Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The street that runs parallel to ours is called Sickle Avenue. There are some really pretty houses on it (prettier than our street), but every time I try to even imagine living in one of them (since around here imagining is all I can do!) I run up against the name of the street. Sickle? Like, sick? Sickle cell anemia? Not pleasant images, even if the tool with the same name isn't half bad. And I hear that houses on streets with less appealing names tend to sit on the market longer, and sell for less money than their counterparts with more poetic monikers.

Anyway...this article from the New York times combines my love of juvenile humor and odd place names. Enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Contest's a-comin'- Part 2!

Another prize spoiler! I still don't have the contest nailed down, but fresh off the needles I offer another prize for you darlings:

Fingerless gloves are a staple in my wardrobe (just ask Robert how many pairs I have!). They are cute, useful, and keep my hands surprisingly warm. I hope you love them, too!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Weird genetics

When I was a little kid I used to make up songs quite a bit (at least, if the cassette tape evidence is to be trusted). They were not lyrical or musical masterpieces; just sing-songy accounts of the details of my preschool life. A verse that sticks out in my mind (thanks to the aforementioned cassette tapes) went: "I'm a little girl/I drink water/From a bottle/Every, every second day".

I should be up for a grammy, right?

Anyway, Liel has started doing the very same thing. Pretty odd. Hilarious, too. Yesterday I overheard her singing: "Oy-Boy did something mean/To his sister/And his mother and father/Told him not to".

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sometimes, he listens

Nearly every night as we sit down to dinner Robert says, "Thank you for making dinner, sweetheart". I love it, and really appreciate that he takes the time to acknowledge my cooking every day. It's amazing.

The kids, in contrast, tend to sit down and say, "Can I have ketchup?", or "What is this? I don't liiiike it!". The answer to the first question is generally yes, and the second tends to get a reply of, "Yes, you do actually, but it doesn't matter because that's what's for dinner so you need to eat it anyway".

As of today we are back in the semester schedule which means Robert is not home for dinner or bedtime on Wednesday nights. When I brought dinner out tonight Zion said, "Mmmm, yummy. Thank you for making dinner, mommy!" I almost fell over with delight, but showered him with kisses instead.

Monday, January 19, 2009

This mortal coil

We try to strike a matter of fact tone when discussing death (animal/meat or human) with the kids. After all, we reason, death is a normal part of life, and nothing that needs to be scarier or sadder than it already is.

Tonight Zion overheard Robert and I discussing someone who was somewhat recently deceased. "Daddy?", he said, "When are you going to die?"

This isn't the first time he's asked such a question and I answered like I always do (even though the question wasn't directed at me. Notice that? Never miss a chance to give your opinion!). "Not for a long while, sweetie", I said. "Most men in this country live into their 70's, and Daddy is only in his 30's. So he's probably got 40 years or so, and that's quite a long time, especially in terms of your life reference".

"When will Ajax die?", Zion asked.

"Pretty soon", Robert said. I looked at him funny- Ajax is 5 years old.

"Not that soon", I pointed out.

"Yeah, in about 10 years", R agreed. I guess we have a different perception of time. Mine's right, of course.

Zion stared at us thoughtfully. "After Ajax dies", he said, and I mentally flipped through the list of possible endings to this sentence- can we get a rabbit? a dog? another cat? But no..."can we keep him? As a decoration?"

Robert and I struggled not to laugh, which lasted about a millisecond before we burst out snorting.

"Um, what kind of decoration?", I asked. "Were you envisioning his whole body or just his head?"

"Just his head", Zion said.

"Well", said Robert, "If you really want to do that when Ajax dies maybe we'll talk to a taxidermist. That's a person who takes dead animals and turns them into..."

"Decorations", I said, helpfully.

"Yeah.", said Robert.

Zion seemed satisfied. And we moved on. When Robert and I relived the hilarity later on we discovered that while I had envisioned Ajax's head mounted like a trophy Robert had envisioned it stuffed and...just loose, like a ball. That Zion might toss to one of his friends, who would catch it not realizing what it was. Kid comes by it naturally, I guess.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Planning ahead

One of Zion's best friends is a girl at his preschool, G. He and G play really well together and G has recently told both her mom and Zion that she plans to marry Zion. Robert and I are all for this (when the kids are in their 20s of course!), cause we adore G and her family.

This morning when Zion was getting ready for school I had to send him back to put a sweater on because it's 15 degrees out and even the 2 block walk is chilly then you know? He came out with the pirate sweater I knit for him last year, complaining that it was too small and didn't belong in his drawer. He asked Liel if she wanted it, and she complained that she didn't like orange (the kids got up at 6am today, can you tell? I can!). I told her it was fine, she didn't have to take the sweater; we could send it to someone else. Then, as I stared at the sweater (the first one I knit for Zion!) I got a little nostalgic and said, "Actually Zion, maybe we'll keep this one and your kids can have it some day".

Zion looked at the sweater appraisingly. "Yes", he said, "G and I might want this for our children".

I looked at Robert, who was behind Zion and totally cracking up. Mistake! Then I found it harder not to smile. "OK, good", I said.

Zion took the sweater over to Robert. "Mommy thinks we should keep this so G and I can give it to our children", he explained, "and I think that sounds about right."

G-d willing!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gender play

Without going into too much controversy I think we can all agree that boys and girls are different, right? The nature of this difference...or perhaps the nurture...remains up for grabs, but it's still there, the difference.

Robert and Zion began reading some of R's old X-Men comic books a couple months ago. Zion was entranced and they read most days. For Hanukkah we bought several X-Man action figures, including his most dearly beloved, Wolverine.

Liel was interested in the X-Men comic books too, but being 3 her attention span is shorter and she stuck around for far shorter periods of reading time than her brother. Still, she developed a fondness for certain X-Men as well, most notably Phoenix/Jean Gray. So we bought her a Phoenix action figure for Hanukkah.

As the weeks have gone by a very distinct difference in Zion and Liel's play with the X-Men toys has developed. Zion plays with them more or less the way you might expect. Wolverine fights people, snickts his claws, brawls, kills, and usually defeats evil. Zion also liks to mix things up by playing bad guys and they behave in a nearly indentical manner (he also gives them powers they don't actually posses in the Marvel canon, annoying the crap out of his father who plays these games with him daily). Liel's Phoenix does some fighting too, but mostly? She is a social creature. She has parties (and not just Phoenix, Liel had a tea party for the Hulk and Colasses), lives with people, sleeps, gets up, eats breakfast. Liel is so interested in the relationships that Phoenix forms that she now owns Cyclops (Phoenix's boyfriend/husband in the comic books) as well. When we play make believe games involving family members as X-Men (Zion is Wolverine, naturally. Liel is Phoenix. Robert is Colasses (Zion chose this) and I am Storm) Zion likes us to hunt bad guys and fight. Liel will sidle up to me and say, "Hello! I'm Phoenix! What's your name?".

To which I reply, "I'm Storm!", and make some suggestion of what we might do (always enthusiastically accepted and rarely acted upon. Mostly she likes to repeat this introduction).

Today I said, "Hi Phoenix! I'm Storm. Do you have any super powers?"

"Huh!", said Liel, in her little piping voice. "I can crush people with my mind! Do you have an extra bed I can use?"

Contest's a-comin'

I'm going to do another contest this February! I haven't decided on the details yet...might be a 90's song lyrics event, or quotes from movies, or trivia about books, or a "name that piece of art" deal. Or a combination!

But I finished at least one of the prizes for the contest this morning!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Food laws

I made chicken fried steak for dinner tonight. Liel (much like my brother) has always been a huge carnivore. She plowed right into her steak.

As dinner was winding down she said, "Mommy, we can still eat meat, even though it is delicious!"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A 2 cup day

Pretty much every morning I have a cup of tea. I can't have it right when I wake up (meds) and I can function without it, but I like having it. I'd have more, but I fear caffeine addiction. When the post-apocalyptic future comes those withdrawls would hurt!

Some days, though, I just need more caffeine. Today is one of those days (and for no good reason, I might add. Slept a usual amount, nothing too tiring or stressful going on...), and my second cup of tea is brewing on the counter right now. I always hesitate a bit before I make a second cup. Am I going down a path I'd best avoid?

As I was standing in the kitchen having these thoughts a few minutes ago I suddenly realized how totally lame they are. I mean, seriously, give me a fucking break. Or stop my descent into lameness. Both would actually be best, don't you think? Here I am, 32 years old and fretting about whether or not two cups of tea in a day is too much caffeine. Man, my substance/health questions used to be so much cooler. Edgier. Next thing you know I'll be afeared of spicy food, or "allergic" to vegetables.

I think the first step is to drink more wine. Robert will be pleased (if I actually manage it, that is. Did I mention that I tend to get sleepy after a glass of wine? Unless I keep up a good pace of drinking, I'll be passed out on the couch in no time)!

Jebus, man. 2 cups of tea?? I reckon I could get my ass kicked for worrying about something like that.

Friday, January 2, 2009

What a girl needs

Robert is playing some game with the kids that involves them pretending to be in eggs and him hatching them.

Suddenly, from their room, I heard Liel shouting, "Diamonds! Give me diamonds, daddy! DIAMONDS!"