Friday, October 30, 2009

Playdoh and Party Hats

I'm a big fan of hands-on learning and I think it's important that my children, particularly in their young years, explore the world with their senses. But I am mystified some days at what Mace's preschool teacher sends home. Seriously, what is this? Every few weeks I get a baggie with a spoonful of swirly-colored ooze from Mace's teacher. At first glance, it appears to be playdoh. But why would the teacher send a spoonful of playdoh home? If the kids played with playdoh this week, seems like the teacher would just put an entry in the newsletter about it along with all the other earth-shattering preschool news. Playdoh's expensive -- why would you send it home and not keep it for the next class? And if it's not playdoh, I don't want to touch it. A few weeks ago, she sent home a baggie of greenish-yellow ooze and I thought Mace had sneezed and the teacher wanted me use it for a scrapbook entry ("First Preschool Sneeze"). His teacher is a little OCD -- Mace almost had a panic attack when I got him out of the car on Tuesday because I had left his backpack on the floorboard instead of giving it to him to take into class. ("Baaaaackpaaaack! Baaaackpaaack!") The teacher has this little ritual where she makes the kid kiss you at the door (so you can't come in and engage in long , tearful goodbyes), then the kid is trained to put their backpack away in their cubby and go to a table. No looking back, no whining, no nothing -- gotta get busy making some goo to take home. So when I almost left his backpack in the car, I guess Mace thought that he was gonna catch it from the teacher if he didn't have that backpack to put in the cubby. Hopefully, as an adult, he'll land somewhere in the middle of his OCD preschool teacher and his when's-the-last-time-we-brushed-your-teeth mommy.

But look at this adorable hat his teacher made for them this week:

He's been wearing it now for two days straight, except for when he took it off this morning to make cinnamon toast smoothies:

(Yes, the blades are still in the bottom of the mixer cup, but don't call DCF cause they are very very dull) He put it back on to celebrate R2D2's birthday, however, because what's a party without party hats, right?

It probably took all the self-control his teacher had not to take those stickers off his hat and line them up just so.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Family Values

It's been almost year since I started this blog. In that span of time I've introduced you to the members of my family (dogs and otherwise) and my extended family (a mannequin chained to a flag pole beside the road can be part of your extended family, can't she? If you love her? If you miss her when she's not there?). That begs the question:

Where is Trashy Angel/Pirate/Aunt Samantha?? I keep waiting for her to make an appearance now that the rainy season is over. We're only 6 days away from Halloween! Shouldn't she be out at the pole in her witch costume? The last time we saw her, she was out for Cinco de Mayo. But she's been missing ever since. I did see her laying on the sidewalk one day a couple of weeks ago, but I guess she was just taking a nap. I think someone managed to pry her loose from the pole back in May and took her home as a prank. But no one came looking for her and perhaps the thief got tired of her taking up valuable space on his sofa so he brought her back. If that's the case, he (and yes, only a man would have stolen her [for obvious reasons]) could have at least propped her up against the pole instead of laying her out on the sidewalk like that. Where is she?? I'm starting to get worried that her apartment complex is resorting to traditional marketing techniques like advertising in the paper, putting balloons and signs up, and offering free rent for a month. The mannequin wasn't working? People were offended by her lack of decorum? They refused to rent an apartment where the mascot didn't wear a bra? Ah well, maybe family values are on the upswing after all.

Speaking of family values, we took the boys back to Congo River Golf. Casey beat me by one stroke. And I was playing to win. But Casey's been perfecting his form and I was no match for him.

Strangely enough, he also knew all the golf lingo -- he was correctly calling his shots on any given hole, "par," "birdie," "bogey" and even "double bogey". I have no idea where he picked that up, but I suspect it might be from YaYa's Wii.

Mace was also very into the game -- he lost interest pretty quickly in the ball, but thoroughly enjoyed attacking the bushes and trees with his club ("hammer!") and figured out what to do with the scorekeeper's pencil:

(Joe said, "Hey Mace, put this pencil in your nose." I took this picture about 2 seconds too late -- - he had it dangling there for a while. What can I say? I have very obedient children.)

Speaking of obedience, this is what happens after I say to my son, "No, leave them in the bed. You don't need those."

Note how he upended the cushions of the couch and hunched over so that I wouldn't see him as I came down the stairs and walked behind the couch on my way to the kitchen. Stinker.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Are You Ready For Some Football?

I need to confess -- throughout high school primarily, definitely all the way through college, and even a little during my post-graduate days, I totally faked liking football. I had to pretend to like it in high school because I was in marching band and attended EVERY SINGLE FOOTBALL game for four years straight. You would think that I might have picked up on some of the finer points of the game -- for example, that the players are actually running plays out there and not just running around hoping they'll be in the right place to catch the ball when it's thrown. Nope. I didn't pick that up.

And in college, when I was in Golden Pride and it was my job to encourage my "adopted" football player during the week, you would think that I would have at least paid attention to and learned what he was at least doing on the field so that each week I would have something more encouraging to say in my note to him other than, "Go Lions! Way not to get your uniform too dirty last week!"

And seriously, I dated my fair share of football players (if by "date" you mean "tutor") and one coach (I really did date the coach, though I'm not sure he would totally agree with my characterization of the relationship), for that matter. So you would think that I would have made an effort to understand the game and actually try to like it. But I didn't. It was so boooorrrrring! I have faked it for lo these many years and I feel as though I owe lots of people (men, primarily) an apology for that.

But last night, Joe and I caught the tail end of the Bears/Falcons game -- the last 4:00 of the game (which of course took 35 minutes to play) -- and suddenly, it all clicked. It was fascinating! The plays! The flags on the plays! The drama! It was so great!!! I knew who the running backs were and the linebackers and what the refs were talking about when they doled out the yardage penalties. All the pieces of the game suddenly fell into place and it was like I understood a foreign language I had never been able to understand before.

So to what can we attribute this sudden dawning of understanding?

Casey may still be trying to grasp a better understanding of the game, but I've apparently been hanging on Coach Dan's every word.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


When my parents were in town last weekend, my mom and I went shopping. I haven't shopped for clothes since probably this time last year because when you go to work in your pajamas two to three days a week, you don't really need too much in the way of new clothes. And I don't like shopping for clothes anymore. I used to love it, I think. It's hard to remember those days before kids when I tried on clothes before I bought them and actually shopped in stores with dressing rooms, as opposed to stores where you just pick the clothes up off a table, guess at the size, and then throw them in your cart with the 72 oz jar of mayonnaise.

In the old days, as women got older, they would start buying pants that had elastic in the back. And then several years after that, those women would move into the pants that were elastic waist all the way around. All in the name of comfort. As a woman's waist becomes a creamier middle, a woman loses all desire to show off her midriff with some sexy low-rise jeans.

This weekend, I found the new fashion equivalent of the elastic waist pants for forty somethings with increasingly creamy middles.

I bought two pair.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Possum Reenactment

It has been twelve days since I last posted. I have many many good excuses for not posting, none of which include cleaning my office, replacing the floor in the boys' bathroom, or catching up on a rather large quilting project for which I've cut all the pieces that are sitting in symmetric little piles on a shelf in Grandma's sewing room. But I got distracted by prime time television, flag football, and fleas, though not necessarily in that order -- and don't forget being a homeroom mom and practicing law. I have toyed with the idea of posting every day for a month, just for the exercise in self-discipline. But do I really need any more self-discipline? I already brush my teeth at least once a day -- isn't that enough self-discipline? How disciplined do we all need to be, really?

A week and a half ago, we had our first taste of fall -- the temps dipped into the 70s during the day and the 50s at night, so the boys got to wear their footie pajamas for the first time.

You may be surprised to learn that you (or Aunt Julie) can find footie pajamas in a boys' size 10. Or you may wear footie pajamas yourself every night and this doesn't surprise you at all. Since that one cold night, though, noontime temperatures have not been back below 90 degrees and it's wearing people's patience thin (diagram that sentence!). This is the time of year when true Floridians will actually complain about the heat -- they stoically persevere during the rest of the summer, refusing to complain when it's 99% humidity and 97 degrees and somehow not raining, because they moved here from Michigan fifteen years ago because they "love warm weather." But when it's getting on into October and the electric bills are still coming in at over $400, it's obvious that even the most die-hard Floridians have really only been holding their breaths for the past three or four weeks just waiting for one night when they can sleep with the windows open and wake up with an allergy headache. But I digress whilst complaining about the heat. So sorry.

Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted the possum video? Well, Chance and the possum decided enough time had elapsed since the first episode to stage a reenactment (by the time I took this video, they had reenacted the first catch and release many times). So here is Chance stalking the trash can. Unfortunately, he's not on point, which is much more fun to see, but he's getting old, so this is really the most bird-doggedness that he can muster:

And here is the possum in the trash can waiting to be rescued by my husband, who happened to be out of town for three days when these pictures were taken:

And here is the video of me rescuing the possum from the trash can:

And by "me," I of course mean Elsie.

But do you not find it odd that the same possum is at the bottom of the trash can again? Whose behavior should we expect to change after rescuing the same possum on several other occasions out of the same trash can -- the possum's or Flamingo Joe's? Possum are notoriously not so clever; Flamingo Joe is notoriously clever, so you would expect the dumb possum to keep falling back into the same trash can. But you would think at some point Flamingo Joe would rearrange the trash cans so the possum couldn't jump from the stairs to the cans so easily or maybe Flamingo Joe would even, say, put the lids on the trash cans. I am now convinced that Flamingo Joe was actually conducting an experiment to see how many times he could catch the same dumb possum. He wouldn't come out and admit this when I accused him, but he did get that gleam in his eye and twitch to his lip that he gets when I've busted him. His experiment came to the expected scientific end: you can catch the same dumb possum an infinite number of times up until the point where your wife gets sick of that possum smell and puts the lids on the trash cans.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

For Kendall

Dear precious little Kendall, my prayer for you as you grow from wee wittle weesomeness into a grown woman, is that you will not need three people to run your household, and that if you do, you won't forget how to do your family's laundry when one of the three people running your household breaks her tibia (in her own garage, not yours) and can't come to run 1/3 of your household for 2 months.

I'm sure your parents have other hopes and dreams for you, but none nearly as realistic as mine.