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Showing posts from March, 2009

Under the Tuscan Sun Book Review

I guess I had plans for doing more book reviews than I really did this month, but that's the way life goes.

I thought I'd stick another one in here at the end, just to round things off.

This is a book I picked up out of curiosity. I'd seen the movie and was surprised to see that the book was marked as a memoir. So I spent the $1 the library was asking and immediately fell in love.

Just holding this book in my hands brings a desire to open it's pages.

Frances Mayes is an exceptional writer, the type who can turn something as mundane as remodeling a house into a 280 page experience one is not soon to forget.

She beckons the reader to come into her world of sunny outdoor markets and friendly summer dinner parties.

It reminds me a bit of my own journal, a hodge-podge of thoughts, experiences, ideas, interesting bits of information, magazine clippings, and more. This book contains everything but the clippings.

This is the kind of writing I want to do. I find it difficult to write …

Ooh, Now I'm Mad

So on Saturday I'm sitting at work reading the USA Today and I came across this little snippet piece. Which tells of the story of two Pennsylvania juvenile court judges found guilty of taking payoffs (to the amount of $2.6 million) to send the children who came before them to some juvenile detention centers over other ones.

It goes on to say the the PA Supreme Court is going to have to overturn hundreds of cases
(1200 ish to be more precise) in which the juveniles were not told of their right to have a lawyer present during trial.
The Supreme Court ordered the review after the law center filed a petition alleging that Ciavarella routinely violated the rights of juveniles by allowing them to appear before him without counsel. Ciavarella failed to inform defendants of their right to an attorney.
So anyone want to guess how much time these two got in jail?

87 months (or 7.25 years).

That's it.

There you go, thank you, our Judicial System at work.

These men ruined, possibly, the lives of …

What Gadget is at the Top of Your Wishlist?

Have you guys ever hopped over to Plinky? It's this handy place where you can get prompts for your blogs (when you get stuck or you're like me and just feel like having a lazy day).

So they send you a weekly email with enough prompts to last until the next email. Usually I find these prompts a bit silly but today they had one I liked (see title).

What gadget do I want?

Oh boy will I tell you.

I'm dying for a Roomba. I've heard lots of great things about them and very little to no bad things. My mom even bought one and her carpets have never been cleaner.

So what's a Roomba (for those of you who can't bear to click on a link) it's a robotic vacuum you can program to clean your floors at certain times of day. It's incredible!

*sigh* It's also quite expensive--okay not that expensive, but when you're poor like me it's amazing what becomes frivolous--nearly $600 for the newest version.

Another gadget of theirs is the Scooba, which is like a robotic mop…

Is It a Cow? Or an Alien?

My little one has these books that we got from freecycle. There was an entire box of board books and I was excited about that, but one or two of them are a bit.... weird.

They call them 'jigglies' and I suppose that someone thought they were creative since they got published. I, however, am of the mind that they are just creepy. Let's have a look see shall we:

The title page:
What the heck!? What kind of cow has eyes all over it? I mean even a fairly blotchy heifer doesn't come out with ring shaped black spots. See the rooster, he's screaming for help.

And what about this poor bird?

She's go it in her head she's sitting on a nest of eggs. Poor dear... those are never going to hatch. Don't worry though, cause the cats aren't gonna make it very long by the looks of those kittens. What are those, some form of cancerous mass?

At least the ducks are happy.

And whatever alien civilization thought they were pulling the wool over on us has got a thing or two to le…

Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

Life around here has been plugging along at an exciting, uniquely cannwinesque pace.

Case in point:

Nothing in my house goes normally, nothing. Potty training included. I've got this little one whose bound and determined to be a big boy, but is scared to death of having a bowel movement on the toilet. So what happens when a naked boy won't use the bathroom for #2's? Well, you can guess.

On Sunday night I was sitting around with a friend of ours waiting for the other expected members of our little game group to show up when my 6 year old popped his head out of the bedroom door and a discussion about what is really important at 8PM in the life of a munchkin ensued. Finally in exasperation the boy child exclaimed:

"MOM! The baby went stink!" (remember no diapers)

"Ugh, okay, okay I'm coming." I said, cringing at what I was about to find.

"And then he threw his poop at me."

"What! UUUUGH!"

By now my guest is starting to chuckle sligh…

Gah-uh go! Gah-uh go!

Yesterday was a very interesting, eventful day for me (as if that's never happened before). At around 1 PM my munchkin and I were going to go do something and I said to the little 2 year old.

"Okay, but Mommy has to go to the bathroom first."

Oh, the reaction! He drops everything and runs to the bathroom stripping down as he goes (not that uncommon). So I let him climb on up there expecting him to do his usual sit there for a minute and then climb down, but he didn't. Instead he actually forced himself to pee! It was so obvious that he was trying to go that I was just blown away.

So I decided then and there, if this kid can make himself go pee then we're going without diapers the rest of the day and seeing what happens.

That was yesterday and as of today we have had 2 accidents in 24 hours. He's even done the other stuff on the toilet as well (lol, the other stuff, how do you say that online?).

I've never had a kid potty train this early or be so freakin' …

The Long Hours of Sleep

Last night was one of those nights when I feel like I've been caught in some sort of time warp. You know what I mean, it's when you go to bed a little early and then spend the entire night wondering when morning will come.

Now it wasn't because I couldn't sleep, I was sleeping very well indeed!

Until my husband's study session ended and he came to tell me he was taking our friend home.

Until my son (who was in bed with me) woke up screaming "EWW, Gross! No, Gross! Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!" and ripped me out of my sleep.

Until my husband came to bed and stole the pillow out from under my head, citing that I'd taken his.

Until I had to go to the bathroom (thanks to this growing life form in my belly) once... and then twice... and then three times.

Or until I tried to roll over and the (what I've been informed are) ligaments that connect my uterus to my body began to cramp up, again (imagine charlie horses in your hip area).

Each time I would fall back into a wond…

It's All in the Delivery

Me: You're less likely to get the raspberries if I walk in and catch you licking the container, so stop crying about it! ... In fact go clean your room.

7 y/o box licker: But I'm starving.

Me: Go.

7 y/o: Aaah! Mom! You are being so sensitive.

Me: The word you're looking for is INsensitive ... now go!

------

Me: Hey, guess what?

6 y/o man: What?

Me: I love you.

6 y/o: I knoooow, you always say that Mom. I wish you would stop.

Me: Stop saying "I love you?" Never. 'Cause you know what?

6 y/o: Ugh. What?

Me: I love you.

6 y/o: MOOOOOM!

-------------

Overheard in kitchen by the dad: That's not how we treat a banana.

----------

7 y/o reading dictionary: Zucchini!? Why do they have that in here? Everyone knows what a zucchini is.

-----------

5 minutes later

7 y/o: Ask me if I'm an elephant.

6 y/o: Are you an elephant?

7 y/o: No, I'm a wierdo with a dictionary.

------------

7 y/o: Now you say ... Ask me if I'm an elephant.

6 y/o: Ask me if I'm an elephant.

7 y…

Book Review: The Princess Bride

Okay, seriously guys, if you are reading this blog entry because you didn't even know there was a book... I might actually cry.

The movie is excellent, worth raising your children on (as I have done), but if you want the full story you've got to go pick up the book. It's written by the same guy that did the screen play so it follows the story better than any book/movie combo I've ever come across, but with more depth.

You get Inigo's back-story, you get Fezzik's back-story (why was he in Greenland?). You get a much better picture of Buttercup and Wesley's relationship.

I laughed so hard at this book that I nearly peed my pants (so it's probably good I read this book for the first time before I had children).

There's only one downside, and that's the commentary. The literary tool that Goldman uses to unfold his tale is rather unusual in that he pretends to be abridging a classic work of an obscure author (S. Morgenstern). It's creative, I'll …

The Count of Monte... Where?

Have you ever seen the movie version of Monte Cristo? When Jacopo finds Edmond sleeping on the floor and asks him what the heck he's doing. Dantes replies that after 14 years on a stone floor it's a bit hard to sleep in a feather bed.

Well, my son has the same sleeping habits. He never sleeps in his bed!
He'll sleep in a doorway:
He'll sleep on the couch.
He'll sleep in our bed:

He'll sleep in a chair.
He's even been found in the hallway:
But he avoids his own like it's a soft feather bed after a lifetime on stone.

We've tried to break him of this over the years, it's no use. He's gotten to good. We wake up in the morning and find him with us...

"Did you know he was in here?"

"No, did you?"

If we do catch him and send him back to his room we're more than likely to find him curled into a frozen ball on the couch the next morning (since he doesn't haul anything beyond his blue blanket--see above--with him).

So Ralexwin spends a…

Can't Quite Reach.

I've got hairy legs and no motivation to do anything about it whatsoever. I should though because my belly is only getting bigger and my legs only further away.

In fact my belly has gotten big enough that the littlest munchkin discovered he could play peek-a-boo with me from below it.

So the fatness has started. The dropping a paper on the floor and staring longingly at it, contemplating it's value, has begun.

The sock wars, in which cannwin attempts to retain some modicum of sensuality while trying to pull on a pair of nylons that she can't quite reach, have been waged.

The plague of the beer belly protruding callously out from under my shirts. And the plumbers pants! My widening hips have nothing on my widening waistline.

But the worst of it all is the look my husband gives me as he pats my leg... my 1/2 an inch long hairs poking at him from every angle.

And here I am with nothing to do about it, but stand there in the shower with a rusty razor wondering if it's worth it.

L…

How To Dress In Winter 101

Step one:

Find a good pair of boots, or two. One pair for special occasions and church, the other for the day to day. When you do buy them make sure you get them a little large to support the big thick socks you're going to want to wear with them.

Step two:

Thermal underwear. In varying lengths and styles (if you can find it). I found some tights (you know like the ones everyone wears under skirts these days) at Wal-Mart that were very thick and I don't last more than a day without them on.

Step three:

Long skirts for church (to hide the thermals), or some spiffy cute thick cotton tights (if you find these in adult sizes tell me where you got them). Combine these with special occasion boots (and accompanying thick socks).

Jeans for day to day (added to everday boots... and thermals).

Step four:

Shirts are a toughy so I just go for sweaters and scarves. Layer a sweater over the shirt you've chosen to wear and add a nice long scarf (wrapped snuggly around your neck). This allows for…

Fall Forward, Spring Back? No... That's not right.

One of the side effects of living in Arizona for so long is that we've forgotten all about Daylight Savings Time. (If you didn't know AZ does not practice this absurd ritual.) So, as usual we completely missed that cue yesterday and were an hour late for church.

Except that when we got there, and sat quietly (or rather tried to sit quietly... not easy with three munchkins), they announced that they would be canceling Sunday school classes because of the one inch of snow that had fallen on the ground last night.

South Dakotan's are odd, they brag about their harsh winters (which I'll give 'em) but then they cancel everything at the first sign of snow. I, having grown up in the Rockies, am used to going to school when it's so cold outside your hair is freezing to your jacket. My sister and I got lost in a blizzard once trying to walk home from school.

Anyway that was sidetracking, the point is that because of the Springing forward bit we were at church for a whoppin…

March Theme: Book Review

So I didn't have a theme for February. I guess I was being lazy (or sick or something) but as I lay in bed thinking I decided I would do some book reviews of my favorites for you all.

So here I go!

Perhaps the most well known work by Dodie Smith is "The Hundred and One Dalmatian's," but I've never read that one. What I know (and love) this particular writer for is her book "I Capture the Castle."

Set in diary form, this is the story of a teen girl on the brink of everything. Except that it's been awhile since her dad paid the rent on the castle they tenant, and her eccentric family doesn't seem to care that he's been locking himself away for long hours without explanation. Things are only compounded when the heirs of their long lost landlord pop in for an unexpected visit.

Cassandra is the diaries owner and most avid patron. In its pages she unfolds the moments in adolescence when childhood is swept away by the concerns and cares of an adult. Th…

Can't Miss the Good Stuff

This is a very sweet video I took while lying in bed sick to death with my dear girl... it's a bit quiet so you'll have to listen hard (I have yet to figure out how to not cover the camcorder speaker--I can't seem to find it).

I'll explain on the other side.

So did you catch it? She's saying that she's sad she's sick because she doesn't want to miss the brain when it comes to school.

????

Evidently, according to what she says there is supposed to be a human brain making it's scientific rounds to her elementary school. Some of the kids are apparently totally grossed out by this, but not my daughter. No, she thinks it's about the coolest thing to happen since her grandma handed her a frozen Gogurt.

So that's what she worried about all day yesterday and all day the day before. When her fever peaked at 104.4* her only concern was missing the brain.

I told her she needed to ask her teacher when they were expecting it to come so that we could prepare fo…

Fever! In the Morning, Fever all through the Night.

Fevers are one of those startlingly familiar relationships in our lives that can only be described as love/hate. When one has a fever one knows to expect certain things.
For instance:

1. I know that when I'm burning up the only thing that truly feels good is to curl up in my bed and sleep. There are only a few things (newborns, excessive exercise) other than fever that bring such blissful joy in my own bed.

2. I know that a cold wet rag will bring me relief faster than a Tylenol.

3. I know how much I hate the feel of my hot breath against my pillow when I'm feverish. This comes in close second behind getting out from under my covers and being blasted by freezing cold air (that's really around 75*).

Furthermore, fevers contain within them a myriad of memories brought forward through our lives. I can remember taking a shower and shaking so violently afterwards that my husband had to bury me in three blankets and then wrap his arms around me just to help me breath. I remember…

Classic Cannwin Rant

I'm done. I am through, I'm moving to the South Pacific, where they don't have germs.--just bugs. Why? Why! Because South Dakota has become a private nightmare. Let's recap shall we:

October
- Baby gets pneumonia.

November
- Baby gets some other respiratory ailment.
- Albowin gets a staph infection.
- Cannwin contracts mo{u}rning sickness. (When did I contract baby?... I started feeling it around this time)

December
- Baby, Vicbowin, Albowin catch the stomach flu... And pass it back and forth for a month!
- Baby ends up in hospital from dehydration (caused by all the vomiting).

January
Blessed relief!

February
- Baby gets a nasty cold.
- Cannwin gets nasty cold.
- Dr. Begins to suspect Baby is asthmatic.
- Cannwin's cold turns into a sinus infection (with accompanying migraines).
- Albowin gets the flu.
- Vicbowin gets the flu.
- Baby gets the flu.

March
- Cannwin gets the flu on top of sinus infection.

In six months I have seen my pediatrician more than any OB/GYN…