Thursday, June 28, 2007
These were taken from opposite angles ... the zucchini haven't really walked around to the other side of the garden, it just looks that way. And the cucumbers really are 6' tall. It's hard to believe how tiny everything was a month ago!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Susie has already sent out a package of surprises for Liza to open each day, and I'm pulling together the master list of Liza's approximate schedule and which foods she's most likely to actually eat. I may also record something on video for Liza to watch on the computer while we're gone, if I have time.
Liza loves to get mail - the two toddler magazines she subscribes to are the highlight of her month because she gets to find "Liza mail!" I'd love to send her a postcard from scenic Columbus, but it wouldn't reach her before we return from the trip. That's where you guys come in!
For any readers who already have our mailing address, could you please send a postcard or something addressed to Liza, timed to arrive Thursday, Friday, or Saturday of next week? I don't care what's on the postcard (knowing her, she'd probably really appreciate the semi-naughty ones you find in tacky tourist shops - "bottoms!") ... heck, if you sent an index card that said "HI" on one side and had the address on the other, that would probably be enough. If you print her name in all caps she can even recognize it now, which would make it extra special for her.
I'm sure you can understand that I'm not comfortable posting my mailing address here, so I'm afraid the new readers are SOL on this one. Maybe next time we skip town I'll give my mother-in-law the PO box key and have you newbies help out, too. In the meantime, thanks in advance for your help, friends and relations, and I look forward to seeing Liza's new collection when we get home!
Monday, June 25, 2007
I scored very poorly on the quiz on this site, which means there's hope for me yet.
And since I can't find a copy of the dumb toileteers song on YouTube, I may have a project for tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I leave you with this ... it's just the intro to the show, but you get an idea of the horror that is the potty video:
I really need to come up with a drinking game that forces you to drink every time that bear wags his animatronic eyebrows. And who comes up with a kids' show that features two bears, two otters, a mouse and a LEMUR, for god's sake? It doesn't even look like a lemur - it's blue. See, there's another thing for MLF to be ticked about ...
Are you SURE that video isn't due back to the library for another two weeks?
Sunday, June 24, 2007
For those of you who don't live in NE Ohio, Marc's is a chain of discount grocery/closeout stores. Imagine a grocery store that hasn't had a technology update since 1979, and tack on the better portion of an entire Big Lots store around the outside edges, and you've got Marc's. It's not expired canned goods and government cheese - they sell mostly brand-name stuff, including good produce and recognizable brands of meat and dairy products. The aisles are narrow, the organization is funky, most of the prices are done using stickers (not UPC codes), and you have to pay with cash. There's no video store, child care area, dry cleaner's dropoff location, or coffeeshop (all of which are amenities at the major grocery store, and I've never used any of them).
I've done my weekly shopping at Marc's for the past three weeks, and there have been times when I swear I'm the only customer who is a) younger than 75, b) not disabled in some way, and c) not on some sort of food stamp or WIC program. This weekend brought higher-than-normal levels of overweight women wearing tube tops without bras - and here I thought I had left that behind in Kentucky. I hate, hate, hate shopping at Marc's.
I can buy a week's worth of groceries for $80. At Giant Eagle, the other major grocery chain in the area, I was averaging $150-$200 a week.
True, I could probably buy a week's worth of groceries at Giant Eagle for less than $100, if I pored over the advertised specials and cut coupons like a fiend. But at Marc's I can skip all the planning, buy everything I need, and it's still dirt cheap. So as much as I feel like a spectator at a freak show when I shop there, I think I'm hooked. Now if I could just remember to use the ATM before I get there, I could skip the fees imposed by the one in the entryway and save another $1.50.
from this story
Oh, and whoever searched for "infant poop stain removal" - try scrubbing with Shout, then soaking in OxyClean Baby for an hour before you wash it. Works for darn near everything, except hardcore sweet potato stains.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Anyway, the previews and reviews I saw of the program pretty much made it look like porn for nature-lovers like me. Since I know kids of Liza's age who love some of the kid-oriented documentaries they have at the library (the Eyewitness series seems to be a favorite), I thought she might enjoy it. Well, to tell you the truth, I knew I would enjoy it, and I figured I could use Liza as an excuse to get it for myself.
Then we saw the ad for the DVDs of the series, and the first of five discs was available for the bargain price of only $19.95 plus shipping and handling. Screw that, I thought, and the next time we were at the library I asked when it would be available to check out. Their copies weren't in yet, and I was going to be number 57 in line to rent the 5 copies they ordered. Screw that, I thought, and went to Target and found the complete box set for less than $70.
We had a few minutes to kill tonight when Liza was exhausted but refused to start getting ready for bed, so I popped in the first DVD and picked the show about fresh water, figuring there would be lots of rivers and fish to look at. I wouldn't say it was as big a hit with her as The Bear In The Big Blue House, but she really got into some parts of it, and I didn't have to listen to the "toileteers" song for the 50th time this week.
I think it was the first time in ages that the three of us sat down and all willingly watched something, and all of us enjoyed it. Liza was very impressed by the salmon run, and the bears trying to catch the salmon, and the giant salamanders eating big fish ("Bye fishie! Bye 'nother fishie!"). Jason got nervous when the crocodile showed up at the otter party, but the otters successfully chased him away ("Go 'way, bad guy! Go 'way!"). And he declared it to be time for bed when the crocodiles started to lie in wait for the herd of wildebeest, and I have to say, I think he's probably right that we need to fast forward past that part. No need for the kid to see that much carnage at this age, right?
Meanwhile, I was in heaven. I was raised on a steady diet of PBS nature shows, and I'm still a sucker for beautiful scenery and cute animals viciously attacking each other. I can't wait to watch the rest of the series ... which at the rate we're going, will be in 15-minute increments and will take me the rest of the year to complete. That's okay, though - a little bit of nature porn goes a loooooong way.
I don't know that I'd recommend the set for everyone - it costs an arm and a leg, after all - but I know I can't wait to see more of it.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
For $400 you get a gently used boat with only minor cosmetic scratches on the underside of the hull, two paddles, a dolly to get the thing to the water, a roller to get the thing into the water, a cover to keep spiders out of the cockpit in the winter, and a set of tiedown straps for use with most standard roof racks. This boat retails for about $700, not including all the extras, so this is an excellent deal.
If anyone is willing to come pick it up in Northeast Ohio, I'd love to hear from you.
UPDATE 6/22/07 - Sold! Gotta love craigslist.com ... this sucker was out the door less than two days after I listed it. Hooray! Now you can see more of our crappy cracked garage floor!
And because it's only going to stand still to get its picture taken once, I'll post this, too:
It's pinkie-sized right now, so I'm guessing we'll be starting on the zucchini diet by this weekend, maybe Monday if I let things go a little longer than I should. When I've got so many potential zukes, there's not reason to let them get much bigger than a pickle. And maybe this is the year that I finally try the battered zucchini flower recipe I've seen a million times over the past decade.
PS - my hands smell like tomato stems and cilantro ... regardless of what the calendar says, I say it's already summer!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Dear Sir/Madam, My name is Mr.Golden Ahaiwe. I am a lawyer and the personal attorney to MR. MORRIS THOMPSON, an American citizen from the state of Alaska. Thompson was a Category "A" contractor to the Nigerian government before he died together with his wife and their only daughter aboard Alaska Airline flight number 261, on 31st of January, 2000.
Payment of Twenty Two Million United States Dollars for the last contract he did for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 1998 before his death in 2000 is ready for release. The contract payment is ready for release by INEC but nobody is to receive the payment because he has no Next-of-Kin in his file at INEC, hence I have been asked by INEC as his attorney to provide the Next-of-Kin for the claim of the money within the next 21 official working days.
Since I have been unsuccessfully in locating my late client's relatives, I seek your consent therefore to present you as (an Appointed) Next-of-Kin, so that this contract payment would be released to you and then, you and I can share it at the rate of 50/50. I must let you know that your name and place of residence does not matter in this process. I also want you to understand that we will not be doing bad to humanity by claiming the payment because if we do not claim it, the government will retain it as nobody is to receive the funds as Thompson's next-of-kin. If you are interested in this offer, kindly indicate by sending the following information to me for immediate submission of claim application to the INEC in your favour. The information I want from you are: (1) your full name. (2) Your full address. (3) Your age & occupation. (4) Your private telephone and fax numbers.
Let me hear from you. Best regards, Mr.Golden Ahaiwe Hear from you soon...
Monday, June 18, 2007
I gotta say, I'm proud of this one. Not only did I a) notice it, and b) take the time to frame the shot just the way I wanted it, but I pretty much had to stand on my head to do it without stepping into the garden soil. Go, me!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
What makes me say that? Well, the last time I planted nasturtiums (exactly a decade ago, in case you were wondering), they ended up getting totally infested with tiny black bugs, which grossed me out so much that I vowed never to plant them again. Mr. Square Foot Garden recommends planting them, though, so I figured I would give it a try. I've been checking every day for signs of nasty black dudes, and as of yesterday, all was quiet on the northern front. But here's what I found today:
Son of a bitch. Both nasturtium clumps have been totally blanketed with every toxic substance I can find in our newly-organized garden shed, so hopefully these suckers are toast (aphids ... suckers ... hee). But now that I've attracted every aphid in Cuyahoga County into my backyard, I fear for the rest of the plants. Looks like me and the sprayer full of Sevin are going to be bosom pals after all.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Oh, yeah - because ours is a piece of shit that won't pick up signals from the transmitter when we're on the deck, 50 feet from the kid's room. Plus, it's audio-only. We never even get to hear anyone else's phone calls ... I'm horribly disappointed.
Inspiration for the colors in the room came from these pillows, which I found after weeks of looking in vain for a color scheme for the room. I bought the pillows and everything else fell into place like dominos - sheets, quilt design, wall color, funky little birdhouses that remind me of Jamaica despite the fact that I've never been there.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
- The reason sand gets hotter the further you walk away from the water is that the wet sand stuck to your feet insulates them for a while, and as it dries it lets more and more heat through to your feet. Thanks, Sybil, for pointing out what should have been obvious to me years ago.
- I'm willing to let my daughter swim in Lake Erie next to trash I would go out of my way to walk her away from in a parking lot - takeout food container, disposable lighter, dead fish, bottle cap, some kind of icky insect larvae-looking stuff that could also have been waterlogged cottonwood fluff, cigarette butt, etc. The water dilutes the yuck, right?
- My daughter understands me well enough that when I tell her not to drink the lake water or eat the sand because it's yucky and will give her nasty diapers like she had the last time she attempted to eat the whole sandbox at one sitting, she actually listens. Listens so well, in fact, that whenever she gets splashed in the face with a wave she starts yelling "Oh, no! Yucky diaper! pthpt! pthpt!" and tries to spit out every last microliter of water that's anywhere near her mouth. That's my girl!
- Dollar General currently has a great selection of temporary tattoos in kid-friendly designs (mostly cartoon flowers - sorry, boys), with sheets of 30 or more for $1. Compared to the $4 I spent for 12 (admittedly very cute) monkey tattoos on eBay, it's a steal. Especially since we'll be using them for potty training, so we're gonna need quite a few.
- My daughter has developed a time sense and a memory, or at least she talks a good game. Yesterday when she was stalling and trying to convince me she didn't need a nap, she claimed she had poop in her diaper. When I checked and she was clean, she laid back down and said " 'member last week? Hand in diaper? Yucky hand!" referring to an incident that was indeed last week, when she (once again) stuck her hand in her poopy diaper and came up with souvenirs on several fingers. My little baby's all grown up and chatty!
- If you tell a child enough times that whining won't get them anything, and you expect them to use a nice tone of voice to ask for things, and you demonstrate the right tone of voice umpteen million times, sometimes the kid will remember. If they're not sick, tired, cranky, or otherwise out of sorts, of course, but it's just so nice to hear "Please have a little candy?" instead of "Maaaaaaamaaaaaa! Little candyyyyyyyy! Pleeeeeaaaase! Maaaaaaamaaaaaa!" that sometimes I'll even break down and give the kid an M&M. And when she wakes up at 6:45am and I bring her into bed with me to snuggle for a few minutes until I am fit to deal with a toddler, and she slides out of bed and comes over to my side and says "Mama, up! Sit here! Right here! Please have some juice please!" in a pleasant voice, darned if I don't get up and do what she wants, despite the fact that I'm not actually awake or coherent yet.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
"I just want to thank you, Alice. For years I've walked the planet searching for something more pointless than non-alcoholic beer and now, thanks to this post, I've finally found it. Non-alcoholic beer for dogs. If the intellectual dynamos that came up with this stellar concept were sitting next to me right now, I would take off my shoe and beat them with it until they were dead. Not even violent death at the hands of a shoe-wielding madman would be as pointless as non-alcoholic beer for dogs."
All of those shots are from the first five minutes we were there, which was the only time I got to be in the strawberry fields - Liza turned into a limpet and it's not like you can pick strawberries while holding 30 pounds of kid, so we went back to the parking lot to throw rocks in the ditch. Not a bad deal, as it meant that Jason was the one who got to spend half an hour hunched over avoiding the thistles so that we can have strawberry shortcake for dessert tonight. Matt suggested that it's ironic that we paid $5 per basket to act as migrant farm workers, and I have to say, that's what it looked like from where Liza and I ended up after she had her little meltdown.
Then we went back to the neighbors' house, where William instructed Liza in the finer points of playing the piano ("No, the Elmo doll goes here, not on the keys"):
And the fishtank (behind William) was admired by all:
After dinner we went down to the community pool, where Penelope was showing off how well Liza's old swimsuit fit her. Of course, since Liza insisted we replace the old one with the exact same suit in a larger size, it made them a little hard to tell apart. Hint: ours is the tall one.
And when we were ready to leave, Liza gave Penelope a big hug. Then she gave her an even bigger hug, and they both fell over on the tile floor and started screaming. Pretty much par for the course with two-year-olds, I guess.
I can't decide which is funnier:
- William's dance moves, including the "tyrannosaurus" at the end
- The fact that Liza has to imitate everything William does
- The fact that Penelope has to imitate everything Liza does
- The fact that big brother Alexander is on the couch, visibly straining to ignore the ruckus going on three feet away.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Anyway, the book was so awful that it made me want to claw out my own eyes, so after one or two readings it quietly went to live in the pile of stuff destined for the consignment shop. I've mostly forgotten the horror that was Carl ... until now.
My god, this is so funny I actually peed my pants. True, I haven't been keeping up with my Kegels recently, but STILL. If you scroll down to the link for the other selections in the series, you'll see the one where the author invisions what life would be like if Carl's owner was a hobo ... it's just as funny. And the children's book by the Beastie Boys? Priceless.