Thursday, September 27, 2007

Safety Mommy

I was up early (again), unable to sleep past 4 a.m. and while talking to Seamus about how much we both miss Junior, I briefly worried that I would run out of topics for the blog. But I shouldn't have my life provides plenty of fodder, and MORE fodder, almost on par with the American Girls catalog appeared in the mailbox. But more on mail-fodder when I can post a few pictures at the same time. Until then, a short post and a few pictures. First, an action shot taken by Safety Mommy as Flipper indulges in her new favorite activity: standing between the front seats and poking her head out of the open sun roof. Only inside our sleepy little neighborhood!! This makes her so happy, doing stuff in my car that is a treat for her but was a regular occurance for me growing up as I did in the age before car seats, booster seats, and the like. In the days before Britax. Speaking of which...I want to sell Flipper's Britax Marathon. So if anyone wants a top-notch car seat in a gorgeous, sunny yellow, let me know!! It will be replaced with a hot pink and flower print Britax Parkway. One of our family cars for 22 years was a 1962 Volkswagon Beetle, with square seats and devoid of any seat belts. They weren't required then. Can you imagine??? And it was my mother's car until the early 80's when she sold it to a young college kid that was going door-to-door selling encyclopedias. At any rate, back to the pictures.

Note: I was driving while I took this picture!! I am an incredible multi-tasker!!

Flipper wearing her butterfly wings.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

100 bottles of beer on the wall...

No, wait...I hate beer!! But this IS my 100th blog post. Cannot decide if this is a good thing or a bad, selfish, narcissistic, ego-thing. Sense that perhaps it might be...but is that really BAD? Will decide it isn't and keep on keeping on. Yesterday it was hideously hot again and I hate it so much and am so freaked out by the state of our boiling hot world that I cannot think about it and so will focus on something else to freak out about. I find this disturbingly easy to do. Yesterday after supper Flipper and I settled down to check out one of her new National Geographic animal dvds. I cannot tell you how incredibly disappointed I was. I had to restrain myself from LITERALLY throwing them in the ant-infested trash can!! Even Flipper hated it!! And this is a kid that is so excited that I even let her watch something-ANYTHING-that she truly exemplifies the adage, "Beggars can't be choosers." She would happily watch The McNeill/Leher Report if I let her. So, what was wrong, you ask? Let me count the was choppy and chaotic, with flashing screen-shots of animals after flashing screen. Never did it just let the scene play out, or spend more than 20 or 30 seconds on one animal or family of animals. The music was truly dreadful, cheesy songs interspersed with narration (and I use that term loosely) that provided no real information. I found this upsetting for two reasons: one, it exemplified the terrible terrible influence of MTV on ALL programming, but particularly that geared towards children: the powers that be think that only flashing, quickly changing images and music will keep their attention when the opposite is true: it kills their attention span and makes "real life" seem dull and boring and agonizingly slow. Secondly, I expected so much more from National Geographic!! Were this some sort of Nickelodeon crap I wouldn't be upset, but National Geographic?!?!?!? If their documentary about lions didn't depict the male killing the cubs so he could father ones with one of the females, I would have ordered that for her. But I wanted something a little less heartbreaking, for me at least. Flipper seems not to have inherited my intensely sensitive nature in which I cannot bear to watch/hear/read anything emotionally sad or violent. Especially where animals are concerned. This means I haven't seen a movie in a decade. This is something that drives my father insane; after my refusal to see Schindler's List he scathingly remarked that I was "one of those people that just want their art to be pretty." Guess what? He's right!! But I reminded him I wasn't one of those freaks (or the president of Iran) that thinks the Holocaust never happened. So. Perhaps this is all just some sort of cosmic reminder that I hate TV for small kids anyway, and god knows she doesn't NEED to see lion cubs frolicking in the wild, and console myself with the knowledge that my OTHER purchase will make her and me and her dad and my parents very very happy. We also got the entire first season-24 episodes- of The Muppet Show. I can't wait.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Up up and away

Another insanely busy week-end, but one filled not with ups and downs, but pretty much just ups. Even Friday was packed from pick-up to pass-out. We went to Kidzu, this tiny "museum" on Franklin Street in downtown--and I use the phrase "downtown" loosely as it implies something urban, and the only thing urban about it is shitty parking and homeless people begging. From Flipper "Why is that bag around her drink?" At any rate, we dodged these unfortunates and then enjoyed almost three hours of talk (Robin and me) while the kids played in an entirely-made-from-plastic "castle." Tt reminded me of Disney World; I went there for the first (and only) time as an adult and was absolutely amazed at how everything-even the "bricks" on the street, were made of plastic. Granted, we were high on acid at the time, which made the experience about a million times more fun than it would have been otherwise, but still!! ENTIRE buildings made from plastic!! Meat-Girl made the most of the "kitchen" where she attempted to roast a huge haunch of plastic meat.

Blessedly, Henry and Flipper entertained themselves admirably while Robin and I watched other mommies, perhaps more involved than us-play with their kids, conducting puppet shows and the like. I always view these parents with awe: how CAN they actually do this? This, the play-thing, and in public, no less? Because I never do. Robin said it best, though. We pay for them to be entertained, so they can figure it out. And they did. Henry actually went a step furthur by entertaining US by getting is head momentarily stuck in tiny plastic castle window:

Every now and then, Flipper surprises me, and in the most positive of ways. Saturday's birhtday party was one of those times, and I was so so so happy. The party was held at a Little Gym in Winston Salem. Typically, Flipper will cling to me, burying her face in my leg, and will only decide to venture forth when there are about, oh, 2 or 3 minutes left in any activity. It is very annoying. But when we got there, she went right into a huge pink room filled with about 15 other screaming girls and donned her alter-ego mask of Teacher's Pet, which meant she followed directions, was "the good kid", participated, and, in general,loved every minute of it. It was adorable. She had so much fun. I used to scoff at people that held these kinds of parties for kids, but now I have seen the light. I totally get it. The parents aren't doing anything...except enjoying themselves and watching their child have a great time being bossed around by incredibly chipper college girls. The...they go home. No clean up, no hassle, no nothing. Even the party favors were taken care of: a bouncy ball with a helium ballon attached to it by a ribbon. Adorable. Simple. Done. Must rethink personal contest rules regarding Creative Party Mommy.

Friday, September 21, 2007

White Star and Black Mane

Something is happening to Flipper, something insidious. Despite my very very best efforts, she is turning into one of those little girls that is obsessed with hair. Not just her own, although that is weirdly important to her, but doll hair. Doll hair like Barbie doll hair. Which, by the way, will never darken our doorstep. But yesterday, after several weeks of waiting, the damn dogs finally ran out of food and so Smokey took Flipper to Southern States to buy more dog food (a huge 40 lb bag)and a much-longed-for-very-un-Waldorfy-made-in-China toy set: A Breyer horse and veterinarian with some vet supplies. Disturbingly, the vet supplies are actual reproductions from Pfizer!! Talk about a marketing coup! "Toys" with a pharmeceutical company's logo on it!! How American can you get!! The vet, which I approved of because it is a woman and has red hair, was Flipper's real focus. We had a quiet afternoon yesterday that consisted of me sitting in my chair (yes, I have one specific chair from whence I hold forth, much like Archie Bunker) and Flipper on the floor with her new horse and vet and her red barn. True to form, she named the horse "White Star", inspired by the white patch on the horse's head, and the poor vet received the moniker "Black Mane." You know, because the horse had a ....I think you get it. Blessedly, a touch of Waldorf crept in when she spread her green silky on the floor for "grass." Then the horse was put out to pasture and she focused on the vet. Or, I should clarify: she focused on the vet's HAIR. She brushed it, had me braid it, washed it, put conditioner in it...for 3.5 hours. I read the new Martha Stewart magazine which made me want to host a Halloween party immediately. Then reason set in. Homemade donuts? I think not. I had a flash of her playing with a Barbie doll the same way, obsessed with her hair, the teeny tiny clothes that all snap...and I wondered (not for the first time) where did you COME from? She was so involved, so focused on was peaceful and weird all at the same time. Just before bed, she asked if she could "trim her hair so it will grow longer." I sense that Black Mane might not have a mane much longer.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wild Kingdom. Kind of.

I have written before about television, and how evil I think it is, but I did buy a portable DVD player last year (a Phillips with a 10 inch screen for those techie folk out there) and I must confess that I have warm and fuzzy feelings inside when Flipper watches her little "Wild Animals of Africa" dvd. My little heart even overflows when I look over from the kitchen and see this:

At any rate, the "Animals in Africa is the only dvd currently in residence at my house. I thought I would go insane if I heard the frantic tap-tap-tapping of the Riverdance people ONE MORE TIME. I used to disparage parents that let their young children have tv's/dvd players in their rooms, thinking them the very height of irresponsibility, but now I get it. It is because children want to watch the same video over and over and over again. It is maddening. I must confess that I let the animals of Africa keep her occupied for the blessed 22 minutes it lasts while I cook, clean, or, more likely, bury my face in a People magazine or a Boden kids' catalog, but the other day I actually tuned in and focused on it. Mind you, we've had it since March. The music, which Flipper loves, is quite nice; I think the proper description would be "stirring." It is quite retro, probably filmed 20 or 30 years ago, and doesn't show any zebras being struck down, or baby water buffaloes losing their lives to the sharp claws and teeth of the lion pride this dvd focuses upon. However. Keeping in mind that this is the first time I have ever taken the time to watch the damn thing, I (not to mention Flipper)was suddenly riveted by the huge male lion batting the female about, and her snarling at him and twitching her tail in his they assumed the position. And the voice-over said, (get this incredibly obvious anthropomorphising), "The rest of the pride knows not to disturb their love-making." WTF?? LOVEMAKING??? I think not, Mr. "Scientist". Try "mating". Or, more accurately, "Violent fucking while watched by family members." At any rate, Flipper seems to be completely unaware that they are making baby lions...or perhaps not: next year at Halloween she wants to be "A baby lion cub."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


After wasting a shocking amount of time yesterday dicking around with Picasa (new addiction for me) and my America Girl doll commentary, I am at slightly loose ends again. This week I have dropped off AND picked Flipper up from school 2 days in a row!! It is a record!! I feel like a real, live, INVOLVED parent!!It is a very very nice feeling, as I love to feel a part of things, but especially her school. The danger of my job is that I could easily decide to take her every day and get to work an hour later than I currently do; and no one would care. Except my paycheck. I must resist this urge.
Flipper is already looking forward to the next "real" holiday looming on her tiny horizen: Halloween. She isn't so interested in the candy...until she gets a plastic pumpkin full of it. But she is into the pumpkin-carving of one, and one that she grew in our garden this summer, and she is also into her costume. Rigid, controlling mommy put the smackdown on any costumes that aren't from the natural world. Meaning: no fairies, princesses, ballerinas, etc. Animals OK. Plants/flowers also OK, provided they aren't pink. So this year she wants to be a rabbit, a tiny brown cottontail, not a hideous albino lab rabbit. Entertained idea of her as lab bunny and Baby Seamus as a research scientist!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Now new stress/dilemma comes in: do I attempt to win some sort of contest for best mommy that exists only in my own fucked-up mind by making her costunme or do I troll the Internet, searching for one? I could, perhaps, win for "Shortest-Tempered Mommy" or "Least Amount of Patience Mommy" but best costume? Probably not. But I am pretty handy and crafty, and the thought of making her costunme speaks to me. Veyr very loudly. Many moons ago, when I was hitting 30 or so Panic shows a year, there was this guy that orbited near our circle of freaks. He was from California, and when it came time to hop on a plane and head for a few nights of music and rugs and more drugs, he would-get this-put on an adult-sized bunny suit, complete with head and ears, and get on the plane. He would not take the suit off, although he was tossed, bunny suit and all, into a pool after some show. Can't remember which one. Aspen? Oh well. So the thought of Flipper in one-even homemade-cracks me up. Will keep reading audience posted.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

American Crap

I was hoping, indeed, praying-in my own, atheistic way-that something would fall into my lap that would inspire me to attempt new comedic heights on this blog. Well, it came in the mail yesterday!!! I am convinced that CERTAIN companies have some sort of deal going with hospitals whereby they purchase names and addresses of all girl-babies. Then, they wait about, oh, 3 years or so, and then the advertising blitz begins. Not quite sure what I'm speaking of? The American Girl cult, oh, sorry DOLLS, I meant. My hat is certainly off to Mattel for creating a marketing scheme and product that is rife with endless accessories to buy, not to mention their clever way of suckering girls and their soon-to-be-broke parents into going to Chicago with their dolls in order to have "tea" at the special store, get their doll's hair done, etc. No, I am not making this up. I also have to commend them for making a doll that doesn't look like a whore. Or like that Italian cook-lady on The Food Network, you know the one I mean, she has a huge head and a tiny body, thus rendering her into kind of a human lollipop. But I digress.

The whole concept is that the dolls represent certain eras in history, wait-make that herstory-HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Like the Depression (although something tells me no one starves) or Colonial times. ANYWAY...this year's doll represents...the 70's. As in the 1970's. But...were I in charge, and I'm certainly not, there are a few changes I would make in the name of authenticity. To wit:

I notice that Julia is actually in school, and in San Francisco no less, instead of living in the alleys of Haight-Ashbury, doing drugs and scratching endlessly from the bad case of scabies she contracted from her very first "free love" experience.

Her little paw clutches a lunchbox, instead of a bong, and her braid fails to have a feathery roach clip attached to it.

She is quite clean, and her hair might be naturally straight, meaning it will lack authentic burned sections from attempting to iron it straight in the morning before "school."

Her bell bottoms are not skin-tight, indeed, so tight that Julia would have to lie down on her unmade bed in the morning and use pliers to pull the zipper up, inch by painful inch.

Her "locker" as depicted behind her-and yes, you can indeed purchase the locker as well for only 175 dollars (I am not making this up, people. One would have thought that Mattel would have been able to strike a better deal with their Chinese factories)-anyway, her locker is not only neat, with no failed papers and terrible tests and rotten lunches jammed in the bottom, but she actually has a picture of the Brady Bunch posted to the inside of the door. Now, who the hell DOES-or did- this with their locker??? In the name of "authenticity" she SHOULD have a mirror on the inside of her locker, a huge plastic comb poking out of her back pocket and some Bonnie Bell lip gloss in some yucky flavor. She should also have some icky teen-aged guy loitering around her locker, reeking of clove cigarettes (my high school actually had a smoking section for the students). Oh, the 80's.

And, she can wear her trashy PayLess open-toed sandals to school. Which Flipper cannot. Ever. Even in high school.
I am in awe, awe, I tell you, of this entire American Girl thing. So, if you have a girl-baby, prepare yourself. Because they WILL find you. And never let you go. We get a new catalog every 4 months or so, even though we have never bought anything, and buy only hippie-dippy wood and wool Waldorf toys.

And, guess what she's NOT getting for Christmas?

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's Here!!!

Fall has come, with chilly, blessedly chilly nighttime temperatures and crisp, clear days. I am in heaven since I hate summer and love fall and winter. Love cold weather. Feel revitalized and full of energy. It is amazing. The week-end was jam-packed and fun fun fun. It rained Friday for the first time in 8 weeks. Flipper and I met Rose and Baby Seamus at Lime and Basil, Flipper's favorite restaurant for some grilled lemongrass pork (Flipper) and stuffed tofu (me). Then we returned home, and Flipper helped Baby Seamus embrace his inner girl by dressing in matching lavendar Hanna Andersson dresses and frolicking in the living room before bedtime.
This was adorable.
Saturday Flipper spent time with Keith, hiking around the Eno, while I got a very nice and somewhat expensive pedicure with Jessica, then spent a few hours at Saks. Can't say much about it because it would take too long. Perhaps another day.
Yesterday was perfect: Rose and I took the kids to Duke Gardens, truly one of the best places ever, and they climbed trees,
ran around the grassy bowl, had a picnic lunch, and fed the ducks.
But, somewhat disturbingly, from the bottome of the duck pond huge swarms of catfish would rise to the surface, engage in a feeding frenzy, then sink down again.
Later we took a long walk, then played in the circle.
And nighttime? Flipper slept on the floor beside my bad (sad), got up in the middle of the night to get back in bed with me, only to return to the floor about an hour later, where she stayed for the rest of the night. So its coming; her sleeping alone. And I am sad.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


This week has been heavenly, due to a few changes on my part, things that actually involved sustained effort beyond simply envisioning some sort of change while lying in bed at night, waiting for sleep to overtake me, which is how I typically like to bring about change. The lazy way. So, Justine, this is from me getting all Waldorf-mommy on you all....

1) Sleep. The endless struggle. Before Flipper was born, I laughed, laughed, at people whose children had "sleep issues." Then she was born. Last year's mornings were an endless nightmare of crying, whining, a total refusal to eat breakfast, etc etc etc, blah blah blah. But not this year!! No no no!! This year (even though I snickered inside when Flipper's teacher reminded us that "they should all be in bed between 7 and 7:30), snickered, as in, and what planet are you from again? And can you spell that? Because the only time she has ever been in bed that early (successfully) is when she has been sick. But I promised myself (and Flipper) that this year would be different. So I have instituted the post-dinner smack-down. While it serves the dubious purpose of making me into even more of a total, autocratic control freak-if such a thing were possible-it also casts me into the role of the bad cop, while Keith retains his permanent status as good cop/fun guy. After dinner, which must be eaten relatively early, as in before 6 if possible, there is no more play that requires physical movement. None. No gentle, sweet evenings riding tricycles in the street, no trampoline time, no horseplay--no nothing. This is a hard thing for her, as any food-not just sugar-is like tossing a match outside anywhere in North Carolina right now!! hahahahahaha! Food is pure fuel for Flipper, and she becomes crazed. Now, instead of heading outside to get all sweaty again, THEN taking a bath, THEN getting in bed, THEN reading three, there is a shower late afternoon with me, (in the interest of saving water) and the time after supper becomes a repeated refrain of, "Please calm down. No running inside. Stop jumping off the stairs...and so on. This goes on for about an hour, and then we head upstairs where we cripple her intellectually forever by reading ONE book, or perhaps two, and then going to bed. Shockingly, this has been working in the sense that she wakes up at 7:15 or so in a good mood. She still doesn't eat breakfast, but I have conceded this point to her, and some soy milk down the gullet is enough for her, and blessedly she eats enough "snack" at The Cult to last until about 4 p.m. (I put "snack" in quotation marks because to me a few crackers or an apple is snack, but to them, millet pizza, vegetable soup, or rice with cheese is a snack.) No matter, it keeps her full enough to waste yet another lovingly packed lunch basket. This is running on and on so I will abruptly cut it off and move on to point number

2) Sugar. Slowly disappearing, although will not ever be fully extinct. I was always a little psyched that Flipper seemed to escape my own childhood sensitivity to sugar (beating my sister) and over time have pretty much not been as diligent as I should have been. In a culture where kids get Coke in sippy cups, I felt pretty darned smug about her love of miso soup. But the reality was that I rarely said no, and after a little discussion with Justine I realized that, well, she got something sweet, even if it was "healthy" sweet like organic juice way too often. Henceforth: smackdown number 2. Just a little dessert after dinner, and that's it. Bank lollipops? After dinner, not in the car anymore. Dessert portions? In line with a 36 pound little person, not an elephant. I wasn't really sure what I was hoping to get out of this, but one thing is markedly clear: her whining has decreased markedly. Fewer mini-tantrums/crying jags because of, well, nothing. Nothing that would upset someone normal, that is. Gone are the dramatics, gone are the tears, the nagging, the begging. Just in time for Halloween. Below, last year's adorableness, which I will expound upon at another time. Behold, the world's only homemade squirrel costume. I think.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

General Suck

I am having a very hard time getting it together in the morning. It is now unfathomable to me that I was ever able to rise (in the dead of winter back when winter was actually COLD) at 5 a.m., get dressed, go outside and wait in pitch-black darkness, get in a car, and by 5:30, be in a pool of water, cranking out 175-200 laps before heading to school at 7:30. Where has that person gone? So many of me have vanished over time, I can barely remember all the "me's" that ever existed. The early bird, filled with energy, is fading in my rearview mirror of life these days. My body, ever sensitive to light, has decided to prepare for winter by getting very very sleepy at (get this) 8:30. No matter how hard I try, I pass out. Then I awake at 4:30, toss and turn, pass out again, only to reawaken at 6:50. Smokey arrives at 7:15. Frantic, frantic. It sucks. This morning the suckiness was compounded by Flipper's refusal to put food in the dog bowls. This is an ongoing battle, and one I am determined to win. She has no "real" chores beyond generally helping me when I ask her, and feeding the damn dogs. Some days she is compliant, others, not so much. This makes me crazy. Even MORE pathetic was how incredibly angry I was; lucky for Flipper Smokey got there before my hands had a chance to tighten around her neck. So I left to go to "work"--only to find my car battery dead because Keith forgot to pull the keys out of the "on" position after putting up my windows in preparation for rain, when it hasn't rained in about 10 weeks. So. I hate everyone and everything right now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Laura in another time

95 degrees today. Again. My desire to become one of the Little House characters (but not blind) has waned this summer. Perhaps because it feels too REAL, especially when a huge grasshopper leapt from our dead-hay field and smacked me in the mouth, cutting my lip during one of our daily dog-slogs. I hate grasshoppers, and have every since they destroyed the poor Ingalls' family in The Banks of Plum Creek. I mean, there they were, finally living in a house with REAL DOORKNOBS when a long drought coupled with invading swarms of grasshoppers rendered them penniless in about an hour. It is absolutely heartbreaking to read; I find the books much more intense and dramatic than I did when I was a kid and reading them. Perhaps because I am more focused on the parents now, and their attempts-often in vain- to claw their way out of debt, scratch some sort of living from the Great Plains, accept and deal with a daughter's blindness and their only son's death as an infant..I could go on and on, but I won't. But my heart breaks for them on a pretty regular basis. When Flipper is older we will take a long summer road trip to all the Little House museums sprinkled around the mid-west. Perhaps not the one in Wisconsin or Kansas, but definitely South Dakota, which has the big one, and the house and farm she lived in as an adult in Missouri. And her husband's fully restored family farm in upstate New York. Now watch: she will probably hate reading, hate Laura and her family, and complain the whole time, thereby ruining the trip for me. As a "reward" will will also go to Prince Edward Island, where I can pretend I am an orphan with red hair. Flipper will either love or hate these little excursions I have planned in my mind...and I hope she loves them. Waldorf teaches reading somewhere in the first and second grades, with almost no emphasis on it at all. It is fine with me-or else she wouldn't be there-but also interesting because by her age, I was already reading. In first grade, I was reading the "Little House" books. She in intermittently interested in the letters (numbers more) but I am trying to be a good Waldorf parent and not teaching her anything more than what she asks. This is a great policy for some of her stickier questions, "How did you have a baby?" "I went to the hospital." "Oh." But harder to follow for the reading. Although, truth to be told, she isn't ready, and doesn't really have the desire, unlike me at her age. But oh well...I think I will lose her to the world of books sooner or later, and am OK with later. I want her to stay 4 and half forever. And dependent on ME. Because I am selfish that way. Aren't we all?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday feels restful because...

Inspired by Shanna, I have decided to post a bunch of pictures today, then write captions to accompany them.

As some of you may know, I buy migraine drugs cheaply from India. How cheaply? Well, around 2 dollars a opposed to 22.00 for ONE tablet here. Shocking, I know. I am hoping that my next order will contain large amounts of human growth hormone, because Flipper's projected adult height of 5'3" just isn't going to cut it on the old catwalk in Milan. Why do I say this? Because she has apparently decided that being a model is her grown-up job goal. However,they won't have to teach her a) how to pose, or b) how to walk in high heels. Need proof? See below.

The stain on the front of her shirt was from this lurid ice cream cone she had for dessert after inhaling an adult-sized portion of BBQ, slaw and chips at the Soda Shop in Pittsboro. How kids can gravitate towards any blue food is beyond me. A little factoid: there are no blue foods in nature-although there are a few purple ones. But there is blue ice cream...


Moving on...the week-end was, of course, frantically busy. Yard sale Saturday, which was highly successful-if you measure success by NOT having to haul anything away from the yard at the end, and have a few extra bucks in your pocket. However, exhausting. I am terrible at stating prices firmly, and looked over at one point to see Robin leisurely thumbing through a massive wad of bills. She is in fact QUITE GOOD at capitalist retail. As if there were any other kind...But I did score some Hanna Andersson pj's for the winter-in a color other than pink, seeing as they were Henry's, and she LOVES them. Because she loves snow!! But really, how cute is this?

That afternoon I finally cleaned out the refrigerator, once I realized I had no little tiny Tupperware containers in my cabinet...because they were all in the refrigerator, with very very unrecognizable contents. Here is where my love of the dishwasher reached new heights: I dumped nasty plastic containers-and then larger ones that held cake frosting from (get this) her 3rd birthday party. Light pink frosting on cupcakes with a tiny sprinkling of green coconut on top upon which rested a toy panda. How adorable!! Note: she is 4 now. The dishwasher/lover got them all sparkling clean, nary a greasy smear or trace of anything yuck on them whatsoever. Behold the freshly clean refrigerator:

Sunday morning we went to Meadowmont...the last dying gasp of summer. It was fun, although the water was cold, the lifeguards a bit surly, and the snack bar sold out of about 95%. Then, to reward my self for the tough life I lead and a week-end filled with busywork, Smokey took Flipper and me to Pittsboro (again) and I got this rather demented dream dress, so-called because there are NO occasions in which I will probably ever wear it, wear it but had to have it nonetheless. How could I have resisted? Not possible...

Friday, September 7, 2007


Last night I went to Agony (yoga) and since Keith had a soccer game my folks met me in the parking lot of the yoga studio, picked her up, and headed out for an evening of Elmo's and ice cream. I look at them often these days with an expression of incredulity and puzzlement; as in, "Who are these people? And what did they do with my parents?" Granted, my mother acts pretty much as I expected to her to with her only grandchild: besotted. She does spoil her more than I thought she would, buys her nice things, and has supported and helped me so far above and beyond what I expected that I no longer get upset when Flipper tells me that she loves Smokey the most and me second. I would love her first too!! Then Grampy. Keith comes in fourth place, but I don't tell him this. But my dad...well, he continues to amaze me (and my sister) with how much he loves her and lets her amuse him to no end. She adores him, and has taken to saying things like, "Grampy told me that the sky is blue because of the way the light rays bend." She follows this up with, "Grampy knows everything." Oh really? And who told you that? "He did." The very fact that she calls him "Grampy" and, indeed, that he refers to himself that way is beyond astonishing. Today after a work morning accomplishing absolutely nothing, I will go to the bank, then pick her up from school and we will go down to Pittsboro for a high-calorie all-American lunch at he Soda Shop down there with Colleen. Or, Aunt Colleen, as we call her. This is someone else that Flipper loves, even if she doesn't see her very often. I have figured out that Flipper really loves dog-people, and Colleen easily falls into that category with her massive German Shepherd, Cowboy. Tomorrow the yard sale. Please please let someone buy my couch!! Actually, please let ALL of my stuff vanish into a crowd of people with their hands in the air, frantically waving bills so I can sell to the highest bidder!!

Wouldn't YOU love a grandmother that owns a horse??
Grampy and Flipper headed back home.
In a side note, a few people were a bit appalled that I photographed Flipper's hideous rash when she had that freaky allergic reaction...but I am VINDICATED!!! Her doctor was THRILLED to hear this, and asked me to print out and take the pictures to her allergy consult appointment!! Exploitation of the young and defenseless DOES pay off!!!!! (in case you were wondering...)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Pain. Gain?

Dear god. Note jagged lava rocks, and my skill at capturing the reflection below. And my modest humbleness.

I am in agony. Well, not really. Post-baby delivery, all pain pales into insignificance, frankly. Last night was yoga-night, and this is not some sort of gentle stretching class, where there is a lot of breathing and sitting. Or resting. Or doing anything that isn't incredibly demanding. But I am sticking with it and preparing to move on next week to the next level with my faithful mat-kick, Justine. But my god it is hard. I have taken 2 or 3 classes in the past, and enjoyed it, but none of it was hard. I have long resisted jumping on the yoga bandwagon, and hoped to avoid forever the earnest girls with their sweet, artificially gentle demeanors and their yoga mat bags attached to their shoulders and their expensive Prana everything attached to the rest of their bodies, or, more annoyingly, the bare-chested (and gross) guys with body odor and crazy eyes. But this yoga, Anusara, is very hard. Or, in correct yoga-speak, it is "challenging." I like it because the goal is alignment as in having perfect. Or really close. So the legs must be straight, everything fully, endlessly, painfully extended. I adore the teacher, this incredibly sweet and enthusiastic girl, Sommer. She is great, although I wish she did a bit more "showing off" which she has resisted in our pathetic little beginner class. It is a strange sensation to be literally dripping sweat within 10 minutes from an activity that isn't aerobic. To see students and practitioners of this form of yoga "do their thing" is inspiring and depressing all at the same time. To make myself feel better, I ordered some yoga pants from Athleta. Because the prospect of new things always works. Flipper shares this positive (or negative, depending on your perspective) response to any form of retail therapy. Inspired by Sommer's discussion of the lotus flower, what it represents--comes from mud, darkness, etc. and reaches towards the light unfolding and opening to something beautiful--I ordered a pair of rainboots for Flipper; they are pastel and cuteness overload, but on the top of each is a cut-out and appliqued lotus flower. So when she stands in mud, her flowering toes will be reaching to the light. Below, for your viewing pleasure-and gasps of disbelief that any human body can DO these things-are pictures of Flipper in virasana (the same picture is on the website, and other pictures of Kathryn and Flipper doing the yoga thing in Maui.

Virasana, as demonstrated by Flipper. Note cool yoga t-shirt.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Endings and beginnings

Off to school, lunch basket in hand.
I am at "work." Flipper is at school. Summer is over. Except for the fact that it is going to be 94 degrees today. She trotted into class and knelt in front of the dollhouse with Elijah with nary a backward glance. No hug, no tears, no...nothing. Just...gone. She is staying until 3, for the "nap" program. She chose her blanket, the African Blanket. AKA the afghan. Our week-end was great; we spent a TON of time with Justine and the boys, went to the annual paperhand show, and then spent 3 hours at Hollow Rock yesterday. Miraculously, she was asleep by 8:15. On Saturday we are having a yard sale at Robin's house (thank god) and I can't wait. Have huge pile of furniture in house piled on the couch, ready to be sold. Selling the couch too!! Debating whether or not to put prices on things, or let people make offers. I don't think I am very good at pricing things, tend to undervalue them. Paperhand was good, not as good as last year but so so worth it. Short post today, letting pictures do the talking.

Giant, ghostlike animals: a stag, an owl, and a crane-like bird.

First act.

The band, starting up.

The ending: I liked this the best.