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Showing posts from October, 2007

She spins for thee

An optical illusion for you on Halloween:



Which way does the girl spin? Can you get her to "switch" and spin the other way?

More on less water

Aimee asked me how I planned to reduce our water consumption, and Amy wrote a good post on actions she's taking to do so. Way to go Amy!

I checked my consumption history through my online account with the City. It's a bit confusing, actually. For the Sept-Oct billing cycle our consumption was "4." Four what? It doesn't indicate how that translates into gallons, and I don't know if that's average or high or low or what. It's better than May-June, however, which was 8; but worse than Jun-July, which was a 3 -- but we were gone for a week at the end of June, so that does make sense. Jul-Aug and Aug-Sept were both 6 -- it just occurred to me that, except for our vacation, our water use would be higher in the summer because Chris and the kids are home all day; now that school's started, there's no one home to flush toilets and wash hands every weekday from 8:30 to 5.

So what can I do to get our consumption down to a 2, as the governor requested, oth…

Am I Missing Something Here?

We are currently in the midst of an "exceptional" drought, which is the very worst kind of drought, apparently. It has been raining off and on for the past three days (yay!) but it's not going to be enough to pull us out of the crisis. Last week, the governor asked everyone -- businesses and homes -- to reduce water consumption by 50% by the end of the month.

There's an apartment complex right across the street from my office building. Right after the governor's annoucement, they posted a big sign, facing the street, which proclamed:

OUR IRRIGATION SYSTEM RUNS ON WELL WATER

I can only guess that this sign is supposed to serve as some kind of justification for them to continue to water their flowerbeds and bushes and shrubs and things. (It's a very nicely landscaped apartment complex.) I guess they're saying, We're not using municipal water, so we're not obliged to follow the water restriction rules. (This is only a guess, but I can't imagine why …

Pictures!

Haven't posted pictures for a while, so here you go.

Last weekend at the pumpkin patch:







Nap time:



Homework time:



Trying to reach the ice cream and about to throw a fit time:

Worse than Tantrums

Phoebe has recently started to utter the three little words I never want to hear from my child.

No, not “I hate you*.” Not “I failed algebra” or “The car’s totaled” or even “I do drugs.” Not “Oops, I’m pregnant” or “I’m in jail” or “He hits me” or “I’m a Republican.”** No, the words are:

“You play too!”

I don’t like to play with my children. There, I said it. I will read to my children, a million books a day. I will find markers and paper and I will open play-doh cans. I will push on the swings and spot on the slide. I will put movies in the DVD player and find favorites on the ipod. I will even stack blocks and play board games once in a while.

But tea parties with bears and Barbies – no. Don’t ask me to play school, or doctor, or pet shop. I don’t want to be a zookeeper, or the good fairy, or the boyfriend’s big sister. Don’t count on me to make up conversations with your dolls and for the love of all that’s holy, don’t ever, ever hand me a puppet.

Am I alone in this, am I awful? Seriou…

What They Wouldn't Learn in Public School, Part II

Chris teaches art at a Catholic high school. Yesterday, to facilitate a new unit on Figure Drawing, he borrowed a human skeleton from the biology department. While discussing the anatomy, he made a comment about the shape of the pelvic bones and how they move apart during childbirth. All the girls in the class screamed at the thought.

Anyway, later in the day a kid came up to him and said, "Mr. K! I heard that you were talking about how babies were born in class!"

"Well, not really," Chris said.

"Yeah!" said another kid. "I heard that you said that when a baby is born, it EXPLODES out of the mother's hips!"

Chris denied saying any such thing. I dunno, maybe he should've stuck with that. It sounds like a pretty good incentive for contraception, to me.



Just remembered the "Sex Education" I received as part of my Home Economics class my senior year of high school. Irony: Two of the girls in the class were pregnant by the end of the sch…

Tantrums

The 2's were not at all terrible for Mallory. Now, three-and-a-half was pretty bad, and four was rough, and there are moments during five-and-three-quarters that make me want to ship her off to Kalamazoo, but when Mallory was two everything was sunshine and roses and kittens frolicking in...whatever kittens frolic in. (I'm a dog person.) I thought the terrible 2's were a myth, devised by parents who obviously just didn't know how to relate to their 2-year-olds.

Clearly I was a fool. My second 2-year-old -- who up until last week was going through life on a fairly even keel -- has been replaced by a whirling dervish who collapses into screaming rages if you look at her funny.

Since Saturday, Phoebe has had full-blown, fall-down-on-the-floor-and-kick tantrums because:

She wanted to go outside.
She wanted to come inside.
It was dark outside.
She wanted to take a bath.
She did not want to take a bath.
I let the water out of the bath.
She wanted "fre-sert" but did not wan…

I guess that's what they call irony

My mother pointed out, correctly, that one of the quotes I said was a misquote actually wasn't. Patrick Henry did say "Give me liberty or give me death!" However, Nathan Hale did not say "My only regret is that I have but one life to give for my country." Sorry, wrong patriot.

And in response to those who did not like The Power and the Glory -- neither did I! In fact I didn't much care for any of the books from which the quotes in my previous post originated. I find Jane Austen dull; I abhor D.H. Lawrence. One of Julian Barnes's books (Talking it Over) is one of my very favorites, Flaubert's Parrot is meh. I was inspired by certain passages of Middlemarch but on the whole it's a bit of a slog. So, um, there.



More later, busy at work and computer is very slow. News at our house: Mallory has strep, Phoebe has tantrums. Many of them. Whee!

Other People Say It Better

I have always been a quote collector. The walls of my bedroom used to be papered with quotations (usually printed out in whatever cool fonts were available on our Apple IIE computer). When I got my own apartment in NC, I hung quotes up all over my "dining area" -- something that Chris later told me he found "weird."

I recently read a funny article in the New Yorker about quotes. Apparently many famous quotes were never actually quoted by the people they're attributed to; for example, Patrick Henry probably did not say "Give me liberty or give me death." And, um, well, other people did not say things we think they said but I don't have the magazine in front of me so you'll just have to wonder. Sorry, how lame am I?

In the meantime, here are some of the quotes that got me through college and graduate school:

"But it is very difficult to be learned; it seems as if people were worn out on the way to great thoughts and can never enjoy them becau…

Something She Wouldn't Learn in Public School

Mallory came home yesterday wearing a "Faith" bracelet she'd made in Religion class. It was made of several colored beads on a black cord. I asked her to tell me about it and she said, "Well, the blue bead is for water, the green bead is for trees, the yellow bead is for the sun, the brown bead is for the earth. And the red bead is for Jesus' blood, and the black bead is because Jesus died."

I was a bit taken aback by the last two beads (not in a bad way, please understand, it's just that I'm as new to Catholic school as Mallory herself is), but I said, "Well, that's a great bracelet. All the beads stand for something very special."

"It's not so special that Jesus died," she protested.

"Actually it is. Haven't you learned yet why Jesus died?"

"No."

"Well, Jesus died so everyone can go to heaven," I said, after a moment of wondering how to explain it best. And immediately regretted even beginni…

Ad Nauseam

My children are incapable of saying anything just one time, and I am in the process of losing my mind. Phoebe repeats everything she says at least three times: "It's too early for a nap, Mommy, it's too early, it's too early for a nap." Mallory repeats all of her demands over and over again even AFTER I've told her yes, or no; "Can you help me find my shoes?" "Yes, just a minute please." "Help me find me shoes, Mommy, can you help me NOW please find my shoes, where are my shoes?" The other day both of them were asking something of me "Want a drink, Mommy, a drink, a drink Mommy, want a drink" at the same time "Mommy can I watch Nickelodeon now? Can I? Can I watch Nickelodeon Mommy? Mommy can I?" without even giving me a chance to answer, much less find a sippy cup or the remote, and I just lost it and yelled at both of them: "STOP ASKING ME THINGS OVER AND OVER AGAIN! I HEARD YOU THE FIRST TIME! SIT DOWN …