Eight Short Subjects; One Long Post

I know I haven’t been around here much lately, but we’ve been busy. Funny, but it turns out that an un-blogged life is worth living. Who knew?

The bummer about me not having enough time to blog much lately is that we have been doing all kinds of super fun—and photogenic—things.

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We did us some Science:

“Zee goggles! Zey do nothing!”

We finally created the volcano that Santa Claus was dumb enough to give Sam for Christmas. The little dudes had a really good time even though (or maybe because) it was the messiest project that I have ever allowed anyone to do on my dining room table.

I was absolutely horrified by this project. Fortunately I managed to not touch it. Even Jack, who is normally the kind of kid who loves crazy, gooey textures, seemed grossed out.


And the really lame thing about this horrible, messy project is that it didn’t even work very well. I remember making a paper mache volcano when I was a kid and it erupted like a mofo. This one kind of just oozed out of the top.


Fortunately, none of my little dudes were alive to witness the glory of my elementary school volcano, so they were duly impressed by the volcano eruption leak we got.

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We also did some Social Studies:

And by “social studies,” I mean, “Quinn’s class went to the fire station.” They had all kinds of fun, even though Quinn was a little bummed out that there was no fire pole. And there were a few minutes when we were the only people in the fire station when the fire engines and firefighters rapidly departed on a call.

Fortunately an ambulance came back and the firefighters on it were happy to get decked out in their firefighter gear for the munchkins.


And lest anyone think that Quinn doesn’t look like his brothers, compare his “I’m totally disturbed by the firefighter” look to Jack’s “I’m totally disturbed by the volcano goo” look.

Quinn turned on both the windshield wipers and the siren in the ambulance. Guess which he thought was cooler? If you think it’s the siren, you’d be wrong. He was so totally pleased that he cleaned the windshield.

Seriously. He talked about it all day.

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Not to be outdone by Santa and the fire department, Alex had us learn about Nature:

He goes by the Audobon Society every day on his way to work and has been really excited for the past week because they put up a sign about BIRDHOUSES! ON SALE!

So we all piled into the car on Saturday and went to buy birdhouses—one for each kid.


Of course Sam fell in love with the most expensive birdhouse there. Because that’s just the way he is. The $50 house he wanted was painted to look like an actual house.

I finally convinced him that we could paint a birdhouse for much cheaper.

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Which leads us to Art!

Before and after. Not bad, huh?

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A quick note about Animal Husbandry:*

Don’t turn your back on the dog.

You should totally click this photo to better look at Alex.

* See what I did there? Animal? Husbandry? The dog and my husband?

I am so goddamn funny.

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Because we’re us, we have to spend time on Computer Science:

Teaching Nana to play the Wii was kind of awesome.


Those kids are going to miss her when she leaves town tomorrow. (I might too.)

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We also spent some time today doing Sports, namely, duckpin bowling.

Did you know that the tendency to lean the way you want the ball to roll is instinctual and not learned?


That was his first turn. I laughed so hard at my three little dudes trying to bowl that I almost couldn’t score my own 88.

Yes. I scored an 88. And I came in second place. My family is not going pro anytime soon.

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Well, kudos to you for reading the whole thing. I leave you with Brotherly Love.

Two Years! (And, um, three days.)

Do you know what Wednesday was? Wednesday was my two-year blogoversary. And it totally slipped by, uncelebrated. I’ve been too scattered to remember such a thing.

I gotta tell you, I’ve been busy. I’m weeks behind on reading all of your blogs. You may have noticed that when I do get a chance to comment that I’m commenting on things that happened so long ago in your life that you no longer remember they happened.

That pregnancy I just wrote a “hang in there” comment to you about? The baby just celebrated her half birthday. And remember how I just commented to congratulate you on your new job? Yeah, you’ve already found a new one and moved to another state by now.

My blogs are woefully un-updated. I haven’t decluttered anything for at least a week. I have been desperately schilling my two review blog contests, but other than that, I’ve barely even had time to Twitter.

My work-at-home job? I’m like a month and a half behind on parts of it. I have to send out order forms for a videography project I’m about to start on, but I keep “forgetting,” mostly because I think I don’t want to add the stress of that to my work load.

I did manage to prepare for Jack’s IEP meeting last Thursday, but it wasn’t too difficult because I didn’t anticipate any problems. Fortunately, there weren’t any.

Not to mention that I fall unconscious into a dead sleep if I sit in one place for too long. (I really do. I’m starting to worry about narcolepsy.)

My poor family is terribly neglected. Every day that I think I have a free afternoon to play with them, it turns out that I actually have an appointment or an assignment due. My mom is in town this week and I think I’ve been about the most boring person to visit what with all the working every night and the errands I have to run and the frequent napping.

I know that it proably gets old to read “tired, busy, tired, busy, tired, busy” over and over again. But don’t worry, I’m thinking about adding “surly” to the mix.

I’m hoping that things chill out for me a little soon. This whole work/kid/being-a-person balance is tough.

But two years of writing most every day? That is something I’m proud of. I’m really proud of my blog. I almost am willing to consider myself a “writer.” I was even so bold as to put it on my Twitter profile, so it must be true, right?

Anyway, I’m interested to see where the next year or two of writing takes me. I hope you’ll stick around with me. Because after two years, all of you are a big part of Team Stimey.

Stimey Is Happy.

The other day I lost my cell phone. It’s gone. I can’t find it. It’s totally tragic.

Or is it?

Because my next phone was going to be an iPhone, it made no sense to buy another cell phone or get a free one on my T-Mobile account.

So I bought an iPhone.

(You understand why I looked for the phone, but I didn’t kill myself looking for it.)

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!

I looooooove it.

So here’s my question: What apps do I need? In particular I’m looking for a feed reader if there’s a good one and a twitter app. Plus anything else I can’t live without.

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Also, please be pregnant in Chicago and want to win something.

My Hero

Do you ever have one of those days when you discover a previously unknown talent in one of your children? I’ve found some pretty spectacular talents in my kids, but I think the one I discovered today takes the cake.

Jack and I were sitting in the waiting room at speech therapy today when K, Jack’s therapist, came out to get him.

K was sitting in a chair facing Jack, who was standing in front of her, when she gasped, visibly shuddered, did a triple take, then jumped up and ran out of the room saying, “I don’t like spiders!”

It turns out that she was going to get a paper towel.

But a fat lot of good that was to the rest of us, who were trapped in the waiting room with a quarter-sized black spider lumbering toward us. And frankly, that paper towel did not have adequate squooshing powers. Trust me. That spider was large. And he looked like he might crunch if squooshed.

Also? That spider was coming straight at me. It helped that he was sauntering, rather than running, but still. I did some gibbering and I might have stood up and backed away. To my credit, I don’t think I screamed.

Jack was closest to the tormentor in question and you could almost see his brain working. He was close, he was standing, and he was the only one who didn’t seem to have entirely lost his mind.

He lifted his foot and…SQUOOSH!

Jack’s heretofore unknown talent? Spider killing. His new title around the house? Spider Killer/Hero.

Hopefully this means there will be no more having to call the neighbors to kill things for me.

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Postscript:

I was going to find a generic photo of a scary black spider to put on this post to fully illustrate the horribleness of this particular spider, but I just couldn’t do it. A quick image search has pretty much insured that I’m going to have some nightmares tonight, and I kind of feel like there’s a spider on me…I think it’s on me…is it on me?!…OH MY FUCKING GOD IS IT ON ME?!

So I didn’t.

You’re welcome.

Not Your Ordinary Sunday

There were a lot of exciting things that happened today, but they were all usurped by an ice cream sandwich.

This ice cream sandwich:


Jack was happily munching away when he said, “My tooth!” And then he handed me this:


Considering that we lost not just Sam’s first tooth, but his second tooth as well, I was pretty impressed that Jack was able to present his tooth to us.

(Sam had been eating spaghetti when he lost his first tooth, so we hunted around in the pasta until we found a small, hard piece of pasta and we told him that it was his tooth. He bought it. For the second tooth, he was eating popcorn in the back yard and lost the tooth. That time we wrote a note to the tooth fairy. Fortunately, the lack of an actual tooth does not deter our tooth fairy.)

Jack was really excited, and more than a little relieved that it didn’t hurt. He was also very cute with his gap-toothed grin.


Sam was hoping for something more dramatic than a gap-tooth grin. “I hope he gets new teeth,” he said, “that are shiny. And metal.” Huh.

I suggested that Jack draw a picture of himself with his missing tooth. The words were no sooner out of my mouth than he sprinted off to find some paper and a marker.

You’ll have to bear with me here as I utilize Stimeyland for one of its truest purposes: to record the adorable things my kids do so that I can remember them forever.

I now present Jack’s Loose Tooth:

a.k.a. “Jack’s Lose tooth”

(That’s Jack holding his ice cream sandwich up there.)

“I think a tooth is Lose.”
Please notice the shark-like teeth Jack is sporting in that above drawing. And please notice my little genius and his correct use of apostrophes in the drawing below.

“It’s Going to come out. ‘Hmmm.’”

“It came out! ‘It didn’t hert’”
That square is the tooth. Originally there was no speech bubble on this page. But as his obvious relief that it didn’t hurt sunk in, he added it.

“Hmmm It is Time for bed said mom.”
That’s Jack in the bottom bunk of his and Sam’s bunk bed. They have a dresser that sits at the end of the bed, just like in his drawing.

“a penny!”
Evidently our tooth fairy is not only cheap, but gives out counterfeit pennies that say “5¢.” (The tooth fairy really gives out dollar coins. ) Jack thinks that the tooth fairy turns the teeth into the coins.

Excuse me. I’m going to die from the cute for a second.

…And now I’m back. But there’s going to be some more cute-dying in just a second because guess what? In Jack’s very literal mind, something called “the tooth fairy” looks like a tooth.

That balloon thing? It’s actually a “thing” that changes the tooth into a coin.

It makes sense if you think about it. And to Jack, the “tooth” part is clearly more important than the “fairy” part.

There aren’t a lot of girls at our house.

Other cool things that happened?

Jack got to cuddle with his nana and read his Tooth Book to her. It’s not every day that you get to lose your first tooth in a room full of Mom, Dad, both brothers, AND Nana.


But maybe the best part? Finding out that a missing tooth leaves the perfect opening for a straw.


Honestly, I don’t think Jack could be cuter if he tried.

Perfectly Healthy But For That Nagging Fever

Today is the third day in a row that Sam has been home from school. Ever since he came home from school sobbing on Monday, he’s had a constant fever except for when he’s under the influence of Motrin.

When he is under the influence of Motrin, he is perky, happy, and jumping around doing frequent Ewok impressions. Four to six hours later, he’s flushed, sweaty, feverish, and yelling about, “My head hurts! My head hurts!” and “The light! It hurts my eyes!”

Because today was Day 4 of this, I decided to call the doctor’s office to see if we should go in. After hearing about the headache and light sensitivity, they suggested we come in.

Here is Sam in the library the new armchairs in the doctor’s exam rooms.

I wonder how often they’ve been puked on. Ick.
But comfy!

Anyway, he doesn’t have meningitis. (Yay!)

I didn’t actually think he had meningitis. But it seemed like the responsible thing to do to take him to the doctor. The doctor offered to swab and test Sam for something, but as it wouldn’t have changed the (non)treatment plan, I passed. If he’s not better by Monday, we get to go back.

I’m hopeful that Sam will get to go back to school tomorrow, if only because it is incredibly sad to watch Jack gamely trooping off to school each day while his brothers cavort at home.

So now you know what I’ve been doing all week.

DCMM: R.I.P. Fourth Estate

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has ceased to exist as an ink and paper newspaper. I’m sure you’ve also heard about the Washington Post cutting its business section six days out of the week. Everyone seems to agree that this is just the beginning of the cuts and closings that will affect the newspaper industry in the coming months and years.

Frankly, this trend scares me to death.

Yes, there will be national newspapers, TV news, and online news, but what we really need as a society are those local newsrooms. I have a master’s degree in journalism. I went to journalism school largely because I believe in the power and the importance of the press as the fourth estate. If we lose local newsrooms, we lose the watchdog power of the media.
I think the most disheartening part of seeing the physical Seattle P-I close is that only 20 of its reporters went to the website. Not only is that a lot of lost jobs, but that represents a lot of important news contacts lost. That represents a lot of carefully cultivated sources gone. That represents a lot of shady, lazy, or dishonest politicians, corporations, and agencies that won’t be watched as carefully as they used to be.

And the thing is, if it can happen in information-savvy Seattle to a well-established newspaper, it can happen anywhere. San Francisco could be next. And when those papers in the smaller markets start to fall, there is not going to be anyone covering small-town politics at all. And frankly, even in Seattle, a tiny web staff isn’t going to be able to cover the city the way it used to.

Journalism and journalists are much maligned. But I truly believe that the press keeps the powers-that-be in line. It scares the hell out of me that bit by bit we are starting to lose the eyes and ears that investigate and report on those powers. It makes me nervous about the future. As citizens, we need that extra line of defense.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that in order to be a free and well-informed society, we need numerous and well-staffed newsrooms all over this country.

Original DC Metro Moms post. Jean also writes at Stimeyland.