Thursday, December 15, 2011

Positively Paultardian

The Kiss and Ride was swarming with cops this morning.

There were three patrol cars, flashing lights, officers with ticket books in hand, and two vehicles pulled over in the parking lot.

I was hoping for a clandestine ops bust, but they were just doing seat belt enforcement.

I'm not sure how I feel about that.
a) Liberal Smug - Hooray for keeping all those kiddos safe! Let's build safe habits that last a lifetime!
b) Conservative Crank - Boo for police state over-reach. It's a five minute ride to school, at 10 MPH max. Do we really need to be writing tickets?
c) Fiscal Realist - I guess the county needs new revenue, and this is easier than speed cameras or higher property taxes.
d) Black Helicopter Nutjob - Why are these people watching me? Who else is watching me? I'm not paranoid, you're paranoid. Someone give me a metal colander and some tin foil.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I cannot get a decent photo of Lumpyhead. He is either moving or looking away. If he is standing still and facing the camera, his mouth is wide open or he has the crazy eyes.

For example:
The First Day of School

Pumpkin Picking (You can still call it "picking" when it's actually "selecting," right?)

And yes, I follow the advice of "take lots of pictures to ensure you get a good one." These are the good ones. I'm not subjecting you to the hundreds of even worse ones.

Oh Christ.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

So Your Brother Is Getting A New Lego Every Damn Night

Thanks for all your help on that last post. Not. Everyone but Delora is shunned.

. . .

Okay, shortest shunning ever. I realize I post sporadically and stupidly, so you're forgiven. Most of you.

Even though you don't deserve it, I present:

Advent Calendar Ideas for a Four-Year-Old Girl Whose Mother Doesn't Want to Spend a Zillion Dollars and Whose Brother is Getting New Legos Every Damn Night

1. Paper dolls - I printed out some of those old school Betsy McCall dolls on cardstock (before I saw the awesome magnetized version on Cool Mom Picks). Unfortunately, I had given Lula a couple of these already, and if I tried to bust them out again for IS NOT A LEGO advent, she would have called bullshit on that faster than if I gave her nothing.

2. Ballet themed items - I found tickets to a version of The Nutcracker that's targeted to her age group, and she while she liked it a lot, it only took care of one night. Less than one night, actually, because when the time came for her brothers to get advent calendars, "But we went to the ballet!" was not an acceptable answer to "Where's MINE?"


I thought I could knit some ballet-like slippers for her, but I'm not a great knitter. Three hours later, ROW 7 OF 7,891 laughed heartily at my expense.


3. The Winner: Felt dolls for a flannelboard

They are cheap, novel, and surprisingly easy. Most nights, as Bump is getting dinner on the table, I realize I haven't prepared this evening's outfit and go running off to put scissors to felt.

We don't have a proper flannelboard, but the doll sticks to the back of the couch.

On the first night I gave Lula the doll with eyes, lips, and hair; along with a few clothes. (Sorry about the blurry, I suck at this.)
You probably could draw the face on with markers, or be fancy and embroider some features on the thing, but I was striving for full reversibility and - more importantly - speed. I didn't have brown or black felt in the house (honestly, I was lucky to have any felt on hand), so I made the hair with yarn.

I also made a second hairstyle option.
It's funnier, but is too heavy to stick to the doll when she's vertical.

Lula named her Charlotte - or Scarlett, it depends on when you ask - and is passably excited about getting a new outfit every night.
With the scraps you can make bows and polka dots to decorate the clothes. You could glue the embellishments on, but they also just stick to the felt.
To be honest, making the outfits is kind of fun.
This was the outfit Lula received on the night we went to The Nutcracker.
The tutu was too short, so the next night Charlotte/Scarlett got underpants. (The underpants also make great -- and highly hilarious if you're a four-year-old -- hats.)
I have a few more outfits ready to go, but when Nana arrives tomorrow I'm turning this all over to her. I'm predicting that's when the real awesomeness will start.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


As if we need a build-up to Christmas on top of "on the 25th of this month, you'll get a shitload of toys," we're starting advent calendars tonight.

We have beautiful advent calendars in the house, handmade by Bump's mom. One uses vintage Christmas cards. Beneath each number is a perfect image of the holidays, and the tormentors dismiss this gorgeous item of masterful paper-crafting with a shrug. They sulk through the nightly opening as if they're being punished.

Last year Grammy made 25 delicate, glorious boxes to be filled with candy on the appropriate day. The kids prefer the 99-cent chocolate advent calendars from Trader Joe's. It baffles me, as Grammy's pretty little boxes have more candy, but I suppose the volume argument is undercut by having to share the advent bounty with siblings.

Yesterday, Bump went to the Lego store and secured a Lego Star Wars advent calendar. Lumpyhead is going to lose his mind when he sees it. I was happy he found one, but immediately realized that Lula is going to pitch a fit when she realizes how comparatively screwed she is getting.

I know escalation is not the answer, but I would really like to avoid spending a) the month of December listening to her complain about how unfair this all is, and b) a zillion dollars on presents before Christmas.

But com'on, Lumpyhead is about to get new Legos every night. Lula is getting . . . well, nothing.


Oh, and I need twenty-five of them.

I need one of them in about four hours. GO.

(While you're at it, I'll need something for Nathan Jr., too. WOE)