Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Winter Blahs

Sorry to have been AWOL for a while. We had a real live snow day on Friday, so the kids were home from school. Rather than stay home and cocoon for a day, I agreed that we would try to get to our pre-arranged playdate. This involved dragging the snowblower out of the shed (and around the far side of the house, the near side being blocked by the trailer), and trying to get the darn thing started after a year (at least!) of inactivity. Did you know that when you prime it, you have to take your glove off to block the little air hole in the primer button? I know that now! John was in Brazil. He has a knack for being someplace warm when it snows here.

Saturday I got a mammogram (good for me, it's about time), and went to a mother/daughter stamping workshop with Rachel. Sunday I went to a gallery opening - a friend's sister is an artist, and is a member of the Book Arts Roundtable, which was having a show. So it was all "books", with a BROADLY stretched definition of books, and the theme was "Home." Very cool and inspiring. Monday morning I went to a friend's house for a stamping morning, still feeling inspired, which was great. What was not so great was spending the afternoon feeling naseous - I think from the lunch I inadequately heated and gobbled down because it was late. The rest of the afternoon was nasty, and I did finally throw up after dinner. You know it's bad when that makes you feel better.

However, I still don't feel great, so it may or may not have been food poisoning but rather a bug. I'm really tired and still just a tad queasy, so sitting down and posting hasn't been at the top of my list. Maybe tomorrow I can be interesting.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008



George and the kitty teaser

Sheba (L) and George (R) in my craft room



George has come to join me while I type. He likes to sit right in front of the screen and watch the mouse or the cursor move. The other day, he was fascinated - JC was working on a paper for school, and George sat on the keyboard. Watching the string of letters go across the screen had him mesmerized...

That's Impressive

Sunday, the two older kids went down to our local gaming store to play Pirates and D&D. A friend of theirs also plays, and a week or two ago his mom had told me that she was making drawstring bags (from a pirate-themed fabric) for all the kids as Valentine's gifts, and she was making one for William too. William came with me at pick-up time, and Adam gave him his present, which he thought was pretty cool. We ran into the mom in the parking lot, and William said thank-you. The mom said, "did you know that I made that bag for you?" William replied, "You made it? That's impressive!"

It was perfect. Not only was he happy with the gift, he was truly impressed that she had made it, and she knew it. Made her day.

And I thought, wow, he's got an impressive vocabulary.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Home Schooling

John came home from his week at the Darden School of Business (Univ. of Virginia) on Friday. Sounded like the classes were good, but the thing that struck me was one of his colleagues. This guy travels as much or more than John does. And he has 10 kids. Ages 17 to 10 months, if I remember correctly. And yes, he had pictures of all of them, and knew names and birthdays of all of them. And they home school.

They home school. 10 kids.

Is there something wrong with me that I have zero desire to home school my kids? It's not that I'm not qualified, I probably have a better background than most people - not only the science/math side, but arts and literature as well. Grammer and writing is probably my weakest area, but even that I could probably handle up until high school. But I have no interest in having them home all the time. Part of it is laziness - our children currently require a lot of, well, pushing to do anything that they don't consider "fun". They're good about homework, but tend to do it in the fastest possible way - we're working on this.

But as much as I love my children, and even enjoy their company, I really don't want them home all the time. I need time by myself, and they go to bed late enough these days that there isn't enough downtime after they go to bed. And I much prefer grocery shopping and other errands without them.

So despite the failings of public schools, I think there is little likelihood that I will ever home school my kids. Even though I feel vaguely guilty about it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Kitty Heaven

Well, we are still enthralled by the new kittens. They are both playful and cuddly, and not particularly skittish around the kids, so I would call them perfect! They both seem to like hanging out where we are, and will come up and circle your ankles asking for a scratch behind the ears. They'll tolerate being picked up, sometimes enthusiastically and sometimes only for a moment. They don't even mind being moved from lap to lap when they're sleepy and both have nice loud purrs.

And they play - George's favorite is the little fur mouse, which he will pick up in his mouth and walk around with. Sheba will chase anything that moves, and they take turns being the more aggressive and the more affectionate one.

I'll try not to post too many more kitty posts (unless we get good pictures) but it has been so long since we've had an interactive cat that I'm really enjoying this.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Place

We have kittens! They have spent the afternoon and evening exploring, playing, and frustrating the kids. Rachel is dying for some serious snuggle time, but by the time she got home they were mostly under the couch (which is over a heating vent so it's toasty under there). They've come out to play and eat some, but they used up a lot of energy earlier in the afternoon, and they're still babies, so hopefully tomorrow they will fulfill her kitty fantasies.

We have tentative names. The female was a wild thing this afternoon when I first brought them home, and much more aggressive than the male, so she is Sheba (Queen of the Jungle). And the male was being cuddlier, so JC started quoting Bugs Bunny (the big hairy monster guy), "I will hug him and kiss him and call him George." Which quickly morphed into George of the Jungle, so now we have George. Not really the cute paired names I was thinking of, but so far they suit them.

George in the "happy place" under the couch.

Sheba, also in the happy place, zonked out. After the kids went to bed, she came out and found me on the couch and made herself comfy on my lap and snoozed some more. Happiness is a warm kitty.

We are Kitty Parents!

Just got the call that we were approved to adopt the two kittens from the shelter! Now I need suggestions for boy/girl pair names. Although, if we live with them for a few days, names may become obvious...

I'll try to post some pictures later - I'm off to get kitten food (and probably too many toys) and then the kitties!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bacon Bacon Bacon

We always joke that we give up NOT eating bacon for Lent. Our church has a tradition of Lenten Breakfasts - really a brunch after church that the men's group prepares. It's always good hearty breakfast food like pancakes or french toast - and always bacon. I rarely prepare bacon any other time of year, except when camping, so Lent is our time to eat bacon. Rachel doesn't eat it, the boys love it.

I read this post on a blog I've been following called "The Junk Drawer". She's really funny, and it was funny that it coincided pretty closely with the beginning of our Lenten bacon-fest.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Keep Your Paws Crossed

We went to the shelter today to look for a cat (or two). It was a little crowded, being Saturday and they were having an adoption event. They had a good number of cats, including a brother/sister pair of 6 mo old kittens, brown tabbies. I kind of steered the kids to those two, although there were a number of cats that probably would have been just fine. But these two were quite playful, and will hopefully be affectionate.

So we filled out our adoption application, and if the vet doesn't rat me out that I wasn't really keeping up with Jenny's shots, we should be ok. They are closed Monday, so we won't know until Tuesday, best case.

The current debate, assuming they accept us, is what to name them. They are almost identical, and currently are named "Tiger" and "Winkie". John is favoring "Catstor and Pawlux", JC likes "Artemis and Apollo", Rachel likes "Abercrombie (Abby) and Filch" or possibly "Ron and Ginny". I think we need to keep brainstorming. Although I like Abby and Filch, too.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tooth Fairy again

William has lost another tooth. At bedtime, I told him NOT to hide the tooth, because he won't get any money if the tooth fairy can't find it. He looked very concerned and said, "but I want to take it to show my class!" So we decided that we could write the tooth fairy a note asking her to please wait until tomorrow to take his tooth, and we taped it onto the pillbox and left it on his bookcase next to the bed.

The Tooth Fairy was feeling very clever for remembering to stop at the bank today (well before the tooth was actually lost) and obtain dollar coins. Now the Tooth Fairy is a little worried that she'll forget to come back tomorrow night. Wouldn't be the first time she's forgotten...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Here, Kitty Kitty

Rachel wants a kitten. Since Jenny died, all three kids will occasionally bring up the idea of getting another cat, and my stock reply was "we'll think about it after Christmas." Which occasionally morphed into "we'll do that after Christmas". Kids pick up on details like that, somehow. So when Rachel asked for a kitten for her birthday, I told her we had to wait until after our Super Bowl party for the youth group (as that seemed unfair to a new animal). Well, the time has come, apparently. Mom and Dad have to put up or do serious damage control.

John and I are kind of neutral on another cat - it is awfully convenient to not have a pet at the moment. But that's not why you adopt a pet, now is it? If we were only into convenience, we wouldn't have children, either. And I do believe that a pet does help teach responsibility and compassion, in addition to providing warm cuddlies.

So I think we will be adding to our family this weekend. I'm open to two cats (and the website for our local shelter shows a pair of 6mo. kittens, very cute) but we will see. I'm hoping Rachel isn't disappointed if "her" cat becomes "Mom's" cat, since that often happens. But that's part of the educational value of a pet, right?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

18 - 1

The Giants have won the SuperBowl. The Giants have won the SuperBowl. The Giants have won the SuperBowl.

I hardly dared to hope - I mean, they started out loosing the first two games of the season BADLY, and didn't look a whole lot better after that. And the Patriots did not loose a single game this season. Until now.

I'm in shock. I didn't grow up as a football fan, in fact, the only time I remember football being on when I was a kid when when my grandfather was visiting. But, you know, as you grow you learn to appreciate new things.
You know, even though they call themselves the New York Giants, they play in New Jersey. My state. My team. Go Giants!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Mommy Sick Day

It doesn't seem quite fair that the kids get to stay home from school when they feel lousy, but I still have to be Mommy when I feel lousy. I suppose if I were REALLY sick, I would stay in bed and John would manage the kids, but being only kinda sick is the pits. I have a scratchy throat, and a cough and a headache and body aches, but everything I was going to do today, I went out and did anyway. In the pouring rain.

Admittedly, John would have (and did) go to work in about the same condition, and if I were working outside the house, I probably would have too. But I still have to scrounge dinner for everyone, instead of just vegging on the couch. And at least pretend to clean up the kitchen afterwards.

Sometimes I really hate being a grownup.