Monday, September 29, 2008

Seriously? This is crazy.

As I was cruising through my reader this morning I read this post on A Small Town City Girl and am re-posting here.

This week is Banned Book Week (BBW). According to the American Library Association:BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them.After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.The following are some of the most banned books in the U.S. I urge everyone, in honor of banned book week, to post this list on your blog, and mark the ones you have read in bold!Then go out and read one of the other books on the list.Never take your freedom for granted!

I am totally surprised at how many of these I read as a kid. Read on people, read on!

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Friday, September 26, 2008

Flashback Friday

So I had this idea.

And I have been thinking about this for a while now. And because today was a pretty great day (the L's and I spent the day at the zoo and we had a super fab time) I thought tonight was the perfect night to start this...

Each and every Friday I am going to randomly pick a song off of my iPod and do the why's, who's, how's and whatev's. Music has always been a huge part of my life (Hi, my name is Brenda and I am a card carrying band geek and damn proud of it) and since this blog was really started for my kids as a little peek into who their mom really is, music should be a big part of this blog. I owe a big thanks to the coolest chick that I have never met, Rock and Roll Mama, for just randomly sending me a nice little email and giving me that little boost of confidence. I have just recently discovered her blog but I seriously (have you figured out how this blog was titled yet?) think she is my "sista from another mista." Even though she is all like a real writer and stuff. And I am all like just hacking my way through this.

I should preface this by saying that I have a very eclectic musical library. Don't be surprised at what's on there. Hair bands to Swing. Techno to Bluegrass. Indie to Euro Pop. It's all on there.

So today's pick...

Rock Me Amadeus by Falco

It's 1986. Summer of 1986. I'm 11 and a half. Because everyone who is 11 wants to be older and saying your 11 and a half is way better than only being 11. I have this bratty 9 year old sister. My mom makes me do everything with her. She tags along on all of our bike rides, hikes past the boyscout camp we lived next to, gossip sessions and secret picnic lunches. My mom really just sends her as a spy because she (read: Mom) thinks I am troubled and wants to make sure I am okay. I am not troubled, I am just not like every other kid and not like the kid my mom wants me to be. Anyway. The girls and I had a secret place in the woods next to the boyscout camp called "Bubble Land." We were 11. That's what 11 year old girls name their secret place. Get over it.

Bubble Land came to be the place where I could escape all the crap going on at home. You know, a place to escape all of the 11 year old drama. That Christmas before I was given a walkman and a cassette tape of Thriller from my Uncle Bob. Gave Thriller to my bratty sister so she would leave me alone. It worked. For a little while. That walkman (which I totally still have) became my therapy. It became my window to this big world. As big of a world as an 11 and a half year old Minnesota girl can be exposed to.

Every afternoon that summer I would take that walkman (making sure I had fresh batteries) and a coke and sneak away from my sister, meet up with my friends and end up in Bubble Land listening to KQRS-FM, a station that my older uncles listened to. Scandalous for an 11 year old. And that's when this Minnesota bred, blond haired, green eyed, chubby, naive to the ways of the world, suburban girl heard Rock Me Amadeus by Falco. It was electronic, head bopping, dark and so refreshing all at the same time. I was cool and no one else my age had to know it. I was cool and I knew it.

Fast forward...

It's Spring Break 1994. I am a freshmen in college. This blonde haired, green eyed, naive, still a bit chubby but totally growing into her curves, Minnesota girl is now a Geology majoring, earthy-crunchy, Birkenstock wearing, ratty old college sweatshirt tied around her waist, rock girl. Literally.

My boyfriend (you know the one. The guy who your dad thinks is a total smart ass. The one who is trying to mack on his daughter. The one who is nothing like your dad and he will never understand. You know the one. The one you marry 6 years later.) and I are packing up Dad's truck for our Spring Break trip to Brown County Indiana for the annual Geo Club - Geode Hunt. No beach blanket bingo for this girl. We are meeting our fellow Geo Clubbers (read: heavy beer drinkers) at the park and ride for the start of our 8 hour road trip. We pull into the parking lot, blasting "Rock Me Amadeus" (get it, ROCK me Amadeus) ready for the time of our lives. Ready to be independent, ready to be adventurous, ready not to be arrested, ready to be adults. Sort of.

Fast Forward...

It's March 2005. My son has just taken his first breath a few hours before. I stare into his eyes, not quite knowing who he is or why they are going to let me take him home tomorrow. On the radio that sunny afternoon in the hospital room I hear "Rock Me Amadeus." I smile at my son, knowing that if he came from that blonde haired, green eyed, Minnesota girl, he'll be fine.

So, enjoy a little Falco courtesty of YouTube. Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Seriously, a fantastic giveaway!


My name is Brenda and I have an addiction. I have a serious addiction to high fashion handbags. Not an addiction that you expected from me, now is it? I don't care if it goes against everything that I am, I can't help it. I love handbags. I love them. They have me at hello, or whatever the hell that saying is.

Did I mention that I love them?

Just because I love them so, doesn't mean that I actually own many. But oh, how I love them.

I love them so much, I'll do just about anything to get one...

Handbag Planet is giving away 24 handbags in 24 hours in celebration of the October 15th launch of their new website. Go check it out and if you win, I get to borrow the bag! Share the wealth baby!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another Not so wordless Wednesday...

Wordless Wednesday doesn't work for me.
I talk way too much to not
have something to say.
This was a walk we took up to a lookout tower on Washington Island,
Door County Wisconsin.
This summer.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dear Sleep, Oh how I miss you so.

I miss sleeping, I really do.

I used to love to sleep and I was pretty good at it.

I haven't had more than a handful of restful sleeps since the L's were born.

I really want to sleep. Seriously, I do.

But between colds, ear infections, night terrors, teething and Twitter I am pretty sure I am never going to sleep like I slept before we had kids.

That makes me sad.

**photo courtesy of Google Images**

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not So Wordless Wednesday...

Hi Internet, how are you? I am glad you stopped by for a visit.

How was my day you ask?

Here's me admitting that I get seriously peeved when people do this to me but I have no other way to answer you except with a question.


I really needed to get some laundry done this morning so I hauled out the butcher paper rolls, crayons and turned on Noggin. Judge me if you want but I was desperate. My darling little spicy ray of sunshine, otherwise known as The Little-er of the L's was happily doing her best toddler post modern impressionist scribbles and then saw me sneak downstairs to change the load of laundry. This is what I found 2.3 minutes later...

Let me tell you people. This was real Crayola art. Not some wussy washable soap crayon poser tags.

And then this afternoon while The Little-er of the L's was getting her beauty rest, the Bigger of the L's surprised me with this...

People, I am telling you that I was home with them all day. I didn't leave them and head out to the bar. I didn't skip out for a mani pedi. I didn't lunch with the ladies. I was home all day with them.

So, how was your day?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Gonna get himself connected...

Yesterday morning I was trying to get the house clean and ready for my sis to come over and watch the L's. Seriously Daddy and I had a date night planned for his 20th high school class reunion.

Yes, 20 years. I said HIS reunion. NOT mine. Not yet at least!

Anyway, as I was shoving things into closets and under the beds, you know, cleaning the house, I noticed the bigger of the little L's was out of site. In our case, OUT of site, means IN trouble. I found him downstairs on Seriously Daddy's laptop.

This is a small tidbit of our conversation...

Me - "L, what are you doing on SD's computer?"

L - "I have to email a guy."

Me - "What guy"

L- "Just a guy I know"

Me- "You know a guy and you email him?"

L- "Yeah, I need to email a guy who can buy Santa for me."

Me- "Umm, you know a guy who can buy you Santa?"

L- "Yes, mom. Geez."

Me"- "L, why do you want to buy Santa?"

L- "Because he makes all of the toys I want. If I own him, then I don't have to wait for Christmas."

Me- "Get off SD's computer. We need to talk."


Here's me being slightly concerned that my three year old knows a guy that can get him Santa. What happens when I tell him to go to bed and he decides to email that guy? Does that guy know a guy who knows a guy who can take care of business? Maybe I need to start sleeping with one eye open...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Awesome-ness, Uke style...

CynicalDad had a Julia Nunes cover song You Tube video on his site today. This was the first I have heard her and I am now a fan. What a voice, what a talent. And besides, could she be any cooler? This chick rocks the Uke. Where was she at this year's VMA's?

Check her out...

He'll have a meltdown. She'll have a meltdown. Wouldn't you like to have a meltdown too?

Or maybe I should start having a meltdown. Or maybe I'll just blow my frickin brains out? Or maybe start drinking heavily? Or maybe start talking to my voices in a bizarre, schizo sort of way. Or maybe become a crazy cat lady. Err, or not. cats are not my thing, but I could become the crazy dog lady. Or maybe become one of those weirdo people who never look at you in the eye when they are speaking to you. Yeah, that creeps me out. The L's will then have some validation that their hard work isn't for naught. They will know what satisfaction feels like when a job is done and done well.

They are slowly sucking the life blood from our bodies. Sucker McSuckertons they are. Someone has to tell us this gets easier. Puhleeezse!

The bigger of the Sucker McSuckertons has preschool two days a week for two hours in the morning. The kicker is that we live in the Town That Time Forgot which is 45 minutes from some sort of a civilized society that houses this way to damn expensive preschool that we travel to twice a week. So this means that we have to leave the house 1.25 hours before preschool just to get there in time. So this in turn means that I have to wake up the Sucker McSuckertons an hour before they are used to getting up. Which also means that the Sucker McSuckertons need to go to bed on time so they are well rested and happy in morning.

Ha, funny joke. You are laughing with me and not at me, right?

Yesterday was said preschool day. Set the alarm for 1.5 hours pre-Sucker McSuckerton wake up, coffee made, breakfast made, dogs fed, car packed and ready to go. T- minus 10 to the wake up. No problem. We've got this. McSuckertons wake up, get dressed, down for breakfast which actually made it into their bodies and not in the dogs. Shoes on and out the door. Drop off at school, off to Mommy and Me Gymnastics for the little L. Two hours later, pick up from preschool and decided that Seriously Daddy would take us out for lunch because we were having such an easy day. Sa-weet! Just as we were finishing lunch, their heads began to spin in circles. Ahh, no problem, they will sleep in the car and we'll head to the mall and pick up some stuff we needed. Okay, so we really don't need any stuff, I just like to shop. Sleep for another 1.5 and we are at the mall.

Here's where we start loosing life blood. Letting the Sucker McSuckertons ride those little kiddy car rides that charge you and arm and a leg for a 3.4 second ride was a BIG MISTAKE. I only had enough quarters for one ride each. SECOND MISTAKE.

Dragging said McSuckertons away, the bigger one gets a sliver in his hand. Easy to get out but he is screaming like someone is popping his fiery little eyeballs out with a melon baller. Of course everyone is looking at me like I am the mom from hell. No people, I am just the mom to the McSuckertons. GET IT RIGHT WHY DON'T YOU.

Drag two screaming kids back out to the car, buckled them in the car seats and dig the sliver out. Can't do much when he is strapped into a Britax, can he? No, but he can cry, sob and snot his way home again and drag his little sister down with him.

Home finally, up on the couch, watching Max and Ruby. Sneak dinner into them, outside for a little soccer, baths and into bed.

Seriously Daddy looks at me and says "screw Weight Watchers tonight, so you want double the cheese on your burger and a side of fries?" Ummm, yep. I was totally sick after eating but it tasted pretty damn good going down.

He decompressed while watching the Brewers Game and I joined in on CynicalDad's Nameless Twitter Radio Show. Then we opened up iTunes and listened to music from back in the day when we used to be cool.

Rockstars. That's what we were. Meltdown coordinators. That's what we are. Someday I hope we can just be. Just being would be great.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Home with the Plague or Ebola or Bird Flu or maybe just a cold...

So... I am home sick today. Well not really just today because I have been lucky enough to have experience with this plague for TWO WEEKS. Damn that preschool. I knew those little monkeys were bacteria ridden little germ carriers.

Seriously Daddy took the L's for the day. First stop, the Apple Orchard. Bigger L can play on the tractors and the Little-er L can feed the goats, cows, sheep, ducks, donkey, and every other animal that she has on her list for Santa this year. Then they are off to a fondue festival. What kid doesn't want to dip everything they eat? Especially if they can dip it in chocolate. Final stop. Scheels for a new pair of Keen Hikers for the Little L. She is in desperate need of a heavier duty outdoor shoe for our upcoming fall adventures.

My plan for the day? Besides self pity because Weight Watchers doesn't really want me to eat a pint or two of Ben and Jerry's, I am going to catch up on my blog reading, list some baby gear on eBay, and try to breathe through my nose. Jealous?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A little before and after...

Before his first day of Preschool. A little snarky, don't you think?

After his first day of Preschool. Not so snarky now. Until tomorrow.

Not one tear shed on his part. He never looked back and two hours later wondered why I was back to pick up him up already. I shed a tear. Couldn't help but stare at him for a while tonight. What makes him tick? Who is he becoming? Destined for amazing things, this boy.