Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Computer Maitenance

Yesterday our neighbor came over for part of the afternoon while her mom ran an errand.

After some vigorous play, I decided the children ought to watch a movie. So I ushered them to the back room and turned on the streaming Netflix.

"Now, children," I said. "You must not touch the screen. That's the rule."

Little Friend replied, "My mom sometimes says 'don't lick the screen,' so I wont' lick the screen, either."

"Wonderful," I said. And it appears that the screen was not licked.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shopping List

Today we went to Walmart and bought only the things on our shopping list:

  • Child-sized hangers
  • Royal blue thread
  • Stapler
  • Flowers
  • A personal item
It was a strange list of items, but that's what we needed.

Oh, and a mini flat iron for my crazy hair. We needed that, too.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I am trying to organize my pictures on our new computer. Here is Victor at three weeks old.

And here is Zeke at three weeks old.

Finally, we have Victor at fifteen minutes old.


Victor and I just engaged in the fun activity of watching a movie on our streaming Netflix. (He loves watching movies together.)

We watched Up.

It was amazing. It is not a normal movie experience.

There was so much to discuss as we watched it.

Pixar has done it again.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How to Look Like an Awesome Mom

It is not difficult to give the impression that you are an awesome Mom.

1. Do a fun, ostensibly educational activity that requires a membership, such as going to the Science Center. This shows you care a lot about enriching your children.

2. Let your children play freely while you read a smart-sounding new novel. This shows your breadth of mind and your devotion to your children's opportunities for self-learning.

3. When one of your children hits the other with a train, smile beatifically and put down your book. Rise with alacrity and move smoothly but swiftly to your howling children. This shows you are unruffled by "the small stuff" we all hear tell about in annoying church lessons and talks.

4. Put the naughty party in a chair firmly but kindly so he can "calm down," but do not look irritated or ruffled. Cuddle the other one while murmuring "you'll feel better soon" in a soothing whisper. Continue to smile beatifically. You will appear unflappable.

5. When your tykes recover their happiness and run off to play/discover learning again (which happens quickly because they are as fun as you are), smile a private satisfied smile and resume your reading.

If you follow these simple steps, you will look like the most awesome mother on the planet and everyone will be jealous of you. Guaranteed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Several Big Things

1. After an approximately one-year hiatus, I'm back in the church calling game. I get to be the Beehive Advisor! Easily the best calling ever.

2. Victor made his first spontaneous rhyme: "Mom, worm rhymes with germ."

3. We have a new computer, retiring our 2002 laptop with the broken screen and the other laptop that randomly quits because it can't detect a power source, and not a moment too soon. This one is very sensible, very reliable, and, best of all, completely quiet.

4. I discovered a new FUN ACTIVITY for hot days. It's called Wash the Car, and it's almost as fun as Wash the Windows.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Children's Television

There is some genuinely charming television programming for children. There is some terrifically awful programming, too, but it's easy to avoid. It's also fairly easy for me to yell "Not everyone's a winner and that's okay" from the kitchen when necessitated by a stupid story conclusion (I'm looking at you, Dragon Tails).

Thanks to Netflix, we also have a wide array of streaming programs to occupy the hour between 6 and 7 when I watch the news.

The favorite TV shows at our house are Phineas and Ferb, Super Why, Curious George, and Clifford. The favorite Netflix shows are Kipper (Puppy Love is my favorite), Thomas (awesome because the trains get in trouble and have to make it right) and now Pingu, a delightful Swiss claymation penguin who lives in Antarctica with his family. Victor stumbled up on Pingu this week, and he's a hit. I highly recommend him.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Zeke's Sentences

Zeke's sentence structure is making great leaps forward.

On Tuesday, Victor, in the passion of uncharacteristic anger, said, "You are a bad Zeke!"

Zeke replied, "I am not a bad Zekie. I'm a good Zekie!"

So grown up!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Sewing Projects

I have done four sewing projects lately. I suppose one was not actually sewing because I used Stitch-Witchery instead of a needle and thread.

1. I re-hemmed some shorts that were a smidge too short. They are now seriously kosher.

2. I repaired a two-inch split seam in a small stuffed duckling. Zeke was delighted.

3. I replaced a button on some hand-me-down Winnie the Pooh pajamas with a button I found in a baggie stamped Casual Corner (where I last shopped in 1997).

4. I re-affixed the button on the newly kosher shorts.

Many thanks to my Grandma, who gave me some needles in college; the proprietor of Catch the Window, who showed me a nifty way to put a knot at the end of my thread back in 2001; my mother, who tried many times to teach me proper sewing; and Liz, whose 2006 wedding occasioned the purchase of the Stitch-Witchery.

No photographs or Etsy shop will be forthcoming.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Victor found the keys! Hooray for Victor!

They were in Jeremy's closet, among the shoes.

Why was that not the first place we looked?

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Major Accomplishment

Yesterday, after many months of diligent attention, I finished Anna Karenina.

It was very good. If you have a lot of time, get the audiobook (mine was read by Davina Porter). Having a professional read all those Russian names make it a breeze to keep track of who's who. If you don't have a lot of time, I think an abridged version would serve you perfectly well. I can think of whole chapters that could easily be omitted (Levin goes hunting, or Vronsky and Levin attend the elections, for example).

I have to say that I was not moved to tears, as an unrelated article I read today suggested that most people are, by Anna's fate. What I really thought about was how relevant her actions are to understanding the breakdown of families in any era. The effects of infidelity are timeless, really.

Also, I realized that I don't usually care for philosophical discussions because I don't find philosophy reliably illuminating. I feel the same way about allegories. If I want an allegory, I'll refer to a scriptural one.


We have not found the keys, but we did find a webcam, two cordless telephones, a sock, a book, two water bottles, a tube of Brillcreme (in the pantry), and about eighty five Matchbox cars. Add that to the novel, two hair bows (they must be little Laura's), sock, Legos, and other eighty five Matchbox cars I found under the back bedroom bed on Wednesday, and it's been quite a week.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

No Answers

Not in the car.

Not in the dryer.

Not under the bed. The webcam I thought we lost last year was under the bed. Good thing I got a new one last week.

A Big Life Question

If you were a set of keys, where would you be?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Anatomy Lesson

We recently replaced our long-gone webcam (thanks, Grandma Nancy!) and have been enjoying our video calls with my sisters.

Last night, Peter and Liz were admiring Victor's stature and strength.

"Let me see your muscles," said Peter admiringly.

Victor just looked at Peter and shook his head.

"They are inside," he informed us, indicating his arm.

(He also informed us that Dog's birthday is the 4th of the month of Gentral.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Star Wars

On Saturday mornings, Jeremy finds the Star Wars cartoon on TV and watches it with the boys.

This past Saturday, Victor saw Yoda for the first time. His reaction:

"That's a scary cat!"

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Zeke Pretends

Zeke was very good during our special two-hour church meeting today. He made the most of the toys we had brought, and since we were in an overflow room and he mostly (a) was quiet and (b) stayed in his area, no one seemed to mind his sweet antics.

For example, he took two crayons and stuck them in his ears.

"Look!" he said, "I'm a doctor!"

Stethoscope, crayons, whatever.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Zeke

Here is a picture of Zeke on a happier trip to Costco.

A New Decade of Computing

Today, the future arrived via UPS (in what Victor calls "the PUS truck").

It was a new computer monitor. A wide-screen, HD, flat computer monitor. It replaced the old-TV style monitor we got for free when the Wake Forest Law School was replacing all of their monitors four or so years ago.

The setup was easy and it looks great. I bet it will look even better when the new computer arrives and we can set the resolution properly. Our dear old Dell does not offer 1900 x 1080 pixels.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Public Vomiting

Today I discovered that if one must throw up in public, Costco is the best place to do so because:

1. Wide aisles allow other shoppers to avoid the mess, even if the mess is in the middle of the walkway;

2. Sample-giving employees are stocked with paper towels;

3. The normally annoying ride-on squeegee floor-cleaner (or indoor street sweeper, as Victor calls it) is likely to be close by and can clean up the mess in a jiffy without being summoned;

4. General noise masks your child's whimpering as you race around gathering your foodstuffs.

I also discovered that when Zeke repeatedly complains that his head hurts, he could mean that his stomach hurts.