Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Looks easy, right?

Ben at 8 months
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile
Just prop up your baby next to the same stuffed animal every month and get a nice tally of his growth over the first year. Easy, right?

Not so very...

First, you have to involve Big Sister.

Get her to hide behind the couch (arm) and keep baby there by distracting him with funny voices.

Only Big Sister -- FOR ONCE -- does not understand the concept of "hide."

You know, so you CAN'T BE SEEN.
Photo shoot for Ben's monthly photo, part one of SEVERAL

Then, of course, baby takes note of MOM. Taking the PICTURE (or, trying to...)
Hey is that mom?

And he has to do one of those classic "Hi Mom!" TV shots...or perhaps a "could I drool on your lens a sec, Ma?" question is being posed.
Hi Mom!

Suddenly Big Sister realizes her help is no longer needed.
She is being asked to GET OUT OF THE PICTURE.
Zut, alors!
Why can't *I* be in the picture?

THEN Mom realizes he crawled all the way across the couch for...
...the remote.
So, let him play with it!
Maybe the remote will occupy him...

Now he has no interest in anything else.
Including the large, green Ugly Doll put there expressly for his amusement.

FINALLY, the Money Shot.
Sister no where in sight.
Remote firmly in grasp.
(see first photo, above).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Notice anything?

Notice anything?
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.
Definitely NOT a scrapable moment. My MIL noticed yesterday that one side of Tess's hair was shorter than the other...just enough that I didn't notice it.

I looked Tess in the eye and asked her -- quite calmly, I must say, and with genuine curiosity -- whether the hairstylist Grandma took her to up north had done that on purpose. I got two lies in a row, then, when I promised not to get mad, she admitted to cutting it herself.

"And where did you put the hair you cut off?"

"In a bucket. In my room."

Henceforth the scissors have been relinquished and she must do all crafts in my presence. Her hair is still long in back, so she's got a kind of modified (gack) mullet. Which will look just GREAT when she is flower girl at my brother's wedding next month. SIGH.

I gave my MIL a chance to even it up, and she hacked off too much on the other side. She usually does a great job with Tess's bangs and I've even had her cut some off the back in the past; Tess must have wiggled this time. Grr.

Heirloom rocking chair

All right, people, it's got to be said. It was cute (and I loved everyone's reaction) when he was 4 months old and 19 pounds. I was even okay when he hit 22 pounds at 6 months. But if one more person comments on how much they love fat babies, I'm gonna start takin' names. Because I have constant back pain and he can understand more than you realize.

Oh my God, I've got to go munch those bread dough thighs. Later 'gators.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Balancing act

Balancing act
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.
Not much of a Mother's Day on Sunday. I got about 45 minutes to myself (enough to compose my last blog entry). Then I had the urge to be outside. Since our house-hunting disaster (long story), E had the urge to be Mr Fix-It, so I took off with the kids for a short walk and left him to door-varnishing duties.

The attractions of living in the village are (a) walking to downtown, (b) being near the train tracks without them actually interfering with traffic (a la Chelsea), and (c) walking to the river.

We indulged in the latter. It wasn't a hot day, but the shade by the river (behind the cider mill) was refreshing. On our walk, we went past a brush pile of lilac bush cuttings, so Tess & I helped ourselves (mmm...lilacs).

Tess spent the afternoon at her Baba's on Saturday, so her Dyeda was on her mind all day Sunday. My MIL has, naturally, pictures of my FIL all over her house, so Tess came up with some poignant and pointed observations on our walk.

"I hold my flowers up to heaven for Dyeda, but they don't disappear. Doesn't he want them?"

"I wish I were an orphan so I wouldn't have to worry about you and Daddy dying before me." (?!?)

Being that my mother had the kids when my FIL passed away, I asked her not to tell Tess as we wanted to leave that for us to share. But of course she had to start a discussion about religion and heaven with Tess -- can't blame her-- so she used the "my Father has many mansions" verse as a basis for her discussions.

So now Tess wants to know what kind of room her Dyeda has in heaven, and what she can have in *her* room when she gets there (eep), and whether or not our rooms will be near each other when we're all up there together.

Later rather than sooner, we hope.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

What's up with the winning?

Cropper Hopper Grand Prize
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.
I'm not really in a mood to write, but I figured I'd post this picture and see what happens.

This is what I won from Cropper Hopper (their $500 Grand Prize) at CKU during the Campus Crop Thursday night, after they called two other names and those ladies weren't present. After my extremely emotional day, I could not help but let out a rebel yell when they called my name.

The silver cart is one thing I really wanted. Also their paper holders; I already have two and was considering buying more.

I did not expect their photo cases to be of much use, but I've spent the last week emptying out old video/photo boxes and filling one case with 1990 photos, the other with my "ought" photos (so far).

Their 7"x10" storage box came in handy for the task of emptying out 3 ancient "magnetic" (GASP) albums from my high school years. I spent most of Thursday and Friday (when I could grasp a moment from Benjamin's crawling attempts and attendant grumpiness) and one box is now full of memorabilia from 1979 to 1984. I was fond of newspaper clippings back then. Amazingly, some of them made it out of the magnetic albums, most poignantly, articles on John Lennon's shooting.

Now I'm just looking for a moment here and there when I can sort out the mess of paper I have. I can easily do this craft budget "diet" just by stepping into my scrap room and re-organizing the crap that is in there.

Well, Ben is up from another 45-minute nap. Of COURSE when E had him yesterday (while I was at Mega Meet), Ben took one of his glorious 3 hour napfests, but today, Mother's Day, when I could REALLY use a break, alas. Back to work.

Oh, and Friday I went to the Zone's Mega Meet crop and won the new Simple Scrapbooks Album Shortcuts "book" (that looks like a magazine, but they feel perfectly at ease charging us $15 for...a post for another day). So another event "paid" for itself in my winning. Kinda spooky.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Lucky penny
Originally uploaded by CreativeExile.
I've been trying to think of an appropriate post after all the Sturm und drang of the past two weeks. E's obsession with house hunting? (Fact: you can get good land around here, but the house on it will suck, or you can buy ~ugh~ a site condo). Ben's teething? Tess's sudden wish for Ben to go back to the hospital from whence he came? (Knew that was coming, just didn't know when...or with what vehemence).

The pile of projects from CKU-Detroit? The new project I just bought for National Scrapbooking Day?

Oh yeah, scrapbooking. That hobby on which I can spend NO money this month. Except for the call I received from the Zone today, with an opening for their $20 crop next Friday, and Mega Meet that Saturday, I can be good. Oh, crap, and stamp club the second Monday of the month (minimum order of $25). Oh well. Good thing I have all those projects to finish from CKU.

Then I went to get change for a tip on my (free, BTW, I've had 9 punchies on my Bear Claw Coffee card for well over a month now, and decided my "crafter's diet" month was as good a time as any to use my freebie) iced mocha and found in the change I just received at the post office, this lovely 1905 penny.

Didn't know I was one of those freaky penny collectors now, did you? Yup, I have wheat pennies spanning the 1920s through 1959, when they were replaced by the Lincoln profile (all worth...probably a penny each). I have a strange penny from 1943 that is definitely NOT copper; they were obviously saving that for the war effort (so I have no idea what this strange grey metal is). I have an Indian-head nickel from 1934 and a buffalo-head one from 1935.

But this coin really got my blood pumping. At first I thought it was a Canadian coin (the ladylike-looking Indian-head reminded me of Queen Elizabeth's profile). Those dang Canadians got me once when I was about 10 years old and found one of their pennies half-buried in the sand -- all that was showing was "1867." Thought I'd die but then I pulled it out and it was a centennial penny ("-1967" was the buried part).

I showed it to the barista at the drive-through Bear Claw where I stopped after getting Tess to school (trying to get cranky Ben to worked...for the duration of the car ride, at least). I hope she wasn't thinking I was going to give it to her (hey, I was tipping her on a FREE coffee, wasn't that enough?)...

I love thinking of the things a coin like this could have bought when it was new. What really freaks me out is, this penny was in circulation before any of my grandparents (except one) were born (my maternal grandfather -- my biological one -- was born in F. Scott Fitzgerald).

Sure, a 1929 penny could have bought a kid a lot of candy (now you'd be lucky to get a couple of M&Ms for that amount). It could pay for postage on a postcard, that's for sure. But considering that you could open an account at the new Dime Savings Bank Building in 1910 for just a dime, I can't even begin to think what riches a 1905 penny would have brought its owner.

Nice to see it's worth more than a penny, maybe more than a dollar, if I get it properly cleaned.

Yeah, I'm a coin geek. At least it gave me a chance to change the subject.