Monday, June 29, 2009

I Am Really Glad It's a 4 Day Work Week.

You know those days when you wake up and just know it's not going to be terrible, but it's going to be sort of a drag? I felt that way when I woke up, and the 6th sense was right. It was just sort of an off day. Noel has been sort of in a "mood" lately. I feel like he's stir crazy, but it's just too hot to do much. I mean, going on a car ride is unpleasant. It takes the car about 5 years to cool down.

Tomorrow, we're going to interview the creator of Gustafer Yellowgold, Morgan Taylor. We'll post about it here, and at MumsTheWurd. We're really excited to find out more about the brains behind the ray of sun, Gustafer. I'm going to get a good night of shut-eye so I'm all fresh for our big interview.

If you want to read something sad, but at the same time hilarious? Go here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Here Comes the Sun


It's hot here. Like, it's been 100 for a week or something like that. It's insane, and dry, and hot. So hot.

If we must be outside for any length of time, we must be submersed in water. I got the boys (and myself) this 6" pool at the grocery store, for about $12. It will save my sanity, and is totally worth every cent. My "setting up the pool" skills leave something to be desired (one portion of the pool is sort of in a yard pit-oops), but hey, it serves it's purpose. When we hang out in the pool for a couple of hours, the little children are tuckered out when bedtime rolls around. Multi-purpose...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Today Was Good, Today Was Fun. Tomorrow Is Another One. -Dr. Seuss

video

I really hope this video works.

We went to an instore at the best local record store (yes, there is still one). We saw Gustafer Yellowgold's creators, Morgan & Rachel, perform songs from Gustafer Yellowgold's three albums. You guys...this is good music. I love this stuff. Forget all you know about children's music. It does not apply to Gustafer Yellowgold. CHECK THEM OUT NOW!!!!!

Ok, now let me tell you a little about our day. We have had a tough couple of days, with good reason. So, I was a lot nervous about how this day would go. Well, it really couldn't have gone better. Dallas is about a 45 minute drive, which, some of you know is not an easy haul with a 3 & 1 year old, but we took our chances and went. We had the best afternoon. We got to go see the show, which only lasted about an hour (perfect time for our age group) & go out to dinner. We were in Dallas, pretty much sitting or being in a chair for approximately 5 hours, and our children were complete and total angels. It was unbelievable!!!!!!!!!! Our great friends and partners in Space Monkey surprised us by meeting us at Good Records. The whole afternoon was just really a lot better than I thought it would be, and I love it when that happens. Today was great, and I think tomorrow will be even better. Yay, us.


Noel & Lennon at Good Records watching Gustafer Yellowgold.


You saw it here first. Lennon sat for more than 3 seconds!

The benefits of having a crappy old cell phone: kids can play with them at long dinners!
We got to sit under a tin palm tree at Chuy's.
They are holding hands; they are laughing. This is a perfect day.

One more thing about Gustafer Yellowgold reaaaaaal quickly: they are hosting a camp this week in Irving, TX, which sounds abosolutely amazing. At the end of the week, the campers & Gustafer will present a show, which we are attending!!! I'm so psyched to see what this is like. I'll definitely get video and pictures, because this will be one of a kind. Oh, did I mention, we're going to interview them on Tuesday, at 5:15?? Isn't that COOL!?!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The 100 Greatest List: Also Known as One of Those Things You Do Just To Say You've Done It.

Here’s the official list of 100 greatest novels written in the English language. The ones highlighted are ones that I have read, and I’m embarrassed that I’ve only read 15 of them. Of those 15, I read all but 1 of them at least 14 years ago. *Hanging my head in nerd shame*

Here’s my dilemma. This is the official list, but there’s one that is more of a reader’s choice, and I think would include books that I’d enjoy more, like Infinite Jest. This one includes a lot of people that honestly, I find mind-numbingly boring. That being said, I was 17 or younger when I HAD to read Dreiser, Faulkner, and by far my LEAST favorites, Thomas Hardy & Joseph Conrad. So, I don’t really know if I would enjoy these authors more now, or if I would still find them tedious and dull. I guess I won’t know until I try, right? If I extend the time I want to dedicate to this project, I suppose it could include both lists…Wow. I’m feeling kind of overwhelmed right now. I think I need to lie down.

1. *ULYSSES* by James Joyce

2. *THE GREAT GATSBY* by F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. *A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN* by James Joyce

4. *LOLITA* by Vladimir Nabokov

5. *BRAVE NEW WORLD* by Aldous Huxley

6. *THE SOUND AND THE FURY* by William Faulkner

7. *CATCH-22*

8. *DARKNESS AT NOON* by Arthur Koestler

9. *SONS AND LOVERS* by D.H. Lawrence

10. *THE GRAPES OF WRATH* by John Steinbeck

11. *UNDER THE VOLCANO* by Malcolm Lowry

12. *THE WAY OF ALL FLESH* by Samuel Butler

13. *1984* by George Orwell

14. *I, CLAUDIUS* by Robert Graves

15. *TO THE LIGHTHOUSE* by Virginia Woolf

16. *AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY* by Theodore Dreiser

17. *THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER* by Carson McCullers

18. *SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE* by Kurt Vonnegut

19. *INVISIBLE MAN* by Ralph Ellison

20. *NATIVE SON* by Richard Wright

21. *HENDERSON THE RAIN KING* by Saul Bellow

22. *APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA* by John O'Hara

23. *U.S.A. (trilogy)* by John Dos Passos

24. *WINESBURG, OHIO* by Sherwood Anderson

25. *A PASSAGE TO INDIA* by E.M. Forster

26. *THE WINGS OF THE DOVE* by Henry James

27. *THE AMBASSADORS* by Henry James

28. *TENDER IS THE NIGHT* by F. Scott Fitzgerald

29. *THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY* by James T. Farrell

30. *THE GOOD SOLDIER* by Ford Madox Ford

31. *ANIMAL FARM* by George Orwell

32. *THE GOLDEN BOWL* by Henry James

33. *SISTER CARRIE* by Theodore Dreiser

34. *A HANDFUL OF DUST* by Evelyn Waugh

35. *AS I LAY DYING* by William Faulkner

36. *ALL THE KING'S MEN* by Robert Penn Warren

37. *THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY* by Thornton Wilder

38. *HOWARDS END* by E.M. Forster

39. *GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN* by James Baldwin

40. *THE HEART OF THE MATTER* by Graham Greene

41. *LORD OF THE FLIES* by William Golding

42. *DELIVERANCE* by James Dickey

43. *A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series)* by Anthony Powell

44. *POINT COUNTER POINT* by Aldous Huxley

45. *THE SUN ALSO RISES* by Ernest Hemingway

46. *THE SECRET AGENT* by Joseph Conrad

47. *NOSTROMO* by Joseph Conrad

48. *THE RAINBOW* by D.H. Lawrence

49. *WOMEN IN LOVE* by D.H. Lawrence

50. *TROPIC OF CANCER* by Henry Miller

51. *THE NAKED AND THE DEAD* by Norman Mailer

52. *PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT* by Philip Roth

53. *PALE FIRE* by Vladimir Nabokov

54. *LIGHT IN AUGUST* by William Faulkner

55. *ON THE ROAD* by Jack Kerouac

56. *THE MALTESE FALCON* by Dashiell Hammett

57. *PARADE'S END* by Ford Madox Ford

58. *THE AGE OF INNOCENCE* by Edith Wharton

59. *ZULEIKA DOBSON* by Max Beerbohm

60. *THE MOVIEGOER* by Walker Percy

61. *DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP* by Willa Cather

62. *FROM HERE TO ETERNITY* by James Jones

63. *THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES* by John Cheever

64. *THE CATCHER IN THE RYE* by J.D. Salinger

65. *A CLOCKWORK ORANGE* by Anthony Burgess

66. *OF HUMAN BONDAGE* by W. Somerset Maugham

67. *HEART OF DARKNESS* by Joseph Conrad

68. *MAIN STREET* by Sinclair Lewis

69. *THE HOUSE OF MIRTH* by Edith Wharton

70. *THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET* by Lawrence Durell

71. *A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA* by Richard Hughes

72. *A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS* by V.S. Naipaul

73. *THE DAY OF THE LOCUST* by Nathanael West

74. *A FAREWELL TO ARMS* by Ernest Hemingway

75. *SCOOP* by Evelyn Waugh

76. *THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE* by Muriel Spark

77. *FINNEGANS WAKE* by James Joyce

78. *KIM* by Rudyard Kipling

79. *A ROOM WITH A VIEW* by E.M. Forster

80. *BRIDESHEAD REVISITED* by Evelyn Waugh

81. *THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH* by Saul Bellow

82. *ANGLE OF REPOSE* by Wallace Stegner

83. *A BEND IN THE RIVER* by V.S. Naipaul

84. *THE DEATH OF THE HEART* by Elizabeth Bowen

85. *LORD JIM* by Joseph Conrad

86. *RAGTIME* by E.L. Doctorow

87. *THE OLD WIVES' TALE* by Arnold Bennett

88. *THE CALL OF THE WILD* by Jack London

89. *LOVING* by Henry Green

90. *MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN* by Salman Rushdie

91. *TOBACCO ROAD* by Erskine Caldwell

92. *IRONWEED* by William Kennedy

93. *THE MAGUS* by John Fowles

94. *WIDE SARGASSO SEA* by Jean Rhys

95. *UNDER THE NET* by Iris Murdoch

96. *SOPHIE'S CHOICE* by William Styron

97. *THE SHELTERING SKY* by Paul Bowles

98. *THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE* by James M. Cain

99. *THE GINGER MAN* by J.P. Donleavy

100. *THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS* by Booth Tarkington

Just an aside: Thomas Hardy is not even on this list. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, AP English Lit teacher, Peg Borden!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Don't Really Know What to Say Now.


I had a post in mind earlier today, about Farrah Fawcett. Farrah wasn't a huge influence on my life, truthfully, until fairly recently. Elliott, the 70s television aficionado that he is, really got me in to Charlie's Angels back earlier this century. We have watched lots of Jill Munroe episodes, and here are a few things that 70s Farrah has...great hair, perfect (perfect) teeth, and she could wear a bikini at 29, and that makes me jealous. AND...Charlie's Angels is an awesome show. If you haven't seen it, I am sure TV Land will be running a marathon soon. Oh, and The Burning Bed. She really was great in that movie...

It's really the Farrah that I saw in the show on a few weeks ago, about her living with anal cancer that truly made me respect this woman. I have known personally only one person that has lived a slow, painful death with prostate cancer. He held on as long as he could because he loved his family. Watching him die, although I didn't see it on a daily basis, was almost unbearable. Farrah made it her personal mission, after being diagnosed with this horrible disease, to educate anyone and everyone, first and foremost, herself, about this type of cancer. She want ed it video taped, and as painful and horrible as it was to watch, I can't imagine what she was going through. She didn't want it hidden away. She wanted people to know what this is like, and I admire her beyond imagination. She is a true fighter. She wanted so much to survive, and she tried her hardest.

Farrah should, of course, be seen as a great icon, but now, we should see her as a true warrior. She was a FIGHTER, and I hope she is remembered most for that.

And Michael Jackson...I suppose I will tackle this mind f*** tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reading, Writing, 'Rithmitic

I am beginning to realize that my 3 year old can read. Now, he’s not sitting down with a copy of War & Peace, mind you, but he can read simple words and spell them. This is very exciting for me. It’s such a wonder to watch a child learn and grow. I never imagined that he would read at this age, but I’m thrilled that it’s happening. I love sitting down with him and see him recognize words, read them, and trace the letters with his little toddler fingers, as if tracing them will help him recall the letter.

Over at MumsTheWurd, we’re participating in a summer ambassadorship with LeapFrog, which is quite generously creating summer reading packets for libraries and at home day cares. I’ll be telling you more about the LeapFrog program there, but the short version is that LeapFrog is giving these places sets of LeapFrog Tag & Tag Jr’s, and books. I can’t even begin to explain how great the Tag system is. Noel goes back and forth between using both the Tag & Jr, and Lennon is quite dexterous with the Jr. These systems are fun, entertaining, and above all, encourage reading, spelling, recall, math, and more. I can’t wait to see the results of this ambassadorship, and I’m very glad to be a part of it.

I would love to sit down some time this summer and map out a plan for home schooling. Both of my kids, thanks to my husband’s diligence, are already being home schooled, but I think it would be good to have some loose structure, and to keep track of their progress as the days and months go on. We’re most interested in a secular curriculum. What resources are available on the web? Which are the best? I’d love suggestions.

I’ve taken on a goal for myself too, other than the ones that I mapped out yesterday. I’m attempting to read the official list of the 100 best books in American literature. Two that I have read so far, Roots & Sophie’s Choice, have helped me to see how important education, and particularly literacy, is. I want to instill this passion for reading in my family. Not only “just because” it’s important, but education is a crucial step in bettering yourself and overcoming obstacles throughout your life. Would you agree?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Something Old, Something New

I’m less than 1 month from being 33. While that’s not really that old, it does bring me that much closer to “middle age”. With the advent of this birthday, I feel like making some positive changes, starting now. This is the personality I’ve been dealt: Put everything off until the last possible minute & do the least amount of work to accomplish a task. Humph. There are times when I’ve actually enjoyed these characteristics, but lately they’ve been getting on my nerves. So, what do I do? I’ll try to change my behavior.

Let’s start with the basics. I’m a lazy loafer by nature. I’ve come a long way, but I am far from being “perky” or a “go getter”. Here’s what I want to do every day that I don’t currently do:

  • Pick up after myself and my children (with their help). Don’t leave it for someone else (ahem, don’t leave it for my husband).
  • Put on make-up and brush my hair (that’s right, friends, I don’t brush my hair every day).
  • Exercise using the Wii Fit 30 minutes a day. Every day is the only way I can do it, because otherwise, I will excuse myself if I’m doing it “every other day”. This will quickly turn in to “every two days”, “every three days”, and then become never. So, every day, it is.

These are all quite doable. These are easy. I can do this, right? Should I blog my progress? Will it hold me accountable? Oh, I guess I should add another bullet:

  • Maintain this blog every day

Heh.

By the time I’m 34, here’s what I hope to accomplish, along with keeping up with the above daily schedule:

  • A career that I love, and enjoy doing, and am able to do from home. I want to work with people that respect me, are smart, and are aligned with me. I see this coming down the pike, and it’s so exciting!!!
  • Saving money and paying down debt. Money stresses me out, and I don’t like to be stressed. Enough said.
  • Having our home fixed up and everything in perfect working condition. There are only small improvements that need to be made right now-horray!
  • Possibly living in a different home.

I know this probably seems simple, and most of you probably already do all these things. Hopefully I will join you.

Sleep is for the Weak

Last night was a long. Let me begin by saying that both Noel & Lennon are decent sleepers. They may get up earlier than I'd like, but they both sleep through the night with little, if any interruption...but last night, like some nights are, was exceptional.

During the normal 7-7:30 PM bedtime ritual, Lennon was distraught. He didn't want to go to bed. Knowing he was tired, as he kept falling asleep in my arms, I finally had to put him down and let him cry until he fell asleep. Maybe he was overtired. Usually he'll go to bed awake without any problem. Then, at 1:15 AM, he awoke screaming. I got him milk and took him into the den, where he drank the milk, and then cried, and cried, and cried...he would only stop if I was holding him STANDING UP. If I sat down, even if he was asleep, SCREAMING, CRYING, AND FLAILING would occur. About 2:30 AM, he was finally asleep, in his own bed, and I went back to bed...until 4:30 AM, when Noel woke up screaming.

If Noel wakes up screaming, there's usually a problem. The kid can sleep, and he'll do it as much as possible. If you go into his room at night and accidentally awake him, he'll say "It's nighttime!!! I'm sleeping!" So, something was wrong. He had thrown up, and was dry heaving and belching when I got to him. After getting him de-robed and getting us new blankets (he managed to miss sheets and pillows!!), I got him settled back down, and we both slept. He threw up again this morning, and is currently laying on the floor, wrapped in a blanket, watching Curious George, in case you were wondering.

Lennon got up at 5:30 AM (he usually wakes up about 6:30 AM), and Elliott graciously got up with him and kept him entertained until Noel & I got up at 7:30 AM. I'm going in to work late, because, well...I can't imagine sitting at my desk without falling into a deep coma.

Sleep is for the weak.

Monday, June 22, 2009

This Is Ridiculous

I've commanded myself to start blogging again. Every DAY. YES. EVERY FREAKING DAY.

Guess when I started blogging? At the end of 2004. Yeah, unfortunately, for one reason or another, that blog is no longer being maintained, but it sure was a lot of fun...Since then, I have written here and there on one variation of my original blog, but it just never was right. I started My Two Sons with the best of intentions, but then, well, I had 2 kids to take care of, and I was tired. I'm still tired, but I want to write again, because I like it, and I need to practice at it, and I want to be even better at it. I don't care really what I start writing about...I'm just going to do it.

I got inspired because I realized that this blog has been linked to twice recently, and uh, my last post was in February (I named the last picture "The Princess & Her Peas"). I guess like any diary I've ever started...well, you know how it goes, if you're anything like me...That being said, I want to chronicle life with these guys, and I want to have a place to go back and look, and laugh, and relive the moments that I think are important enough to capture here.

If you care to see what I've been up to more recently, you can check out my other site, where I talk about things I like for kids, and where I sometimes talk about my kids, MumsTheWurd! OH! And do me a favor, will ya? If you can't see anything except the header there, email me, and take your ad blocker off, and you should be able to see it...

Annnnnnnddddd...In a few weeks, my husband and our business partners will be opening up a children's art store, Space Monkey: Quality Art for Children's Spaces. We'll be offering the coolest 12" x 12" canvases you'll ever lay eyes on & your kids will think you're the coolest parents EVER for getting them such groovy artwork.

I'm back...again.