Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday fun

Friday was the observation class for Liza's dance school, and boy, was that a whole bunch of bad dancing to watch. Four-year-olds are cute, but most of them can't dance worth anything ... and mine was the worst of the bunch. Check out her patented "ignore the beat, and the choreography, and the direction I'm supposed to face" approach to dance ... the recital is going to be painful.

After class we took a friend to the paint-your-own-pottery place to celebrate Liza completing the green level in her Hooked on Phonics set. It cost about the same as having a mess of kids over for pizza, and we get a (really ugly) lasting reminder of how smart the kid is!

Remind me to post a picture of the little Rembrandt with her masterpiece once it's back from the kiln. I sat on my hands and let her do the whole thing by herself (except the final tracing of the crown so you could tell what that lumpy brown thing on the front is), and boy, is it going to make a fashion statement in our kitchen. That thing is going to look like a cat threw up on it. Oh, well - as long as she's happy with it, blah blah blah.

I'm going to be away from the computer for the next few days, so don't start calling mental institutions if you don't hear from me, okay?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Educational outing

Today at the natural history museum, Liza:

1. Journaled about the favorite animals she saw, including polar bears, caribou, and otters. Thank you, Sid the Science Kid, for giving me an excuse to sit down for five minutes in between trips to run up and down the hall to the planetarium. This also gave me an excuse to encourage her to think about whether they had long legs or short legs, long tail or short tail, horns or no horns, etc. And we had a rather enlightening conversation about what the Inuit might use polar bears for, and exactly why Pop-Pop hunts the deer on his farm.
2. Visited the outdoor (live) animal exhibits for the first time. The deer and turkeys were pronounced "cool," the hawks were a good excuse to see if we could identify which variety lives near our yard, and the otter was the biggest hit. Liza insisted on using my camera to take photos while it was rapidly swimming laps up to the window and back, which means I have a dozen photos of streaming bubbles and otter asses. At least this one has a picture of the photographer in the reflection.
3. Completely failed to notice that Righthand Raccoon was humping the daylights out of Middle Raccoon while we were walking past. This picture was from a few minutes later (on our second pass through to see the otters), and doesn't Righty look like the phrase should be "raccoon ugly" instead of "coyote ugly?"
4. Visited the dinosaurs, which was the initial intent of this whole trip. Liza announced yesterday at 2pm that she wanted to go to the dinosaur museum, but I couldn't stomach the thought of driving for an hour, going to the museum for an hour, then fighting downtown traffic all the way home. Instead we had a pretend dig for dinosaur bones on her bed (mixed wooden spools in with wooden blocks on her bed and she used a plastic basket to sift through the "dirt" for the "bones") and went today. Liza wanted her photo taken with the triceratops, especially once I pointed out that it starts with "tri," just like the triops. It's never to early to start learning the meanings of prefixes, now is it? When, later in the day, someone in the gift shop asked her whether the dinosaurs liked Liza's sparkly shoes, she scornfully informed them that dinosaurs aren't alive.
5. Wanted to read every book in the kids' section of the gift shop, except for the one seriously twisted Gary Larson book that I kept out of her sight (and then bought for myself because duuuude, this is soooo not appropriate for children - check out the synopsis on the Amazon page I linked to).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


1. I remembered to do the follow-up ultrasound on my thyroid.

2. During the ultrasound I got to see my trachea and my carotid artery.

3. I also got to see the nodule and cysts! Hooray for knowing your enemy!

4. The endocrinologist I was referred to has a month-long waiting list for appointments, but there was a cancellation so I get to go in on Friday.

5. I can now drop the phrase, "my endocrinologist" in casual conversation. I feel very adult. Now, if I can just get an appointment set up at "my podiatrist," I'll officially feel old.

FWIW, the nurse who called with the test results showed I have "multiple small cystic areas" and a 1-cm nodule on my left thyroid. So I've got a pea-sized interloper and a couple smaller cousins in there somewhere ... now we just need to see whether they stay or get nuked.

On the positive side, any nuking probably involves me having to be completely separate from all small children and animals for several days so nobody other than me gets irradiated, so - SCORE! - no child care duties for me and I probably get to stay in a hotel!

Monday, March 23, 2009


1, 2, 3, 4, 5: Liza made this for me (with no help from me or Jason) while I was fixing dinner.
Why yes, thank you for asking, the blue thing with three eyes and a long swirly tail is a triops, as mentioned in the hit song by They Might Be Giants, Triops Have Three Eyes. It's like her favorite song ever, or at least it has been for the past month or so. And now that it's stuck in my head (again), I'll return the favor and get it stuck in yours, too. Hah!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


1. Liza's first encounter with antibiotics (thanks to a completely random strep infection that manifested itself as a sore stomach and a fever that didn't start until AFTER she started the medication) has been completely benign ... I don't even have to bribe her to take the stuff. Must taste better than what I grew up with.

2. Tag-teaming the tax preparation and child care for two days = done and filed in plenty of time.

3. The odd hybrid crocus in our front yard ... out of the hundreds of light purple and dark purple flowers by our front door, this is the only striped one we found.

4. Liza spends time each day making up her own theme music and narrating the storylines of whatever she's pretending that day. What she comes up with usually sounds like the main song from Jesus Christ Superstar, and involves some variation on "She transforms into super rainbow flower star." This morning we wrote down the best bits, because she's actually getting things to rhyme now. Here's what we got as she was fixing the wing that fell off of the airplane we were riding:

"She's got the power to read and sing.

She's got the power to fix the wing.

She knows just what to do.

She fixes the wing with her rainbow glue."

5. Jason let me sleep in while he and Liza bought donuts for breakfast this morning. Score!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My most favorite project ever

Figures that I finished these up on a day when it was like 65 and sunny outside, because I just want to wear these gloves all. the. time.
Seriously, they're awesome.
And if making 14,000 little fingers (well, that's what it seemed like) wasn't such a pain in the rear, I'd be casting on for another pair just about ... now.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm a dirty, dirty girl

It started with the partially-deflated "sword" positioned suggestively on the floor at the kids' carnival this weekend:

And then Jason and Liza produced the following masterpiece of collaborative solar system artwork:

... which, when seen upside down, immediately leads me to believe that the space shuttle now comes with a reservoir tip:
And let's not think about what those blue things on each side could be, okay?
I bet I totally just made Mrs. Happy snort her beverage all over her keyboard :)


1. Preschool + an hour at the outdoor playground + half an hour of throwing a frisbee with our neighbors = a three-year-old who is comatose before 8pm ...

2. ... which means I have time to watch a movie AND get some sewing done tonight.

3. When the bagel sandwich I have a coupon for happens to also be on sale and ends up costing less than any of the Lean Cuisine meals in my freezer.

4. "Hi, guys! How's it going?" (how Liza greeted the two four-year-olds who got to the playground just after us)

5. The fact that "popply" (or, as adults say, "properly") is my daughter's word of the day, as in, "Mom, there has to be water in the container with the plastic fish so I can take care of them popply!"

Sunday, March 15, 2009


1. Listening to Liza read a (mostly memorized) book with appropriate inflections and acting. "I am NOT A HAPPY PIG!!!!!!!" vs. "I am not (sniff) a happy pig."

2. "Doesn't that goulash recipe take like 3 hours to prepare?" "Yes. Oh, crap." "I guess I'd better get started on it while you finish cleaning your sewing room." Dude is fixing me dinner. Awwwwwesome.

3. Bella has totally become a painkiller addict - the fact that she comes and prostitutes herself in front of me helps me remember when it's time for her next dose. Plus, I haven't seen her leap this high in years. She's going to be pissed when the doses run out tomorrow.

4. Sorting through a bunch of my old patterns and graphs and realizing just how prolific my crafting has been.

5. Days when it's just barely warm enough to forego the coat and have the freedom to run errands in just a sweatshirt and jeans.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Unexpected result

While searching to see whether our library system carries DVDs of the television series "Chuck," I scrolled down far enough to see that one of the search results was "Bass fishing: the basics ; with Chuck Woolery" .

Great. Now I'm going to have twisted visions of some bass fishing/Love Connection hybrid show in my dreams tonight. Thanks, Chuck, that was just what I needed.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Again with the bullet points

Sorry to go MIA, folks. Not dead or institutionalized, just leading a life that is mindnumbingly un-blog-worthy. Rather than bore you with the details, I decided to skip it. In the interest of catching up, here's the best of the past few weeks:
  • Jason has been buying these miniatures he needs to play Warhammer 40K with his gaming buddies. His army has a couple of people called "librarians," which I think is pretty funny. And he's got some kind of motorcycle thingees that are pretty cool now that he's got them painted and everything. But the other night a friend suggested that he retrofit one of the librarians onto the motorcycle, and I decided that combination should be called the Bookmobile, and I just about peed my pants I was laughing so hard. See? This is why I haven't bothered blogging.

  • Also, tonight Jason decided that one of Liza's kids' magazines was called Your Big Backside, which I think would be an awesome fitness magazine for obese preschoolers. Get to it, NWF.

  • Liza drags home a couple new pieces of art from preschool every week, and that combined with what she produces at home has gotten us to the point where we were taping stuff to the walls in the dining room. Four rolls of ribbon, a few nails and washers, and some clothespins fixed that problem: From now on, if it doesn't fit in the art gallery and it doesn't mark a milestone, it hits the trash.

  • Today Liza finished the third level of Hooked on Phonics workbooks. Sometime in the past few days she started actually recognizing a lot more things as words, rather than letters, and she read the second half of her final book pretty fluidly. Here's an excerpt from it, just so you know what I've gotten myself into: "Then Dad and Tim woke up. They looked at the camp. 'Who set up the tent?' Dad asked. 'Who got the sticks for the campfire?' asked Tim. 'Who got the nuts and berries?' asked Dad. 'Who got all the fish?' asked Tim. 'We did!' said Kim. 'My pals Fox, Skunk, Chipmunk, and Frog helped me!'" She got three mylar balloons from the dollar store for finishing the level, and you'd have thought they were dipped in gold, she was so excited. Of course, if they were dipped in gold they wouldn't float too well, so it's just as well they were plain old balloons.

  • Last week after we got back from my parents' house, I started letting her look through her Bob Books while she ate lunch, mainly so that I could read my book at the same time. She was actually reading them, not just flipping through the pages, which was the first time I've seen her reading casually.

  • Speaking of my parents' house, Liza was unimpressed with the flower show. She was only lukewarm on the train ride, perhaps because we went the day after the giant snowstorm and it was blowing 40 mph and about 3 degrees at the (outdoor) train platform, and the train was late. She was in favor of the cupcake at the Reading Terminal market, but she lasted for about five minutes in the actual flower show before she started whining about wanting to go home. Here's her attitude during the parts of the show when she wasn't whining: She liked the family lounge, which had movies and games and crafts and animals visiting from the Philadelphia Zoo. There was a bunny - that kept her busy for a few minutes while my parents saw the show. She was also in favor of the Fuzzy Wuzzy plant I let her get, which is currently dying on our less-than-sunny windowsill.

  • This weekend she started reading road signs to us ("Do Not Block Drive" is her favorite). Tonight she started reading the back of Jason's cup to us while we were eating dinner. OMFG.

  • Liza liked the natural history museum we visited near my parents' house. Can you tell it started off as some rich guy's seashell collection? Liza visits the "big fucking shell" corner. It was cold the day we visited, so we didn't get a chance to walk through the gardens outside, but we did visit at least one of the bronze statues they have on the grounds:
  • Speaking of cold, when we got home from my parents' house, this was in our front yard: As usual, winter can officially bite me.
  • So help me god, if you so much as bruise that crocus, Charlie and Lola are going straight back to the library and they're staying there forever.

  • We've gotten a lot of rain in the past few days, and the river is a little, um, full. I think this shot was upstream from the bridge: And this shows roughly the place where I was standing when I made the video ages ago:

Yeah, okay, so that's enough for today. Hopefully something interesting (or at least infuriating) will happen soon so I have something to talk about.

Monday, March 02, 2009


1. Sleeping.

2. Sleeping in.

3. Sleeping in on a weekday while my parents entertain my daughter.

4. Taking a nap on the couch with my daughter.

5. Taking a nap on the couch while my parents entertain my daughter.

Bonus: Listening to the evening Weather Reports of Doom and knowing that not only do I not have anywhere to go in the morning, I'm not the one who's going to be stuck shoveling the driveway out, anyway. Also: "Ack! The world is going to end! We're going to get 6" of snow!" Pussies.