Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cute as a Bug

I wonder what the species of a favorite stuffed animal says about a child. S, and N are fans of the teddy bear - as was C. In fact "bear" is one of the few descernable words in the twin's so far limited, vocabulary.
H was and still is a stuffed doggie kind of guy.
It's really cute when the twins bite on the noses of the stuffed bears we call "Black Bear" and "Edward Bear." It doesn't sound cute but really - it's cute.
It's not as cute as when one twin knocks the other over and then the bruiser tries to cheer up his twin with some well-aimed pats on the head.
Or when one of their older brothers is crying the twins pull over the step stool so one of them can climb up on it in order to pat H or C on the head.
Or today when they both climbed on top of the changing table and emptied a full box of baby wipes onto the floor.
Or when you say, "give your brother a kiss and they both start chasing each other around making kissing noises.
But it's still cute.

song: Cute as a Bug • artist: Lyle Lovett

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Back in Time

In case you were wondering I'm in the middle of Harry Potter book four. In the middle meaning page 363 out of 734. It takes a long time to read a book of such magnitude because for starters it's just too big to take anywhere. Not like you can just slip it in your purse on your way out the door in case there's a line at the post office. The book weighs a whopping three pounds. Sure, I might get it read faster if I carried it with me, looking for an opening, but I'd give myself scoliosis from hauling it about in my shoulder bag.
It doesn't have to be this way. The book doesn't need to be 700 pages long. Each book (at least so far) has covered one school year in the life of wizard-in-training Harry Potter, so why is year four twice as long as year three? It's not as if the calendar year has changed. The problem is that Ms. J. K. Rowling in her infinite inclusiveness feels the need to remind her readers constantly of what went on in books one, two, and three.
I may be jumping to conclusions here (which would get me in real trouble if we were still reading the Phantom Tollbooth) but I'm pretty sure that not many folks would pick up what they knew to be book four in a series of novels, especially a book four that's 700+ pages, without having read books one, two, and three. And even on the off chance you haven't read the other three books, is there anyone out there who doesn't know that Harry Potter is a boy wizard? That his parents were killed by the evil Lord don't-say-his-name when Harry was a baby and that Harry lived with his horrid aunt, uncle, and cousin until his 11th birthday at which time he got whisked off to Hogwarts, England's special school for aspiring young witches and wizards?
Enough already. Stop repeatedly telling us how to reach platform 9 and three quarters, describing Harry's scar, going over the rules of quidditch, defining muggle and mudblood, and explaining how the sorting hat works as if we were the incoming class of first year students.
J.R.R. Tolkien didn't spend any time in The Two Towers describing what a hobbit is or why Frodo was dragging some ring all around middle earth.
Of course that's probably because the Lord of the Rings trilogy was initially written as one book but still, you get my point.
Even C noticed.
"Mommy, I'm on page 100 and Harry isn't even back to school yet!"
And on an unrelated, but no less irritating note, why do house elves talk just like Roald Dahl's BFG?
"I is not liking heights at all Harry Potter." That sounds just like the BFG. Pretty soon they'll be whipping up snozzcumbers in the school kitchen and serving them at the Halloween feast.
Woah. I've got to start reading more adult fiction.

song: Back in Time • artist: Huey Lewis and the News

Look Away

What is it about little boys not being able to tear themselves away from screens of any type be they computer, television, iPhone or the GPS? We're at the aquarium on Saturday - surrounded by penguins and sharks and seals and those cool black lights that make your white clothes glow - and H almost gets in a fist fight with another four-year-old boy over some interactive computer screen that neither of them were old enough to read and operate properly.
He was so engrossed in it he completely missed my I-didn't-drive-all-the-way-to-Quincy-and-switch-subways-three-times-to-get-here-so-you-could-watch-television speech

song: Look Away • artist: Chicago

Monday, January 25, 2010

Days Aren't Long Enough

What a whirlwind of a day. First a trip to the Centerville Library, followed by a coffee date with Alison (I've eaten six of those Oreos!), supervising an after school playdate with C and Timmy, and an assault prevention workshop at preschool.
I don't usually see this much action in an entire month.

song: Days Aren't Long Enough • artist: Steve Earle

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jump III

How to keep your kids from jumping on their beds and on the living room couch. Three words: futons, futons, futons. Not just for dorm rooms anymore.

song: Jump • artist: Van Halen

Friday, January 22, 2010

Baby Beluga

video
Getting ready for tomorrow's trip to Mystic Aquarium.

song: Baby Beluga • artist: Raffi

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Over and Over

Beware of four year olds who ask, "Knock, Knock"
They are about to make up a really unfunny joke.
And tell it to you ten times.

song: Over and Over • artist: The Dave Clark Five

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Land Down Under

Beware of seven year olds who ask "what are you doing under there?"
They are trying to make you say "under where?" (underwear), and will laugh like little hyenas if you do.
Personally I think skivvies is a much funnier word.

song: Land Down Under • artist: Men At Work

Friday, January 15, 2010

When In Rome

Bad news! Besty's Diner has aligned itself with The Chart Room in serving stuffed quahogs in those detestable cardboard containers shaped like quahog shells.
Et tu, Brute?

song: When in Rome • artist: Nickel Creek

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Little By Little

Dear Ken,
You shrunk my white angora and lamb's wool skirt in the washing machine. Now I'm wearing it and looking like my grandmother because my slip keeps showing since the skirt is two inches shorter than it used to be. Why not get me a pair of baggy nylons so I can complete the outfit?
Love,
Joanne

song: Little by Little • artist: Robert Plant

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nick of Time II

Guess what? The build-your-own clock is finally together! And who put the build-your-own clock together? My husband Ken? The man with a degree in engineering? No. It was me, that's who.
There's nothing more frustrating than a box with the words "fun and educational for ages 6 and up" taunting you from under the Christmas tree. The estimated the assembly time listed on the box was 20 minutes. Make that two-and-a-half weeks and 20 minutes (it took 20 minutes just to figure out how to read the directions). But there now - it's done and ticking away in the dining room and will be, if the box is correct, for the next eight hours.
I rather like the ticking. When do you hear a clock tick anymore? It reminds me of the clock that used to hang in the dining room at my aunt's farmhouse in Maine. You wouldn't notice it during the day when people were talking and rustling newspapers, fussing over the big old-fashioned stove that filled half the room, or preparing or cleaning up from dinner. But at night when people were reading or doing jigsaw puzzles, the sound of the clock ticking permeated the room. When it chimed on the hour and half hour you could hear it all the way upstairs.
If we still had clocks around that ticked maybe we wouldn't need to leave radios, TVs, and computers on constantly. The ticking would provide all the background noise we needed to keep ourselves company in the absence of our beloved pet cat. I realized the other day that every random noise in the house I used to chalk up to the cat. Now the cat is gone and yet strangely, all the noises remain. Which means that perhaps she wasn't responsible for any of them and leaves me wondering - what is that? And that? And that??
With the clock ticking I can't hear any of those strange unsettling house noises. At least not for another eight hours.

song: Nick of Time • artist: Bonnie Raitt

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Friday, January 08, 2010

Who Says

Dear John,
I don't give a hoot whether you get stoned or not. Just stop singing about it in front of my kids.
Many thanks,
Joanne

song: Who Says • artist: John Mayer

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Nick of Time

The fish bowl was successfully cleaned today for the first time. It was with much trepidation that I tackled the task, afraid of killing off our one remaining pet, especially after hearing about my sister's short-lived pet betta experiment which ended abruptly (and tragically) with the first bowl cleaning.
Actually T-Rex seems a little spunkier post bowl cleansing. Maybe I braved the cleaning just in the nick of time.

song: Nick of Time • artist: Bonnie Raitt

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Bed's Too Big Without You

Thanks everyone who e-mailed condolences about the cat. She had a good life for a cat - she lazed around in a lot of sunny spots, caught the occasional mouse, enjoyed chasing flashlights, and always got the milk at the bottom of my bowl of cereal. Even with four kids in it the house feels empty without her.
A friend commented on the cat's lifelong bladder control issues which reminded me of what was perhaps her most impressive stunt - peeing on the bed of the one person who had the audacity to not like her. E thought it was tea stains. Tea stains!
Score one for the cat.
H, who has a closet full of stuffed doggies, all named Silo, thinks we should get a new cat - and name it Rufus.

song: The Bed's Too Big Without You • artist: The Police

Monday, January 04, 2010

Sunshine

song: Sunshine • artist: Jonathan Edwards

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Day

I already know how it's going to be - S.S.D.D. (same sh*t different decade)

song: New Year's Day • artist: U2