Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Pronunciation: \ˌha-leh-NOON-ya\ 
Function: interjection
Date: 3/2010 though undocumented use before date noted is likely
—used to express praise, joy, or thanks

Example: "Mom said we can have the foamy soap in the bath tonight!  Hallenoonjah!"

Bath and Body Works has this wonderful soap that comes out like really thick shaving cream.  Santa left each of the girls a can in their stockings, and they just love it.  It's "shapeable," firm, foamy soap.  Hallenoonjah!

This is photographic evidence of the strange soap monster that appeared tonight in the bath. Mind you, I don't leave the whole can, I just squirt out each of them a pile then put the soap away.  An unmonitored can wouldn't last through one bath.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hangman's Harder If You Lisp

I found a couple "Pocket Posh" puzzle books at Costco.  I bought a "hangman" one and flipped through the back to the answers, then put post-it flags on the ones the girls were more likely to understand (they have no idea who 'Justin Timberlake' is, but they know what 'strawberries' are).
Inside - well, it's easier to show than explain.  You erase the silver circle under the letter you're guessing.  If it's in the answer, erasing the silver will expose a number indicating that letter's position in the answer.
Thing 1 and 2 were working together and got really frustrated with their puzzle.  They finally asked my help.

They were missing one letter.  They had U_BRELLA.  "We already erased the N, and it's not the right answer!  We don't know what it is!!!"
Apparently I say um-bur-ell-a, and my kids are saying uN-brell-a.  I never noticed.

I was telling the story to Gravity - who suggested they must have gotten the M in Unbrella mixed up with the N in "Valentimes,"  I think he's right. 

Unrelated:  I took the dog to the vet's to look into a sedative JUST IN CASE he gets unbearable on our trip.  They weighed him in at 69.7 pounds.  I had decided he'd stop growing at 80 pounds, but at 8 months old he's still gaining ten pounds a month.  He's going to blow right by 100 and keep on going. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I can go in, I can go out, I can go in, I can go out...

Turns out we have a smart dog.

I had heard that you can train a dog to ring a bell to be let out.  There's nowhere to put a doggy door in our house, so I rigged up a bunch of bells on a string and hung it from the back door.  I intended to get around to teaching him, someday, that if he bats at it, he can go out.  Once or twice when I was letting him out, I'd give the bells a shake, but I didn't do it with any consistency.  Of course when you open the door, the bells do sort of rattle against the door somewhat.
A couple of days ago I was on the other end of the house, the girls were upstairs, and I hear a persistent shaking of the bells.  I came to the back door and there is the dog, sitting at the back door, watching the door.  He looks at me as I come up, then he looks at the door.   I let him out.
This morning as we were having breakfast he got up and went over to the door.  I hadn't let him out yet, and was kind of wondering what he'd do.  Thing 2 noticed him by the door and went over to pet him.  He reached up with his paw and batted at the bells, then looked at the door.  She let him out.
So this evening I was folding clothes, and he noses the bells, and sits by the door.  I get up and let him out.  After several minutes I  hear him barking (it's approaching midnight and I can't have him waking the neighbors) and I call him back in.  He putters around me, I wave him off my folded laundry piles, he lays down for a while.  Then it seems he gets bored, and goes to the back door and noses at the bells and sits and looks at me. 
He's gone and taught himself to ring the bells to be let out.  Now I'm at his beck and call to hop up and let him out whenever he rings.  He's too smart for my own good.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My famous husband

Hubby travels a lot.  He's in airports a lot.
He said that fairly often, once every week or two, someone comes up to him in an airport and asks him if he's Adam Savage. (He's not.)
If you didn't know who Adam Savage is, as I did not, he's the host of a Discovery channel show called Mythbusters.  I think one of their episodes should be dispelling the myth that my husband is Adam Savage.
Let's play a little game.  Can you pick which of these pictures is Hubby, and which is Adam Savage?

His face is kind of small, it's hard to see, but this is picture #1.

Do you know who it is?  

Ready for the next one?  Picture #2, more of a close-up.  Can you guess who that speaker is?  

Picture # 3.  I love this one.  Don't look at the logo in the lower left corner, it sort of gives it away.

This is #4.  Can you tell who that might be? 

Okay, next picture.  Who is this thoughtful looking person?  Picture # 5.  Can you tell?

How are you doing?  Are you having trouble telling them apart?  Apparently a lot of Discovery Channel viewers are...  
Here's the next one.   This one shouldn't be too hard, but you have to admit there are some similarities... This is Picture #6.  That winning smile could be none other than....  You tell me.

Now this one.  Who could that be?  Same leather jacket...  Hmmmm... Do you know?  This is Picture #7.

Ready for another?  Picture #8.  Any guesses?  Is it obvious?
Last one. This should be an easy one...  Picture #9.

 Okay.  Do you want the answers?

#1  This is Hubby.
#2.  This is Mr. Adam Savage.

#3.  This also is Mr. Savage, in case you hadn't already peeked at the Discovery Channel Logo.

 #4.  This thoughtful guy is Hubby. 
#5.  Mr. Savage. 

#6.  This one is an old picture of Hubby.  If you haven't noticed, one obvious clue is the glasses.  Old pictures of Hubby have smaller framed glasses, but since he got his new heavier frames, though they're square and Mr. Savage's are round, the identity confusion suddenly intensified.

#7.  Mr. Savage.  This one and the ones above and below sort of emphasize the similarities, I think.

#8.   Hubby. 

#9.   Mr. Savage.  If you know Hubby, you know I'd never tolerate his hair that long.  I like it shorter.  Though his shirt is cool, something Hubby would wear.  Hmmm....  I could get Christmas present clothing ideas from Mr. Savage's photos... That would be fun... Maybe they'd cross paths at some airport wearing the same tee shirt....  Har har har!

Well, how'd you do?  Could you tell them apart?

Come back next week for the next quiz, is it Thing 1, or is it the Wendy from Wendy's Hamburgers?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back to California

Hubby had carefully reserved the week of the girls' spring break to be playing with us, or at least working from the house, but something happened and it ends up he's going to be in San Jose for three days that week.
He spends so much time away, it doesn't make sense for us to sit home doing nothing while he's in San Jose.  So we decided to join him.  The problem is there's not much in San Jose.   We saw that Santa Cruz is the nearest beach community.  The guys he'll be working with told him it's about a 45 minute to Santa Cruz, maybe an hour in traffic.
He offered to commute from Santa Cruz.  We'd find a rental on the beach.  For the three days of the week he'd be working, we'll be hanging out and playing in the sand.  The other days he'd be with us.
The girls are not happy about spending Easter morning somewhere other than our house.  This will be the 2nd year in a row we've done that.  But I don't see any other way around it.  The Rabbit will find us, he's a smart little rodent.  Thing 1 has already started pondering her letter to the Easter Bunny, and I know she'll be expecting a return letter.  She's already seen how happy Santa and the Leprechauns are to write back to her.  Just how literate is the Easter Bunny, anyway?  What kind of correspondent?  A full chatty letter, or just an inky paw print?  Hmmmmm....
It took me about three days of looking, but I just found a place that was available and seems to fit the bill, and only cost one arm and leg.  It's hard to tell exactly what we're getting from the cryptic photos and the real estatey blurbs (Cozy = Tiny... Quaint = Decorated in the 60s.... Close to beach = 5 blocks away... etc) but we can bring the dog and when I google mapped it it is about 3 houses away from the beach.  Also it was a couple hundred dollars  cheaper than some of the other places we were looking at, and has a roof top patio to watch the sunset from.

This is the rooftop with accompanying view.  

This is the back deck.  It faces West so the sunset view should be nice.

This is the beach access three houses away.  
The only thing missing is a private hot tub.  The girls would have liked that.  But the trade off is they get to bring the dog.  Now we just have to figure out how to put him, and everything else, in the car for the 13 hour drive.  Holy Dorrito, did hubby and I just commit to driving 13 hours with two kids and a dog?  Hmmm... that will be the hard part.  We'll take two days to drive over, but we may have to pull a heinous all day trip back.

The dog is not overly fond of the car and I don't know how he'll do.  He still can't get into the car without the ramp.  Yes, Kelso is such a wuss that he can't jump into the car.  He has tried, but his front half ends up in the car while his back end is still on the ground, which he seems to find embarrassing.  It is quite a ways up there, and he is only 7 months old.  He can jump out, but hasn't mastered the in part. 
This is a picture of the same ramp we have, though those are not our dogs...  The ramp folds in half, weighs about 20 pounds, is about 3.5 feet long and 6 inches thick when folded in half.   Waaaaayy too big to take on this trip.

I heard that a bit of Dramamine will knock out a dog for a while.  I think I'll be talking to the vet about that and some sunscreen for his nose.  I hear collies are susceptible to nose sunburn with that big ol schnoz sticking out there.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Parent Teacher Conferences

Our 2nd semester parent teacher conferences were yesterday.  Both girls are doing amazing in school.  They get graded in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.  The first semester Thing 2 got "2s" - which means "on grade level" in everything but reading, in which she got a 3 - Exceeds expectations.  This semester she got 3s in reading and writing, and 2s on everything else.  I am very proud of this, she's doing great, and she's got more 3s than Thing 1 did in first grade.  In the comments section the teacher said she "adores" Thing 2.  She is doing fabulously.  The teacher told us what a joy she is to have in class, and how much fun she is.

Thing 1 got 3s in every subject, picking up even math from last semester.  I had to go to the teachers desk and get a Kleenex, I got all misty.  The teacher and the student teacher sat across the desk from me and gushed about her, they couldn't say enough nice stuff about her.  She beamed and beamed.

It was a proud moment for all of us.

Suspension of Disbelief

As I was putting the girls to bed Wednesday night I walked past the printer and saw two copies (one too small, one too light) of the letter that the very careless leprechaun had left there.  I quickly snatched them up, and as we walked up the stairs to bed I reached over their heads and put them on the kitchen counter where they'd go unnoticed until I could dispose of them later.  

We get upstairs, we started brushing teeth, and Thing 1 realized she didn't have her copy of the letter... She looked all over her room.  It was late, she was frantically desperate.  I was helping Thing 2 brush her teeth.  Thing 1 announced she'd go downstairs and look for it.  Fine, just do it quickly.  She was about halfway down the stairs when it dawned on me what I had left on the counter.  I sprinted to the stairs as she called up "I found it!"   I got to the bottom of the stairs and she was holding both copies, looking at me baffled.   "He must have practiced," I said, I snatched them away and wadded them up, with her protesting.
We searched the downstairs, with her increasingly upset, then went upstairs in defeat.  As she was climbing in bed, we found the letter on her bed, the top bunk, which she can't see from the ground.  Hubby had put it there because he could tell this was terribly important and she wouldn't want to lose it.

She hasn't said anything since, but I felt terrible.
Thing 2 took the letter to Show-and-Tell today.  Thing 1 was cautioning her repeatedly not to let anyone take it out of its protective plastic sleeve because it's one of her most prized possessions.  Apparently she's still fiercely clinging to her beliefs, thank heaven.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Restless nights

Thing 2 is back on a not sleeping through the night phase.  This comes and goes, and I am really tired of it - pun intended.
For the past week or so she has been waking me up twice a night, usually between 3:00 am and 5:00 am. One time she'll call because she has kicked off her covers and is completely unable to cover herself up again.  I grumble and grouch at her, and cover her up, and stumble back to bed.  I usually have enough time to get back to sleep and maybe sleep for an hour before she wakes me up again.
The other call is usually because she had a nightmare.  Sometimes she's woken up screaming, and she gets less trouble from me about it then.  But when she just seems to want to inform me of the tenor of her dreams, I start getting pretty crabby.
Last night she called about the covers first, and then the 2nd time when she called I stumbled in grumbling and she said her sippy cup (in the bed to try and prevent night time water trips) was empty.  Grumble grumble fill her water cup.  When I brought it back to her she admitted she'd also had a bad dream.  I assured her as quietly (so as to not wake up Thing 1 in the upper bunk) as I could as firmly as I could that this has got to stop, I am really sorry she's having nightmares but she can't wake me up to tell me about it every night.  She started whining and saying but she's scared, I started shushing her, she gets more upset, shush, whine, shush, whine, until Thing 1 pops her head up and looks around the mostly dark room.
She sees that Something has Happened -
A couple of naughty Leprechauns had visited them last night, dangling underwear from the blades of the ceiling fan, posing the toys and stuffed animals around the room, draping clothes and blankets from drawers and chairs, basically messing up things a little.  Thing 1 was very excited. I told them to both go back to sleep, it was 4:40 am and they could see it in the morning.  Thing 2 started crying that she wanted to see it now.  I responded I don't care what you do, just do it quietly because I need to go back to bed.  She starts to cry.  I reemphasize turn the light on if you want, I don't care, just do it quietly.  She cries, I went back to bed.

Hubby is laying in bed getting frustrated, he gets up and goes in to put a stop to this middle of the night stuff, and tells Thing 2 in his firm voice that this has got to stop, at 6 years old she's old enough to pull her own covers back on, and put herself back to sleep if she has a bad dream.  She starts to cry.  Harder.  He tells her that by dragging us out of bed she's being very disrespectful of our need to sleep.  She starts to HOWL.  She insists we hate her, she's stupid, etc. etc. etc.  He calmed her down a little before he came back to bed, but the whole thing took about 15 minutes, and of course I can't go to sleep while its going on.


In other news, the girls were thrilled with last night's visit from the Leprechauns, Patrick O'Malley and his mischievous friend Fabian O'Flartey.  Thing 1 had written a note to any Leprechauns who stopped by, and Patrick wrote a reply on the back in his very very very tiny handwriting.  He responded to her questions about his size (6 inches), his pets (2 dragonflies, Moira and Blarney), and where he lives (in a highly secret place in Ireland) and told her he might have left her some Leprechaun gold but he knew she'd never find it in her messy room, which was a mess even before Fabian started throwing things about.   She had drawn a self portrait on her side of the paper, so Fabian drew a small picture of Patrick on the reply side of the note.  The girls were thrilled with the whole business.  
The nights' problems were forgotten by everyone but those of us who are most effected by the lack of sleep.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good Citizen

Each week for the past couple of months a student in Thing 2's first grade class has been chosen as the "Good Citizen," with various extraordinary privileges and fabulously important responsibilities.
Thing 2 has expressed her disappointment each week as she finds out she has not been called.  Her behavior has been exemplary, she receives high praise from the teachers, she leads the class in nearly every field; she is completely baffled as to why her teachers do not see her efforts and why she has been passed over time and again.  (I am not sure if humility is part of the equation.)
Today Thing 2 found she'll be the Good Citizen next week.  She has hardly touched down since the announcement.  There is no bad in her world because she is the Good Citizen.  She is beside herself waiting until Monday.
She pronounces it "good sitisent."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Saying it wrong

It is a problem to hear your kids mispronounce words because sometimes it's so cute and funny you just let them do it.  It would probably be easier on them to have me correct them than some college professor, but I love hearing them say things wrong. 
Thing 1 seemed to grow out of doing this earlier than Thing 2 has.

Two that quickly come to mind are how Thing 2 says "lie-berry" when she means "library"
"frigerate" for "investigate"

I had a boyfriend - it might have been Hubby - finally hassle me that I say "umbrella" incorrectly, with four syllables instead of three  - um-ber-ELL-a, instead of um-BRELL-a.  It's kind of ingrained, and people seem to know what I'm talking about, so I usually don't worry about it.  I have to consciously pronounce it correctly if I decide to.  But I have become aware of it.

Why didn't my mother correct me?   Because she says um-ber-ell-a too.

Monday, March 8, 2010


It was my anniversary last week.  We celebrated last night with dinner and a movie, and at dinner Hubby gave me a mixed tape, well, a CD, of songs that sort of chronicled our past 10 + years together.  How very "Nick and Norah" of  him.  It was so terribly sweet it made me tear up.  It's almost to the point that I go misty when I open an envelope addressed in his handwriting.
He had printed up a lovely CD cover with the title and a brief explanation of why each song was on the CD, all very professional looking.  The picture on the front of the CD case was of the place where he proposed to me.  Actually, I found the picture he used on the cover, and here it is.
He proposed on the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland, under that big rock there.  It's called "The Old Man of Storr."  Yes, it was every bit as cool as it sounds. (Grin.)  
It's a little bit difficult to return to for an anniversary celebration, so we just play bagpipe music instead on a Mixed Tape.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thing 1's self portrait

Thing 1 used Hubby's iphone to draw a picture of herself today.  The clothes, the glasses, the shoes, everything is spot on.  
 Here's her picture...

I was so pleased I went up and took a picture of her clothes.  I decided against waking her up and making her get dressed, but I was willing to drag her laundry out of the hamper.