I Am “Loded”

This post brought to you late by HP.  The Printers that forget stuff.

I am loved.  Every day I am lavished with gifts.  Not just any gifts, handmade gifts.  Like this one:

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It’s a vase of flowers.  Sparkly pipe cleaners with tiny little flower paper punches that she punched out of construction paper.  I should have been suspicious when she asked me punch holes in the middle of the flower punches.  She then snuck away and returned with this mug that she stole from me.  First she asked me to close me eyes, and then she yelled “SURPRISE!”  Then she told me where I needed to display it.  The whole world needs to see her art, you know.

My daughter could probably open her own Etsy shop.  The kid’s got skills.  At the rate I’m going, she may have to open one to help support us.

She creates non stop many days.  She does art from the time she is done cuddling with me on the couch until I tell her “That’s enough art for the day!”

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This one cracks me up.  It makes me think of a Radiohead performance on SNL.  The band is playing and there’s a guy sticking wires in a little box.  Similar?  I think so.  And it’s all mine, sitting right next to my spot on the couch.

She reminds me all the time of why she makes these things for me.  She sings the song from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood “Making something is one way to say… I love you.”  She also tells me-all the time, and constantly asks for hugs and kisses.

And there are pictures.  I wrote awhile back about how there is no more room in my house for all of the things that she makes.  She used to draw two tiny pictures on a piece of paper and present it to me.  “Oh I love it, but can’t you add more?”  She would get mad at me and stomp off.  Apparently I was messing with her creativity.  It must have gotten through, because she’s drawing much more on her pictures now.  I would display some, but as usual, my printer thinks it’s missing something.  Today is the scanner.  Who knows what tomorrow?

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The dry erase board helped a little with the art pile up, but we’re never allowed to erase it.  I take pictures from time to time.  This particular one is an oldie but a goodie from this past summer.

For Christmas Grandma presented both kids with a big box of stuff.  The Professor received a box of science stuff so he can get to work on solving our world energy crisis.  She received an art box full of art products in addition to a big bag of recycled materials to use it with.  She was thrilled.  She’s a funny girl.

One of her recent creations was made partly with stickers from the box, partly from a picture frame kit that I had picked up at Goodwill.  Oh, and scotch tape.  She was giddy when she presented this to me along with two others.

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Me:  “You ‘lode’ me?”
Princess Artistic:  “No I LOVE you.  I don’t have any ‘v’s.”

Alright, I’ll take it.  That way in a few years when she starts to loathe me I have this among many other reminders of that sweet messy haired girl who used to “lode” me.

2012 Is Done: The Year in Review So We Can Just Move On

I like this so I'm using it again, because it really describes my year!

I like this so I’m using it again, because it really describes my year!

2012 started out with a bang and went up and down all year.  The world didn’t end, so I’m saying it’s going out in a good way.  I didn’t start blogging until June and didn’t really start seriously blogging until fall.  Here’s an itty bitty summary of the Year of the Sadder But Wiser Girl:

2012-The Highs and Lows of the Year

January-The hubs took his degree he was awarded at the end of 2011 and put it to work at a wonderful corporation.  The downside?  Loooooooong hours and a loooooooong drive.  What degree?  What are you talking about?  Are they giving away degrees somewhere?  Where do I find one of these things called “jobs”?  Three years prior, my husband was laid off at the company that he had worked at for thirteen years.  They basically announced one day that “Yeah, we’re closing”.  He took a huge pay cut as he went on to another job at another factory.  When things were looking similarly dire over in that place, he made the ultimate decision:  he went back to school, full-time, to pursue his mechanical engineering degree at the tender age of 35.

February-We went roller skating for the first time since I graduated from college.  Since my husband has to drive an hour up and back to work each day, we had to buy a car that wasn’t old ant that we could trust.  Hello huge car payments.

March-We made our first attempt at compost.  It was a moot point, since we then had a drought and it really didn’t matter what we did…

The kid is cute, so what if we never really used the compost?  ;-)

The kid is cute, so what if we never really used the compost? 😉

April-Our fourteen year old kitty passed away on Easter Sunday.  In happier news, at the end of the month we went to our first live NASCAR race at the Kansas Speedway.

May-I turned 38.  My little girl turned four, and I attempted my first fancy birthday cake-a princess castle cake.  Someday I will blog about it and horrify millions of people.  My son survived first grade and lived to tell about it.

June-I started a blog.  If I didn’t start this blog, I was going to be mobbed by people who thought I had a real penchant for storytelling.  My first attempts were pretty bad, but eventually I caught on.  Read my June archives for my first and really lame blog posts.

Mid month I was informed my job was being taken over by a taco that would work on call for pennies.  No unemployment, just the promise of jobs falling out of the sky with great recommendations.  Neither of these materialized, by the way, and I progressed upon the path that brought this lil ole blog to what it is now.   With over 400 Followers, I can say it is almost a marginal success.

July-The day my job poofed into thin air, my husband achieved full time status.  Since then he is a minor celebrity at his workplace-I believe they could possibly build him a litter so he never has to walk through the plant again.

August-We got a dog.  My husband contracted shingles.  And my son started second grade.  All totally unrelated things, thank goodness.

September-We quietly celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary and I was buried under the artwork in my house.

For the record, this is what started all the zamboni business.  I still don't think she really knows what a zamboni is.

My daughter made what she called a zamboni.  This is what started the nonsense with all the boxes.

October-I find that Halloween and Halloweens past provides almost unlimited posting potential.  All kinds of people come to my blog looking for costume ideas.  Nice.

November-I am dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming thanks to The Bearded Iris.  In other words, I actually start using my Twitter account for something other than just that mysterious entity that shares my posts with the world.  One Mom Dragged Into the 21st Century

December-I entered a Christmas tree contest and didn’t win, my kids made Christmas cards that didn’t get sent, I saw Elvis, and we didn’t die in a fiery apocalypse.  Merry Christmas.

And then, the year was over.

Stuff that people looked at a lot:  Man this Home Page/Archives post must be really amazing millions of people seem to visit it… I can’t tell a lot from the stats, but I Peed My Pants at Wal-Mart was probably the most popular post this year.  Hooray for incontinence!

Some of My Favorite Posts:  The Sadder But Wiser Girl…Poop Detective, The Five Stages of Dishes, Yo P.E.E.Ps and P.O.O.Ps, The Recessive Gene: My Pool Needs A Lifeguard.

Search terms used most to find my blog Fantasy Football, which is TERRIBLY uninteresting to me.

Funniest and Most Disturbing Search Engine Terms of 2012:  I pee funny, evil houses, glue sniffing crack, unicorn fart ffpp, I’ve just peed in my big knickers, image of every single pillow pet in the world, I think I have diarrhea from green bean casserole, naked pumpkin man costume, turkey toilet paper, girl poops out a mouse, the brain and people, bucket hoarding, garbage hums, and naked Chad Knaus…

I’m sorry, but anyone who’s looking for naked pictures of Chad Knaus has some serious issues…

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Oh I LOVE it when google fills stuff in for me! The results are quite hilarious, just like my search engine results.

My Favorite Blogs of 2012-Now keep in mind that I JUST discovered blogging this year and I’m still a newbie. I read a lot of blogs.  As a matter of fact, the more I discover the harder it is for me to keep up with all of them, because you know I have to do stuff like pay attention to my children and (occasionally) do housework. Here are some that I have found myself reading the most.  You know, the blogs that I just can’t wait for new posts from and rarely miss reading a post?  My Top 20 in no particular order:  Menopausal Mother, momtimes4, atlantamomofthree, Motherhood is an Art, Funny Is Family, Cloudy With a Chance of Wine, Debie Hive, Diapers… or Wine?  Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva, Miss Banana Pants, Lady or Not… Here I Come, Ninja Mom, Baking in a Tornado, The Tao of Poop, Rants from Mommyland, Marj Hatzell is the Domestic Goddess, Go Cheap or Go Home, Mom’s World, Something Clever 2.0, You Know It Happens At Your House Too.  And of course Parenting, Illustrated with Crappy Pictures-but she doesn’t really need the publicity, now does she?  There are others I’ve just started reading… Maybe you’ll make the list next year, which at the rate I’m going will be the top 100.  Don’t hate me if you blog and read my blog and you’re not on my list.  I bet I read your blog too!  Bloggers are awesome people, and the best circle of folks I know.  I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings!

Bloggers in my Top 20 could receive this beautiful handmade, um, thing.  She says its a weapon...

Bloggers in my Top 20 could receive this beautiful handmade, um, thing. She says its a weapon…

So here it is, the New Year.  Did anyone actually, you know, go OUT and stuff?  We didn’t… details on how we spent our New Years will be coming.  For now I need to publish and be done.  Happy New Year everyone!

A Zamboni Shall Lead Them: When Art Takes Over

Think you’re proud of your ride?  Look out, because we’ve got something better.  In addition to our 1999 Dodge Ram that doesn’t run, our 2003 Toyota Corolla with the front held together with a zip tie, and our new Nissan Altima, we have a zamboni.

Don’t you wish you had a zamboni too?

It’s pure luxury-100% recycled, cardboard exterior with high quality waterbased marker detailing, quad cannons, paper plate steering wheel, and plush pillow pet interior.  I bet you are so jealous!

I’m really not sure where the whole zamboni thing comes from.  It might have been from an episode of Sesame Street or something. One thing is clear, she has no idea what a zamboni is, she just likes the word.  Which is probably good, because I have never known a zamboni to have weaponry.  This box actually started out as a puppet theater.  She quickly grew tired of that, then it became a house for various animals in her bedroom, then a house for our cat (who was soooooo thrilled about that.)  Finally the zamboni.

My house is currently overrun with art projects. I tried to keep up with them but she is an art machine.  I really think she could run her very own site on Etsy and be able to keep up with demand.  We have paintings galore with many different types of paint (tempera, watercolors), various sun catchers that I can’t find the hanger thingies for, sparklies glued on paper, drawings up the wazoo using different media (crayons, markers, colored pencils, chalk), masks, crowns, you name it she’s made it.

The artist has been busy…

Some of the more recent projects include her bugs.  The other day she told me she wanted to make a ladybug.  Being the resourceful former preschool teacher that I am, I got construction paper, cut out the shapes, got googly eyes and then set out glue for her to glue it all together.  She cut out the legs with shape scissors, and turned out the cutest ladybug ever.  Then she wanted to make a butterfly.  Again I cut out the parts for her, and even found sparkly shapes for her to stick to it so it would be sparkly.  When she finished, I proudly displayed them on the wall.  That lasted a whole two minutes.

“I need my bugs.”  She demanded.  “Why?  Aren’t you finished?”  I inquired.  “No.  I want to make them fly.”

It’s a good thing I took pictures of them, because she spent the next half hour running around the house, throwing them in the air to make them “fly”.  I guess I can understand that.  What good is art that you can’t have fun with?

The bugs in their pre-destroyed state.

Which brings me to the zamboni.  It’s definitely a useful piece of art.  You can sit in it and pretend to drive it-that’s useful!  I can so see her father in her as she works on this project.  It keeps getting bigger and bigger, but hopefully not out of control.  The box is from an Amish grocery store that my family visits frequently.  It’s very sturdy and it has these large holes on each side, which she determined were the perfect size to stick a toilet paper tube in.  Hence the cannons.  The steering wheel was my contribution.  I had some of those brass paper thingies in my drawer-I poked a hole in the plate and the box and stuck it on that way.  It actually turns-she was thrilled. Now she wants wheels.  I told her I could only do wheels that look good, they won’t actually work.  She’s not very happy with me about that.  Even The Professor was intrigued.  He walked around it, looking at it and studying it carefully.  After a while, he asked if he could try it out.  Shockingly she said yes.  He barely fit, but he climbed in and sat anyway.  Being an expert on superhero weaponry, I’m surprised he didn’t have some ideas for stuff she could add to it.

We’re running out of room for all of this art.  I have artwork framed in the hallway.  It’s on the side of the refrigerator.  I made a display area in the living room.  I’ve given art to relatives.  She wants to do more, more, MORE!  I’ve tried reasoning with her that we can display some of it, that we can’t keep everything.  She disagrees.  Grandma even bought her a folder to put her artwork in.  She put drawings in it until it barely could shut.

One of our art display areas. I have to balance her stuff out with her brother’s art stuff.

I sat down to write this while she was eating breakfast and my hair was drying.  Breakfast is done now, and she is on to doing some more art projects.  This morning’s art is stenciling.  After library, I’m sure she will try out the Crayola pastels I got on clearance at Walmart.  It’s Crayola, so it’s got to be great, right?

If I turn up missing, don’t despair.  Just come to my house and find me.  I’ll be the one buried under all of the art projects.

There’s other stuff on our fridge besides her art, you just can’t see it.

When Art Meets Engineering…

I’m raising the next generation of engineers.  Two of them right in my house.  I must admit I’m proud, and a bit scared.

I’ve mentioned before that the Professor is not crazy about art that doesn’t have purpose.  While his sister is content to draw, color, and paint away, he is more interested in activity books and drawing up plans for specific things.  That is, when he isn’t standing on his head on the couch.

It so happened that we had a little designing session here at our house the other night.  Usually in the evenings my son gets a little bored.  This particular evening after supper I peeked in to see why it was so quiet-he had pieces of scratch paper spread out all over the table.  “What are you doing?”  “I’m designing stuff.”  he replied, and reabsorbed himself in his work.  I tried to inquire exactly WHAT he was designing, but he didn’t answer.

After a bit, I noticed his sister had joined him at the table.  She too had pieces of scratch paper spread out everywhere.  “What are YOU doing?”  I asked her.  “I’m designing stuff.”  She answered.

The Professor must have been ready to share.  He piped up, “I’m designing some stuff for superheroes to fight with.”

My son’s Superhero Fighting Thingie. I think it’s along the idea of the balls they use on Pokemon?

Princess Artistic jumped in, very enthusiastically, “I’m designing a flower machine! It makes flowers.  Lots and lots of FLOWERS!”

My daughter’s flower machine. It makes LOTS and LOTS of flowers!

Two very different kids with very different interests… I love it.

(Why all the yellow paper?  It’s leftover from the flyers I used to print up to promote my preschool music classes.  I used to teach a half hour music class to kids once a week at work, and then later at the church near my house.  Then the economy went in the crapper.  NOT using them anymore… now it’s scratch paper!)