Monday, September 29, 2008

Sneaking up on us on little cat feet

"I don't know what was so great about the Depression, but that's the name they gave it."

--Nancy Pelosi, speaking of the Great Depression on the floor of the House today


Do you watch Life? It's a great show. You should try it.

Musical Treat

If any of you were lucky enough to be in Harris Teeter tonight, you were also treated to what appeared to be music entirely in German.

The music was in all styles: German country, German pop, German drinking songs. It was like Oktoberfest in there: Oom-pa-pa and accordians and singing children. I felt like marching down the aisles, but I was snickering too much to march.

A store employee explained to me that the manager had selected the music because he thought it was relaxing.


It was energizing, amusing, and perplexing, but it was not relaxing, per se. I actually felt like I was in a foreign country.

Peter Pan

We only own one Disney movie, and it happens to be Peter Pan. Lucky for me, Victor adores Peter Pan.

Except for at bedtime, that is. At bedtime, he tells Jeremy that the clock in his room is the crocodile, that Peter Pan is on the roof, and that Peter Pan is going to come to his window.

Jeremy's mother says this is a perfect opportunity to help Victor begin to understand what is real and what is not. I'm not sure I'm well equipped to do that. First I have to be sure I don't believe in Peter Pan myself.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Zeke cut his sixth tooth yesterday. He now has two on top and four on the bottom.

He has also discovered that he can make an intriguing noise by rubbing his top and bottom teeth against each other. Yowch!

Victor Talks Politics

When Victor drives his cars around the house, he talks out loud. From what I hear, he is making up dialogue between his cars.

This morning, Victor was driving two cars on the table and I heard, "I'm John McCain. I'm John McCain."

Not sure if I heard him correctly, I pointed at one of the cars (a yellow Mustang, if you're interested) and asked him, "Who's this?"

"Barack Obama," he replied.

I am so pleased that we are creating a political atmosphere in our home.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Little Weed

Zeke had his nine month checkup today, sans Victor, who was playing at a friend's house (thanks, Joan!).

Zeke weighs 18 lbs 8 oz and is 30 inches long. That means that in nine months he's gained 9 lbs 3 oz and grown 8 1/4 inches. He's held generally steady in the 90th percentile for height and around the 25th percentile for weight. Way to grow, Zeke.

I was all ready to answer the same developmental questions asked of my cousin as described in her post a week ago, but alas! Zeke's doctor asked different questions. So I did the best I could.

Does he get himself into a sitting position? Yes. Does he know his name? Yes. Does he pull up? Yes. Does he walk along the furniture? Yes. Does he play peek-a-boo or pat-a-cake? Yes, if pulling a towel of his head and laughing counts as peek-a-boo. (It does.) Does he say any words? No. But he does reserve the "da" sound for when Jeremy is around. And he says "mummmm mummm mummm" when he's upset.

I was all ready to say that he doesn't understand "no" or perform commands (one-step or otherwise), but nobody asked about that.

Of further interest, his soft spot is now leathery.

Happily, according to Dr. Young, he looks perfectly healthy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Church Clothes

Victor has done me the favor of growing out of his church clothes again. You know that tipping point, where clothes go from a little snug to way too small, seemingly overnight? Well, we passed it on Saturday night. And on Sunday, nothing fit.

So I'm on a quest for some new duds for Victor. It's proving more difficult than I expected. Gymboree has let me down!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Victor Makes a Phone Call

Victor loves to talk on the phone, as many of you have observed first hand. He also likes to pretend to talk on the phone.

This morning, Victor decided to "call" his friend Janiah. He picked up the phone and said, "Hi Janiah. This s Victor. How are you doing?" He then proceeded to chatter away until he said, "Oh. Just a minute. This phone is dead."

It was super funny.

A Terrific Book

I just finished a terrific new book. It's called The Magicians and Mrs. Quent, by Galen Beckett.

This book has everything: love, intrigue, mystery, humor, disappointment, longing, nature, magic, romance, ghosts, society, you name it, you got it.

The fun thing is that it's inspired by Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, with bits of Hardy and even a line or two of Oscar Wilde.

I hope this has tempted you to read this book!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chomp Chomp Chomp

Three cheers for Zeke--he cut his fifth tooth yesterday. The new arrival is the top front tooth on the right.

I can see more teeth straining to pop through the poor little guy's gums, and he's a drooly mess, so stay tuned for more exciting announcements about his dental development.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Financial Meltdown

Here is an article about the current financial troubles that I found helpful and instructive. It answered my question: if 6.4% of mortgages are in default and 93.6% are not, why the big crisis in banking?

Read here to learn one key reason:

Thank you, Wall Street Journal.

Singing Time: week 1

Today was my first day as the Primary Chorister.

It started with a bang when Zeke threw up all over my blouse right before the closing prayer in Sacrament Meeting. It was so gross. Fortunately, I was in the mother's room. Sabrina, bless her, said, "Don't worry. I'll help you!"

And help she did. We wiped off my shirt and changed Zeke's shirt, and then he stayed with her while I went to the ladies' room to wash out the smell as best I could.

And that is why I went to Primary with half of my shirt wet today.

Lucky for me it was a black shirt.

I retrieved the baby and tracked down Jeremy for the hand off and got the pictures I needed. By then I had missed the wiggle songs.

And did I mention that the Stake Primary President was visiting today?

The actual singing time went okay. Our dynamics Slinky was terrific. Katie, please thank your ward's Primary chorister for me.

Next week will hopefully be better and lack the vomit drama.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Helpful Skill

Victor has learned to blow his nose.

It's a very helpful skill.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Something New

One thing I enjoy about church is the opportunity to try new things.

Actually, I only care about that when I'm not particularly enthused about my calling. When I have a calling I love, I'm not remotely interested in trying anything new.

This week, to my great surprise, I got the opportunity to try something new. Very new. Very, very new. And it has a deadline, too, at which time my skills will be on display for the judgment and evaluation of the whole ward.

Can you guess? That's right. I'm the new Primary Chorister. And our Primary Program is Nov. 9.

This is going to be a grand adventure.

Friday, September 12, 2008

No Gas!

We got word today that Hurricane Ike was likely to disrupt our gasoline supply, so we headed out to fill up the cars.

Since Jeremy works so far away, I figured that we should have as much gas as possible on hand. And since Gov. Easley forbade anyone from raising prices more than 20 cents, there was nothing to stop me--and everyone else in our town--from gassing up.

And everybody did gas up, because most of the gas stations were out of gas by this evening.

Imagine: an artificially low price led to overconsumption. It's like the whole city read Thomas Sowell this afternoon and knew what to do.

Pilot (1993)

It's been a not-so-hot week at our house.

So this afternoon, while the boys are napping, I am indulging in the Pilot episode of the X-Files. The Sci-Fi channel has kindly broadcast it for me this afternoon.

"I have plenty of theories," says Mulder.

What a show!

No Day Report III

We had three successful and Victor-initiated toilet-usings on Wednesday, and one on Thursday.

They are not solely brought on by time-outs and bedtime, which I suppose is good.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Purple!

Great news, everybody.

The black marker on my dining room carpet has, with the application of rubbing alcohol and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (thanks, Kristy!), faded to purple.

I am sure you are all as relieved as I am at this development.

Monday, September 8, 2008

An Honest Merchant

Today, I had a positive consumer interaction with ChemDry of the Triad (recommended to me by Frank from Fibernew, who cleans our couch). It was positive because it was honest.

I called to ask if they could remove permanent marker from a large section of my dining room carpet.

The answer was no.

I asked if they could lighten it.

The answer was maybe, but no guarantee. Permanent marker soaks in quickly, you see.

Yeah. I see it alright.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A New Low

As I was taking the boys' laundry out of the washer today, I was alarmed to see a piece of a book cover stuck to the washer door.
Then I noticed linty-looking stuff all over the clothes.

Yes--in a new low for homemaking, I laundered a book.

That's Not My Monster is no more.

But Wait! There's more . . .

As I removed the clothes from the washer to assess the mess, I found the remains of Curious George and the Dump Truck.

So now I have a washing maching full of debris and a pile of linty, wet clothes.

Don't try this at home, kids.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I love the USA.

But I strongly dislike the chant, "USA, USA, USA!"

It's unimaginative and somehow unattractive.

New Pictures

New photos of the SwindleFun cast are available at Jer's Super Fun Family Extravaganza. The photos are captioned for your extra enjoyment.

Please email me if you would like the password.


Eight Months

Here are three pictures of Victor at 8 months. He was really something. Just look at that hair!

And here are four pictures of Zeke at 8 months.

What a sweet face.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Protests Schmotests

I don't get protesting.

Peaceful marching seems like a good way to get your message out.

But acting like a hooligan? How on earth is that supposed to sway people to your way of thinking? Who wants to adopt the opinions of person who smashes store windows with a bandana tied over his face?

And seriously, turning over trash cans? Ripping up park benches?

Go get a job, Mr. Hooligan.

I sound like one of those anti-hippie squares from 60s and 70s movies, but making a mess on public property is just so unbecoming.

No Day Report II

It happened again. Twice!

Yesterday afternoon, Victor decided to make #2 in the potty completely on his own.

And just now, he went #2 on the potty instead of taking his nap.

If this is Victor's way of rebelling, he can have at it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

No Day Report

Okay, so ten minutes ago Victor climbed up on the end table and was sent to his room for a time out. (The end table is out of bounds for all climbing, car driving, and ball bouncing.)

When I went into his room to release him, he was in the hall. When he saw me, he knew he was in trouble.

So he resorted to his old get-out-of-jail-free card. "I have to go potty!" He insisted.

I thought he was bluffing.

"Okay. Go ahead and go," I said. And I walked away to change the baby.

Wouldn't you know, he went in, put his little seat on the toilet, took off his shorts and diaper, and went #1 and #2 in the toilet.

(I have long suspected that my presence in the bathroom inhibited production, but I wasn't willing to clean up all the wet mess everywhere.)

Victor received ample praise and the sticker and treat he asked for. He seemed pleased.

Are we starting potty training again? NO.

But it is encouraging to know he has the skills.