Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Turns out LittleBug is quite a shutterbug. This shouldn't surprise me - she has a knack for seeing things in a way that only she could. She is very observant and loves to share her observations with us in paragraph form, talking very fast. What I love is that my camera is almost as big as her head, yet she perseveres.

Here are a couple of her pictures. The one of our eldest dog is just priceless....

The one of the hot air balloon she entitled "Balloon All By Itself."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Vintage" Dress Up

Note to self: do not try to clean out the closet with two 4 year old helpers. My clothes-to-give-away-pile quickly became dress ups! ("Now we can be real mommies," said LadyBug.)

(Yes, the shirt was from the 90's when the 70's came back - what were we thinking?)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Just call me Julie . . .

Ever since seeing, "Julie & Julia" and then reading Julie Powell's book, I've been craving meat cooked in lots of butter. And not just any meat, but meat I would have never before considered eating. Like liver. If you haven't read her book, you should. The way she describes the taste of liver makes it sound like the richest, gooiest chocolate cake ever (no, not that it tastes like chocolate, but its that same rich, complete over-indulgence taste). However, the idea of me cooking liver is laughable. I barely cook beef. Boneless/skinless chicken breast and ground turkey are my "specialties." (It's amazing my kids don't think all meat isn't white-ish).

So, on Wednesday I had what I would call my "Julie Powell moment:" I made a new recipe that called for a whole chicken cut up. None of this mamby-pamby boneless/skinless crap. My husband bought it and had it cut up, but when I unwrapped it, I realized that the breasts were too big (ha - not a thought I have had in my life too much; but I digress. . .). So I hacked them in half. I say "hacked" because I had to cut through bone and various other ligament type things. Crunch.

The recipe turned out great and actually looked like the picture in the book. Although it's nothing compared to Julie Powell's stories of cooking bone marrow and aspic, I was pretty proud of myself. And I won't tell anyone that at one point during cooking, I yelled out, "Honey, help - I can't tell which ones are the thighs!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Take me to your leader!

I am so sick of listening to Beethoven's Wig, I am breaking out in hives. I'll be driving along, with all the girls singing in the back, "Beethoven's Wig, it's very big..." and I start shuddering. Of course, at the same time, I love these CDs. For those who aren't familiar, there are now four CDs by Richard Perlmutter that take classical music and set it to very funny and bizarre lyrics. So this time, with Beethoven's 9th symphony playing in your head, read "Beethoven's wig, it's very big" again -- see! Very catchy - and you won't ever hear the song the same again.

My very favorite of all is what he did to Moonlight Sonata (which I loved before and now will never be able to listen to it again without hearing the words). You really have to listen to it to get it, but it is all about a car sitting in the middle of nowhere at a red light that never changes. First one car, then another, and another line up behind him, honking, "beep, beep beep." For kids it is fun, for grown-ups it is delightful because the singer says he doesn't know why they are honking at the light, but he joins in the fray. So delightfully clueless. Really, maybe you have to be there?

My next favorite is the theme from 2001 -imagine the big drums set to, "take me to your leader, take me to your leader." Perlmutter has quite the sense of humor. But I have hives.
Oh - one final note - don't you all run out and buy these - we plan to get them for all our friends with children this year for Christmas. (If you would like to opt out, just send me a note!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

No Time for Butterflies

Something has been weighing on me this week: our decision to send our eldest to public school first grade. She seems happy enough -- she is making friends and doing well in class. But the chaffing against rules has begun. This week (her 3rd back from break) there has been lots of complaints: that they can't take their shoes off, that they can only drink water after recess, that they can't talk ever, at all, that there isn't enough time for lunch, that they can't go to the bathroom after coming in from lunch. Now some of these complaints are suspect (really, you can't go to the bathroom?) And I know a lot of the reason for some of these rules are because there are 31 children in the class. It is a lot to manage.

But managing seems to have become a big part of teaching first grade. Her teachers seem to do a great job managing to get through the day. With the requirements put on them for testing and more testing (in 1st grade!), new daily initiatives involving the children from all the first grades being taught by reading level (sounds admirable, but a logistical
nightmare), and so many more data-driven teaching tools, there seems hardly any time for creative learning.

Case in point: I offered to bring in a monarch caterpillar if we find one (you all remember this, right? The cute orange, white and black caterpillar crawls around and eats milkweed, makes lots and lots of poops, and then, magically, makes a chrysalis! And even more magically, for children and adults alike, emerges 10 days later a beautiful butterfly.)

The response -- with
all the requirements, they won't even have time for that this year. No time for butterflies. It makes me want to cry.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mind reader

Apparently, I am supposed to be a mind reader.  At one point at dinner, during which everyone else was trying to talk at once, Littlebug screamed at me, "Don't talk while I'm thinking!"  She then ran out of the room sobbing.  

Did I mention that she is 4?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I cannot tell you how many times I am completely baffled, enraged and generally without understanding of my children.  It is apparently impossible to get in the van, get out of the van, go brush teeth, set the table, feed the dogs, pick out a book, or turn off the t.v. without fighting!  Somebody must be first or the other blocks both sisters or whatever!  It seems to be anything.  
I'd say some of you are reading with a knowing smile, maybe even nodding, "yep, that's siblings for you..."  And then maybe a few of you are nodding and saying, "yes - what is with those kids?"  And now I will venture to guess that the former group all have siblings.  The latter are, like me, only children.  

I've told my friends and husband about some of the above mentioned drama and, while I do get sympathy, I also get that smile (sometimes annoyingly all knowing and dismissive), "oh yeah, my brother/sister and I used to fight all the time."  

Well I don't get it.  I need to read a book called "Parenting More Than One Child, Written for Only Children Who are Now Parents."  Maybe I'll write it. . .