Friday, June 29, 2007

Something's Wrong, You're Not Naive, You Must be Strong

Aaron comes home tonight after his 19-day business trip.

Now, before you all start getting excited for me please realize his plane doesn't land until 10:30 tonight, which puts him home around midnight.

And his parents are coming in town from Michigan tomorrow morning at 8:30.

Oh, did I forget to mention?

We are having Darwin's third birthday party on Sunday too.

I think I'm going to die from the stress of it all.

That or drown my sorrows in gluten-free cupcakes all weekend.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just How Far Down do You Want to Go? We Can Talk it Out Over a Cup of Joe and You Can Look Deep in My Eyes Like I Was a Super-Model, Uh Huh

One thing we have been doing all week is watching The Chronic-WHAT-cles of Narnia.


And using the term crazy delicious all the damn time.

I never read that series as a kid, so when Aaron called during our first watching I was asking him a million and one questions. Like, Does the ice bitch die? and What the fuck is Edmund's problem?

I love being married to a nerd. ::swoon::

In other news around here, I have found my calling in life.

Oh yes, I have.


It's a new game show. You have to know song lyrics.

Oh please.

I'd totally win.

Do you think they give a trophy?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm Out of My Head When You're Not Around

The pillow top is sandwiched.


Gah. I miss sandwiches. Yum. And bread? I totally miss bread. Soft, chew sourdough. And French bread, Goddess how I miss French bread.

Oh. Yeah. Right.

I got the pillow top sandwiched. And three of the center blocks hand quilted.

Why did the ladies at the quilt store freak out when I mentioned hand quilting? What the fuck?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It Used to be So Easy Living Here with You, You Were Light and Breezy and I Knew Just What to Do

Day 16 of 19. I'm on the verge of death.

There is a mutiny going on in this home, Operation Overthrow Mommy, and it's working.

Their main warfare tactic?

Not letting Mommy get any sleep.

Send backup. Now.


I've been trying to keep us all busy and hey, it's working.

Small things like mending Griffin's blanket. Damn popped seams. And people wonder why I now allow a half-an-inch seam allowance.


And taking care of Tuckie, who says Yo. When did Tuckie decide he was gangsta? That's what I want to know.

I have to be doubly-careful with him. He's mentioned popping my ass if I don't give him adequate photography time on Tuesday. Be fearful. I am.


Another way to make the days go by, trying out a new recipe. With gluten-free changes, of course.

It smells so good in the oven right now.


And hey, look! The pillow top is done. now I have to sandwich it and start the quilting. Hopefully today.


I also made some drawer liners. This is a very old chest of drawers with really sad, scary drawers, which is typical in my house. Everything here is old and I love it that way, but it causes for some damage to anything made of fabric. So, drawer liners it is.


And a little scrapbooking.


And organization. Oh my Goddess, washed and folded fabric. Surely this does not belong to me.

Other things going on around here, Griffin working on tracing letters. He can recognize them all, but the writing ability needs some work. Also, lots and lots of coloring. And drawing. And driving Mommy crazy.

Oh, wait. That's a given.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Pardon Me While I Burst into Flames

While tooting around on the internet this weekend (yes, tooting), I came across the most particular website that rates your site much like the movies. You know, G, PG, PG-13.

Go ahead and guess how they rated mine. Go on, guess.

















Guess.


























Seriously, guess.





































Are you ready?



































What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Online Dating


::blink, blink::

Oh, wait. It gets better.

They go on to reason why I get to be rated as NC-17.

They claim....

"This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • shit (10x)
  • ass (4x)
  • dangerous (2x)
  • zombie (1x)
Are they kidding me with this shit? Seriously?

You know, zombies is the one that put me over the edge. I just know it. Fucking zombies.

I wonder if I blame Monica for this.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Three! It's a Magic Number

Darwin, ::sigh:: today you are three years old.


That's officially not-a-baby-anymore, despite the fact that you refuse to use the potty and you're still a running pooper.


And a massive punk.


I should have realized what a punk you would be when you were still in my belly. You tried to come at 22 weeks. Which resulted in a hospital stay, horse pills and bed rest. Then, an hour after you were born the nurses took you to the NICU. A few hours later, a doctor told us you wouldn't make it through the night.


But you did. And then never figured out what was wrong with you.

Within a month you were visiting tons of doctors and no one could figure out what new thing was wrong with you -- a massive rash all over your body. By six months, we had figured out you were allergic to everything in the Universe. Duh. And so began our adventures in allergies. Had it not been for you, I may have never discovered my allergy to wheat and would continue to live my life in constant pain. Thanks for that gift.

At 15 months old you had your horrible eye accident. I knew you'd be fine, and you are. Yeah, okay -- you're blind in your left eye and that sucks ass. But you didn't have have brain damage and your third cyatic nerve regenerated so most people can't even tell. And you don't notice the difference either, except for the few occasions your left shoulder runs into something.


And the massive punkiness continues.


You are obsessed with all things music. Unless, of course, I'm singing along. Then you yell, "No! Mommy! I no like it!"

Gee, thanks.

You particularly love to rock out to Hard-Fi, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Bloodhound Gang, Arctic Monkeys and Amy Winehouse. They're not sending you to rehab, no, no, no.


When you get excited about something, you march around the house and pump your arms and chant, "Oh yeah, oh yeah," like rock on, dude.

And whenever you hear something you like (like, oh, say, I'll make you another bottle), you clap your hands and shout, "Bravo! Bravo!"

You like all things boy -- sharks, dinosaurs, elephants, cars and legos. That is, when you can sneak them away from your brother.


Thanks for choosing me as your mom. Happy birthday sweetie.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Of Course Everyone Goes Crazy Over Such and Such and Such


"This is a fence. To keep all adults out of this room. And away from my pretty new tables. Stay back. This room is just for kids now."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Anyway You Want it, That's the Way You Need it

I heart thrift stores.

Today the boys got some haircuts, which resulted (of course) in visiting some thrift stores we don't normally go to.

So I got...


... three embroidered pillowcases. Three bucks. And...


... new end tables! I got both for ten bucks (suck on that Pottery Barn)!

They are both in really good condition, nice and sturdy. Which brings up a new issue...

Should I leave them woody? Should I paint them? White or red (here's my living room in case you've forgotten)? Really, they are in such great shape I kinda don't want to paint them. Plus they kinda have some fancy pants enamel shit on them and I don't want to fuck with that.

What do you think?

(And a big ass THANKS! to Angela for the new banner -- I love it!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

There's Gonna be a Heartache Tonight, a Heartache Tonight, I Know

Over the past month or so, baby turtles have been featured in the news quite a bit.

As the FDA and individual states plan on lifting the ban of selling baby turtles, the general census of the news outlets is baby turtles are great! go buy one now!

Unfortunately, it's not that easy. And the way baby turtles are being portrayed in these media outlets are necessarily true. They are claiming baby turtles are hatched salmonella-free and are easy to care for.

First of all, even if turtles are hatched salmonella-free (which? what kind of witch craftery is that?), it doesn't guarantee that they will not contract salmonella.

Yeah, baby turtles are not that easy to care for.

Tuckie says Yo.

As you may recall, we were gifted our baby Western Painted Turtle a little over a month ago. My dad found him on a golf course a few feet away from lawn mower. He thought the baby turtle would make a great pet for the kids, given the extensive allergies in our home.

Tuckie does make a great pet, but the most the children are allowed to do is watch him and help find food for him.

The day my dad brought him over, Tuckie was in a small plastic container with some water, a rock and a piece of iceberg lettuce. We immediately went to the garden and dug up some worms to feed him. By that night we had made him a habitat.


Left to right -- a thermometer (to keep his temperature in the correct range) Tuckie's habitat, a small aquarium with strained rainwater and two rocks from the garden (for places to hide and bask in the light), behind that, bottled spring water. Tuckie's food dish with a rock. The worm habitat, with lots of dirt and leaves with worms, snails and millipedes. To the right of that is a water mister (because the worm habitat needs to be kept moist). And behind that a heat lamp.

Now, this is the least amount of shit one can get by with (unless you believe in packaged voodoo food, which we do not; we believe in making his habitat as close to natural as we can).

And there is still more shit we should get him, like a "proper" heat lamp and a full spectrum lamp. As it is now, I take Tuckie outside about every other day (with the lid on his habitat so no birds swoop in and eat him) and place him in dappled shade so he gets some sun. He will also need a larger habitat in the coming years, especially as he grows to be an adult, with a water filtration system.


Other stuff for Tuckie, the long plant is elodea (also known as water weed) which he likes to use as a floatation device, purchased at a local pet store. And the floating stuff is frog bit, scooped from a local pond, which Tuckie loves to munch on between meals.


We feed Tuckie in a separate container. This is because turtles do most of their elimination while eating. And since we don't have a filtration system, it would get too dirty too fast. Also, getting him out and feeding him acclimates him to us and being held. It keeps him social.

We put him in his small container with spring water (tap water is detrimental turtles), because turtles need water in order to swallow their food.

In addition to feeding baby turtles daily, you need to offer them a wide variety of foods. We feed Tuckie small bits of grapes, apples, carrots and leafy lettuce. And just like children, we feed him the healthy stuff before the good stuff (and we're lucky if he takes a bite or two in 30 minutes). His main nutrition comes from earth worms, but he is also offered flies, snails, termites and millipedes. We have also looked into getting him some feeder fish, but we haven't found any small enough for him; but now that he's growing, some baby fish may be added to his diet soon as well.

We do not feed him any purchased package food.

Every week we do maintenance on Tuckie's habitat. This includes cleaning the bottom of his habitat with a dropper and taking out about one-fourth of this water and replacing it with fresh water. He also gets a new piece of cuttlebone (to keep his shell healthy) each week, even though he hasn't "discovered" it yet.

I spend about an hour a weekday taking care of Tuckie, and two hours on the weekend days. This doesn't include time just watching him and the kids watching him. And I'm not even gonna get into how much I wash my hands. And the children wash their hands after looking at him, even though they don't touch Tuckie or any of his supplies.

I'm sure there's some other details I'm missing, but the sum of rambling is this: baby turtles are not the answer to a fast-paced family's desire to have a pet. They cannot be ignored for days on end. Get a fish tank if you only have 30 seconds to commit to a pet a day.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It Just Takes Some Time, Little Girl, You're in the Middle of the Ride, Everything (Everything) Will be Just Fine

Day eight of 19.

I've finally found my groove, I think, except for the incident at the Lawrence pool yesterday when Griffin didn't see me and thought I left him and he was trying to catch me in the van.

I was still in the damn pool.

And I asked him if he thought I'd actually ever leave him and he replied, "No Mommy, you'd never leave me. But in the moment, I freaked out."

Damn, I wonder where he gets his freaking-out capabilities.

Oh, right. Never mind.

When Aaron is out of town I have a small obsession with cleaning out the house. Since he is such a pack rat, I can't throw anything out, including expired food (side note: over a year and half when I was diagnosed with being allergic to wheat, I cleared out all wheat-containing products out of our home to donate to a food pantry. Aaron went though the bags and "rescued" two bags of stuff to take into work and share with co-workers. Two weeks ago I had to go into his cave to get something and guess what I found. THAT'S RIGHT: FOOD. Nearly two-year old all-expired food sitting in his cave. Argh!).

So, when he's gone I clear shit out.

Due to our food allergies, I keep close ties on all our food, so the pantry didn't need to be cleaned. So I've been focusing on the bathrooms and basement refrigerator (with five year old pop, I swear).

I've also been going through my fabric stash. It's such a mess. I can't tell what's been washed and ironed and what hasn't. So I've been slowly going through and washing and ironing everything.


And I set aside some fabric to make a pillow. Considering the fact that my last pillow was made in January, yeah, hi, I'm way over due for new pillows. Fucking slacker.

And hey! I have a question for you all -- should I quilt the new pillow or no? I have the batting. And if I do quilt it, what should I use on the back of the quilting part? Muslin? Just plain fabric? And do I need to make the back quilted too? Or is it cool just make it a single layer?

Hi, my name is Laura. I'm so damn indecisive I'm letting the internet vote for how I should make a fucking pillow.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Joining the World of Missing Persons

Okay, I call Uncle! Uncle! Uncle! UNCLE!

Four and a half days down, fourteen and a half to go.

I think the children are taking over and are trying to kill me.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It is a Dangerous Liaison

It's official: my children have become thrift store junkies.

I really shouldn't be all that surprised, given my family history of parents and grandparents constantly searching for a deal. But I just didn't expect it to happen so damn early in their lives.

I didn't become overly-obsessed until I was about eight. By that point my dad had taught me all the fine details of haggling at the flea market and I could purchase an armload of books for two bucks.

But my children, my children, will end a play date short if I offer to take them to the thrift store. I guess the prospect of fifty-cent books and allure of finding undiscovered Legos is just too much excitement for them to wrap their little minds around.

So, wanna see my favorite scores of late?


From the top left -- a Lauren Ashley (holy shit!) 100% cotton thing. I think it's suppose to be a box spring cover, which is great given we don't have one. And it might even fit our bed and that would make it a double score. Cost -- two bucks.

Next is a twin size fitted sheet with purple flowers. 100% cotton percale. Can we say love? Love. Me thinks Griffin will not mind sleeping on soft flowers. Besides, he's also a textile junkie. Cost -- two bucks.

Last is a 100% cotton percale (hmmmm... see a theme here? It's called, My family is allergic to everyfuckingthing except cotton) pillowcase that feels like buttah. Cost -- 95 cents.

Oh! And here's my favorite --


An old casserole dish. With two compartments! So now I can serve two veggies at once. Or two different kinds of dip. Or dip and chips. Cost -- $1.95.

Ahhhh... I heart thrift stores. Especially when I actually find good stuff.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wish You Were Here, I'm a Wounded Satellite

I'm on day three of being a travel widow and phsaw, this sucks ass.

On Monday, in route to going to my chiropractor (a 40-minute drive without construction and holy shit, was there ever an ass-load of construction that day) Darwin decided it was a perfect time to get motion sickness and spew all over the van one mile away from our exit.

Of course I had no towels, no clean clothes. Hell, I didn't even have a clean diaper.

I'm awesome like that.

So I pull into the driveway of the local crunchy grocery store and strip him down to his underpants and shoes (both were luckily spared). I took him in the store, wiped him down and bought lollipops and and paper towels.

Again with the awesomeness.

Then we went to the chiropractor. Dude, my back was killing me. I wasn't about to go through all that shit to not still go the chiropractor. Have some priorities people.

Then we got home and I got the lovely pleasure of cleaning out the van.


Nothing says Hi! Welcome to my home! quite like a porch that needs to be sweeped and clothes covered in vomit. Two days later and they are still there.

Awesome, awesome, awesome.

Yesterday was another crazy day with a three-hour play date (three! hour! play! date!) and an insane trip to Whole Foods, where I spent more time standing in line than getting food.

Last night after dinner I played video games with the children.

Griffin and I have reached a new level of our relationship from the video games. We've both learned how to calm the fuck down because we both can't get the all the points. There's some give and take, you get that diamond, I'll get the banana. You know, it's not like we're going to compete in the International Bubble Bobble World Series here.

So, anyway, we are playing. Every thing's fine. Griffin get stuck, no big deal, it's common: you get stuck a lot. So I get all the bad guys so we're getting ready to move to the next level. A big cake comes floating down the screen. Griffin goes ape shit.

One minute, he's sitting here - a normal boy, playing video games, having fun. The next minute, he's throwing a shit fit, screaming, trashing around the room, turning into a puddle of tears.

Never mind the fact that he was stuck. Never mind the fact the cake was motherfuckin' mine (I killed the bad guys! The cake was TOTALLY MINE). But the fact that I got the Big Awesome Cake and he didn't sends Griffin so far over the edge that I wished I had a children's straight jacket laying around.

I'm sure there's a point somewhere in here. Some infinite level of Life Wisdom. But I forgot what it was. You know, other than the fact of being a travel widow sucks ass.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oh, Put Me in, Coach - I'm Ready to Play Today

Random kid at the park, "Hey."

Griffin, "Hey."

Darwin (acting very nonchalant), "Hi."

Kid, "Do you play sports?"

Griffin, "No, I play Legos."

Darwin, "Yeah, I play baseball."

Kid, "You do?"

Darwin, "Yeah, I'm a baseball player."

Griffin, "Dar! You don't baseball!"

Darwin, "YES. I. DO. I'm a baseball player."

Kid, "Do you play t-ball or softball?"

Darwin, "I play baseball."

Kid, "Whoa, you play hardball?"

Darwin, "Yeah, I'm a baseball player."

Griffin, "Mo-o-o-om! Darwin says he's a baseball player but he doesn't play baseball."

Me, "I know, Griff. I didn't even know he knew the word.'"

Darwin, "Yeah, I'm a baseball player."

Tuckie Tuesday

Monday, June 11, 2007

It's Been Awhile Since We Talked Last and I'm Trying Hard Not to Talk Fast

Whew. I made it. It nearly killed me, but I motherfuckin' made it.

When I say I'm gonna do something, I do it, damn it.

So, part of the reason for the "silence" was trying to find a new balance with the fucked-up summer schedule. Part of the reason was giving me some time to build my confidence in preparation for Aaron's 19-day business trip (I hate business trips). And another reason was finding my jerky anonymous commenter by turning post moderation on.

Yeah, I don't like having post moderation on but it's gonna hang around for awhile.

To make a long story short, and because I refuse to feed the trolls, the jerky anonymous commenter started using various different names and occasionally even leaving a few nice comments. Obviously, the person began to feel comfortable because she started posting with her real name with a link to her site last week.

I'm guessing she grossly underestimated my degree of nerdiness and penchant for reverse stalking.

You know, I don't know how many times I have to tell you all: I'm a nerd. Not just your run of the mill socially awkward smart person, but a fully bona fide nerd.

And I've learned life is much easier if you embrace your nerdiness and get on with your bad self and out wit everyone. Or, in the very least, out wit the motherfucking trolls.

Which I did. My evil plan totally worked.

So, anyway! Yes! I'm back! Full-bodied, potty-mouthed, you-can-suck-my-dick-even-though-I-don't-have-one back.

Whew, I feel so much better.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007

You've Got Style, That's What All the Girls Say



I think I'm starting to get into the summer groove.

And this whole trying-to-be-silent-shit is starting to kill me. I've never been known for my silence.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Beyond the Door There's Peace, I'm Sure and I Know There'll be no More Tears in Heaven

On Saturday evening, a local 18-year old girl was kidnapped.

She was shopping at Target, in a very "safe" neighborhood. Just stopped to pick a few things up, as any person would do. Left the store shortly after 7 p.m, when it was still light and bright outside, and never heard of again.

If you've been keeping up with the news, I'm sure you've heard about it. And this story has gotten under my skin.

Some would say it's because I'm a mom and kidnappings take on a new level of terror when you're a parent. Some may say it's because it happened locally, and I mean locally, as the family lives a mile or so away and I visit that Target store frequently myself.

But I think the main reason why this story is bothering me so much is because yes, it is very local, and also for the really horrible time line of reaction from security, police department and FBI.

I'm not saying they could have prevented the incident or even caught up with her attacker -- it all happened very fast. But the fact that it took them days to even remotely get on the trail makes me sick to my stomach.

Here's what happened...

The girl was shopping at Target. She left the store around 7:10, still light outside. When she wasn't home by 7:30 her family became concerned. They called her. They began looking for her. Around 9:30 that night her grandparents found her car abandoned at the mall (just across the street from Target) with her purse and purchases in the car.

Her family was on the news Sunday evening saying she was missing, please help. To the best of my recollection, the police were not yet involved (we have a 48- hour waiting period before a person can be considered "missing;" incidently, the first 48 hours of are the most crucial for finding a person alive).

By Monday night, (48-hours later), the Target security cameras have been looked at and her kidnapping was recorded. The cameras also recorded someone following her into the store and out of the store.

By Tuesday night, the police had enhanced the video to see the person-who-was-following-her's vehicle.

Wednesday afternoon, the police and FBI had searched an area where they received "pings" off her cell phone (GPS location of when people were calling her). The last "ping" was sent at approximately 8 p.m. Saturday night. The found her body covered by brush in a local wooded park.

When interviewed, a resident recalled seeing a vehicle in the gated park (lots of our big parks have gates and are closed at dusk) after the gates had closed. He didn't think much of it, as the story hadn't even hit the news at that point.

I'm not naive, and I realize that we don't live in a perfect world. But the fact that in a matter of three hours (three hours) a girl can be kidnapped in broad daylight, driven 20 miles away over state line, murdered (and who knows what else), body dumped and covered and the criminal to do this drives away all without any police knowledge.

Does that make any sense to anyone? Because I can't wrap my head around it.

And her family, oh my her family, they have been doing everything they could to find her. And my heart is just broken for them.

I'm filled with so many questions, as I'm sure others are too. Where was the Target security? Who was watching the cameras? Why did it take two days to begin to review the security tapes? Why did it take the police four days to investigate the area where her last cell phone "ping" was sent off?

I realize there's nothing that anyone could do to bring her back. But there could have been prevented measures. And a more timely review of her case. In this day and age with some much technology, video feeds, cell for GPS, it should not have taken this long to find her. It shouldn't have taken two days for the video to be reviewed.

::sigh::

This is just so difficult.

Last night the police made an arrest of the man on the video tape. He was arrested for premeditative murder.

My heart goes out to her family and friends.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Blue Morning, Blue Day, Won't You See Things My Way

View from the back door.


volunteers

day lilies and zinna sprouts

another volunteer

island

I think the garden is trying to kill me.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Everybody Wants You

For Bea...


Yes, that is a teacup.


Okay, there's words. But I'll be using few words instead of so damn many. That counts. Suse even says so.

Monday, June 04, 2007