One of my favorite bloggers, Crazy Aunt Purl, recently held a contest, and I WON!  Check out CAP's blog at http://www.crazyauntpurl.com/.  You'll love her.


Help Me Help You

Murray is at that stage where he wants to help.  And I mean help with Every. Little. Thing.  Craig and I encourage experimentation and feel that we might as well take advantage of this phase. 

Yeah, right.  Dumb idea.

For instance, on Sunday, I went a little nuts and decided to spend the day in the kitchen preparing for winter hibernation (i.e. canning). Murray was ever so helpful; mixing, pouring, and getting in my way "washing"  the dishes.  What would have taken me a few hours turned into an all day event.

That's only the beginning.  It took Craig and Murray over 45 minutes to vacuum and mop the floors yesterday.  And he did such a great job with our paper mache volcano project that it took a week in the sun to dry out.  He helped water the plants (and the floor), brush the dogs (much to their chagrin), feed the dogs (they were happy, they got an enormous portion), release a spider (yuck) and helped DH hang a mirror (while sitting on Craig's shoulders), and is now assisting Craig with supper (which, at this point, means staring at the oven waiting for the biscuits).  

Don't get me wrong; I'm thrilled that we're raising a helpful boy.  I have visions of Murray feeding the homeless, raising money for charity, and planting trees in the Amazon.

I just don't understand why this helping phase doesn't include picking up his toys.

P.S. Laugh track for the day:  While playing Hide and Seek tonight, I was the "counter" and Murray said, "Mama, I'm going to take off my shoes so I can hide in your bed."  Where could he be?

Dear Darla

Have you seen the 1990's version of "The Little Rascals"?  If you haven't, it's pretty cute.  Murray's watched it so many times, he can recite several lines.  Our favorite is:
"Dear Darla,"
"I hate your stinkin' guts."
"You make me vomit."
"You are the scum between my toes."

Only Murray's version is this:
"Dear Darla"
"I hate your stinkin' guts."
"You make me bomit."
"You are the skunk between my toes."

I realize this probably isn't the healthiest thing to teach your child, but the way he recites it is so funny that I make him do it several times daily.  Laughter guaranteed. 

On a completely unrelated note, you may have noticed that I haven't posted pictures and video clips in a long time.  This is because I had an old laptop that didn't support our cameras (they're ancient, too).  Anyway, last week, my computer finally crashed.  It crashed so hard that even Craig couldn't fix it.

I swear I didn't dump my glass of water on it intentionally. 

I was secretly thrilled and off I went to purchase a brand, spankin' new laptop.  But, my evil plan was thwarted.  DH, the computer genius that he is, decided that he could rebuild this old honkin' 1988 version of a computer, so we would only have to buy a new monitor.  I get it - we saved several hundred dollars.  Great plan.  Now, if I could just find the USB port on the damn video camera (new to us, but slightly used), I'd be able to add visual content again.  Finally.

After he finishes my math tutorial tonight, we'll have a new/used computer tutorial.  My homework is never done.  Sigh.

What Were You Doing?

Note: edited version.

September 11, 2001

I was a student at NDSU and living in a teeny apartment close to campus.  Recently single, I was nursing a heartbreak and several mugs of beer after my bartending shifts.

What I didn't know then was that society was about to change, and my broken heart was minuscule compared to the rest of the world.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I woke up to The Today Show.  At 8:02 a.m. (central time)  I learned that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I thought it was an accident, but just minutes later, I heard that second tower of the WTC had been annihilated, the Pentagon had been attacked, and Flight 93 had crashed. 

I will never, ever, EVER forget the angst of that day and the months following. I don't need to elaborate; we all have the horrible images etched in our memories.   

I made it to school the next day, but the silent and mournful faces on the sidewalks and in the classroom were eerie.  I remember sitting in my Child Development class while a jet flew over our building.  We all looked at each other with a terrified expression and literally ducked for cover.

We're all still hurting.  I don't think the pain will go away.  Several days after September 11th, 2001, I was visiting with a friend who said, "We're going to be scared for the rest of our lives, and our children's lives, and their children's lives."  Too right.  America will never be the same.

I can't imagine how the families and friends of the victims have suffered.  The thought makes me cringe.

I don't have the words or thoughts to express my sadness.  I can't even write about this anymore.  I'm sorry.  My heart aches.  Sending prayers.


Little Boys and Bugs

Our family moved to a new town when I was a sophomore in high school.  It was the middle of August, and our home hadn't been lived in for several months.  The house was quite clean, but we did have one problem; crickets.  They were everywhere.  It was so bad that I slept on the kitchen counter that first night.

I'm not a fan of spiders and bugs, but I can usually handle the removal of them.  If I see a cricket, though, I run for cover and stand on the nearest chair

I know my fear of crickets is silly. They don't bite and they can't hurt you.  Even so, they drive me crazy.  Crickets are awful; they make horrible noises, invade your home, and well, I won't elaborate on what happens when you step on them.  I'd ride on an angry bull before I would welcome a cricket into our home.  That's saying something for a woman who's scared to drive on the interstate.

So, today, when I picked Murray up from daycare, he and his pals were very excited about the grasshoppers that they had caught - I can do grasshoppers (I know, no rationality here) so I went to have a look.

Grasshoppers would have been acceptable, only they weren't grasshoppers, they were crickets. 

Yes, they were CRICKETS.  Our nephew was squeezing them, and Murray had one hopping all over his hand.  It took a lot of courage to be brave and say, "Wow, those are really neat!" especially without swearing like a sailor.

I have the willies just thinking about it.