a new lifestyle and a new television love

Last night for about forty minutes I had the odd circumstance of having “the neighbor girl” over. Where we lived before there were very few children in our neighborhood and even fewer children our own children’s ages. Having Sophie invite our next-door neighbor’s child, and having the kids run around in our fenced yard and the childrens’ bedrooms, with little interaction between the actual adults of the two households… honestly, it was pretty cool.


Arrested Development: Which Bluth Are You?

You are GOB. You’re the first born, sick of playing second fiddle, always third in line, tired of finishing fourth, being the fifth wheel. There are 6 things you’re mad about and you’re taking over.
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“Macaroni – let me finish – salad.”

best. game. ever.

Today as my son slept the last bit of his nap, and my daughter decidedly did not nap, I – on the computer, as I often do during their naps, am attempting to get some peace and my daughter talks to me from the bed mere feet away. I open a Word document, font Times size 112, turn my screen to her, and type:


My daughter is reading very well for her age; she is intrigued by my game and reads each word. “Me?” she asks. I nod my head, type:


She is officially delighted. A few more phrases, “Mama loves you”, etc. Type a word, pause. She goes back and reads them in series. Soon:


Amping it up a bit:

Sophie continues to amaze me by reading every word, slowly, but gets stuck on the last on this particular missive, of course. I allow her a few times of sounding it out and once she gets what it says, she wrinkles her nose: “I don’t want enchiladas! I want a quesadilla!”


And so on. I feel kind of sinister. She loves it. Communicating without speaking – by sign language, reading, drawing pictures, or making animal sounds – is a thrill for her.

"Do you have to use so many curse words?"

For the second time I find FM transmitter technology just isn’t cutting it for the enjoyment of my iPod. Oh sure, sure – it’s lame I’m even buying something so chintzy with a weird, cock-like appendage and an even weirder, cock-with-elbow-like secondary extender. After all, there are classier, more expensive ways to put your massive iPod music library in your vehicle. However, the well is not bottomless, and even though my iPod was this year’s sole Kelly expendeture from the Hogaboom coffers – well, I am looking for a more reasonable solution. After returning original FM doohickey (and vowing to hate radio technology, despite the lovely and informative article on the cellular phone I read in last edition of Invention & Technology magazine, P.S. I am not kidding, I really do read that magazine) today I find out from an IM conversation, innocently enough, that a simpler and more mechanically-based adapter is available in town. I rush my daughter and I out early for our date so I can hit the store in question and grab it up (and a quarter the price of FM device).

Inside the car I begin tearing at the packaging like a monkey (“That’s a little bit awful,” observes my biscotti-eating child-date watching me scratch at the vacuum-sealed sarcophagi), finally breaking the seal thanks to my keychain swiss army knife (yes! I’m a dork. But who’s laughing now?!?), plug the “cassette” in, mash everything on the face of my iPod (Sophie requests Starsky & Hutch‘s “Two Dragons” for our maiden listen), only to have the stereo readout tell me in its fuckspeak: “c | n ” – a code meaning either, “Please clean your tape deck” or, “I will never work again”. Don’t know which yet and get to find out.

Once again, no instant gratification for yours truly.

Oh, tonight’s movie; Eragon. Don’t see it. Billed as “Lord of the Rings Light“, I’d phrase it “Lord of the Rings LITE (TM) with ‘artificial meat flavors’ and Miracle Whip“. Why do I watch this crap? Oh yeah: because I have a daughter, and we go on dates, and I refuse to watch kiddy films. This movie works for her because she has a huge affinity for anything scaly (and an even huger affinity for anything huge and scaly). And even SHE was bored by the end. Your average crap fantasy film: a young boy’s turn to manhood and the loss of loved ones (you can predict exactly when they’ll go); evil badguy (with repetitive idle threats toward his minions that remind me of so many parents on the playground and their errant toddlers, and John Malkovitch enough already and retire please), his really evil-henchman (whose makeup inexplicably gets re-creepified 2/3 of the way through the film, but I still find Robert Carlyle cute only when he’s playing a psycho); token buff warrior dude with obligatory horrific mulletude (P.S. Hollywood, I want my Djimon Hounsou served up in a loincloth, gladiator toga, ass-cheeked thong, or half-nude in a period drama, thank you!), blah blah. It actually started to get better by the end, especially when I realized they were going to save some of the typical storyline for, yes! another film. P.S. I think something sexy was going on between the boy dragonrider and his dragon. Or maybe it was just my feverish, bored mind casting for something to enjoy. I gotta admit, it was kind of hot.

So in looking up links for the last paragraph I stumbled upon the fact I have seen two movies in one week with a main character named “King Hrothgar”.

Um… look. I’ve watched a lot of movies in the last few days, people. No really… I’ve been sick and had nothing else to do. Wait, don’t leave …

I’m going to go hang my head in shame now.

because, you know, you all GIVE a shit about what we eat.

I am feeling duty-bound to report occasionally following up my grocery opus from the other day (thanks to those four people who actually trudged their way through that one, by the way!). So far we are well-fed, our fridge is tidy, and I have bought nothing – not even a cup of coffee or one roll – from a store since Sunday.

I am devoting less time mentally (and yes, emotionally), physically, and financially to food, without sacrificing the quality of what we eat. Yet, I have to reorient myself in small ways. Today in my two-hour break between being home from playschool and leaving on a trip with a friend, I had to cook a lunch (broccoli from Sunday night’s dinner with homemade ceasar dressing, hardboiled egg, and cheese cubes), then rinse and soak beans for tonight. I also made up fresh biscuits, slathered mustard and stuffed with corned beef, and prepared carrot sticks (for Sophie and I on our trip). These food errands while juggling kids, doing dishes, washing and folding laundry, helping my children clean their room, serving lunch, cleaning up after lunch and putting my son to bed, and assimilating freshly-washed hand-me-downs into their closets while winnowing out the grow-out for other families. I ain’t saying it wasn’t fun; it was. But the food preparation and cleanup this entailed when I normally would have grabbed a sandwich from a deli (and while I was there, bought a Vietnamese coffee. and some spicy pepperoni. and…) required an adjustment.

There have been only a few hiccups in our meal plan. Tonight my husband does not succeed in cooking the beans for dinner long enough (I had left instructions but somehow he didn’t get it) so at 7 PM they still needed another hour and we were already late for dinnertime (read: kids were gnawing on the table legs and, occaisonally, each other). Normally we have canned refried beans so to graduate to dried-and-soaked ones is still new. However! I had one large can in the pantry (as he pointed out) so those were heated while the whole ones were cooked and preserved in the freezer for a dinner next week.

Tomorrow we have enough dinner to invite a friend; I do. She’s bringing fresh, delicious beer from our favorite brewery. For now: a cuddle with my daughter and Season 2 Disc 2 of NBC’s “The Office”.

one of those ways people think I’m a Good Mommy, but I’m actually a Bad One

Today after a breakfast out (I begged Ralph and he only begrudgingly agreed) we took the family to Slobberdale so I could buy fabric. Because I am a huge frakin’ sewing dork. This year for Halloween my daughter is going to be a Corpse Bride so I have to get crackin’ (Nels’ “Ice Bat” is all done). I just got home with my fabrics and pattern, threw the kids in bed, washed the fabric while cutting out the pattern:

(Butterick 4887) for her gown. I’m doing a lace overlay and a tulle peplum and currently cutting out tulle and it’s really, really weird stuff. Oh, should this be going on my sewing blog? Too fucken bad!

In other news, ever since Girls’ Movie Night (v. October ’06) I can’t stop thinking about Patrick Swayze. And not in a pervy way, either. More an intrigued way. Why doesn’t he work much these days? Why has he aged less like a person and more like a sleek rock formation? How did he get away with his hair for so long? Why doesn’t he have a better ass? I just told Ralph to go rent me another Swayze film – I gave him a trifecta of choices in order of my preference. “And,” I said, “If those three are all out, then someone in this town loves Swayze more than us – and we should just back off.”