Tuesday, November 27, 2007


i Did it.

I got my iPod in the mail right before Thanksgiving. So, I spent the five days between when I ordered it and when it arrived from Hong Kong (personally engraved and all) loading compact disks into iTunes. I will still be loading compact disks into iTunes when we move the clocks forward again.

Holy cats, does this ever take some time.

I bought the iPod because, although I love music, I would have the same six cds in our changer until my husband pleaded with me to change them. Because I knew they would stay there for quite awhile forever, I always had something mild in there (jazz, Norah Jones, classical... elevator music) and my other bazillion cds would be in one of the drawers of our cabinet, in one of two or three cd envelopes, or in one of two or three cd cases either downstairs, in J's office, at my office, or stuck under a seat in the car. When I had them out and about, they would get kids' fingerprints, jelly, they would lose their cases, or cases would lose disks, or they would get scratched, or my head would just explode and there would be blood and grey matter everywhere (at least, it seemed that way).

Now, I am about half through loading my music disks onto the iPod, then I will start in on our audiobooks (which are a pain in the ass to load, because apparently, apple didn't realize that anyone still liked books). The audiobooks, by default when loaded from cd, comingle with your music so if you did random play ("SHUFFLE") all of your music, bits of Harry Potter would mix in with Led Zeppelin, Sublime, and Duke Ellington.

Now, I am in a completely different quandary. I've only a fraction of my music loaded and I am dealing with the equivalent of musical attention deficit disorder. There are so many disks that I haven't heard forever that when I start one song, I think... no, I'll play that one... no, no, that one... ooh, look, what's over there.

I also have a real need for developing playlists. My musical tastes are so varied that (even if I could exclude J.K. Rowling's work) a random shuffle might induce epilepsy. I can just see the shuffle from Grateful Dead to Etta James to Pink Floyd to Vivaldi to Led Zeppelin to Paris Washboard to George Winston to the Clash to some of the New Age drumming stuff that I have.

Someday, maybe I'll do my job again... in the mean time, I'll be switching disks and tinkering with old songs like they are long-lost friends.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What are we thinking?

I am about to put 21 envelopes in the mail.

21 envelopes to 21 first graders.

21 first graders will receive invitations to Zs seventh birthday party, at our house, in December.

This will be funny someday.... I hope.

They can come as their favorite witch or wizard.

The details are still sketchy, but I think that we can safely say that some dry ice will be involved, some charades, some funny sounds, some "wizard cake", some wizard artsy activity, and probably some magical goody bags.

Hopefully, some other parents will be involved as well. We are already trying to line up a sitter to help us keep track.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Give thanks

I am giving thanks for being able to host Thanksgiving.

I was married previously... so, I had some experience with the whole switching families for holidays things. And, that was before children.

Now, our respective families live many states apart.

So, when J and I married - we agreed that (to avoid the inevitable, you did *** family last year, you need to do **** family this year) we would never travel for a holiday (yeah, I know, ho, ho, ho).

We are so thankful, words can't express. We never have to pack up the kids, we sleep in our own bed, and our routine is unshakeable.

I love people coming (the more the merrier, with 8 lbs of ham and 20 of turkey, fergodsakes - we could feed them all!).

See you later this week in the midst of (oh, yeah - the only drag - I have to clean up the house enough to avoid embarassment, shop, prep food, and that stuff - suppose it should be done at least once a year anyway).

Hell, I've had crappy holidays in years past, so I know what I am talking about. Being surrounded with my family and whoever else in our happy home may be complicated - but it will never suck.

Z cured, B still questionable, T iffy

Good God - will it never end?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Still Z's turn.

Z had a field trip today with his first grade class.

J was a volunteer chaperone for said field trip.

Z was one sorry kid this morning. He moped and moaned. He looked even more pathetic than he usually does in the morning. I helped him get dressed. I figure, if you're going to be ill, you may as well sleep on my office floor (I have a mat and a sleeping bag on the floor of the back room of my office for just this situation). So, I helped the child get dressed to flop on my office floor all day.

We got everyone dressed and to the car.

Z flopped into the car and buckled up.

Just in time to throw up. (eww).

Quick change in plans. I am mean, but not quite mean enough to make a child throw up in my office all day.

So, J stayed with him until my dad could show up. J will leave work early to relieve dad in time for dad to prepare for his obligations tonight.

I (would usually take-off except when in the classroom for a sick kid) have a horrid meeting this afternoon that precludes sick kids.

Frankly, I'd rather watch Z hurl than talk about general education assessment all afternoon.

For that matter, I would rather hurl than go to this meeting.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Career Day

So, today I spoke to a bunch of 12-14 year olds about careers in marine science.

What do I know about it?

Um. More than they do (that's all you need, right?).

Maybe someday I will wax poetic about being a role model and shit, but right now I have a seven-year old to carry off to bed (and, I will follow shortly).

Just taking turns.

So, little T was home with me on Monday. Poor little guy. He was just well enough to whine and raise hell.

Tuesday - we gave him some ibuprofen and packed him off to daycare.

Wednesday - I got hit with the grunge. Then, last night (Wednesday) - Z starts the fever.

This morning he is all moans and groans until I make arrangements for my dad to watch him while I go to a program I am signed up for... then, he stages a miraculous recovery. So, we pack him off to first grade.

Tonight, he is feverish, and falls asleep on the couch while we fix dinner. No dinner, no food, and the child that can stay awake forever passes out before dinner. Maybe he was sick?

I guess he'll come to my office tomorrow and have a nap in a sleeping bag while I teach. Too bad about the field trip his first grade is taking tomorrow.

(Bad Mom of the year award pending).

Monday, November 12, 2007


So, I had to meet with some students this morning. So, I took the little guy in with me, sick.

He was pathetic. Just healthy enough to want to mess with the stuff in my office... just sick enough to not speak to anyone.

Several students did remark, however, that he seemed so huggable and they'd be happy to snuggle the little guy. This led to the observation that it is so adorable when someone little like that is sick and pathetic - but, when a grown-up is like that we're all - keep it away from us.

Speaking of which... now, it's my turn. I am working the sore throat, snotty nose, and thinking about a fever. I have big plans to wait until the baking I did cools, cover and freeze it, then fall into a blissful Nyquil sleep.

Tomorrow, the little guy goes back to daycare, and hopefully I can make it through work.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


B had to miss dinner at my dad's retirement place this morning (a weekly treat), because he couldn't pull himself together enough to get dressed. So, he cried to J for a few hours instead.

Once I got to dad's, Z and T came in for breakfast and T had a slow but steady temperature rise through the morning.

I feel a bit iffy, B is an irascible tyrant today, and T is out cold in a motrin-induced nap (fever down for the moment). Z is headed to a Birthday party.

Work also looks iffy tomorrow (can't leave a sick kid at daycare) - not the best day for me to find coverage for the kids (five hours in the classroom on Mondays).

Friday, November 9, 2007


iAM considering a new purchase.

It is kinda expensive.

So, I have done eResearch, read other people's opinions, asked other professor's, college students, and all kinds of people. I have read some magazine articles and searched the internet for more information.

But, I am so hesitant to spend money, I'll ask my reader(s) as well... should iDO it?

I (think) want to get an iPod.

I am tired of jockeying around a bazillion cds.

I want it to store all of my music to play it in the car (I'll need to use a cassette adaptor), at home (where my stereo will either need an upgrade or I'll need an extra cable), in my office (a second USB connector for my office machine? both to play and to upload some music), and at my computer at home (for the upload process as well, with the dock).

When I add a case, an extra auxilliary jack, a hard case (for protection from the wrecking crew), a second USB connector and so on - I am looking at a hefty chunk of change.

So, I figure I'll hesitate for another several weeks before I either decide to give it up or bite the bullet and spend money.


Friday, November 2, 2007

Hide and seek.

My husband loves playing hide-and-go-seek (with the kids, I mean... really, you guys).

Anyway, last summer, we bought a hide-and-seek toy. It is a little two-piece treasure chest. You hide the bottom part (turned on), then the top part provides either a blue (cold), yellow (warm), or red (hot) light and corresponding tones to help you find it.

Usually, we have fun hiding the little thing and the little guys find it in a minute or so.

One time, however, as a joke, I handed it to the little guy (T). Then, told B to find it.

T climbed into the wagon and (as usual) Z started to tow t around the house in his wagon.

B spent nearly 45 minutes completely perplexed that he could stand in one spot and the light changed from blue to yellow to red to yellow to blue and off again.

He would wander close to the other boys and the toy would light up, then get so busy looking under furniture, he wouldn't notice that they wandered away. "Oh, I guess it isn't here".

My father, J, and I all about busted our guts watching it.

You see, T wasn't hiding the toy. He was waving it around.

To make B's job harder... T was constantly turning his part off and on.

Poor B was so focused on finding the toy, he didn't pay any attention to T waving the toy, and pressing its buttons.

Good thing that B is good-natured. When he FINALLY figured it out - he thought it was almost as funny as we did.

Trick or Treat

We spent the traditional North American holiday - teaching our children how to panhandle for candy.

Unlike my mother - that took all but my favorite five pieces of candy and gave them to a charity,

unlike a colleague - that has the "Halloween sprite" take the candy and replace it with toys...

my children get to eat their candy.

That said, they don't do so all on the 31st. Z thought we did... he said "what do we do next?"

I said that we would go home and eat candy.

"All of it???!"

"Um, no."

We trick or treated at the college, in the freshmen dorms. It is always fun. It was especially fun taking Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter there as these college kids grew up with the Potter series.

And, it is always fun to see my students dressed up, even though sometimes I feel like I need to cover my eyes (they still seem to think that Halloween is an excuse to be slinky and sexy - wherever you are). Of course, it seems like the costume industry has the same impression of everyone (even pre-teens).

The one big benefit? I have great leverage to get the big guy to start his homework. Unlike the usual two hours of pleading for him to start five minutes of work, I just told him...

"I'm really hungry... really hungry... I'd love to have your chocolate... every minute you delay - I'll eat one piece."

He was done in an instant.