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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hey! Who Put the Super-Glue on the Computer Chair Again?

It occurs to me that having my calendar, address book, task lists, etc. on the computer is kind of like an alcoholic taking his meals in a bar.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig

Just wanted to pop in for a second to say thanks for not burgling my home, even though you knew we were out of town. You guys are so sweet.

Someday I am going to make my home into a place that's bright, fresh and cheery to come home to. Instead of drab and shabby. Also, does my house smell funny? Every time we come back from vacation, it seems like there's a faint smell that's hard to describe but sort of musty when I first walk in, and I always hope that's only because it's been shut up while we were away and that (oh, horrors) it doesn't smell that way all the time. Does it? You can tell me. I can take it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quick Picture Postcards

Found a network connection to mooch off for a minute. Wish you were here! OK, not really -- it would be too crowded. But I hope you're having a lovely time wherever you are.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Know You Need Your Kid-Stories Fix

I give Adam a couple of dried mango slices. He says, "This isn't going to work out for me. I need THIS many [holds up hand with five fingers out] of dried-up mangoes."


Dentist, to Adam: How old are you, buddy?
Adam: I think three.
(He said this in too articulate a tone for someone who isn't sure if he's three. The dentist and hygienist were cracking up.)

Me, to Adam, on the drive home: Adam, you know how old you are, don't you?
Adam: I think I'm three, but I'm not sure. (Again with the articulate tone. I don't know what he's playing at, funny kid.)


I'm reading a book to Adam in the living room when I smell something. (Wow, I never realized how critical a sense of smell is to a parent until I started blogging.) It's an oddly familiar smell that I can't quite put my finger (nose?) on.* Finally, I work it out: apple cider vinegar. I keep the vinegar in the corner cabinet in the kitchen. Ellen is in the kitchen. Sure enough: apple cider vinegar, in puddles. A couple of batteries are floating in what's left in the bottle, one AA and one AAA. Most likely from remote controls. She loves to take batteries out of remote controls. And drop them in bottles of vinegar, apparently. She smiles at me and says "juice!" which is endearing in itself, but doubly endearing because of the story it reminds me of.


When Jane was Ellen's age, she loved to play in the corner cabinet as well (I know, I know, four kids and I've never put on cabinet locks, yada yada yada) and especially to bring me a bottle of vinegar and plead with me, "Juice. Juice. Juice." And I would reply, "No. This isn't juice, honey. Not juice. You wouldn't like it. Not juice." But of course she was never convinced, and always so sad that I would put it away without giving her any of the juice. Then one day when she brought it to me -- "Juice! Juice! Juice!" -- the obvious response finally occurred to me (I can be really slow). I said, "OK, you can have some, but I don't think you'll like it." I poured a tiny bit in a cup and gave it to her. She took a sip and said immediately, "Not juice." From then on her word for a bottle of vinegar was "not juice."

*Here's something you may never have known if I hadn't been so good as to enlighten you: the faint, leftover scent of apple cider vinegar is surprisingly reminiscent of the acrid smell of breastfed newborn baby poop. I kept doing double-takes all day. (I know -- some of you wish you still didn't know that.)

3 New Tees for Adam

With warm weather on the horizon, Adam needs some more t-shirts, so I picked up some of WalMart's $3.50 plain tees and pulled out the iron-on transfer paper.

I've had that old carrot crate label pegged for a shirt for Adam in my image stash for a couple of years -- how could I resist extending the original "Up n' Atom" pun (postwar era dead giveaway) one degree further for my own "Up n' Adam?" Plus, on occasion I've walked into a room, seen what he's done to it and had the words "Adam bomb" come into my head. So, it works on more than one level. Let's not discuss the level related to this rabbit's demeanor, and let's hope giving this to Adam won't subvert my "hands are for helping and hugging, not hitting" campaign.

The crab shirt is intended to be my own personal joke with myself, for days when he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Will I get all bent out of shape over grouching and grumping? No! I'll just smile and say, "Hey, want to wear your cool crab shirt today?" Maybe it can even serve as a little visual reminder to me throughout the day to be patient with him. I put the crab a little too high up on the shirt, but lucky for me, Adam isn't particular about things like this.

The car graphic was Adam's choice. He's dying for it to come out of the wash so he can wear it.

By the way, all of these graphics came from Dover Publications' sampler service, which I liked best in its early days when the weekly samples were all copyright-free graphics from their clip-art and design books. Now they use the sampler as a promotional tool for all kinds of books, but there are still some cool old images to be found. In times before my beloved Google Image Search, my spending money often went toward Dover clip-art books. I even used a border and a decorative initial letter from Dover clip-art books on my wedding announcement. (Which I designed entirely in: WordPerfect 7.0. If you needed proof that I've always been insane. Although, if I hadn't been insane before -- which I was -- that experience could have been the tipping point.)

And back to the topic of warm weather -- we're headed to some. Well, actually, if the weather wizards are correct, the warmer place we're headed to will be cooler for our stay next week than it was here this week, but here will be 10-20 degrees cooler next week than there. (Follow?) So we'll be happy to be there, skipping out on some of the typical shenanigans that are spring in Utah Valley.

Friday, March 13, 2009

This Child Is In Danger of Being Eaten Up

Admit it. You want to eat her up too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Easy & Economical: DIY Laptop Computer

"No, mom! Don't throw those away! Those are our computers!"
Why, so they are.
I'm dying to know what happens when you press the giant "Zuzu" button.

QWERTY keyboards are for suckers.

Adam's keyboard comes complete with not only all the letters of the alphabet, but Naw I Now My A-B-C Necst tiMe woNt you sige with Me functionality. His big sister loves him.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Zuzu Will Now Instruct You On "Health"

Thanks to Peter and his spiffy fridge chart, we now have a regular rotation for Family Home Evening assignments. Apparently winging it every week wasn't ideal. (The images representing Jane and Adam were their choice.)

As you can see, this week it was Zuzu's turn to teach the lesson, which she was adamant 1) would be on "Health" and 2) she would prepare without assistance. She put together this booklet for the purposes of her lesson (sorry for the poor photos):

Keep your teeth clean.

Keep your hair clean. (Do not confuse the sparkle and the glob of dirt.)

Keep your insides clean.

Keep your outsides clean.

Don't eat too much candy. (The backwards d strikes again.)

Eat good food.

And there you have it.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Taste of Spring on a Length of String

Poor Spidey, irretrievably ensnared in the Silver Maple's web.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ready for Anything

The contents of Zuzu's coat pockets:

16 paper clips (pinched from her kindergarten classroom, no doubt)
4 brad fasteners (see note, previous item)
4 candy wrappers (kids these days get way more candy at school than I ever did)
3 pecans in their shells (must be a pecan tree somewhere on the walk to school)
2 Laffy Taffys
1 sparkly flower ring (from her daddy for Valentine's Day)
lots of pecan shell debris

Friday, March 6, 2009

I Love Where I Live

Because all it takes is few minutes in the car to change the scenery from this

to this.

On my little walk in the canyon Wednesday, the company was as good as the scenery:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Looked Out the Window In the Kitchen and What Did I See?

Remember the pruning Peter did a couple of weeks ago? I brought some of the apricot branches inside hoping the warmer air would trick them into blooming.

It's making me very happy to have a bit of early spring inside. I looked out the window and the only white on the apricot tree today is snow.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Didn't Post Today

Hey, at least that means I didn't post about bodily fluids today.

Thank your lucky stars.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sometimes The More You Find Out, The Worse it Gets

After dinner last night, I walk into the bathroom. There is no visible sign of a problem, but my nose immediately informs me that something is not right. I walk back to the kitchen.

Me: Anybody know why the bathroom reeks of urine?
Adam: Oh, yeah! [Name of neighborhood fellow 3-year-old] had a accident!
Me: What kind of accident?
Adam: He went pee-pee on the floor.
Me: Adam, why didn't you come and tell me when he had an accident?
Adam: He didn't want me to tell you! He didn't want you to find out! He told me to help him clean it up. We cleaned it up with a towel.
Me: What towel?
Adam: I don't know. And he went pee-pee on the green lightsaber. But he cleaned it off with a towel!
Me: Where are these towels now?
Adam: I don't know!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Laundry Incident Happy Ending

WARNING: Entire post on stain removal follows.
I would stick to more exciting topics, like,
What I Made For Lunch!, or, Grammar!, but I'm feeling guilt over the sympathy that keeps pouring in over my last post, in which I officially aired my dirty laundry on my blog (Thank you! You felt my pain!), since the problem has been resolved.

Thank you, The Internets. I adapted some advice I found online and it actually worked. I mixed up 2 cups of Tide®, a cup of OxiClean®, a cup of Spray 'n Wash®, and some vinegar (was supposed to be a cup, but I only had a bit left, so just used what I had) in hot water in the washer, added the load, soaked it for an hour, and then ran it through 3 agitations on the longest cycle. I just kept setting it back to the start before it drained. Honestly, nearly all the stains came out completely!

Yes, mom, the inside of the dryer was streaked with a thin film of hardened purple wax too. It was a little bit easier to clean after I figured out to run the dryer for a minute to warm it back up, and then after I got it as clean as I could I made sure to dry a dark load before anything else.

My only regret is that all that soaking and agitation with hot water and strong chemicals were (obviously) pretty hard on the clothes. A much better option than having to throw everything out, of course, but I wish I'd taken it a little easier, because nearly all the stains were out after the first cycle and most of the stains I was still waiting on were the ones that in the end didn't come out anyway. I read somewhere at first to prespot with Murphy® Oil Soap, and I started to do that on a couple of things before I decided to forget it. Afterwards, I realized that the only stains that hadn't come out were the ones I had prespotted with the oil soap. So, yeah, don't try that one if a crayon in the dryer happens to you. Or, if you have children, perhaps I should say when a crayon in the dryer happens to you.

I still think I might be able to remove those few stains that are left with WD-40® or Goof Off® or something like that. But I'm taking a little break from stain removal for the moment.

Good gravy, do you see how many brand names I included in this post? Shouldn't I be getting some product placement revenue?