Friday, May 28, 2010

7 Quick Takes


I think it's possible that I have not fully given my heart to this new town 100%. Oh, I like it here, and I've thrown myself into making friendships and building relationships and all that jazz.

What I haven't done is let go of buttons # 1 and 2 on the pre-set radio stations in my van. Since moving here I have made the local station #3 and have changed the others when needed to use my ipod Monster, but I won't reset #'s 1 and 2 from my favorite Georgia stations. Never mind that when I go home I fly, so my van has not touched Georgia soil in over a year.

I just can't seem to let those two buttons go.


After weeks of increasing pain in one of my back teeth, I finally saw the dentist last week. Cavity? Nope. Abscess? Negative. Stress? Yep.

"Do you clench your teeth?" he asked.
"Um, yes."
"Stop," he offered ever so helpfully.

Actually, he did offer me some muscle relaxers if the problem is that I clench them in my sleep, but no, that's not the problem.

I clench them all the time.

As I sit here typing, my teeth are clenched. As soon as I notice, I unclench them, but it's only a matter of minutes - maybe seconds? - before they are clenched again.

So, sure, I'll just stop clenching them.


As I was cutting up watermelon tonight, Lauren was circling and begging like a poorly-trained puppy. I gave her a bite, and she said, "Mmmmmm, I just can't trust watermelon!"


"Watermelon is soooo good, I just can't trust it."

Do you mean you can't "resist" it?

"Oh yeah, I can't resist it."


Four more days of school!


My boys got their very first genuine buzz-cuts today. I love it. They look adorable, and I will not have to comb their hair for weeks.

Joshua was less than thrilled when I told them I was taking them to get their hair buzzed really short. I proffered that it would keep them cool in the summer heat.

He said, "Do you shave your head in the summer to keep cool?"

Touche, my boy.

After I convinced him that there was no way I was going to let him have dreadlocks or a mohawk, he agreed that the buzz-cut was probably a good idea.

"But when I'm an adult," he said, "I'm gonna have dreadlocks . . . AND I'm gonna buy an axe."

Because, you know, that's what adulthood is all about.


The kids are all upstairs with David watching G.I. Joe (the old cartoons, not the new inappropriate-for-children movie) as I am typing this. I am hearing all manner of fussing and crying and yelling at the moment. I love it when daddy's on duty.


We had a fantastic time at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh last weekend.

They had dozens of "life-size" dinosaur skeletons. (This is Lauren's "fighting a t-rex" pose.)

A canoe in the Native American section:

The kids were able to use chisels and brushes and dig for dinosaur bones in a model quarry.

There was also a section where you could watch through the glass as employees they worked on the bones and other fossils. The kids loved watching this, and Joshua said, "Mom, I can't wait 'till I grow up so I can be a paleontologist."

It's what he's always wanted to be.

Check out Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Let's Go, Beck! Let's Go, Beck!

(This title is meant to be chanted while clapping in rhythm with the words.)

I've decided that what I need (in addition to a maid, a personal chef, and some new white capris) is a cheering section. Yep, that's definitely what's missing in my life.

As I was watching a professional baseball game Saturday night, it occurred to me that it must be way easier, not to mention much more fun, to find the motivation to do one's job when there are thousands of people cheering you on.

Because, let's be honest, baseball is their job. They are not just out there to have fun; they are being paid obscene amounts of money to catch the ball and to make a hit. It's their job.

Yet, we chant and clap and stomp our feet - and pay a person in a mascot uniform to get people even more hyped up - all to encourage and support the millionaires on the field as they do their jobs.

Don't misunderstand me. I love baseball. I love the watching and the cheering and the sights and sounds and smells of it all. I've even taught my boys some serious trash-talking.

It's not that I think we should stop cheering for the professional athletes; au contraire, I think they are seriously on to something.

Imagine if we had cheering fans encouraging to the rest of us at our jobs:

Woo-hoo!! Go, Beck!! Come on, put that laundry away. Awesome job!!

Go Beck, go Beck, go Beck, draft that Motion to Compel. Aw, nice try anyway. You'll get it done next time!

Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap!

Not only that, but imagine the mascot possibilities. A giant spatula. An ironing board. Ooh-ooh, how about one of those lovesick brooms from the Swiffer commercials. And those are just for my at-home job. At work, I could use a giant talking gavel or even a file folder since that's what I spend most of my day working on.

(If you'd like to apply for the position of Beck's personal mascot, leave me a comment telling me which costume you'd prefer. This is a non-paid position, and I do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, or religious affiliation; however, I do discriminate on the basis of personality, sense of humor, sports affiliation, dress, intelligence, and hairstyle.)

Yes, I definitely think professional athletes are on to something. Oh, and let's not forget, they charge people money to do this.

However, because I am abounding in generosity, I will offer free admission to my cheering section for the first dozen fans. I'll let you know when David's done installing the bleachers in my dining room.

Heck, maybe you should come cheer him on.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My little traitors

I carried them for nine months. Nine months during which I was in and out of the hospital due to such severe morning sickness that I couldn't stay hydrated without i.v. fluids. With one of them, I wore a subcutaneous pump because I couldn't survive without the medication it delivered continuously through a needle in my leg. Then there was the whole labor and delivery thing.

Not only that. I've bathed them, fed them, and wiped their little rear ends more times than I could possibly count.

I arranged for a weekend trip to Pittsburgh during which they would miss a day of school, see dinosaur bones at the Carnegie museum, and go to a Braves vs. Pirates game.

How do they repay me?

By rooting for the Pirates.

It's just the name. Not swayed by my explanation that braves were Indian warriors, they just think the Pirates have a cooler name.

So, if you hear me telling my kids that Atlanta's baseball team's real name is the Atlanta Man-Eating Savage Velociraptors of Death Braves, you'll know why.

Despite the betrayal, a good time was had by all, though Josh is always embarrassed to have his picture taken in public:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lauren Singing

Here is Lauren practicing some of the songs her k-3 class will be singing at the preschool graduation ceremony next week.

Her Royal Highness

I'm beginning to think perhaps I let Lauren spend too much time dressed like a princess. It's rare to see her at home dressed in anything other than a princess gown or a ballerina tutu. The following interactions have led me to think that perhaps that tiara is sinking into her head a little too far.


I'm unloading the dishwasher when I hear, "I'm waaaaiting!" Having not even seen Lauren enter the kitchen, I have no idea what she's talking about. I turn to find her standing at the door with her hands full, apparently wanting me to open it so she can go outside.



Getting dressed for school this week:
Me: Lauren, go put on your brown shoes.
L: Mommy, I don't want to wear those because they're sort of boyish. (her description for anything that is not pink, purple, or sparkly)
M: They're not boyish, Lauren; they have butterflies on them.
L: Well . . . . here's the thing . . . they are brown. And brown . . . . is just not for me.

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's almost like it's not safe to live anywhere

These are just a few of the criminal activities that plagued our area this week. Try not to shudder.

Woman Got Unwanted Phone Calls
Troopers investigated a complaint Friday between 6:00 pm and 9:30 pm on W.E. Road in E. Township.

M. Simmons, of E., PA, complained a known person was making unwanted phone calls to her. She declined prosecution in this case.

Theft by Deception

K. State Police are investigating an incident of THEFT BY DECEPTION that occurred between February 1 and April 30 at a location off of S. Road in E. Township, M. County.

Actors cut timber from property of H. Martin, Jr, without compensating him . This is a continuing investigation.

S.M., age 43
Charged by PSP on 4-30-10 with PEDESTRIANS UNDER INFLUENCE.

Actor(s) Drove Through Woods Knocking Down Trees

Last weekend, unknown actor(s) damaged the dash panel of a Case bulldozer to gain access to the ignition, and then drove the bulldozer a short distance through the woods , knocking down and damaging several trees. The actor then left the bulldozer and fled the scene.

The incident occurred on a gas line road, off of M. Road in W. Township, P. County. The bulldozer is owned by NFS Corp.

Anyone who has the rest of the story is encouraged to contact PSP. Trooper J.C. is the investigator.

Property Damaged In Village of R.

C. State Police are investigating a report of damage to a wooden lattice at a property on L. Creek Road in R. that occurred between 4-23 and 4-26.

An unknown individual damaged a 8 foot by 2 foot section of wooden lattice at 13 L. Creek Road, owned by J.B. of C., PA. The Criminal Mischief remains under investigation.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Opening Day

Today was the first game of t-ball season, and how lucky were we to get on the team with shirts that match these beautiful blue eyes?

Sorry, once I started taking their picture, I couldn't stop. I cannot tell you how much I love these faces.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Yard Sal

So said the sign Josh and Ethan hung on our fence today.

It's Maple Festival time around here, which means our town becomes even more Stars Hollow-like than it already was. (Think modern-day Mayberry, for those of you who do not have the viewing habits of a 13 year-old girl and were, therefore, not fans of Gilmore Girls.)

Our town square is transformed into a gauntlet of booths with vendors hawking everything from food to jewelry to artwork to toys to all-things maple. Seriously, not just maple syrup but maple bark, maple-coated nuts (of every variety), maple ice cream, maple cotton candy, maple butter, maple sugar. . . this is starting to sound like Forrest Gump.

The gazebo in the town square is the center of the festivities, so it's where one can witness the live music, the crowning of the Maple Queen, and the pet parade.

No, I am not making this stuff up. Truth is, I actually enjoyed it. It's fun to live in a town where we can walk over to the courthouse lawn and have a fun time with our kids and see all of our friends and neighbors. And their pets.

So, what does a yard sale have to do with this? Well, in our town whenever there are festivities, there are yard sales. Lots and lots of yard sales.

My kids decided they wanted to partake of the capitalist love and sell some of their toys. Or at least their sibling's toys.

They spent an hour and a half "selecting" toys to sell, toys which almost inevitably belonged to someone else. Since no one was willing to part with anything treasured, the final inventory consisted of about six happy meal toys and a couple of movies they don't like.

I know, you wish you lived here so you could be the proud new owner of not one, but two, plastic robot arms without a body.

I convinced them that $1 was probably too much for each toy, so they changed their pricing label: (The yellow box has 1$ scratched out, and the yellow one says, "10¢ a peec.")

Not to be deterred by a meager inventory, they set up a table in the front yard and began hawking their wares. For about twenty minutes.

Thank you, John W., for driving by and having your daughter pay $2 for a matchbox car. It brought their total sales up to exactly, um, $2.