Thursday, July 31, 2008


After our usual puttering about the house for hours upon end after waking, we transferred the nature basket into a nature tray as the bark the kids picked up yesterday stretched it to its limits.We really should weed some of this stuff out. I'm not sure that it's going to not be scattered to the winds being so out and open (*author's note - Bastian did in fact destroy the butterfly this afternoon).
Aleks came into the bathroom to tell me he really liked this. Bastian took a picture of him holding it up. I told him it was Ganesha. He asked, "Is Ganesha some crazy elephant man?" I said, "uh, yeah," and shooed him away so I could have some privacy.
Since Bastian can't go out in public to infect everyone on earth with chicken pox, Aleks and I went to run errands. First we bought a new keyboard because the boys had yet again spilled something on the one we had, breaking it. The new one has an integrated spill proof design or something. Not sure how it works precisely or if they won't find a way to destroy it anyway, like they do everything else.

Then we spent some time leisurely reading and drinking hot beverages in the air-conditioned Borders. He had the fancy hot chocolate while I sipped a much needed second cup of coffee. He checked out some DC comics while I ogled supermodels in Vanity Fair and read a bit of a hilarious article in AdBusters about how the Hipster is the "Dead End of Western Civilization." I wanted to buy the magazine to finish the article, but couldn't justify the nine bucks. Instead I called Anna and read her a paragraph over the phone. It hit strangely close to home while at the same time being dead on in a way that made us feel exempt from hipsterdom.

Then Aleks and I went to Big Fun to buy cool ninja band-aids, but nothing else. That was a hard sell on my part, but I promised that he could come back another time to buy whatever he wanted with his money. I just couldn't afford to buy random junk right now. Not that I want to anyway. We did get our picture taken in the photo booth though.
We also checked out all the new Star Wars gear (they have a vintage Millennium Falcon now) and danced in front of the fun house mirror.

We spent too long in Vidstar and had to run all the way back to the car before the meter ran out. It ran out anyway, but we didn't have a ticket. When Aleks asked why I told him it must be because they weren't around or hadn't noticed. He asked if maybe they had taken a donut break. When I asked why he thought that he said, "because police like to eat donuts." Aye yai yai!

Bastian's Chicken Pox

Bastian came down with pox yesterday. At first, it was just a red spot next to his mouth, which looked like normal irritation from eating cinnamon or constant licking, only redder and broken open a bit. I looked at it closely, but decided it couldn't be pox. Lavinia had just contracted them as well, so I knew he was exposed, but he had been exposed several times already and had yet to come down with them despite sleeping in the same bed while his brother had them a number of weeks ago.

Then later I spied a bunch of red dots on his back while nursing him to sleep. The clincher were the two large red spots along his waistline where his belly folds and his pants hit. Sure enough, all the big spots and several of the tiny ones started breaking open or turning into blisters this morning. Poor kid. Mostly they seem to hurt.I stuck him in the bathtub to douse him with my oatmeal water.
The biggest, grossest boil on his shoulder. They don't seem to itch, but he does pinch them, as though to rub away the hurt.
Bucket of oatmeal bath with cheesecloth for the spreading. I've left him naked all day to keep them aired out and let the oatmeal dry on. He seems to enjoy soaking te cheesecloth and rubbing it on himself after I've done with my own dousing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Busy Day

It was gorgeous out. The weather was perfect (and hot enough for me, which is rare!).
Bastian ate blackberries for breakfast.

I suggested he paint with them in his new sketchbook.
Then we tried a leave print, which didn't work out so well. I'm assuming it's because I used a rock instead of a hammer, which would be more even. I don't actually have directions for this activity, so maybe there are better ideas out there about how to do this. It seemed simple enough in my head. Jon hated all the banging as he was in bed still.
Bastian and I painted together. I painted the butterfly we found last week outside Vidstar. I bought this sketchbook partially to do a family drawing time and partially as an idea book for my new writer's group.
I really don't do watercolors, but I like how this turned out.
Meanwhile, Aleks dug up all the bricks in the back of the house looking for bugs, slugs, and earthworms. He also sat watching Mud Dauber Wasps for a long while in a mud puddle.
Then we had to rush out of the house to go to the dentist. I'm not taking him back there though. Stupid me let them do a fluoride treatment. Never again. We rinsed it out.
Back in the car, Aleks asked me about jewelry stores. He asked if there was one nearby. As it happened, there was one across the street, which we passed just as we were having this conversation. We passed another before I figured out that he wanted to go to a jewelry store "to see what it is like." A third came up on the left, but when we pulled in the parking lot, it looked less fancy and more like a pawn shop. So we turned around and pulled in the big fancy parking lot of the second jewelry store we originally passed. Inside, Aleks was disappointed to not find large multi-colored jewels in all the cases and instead, tiny sparkling bits set into necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings.

We made our way around the whole store, looking at the different colored pieces. A woman asked if we needed any help and I explained that Aleks just wanted to see what it was like. She then helped to point out more varieties of colored jewels set into individual pieces. There were red, green, blue, violet, deep purple, orange, and brown. We saw large strands of pearls too and I tried to explain about oysters before Aleks lost interest. He really wanted to buy something, but decided it was all too expensive. I didn't even make mention of blood diamonds, so go me for restraint. I finally got curious enough to ask about the reasoning for wanting to see a jewelry store. I asked if it was because of The Great Muppet Caper, which we watched last week, but Aleks said it was because of Scooby Doo. Of course.

After assorted other errands, we stopped in an antique store. I just quickly browsed to see if there were any cheap fiesta ware pieces (not that I can even afford that at the moment). Aleks had a root beer from the hardware store, so I had him wait by the door, lest he spill it. Just as I was getting ready to leave, I noticed the display case up front with all the giant pieces of tacky costume jewelry. I lifted Aleks up to see and he was thrilled! He liked the pieces there much much better than the fancy pants suburban store (though none of them were real, I don't think). Admittedly, they were much more fascinating and unique. I've been a fan of rhinestones all my life thanks to my mother's incessant thrifting habits.
We also went to the post office to mail off Sigg bottles and nursing pads. we stopped at the hardware store with the screen that Bastian cut up so it could be repaired, and to the leather repair/dry cleaning/alterations shop to drop off my boots so they'll once more have proper soles for winter.
Back at home, Papa took off for the Indians' game (again) while Aleks played with a neighbor kid in the mud puddle and Bastian swam.
My landlord is going to be so pissed off when I kill all the grass.
Who cares though? I'm needing the ocean so badly these days, just looking at the bright blue of the water relaxed me.


I've been makin' mention of these cards that Aleks keeps making all over the blog. Here's eight of 'em in all their ferocious glory. Bastian says, "Mahn-er!"(monster). Indeed they are. Indeed they are. With all the hairy appendages and spiked teeth to go with that title.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Learn Nothing Day

"Nothing sits like this rock sits.
You rock, rock.
The rock just sits and is.
You show us how to just sit here and that's what we need."
We learned lots on Learn Nothing Day if only because we can't not learn. We did do lots of hanging about leisurely though with nothing too learn-y feeling. Spent some time at the Dreaded Big Park with friends, where I took the picture. I wanted to do a mineral for the art contest because of the I Heart Huckabees quote. Learning nothing is like being nothing - "It's like I'm a rock or a dish of mold. I'm whatever else is around. So I'm free to just exist."


Proof that things are not always sparkling and ordered in my house.

Aleks drawing Bakugan.Bastian's bed and costuming salon cramped between the fridge and stove.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


We have progressed from lines to intricate designs.
It reminds me of a Piet Mondrian painting, Broadway Boogie-Woogie. Such the little artist. Just like his brother.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lego Lego Everywhere

On the floor, on the bed,
in the basket, and out.
Lego skeleton on the plate
eating carrots, no doubt.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Gido Visits

The boys' Gido came from California to visit overnight after his annual golf outing with his brothers. Somehow I missed taking any photos of the day. First Gido and Papa showed each other photos of various trips. Then we went to buy Aleks Lego at Target because he suggested it. He got the Mountain Troll set he's been wanting for awhile plus one of those needle things that you can make forms in - faces and hands (no idea what it's actually called). Bastian got a collection of animals - a lion, a chimp, an elephant, a mama and cub white Bengal Tiger, and a baby panda bear. Weird assortment, but whatever.

Then we went to the istore so Gido could get his new iphone 3G to work. That was ridiculous. Jon took Aleks to a sporting goods store to buy a mitt and ball. Ever since the game last Friday when he almost got hit in the head with a batting practice ball, he's been wanting to return to his boyhood dream of playing baseball. So Uncle Paul got Aleks a mitt and ball and now Papa has a mitt and ball.

We played catch in the front yard for awhile in the late afternoon heat. I didn't realize what a girly girl I am. Jon's pitches terrified me. I moved my whole body away from the ball as I left my hand in place to catch. It seemed to work well enough. I didn't realize either how scary baseball is. Those balls are hard! Aleks joined Papa and Gido playing catch for a bit before he got thirsty and had to inside to drink water.

This morning, Papa made a big breakfast for everyone and Gido took pictures of the whole family on the couch. Then he showed them to the boys and said goodbye. We'll see him again in a year, I suppose.

Bastian the Luchador

Bastian seems to love putting his underwear on his head and looking like a luchador. He's done it again. I suppose it's something to do while you poop.
His hair stands on end when he takes it off.

You can see our stack of family cloth behind him.

A Lavinia Trap

Aleks decides to set a trap for Lavinia. This is not the first time, but it has been quite awhile since the last. I promised Anna I wouldn't mention the possibility of an evening visit to my kids as her children were having a crabby day and may not actually make it. Despite my silence, Aleks got it in his head to create a trap for Lavinia , hours before the even potential visit and all over the dining room floor. When I asked about how we were to get around, he suggested we step over the trap. When questioned about whether Lavinia might not just step over it as well, he assured us that she would fall. I'm not exactly sure why, but the intent was there. Perhaps his plan was to trap and eat her.

Bastian Steals the Camera in the A.M.

Bastian somehow found the camera some time before I was quite awake. This only concerns me because my children have already broken two digital cameras. These are quite expensive, but his skills are developing, I must say.

Aleks close-up.The living room, early morning sun.
Aleks playing games on the laptop. Bastian, like my father, says "labtop."
The fan and the ugly house next door.
The children's table.
The color of the dining room wall.
Mama sleeping. Classic. A few seconds after this was taken, mama turned around and grabbed the camera.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

City Fresh Tuesdays

For several weeks now, every Tuesday we venture up to the library for City Fresh, our CSA. The boys now know a lot of the other kids up there and because it's at the park outside the library, it's become a bit of an event. We get to return our library books and videos and get new ones, pick up our vegetables, play with the other kids at the park, then we head back down the street, the wagon now full to nearly overflowing (thank lordisa the way back is downhill!), and stop in Vidstar for Tuesday free kids movies.

Bastian always insists on climbing the mulberry tree, which he makes me lift him into as soon we get there. I have to keep remembering to put him in dark clothes so the berries don't stain everything.This week there were sweet onions, basil, red potatoes, red cabbage, kale, yellow squash, zucchini, beets, dill, green beans, bib lettuce, green onions, and blackberries.
Bastian ate almost all the blackberries himself.
Aleks' recent fascination in Bakugan first caused him to look online at Bakugan toys and request that we buy the entire card collection and game board for him. We, ahem, declined. So recently he started drawing his own cards. He made the first six Tuesday morning and took them with him to show the other boys at City Fresh. I'm not sure the others understood at all what he was talking about, but I still think it's completely great that he's had the initiative to just do it himself. It's always nice when the creativity takes off. Waiting for it amidst the media consumption is difficult, though. I seem to be the only mother comfortable with letting the boys disappear behind these bushes while we wait in line for our vegetables. The end of the path comes out by the basement door to the library, which is right where I can see it and there doesn't seem to be anywhere else to escape to in that direction, so in my mind, I prefer it. Especially since Aleks later disappeared entirely for a few terrifying minutes. He just runs off... I'm so afraid that Bastian will do the same soon.
After veggies, all the kids went to the Dreaded Big Park, where Bastian was eaten alive by a dragon.

Cookie Monster Feet

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Eating Glass and Plastic

Bastian stuck my menagerie in the blender.They usually sit in front of the cook books.
Not really sure what he was thinking, but I saw him doing it and immediately made sure all the appliances were unplugged. Good thing too. They stayed there for a couple of days...