Archive for July, 2006


Amazing game!!

July 29, 2006

I bought this for the boys the other day and I have to say, it’s just AMAZING! Now, of course, it doesn’t hurt that my kids are totally obsessed with geography. TOTALLY obsessed with geography. It’s freaky.

Anyway, it’s just a great great computer game! Kids go around the world collecting clues to find world traveler Joe. It’s like Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego, but better because there are educational videos, world maps, cultural studies, world music, *everything!*

Sincerely, this is up there with one of the best educational purchases I’ve made in the last year – and it was only $10 (for you locals, it’s at Ann’s Teacher Store.) Of course, prices will vary upon location.

To learn more, or to order if you’re not in my area, Click Here


Thank you

July 29, 2006
To my girlfriend, my sister of the heart and soul, who sent me the following:
A zillion cd’s specially selected with love
An amazing book that I cannot wait to read while soaking in the tub
A beautiful photograph with a message of love and encouragement
An inspirational card that shows that spider women spin more than just webs
An assortment of Bears that Care a bunch
Awesome Rockin’ Lip Gloss that, yes, I’m going to apply right now.
Thank you.  Thank you.  I’m one lucky woman to have a friend like you.  I love you deeper than the sea.

And we have lost tooth #2!!

July 28, 2006

No, it’s not Alice Cooper, it’s Duck!


Bring on the Tooth Fairy

July 25, 2006

Duck, minus 1 tooth

Well, I’ve officially pulled my first tooth as a mother. Yep, good ol’ Duck finally decided he was done with these two wiggly rocks in his mouth and, after B wimped out (should I get some pliers? What if there’s an emergency? Our dentist doesn’t work nights! Good lord!,) I finally pulled the thing.

Much screaming and jumping up and down and sincere celebration ensued.

And then Duck decided that he was gonna pull his other one on his own.
ummm yeah.

It took both me and B a good solid 10 minutes to convince him that it would be a good idea if he just waited until tomorrow to pull that other loose tooth.

After all, the Tooth Fairy has to hit the ATM.


Sheep in Wolves Clothing

July 24, 2006

There is a strange creature lurking in the world. I assure you, even if it hasn’t invaded your home, there is one prowling in your neighborhood. Sly and mysterious, unpredictable and wild, cunning and manipulative, this beast strikes fear in the heart of all those whose who are even remotely intelligent and preys on those who are foolish enough to let their guards down for one small second. Oh yes, this wild thing is out there and it answers to the name of:

A six year old child.

Male or female, I’ve learned it makes no difference. A 6 year old is an entity all of their own. They defy definition and can make even the strongest adult drop to their knees and ask why oh why nearly 7 years ago they didn’t just take a cold shower and go to sleep. Alone.

There are 2 of these things in my life that I see on a very regular basis: my own son, Duck, and Ta, the daughter of my best friend, JP. These two creatures are best friends – and mortal enemies. Well, to be honest, they’re mostly friends and frankly, they are probably in love as I see them hugging each other and whispering, “I love you” into each others small ears. They do that, that is, in between moments of, “DUCK, you are NOT my friend anymore,” and “Ta, if you don’t leave me alone, I don’t know what I’m gonna do!”

For the record, JP understands children a little bit more than I do – she has a masters degree in early education and she works as a teacher. She knows all there is to know about childhood development and I’m so grateful. There are times that I swear she was put on this planet to remind me that these little people that we intentionally brought into this world a few years ago really were not born with triple 6’s on the back of their necks and they honestly are not out to suck every bit of our intellect and rationale out of our bodies.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Frankly, I think it might take a village to keep mothers from going apeshit every 12 seconds for 18 years of her life. It’s not that these 6 year olds are bad – they aren’t! But they are confusing.

B and I took the boys down to my friend’s house yesterday so B could work on a project with J, the husband of my best friend. As our men installed a dropped ceiling in the basement, JP and I sat out on the glider in the backyard and drank margaritas while all 5 of our combined children played in the pool. At one point, Ta got pissed off and grabbed her little sister and made some sort of sound that can only be described as half wolf, half garbage disposal. It took my breath away and I looked at JP with eyes as big as moon pies – and then the biggest smile spread across my face and I laughed out loud.

“Holy Shit, JP, Duck does that, too! This makes me happier than Charlie Sheen at a hooker Outlet Mall!! I had no idea that other kids did that – I thought Duck was the only one!!”

At which JP took a swig of her Margarita and said, “See, they don’t have a behavior disorder! It’s just developmental!”

Well, hell. I can drink to that!

The problem in parenting, for me, comes in that I have no idea what to expect from my 6 year old. I completely understand what to expect from my 4 year old because I have already gone through all of it before, 2 years prior. I have no idea what is normal, what is behavioral, what is developmental, and what is just the little quirks that make Duck “Duck.” This is a huge problem because it means one very critical thing: he’s always going to be one step ahead of me. I don’t have any idea what makes him tick and he’s equally as confused as to why I don’t know those things! C’mon, Mom, get with the program! Don’t you know that this is what kids do? Um, no, Duck, I don’t.

It’s certainly the hardest job on the planet, this parenting gig. It’s not for wimps and if you cannot hold your own, you might as well get whatever tubes you have clipped right now ’cause you’ll be behind from day one and will never catch up.

They’re intense. They’re conniving. They make plans and plots. They scream and moan and whine and shout and stomp and demand and rage and pout and cry and criticize and control and growl and groan.

“You just gotta love ’em through it,” JP says.

Yeah. Remind me of that when my 6 year old beast has his fangs out and is looking at my main artery.

But then, after the work was done and the long drive home was finished, I walked my sleepy animal to his room and tucked him in.

“Come lay with me a minute, Mama.” And I did.

He held on tight and I looked into those piercing blue eyes, brushed the long, long blond hair from his forehead, and I melted into a thousand little puddles.

“Mama, I’m so proud of you. You’re a rockin’ lady, alright. You’re my favorite thing. Good night, I love you, I’ll see you in the morning.”

And as I walked out of his room, I paused and looked back at his bed. There, on the floor, was a wolf’s suit with fur and fangs and claws. But in that big boy bed with the Spiderman sheets slept the sweetest, most loving, cuddliest woolly sheep that ever lived.


I can love him through anything.


Feeling the love – some more!

July 24, 2006

So, in April, I posted about feeling the love from my friends for my 30th birthday.

Well. Let me just say that they are coming through for me again in droves for the !st (and hopefully last) Annual MP3 Crisis Benefit. I got tunes coming to me from West Virginia, San Francisco, Ireland, and even here in the po ‘ dunk Midwest.

Thanks friends!

But, of course, we all know you’re saving your own asses, too, ’cause Elvis knows that hell hath no fury like Erzulie without her tunes.



Priceless is …

July 22, 2006
the look on the library assistant’s face as she checks out a zillion cds to me this morning as I try to rebuild my MP3 collection.  I can only hope that she’s working tomorrow when I go back and return them all.

A week and a half ago, my hard drive went up in fl…

July 22, 2006

A week and a half ago, my hard drive went up in flames. Oh yes, but it was not in a blazing glory – no, it was in response to a freaking Disney children’s computer game. That little mouse can bite me.

Thankfully I bought a service plan and the whole mess didn’t cost me anything other than some pictures (a tragedy) and all my freaking MP3s (a mind blowing, gut wrenching crime against humanity.)

The new hard drive arrived on Monday and the tech came to my house on Tuesday to install it. Wouldn’t you freaking now it? It was the wrong hard drive. Unreal.

Hard drive #2 arrives yesterday, tech arrives this morning and it wasn’t the same hard drive that I originally had -it was a *better* one. SCORE!

So, now I’m out to harass all my friends to pay homage to the YouSendIt gods and email me all the lovely music I need. Check your inboxes, folks, ’cause I’m calling in some favors.


Designer helps birth custom wool creations and babies

July 11, 2006

From the St. Louis Post Dispatch by Deb Peterson

Sarah Kohl spins wool, knits wherever she goes, home schools her kids and assists women with labor and breast-feeding.

“Sounds like Laura Ingalls Wilder, doesn’t it?” she says with a laugh.

But Kohl is definitely not a character out of the pioneer author’s imagination. She started out as Sarah Wells, the youngest of three children born to the Rev. Larry Wells and his wife, Sheryl.

Wells was a minister with the United Methodist Church and Sarah spent her early school years in Glendale and Webster Groves, where her father was the minister at Webster Hills U.M.C. The church used to move ministers around every couple of years so the family also lived in Imperial and Hannibal before stopping more permanently in Jefferson City.

Sarah said her parents often commented that she was born in the wrong generation. But it wasn’t Wilder’s time that they were talking about, it was wilder times, such as the 1960s. Sarah was always interested in women’s issues and with the idea of empowering women. She says that from an early age, she knew she wanted to “catch babies” (help women with labor and delivery), and that after a couple of years as a psychology major at Mizzou, she realized she was wasting her money. So she left college and went off to spend a summer traveling with the Rainbow People.

When she got back to Missouri, Sarah settled in Columbia, which she says felt more like home to her than Jefferson City. After dabbling in a variety of things, and continuing to hone her skills as a “doula” – a labor assistant – David Gentzsch, a friend’s father who had started a business called Ozark Handspun, taught her how to spin wool.

The company now sells beautiful wool, silk and mohair yarns across the United States, Canada, France and Australia. Sarah takes it one step further, felting goods and knitting bags, scarves, shrugs, shawls, hats, baby slings and custom apparel that are each a unique creation.

How did you learn to make this stuff?

I hate to say that it was easy, but it was easy for me. I never follow a pattern, but I can figure out the math, so I know whether I need to increase or decrease stitches to make what I want.

What do you start with when you’re spinning?

David starts with raw wool and mohair and he washes it and then it goes through a picker, where all the nasty junk gets combed out. Then it is died with natural and synthetic dyes and either he or I or both of us put together huge trash bags of different colored wool and mohair. Then I bring it home and I spin it.

What do your sons do while you’re spinning?

I have the wheel set up right in the middle of their play room. Sage is really interested so he will sit in my lap sometimes and spin with me. I love the rhythm of it and can do it for hours.

How do you come up with your unique color schemes and design ideas – like hats with pulled out pieces of yarn that look almost like bangs or eyelashes?

I just dream them up. I might see something when I’m out with the kids and that will inspire me to do something. I think everything you look at and everything you do can be a learning experience.

Is that how you approach home schooling?

Yes. My philosophy on life has a lot to do with my philosophy about toys and children. I don’t believe that there should be any learning that isn’t enjoyable, and I believe that you can learn something from every enjoyable experience. It’s all about balance. A trip to the car wash can be a physics lesson, for instance.

How many births do you assist every year, and are they all home births?

I did about 25 last year and they were all home births. I have decided this year that I won’t take on any new clients because I want to spend more time with my kids and more time spinning and designing. I will take on repeat clients and I am a certified breast-feeding educator so I will continue to do that.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

I’m reading “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which is a wonderful book. I loved “The Zen Commandments,” which I finished recently.

Favorite trip you’ve taken recently?

My husband I left Dakota and Sage with my in-laws and Brian and I took a honeymoon trip to St. James, Mo. We stayed at a B&B there and hiked and went antiquing and walked around Meramec Springs. It was a great trip.

What do you drive?

A white, 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE minivan with a Grateful Dead sticker in the window, a “Birth is not an illness” bumper sticker and music blaring from all the windows.


Everyone, quick, get out your protective gear

July 11, 2006

I’m going off caffeine.