Archive | May, 2010

The Blowfish and the Girl Who Meows

28 May

Feeling empowered by my doodling abilities at work, I decided last night that I was ready to graduate to Photoshop.  (Somewhere my husband just shuttered.)  Because if I can manage to hold a mechanical pencil than surely I can figure out the intricacies of Adobe Photoshop, right?  (Riiiight.) 

Thus I plopped myself down at the Hubs’ desk and set to work on recreating the blowfish that I’d drawn on the Sunday square of my office desk calendar.  (He’s such a doll, that blowfish.  *cheek pinch*  Ouch.)  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Photoshop is completely different from Windows Paintbrush.  (crickets chirping)  Okay, maybe I was the only one that found that suprising. 

And thus kicked off an hour-long crash course into Photoshop, much to my husbands chagrin.  He is the King of Photoshop…unofficially.  And I’m pretty sure that I killed off more than a few of his brain cells with my constant questions and stubborn refusal  to “try new things.”  Evidently I’m not a team player.  Which was quite to shocker to me since I did so well in the sandbox as  kid.  Ah, well.  I like think of it as artistic vision and not stubbornness.  *cough* 

Thus, after only arguing with Jordan a few times, my blowfish was reborn in color.  “But Jordan, I know more about Photoshop than you…I’ve been working with it for an entire five minutes!” 

In other news…

My first week with Chloe has gone well.  Getting up earlier is still a bit painful, but getting to spend time with her makes it worth while.  Fisher has decided that he’d like to keep her.  They get along famously.  (I’m pretty sure that having someone younger than him around has something to do with it.Jaden has assumed the role of second mother.  If I’m in the shower, she’s the head lady in charge.  (Poor Chloe.)  And Chloe seems to think she has it made: morning entertainment, Pop Tarts for breakfast and a complimentary tooth brushing.  The only negative note that I can make can hardly be called negative: on the rare occasion that I have to chide her for disobeying, she meows at me.  Like a cat.  No whining, no pouting, just a long, loud meow. 

She’s a strange bird…one that is firmly planted in our family tree.  ;)

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Saturday Doodle

27 May

I have always been strictly against doodling on my desk calendar.  OCD?  Probably.  I’ve been known to be a bit eccentric.  However, today I decided to put my anti-doodling ways behind me.  Meet Wilfred.  He’s a classy kind of Walrus.  All the cows on the ice think that his whiskers are tantalizing.

Ooo, Wilfred.  Stop that!

And if his whiskers don’t get your motor running, then his monocle certainly will.  A monocle means instant sexiness…and Wilfred’s got that in spades.

Ka-chow!

I pity the fool…

26 May

It’s hard to believe, but every so often I have to go to court in an effort to collect rent from unwilling tenants.  Shocking, I know.  Who doesn’t want to have a place to live? 

It’s one of the many joys of property management…one that I try to take in stride.  *cough*  Yesterdays trip to court proved to be interesting as always:

After find a parking place in the creepy downtown parking garage, I made my way across the road to the court-house.  You have to be careful when choosing a path across.  Go one way and you have to face a gaggle of old ladies who like to throw religious tracts at you.  Go the other way and you’re home free.  Okay, you don’t have to be that careful.  You mainly have to steer clear of the ladies.  They are spunky for their age.  (And stubborn)

So, after deploying evasive manuevers to cross the road, I went up to the third floor for court.  This meant that I had to ride in what is possibly the oldest elevator in existence that it still working.  To call it slow would be a compliment.  I could sprint up the stairs faster than it travels.  Plus, it smelled of body odor yesterday, which is never good a thing when you’re stuck in a small, humid space.

But I digress…

The court room was standing room only when I arrived.  It was hot, smelly and noisy due to several parents who had decided to let their infants tag along to Magistrate Court.  What spells summer fun?  C-o-u-r-t.  The judge didn’t take too kindly to this, and moved one man to the hallway since his child decided to scream his ABC’s as the judge was calling the calendar.  No worries.  He didn’t have to stay out there long.  The judged tried his case first since he had a “kids first” policy.  Got a screaming kid?  You get to skip to the front of the line! 

However, the child had other ideas.  He ran circles around the bailiff, climbed up and down the stairs and even tried to climb up the judges legs at one point.  (?!?!!)

Bad form, dude. 

The judge proceeded to exile the guy to the hallway once again since he couldn’t keep his kid under control.  Have you ever seen blood vessels pop out of someone’s forehead?  Well, I could see the judges from the back row.  It was spectacular.  They bulged and pulsated with all the fury a judge could muster.  Aneurism in T-minus 3…2…1…!

 If the other people in the court room weren’t scared stiff, I’m sure a collective “Ooo, burn!” would have rippled through the room.  But, we were too scared…so we didn’t.  Eventually a baby sitter arrived and the man in the hallway finally got to stand before the judge without distraction.  You’d think that at this point the man would have been humbled into quiet respect of the judge…not so.  He cut off the judge at every corner and very nearly got thrown out again.

If only we were allowed food in court.  This was prime entertainment that would have been made better by popcorn.  Alas, no food is allowed.  (Or flip flops.) 

In the end the man walked away rejected.  Sadly, if you don’t pay, then you can’t stay.  (A terrible slogan, I must admit.) 

I had the pleasure, *ahem*, of riding down in the elevator with him.  The slow, stinky elevator. 

It is where people with good dispositions go to die.

Toilet Snakes…They’re Real

25 May

By Johan Olander

 

At least once a week Jordan takes the kids to the library.  The kids spend the majority of their time there deciding which books to check out and not read.  What?  You’re supposed to read them once you check them out?  I thought you were just supposed to decorate with them.  Hmm.  Once they’ve wound their way through the children’s section, they head over to the adult book section.  

I hate referring to things as “adult” and “children.”  Id I refer to something as the “children’s” section, then it’s okay.  However, label something as the “adult” section and free edible underwear is surely being passed out.  

Anyhoo…Jordan never stays in his prefered section for long.  The kids poke each other, ask why the sky is blue and drag Jordan to the bathroom a half-dozen times.  It’s not as relaxing as one would think. 

Fast forward to yesterday’s trip to the library:  Jaden ended up picking out a pretty cool book.  One so interesting that I actually think she’s going to read this one.  The book is “A Field Guide to Monsters” by Johan Olander.  The art is fantastic and the content is pure entertainment for the imagination.  Thankfully Jaden and Fisher aren’t the type of children who are afraid of their own shadow, unlike their mother.  

I leafed through the book last night as I was preparing supper, wanting to see how extensive the book was.  Very extensive is the answer.  So extensive in fact, that it cover the dreaded “Toilet Snake.”  Come on, everyone has been afraid of this one at least once in their life.  What could be more horrifying than sitting down to do your business and having a snake bite you in the arse?  Nothing, that’s what.  Want to know what it looks like?  It is the featured monster on the front of the book.  Long and scaly with mouth ringed in teeth.  Exactly as we all knew it would look like. 

Scared?  You shouldn’t be.  Thankfully the book also informs the reader on how to avoid such nasty beasties.  So, you can either start using an outhouse, or you can appeal to its good nature with its favorite food…though I’m not sure I want to know what a toilet snake eats.

Toddlers Who Stare At Showers

24 May

Wren & Chloe.

My sister, who just moved back home from Tennessee, is starting her new job today at one of our local hospitals.  She’s a Surgical Tech and a darn fine one to boot.  With a hospital job comes hospital hours…EARLY hours.  So early in fact, that her daughter’s daycare isn’t open when she needs to be at work.  Cue Aunt Raine.  (That’s me!)  I’ll be taking on an extra little person to prepare in the mornings from here on out.  Most would probably complain, however I’m excited about having a little person running about the house again.  She’ll be three in October, making her one of the best ages to experience.  If you haven’t been around an almost-three-year-old before, you need to borrow one.  I’m sure a family member or friend would be willing to loan theirs out.

I quickly discovered this morning that my toddler-speak was a bit rusty.  I wonder if Rosetta Stone has a CD for that?  Thankfully, Wren gave me a heads up on a few key terms before she left for work:  Gig-gi = Blanket.   B-Bell = Tinkerbell.  Duh.  As if someone couldn’t figure that out.  (Ahem) 

Getting Chloe in the morning means getting up a bit earlier than usual, which also means that she and I will have plenty of time to watch cartoons together.  FYI: there are no good cartoons showing at 6:15AM.  None.  Chloe agreed and decided to follow me about the house instead.  Which was fine until I needed to hop in the shower.  Chloe didn’t understand why she couldn’t join me.  We’d eaten breakfast together, suffered through bad, early morning cartoons together…so why not the shower? 

She stood by the shower for five minutes with her hands on her hips, ready to  shuck her PJ’s at a moments notice.  My stare was the only thing keeping her from going through with her plan.  Thus I showered.  Every few minutes I would peak my head out from behind the shower to give her “the look” so she would keep on her clothes.  She was not pleased.  After several looks though, she surrendered and stood dejectedly in the corner of the bathroom, shooting “Precious Moments” looks at me ever so often.  It was pitiful.  She looked at me as if I’d been the one to shoot Bambi’s mom.  Yeesh.

I made it up to her by taking her to Starbucks on the way to daycare.  What more could an almost-three-year-old ask for?  I am definitely going to be the cool Aunt.  Coffee/milk in hand, we left Starbucks and headed out.  She and Fisher rocked out in the backseat with their milk to the sweet tunes of Mika as we made our way to school/daycare.  They’re cool like that.

Fisher’s last day of Pre-K is tomorrow, which means that it’ll be just me and Chloe cruising the roads together this summer.  We are going to rock this town!  ;)

BBQ + Moonflower = Good Times

21 May

Impromptu BBQ, anyone?

As you can see, I didn’t have to cook last night.  Score!  At the last-minute, my Aunt decided to come from out-of-town for a visit, which made for an awesome evening.  The kids played to their heart’s content and I got to sit back and watch.  Ahhhh.  All that was missing was a glass of lemonade.

I love going to my grandparents house, since it holds my most fond childhood memories.  It’s particularly special to me now that I have children.  Not only was the farm a great place for me to play, but it’s providing the same enjoyment for my children. 

I would say that it was nice to “watch” the children playing, but they were so active, that they hardly slowed down long enough for anyone to get a glimpse of them. 

That is, until Fisher tried to swing my Grandfather over the top rail.  I love the look of his face:  a mixture of glee and fear.  It was cool in kindergarten, but not when you’re in your eighties.

While my dad managed the grill and the children played, my Aunt and Uncle set off to plant some vines that my Aunt had brought for my Grandmother. 

(The vine in question is actually a Moonflower, a.k.a. Moonvine.  It’s a species of night blooming morning glory….how cool is that?) 

The women on my dad’s side of the family all have green thumbs and I’m hoping my green thumb will show itself when I grow up.  (Ahem)

As the Moonflower was settling into its new home, the children started making laps around the house.  They said that they were playing Hide and Go Seek, but it was really a game of Run and Go Scream.  Flowers like being talked to, right?  Maybe the Moonflower is a bit more edgy…maybe it likes the excited squeals of children instead.  (Fingers Crossed)

Ah, the look of discovery.  Priceless.

It came at a perfect time.  The burgers were just coming from the grill and dessert was already being picked over.  (It’s very important to scope out the dessert first…that way you know how much supper to eat.)

By the end of the evening it was late, dark and we were all dirty….but contented.  The spur of the moment meal was just what we all needed: a bit of fun before Friday. 

And we all know how Fridays can be.  ;)

(Gasp) It’s hey-yur!

20 May

Target Acquired.

  • Name: Wren Something.  (a.k.a. Ivana –> Because everyone needs a secret Russian name.)
  • Age: Twenty-Something.
  • Occupation: Dismemberment.  (Okay…she’s a surgical tech.)

With a picture like this, I couldn’t pass up the chance to be like “M” for a little while.  Go get her, 007.

Speaking of Ivana, I mean, Wren…she came over with Chloe last night to eat spaghetti and go for a walk.  The spaghetti, cooked by yours truly, was boiled to perfection.  Be jealous.  Be very jealous.  Supper passed without much excitment.  The kids ate/wore their food in their usual style.  The dogs circled the table, shooting forlorn stares in our direction…only to be deflected by our cold hearts.  For shame. 

Afterwards, I got busy cleaning up the kitchen so we could all go on a walk.  Nothing spells fun like a belly full of noodles and 100% humidity.  Mmm…Pepto Bismal, anyone?  Chloe was skipping about the kitchen, not a care in the world, until she came across something truly horrific.  Hair.  (I know…where could it have come from?  With only four people and two dogs living in our house, I can’t imagine.) 

It is now apparent that my sweet niece is deathly afraid of hair.  While attached to a scalp, she could care less.  But as soon as it is detached, it becomes a lethal weapon.  (I’m not really sure what it does, but by the look on her horrified face last night, I’m sure it’s not pretty.)  As I washed dishes and Wren surfed the internet, Chloe became trapped by my back door.  The hair was ruthless.  It wouldn’t budge from her path.  How ever would she cross the room to her juice?  How would she be able to attend college someday or have children?  What was up with hair falling out of people’s heads?!  The world is coming to an end!  (Heaving gasps of horror.) 

So funny was the situation, that I put down my dish sponge to see how she would handle the situation.  She cried out for help from the “hey-yur,” but no one came to her rescue.  Then she tried to step over it, but the pernicious hair activated a force field around itself.  Foiled again.  In a last ditch effort, she took a flying leap from the back door mat and landed like a flying squirrel on Wren’s lap.  It was as if she’d been attacked by an octopus that had very poor dexterity. 

I would say that it was the funniest thing that I’d seen all day, but the night wasn’t over yet.  Later, as everyone was on a walk, Chloe stopped everyone in their tracks with a request to go potty.  Far from a toilet, Chloe improvised as best she could.  She hopped out of her radio flyer wagon, trapsed into the bushes and proceeded to do her business.  She’s such a lady. 

I think that being bush broke at the age of 2 1/2 is pretty impressive.  That totally trumps your honor roll student anyday.  Wink.