Saturday, June 30, 2012



I haven't been thrift store shopping in a very long time. Partially lack of time, partially lack of cash. So yesterday afternoon when evil ducky and I were google chatting and she invited Nico and I to hit a few Goodwills with her this morning, I was eager to go. I had some concerns that I'd used up my bargain shopping mojo for the weekend, because that morning I'd seen this little table out at someone's half-assed yard sale on my parents' block. I circled back to the house for some cash and bought it for $15. It's brand new, the chairs still twist-tied together, with the box and its $40 price tag included.

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But I pushed my concerns aside, Nico and I pocketed the last of our consignment profit money, and we headed out this morning. It seems we had a little bit of mojo left after all. We only made it to two stores before MB and his mom got back to town and it was time for lunch, but we made the most of our time. At the first store, I found two Nico shirts:

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I pretty much never buy sports shirts, but this one was clever enough to win me over. That's a Pachycephalosaurus head-butting a soccer ball. The text says "Bay Ridge Behemoths Soccer - We use our heads." Come on, now, that is great.

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We also had a near-catastrophe when Nico left his blankie on top of a rack of shirts and didn't tell anyone. Thankfully I noticed it was gone before we left and I speed-walked out to the car with panic churning in my stomach before coming back inside and spotting the blankie tucked up on top of the clothes. Crisis averted, holy shitballs.

We really hit it big at the second store. I found this nerdily awesome shirt for N (though it's going to grate on me unceasingly that 'habitat' is spelled wrong at the bottom):
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I turned down Nico's request for a (tacky, hot pink, much-too-large) shirt with butterflies on it, but agreed to drop two bucks on this for his playroom wall:

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I wish the previous owner had just framed it instead of sticking it on a canvas and decoupaging ribbon onto it, but I liked it enough to overlook the semi-questionable presentation. The vintage, realistic butterfly drawings are neat and I was pleased that Nico seemed to really like them as well.

Evil ducky gets all the credit for the showpiece of the day's shopping, though. She found this kid-sized sleeping bag in a bin of blankets and drapes. It's made of super-soft fabric, looked barely used except for a broken zipper, and the little tires are velcroed on and can be removed / reattached. I paid the princely sum of three dollars for it and my mom has already fixed the zipper. I can't wait to give it to Nico…I don't think I'll wait for our camping trip in September.
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Also, I came home to this and nearly died of cute:

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Guaranteed method for ensuring spousal alertness

"Oh, by the way…I saw a spider in the shower this morning. It got away before I had a chance to squash it."

Reading:  Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Playing:  Nico's playlist on my phone, by his constant demand request

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Learning to say yes

Learning to say yes

I've somehow managed to avoid some of the classic mothering pitfalls. I don't struggle overmuch with guilt. I don't spend a lot of time angsting over the recently-trendy topic of "having it all" or torture myself over my work / life balance. Something I have had to consciously teach myself, though, is to say yes more. Not in a spoiling way or a going back on the rules way, but in a "let go of the Type A personality" way. If Nico asks for one more bedtime story and it's not much too late, what's one more story? If he wants to scribble all over his coloring page with every green crayon he owns instead of mixing it up a little, no worries. If he does silly things with his toys but isn't tearing them up, more power! And the biggest one lately, if he wants to run through the garden hose every evening…well…I think that's okay.

At first it was kind of contrary to what I thought we should do. He'd get messy, I'd have to change him into a whole new outfit. Then I realized, who cares? He's a kid, he's fully washable. He has many, many outfits. And even better, if we go out pretty close to bedtime, I can just strip off his wet clothes and put him straight into his pajamas. Sure, it's messy. Sometimes it's inconvenient. But ten, fifteen, twenty years from now when we both look back, what are we going to remember more fondly? The nights he went calmly to bed with dry hair or the times he got to run wild in the water? I think I already know that answer.

May 27 hose
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Things that have actually been said at work recently

Things that have actually been said at work recently

(Please note that I do not work at a pet store.)

"Somebody hold my squirrel."

"Were you the one I was talking to about the chicken?"

"Can you shoot up my turtle?"

"Here, lock this bat in the conference room."

"I want to buy your black rat snake!" (Answer: "Well, you can't." Unspoken subtext: "Take your batshittery elsewhere, madam.")

"Do you have the one on oral abcesses in box turtles? That seems like a good one."

Friday, June 08, 2012

Photo Friday

Photo Friday

(The kids at the farmers' market decided the badger needed a hat.)

Sunday, June 03, 2012

summer updates

Summer updates

In case any of you are on the edge of your seat about how our various summer projects are going, here are some very brief updates. And some other stuff.


There was either a very localized tadpole rapture while we were on vacation or our allegedly-vegetarian bullfrog tadpole is not a vegetarian at all. Because we left a tank of one big tadpole and two dozen tiny ones and came home to only one big one. He's not admitting anything, but I have my suspicions. In happier news, despite dire predictions he'd stay a boring (murderous) tadpole for up to a year, he's started to sprout hilariously wee frog legs. Nico has taken to running up to the tank and announcing, "Tadpole is funny!" so I guess we'll keep him.



The ugly garden has received a makeover and the plants are doing well so far. I'm hopeful that my levels of enthusiasm will stay high during the hot weeks of watering that are to come.

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I've been posting somewhat regularly over at the garden blog, so further updates will probably be over there.

blog music thingie!

I've been having issues with my playlist widget over there on the right (does anyone even listen to it other than me?) and today there was a little box there that said playback is no longer available. I was kind of losing steam on making a monthly playlist anyway, so I'm going to try putting little tiny embedded YouTube videos there instead. If you click the playback arrow underneath the video, it should just play here rather than redirecting you to a new window. Let me know if you try it and it doesn't work or if it's causing weird annoying things to happen when you view my page. I think I'll be more inclined to swap the music out more often this way because it takes a fraction of the time I was investing in getting those playlists put together. It probably will also mean poor MB sitting through approximately 150% more repeat playings of that ridiculously catchy / cute Lennon & Maisy song, though.

pie success!

Has anyone ever made a rhubarb pie before? I had never even seen rhubarb until about a month ago when one of the volunteers at work brought in a big bag of this stuff that looked like red-tipped celery and said we could all take some. I'd like to know who first looked at this celery-looking crap and said, "Hey! Let's put that in a pie!" Anyway, I knew my mom liked rhubarb pie but couldn't handle the raw plant due to skin allergies, so I set out to make a pie for her for Mother's Day. I used a recipe that Danger found online and emailed to me and the pie got mixed reviews. My dad initially said it wasn't very good (too tart), but my mom later told me it was just fine. I don't tend to like tart things at all, so I didn't try it. I was contemplating making another pie for Dad's birthday today with the rest of the last rhubarb haul (which I chopped and froze), but then the same volunteer brought another big bag in this week. I called Dad's brother's wife and obtained the allegedly-awesome family recipe and made pie #2 last night with the second batch of fresh rhubarb. This one was a success. Nico and I dropped the pie off with a birthday card this evening and Dad called 10 minutes after we left to tell me the pie was really good. High five, family recipe! So anyway, if anyone comes upon a whole bag of rhubarb and wants the recipe, let me know.

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(I don't care what you say; that does not look like dessert.)

Reading:  American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow

Playing:  Dosage by Collective Soul

Friday, June 01, 2012