Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Snacking!

Originally uploaded by Ernesto and Kristen Burden.

Our town had its trick-or-treating on Sunday of this week, so the house is already littered with candy wrappers. I overheard this conversation in the living room yesterday during one of our designated "candy snack" times:

Sofia: I'm havin' this candy bar (holds up her full size Hershey's almond bar and shows it to David)
David: Ooooh...that looks like it has nuts in it. NOT peanuts, though.
Sofia: Huh...well, it looks okay.
David: Hey, do you want me to taste-test that for ya? I could see if it's okay?
Sofia: (looking unsure) Wellll...uh, yeah. Okay!
David: (breaking off a big chunk, taking a bite) Hmmm. Yep, it definitely has nuts. Almonds I think.
Sofia: Well, it looks good.
David: (shrugging shoulders, taking another bite) Yeah, it's pretty good, I guess.

He gets it from me, I'm sure.


Monday, October 29, 2007

My Three Screamers

Originally uploaded by Ernesto and Kristen Burden.

I was in the process of uploading pictures to Flickr when I thought I ought to do a post, albeit a quick one. Here are the kids enjoying some recent gorgeous weather. We had our first real frost last night, so I think it's safe to say we won't be taking many more pictures like this until next year...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Oh, to be a kid again

After we did school this morning I took the kids to a nice park about 15 minutes from here. It was unseasonably warm and I wanted to take advantage of it. As soon as the kids were all out of the minivan, David and Sofia began running down the path toward the playground. A young boy, just David's age began running down the path as well and the three of them spent the next hour or so playing merrily together, climbing, jumping and exploring all over the park. There were very few people there so it was easy to keep an eye on them. As I listened to tidbits of their conversations as they passed by, I couldn't help think how nice it must be to be able to become so friendly with someone so quickly. I'm sure I must have had that ability as a child, but then I don't remember. They spoke so freely, not in the last bit self consciously.

David: "I'm five! How old are you?"
Boy: "I'm four. Uh, I'm five!"
David: "Oh, cool. I'm five, too!"
Sofia: "I'm three. I'm a cat. MEOW!!"
Boy: "Let's be Power Rangers!"
David: "Yeah! I'll be the blue one."
Boy: "And I'll be the silver one. I'm invisible though."
David: "Yeah, I'm invisible, too."
Sofia: (still meowing) I'm a cat ranger!"
Boy: "There aren't any cat rangers."
Sofia: "I'm the pet."
Boy: "Oh. Come on! There's dinosaurs coming!"

All three: "AAAAAIIIIYYYYY!" as they run away.

I'm trying to imagine how the adult equivalent of this conversation might go like.

Mom#1: "Hi! I'm thirty-four. How old are you?"
Mom#2: "I'm twenty-nine." (long pause) " Whoops! I mean I'm thirty-five."
Mom#3: "I'm a lot younger than both of you and really cute, too." meow.
Mom#1: "I know, let's be the women from 'The View'! I'll be the vicious one!"
Mom#2: "I'll be the passive aggressive one! I've had way too much coffee."
Mom#1: "Oh yeah, me too."
Mom#3: "I'll be the really bitchy one!"
Moms#1 & 2: "Which one is that?"
Mom#1: "Oh, guess what? George Clooney is our guest today!!"

Hmmm. I guess you can't really ever revisit your childhood. And if you couldn't tell, I never actually watch "The View". But just like my kids, I have a pretty good imagination.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I get my hot gossip at McDonald's

When a large woman with a neck tat that reads "Big John" tells you something, you'd better believe it.

The kids and I picked up some fast food on Thursday and I was paying at the first drive-thru window when I noticed a lot of activity on a side street off the road I had just driven down. There was some young man sitting on a folding chair at the end of the street looking unsure of himself. He was fidgeting and alternately sitting and standing while looking around. There were big trucks and white tents set up on the street and a man pointing all around while a crowd gathered around him.

The aforementioned woman saw me staring and said, "They're doin' an 'Extreme Makeover'."
"No way!" I said.
"Uh huh."
"No way!" I repeated, I'm not sure why.
"Yup." She nodded once and said, "You pick up your receipt at the next window."
"Oh. I didn't know." I don't do the drive-thrus very often.

And then I pulled up and realized the man with the gaggle of people around him was none other than Ty Pennington. It was as if you could see the aura of enthusiasm spilling off him and leaking into the street.

So if you're a fan, you may come visit and check out the scene for yourself. If you bring chocolate and feel like doing some laundry, you can even stay at my house.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Top Ten Reasons I Haven't Been Blogging

They may be lame, but they're my best excuses for not getting around to posting anything. And the only reason I posted this was because I've been up since 5AM and there's no one hear right now to say, mommymommymommymommymommy...

You get the idea.

#10: I've got very little 'hands free' time with the baby trying to roll around the floor, putting into her mouth any small object that she could possibly choke on.

#9: Plenty to write about, not enough brain power to translate it into cohesive sentences. The number of brain cells lost rises exponentially with each child I give birth to, so let's see that's three, you do the math because I can't.

#8: We're homeschooling now. My house looks like it got hit with the Kindergarten stick. If I have any more children, people will begin to assume I've begun a daycare program within my home.

#7: I accidentally just numbered this line "#10". Clearly I need more time to sleep, not blog.

#6: My wonderful husband always beats me to the computer.

#5: My wonderful husband also challenged me to a "write off". We are working on short fiction pieces separately and then getting together to review and critique them. He's been published, I haven't. Need I say more?

#4: I keep forgetting, where, to place, the, commas. He,lp!

#3: I am so smitten with "BBC America" I am having a hard time keeping away.

#2: The cats always sit in the office and stare at me while I write. Creepy.

AND #1: The baby is up from her nap...again. Gotta run!!

Stay tuned for the "top ten reasons I need regular chocolate intake to survive" and "top ten reasons no one reads my blog anymore".

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Once Upon a Time...there was no 'Happily Ever After'

My kids love to listen to stories, and lately my son asks to hear fairy tales. We have a cute little collection of them, but they are all the Disney variety and really watered down, mostly only appealing to the youngest of children. Over the summer we got into chapter books and now most of what I read to the kids are story books that contain only a few pictures here and there. They don't seem to miss them, especially David, who can work on building his "K'nex" models while he listens.

But at night he tends to reach for that fairy tale collection and I've gotten pretty weary of reading the same stories over and over. I've happily done this for years and years, but now it grows tiresome.

My mother has been taking a course on fairy tales and she's been reading the real ones. You know, the ones with gore and not so happy endings. So we got to talking about them and I recalled the collection of stories she used to read to me as a child called the "Atlantic Treasury" and it was fantastic, with all sorts of wild characters, and both horrible and wonderful, magical things happening on every page and they weren't the least bit watered down and I loved them.

So I decided that I would read some of the real fairy tales to myself again and enjoyed the original "Little Mermaid" last night and marveled at just how much better a story it is than the one most children know. Now, no one likes that overzealous little crab "Sebastian" better than I, but it's just not the same story. Ariel is just boy crazy, but the Andersen's mermaid is just as(if not more) passionate about taking on an "eternal soul" as a result of being loved by a human being.

Today I read Grimm's "Cinderella" to the kids and they enjoyed it quite a bit. I told them before reading it that it was going to be a bit different than the version they are accustomed to and asked for them to point out some of the differences when we reached the end of the story. They weren't the least bit put off by the wicked stepsisters having to cut off their toes or heels in order to shove their fat feet into Cinderella's shoe and they loved the imagery of the little birds that came to help Cinderella when she had to pick the lentils out of the ashes. They were keen to spot the big and little differences in the story, one in particular being that there is "no happily ever after" at the end. No, just the scene in which the two stepsisters have their eyes pecked out by Cinderella's bird friends.

And the moral of the story? Don't get too close to a lady with a bird on each of her shoulders, whose fancy ball gowns fall down from an enchanted tree. If things end well for her then you can be assured they won't end well for you.