Sunday, February 27, 2005

Invisible Zach

The latest Invisible Zach (created by Real Zach):

I.Z. doin' a dance for you all:

Friday, February 25, 2005

MoMMY's Morning

12 midnight - woken by 6 y/o child on fire, give motrin
3:30 - woken to 6 y/o hallucinating
5:30 - woken by 4 y/o climbing in bed and chatting
6:30 - drag self from bed (child still chatting)
6:35 - set 6 y/o up on couch, give motrin
6:45 - notice it is light enough we no longer need porch light in a.m. - YAY!
6:50 - shove oldest child on bus (child still chatting)
7:00 - return phone call
7:05 - make 3 more phone calls (1 to hubby to run errand, 1 to mother to take child to preschool, 1 to RSVP to child's birthday party)
7:10 - 4 y/o falls from counter while getting cereal bowl - screaming ensues
7:20 - start laundry (child back to chatting)
7:45 - field phone call from friend
8:00 - call dr. to see if 8 y/o should be checked for mono (child still chatting)
8:15 - call mom to ask to watch 6 y/o while I take one to dr. then school and 1 to preschool
8:20 - more laundry (STILL CHATTING)
8:40 - put on SpongeBob DVD for feverish 6 y/o
8:45 - leave for dr. etc.
9:00 - explain to dr. why 4 y/o looks like he's been in a barroom brawl (dark bruise on left ear from collision with piano last night, black eye/cheek from counter incident)
9:35 - drop off preschooler & 3rd grader, explain why late to school
9:50 - home again (need more coffee - much more, possibly nap)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

So True

You must read it.

I give you Finslippy.

Vacation OVER!

First day back after vacation and I have a child sick at home. I might not have believed him but he is willing to miss his gymnastics class today to stay home. That NEVER happens. I'm guessing he really is unwell.

So, since today will be spent at home serving a sick child and entertaining Zach I have decided to write my synopsis for the mid-grade novel I wrote. I was not going to enter the W.I.N. contest over at Smartwriters this year but... why not? I have some very good friends who placed last year and they have serious interest in the manuscripts now. (Not that they wouldn't anyway. They are fabulous books!) Anyway, it is a great way to possibly get your manuscript seen by an editor. If any of you write children's books and you have a polished manuscript - enter.

I know I said I was quitting the children's writing game but I figure I'll enter this year's contests with the manuscripts I've got hanging around. Then I can be done with it all when I get no feedback but a list of winners I'm not included in. Ah, the sound of optimism.

Anyway, off to write my synopsis. Anyone know how to write one? I've always written picture books. No need for a synopsis. Now I have this mid-grade and I have to do one. HELP!

Seriously, anyone know how to do it? Want to help me?

UPDATE (1:46 pm): Synopsis written. Entry sent. I know I should have waited a day and reread it. I didn't. The thing is gone. No getting it back. If I wait, I tinker forever and then chicken out. So bye-bye entry. And good luck...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Kid Conversation

Scene: Dad's office last Saturday.

ZACH: "Dad I just made up a popcorn song. Want to hear it?" 
ZACH *singing*: "Popcorn... is good for you...." 
ZACH (yet again): "Dad? Is popcorn good for you?"

Very Excited

I bought my plane ticket to St. Louis yesterday. I'll be spending a week - yes, a WEEK - with my sister-in-law and her husband and their NEW. BABY. the last week of June.

I'm going to be an AUNT. I'm so excited. All the babiness and none of the responsibility and late night feedings. Now if they only lived closer.

The other reasons this is so exciting:
  1. It is the first time I will be flying since 1996. Flying without any children - and I like to fly. (I can read and relax with no one demanding things of me.)
  2. It is the first week of summer vacation. Also known as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in our house. My husband gets to establish the summer routines. He is taking vacation that week. Whoohooo!
  3. It is a week with ONE child who is NOT mobile, can NOT talk back and does NOT make more of a mess than what a diaper can contain.
  4. I am considered the expert in this area by the soon-to-be parents. So nice to be an expert at something. Even though... I'm really not. Shhh... don't tell them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


The kids are gone for the night. Two at Grammy's. Two at Grandpa's.

Our big plans?



Monday, February 21, 2005

Thank You

... to the anonymous commenter who let me know the female vocalist for The Dirty Glass by Dropkick Murphys is Stephanie Dougherty. She is also the Murphys merch girl.

... to Chris, Birdie, Shana & Karan for taking Flat Stanley on tour. Can't wait to see the results.

... to my husband for a great Sunday. I love it when we're both home. And a HUGE thanks for helping with the domestic chores.

... to all my commenters. I love to hear what you're all thinking!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Kid Conversation

Scene: Zach at Jeff's office a few moments ago.
 ZACH: "Dad, I'm bored."
 DAD: "Well, you can color."
 ZACH: "NO. Remember? I'm bored."
 ZACH AGAIN: "Bored means you don't want to do anything." 
 A couple minutes later as he realizes Jeff is IM-ing me. He starts dictating to Jeff... 
ZACH: "Dad, I'm tired. I want to go home and rest on the couch"
ZACH: "I want to tell you to tell Mom."
ZACH: "Say I Love You."
ZACH: "Is there an E on the computer keys?"
ZACH: "Are you having a good time? Love Zach"
JEFF: "Tell her you're going to eat you sandwich so you can have some popcorn."
ZACH: "No."
ZACH: "Are we going to go to Nana's big house? I want to go to the little house. I like the little house more than the big house. Now press SEND!" 
ZACH: "I want to say to mom....'Hi Heidi. My name is Zach. Are you having a good time?' Alright Dad? Alright? ALRIGHT?"

Friday, February 18, 2005

End of Week Stuff

I was giddy to realize today's Photo Friday theme was Rural. Because, let's be honest, I took a bunch of suitable photos last week. I entered one but am going to continue on the theme for a few days since I have not been taking any photos this week.

Only 2 more days to vote for your Favorite Photo of the Week. GO. TO. THE. SIDEBAR. AND. VOTE. Please.

I have very few offers of tours of your neighborhood for Flat Stanley. We live in the northeast. If you live anywhere else (and even here) we'd love to here about it. Come on people. Help out a cute 4 year old. (Info here.)

Children survived fast food and I was asleep by 8:30 last night. Ahhhh, sleep.

So glad it is Friday.

UPDATE: I lied. I added some photos to the photoblog from yesterday.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I'm Still Here

So. So. Tired.

Child #2 needs braces on top teeth now & a full set in about 5 years. (No dental insurance = much $)

Must take children to gymnastics 40 minutes away (in 10 minutes).

Will be getting fast food take-out to eat in car for dinner. Don't care if I win Bad Mom Award right now.

Forgot to take prescribed mood-enhancing drugs today.

Still have not taken prescribed iron.

Have ANOTHER head cold.

Want to sleep.

Will be abandoning children to sleep when we return from dropping off monkey gymnastic child.

Is snowing AGAIN. (Have not shoveled last 6 inches of snow yet.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


It was 50 degrees yesterday. It was lovely. The kids rode their bikes. The snow melted.

We have just gotten 1" of snow in the past hour. It is still snowing. Hard.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Flat Stanley

Many of you are parents. Some of you are not. I'm sure the majority of the parents are nodding their heads at the title of this post. Yes, Zach's preschool has started a Flat Stanley project. Our preschool school teacher has assured us that Stanley is not afraid of technology so I decided to beg ask for your input here.

The official letter from the nursery school:

We have just finished reading the story Flat Stanley, by Jeff Brown. It is about a boy named Stanley who gets flattened by his bulletin board when it falls on him during the night. Stanley has to learn to live as a flat boy. In some ways, it is a great way to live. He can go down into the sewer to get his mother's ring, slide under closed doors, fly in the air like a kite, and even travel around the world in an envelope (*or in this case, by e-mail & the web).

We are sending Flat Stanley on an adventure and we would like for you to help us. Please let Flat Stanley spend some time with you. Then write us back in a week and let us know what Flat did during the trip. It would be fun if you could include pictures. We will share your letter and pictures with the class and it will then be posted on our bulletin board.

Thank you for letting Flat Stanley have a great vacation. Traveling is fun and we can't wait to hear all about the adventures!

* added by me, MoMMY.

Now for my 2 cents...

Here is a picture of Flat Stanley:

  1. Click on the picture.
  2. Print it out and have your child/you cut out and color/decorate Stanley.
  3. Have fun with Stanley.
  4. Take a photo(s) and e-mail that with an account of your time with Flat Stanley to me here.

Some suggestions of things to tell us:

  1. Where you live.
  2. Weather where you live: currently and seasonally.
  3. Special to your location: favorite local activities, sports, hobbies, places to visit
  4. What is your favorite thing about where you live? What would you change?

Anyone want to play tour guide?

EDITED TO ADD: Deadline for Flat Stanley's adventures is March 24th. Give or take a day. Thanks!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'll admit, this is not one of my favorite holidays. I'm not really sure why but it may have something to do with the whole forced romance/commercialism/telling me what I would do if I was a good, loving partner aspect.

Still, Sharon over at Adventures of a Domestic Engineer had a good point when she posted about the holiday. And in that spirit, I have decided to make an effort (and steal a good link).

From my good friend, Cindy, I give you a song making link. I chose a funny song to send to my honey. I hope it makes him laugh.

Have a great day whether it contains romance or not. I'm sure the most romance I'll be seeing is a couple of wet kisses when I wish the boys a happy valentine's day. And just so you all know, I'm okay with that. It's the best kind of holiday there is.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'll admit, this is not one of my favorite holidays. I'm not really sure why but it may have something to do with the whole forced romance/commercialism/telling me what I would do if I was a good, loving partner aspect.

Still, Sharon over at Adventures of a Domestic Engineer had a good point when she posted about the holiday. And in that spirit, I have decided to make an effort (and steal a good link).

From my good friend, Cindy, I give you a song making link. I chose a funny song to send to my honey. I hope it makes him laugh.

Have a great day whether it contains romance or not. I'm sure the most romance I'll be seeing is a couple of wet kisses when I wish the boys a happy valentine's day. And just so you all know, I'm okay with that. It's the best kind of holiday there is.

Friday, February 11, 2005

This & That

Check out today's picture in the photoblog if you're looking for a bit of color to brighten your dull winter day.

Someone (Shana - sorry no link to her as SHE HAS NO BLOG - the horror!) asked about new pictures to vote on... Saturday (tomorrow) I will update the links in the sidebar and you will be able to vote on this week's photos.

Alias, ah my love for Alias. Here is where I admit my hetero girl crush on Jennifer Garner. I want to be Sydney Bristow (without the torture she has to withstand). Of course that would mean working out a LOT and I'm not sure I'm up for that. In fact, I know I'm not. Oh, and all that scary spy stuff. I think my heart would stop. But still, she is SO. COOL. I've actually seen every single episode of the show. (And I have no TiVo. Yes, it's true. We don't even have cable. Shhh, don't tell.) It amazes me how different each season is and yet still so good.

As for LOST. Could totally get into that show except that it's on at 8:00 and that is a horrid time for me to watch TV. The kids are still up and we are usually in the process of duct taping them to their beds until 8:30/9:00. So 8:00 doesn't work so well for me.

Must go and get in the shower, get the kids off to school, volunteer in the 1st grader's class, exercise and pick up the preschooler & a friend. Oh, and run the dishwasher & do some laundry & wrap some birthday presents for tomorrow (2 of the kids have parties to go to). Later!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy

Things here were crazed yesterday. Field trips, swimming lessons, band concerts. Insane.

First, Zach and I went to the Planetarium and Science Center. I had to drop the middle two off at a friend's because we had to leave before the bus arrived. The bus ride into the city wasn't too bad and I managed not to get motion sick there or back. Yay!

The planetarium show was a big hit. The kids seemed to really enjoy it. No one ran around and no one cried.

The adventure center at the science museum was an even bigger hit. The kids had a chance to 'evaporate'. (Climb wave-like things suspended from the ceiling up to a landing. Then they 'rained' down the stairs.) Zach found this a bit scary but his friend kept him from panicking. I'm pretty sure the preschoolers didn't grasp (or care about) the whole water cycle aspect of it but it seemed to be loads of fun for most of them as they kept running from raining down to the evaporating again and again. There was also a climbing wall and Zach's favorite, a sand/water table. Here Zach spent most of his time and outlasted his best friend and his future wife.

Oh, and I almost forgot, the perennial favorite in the planetarium: what I call 'color dancing'. (There is a photo in the photoblog.)

Later in the day we had to skip wrestling and do a parental hand-off/switch-a-roo/time-travel move to take a hysterical six-year-old to half a swimming class and get another child to his first band concert. (hysterical at the thought of missing his swim lesson) All ended well. The parent & child returned from swimming just in time for the start of the concert. The concert was video taped. The flute player played wonderfully (I assume since it is impossible to pick out the individual instruments - I made my assumtion based on the fact there were no tears or looks of horror on his face.). The concert was surprisingly good.

Side note: I was prepared for torture. Not so much from my flute player because I've been listening to him practice and it sounds great to me. Besides, the flute doesn't make any real atrocious sounds. Unlike say a clarinet or trumpet or french horn. (or various others)

Finally all children were put in bed just in time to enjoy Alias. Ah, Alias. Have I mentioned my love of Alias? I'll save it for another time.

Zach's Field Trip

Zach went to the planetarium and Adventure Center at the Science Museum yesterday. Here are a couple of photos I took. A great time was had by all!

Here Zach was "evaporating". The science museum's attempt at teaching the water cycle. Not sure the preschoolers cared much or understood. They did have fun climbing although Zach said it was scary. His friend Jake helped him get through without panicking.

Zach & Jake in the sand/water table. Yes, I cut Zach's hair recently. And yes, HE insisted it be that short. Personally, I love it.

Zach & his future wife Mikayla. Doesn't he have good taste?

Zach smiling for the camera.

Zach on the climbing wall.

Zach 'color dancing'.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005


Oh Splenda, I thought you were my friend.

You were the ultimate alternative to your evil twin, Sugar.

You made my Fruit2O oh so yummy. You sweetened my coffee without that chemical aftertaste. You helped my cookies taste so yummy. Banana bread, fruit, you sweetened it all. You were my savior on my quest for weight loss. You were the 'natural' solution.

And then...

I discovered your true colors. I discovered YOU were the reason my complexion turned into a teenage nightmare. A complexion like none I had ever experienced.

I gave up coffee in my quest to discover the source. COFFEE! The nectar of the Gods. But after an agonizing month I learned it was YOU that caused the outbreaks. I found that one product with you in it will result in an outbreak before the day is done. It is YOUR fault I wanted to hide my face from the world for the last year and a half. Yes, it took that long - that much horror - to reveal your true nature.

So now we all know that YOU, Splenda, are the evil twin. Not your sister sugar. I now embrace your sister like never before. And I shun you and all your yummy products.

So beware good public of the one they call Splenda. It may be the cause of all that pains you.

Monday, February 7, 2005

Good News

I heard back from my local PBS affiliate today (WXXI). They are running the Postcards From Buster "Sugartime" episode Wednesday, March 23 at 3:30pm.

YAY! They came through. They are promoting diversity. I hope more stations follow.

I'm so glad my kids will have a chance to watch it. Putting it on my calendar now.

**Update: New e-mail from WXXI - episode has been rescheduled to run February 17th at 3:30 p.m.

Friday, February 4, 2005

Kid Conversation

Scene: Driving home from gymnastics.

Circumstances: Tyler has been learning about deaths in Japan caused by WWII. Elephants and a young girl specifically. (Have I mentioned he's in 3rd grade and I was horrified by the stories he told?)

Tyler: "What is your greatest wish?"

ME (after thinking for a few moments): "That my family stays happy and healthy."

Tyler: "My second greatest wish is to stop war."

ME: "Second greatest wish?"

Tyler: "Yes, my first greatest is to be a Jedi. A good Jedi. With ALL the powers."

He does have all the powers. And he probably could stop a war. I'm sure those of you who know him, agree.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Dropkick Murphys

A fantabulous show that gave me back my youth. Yes, it's true.

DKM is a punk/Scottish/Boston band that ROCKS. And now for the play-by-play...

Wait! First I have to tell you - we were NOT the oldest people there. Yes, many of them were sporting children - but not all.

Okay, where was I? The show... The Rochester Bagpipe & Drum Brigade opened the show. Who even knew they existed?* Not I. They were amazing. I swear I was Scottish in a past life. Men in kilts are HOT. (I'm not kidding here) And bagpipes cause such a 'stir'. Now you all know how geeky I really am.

The band is made up of seven members: Scruffy Wallace [bagpipes], Tim Brennan [mandolin, acoustic guitar, accordion and tin whistle], Matt Kelly [drums], Mark Orell [guitar and keyboard], Ken Casey [bass guitar and vocals], James Lynch [guitar], Al Barr [vocals].

Can you believe the instruments? I never knew a mandolin could make a noise like that. Tim's solo was amazing. He is certainly one talented guy. He switches between all those instruments with such ease. And yes, he really played the accordion.

They had Ken's cousin, who is from Rochester, sit in with her violin for a few songs. A female vocalist for The Dirty Glass who sounds EXACTLY like she does on the recording of that song. (My all time favorite song of theirs) Now, I have searched and searched and can not find this woman's name. Anywhere. Here is a photo (third row down, second from left).

Jeff and I avoided the mosh pit. It has been about SIXTEEN YEARS since I've ventured into a mosh pit and honestly, I was thinking of my children and how I would explain the bruises and possible broken limbs to them. That and how I would care for them if broken bones were involved. So, we sat on bleachers and watched the 100 or so heads swaying together as the music started. I've never seen a mosh pit from above. It is oddly moving. People moving together, packed like sardines.

The pit never really got dangerous and there were a couple times later in the evening when I contemplated my decision to sit on the sidelines. In the end I figured I was still much to old to be down there with the body surfers so I stayed put and rested against my husband. (An enjoyable way to experience the show)

About midway through the show the band played Amazing Grace. Someone's Grandfather had passed away recently and they asked the band to play it. And it was amazing. Ken Casey asked the audience to join in and sang a cappella. After a run through the band joined in in true punk fashion. I told my husband I wanted that played when I die. No kidding. I really do. That to kick off a kick-*ss party. If you want to hear it, it's on their St. Patrick's Day Live CD. I am so getting that CD!

That's it folks.** A great show.

* It is quite possible they don't exist as I can find no information on them and I think I may have gotten the name wrong. It was impossible to understand a lot of what was being said since it was SO. LOUD. Yes, I know it was a concert and they are suppose to be loud BUT I like to understand what I'm hearing. (I know. I'm old.)

** I will do another post about Jeff's & my conversation as we left. An interesting insight into our different personalities.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Blog Housekeeping/2005 Goal Update

Apparently my rant did not go over well with all of you. Sorry about that but outrage does that to me sometimes. Writing about it here also makes me feel a bit less powerless. The more I researched the subject, I realized I was a bit late to the game. Seems this discussion has been going on a while and I just hadn't heard. I guess better late than never. I did discover it in time to write and express my opinions before the episode aired/didn't air.

I put up new pictures of the ice crystal trees. One more day of those (tomorrow). Yes, I took a lot of them. It was beautiful. I hope I captured a fraction of the beauty.

Goal update (as seen here):
  1. Get a job at my employer of choice. (I'll let you know where and why if I ever get a job there)
    Still applying for jobs.
  2. Sign a book contract/re-evaluate writing career.
    Writing career is looking like it's over.
  3. Begin a baby book for my FOUR-year-old.
  4. Organize my photos so I can update the kids' albums.
    Did this once. Plan on doing more Friday.
  5. Possibly even update said albums.
    HA, HA!
  6. Stay on top of disaster we call our home.
    Not so much.
  7. Do more with my children.
    I'm carting them all over for activities. Does that count?
  8. Not yell so much.
  9. Take more photographs.
    YES! Success.
  10. Lose weight.
    Hurting myself with the laughter.
  11. Exercise more. (that means any little bit will count.)
    On the exercise front, still trying to work out while Zach is in school. It should be three times a week but between illness and no school it has been more like 1-2. Still - better than nothing. I figure if I keep doing it, eventually he'll be in school for three days and I'll actually exercise for 3 whole days in one week. It may be a record. Not this week though - parent/teacher conferences today (no school). Sigh.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

PFB Update

I have received a response from my local PBS affiliate...

They have not decided whether or not to run the "Sugartime" episode of Postcards from Buster. They are not running it today and will notify me when they reach a decision. So... there is still hope of a rational decision being reached. If any of you live in the Rochester, NY area... please write to WXXI and let them know how you feel about this subject.

And thanks to CursingMama I will be writing to Margaret Spellings, the woman in charge of this outrageous behavior.

Postcards from Buster

I've been wanting to blog about my incredible time at the DKM's show but first I have to comment on this.

I'm not sure if any of you have watched PBS's Postcards from Buster. We watch it here now and then when there isn't a lot of homework to be done. This afternoon we will be watching. I'm interested to see if our PBS affiliate will be airing the now infamous "Sugartime" episode. I hope they do.

The show, for those of you not in the know, is about Buster (of Arthur fame). He travels around the country meeting all types of people. It is a show to educate about different cultures, religions, families, jobs and other such lifestyle type things.

This particular episode takes place in Vermont. The kids get to learn about cheese making and maple sugaring. The controversy (in case you didn't follow my link) ? The families that teach us about these things have two mommies. The horror! (that is sarcasm)

It seems that the powers that be (not PBS but Education Secretary Margaret Spellings) are afraid parents won't want their children exposed to this particular lifestyle. Because of course that would be promoting homosexuality. It might make our children gay after all. Okay, I'm paraphrasing a bit here. I'm just quite certain this is where the ones watching in horror are coming from.

They are also talking of cutting federal funding for the show and possibly not running it another season. After all, we wouldn't want to spend federal money to promote tolerance would we? Good heavens no.

I'd like to quote my husband here because he had some wonderful points on this subject when I brought it to his attention...
"We're making the world "free from fear" and teaching people to hate everyone here. All at the same time. Ingenious."


"F*cking Imbeciles!"
I agree completely.

It seems in response to not wanting the episode aired, WGBH (Boston PBS affiliate that produces Postcards from Buster) has bought satellite space and is letting any affiliate who wants to show it, run it. It is now up to the individual local affiliates.

There are more articles on this subject here and here. And a bit of sanity in the storm here. Can you believe the controversy?

Updated to add - Just found out our local PBS station is not playing the episode. I'm thinking it may be time for an e-mail. I think I have to calm down a bit first.

Updated again to add - I e-mailed my local PBS affiliate (WXXI). First time I've ever done anything like that before. I'll be interested to see if I get a response. Oh, and I refrained from calling them f*cking imbeciles. Generous of me, don't you think?