Tuesday, December 28, 2010


We've been back about a week, and it is great. We arrived in the height of last week's snowstorm (which nobody remembers, after this week's). You know how houses have smells, and you don't notice the smell of your own house unless you've been away? I was relieved to notice that ours smells mostly like... wood. In a nice way, I think. I guess. Anyway the girls went beserk, running around remembering stuff and hollering their discoveries at each other: "LOOK! The play house! The piano! The PINK TOILETS!" (Yes, we have pink toilets... the house was built in the 80s, and we've had more important improvements to make since we bought it in '00, but the pink toilets are SO on our list.) They were especially happy to get in their own little beds. They liked sharing a room out west, but neither of them says they will miss sharing a bed. Evidently the Bean steals the covers.

In the morning we went right to the service station to address the tire pressure warning light that, along with the icy roads, had me stressed out all the way home the day before. I'd put air in the tires, but it kept coming back on. I've been assured that the tires weren't dangerously low and that those warning lights are more trouble than help. It hasn't come on since, so I'm happy to forget all about it.

We next hit the post office to pick up our mail and notify them to resume delivery (incidentally, if you've got an ongoing home improvement project - and who doesn't? - ask the post office for a change of address packet. Inside is a coupon for 10% off at Lowe's, which can be a fair bit if the project is enormous, as ours tend to be. There, don't say Noted & Blogged never gave you anything), and -- what was this sentence about? Oh yes -- then stopped for lunch at The Bee-Hive Tavern. I can't make up my mind about that place. The food is always good, but sometimes I don't get a particularly friendly vibe there, especially if I have the girls along, which I both understand (lots of kids behave badly in restaurants) and resent (mine don't, and I'd appreciate the benefit of the doubt, at least at the front door).

On to the grocery store, which, of course, has been significantly reconfigured in our absence, and will take longer to get through till I've got the new pattern down. We were almost done when the Bean just completely crashed. Out of the blue she said "Mommy I feel terrible," and had a distinct fever. We left right away to get her to bed.

Rest and ibuprofen had her on the mend, but not well enough to go to school on the 23rd. The Peanut was raring to go, though. The last thing she'd done at her west coast school, on the day before winter break there, was wear pajamas to school and watch The Polar Express. She was ecstatic to learn that on the last day before winter break here, her class would be doing the same. Must be a nationwide 1st grade tradition. So she put on her PJs with cupcakes on them, and off we went.

After school she said she was glad to be with her old friends again, but that "it felt like I was famous, and I didn't really like that." I guess they made a huge fuss of her, because the Peanut seems like someone who would dig fame. Anyway that's much better than having her feel lost in the shuffle. She also reported, in detail, what everyone else had on their pajamas. Kids are really interested in other kids' pajamas. I'm sure her classmates went home and told their parents the Peanut has cupcake pajamas.

All in all, getting settled in has not gone as smoothly as I'd hoped. The snow, the girls being sick (the Peanut has since come down with what ailed the Bean), a couple days in a row of constant sibling bickering that had me fit to lose my ever-lovin' mind, unpacking, laundry, a newly broken dishwasher door, and trouble getting to sleep before 2:00 AM... I'm tired. Really tired. And there is still our postponed Christmas -- not my favorite holiday even under normal circumstances -- to prepare for.

The big picture, though, is all good. We are safe, sound, and content -- and tomorrow, we are leaving the house No Matter What. (Please melt, please melt, please melt.)

Oh! Before you go, because you were doubtless wondering, here is the cheesiness that was in my head yesterday:

Today's earworm is a distinct, a-u-t-omatic improvement I think. I love me some artist-formerly-known-as, and boy, did I play this album a lot in its day. This "video" is just the song playing to a still of the album cover, but you get the song anyhow.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Welcome back to New England!

Do risk your lives driving the icy highway home from Boston!  At home, your consolation prizes await:  12" of wet heavy snow in the driveway and a large bottle of maximum strength Advil!

Still, it is so good to be back.

More anon.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Other Kids Suck, part the Nth

Some little shit of a kid ("Torrey") punched my very own Bean in the stomach today. I think it was more game-gone-too-far than intent to really hurt, but still. He PUNCHED her. In the STOMACH. And it did hurt her, so much that she felt it in her throat. (I swear, give me one minute in a room alone with either or both of his parents, and I'll show them a punch they'll never forget. Oh wait... lead by example... damn. This parenting thing? Hard.) 

We will be addressing it with her teacher tomorrow morning.  A kid throwing unprovoked punches around in class is worth letting someone know about, I think.  I will stand with her, but I want the words to come from her, so she'll be standing up for herself.  I see the tears, after school, about a hurtful thing that happened... but I don't see enough indignation, enough HEY!  I DIDN'T DESERVE THAT!.  She doesn't like to make that kind of noise, but the little rotters of the school world are going to smell out that she won't say anything.  I tell her she may never hit first, but she may always hit back, and if she gets in trouble for that it will not be with me.  She'll never do it.  But I want her to know she has my absolute support to be fierce in protecting herself.

After that happened, she went right to math class, where she is minding her own business, working on her line plot exercise, and a different little shit of a kid ("Grayson"... where do people come up with these names?) bends back a plastic ruler to use it to fling something at her, and of course it snaps into pieces. The Bean doesn't want to tattle so she lets him say they were both goofing around when it broke. Because they were sharing the ruler, they have to replace it. Naturally little Grayson says he won't. So the Bean's very upset because she doesn't want to give up her own ruler (which she wasn't using because she has math with the fourth graders and leaves her own class to go to theirs). Absolutely she will not give up her own ruler. I do wish she had spoken up at the time, but she's writing the teacher a note explaining what happened. Darling Grayson can figure out how to make up for his own behavior.  The lesson for the Bean is that if you let yourself be talked into sharing the blame for something you didn't do, you will also be expected to share the consequences.

Third grade:  not as easy as it looks.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


This video doesn't say "oooh, fun" to me, but hey. It's still the song of the day even though these kids should get off my lawn.

Also: you may have noticed word verification is back, for commenting. I'm sorry to have reinstated it but I was getting an awful lot of spam.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Road trip reflections

So our west coast adventure is about done and we're winding down, making preparations for the trip home. Back in August, I drove out here and Mr. Sandy flew with the girls. In two weeks I'll fly home with them and a friend will join him to drive the car back.

Though I'm eager to be home sweet home as soon as possible, I'd happily do the drive again. I had such a great time on the way out here. People kept asking if it wouldn't seem less daunting to have a companion along, but I was frankly craving the time alone.

I get so excited for a long road trip! I love to drive, which helps, but beyond that, I often get itchy to see... well, anything different. Where does that road go? What's around that bend? on the other side of those hills? down that valley? What would happen if I turned? kept going? pointed the car west and just didn't stop? Nothing scratches that itch like a drive across a continent. Wheee!

I figured on day 1 I'd get as far into Pennsylvania as I could manage, with a midday stop to see friends in New Jersey.

Now, it doesn't matter if New Jersey is the end of the line, or just the first of many stops in a heady adventure leading all the way to the glorious Oregon coast -- there's no getting around that unlovely bit of I-95 S through Connecticut (the unlovely bits of I-84 through Connecticut are arguably not progress). So I was about 40 minutes into my journey before I was tempted to flip off another driver. This was a BMW driver from New York. I had been driving almost 55 minutes before I was tempted to flip off another other driver. This was also a BMW driver from New York.

Ah, the lure of the open road.

But really... really. There is nothing like crossing the great, gorgeous, rolling American prairie for hours upon hours, and seeing a towering, snow-capped mountain range come into focus out of the far horizon's gray haze. My first strained view of the Beartooth escarpment from the ranch lands of eastern Wyoming brought tears to my eyes. (See, I can't have anyone along for something like that. I have my curmudgeonly reputation to uphold.) What must that sight have felt like from horseback or covered wagon? I just can't get my mind around it. I'm sure many a pioneer diary just left off at the 19th century equivalent of "ho-ly shit."

For the return trip though, it's my turn to fly. That'll be OK. I'll get back sooner, I won't have to cross the Rockies in winter weather, and it will be really fun to see the girls rediscover their own home, which they've missed so much. Maybe they'll be so delighted to see what toys they've forgotten that I can avoid Christmas shopping altogether. Now that would suit my curmudgeonly reputation just fine.

(Oh don't worry, I'll get them Christmas presents. I'm not that big of a Grinch. Yet.)

Monday, December 06, 2010


I don't know why. If I knew why, it wouldn't be the song of the day.

But I found a really cheesy video for it. Behold:

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Peanut's Wish List

I am working on translating this into an Amazon.com wish list, but interested parties may preview here.  Some of this stuff she already has, but has forgotten because she's been away from them (marker set?  bead set?  Is she kidding me? Our house is full to overflowing with markers and beads).  Some things I'm not sure she'd be interested in for long (stick horse? isn't that a toddler thing?), but here it is, typed as received for better or worse.   I'm told I shouldn't worry about her spelling, but to be delighted that she loves writing so much...

My Wish list

jump rope (shorte)
any barby
tigre stuft anamle (orang)
loinge juprope
chowe Topazz Fary (ranbow magic)
Prinsses char
Toy car
stick hors
miny computer
toy sord (with case)
toy leesh
Diary (kitin)
stuft anaml duck (and duckling)
Webcin (yoonacorn)
miny staplr
math book
toy bote
pinsas ozma dresup
dogy dresup costoom
kitin stuft anamle
markr set
memary mach card game
beed set
dressup hiy heels
Ice age moovy
miny bulatin bord
marbl set
sily bands
toy teliscop