Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas is for visiting

One of our first visits was over to Mike and Erik's to see their tree... and to listen to records, go for a walk...
Admire the local decorations
We went to Lumbini to see Miss Leslie and everyone. Miss Janet made sure Theron got his fill (3 servings worth) of her inari sushi and marinated cucumbers.
Theron and I went to Morro Bay ahead of Ashley, who had work to do. Theron has never met the older boys and he and the youngest, Orion, haven't seen each other since they were babies. We rang the bell, Ori opened it, took one look at Theron and ordered him into his room. We were standing there for about 3 seconds. Then for the rest of the trip they virtually inseparable, except when they had to be separated because they couldn't stop bickering. Still, I think Ori was especially gracious, though probably disgruntled. He let Theron time share the Spiderman suit since we didn't bring ours. Sometime during the trip Theron lost his first tooth and it was a big event as there was a full house of little boys from ages 5 to 10 who gathered round to congratulate him for being so tough, to give him paper towels for the blood, and to admire the new hole. The tooth popped out when Ori either hit him in the mouth with his head or slapped him - I'm not clear on that part. However, Theron hugged him and told him Thank You.

It takes a village

Sunday Joan's mom watched the boys and fed them lunch while Joan and I and her stepfather went to Costco. Before we left she said to Theron, 2 rules - I'm in charge and you do what I say. Theron laughed. I told him it was actually not that funny, it's true. For some reason Theron decided to go on a hunger strike while we were gone. Kathy said, Don't you like noodles? Yes, he says. Then she explained to him that not eating meant he was holding everyone else up from watching a video, which constituted bad behavior, and Santa might not come. He thought about it. Then he told her, it was okay because Santa would come anyway because of Ori.
After we got back Hal took all four boys to the movies so we could wrap presents. He said he only had to tell Theron to be quiet once.

Christmas Eve Ash came up on the train along the beautiful coastal route to San Luis. He brought the Spiderman costume.
Christmas was in Santa Maria where Theron found that Santa did indeed read his list. Isn't it great Santa was able to make it over to the Rite Aid to pick up this fabulous Spy Guy kit?

We took a lovely drive through the hills to see Grandma Mary and Grandpa Richard and of course, the beagle, Sam. Then it was home again to our little house which was much cleaner than how I left it thanks to Ashley. There was a mini emergency because we couldn't immediately find the Spiderman suit and in order to watch Spiderman 3 he needed the Black Spiderman costume (the outfit you see above is reversible). It didn't reappear until we unpacked everything and thank goodness because Theron was ready to call 911 and/or end up in the longest time out of his life.
Ashley went through the newspaper flyers and catalogs that accumulated while we were gone and said, We don't really need anything right now, do we? And I agreed that we don't. So we're pretty fortunate.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh, no, where did December Go???

There's been a lot going on, so I haven't posted. So much holiday running around. Below see the picture of Theron's school Christmas pageant. His group sang the only non-secular song, called something like "We Work Together". Ash and I were pleasantly surprised to find, contrary to our previous experience with that song (Theron practicing it every day as part of his homework), the song actually had a tune. You're seeing the last line of the song where they all shout, "YES we CAN!" That's not a glow necklace, it's just the regular zipper on his shirt, but it glowed in every picture.

Last Wednesday Mike and Eric (Top Male Model Names: Benito and Hazel) came over for the finale of ANTM. We ate pizza. Benito says it was the worst Top Model ever. Oh, well, I'm sure we'll be back for the next Cycle.

Last Saturday Ash and I did something unheard of - we went out! And got a babysitter! My star volunteer told me her 17 year old brother sits so we gave it a try. Theron was fast asleep when we got home and the next morning he crawled into bed with us and asked when the babysitter was coming back. Then he talked about him all day, how cool he was, how nice he was, how he likes his voice, how he likes that he's so cute. A big hit.

The next day we went to Santa Monica. Here's some pictures of the fake snow corral at the 3rd Street Promenade.

Notice the girl in the spaghetti strap top. Brrrr. Doesn't she know it's winter?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sponge Bob Deconstructed

Theron woke me up out of a sound sleep this morning to ask did I want to hear a song. No, I did not. But after a bowl of cereal for each of us, okay. He had discovered karaoke in his Sponge Bob videos special features. The song is Ripped Pants. Theron warned me, "It's really a sad song". Okay, I nodded. The song is how he is rejected by a certain someone because he ripped his pants. When it was over he says to me, "See, I told you it was sad". Okay, I say again. Then he looks at me with those serious blue eyes and says, "I really don't understand how it can be that he ended up with no one". I was speechless.
Theron went throught the lyrics trying to figure it out and finally concluded that since the song was from the episode entitled "Ripped Pants" what we really need to do is find that episode and hopefully that will explain what happened.
Then we watched a song called Fun where I made the mistake of saying I like Plankton because he's funny and Theron reminded me that Plankton is actually a bad guy. "He's the arch enemy of Sponge Bob, Patrick, Mr Crab and all of Bikini Bottom. Remember that time he put chum buckets on everyone's heads and controlled them?" No, I didn't remember that, but I will now.
Yay, Ash comes home today! Theron says that's the main thing he's excited about, but after that he's really excited about something that starts with Ch. Ash said he must mean cheese, he's really excited about cheese.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Theron told us today that the class is working on a letter to Santa in Computer Lab. Basically they are learning how to write a letter - "Dear Santa COMMA I have been good" then they are to explain HOW they have been good. Anyway, the content is mostly true, Theron has been rather good lately. Not perfect, but pretty darn good. He does tend to have bursts of amped up frustration he needs to learn to control. I told him to pick up his clothes yesterday, several times. I pointed at the socks his x-ray vision missed - WHERE? he shouts. THERE! I point. Theron goes right up to them , does kind of a double take and with one raised eyebrow shouts, "WHAT THE HELL?!?" I had to leave the room.
Poor Ash started his travels to New Orleans today around noon, and tonight he called us from Charlotte, North Carolina where his late flight from LA left him stranded. He doesn't know where his suitcase is spending the night. The airline gave him a little stick with a couple of bristles on it and a ketchup-sized package of toothpaste. Travel is just so dreadful anyway. Why is one hour on an airplane soooo bloody endless? Then put five of them together. We looked at the map. Why did they send him to North Carolina to go to Louisiana? Well, so it's just me and the boy till the weekend, and I have had a sore throat since Monday. It's not bad enough to stay home for, but bad enough to make me cranky all day. The good news is I can pretend when I sing that I sound like Patti Smith.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

At Daddy's Work
In the Children's Discovery Room
Thursday we had a parent/teacher conference which was delightful. The teacher is really exceptional and we can see how the children would have no choice but to fall in line with the routine that leaves little room for goofing off - but also it would be very enjoyable. He is very animated. One thing we were confused about though was that the teacher hadn't been given Theron's test scores - actually hadn't even seen them until we were sitting there with him. He showed us the first report card he'd filled out giving Theron 2 (out of 4) for language arts, then he showed us that he had changed it to 3 - proficient. Ash and I just kind of looked at each other and said, Well, we think you'll find he's better than proficient. So while we were talking the assistant principal handed him the 2nd Grade language arts exit exam that Theron took over a month ago. He only missed one problem on the whole thing. Also, for fluency, Theron's scores were more than double what is required. So the teacher changed his marks to 4's. I think it's kind of interesting that this teacher was willing to take Theron in without even knowing this. Anyway, things are still going well and HOPEFULLY the Boy's and Girl's Club reopens tomorrow.

Here are some cuties I've been working with this last week. The one in the yellow shirt has a smile made of beads.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Calm

What a WONDERFUL weekend! Sleep, sleep, sleep, Eat, eat, eat... Ahhhh.... We decided Thanksgiving should last all four days so instead of trying to make and eat all our special dishes on Thursday, we spread it out. Ashley made two of his family's treats - marinated vegetable salad and spiced peaches. Ashley made a few trips to the grocery store but I didn't leave the house until Saturday where I found NO ONE at either Trader Joe's or Gelsons. Going to an empty Trader Joe's is like shopping online, it's so cosy, add to cart, add to cart. Going to an empty Gelsons is like visiting a food museum where everything is for sale.

Today we actually did go to a museum, to see the Murakami show at MOCA - very fun. It's so whimsical and colorful I'm not sure Theron really noticed the naked people.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Season Ends and Another Begins

This weekend was Theron's last game of the season and it was bittersweet. The boys played a great game and they all got trophies. It was Theron's very first trophy and his very first team experience. He made friends and learned about teamwork and watching Theron run is always a thing of beauty. His reputation on the team was as one of the two fastest kids. We had a little party at the picnic tables afterwards and chatted with the parents. Ash and I were trying to be careful not to be too rejoiceful over the end because though it has been a sacrifice - for all of us, really, there were times Theron would have preferred to stay home - it has also been so important for him in so many ways. So when one of the mothers said to me, "I'm so glad it's over!" I had to laugh. It's been so all consuming we haven't even had time to think about the next season of holidays. We're really looking forward to a long weekend of not having to go anywhere for the first time since the end of August. We can already feel the difference. Today we took a Sunday drive, did a little shopping, a little walking, and went to the ice cream shop of a friend of a friend called Scoops where Theron traded me his pistachio-rosewater for my goat cheese-basil (which he says is his favorite). Their bacon ice cream is also really delicious.
Theron's second week of 2nd grade - still great! What's not so great is that his afterschool program at the Boy's and Girl's club shut down until December 3 because of lack of funds. This we could not believe - this is a national organization. How could this happen? They gave us less than 24 hours notice to find something else! We left a message at the headquarters and had a message back from the regional coordinator that they were working on fixing things, but we didn't really get any clarification about how this happened and how they will prevent it from happening again. I called the number all day Friday trying to talk to someone but only got the machine, so we're going to keep trying next week. In the meantime I found a rec center in Chinatown that agreed to take him but I am very ambivalent about it. We'd rather he go back to where he was because he knows it, it's close to home, and they provide transportation from school. I want Theron to like this other place enough for a couple of weeks but I really can't drive him over every day. Like it but don't get too comfortable, I say. Or maybe he should love it and never want to leave. Until we know what's going on I don't even know what to hope for.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Second grade is still going well. Theron says his teacher tells them he was in the Navy. Here are some things Theron has recently learned: how to use the shift key to make capital letters on the computer. He has also learned how to burp on command. You can imagine how proud and amused Ashley and I are. We also thought he learned how to wash his hair by himself because he got out of the bath the other day with a wet head, and when I asked why he didn't call me to come do his hair he said he got a bar of soap and did it himself. This we were proud of and Ashley said it should go on the blog and Theron said "Yes! It should say www dot Theron Can Wash His Own Hair dot com!" Only I watched him in the tub tonight and it looks like this lesson is still a long way from learned - but that's okay, one thing at a time.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Looking Good

Hopefully it's not too soon to declare second grade a successful move, but the first week went great. He seems to be keeping up with the work and he's making friends. It's a big relief. I couldn't believe the week all this change happened was also the week I needed to go to a conference in D.C., but Ash and Theron did great together. I called one day to ask what he learned at school and he said, "Seeds germinate". We really like the teacher. We think he is ex-military. There is a lot of structure to their day and really, that's what our puppy needs.
D.C. was good. My colleague, Naomi, and I stayed with Emily, of course. Emily who takes such good care of everyone with lots of food, drink, maps, advice. The only problem was that we were cold. We were freezing everywhere. I think it was just impossible to comprehend the difference when packing because LA is still hot enough to require the air conditioner in the car. When I came home Saturday I put on shorts to go to Theron's soccer game. The last night we were there it actually started to rain and that about put us over the top. Those are not rain drops, those are our tears. This was in contrast to other conference attendents such as the one from Alberta who said she was taking pictures of trees because they still had leaves.
The conference was held in an auditorium at the National Gallery. At lunch break the first day Naomi was in a gallery and she ran into a friend of ours from work, the former head of exhibits who moved to North Carolina last year. Eric is one of those people who is well loved and much missed. I wonder if there has ever been so much screaming in the National Gallery. We actually ran into him again the next day. It was meant to be.
I had a little time to myself the first day and I looked in NMAI, the Hirshhorn, Air and Space... It was great, but also sad because I missed my guys. I really don't want to look at art without Ashley. I really don't want to look at dinosaurs without Theron. So we just all have to go together next time.

Once I got home I had about 45 minutes to shower and change for the soccer game, and wrap presents for Alan because we had to run up to Santa Clarita immediately after the game for his birthday party at Sky City.

They still love each other. It was a very happy thing.

Here's another shot from Halloween.

Monday, November 05, 2007

New Class

Theron started 2nd grade today. Actually it was great timing because his 1st grade teacher is transferring to a new school and they would all have a change anyway. Theron's new teacher is a man, not at all warm and fuzzy - he has the appearance of a hardened inner-city school instructor. Edward James Olmos will play him in the movie. Theron actually had a really good day, he managed to do the work and behave himself. As Ash says, Theron can smell weakness and I think it is pretty clear this guy is on to him and he won't be getting away with much. I told Ashley I think he'll be like Miss Leslie without the hugs.

Friday, November 02, 2007

This year Theron decided to be the classic animated version of Underdog. We left the costume till the last minute because basically Underdog just wears a big t-shirt and a blue cape. I didn't think much about the face. I kind of thought about ears but part of me imagined painting his nose black. As if I had already forgotten the fit he threw just a few weeks ago over ball point pen on his back. Ashley saved the day with a block of ethafoam and his expert carving skills. Ashley even bought pantyhose to cover it. Here's Theron at his school parade.
Ashley has more and better pictures which I have to download from his camera still. Theron said everyone loved his costume and thanked us so much for making it. Like the tights? They are from the girl's section at Target, I just cut the feet off. I thought I was going to have to sew something, I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner.
Here's George at the parade doing a little dance.
During trick or treating that night we discovered that a boy in his class lives practically across the street. They went around together and found a haunted house. Another place had a bowl of candy with a hand that grabs you and says Happy Halloween! Theron only collected enough candy to fill his bucket then he came home to give out treats himself like the good host that he is. Thankfully for all of us there was no homework, and we have leftover Milk Duds.
Work is fine for both of us. Ashley has made some great progress talking to people about various projects he's been trying to get underway for ages. I got a new, young volunteer who is enthusiastic and energetic. I tell her to cut up paper labels and she says, "I LOVE to do stuff like that!" I showed her how to surface clean objects and she says, "I LOVE to clean objects!". We tell her to tape up boxes and guess what, she LOVES to tape up boxes! It's the cutest. What a huge relief to have someone around who WANTS to help AND does such a nice job at everything she's given. I can't wait for the day to write her letter of recommendation.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Not so bad When Ashley called me at work and said not to panic, I did not. He did say that the nurse at school thought Theron would need stitches. So I drove over, calmly. Theron seemed fine and he was. We discussed what might happen next and this is what we came up with. He would get a shot in the head, he would scream, then the doctor would put his head under a sewing machine. Maybe add a button. I promised him a toy and ice cream.
But lucky for all of us the doctor was able to tape it up. Theron did scream, but it was not. that. bad. Then of course he wanted the payoff that I downgraded to a smaller toy and an icee on the way out of Target.
It turned out he was running at recess and he had turned around to see if the girls were chasing them when a bench jumped up and smashed him in the head.
Weekend projects included making an Underdog costume, knitting a scarf

Carving pumpkings - maybe a little too early

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I got new glasses last week but I don't have any acceptable pictures so here's Theron in his. I like the Harry Potter in Dad's underwear pic. I've been needing to update my prescription for years so now seeing is kind of a weird experience. One thing I complained to Ashley about is that I have to hold things away from me and that it seems unnatural. He told me that what is unnatural is holding things 2" from your face.
Theron went back to the doctor yesterday for a little x-ray. He has a persistant sniffle that we were hoping the allergy testing would clear up, but the doctor thought we should look for an obstruction. Ash says he was good except he didn't like seeing that his skeleton was smiling even though he wasn't. Ashley says what was so interesting about the whole thing was that you could see his permanent teeth lined up behind the babies. We don't know anything about results, though, we'll have to wait for the doctor to tell us.
I can't believe Halloween is next week! I guess that means I'll be spending the weekend working on an Underdog costume. The costume I've been putting off because I claim it will be easy. This year instead of fretting over which candy to give out Ashley and I just bought one of everything.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Allergy Free?
So it would seem. Theron got tested for common food and environmental allergens and nothing came up. All they do is prick your skin but Theron screamed bloody murder. After it was all over he said it was nothing, no big deal. Thank goodness again for the Ipod - 3 short episodes of Birdman and he was all done. Frankly, I think the most upsetting part about the whole ordeal was that they wrote on him with ball point pen. Theron has what our friend Kelly calls Bic-a-phobia. I wonder if the doctor will charge us for the extra swabbing.
The big red spot is the control, histamine. See what I mean about the pen? He had a conniption.
The other thing that happened in our house Sunday was a green crayon-ectomy from the dryer, reminding us that we've hit the check the pockets before laundry years. I'm not sure, but I think only my clothes were damaged, which was why I was so motivated to undertake this surgical procedure.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Journal Entry
Theron has to keep a journal for school. This is his entry about dinner with his grandparents last week. He regrets that he forgot to draw in Grandma Mary. His captions read, for himself "I have a great memory. I am six. I play soccer." (I corrected the spelling) "Dad is the tallest". "Mama has a cello". "Grandpa has pigtails like a girl".
I have a tiny quote in an LA Times article today about feathers in museum collections.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In front of the museum. The bees love them, too.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The best thing ever happened Saturday when Grandma Mary and Grandpa Richard were able to come for a soccer game! Saturday morning Theron told me, "Well, actually, I'm not that happy about soccer today, but I am excited that Grandma and Grandpa are coming". The Green Hawks got their butts kicked, but hey, that team, the Elemonators (lemons, get it?) were really good. Though we did have one kid on our team that day just doing everything and being everywhere. Two more of him and we would have aced it. Ash and I brought snack and when the coach said, What do you say to Mr. and Mrs. McGrew? they said thank you, but I know they were really thinking The other team got Cheetos.

For dinner we went for Indian food and Theron ate it up very well. That kid loves spinach and that is why he is all muscle and energy.

Today Theron and I went for a visit to Lumbini and all the little kids came running up, Theron! Theron! Theron, look at me, I'm in kindergarden now! He looked tall and he looked happy. Theron's first month of public school has been bumpy but Miss Leslie gave us both some good advice and told us to call and come back anytime because we are family now. She had to give me the box of tissue.

Still no check from the gas distributor for the violation of Layla, but check it out - after all the work she actually gets slightly better mpg and I calculated that at this rate the repairs will have paid for themselves in about 17 years. Less if gas keeps going up. So that's the good news.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Oh, Layla! Will it never end? Just when things were going great you get a flat tire! I was so embarrassed to call AAA because I have never learned to change a tire myself, but even that guy couldn't get one of the lugnuts off so he towed us to a tire shop. Thank goodness at least this entire encounter only added up to less than one one-hundreth the expense of the last trip we made to a shop. Theron sat and watched Blue's Clues on the Ipod and I sat there trying to figure out what the wigs are for.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Maybe since it's almost Halloween some of us are starting to think about the holidays and maybe you should know about One Laptop Per Child . It's been on NPR, and in the current issue of Newsweek that highlights ways you can help the world. They originally hoped they could produce them for $100 each, but they came in at about $188. The launch date is November 12th. The website allows you to donate one for $200 and for a very brief period of time you will be allowed to buy one for your own child for the same price. So basically you get a laptop for $400.
These laptops have been designed with the needs of the developing world in mind. They are wireless, durable, and more power efficient than any computer on the market today. They can use alternate power-charging sources such as a car battery or hand powered by a crank, a pedal or a pull cord. The screen can be turned to be used as an e-book to replace the major cost of shipping textbooks, and can be read in full sunlight because outdoor classes are common in the developing world.
It's such an amazing project, please have a look.
Friendly Friday
Michael came to visit me at work. Here he is surrounded by an army of kachinas. It was a very full day already because just a few minutes before he arrived I was finishing up an interview with a reporter from the Times who is doing a story on feather conservation, and trying to get a part number to replace the thing on the vacuum cleaner that started smoking when Jackie tried to use it. For lunch we went to Phillipe's and ordered one of everything

These are so delicious.

Friday evening, after soccer practice, Theron and I went to Edendale to meet everyone for a going-away party for Susan, which was really just a see-you-later party because there's no way I won't see and talk to her, hopefully, as regularly. Theron was very curious about the photobooth, so Scott lent us some money to take a picture. In the 3rd one down I have my fingers in his armpits.

Saturday night I had to work our Gala and though I was close enough to touch Joe Pesci and Glen Campbell I didn't because I really only wanted to touch Willie Nelson, but I never got that close.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Touring the Southwest
We had some objects laid out for a tour last week and one of the things I set aside was this newspaper that was stuffed inside a fur parka from the Arctic. The paper is dated October 1948. The cover story is about a Japanese POW sentenced to death.

The paper was 7 cents.

A Nancy comic.

A L'il Abner comic.
There were lots of other classics like Orphan Annie. It's fun to see what it cost to rent an apartment in Bel Air, or that secretaries could make a dollar a day. What's so interesting is that things like furniture cost about what they do today. Newspapers from the 50's we've found show basic televisions costing about $150. It seems incredible, really.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First, the car is okay now. Actually better than okay, she feels brand new and there is no lasting damage. Ashley and I went by the gas station Saturday with the bill and the guy told us it usually takes 7-10 days to get a check from the distributor. I thought, I'll believe it when I see it, and also usually? Does this happen a lot? The pump I used was not roped off and it wasn't roped off Friday either. True, I pumped it on Wednesday. Someone could have complained earlier and the problem could have been fixed. I still felt like I had to tell everyone so they can make their own decisions about whether or not to go there.

Sunday evening we went to the park behind the library in Glendale for a little barbeque Rebecca threw to celebrate her birthday and her departure from California. The food was good and it was fun, but Theron skinned both his knees and Ashley injured his so badly he had to take two days off of work. Rebecca made a pinata that she painted to look like a giant seed pod so that it would blend in with the trees and it could be "discovered". She wanted Theron to have the first shot so she asked a trivia question - Who is Spongebob's best friend? And only Theron knew the answer. We beat and beat that pinata, the string was severed twice, and we finally ended up kicking it like a soccer ball and the candy was flying all around in the dark. I said, did you use wheat paste? And she said, no, she's allergic to wheat so there was no flour in the house. Instead she used up the adhesives she had around, like wood glue.
Theron and Ashley hobbled back to the car and then our 15 minute trip home took over an hour because there was a 6 car accident on the 5 and we sat there with the engine off, eating candy and ibuprofen.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I was right - unfortunately

Right now I am sitting here in my (still clean!) house being very sad. Two days ago I was so proud of myself for finding time between physical therapy and Rebecca's party to actually put gas in my car before the light came on. As I drove away I thought, hmm, it feels like the brake is on! Then I had trouble starting it up. I would drive along and it felt like it would die. I told Ashley I got bad gas and he took me to the dealership the next day since Layla was due for her 25K checkup anyway. She is only 2, this month.
Of course I told the guy who checked me in and he nodded his head like, okay, lady, we'll call you. Then they told me they fixed the problem and charged me for cleaning the throttle body. I picked it up this morning and turned right back around. They called at lunch and said, oh, your fuel pump is faulty but it's under warranty. Five minutes later he calls again and says, guess what, the gas is bad, it looks like it has something like motor oil in it. So far the damage is estimated to be between $800-$1000. He actually sounded so surprised when he gave me the news - bad gas! can you believe it?
Yes, I went to the gas station and the manager said of course, it's not his fault, it's the distributor, but if I give him the invoice from the dealer saying it was bad gas they will pay for it. He also said no one else had complained. My feeling is that he was a little too agreeable and a little too un-surprised.
Right now I'm just thankful no one was hurt by the car stalling in traffic, or something. I'm thankful for the credit card. And I will be thankful if my two year old car doesn't have permanent damage from this. I will be even more thankful if the total doesn't go up any more and if the distributor makes good on this.
Oh, well.
We think Theron is sorted out in his afterschool program, but we'll give it a few more days. He's still doing okay in the new school. He likes eating breakfast in the cafeteria. He likes using a spork. He has some little friends. This is a very sweet post from Finslippy about the joys of five. Theron's six, but it fits.
The dealership just called. The cost did go up quite a little bit, but they say it's not permanent damage. Now I have to go have a headache and a glass of wine.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A funny thing happened today. I signed Theron up for an after school program and we talked about starting it tomorrow or Monday. As soon as we got there and met the coach for his grade and saw that a kid from his class was there he decided to start today, so I left him and found myself with 2 hours of free time. I came home and the house was clean because Mike and Erik came over last night. I don't have any projects to work on because we had Rebecca's party yesterday and gave her the doll. It's not hot as hell anymore so I could actually move and think. But I didn't know what to do. I even tried to take a nap but I couldn't. With nothing to do and clean space to do it in I hardly knew who I was.

We had a lovely visit with Mike and Erik who came for pizza and the premier of Top Model. Theron, the perfect host, drew them each a picture of a Transformer and asked if they were here yet every five minutes for over an hour. Partly out of excitement and partly out of the desire to remain in nothing but his underwear for as long as possible. While they probably wouldn't have cared one way or the other Ash and I think it's important for Theron to start learning to recognize situations when pants are called for.

Rebecca's going away came off fabulously. We met at Senor Fish in Eagle Rock and the proprietor was super nice to us. Rebecca requested this location - I guess she's not expecting to find a good fish taco place in Omaha. Our most fabulous, multi-talented volunteer Dennis had told us at the last going away party, a week ago Thursday, that his son was dating Billy Idol's daughter. At this going away party they had broken up. People were trying to explain what Billy looked like because though Dennis had heard of him he didn't know if he'd ever seen him.

Rebecca LOVED the doll and I'm told she spent the afternoon trying on the clothes.

Blythe in her box. Coat by Naomi, dress by Nick. She is reading The Tao of Willie by Willie Nelson

Here's a cat suit I made out of the spandex we use for covering the mannequins. I found the chain at Michael's where I have spent every day for the last 2 weeks.

In the midst of planning this party another person quit (her last day is next Friday) and a second announced she's quitting during lunch. I just don't know what we're going to do. It's too hard to plan a nice farewell with only two weeks notice, and I'm sad because the one going first is a wonderful friend - a fellow mother and quilter. She counsels me about navigating the school system. She instructs me on how to keep doll clothes from being sucked into the sewing machine by the feed dogs. The second is moving to NY and frankly I don't think you get to move to NY and get a party. In fact I should paint ball her car. Oh, but I'm happy for her, of course. Now I am of the opinion that anyone else leaving should throw their own party and give us, who are staying, presents. And you know what, that is what Rebecca did. I don't know how she found the time but she made us all these magnets out of paint and paper, of different Nebraskan landscapes. She wrote her email address on the back. She also promised to take pictures of Blythe on the road.

Actually today she sent us a picture of the doll wearing or using an item that each of us made - it's the image at the head of this post. Dress by me, obi by Naomi (with the kimono at her feet), cuffs by Joanne, boots by Nick and whip by Jorge.