Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Festival

Today was Corinne's Preschool Fall Festival at school, which was mostly just an open house for parents to come in and have a snack and see what the little 'ens have been up to. Regretfully, I forgot to bring my camera (I wasn't sure if it was that kind of event, and I didn't want to be that mom), so you're just going to have to take my word for it that Corinne has turned into a very different kind of kid than the scared little girl in Early Intervention playgroup six months ago.

When I go there, before I even entered the classroom, I could hear her clear down the hallway exclaiming delightedly that Momma was coming. Upon seeing me she began yelling "I love you Momma!", much to the amusement (and jealousy) of the other parents. She really was quite a spectacle about it, so overwhelming was the thrill of having Momma here, in her classroom.

What struck me the most was just how comfortable she was there. She showed me toys and things that she liked, and moved with ease from one activity table to another. This is the girl who use to be in full blown defensive mode any time there were kids around, her body stiff and ready for flight. Now she was aware of the other kids, but not uneasy with them. She greeted them in response to their hello's and told me the names of many of them when I asked.

The highlight for me was when they sat down for circle time. Corinne sat on her little mat between two other kids and even joined in the songs as best she could (she is a little slower than they are and sometimes needs prompting, but left on her own she watched the teacher's every move intently and followed along, albeit a little after the fact.) I wish her Early Intervention people could have seen her. She is adapting to school better than we ever could have imagined and she really likes going there. We've seen such an improvement in her voice affect, her independent play, and her imagination (some of it quite strange, but that makes it even better, in our book) We couldn't be happier.

Oh, and I made some kick ass Halloween cookies for the party, too. Much better than my fourth of July ones.

Monday, October 13, 2008

End of an Era

Oh, it's a sad time. It is the official end of "The Room". You know, the former play/ guest/den/ adult room. The one that contained all of our treasures and oddities. It's gone, ladies and gentlemen. It has been dismantled and primed over in preparation for Apple's future nursery and mural. She is also getting a nice big closet door, courtesy of Dadda, Uncle David, Grandpa and Mark, which necessitates the removal of all the magnetic paint (sniff).

Many difficult decisions were made regarding the status of books, toys and magnets. We are having a yard sale, but we couldn't bring ourselves to part with much of it (and honestly, who'd want it?). In the end 90% of the room's contents were packed up and stored in the already too full attic. I like to think that someday we will have The Room again, perhaps in the basement or in a new, bigger house. But then, we had asked ourselves many times if we ever thought we'd reach a point where it was just not appropriate to have such a room anymore? Like when we were in our 50's. Or like when Corinne started bringing friends home who'd then wonder what was up with Corinne's weird parents. Corinne's going to have enough trouble finding and keeping friends. Not to mention what their parents would think... So this is probably the end of an era. Much like the selling of Groucho, this marks the end of a certain lifestyle for us. We are parents now, first and foremost. Grown ups. Lame people with a serious house.

Goodbye, life sized creepy mannequin with glowing Roswell alien shirt (although we will bring you out each year at Halloween time). Goodbye Jacques Le Toaster. Goodbye, Baby Kleenex Head (although I will certainly proudly display you on my desk again when I return to the work force some day). Goodbye, Gus Guts. Goodbye Suckie, the four foot stuffed catfish (although you may fit into Corinne's room decor). Goodbye, Senor Rubin, naked blow up guy from our Jorge and Juanita pre-wedding party. We will dearly miss each and every one of you and all that you represented.

But it is going to be a really cool mural in Apple's room.

The closet wall, pre-Apple pregnancy

The closet wall today. The rest of the room was too painful to show.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My 15 Minutes (or Four Paragraphs) of Fame

Well here it is: Bouncing Off the Wall's big debut into the media. Now I just sit back and wait for the jobs to start rolling in...

From the Beacon-Villager (some names have been changed to protect the innocent):

One of the more colorful booths on Main Street was helmed by M--- resident LoserFamily, Inc., owner of Bouncing Off the Walls. Loser,inc. handpaints wall murals, furniture and other things made out of wood for children.

Loser, inc. said she got started helping to paint a jungle-themed wall mural for her friend, who had just had a baby, about four years ago. Once her own daughter was born, and she painted her daughter's bedroom, Loser,inc. said she decided to try her hand at selling her wares for other children.

Loser,inc. had plenty of colorful, cheerful items for sale: a small, child-sized rocking chair with a Noah's Ark; a small pink and green bureau; clothes pegs; and decorative rulers to be used to measure a child's height, with themes from a farm to under the sea to dinosaurs. Almost everything she paints can be personalized with the child's name, said Loser,inc.

Loser,inc. said she also does custom work, on basically anything that is wood. Her web site:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Good Ol' Fashioned Family Fun

This Past weekend was our beloved little town's annual street party. I just love the small town New England wholesomeness of it. Everywhere it's smiling faces and balloons and music and cheap toys and fried dough and it's just a nice day. Everyone in town comes turns out for it and every year we know more and more people. During the day is the street fair with vendors, pony rides, paddle boats, food and bouncy rides and tons of free stuff. The evening is "Octoberfest", which is a quote/ unquote beer garden, featuring such exotic brews as Budweiser. Then comes the finale, a fireworks show over the pond, which is a pretty impressive one, given our town is only 5 square miles wide and has a population of about 10,000 people.

Corinne's favorite thing at the Fest is the Happy Wagon, which in our family we call the Crazy Train. It's basically just a guy on a riding tractor pulling a bunch of barrels with kids in it at $3 a pop. The man's a genius. It probably makes 4 or 5 runs an hour, 10+ kids per run for about 8 hours. You do the math. I'm in the wrong business. But the best part about it is the recklessness of it. It runs up and down the very crowded streets, making a series of switch-back turns and blaring an ooga horn. Here are Corinne and I in the coveted front barrel.

And here we are in 2007
and at our first Fest in 2006 (with Dadda and friend Zoe, on the right).

This was the second year that I had a booth to "peddle my wares". I did OK, though not quite as well as last year (damn economy). I sold a few growth charts, gave out a ton of business cards which may or may not turn into future business, and most importantly, gave an interview to our local, once-weekly newspaper. Bouncing Off the Walls is hittin' the big time, Baby! Stay tuned for my big debut.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

My friend Meghan, of , gave Corinne a cute, knitted octopus (OK, actually it was for the new baby, but Corinne quickly claimed it as her own, so Meghan was nice enough to make us a second one). Pete, Corinne and I were driving in the car with said octopus that night and Corinne was trying to think of a name for it. Pete suggested "Pussy" (short for Octopus, but yes, Pete is also a jerk), but Corinne opted for "Wavy", which I feel is actually pretty clever and beats her usual choices like "Puppy" and " Shark". A little while later (we were sitting in traffic), Corinne announced out of the blue: "Pete likes Pussy".

Oh God, please don't tell that to your teacher, Corinne!