Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Library again

Today's library numbers: 34 items out, 7 on hold. We returned 4 books and checked out 3. And there are 2 CDs to return next time, after I read the liner notes.
  • Mr. Monk goes to the Firehouse
  • Without a Map
  • Better basics for the Home
  • The complete book of activities, games, stories, props, recipes, and dances for young children - Not quite what I was expecting; it's geared for teachers, and I just want some new songs to sing. "Itsy Bitsy Spider" is getting old.
I'm still waiting for Donna Kooler's encyclopedia of crochet; I've had it on hold for months now, since May at least. There's a scarf pattern in it that I'd like to see, according to Ravelry. I'm thinking their copy is lost somewhere.

We spent $3.50 at the book sale, El Burrito scored some good finds today. (We missed the copy of Corduroy somehow - I was the first one at the kid's cart, and didn't see it. But then I missed Horton on my first browse, and we've got a paperback copy of Corduroy. I'm putting a hardcover copy on El Burrito's Christmas list, though, since he reads it a lot.) We found a nice copy of Horton Hears a Who, plus a Richard Scarry book and a couple others, and a VHS for me.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Renaissance Festival 2008

Warning: Lots of pictures ahead.

Our RenFest trip in pictures, 2008.

We left at a decent hour (8:30) and were in the Festival grounds by 11:30. (We were delayed by a pit stop at Feldman's Farm & Home, which I like to call "the last indoor plumbing for 500 years" - although there are flush privies at the Festival.

We started off with a music performance by Tullamore, a Celtic band from Kansas City. We've managed to see at least one of their shows every year that they've been at RenFest.

We spectated a while at the elephant and camel rides, since El Burrito is on a bit of an elephant kick.

He saw the elephant eat a whole watermelon!

We saw an awesome water feature for sale; only $7900.00, but someone put a lot of work into it.

Elephant sitting in one corner.
Very large dragon in the other corner. Didn't get a pic of the smaller dragon.

And a wicked-cool lion fish in the fourth corner.

El Burrito got to run around in the petting zoo area. He wasn't interested in much petting, but he liked the running around part. It was fenced, and not much poop to worry about, luckily. Mostly sheep, a goat, 2 pigs, and a pair of llamas. It's a hoot to hear El B. try to say "mama llama."

Then we watched the bird display, presented by the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis.

This is a Harris hawk, native to the southwest.

A lovely juvenile female peregrine falcon, so new to the sanctuary that she didn't have a name yet and didn't get to swoop over the audience.

A barn owl, who did get to do some flying, but I wasn't fast enough to get pictures of it.

The bataleur eagle, native to sub-Saharan Africa.

The hooded vulture, also from Africa.

He also got to do some flying maneuvers.

And last, but not least, Twig the screech owl. I somehow didn't prep any pics of the raven for the blog. Can't remember his name, but he would take the donations and stick them in the donation box. Talented.

There was a stage show before the birds, and El Burrito still remembers the dragon. I forgot to take a picture of that, though.

And El Burrito fell asleep while we made our last privy stop before heading out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday Again (again)

Today's library stats: 27 items out, 9 on hold. We returned 4 DVDs and 5 books, and came home with 2 DVDs, 2 CDs, and a handful of books. (If we move out of the county when we get a house, I will seriously miss this library. And may claim to live with my in-laws just to keep my library fix, if they don't have some sort of arrangement for out-of-county people.)

  • 3 Doctor Who DVDs (series 2 and 3) that I didn't get to watch (El Burrito and DH seem to control the TV lately)
  • a Caillou DVD that El Burrito didn't care for, which is odd since he likes the PBS show. He wasn't crazy about the mechanimated cat and turtle/frog (?)
  • The Diamond of Darkhold - 4th and last in the Books of Ember series. I'm waiting for the movie; we'll see how many "changes" are made
  • Peg Bracken's Window over the Kitchen Sink - a memoir, more interesting because she grew up in Missouri
  • Mayhem in Miniature - a "cozy" mystery; the sleuth in question does miniature dollhouses as a hobby
  • 2 tractor books that El Burrito picked out
And we spent $2.50 at the book sale.

We tried the library without a stroller again today, since the stroller was in DH's car and he was at lunch somewhere. Luckily we found a good parking space, and it didn't go too badly. Well, except for a certain Someone making two laughing escape attempts while I was trying to shove our books into the tote bag and juggle my purse at the same time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ren'sahnse Bestibuhll

A.K.A. the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, which is where El Burrito spent his Saturday.

Pictures coming later. I think he had a good time, although he didn't really care for riding in his stroller so much. He did love the petting zoo, mostly because it was a fenced area where he could run around a bit (we didn't pay for pellets to feed the critters, because I didn't want him to get mugged by a pushy sheep and freak out). He saw a dragon, elephant, camels, sheep, two llamas, lots of raptors, and a poodle trimmed to look like a dragon.

Next year, we'll watch the jousting.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This boy of mine

Whatever else I say about El Burrito, he's a polite kid. We've been working on "please" and "thank you" since he was born (being a good example, you know) and he's started saying both without being prompted.

Lunchtime yesterday:

"Thank you, mommy"
"Thank you for what?"
"Thank you for putting the chicken in [the toaster oven]." (Roughly paraphrased, I know I got a word or two wrong, but I was a little astounded at the time.)

Later, I got thanked for helping pick up his crayons, and for rolling out his play rug - although he was the one who rolled it out on the floor, I just stood there.

Yes, he irritates me sometimes, and I'm working on that (on me being irritated, specifically). The not-taking-a-nap thing on Monday really griped me no end. But he's polite, darn it, and darned cute when he's being polite.

Now, if he'd just not grow up quite so fast. Honestly, it makes me sad. Every time I think we've got things figured out, he grows up, hits another milestone, and I'm back to Square 1 (or 2). Starting the baby food, switching to "real" food, crawling, walking, you name it. Now we're thinking of potty-training, plus he's talking more and better than ever. Which means I've gotta watch what I say more than ever (not just the swearing, but other stuff too).

I'm here with him, alone, all day every day, and I still feel like I'm missing out on his growing up. Like I'm not paying attention to him or something, even though it's not like I ignore him. I read to him, talk to him, color with him, you name it. It just feels like I don't remember any of it. Maybe it's just my crappy memory, because I swear sometimes, if I don't write it down or take a picture, it might not have happened. I don't seem to have those vivid memories people talk about. I can't remember what El Burrito's first word was, or when he took his first steps. I remember very little of his birth. Sure, the drugs may be involved there, but I tend to sort of block out really stressful things. The weekend I found out my horse had died is mostly a blank; ditto for the first really bad boyfriend-breakup week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Commentary later. Someone wants to watch a movie, or color with me.

Comments added:

El Burrito and a pair of lions at Shelter Garden. (Apparently I missed him kissing one of them. Slow camera.)

Coneflower closeup. One of the last coneflowers still blooming.

Some little blue flower.

Looking up through an elephant-ear leaf.

A water lily, taken with the white-balance on sunlight (I think) when it was a cloudy day. Interesting look, I think.

Tuesday Again, Again

Today's library numbers: 23 items out, 11 on hold. Returned 6 books today, came home with 6 more, and have a couple strays around the house that missed the roundup today.

  • The Naked Chef Cookbook
  • Mr. Monk and the Blue Flu
  • Do you know the muffin Man - Songs & activities for kids, not what I expected, was hoping to learn some new songs
  • Mr. Monk goes to Hawaii
  • The Legend of the Sleeping Bear
  • something about tips for email and instant messaging - business-oriented, a quick skim.
The Monk books are pretty good, although sometimes I think the book Monk is a bit more extreme in his OCD behaviors than the version we see on TV. They're all written by the same author (so far), so there is a good deal of consistency.

Then we spent $1.50 at the book sale - a book for me, one for DH, and one for El Burrito.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What's up here?

So, basically, what's El Burrito up to lately? Because I'm stuck in the Same Ol' Same Ol' rut.

Both PBS stations have changed their schedule (probably due to back-to-school time). So now we have no Jay Jay the Jet Plane or Caillou during the week, just WordWorld. And I'm not sure El B entirely comprehends "it's not on tv today" as a reason. The library does have Caillou DVDs, to give us some variety.

He did come up with a good one yesterday. He was putting his alphabet-puzzle letters (and numbers) on the floor in rows. When I asked him what he was doing, he said "I'm building a word." Yeah, I think WordWorld is sinking in. Granted, his "word" was gibberish, but I'm okay with that.

He can also sing the Red Dwarf theme song. Both verses. Although he occasionally gets goldfish shoals mixed up with Goldfish crackers, and can't quite pronounce "shipwrecked and comatose" yet. Yep, my boy's a geek in training.

He did frustrate me yesterday - refused to take a nap after laying down for 90 minutes. He napped today, though. Thank God.

Tuesday Again

Library Day! (El Burrito's favorite, maybe).

Library stats as of today: 23 items out, 5 on hold. Returned 3 books, 1 CD (Buddy Holly) and 1 DVD (The Universe). Checked out 6 books. I made it to the top of the waitlist for Diamond of Darkhold (the 4th City of Ember book). My copy is stamped 9-8-08, so they got more copies in last week.

  • Katy and the Big Snow (which we need to buy for El B)
  • What Janie Found (last in the Milk Carton series)
  • Top Chef Cookbook - interesting stuff about the show, but the recipes aren't something we're realistically going to make. Or eat, most likely - most of it would be $$$$ at a restaurant.

And it was El Burrito's lucky day - we found 3 Clifford books on the sale cart, all Halloween related. One's in Spanish, so I can brush up on my rusty spoken Espanol. And maybe he'll get the gist of the whole Halloween thing, and help decide what costume he wants this year.

The big fall book sale was held last weekend. I went alone (left El Burrito and DH home asleep), and showed some restraint. :) I spent $59 on Saturday, with about $10 of that being various CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes (although slightly overpriced at $1 per VHS). I scored some pretty interesting books, although I did end up with some duplicates, mostly of Redwall books. But, at 50 cents each, I can live with it. Kind of embarrassing, though, to buy the same book twice on the same day. I went back on Sunday, but the stock was dwindling a bit, and I only spent $15. Nothing for El Burrito, since the children's' book sale is next month, but I did find some Dragonlance books for DH. They're replacements - he loaned his to his sister in college, and she somehow sold them all at a yard sale. Go figure.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Things that bug me

A couple of things have irked me lately.

Minor irk: I bought some magazines (old Sesame Street issues) on eBay. Paid $4.50 for shipping & handling. By my count, the postage was slightly under $3. The kicker is that they used an inside-out Priority envelope to mail them. Now, mostly it's no skin off my nose, except that I've had acquaintances in the same situation have to pay the difference between Parcel and Priority postage when the PO noticed the inside-out Priority packaging. That can get kinda pricey. Also, when you order the free Priority packaging online, you sign an agreement that you'll only use it to ship Priority. This kind of thing has been enough of a problem that the boxes are all printed with something-or-other on the inside.

More major irk, with Serious eye-rolling: DH's brother (2nd oldest, upper 40s, who had a heart attack last week) is looking at buying a house. Actually, an insurance-nightmare house with attached workshop, attached riding arena, and horse-barn attached to the arena. The fire hazard alone would give me the willies, plus the dust and possible rodents.

This is the brother who doesn't save any money - his philosophy is that he might be dead tomorrow, so why bother saving up, or paying down his truck loan, or any other loan. The same brother who's had one truck repossessed, and voluntarily surrendered the other one before the repo guys came. He's worried about identity theft, although his credit report would probably scare anyone off. He's got a good salary, and lives with an uncle, rent-free, utility-free, basically paying for his DSL, food, and gas. Oh, and insurance on a truck (to commute in), a motorcycle, and at least two cars (one of which he refused to commute in when his truck was in the shop and he was freaking out about $4 gas). So, really good income, very little expenses, but crap for savings. He likes his "toys" a lot.

Anyway, he called one night to talk to DH about this house he found. Without talking to a realtor or anything, or getting an inspection, or doing any checking, he was apparently ready to go out the next day and offer the seller their asking price for the place. Supposedly he was told that he could get a mortgage for that amount at some rate that was freakishly hard to believe given his history. Some bank was either delusional or he misunderstood something.

We'll see him again Sunday. I'm calculating the odds that he'll be talking about his new house. It won't shock me if he is, no matter how much DH tried to convince him to do some research on it.

El Burrito's Geekification

Haven't been in a blogging mood lately. Meh.

El Burrito's getting geek-ified lately. My anniversary present was the complete Red Dwarf box set (16 DVDs), and we watched the first two series (seasons) over the weekend. Not hard to do, at 6 half-hour episodes per series. Anyway, El Burrito loves the theme song. He'll gladly sit there watching the menu screen while the theme song plays a dozen times. And get a bit upset when we start watching an actual episode.

That's my boy.

He's also gotten into the booboo-kissing thing, although I'm not sure where he learned it. Last week he saw a mosquito bite on my arm and said "Mommy has a bump. I need to kiss it." And did.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Another Tuesday library run

Today's library stats:

21 items out, 6 on hold. Returned 8 today, came home with 5. Spent $10 at the book sale.

Returned today:
  • Mr. Monk in Outer Space
  • The Prodigal Nun
  • P is for Passport
  • The Idiot Girl's Action Adventure Club
  • The Other Woman
  • The I Hate to Cook Almanack
  • Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run
  • The Dirt on Clean
Comments are in my in-progress Reading List post.

What did we get at the book sale? A smallish atlas from 2002 (so about 10 years more current than the last one), 2 sets of playing cards with classic tractors on them (El Burrito and his grandpa will have fun with those), and a Jimmy Buffett CD/DVD set. And El Burrito's book-sale buddy had another book for him - How do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms?