Monthly Archives: October 2008

I Should Get Some Muscle Relaxants

A while back I injured my lower back playing racquetball. I say that I injured it playing racquetball, which makes it sound like a real injury that I sustained while doing manly, athletic things, but in reality I injured it bending over to serve.

Once my back got to feeling better, I resumed my real exercise: Dad Jungle Gym. Every night I sit on the floor and let Liza and Eli climb all over me. They have a lot of fun. I mostly have an interesting collection of bruises.

Of course this re-injured my back.

Hindsight being what it is, I only realized that letting Eli push me over, climb on top of my back, and jump up and down might not be the best thing until I woke up the next morning unable to bend over. But I don’t want to give up Dad Jungle Gym! I’d lose the chance to sit with Eli later that night and make new constellations out of my bruises. The only real solution is for Eli and Liza to go on diets.

That’s going to be tricky, given their wildly divergent eating habits. Given Eli’s love of chicken fingers the Atkins Diet is a natural fit, but he wouldn’t be able to cram crackers in his mouth. How can I drain the joy out of his life like that? A life that doesn’t include a cracker-filled mouth every hour or so is not a life worth living. Perhaps I could create a hybrid of the Atkins Diet and the rice diet.

Liza, well, she’ll just have to become a Breatharian.

“Take On Me”, the Literal Version

I’m swamped at work and I have a cold that has left my head feeling like a giant piñata, only filled with phlegm instead of delicious candy. Since all of my coherent thoughts are focused elsewhere, have a version of A-Ha’s “Take On Me” video, only with the lyrics changed to better match what’s going on in the video.

(h/t to Jilly for the video)

Liza’s Super Hero Powers

We all have our skills. I, personally, can find any household object that’s located inside my house. You’d think that wasn’t much of a super hero power, but Stephen and Eli have tested me to the limits of my skill with their ability to pick up the tiniest of objects and put them down again in unbelievably random places.

Liza has a whole set of powers that are by turns cute and annoying. They are things that only she does. Since she’s the only one at our house with these powers, I guess that makes her special.

Open Door Sense
No matter where she is in the house, Liza knows when a forbidden door has been opened. She comes running from her room when I open the pantry door. She can sense the laundry room door opening from her crib. It doesn’t matter where she is or what she’s doing, she’ll find the door that is open, go in, and start rummaging through whatever the door was protecting her from.

Locate Vacated Chair Power
This is probably a sub power to the Open Door Sense. Dang, the girl likes to climb up in your chair when you get up to do something else. I’ve actually seen her set up a lure to get someone out of their chair, leaving her to nab it while they are distracted by that thing over there that she’s done. It’d be annoying if it weren’t so funny.

Mom is Just Dropping Off to Sleep Sense
Her level of talent at this is amazing. No matter what time we go to bed, she always manages to cry at the exact point when I am just dropping off to sleep. Sometimes she’ll cry before we go to bed and most times we don’t have to do anything. She tends to make a lot of noise sleeping. Only when she is sick or teething do we actually have to go in her room and tend to her. Regardless of that, she will give a “whaaa!” nearly every night while I am falling asleep. It’s like the Emergency Broadcast System for my hypothalamus. Stephen’s super hero power is the ability to sleep through this.

The Power of Bugging the Crap Out of Eli
I think this is a super hero power shared by all siblings, but with Liza the Force is strong. Bottom line: she is way tougher than Emo Eli. She can walk up to Eli, pinch the fire out of his arm or pull his hair, and watch him dissolve into a puddle of pain. She thinks this is all very funny. My super power is making her throw a tantrum when I tell her in my Stern Mommy Voice that this hurts Eli and I am disappointed in her.

The Power of Cute
This is her final power and if you don’t believe in this power you haven’t witnessed this expression on my girl’s face:

Help! I’ve DIY Papered myself into a corner!

A few months ago I got on a Do-It-Yourself planner kick. I love having a paper planner even though I rarely ever use one for anything other than meal planning and grocery list making. But I had big plans for the one I was making. Surprise! I use this one for exactly the same things as I’ve used all the others. I did print project sheets and stick them in but haven’t used them as much as I thought I would.

Today I found Tip Nut and their Saturday Freebie Printables. It’s a very good thing that I don’t get charged for internet by the download or I’d be in so much trouble. There’s lists and lists and links to lists of more lists and fabulous lists that I can print and check off things. If there is a heaven for list makers I want to go to it. Wait. I may already be there.

The best thing I’ve found today: The Ultimatest Grocery List found at Both the list and the website are fabulous. I’ve easily spent an hour today reading other people’s grocery lists. The best way to get an overview is to go to the Top 10 section. I don’t know which is funner the site’s commentary on the lists or the lists themselves.
I think the Ultimatest Grocery List might be the most useful list ever made. I will definitely be test driving it this next week to see how it goes. Regardless, it looks good printed out, formidable even.

I’ve been thinking about why I don’t use a planner more and I can’t come up with a good reason other than by the time I’ve written down what should be done, I could have already done most chores. It seems silly to keep a master list of those things then. But that doesn’t change that I want to have the notebook full of paper. (Don’t worry, I take care of the environment even with my paper loving ways. I always double-side print things, sometimes multiple times, and then recycle the scraps.)

So next time you see me shopping, please remind me to put the planner in my cart back on the shelf because I won’t use it. Tell me to go print some of my groovy lists instead.

NPR Wants You To Help Fact-Check the Debate

Here’s something interesting: NPR wants you to help them fact-check the debate tonight, and they want you to use Twitter to do so. Make a Tweet that includes the hashtag “#factcheck” and has a primary source rebutting one of Palin’s or Biden’s claims, and NPR will take a look. You can follow along using a tool like Tweet Scan.

This is fascinating on a number of levels. One, it’s taking Twitter and turning it into an information-gathering source. NPR isn’t the first to do so: during the recent gas crunch in Atlanta, residents started Tweeting the location of gas stations that had gas and tagging them with “#atlgas” so others could find the information. Twitter wasn’t designed for this, but hey, when have we ever stuck with using a tool the way it was meant? Two, it’s letting a news organization’s audience help with the journalism. Again, this isn’t new, as Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo has been doing collaborative journalism for years. But mix collaborative journalism with the ease of commenting via Twitter and you’ve got an interesting combination.

There are a lot of ways this can turn to mud. If you were an ass, you could flood the channel with noise, creating lots of accounts to post random junk with the #factcheck label. Or you could post erroneous information knowingly, using this as another channel for candidate-driven disinformation. NPR — or at least its poor interns — will have to cull through the chaff to get to the wheat, and even then NPR could cherry-pick the data to slant their eventual story. But the raw data is still there for anyone to see.

(Given more time, I’d love to slurp down that data and correlate it eight different ways. Tag the information NPR uses versus what other sites do (assuming they do so). With what frequency did the same information get posted? How soon after a candidate said something questionable did the rebuttal show up on #factcheck?)

I’ll have a better idea by tomorrow how well it worked, at least in my mind. And it’ll be fun to monitor during the debate.