Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sick Sucks

Yeah, like that's news to anyone.

I'm just getting over a really nasty cold that had me laid out flat in bed the entire weekend. While the cold itself was awful enough, as anyone who is a mom understands, being sick while your children are home is MUCH MUCH worse than just being sick as a single person. Even when your kids are being wonderfully attentive and "helpful" and trying to make sure you feel better. (which could be because they are sweet loving children who love to take care of their mama, or it could be because when I'm sick I really don't care how much they're on the Playstation.)

Because once you're done with the "feeling like dying would be preferable" part of sick, and you finally have enough energy to wobble down the stairs, clutching the railing so you don't fall over, you are confronted with the most holy-god-awful mess you could ever imagine. Including items that you cannot identify that are dried on to all the surfaces in the kitchen. And what looks like every dish you own (and all their friends) piled up on all available surfaces, precariously balanced in a tower similar to the ones that the children built with blocks when they were toddlers. You know, the ones that fall over and crash when you breathe in their direction. And you can barely stay upright, much less tackle this disastermess, and all you really want to do is fall back into a coma so you don't have to think about it.

Which, of course, is exactly what I had to face when I staggered out of my room on Sunday. All I can say is thankfully the kids were with X and could not make it any worse, for a few hours anyway. I didn't make much progress Sunday because once I got a load of laundry in and some dishes running I was about ready to re-collapse. Monday was not a lot better.

So I anticipate that it will be quite some time before I can get the house looking anywhere remotely close to respectable. I've tackled a considerable amount of the mountain of laundry (it is amazing how, in a weekend in which the kids never bothered to get dressed, they still managed to create a ton of dirty clothing), and I have found most of the countertop in the kitchen, but there is still a loooooooong way to go.

I think this may be part of the reason that women want to kill men who complain while they are sick. Because we would give pretty much anything to be able to be sick, get taken care of, AND still be able to find the house when we got better.

So anyway, that's why I've been quiet for several days. Hopefully the brain will start fully functioning soon, and I'll be finding more creative things to blog about. mk

p.s. Ladybug flew away. We had it for a few days, though, which was amazing. Kira had built it a bigger "apartment" out of an old shoebox, complete with "rooms" made out of cardboard taped to the bottom of the box, and a little construction-paper ladybug friend that she made so her pet (whom she named Scribbles, by the way) wouldn't feel lonely. I was pretty impressed that the ladybug, who was never officially trapped in the box, since the top was open, actually hung out as long as it did. Anyway, we are once again a pet-free home. mk

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Art of Barbie

Last summer my parents gave Kira a really awesome book. (Well, *I* think it's awesome.) It's called The Art of Barbie: Artists Celebrate the World's Favorite Doll. (edited by Craig Yoe) The cover is a piece by Andy Warhol.

There are some terrific pieces in here. You've seen Nude Descending a Staircase? Well, here's Marian Jones's interpretation of Nude Barbie Descending a Staircase:

We have Barbie at the Beach:

Barbie and What's His Name Get Married
(sometimes the title alone was enough for me to love it):

In a tribute to some truly fine cinema, we have Attack of the 50-Foot Barbie:

A personal favorite:

Vidal Sassoon got into the act with Good Hair Day:

I actually really like this interpretation of the myth of Daphne (who was turned into a laurel tree to escape the amorous attentions of Apollo) in Daphne Barbie:

And Willow, here's one just for you:

Some others I didn't include in my first round of pictures include a photo of Claudia Schiffer as Wanna-B, Barbie digitally inserted into Edward Hopper's Nighthawks painting, Barbie on the walls of the caves at Lascaux. Even Frederick's of Hollywood threw a little something in, although truthfully that one didn't look a heck of a lot different from the tarty way Barbie dresses anyway.

Anyway, this is just one more of my many ways to avoid what I should be doing, namely housework. Having now successfully delayed said chores until 12:30, it's time for lunch. mk


Kira has adopted a ladybug. She came downstairs this morning with it in a little red plastic cup. So we moistened a little scrap of paper towel, wet a raisin, and plucked a leaf from one of my plants, and made it a little home. (we got the information on what to do to set up a little ladybug habitat from LadybugLady.com) She's having a wonderful time observing it. She even has a magnifying glass so she can see it better. So far the ladybug has taken a drink and is exploring its new home.

Kira has a little spiral notebook that has now been designated "Kira's Ladybug Journal." (Complete with little drawing of a ladybug, courtesy of mom) She will be writing down her observations, which include how many spots it has (15). Right now she is trying to decide on a name for her little friend.

I like this pet SOOOOOO much better than what Ro has at her house. Her husband brought home two rats. mk

Saturday, February 17, 2007

All From Clicking Colors

Willowtree had this on his blog, and so of course I had to give it a shot. (I love quizzes and crap like that.) It is freakishly accurate. Not very *flattering,* but accurate.

My results:

Your Existing Situation
Needs warm companionship, but is intolerant of anything short of special consideration from those close to her. If this is not forthcoming, is liable to shut herself away from them.

Yes! Yes! I want special consideration, DAMMIT!

Your Stress Sources
Eager to make a good impression, but worried and doubtful about the likelihood of succeeding. Feels that she has a right to anything she might hope for, and becomes helpless and distressed when circumstances go against her. Finds the mere possibility of failure most upsetting and this can even lead to nervous prostration. Sees herself as a 'victim' who has been misled and abused, mistakes this dramatization for reality and tries to convince herself that her failure to achieve standing and recognition is the fault of others.

I can't quite figure out how my failures are other people's fault, but hey. I could work with that.

Your Restrained Characteristics
Feels that she cannot do much about her existing problems and difficulties and that she must make the best of things as they are. Able to achieve satisfaction from sexual activity.

Well, duh.

Your Desired Objective
Longs for sensitive and sympathetic understanding and wants to protect herself against argument, conflict, or any exhausting stresses.

Again with the duh.

Your Actual Problem
Disappointment and the fear that there is no point in formulating fresh goals have led to anxiety, and she is distressed by the lack of any close and understanding relationship. She attempts to escape into a substitute world in which things are more nearly as she desires them to be.

Your Actual Problem #2
Depleted vitality has created an intolerance for any further stimulation, or demands on her resources. This feeling of powerlessness subjects her to agitation and acute distress. She attempts to escape into a substitute world in which things are more nearly as she desires them to be.

Did you notice how I have so obviously got the problem of "attempting to escape into a substitute world" that they mentioned it TWICE?? They've got me all paranoid. But hey, a double-substitute world, that sounds pretty interesting. All the other stuff is pretty well on the money.

Anybody else want to give it a shot? Let me know what your results were! mk

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My "I Hate Valentine's Day" Post

Yup, I'm one of those. I hate Valentine's Day. Well, perhaps resent is a better word. I resent the emphasis placed on showing people you love them on this one day. Particularly with couple-y people. Who really can show their damn affection any old day, so why do we have to have this one day that spotlights those people who are NOT in a relationship?????? Like, maybe, we don't already realize this? And so it's sort of a public service, having an entire holiday, including the several-week buildup, to advertise that you are ALL ALONE. And that you will NOT be receiving cards, flowers, candy, jewelry (particularly diamonds), romantic dinners, backrubs OR massages, secretly planned trips to exotic locales, OR SEX. (and hey, let's not even get STARTED about the lucky individuals who have Valentine's Day as an ANNIVERSARY of the last time they had sex. FOUR YEARS AGO.) 'Cause you know, I must have somehow forgotten that. Thanks for the heads-up.

And it starts so damn young. At my kids' elementary school (grades K-8) they have Carnation Day AND Candygram Day on Valentine's. Do y'all remember those from junior high and high school? And what a horrible, horrible day it was then? Because all day long, you kept hoping and praying that maybe you would be one of the girls (or guys, I dunno, do guys care as much about that? speak up, please!) who would get a delivery, in front of the entire class. And all day long, each and every time one of the delivery people showed up, it was never for you. And so your heart sunk a little more each time, until by the end of the day you were in this nice deep black depression. Because the freakin' TEACHER got more than you did. And there were always these girls who would have to have someone else carrying their books because they had double armsful of flowers that they could barely see over. But you? Nada.

And now my kids are fortunate enough to experience this for themselves. And if I thought it was awful when it was happening to me, it's doubly worse when it's my kids. I bought each of them a candygram because I couldn't tolerate the idea that they were going to be one of the kids who got nothing while all their friends got stuff. It just tears me up inside to think about my kids feeling that rejection. Kira is in FIRST GRADE!!! And when I went in yesterday for Brownies, yes, there were kids who had handsful of flowers, multiple candygrams. Thank goodness my little girl got at least one. Although it makes me sad, too, knowing that if her mom hadn't gotten her one, she wouldn't have gotten anything.

[side note here: we're having a snowstorm, so the school delivered all the flowers and candy yesterday since we were pretty sure there wouldn't be school today. It's usually done on V-Day.]

I hate how I have felt dragged into this participation because of an attempt to save my kids' feelings. And at the lower grade level, a lot of the candy and flowers are ordered for the kids by the parents. You know ahead of time which kids are going to have tons of flowers, because their parents feed into all this stuff, and order it all for their kids. And I hate doing a "keep up with the Joneses" thing, but it brings out a huge competitive streak in me, that somehow I am letting slide an opportunity to show people that I love my kids JUST as much as they love theirs, cause LOOK! I spent $18 to give my kid a dozen half-dead flowers that will have broken stems by lunchtime, or I spent $1 to give them five Hershey's kisses with a note. Because you know having that delivered to them in front of people makes it SO much more special than putting it in their lunchbox.

Why on earth are we doing this to our kids? Why are we teaching them that love is expressed in public displays, in things bought for them and waved in front of other people? Why are we not teaching empathy? What about the kids who get nothing? Why does it have to be more and more and bigger and flashier? When the kids bring in valentines, they are taught that they need to have a card for every person in the class. That's great. Share the love. Enjoy the party, the goodies, make crafts, etc etc. But as soon as we introduce this other element, this "some will get and some will not" display, which is done right in front of everyone, it counteracts everything. What possible benefit to our kids? What possible harm?

Yeah, I'm bitter. Maybe I would feel differently if I had been one of the kids who got tons of flowers and stuff in school. If I had been "popular." If I could afford to spend money on gratuitous displays that are about not having my child feel left out or bad about themselves (and you are kidding yourself if you think that doesn't happen...that it's all in good fun...there are tears over this stuff).

And so today, here it is. The actual hated day. And it's a blizzard outside, and the kids are with X, and I am even more solidly alone. And there will be no candy, no flowers, no gifts, no cards, no hugs, no kisses, surely no sex, no affection, no dinners or candles or jewelry or trips or surprises. No love.

Happy Freakin' Day. mk

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It is Official.

My son is a giant. And by that, I mean that he is taller than I am. At eleven.

He came downstairs this morning with two more pairs of pants that don't fit him. Yesterday he brought one, and over the weekend he brought down three pairs of shoes and a pair of snow pants. Last week it was two pairs of pants.

So I decided it was time to measure him on the doorframe again. The last time I measured him, on January 8, he was still shorter than I. In the last month, he has grown AN INCH AND A HALF. He is now just about 5' 5 1/2" tall. And he weighs about 105 pounds.

Now, as I am taller than X, Mark is taller than both of his parents. Again, I must mention, AT ELEVEN.

Kira has also grown, she is now 4' 2.75" tall. At seven.

What is WITH kids these days? Has anybody else noticed that they are completely different body types than our generation? Is anyone else slightly disturbed to see that the average early teenage girl has an itty-bitty figure, yet a disproportionately large chest? We didn't have girls looking like that when I was growing up. (and yes, typing that sentence I felt like I was about ninety, and should be saying things like, "We used to have to walk twelve miles to school every day, in a blizzard and five feet of snow! Uphill! Both ways! AND WE LIKED IT!")

Along the lines of feeling old, did anybody else notice the commercial for Wendy's that is using the Violent Femme's "Blister in the Sun" as background music? Did anybody else feel that it was just WRONG???

OK, because I really do have other things to do today, I'm gonna cut it short. But I had to tell people about my giant kid. mk

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Corduroy came home with Kira yesterday to spend the weekend. Corduroy is the class bear, taken from the character of the same name in children's books. Corduroy goes to visit a different child from the class just about every weekend (occasionally he stays in the classroom to recuperate). He has a travel bag with several changes of clothing, a copy of his favorite book (all about him, of course), and his journal, which each child uses to write or draw pictures about their adventures together.
Corduroy is a very old bear, he's been around a long time. I hadn't seen him since Mark was in the first grade. It is a VERY big deal to bring Corduroy home. Kira is very excited and she and Corduroy have had a very good time together. He even went with us to camp this afternoon, although he stayed inside while the kids were playing outside. He watched Kira play chess with her Gramp later, though. He liked camp.

Corduroy will be accompanying Kira to X's house this evening, which is a good thing. Quite frankly, between you and me and the lamppost, Corduroy kinda freaks me out a little. It's the eyes. The googly eyes. They follow you. Look, LOOK at these pictures.....he's watching me, dammit. And my imagination is just a little bit too vivid, and has been fueled by entirely too many toys-come-alive-in-a-murderous-way scenes (that clown in Poltergeist...and can anyone forget Chuckie? I flat-out refused to watch his movies, because he freaked me out just to look at him, much less let's go watch him on a killing spree). So I just don't want to be alone at night with it. I know, I know, but still. Really, look at him. Doesn't he seem just a little too innocent? A little too happy? It's like he's trying to lull me into a false sense of security just before he starts up with a chainsaw.

OK, I need to post this now, if for no other reason than Kira just came happily down the stairs and spotted the pictures and is now trying to read over my shoulder. I'm holding one hand up and waving it in front of her face as I'm twisted sideways in the chair and trying to get this done so I can post. 'Cause really, I can just see Corduroy's journal entry now. mk

And He Danced

Mark made the last-minute decision to go to the YMCA's Valentine's Dance last night. It was classified as a semi-formal, so of course there was ironing involved. I hate ironing. And I ended up having to iron TWO different shirts, because the first one that he picked out, he decided five minutes before we were going to leave, that he didn't like, and after much argument back and forth (honestly, much of my argument consisted of: "But I IRONED!"), I grudgingly gave in and ironed the other shirt. (which was a thin grey flannel, not what I considered semi-formal, but he was very adamant.) As I was ironing, we agreed that very soon we are going shopping for a couple of shirts that meet both my standards and his for semi-formal. To his credit, when he came home and I asked about how he was dressed, it turned out he was about in the middle for the boys in terms of how dressed up they were, which is a pretty good place to be.

AND HE DANCED! He actually asked a real girl to dance! One not from his school! Who he had never met before! And she said yes! And did I mention he danced!

Her name is Cleo ("her actual name is Cleopatra, but she doesn't like the -Patra part"), and he's not sure which school she goes to, but she wants to be a rock star when she grows up, and have the ends of her hair tipped purple. They danced all of one slow song, and then in one of those group-dance things for a fast one. And Mark is a little smitten, and was dreamily smiley, and VERY insistent that he is going to the next Y dance, because apparently Cleo had to leave the dance early, just as Mark was asking her to dance again, and she asked him if he was going to be at the next one and he said yes. He thinks she's VERY pretty. Which is the most I've ever heard him freely admit about a girl.

His friend Eddie, who danced with Cleo's friend Rebecca, was trying to convince Mark that now they should ask these girls out. Mark, who occasionally shows a little sense (which relieves my mind immensely), argued that they barely knew them, and won't do it. (although he is very much looking forward to the next dance, although he doesn't know when that is.) I think Eddie is a little too eager to jump into the dating scene, and is also a little fickle, because last night he *was* waiting for Katie to show up, but she didn't and then he turned his attention to Rebecca. What's particularly funny is that while Mark was dancing with Cleo, Eddie was dancing with Rebecca right next to them, and Eddie and Rebecca were not talking or anything. After the boys got back together in their little mini-gang, Eddie was shocked: "You TALKED to her! Man, you're pretty good for a beginner!" (Eddie feels all experienced because he had actually danced with a girl before, the aforementioned Katie.)

So there we go. My little boy danced. With an actual girl. Sniff, sniff. mk

Friday, February 09, 2007

Days and Days

It's been almost a week since my last post, and while SOME people might be able to use the excuse that their life has just been so hectic and crazy that they haven't had time, my reason is much different and straightforward. I just haven't had anything to write about.

My life is SO dull, so repetitive, that there has just been nothing that stood out in my mind enough to inspire me to gather together the energy to write an original post. Mind you, that hasn't stopped me from writing comments on *other* people's blogs.

When I am seriously considering taking a photograph of the 100 dried beans Kira took to school today to celebrate the 100th day of school (each child had to bring 100 of something) so I can have something, ANYTHING to post on my blog, you KNOW it is boring. [and did you know that 100 beans fits very nicely in a snack-size ziploc? It's really a small-looking pile. Although much bigger than the one belonging to the girl who is bringing 100 grains of rice.**]

**I originally wrote that sentence as: Although much bigger than the girl who is bringing 100 grains of rice. And then I read it over and realized I had just said that one of the girls in Kira's class is the size of a Polly Pocket. And although I am not a grammar queen or anything, I just couldn't let that one go.

And so now I blather on pointlessly, because I don't really have anything else to say, or possibly because I have LOTS to say, but not the energy to organize my thoughts enough to put them down in any coherent order. (for example, I keep meaning to blog about the school-consolidation proposal that our governor has come up with, and also about how it seems that there are always going to be junior-high-school drama surrounding me, even when all the participants are supposed adults)

And so, off I go to another endless loop of laundry and straightening of house; of listening to kids argue about who *has* to go first in the shower tonight, only to then change the argument about not being able to GET to go first in the shower; of repeating myself over and over andoverandover; of boredom and exhaustion without cause (please, spring, hurry the hell up, the S.A.D. is really starting to get to me). Of weekly rounds of therapy that just go around and around. Of *everything* that just goes around and around and around. I am spinning my wheels all the time, it seems, and not even getting to build up the great leg muscles from the exercise. :D

Off. Gone. Later. mk

Saturday, February 03, 2007

And Back to the Everyday

As much as I would love to leave the bondage-mitten post up at top forever, other things call to me to be posted. And no, they aren't nearly as interesting. At least not to the tons of people who got to my blog by googling "bondage." And it will most likely not inspire comments such as Kevin's. Or even Jenny's. But it's far more typical of my noninteresting life.

We had snow last night and this morning. And I know I'm a little late hopping on this particular wagon, but here's my entry to "The View From My Front Door" that was circling around awhile ago:
The name of that boat, by the way, is the Wandering Jew. I find that vaguely disturbing for some reason. Perhaps because I cannot figure out how a boat can be Jewish. And it also doesn't seem to be wandering at the moment. But whatever.

Kira was up and at 'em bright and early. Here's what she's up to this morning (after, of course, she shovelled off the deck again):

And while she's industriously stockpiling snowballs for what I suspect will be an incredible snowfight later, Mark has his own priorities:

And yes, that is HAIR under his arms. And he is ELEVEN. And if you see him in person, you will notice that the hair on his upper lip is darkening also. (and I'm not imagining that, because Ro noticed it too) I am not ready for this. mk

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Closest Thing to a Bondage Picture That I Have

Jenny over at MamaDrama (love me some MamaDrama) said that to get Kevin to post awesome comments on my blog, I should post pictures of me in bondage. Unfortunately, the closest I could find in my current picture files is this:

A few years ago this guy I was seeing left his gloves at my house after a visit. So naturally I handcuffed and tied them up in my daughter's doll rocking chair, blindfolded them and placed a pair of scissors menacingly alongside. I sent this picture along with a note (in Ransom Note font, of course) that said, "I have your mittens. If I do not receive a phone call in 24 to 48 hours, you will receive your mittens one finger at a time. Do not call the police."

Strangely enough, we didn't date for very long.

Ro, I think we need to add to my list of requirements for my future boyfriend: someone who gets my sense of humor. And likes it. mk

Because I Had To Show Somebody

Is this not an incredibly cool shirt? Beast Mom, I am thinking particularly that you will love it. Other people, just go with me on this one. mk


Mark finally got around to writing a (very nice) thank-you to my friend who took him to the Celtics game. He also decided to include a drawing. For your admiration:
He decided against adding color, because it would compromise the artistic integrity of the sketch. (Well, that's not what he said in so many WORDS...he actually said "I was going to color it but figured it would ruin the picture." Same thing.) mk