Friday, January 11, 2008

long time, no see

Back from the land-of-dead-blogs, an update!

Since I last wrote, I/we...
* Started grad school! I've now finished 25 hours and know just enough about epi to get myself in trouble.
* Got a job! I'm a second grade teacher, at least at the moment. Eek.
* Bought a house! Got out of the scary neighborhood and into---gasp!---a newly built home. Super nice :)
* Grew up. Ellie is 2, Tristan is in Kindergarten (though he may repeat next year for developmental/social reasons). Tristan did an "about me" project today and wrote that his favorite thing to do is to play with Ellie. Awww!

Guess those are the vital things. I hope to post more often from now on...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

tschau, tschus

Taking a break from blogging for a while. Doesn't do much to enhance my quality of life, nor do I have much of interest to share.

Hope that all's well with all of you, have a great rest of the summer :)

Friday, June 30, 2006

sellin' the dream

For years now, I've had dreams of moving out to the country, buying a bit of land, and building our own home. There's a little land hawking company in the Ozarks that buys up land, divides it, and sells it. I've been getting their surprisingly entertaining newsletter for a few years and it's always a fun read.

An excerpt from this morning's:

Y'see, this 3.4 acres is... well, yes, naturally beautiful, peaceful and private, yada yada yada, but what makes you think that you want any of those things? New York City is populated by typical Americans. In fact, it's populated by 8 MILLION of them, so you'd have to assume that NYC is someplace the typical American genuinely wants to be. Is it naturally beautiful? Private? Peaceful? Obviously, it is none of these things. Obviously then, these are not qualities that typical Americans care for. Ergo, if you are a typical American who wishes, for example, to buy a newspaper, then we may assume that you'd much rather wade through six blocks of immobile traffic, sulpher dioxide, junkies and crumbling infrastructure than to drive for 10 minutes along an all-but-abandoned two-lane blacktop through a pastoral countryside on your way to a small village.

Since virtually everyone tends to argue with me, I'll assume that you're doing so as well. Perhaps you're thinking, "Gee whiz, Neil, we're not typical Americans at all, we want to move out into the REAL world and build this house from these plans we found online. Instead of using a lot of expensive stuff like wood and concrete, it's made completely out of day-old bread loaves and fabric remnants, so it's good for the environment. We want to move out into the Ozarks forest and teach all the hillbillies how to make their own candles and do Tai Chi."

Uh-oh, he's got my number! lol :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

milk money

Are you an organic milk drinker who buys Horizon brand? Might want to read this.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

little man

Jon went out cycling tonight, so it was just me and the kiddos for dinner. I gave Tris a few options and he chose Macaroni & Cheese, which I was OK with (good to get it out of the pantry).

Cooked it up, dished it out...then:

Tris: Mama, this is junk food! It tastes like candy.
Me: ???
Tris: Mama, I don't want to eat this.
Me: It's what you asked for. What would you like instead?
Tris: I want...a tomato!!!

So, there you have it. My little girl wants pimento cheese sandwiches over fruit and my little man asks for fresh tomatoes instead of mac and cheese. Gotta love kids :)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

public service announcement

Repeat after me: If you are in an accident, call the police. Call the police. Call the police. Oh, and the police.

Any accident that does not occur on private property, no matter how small, should be reported immediately, before any party leaves the scene.

The kids and I, along with my sister, were rear-ended on the way to the Zoo today, by a teenager. Nobody was hurt, alhamdullilah. Not much damage either, though it was noticeable.

We exchanged information and I (so, so erronously) didn't think to call the cops. Went home, realized I should have, and called them. A cop came out to take a belated report.

Well, she got the message back from hq that nobody existed with that name or driver's license number, and no car was registered with those tags. She said that, many times, perps will give false info because of having warrants out, contraband in their cars, or whathaveyou. Of course, if she had been there with both of us, at the scene, this would not have happened.

Not calling the cops was turning into a very potentially-expensive mistake.

Thankfully, I got a call this afternoon that there had been a problem with the computers and they were not searching state records, only city ones. The guy's real! His insurance is, too!

So, things have worked out as well as they could, mashallah. I have an appointment set for an estimate next week, then his insurance will be fitting the bill.


Don't forget the moral of the story :)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

home stuff

We're getting new windows! Wheee!

I don't think I ever gave windows much thought until we got into this house. Our windows are original to the house, making them 80-ish years old, and that time has not been kind to them. Many are broken, most have a nice breeze through them, and all of them are so painted and screwed shut that they are unopenable. That's really the reason we're making the jump to vinyl thermals---in the case of a fire, we wouldn't have an easy way out at all. Even if we went window by window and by some miracle unstuck them, the only locking device requires a screw key...not exactly something we'd be able to manage in the middle of an emergency. It's a pretty good chunk of money, but I'm looking forward to letting go of the low-grade panic I've been in since I realized the fairly good chance we'd have of being burnt alive in a fire. Not to mention that, with restrictions placed by many home loans and home insurance (requiring openable windows), we might have ended up having to do it when we sell anyhow.

So, that's the excitement here! As a so, so nice byproduct, we'll get to replace our ancient window air conditioners, so maybe the kids and I won't be sweating all day. Oh, the luxury!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

busy, busy

Ellie's walking! She took her first steps on Saturday. She was after a banana her brother was eating and didn't seem to realize what she had done. Since then, though, she's done it a few more times and has been really tickled with herself. Looks like I'll be busier soon.

We spent a lot of time working outside this weekend. My dad came over on Saturday and spent most of the day pressure washing our back deck, patio, and brick walkway (which is much nicer than I could see under the weeds and dirt). It looks SO much better! I spent most of Sunday staining the deck. Most of it is done and I plan to finish up the lattice work over the next week or so.

My sister spent yesterday and last night with us, and was here today also. She, Tristan, and I saw Cars last night and it was really fantastic. All of us enjoyed it a lot. It has the Cartalk guys in it, forgoodnesssake! How could you not love that?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

i'm in!!!

I'm in, I'm in, I'm in!


I'm not going to be "just" a mom forever. Graduate school! Bettering myself intellectually! Maybe even getting a job!

This is the first commitment to a specific career field that I have made as an adult. Finally, some decisiveness!

Crazy excited.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Friday, June 02, 2006

kick in the pants

Rolling Stone: Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

Why, yes. Yes it was.

But what is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush. After carefully examining the evidence, I've become convinced that the president's party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004. Across the country, Republican election officials and party stalwarts employed a wide range of illegal and unethical tactics to fix the election. A review of the available data reveals that in Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004(12) -- more than enough to shift the results of an election decided by 118,601 votes.(13) (See Ohio's Missing Votes) In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots.(14) And that doesn?t even take into account the troubling evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush. That alone is a swing of more than 160,000 votes -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.(15)

Footnoted from here to tomorrow, the evidence is in and even those who tend to roll their eyes at supposed "conspiracy theories" need to read it. It's for real. What are we going to do about it?

You're either for democracy, or against it. Which side are you on, Mr. Resident?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Little man and I went out last night for a date. We saw 'Over the Hedge', which was really very entertaining. Tristan enjoyed it also. Best exchange, remembered as well as I can:

Verne: What is that?
RJ: It's a SUV.
Verne: Why do humans use them?
RJ: Because they are slowly losing their ability to walk.

Yeah, I'd see it again. I really like it that we can still make fun of ourselves.

The Prolacta milk bank story is the weird news of the month. This pharma company is soliciting unpaid donations from lactating mothers, homogenizing and pasteurizing the milk (thereby turning it into a dead substance and destroying many of its benefits), adding calories, and then selling it to hospitals at the tune of $45 an ounce. Prolacta boasts that they have the capacity to process 10 million ounces of breastmilk a year.

Oh, there is so much about this that gets me riled up. First, they are assuming that they can get that much --- 10 million ounces a year! --- without even paying the mothers for their time and effort. Natural breastmilk is worthless, after all. And then they process it and sell the resulting substance --- and I don't think that processed, dead, fortified breastmilk is authentic breastmilk anymore --- and sell it as superior to "regular" human milk, and at prices that ensure that only the very rich or very well-insured can afford it. Sounds like the formula makers (processed breastmilk is, essentially, commercialized formula) are getting smarter; I hope mothers don't give them what they want.

Monday, May 29, 2006

turn turn turn

I was so sorry to see that more journalists have been killed in Iraq.

Sorry and saddened, though not surprised. Not, at least, until I came to this part of the article:

"The terrorists who committed this evil crime have shown themselves for who they are. They do not want the world to see the truth of what is happening in Iraq, where a determined people are fighting for freedom and liberty. That story must and will be told."

OK, so the Colonial Militias were just resisting unjust rule, the French Resistance used guerrilla tactics righteously in their fight against the Nazi occupation of their country, but Iraqi insurgents are terrorists for fighting "freedom and liberty"-loving American soldiers?

Just when I forget how pervasive the ignorance and spin are, I come across this kind of stuff.

Bah to Victors' History. Bah to those gullible enough to swallow it with a smile.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Quite an eventful week here at Chez Mamaspeak.

Eleanor started standing. She generally does this when she feels she is not getting enough attention, since it inevitably brings praise and applause.

We found an amazing preschool for Tristan. Montessori. I actually went there for summer school when I was a child; most of the teachers have been there forever and one actually remembered me. I really like the philosophy and think he'd really thrive.

Got two cell phones, to replace our land line. Not sure if this qualifies me as cool, or if I'm just a sell-out now.

A previously-mainstream preggo friend has decided, at 37 weeks, that she wants a non-interventive birth. Woo-hoo! We're meeting later today to create a birth plan.

We are being invaded by ants and fleas. Welcome to summer in the South.

Speaking of summer, it's already incredibly hot. Our window air conditioners are not doing too good a job and Jon actually suggested looking into getting central air. May not happen, but I feel cooler already.

I've mostly given up Coca~Cola, which I was drinking way too much of. Got it out of the house, which was (mentally) harder than it sounds. I can already tell a difference in my perpetually-postpartum shape. Woot.

And tomorrow is our fifth anniversary. Seriously doesn't seem like it's been that long.