Friday, June 25, 2010

Chicken AND the egg

Oh, my dears. This has been a long week, and for no real reason other than Hubs has been gone. But I can't even complain, because Si has mostly been at his cousin's, so the actual house roll call has been very manageable (or so you would think). As Helen commented the other day, "It's all girls here, right, mom?" Yes. Yes it is. And this Friday morning I STILL feel like the best option would really be to crawl back into bed, only the effort of pulling the covers up over my shoulder seems like it might overwhelm me.

Guess I'll go to work instead.

But! The highlight of the week was hands-down the unexpected visitor we had on Tuesday night, and I wish I had had a camera because the visual of this strutting nervously around on our suburban lawn would be so much better: a chicken. Making very worried chicken sounds. While casually putting various shrubberies between itself and us (those chickens can MOVE).

And best of all, after it had squeezed itself back over to our neighbor's yard where it belongs? I found an egg. Which made me want to unpatch the hole in the fence--come over whenEVER you want, little chicken. WhenEVER you want. Mmm-mm.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I am finding myself in a bit of an ethical quandary. Helen (via her school) made a loving present for Hubs for Father's Day. It involved a drawing of a car, some other stuff, and the store-bought weenie at the present's heart: a car air freshener. We opened the gift last night since Hubs won't be here on the actual day (instead he'll be eating chocolates and cheese in Switzerland, boo-hoo for him) (it's a work trip) ("work" trip). She was so excited to give it to him. And she's so excited to display it--in, oddly, the car I usually drive. And--how shall I put this?--the scent of the air freshener makes me feel like I am getting a nasal root canal. Silas walked around the house with it last night before putting it in the car, and this morning the house still REEKED of the stuff. Not to mention the tide of scent washing into the laundry room from the garage.

"Mmm, it smells so nice!" Helen cried happily this morning, as we pushed our way against the scent into the car. "Don't you like it, Mom? What's your favorite smell?"

"I like...kind of um, natural smells."

"Like banana bread? I don't like banana bread, but I like how it smells!"

"Yes. Banana bread smells wonderful."

So right now I'm trying to figure out the right combination of lie and truth that will spare her feelings but get rid of the damn thing. My personal first choice is "Shoot, honey! I had the window open and it just blew right out onto the highway!" However, for various reasons of tactfulness and sentimentality (it's Hubs' father's day present), I'm leaning more toward needing to "preserve" it. By keeping it wrapped in three sealed bags in the trunk of the car with a blanket wrapped around that and maybe a box over it. After all, the smell of the thing is still nice and strong--if we parcel it out, it should last forever. Just like Helen's love for her dad. Sighhhh.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Child Is an Independent Thinker

My child is an independent thinker...For example, he knows better than to enjoy doing book reports.

So we got a little letter at the end of the school year letting us know that Silas had been selected for the GT program (I'm calling it GT because the gifted talented program makes me throw up a little in my mouth). This is great, and I'm proud of him, and hope that it will lead to exciting opportunities like being able to read classic children's books in the original and unabridged. Or maybe they do that in all classes now, I don't know. I'm glad, but I'm not really surprised--I mean, Si's smart and he likes school, so duh, obviously he's in the GT program. End of story. See you in the fall.
Exceppttt...they sent home with the letter a little questionnaire to collect "evidence of how you perceive your child's abilities and characteristics." We're supposed to supply examples from our child's own life. Which, reading through it, made me wonder if they'd sent the letter to the wrong parents. Because look at some of these characteristics and abilities:

"My child is a 'self-starter' who works well alone. (For example: After watching a film about musical instruments, Gary began to make his own guitar from materials he found around the garage)." [really? there are third-graders that DO this?]
"My child will spend more time and energy than his/her agemates on a topic of his/her interest. (For example: Joan is learning to sew and spends every free minute designing new dress patterns and trying to sew them herself.)"

Or my favorite:

"My child is a 'doer' who begins a project and shows finished products of his/her work. (For example: Mary began working on a puppet show four months ago, and has since built a stage and puppets and has written a script. Tomorrow she's presenting her play to the PTA!)"
I mean, these examples immediately make me a) insecure and b) confused (where ARE these children?), not to mention c) sarcastic ("My child is a finisher: he'd stay up til two a.m. every night trying to finish the next level of Mario Brothers II on the Wii if he could).

They also make me wonder if (/hope that) the questionnaire's designed to weed out pretentiousness. Because, seriously, "Tomorrow she's presenting her play to the PTA!" Since when did the PTA have puppet shows? I thought you only went to stuff like that in the service of investing in supporting your kid's activities, for Pete's sake.

Anyhow. I'm still glad. Just...wary.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Update: Project Return Home a success

Okay, YES, I did make it home on Thursday. However, my escapade apparently left me too tired to post. I'm attempting to rectify that situation currently--the posting, not the tiredness. So, uh, here's my post. In list form, because still with the tiredness.

1. Si's last day of of school was today. Technically I should say "day," since classes dismiss at 10:30 a.m. following a school-wide party (which I'm not faulting them for, because it's hardly like there's going to be meaningful instruction on the last day). Let's have a round of applause for my husband's job, which allows him to work from home in a flex-time situation completely at his own discretion. If we had to do this on two minimally flexy jobs we'd be screwed.

2. Let the party of summer begin. *groan and fall to floor* Last summer was one single three-month fight between me and Si on the subject of how much daily monitor time was appropriate. This year we're doing camps and playdates, so hopefully it will be less of an issue. Also, he's like...more mature, or something, and is actually starting to understand (slash parrot back in a convincing tone of voice) our position re the video gaming.

3. On the party deck tonight...cold lentil salad and Shrek 4.

4. I'm still kind of looking forward to summer. I wish I could participate in it more, though: summer is the time when I really wish I didn't work.

5. We're in the middle of signing papers in which we agree to have the interior of the house gutted, though, so not working/ working less is off the table as an option. I'm actually excited about the remodel, though--in addition to a fancy new kitchen where the drawers don't shake sawdust and paint chips down into our dishes, we're going to have actual insulation in the roof! As opposed the 3-inch soggy fiberglass batts we had before. Already we have some excellent improvements: the house no longer smells like mold, we don't have ants, the rotting soffits and fascia boards have been replaced, AND, since it was cheap and easy (relatively speaking), we had two skylights put in.

So! Have a good Tuesday evening. I'll be thinking of you as I eat popcorn-laced butter product in the air-conditioned dark.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Year's Resolution #1 Accomplished

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to ride my bike to work at least once this year. Today I accomplished that resolution. Or, since I'm still at work, I've accomplished 1/2 of that resolution, with no deux ex machina in sight to help me not complete it. (However. It could still rain, and then I would Have To Call.)

Since my house is 12 miles from work as the crow flies, and 14-16 miles as the crow bikes, assuming the crow prefers to avoid hills and major streets just like I do, this is a major undertaking, one which has involved several stages of mental involvement. Here is a summary of those stages:

Stage 1. Preparation. Plotting routes, fretting, packing, tossing and turning in eager anticipation. I usually bring my lunch and purse in several ungainly handbags, so I had to break out the backpack. While I was at it, I packed my lunch (and Si's, and Helen's school swim bag, and I did the dishes, and then I got crabby and stomped around the house feeling put upon and overworked). Duration: approximately 4 days, greatly intensifying in the past 24 hours.

Stage 2. Delight. As I set off this morning (at 6:20), I couldn't stop smiling. The mountains were beautiful. The stormy clouds were beautiful. The early-morning gardens were beautiful. I saw a fox, and people walking their dogs, and big beds of blooming irises, and green meadows. The view in places (I was riding west, toward the mountains) was spectacular. Duration: 45 minutes.

Stage 3: Exhaustion. My legs started to hurt. Everything was uphill. I just wanted to take a break but I couldn't because a) I was already kind of late for work and b) I was right on a busy street and I didn't want to be a total obvious wimp. Duration: 45 minutes.

Stage 4: Grim soldiering on. The last mile was TOTALLY uphill. The only way I could do it and not stop or walk was to count to one hundred, over and over, and also remind myself that this was good exercise. Duration: 10 minutes.

Stage 5: Smug relief and pride. I rode my bike to work! I am so totally badass! Should I put my helmet right on my desk where everyone can see, or should I just announce on the intercom how awesome I am? Duration: 2 or 3 hours, until I realized that nobody actually cared.

Stage 6: Nervousness. How the hell am I going to get home? Duration: 6 hours, to present.

Stage 7: Exhaustion; also, overwhelming desire to take a nap. Duration: hard to tell, since I'm too sleepy to read the clock.

Stage 8: Help me.

Anyway, it's been fun. Hope to make it home.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Technically June 1 is summer don't even argue

I know, I know, midsummer and official summer are still three weeks off, blah blah blah. But after a LOVERLY weekend, involving swimming pools, a Rockies game, and getting to meet this fantastic lady, I have a sunburn, which means that in my accounting book, it's summer.

Plus, Helen's summer program ("We got two free swims!") started today, and while Si's school isn't officially out, he's totally ACTING like it's out, with the moping and the anxiety-about-change (which I so, so get and am trying to hide in myself so as not to provoke his any more than it is), so I say we just call it done so by the time summer does start he'll be relaxed and happy again. Or something.

Finally, what with all the sucktacious stuff happening around the internet (my heart is breaking for Katie Granju and her family, and I am also technically Scared Shitless about Si's teenage years) and elsewhere, we need us some summer.

Right, yeah? Let's go get us some pina coladas.