Au Revoir, 2011

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Here it is, the obligatory year-end review.

Good stuff that happened this year:

We visited DC in July and spent time with my middle sister, her kids, and some of my other relatives.My baby sister visited in August and brought her kids and husband along. I was thrilled that I got to see both of my sisters this summer.I won $10,000 for my favorite charity from Michael Moore. Although the money was awesome, an unexpected benefit was that I picked up a few more blog readers. My blog post about patriotism ended up on Michael Moore's Facebook page and Twitter feed. I was gratified to receive so many nice compliments from those who read it. It is hard to get noticed in the blogosphere (particularly with a blog as low-key as mine - maybe I should consider having myself vajazzled and then writing about it intricate detail or something), so it was definitely a boost. At least once a week someone asks me, "When are you going to write a book?" The answer is that I don't know. Pa…

The post I insist on writing every year, even though it is of interest to no one but me

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I get pretty excited about this time of year. Not because of half-price Christmas candy or because the new year is upon us, so full of possibilities and magic, but because music critics publish their "best of" lists. I love to read the lists, compare the music to what I already have, and download new stuff I missed.  I can't say that 2011 was a remarkable year for music, but there were some notable tunes.

My daughter got into some new music, too. The only trouble with her is that kids love repetition (any parent alive will swear to you that there are only seven episodes of The Backyardigans because they have seen every episode a hundred thousand times). So, when my daughter gets stuck on a song . . . the child gets stuck. on. a. song. That's why she forced me to turn on this little ditty every day for six months:



So yeah, I hate that song now. Here are some 2011 albums I liked (in no particular order):
The Decemberists: The King is Dead. Favorite tracks: "Down b…

Christmas Recap

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It's hard to believe this was my daughter's seventh Christmas, in as much as I could've sworn we were just slathering her tiny heinie with A&D Ointment and shoving far more diapers into the Diaper Genie than it was ever meant to hold. But, she is growing up and doesn't want to be slathered with anything. A lot of people have asked me how she liked the vanity I painted for her. She loved it. In fact, I think this was the first Christmas where she actually realized that I/we put a lot of effort into the things we do for her. She came to me yesterday afternoon and said, "Thank you for the vanity, Mom. And thank you for everything." Maybe all those "giving is more important than receiving" talks actually took hold in some small way.

One of my daughter's favorite Christmas gifts is called "Irritating Ethel."  She was a gift from my mother. Ethel burps, farts, laughs, and screams (when you poke her in the eye). She will also record your v…

Ta da!

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The secret project is done and, after some cussing and sweating from my other half, has been hauled into the living room.

Before photo
In-progress photo




See the chair? I picked it up at a consignment shop for $6 and then painted it. There's just one wee little problem. It doesn't actually fit under the vanity. Doh! So yeah, I'm hanging up my paintbrush for a while as I don't think I'm cut out for this sort of thing.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Home Stretch

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I took a break from the holiday craziness and went to yoga Tuesday night. I was the only one there. I felt a little bit guilty about having the instructor (who also owns the studio) wasting her evening on a single student, but she didn't seem to mind too much. I was glad she was willing to go for it because I felt like I really needed the class. The holidays are taking their toll. My mental health has been suffering a bit lately and yoga always seems to help. It was a good class. And I don't mean to brag here, but my instructor complimented me on my chaturanga (which sort of sounds like something dirty, doesn't it?).

Speaking of mental health, my middle sister and I were comparing notes on boneheaded, absentminded stuff we've done lately. She bought her boyfriend a UVA beanie for Hanukkah.  Just one problem, though - he went to VA Tech, not UVA. She does have a newborn and two other kids to look after, so I suppose she deserves some slack. The reason I called her to b…

Judean Shepherd #2

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My daughter was in a Christmas play at church today. The kids in the fellowship presented "The Scottish Shepherd's Story." Essentially it takes a different spin on the Christmas story, focusing on shepherds instead of the Wise Men and such.  In years past, my kid had various walk-on roles in the annual production, playing angels and other random extras that didn't require any lines. Now that she is older and can read (and so fluently, too!), she landed a talking part. She played Judean Shepherd #2. Apparently there was an actor shortage, as she was also cast in the role of Judean Shepherd #3. She gets really pissy if you forget that she is both.

"Listen, Judean Shepherd #2, it's almost noon and you still haven't made your bed."

"Also #3, Mom! Judean Shepherd #3!"

"Well, the fact remains that you have not made your bed."

She brought home her script on Wednesday and we ran through her lines. I must say she read them with great gus…

My Boy

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Five years ago this month, I adopted my Giddy. His story was a sad one. He was left in a crate on an access road that runs past a humane society. He weighed around 38 pounds (Boxers typically weigh at least 55 pounds) and had some fresh scratches on his face and nicks on his ears. My friend (and fellow rescue volunteer) Kim took a call from the shelter and retrieved this skinny fawn-colored boy. His age was estimated at around two. We'll never know for sure because most of his teeth had been knocked out, which made it difficult to determine how long he'd been around. A veterinarian surmised that the dog had probably been hit by a car at some point. His left foreleg had been broken but not repaired, leaving the radius and ulna bones permanently twisted. Most of his top teeth were broken off at the root, resulting in exposed nerves and lots of pain. It was too late to fix the foreleg, but we sent him in for surgery to remove the broken teeth. Today, he compensates for the broke…

Bakestravaganza

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I had a few topics in the early stages of development for this particular blog entry. I thought of writing about Michelle Duggar's miscarriage (I find it a wee bit appalling that people are applauding a death - sure, the lady has more kids than anyone needs, but geez). I thought of writing about my Boxer boy Gideon, who came to our home exactly five years ago (I would still like to write about him soon). And finally, I had a few loosely-formed but completely unrelated ideas about meditation, Weight Watchers, and mortality.

However, based on the pile of unwrapped gifts in my basement, the urgent need to color my roots, and an unwatched episode of Hoarders on my DVR, I decided to go with a weighty (ha!) topic indeed: baked goods.  My daughter and I spent the entire day baking. Well, not technically the entire day.  After church we went to the hospital to visit an elderly member of our fellowship who just had a minor stroke. Later, A told me, "It was so nice of us to go and visi…

They call him . . .

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We took our daughter to see Santa last night. I feel compelled to show you the photo and require you to admire it, because we paid $25.00 for it. Seriously, I don't know how the little elf girl kept a straight face when she told me that a photo (technically, one 5 x 7 and four wallet-size) would run $24.99 plus tax. Pure crazy.

I am sure it is only a matter of time before our daughter announces that she is too old or too cool to sit on Santa's lap, so we didn't mind taking her. You never know when it is the last time. She was so excited about getting dressed up in her fancy red and black ensemble, including shoes that have the tiniest hint of a heel. We drove to the mall in separate cars because I was headed to yoga class after we were done. When we got to the mall, I watched my daughter grab her dad's hand and I walked behind them in the parking lot. Her little heels clicked on the pavement and her curls bounced behind her. At the risk of being a little sappy, that …

So, I had this idea, see . . .

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It was November of 2010. My wee baby sister was trying to wrestle her two toddlers into bed. My sister is a redhead, as are her sons. The boys are sixteen months apart and the younger one is particularly feisty - and resistant to this crazy concept known as "bedtime."  (By the way, there is a third ginger boy on the way in a matter of days, so things are about to get worse.) Anyway, as I watched this scene play itself out, I jokingly declared, "The redder the head, the earlier to bed!"

My sister thought it was funny and sent me home with an empty wine bottle with the newly-devised slogan scrawled on it in Sharpie. A couple months ago, I had my friend Kate embroider a totebag with the slogan. I added some baby lotions and such to the tote and sent it to my sister so that she can use it as a diaper bag of sorts when the new kid arrives.

At some point I started thinking, "Hey, maybe I could foist this idea off on other people. Complete strangers even!" So, I…

Update on the "labor of love" project

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My daughter's Christmas gift is coming together nicely. Better than expected, really. Again, just don't look at anything too closely (not that taking photos of it in a dimly lit storage room in the basement is doing it any favors either).  I have a few tasks to finish before Christmas. I need to do some touch-up painting around the mirror. I also want to buy a jewelry box and a few other things to make it look as girlie as possible (for my pretty, prissy, fabulous kid). I picked up the dresser scarf at an antique shop. I still need to find a stool or chair of some sort.

Before:
After:





I love you, four-day weekend

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I'm sure you are chomping at the bit to hear about my Thanksgiving. Wanna hear it? Here it go. I started the weekend by taking my daughter to see the new Muppet movie on Wednesday afternoon. Yes, I saw it the first day it opened, because I am cool like that. Earlier in the day one of my co-workers said, "Oh, I bet your daughter is really excited to see that movie." I didn't have the heart to tell her that the outing was almost entirely for my benefit. The kid just came along for the M&Ms.

On Thursday morning, I went to yoga. It was a free session (entry was a canned good for a local food pantry) and was extremely crowded, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Two of my friends from church were there (we didn't plan it that way) so that was a bonus. I hoped that making a good decision at the start of the day would prevent bad decisions later in the day.

Later that day, we had the big dinner at a friend's house. This particular friend always fries the turkey and f…

A rant for the season

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It happens every year. The rumblings spread across Facebook, clever church marquees, and various forms of advertising. "Keep Christ in Christmas!" Everyone seems so worried that outsiders are trying to put the kibosh on their holiday that they issue a pre-emptive strike. They warn that utterings of "happy holidays" will be dealt with swiftly and mercilessly.

For all the times I have heard "Keep Christ in Christmas," I have never heard a non-Christian say, "Take Christ out of Christmas!" Not once. Sure, some of the atheist organizations put up the occasional billboard to get people riled up, but even many atheists celebrate Christmas. I've spotted a few "XMAS Trees" signs at tree lots, but I think that's more about laziness (and perhaps the limitations of a spray-painted hunk of plywood) than sacrilege. I think the war on Christmas has been greatly exaggerated.

Keep in mind that only around one-third of the earth…

Hallelujah!

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Our foster pup has an adoption pending. A sucker very nice couple came to meet Willa last weekend and decided to adopt her. It's a good thing I had every intention of being honest about Willa's naughty behavior, because my daughter sang like a canary before the visitors even had a chance to sit down in our living room. "Willa pees and poops on the floor, and she stole my underwear," the kid announced loudly.

"Ha ha!" I laughed nervously. "I was, um, just about to tell you about that."

It is true that Willa is a thief. She is the only member of our household who can fit under the bed in the guest room/office. So, that is where she keeps her cache of stolen items. Our house is generally kept pretty neat, but there are two primary opportunities for theft: 1. My daughter can't remember to keep her bedroom door shut and 2. Laundry being folded is fair game. Every other day or so, I pull the guest room bed out from the wall so that I can clear out…

Oh, to be so confident

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My daughter was selected for the student council at school last week. I received a letter from her teacher requesting me to approve A's participation on the council. She told me that she thinks my daughter's personality and good ideas will be of value to the other members. A lot of thoughts went through my head:
First graders are involved in student government? Do they know she still doesn't pour her own juice? Does she have to take notes? And if so, can they limit the discussions to words that have appeared on her spelling tests this year? She has to report back to her class what happens in the meeting. I have received 15-minute responses to the question "What did you play at recess today?" so I can only imagine what sort of report her class will receive. Mostly, though, I'm just darned proud that my daughter was selected. I wonder if this will be the beginning of a long and storied career in politics. She and I attended a tree lighting ceremony downtown las…

Bianca would never do that

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I've come to the sad realization that playing the Santa card ("Ohhh, you know how Santa feels about dirty teeth - better get to brushing!") is not as effective as it once was.  I think my daughter figured out that despite all the threats, she still gets plenty o'presents on Christmas morn. So, although I will continue to advise my daughter that the big guy in red gets furious over uneaten vegetables and jackets left on the floor instead of hanging them up because the hook is RIGHT THERE FOR GOD'S SAKE, I knew I needed a new tactic. Enter: Bianca.

Like many parents, I worry that my child is not learning to think of others. I once read that children are pretty much genetically programmed to think only of themselves until the age of eight or so. However, my daughter does have a good heart and I think she just needs some encouragement to understand concepts like gratitude and giving. So, I took her to the mall yesterday to select an angel ornament from the Salvation A…

The mysery I cannot solve

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I walked into church yesterday to find that the speaker was  . . . my yoga teacher (apparently I don't check the schedule ahead of time or read the newsletter very carefully).  I adore her so I was excited to see her at the fellowship and to hear her her speak. Our Unitarian Universalist church does not have a regular pastor. Instead, we invite different speakers each week, each one delivering a topic that serves to help each of us further our own spiritual journey. Although there is certainly something to be said for having a permanent pastor to deliver a cohesive series of sermons, I sure learn a heck of a lot from all the different speakers. I really look forward to going to church, which is more than I can say for the first 36 years of my life. Anyhow, Kathy spoke about Ayurveda, an ancient philosophy of healing. She talked a lot about food and the five elements (air, ether, water, fire, earth), but don't ask me for any details beyond that. It was interesting, though (or a…

I hate this time of year

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I hate November. Not because it gets dark at noon. Not because I have to come down off the sugar rush brought on by Halloween (we still have Reese's peanut butter cups but don't think about touching them - I will knife you as sure as I'm sitting here). It's not even because of the really bad art that was posted all over Facebook today in honor of Veteran's Day (seriously, though, the people who create those eagle-superimposed-on-an-American Flag images should have to surrender their Photoshop software or face criminal charges). Nor is it the fact that November signals the start of the frenzied holiday season.

I don't like November because it involves so much death.  I realize I am very much in the minority here, but stay with me for a moment. I promise my next blog entry will tackle some heady topic, like: why does my daughter walk right past her dad in order to ask me to do something for her? Has he simply convinced her that he is incompetent and that her bes…

Lunch at the first grade table

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I decided to surprise my daughter and have lunch with her today. Instead of taking her out to dine (I've done that, too), I packed a Tofurkey sandwich and ate lunch in the cafeteria with her. She's been known to get "in the yellow" for her behavior during lunch so I wanted to see for myself what goes down. She told me she's gotten in trouble for talking too loudly during lunch. I couldn't help but wonder, "How loud do you have to be in order to be 'too loud for the lunch room?'" She tried to convince me that the kids are only allowed to whisper, which seemed a little odd to me.

I signed in as a guest and waited outside the office, lunch box in hand. Moments later, the first graders flooded the hallway. A was surprised and excited to see me. For the record: she is still willing to hug and kiss me in public (I'm sure those days are numbered). We stood in line with the rest of her class and then filed into the cafeteria. One of A's bes…

I'm all discombobulated

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I'm sick, but still managed to pack a dozen errands and events into the weekend. Resting is for pussies. I'm mostly just ignoring my cold, even though my lungs are leaden and my head is too heavy for my neck. I did give in and buy some Nyquil for tonight. I'm expecting to be unconscious before 9 p.m. Well, unless I decide to stay up and watch "Sister Wives." I think I've watched every episode and am not any closer to understanding polygamy but I try to keep an open mind. Similarly, I was watching "Umpteen Kids & Counting" a few mornings ago and don't fully understand that scenario either. I have to admit that I can't really bring myself to make (negative) comments about the Duggars because they just seem so darned nice. I did laugh out loud when Jim Bob Duggar explained why they are opposed to dancing, though. He said something about dancing creating sensual desires that cannot righteously be fulfilled. Yet, we have some pretty strong ev…