ella_menno: (Default)
4:23am. M is in my room, laying on my chair, attempting to get some rest. I can hear him tossing & turning. Says his belly doesn't feel right, but he's not sure what's wrong.

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner for 18. Sincerely hope this is not the start of one of those "remember the year that M was so sick on Thanksgiving?" stories.

Kinda want to take a Xanax. Concerned it might affect ke too much in the morning.

ella_menno: (evil but pretty)
Oldest Child is working on his last project of the year, which is a paper bag speech. Each kid takes a paper grocery bag and labels/decorates each of its sides with "an important aspect of yourself." The examples were things like family and friends and education.

Oldest's four sides are as follows:

Label: Family
Decor: photos of various family members; a drawing of the family crest

Label: Travels
Decor: a few cut-outs of state shapes; photos from various vacations

Label: Art
Decor: samples of his drawings; photos of his origami and clay work

Label: Harry Potter
Decor: small copies of all 7 book covers; a photo of the medal he won in the library's Potter trivia contest; a photo of me and him at the bookstore the night DH was released.

Fannishness: Spanning Three Generations!
ella_menno: (life by emmavescence)
It’s over. It’s over, I tell myself firmly, and I try to make my heart resume its normal rhythm through sheer force of will.

This is stupid, pointless fretting, and I know it. The tornados have long since passed; the weather is clear, calm, peaceful. The thunderstorms we were told to expect haven’t even bothered to show up, like they’re ashamed to make an appearance after the raging and grandiose performance the twisters turned in.

It’s over, and now everything is safe. My children, my babies are here, safe, sprawled all over my bedroom floor. Each of them is asleep, and none of their faces are creased in fear anymore. I don’t have to look at them and lie to them, to have them ask me questions with their voices ("is the tornado going to come this way?”) and their eyes (“can you keep me safe?”) that I refuse to answer honestly - because the honest answer is “I don’t know.”

I hate lying to them. I try not to do it – but there are times it is the kindest, the most responsible thing to do. There are times that shielding them from the truth is the best way to love them. There are times, like today, when they need me to look at them and tell them “I will not let anything happen to you. It’s okay for you to be afraid; I will be brave for you. I will keep you safe.”

Because of course these are all pretty lies. Though I would fight, kill, die for them, I cannot protect them from everything. When it comes right down to it, there are precious few things from which I can protect them. I can lead them to shelter, but I cannot change the path of a storm.

And yet, this time, it passed. It passed us by, it left us untouched – physically, at least. When they wake up tomorrow, this will already have passed into the realm of memory. “Remember the time?” they’ll say. “Remember how scared we were?”

“Yes,” I’ll tell them. “I do remember.” I’ll remember all of it for them, and someday, when they’re old enough, I’ll share all of it with them.

But not tonight. Tonight they sleep soundly, gathered around me, and I take this moment to pause and breathe a prayer of thanks, that we’ve made it through yet another storm.

There are times you sit down to write, and there are times you sit down and words just flow through you. The above words were the second kind of writing.
ella_menno: (ozma)
I came to the perhaps-shouldn't-have-been-quite-so-surprising realization today that my primary fandom is now "my kids and their school."

Who'da thunk it?

In related news, I need a happy!mom sort of icon.
ella_menno: (time out)
Smallest spent the better part of last week with the flu (fever, chills, cough, aches, sore throat).

She's better, but now Middle is suffering from the same bug/virus/crud.

Did I mention that I've been playing the role of "single parent" for seven of the past ten days?

*sigh* I really don't feel like making dinner tonight.
ella_menno: (evil but pretty)
While e-mailing this morning, I realized that if I overlook just the tiniest of typographical errors, I can say that my daughter will soon be having her Sith birthday.

*considers* You know, in some ways, that may be more correct than the actual number....
ella_menno: (smug club)
The Scene: Morning; I'm in the kitchen with the kids. They're finishing up breakfast, and I'm looking over their backpacks to make sure they've got everything.

Aaaaaaaaaaand - action!

ME: *holding up Oldest's new backpack* Hey, did you see this?

OLDEST: No, what is it?

ME: There's a whistle attached to one of the zippers!

OLDEST: Cool! Can I try it to see what it sounds like?

ME: Oooh, no, I don't think so. You're only supposed to use it if there's an emergency.

YOUNGEST: What's a 'mergitsy?

ME: 'E - mer - gen - ceeee.' Like if something bad happens.

YOUNGEST: Oh! If [Oldest] falls down, he should blow the whistle?

ME: Well, that's not really the kind of emergency I mean. He could whistle if, say, a bad person tried to kidnap him.

MIDDLE: *to Oldest* Why would anyone try to kidnap you?

OLDEST: *scoffs* Because I'm awesome, maybe?

Aaaaaaaaaaand - cut!
ella_menno: (baby!harry illo)
Our local bookstore had a little party last night to celebrate the release in paperback of HBP. Of course I had to go (what, me miss a Potter event? Nevah!), and Oldest Child asked if he could come along.

Since the party was at six o'clock, and since I'd long promised that I'd take him to the next Potter-related bookstore gathering (assuming that it would be the book seven release party - granted, I'll still end up taking him to that as well), he and I made a Date Night of it.

I'd like to say it was a magnificent party with all sorts of fun activities, but if I did, I'd be fibbing. From random observations I made, it looks like the person in charge of the children's section is brand new at the job and just kind of cobbled together an event at the last minute. Not that it was bad, per se - there just wasn't much to it. Oldest was rather disappointed, though the excitement of purchasing his Very Own Copy of HBP mitigated his emotional distress. *g*

Anyhow, now both he and I have fresh new paperback copies of HBP. He's in the bathroom down the hall, and I can hear him reading the "good parts" to himself. ("Good Parts," to him, generally involve Quidditch games, Peeves, scatalogical humor, and/or Snape's dialogue.) Here's a sample for you, and I'll attempt to transcribe it with the inflections he's using:

"You think he is MISTAKEN? Or that I have somehow HOODWINKED him? Fooled the DARK LORD, the GREATEST WIZZZZZ-ARD, the MOST! ACCOMPLISHED! LEDGE-ILLY-MENS! the WOOOOOOOOOOORLD has evah SEEN??!?"

Never let it be said he lacks dramatic flair.

If I can get the camera to cooperate with me, I'll post the photo I took. Cuteness abounds, yo.
ella_menno: (baby!harry illo)
The high point of the day was definitely when we set off the green-tinted firecrackers and the kids ran around yelling "AVADA KEDAVRA!" at the top of their voices.

Happy Independence Day!
ella_menno: (life i love)
The scene:

I am sitting on the sofa next to Michael, age 6. We are looking over a list of words containing the vowel sets of {a}, {a_e}, {ai}, and {ay}; Michael is telling me if each word uses a "short A" or a "long A."

ME: *points* What is this word?

MICHAEL: Lllllll...lll...lack....llllaaaaake. Lake! It's lake!

ME: That's right. Is "lake" a short A word or a long A word?

MICHAEL: Long A! 'Cause it sounds like aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

ME: Very good. *points* Now try this word.

MICHAEL: *furrows brow* Rrrrrrrrrrrrr...rrraaaaaaaaaaaaac...raaaaaaaaack...no, that's not right. Rrrrake? Rake?

ME: Yes! That word is 'rake.' Is 'rake' a short A word or a long A word?

MICHAEL: Shhhhh...long. *brightens* Hey! Shhh-long! Schlong!

ME: *giggles*

MICHAEL: Schlong, schlong, schlong, schlong! That's my answer for everything!

ME: *gives up, falls off sofa laughing*
ella_menno: (baby ginny)
Hellooooooooooooo everyone! We're back from the fifteen-day tour of All Parts North (well, not all parts - just the parts where our relatives reside). 'Twas a good trip, if for no other reason than we didn't have the Random Fits of Barfage with which we were plagued during Christmas '04. The kids were good, the husband actually - gasp! - relaxed, and I managed to stop worrying and enjoy myself for the greater part of the holiday, which was a big change for me.

Had a number of odd, unusual, and otherwise memorable conversations with various people on topics such as these:

* Hypothetically spaking, would a thumbless monkey actually be a monkey, or does the lack of opposable thumbage downgrade said animal from status as a primate?

* What's a better scenario: Darth Vader at Hogwarts, or Severus Snape in outer space? (Very important for those of us who received several Lego sets from our grandparents.)

* Who came up with the original idea for the athletic cup? Did it follow on the heels of injury, or was it from its inception a preventative measure? How long have those things been around, and do they have any interesting backstories - like how George Washington's false teeth were made of wood, for example - was the first athletic cup made of, say, half a coconut shell? Did the village blacksmith attempt to make inroads into the area of genital protection?

In our defense, I will say that most conversations of this sort happened in the 14-odd hours we spent in the car. (28 hours if you count the trip there and back, and that's not taking into account the 10-hour round trip to MN.) Ye gads, we travel too much.


And now I bring to you a question: does anyone have a good remedy for EXTREMELY chapped lips? I don't know if I ran into something I'm allergic to, or if it's just been that dry, but my lips hurt. Both corners are cracked, and my bottom lip feels only slightly less bad than it would had I run a dry-cheese grater over it several times. (That last sentence was awkward; however, I'm excusing myself from fixing it, in deference to my OW OW OW lips.)


I do want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, too, though the wishes are a few days late.
ella_menno: (me at a desk with a soda)
Much to my shock and surprise, all three of the kids and the husband watched LotR: TTT several times this weekend. (TNT was running it repeatedly.) I myself have never been much of a Tolkien fan – I blame this shortcoming on the mandatory seventh-grade dissection reading/analysis of The Hobbit – so I only watched bits and pieces of it.

Thanks to fannish osmosis, I was able to follow along pretty well (even though I wasn't really paying attention.) There were a few things that definitely stuck in my head, however….

1. All those “still the prettiest” icons? Okay! I totally get that now! Matter of fact, even the decidedly non-fannish husband was referring to him as “the pretty blond boy” (okay, really he said “the pretty-boy blond,” but it’s practically the same thing) by the end of the weekend.

2. How the LotR fans keep all those wacky names straight, I’ll never know. Barafaragorn? Gimlilumlas? My favorite, of course, was the oldest child referreing to Orlando Bloom’s character as “the Lego maniac.”

3. While we’re on the subject of name-confusion, can I lodge my complaint against the whole “Saruman/Sauron” thing? If you simply must have a Big Bad and his Main Henchman, could you at least do us the courtesy of giving them less-similar names? Even the nasty old Emperor gave his Darths different titles, for heaven’s sake.

4. Speaking of Star Wars, the children were quite impressed to hear that Saruman was the same guy who played Count Dooku. Oh, and we realized the reality/fiction line is still blurred for the six year old, as he kept hollering at anyone who appeared onscreen with Saruman to "watch out for his lightsaber!!"

5. So, um, Gandalf. He's dead, he's not dead, he's dead, he's not dead. Indecisive, much?

6. I was truly amused to hear the boys discussing a "Gollum vs. Dobby" smackdown; became frightened when I realized such a thing probably exists in a fic.

7. Last of all, those Ork monster thingies? Were wicked scary. Makes a lot of sense, now, why Mork was so thrilled to get off-planet. *nodnod*
ella_menno: (Default)
1. Well, okay. The whole of livejournal didn't blow up in my face like I was afraid it would, so that's all good.

2. The corner of my mouth is cracked and lo, it is very painful. The regular stuff I use (Aveeno lip stuff) isn't helping. Suggestions?

3. Scene in my kitchen earlier this morning -

BOYS: *gathered around counter*

ME: What are you doing?

OLDEST: Looking at the milk I spilled.

ME: Why are you looking at it and not wiping it up?

MIDDLE: We'll wipe it up, Mom. But first we wanted to decide what state it looked like.

(For those of you interested, the verdict was "Kentucky." It kind of did look Kentucky-ish, too.)

4. Dreamed about my grandmother last night. The dream has mostly faded, but I definitely remember her standing on top of a huge armoire type of thing in a hotel lobby. Oh, and she was wielding a machine gun.


Yeah. I dunno.


6. The kids are in the basement playing Jedi Academy. I can't tell you how that warms my heart.
ella_menno: (Default)
I am so fangirling this list:

20+ Reasons We Homeschool


I've spent the better part of the afternoon dling songs that make me cry. (Not all of them in the bad way, either.) Shall I list them for you? Mmkay.

"Taking You Home," Don Henley
"Whiskey Lullaby," Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley
"When I Said I Do," Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black
"Russians," Sting
...all of which have been added to my iTunes playlist entitled 'heartbreak.'

*blinks* Wow. Don't I just sound like a big ole ball of fun.


T-minus four days until M. turns six, which reminds me - this would be a good opportunity to write up his birth story. Perhaps later tonight.

Gosh, I wish I had something more interesting to say.


ella_menno: (Default)

December 2011

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