Tuesday, September 30, 2008

LL Says:

Lulu says, "Nyuh." We think it means yes, but we not sure.

Husbanguy Must Be Lucky or Something

Yesterday, Husbandguy's gas light came on in his car, but every gas station we passed except for 1 had bags over the pumps and/or caution tape stretched out blocking them. That 1 station that had gas also had a line. And apparently their gas is better than everyone else's because it was about 40¢ more than the local average price. Maybe it's made of gold... Anyway, he didn't get gas there, which I admit, made me slightly nervous. Because his gas light was on. Instead, he brought me home and took my car, which had about ¼ of a tank and went in search of a real gas station. He found one in no time where the gas was 40¢ less than the place where maybe the gas is magical. And there was no line. And they had enough gas that he could fill my tank and then come get his car and fill it too. It was cool. And kind of lucky.

Still, keep sending your positive energy (however you do that) his way. We're still waiting.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Turnabout...Fair Play... blahblahblah

If Husbandguy went away for a weekend and came back to find that I hadn't done anything around the house while he was gone (like throw away the brown lettuce that he took out of the fridge on Thursday), I would have been subjected to all kinds of snippy comments (like, "You couldn't even throw away the lettuce?" and more). When Pete and I got home yesterday, I was tempted to follow his example. But I didn't. Not because I'm a better person than he is, or smarter, but simply because I hate it when he does it. I did, however, point out to him that I wasn't doing that so apparently I'm not quite as cool as I'd like to be...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oh! One More Thing

You should call Husbandguy today and ask him whether I'm ever allowed to leave town without my dog again...

Not Really a Post

I have a secret. I posted all my posts for today, yesterday, and the day before on Thursday afternoon because I'm not really here. Spooky?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

em-are-eye

Thursday, someone took pictures of my brain for about ½ hour. No big deal. Nothing new. Except that this time? The loud and giant machine was in a trailer out back behind the building. Do you have a funny picture in your head now? Because you should. Even though it's probably not accurate. It was a very professional space, all necessarily medically and whatever, and enblazoned on the side of the trailer was a great big "Mobile MRI" logo. But it still amuses me.

About ¾ of the way through my imaging, the man came in to inject contrast into my veins, which, I've been told, are very small. And the whole time he was searching for a vein and doing the injection he complained about how very small my veins are, but in a totally conversational way, like he was just commenting on them. I know he was complaining, though, because he just went on and on. I did give him a little advice about where others have made successful sticks, which he took, while still talking about my little bitty veins. No bruise, though. Good job, buddy!

In case you missed it, you can see a picture of a cross-section of my brain, the top of my spine, and my eyeballs in yesterday's post. I don't see any lesions in this particular cross-section so it's not especially educational for you. But it is weird, isn't it? Ooo, and look! There are my optic nerves!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Roll Over and/or Play Dead - whichever

To graduate from Puppy Class, I have to prove that I can teach Howie something that wasn't specifically covered in class. I think our graduation move is going to be roll over. It's cute and useful because when he gets really consistent with it, we can use it to stop him from jumping up on people (hopefully). We just started practicing it and he still needs me to lure him over, but I bet he'll get it in no time!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm Starting to Take It Personally

Pete's principal sent this reply to our earlier email exchange:

HI MN, in CMS educational absences are at the principal's discretion. With help from the SLT we set up guidelines. Visiting family members is not excused at [this] Montessori. When you have time, I will be glad to discuss this with you.

Is it just me? I'm done thinking about this. We're going regardless so it doesn't really matter.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Do me a favor, okay?

Cross your fingers or say a prayer or do whatever you do to encourage good things to happen. Okay? Superstition prevents me from telling you more...

Call Tomorrow for Free Advice

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Novel

So, when I read, I tend to skim over the wordy descriptive sections and really focus on the dialogue. I feel like I may have just admitted something that makes me seem unintelligent, but I don't care because all it really means is that I don't like to be bored with the small details.* And it's only when I read fiction. And it's only ever been problematic when I'm reading plays. Until now.

This habit (preference? deficiency?) of mine is making my novel a little difficult to write. I have several conversations written (in Word and in my head), but if you were to read them, you'd have to decide for yourself what my characters look like and how their surroundings are decorated. 'Cause I dunno. Or maybe I do, but I'm not telling...

*This inattention to detail is also why I probably won't remember your name 3 minutes after you tell me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mowore Dayncin'

Yesterday, Pete and I went to the ballet. Our little local professional group did Peter and the Wolf and The Carnival of the Animals as part of a matinee series aimed at kids. It was enjoyable but definitely for a young audience. I love Peter and the Wolf - the music, the story, the memory of listening to it on the Grandpa's record player with the big headphones swallowing my ears, the fact that as an adult I didn't remember that it is actually narrated until TG got it for me for Christmas a few years ago. I suppose the potential is there for a beautiful and frightening ballet if choreographed right. This was more like a children's theater production, though. A good children's theater production, at least. The duck? Wearing a little yellow beak. The hunters? Bumbling and goofy. The procession to the zoo at the end? A little like a line dance. We enjoyed it, though.

And the Carnival of the Animals? It was pretty. Husbandguy would have gone to sleep.

Oh, and the orchestra pit was open but empty. Pete and I were both disappointed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

LL Says:

At dinner with Poppop the other day, we ordered onion rings and when they came, we offered one to Lulu who was busy talking to Poppop. She wrinkled her nose and said, "No. I don't want any." She went on talking for a moment, watching us at the same time, and then suddenly interrupted herself saying, "Oooo! There's dip! I want some!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

You'll have to make the airplane noise in your head.

Yesterday, Poppop took us out to dinner and he and Lulu had this conversation:

Poppop: Can I have a bite of your pizza?
Lulu: No.
PP: Why not?
LL: You... (noticing Poppop's empty plate) you already had your food.
PP: Please?
LL: Okay. Just a little bite.
(LL starts to hold her pizza out for PP to take a bite but snatches it back.)
LL: No. Wait. I'm gonna do the airplane! NNNNNNRRRRR... (waving pizza around as if it is a plane - Poppop opens his mouth) NNNNNNNNRRRR... COMING IN FOR A LANDING!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

decadence

I'm so used to medical doctors and the 8 minutes they allot me for my UTI/PAP Smear/MS check-up, that it seemed almost excessive on Monday when one (PhD) doctor reserved a whole hour for me. Decadent was really the most fitting word I could find to describe how it felt.

I'm a Little Ticked Off at Pete's Principal

Pete and I are going on a trip later this month. Our little school has a policy where a child can have an absence excused that would not normally be excused if the absence is for educational purposes. The form you have to fill out is called: FORM TO REQUEST EXCUSED ABSENCE(S) DUE TO VALID EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY- [PETE'S SCHOOL], and at the bottom it says "--Approved by School Leadership Team 2/13/07--" so the form at least is specific to our school. Not sure about the policy. The request has to be approved by the principal so I sent this email to get a head start:

Dr. MC,

I have a question about having an absence excused because the reason for the absence is educational. My daughter Pete is in Ms. C's class. Pete and I have an opportunity to go to a family reunion later this month, but it would cause her to miss 1 day of school. It seems like this would be a good opportunity for Pete to learn about family relationships since the people she will meet there are my very extended family. What we need to do to apply to have the absence excused? Would Pete need to do a project of some sort (like a family tree - we may do that anyway...)?

I thank you for any help you can give me with this.

MN

and got this response:

HI MN, thanks for the email. Visiting family reunions is not an excused absence according to state law. I am attaching the rquest (SIC) form, however, for your information. MC

I filled out the form and sent it in with Pete anyway. I included an explanation of why I believe the trip is educational and suggested that Pete build a family tree to show what she learns. The form came back the very same day with an X in the request denied spot and no further explanation.

So I sent this email:

Thank you, Dr. MC. We got your response that Pete's absence will not be excused.

If you don't mind, would you please clarify the purpose of the application for absences to be excused for educational reasons? Is there a list somewhere of what sorts of absences are covered by this? It is possible that while family reunions are not a valid excuse, an activity we have planned on this trip might be, and I would like to have the opportunity to investigate that. Also, who should I lobby to include trips like this one, which I believe should be included since they are cultural? I specifically remember studying family relationships in elementary school social studies.

Thank you for your attention to this. I am sure you are busy.

MN

and got this response:

Information will be coming out in the folders this week.

No information came home in the folder. So I sent this email:

I am sorry Dr. MC. I assumed you meant the Thursday folders and we did not receive any information about absences. I know I am being a pest, but I'm not trying to. I am honestly trying to understand how the "educational absence" thing is supposed to work and to understand why our request was denied. You said below that family reunions aren't excused under state law; I assume you meant like illness or family deaths are. I was under the impression that this was the point of the request - to have an absence excused that would not normally be because the child is learning while away from school. Are there only certain activities that are approve-able? If there is a limiting list of what type of absence would be approved, would you please forward it to me? Or point me to where to find it? I have searched the [school] and [school system] websites and handbooks but did not find anything. I feel like I have completely misunderstood the purpose of the request form and would simply like to learn more.

Thank you.

MN


And that is where we stand (I just sent it). I'm not trying to get her to change her mind about denying the request (although it would be cool if she did), but I just don't get it! If there is a specific list ("according to state law"), shouldn't it be posted somewhere or included on the form or something? And honestly it doesn't seem like she gave our request much consideration, sending it back to us the very same day. So her hands must be tied by some law or something, right? Because she clearly didn't think about it at all.

We're going on the trip, whether it's excused or not. Pete won't win any awards for perfect attendance, but she will get to meet Moomie's brother and sister and their families, which is more valuable, in my opinion, than some certificate or whatever.

The absence also counts against the school when the school system is allocating whatever they allocate each year, but that's the principal's problem now. I tried.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oh, and Also...

This morning I logged on and had 18 comments from Dana, who has been missed. It was awesome!! Welcome back!

Because I Can't Think of Anything Else to Write About...

...you're going to have to hear my opinion of those cell phone ads. You know, the ones where the teenage sons and father keep throwing away their rollover minutes and the mom scolds them and wags her finger at them and they just roll their eyes. I hate those ads. They make me really uncomfortable, the way they portray the mom as some nagging hag. And she's always cleaning the kitchen. What is wrong with that family? Especially the father. Can you say support?

I know they're just ads, but they really bug me and don't make me even remotely interested in the product they're trying to sell.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Was Just the Car Service

So this morning, Pete had a meeting with her teacher about focusing in class. I thought it was a meeting for me too, but I was wrong. I was just the chauffer. It was Pete's meeting with her teacher. I was glad to be there, though. I like Pete's teacher.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pete Says:

At puppy class this weekend, Pete and Pete's mom saw adoptable chihuahua puppies. Pete made this comment: "When I'm 16, I'm going to get a chihuahua and then you can be like 'Oh no! A chihuahua pooped on the carpet!'"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shortsightedness

So, 2 days ago, everyone (else but us) drove out all panicked and bought up all the gas. Did this happen where you live too? Husbandguy and I wondered why. Seriously. Ike hadn't even hit yet. Didn't those people realize that they were contributing to the conditions that would allow higher gas prices? For no reason at the time.

And then yesterday, every gas station we passed was, of course, out of gas. Pumps were roped off or covered with plastic bags. Signs were turned off. Gas stations were deserted. Every now and then we'd see some poor sap slow down when he or she passed gas stations, hoping for just a little gas to fuel their Expedition. Sorry, buddy. Don't look at me!

And what really gets me is the station on the corner near our house. We drove by in the morning yesterday and they were out of gas and the sign said something like $4.299/gal. Later that day, they were still out of gas, but somehow the price for their non-existent gas had gone up by more than a dollar to 5.369/gal! They raised the price! For what?!! The idea of gas?!!

This is stupid.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

This and That

Husbandguy had a meeting with a recruiter yesterday who works for a company that is having trouble placing people for the same reason HG needs to be placed. Still, they have HG's resume and I'm sure HG made a good impression so maybe he'll be at the top of their list if something does come along. Stupid economy.

-------------

Pete and I are going on a little trip in a couple of weeks so she can meet a whole bunch of my relatives who are related to Moomie. It's in Ohio. Know what I'm most excited about? It gets cool there at night! Like it should in September. We will have to wear jackets! Yes!! Well, that and seeing my family.

There is horseback riding near the park where we'll be staying, and Pete really wants to go horseback riding, but it would be $34 for the two of us to go riding for an hour and that's just not in the books right now. Stupid economy.

-------------

We got a note home in Pete's work planner this week that her teachers would like to have a conference with us. DuhnDuhnDuuhhhn... She is apparently being disruptive, talking to herself and her friends when she and they are supposed to be working. She had this problem last year, too. I am grateful for the conference, but it is only the 3rd week of school! HG can't go because Lulu needs someone to stay with her, but Pete is going with me so she can be part of the plan building.

Oh, and I made her cry yesterday because I caught her in a lie. I wasn't trying to trap her or to make her cry, but she was clearly upset by being found out. She said so.

It's hard being 6, I think.

-------------

Howie is outside right now digging in the mud. Our poor carpet.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Funny Dog

Last night, when everyone was home and safely tucked into our evening places (bed/couch/you know), someone on the TV shut a car door and Howie felt the need to alert us that someone was here. It was sweet. In a guard dog sort of way.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not Sure What to Title This

The president of the PTA (remember her?) has nominated me for president. Of the whole world! And all I did was gather contact information for 227 volunteers and build a giant Excel workbook out of it (we don't have access to a database - pun not intended), and then I emailed it to her. Apparently I'm awesome. Who knew?

I love this stuff!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You know how when you're reading something good, sometimes you dream about it?

That's happening to me with The Host by Stephanie Meyer. Except, unusually, I'm not dreaming that I'm part of the story - I'm just dreaming about the story. Dana at One for the Books reviewed it a few months ago, and I think that's where I first came across the title. It's one of those best sellers and I was #67 in line when I put it on hold at the library so probably the Grandpa wouldn't read it, but just like with the Harry Potter books, he would be missing out.

It's a very compelling read, entertaining and (I think) fairly original. I am very much enjoying the main character's reactions to her environment, the people she encounters, the overwhelming emotions she has to deal with for the first time.

I really like it when I've got a good book.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I've Got a Pain in My Neck

Well, actually it's my shoulder, but it's sharp enough that it made it difficult for me to lie down last night. I am certain it's stress. I think I'd prefer a headache.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pete's Lesson

The other day, Pete's class read the book Born With a Bang (which I have not read) and then her teacher gave the "first years"* a lesson about the "beginning of the Universe." It went like this:

First Ms. C laid out 2 black sheets with "stuff" in between. She pulled out a balloon and a "push pin" and popped the balloon, and "tiny particles [glitter] flew all onto the second black sheet." Then she pulled out a bowl and filled it with water and added red confetti. She stirred it around and told the students to "watch the particles clump together." Then she took off the top sheet and there was... a VOLCANO! The volcano was apparently made by the third years last year. There was also water vinegar, red and yellow food coloring, and baking soda, which Ms. C put into the volcano, which then "exploded all over school!"

Cool, right? I asked Pete what she had learned from Ms. C's lesson and that was when she told me they had read the book, but she didn't elaborate so I'm not sure how much she got, but the lesson was cool and she remembered it and she's only in the first grade and Husbandguy was impressed by her use of the term "tiny particles."

And also, one of my girls at least is getting the right kind of education outside our home.

*Items in quotes are Pete's words.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back to the ER

Stupid croup! Once again, Husbandguy and Lulu had to take off in the car in the middle of the night in search of steroids. This time was more like the first time (which was actually the second time) than the last time. This time she really seemed to be having a lot of trouble breathing so we only hesitated for a moment before they tootled off to the ER. She actually enjoyed the trip to the hospital. They took her temperature under her tongue like a big girl and let her watch Dora and gave her stickers and a Popsicle, and she got to drink her medicine instead of having a shot. She's still croupy this morning, but we talked her into some warm apple juice and it helped a little. We're tired of this, but it's a fact of life for us apparently. Poor kid.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Once Upon a Time

Many, many years ago, there was a young mother, we'll call her Mommy's Nintendo (MN), who worked every weekday from 8 to 5 as an admin or something similar. MN made quite a name for herself all the places she worked because she seemed to be the only person in the office who could really use Microsoft Office. It wasn't just Word; MN knew the whole suite, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, all of it. And people were amazed by little things like the fact that MN knew how to turn off the office assistant (although, honestly, the cute little paperclip taught MN a lot of what she knew about MS Office, including how to get rid of him) and that MN could make their spreadsheets do fabulously complicated calculations with just a few clicks or keystrokes. MN knew other things too, like what to do when your keyboard stopped typing or the little orange light on the front of your printer started blinking. As a result, MN earned a reputation as a "tech person," which frankly made MN laugh (and almost got her in trouble once when she was placed in a temp job that required her to know how to do server stuff based on that reputation - she figured it out).

Then MN tricked talked her husband into letting her be a stay-at-home-mom and for years her "tech" skills were shelved.

But not anymore, MN, the go-to person for spreadsheets and formatting, the locator of lost emails, the queen of duplexing is back! Although now she is not being paid, unfortunately... MN is surrounded by people who need her help, people who say, "I can't do that," when MN knows better than anyone that yes they could if they looked it up. But she's not telling them that. Oh no. Seriously. Would you?

And MN is content. Because she is needed. And revered...

Friday, September 5, 2008

If you set your goals low...

...you're certain to smash them without much effort. I had hoped to get 19 new members at the PTA meeting last night. I got 37. That's 195%. Go me!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

LL Says:

I asked Lulu if her yogurt was good, and she nodded and said, "It's not uhskustin!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Well, There Goes that Plan (also: Lulu's 1st Morning)

Today was supposed to be my first day to have alone time and get things done. PTA things, cleaning Lulu's room, things like that. Lulu started back to preschool this morning (more on that later), and since she would be gone all morning and sleep most of the afternoon, that was supposed to mean that I could do whatever I wanted/needed to do around here without interference. But no! That's not going to happen. Thank you, Husbandguy's former employer. Stupid economy!

HG and I took Lulu to her first day together (because we can), and since it's the first week, we walked her to her classroom and left her at the door. We had to call her back for hugs. That kid was ready! I'm not sure I'm going to miss her as much as I did at first last year, but it sure wasn't easy leaving her there. HG rolled his eyes at me while we were walking back to the car because I was just chattering on about nothing. So I told him not to roll his eyes because it was either talk or cry, and he didn't roll them anymore (who wants to deal with MN crying? really). Fortunately the dog had a doctor appointment this morning right after we took Lulu so that took my mind off of leaving my baby. Until now. Sigh!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Husbandguy called me with pretty bad news and said he'd be home soon so I didn't get any details because I thought we'd be talking in person before long but instead he's gone out with some of the guys from work and I'm stuck here acting like everything is normal and fine.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Look What We Can Do!

video

You'll notice that I lost him in the middle because I had to reach for a treat, but see what a great job he did when I called him back? This is a good command to know when Howie is trying to play with Lulu. Also, please ignore the EGGS box in the background. It has 3T pants in it, and I put it there temporarily to keep Howie from eating the rocks in the fireplace.

Things We Never Thought We'd Have to Say

I don't want you to kiss my underwear. That's weird! (MN to 3 year-old Pete)
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