Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Guess who got a wireless keyboard for Christmas?


So now I can post to Blogger without it giving my finger a cramp. Guess who's going to be posting more frequently?


Saturday, December 01, 2012

Everyone's a helper

Seriously? Like there wasn't enough cat hair woven in the scarf already...

Friday, November 30, 2012

I like my art tiny

Courtesy of Janet Mettee, a talented artist and all-around delightful conversationalist who is exhibiting this weekend at the Terra Vista Studio holiday sale (http://www.terravistastudios.com/Holiday_Sale_2012_Info_4.html).

Go check out her work before all of the adorable little canvases are gone!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shake your groove thang

When at http://www.bspotburgers.com/, it is necessary to order a milkshake....preferably one that comes with BACON!

(Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Bacon, with or without bourbon)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

From this day forward, he shall be called "Dumbass."

Guess who managed to climb up the curtains and get stuck in them right next to a cold window?


And who thinks it's fun to savagely attack the feeding tongs while ignoring the food?


And who decided to buy a lizard based solely on its looks?

Um, me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lizard Wars

"No, Luke, ours is a love that was not meant to be."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wow, that was close!

I've been so busy trying to get the photos off of my daughter's camera and into my computer (4 hours, two trips to Target, and three befuddled employees did the trick - sort of) that I almost forgot to post!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Making progress

I have to redo 4 squares (the ones missing in the photo), but it's definitely coming together. I can't wait until it's done and keeping my feet warm while I work on my next project!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Grace, thy name is Liza

Wait til I get home and can post the dancing videos....

Friday, November 23, 2012


Tell me I'm not the only one who finds this hilarious...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Don't bother me

We're in my happy place.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sunny with a chance of awesome

The weather here has been getting windier every day, going from still as glass on Saturday to 'oh my god it would be a glass-bottom pukefest' today. The weather forecast shows none of this, only varying from day to day in whether the low will be 74 or 77. Since my schedule for every day looks the same (read and knit in the shade by the pool until it's time to eat or take photos at sunset), I don't care if it's windy or still. It's all good!

Speaking of sunsets, here's yesterday's:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I feel like I forgot something on these socks, but I can't think of what it could be...

Monday, November 19, 2012

This is the end

Of the pier.
Of the storm.
Of the rainbow.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Sitting here eating breakfast in Jamaica, and the music they're playing in the background is the same Kenny Rogers album my dad used to play all the time when I was a kid helping him in his workshop. I know all the words to every song, and I suddenly wish I had some woodworking to do.

This verse of "The Coward of the County" is for you, Dad. I miss you.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

And here they said...

... That the iOS 6 map feature didn't work right. Found me, even in another country!

Friday, November 16, 2012

On our way

The wifi connection at the resort was really spotty last time we went, so don't be alarmed by radio silence or a lack of photos - just trying to not go insane looking for a decent signal all week.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A poem

The bags are packed,
The curtains drawn.
Don't look for us here
'Cause we are GONE!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Garfield would be so proud!

Last fall we (meaning me - Jason and Liza could have cared less) decided that instead of throwing out our leaves, we would instead use them as the foundation for a bunch of new lasagna gardens (http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/lasagnagarden.htm). What began as a billion cubic feet of shredded leaves and grass (plus a bag of compost starter, a bunch of half-finished kitchen compost, and a bunch of earthworms we dug up in the spring) turned into more than 100 square feet of new gardens in the back yard. We planted some this spring, and left the rest to ripen a bit (some piles were heavy on the not-so-shredded leaves). Here it is after a year - 3" of perfect crumbly humus, ready to go.

I bring this up now because it's leaf season again, so I can show you the before and after shots all at once. Here's this year's lasagna bed, about 18" deep in shredded leaves and waiting for the last go-round with the rakes and law mower.

And here's last year's bed for comparison. It's a bit shorter, huh?

The only downside? The pile doesn't get very hot while it works, so we had to deal with (ie ignore) tons of weeds, including this cute little guy:

What, don't you recognize this volunteer? It's the rare "native to Ohio, no really it's not a tropical plant" avocado tree. I've been growing one in a pot inside for months, and this one looks healthier. See, I told you I was doing something right with the compost!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Put that away

Nobody wants to see your freaky tongue, Junior.

Monday, November 12, 2012

One final hurrah

The temperature is supposed to plummet today by 30 degrees, so I'm enjoying the last shreds of summer while I can. I'm sunburned from spending all weekend in the yard, hungry because I haven't been to the grocery store in weeks, and my arm is about to fall off from all the painting and sanding I did yesterday.

Okay, I just need to bring the last few roses inside, and I'll be ready to embrace winter ... right after we get back from Jamaica :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Night, night

The veggie garden has been put to bed for the winter.

Sleep tight, and eat all those leaves in your blanket so I get better soil next year!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I had a happier morning than you did

I slept in until 10.
I had pizza for breakfast.
Jason got the lawn mower to start.
And I got my loom warped.

Beat that!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Did you get my good side?

No! Not the side where my leg skin is peeling off and I've got skin hanging off my face! You're the worst publicist ever.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Coming to you on a comparatively huge screen...

... because Jason and my mom bought my an iPad for my birthday!!! Gonna get some seriously non-squinty mobile updates now, that's for sure!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


I get my lizard love honestly. I should buy an extra ticket so he can sit next to me on the plane.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Before and after

Turns out that if you donate 25% of your sweaters and actually fold the rest neatly, they take up a lot less room in your closet.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Touching up

Mom bought a complete set of bedroom linens - curtains, sheets, bed skirt, shams, quilt - at a yard sale years ago. They repainted the room and the furniture, but then Dad got sicker and the project stalled. In the interest of getting more closet space freed up (and making her bedroom look less like something the 80s threw up) we pulled it out and put it into service today. Now we're off to find a less ugly mirror (see the shadow of the old one on the wall?) and a significantly less horrible lamp, plus maybe some flannel sheets that don't look like something an old lady would own. And we WON'T be shopping at yard sales, believe me.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

I craft so I do not kill people.

Especially when I'm starving and waiting for a table at a restaurant I didn't want to go to in the first place.

Saturday, November 03, 2012


It was Dad’s last day in the hospital, and Mom and I were talking in the hallway. “It’s so strange to see him with his hands still,” she said. “He’s always doing something with his hands.”

And it was true. From the time he was a small boy, Dad was always doing something with his hands. He made science fair projects, helped his father with repairs around the house, fixed up cars, built things. He served root beers and worked in a foundry in the 50s, painted signs and boat transoms in the 70s, and worked a cash register at Target to keep busy in the 2000s.

When he and Mom were first married, many of the things his hands made were out of necessity, not just for fun. Painting names on boats and making signs for local businesses gave him a creative outlet, sure, but it also earned extra money for Christmases and birthdays. Many of my favorite toys were made out of spare wood and things he found in the garage – a swing made from a Model A tire, a scrap-wood horse –(appropriately named Splinter), a balance beam made from two sawhorses and a 2-by-6. Virtually everything he built is still in use, everything from sawhorses out in the garage to the cabinets he built to hold my childhood toys and books. Every room in both Mom’s house and mine includes something he made or fixed, installed or improved, painted or refinished.

He wasn’t just a good maker, he was a good teacher, as well. When he encouraged Mom to take classes at the community college and work part time, he taught me the value of supporting your partner, and the importance of education. Meanwhile, his hands learned to make fish sticks or Prego spaghetti for us on the nights Mom was away at dinnertime. He taught me to catch crabs and fish (although we never did catch the giant lunker bass that lurked in the depths of Mrs. Shepherd’s pond). He taught me how to row a boat and paddle a kayak; how to hammer and saw, paint and spackle, whittle and glue. His hands taught me how valued I was as they took time to play catch, shoot baskets, throw a Frisbee, skip stones, wield a badminton racket, and show me how to throw a nice tight spiral with a Nerf football. He showed me there was nothing wrong with being different – his hands were putting vinegar on green beans, eating leftover German potato salad for breakfast, and picking approximately 400,000 cucumber slices off of salads throughout his life.

Dad was generous with his abilities – most of what he made or did wasn’t for himself. He did work on his house, yes, but he also helped older neighbors with their maintenance, and some seasons he spent as much time working in my aunt’s yard in New Jersey as he did in his own. If you needed something fixed, painted, trimmed, or modified, he was your guy – half the time you didn’t even have to ask. Once I told him I was having trouble keeping my yarn from rolling all over the floor when I was knitting, and a couple weeks later I got a package in the mail. He had made a yarn holder for me – and not just a yarn holder, but a carved yarn holder shaped like a hand holding a magic wand. And when my parents’ friend Grace asked him to fix an old wheelbarrow she had in her yard, he did – even when it meant replacing all but two of its parts.

Dad was always curious – about everything and everyone. He kept index cards and a mechanical pencil in his pocket at all times, because he never knew when he’d think of something he wanted to look up when he got home. He loved maps and globes, and was always looking up obscure places near and far. As you can imagine, his habit of wanting to strike up a conversation with EVERY docent in a museum was horrifying to me as a child – never mind that he was learning all kinds of cool stuff and meeting interesting people, it was just so embarrassing! You never knew who he was going to meet – one day at our house in Cleveland we went for a walk around the block, and Dad got caught up in a conversation with a neighbor who lived down the street from us. After a while, Mom and I continued on home without him, leaving him deep in conversation. Later Dad told me all about the property values in our neighborhood, thanks to his conversation with a “very nice real estate agent down the street – he’s got a daughter just about Liza’s age, you know. You should go talk to him.” A few months later at Liza’s preschool open house, a man came up and introduced himself – he had met my father earlier that summer, and had heard all about me and my daughter. Now my daughter and his daughter are best friends – but they might never have met if Dad hadn’t stopped to talk that day.

Dad didn’t just love to talk, he loved to tell stories, too. His favorite one was the time his friend Geoff brought his boat down the river and lost a shoe in the mud while he was wading to shore across the street from our house in Maryland. That same day, Dad was doing some work on the front porch when he found an old shoe abandoned under the porch floor. Everyone was delighted to find that the shoe was the right size – and foot – to replace the one Geoff had lost in the mud. And then there was his story about his father’s galoshes – repeated so often we eventually had to drown him out with a chorus of groans whenever he’d start in with, “My father had a pair of galoshes that were sooo big …”

Dad’s hands were active in his retirement, volunteering at the Kalmar Nyckel and the New Sweden Centre. He made commemorative plates for the Kalmar Nyckel foundation, trained to serve as crew on the ship, and helped with some of the maintenance on the ship and in the shipyard. He helped make and outfit displays in the New Sweden Centre museum. He joined a carving club and passed on some of his knowledge of that craft to the other members.

As his illness made it more difficult for him to participate in his other interests, carving took over more of his time. He even went to some craft shows and sold a few of his carvings – but I think he enjoyed meeting all the shoppers as much as he enjoyed actually selling things.

Several people have asked me what Mom and I are going to do as a memorial for Dad. I guess some people get buildings or streets named after them, or at least get a park bench put in front of the library in their honor. And we may do something like that eventually. But I can think of a more fitting tribute that all of us can give him. Dad’s hands touched the lives of everyone here today. Maybe he was part of your family, or your mentor, or your friend. In some way, his hands helped you, or taught you, or inspired you. And although Dad’s hands are now still, we can continue his legacy. So think of what Dad meant to you – and pass it on.

Friday, November 02, 2012

To do

1. Take antidepressants
2. Pick up cakes
3. Pick up barbecue
4. Pick up slide show DVD
5. Drop off cakes, barbecue at church kitchen
6. Bake dad's favorite cookies
7. Take forms to mom's bank
8. Pack up carvings to take to church tomorrow
9. Write checks for church, etc.
10. Preview DVD
11. Pack items we need to distribute after the memorial (Brad, John)
12. Buy waterproof mascara
13. Take load of stuff to goodwill
14. Stash books to donate in mom's car until Monday
15. Practice eulogy
16. Shave legs
17. Birthday card for Susan
18. Make sure we have enough thank you notes
19. Caffeine. Need more caffeine.
20. Pick up dining room table

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Totally cheating today

I'm going to try NaBloPoMo again this year, despite November being The Worst Month Ever For Internet Access.  There may be some, ahem, scheduled posts during Thanksgiving week, since the internet connection will be spotty where I'll be.

Dreary and drizzly, today we're on the road to Delaware to help my mom get ready for my dad's memorial service on Saturday.

What, did I forget to mention here that my dad died?  Yeah, so ... that happened September 22nd.  It sucked.  We were able to make things as comfortable and in-line with Dad's wishes as possible, which didn't make the decisions any easier or more fun to deal with.  He's been gone for more than a month and we're still getting blindsided by stuff on a regular basis, because that's how grief works.  Normal, but unpleasant.

We scheduled the memorial service far in advance, and on a weekend, so that as many people as possible would be able to come.

Then there was a Frankenstorm, which screwed up power and transportation on the whole East Coast, so we have no idea how many people will actually be able to attend the service.  If there are only 10 of us there, there's going to be a lot of food left over after the reception.  Cake for everyone!

(Complete side note - when my mother and I were killing time in the hospital during my dad's final illness, somehow the pain scale came up in conversation, and I took great glee in sharing this blog post with my mom: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/02/boyfriend-doesnt-have-ebola-probably.html .  Our particular favorite ratings were,"4:  Huh.  I never knew that about giraffes." vs. "4:  My pain is not fucking around."  Sometimes a good snorting laugh is really, really necessary.)

Anyway, I'm just checking in to let you know that, a) I'm still here, even though I mostly post on Facebook nowadays, and b) I'm going to be here a lot this month, so set your blog readers to check in on me, and guilt me into it if it looks like I'm going to miss a day!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Now I'm that kind of mom

When Liza was little, taking her to the playground was both a relief and a huge hassle. We were out of the house, which was a good thing, but trying to get her to do what "normal" kids did on playgrounds was a nightmare. She didn't want to share the equipment with anyone - ANYONE - so if anyone else was at the park it generally ended up with tears and clingyness. She didn't want to stay on the age-appropriate equipment, so I was forever having to spot her as my 2-yr-old climbed up rope ladders on the middle school playground. She would ignore the playgroup we had gone to the park to see, at least until it was snack time and suddenly all the other kids' snacks were way more interesting than whatever I'd brought.

As she got older, if I sat on the bench by the playground, she'd run over to the sandbox. If I went to the sandbox, she wanted to swing. If I brought nothing to do, she wanted no help and wanted to stay forever, but if I brought my knitting she needed help with everything and wanted to leave after 5 minutes.

I've spent seven years looking enviously at the moms on the benches, the ones whose kids run off and play by themselves and don't constantly need to go to the bathroom or need to have bruises kissed or injured feelings comforted. The ones who bring books to the park - and actually get to read them.

And now, finally, I get to be one of those moms. I get to take my kid to meet a friend at the splashground and not have to do more than throw snacks to her every once in a while. I can sit in a beach chair in the shade and knit, talking to another mom about how to get the sap out of Liza's clothes once she climbs down out of that tree. True, I still have to doctor occasional scrapes, and apparently falling off of a low bar onto your back instead of you feet is so distressing it takes 10 minutes to recover, but I'll take that.

Because I'm that kind of mom.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Social skills are not her forte

We're at McDonald's, and Liza is playing "kitties" on the play equipment with her friend Kiele. Another boy approaches.
Boy: You can play with us if you're the bad guy.
Liza: Meow.
Boy: You can be any bad guy you want! Even a robot!
Liza: Meow.
Boy: You can even be a blue ninja! Or a greeweeewn ninja!
Liza: Meow.
Boy: Come on, be a bad guy!
Liza, to Kiele: How long is it going to take him to figure out that Meow means "Go Away?"

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

It's a tradition

We visit the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Liza insists on visiting the butterfly release, I have to kill half an hour taking pictures while she communes with nature.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Birthday party

Playground World, I (and fifteen of my closest friends, and some of their siblings) am in you!

Only shot of the day which shows more than two kids on any piece of equipment - they scattered like ball bearings dropped on a concrete floor, and Liza bounced between clumps of school- and non-school-friends all afternoon.

I told all the parents they were allowed to play on the equipment, too, but strangely enough there weren't many takers.

Good thing nobody took me up on the trampoline offer - somebody probably would have fallen and broken a hip.  We may be young at heart, but none of us are actually young anymore!

We had to drag them inside the party room for pizza and cake.

Good thing the cupcakes looked awesome - the kids were impressed for 10 seconds before they ran back out to play.

We gave her the choice between opening the presents at the party or opening them at home and having more time to play.  Greed won.

It was a lot less work to prepare for this party than for last year's Angry Birds Extravaganza.  And despite having three times as many guests, we finished the thank-you notes in a fraction of the time.  So, it was a winning situation all the way around!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Seven years ago today

  • I was suffering from the effects of having to drink the equivalent of an entire Big Gulp every hour I was awake for the previous day, in an effort to combat a problem which it turns out I didn't even have.  My bladder would like to thank you for that experience, Ms. Incompetent Sonogram Technician.
  • I was worried about the fact that my baby's head was measuring several weeks "younger" than it was supposed to on the sonogram, which probably meant that the 0.25 ounces of bourbon I drank before I realized I was pregnant had seriously stunted my kid's growth and I might as well start looking into group homes for her for later in life.  Thank you again, Ms. Useless Sonogram Technician.
  • I was having to decide whether to go ahead and induce delivery early just in case Ms. Incompetent Sonogram Technician was actually correct and the baby was potentially in danger if she stayed in much longer.  Bitch.
  • I was calling Jason out of important meetings so we could go have a baby two weeks early.
  • I was so petrified I was going to fuck something up that I couldn't eat my lunch before I went to the hospital, even though I knew they wouldn't let me eat once I was admitted.
  • I was pissed I had to go on an IV right away - I had planned to work on my cross-stitch sampler project while waiting for the drugs to kick in, but I couldn't hold the needle or the hoop comfortably with the IV hanging out the back of my hand.
  • Don't even get me started on the whole "Big Gulps in the morning + insane volumes of IV fluids in the afternoon = 14,000 trips to the bathroom while hugely pregnant and dragging an IV pole and fetal heart monitor around with me" situation.
  • Or the fact that they wanted to monitor my output, so I had to pee in a cup.  I did crack the nurse up when I asked her what she wanted me to do once I filled up the liter cup in one sitting - dump and keep measuring, or just record it as 1000+ ml?
  • I was pissed that I was missing the premier of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I had planned to go see that evening, and which I had been anticipating for months in advance.  Turns out, when I finally saw it a year later on Netflix, it kinda sucked anyway.
  • I was so bored while I was waiting for the drugs to do ANYTHING that I had Jason read the newspaper crossword puzzle clues to me and write my answers in for me, because trying to write with the &$(*$(&$)ing IV in my hand wasn't fun.
  • I was trying to be brave for so long that the anesthesiologist was halfway home and had to drive back to the hospital to put in my spinal.
  • I was trying (and failing) to remember to roll over every so often so the anesthesia didn't settle on one side of my body.  Whoops.  Took hours to regain any feeling in one of my legs after the delivery.  Seriously - the thing was like having a telephone pole surgically attached to my waist, it was that unresponsive.
  • I was shivering uncontrollably no matter how many blankets they put on me, because apparently my body interprets "loss of feeling" as "oh my god we're stuck in a snowdrift and going to freeze to death if I don't vibrate like a tuning fork for hours on end."
  • I was inexplicably afraid of getting a catheter put in.  Rip a giant melon-sized head out of my hoohah? No problem!  Shove a tiny tube in my peepee? GAAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA.  And then after they put it in, I was all - Wait, I don't have to waddle over to the bathroom and pee in a pitcher anymore?  Bonus!  And the nurse was all - Better get another bag, this one's full already.
  • I was bitching about how Nothing Was Happening For Three Hours, other than the peeing and the leg turning into wood and the shivering.  The nursing shift changed, and the new nurses checked on me, and told me to let them know if anything changed, and then went to look in on other patients.  
  • It finally occurred to me an hour later that the vague feeling of fullness "down there" might be worth mentioning to the nurses next time they swung through.  Yeah, right, she said, and she took a peek, and her eyes got really wide, and she said, DON'T PUSH, I'll go get the doctor.  Apparently what felt sort of like a tampon that was about to fall out was actually my kid about to fall out.  Who knew?
  • Push - Push - Push - there's your kid.  And the last one didn't actually count because I was laughing while I did it.
  • I was entertaining the doctor while she stitched me back up, with an impression of the look on the nurse's face when she checked on my progress.
  • I was trying not to be disappointed when the baby scored only 9 out of a possible 10 on the APGAR test. Don't get used to underachieving, kiddo.
  • Telling Jason that Wendy's was still open, and since I knew he didn't get me a push present he'd damn well better go get me a fruit salad before the closed - seriously, get out the door and get me some food, goddammit.  The baby will still be here when you get back in 20 minutes.
  • I was just beginning to experience a seemingly endless parade of nurses and lactation consultants and pediatricians and obstetricians and random people they found in the hallway who wanted to poke around at my boobs and tell me what the baby (or I) was doing wrong with nursing.
  • Not yet aware that the nameless nurse who showed me Saturday night that newborns are actually able to drink from a (tiny) cup would be my Personal Savior and Bringer of Hope that the Kid Won't Starve to Death Before Monday.
  • Never so happy as when the hospital confirmed that babies aren't allowed to sleep in their mother's rooms at night, they have to go back to the nursery.  Oh, thank you lord, for this 45-minute break between when the nurses are waking me up to check my vital signs, and when the baby wakes up screaming because she's super pissed that we broke her out two weeks ahead of schedule.
  • Trying not to notice that the leftover umbilical cord hanging off of the front of my kid looked exactly like a used condom.  Trying not to make jokes about "Gee, I wonder where she picked that up, har har har."
  • Admiring what I made.

And today?  Still admiring what I made, and the smart, fearless, funny, interesting, beautiful girl she's becoming.

Happy seventh birthday, Liza Bear.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

2012 Lego Olympiad competition

This year Liza decided she wanted to compete in the Lego Olympiad as an individual, rather than a team like last year.  So when she kept putting off working on her project, and putting it off, and putting it off, I wasn't nearly as ticked.  The day before the competition I told her she had to either buckle down and prepare to represent her school well, or I wasn't going to let her go at all.  She thought about it all day, and after school she told me she was ready to work.  Yay.

She took her inspiration from an episode of her favorite show, Mythbusters, in which the team tries to escape from jail using a rope made of toilet paper.  We started with some screen shots of the episode to use as inspiration:

Her initial design wasn't terribly complex, but it still looked pretty similar to the building where the episode was made.  Unfortunately, when we ran the design through the Lego builder software, it spat out 70 pages of directions on how to reproduce it.  Um, probably not going to happen, but we'll bring them along just in case.

Let the building begin!  Liza was happy to see her friend Rachel shared her table.  Even if they weren't working as a team, it's good to have a smiling face nearby.

The judges circulated through the room during the build to make sure none of the grownups were helping and to talk to the kids about their projects.  Liza made good use of the photos and descriptions she made the night before, explaining how she came up with the idea and what it was going to do.

No, that doesn't look like the original model.  After a meltdown early in the build, she decided to scrap the more complicated building design and just go for the basics.  The original looked cooler, but honestly, this one was a lot sturdier, and it got the job done.

Look at how the projects are coming along ... Liza's got most of a building, and Rachel's volcano is done and she's working on the rest of her Hawaiian island.

Liza's finished model, "Mythbusters Toilet Paper Rope Jail Break."  Note that's Tory on the rope (which she made of dental floss so it was to scale), with Grant and Kari watching from below.  The minifigs were painted with wite-out, then she added the convict stripes with a Sharpie pen afterward.

Final judging time - Liza demonstrates that you can actually play with hers, and shows how the safety rope and winch work to keep Tory from falling when his hands slip on the rope.

The judges spent quite a bit of time looking over her project and talking with her about it.  I was good and sat far away, trying to ignore them and not helping her answer anything.  That's the hardest part of the competition, at least for me!

Liza was thrilled that she won a door prize, even if it was a box of Duplo blocks.  Then two of her school's Kindergarten teams won medals ... and then her classmate won a medal ... and then they called her name!

This is Liza's first actual non-pity award where she had to beat out other kids, they didn't just give the same thing to everyone who participated.  She won second place in the First Grade Open division.

Despite the fact that she didn't really prepare until the night before, I think she definitely deserved a medal for her work.  She planned, she built it all by herself and it worked when she was done. she was able to explain things to the judges coherently, and she was able to recover from her early meltdown and refocus on the task at hand.  Sure, it would be nice if I could have used the "See, maybe you would have won something if you'd started practicing more than 24 hours in advance of the competition" line, but hopefully this little taste of victory will leave her wanting to do her best next year.

Now, time to get cracking on the spelling lists for the Bee next Friday ...