Thursday, March 26, 2009

Interview With A Boo

Swiped from Barren Albion.

1. What is something mom always says to you? "Get back in the living room."

2. What makes mom happy? "When I stay in the living room."

3. What makes mom sad? "When I get out of the living room."

4. How does your mom make you laugh? "When you tickle me."

5. What was your mom like as a child? *bites lips, looks confused*

6. How old is your mom? "10"

7. How tall is your mom? "Let me go get the measuring stick to tell."

8. What is her favorite thing to do? "Drive." (uh, no, it's just what I do a lot of.)

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? "Sleep on the couch with The Bug." (not every day, kid.)

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? "When you get married."

11. What is your mom really good at? "Driving." (heh)

12. What is your mom not very good at? "If you're not doing anything you get sad."

13. What does your mom do for her job? "You do your computer." (Too bad I can't get paid for having a close, personal relationship with my laptop.)

14. What is your mom's favorite food? "Salad." (Dood, what house do you live in? Salad??)

15. What makes you proud of your mom? "When you drive, it makes me proud."

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? "You can be anything you want to be."

17. What do you and your mom do together? "We make something special for grammy."

18. How are you and your mom the same? "We both drive." (huh. Must check that odometer.)

19. How are you and your mom different? "We can be silly."

20. How do you know your mom loves you? "If you love me, if it's not Valentine's day, we cheer up." (oooookaaaay.)

21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? "Work." (Such a comedian.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

This Post Won't Win Me Any Fans

I finally got around to watching Twilight today and frankly, I was disappointed. Maybe it's because I didn't get to have the whole Twilight experience of going to the theatre and watching it with a room full of adolescent (and wanna-be-adolescent) girls, but I thought it was flat and kind of dull and couldn't understand what the hell the attraction was between Bella and Edward. They both seemed a bit wooden and emotionless, which was not the feeling I got from the books at all. The book portrays this simmering lust that can't be satisfied, this longing for each other and this all-consuming passion. I got none of that from the movie. I didn't see any chemistry between the two actors, at least not that they were showing on camera. There was a lot of gazing into eyes, but it didn't communicate much, at least not to me. Am I the only one who felt this way? I'm kind of feeling like it because all I've heard, from friends and strangers alike, is this breathless awe at the film. I felt there was far more chemistry between Buffy and Angel than between Bella and Edward.

I'm kind of bummed because the part of my brain that is still an adolescent girl loved those books with a squeeing joy, even as the rational, adult woman part of my brain was saying "Whoa, hey, um, stalker much?" among other, less kind things.

Maybe I need to watch the movie again with O. She is just panting to see it and maybe some of her emotion will rub off on me. But for now, all I can say is roll on, Harry Potter.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

From The Too Much Time On Their Hands Department

I do have posts that I'm working on, I swear. This was too good not to post, though.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I've always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-of-my-pants kind of parent, taking advice from books, friends and family, applying what works and discarding what didn't as needed. Reading Out of the Mouths of Babes by Dyan Eybergen has made me think I didn't do all that badly.

The book covers all the major topics - sleeping thru the night, eating issues, toilet training and sibling rivalry, among others. I agreed with most of her ideas, although I did have a few little quibbles here and there.

I really like her idea that you should tailor your parenting to each child rather than expecting your child to adapt to your personality. Since every kid is different, each one reacts in different ways to their experiences so it only makes sense to adapt to the kid as needed.

The chapter that resonated with me the most was the one on toilet training. I have long thought that I was a lazy parent because I let my kids dictate when they were ready to potty train, allowing them to remain in diapers until they showed a readiness to use the toilet. This, needless to say, bothered my mother no end. "When are you going to get that child out of diapers?" she'd bark, staring when they were around 20 months old. My answer was always "When they're ready." I didn't see the point in fighting for months with a kid who just wasn't capable of recognizing that they had to use the toilet. Why not wait? What's the big deal about changing diapers? And lo and behold, when the child told me she was ready, it only took a few days to have her using the toilet all the time. I didn't use rewards, I just heaped praise on them for using the bathroom like a big kid. This is the same philosophy that Eybergen espouses - her book validated my method and who doesn't like a little validation?

Other topics she covers in the book haven't cropped up for us yet - night terrors and general fears haven't been an issue thus far, although I'm sure they're bound to happen. It will be useful to have this book on hand to reference.

This is a lovely little book, full of common-sense advice, with a friendly, down to earth tone. While it may not apply to every issue or aspect of child-rearing, it has plenty to recommend it.

This is a Mother Talk book review. To see reviews of this and other titles, please visit Mother-Talk.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Heathers, or Why Middle School Sucks

I don't write often about O because she's 14 and an anomaly in that she's a very nice, very fun teen-ager. There's very little drama most of the time. She does her homework, she helps out around the house (ok, I have to prod her, but still - she does it) and she occasionally makes pancakes for the whole family. You have to love a kid who helps feed her mother's maple syrup addiction. In short, she's a good kid.

This year, she's in the 8th grade and it has sucked from the start. She's struggling with some of her classes, but the biggest problem is a couple of girls who just won't leave her alone. Two of these girls were her friends but suddenly turned on her around October, for no reason that she can think of. These two, whom I shall call Heather, became friends with a couple of girls who are troublemakers. The troublemakers, Celine and Sarah, have, between the two of them, given one girl a concussion and broke another kid's finger. And now all four of them seem to be going after O and one of her friends.

These girls haven't physically harmed O, but their words and actions have caused O a lot of stress. They call O a slut, they get in her face, daring her to hit one of them and they glare and stare and whisper about her in the halls and in the classroom. At one point, it was so bad that O was losing sleep and throwing up because of it.

Of course I've talked to the school and they have reacted, to a certain extent. But some of this is still going on and O is at the point of giving up. And to be perfectly honest, O and her friend are very dramatic, so I'm unsure how much of this is going on (especially the glaring) and how much is O making mountains. I am not doubting her stories, not at all, and neither is the school, but I think it's gotten to the point that if one of these girls sneezes, O takes it as them being mean to her.

I'm not sure what else to do. The school has spoken with the other girls' parents, they've all been spoken to by the guidance counselor and by the vice-principal and I've had an on-going discussion with the same v-p about it. O has filled out bullying reports but she claims that nothing else is being done. I honestly don't know what else can be done at this point. The school seems to be taking the position of "We can't do anything unless/until one of them physically harms you." I am not too eager for it to get to that point, although O told me the other day that she'd rather one of them do something than keep going thru this stress. I can see her point. '

The mama in me would like nothing more than to go up to each of these girls and light into them, but I won't. I just wish I knew how to make this stop.

Monday, March 09, 2009


I seem to be suffering from a severe case of writer's block on this blog. I have no idea what's wrong with me, why I can't write anything, but I can't. I can think of little snippets of things, like my crush on Rachel Maddow (smart! pretty! funny! did I mention smart?)

or the new rules implemented at work, which involve smiling. All the time. Which makes my head want to explode.

I could just post videos for a while, until this passes, but that doesn't really seem to be a way to get more readers.

I could post about
how much I'm
enjoying Dollhouse
(which, hey, I just did)
but I'm not a TV critic, so all I can do is sit here and say "Ooooh, it's gooooood." I have loved all the Joss Whedon stuff I've seen and I know I'm late to the party, but I'm going to start watching Buffy on Hulu since I missed it on the first go-round.

I could whine about how I want to revamp my blog but can't afford to pay for a new design and really don't want to lose my little tiki monkey. I would, however, very much like to lose the blue background.

I can't seem to come up with a complete post, though, and it's very frustrating. (Although, upon review, this is pretty much a post, albeit a disjointed, all-over-the-damned-map post.)

So anyone have any brilliant ideas on how to fix this? Or topics I could write about? Or questions you want to ask?


Monday, March 02, 2009

Bullets Over Bedhead

I've been working on a post for a week now and I've managed to type and delete the same few paragraphs about 87 times. So I'm doing a bullet post in an effort to keep at least one regular reader of this blog. We shall see how that works out.

  • I am going to BlogHer. I bought the plane ticket and the event pass, so it's official. Of course, I might not even have a blog by then if I can't kick myself in the ass and actually write, but I'm still going. I'll be the one clutching a beer and rocking and muttering to myself in the corner.
  • It's snowing. Again. I am so fucking sick of this weather. And yeah, I know, I chose to live in New England and it's better than having wildfires and tornadoes and hurricanes and huge-ass bugs, but still. Enough already.
  • My skin looks like the Sahara dessert right now. My fingers are cracking and bleeding without any provocation and my shins resemble an alligator.
  • I'm re-reading Twilight for book group this Friday. We're having a vampire-themed food thing - anyone have any suggestions for what to bring? The hostess (Hi, AM) is already doing bloody Marys.
  • I finally have health insurance again and my lovely new GP gave me a five week supply of Cymbalta. Yippee for the happy pills.
  • On the downside, the new insurance doesn't cover O's current endo at Joslin and she's not happy about it. I can try to appeal, but there are two other endo groups they do cover, so I'm not hopeful.
  • We all have The Crud over here - sneezing and coughing and generally being miserable. We seem to be passing it back and forth and it sucks and I'm sick of it.
  • The little old lady across the street from me has more energy than I think I've ever had in my life. She's already out there shoveling. Of course, it looks like she cuts her yard with a ruler and nail scissors, so I think she may be a little anal. Still, she's nice and she doesn't mind my barking dog, so it's all good.
And I think that's it.

Oh, except for this: This little fellow makes me smile every time I watch him.

I think it may have something to do with the crush I had on Fred Savage back in the day....