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Life is good!

Just a few random things today:

First of all, how glorious is it that my Elliott was safe last night? He was singing to me, you know. *swoon* Mary has been fixing me up with MP3's of my Elliott (and a couple of Chris thrown in cuz he really sounds good as long as he isn't staring at you with his hollow James Blunt eyes o' doom) and now the best part of waking up is my AI5 playlist put on random repeat, yo!

Secondly, Judi was nice enough to send me a gmail invite so I switched over! No more Hotmail eating my messages. (Which actually, I could have inadvertently deleted everything myself, so I'm not completely blaming HM, but [dyson] I just think things ought to work properly [/dyson]) New e-mail addy is in the sidebar.

Thirdly, Kitty, who I just noticed is considering blog-a-cide, so please hop over there and tell her nopity nopity, sent me this link: Scrapbook Lifestyle to watch their pilot episode in which they use my Americana papers! How cool is that?! You have to get through all the die cut info first (skip to 1:45 if you can't wait, but actually the die cut stuff is pretty cool)

Fourthly, Nancy was completely right on the movie quote. It was my favorite line from Changing Lanes. Excellent job, Nancy!

Dad_low_res And lastly, I want to wish a very merry happiest of birthdays to my dad. 58 years young today! You don't look it, ol' blue eyes! (And hello? Why wasn't I provided with THAT gene, I'd like to know?!)

Let me tell you one thing about Dad - he never met a pun or a silly phrase that he didn't like. Some of my favorite "Dad-isms" growing up:

You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose!

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Then again . . . on the other hand . . . she wore gloves . . .to cover her warts . . . wart's that you say?

So Dad, in honor of your birthday, I thought it only fitting to track down a new pun for you. This one is courtesy of Pun of the Day :

After being treated by an optomotrist . . .

Wait for it . . . .

(Oh this is a good one!)

The ladies in the donut shop will love it!

So will the guys at the co-op . . .

. . .the bird seed!



TPBQOTD (I loved my father, so naturally I challenged this man to a duel)


I seem to have a glitch in my Hotmail account. Everything older than yesterday has been eaten! So if I owe you an e-mail, please accept my apologies and re-send.

It seems a waste to include one of my few remaining precious Princess Bride quotes on a Public Service Announcement, so I'll throw in a Random Movie Quote of the Day:

RMQOTD (They have to write their own letters)

On the subject of teeth . . .

My children, having come out too early, have reached nearly every milestone pretty much late. Losing teeth has been no exception. At age seven and a half (and seven and a half plus a minute) Karl has lost exactly two teeth. Emma has, as of Thursday, lost three. (But see - she's older, so that must account for it.) And although their baby teeth are straight, all four of the permanent teeth are horrendously crooked. Thank-you Burniston genes. (My teeth are dazzlingly straight with nary a day o' braces. Look at these cuspids. Arrrrr.) John, by contrast, for much of his pre-teen years, had a mouth full of winches, pulleys and enough metal to construct a smallish car or office building.

Karl and Emma went to the dentist on Thursday for a check-up/cleaning. Emma's tooth had been precariously clinging for quite some time but she was not brave enough to let me pull it. (I think she thought the dentist might pull it for her, but when he didn't, she pulled it herself that afternoon at school.) But I'm getting ahead of myself . . .

We have a lousy dental plan that requires us to go to a dental "chain" - you know, the ones with the catchy names that reside in strip malls. I have no reason to doubt the competency of the place except for the whole franchise thing. It's kind of like the lawyers that advertise on TV. Plus, I find it suspicious that they don't want me to come back with the kids. I am required to wait in the waiting room. I suppose I could pitch a fit about it, but they do have People magazine . . .

Anyway, as we pulled up to strip mall, I reminded the kids that I couldn't go back with them so they needed to answer all the dentist's questions in a nice clear voice. Karl looked at me solemnly and said "If I don't answer the dentist's questions they'll have to put drops in my eyes!"

This, you see, is how well he remembers the trauma of eye appointments during his "too-stubborn-to-speak" years. But I explained that eye drops really wouldn't tell the dentist much about his teeth so perhaps he ought to just answer the questions in a nice clear voice. And so he did.

The hygienist came out to tell me the news. Emma needed a filling and they both were getting referrals to the orthodontist for the crooked/crowding issue. (No surprise there!) Oh, and she said they want to seal Karl's permanent molars.

I was really confused, because Karl hasn't lost any molars. She tried to convince me that he had lost FOUR teeth without me realizing it. She said sometimes kids lose them at school and don't tell their parents. Yeah right. A lost tooth is easy money, and there's NO WAY that Karl lost four teeth without anyone noticing. Finally she mentioned that the teeth may have come in behind the baby teeth, which seemed more plausible. I'll be quizzing the dentist about it next week.

And I told John to find us a new dentist.

Of course, our strip mall dentist is right next to Blimpie Subs, which made lunch quite convenient . . . but no, I still think a new dentist is required. As long as they have People magazine.

But that's not what today's post is about. Teeth - yes. Dentist - no. Lost teeth - yes. Found teeth - no.

Karl_tooth_blogBecause we have a problem with losing lost teeth. It started last August with Karl's second tooth. I took him out in the backyard for a few photos. Here he is just seconds before, you guessed it, dropping the tooth in the grass! We searched, and we searched, but the tooth was gone. He was distraught. I told him to write a note to the tooth fairy explaining the situation.

His note was succinct: Dear Tooth Fairy, I lost my tooth in the grass. Can I have the money anyway?

And the Tooth Fairy obliged. She always leaves notes with the money, and this is what that particular note said:

August 26, 2005

Dear Karl,

Don’t worry too much that your tooth’s lost, as such

Things happen quite often, you see.

Why just last week Ruth was missing her tooth

‘Cause she lost it while up in a tree!

Geraldine Moore dropped her tooth on the floor

And her dad stepped right on it and crushed it.

But what’s even worse was when Jeremy Hurst

Dropped his tooth in the toilet and flushed it!

Samuel Booth once swallowed a tooth

When he bit down quite hard on a carrot.

But that’s not as bad as Joe Trinidad,

His tooth was chewed up by a ferret!

I don’t have your tooth to put in my tote,

But you explained things so well in your lovely note,

That I won’t be upset and I won’t scream and holler,

See you next tooth, and have fun with your dollar!

The Tooth Fairy

The Tooth Fairy always says "See you next tooth" in her notes. It's the kids' favorite part.

Emma_tooth_2_1Which brings us back to Thursday, and Emma's lost tooth. The school appears to be much more responsible than I am. They sent home the tooth in a sealed envelope with a nifty drawing of a tooth on it and the date. How nice!

Of course, I had to rip open the envelope and have Emma pose for a few pictures with the tooth in her hand.

The good news is that she didn't drop the tooth in the grass.

The bad news is that she dropped the tooth on our light-colored cream somewhat-speckled semi-shag carpet. *sigh*

We spent an hour looking for it. I even put a nylon over the end of the vacuum hose and went over the whole area, to no avail. Somehow that tooth vanished into the carpet, never to be seen again. Emma was distraught. I told her to write a note to the tooth fairy explaining the situation. It was like deja vu. It was like deja vu. (See what I did there?)

Her note was slightly more flowery, but the brass tacks were the same - hey dame, can I have the cash? Emma, by the way, thought it entirely probable that the Tooth Fairy could find the missing tooth, since she's a fairy. Uh. Yeah.  Ix-nay on the ooth-tay inding-fay.

So the Tooth Fairy dutifully composed another poem, or so I surmise. She may have been eating dinner with her family and thinking up rhymes. She may have ducked behind the counter, out of sight, with a post-it note and a pencil when inspiration hit. Or not. I wasn't there - just imagining how that might have gone down. In fact, while I'm imagining things, maybe she wrote up the note and wanted Mr. Tooth Fairy to read it before she left it under Emma's pillow. So maybe she left it on the kitchen counter and forgot about it. And then maybe Emma woke up the next morning and came bawling into her parents' room saying that the Tooth Fairy didn't come at all. Oh wait - that part is real!

Despite my groggy state, I reacted quickly, telling Emma to check the kitchen counter, which, as I explained, is the back-up location for the Tooth Fairy. She uses the kitchen when it's unsafe to go into a kid's room - like maybe the kid is sick or not fully asleep or snoring or has a guard dog.

The note said:

April 20, 2006

Dear Emma,

I got your note about the tooth,

I’ve looked but haven’t seen it.

When you say you “lost your tooth”

I guess you really mean it!

I heard that you were crying some,

But give yourself a hug,

What’s on the floor downstairs is not

An ordinary rug.

In fact, your carpeting has eaten

Many teeth. It’s true.

Billy’s, Sammy’s, Martha’s, Calvin’s,

Mary’s and Lulu’s!

Your rug is from a distant land,

He grew up in the forest.

In the days of dinosaurs

They called him “Rug-Tooth-Saurus.”

With all the teeth he’s stolen,

I think you should be thankful,

That even though he ate your tooth,

He’s never bit your ankles!

So I’m glad you wrote a letter,

It’s a good one. That’s the truth!

I’m leaving you a dollar for it.

Bye! (See you next tooth)

The Tooth Fairy

Emma was affronted by the Rug-Tooth-Saurus part. "I've read 3 books on dinosaurs and there is NO.SUCH.THING.AS.A.RUG.TOOTH.SAURUS, Mom!" I explained that maybe the Tooth Fairy was just making up funny stories for artistic effect. After all, I said, our carpet probably didn't grow up in a forest. More like a factory. But let's award points for creativity, shall we? Sheesh. Tough crowd!

Now, you've made it this far, so I'm rewarding you with a fun, fun opportunity to do a good deed and maybe win a prize for it. Karen Russell has organized a fundraiser and boy is it a good one. You must check out her blog for all the particulars, but basically you donate a buck through Karen to Women for Women International (check out this link to learn more about the organization) and for every dollar you donate you get entered into a drawing for cool scrapbooking prizes OR for a scrapbooker to scrap your photos. And she's got some big names on the "scrap your photos" list - Heidi, Becky, Ali, Cathy Z., Karen Burniston. (What? I'm huge in Europe. Heh) And hey, if you "win" a page by me I promise to use 424 eyelets on it! Bonus! (kidding)

But do seriously check out the fundraiser and considering donating to a worthy cause. It's something you can sink your teeth into! (Oy! I slay me!)

TPBQOTD (Well who says life is fair? Where is that written? Life isn't always fair!)

Stalling . . .

Yes, yes, I know. A week between posts is unacceptable. What can I say? It was Easter. There were things to do, people to see. There was a South African foreign film playing downtown. (Tsotsi and it was a great movie) There were taxes to finish. (We're postmarking today - don't judge us!)

And now I really don't have time to do a proper post. You know - a good set-up, story, plenty of belly laughs and worthy of 50+ comments. (PS How thrilling was that?! Answer: Very)

However, I owe Julie something for being such a good sport when I post photos from our childhood. She seems to not mind, but of course one can never be sure. Perhaps she'll pay me back with some Karen-of-the-heinous-hair images on her blog or something. However, it should be noted that Julie really doesn't need ME as material when she can do this:


Starting to make more sense now, huh? Obviously when you've grown up with a sister who can LEVITATE you reach adulthood with some baggage. I mean, please! Look at her sly superior smile. It's as if she's saying "Sure, there are four other people in this photo, but I know who you're looking at. Oh yes, I know. The bores on the floor ain't nothin' next to ME!"

In fact, I know why Julie's hair is so delightfully un-curled and carefree - she used to levitate higher than mom's curling iron cord would reach! And Mom would totally forgive her, too, just because Julie would fetch the canning jars from the top shelf of the garage. (It appears that Mom may have taken the curling iron to Dad's hair instead, but that's a whole other post!) And don't even get me started on who always got to put the star on the Christmas tree! *grumble*

So sure, feel sorry for Julie if you want to, but I think the real sympathies belong with me for having to grow up with Peter Pan there. Brian and I would be trudging to the bus stop and she'd just float on by - her and that Blaine kid from down the street.

I'd be trying to earn some cash, solving Rubiks Cubes for a quarter, and suddenly my customers would be distracted by Julie helping Charlie Brown retrieve his kite.

Karen_defaced_1And don't think for a second that I don't know who pasted this photo twenty-five feet up the flag pole at school: 

I could go on, and on, and on, but I think my point is made. Who's the victim now, huh? I ask ya! Huh? Huh?


A question was asked about what will happen when I've quoted every line of The Princess Bride. After much thought and deliberation, I have decided that when that sad day comes, I will then start a RANDOM movie quote of the day and you all can have fun figuring out what the movie is. Well, until Michelle reads, of course. She'll just look it up online. (hee) Julie prefers to consult the movie reference manual on the top shelf of the library, but we know what a show-off she is! *g*

Have a wonderful Monday!

TPBQOTD (Look, he bested you with strength, your greatness. He bested me with steel. He must have out-thought Vizzini, and a man who can do that can plan my castle onslaught any day!)

Blogworthy 1970's!

It is a rather unfortunate truth of my childhood that my parents didn't take many photos. I have one childhood album that spans birth to age 10 and there are probably a hundred photos to document the entire decade. Mom did a nice job of captioning the year and occasionally the place or event, but other than that I have to rely on memory.

Or, when memory fails, I can just make things up!

Take, for example, this random shot taken in 1977. If memory serves correctly, we were on a road trip to Nebraska for my mother's cousin's wedding and stopped at some park in Wyoming.


Now I don't know the woman with the big hair behind me. The one who is stomping forcefully on something. Perhaps it's a giant spider. "Don't worry, little girl, I'll save you from the big, bad spider!" Of course, while she's stomping and my dad is clicking away with the camera, they both seem to have overlooked the presence of an ANGRY DEER right next to me! Um, hello? There's an ANGRY DEER ABOUT TO EAT YOUR SEVEN-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER! Do you NOT SEE the angry deer, Dad? No, I will NOT smile for the camera. I'm frozen in fear, gosh darn it!

Even in times of great peril, though, my Prince Valiant hairdo held up. So there's that. I could be in the hospital after a deer attack, bloody shards where my ear used to be, and my hair would have looked perfect.

"Perfect" being a relative term, of course. I looked ridiculous, but I was perfect at it.

Need a closer look at the hair? As you wish!


Where do I start?! The hair, again, looks perfect. In fact, my senior photos are starting to make a lot more sense now that I see the hair tips that Mom provided from an early age. She probably made my hideous dress, too. She made a lot of our clothes. Usually she'd make matching dresses for me, Julie and our Barbie dolls, but apparently there wasn't enough blue polyester, plaid accent pieces or red cording to go around. Tough break, Julie.

Mom, as you see, is wearing her bridesmaid's gown. Nothing says "bridesmaid" quite like a picnic blanket, I always say. And what could be better than turning that picnic blanket into a floor-length, empire-waisted, puffy-sleeved gown?

Why a straw hat, of course! One word: classy!

Moving on . . . let's just discuss Brian's attire. I seem to be the only member of the family without protective eyewear and that means, naturally, that I am at great risk of losing an eye to those pointy collars. Apparently this trip was all about my face being destroyed by angry deer and starched boywear.

Ignoring for a second the Buddy Holly spectacles, can we observe the tie? Is that Dad's tie? Is that why it's so large? Or did they pick it up at the local clown store? Of course, a clown tie would never be available in that depressing color, which leads me to believe that Mom took a quick trip to the grocery store for a package of Rit dye in the ever-popular Puke Periwinkle shade. Or maybe she sewed the tie. That would explain a lot. That would explain the combination of an orange plaid shirt, periwinkle tie and navy cardigan. I'm fairly sure that Mom bought all her material from  Fraulein Maria's Big House o' Fabric.

And last, but certainly not least, let's observe little Julie. My first question is, of course, how did she avoid the Prince Valiant treatment on her sandy bobbed hair? I'd also like to know who sent her roses and whether the concept of pairing patterns with solids even EXISTED in 1977?! At least the white/green and green/white polka-dot fabrics appear to be from the same collection. We can't see her bottom half, though. My educated guess is that she's wearing a rainbow pinstriped skirt. Or plaid. Or gingham. Or straw.

In any case, she looks pretty darn cute smiling at her rose. Some of you accused me of being heartless when I posted this photo of her looking, as she said, like a "slow blind squirrel". But see, it's not her fault. Julie was afflicted with CISD (Camera-Induced Smile Disorder) for much of her childhood. CISD is fairly common among children and manifests itself only upon key triggers, such as "Smile for the camera!" or "Say cheese!" If the disorder is not triggered, children will look perfectly natural in photos, as Julie did in the above photo.

Trigger her CISD, though, and you get something much more unpleasant. Something, perhaps, like Easter morning, 1978 . . .


Emma_second_grade_school_photo_1CISD is hereditary. It passes from aunt to niece quite frequently, as evidenced by Emma's school photo this year:

I should clarify that this is the RETAKE photo. The first one, if you can believe it, was worse. Her glasses were halfway down her nose and the top rim of her "tribute to Uncle Brian" Buddy Holly glasses completely obscured her eyes. Since she doesn't always wear her glasses, I felt it wouldn't be historically inaccurate to have her remove them for the retake, thereby eliminating the possibility of that problem happening again. Emma DID NOT, you see, inherit her Aunt Julie's dexterous ability to push her glasses back into position by scrunching her nose. If Julie ever lost both arms to an angry deer, for instance, her glasses would not slip down irreparably. Emma, by contrast, would be armless, blind and breathing through her mouth.

But that was not an issue, you see, because I told her to remove her glasses for the photo. And she did. Because she's nothing if not obedient. Her hair is practically passable and she hasn't spilled applesauce on her sweater. She has all the ingredients for an excellent photo except . . . . someone must have told her to smile.

Curses to you, school photographer! (shaking angry fist) Do you not understand how serious it is to ask a child to smile if they have CISD?! Have you no shame?! Why did you even SEND this photo to me? Are you pride-less as well? Wouldn't it have been better to just claim that the lens cap was on or a fire consumed your inventory? What on earth made you think I'd buy these?

Oh, you heard I had a blog?


TPBQOTD (It was ten days till the wedding. The king still lived but Buttercup's nightmares were becoming steadily worse.)


"The" Thread!

With apologies to my non-industry friends, I just have to mention this huge food-for-thought thread at 2Peas:

I must say. . . that Torm is a thought-provoking eloquent classy missy! She raises some really good points and civilized discussion follows. For those of you who don't have about 4 hours to read through the whole multi-page manifesto, thought, let me explain. No, it is too much. Let me sum up:

Buttercup marries Humperdink in little less than half an hour . . . NO WAIT, wrong summary.

The thread is about: Bloggy Brown-nosers, Entitled Princesses, and Contest Overload.

Apparently there is some underground networking advice circulating that if you want to get noticed in the industry you should comment on the "scrapbooking celebrity" blogs. In flattering news, this shocking revelation produced not one but TWO e-mails from regular commenters asking me if I thought they were suck-ups! Let's just digest this for a second . . . MY BLOG was considered a celebrity blog! Hello? How huge it that? Hey Fonzie - here's your life jacket back! Heh.

But seriously, though. This is not a celebrity blog. It's a silly blog about kids, vomit and embarrassing predicaments with a slight undercurrent of scrapbooking. I welcome and cherish each and every comment. I've never felt "stalked", which is another common word that people use to explain why they don't leave comments. How could I feel stalked? I'm putting this stuff out there for the world to read. Why wouldn't I want them to read it? How do I know if anyone's reading if they don't comment? Can I make it any clearer: I.LOVE.COMMENTS!!!! hee.

Plus, I don't really hold any sort of "big break" power. I'm just an independent contractor, not an employee of CI or any other manufacturer. It's all freelance. I can't help anyone with their career, but I can hopefully make them laugh, and that's all I'm really trying to do here. So please keep commenting and know that it is all good and that I am so grateful.

Now as to the other industry phenomena raised in the thread:

The Entitled Princesses part refers to the designers who request free product from manufacturers at trade shows and by e-mail, etc. Yeah, I guess I'd be lying if I said I didn't see that element of the industry, but I can't agree that it's become more pervasive. There are more manufacturers and more designers requesting stuff, but percentage-wise, it's not that much different than a few years ago. The industry is young, and manufacturers started the unfortunate precedent of giving away a ton of product. It's now snowballed into an epic monster, but I think things will stabilize eventually. Not all requests are from a sense of entitlement and donations can be an excellent marketing tool. It's just about balance, baybee! 

And finally the idea of Contest Overload, where all these contests are spurring a sense of competition and jealousy. Actually, I rather like that there are so many contests. It gives more people a shot at winning something. Plus it's a great equalizer to entitlement attitudes. It used to be that HOF was the only big contest, but then the other magazines followed and then some of the bigger manufacturers, etc. I would think that it would LESSEN the feelings of dejection to know that if you don't win a particular contest, there will be another one in a month or two. The same goes with publishing opportunities - there are a lot more magazines and books to contribute to. With more and more designers jumping into the "career" pool, isn't it a good thing to have as many opportunities as possible? What am I missing?

So I propose that everyone sit criss-cross-applesauce and join me in a rousing round of Kum Ba Ya! Or something. Or, better yet, forget the campfire song and post a comment right here! Go ahead - make my day! Heh

Happy Snowy Friday! (Snow is not so good for the daffodils, I must say)

TPBQOTD (Don't worry - I won't let it go to my head!)

KarlBob Bloglaughs

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in possession of a blog must be in want of amusing anecdotes. (With apologies to Jane Austen)

I am such a woman, but lucky for me, I happen to have a well. A well that is deep. A well that is overflowing with the witty water.

His name is Karl. 

I do not like to go to the well too often. I mean, people are going to get sick of me if all I ever do is post clever cute things my kids say. But I'm making an exception and going to the well for back-to-back posts. What can I say? It's good material.

Erin mentioned an eerie similarity between Karl and the kid from Jerry Maguire. (The human head weighs EIGHT pounds, Erin. Sheesh.) It is a fair comparison. Karl has some sort of weird photographic memory or something. He's been devouring the library book on how wounds heal. On the way to school he was telling me about the epidermis and the dermis. Did you know that burns never bleed? This is because burns do not injure the blood vessels. And so on, and so on, and so on. (Do we understand why it is not a good idea to let Karl ready Willy takes a Journey?! Of course we do.)

But Karl does not merely memorize the written word. Oh no. Pshaw. Karl memorizes the spoken word as well. Which is why I cringe if John lets a "golf word" slip out.

Plus John doesn't play golf.

My friend Ev came over for dinner and scrapping the other night. Her boys were sleeping at their cousin's house and Ev had the evening all to herself. A first, if I'm not mistaken. When I asked what her big plans were she said she was going to steam clean her carpets. Yep.

I suggested something more entertaining, like trimming her toenails, organizing the junk drawer or coming to my house for dinner and scrapbooking. She chose the latter. And she brought dessert!

In order to make it into the house, though, she had to travel through the garage, where my children had set up the Manshun (Mansion) Hotel. She was asked a series of grueling questions before being allowed to check in. So as to return the favor, she asked a grueling question of her own so the kids could earn dessert.

"What's your favorite SpongeBob episode?" she asked.Karl_sponge_bob_blog

Karl looked momentarily troubled and John thought he might get upset if he couldn't think of an answer so he said "We're just kidding, Karl. You don't have to answer."

"But I have an answer," Karl replied, "My favorite episode is Gary takes a Bath, when Spongebob says 'OK Gary, we can do this the hard way or the easy way. Or the medium way. Or the semi-medium easy hard way. Or the medium-with-a-touch-of-easy difficult challenging way.'"

Just like that. The words just rolled off his tongue. I had to get him to repeat it so I could write it down for posting here! And he obliged. Just as perfect as the time before.

OK, yes, his encyclopedic brain can be entertaining, but also a little creepy!

But blogworthy. Oh so blogworthy!

TPBQOTD (You survived the Fire Swamp, you must be very brave, but nobody withstands The Machine!)