Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In Which Tigger Falls off a Train

Another blog I was reading today had a story that reminded me of an incident that occured when Tigger was younger that I've always meant to record so that I won't forget it. I'll share it here, and maybe it will cause a few other people to giggle.

Tigger is very gifted verbally and has a lot to say, but when he first started talking, he did it one word at a time. My dad called him the One Word Wonder. He could tell you anything, but he did it very slowly and without sentences.

When he was about 19 or 20 months old, the two older boys and I went to visit my parents at their house in Florida. (Roo didn't exist yet.) One of the things we did there was go to the Jacksonville Zoo. There's a neat train at that zoo. It's inside the zoo, and it has multiple stops, so you can use it to get around the zoo.

We had enjoyed a nice but exhausting day at the zoo, so when it was time to head out, we told Piglet that we'd ride the train one last time and then go. When we sat down, Tigger asked about a seatbelt. My mom and I laughed and told him that we didn't need seatbelts on a train that goes about 3 MPH. It was a nice ride until the train just came to a complete stop in a very abrupt, jarring fashion. Tigger bounced out of his seat and landed on his hands and knees on the floor of the train. (The conductor announced on the speaker a few minutes later that we had been driving past a construction site, and there was debris on the tracks. That's why we stopped so suddenly.)

Fortunately, the seats were a good distance apart, so he didn't hit his head on the row in front of us. He was fine but very scared. He stayed on the ground looking stunned for a few seconds, and then he started to cry. I picked him up and nursed him, and he was soon happy again. (Incidentally, nursing is always called "open" in our family. Piglet named it when Tigger was a baby. That piece of information becomes important later on.)

When we got home, my dad asked the boys what we did that day. This is what Tigger told him: "Zoo. Fun! Train. Fall. Sad. Mommy. Holdyou. Open. Better."

Now, at age 4, Tigger can go on and on about things in very long, sophisticated sentences, so it's funny to think about the very humble beginnings his speach had.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Plans for the Future

Tigger and Piglet informed us of their plans for the future last night over supper. Apparently, they when they're men and need to get their own house, they're going to get an apartment together. It's going to be the highest one and as far away from the stairs as you can get.

Chris asked them where their wives would sleep. Tigger immediately replied, "They can sleep downstairs!" Piglet said, "Well actually, I think they're supposed to sleep with us."

I've asked them before if Roo can live with them, but Piglet tells me that Roo won't be a baby any more then, but he won't be a man like he and Tigger, so he'll need to stay at home with us.

Piglet also plans to buy a blue Mustang when he's ready to drive. He reminds me at least once a week that I'll have to drive him to the car store because he won't have any way to get there when he's buying his first car.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stores Going Out of Business

I just got an email that had a list of stores that are going out of business or closing some locations in the upcoming months. I knew about Linens and Things and have been going in there every once in a while to see the new markdowns, but some of the ones on this list are news to me. I'm surprised that J. Jill is on the list. I thought that I kept them in business with my own purchases!

1. Circuit City stores... most recent

2. Ann Taylor- 117 stores nationwide are to be shuttered

3. Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherine's to close 150 store nationwide

4. Eddie Bauer to close stores 27 stores and more after January

5. Cache will close all stores

6. Talbots closing down all stores

7. J. Jill closing all stores

8. GAP closing 85 stores

9. Footlocker closing 140 stores more to close after January

10. Wickes Furniture closing down

11. Levitz closing down remaining stores

12. Bombay closing remaining stores

13. Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January.

14. Whitehall closing all stores

15. Piercing Pagoda closing all stores

16. Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January.

17. Home Depot closing 15 stores

18. Macys to close 9 stores after January

19. Linens and Things closing all stores

20. Movie Galley closing all stores

21. Pacific Sunware closing stores

22. Pep Boys closing 33 stores

23. Sprint/ Nextel closing 133 stores

24. JC Penney closing a number of stores after January

25. Ethan Allen closing down 12 stores.

26. Wilson Leather closing down all stores

27. Sharper Image closing down all stores

28. K B Toys closing 356 stores

29. Loews to close down some stores

30. Dillard's to close some stores.

Stump the Grocery Store Cashier

One way to liven up trips to the grocery store is to buy the most unusual produce you can find and then watch the cashier squirm as he tries to figure out what it is. I don't really do this intentionally, but it seems that a lot of the high school boys my grocery store employs aren't familiar with anything except apples, oranges, and carrots.

These little baby cauliflowers we had for supper last night certainly stumped the guy who checked us out. Each of the pieces in the picture were individual baby heads, not pieces cut off from a bigger head. The fact that they came in orange and purple just made them even cuter. When I saw them, I just had to buy them. We've bought purple and orange heads of regular cauliflower in the past, but I'd never seen the baby ones before. Tigger loves cauliflower, and I knew he'd love these. I steamed them and put a little butter and salt on them, and he gobbled them up.

(On a different but related note, one of my favorite memories of Piglet as a toddler occured when I served cauliflower for supper one night. He was always trying to teach Tigger, so he picked up a piece of cauliflower, held it up in front of Tigger's face, and said, "See this? This is called a flower." I don't know if comes out as funny in writing, but he used the same inflections as the word "cauliflower", and he clearly thought we were saying "called a flower" instead.)

The poor cashier we had this time was just really baffled by a lot of our food. We bought parsnips, too, which he rang up as rutabaga. I corrected him, since the price of rutabaga was $.70/pound less, but he told me, "Oh, I always do it this way. They're about the same." I guess I've never thought of parsnips and rutabaga as being about the same. I know that my family will eat the pot roast I'm making today with parsnips in it, but I don't know if they'd be as happy with rutabaga.

My favorite clueless cashier was the one who rang up some jicama a few years ago. Jicama is a yummy Mexican vegetable pronounced hee-cah-ma. The cashier held it up, got a dreamy look in his eyes, and said, "Can you believe that a week ago I didn't even know what jee-ca-ma-ma was?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Books We're Reading

A big part of the reason I created this blog is to create a record of the things we've done with homeschooling so that I can be sure to do the things that worked really well with the younger children and avoid repeating things that didn't go as well. If you're not interested in homeschooling, this is probably one of those "there's nothing to see here"-type of posts.

We spend a large portion of our day with me reading to the boys. At least three times a day, I read a short story or a chapter or two from a longer book. Right now, we're reading 26 Fairmount Avenue. It's the autobiography of Tomie dePaola, the children's author. Actually, it's the first in a series of his autobiographies. I guess he figured it would be too intimidating if he offered his whole autobiography in one large book.

One chapter of the book details him going to see Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves when it opened in 1938. He was four years old at the time. He did enjoy the movie, but he was disappointed that it wasn't exactly like the fairy tale that he was familiar with. After we read that chapter, I found a telling of Snow White in fairy tale book we had that was exactly as dePaola described in his book. I read that to them, and then I showed them the movie. I've had the DVD since before we even had children, but they'd never seen it before. After we watched the movie, we talked about the differences in the book and the movie. The boys really enjoyed it.

We're almost finished with 26 Fairmount Avenue now and still really enjoying it. I hope our library has all of the books in the series!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Beautiful Sewing Patterns

For those of you who sew, Jennie Chancey at Sense and Sensibility Patterns is now offering ePatterns for some of her creations. She has created many beautiful patterns sized for today's figures but using historic dress styles from various periods in history. Even if you don't sew, it's fun to look around her site to see some of the beautiful creations some women have made using her patterns.

I think my favorite is the little girls' pantaloons pattern. If I ever have a girl, I'm definitely going to buy this pattern.