Monthly Archives: May 2007

She’s Punny That Way.

Me:  "Laurel, go clean your room."

Laurel:  [doing everything but what I told her to do]

Me:  "Laurel.  Go.  Clean your room.  Now."

Laurel:  [moves toward the laundry room]

Me:  "Where are you going?  I told you to go clean your room."

Laurel:  "There's a fly buzzing around, and I'm getting the fly swatter to kill it."

Me:  [exasperated] "Don't worry about the stupid fly, okay?  I'll get the fly.  No sweat."

Laurel:  "Don't-cha mean 'No swat?'  hahahahahahahahaha!"


Woman Discovers Broken Desk, Terrorism Suspected.

(Note to readers:  Be sure to hold your mouse over the photos for captions) 

JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO —  Michelle, 31,  discovered a broken desk while vacuuming at her home this morning in unincorporated Jefferson County. 

Upon finding the broken desk, Michelle described the discovery as alternately 'unsurprising' and 'exasperating.'

Though she has no firm evidence, having failed to catch the perpetrator in the act, she suspects the Two-Foot Terrorist, pictured below:

The Two-Foot Terrorist, in a recent mugshot taken just prior to his release from High Chair Quentin.  The Two-Foot Terrorist, pictured here at his training camp in the dining room floor. Note the hammer being used to terrorize the Weebles villagers.

When pressed for her reasons to suspect the Two-Foot Terrorist despite the lack of evidence, Michelle insisted, "He's the only person possessing both the will and the weight to commit such an act.  His sister, while having the weight, doesn't have the will or motive to climb onto and break the desk." 

Michelle and her desk are not the first victims of the suspected Two-Foot Terrorist.  Laurel and Greg have also fallen prey to his tactics, as have inanimate objects such as pop-up books and glasses in the dishwasher.  Vinnie has been especially vexed by the Terrorist's rapid-fire advances.

Asked where she would turn in the aftermath of this heinous act, Michelle remains unflappable.  "I guess Greg is going to have to fix this when he gets home.  What a way to spend a Friday evening."

You May Be Right. I May Be Crazy.

Go figure.

Juggling motherhood, household duties, and part-time work wasn't enough for me.  So I'm going back to school.

For a number of reasons, I'm not using the Bachelor's degree I earned from Mizzou, but I want to expand my skills in my current line of work, so I'm going to pursue my paralegal certificate. 

I think I got a little carried away.  I'm taking 3 hours this summer.  One course.  No biggie.  But this fall I've registered for 12 hours.  Twelve!  Four accelerated courses.  What was I thinking?  It will be incredibly jam-packed, with Laurel entering a new school and all of us adjusting to that as well as my new schedule.  But in January I'll be halfway to my goal, so (I hope) it will be worth it.

My driving force is Greg, who has always encouraged me to do what I want to do.  As if he doesn't already have enough to do, he's tacitly agreed to take on all the extra work with the kids while I'm in class so I can go do this.  He is my hero, and I don't say that lightly.  I have not always been fortunate enough to have this much encouragement behind my endeavors, and I hope he knows I recognize how much he's doing.

Vinnie’s Redemption.

Vinnie doesn't get much respect around here, primarily due to his favorite hobby:  Misbehavior and General Annoyance.

But he just redeemed himself with a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses.  As they came to the porch, Vinnie (who was still inside) lunged for the door, ferociously barking.  He clearly detected a threat.  The JWs literally jumped back in fright.  I smiled politely and yelled my message over the din.  'We're not interested!' 

They seemed relieved and left with more haste than they came.  They didn't even leave a pamphlet.

I would be remiss if I failed to point out that Vinnie does not react with such rancor toward the UPS man.

Vinnie's a good boy, yes he is.

Variety Show Memos.

To the people in front of us who talked throughout the show:  Shut the hell up.  These are performances, for crying out loud, and I assure you that you have nothing to say that cannot wait 5 minutes.  My daughter even told me between performances that she wished you would stop whispering.  You may have heard me respond, 'yes, it's incredibly rude.  I'm certainly glad you know better.'  Or perhaps you felt my well-placed kick to the back of your seat.  Unfortunately, this public chastising only worked for, oh, 2 minutes.  The 3-year-old behind us didn't know better than to talk during a performance, but you do.  Shut up.

To the girl with the 'got faith?' t-shirt:  Where are your parents?  You need to sit your ass down.  If Jesus were here, he'd tell you to sit your ass down and stop running around with your prosti-tot friends during performances.  Oh yeah, and to shut up.  Yes, that was me glaring at you while you were with the gaggle in front of us.  You know why?  'Cause I don't advertise my 'morality' and then fail to sit my ass down and shut the hell up during performances.

To the gentleman 3 rows ahead with the ponytail:  Cut it off.  Antonio Banderas and Trace Adkins can pull off a ponytail.  So can the Trace Adkins look-alike who won an attendance price at the variety show.  You cannot.  Quit playing Dungeons and Dragons and visit a barber.

To the students who were spectators:  Thank you for being so supportive of your classmates, even when their performances were abysmal.  It is heartwarming in this age of schoolyard bullying and angst to see you so heartily encourage everyone.  This is one of the things we will miss about Sherwood — the sense of family.

To Laurel:  I'm glad you talked me into going to the variety show even though I didn't want to go.  I had a great time with you and I think it was good for you to see your fellow schoolmates putting themselves out there, taking risks on that stage.  I know you said you were glad you didn't perform because you'd have stage fright, but when your name was called as an attendance prize winner, you ran up on that stage like you owned it.  I love you, kiddo.


MacDaddy Maclaren.

Ethan is one big chunk of toddler.  That's why our big Cadillac stroller, the Graco Quattro Tour, was becoming unwieldy. 

I could no longer maneuver the thing between aisles of clothing, etc. 

We have big air travel plans this summer.

It was time to downsize to a sportier model. 

The trouble is, most lightweight strollers are short.  Really short, as if the manufacturers all live in Taiwan where nobody grows taller than 5'3".  Well, here in the Midwest, some of us grow tall, like the corn.  Hunching over an umbrella stroller causes all manner of pains and strains. 

We found the perfect stroller for those of us who are 5'9" and 6'2".  The Maclaren.  It's British, so it's not a stroller, it's a buggy.  The box even says 'buggy' on the side.  And they come in model years.  This is the 2007 Volo.

This stroller only weighs 8.6 pounds.  8.6!  That's just slightly (.2 lbs) less than Ethan when he was born.  I can single-handedly twirl this buggy like a Dodge City gunslinger, even with a 34-pound toddler aboard.

The best part, of course, is that Ethan loves it.  That means I won't have to endure his banshee-esque tantrums.  He can climb in himself.  The photo below clearly depicts a Fat Nekkid Toddler Thumbs Up.

Congratulations, Laurel!

This year, Laurel had some problems in school.

She had trouble with acting out whenever she was bored, which was often.   I got report after report of bad behavior, which we couldn't understand because a) we didn't have those problems here at home, and b) Greg and I didn't get in trouble often in school, though I got in trouble a little more in high school.  heh.  She embarrassed the student teacher by fooling around in front of the poor woman's supervisor.  She threw rocks.  She spun bottle caps.

I finally wrote a letter complaining that we didn't know what was going on, but that we had to find some solutions.  I copied the principal.

The principal has a son in Laurel's class, who is also gifted and also has some of the same behavioral traits, so she understood.  She convened a meeting of the Powers That Be In Gifted Ed.  The district considered moving Laurel up to a higher grade, but didn't think she was socially ready for that.  We agreed.  We knew something about this, because I had been moved up a grade level when I was young.  The gifted coordinator decided to give Laurel a full-scale IQ test.  Her scores were "off the charts."  They decided the best option for Laurel was to apply for  PEGS, the St. Louis Program for Exceptionally Gifted Students.

We attended a preview, a sort of open house for PEGS, in January.  The assistant superintendent in our home district also attended, and afterward decided to support the move because our district, though moving in the right direction, does not have the resources for a child of Laurel's degree of giftedness.

In my quest to better understand giftedness and all the pros and cons associated with it, I joined several giftedness associations, including SAGE, GAM, and SENG.  I plan to be as active in my support for gifted education as possible.  Greg and I both feel the government has neglected giftedness when it comes to education, and we desperately wish a program like PEGS had been available to us when we were young.  The opportunities this presents for Laurel are boundless.

Today, after a series of psychological and IQ tests and interviews, followed by much hand-wringing and second-guessing our interview answers, we got the news.  Laurel has been accepted.

Congratulations, Laurel.  We love you, and we knew you should be there.  We are very proud of you, and we hope you are very proud of yourself.  You deserve it.


Just What He Needed, I’m Sure.

I didn't realize at the time that what I was doing was cruel.  Really!  I didn't!

Now and then, Greg and I catch Kim Komando on the radio.  Not on purpose — we just happen upon her show while driving around on Saturdays or whenever she's on.  Greg is way smarter than Kim Komando and it's fun to watch him get all indignant at the things she says.

A couple of weeks ago I looked up her website and saw that she offered images which could be set as a computer background.  'Ah-ha,' I thought.  'This will be an awesome joke to play on Greg, since he loves her so much.'

I sort of forgot about the whole thing until this weekend when it suddenly popped into my head and I asked him what resolution his monitor is running.  He gave me a quirky look because, yeah, that's a totally-out-of-left-field question for me, but I was prepared.  When he asked why I wanted to know, I told him I was just curious.  I even went on to ask him if it makes him nuts when he's trying to work on a client's computer and their resolution is set differently, etc., etc.  I know.  A great cover, right?

This morning, opportunity finally presented itself.  I slithered downstairs and set his background to this.  I thought he'd be appreciative.  After all, she is 'America's Digital Goddess.'  What's not to like, right? 

Shortly after Greg headed downstairs to begin the workday, I had to go down to check the freezer, and he was, I think, pretty freaked out.  He was all, 'Somebody put a big picture of Kim Komando on my desktop.'  I snickered and asked, 'What are you talking about?'  Exasperation reared its head.  'Kim Komando.  Somebody put a picture of her on my desktop.'

An alarm sounded in my head. He was afraid someone hacked in — a pretty reasonable assumption, actually, since I never ever touch his machine if I can help it.


So I 'fessed up.

Sorry, Greg.  I promise not to taunt you with Kim Komando for the rest of the day.

Whee! We Got Wii.

Lookie here!

We had been casually watching for one of these for awhile, but hadn't really done any serious looking.

We found this one in De Soto.  It looked like it needed a home.  We obliged.

We're not that big into gaming systems.  I haven't owned one since the Nintendo64.  Greg hasn't had one since regular Nintendo.  I know.

Now we're all modern and stuff.