Sunday, March 25, 2007

Crafting Lampshades

At Christmas, knee deep in crafting mania, this hanging light was born. It started as a $1 lamp shade at the Laurelwood neighborhood garage sale which I then embelished with black fabric, finished with brown grossgrain ribbon on top and bottom, and then adorned with calico letter cutouts. I used one of those paper lantern lightbulb fixture/wire combos for the electric innards. It now hangs in Jooge's room and lets out a lot of great light. I was amazed to see this the other day because it totally reminded me of my letters though it was a different purpose for the letters. I may do this next and actually use their template. So cool!

Friday, March 23, 2007


I was looking at some photos of my class the last year I taught. It brought it all back to me so very vividly I had to recount some of my "fave" personalities in the class. I am here to tell you it's impossible not to have a few faves in the classroom, though I think I usually could find something endearing about everyone.

One of my favorite students was a very memorable third grader who wanted to be a teacher so badly that he had a play classroom set up at home. His parents bought him old textbooks and workbooks. He actually had an overhead projector, his own stapler, and a copy machine. He used to ask questions about how I did things, and was intrigued if I returned from the copy room with a stack of collated or stapled copies. Never had I had a kid who seemed especially attuned to my every move.

Another memorable kid was the class wiseacre. Totally struggled with certain subjects in school, totally pulled kids off task plenty of times, but was super duper endearing and had glimmering moments of being wise and mature beyond his years. Loved him.

One very memorable girl that I won't forget was a Piece. Of. Work. I LOVED her. She told me one time "She saw dead people." She struggled in school and missed school all the time. She was basically raising her younger baby sister. One time she stood up in front of the class and shared about her step aunt being R-A-P-E-D (she spelled it for the class). Could the girl spell any other words? Not so. But she could spell rape.

Yep. There are definitely days when I miss teaching.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Inspired by an entry in a mom blog and in the spirit of trying to amuse my brood, I recently bought about five pounds of bulk split peas and poured them into our empty water table, tossed in several "treasures" to hunt for (silver dollars, a barbie shoe, a plastic monkey) and let'em loose. The rules were: The peas stay IN the table and you have to wear shoes. (The pain of a few wayward peas imprinted into the soles of your feet? Not pretty).

Jooge went to it like a good t.v. show. Avery loved to pull up her little plastic chair and run her fingers through the green. All was well, and the magnetic attraction was quite pleasing to witness.

And then, let's just say it went bad. I had placed the table outside so the expected spillage could be swept up and returned to the table, but it seemed that despite my mini freak-outs more and more of the peas were escaping their home. I was doing a lot more pea-control than play-observance, and it was making me crazy. It became fun for them to pick up hand fulls and toss them.

When Jooge dumped the whole table over I came face to face with the nightmare of my own creation. Our backyard is paved in cobblestone-like bricks and this darling deed of hers meant that I got to spend a good amount of time sweeping up the little bastards. You'd have thought that after they were all tucked back into their table and rushed off to the safety of the garage, (all the while smacking at my children's hands and yelling, "BACK!" as I whisked them away,) that my work was done. Of course it wasn't. There were still millions of them wedged in the cracks emitting sinister titters. Not wanting to touch that tedium with a ten foot pole I left the peas for the night.

And then it rained. And the rain highlighted each and every one of the million evil domes littering our backyard. Also, it had the effect that any moisture might on a dried seed, it served to help them enlarge and begin to germinate and now we were destined to cover our cobble with unintentionally planted pea plants.

I stood for a half hour this evening hosing the peas off and away. In. The. Rain. It didn't really solve the problem. Now they've just been relocated to soil. Soil that will accept their tiny roots. Soil that will say, "Come peas. Stay while."

After my hose-job this evening I came in and fully admitted to my husband, who stood and shook his head as he watched me hosing, that I had earned major idiot points the minute I placed those FREAKING legumes in my shopping cart. No, wait, back up, the second I read the blog that inspired me and made me think, "That sounds fun." (Might I add that this wise mommy kept her BEANS indoors and only has one kid who doesn't have a big sister to negatively maniuplate the plaything).

While you and yours are enjoying a popsicle this summer, think of us plucking pea plants from every non-paved orifice know to our backyard until our thumbs are raw. I will try with one more round of "pea wrastling." Maybe run a rake over the top layer of pea infested bark dust then toss it away. It's all enough to make our tiny backyard seem suddenly gargantuan and unkind. And I will never look at peas the same again.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Twenty-Three Months and Counting

Life with a 23-month-old never ceases to be a heck of a ride. Here Avery is pictured with ponytails and a self-chosen ensemble, perusing mommy's nail polish options. (The zip up collar? Supposed to be on the back of her neck. Totally works this way though)! Her favorite things to do these days are throw rocks in ponds, put her socks on, imitate her sister's phraseology and "watch something." She's doing lots of singing. Her S's have a hilarious lisp to them. She loves to color and draw. She also prefers drinking her milk out of a cup with no lid. Inevitably, this leads to a spill and if that happens she goes to the drawer and picks out a towel and cleans it up. And I am not her mom, her mommy, her momma, I am her "Maaaammy," thank you very much.

If she's being given some less-than-positive feedback on her behavior she immediately goes into cat mode, meowing like mad. She's also been known to bust out a "baa" if in trouble. Maybe sheep don't get in trouble in her mind? She and Jooge have been having a lot of little physical spats the past few days. She hates going to sleep at night, cries for the first twenty minutes at least. She also really likes to unpeel the sides of her pull ups and leave them strewn around the room, butt bare and free. Oh, and if her pants have snaps in her inner leg seams she unsnaps them. Is this for more ventilation? Not sure. Here is Avery at a month. Unbelievable that she is inching towards two. She is such a precious girl, and she is growing up so fast! Oh the blur that is motherhood.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Thanks Grandma!

We had so much fun with you, Grandma and Bumpa! You took such good care of us. We ate and slept well while you were here. We made cookies and got to get out and play at the park. Mommy and daddy had such a nice getaway in Port Townsend and came home happy and rested. Thanks again. We love you!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Getting Back in Business

Here's an oldie but a goodie of Jooge and I in my hammock when she was but a week or so old. I'm relying on old photos still but the good news is we just got our camera back from the camera doctor so we can take new ones. The next step will be learning the way to upload them onto our new computer, which by the way, will be staying this time around. It is speedy and amazing and we love it a lot. Having it is a huge quality of life upgrade.

We still seem to be hanging out in Sickville despite all wishes to leave. Jooge was on prednisone last weekend and Avery has walking pneumonia. Yeah. They tell you that and you just feel way too awful. We were joking that she had "dancing pneumonia" because she was boogying around the room as the doctor was leaving. Still, dance moves aside, it's the worst. She's on antibiotics and should turn the corner just about the time we're slated to leave on a weekend getaway just my husband and I. There's definitely hesitation to leave on my part. For all I know the way my husband and I have been coughing away we have it too and will spend our weekend getaway holed up in some fancy motel room hacking up a lung.

I do know this: There is sunshine outside again, sunshine that makes the air smell like earth and hope. Like life. We may be holing up and taking it easy today but that sunshine, the longer days, they are filling my compromised lungs with the kind of breathing that is allowed to expect good things. If only that hammock was still hung and we could all climb aboard for some quality recuperation.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Coughing and Footwear

These shoes are rich and I want them.

But onto more important matters: a sick family. Both kids have had colds pretty steadily for the past few weeks. The husband had it bad for a week awhile ago. This week I got hit hard with a mega-cough/congestion/sinus whammo. Now my throat is starting to feel sore. I got no sleep last night because I could NOT stop coughing.

Tonight Julia's coughing so hard it's like she's dying. It is awful. It's sleeping interrupted by coughing interrupted by moaning. I hate watching her suffer like that, feeling totally helpless, yet I feel like I want to sit there and make sure she's going to be okay. I'm starting to freak out thinking that I should have done something, but I don't know what. (Short of taking her to the doc and having them tell me she has a cold). But what if it's pnemonia or something scary? That cough is harsh. I just want all this frickin' freezing cold weather to be done, the good health to be back, for us to be done being cooped up indoors. Spring, we're gearing up for ya, sister. We're endin' winter with a big loud BANG.

And these shoes! Would ya get on my feet already?