April 24th, 2013
|07:25 pm - FOOD|
Totally copying katiekilldare, who did this to spectacular effect with drink. Got food-related userpics? Post 'em!
November 23rd, 2012
|03:16 pm - Boys at play|
The boys were playing together outside. I was puttering around, doing some housework, and thinking about how nice it was to hear them talking to one another through my open windows.
Fast forward five minutes, Dante calls me. I go over to the patio door, assuming he and Gus want to come inside but are covered in dirt. They are, in fact, dirty. And they've dumped about six buckets worth of dirt on the patio floor. Hee. Now they're working together to clean it up. Dante is sitting smack in the middle of the dirt pile. Silly monkeys.
November 5th, 2012
|06:08 pm - Gorgeous|
No school tomorrow. My neighbor and I had to force the kids inside for dinner. Nothing makes me happier than a posse of kids playing outside until dark (sunset was about 5:30 tonight). Someone on my block has something delectable growing in his or her yard. Orange blossoms, I think. Divine.
July 10th, 2012
|10:22 am - Moving, part one.|
Here's the first of two posts about our recent move that I'm writing for the Sunflower blog. First up, dealing with my and my kids' emotions about moving.
June 14th, 2012
|08:34 am - Summer, so far.|
One week ago was Dante's last day of school, our first day of summer vacation. We kicked off the summer with a park play date right after school, then a play date the next day followed by dinner with friends. A mellow weekend, during which I got a lot done at work. Monday was a hybrid of play and work, as I worked with friends on a mailing, and my kids (and their kids) played. Yesterday and Wednesday, two more play dates.
I mentioned to my cousin the other day that Dante has met a lot of friends in our new neighborhood -- they all played outside until after dark last night, riding scooters, crawling through bushes and getting eaten by mosquitoes. My cousin asked if Gus has a play group. Hell yes. All this play? Is with friends new and old. Some I met at LLL when Dante was a wee infant. He has friends he's known his entire life, save a month or six. Some of my kids' friends are the younger siblings: Gus and Olivia and Hazel. Kids: round two. And we have many new friends that we've added to our moms' group over the years.
We don't have any firm plans this summer, save some visits with family that we're THRILLED about. But no camp, no vacation to an exotic destination. Just play! Lots and lots of play.
May 2nd, 2012
|08:33 am - My kid has a good sense of humor|
The past week has been rainy. We walk half a mile to school and I've been taking all sorts of measures to keep us dry: raincoats, umbrellas, a double stroller with a good rain canopy. We've gotten a few light showers during our walks, but nothing dramatic. Rain showers in Florida can come on suddenly and be torrential, so we got very lucky.
This morning, Vince checked the weather and said the rain was finally ending, and that we only had a ten percent chance of rain today. I looked outside and saw a patch of blue sky, so I threw caution to the wind. OF COURSE we got drenched on the way to school.
We were playing our usual game of I Spy when it started drizzling, then POURING. I started spying everything wet I could think of (puddles! soggy kids! a slippery sidewalk!) and Dante and I laughed and laughed. Poor thing was soaked when we got to school. Soaked, but giggling.
April 15th, 2012
|02:18 pm - Phew.|
Vince took the boys to the park and I've been unpacking and putting away (read: sifting through and re-reading) the contents of my home office. Among the mounds of financial documents are old calendars filled with notes, diaries, cards and letters I've saved, poems I wrote, clippings, samples from previous jobs, medical records and the boys' art.
I'm going to take a shower to decompress, then we're going to walk over to our community pool for the first time. I am looking forward to doing something physical and being underwater.
April 10th, 2012
|12:28 pm - Unexpected and exciting blog success|
My coworker Jennifer wrote a blog post about children being pushed to learn to read at an early age, and it apparently pushed some buttons. It's gotten more than 4,200 hits (and counting) in two days, which is unprecedented for our blog. It's also been shared on FB over 1,000 times. Wow.
March 31st, 2012
|08:32 pm - It's right there where you left it|
My sister has told me several times that all my apartments look the same. This surprised her, but what she meant was that I decorated them the same way, with the same stuff. Well, yeah. Especially in early adulthood, I moved the same items from place to place fairly consistently.
The new place looks different to me. Of course, I have upgraded my belongings over twenty years, but even from the last place to this one, things feel different. Actually arranged better? Less cluttered because I'm not fully unpacked? Just the deceptively warm glow of home ownership?
I'll tell you one thing that's decidedly different: the way my books are arranged. We don't have a system, though there are some groups of books that are always together on the shelf. Post-move, the pattern on the shelves has changed. The titles are all familiar; they look simultaneously jumbled and fresh, a new mosaic from the same tiles.
March 20th, 2012
|02:16 pm - Ode to my apartments|
I'm emotional right now, and I need to ramble on about the things I'm going to miss about this house. And while I'm at it, the things I miss about previous houses.
( Long, sappy.Collapse )
March 1st, 2012
|05:50 pm - Good idea, poor execution.|
This afternoon, I spent several hours helping put together the PTA newsletter. Loud, smelly copier in a windowless room. Lots of repetitive folding and collating. The kids were trapped with me, though they had crayons and Legos and books to read. Still, afterward, I thought we could all benefit from some nature.
We stopped at Hypoluxo Scrub on our way home. It's a short walk, the weather is perfect, I just wanted to use my senses in a different way.
There's a pamphlet at the trail head with a description of the area and a paragraph or so to read at a handful of numbered posts along the way. Dante desperately wanted to read everything and I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with paper or print. I tried to get him to focus on looking for gopher tortoises and smelling the pines but he was determined. The visit ended in tears.
Fortunately, when we got home, the neighbors were all playing outside, so the kids got in a lot of digging and running and riding. Now they're in the bath. Vince will be home soon. Anyone want to get sushi?
February 28th, 2012
|06:30 pm - LiveJournal!|
Battered but still breathing, LiveJournal soldiers on.
I've been posting here for more than 10 years. How the hell did that happen?
December 7th, 2011
|11:24 am - Drawing the line.|
"I value your creativity and honor your artistic vision. However, please refrain from using cheese as a drawing instrument on our French doors in the future."
A friend just posted that to Facebook, addressing her kids.
I know the feeling. I love seeing my boys constructing machines (or as Gus says, "moodeens") out of all the chairs and toys in the playroom. They make soup from puzzle pieces and lego. They swim in ponds created from all the soft things in their bedroom: sheets, blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, pajamas. Once they drew on the sofa with permanent marker, so now the art supplies live on top of the fridge.
I want them to be expressive and to use their stuff, and sometimes my stuff, in creative ways. They can entertain themselves for hours. Often, they'll work on extensive projects, laughing and plotting together. I want them to be able to do art whenever they want, but I don't want Dante to cut holes in his school uniform shirt, as he did the other day. I hope that they know (or will learn) to respect their belongings, to not throw toys across the room so that they break. To keep books intact, or at least to have them wear out due to long and happy use and not abuse.
Sometimes I find it hard to know where to draw the line when it comes to self-expression with belongings. Aside from obvious no-brainers, like safety issues, how much should I restrict my kids? I like the way their room looks when their beds are covered, but it's not MY room. I wish they wouldn't create a river with their sheets all down the hallway, but as long as they are willing to clean it up at bedtime, I can live with it. Does having to clean up instill responsibility or squelch creativity? Sometimes Dante will tell me that he doesn't want to disassemble whatever he's been working on all afternoon. Hard to argue with that.
What about you? Where do you draw the line in your house? I'm guessing that drawing with cheese on any surface is forbidden.
December 4th, 2011
November 30th, 2011
|11:35 pm - A conversation at dinner|
Gus (age almost 3): Mommy, are you happy?
Me (lying): Yes.
A few minutes pass.
Gus: Mommy, are you happy?
Gus: Mommy, I love you.
Me: I love you, too.
Gus: Mommy, are you happy now?
November 26th, 2011
|03:10 pm - Challenge for the weekend|
We have always limited screen time for our kids, but lately, we've been sort of slacking, especially on weekends. We pay attention... sort of. "What did he watch this morning? Well, ok, he can watch another show." And then later, he'd be on the computer. It's so much easier to let the electronics babysit, but there's no excuse for letting that happen. For our family, it's lazy parenting. (I think this is an issue that has to be addressed on a family by family basis).
Complicating factors: long weekend for Dante, week off for Gus, so lots of downtime. Both kids have been sick with bad colds/fevers. Dante has been using a computer at school, and knows how to access kid games online. Vince and I are online a lot, which of course the kids see.
Reasons why we have no excuse for not limiting screen time: it's gorgeous out and there are tons of outdoor things to do here, many of them free. The kids are big enough to play in the yard on their own or in the driveway with supervision. We have a million, billion books, toys, games, art supplies, things to bake, etc. The boys like to do those things with us, as long as we offer.
Today is the first day of our crackdown. Two hours total screen time on weekend days. We'd already banned screen time in the morning on school days. We will have to set a firm limit for school days. I'm leaning toward an hour, though laziness (and the desire to cook dinner without constant interruptions) makes me want to say two.
What do you do in your house, parents?
November 25th, 2011
|03:05 pm - Christmas shopping victory!|
I just created and ordered five calendars (with pictures of my kids, of course) to give as Christmas presents. I combined a bunch of discounts and coupons and I saved about 65%. Sweet.
November 24th, 2011
|04:19 pm - Happy Thanksgiving!|
We have eaten ourselves into oblivion.
Vince made turkey, stuffing with sausage and apple, mashed potatoes, green beans, roasted root vegetables, and cauliflower with cheese sauce. I made a pumpkin pie.
Everything was good and the kids ate and there was a minimal amount of fussing. Now Dante is using my camera to take pictures of furniture and the floor. Gus is playing quietly. The weather is divine.
I am thankful.
November 23rd, 2011
|08:34 pm - Good day|
I slept in until 8:30. Just after I got up, I heard the garage door open and close, which was somewhat startling. Vince had gone to Dunkin' Donuts to get us donuts for breakfast, which was also startling (long story). After breakfast, I sent Vince and the boys to the park so I could get some cleaning done.
My friend Becky is in town for Thanksgiving, and Vince picked her up at her cousin's house on his way home. We hung out with the kids for a bit and Dante gave Becky a very, very complete tour of the house. Then Becky and I went to the Morikami for a long, relaxing lunch and to walk around. The weather was perfect.
I dropped Becky back at her cousin's, came home, talked to my sister for a while, then went to Publix to get some last minute Thanksgiving things. I was mellow enough not to be annoyed by the crowd. On the way home, I heard the first few seconds of Silent Night on the radio. NOT READY. Plus, it was 82 degrees out, so no.
This evening, Vince went out and the boys I went to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner. That could have been tricky; it's a buffet, and we tend to make several trips. The boys were extremely well behaved and even ate well.
Now they're in bed and I'm going to watch some crap TV that Vince would never sit through.
November 22nd, 2011
|05:38 pm - My reward for trying to be a good parent|
While the boys were eating dinner, we got into a long discussion about bell peppers vs. black pepper, peppercorns, how a pepper mill works, and so forth. At one point, I handed Dante the pepper mill and Gus a plastic container of peppercorns and went to get one of them something else to eat. Gus threw the container across the kitchen and of course it opened, spraying the peppercorns everywhere. Ah, Gus.
November 21st, 2011
|05:29 pm - Evening|
|09:45 am - Plug for my work blog|
For work, I wrote a post about what it's like to be a helper at my son's cooperative "preschool". It's finally starting to get easier, after three years. When did I become a crazy hippie?
November 18th, 2011
|07:04 pm - potpourri|
This morning I went to a "Mom's morning out" at Whole Foods. Free coffee, muffin and five minute chair massage for moms. Dante was at school and Gus is sick, so I went alone, and met three friends there. The four of us were sitting with another mom, Jodi, who we don't know. Jodi was impressed with our dynamic: we passed the kids around, the kids were comfortable with all of us, we took turns leaving the kids to get massages, etc. My moms' group rocks the catbox.
I got an email from a coworker asking me when I'm available for a planning session. My choices were a Saturday or a Sunday from 9 am - 4 pm. Good thing I love this job.
I was at the mall with Dante this afternoon, and we stopped to look at Santa. Dante has no interest in talking to Santa, much less having his picture taken. He was too scared to talk to Santa. I asked if he wanted me to tell Santa what he wants for Christmas. He thought about it, then said he wants a dollhouse. I hadn't known this, but it doesn't surprise me, since he spends a lot of time playing with little figures (people, animals, etc). So I told Santa, who was a bit scornful. Made me glad I hadn't shelled out $20 for a picture with the fatass.
I'm driving the Prius again! We're not carpooling at the moment, and I'm doing much more driving than Vince is, so it makes sense for me to drive the economical car, not the huge, gas-guzzling minivan.
Speaking of the van, we plan to drive it up to PA/RI for two weeks at Christmas. On the way back, we'll probably have my parents along. Should be an adventure.
November 11th, 2011
|01:41 pm - Weekend plans|
Dante has today off, so this morning I told all three of my boys to the Mommy and Me sing-a-long class I usually do with just Gus. It's with Gus's current and Dante's former preschool teacher, and they were both delighted to be there. (Vince less so). Only two other kids came, so both my guys got a lot of attention.
This afternoon, I'm going to the beach with a bunch of friends and we're going to take possible Christmas card (or whatever) pictures of one another. The idea is that if four or five people are shooting, someone will get a decent shot. My friend Corynn cooked this up. She and I have an interesting schtick going on lately. She's the genius with ideas and I'm the genius with planning and execution. There's a sitcom in there somewhere.
Tomorrow, breakfast with Santa at the mall. Which seems just WRONG since it's so early in November, but it was free and Corynn and her kids are going and we always have a good time with them.
After that, our moms' group is doing its monthly Family Fun Day at a nature area. This is our attempt to keep the group going, now that lots of the kids are in kindergarten or pre-k. It's had mixed results, but we usually have fun, even if it's a small group. I chose the location this month, so I actually don't care if no one else shows.
We have a third thing on Saturday, which is not the norm. Two things per day is usually more than enough. But I got an offer from Sears photo studio for a free shoot, five free prints and a free CD with one photo on it. Not bad, eh? I only need one photo for a Christmas card, so if the beach shoot doesn't work out, this is my backup plan. Last year, my friend Hannah took the boys' picture (see userpic), but I can't afford a (quality) pro this year. Two years ago, we used Sears, and they weren't bad, actually.
Sunday: we plan to hang out doing nothing.
November 10th, 2011
|05:24 pm - I wonder if I'll like it?|
Tonight, my yoga teacher is starting a series of four pranayama (breath control) classes following her regular Thursday night class. Regular class from 6:15-7:45, followed by pranayama from 7:45-8:45. On her website, she describes the class this way:
"BKS Iyengar says that pranayama is to yoga what the heart is to the human body. In this 4 week course we will practice some restorative asana as well as breath awareness practices to help us realize that the state of our breath is a reflection of the condition of our mind and heart. As we learn to observe our breath through pranayama, we begin the process of cultivating a more serene inner atmosphere. Come for one class or both! Sleep soundly and peacefully."
I know, it sounds a little woo woo, but my teacher is normal, and really, can you see me going for crazy woo woo stuff? On second thought, don't answer that...
November 9th, 2011
|02:50 pm - Camera recommendations?|
My camera crapped out and I'm getting a new one for Christmas (thanks, Mom!). Does anyone have a recommendation?
I am leaning toward another point-and-shoot. If anyone has strong feelings about an entry-level DSLR, I might consider it, but I think that's more camera than I need.
I've read good things about the Canon PowerShot S95.
Recommendations on other helpful websites also welcome. Thanks.
November 8th, 2011
|06:34 pm - Mud is fun!|
We live in a townhouse and our building is back to back with another row of townhouses, with a shared driveway in between. We're in the end unit, and there's a grassy strip running along the side of our building. My kids and the other kids who live in the two buildings often play, ride bikes, color with chalk, dig and so forth on the driveway and the grass.
This afternoon, my guys went out to play and immediately started splashing in a puddle. Dante got a bucket and made some mud, which he then started smearing on a tree. After a while, he pulled some leaves off a bush and plastered those into the mud.
While we were out, our neighbor directly across the driveway came home with her two girls, ages 5 and 7. They looked longingly at my muddy, wet boys and asked if they could play outside, too. Their mom looked aghast and hustled them inside immediately.
November 5th, 2011
|08:17 pm - Kids' books gold mine|
My aunt Nancy is a retired teacher (mostly kindergarten, plus some pre-k and first grade). She was recently cleaning out her basement so she sent me some of the old books from her classroom. Eighty of them. Yes, I counted. They're all paperback; she explained that she let her students read the hardcover books, but she kept her paperbacks separate so they wouldn't get ruined. The books, mostly non-fiction and with lots of science and nature themes, are in pristine condition. A few were even in their original wrapping.
For example, we just unwrapped and read Magnify and Find Out Why, which comes with a little magnifying glass and contains a list of household or common things children can magnify (salt, spices, dirt, coins, eyes), what they might see and why. Copyright 1972. It's older than I am.
Dante is over the moon with this gift, and Gus is pretty excited by it too.
Edited to add: Ha, I just noticed that in the photo at that link, the book has "Mrs. Hall" written on it. I wonder where she taught?
November 4th, 2011
|07:45 pm - Add it to the life list.|
Today at Green Cay Wetlands we saw a pair of painted buntings. They were on a bird feeder together.
( Spectacular birdCollapse )
The birds are coming back south. We also saw a great blue heron, ibises, moorhens, coots, anhingas, a little blue heron, a limpkin, tricolor herons, a mottled duck, a merlin, a warbler (maybe a palm warbler), and an egret (maybe a great egret).
October 31st, 2011
September 5th, 2011
|01:58 pm - An update with actual content. How about that.|
Today is our 7th anniversary. Go us!
Our celebration will be modest, because Vince is still looking for work. Tomorrow, he has a second interview for a job in Miami that would be a good fit for him. The first interview went well, and they called him within a week to schedule the second one. I am afraid to hope too much.
I start my part-time job at Sunflower tomorrow, sort of. I've been working a few hours a week for the past month, but this week I start working 20 hours/week. Gus starts preschool tomorrow, also at Sunflower. I will stay on site and work during the hours he's there, then work the rest of my hours from home. It's a perfect job for me in many ways. I may continue to torture you with my work blog posts. If you enjoy reading them, please do comment over there. Thanks.
Dante continues to enjoy school. I am still finding it hard to be so disconnected with him during the day, but we are working on that. This morning we got together at a nature area with one of his oldest friends. I find it a bit funny to write about a five year old having "oldest" friends, but I've been thinking about it lately, since he didn't know anyone at school going in. He is making friends, though. He's a good kid.
Gus is a snuggly monkey. Last night, he didn't want to sleep in his own bed. Vince put him in our bed. A short while later, we heard him go from our room to his (and Dante's) room, then silence. Around 11:30, he started fussing, which is not unusual. I went in to settle him down, and I couldn't find him. He was under his bed. Waaaaaay under. There's no way he can fall out, so he must have crawled under there to sleep. Crazy kid.
August 29th, 2011
August 11th, 2011
|10:58 am - Hey|
Not much going on, so I will follow the lead of several of my friends and tell you ( which books on the NPR sci-fi/fantasy list I've readCollapse )
July 23rd, 2011
|11:06 am - Discovering "hidden" farms|
I often think of South Florida as a vast wasteland of chain stores, gated communities filled with identical homes and annoying Lilly Pulitzer-wearing women. There's certainly more than that, if you delve deeper, and you have to know where to look. Today, we visited two little farms, hidden in suburbia. I've driven past each of them dozens of times, and never knew they were there.
First, we met some friends at a tropical fruit farm that's basically in somebody's front yard. As we drove up the driveway through the orchard, we saw the owner's friend playing with a dog. The woman told us that she was filling in for her friend, and showed us the boxes of fruit on the front patio: three varieties of mangoes plus carambola, sugar apples and longan. We sampled the longan, but the kids didn't like them, so we bought some sugar apples and some mangoes. The bag we were given to bring our fruit home in came from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
( We also rode on a mossy but sturdy swing hanging from a big, old mango treeCollapse )
Next, we went to another farm we've just heard about, which sells honey, eggs, butter, yogurt and raw milk, among other things. This one was just as rustic-looking as the first, with geese, ducks, goats, chickens and little girls running free, and bees pollinating the sweet pea vines that curled over the hen house. Like the mango farm, this one is only open on Saturday mornings, and we ran into two families we know -- not surprisingly, folks who also lean toward the crazy hippie side. We hadn't pre-ordered, so we weren't able to take anything home, but I did get a business card. At first glance, it looked homemade, but I'm sure it was created by the same designer who made the farm's website.
What have you found hidden in your neighborhood lately?
July 22nd, 2011
|01:08 pm - Beach day|
July 21st, 2011
|07:43 pm - Dante with an early birthday gift.|
Dante got this Bloco building set for this birthday. It came in the mail today and we let him open it early. He appears to like it.
July 17th, 2011
|09:43 am - Mellow weekend|
Friday morning, the boys and I met friends at the zoo. We got there when it opened at 9, and it was already hot as blazes. Fortunately, our zoo is very shady. By 11-ish, the kids were having a great time playing in the fountain.
Last week, laughingirl was in town visiting family, and she spent part of Friday and Saturday with us. Due to a work issue, she had to be by a computer much of the time, but we will still able to go out for our traditional sushi dinner on Friday. In our classic nerd fashion, we spent the rest of Lisa's visit watching Stargate SG-1, playing Killer Bunnies, looking through old pictures and just catching up, with some reading to and playing with kids mixed in. Good times.
July 13th, 2011
|12:45 pm - I want trees. Real trees. Not this fake, tropical shit.|
Preview of a post I wrote for the Sunflower blog. The rest of it will appear on that blog tomorrow. But this post includes a bonus dorky picture of me with my kids.
( This morning, my son and I had another opportunity to adjust our expectations.Collapse )
June 26th, 2011
|07:37 pm - I won't lie|
I think these are two of the cutest beings ever born.
February 24th, 2011
|11:02 am - Another perk to living in FL.|
I discovered this morning that there's a shuttle launch this afternoon (Mark Kelly's is in April). Although we're pretty far south, we can still see the launch from here; I saw one a few years back. Vince is going to come home early and drive us to the beach so the boys can see it. A bit of searching turned up NASA's page for students, which includes a printable coloring book that explains the launch, plus a whole bunch of other helpful info. Fun!
ETA: We missed it. Sigh.
December 14th, 2010
|11:30 am - Shouldn't I get some sort of reward?|
Gus had a well check at the pediatrician this morning. We waited in the waiting room for a little while, then the pediatrician called us back. First he couldn't figure out which exam room to put us in, so I had to herd the kids back and forth a bit. He finally figured it out, and left us in a room. And left us and left us and left us. He came back after close to an hour and admitted, apologizing, that he'd forgotten to put Gus's chart on the exam room door, and had therefore forgotten we were in there. Usually, a nurse brings the patients back, so I assume someone's out sick or something. Fortunately, the kids were really mellow the whole time, but I feel like the doctor's apology isn't quite enough. Don't I get a cupcake or something?
December 12th, 2010
|02:33 pm - Sorting it out|
My sister and her husband visited us for Thanksgiving. Just before they came, I cleaned the guest bedroom/office. One of the major steps in that process was taking all the papers that were piled up on my desk and throwing them in a box. I put the box in the closet. After they left, I took the box out of the closet. Here it sits, next to my desk. Three or four times since then, I've had to dig through it to find something. One of those times, I was looking for something I should've dealt with days before. But instead of emptying it out and sorting it, I just keep throwing more stuff in there.
The boys and I are leaving on Thursday to go up to my in-laws', and then later my parents', for our Christmas vacation. I have a long list of stuff I need to get done in the next four days, and I'm grateful for the deadline.
December 9th, 2010
|11:54 am - I probably shouldn't admit this. |
But you need a good laugh. I just got stuck behind the bed in the guest bedroom. Dante had rolled a ball under there a few days ago, and I was finally getting around to retrieving it. I couldn't reach it from the middle of the room, so I lowered myself between the bed and the wall. I got down there easily enough -- the space isn't THAT tiny -- but then I couldn't get up. I briefly considered asking Gus to try to find my phone but luckily it didn't come to that. I was eventually able to push the bed away and get up. If it wasn't hilarious it'd be totally humiliating. :D
December 1st, 2010
|02:23 pm - Why I don't post much.|
I fed Dante lunch and was just sitting down at the computer for a bit of time to myself when Gus woke up from his nap. I brought him downstairs to watch TV with his brother, but he immediately came back upstairs to me, whining for attention. And then, adding insult to injury, he pooped.
November 16th, 2010
|11:28 am - What's your favorite blogging platform?|
My boss wants to start blogging and asked me to look into blogging platforms. There's quite a bit of info and commentary on this topic online, but I thought I'd get opinions from people I know and trust. Which platform do you like to use (or read) and why? Any that you dislike? Thanks.
November 14th, 2010
|05:28 pm - And it's still light out at 5:30.|
Ah, November. The beginning of our gorgeous weather. Today we took advantage of it with a visit to Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (website has sound).
I've been to Loxahatchee at least a half dozen times, probably more, but not in a few years. (Sallie, if you are reading, this is where we almost canoed into an alligator). Since I've been there, they've redone the visitor center and it's terrific. There's a little gift shop, where I was forced to buy Christmas gifts, and some fun exhibits, including a virtual air boat ride/video that is way better than it sounds.
The best part about the morning, though, was the smell. The Cypress Swamp boardwalk trail just smelled divine. I kept going on and on about it; I was enchanted. Pretty sure Vince thought I had looped the loop.
Oh, and we saw a fair-sized gator right next to the path on another trail. We had to pass so close to it that Vince, who was carrying Dante, walked between it and Gus, in his stroller, and me.
November 11th, 2010
|03:01 pm - It was exactly as irritating/funny as you'd expect.|
Our landlord lives a few hours away, so he asked Vince or me to serve as his proxy at our community association's annual meeting. I went last night and it was, from the perspective of a renter (read: marginally interested observer), hilarious.
The community we live in has fifty or so townhomes. I know most of the folks in my building and in the building that faces mine across the shared driveway/alley. Other than that, I don't know anyone, and I don't really keep up with the community news or gossip. With one notable exception, who we'll call Sam.
Sam lives at the far end of the complex, right along the Intracoastal Waterway. If you've ever gone to a community association meeting, he's That Guy. You know the one. The crazy guy who has crazy demands and gets all crazy in everyone's face. The guy who has already cost the association thousands of dollars in legal fees because he's a dick who refuses to play by the rules. Or at least ask nicely.
The meeting started out with the reelection of the board. Only the three current board members had put their names in the running. But could we just vote them in? Oh hell no. Sam had to make a big fuss over the fact that one of the board members doesn't live in the community. I can see how this would be a concern, but Sam didn't voice his objection nicely. He stood up and yelled and interrupted and asked the same questions over and over again. The board members listened and answered incredibly patiently. When Sam finally finished ranting, it was determined that no one else planned to run, so the current board was reelected by default.
Lather, rinse, repeat for about five more issues.
I really wanted to go up to Sam (or his slightly less insane-appearing wife) and ask, "Has this tactic ever worked? Have you never tried the whole 'more flies with honey' approach? Because everyone here thinks you are a complete blithering moron."
November 9th, 2010
|02:00 pm - An easy, beautiful day. |
First, a note to all you breakfast for dinner lovers who commented on my last entry: check out the video Bill Cosby: Himself. I promise, you will pee yourselves laughing. One of my favorite bits is the part where he feeds the kids breakfast. That's what I was (mis)quoting.
Today has been a beautiful day, in every sense of the word. Last night, I got eight (8) uninterrupted hours of sleep. It's been a while since that happened, mostly because I stubbornly refuse to go to bed early enough. The kids were relatively calm at breakfast. This is my week to drive to preschool, so I picked up Dante's buddy at 8:30. The kids had a good time on the drive down, telling each other inane four-year-old jokes and laughing hysterically.
After I dropped them off, I put Gus in the stroller and walked over to the supermarket, about a 15 minute walk. Got a couple things, walked back. Gorgeous, cool weather, blue skies. Then Gus and I drove over to a nearby shopping center where we went to Barnes & Noble so he could play with the trains in the children's section. Another mom was there with her 14-month-old and she was friendly and chatty. Around 11, Gus and I walked to the next door Whole Foods for lunch.
Gus was cute and mellow at lunch. He ate what I got for him, mostly. Things he didn't want, he handed to me nicely. He even used a fork part of time. So it surprised me when the woman at the next table gave me a "buck up" sort of speech, telling me that I was in the toughest part of motherhood, that she didn't like parenting toddlers and that even the teenage years were easier. Maybe she has a sixth sense about how devilish Gus can be (unlike Dante, who was a fairly easy-going toddler), but he was sweet as pie today.
I picked up the boys after lunch, and they didn't give me too much of a hard time leaving (which they sometimes do) or driving home. Gus fell asleep when we were nearly home. He's in his crib; Dante has been bathed and is watching Handy Manny. Ahhh.
November 8th, 2010
|07:20 pm - "Dad is great! He gives us the chocolate cake!"|
Dante has figured out that it's possible to eat pancakes for dinner. Pancakes for dinner! We did this tonight. I made them from scratch, so I feel like it's not the worst possible meal. But still, as they're eating, I'm thinking to myself, "Eggs! Eggs are in pancakes.... wheat is in pancakes! Nutrition!" :D
October 31st, 2010