Archive for September, 2007

If you are a mom … or if you have a mom …. or if you know a mom … you must watch this! Hopefully it won’t disappear before you have a chance to view it. I laughed my butt off watching it. (Thanks to Mary P for the original link.)

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Rotten Apples

Big Brother and I had the idea that we’d like to go to an apple orchard with my parents visited today.  Michigan is great for orchards this time of year. They agreed, so I set about finding an orchard to go to. (We went to one last year but you had to PAY to get in – I was NOT paying $10+ for the privilege of picking/buying apples. [Yes you also had to purchase what you picked.])

So I scoured the internet to find a nearby orchard. I found a place about 30 minutes away called (City Name) Cider Mill. It looked pretty nice – from the web site, I had the impression that we could watch them making cider, browse their store, etc.

But when we got there? Yes, it was a really old cider mill. At least I assume there was a cider mill there somewhere. There definitely wasn’t an orchard. When we pulled up, BB said “This place looks like junk!”

Sadly, he was right. It was a little tiny store, and it was so crowded that you were basically in line as soon as you went in the door, and you just “browsed” (if you can call it that) as the line moved. As soon as we walked in, Tim said “Little Sister and I will be outside.” Mucho disappointing. BUT the doughnuts and cider were tasty.

So, next weekend we’re going to go to my parents’ house and go to the orchard near them. They said it will be just we want. (We just want to be able to buy some cider/doughnuts and maybe other apple related items, browse a little bit, maybe look at and/or buy some pumpkins, and find a picnic table where we can munch on our treats.)

Anybody else like to go to the orchard in the fall? Or do you have different fall traditions?

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The company I work for has a tent sale in our city every fall, with great bargains to be had. Usually it’s on the other side of town and not at all convenient for me, but this year it’s at the mall not too far from Big Brother’s school. So BB, Little Sister and I went there after we picked BB up from school. We didn’t find any great treasure, but we got some really great deals:

To the Nines – Janet Evanovich (hardcover – $.99 before my 33% discount!)
Ten Big Ones – Janet Evanovich (hardcover, also $.99)
Three BIG coloring books – probably 250+ pages each, plus some stickers
A little maze book for BB
Sesame Street board book
Box of Transformers
Bonsai growing kit (but realized later that oops, it says “seeds not included”?! No wonder it was on the bargain table)
Thomas the Tank Engine train whistle
ZOOM! activity book/kit
Encyclopedia Brown book
Chicken chucker novelty toy (I think that’s what it’s called – I let BB get it in a weak moment)
Set of three fire engine board books
Harry Potter puzzle
Probably one or two more things that I forgot

Edited to add: Oops, also a Scooby Doo LeapPad book/cartridge, regular price around $14! (See, I knew I’d forgotten something!)

All for the grand total of … $16! I was pretty pleased.

Anybody else get any great deals lately?

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OK, after some of the comments on my post from yesterday, I think I need to clarify the number of car seats we have, and why we have them. I do NOT buy car seats just to have them! (Despite what Tim may think.) I have each seat for a legitimate reason. And only the one that arrived yesterday can really be considered superfluous, in my opinion.

Here we go …

1. Big Brother’s harnessed Britax Regent in our main car.

2. Little Sister’s Britax Decathlon in our main car.

3. Big Brother’s high-back Britax Parkway booster seat in my car.

4. Little Sister’s Fisher Price Safe Voyage Deluxe in my car. 

5. Backless Turbo booster that I bought (for $17) for BB to use on day care “camp” field trips.

6. High-back Fisher Price booster that I bought so I can transport three first-graders to the zoo next Friday.

7. Little Sister’s outgrown infant seat (Evenflo Portabout – actually hated this seat!). This is outgrown but not expired. I will probably donate it to one of my CPST instructors for classroom use.

8. Big Brother’s outgrown forward-facing only harnessed booster, a Safety First Voyager. This is outgrown, but Little Sister doesn’t need it. Will be loaning it to my nephew soon so that brother Junior can pick him up once or twice a week once btwinny moves.

9. Seat I bought for LS last summer but don’t like – a Cosco Alpha Omega – and I couldn’t get a good install in my car (probably could now, though!). This is on loan to a co-worker whose son outgrew his infant seat.

So you see, I’ve actually only got one seat (the third booster) that was not really needed at the time of purchase.

And, with regard to Tim’s comments about the kids sitting in car seats while they watch TV, here’s a picture of Big Brother watching TV last month. He sat that way for at least an hour. (The seat was in the house so that we could strap LS in while we gave her a breathing treatment, which she HATES.)


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Do you know anyone else who gets really, really excited when UPS brings a package … because she knows it’s the new car seat she ordered?! Yes, I bought another car seat. Not a pricey one this time – just an extra booster so that when I drive/chaperone on Big Brother’s zoo trip next week, I can fit three kids in the back.

I will note, however, that both kids were as excited to get the seat as I was. They fought over who got to sit in it! Crazy kids.

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I learned something today: I would NOT want to be a first grade teacher.

I went to Big Brother’s class for lunch duty today. (They eat lunch in their classrooms, and parent volunteers sometimes break the teachers.) BB was glad to see me, and it was fun for me to learn more about his class, what his day’s like, etc.

But I wouldn’t want to do it for real. A room full of six-year-olds is a scary thing!

“Bart, sit back down in your chair please.”

“Elmo, please go back to your desk.”

“Do you need help with that, honey?”

“Bart, please sit down and finish your lunch.” 

“No, you have to wait until the other boy comes back from the bathroom first.”

“Phillip, that’s not a very nice thing to say.”

“Sit down please, Elmo.”

“Just a minute, sweetie.”

“Phillip, please stopp saying that to people. It’s not nice.”

“Bart, back to your desk please!”

Etc. Etc. Etc.!

Yikes! I suppose it’s different during learning time, and surely Mrs. D has them better trained than I do, but still.

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The new (second) season of Heroes starts tonight.

If you don’t have anything else to watch tonight (or even if you do), you should give it a try. I never thought I’d like it – I just watched it because Tim had it on. It’s not “my” kind of show. But it quickly became one of my favorites, and now I wouldn’t miss an episode.

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Bleach is My Friend

Last night, as I was doing the dishes, I realized that the lids to Little Sister’s sippy cups are getting kind of gross. It’s hard to clean in the spout and the grooves. So I put a little bleach in a bowl of how water and put the dirty lids in it. After about 10 minutes, they lids were obviously cleaner. So I got ALL the sippy cup lids out of the cupboard and soaked them in the bleach water. All are good as new now. (Well, except for the teeth marks. Can’t kids drink without chewing on the cups?)

And then I realized that bleach is my friend. Here are some of the things I use it for:

Dishes (as explained above – this is rare though)

Uniforms! Big Brother has to wear a white uniform shirt. He also eats at school three times (morning snack, lunch, child care snack) and that usually includes either chocolate milk or a juice box. And he plays on the playground. And he uses markers and paint. Etc etc. So when I just can’t get the shirts clean, I just toss them in the laundry with a little extra bleach.

In the bathroom. Toilet looking a little gross? Toss some bleach in, swirl it around with the toilet brush, swirl it around again before the next person uses the toilet, and it looks great. I also keep a spray bottle with bleach water in it for spraying in our mildew-prone shower stall.

Wading pool. I like to toss a little bleach in the water when it starts looking a little dirty.

Anybody else love bleach? Or do you love some other household cleaner instead?

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OK, I’m not talking about writing in a blog multiple times a day, or even daily. But come ON, if you don’t write in your blog at least once a week, what’s going to keep people reading it? There are several blogs I read that are only updated every couple of weeks – or even less. And while I do enjoy the posts – when they are finally updated – these blogs honestly start to fall from my radar after a week or so without a post.

And I should also add that these aren’t just personal blogs that people just happen to read, like mine – these are blogs that are putting themselves out there as potential money-makers for their owners, etc – so they are supposedly really TRYING to get readers.

What do you think? How often does a blog need to be updated in order to keep YOUR interest?

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Do you read banned books? I do! 

Banned Books Week is September 6 – October 6.

Here are just a small portion of the banned books that I’ve read over the years:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1984 by George Orwell
All of the Harry Potter books
The Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

And some frequently banned/challendged authors that I’ve read…
Judy Blume
Chris Crutcher
Lois Lowry
Dav Pilkey
Maurice Sendak
Katherine Paterson
Walter Dean Myers
S.E. Hinton
Roald Dahl
Bette Greene
Piers Anthony

So, I bet you DO read banned books! What banned books have you read?

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