Green's Hill-Amy Lane's Home - News

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just stay out of that ***ing house!

The incomparable Eddie Izzard did this bit where he was talking about serial killers, and how we don't know what to do with them. We tend to put them on house arrest, which works for the rest of the world, "Just stay out of that fucking house, right?"

I was driving home from work yesterday to the sounds of the Cave Troll's squeals, when I saw this sign. Now, the Cave Troll usually reads me a travelogue on the way home-- "Mail box, mom."

"That's right, honey."


Oh yes--he needs to hear me repeat every freaking thing he says, lest I be giving him the same conversational gambits I give his older brother and sister-- 'uh-hm...yeah... no, that's fine'--you know, the 1/2 a brain engaged sort of thing. "Mail box, honey," I reply.

"Horse, mom."

"Horse, honey."

"We're sharing, mom."

"That's good, you're sharing honey." And so on.

Except yesterday, he and his sister were NOT sharing. When Ladybug was small, the Cave Troll used to take his temper tantrums out on her by smacking her around in her car seat before she could fight back. (We stopped him when we caught him--Big T never dreamed of hitting Chicken--it came as sort of a surprise to us that a child would do this to his littler sister, but I imagine there are little sisters everywhere looking at us with exasperated expressions and a 'Of COURSE big brothers beat us up--it's their fucking mission in life!!!'.) Anyway, that's probably why she's so laid back now--he can scream all he wants, but as long as he's not trying to beat the holy shit out of her, she figures life is good.

But that doesn't mean she doesn't want a little somethin' back, right?

So yesterday, he shared his (MY!)soda with her, and she didn't give it back, and he was losing his little fucking nut over it--and she (the little shit!) had simply angled her body away from his and was clutching that can of soda to her chest. I saw her expression in the rearview, folks--she was GLOATING her chubby baby ass off, and I was laughing my big fat woman's off (if only) and that's when I saw the sign.

"Reptiles For Sale."

WTF? Reptiles? What sorts of reptiles? Lizards that eat bugs? Lizards that are eaten by hawks? Poisonous snakes? Alligators that got too big to flush? Chameleons, iguanas, gila monsters...just what in the FUCK was in that house?

And really, the house didn't look too sound. Would they escape? Did I have to worry about some horrific smuggled Australian snake (you guys have some doozies--I watch animal planet--the snakes in your country scare the hell out of me!!!) crawling into my house? I saw 'Snakes on a Plane'--not pretty, people, NOT FUCKING PRETTY!!!

But then we passed a flock of turkeys, and I figured, "Hey--they're fat, they're stupid, and they're free range."

And I could sleep last night because the dead turkeys would keep us safe.

And by the time this thought eased up, we were home, the Cave Troll's tantrum was over and Ladybug had relented, giving her older brother the soda he, in all probability, did not deserve.

A little imagination is a wonderful thing, folks, yes indeedy it is.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's not mellow's nipple piercing pink!

I am working on the ugliest pair of legwarmers known to man. Just the word, 'leg warmers' unless I'm talking about the exquisite laceweight ones in the last issue of Interweave Knits should make you shudder, but these are for a student,and she asked for something real bright, so in an effort to ease the pain of working with nipple-piercing-pink acrylic yarn, I doubled the strand, broke out wooden double pointed vampire stakes big enough to be kinky sex toys and went to town. Just thinking about the results makes me want to squint, but then, when I was in high school I used to roll my jeans up to my knees and wear long striped socks. You may wonder what the hell I was thinking, but, quite honestly, I was in high school, so I probably wasn't. This girl's sweet, she works hard when she's there--which isn't as often as she'd like to be--and the legwarmers may be one of the best things to happen to her year. I'll fight the mental squint, oh yes I will!

Of course, one of the hi-lights of these eyeball sizzlers didn't have to do with working on them at all. I was sitting, k2/p2 away, with the Cave Troll on my lap. He was gracing me with periodic methane emissions that would make my eyes water, and I finally figured out where the scent of diapers was coming from. (His sister was napping...)

"Cave Troll, are you just sitting there FARTING on me?" I asked, with appropriate outrage.

He smiled at me beatifically. "Yes, mom. I'm farting."

And then he went back to dozing on my shoulder. I mean, what do you say to that? The boy was doing what boys do, I guess...he had no idea why it should cause so much excitement. And, really, I guess after the damned dog, who has been trying to gas us out of our own home for ten years now, a few left-cheek sneaks are really no big deal.

And beyond that? Sock sock sock! I keep waiting to get really bored of the damned things, and although I wouldn't mind making some sweaters, the only one in the family who really needs a cool looking sweater right now is me, and I'm not really ready to commit to that many stitches. I've read the Big Girl Knits books. I know I should be looking at a three-acre DK weight masterpiece. Give me a few years--that damned baby weight may come of yet!

Oh yeah! Roxie sent me back one of my tangled skeins, bless her heart--she told me it took her ten minutes to detangle--I told her it would have taken me that long to foul it up beyond repair. Oh yeah--speaking of Roxie--girl friend got her picture in the Harlot's blog!!!! I was squealing all over the kitchen--go check her out, she's the one in the ROCKIN' LIZARD QUEEN HAT!!! I really do know the coolest people on the net, don't I!!!

Speaking of cool people, everyone's got their fingers crossed for Donna Lee, right? It should be no big deal tomorrow, and I'm thinking good thoughts for her--but for those of you who read her blog, she's sort of a fantastic good-thought-thinker, and she deserves some extra good ones coming her way.

And other than that? My weekend has been SOOOO mellow. The temperature in other parts of the country may be 'climbing' but ours pole-vaulted into the low nineties, and it's made every outside activity sort of slow and opressive, in spite of the sunshine. In June, a day in the nineties will be mild. After a week of things in the high sixties, it's like waking up and finding yourself in the freaking amazon--and it does take it's toll on the little people. I'm sort of watching the Cave Troll fall asleep on the couch as I type--we spent an hour at the park, and I got two naps and I cooked. Mate did some household chores, and we emptied out the coin jar and bought doughnuts. I mean really--very mellow. If it wasn't for those damned leg warmers, I'd have nothing to tell, seriously! The most subversive thing I've done in two days is point out to the kids where the edited version of Major League should have had swear words and didn't. (They knew--go figure!)

So that's it. My life without drama. If the world doesn't fall apart sometime before my big whatever giveaway, I'll try to come up with a really whacko thought or two... I mean, it does pay to have a brain that functions in the bicycle lane instead of the freeway, right?


Friday, April 25, 2008

Wow--I might even bore myself!!!

Seriously--I'm not sure if it's because I'm tired or because my funny star alignment is in it's nadir, but I'm thinking I might even bore myself today. (But that's not going to stop me from inflicting my boredom on the Universe--sometimes I'm not a very nice person.)

Anyway, my 2nd period is working on a project, I've satisfied my teacherly duty by stalking among them like an impaired panther three or four times, and now I'm honestly more of a hindrance than a help--I"m in a chatty mood and I keep talking with them about trivialities instead of inspiring them about their projects. Time for me to find something to do at my desk. And, since I have "Star Test Pity Movies" scheduled for the next two periods, when I plan to enter lots of grades, this is a good alternatives--for one thing I can keep an eye on my students while I type. (It totally freaks them out, which is also, always a good thing.) Anyway, it's time to make random observations about life.

For starters, Big T actually hit a funny one out of the park the other day. He often complains that I pick on him to do chores more often than his sister--and to some extent this is true. Chicken has more extracurricular activities, more and harder homework, and is often first in line for childcare, so, yes, I do ask her to take out the garbage less than I ask T. But T--proving his excellent good humor to the world yet again--figured out the REAL reason he's always getting asked to do chores. It's the couch.

Now, when we're sitting down, watching T.V., I get the big club chair with the two kids (you've seen me!) and he usually takes the love seat across from me. The other day, he was on the computer and his sister was in the love seat. T heard me make the request (issue the order?) and suddenly said, "Oh--I get it--it's the couch that makes the difference!!" We all laughed heartily at that--and then, while his sister was taking out the trash or whatever, T moved into her spot, proving I guess, that A. His learning curve ain't steep, and B. He's earned any chores I can throw at him by his simple inability to duck!

I am also getting to the "My big mouth is gonna get me hammered" phase of the year. The other day as I approached an amoeba in Satan's dysentery (also known as a straight F student who's had more suspensions for fighting than I have balls of yarn!) to ask her to stop talking, she said, "Whew! What's that smell!" Trying (because it's not that original and it's not that funny) to be insulting.

I ignored her.

What I wanted to say? What actually jumped to the tip of my tongue with such force that I had to turn away and just write her referral for suspension? Was, "Brain rot--I can tell because it started when you walked in."

It would have been hilarious--if she probably hadn't been armed.

At first I thought that Across the Universe was not nearly as big a hit as I'd hoped--I think the idea of connecting symbolic things together like songs and events is too big a stretch for a lot of my kids. Of course, the dilemma has been solved with my 4th period by knitting in their midst--I stand there, knit, and quietly answer questions about the mo vie, and eventually, once the stuff they don't get is cleared up, they start getting into it. It would have been hard to do with my 5th period though--I was too busy throwing out another dysentery amoeba. (Or would that be crapping out a dysentery amoeba? Or would that be too graphic?)

ANd other than that? Things are puttering along. Bitter Moon II is progressing nicely--about 500 pages in, probably 200-250 or so to go. I"m thinking of another teaser--any preferences? Anyone want to see Yarri? Torrant? Aylan? A combo of the two? Let me know! Oh yeah--another five posts and I'll have my first giveaway. I've never done this before--I think I"ll offer up yarn and/or books, whattdya think?

Let me know!! And does anyone have any ideas for what to do with a weekend when ya got no $$$? That's where we're at, and I'm tired of hangin' out at the homestead!!!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I don't know... is it me?

I snarfed this one from Donna Lee--I'm such a sucker for stuff like this!!!

You Are An INFP

The Idealist

You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.

Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.

It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.

But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.

In love, you tend to have high (and often unrealistic) standards.

You are very sensitive. You tend to have intense feelings.

At work, you need to do something that expresses your personal values.

You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.

How you see yourself: Unselfish, empathetic, and spiritual

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Unrealistic, naive, and weak

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Passing with failing colors...

I'm watching my kids take their STAR tests with such an incredibly mixed set of feelings that it's hard to even sort them out of the bag, and I think I'll spend this post actually trying.

(Pause, while I make a kid take his earphones out of his ears. Realize that I don't object to him wearing his earphones personally, but that it's a school policy. Debate with myself how badly I want to enforce that policy. Argue with kid. Sigh.)

I think what I'm going to do is just pull ou the little card out of my psyche with the feeling on it, and just lay it out for you--no actual sorting necessary.

* We do need some sort of basket of things that we, as a society actually decide to teach our kids.

* I don't think the bubble tests cover this even remotely.

* Kids need to believe in order, in some sort of higher purpose, in knowledge as a positive, self-actualizing thing for them to take these tests seriously. Maybe 22% of my students have that sort of belief system. 25% of them will take the tests because they believe our spurious claims of self-benefit, but otherwise, most of them have nursed from well of anarchy for so long that they see no particular reason why they should even try to answer the questions put before them. The reason, "Because I can!!!" Which seems to have been a motivating force for most of their teachers, is not even on the waiting list as a valid purpose for them. I have a hard time combating this attitude. I don't even know where to start.

* The bubble tests have way too much reading, and way too many dumb-ass questions about stuff that doesn't even connect to the purpose of why we USUALLY read for the kids to feel good about taking them. I'd fail these fucking tests--and I kicked ass on the ones I took in school.

* If a kid has a .05 total G.P.A. He's not gonna give a flying pig's winkie about how he does on a goddamned test. I can't believe our totally fucked up government wants my pay dependent on what these little bastards do or do not deem important. My house is overflowing with books, literature, math,'s practically bursting out the windows. I know there are at least five of these little fuckers who cheerfully vandalize my books any chance they get because they respect the books and me, as a representative of the learning institution so very little that they think it's their duty.

* The kids who have learning disabilities and are working their ass off are breaking my heart and making me want a fucking bull-whip and a cattle-prod for the kids who aren't working at all.

* I got into this gig because I love to read and I think stories are the heartbeat of life. I don't see how this test can measure that.

* If that one kid doesn't stop flirting with the poor girl who OD'd in my class a couple of weeks ago, I"m going to stomp on his heart and feed it to goats.

* Oh, shit--another one just dropped off to sleep--and I gave them water, and I can tell a bunch of them now have to pee like a freaking racehorse.

* Do you think the Governator could pass this damned test? I'm betting not. I"m betting he really couldn't in my 6th period class, where the little fuckers are going to be staging a rebellion that makes the crowd in Running Man look like a bunch of white-bread weenie Kindergartners.

* It's a bloody good thing I can type without looking at my keyboard that much, or they'd be switching their fucking booklets--yes--I just stopped to catch a couple of kids doing that. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM? I don't get it. They're starting to remind me of a Stephen King short story that scared the piss out of me in college and is scaring me more every day that passes. It's about how kids have this sort of evil underbody that floats among them and it drives this one teacher totally mad.

* *sigh* I got snacks for these guys--it at least keeps them quiet out of loyalty. I'm almost out of snacks-- I"m going to have to buy more. And water bottles--that's only humane.

* This whole process is not serving our students. Not that I've been a stellar educator this year, but I know I've put enough in their baskets for them to feel as though they can answer these questions. The problem is, they don't care if they can answer the questions. They want to know what's in it for them. AT this point, the only answer iI can give them is 'snacks and water', and it's not cutting it.

I'm starting to repeat myself--time to sign off. Tune in next time as I debate why belly-buttons are really necessary to the whole look of summer clothes and teenaged girls--and then decide that I don't really give a ripe shit!!!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Less Than Stellar Moments In Parenting..

My last post got me thinking--I had a whole 13 years of parenting under my belt before I started blogging, and you guys missed some real humdingers in terms of me screwing the pooch (and the psyche) as an estrogen bearing progenitor of the species. I thought I'd go back and give you all some highlights of my less than stellar career as a parent. Remember--I'm not proud of these things, but I do try not to repeat them.

Top 10 reasons I will never get parent of the year:

* The time we dragged a three year old Big T kicking and screaming out of Buster Brown shoes for reasons we could not fathom. Turned out, he was really attached to the Thomas the Tank Engine Shoes he had on and didn't want us to remove them--when I heard him saying goodbye to his old shoes after being sent to his room when we got home, I cried for two days.

* The time Chicken's annoying little friend got on her tenth nerve, and Chicken jumped on her chest and started to beat the holy hell out of her. It was so anti-Chicken behavior that the school let her off with a warning, but I was not surprised. In fact, I treasure that moment (this is what makes me evil) because I know that my Chicken will never be a victim for long. Of course, I never told Chicken that:-)

* The time I realized that while I had remembered to feed Chicken's fish while she was away at camp, the fish had been dying for the entire week, and I had mostly been throwing fish flakes on flaking dead fish. I bundled all the dead fish into a bag, took them to the pet store and demanded (as the Cave Troll ran around the store terrorizing the cat) that they give me "seven fish that look exactly like these fish only not dead and covered in Ick." I have not been back to that pet store since.

* The time we were broke and dodging creditors, and got T ear infection medicine on a health insurance account that no longer existed. When Kaiser called asking for T--and pronouncing his name VERY badly--I handed him the phone. What makes this really really awful is that although he was two years old, he could make one sound--YI YI YI YI YI YI... and so he did that into the phone until he handed it to me with a dial tone. (I mentioned I'm not proud of this, right?)

* The time we couldn't find babysitters for a movie so we put Chicken and T in the back of the Ford Escort (hey--it was the family car!) and took them to the (now defunct) drive-in to see Twister. They were two and four.

* The time I tried to comfort Chicken during a tantrum in the back of the car (while I was driving) and she bit my hand. And I tried to beat her to death (exaggerating for effect here--nobody call CPS) while driving down Douglas blvd.

* The time T came down the hallway holding a dead--in fact a DESSICATED--fish in his fingers, sobbing, and I laughed because FINALLY I knew what was causing the stench in my son's room!

* The time I hand-wrote (as neatly as possible) "Chicken's bad handwriting is a disability not a choice" on a piece of paper to convince her teacher to get off her back about it. *&^%ing parochial school. (My handwriting has been described as "unhealthy". The woman took one look at my message, looked horrified, and instantly agreed to back off.)

* The time I asked T's fourth grade teacher if he ever had the same urge I had to jump on T's chest and pull out the baby tooth that had been hanging on so long that the adult tooth had completely grown in behind it. The thing that makes me feel slightly better about this is that his teacher nodded his head and said, "Oh absolutely--I'll hold him down if you pull!!!"

* The time Big T was having some bizarre sort of insomnia attack, and spent the entire night running around his crib (which was in an attached room to ours) laughing like a complete lunatic. Mate and I got up blind with exhaustion (I was pregnant with Chicken at the time) and got him a bottle of juice (also not a source of pride for us, but that's another story) so often that we ran out of bottles. There were TWELVE of them in the crib when we were done, and he never did go to sleep that night. Or that day, either.

* The time I was pregnant with the Cave Troll and had just finished giving the two older children an excruciating, in depth talk about the facts of life, and T was so excited to know about S-E-X that he had to bring it up in every conversation. We were watching a movie in which two of the characters (J-Lo and Ralphe Feines--it wasn't a very good movie) started kissing and the screen faded to black, and Big T said, "I know what they're gonna do. They're gonna have SEX!."

And Mate said, "Yes, Big T--people have sex. Sex makes babies. Your mom and dad have had sex at least three times that you know of."

"Four!" Replied a gleeful T. "Remember--I caught you once!"

Mate turned purple. "Remember--we agreed that that incident never happened. Ever. Ever. Never." And I agreed. Never happened. Ever. Ever. Never.

And that, folks, is why even before the snail incident, I would never get parent of the year.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A crime of hidden pesticide

No no...I'm not qualified to lecture on going green or organic, this is something entirely different.

For the last week or so, in the mornings as we've left, the Cave Troll has gone to the bed with the rose-bushes in it and written a soap opera about snails.

"See mom...that snail is sleeping, and that one's awake. And that one's not dead. And that one's a baby snail, and that one's a mama snail and that that one's moving. See mom, he's moving?"

"Uhm hum...let's get into the car."

"See, mom, he's moving...I like him moving. Is he going to visit the other snails?"

"Uhm hum...c'mon...let's get into the car."

"Can we get flowers! Let's get flowers! I love flowers. The snails love the flowers! Can we bring flowers to the babysitter!"

"Uhm hum...let's bring flowers to the babysitter...but first get into the *&^%car!"

And there I was, wrestling a giant rose of the bush when...

Crack. Crinkle. Squdge.

Aw shit. AWWWWWW shit. I just killed my kids pet snail.

I got into the car with the damned flower.

"Mom...did you squish my snail?"

My kid's not an idiot--he saw where I was stepping. But I am a coward, and I answer like one.

"Nope...snail's mama, snail's all good. He was sleeping!"

And all day long, I"m thinking, "O gods, I'm toast. He's a smart kid--he's been checking in on those damned snails for a WEEK. He'll go back to that spot tomorrow and see all the little snail shards and I'll be BUSTED!!!"

And this morning, sure enough, he goes running outside and starts talking to the snails. "And there's a mama snail, and a baby snail and a daddy snail...and that one's moving, and that one's asleep...wake up snail, wake up!"

I go over and look with him. And sure enough, there's three more snails to take the place of the one I squished. Because, like, dudes, I suck as a gardener, and haven't put out snail bait in years...our yard is like a snail safe zone, and the aphids and dandelions don't do badly either.

For once, I couldn't be happier that I totally suck as a homeowner--go mama! In fact, Go Mama Snail!

I finally get it. Pesticide really is evil, and snails have the right to live, same as everybody else. Really, anything that keeps my kid from pointing at me and screaming "LIAR!" like Carol Kane in the Princess Bride is not a bad thing at all, now is it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bits of Bullets

* In ten more posts, I will have 400--I"m thinking about having a Random Stash Dive contest...something like, "If you can guess how many boxes I have of GOOD yarn (my acryllic doesn't count!) I'll dive into a box and produce a random couple of skeins of fibery goodness!"

* Ladybug has the eye-goop. Two days of anti-biotics, and she still looks like a mole in the mornings...I feel so bad for her--she's not very happy at the moment, and after two days at home, I had to send her to day care. Bummer.

* 1/3 of my 6th period left yesterday--there was a meeting for continuation school that they were obligated to attend. It didn't matter--the climate of the other 2/3s of the class is so damaged that after 10 minutes of trying to get their attention, I gave up, gave them their assignment, and let them piss away their time while I entered grades. *mutter*

* I had a small moment of triumph--today, 4 kids would NOT shut up during a movie. Instead of sending them out, I got my knitting and sat down. On the desk of the kid in the center. *sweet*!!!

* The Cave Troll spent the weekend chewing on a the rope of one of our cat toys...the result is a rope-burn coming out of the corners of his mouth--*snork* He looks like the Joker from Batman!!!

* (We're watching Pride and Prejudice right now--Colin Firth, Mreowr! And my 3rd period is actually getting into it!!!! Yeeehaaa!)

* The Raven--would you believe that Poe actually wrote lines 85-90 of this poem first? Brilliance is frequently odd and syncopated to watch, isn't it? I love it!

* In a stunning bid for independence, yesterday, after I got home and took off my shoes, I was standing in the kitchen being inundated with questions by the older kids when Ladybug threw a shoe at me. "Here, mama--catch!" And then she threw another. "Put them on!" I did. (They were loafers.) Then she grabbed my hand, hauled me to the door, said "Go for a walk!" And proceeded to trot around the block in the chill wind with the eagerness of a scottie dog. Then we got home and she sat on me for an hour, totally tuckered out. Adorable little shit, ain't she?

* And here, let it be known, that Big T, the master of the unfunny joke, and hapless follower of all things political with no real comprehension (he watches the Daily Show, well, daily, and REALLY wants to be John Stewart when he grows up. *sigh*) has finally made a funny political joke. I won't tell you what it is--it won't be that funny to you, but the fact that it was a little funny to me is, without a doubt, a breakthrough.

* And, really, I could go on like this for days. I won't, but I will finish by saying the following: I posted yesterday that I had fingering weight yarn that needed to be untangled, and two of you popped immediately up to offer your services. (I"m taking you both up on it.) As I told Mate yesterday as I was reading my comments, I hang with a sick bunch of people on the internet. Goddess, I loves you all:-)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sorting the Tangled Skein

A bunch of random stuff today--let's start with the title.

I've managed to wreck three skeins of sock yarn this weekend. The first one was my fault--it was tricksy, splitsy stuff to begin with, and when I didn't like the way the toes were working, I tried to frog it in the middle of the kids doing gymnastics. This is a bad move-- there is only a finite amount of time Ladybug can do gymnastics before breaking line to come and see if mom has taken this 45 minutes to haul ass for Jamaica or something, and sure enough, she came up to me in a hugging frenzy in the middle of frogging two skeins at the same time. The resultant mess is not epic, but it is annoying, and it makes the second mess just a little more tragic. I wasn't really fond of that first mess of yarn--but the yarn I asked Chicken to wind for me...THAT was a skein of Schaeffer's Anne, in the color scheme Hermione, and although I've been trying to get on Sock Yarn Only all day, their server is down, and the tangle that is my ALL TIME FAVORITE DISCONTINUED COLOR of Anne is sitting in a plastic bag, breaking my heart. Roxie, darling, if you're listening, I'll take you up on your offer now. My pride is broken. I love this color and I don't want to thrash it, or diminish my project hopes because it got tangled and I don't have time without cats or kids to unmess it.

*whew* That was a lot more emotional than I thought it would be. I'm glad I got it off my chest.

Anyway, that being said...

I also went to the dentist today--along with about four other errands, like picking up books from the post office from a friend (who may or may not stalk the blog--Mary, darlin', if you're out there, I got the books-e-chat you later!) getting Ladybug her pink-eye ointment (ICK), getting the Cave Troll's dentistry stuff signed (they were CLOSED), picking up lunch for Mate, who stayed home with the kids since pinkeye was involved, and buying milk because with this many kids, they don't even have to open the refrigerator to go through a gallon. It just osmoses through the steel door, the air, and their pores, and two minutes after you get home from the store, voila, no fucking milk.

The dentist office--now that was a trip. I am a big fat baby when it comes to my teeth--as I told my dentist, I have melodramatic teeth, and he agreed completely. So imagine my surprise when the assistant comes up to me and says, "I'm just gonna pop off your temporary now," when I had no anaesthetic whatsoever. I was thinking, "Geez, lady, a one night stand would at least kiss me first!!" I didn't say it, of course, but I know my eyes got big, and then the pain followed, along with the whining and whimpering and, as a whole, it sucks. I never dwell upon the suckage when I go to the dentist, I just let it surprise me when I get there, and I've got to tell you, I was in for a whole lot of nasty surprise before I left today. And then it went away. I guess that's the good thing about not putting a humongulous needle in your soft gum tissue before doing something minor, but during the visit, I was an unhappy little knitter, that's for certain. (They love to watch me knit's cool. I'm a fiber rockstar at the dentist office, when you all know that I'm a a garage band player at best on the blog:-)

And then I came home and took a nap. A looooong nap. Because you know what? Sometimes a day off is worse than going to work!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The T-Shirt is There for Your Benefit

First of all, did you all notice Ilona Andrews (author of Magic Bites and Magic Burns) commenting on one of my earlier entries? I was so excited, I almost plotzed. Chicken was so excited, she forgave me for waking her up early on a Saturday to tell her about it. There was excitement all around.

And second of all, this entire post is dedicated to that one picture. Because only a four year old boy could fall asleep like that. And the picture of Ladybug, sitting on her dresser where she's not supposed to be, in her La La La outfit? That's just sweet, sweet icing. Now everybody go eat some protein or my blog will give you sugar shock!

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Tale of Two Y-Chromosomes

The Cave Troll and Ladybug went to the doctor's yesterday for their regular check-ups (and shots) and now I'm being punished.

Okay, let me back up.

To start with, the Cave Troll who has been acting punky enough that I've taken his temperature at least once a day and gotten nothing on the results, apparently had a mild ear infection--for over a week. I'm very angry over this--I mean, really--fucking thermometer--the NERVE!!!

Anyway, back to me being punished.

I got home from work and had the following conversation with my husband, who was the one who took the kids in to the doctors.

Mate: Yeah, we went to MacDonalds, and they got shots--he got a lot of shots, he's so good, he didn't cry at all. She barely whined. All she wanted to do was see what he was doing. She kept her hands to herself, and she just leaned in and watched as he got his vision test...Did you see the cars crash for the hearing test, Cave Troll? Was that neat?

Cave Troll: We went to Mac-don-alds, and I climbed. And Ladybug climbed. And we played and I got nuggets. And I need medicine.

Mate: Oh yeah, he has an ear infection--I know you've been taking his temperature forever, and it turns out he's had it for a week--his ear vibration flatlined, and when he didn't raise his hand to his ear quick enough the cars crashed.

Cave Troll: And the cars CRASHED. BOOM! And I told them, and they stopped it and they went boom! And I got a shot, and it hurt!

Mate: And the (he checks the house to make sure the older kids aren't listening) Q-U-A-C-K said that he needs to be tested for speech impairment.

Me: Why?

Mate: Well, she asked me if he told stories, and I said "No."

Cave Troll: And I got stickers, and I looked at things, and I had chocolate milk...

Me: Are you shitting me?

Mate: You know I don't like to talk!

Me: You are shitting me.

Cave Troll: And I climbed...and then we took a nap.

You have GOT to be shitting me.

And on the school front--the lab tech finally came and took the useless computers out of my room. I had told my students that these computers were VIRGINS and were to remain UNTOUCHED. After that my 5th period and I had a continual conversation as to the state of technological virginity that the computers were in.

"Have they been violated Ms. Lane?"

"Nah...they've just been fiddled with."

"Are they still virgins Ms. Lane?"

"Well nothing's been inserted into their hard drives!"

So, finally, the 'girls' were gone.

"Where'd they go, Ms. Lane?"

"Well, it was a computer lab--I guess it was like a technology brothel..."

"And when they get too old to use they'll go to the old Ho's home?"

Absolutely. So I guess, now, instead of a computer recycling plant, we'll call it the Old Hoe's Home for Technology.

Good Night everybody!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Can't talk, gotta write... (and knit...)

I know other people have talked about how sometimes going through a low project phase...I've done that too--nothing really appeals to you? YOu can't decide on a color? Well, I'm in sort of the OPPOSITE of that stage...I want to cast on EVERYTHING, and then I want to work on it until it's DONE, GLORIOUSLY DONE, DONE DONE...

The sport-weight, toe-up sock, two at a time, on circular needles is my particular passion... I just finished a pair of these--it seemed like an excellent way of using the pretty Regia (psycho-kitty's favorite brand) that I bought to replace the first two balls that he destroyed. I'd made Ladybug a pair of socks from it, and wanted to use it all up (since I had, in fact, PURCHASED IT TWICE) and Chicken loved the pair so much (I had actually made for the small-footed Auntie Wendy) that she sort of commandeered them this morning. It helped when I told her that, given psycho-kitty's propensities, he'd probably make long sweet lurve to her feet when she wore them. Now I can go find Ladybug's pair, and they can have feet that match!!!

But I have other stuff on the needles too, and it's all close to completion--or really quick anyway. My Auntie Barb got a 'tour through the project bag' for her birthday. The thing is, I had like, six projects working, and no names on any of them, and I asked her which project she wanted me to finish for her in particular... she chose the fingerless mitts in the Araucania--and as Goddess is my witness, I will take a picture of these because they are 75% done and they are really some of my best work!!! I'll be proud to give them away. I have 1 1/8 of a pair of fingerless gloves to make (in worsted) for a student, and a scarf to make for a student (I was 1/8 of the way done, but Gordy the asshole psychokitty wasted it too--tell me, I've got skeins and skeins of crap-wastic--that's worsted/plastic-- laying around--why is it always the expensive shit?) I've got a new set of sport-weight toe-up 2-timers, and a cherry-tree hill plain old on the magic loop, and, of course, the peacock colored cloverleaf rib 2timers...

And I could sit and work on these things for HOURS. I am sooooooo in the mood. (Me, a movie, naptime, and my's a dct--a Dream Come True:-)

But I've also hit a crucial part of Bitter Moon II, and I think that maybe more people--including Chicken--would be happier if I worked on that. (Assuming, that is that more than just those reading this blog ever read Bitter Moon I--I got a wonderful comment and review from GJohnson about BMoon I--thank you darling!!!-- but the sales have pretty much convinced me I sent my baby to school during a New England Winter, when I had dressed them in anticipation of a Northern California Fall.)

But still...I've been planning this part of B Moon II from the PROLOGUE of B Moon I--I'm almost as breathless as my main characters!!!

So I"m basically up to my eyeballs in unnecessary obligations that I adore fulfilling. It's cleaning the house that I"m having trouble with!!! (That, and dealing with my 6th period...I think Thugs-R-Us is missing it's inventory, and I can't find the shipping label to get rid of the bottom half of this class' soul!!)

Anyway, I'm a little bit sick (sore throat, sore ears, tired) and that could account for the need to knit...I don't think the need to write is going to be in any danger of going away.

Oh yes--and on the child-front?

As I watched the Cave Troll walk into daycare this morning, it occurred to me that he was not looking his best--his hair needs cutting, and we've been calling him Einstein for the past few weeks. (We've been calling his little sister 'Oppenheimer'--they're the mad-scientist twins.) His sweats were old, he was wearing his father's socks with his sandals, and his shirt was a little bit big for him. (It was bought in anticipation of a winter growth spurt that did actually come--but it didn't add anything to his weight.) The shirt also reads, 'Pull my finger'--because he was being particularly stinky that day.

So, as I rolled my eyes and scolded myself internally for sending my kid to day care looking like the poster child for neglected mad scientist's children, Brenda said suddenly, "Ms. Lane--I'm taking the older kids to the capital today, is that okay? They're having an activity day for abused children awareness--I thought the older kids would have fun there."

"Sure," I said weakly. "But try to make sure he doesn't end up on any fliers as an example, wouldja?"

She was a Junior when I was pregnant with the Cave Troll--she's seen me come to school in full mad-scientist regalia, including mismatched white tennis shoes. (K Swiss--one from one year, one from the other.)

"Aw, Ms. Mac--he's just like you. He's unique."

That was my cue...I was outta there. Watch for my kid on the news.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Good Side to Suckage

So I woke up this morning, got ready for work, and prepared myself:

This day, is going to suck.

It was my mantra.

It was true.

* The Cave Troll picked a fight with me on the way to school. He did--swear to Triane he did--'Don't turn off the tv!' 'Don't want to wear these pants!' (as we are GETTING IN THE CAR!!) 'Want milk!' And then, as we are driving away with the tv blaring in the house BY HIS ROYAL FUCKING COMMAND, 'Turn off the tv!!!'. And as he threw his fit, it occurred to me--the little shit did this on purpose. He didn't want to go to day care, he liked the lazy mama days, and he had to find something at fault with the universe to throw a fit at. Anyway, he was a joy and a blessing this morning--if you were a goblin from hell trying to raise the bane of mankind in the back of a minivan.

* The babysitter moved. (No, not today.) She told me she moved. I'd even been to the new house. But I didn't remember as the car auto-piloted it's way to the old site, until I actually pulled up. I had to turn around and go to her new place! Besides feeling stupid, I almost didn't have time to get my soda--and that's a BAD THING.

* I did get my soda. I spilled it as I opened the @#$%ing gate.

* As I was throwing the last three inches away, the cup hit bottom and splashed me with the rest.

Okay--remember--all this is before 8:30 in the morning. But it was okay--it was o--kay.

Because my kids have been loud and noisy and hard to control all day--but I was ready. I got here in fighting trim, because I was prepared.

This day is gonna suck. Bring it on, baby, bring it on!

EDITED TO ADD: And a colleague just made my day! I told him I knit two of his three baby socks at the same time, and he replied "Really? You can knit one in each hand?"

I replied "Oh, if only! But, mark my words, someday, someone is going to take that innocent remark to heart, and that will be the next sock-technique book, mark my words!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Thank you, Lady in Red...

Ladybug's birthday party was today...and it was just going to be us. Her grandparents had bailed, her day care friends had already sang happy birthday, and I hadn't invited a whole lot of other people--just Lady in Red and her two wonderful boys.

We were prepared for it just to be us...we felt a little silly dragging out the tablecloth and the fancy plates and all the paraphernalia to the picnic table, until Ladybug herself came out, saw the tablecloth, clapped her hands and said 'La la la!' (That's the Little Mermaid, to those who don't speak toddler.)

Suddenly all of the effort of hauling a picnic out to the park for just the six of us didn't seem that bad.

And then the Lady In Red showed up, and it seemed perfect. Cave Troll had someone to play with, someone else got to eat strawberry shortcake, the party favors got to go to kids who would like really was a party, complete with two REALLY BIG BAGS OF GIFTS that she got to open.

Because Mate and I are complete dorks, we have no pictures with us this time... we will have to carry the mental picture of Ladybug, with her new pink panda backpack on her back, carrying her new La La La doll in her arms (she does have an affinity for blue-eyed red-heads) and the ribbons from her present in her hair. She is wearing a pretty pretty party dress (turquoise) with green socks, pink-heart shoes, and a turquoise jacket, because it was a wee bit cold in the wind.

She is smiling with all her teeth, and she will never let go of that doll, not even in sleep, which is what she is doing now, on the couch, after having fallen asleep on the way home.

She is two, and she had party guests, and we, her family, were there. Sometimes, it's the best you can do, and sometimes, it's more than enough.

Thank you, Lady in Red, for showing up and making it a party.

Thank Goddess, for my sweet little girl:-)

Tomorrow we go back to school, and this sweet, quiet two weeks of me and my babies will be over. But it's been lovely--I'll be glad to see my students again (don't laugh--I shit you not!!!) but it will be hard to know that I won't be spending the day with my little ones, making me laugh, making me yell, making me crazy--making me remember that I'm really a mother first, and then a teacher and a writer and a knitter...

I'll totally miss them:-)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Child's First Sin...

Is growing up without mum & dad's express permission.

We never forgive them for this.

They never understand why it was wrong.

My dessert baby turned officially two today--a surprise to everybody in day care, as we brought a little cake and little favors and held an impromptu party after naptime, since mom got to be home today--but it wasn't a surprise to us. It's not like we haven't had signs.

There has been the constant chatty-ness--open it, give me that, want it, mine, give it back, mine, Chicken come back, where'd T go, Kewyn that's mine, mama come here, want bite, eat, eat, eat, come sit, come feed me, no want bottle, give bottle to Kewyn, Kewyn give me bottle, Daddy want get the picture.

There has been the terrible, unrelenting bossy-ness-- see above.

There has been the insistence on wearing specific pretty things on specific days. Also related to bossy-ness--see above.

There has been a desire to take off her diaper and run around bare-assed naked under her dress. I think that's a family thing, because the Cave Troll can't go outside unless his clothes hit the floor.

There has been the philosophical differences regarding bedtime. We say it's around 9:30. She insists it's at least two hours after whenever we say it is.

There has been the absolute willingness to do whatever her brother does, faster, better, and with less fear and more potential for bodily risk. I understand that this is a side-benefit from being an Aries, which is the astrological sign equivalent of Tigger in Pooh-strology. Unfortunately, her brother is a Scorpio (or, in Pooh-strology, a Rabbit, with some Tigger sympathies) which means he's constantly getting her into trouble and then ratting her out. @#$$%ing Rabbit. I myself am a Heffalump--we're slightly imaginary creatures who paint everything purple. It doesn't put me in good parenting position--I need to be reborn as a Christopher Robin, but I don't see how that's going to happen.

There has been the ability to run around in circles beyond the capacity for rational thought.

There has been the sudden jumps in logic and intuition, both of which point to a frighteningly smart young Tigger, and I've mentioned this before, one that scares me shitless.

There has been a diabolical increase in the cuteness amperage, which you have all witnessed first hand and which makes reigning in all of the other two-ishness difficult (but not impossible...thanks to our other once-cute children, we do have some cuteness armor at our disposal. They are also less cute after they have sat their bare asses on your head as you are trying to nap. That is the wrong angle for cuteness, there is no doubt about it.)

So there you have it. She has committed her first sin as a child--she has grown older. Of course we forgive her. She's beautiful. She's terrifying. She's frickin' adorable. She's my dessert baby, my Ladybug, my plump little piglet with the Tigger's soul, my blue-eyed red-head, my baby-genius, my kick-back child who has listened to me sing since she was an hour old, and wraps her arms around my neck and says "I love you, mama" and means it. She's my true-north, my evening breeze, my Littlest, my hug-the-cat, my best-for-last, my chocolate eclair and strawberry short-cake and almond-liqueur truffle baby. She's the reason I had four. She's my Arwyn Star and she's two, and Goddess help us all.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

When it's not a jungle...

It's a zoo!

And I wish I could be SUPER blog-witty with that caption and show you a photo, but, no, I left my camera at home when we left this morning...along with a few other small things like my sense of direction and my advanced pattern recognition brain.

I kid you not--I've been to the zoo between four and six times a year for the last fifteen years. This was the first time in fifteen years I've ever gotten lost. Twice. I mean, usually, it's a total no-brainer, but this one time, when I've got a friend and a friend of hers waiting for me, I take two wrong exits and the world's longest loop's like my lizard brain had a giant gas bubble, and there I was, cruising down the freeway, flicking my tongue in the fetid air.

Oh yeah--about the fetid air. On Sunday, we had another 'Day'--it was a good day, but it was a day. It was a pick up Grandma in one part of town and drag her to the foothills kind of day, where my aunt had planned the world's COOLEST TREASURE HUNT across her 6-10 acres of land while the adults hauled the small children who couldn't make it on their own kind of day. It was a lot of fun, but there was one moment as I stood on top of a rise with a really steep trail, eyeballing the possible damage to my person should I misstep. A line from George of the Jungle occurred to me, and Chicken heard me say, "Fat woman rolls down hill--classic element of physical comedy." She thought it was funny. (None of my aunt's friends did, for some seriously felt like I was losing my mojo. Even the one ACTUALLY named Amy didn't seem to feel she had anything in common with me. It was weird.) Okay, getting back to the fetid air.

On the way home, one of my useless teenagers, I mean beloved older children, knocked over an old (I mean OLD) Jamba Juice on the floor. Since it was theirs in the first place and had never been cleaned up, I asked them (commanded them, begged them, whatever) to clean the damned thing up.

Two days later, (this morning!) I opened the car doors to the MOST APPALLING STENCH KNOWN TO MAN. It was wet dog and permed hair, it was nasty feet and spoiled fruit, it was duckshit in a pressure cooker with buffalo wing sauce, it was the wheels of the juggernaught, greased with burnt plastic and limburger cheese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was nothing a half a can of Febreze and some open windows couldn't beat into submission.

Anyway, I blame my getting lost on the way to the zoo on that. Seriously--are there carcinogens in Febreze? It must have been SOMETHING, because usually, my lizard brain takes over on these trips and, VOILA! I'm at the fucking zoo. This time, I ended up doing louies in some craptastic parts of town--it was bizarre. (Maybe it's been so cold for so long that my lizard brain is just super sluggish...It's not like I'm totally fond of lizards anyway.)

But once we got there, the parade of hyperactive preschoolers was pretty hilarious...Cave Troll saw all of his favorite animals to his heart's content, but I've got to say my favorites were the Snow Leopards. Very fuzzy, very beautiful--if they'd had stripes and really superlong ear tufts, they would have resembled a certain man-god who is currently not selling very well on at all. (*mutter* freakin' book's a good book, I swear on Triane's chastity belt it is!!!)

And after the zoo, it was Fariytale town--not always my favorite place, maybe because we only go there after hauling exhausted children through the zoo, the duckpond, and half of William Land Park. The idea is, everything there is some sort of innocent play structure based on fairy tales. The reality is, I see pedophiles in every corner, (my imagination, not for real) and there are too many corners, and too many children, and when one goes forward and the other goes backwards, and one decides to take short cuts through the crooked mile...well, you can see the angst. Today, though, it wasn't so bad--perhaps because there were three mommies to five goombas--it always helps to have that smaller ratio when you're outnumbered. Perhaps it was because Arwyn was such her own littler person--she was a delight to watch... when I wasn't chasing after her older brother. Perhaps it was just because they were being really really good, and that always warms the heart. Whatever--they had a blast, and then came home and threw their "We're overtired but it's too late for a nap and too early for real bed" festival of misery and...

Well, really, that's where we are now. And it's good, in a "I may have to throttle my offspring now" sort of way. By the way? That sock contest? I'm SO getting into it. I've got socks planned for Cory and Bracken and Green and Nicky and Renny...and no time to knit them. But that's okay. I was afraid I'd have trouble getting back into the Coryverse after Bitter Moon I & II--but as it turns out, that foul mouthed teenybopper and her hunks of the month are a serious part of me. Thank Goddess--I'd hate to lose that!

*whew* I could write more, but I need to clear the sink to wash some very tired children. (Bathroom? We have another bathroom? With a bathtub? Really? Mate--is this true? Is that where that other door leads? It's... it's been so long... it must be a false memory, like in 1984 or something, right? Yeah. There's no such thing.)