Archive for October, 2006

Deep breath, then back into it

October 29, 2006

So, now ends a good solid month of friends and family visiting and generally spoiling the kids rotten. The kids have been fairly upset, Joseph in particular who has a hard time with the frustration of always having to say goodbye to people. Tomorrow is the first day of what we might consider a ‘normal’ homeschool week we’ll have had in a long time. The kids have some new activities starting, and looking at my calendar, it looks rather formidable. Technically, the kids have one day per fortnight that isn’t scheduled, and that has often been a day of socializing with other homeschoolers. It will be interesting anyway, though I reiterate my whinge for a car. I have to wonder how kids in school cope with so many activities. Then again, I lived and breathed the extra-curricular life in my youth and really loved it. I think in any situation, it’s the parents who take the brunt of the exhaustion :P.

I was saying tomorrow would be a back to ‘normal’ day. Thinking about it, that’s not entirely true. James and Joseph have built a marvelous dalek costume for Jos out of styrofoam, cardboard, and apple crate bumpy whatsits. Tomorrow, Mum has to come up with a way to make it look like Dalek Sec (does anyone else think it’s totally fruity that those four daleks had names and announced them to those present like so many Power Rangers?). At least that Dalek is mostly black and not some insane bronze color that would require gallons of carcinogenic paint. Looking at the two Js on the floor, I totally envy my boy. My parents were too busy and tired and had too many kids to have the energy for that sort of thing. Not to mention the mess! *sigh* That leads to what will be the other half of my day tomorrow–getting the house back in order!



October 27, 2006

The kids just told the two most rubbish jokes ever.

Nyssa: Mom! I have a joke! What is similar?

Mom: Um..what?

Nyssa: Different!

Mom: um….

Joseph: I have one too! What did the one napkin say to the other napkin?

Mom: Um, what?

Joseph: Let’s go for a napkin!

Mom: *blank* I mean, hahahaha! *wanders out of room*

My kids are cool.


October 22, 2006

I found myself drawn in by one of those rubbish ‘best 100 somethings’ late-night shows, this one about pop videos. Number one, of course, was Thriller. That end bit where he turns and grins that freaky grin with the demon eyes gives me a fright as much as it did when I was little.

So I discovered why the ME Foundation charity shop closed down, something about financial mismanagement. Now where am I supposed to buy my furniture??

The making of the kids’ cakes was made a fair bit less stressful when they decided at the last moment that they would like to decorate them themselves. They did a fantastic job, has to be said. Joseph, predictably, made a Dalek cake, and Nyssa make a Rapunzel cake with a little princess that looks just like the ones she draws on paper, aww. The house is more or less in order, I can send James to the shop tomorrow for things I’ve forgotten, and I think every is sorted. Strange feeling. I hope the kids don’t think I planned a crap party. In any case, I’m sure to have pictures to post soon.


October 20, 2006

Joseph and I were walking through the bus station to the shops when we saw a friendly-looking, white-bearded man with a guitar strapped to his back. I subtly followed him as long as I could because I was curious if he would start playing or otherwise do something interesting, but alas he stopped to tie his shoe and we walked on.

A bit later, as we walked out of M&S I thought I heard guitar music. A way down the street I could make out the old man playing and dug a pound coin out, as I think it’s important to encourage live music in public places. We walked nearer and I suddently stopped us short. I saw that he had set up some placards with various messages that I wasn’t sure I’d agree with as there were some Bible references. I drew Joseph back to a place where we could read the signs but where our discussion wouldn’t be disruptive. The first sign said something about Christ being the only way to God. I explained my thoughts on that. The second one said something about Jesus telling us to love one another. That was just fine with me. The third said that we had to ask Jesus to forgive our sins. The last one involved ‘God’s plan’ for marriage; i.e., only one, between a man and a woman, etc. with the rather tactless line at the bottom, “Remember Sodom.” Rather than go into a diatribe on that particular example of narrow thinking, I suggest reading this article by Dr. Nick Gier, which basically states that today’s conservative christian culture takes the events of Sodom out of context, that the sin was the brutalization of the ‘other,’ not the specific act of homosexual sex. Anyway, Joseph didn’t need much of a review on my thoughts on this, as it’s come up before. I said that while it was very important that the man have a place to share his views, it was also important that we not use our money to support ideas we think are harmful. I asked him what he thought of the man’s words. He said simply that it doesn’t make sense for one person to decide what is best for everyone else. Then he pulled me over to the WHSmith window to show me something Doctor Who-related. Fair enough! 🙂

Today is Mom’s birthday, and we still need to have cake. This evening was very late in getting going. For some reason, I have real problems with the hours of about 3-7 pm. I wish I could just blank through them. It doesn’t hurt that I haven’t been sleeping. My cycle is still really wack since coming off the pill all those months ago. I was really late, so I did the thing that invariably gets things moving–I took a pregnancy test. No, I’m not, and yes, it worked to plan. Oi.

Oops, people are doing things without me.


October 18, 2006

I surely do like Thai food. That is to say, I have a love for their deep fried sweet potatos and corn fritters with sweet chilli sauce. I was ill this evening, and had some fever-induced nightmares. When I woke up I felt I deserved to go to the Thai place around the corner and get some comfort food. Im questioning my decision to try to type and eat at the same time though..

My determination to get Christmas sorted by November also involved my justifying the purchase of the yarn I want for a few projects. Ahh. It should all be arriving in the next few days and it will be bliss. I had to buy 6 different colors of kidsilk haze and it will be lovely to see them all sitting in a bowl. That yarn also invariably leaves significant oddments, so I foresee a beaded something in the future.

Any suggestions for good places to buy presents online? Not everyone on my list will appreciate gifts from Lush. Perhaps for people in the states, I’ll order from that fair trade shop. That would save me shipping crap. I need to draw up a christmas card list as well… I wonder if the lack of a significant Halloween experience (the kids are really miffed they don’t get to trick-or-treat) and Thanksgiving is what kicks me forward into Christmas mode when the leaves start falling.

I got all the presents picked and wrapped for the White Elephant at the kids’ party. Am I a bit sadistic in bringing this game across the pond for wee ones to play? Buahaha.

Right, well the headache is returning.

House so quiet

October 17, 2006

Ben and Meg have left and grandma and kids are out…suddenly it’s very quiet in the flat. I have a resounding feeling of ‘now what?’

Charity shop score of the month–yesterday I found 4 new Denby teacups and saucers for 6 quid. Sweet. I also found some white cotton sweaters for unravelling and dyeing.

We successfully sorted out the tax credit now. The plus of it taking so long is that we got 6 months of backpayment. Sweet.

I’ve been having trouble getting to sleep, and when I finally do I have intense dreams.

I seem incapable of a proper paragraph today :P.

I’m going to do some early christmas shopping today at Oxfam. The kids having all this stuff from the last month makes me leery of buying them anything, to be honest. I want them to grow up with their fair dose of ‘havenot.’

More Joseph funny: the other day we were watching Paramount Comedy, who are heavily promoting Sex and the City. Joseph finally sighs, and says, ‘Why do they call it Sex and the City?’ I winced, wondering what his next question might make me try to explain about human biology. Instead, he continues, ‘they should call it Sex IN the City!’ Hehe, pedant. On another occasion we were up in the attic because James suggested it would be a good guest room, and Ben was actually keen to try it. Joseph came up too, and we spied a big pile of ancient Cosmo magazines. Ben started reading some of the predictable blurbs, and Joseph chuckles and says, ‘hehe, those magazines are all about sex. Now who’s the boss?!!’ I fell over giggling, and I can only imagine what he actually meant.

Another reason to have pride in my son: when I gave him some double-stuf Oreos, he promptly took them apart and frankensteined himself a super quadruple-stuf Oreo.

It’s a sad state of consumer ennui when I see the cable commercial that goes, ‘if you can, you should,’ and I mentally reply, ‘eh, fair enough.’

This and that

October 14, 2006

I love the things Joseph comes up with to say. Yesterday, we were walking to the royal mail for a package when Joseph saw two schoolgirls aged about 11 walking ahead of us. He dashed off around them, doing some cool jumps and whatnot. When I catch up with him, he takes me aside and says, ‘You know why I unzipped my vest a bit? I wanted those girls to see my Doctor Who shirt and be attracted by my coolness. It’s my attraction situation!’ He goes on to say, ‘I’m careful to attract only young girls. If I attract old girls, they might be dead when I’m 42!’ and laughs as though that’s the most preposterous notion ever conceived. Later as we’re walking home, he notes with some dissatisfaction that men drivers hardly ever stop for children to cross the road. His theory–‘Women are more intelligent, and men are impulsive, impulsive!’ We discussed some of the cultural and biological explanations as to why that might be, and he liked the idea that men pick fights because they’re bored at no longer being allowed to fight over women and having to hunt for their dinner at Tesco.

It occurs to me that I have an ongoing problem with shifting tense in my writing. I apologize to the discerning reader for being too much of a lazy-ass to address the issue.

Mom has arrived, and she came bearing treasure. Ima be so fat; she brought hershey bars, reeses pieces, nibs, double-stuf oreos, a big-ass tub of cocoa mix with the wee marshmallows, a jar of marshmallow cream, cheddar sun chips…. She also brought red hots so I can make proper christmas cookies and my huge cake pans. Whee! Joseph is jacked because she brought all my old Doctor Who novels.

I didn’t have very restful sleep last night, as I was having epic nightmares. One involved being in an internment camp of some kind in which a group of us were being starved to death, and to speed things up, they had us up shuffling around and had us lay down for 10 seconds every few hours. Eventually I escaped. To be honest, I was impressed with my fortitude. The strange bit was when it was all over, walking by the camp inadvertently, which was in the middle of a busy old-world town, and it looking as though nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened there. I even ran across the women who ran the place, and she looked like any other busy person trying to get from here to there. Then I recall something about the emotions of the victims being taken advantage of in order to make tv commercials for household products. Hmm. I had another dream in which I was looking at pictures and paintings of Elvis. For some reason the dumpy, pasty old Elvis became black mesh-wearing gay Elvis in my dreams. In another dream, homeschooling friend K was screaming at her kids (which in reality is not at all her style, let me reassure you) and I was trying to get my kids in her van and grab some last-minute things from the flat, which now for some reason was in Edinburgh a few blocks away from James’ work, when I realized I had both his phone and his keys and was trying to figure out how to deal with this and not be late to wherever it was we were going. Finally I just jumped in the van because I didn’t want to piss K off by asking her to run by James’ office, and we set off along a strange road that paralleled the train line, which she gleefully explained had been a favorite of hers since childhood.. Those are the ones I can recall enough to type out. With dreams like mine, who needs a life. 😛

Avoiding chores..

October 12, 2006

I really should be housecleaning at the moment. I don’t want my house to be a total sty when my mom shows up. Then again, it’s not like I’d be fooling her if I had an immaculate house.

Nyssa came out of her room this morning and said she wanted to stay home. She’s so in tune with her body barometer that I’m inclined to be guided by her, particularly since she really wanted to go to Edinburgh for the activity as of last night. Those who read my last entry will know that I wasn’t terribly heart-broken to have a day at home. James was sick again, I was not well but was obliged to go about my various tasks anyway, eck. Joseph was fine but spent all day in his jammies, pill. Even when Nyssa is unwell, she goes to the trouble of dressing. She certainly didn’t get that from me. I’m 28 and still have to make a conscious effort to not just fall in bed with my day clothes on.

On a whim I checked my landline messages today, and discovered that Nyssa too has been offered a place in gymnastics. This is good, I suppose, though each session requires a good 3 miles of walking. My lazy backside should appreciate the obligation.

I wish my dishwasher was working.. Anyway, back to it.

Vroom vroom

October 11, 2006

We saw cars finally. The only films we will attend a proper cinema for religiously are Pixar ones. With releases of about once every 18 months, this is fairly doable. The film was pretty cute, and did make me pine a bit for road trips..

As I mentioned, James was home sick today, so I escaped the house without kids in tow for a short while. It’s nice to do that once in a while. I love my kids, but there’s invariably an irritation of some sort involved when I take them shopping. Yesterday, for example, I was braindeadedly picking out a concealer from those overly bright makeup aisles at Boots. Nyssa pipes up, ‘I’m so sorry mom!’ and I groan inwardly and turn to face her. She’s just blurped a fair amount of the contents of a bottle of ‘feminine wash’ all over herself. Her defense? She didn’t know how it opened. Why she took it upon herself to learn at that particular moment is beyond me. This sort of thing is why moms aren’t seen without purses large enough to contain wipes and kleenex.

Speaking of problems with cosmetics, James was complimenting my hair color yesterday and asked if I had dyed it. Apparently my inch-long roots weren’t a hint enough. I think what did the trick to make me oh so good-looking was seriously unwashed hair and perhaps some lipstick. Mmm..glamour.

Ever wish you’d wake up with a convincing virus just so you don’t have to leave the house. I suspect tomorrow will be one of those mornings. I know Edinburgh will be fun, but ughh. I think I’ll go knit some more of that jacket so as to have an idea of how much more wool I’ll need. I think I have the house more or less in order, aside from Laundry Butte. My mom’s coming on Friday, but she already knows I’m a slob.

Ow, my eyes..

October 11, 2006

Jamie woke up sick today. I woke up with weepy lefteye, which if you’re not familiar with my person means that I’m about to get sick. Ugh.

What doesn’t help is this new monitor. My laptop power supply died, so Jamies set me up the PC. It’s got a 19″ monitor and it hurrrts my eyes. So much screen! And this keyboard nonsense is killing my wrists. I need to knit a wrist cozy. Mmm…kitschy.

The kids went to the Bel Canto choir last night for the first time. They had a fabulous time. After the holidays, Joseph will be able to start gymnastics. I hope he appreciates it, as we have to trek out to one of the high schools for it. It’s on a Thursday, so it’s just as well that I decided to not continue with choir myself. I have learned of 2 opera groups near to where I live though, so in March I might look into whichever has the most appealing show in the works. Nyssa is still adoring highland dance. I honestly don’t know how kids who are in fulltime public schooling can have the energy to tackle all these activities..

After three hit and misses with the delivery guy, we finally got our Denby mugs. James and I loved our old mugs, but alas, they were just too cracked and we were down to just a few, and damn it if Tabletops Unlimited didn’t discontinue that particular shape. So, after much searching, we finally settled on Denby coffee beakers. We got them all in different colors to align with what I call our ‘Studied Eclectica’ decorating style. They are gorgeous, here’s an example. Only, we got them for 50% off, rawk.