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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Jump start my brain

It looks like it will be another week or so before I finally start to get a handle on the new school-school-school (that's Max, Mad and me) routine. This week is off because Madi only goes three days (half day K, plus a different schedule for assessments!), Max gets out early and I'm on a normal schedule. Next week we have Labor Day off, and I'm on a different schedule because of Labor Day. Things might get normal the week after that. I'll let you know.

Meanwhile, this morning I couldn't find my keys (since located at mother-in-law's house) nor could I find my phone (it's probably SOMEWHERE just vibrating away to tell me I missed a call ... that call was me trying to find my phone - unless, of course, I actually turned it off before I misplaced it).

I think the details are getting a little overlooked since my head is full of new (and new adjusted) schedules. I'm just afraid I'll finally have the new routines in order just about the time that we go onto winter break.

posted by Laura at 11:46 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Testing the luck

I got my fussy.org T-shirt today. And it came on a particularly shitty day (regular readers might recognize that I don't curse much on here -- I save it for when I really mean it). I have been reading about some magical things happening after receiving and wearing the shirt, so I am going to try my luck and wear it.

If nothing else, getting it in the mail made me smile -- and today that alone feels a little magical. And tonight is the open house at school, I think I will wear it since this is a group that could results in some particularly fun comments and looks.

posted by Laura at 4:05 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Welcome to my mid-life crisis.

Classes started this week. You might have seen the list that comes out every year. It helps us old people understand the mindset of the incoming freshmen. Well here's one I wasn't ready for. Had a student in my weekend class. Saw her again in Tuesday afternoon's class at which point she informed me she was also taking Wednesday afternoon's class from me. Happens quite frequently given the classes that I teach.

What doesn't happen all that frequently is what she said next, "You'll be like my second mom."

I KNOW she had good intentions, but I'm guessing she's 20 or 21 and, as you know if you look to the left where my profile is, I'm 35. While physically it's possible, I'm kinda horrified to think that students in my class see me as a motherly figure. Exactly what kind of vibe am I giving off from the front of the room?

And once I started thinking about it, as each year goes by it's more and more possible/probably that I could be the same age as their mothers.

Can someone please tell me how this happened?!?

posted by Laura at 12:09 PM | 2 comments

Monday, August 22, 2005

Civic duty completed

So I got my mailer telling me I had jury duty while I was scheduled to be in Las Vegas. You are allowed to postpone your service, so I did. Little did I know that when you postpone you are guaranteeing yourself a spot in the juror waiting room the next time (you become one of the first on the list that day you choose). I rescheduled for today. I was in pre-vacation mode, I wasn't thinking about the start of school (the girls and me) or anything else much for that matter. I just said, "Sign me up."

I showed up along with 189 of my closest neighbors (I actually did see one person that I know there!) and got in line. With just one metal detector, our county courthouse is not equipped to welcome the masses of public through the doors. About 30 minutes later, I made it through (I've never been stopped by an airport detector, but I had to get the wand here ... steel rods in my shoes, rivets on my pants, and who knows what else making me beep).

I was offended by the "gee whiz" jury duty video they showed. It could have been half as long and just as informative. They had man-on-the-street type interviews, with three people saying "When I got called for jury duty I was nervous." Believe it or not, everyone they interviewed had a happy ending. Jury duty changed their lives for the better!

But I was being a good citizen, other than keeping my fingers crossed, I wasn't about to mention all of the potential reasons why I shouldn't be a juror. I was also surprised at how little people pay attention to the directions. Things are very clear if you read: when you park put the pink portion on your dash, bring this part in, report at 8:30 a.m. There were people dragging in an hour late. They were showing up with the whole juror summons in their hands being sent back out to the parking lot to place the pink portion on their dash, and then they had to get back into the long line to get re-detected. They were not getting in line as more than one sign instructed them to. For an anal gal like me, this was horrifying.

Well, the good news is that by 10:30 a.m. all but 40 of the juror pool were excused. Though there were 12 judges on the board for the morning, the board cleared quickly and I was sent free.

My service is done for 2005.

posted by Laura at 3:42 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sometimes I wonder if they're really sisters

In the car today we were discussing the cars the girls would own some day.

Maxine said, "Camper, VW Beetle and a Honda Element."

Madison said, "Camper and a Hummer."

Max said, "Hummers are bad for the environment." (Yes, she's just 7. But this is my future tree-hugger who doesn't eat animals.)

Madison said, "WHO CARES?!"

Maxine seemed disappointed by this. And said, "That means you don't care about wildlife." (Future veterinarian, it all comes back to the animals.)

I assured her that she will be able to make up for her sister's future assaults on the environment.

posted by Laura at 6:53 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Rated G?

As a last hurrah of summer, I took the girls to see "March of the Penguins" today. Nothing like a film about frigid Antarctica to send off summer. It had a G-rating, so I felt confident. But in the first 60 seconds they're talking sex (scientific term = mating). And penguin love. (After our little sex talk last week, I'm trying to avoid the subject be it between penguins or people. And God help me if she should bring it up between penguins AND people.)

Later came the death and the violence. (Oh, did I forget to mention SPOILER ALERT?) Animated violence (at least the kind my girls watch) doesn't seem so bad when you watch a real mommy penguin get gobbled up by a seal. That seal not only killed the mommy, the baby will die too because mom's not coming back with dinner now. And the penguins haven't figured out the whole "it takes a village" approach to child-rearing yet. Really put a damper on my "save the seals" attitude. Who's out there picketing for the penguins?

Then came a big ol', nasty-looking bird that went picking on the babies. He nipped and nipped until he finally got his beak around one baby's neck. Off he went with a cute, cuddly, fuzzy dinner. Bastard.

And the eggs that didn't make a successful transfer from mom to dad. Crack. The dad who just "fell asleep" because he couldn't take the cold. And don't forget a few more gratuitous frozen baby shots thrown in for good measure.

Great film, but this might be the most sexed up and death-riddled G-rated film I've ever seen.

posted by Laura at 10:39 PM | 1 comments

Monday, August 15, 2005

Vegas observation #1

I used to love going to Las Vegas. I thought there was no such thing as too much time in Vegas (OK, I know there was such a thing but I never hit that threshold). But now - after kids - Vegas ended up being an assault on my senses in ways that it never was before. I think that the constant stimulation in my life from my children leaves me longing for a more peaceful vacation. If I want noise, distractions and chaos, why bother to leave home?

posted by Laura at 9:37 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A conversation I'd rather avoid

(This is still not my Vegas observations, but I will mention Vegas in the following post... )

Sex is everywhere in Las Vegas. Scantily clad showgirls. Spanish-speaking guys (and even a few girls) trying to push their stripper/hooker/what-have-you flyers into your hands (give them credit, they are aggressive and annoying to adults, but when you have a child or two in tow, they tap their toe and look at the sky while you walk by!). Giant illuminated "billboards" advertising shows and such all with more scantily clad people. And of course statues of naked people ("Mommy, I just saw some things on that statue that Madison and I are not supposed to see." For that, I tried to explain the difference between plain old nakedness and art.)

And apparently it's time to have to "the talk" with Maxine. How did I realize this? When I was flipping through channels on the TV and there was some sort of surveillance-type video of two men kissing (I didn't spend but 3 seconds on that channel, I swear).

Maxine said to me and Madi, "That's sex."

I said, "Huh?"

"When two boys kiss, that's sex."

I said, no that's not sex. That's gay or homosexual, but not sex. And I told her that sometimes two boys love each other or two girls love each other and want to be married.

You can guess what came next.

"What's sex then?"

Really, I wasn't prepared for this one yet. The best I could come up with was something about it's what men and women do to have babies. (We'll get to the doing it for fun part much later.)

The next day, Maxine wasn't quite finished. She asked as we drove around town, "Mommy, do you and Daddy ever French kiss?"

I had to tell her the truth, which is sure we do but we did it a lot more before she and her sister were born.

posted by Laura at 8:39 PM | 4 comments

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Flickr addiction

You think I'm talking about my Flickr addiction, don't you? Oh no. It's Maxine. Not only does she like to spend a lot of time searching for tags (kitten, family, puppy are a few of the searches she's done), and when she finds great shots, she figured out how to leave comments (I'll look at "Comments You've Made" and find the one-word "CUTE!" and know she's been busy) ... if only that were it.

Now she's become the artistic director for the family. She tells me what pictures to take and what to name and caption them. "Take a picture of this and say 'I can't do this.'" as she rolls her tongue over. "Take a picture of ketchup and label it 'Let's catch up.'" (Remember, she's just 7!)

By the time this girl turns 8 I'm going to have to get her her very own Pro account so she can just do it all on her own!

Coming soon: Observations from my first "family" trip to Las Vegas!

posted by Laura at 8:11 PM | 0 comments

Monday, August 08, 2005

Size counts

I think Blogger might be insulting me and my blog.

You know, every time you publish your blog it says, "This might take a few minutes if you have a very large blog." Publishing mine never takes a few minutes, really it's over before you know it.

posted by Laura at 7:02 PM | 1 comments

Time zone dummy

I have the need to be scheduling a few phone calls with some folks in New Zealand and because of this I have turned into a complete idiot. Unlike many journalists, I proclaim to be good at math and I often brag about my analytical mind (to a fault, both the bragging and the analysis). I understand that New Zealand is 18 hours ahead of me, which has messed me up in so many ways. I can schedule with Europe, I just have to wake up at the crack of dawn to fit into their workday, but somehow coordinating different stinking days has me ready to curl up in the corner babbling to myself.

posted by Laura at 6:58 PM | 0 comments

Friday, August 05, 2005

This doesn't add up

Before I left last Friday to run away to rub elbows with the rich and famous (incidentally, we saw PLENTY of rich, but only people who looked like other famous people), I was mostly caught up on laundry. On Thursday night, I asked sweetly, "Would you do a load of laundry while I'm gone?" (Nevermind that the load must have been put in at about 6 p.m. on Sunday, and sat in the washer until 8 a.m. Tuesday when I had to run it through again.)

Today, I'm up to my elbows in wash. I'd say I'm about five or six loads into it today and behind me there are 10 pairs of my husband's underwear folded on the bed. By my best homemaker math, at most there should be 8 pairs there. One pair a day from last Friday through yesterday, plus one or two that might have not gotten done before I left. What must be every single beach towel we own is also piled up behind me. Swim lessons ended last Friday, so again, there should be 4 or 5 there at most.

Where is all this dirty laundry coming from?!

posted by Laura at 2:35 PM | 1 comments

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Martha, Martha, Martha!

Love her or hate her, you gotta admit Martha Stewart looks damn good for 64 (according to Entertainment Tonight, she just turned 64!). How old did you think she was? I kinda figured 54 or so. Brent says she's had plastic surgery, I think it's just living with the finer things in life.

And speaking of the finer things ... hard to feel sorry for her in her house arrest isn't it? 500+ lush acres on which she she's leading horse-drawn carriages (saw that in People - I don't subscribe, but my generous sister-in-law hands me down her used copies). I'd dream up some pretty clever crimes if I could be house arrested in her place!

posted by Laura at 8:57 PM | 0 comments


1. Peter Forsberg is going to be a Flyer. Oh how my heart breaks. So the good news of a hockey season this year is a little tainted now.

2. What is up with the Back to School commercial from Target "I like backpacks" ... wasn't that song originally (and not that long ago) "I like big butts"? I'm trying very hard to not sing what I remember as the original around the girls, that's the last thing I need, them knowing the original.

3. I thought I had another one, but can't seem to recall. So, darn the short-term memory loss.

posted by Laura at 7:50 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Six Feet Under

Spoiler alert. If you watch the show and don't know what happened, don't read this!

So I read that they killed off Nate on SFU. Made me super glad I'm not watching that show anymore. (And oh how I loved that show before.) I stopped watching this season after we cancelled our HBO (it was our attempt to get our cable bill - which includes Internet - under $100 again). I was bummed to miss this, the last season. But last season wasn't as good as previous seasons and I just couldn't justify the cost for that. I almost never watch movies on HBO, just their shows ... and yes I'll be back next year when they finally get around to showing more Sopranos. After that, I believe my relationship with HBO will be over for good.

Anyway, back to SFU. Given that it's a show about a family that runs a funeral home, it shouldn't be that much of a surprise. They almost offed him once before. But as a TV viewer, it's disappointing to me. I like happy endings. Granted, this was a dark show and "happy ending" doesn't have to be everyone living happily ever after, but just living would be a good idea. I also heard he leaves behind a pregnant wife. So that means his kid with Lisa is left with no biological parents and his second kid will have one. (Yes, I know they're all pretend, not real. But still.)

This one's up there with Roseanne waking up at the end of her last season to find the entire season was just a dream (just discovered that one on Nick at Night, somehow I missed that during its original airing). It's just not fulfilling for viewers. Sure, the writers/originators must stay true to their artistic hearts -- but don't they have some sort of obligation to the viewers that keep them in business?

posted by Laura at 11:47 AM | 4 comments


If I look a little tired today it's because my phone rang at 3:15 a.m. last night/this morning. I don't know about you, but when my phone rings anytime after 11 p.m. and before 7 a.m. I jump to the natural conclusion that someone has died. Our phone rang because my brother-in-law left his cell phone at a Denny's. The major brains at Denny's decided to call a number in his cell phone at 3:15 a.m. to alert someone to the misplaced cell phone. Just because they are experiencing a living hell where they have to serve drunk people all night long is no reason to take it out on us, is it?

posted by Laura at 7:29 AM | 2 comments
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