what do you do?

when your co-worker (in a different city) refuses to acknowledge your texts, emails, phone calls and even DMs on Twitter?

You stalk her on g-chat till you see her online and say: “when can we talk.”

At least, until she blocks me there.

February 26, 2010. meta. 1 comment.

at peace, asleep

I realize I’ve been posting a lot of pictures lately, but I had to post this one, even though the photo quality isn’t that great since I took the picture with my phone.

On Saturday night, I developed the vapors and took to my bed. The Potato decided to come and keep me company, and when it was time for him to go to bed, he said, “Mom, can I just go get changed into my pajamas and brush my teeth and then come back in here with you?”

Of course, I said yes.

And here he is, asleep next to me.

The thing I love about this picture is that the curve of his cheek makes him look like he did when he was a baby. He’s become such a big boy now, but when he’s sleeping, I can still remember what it was like to have a newborn Potato in the bed.


February 23, 2010. the cutest kids ever!. 3 comments.


It’s not just me who has been practicing self-improvement this year. The Bee has been making a very concerted effort to stop biting her fingernails. She had fingernails that exposed her nailbeds, and her cuticles were a disaster—not like, “oh, those are ugly” disastrous, more like, “oh those are festering sores!” disastrous. Ugh.

I made a deal with her in January that if she stopped biting her nails & let them grow out, I would take her for a real manicure at a salon. She’s been a fan of nail polish since she was old enough to know what it was, and has been really into painting her nails lately. So today was the day!

I wasn’t planning on getting mine done—the only other time I’ve ever had a manicure was for my wedding—but she insisted. Here are hers:

that's not a smudge on her ring finger--it's a design--just didn't turn out well in the photo

And mine:

it's surprisingly hard to take a picture of your own hand

February 21, 2010. family life. Leave a comment.


I’ve got a variety of types of fatigues these days, starting of course with the ubiquitous snow fatigue. That might be, more generically, winter fatigue.

I’ve just been on the road for three days, and in addition to massive driving fatigue, I’m also faced with a huge email backlog, from the email I didn’t read while I was at a bunch of meetings. What I really want to do this weekend is veg out, but I think I’m doomed to spend some portion of it doing work, if I’m to start next week in a decent place.

I’ve also got a fair amount of diet fatigue right now.

I’ve been eating less in a controlled way (I prefer not to call it dieting) since June. I downloaded a calorie counter for my phone, and I’ve lost about 30 pounds through a combination of being much more conscious about what I put in my mouth, and just generally doing more exercise.

At this point, I’m really tired of the things that are healthy to eat. Especially since it’s winter, and the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables in our diet has dropped precipitously. It’s a lot easier to eat more salads and things when you can just go to the farmers’ market every week and pick them up.

What are you tired of, right now?

February 19, 2010. random other things. 5 comments.

sometimes, these kids do me proud

The Bee came home today after school and told me that she had to go to the PTA meeting tonight. I groaned with anguish, because I have to go on a trip tomorrow morning that involves leaving the house at 6 a.m. and then driving about 300 miles. So tonight, what I really wanted to do was pack, maybe watch a movie, drink one small glass of wine, and go to bed early.

And besides, I have been to my share of PTA meetings in my life. Being as I was the f’ing PTA president. I was even feeling really over myself, because I was one of only three first grade parents who made it in for the Valentine’s Day party today.

So I whined at my kid, “why do you have to go to this meeting? Why can’t someone else go?”

She looked at me levelly and said, “because someone has to go talk to the PTA about our bake sale for Haiti, and none of the other kids’ parents will take them.”


“Okay, I guess I’m going to the PTA meeting.”

So we went to the PTA meeting, and the Bee & her best friend, the Peony, who along with two other fifth graders are organizing this bake sale, went up to their classroom to practice what they wanted to say. Then they came in and showed us the posters they have already made for the bake sale, and talked about their plans to sell pretzels & bottled water at the annual Talent Show.

The Bee is a more confident public speaker than many adults that I know. I could not be more proud of her than I am right now.

February 16, 2010. the cutest kids ever!, the joys of PTA. 2 comments.

things that are predictable

If  I say to the Bee & the SP: “kids, we will go to the movies tomorrow after you write the first draft of your report, Bee, and you do your chore, SP,” they will invariably agree to the plan.

But when it comes time to do the actual work? They are nowhere to be found.

Guess I’ll be going to the movies alone :).

February 14, 2010. random other things. 3 comments.

snowpocalypse 2

We were hit by another big storm on Tuesday night. They closed school for Wednesday before the storm had even started on Tuesday, and when I woke up Tuesday morning to only a couple of inches, I thought that was a mistake. But it just kept coming…

the huge pile of snow that landisdad carried from our driveway into our back yard

our always-treacherous-in-winter back steps

and the snowman that landisdad and the Potato built in our front yard

…and yes, I’m ready for spring now.

February 11, 2010. family life. 2 comments.


We celebrated our second major blizzard of this winter by sitting around in our pajamas till noon. Play practice was canceled, and our friends who were flying in from Chicago for the weekend got grounded there, so we didn’t go to our planned brunch. Instead, there was Wii, and unaccustomed Saturday morning TV watching.

The Bee walked to a friend’s house in the afternoon, and landisdad was forced by my physical therapist to dig out the driveway solo this time. The Potato and I played some games, and then he sat on the floor and built things out of legos while I sewed for a while.

Mid-afternoon, the Potato and I managed to get dressed, and we went outside where I pulled him around on the sled a little bit. He also decided that he had to clean off our cars–which mostly consisted of him shoveling snow using only his arm.

yes, that's my car, covered with snow

We’re supposed to go to another brunch tomorrow, but it’s in a Neighborhood That Never Gets Plowed in our nearby city, so I’m not sure we’ll make it, or if we do make it, if we’ll be able to park the car. Maybe we’ll just stay in our PJs till noon again…

February 6, 2010. family life. 5 comments.

BBSP at five years, the remix

So yesterday, I put up my top-ten most-read posts. Today, it’s just my personal top ten. YMMV.

I did, by the way, read through almost every old post on my blog in order to write this post. Just not the memes. Remember how many memes there were in the blogosphere, five years ago? I think those have pretty much been replaced by Facebook quizzes.

I did make an editorial decision not to pick posts that had a trackback from my own blog—if those posts are worth re-reading, they’re not hard to find. There had to be some kind of criteria, or I never would have gotten it down to ten.

One thing that really struck me was how much my kids’ personalities were fully-formed when I started this blog–though of course, they are so much younger in those early posts. If only I had known then what I know now…

I’m really happy that I’ve kept this thing going, though, if for no other reason than that it gives me the ability to go back and read about moments that I’d totally forgotten…like when the Potato was praised for not eating crayons.

#10–Reading the first year of my blog brought back a lot of fun memories, but also some painful ones.

#9–Once upon a time, I drove across the country to a soundtrack provided by Eddie Vedder.

#8–When I first started writing this blog, landisdad had a more demanding job than I did. That’s changed, big-time, over the past five years.

#7–Did you know that I really like maps?

#6–I’m happy that we’ll be going back to one of our all-time favorite family vacation locations this summer.

#5–My kids can be awfully creative, when they want to.

#4–I often struggle with anger management.

#3–Sibling rivalry is a common thing to read about, on this blog.

#2–If you read my blog at all, you can’t avoid the politics. Or the peace movement.

#1–Will the worry ever stop? I don’t think so.

There’s a special category of posts about books, that needs a top ten of its own. In no particular order (and the track back rule did not apply).

The Potato learns how to act out Caps for Sale.

I write alot about books and parenting, both my own parenting and the parenting I received.

There was the time I rediscovered my love of zines.

Still one of my favorite kid books of all time.

My to-be-read pile has once again outgrown this old picture.

The Bee’s competitive nature, combined with her love of reading, has worked out well for her.

February 2, 2010. meta. 2 comments.

BBSP at five years

Sometime in the near future, this blog is going to reach 100,000 hits. I know that’s nothing, compared to some big (and even not-so-big) blogs, but if you had asked me five years ago if I’d be close to hitting that mark, I would have laughed.

I thought it would be interesting to look at a retrospective of the last five years. Well, it’s interesting to me. It’s divided into two parts: today’s is most popular posts, and tomorrow’s will be landismom’s top ten. The popular posts is a little deceptive, because I did move my blog from blogger to wordpress, and therefore the posts from the early years might not have as many hits. I’m just working with the tools I’ve been given, y’know. But hey, now that I think about it, that means I’m over 100,000 hits! Break out the bubbly!

Most Popular Posts (and my guesses as to why they’re popular)

#10–The Bad Side of Genetics. Not really sure about this one. I was actually surprised to see that it made the top ten. I think it must be the thing about fused baby teeth–I get a couple of searches a week for that term.

#9–Beware the Basement. Is everyone afraid of their own basement? It seems this is a far more prevalent problem than I ever suspected.

#8–Even Little Girls Named Ruthie. Again with the teeth?

#7–Top Ten Toys. This tends to trend very heavily around Christmas. Guess it’s all those aunts and uncles and grandparents looking for suggestions. Not very helpful, I’m afraid. Although you can’t go wrong with Mad Libs. Or D & D books.

#6–Teaching Values Through Literature. On my worst days, I’m afraid that the people who are searching for advice on this topic are really looking for James Dobson. This ain’t it.

#5–Book Trading. Yay, people want to trade books! So glad about this one.

#4–We’re All Happy Hair. Is it the same people who want to read about my kids’ teeth?

#3–Carnival of Feminists #32. I’m pretty sure I got in on the tail end of carnival hosting. At least, I can’t remember the last time I saw one on a blog I read.

#2–“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”. This is 100% people searching this term. For papers, I imagine. How befuddled they must be, when they get to my blog.

And now…drum roll please…

#1–Betrayed by the Skin I’m In. Wow, there are a lot of people out there in the world who have random itchiness. Also? A severe allergy to Tide seems to crop up now and again. Ironically, the “medical mystery” story in last week’s Times magazine was about a guy with severe cold allergy, so they’ll probably be stealing all my hits.

February 1, 2010. thoughtful parenting. Leave a comment.