Thursday, March 30, 2006

Let There Be Break

The presentations the sophs are giving are seriously crabbing me out. While they have rubbed fake boobs and picked their noses on camera, they haven’t really done any deep thinking about their books. We’re all kind of pissed at each other about it, and we all yearn for the upcoming spring break.

The dingleberry on this shitty day was the email I got from my grad school program. Seems they’ve decided to add an additional requirement: a course I’ll need to take next fall. A course that’s only offered on Tuesdays at one pm, smack dab in the middle of fifth hour. Needless to say, I’ll need to do some serious finagling in order to see a diploma any time in the near future.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Today, I had two good potential blog topics: this one, and also that my grandparents have met and conversed at length with Snoop Dog

As you can imagine, this cake, expertly designed and executed by Dan's mom, was a huge hit.

Image hosting by Photobucket

"It's Elmo! Elmo!" Shef squealed happily all the way until it came time to dish up, at which point his enthusiasm faded markedly.

"Daddy's cutting Elmo," he noticed skeptically, which was our cue to make a quick exit.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Go Shorty

The week of birthdays is underway. I was pretty psyched that my third-hour class brought donut holes to celebrate my 28th yesterday, and Shef was ecstatic about the load of balloons he got from adoring friends, parents, and grandparents this afternoon. Of course, if he’d have been agreeable enough to cause a labor of 16 hours or less, we would have shared a birthday; but I guess we each prefer our own days in the sun.

Sadly, Mr. Two has been acting his age up a storm of late, and has gotten a couple of less-than-stellar reports from daycare. He hasn’t been listening, they tell me. For example, Dawn asked him to go into the dramatic play room yesterday, and instead of doing that, he went into the hallway, covered his eyes, and pretended not to see or hear her.

We’re hoping this stage will pass, or at least that it will fade in and out at a sort of reasonable interval.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Construction Report

Okay, if this doesn't look like progress to you, you are clearly the most glass-half-emptiest person in the world:

Image hosting by Photobucket

Slow Joe was busy this afternoon installing that kick-ass floor. And I'm diggin' the yellowy green color.

Dan, the man who, when I put his child on time-out this afternoon for throwing plastic food willy-nilly around the living room, sheepishly admitted that he actually encourages this kind of behavior, is partial to the cheerful blue color in the new powder room:

Image hosting by Photobucket

So, Slow Joe says April 15th.

Let's say it all together now:

April. Fifteenth.

Monday, March 20, 2006

It Turns Out That Having Kids More-Than Doubles the Number of Sick Days You Need to Take

Just to make things interesting, Shef spiked a fever this morning, and I had to leave a curriculum-planning meeting at the school district office to rescue him from daycare, where he was languishing half-conscious in his teacher’s lap.

“He’s been this way since Dad dropped him off,” Teacher Tina informed me. I could tell she suspected us of knowingly sending him to school in this condition, but I swear we didn’t.

Lucky for me, Dan was able to come home in time for me to speed back across town in order to catch the after-lunch portion of the scintillating discussion of the placement of world lit titles in the tenth grade English course, and then I scooted over to the high school to leave lesson plans for the sub I’ll need tomorrow.

“You know he can’t come back until he’s been fever-free for 24 hours,” Tina said pointedly. “So, hopefully we’ll see him on Wednesday.”

Sure enough, he was lounging pathetically all afternoon and evening, and we felt really sorry for him until he suddenly felt better around dinner time, scarfed three waffles, and mustered enough energy to do the “jump, shake your booty” dance that my sister taught him last week. He knows how to sing the song and wiggle his tail feather, so it’s truly a sight to behold.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

F for Fan, that is, Fan of Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman enjoys wide appeal in our household. For one thing, she does a great sketch on Sesame Street called “The Princess and the Elephant,” which co-stars Elmo; and Dan and I heartily enjoyed Natalie’s rockin’ new movie, V for Vendetta, last night.

Of course, when getting your movie reviews from me, it’s important to remember that I enjoyed Million Dollar Baby and The 40-year-old Virgin equally. My definition of “quality” encompasses pretty much all cinematic offerings, possibly excepting Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo, and even there, you have to give them credit for a couple of good fish scenes.

Still, V totally kicks ass. We sat on the edges of our seats, and when it was done, we had a fun imagining republicans choking on their popcorn over it.

I read the NYT review today, and I see they didn’t like is as much as we did, but I don’t care since the message of V is power to the people.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Unexpected Boon

Although I was bummed that my superintendent failed to call a snow day, I was happy to come home to this cherub.

After thrity minutes or so of tromping around in the yard, I decided it was time to go inside.

"No," Shef said definitively. "I'll just play in the snow awhile."

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Bears

This is a picture of Shef getting ready to dance with the Berenstein Bears, who appear at the Children's Museum every Friday afternoon at four.

Shef fears the bears, and yet, he loves them, too. He loves to hokey-pokey with them, to shake around to "The Bare Necessities" with them, and to participate in their "Bear Cha Cha Cha."

We've seen the bears three times now, and I know he would really like to start giving them high-fives.

"I give Papa Bear a high five," he tells me, each time we see them.

"Great," I say, encouragingly, as a horde of excited kids mobs the bears. "Let's wait our turn, and then when we get up there, you can go ahead and give him a high five."

Then, when I've successfully fended off the over-zealous bear fans in order to secure a turn, informed the bear that this one wants to do a high-five, and the bear holds up his hand, ready for the big moment...

Shef suddenly whimpers "No," and buries his head deep in my shoulder.

"Okay, that's okay," I tell him, smiling apologetically at the bear's handlers. "You don't have to do a high five."

"I'll just wave," he says, peeking up at the bear, as we walk away.

And then he waves, and then we discuss it for the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Two Things

First, my ultra-hip younger brother made a guest appearance in my classroom yesterday, much to the delight of the sophs. He read and discussed a sonnet he’d written (which was decidedly better than the crap I’d composed as a model this fall) and expounded on the purpose of poetry.

“I really believe it’s important to get in touch with the emotional side of the human experience,” he told the kids earnestly. “Poetry helps us do that.”

They nodded solemnly. I mean there was none of the usual eye-rolling that follows my impassioned defenses of literature.

Second, Shef’s on a mega-dose of antibiotics for the cough that hasn't really quit since December. Dr. G. decided this time it’s a sinus infection and the cough is the result of a post-nasal drip. She said ears look “dull and kind of thick,” which I guess isn’t too good; but she decided to hold off on x-raying the adenoids until we see if the twenty-day course nips this crud in the bud.

On the way to the doctor’s office Shef, ever cheerful in the face of chronic illness, said:

“I like to go to the zoo. I like the tapirs. I like the guy feeding the fish, too. I like muffins. I like bananas. I like pancakes. I like yogurt. I like to play toys.”

As if that weren’t funny enough, his Aunt Mary taught him a joke yesterday. If you ask him, “What’s a pirate’s favorite letter?” He’ll wrinkle up his nose and snarl, “Arrrgh!” We did the joke for Dr. G., but she didn’t think it was too, too hilarious.

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Construction Report

Living with my mom has been totally fine. She’s gracious, she babysits, and she doesn’t even seem to mind that her family room has been flooded, top-to-bottom and front-to-back, with Shef’s toys.

“Go to playroom,” he says, pointing into the area which used to be a comfortable, uncluttered space for watching television and lounging in front of the fireplace. “Play wif barn,” he says, eyeing his Little People (and his train tracks and letter puzzle and easel and music set and vacuum cleaner, among other things).

Despite this hospitality, we find ourselves increasingly anxious to move back into our space. Contractor Joe seems to be plugging away, but still our move-in date creeps ever insidiously toward the Summer Solstice.

Here’s a view from the outside, with new siding between our bathroom and kitchen windows:

And here’s a view from just inside the front door. Joe and his henchmen insulated on Friday, which indicates progress, for which I'm very grateful.