Monday, June 29, 2009
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
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
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.
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.
Friday, June 26, 2009
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
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 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
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
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
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.
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
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.