Thursday, November 27, 2008

A delicious, delightful day

I've never had so much fun with someone else's family as I did today.  Our friend invited us to Thanksgiving dinner today when she found out we were on our own this year.  They have an Italian family and we had a big, Italian dinner.  T had a great time playing with her little boy and Ry and I felt truly welcomed.  It was so nice to feel like family when our own families are so far away.  I feel blessed by our day.

In the spirit of the day, here are the things I'm grateful for today: (in no particular order)
  • My husband, who is the love of my life and my best friend and greatest supporter.  Thanks for making me a wife and mother.
  • My beautiful son, who charms everyone he meets.
  • My family, who I miss so much it aches on days like today.
  • My home, which is safe and warm and filled with love.
  • The ability to pursue a career I find fulfilling.
  • Yummy food and fellowship, for filling my belly and my soul.
  • My life.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shoulda Woulda

What I should have said:

"No, I'm sorry Mr. "Husband" is not here.  Please remove us from your calling list."

What I actually said:

"You people call my house like 4 times a day. What do you want?"

~~"Uh, to talk to Mr. "Husband."

"He's not here. He's never going to be here.  Stop calling me."


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And smart, too

Ry: Cookies?  Where did these come from?

Me: I imagined them into existence.

Ry: Your imagination is delicious.

We're in trouble

T is smart.  He can un-deadbolt and open the back door and undo the gate latch.  This morning, he threw a crayon to the far side of the table.  After reaching for it, he asked me to get it for him.  Sorry, kid, I can't reach it either.  So, he took the paper he was coloring on, and pushed it under the crayon so he could retrieve the crayon.  This is something that probably wouldn't have occurred to me.  I'm glad Ry is going to be able to help with math and science, because I have a feeling I'll be useless by junior high.

Storytime? No no no.

I don't know why I keep doing it.  About once a month I decide it's a good idea to take T to "storytime" at one of the local libraries or book stores.  After about 2 or 3 minutes I remember that storytime = unmitigated disaster.  T spends his time pulling books and toys off the shelves, stealing sippy cups from other kids and doing everything but paying attention to the story.  Now that I think of it, I don't really blame him.  Who wants to share a book anyway?  You know what? I'm with him. No more storytime.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More creative rule following

Several times a day, I need T to "come over here".  Usually it's because he needs a fresh diaper or because he's getting into something he shouldn't.  The first 3 or 4 times I ask him, I use a normal, 'request' voice.  When he doesn't respond (something that happens at least once a day), I get out my mommy voice and say "Come over here, NOW."  T will look at me, and then begin the "I'm coming mosey."  The mosey starts with a look at me. Then, he'll start looking around at everything else but me.  He'll amble to one side and then the other, all the while heading in my direction, as if to say "I'm coming, but not because you wanted me to."  I'm generally stifling a laugh by the time he actually arrives to me.  Yet another reminder that the acrorn doesn't fall far.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Zoo me, zoo me ...

Yesterday we visited the Philadelphia Zoo for the first time.  We've only lived here for 5 years ... but whatever.  The Philly Zoo is almost 150-years-old. It's a really interesting blend of old and new.  They have a ton of kids attractions and a fair number of kiddie rides.  Here are the highlights.This was a great shot of our day. T is chasing the peacock and I'm running behind him telling him to be nice.
Checking out a chimp skull.  He kept saying "teeth" over and over.  I guess they didn't look right.
Obligatory inside-the-dino-egg shot.
Hi ho caterpillar!
Riding the kiddie train with our fellow zoo-goers.
As a bottle of chocolate milk.
And one happy goat-feeding boy.
Until the goat actually got him.  Then he wanted me to feed the goat.

Vaccinations Work

This map comes from a website called Worldmapper, that takes all kinds of statistics and maps the world based on those statistics.  This map shows the number of vaccine preventable deaths in 2002.  The most striking maps are those showing wealth/poverty and diseases.  Take a gander to see how blessed we really are for the accident of having been born in the U.S.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In which we buy 3 giraffes

It's finally happened. T has a lovey.  For a long time, he was fine as long as there was something soft and cuddley for him to hold as he drifted to sleep.  No longer.  Tonight the lion just wasn't cutting it.  Only the giraffe would do.  And so. And so my friends.  Tonight 3 more giraffes are on their way across the Pacific.

A Poop and Ricin Birthday

My birthday really wrapped up yesterday.  I got this gift from my dearest sister.  It's paper made of elephant poop.  Folks, you can't make this stuff up.  I think it's fair to call this a green product.  The tag insists that it's odorless, but I have to say that the box still has a faint odor lingering about.  The paper looks like ... recycled paper.  Totally worth buying for people, if only for the laugh. Thanks sister, you made my day.

T also gave me his present, the recently released Sleeping Beauty.  Since the weather was crummy yesterday afternoon, I popped it in the DVD player.  I had forgotten how silly and sexist the old Disney movies are.  Aurora's gifts from the good fairies were "beauty" and "song".  Sadly, a brain was not among the gifts.  The evil fairy seems to have no motivation for cursing Aurora aside from not being invited to the christening and working for "the forces of evil".

Anyhow, as the fairies free Prince Phillip so he can awaken the sleeping Aurora, they give him some weapons.  "The weapons of righteousness," Ry said.  I heard "weaponized ricin".  Now, that would have made for an interesting ending.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Going out at the top

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree this year is going to come from our little town.  The story of the tree is actually very sweet.  It is an 80-year-old pine that lived in a pot for several Christmases before being planted in the owner's yard.  The children, who still live in Hamilton, said that their mom always wanted that tree to be the Rockefeller tree.  It's kind of sad to cut down an 80-year-old tree, but what a way to go out!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Local politics make me smile

The other day T and I were at a thank you luncheon for our local Friends of the Library.  I met one of our newly-elected Freeholders.  What is a Freeholder?  According to our friendly Freeholder-elect, the Freeholders are the legislative branch for the county.  Essentially they perform the same function as the township Council, but for the county.  

He also told me that he used to sit on the township council and prior to that was the President of our Friends of the Library group.  It never occured to me that Friends of the Library was a political organization.  A good 80% of the group are retirement age (or older).  They're really nice people, don't get me wrong, but I wouldn't think that Presidency was a stepping stone to elected office.

Anyhow, he was a nice enough guy, but definitely a politician. I half expected him to pick T up and kiss him. Maybe he'll run for state office some day and I can say I knew him when he was a lowly member of the Friends of the Library.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It was lovely, thank you.

What was awaiting me when I came down to breakfast? Bagels ... with smear.  Love love love my husband.

Snark, snark

Girl in my A&P class: Did you hear that there is a 2 year wait for the nursing program?

Me: I thought that was only for the evening/weekend program.

Girl in my A&P class: Oh, maybe so.

Me: I'm going to apply for the program at *other school* because it offers a one day a week program.  It would be the best for me because I'd only have to put my son in daycare for a day or two every week.

Girl in my A&P class: You don't work?

Me: No. Well, I stay at home with my son.

Girl in my A&P class: That would be nice. (To her friend). I'd love to quit my job and dedicate myself full time to this stuff, but I can't afford to do that.

Me: Yeah. Me too.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Overheard in our bathroom

Ry: (reading from "Potty Time") 'What is that? It's called a potty. Let's learn all about" OH, OH GOD. HAHAHAHAHAHAH. OH OH OH.


Ry: Honey? I need you.

Reminds me of the explosive poo of 2007.

Dear Lord, give us strength

We've started potty training. So far the sum total of 5 trips to the potty is 1 tinkle and lots of toilet-top book reading (is this how it starts?).  We went to the neighborhood giganto-bookmart and bought a couple of "you can use the potty too" books for T.  I was pretty amused by the pickings.  Some of them were novellas. Does a 2 year old really need a 40 page treatise on defecating en-stool?  A few books were obviously targeted at kids much older than T. "You can put on your own clothes. You can drink from a cup. You have a 5 o'clock shadow. Now let's use the potty!"  We found a few that seemed appropriate and so far T is pretty receptive to using the toilet.  We've also switched to the "feel and learn" diapers.  Based on the amount of crotch-grabbing going on, they must work.  It's only the first day, but I'm feeling pretty good about our liklihood of success.

Arby's ... nom nom nom

 Thanks to Becky for the new and improved title.

Friday, November 07, 2008


I was one of the "undecideds" in this year's election.  It didn't really matter who I voted for, since my state invariably goes blue.  I read all I could about both candidates and had such problems with both that I really wanted a third option. Nonetheless, I voted. I'm even cautiously optomistic about the result. I read this on Obama's transition website:

The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

*Note: the language changed from earlier today, when the quote said the volunteer service will be "required" of students.  Here is the original (and a link to the cached site).

The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.

So, I find several things interesting about this.  First I was all set to rant about how required community service isn't volunteering at all (much like forced military service).  I think it's far more interesting that the language changed quite significantly from this morning to this evening.  I'm guessing there must have been a few alarms raised about the language.  Asking a people to give of their time and talent is one thing ... mandating it is quite another.  Do we really need the government to pay to create new avenues for people to volunteer?  This is what we need to spend money on? Thoughts?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The cutest monkey in Jersey

Some Things

1. Watching my husband chase our son around with a mitten is great fun.
2. We have finally chosen a daycare for Spring semester. I got T enrolled this morning for a mid-January start.  I heart his teacher and feel pretty good about the whole situation.
3. My sister-in-law was in town for Halloween (pictures to follow soon).  She recently got engaged, so we went wedding dress-shopping while she was here.  I had a blast and she found a dress (at the first shop). Thanks for letting me share your joy, Cathy.  Then the salesclerk offered me a job.
4. Speaking of jobs ... I may be getting one a few evenings a week to help pay for T's new, terrific daycare.
5. We're going to start working on potty training next week (dear Lord, give me strength).  Any suggestions or warnings are greatly appreciated.
6. While I was sitting in my lab on Tuesday, it occurred to me that all of our models, diagrams, and pictures are of people with white skin (at least the ones with skin).  Fully half of the students in my class are of another race.
7. My dear husband and my mom conspired to get me a really beautiful jacket I've been eyeing all fall for my birthday. Thanks guys, I love it!
8. Ry is teaching our child how to play games on the Wii. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this.

Monday, November 03, 2008

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