Friday, May 30, 2008

Now if She Does it Like This Will You do it Like That

This child is dropping more teeth than I know what to do with.

Okay, actually I do know what to do them. It just requires some ironing of fabric and a wee bit of work.

So, yeah, hi. Griffin began his "summer vacation" this week and holy crap, uh.... what the hell am I do with the kids all day? The pool opens tomorrow (yay!) so that will help a lot but we're two days in and already both boys are acting like fucking Neanderthals in stores and really, it makes me both happy and a frustrated that I don't believe in whippings because dude, did they ever qualify for getting escorted outside for a bit at the grocery store.

I always got escorted at stores. My poor childhood bum.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Love the Whole World and All Its Craziness


"Uh... yes, Mommy?"

"What Mommy?"

"Who squeezed my shaving cream all over the tub?!"

And that, my dear friends, is when my children lied to me and got sent to the corner for a time out for lying. Because I thought the shaving cream was funny.

On a side note, who knew taking pictures of a tub was so damn difficult? If I used a flash it the glare was horrible, if I didn't it was blurry and if I raised the ISO it's grainy and turned the tub orange.

On another side note, how awesome would it be to have an orange tub?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

And isn't This Exactly Where You'd Like Me, I'm Exactly Where You'd Like Me

Just so that we're super-clear on the issue, this is the reason why I had children...

Okay. I'm kidding. Kinda.

We didn't do much this weekend (although, I have enjoyed hearing about everyone else's fantastical weekends), just a little yard work and a lot of staring at each other.

Oh yeah. We know how to par-tay.

knockout rose

what the hell is this? Aaron loves this god-awful plant that grows five feet tall and has these stupid, tiny flowers (not nearly enough flower-to-leaves ration for me)


peonies & miniature irises

So... yeah. That's it. I'm living the super-exciting life right now, let me tell ya.

Friday, May 23, 2008

So Far Away (So Far Away), Far Away for Far Too Long

In the past 24 hours, I have blown (ha! blown!) my way through two-and-a-half boxes of Puffs Plus.

I got Griffin's head cold.

He got it from his teacher.


Aaron's coming home today. I haven't mentioned it (because my very good friends are always concerned when I public announce my husband is out of town and I can respect that concern), but holy shit, it's been rough.

He left May 4th and is coming home today. And if he doesn't come home today there's gonna be some serious ass-kicking going on in this house.

Normally when he travels, we get to talk a bit, but this particular client is quite the pesky one, and he's been having to converse a lot to people in Germany and his weekends have been busy and I don't care what he says, him putting the kids to bed one night while I'm at the chiropractor is not the same as me dealing with him being gone for three damn weeks.

Totally not the same.

And he's gonna get to have a taste of that medicine when I go to San Francisco this summer for five days. (Which, let's be honest, I'll spend that whole time crying and calling to make certain my children are still alive every 10 minutes. I'm already teary-eyed at the notion.) (Mother Hen complex, I have.)

(Why yes, yes we have been watching Star Wars movies back to back the past few days with the colds, how can you tell?)

Oh, and speaking of ass-kicking, Tuckie has been a shithead with his birthday present.

I got him this floating turtle dock thing. Instead of climbing on it like a good little turtle, he likes to wedge himself between the dock and the side of his habitat and pop the suction cups out of place.

Lo, shithead.

Now, if you'll excuse me. I need to go open a new box of tissues.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lace Up Your Shoes (Aye Oh Aye Oh-Ah) Here's How We Do

I swear this isn't turning into a gardening blog.

That said, here's some pictures of the status of the garden now...

And for another project...

Okay, yes. It needs to be ironed again.

I started this pillow top in.... December? January? I dunno. SOMETIME WHEN IT WAS FREEZING. Anyway, I completed it in.... March? April? I dunno, SOMETIME WHEN I BECAME OVERWHELMED AND PUT IT ASIDE. So, yes. I need to iron it. And sandwich it.

But I need you to decide how to quilt it -- by machine or by hand?

Monday, May 19, 2008

You Would Cry Too, if it Happened to You

I have done something bad. Something awfully, horribly bad.

Y'all. I forgot Tuckie's birthday.

Tuckie's so mad at me, I don't know if he'll ever forgive me.

Okay, so maybe I don't actually know Tuckie's birthday, but I do know they day he came to live with us and forgetting it was very insensitive of me.

So, to compare from last year....

Happy birthday, Tuckie. I can't believe we've kept you alive for a whole year.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I St-St-Stuttered When You Asked Me What I'm Thinkin' 'Bout

Spring is great. Really, really great. Just super. Great. Honestly. Great.

But why is it that I'm the only person getting exhausted from it? I mean, seriously. Come on. I swear, my children are solar-powered.

out with the old...

in with the new!

So I have these two urns on the front patio (plastic urns purchased a few years ago at Target on end-of-the-season clearance for six bucks each) that I try to keep planted. As soon as pansies are available I snap them up and throw them in. Then as soon as any threat of frost is gone I re-plant them, even if the pansies look good (much to Aaron's howling, but it's not like it matters since I replant them in the backyard).

This year I managed to find my favorite Picasso Ivy Geranium (the one in the front with the dark flowers). I also found these Martha Washington Geraniums, first time I've ever seen them. Aren't they spiffy? Their leaves are ruffle-y and the flowers look tropical. Darwin picked out the Blackie Sweet Potato Vine ("it's purple Mommy!") and because it was looking too dark I also planted Lemon Licorice.

Yeah. I fully suspect Aaron to eat the licorice. ::sigh:: He's taken it upon himself to eat anything that grows in the yard now, including dandelion greens.

Then, Griffin brings this home from school today...

... apparently his Lima bean was the only one to sprout. Well, not only did it sprout, it went crazy. So now Aaron's gonna have Lima beans to eat this year.

You're welcome, honey.

I think I'm gonna put it on the trellis next to one of my clematis. Sounds good, right? Please say yes, oh please say yes.

thanks Jennifer! it's perfectly lovely!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So Bring on the Rain

I've spent the past four days outside, pullingpullingpulling weeds. It's amazing how therapeutic it can be.

And the mint really took the brunt of my aggressions.

One area is looking rather spiffy. Now, to tackle the other 80% of the back yard and all of the front and side yards.


Come on, rain. Stay for just more than just one night.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Street Heats the Urgency of Sound

As if dealing with my school district's misuse of photography wasn't enough, now there are bills in the House and Senate to strip photographer's rights to photos published on the internet.

Yes. Totally true. Yes. Totally wrong.

Bills H.R. 5889 The Orphan Works Act of 2008 and S 2913 The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 aim to make any photography published on the internet to become "orphaned work" and immediately sectioned as public domain and to be used in any way any person or company wishes to do so.

These bills have been shot down before, under different names.

Shoot them down again.

Send a letter
to your state representatives (it's an easy form to fill out!) and make yourself be heard.

If this passes, any photos of our children or our work will be public domain and may be used for advertising by anyone across the globe.

Friday, May 09, 2008

California Dreamin'

Earlier this week, I signed Griffin up for the Lego BrickMaster program. Apparently, I figured I hadn't been spending enough time keeping Lego sets organized (I'm down with OCD, yeah you know me) and Griffin doesn't have enough Legos to use despite us easily having over 10,000 bricks in the house.

Yesterday he received his first package and carefully examined all his paperwork. Then, he curled up in my lap with this in his hand, and sweetly asked me to read it to him.

All of it. Right down to the "Management hereby declares itself not responsible for theft or loss of any personal property."

Griffin batted his eyelashes and proclaimed "read it again, mama!" like it was the bestest bedtime story he had ever heard.

Then the questions started.

"Mom, where's California?"

"On the west coast."

"How many days does it take to drive to California?"

"I don't know... three or four I guess."

"Oh. Hmmm.... how many days does it take to fly to California?"

"Just one day, Griff."

"Mom. Can we go on an airplane and go to California? I need to go to Legoland."

Dude. For the past 25 hours all I've heard about is Legoland and California. Right now, as in right now, the boys are in the living room flying airplanes and x-wing fighters to California.

Uh.... how long is this suppose to last?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The One You Find So Easy to Ignore

Remember how I said I wouldn't talk about the photo debacle anymore?

Turns out I'm a liar. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

I just figured you all would like to know it's in the process of being resolved.

After days of calling the sheriff's office, school board members, and staff at the Super Intendant's office, the Assistant Super Intendant of Elementary Schools (damn, that's a mouthful) reluctantly called me.

And I'm quite certain he was convinced he was going to talk to some bumbling half-wit who was mad that she didn't a picture.

I hate when people are presumptuous.

So he said he was returning my call and I explained why I called. He defended the right to auction the pictures and I said, yes, I understand the concept, it's the execution that I have issue with. Then it clicked for him.

I love when I can hear the clicking in the brain, especially on the phone.

So it began with him agreeing with me... which worked into him having a meeting with the principals... which I suggested actually become a policy. A policy of proper conduct and responsibility with photography. And he agreed.

Yes, it may not completed this week or this month. But something will be in place by the time school begins in August.

Amazing that action is happening without the threat of a lawsuit or bad publicity. And we really, really did not want to stoop to that level. I really do believe the intentions were good and I really do want to work with the school and school district to resolve this issue and anymore that may arise.

Now. My new project to work against social injustice?

Lego Storm Troopers.

Why are they all black without any faces?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I Could Learn a Bit About How to Give and Take

Hi, my name is Griffin. Would you like to play my mouse trap game?

This is the start. And there's traps. Look out for the traps! And there will be tall mouses that could break the... the... the... traps.

You can choose the number to play. I didn't make dice. You can choose one, two, three, four, eight or 13. Then you move your mouse. If you land on the yellow you get cheese. And the purple is the start. And if you jump on the steps and that is okay but you will have to go back to start.

See? This is how you move your mouse.

Uh-oh! Darwin has to go back to start. He didn't watch for the cat. The end.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I Hope That Someone Gets My, I Hope That Someone Gets My, I Hope That Someone Gets My...

This whole picture debacle is taking up a lot of time, yo.


So, yes. The superintendent's office gave the principal the go-ahead to auction the children's (ghetto) class pictures to the public Friday. Ridiculousness.

We've spent the weekend brainstorming and talking to other parents because obviously this photo release the school has drawn up is inadequate and inappropriate.

Come on. Selling pictures of students to the general public. Seriously? Absolutely out of control.

My new "project" is now to work with the school district to change and clarify their photo release. This will likely include lots and lots of parent signatures and hopefully lots and lots of parents pulling signed releases until this is clarified.

I have found this situation to be nauseating. Really, just the idea that the school would be irresponsible and that the superintendent's office would endorse it. Gross.

So... yeah. That's been my weekend. I'm trying to get back on track and stop focusing on this issue so much but urgh it just pisses me off and makes me mad.

Oh. And dude. You would NOT believe how fucking ghetto those pictures are. They parked some outrageously orange car in front of chain link fence and had the kids pose on and around that car. Not only was the idea shitty, but the photo quality was HORRIBLE and then they put bubble letters, stupid funky BUBBLE LETTERS super imposed over the picture AND THEN it was matted with an orange and blue mat and in a really, super-cheap disgustingly-ugly black frame. OH MY HELL.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Because I Need the Internets Help

A couple of weeks ago, Griffin had his class picture taken.

Yesterday, while looking through the information on Griffin's school carnival (tonight, starting in about four hours), I noticed that his class picture is being auctioned to the highest bidder. This information sheet was sent home yesterday.

I asked the other mothers of his class if other pictures were going to be on sale. No one knew, but everyone wanted one.

I went into the school and asked the secretary. She said "no" that no other pictures will be made for purchase.

This is done through the PTA.

The PTA "is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization" and NOT ran through the school district.

At the beginning of the school year, I signed a waiver stating that it was okay for the school district to use Griffin's picture. The waiver does not mention PTA.

I have called the PTA President. And left a message.

I have called the school and talked to the secretary (who tried to convince me the PTA is a part of the school district -- I looked PTA up, it is not).

I left a voice mail for the principal.

All I'm asking is that pictures be available to purchase sometime before the end of the school year. They can continue with their auction (of a framed picture - size is not stated but I assume it's an 8x10) and sell smaller sized prints to everyone.

By selling prints, they can use it as another fundraiser for the PTA.

Am I being unreasonable?

And, I've got my panties in a bunch over this. I'm on the verge of using the fact they do not have a signed waiver from me and using that as leverage.

I do not think it's appropriate where one family (or anyone for that matter) is able to purchase the only available class picture and all the other families do not even have an opportunity to purchase a picture.

What do you think?

Update #1 - I called the school headquarters and got confirmation that the PTA is NOT ran through the district. She referred me to the Area Council PTA person.

#2 - The Area Council PTA person did not answer her phone and had a full voice mailbox. So I was unable to leave a message.

#3 - I've talked this over with more people and everyone seems to agree with me. So I called the school and was told that the principal has listened to my voicemail but is "busy." So now I'm calling higher-ups because this is ridiculous.

#4 - Left message with Superintendent; supposedly suppose to get a call back.

#5 - Received call from the school secretary. "Good news! Pictures will be sold next week but it's a secret." "Uh, that's nice. How are they gonna prevent a PEDAFILE FROM 'WINNING' IT AT THE AUCTION?" "Oh, anyone who attends can win it."

Welcome to my personal hell, internet: I'm trying to prevent my son's school from selling his picture to any random person.

#6 - Okay! Last update!

No one knows they are selling the pictures next week. That's not going to be announced until next week that they will sell the pictures.

The principal finally called me back. When I asked him what safety precautions were in place to insure a random person wouldn't buy the pictures he said, "Uhhhhh...." So we had a nice chat about safety and thinking about everything ("This carnival was put together really haphazardly" he said) and he said that they would definitely check who is purchasing the picture and making sure it doesn't go to some random stranger.

You know, not to sound crazy or anything but DAMN. Do these people not think things through? I totally understand why they thought was a good idea but does no one remotely consider all the details of such endeavors?

The principal tried to point out to me that since I signed the photo release I shouldn't be complaining.

My reply?

"I never considered the school would take my son's picture and sell it to the highest bidder, regardless of who it is."