Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hallelujah... all praise the electric snake!

Rosie and Ed

This is Ed, my plumbing knight in shining armor and my little damsel- having a fabulous time and not in any distress whatsoever- Rosie. 
Ed came to our plumbing rescue because SOMEONE, probably someone short and cute, flushed some legos down the can.
And then SOMEONE, again probably short and cute, pooped on top of the lego-clogged toilet.
Karl and I have addressed many many similar scenarios before and in fact are both as talented at plunging as you can be before going pro.Years of experience have made us probably two of the best amateur plungers in Southern Ohio.We even have developed quite an arsenal of plunging tools AND we know when and how to use them properly... right plunger for the clog and all that.
But even with these mad skills and tools we were unable to free the legos...
Enter, Ed to the rescue.
My hero looked at our clog and told me that the crank snake that we tried from our own collection was useless and he needed to go electric.Ed said that if the electric snake didn't break through the clog, then he would have to take the whole toilet out to access the pipes.
"I'm not even going to tell you what that will cost you yet, lets just hope the electric snake works it's magic." said Ed. 
The snake worked! It was a magical and beautiful breakthrough... I cheered, Ed cheered and Rosie jumped up and down and clapped her little hands in the excitement of it all.
Such a fun and interesting day for our cute little potty clogger... as much as I enjoy Ed's company, I hope that he doesn't need to return for awhile.

Here is the "magical" electric snake... a necessary tool, so we learned, in raising our Rosie.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Henry woke up tired one morning. He said that he had a dream where he had to fight ninjas who were wearing jet packs. 
Not sure if his kindergarten fighting skills were able to conquer to jet back ninjas but I do know that it took a lot out of our little guy. 
He said that he was just going to sit down a minute and "chillax."
Here is Henry mastering the art of the chillax after a tough night of fighting off his imaginary bad guys.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cupid Duo

 February 14, 2011 
7:45 am

Valentine's day for little kids is awesome. Lots of fun treats and everyone is kind to each other in a truly democratic fashion. EVERYONE gets a fun note in the decorated shoebox of love. 

Last year, Jamie gave each little girl in his class and each teacher a Valentine rose. He was a huge hit with all of the girls and his teachers who he correctly identified as "grown up girls," so he thought he would use that same tactic this year.
Lily also wanted to give roses as valentines, but felt that the guys in her class would be embarrassed to get roses from her, so she chose to give them to the only the other girls in her class. Smart move on Lily's part.
Henry opted out of the whole flower gifting but was especially excited that so many Valentine's cards feature hamsters... his all time favorite little creature.

Have a terrific Valentine's Day, everyone!

Please also note Jamie's new glasses inspired by one of his heroes... Harry Potter, boy wizard.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Creeping on OtR

 As if Mr. Cowpie wasn't musical entertainment enough, last night I was able to see my favorite band, Over the Rhine at Joseph-Beth Books. They were completely terrific, of course, and packed the bookstore house. It was so crowded that I was thrilled to find a spot behind a shelf of books with a gap. I had a perfect close-up view, but my Mary was completely embarrassed for me ..."it looks like you are totally creeping on your favorite band." She thought that Karin and Linford would be alarmed by me peeking through the books. Didn't bother me in the least... here is a shot of Karin from my awesome secret creeper spot.


Only in my dreams, can I belt out a musical love story like Karin, especially as she sings their Infamous Love Song, a song recounting the relationship between her and Linford. It seems to reference the meaty part of their marriage... the good stuff and the tough stuff that happens over the years, instead of only the soft beginnings.  It's so moving and brings me close to tears whenever she sings it. Perhaps, in an alternate reality, I would have the chops to sing like that to my beloved dude...sigh.

Oh, and Linford on piano... and guitar too, so talented and just ridiculously cool. 

Karl's favorite song from the album is titled All My Favorite People (are broken), and I absolutely refuse to read too much into his choice. It's a lovely song... he claims that the saxophone on the track won him over. He's a former sax man, so I'll believe him and besides, this song has one of my favorite lyrics ever.

"Orphaned believers, skeptical dreamers
You're welcome
Yeah, you're safe right here
You don't have to go"
Linford Detweiler
Over the Rhine
  The Long Surrender
photo by Michael Wilson

Here is a review on the album from the LA Times... 4 out of 4 stars.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mr. Cowpie Groupies

Our Lily turned 10 a few weeks ago and I felt that a big birthday, welcoming her into double digits called for something or SOMEONE special to help her celebrate. 

Hello Mr. Cowpie!!!

This was taken directly from the Mr Cowpie website.
"Mr. Cowpie is a rock 'n roll sing-a-long cow. He knows lots of goofy songs, knock knock jokes and will even bring a few suprises. He'll keep your event rockin'! Lots of Moosical fun for kids and grown-ups of all ages!"

And one of his party animals happens to be a Moluccan Cockatoo... a big pink parrot.
And, bless him, he was willing and able to come to a slumber party on a Friday night following a mighty snowstorm.
Mr. Cowpie is very cool and very committed to spreading his Moosical fun. 
He brought his fancy cockatoo who spoke and in her own parrot-y voice said... "Happy Birthday Lily"
which is a pretty incredible feat, considering the time frame involved.

He also brought the "world's most amazing chicken"...a charming silver laced cochin named Beatrice.
Here he is in our living room singing a ballad to his beloved chicken.

 A great time was had by all, so when we learned that Mr. Cowpie was coming to Kid's Night at our gym, we were so there. 

A groupie is defined as "...a person who regularly follows a pop music group or other celebrity in the hope of meeting or getting to know them."

We followed Mr Cowpie to his new venue... we are by definition, a family of Mr. Cowpie groupies.

 The mosh pit at the Mr. Cowpie concert... please notice Jamie and Henry directly in front of our favorite celebrity pop star and Rosie body surfing on Lily's back. Crazyfun!

Jamie and "Major" rockin' the night away... woo whoop! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Battle Hymn of the Sheep Mother

Could not find a picture of me hugging a sheep so here is a cute one of Jamie and Wilbur welcoming spring of '08.

I recently read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. As my cool cousin, Mrs. Schinandez puts it "the book that everyone is talking about, but no one has actually read." 

Ms. Chua is was born in the Chinese zodiac year of the tiger so she is a Tiger Mother. She is "willing to engage in battle with undying courage." with her daughters. She wrote honestly about how she forced her daughters to excel by threatening and belittling them. There were many times throughout the book when I thought Ms. Chua was off her rocker and not just when she made her kids practice their music 5 or 6 hours a day without toilet breaks. 
But mostly I felt sorry for her. She depended so much on what other people thought about her children for her own happiness. She stated that she was never more proud of her daughters then when she received compliments following her daughter's flawless piano and violin recitals. 
To judge yourself based on the offhand praise of people, who don't even know you or your kid, seems wrong and a really rotten way to parent.  
One of the toughest things to do as a mom- and maybe this is my American way of thinking- is to recognize that your kids are their own people and when they do well, it is definitely not because they have good parents, it's because they did well as themselves. And when they mess up, it's not our fault as parents- it's because as little humans, they make mistakes. 

Out of curiosity, I looked up the Chinese zodiac for my birth year and learned that I am a Sheep. While a "sheep mother" doesn't have the same cool factor as a "tiger mother," I can tell you that this ewe feels pretty positive about her kids future resilience and character.