Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fun With Plagues of the Bible Day '07

received rave reviews from my kids.

We missed the county fair (I'm a little choked up at the missed opportunity for deep fried cheese curds,) so I hosted a private "Fun With Plagues of the Bible" day in our backyard.

We had games, prizes, and ice cream. Noel can now relate seven of the ten plagues. He asserts that the "lake of blood" plague is his favorite.

The merriment consisted of the following games of divine inspiration:

"Lake of blood game": I filled the kids' pool with water, red jello, "dead" fish, and hid coins in the bottom. They had to dig through the "lake" to retrieve the coins, in exchange for prizes. Noel and Sophie did well. Jack sat in the lake.

"Destroy the crops" game: using water balloon "hail," the kids attempted to knock "crops" (carrots from my garden) from a board with holes, in which the carrots sat. It turned out to be harder than expected, in part because Jack kept running away with the water balloons and calling them "babies."

"Pin-the-boil-on-the-plague-victim" game: operated basically like your run-of-the-mill donkey version, but utilized festering boils instead of a tail. Jack rocked at that one. He also stole the boils at the end of the game and stuck them to our deck. I don't know whether that warrants a call to the CDC or a carpenter.

"Frogs and gnats descend" game: used balloon frogs and gnats. I dumped them on the kids from the deck, and they had to dig through the balloons to find a few that I marked, to get a prize.

"Locust hunt": since we have our own little biblical plague of grasshoppers in the yard, this game was begging to be played. I gave the kids nets and told them to catch three grasshoppers. Noel caught a couple and Sophie cried. Jack just poked the grasshoppers and squealed maniacally. That game was a little disappointing.

All in all, it was a good day. The kids loved it, and hopefully they'll remember a few bits of biblical info.

Now I'm on to planning "Getting Crazy With the Qu'ran Day."

Atheists do religion SO much better than the faithful!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

An interview with Noel and Sophie

I spend all day, every day with my kids, but sometimes between chores and other time-sucking activities, I feel as though I don't always get to connect with them. I sat down with my two verbal children and they were enthusiastic participants in my interview session. The following is excerpted from that interview:

Lara: Hi, Sophie. It's great to be with you today. (Sophie looks confused) What do you feel is your "job"?
Sophie: Cleaning the house.
L: Do you find that job fulfilling?
S: Huh?
L: Noel, What is YOUR job?
N: sitting on the couch.
L: Is that fulfilling?
N: Yes.
L: What are your favorite foods?
S: Cheese broccoli.
N: Steak.
L: If you could change each others' names, what would you change them to?
S: Noel is "Michael," and Jack is "John."
N: Sophie could be "Bob," and Jack could be "Betsy."
L: What do you want to be when you grow up?
S: A doctor or a firefighter.
N: A bounty hunter or a tattoo artist.
L: What do you think your siblings should be when they grow up?
N: Sophie should be a fireman and Jack should be a tattoo artist, because he likes to color.
S: Jack can be a cashier at Super One, and Noel can be a gas worker.
L: What does a "gas worker" do?
S: He puts air in your tires.
L: What job should I take when I finish college?
N: A teacher.
S: You should scrub the floor.
L: How do you feel about President Bush's Iraq policy?
N: I don't agree with him.
S: Huh? We should have an enormous rainbow and people can slide up and down on it.
L: What was the most significant news story this year, in your opinion?
N: the bridge collapse.
S: something about candy.
L: If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
S: Paris. I NEED a vacation, and they have lots of good food there.
N: Mexico. They have tacos for breakfast, there.
L: If you could be any superhero, who would you be?
N: I don't know. Superman and Spiderman are nerdy. I'd just be a regular one.
S: None. Tights get wrinkly in my butt.
L: What should we have for dinner?
S: Cheese broccoli and pork chops. Do I like pork chops?
N: Salmon and potatoes. With gravy. And asparagus. And bread.
L: What do you think each other smells like?
S: Noel smells like turd.
N: Sophie smells like dog butt.
S: No I Dooooon't!
L: Thanks guys, I appreciate you taking the time for the interview. Go eat your macaroni and cheese.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Congrats to Isaiah and Patty! Wedding Highlights!

My brother-in-law and his fiancee were married this weekend. The ceremony was beautiful, the music was great, the reception was awesome. They were a gorgeous couple and we're thrilled for them!

Here are my highlights from the big event, in no particular order:

T-minus one hour from ceremony: Jack begins to make chewing and gagging sounds. I spin him around just in time to position him so that he can hork on Patty's parents front lawn.

Jack goes home to sit with grandma, where he reportedly pukes and dry-heaves his way through the evening.

Sophie attempts to taste the bird food meant to be tossed on the bride and groom during the recessional.

Sophie (flower girl #3,) visibly scratches her butt repeatedly during the ceremony, and then frowns when she sees me looking, as though I have somehow interrupted a private moment.

Dressed immaculately in a sleeveless ensemble, I spend the evening milling around in heels, my gown, and Noel's red Adidas hoody, because it's FREEZING outside.

My sister-in-law and I (but mostly I) plot to keep people from sitting at our reception table, so that we don't have to share our bottle of champagne. People sit there, anyway.

I eat too many spring rolls, then steal a soggy mini corn dog from the kids' table. It's not good, but I eat it anyway, because it's vaguely warm and I'm even more freezing, now.

I leave early, since Jack is at home sick and I don't want to leave him with my mom all night. En route to our house, some (presumably drunk or crazy) asshole tries to run us off the road, for no apparent reason. I can't get his plates down in time to report him to the police. If for some reason the aforementioned asshole happens, by some twist of fate, to be reading this, YOU SUCK, Jerkface! May karma grant you all the side effects of that "Alli" stuff they're marketing. Including the "seepage"issue.

Big congratulations to Patty and Isaiah! Wishing you thousands of happy years together... or at least dozens!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mary Lou Retton had a mouth large enough to accomodate a globe.

I used to take those glitter-filled flexible bracelets, put them in my mouth so they'd stretch my lips back exposing my teeth, and tell my parents I was Mary Lou. That's what I remember about the 1984 Olympics.

My seventh grade math teacher had fat elbows that, when her arm was extended, resembled the face of a Cabbage Patch Kid. That's what I remember about pre-algebra.

My grandparents' house smells of cabbage and Muriel Air Tip cigars, and their linoleum looks like head cheese. That's what I think of when I imagine their home.

I remember the taste of blood and grape popsicle mingling in my mouth, after I stuck my tongue to the monkey bar pole in winter, at the park near my house in Silver Bay.

I recall the way the "Sweet Pickles" books from the library used to smell. The pages were glossy and I wanted to lick them.

I remember gazing at the gowns on princesses in fairy tale stories, and reveling in the beautiful colors and intricacies of their designs. They were so alluring and visually decadent that they almost confused my senses to the point that they seemed to possess flavors.

Every city I lived in had a scent. I can remember them, although I'd be hard-pressed to recall my former addresses. I certainly don't remember my old phone numbers.

I've been told I have a head for useless, inane detail, and not much capacity for recalling tangible, useful information.

Impractical as it might be, I'm content to live in my own brain, haphazard as my thoughts generally are. Would I rather remember where I left my kids' immunization records, or how the crook of their tiny necks smelled when they were infants?

Easy. I can always get new records.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The tooth fairy is a negligent whore.

This morning, I awoke to a tearful Sophie who had lost a tooth yesterday, placed it in an envelope under her pillow, and dutifully drifted off to sleep, awaiting a visit from the tooth fairy.

The tooth fairy stayed up too late watching bad cable tv, and forgot ALL about the tooth.

I tried to comfort Sophie, explaining in my half sleep-intoxicated state that Friday is a busy night for the tooth fairy, and since our last name begins with a "W," she was probably low on the list and the fairy just didn't have time to get to her. I assured her that the fairy would come get her tooth tonight.

She looked at me with what appeared to be a marginal degree of belief, and I proceeded to attempt to distract her with the promises of fruit roll-ups for breakfast and a manicure.

Four years ago I was late to pick up Noel from Kindergarten. He still brings it up.

Parents, don't neglect your tooth fairy duties, or you'll pay for your oversight in spades. Or a heinous shade of purple nail polish.

It's too damn hot, and the house smells like "catholic,"

or so Sophie asserts.
I don't know what that means any more than you do.

Sophie's been sleeping in her thermal underwear, despite inside-temps in the mid-80's at night. She claims that she doesn't mind her own profuse sweating, because it makes her hair exceptionally pretty and curly.

Noel has chosen to combat the taxing heat by instigating assinine fights and arguments with his siblings. This morning, there was an all-out scrap in the dining room over who picked all the yogurt-covered Froot Loops out of the box, leaving only "regular" Froot Loops.

Jack seems to be unaware of the fact that it is uncomfortably hot. He is, however, pleased with the prospect of being able to run around in only a diaper, and has spent a length of time rubbing his belly, saying "ahhhhh," and signing that his skin is very, very soft.

The humidity associated with our high temperatures is what really drives me nuts. The entire house develops phantom odors, and it has been my mission this week to obliviate them. I hauled out my carpet steamer and cleaned the rugs and carpets in the downstairs. I set up fans to dry the residual moisture, and thought myself quite productive and clever, until I found Jack had decided to expedite the drying process by lying on the floor and sucking on the rugs.

I took the kids over to my parents' house last night to pick raspberries. Noel was quite fanatical about hurrying the process, as he *needed* to be home by 7:00, to catch the "Drake and Josh Movie" on Nickelodeon. Sophie and I picked quickly, but Noel kept exclaiming, "God!" and complained that bugs were trying to "eat [his] face," and that bees were coming after him. I don't think he will ever embrace the "mountain man" lifestyle. Last week after soccer practice, he became irate over the fact that I had filled his water bottle with tap, rather than filtered water, and he was appalled.

If I ever doubted the dignity of my role as a stay-at-home mom, my position has been confirmed this week by the length of time I've spent picking dead bugs out of the inflatable pool, shaking an incomprehensible amount of sand out of undergarments, and packing ice on the shiner NoelMN somehow acquired using the garden hose.

Ahhhh... summer...