Saturday, February 28, 2009

All Hail the Blind Ding-bats, Part II

Remember a few months back, when I shared how both Ismail and
Hamo had to be fitted for glasses? Ismail chose lovely small rectangular
pale blue frames and Hamo got some nice black sort of roundish-but-
kind-of-catlike spectacles. Hamo sort of looks like Harry Potter only
much more handsome (no, really! I'd mean that even if I wasn't his
mother.) Well, our inability to see is apparently an ongoing saga.

Hamo has a bad habit of removing his glasses and leaving them all
over the house. Granted he is MUCH better about wearing them most
of the time, unlike Ismail who just hates his glasses. Hamo takes them
off to wash his face and leaves them in the bathroom. Or he'll take them
off to keep them from breaking when he wrestles around with Aiman and
forget them on the study table in the boys' bedroom. Well, I don't know
where he forgot them today, but Miss Randa MUST have found them.
She decided that he should have sunglasses. So she went and dug around
in my cupboard where I hide things from her (obviously the hiding place
will change soon) and colored the lenses in with a PERMANENT BLACK
MARKER!!!! Thank God Ismail found them just after it happened and
brought them to me. I dumped vinegar on both sides of the glass and
rubbed like crazy with a damp t-shirt. YAY. Got it off before it stained seems to be a little darker now.
SHEW. That was close.

Thus ends another typical rainy day in the House on Looney Bird Lane.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why I'm in Knots

Yeah, Randa has been spending the night in my bed since
Saturday night. Anytime her father is away on business she
just climbs right in bed with me and instead of taking his
side, she scootches right to the middle and snuggles up
against me and goes right to sleep. Unlike Samiya, Randa
is a fairly stationary sleeper. (Sleeping next to Samiya is like
being in a nighttime non-stop filming of a Jackie Chan movie.)
But Randa has her sleep-faults, too. Well, just one, really.
She's got to sleep with her hand under her face and her left
elbow jutting out right into my back between my shoulder
blades! OUCH. It doesn't matter how many times I roll her
over to her father's side or reposition her arm. She will turn
over just after I drift off to sleep and jam that joint right into
my spine again. I think I've developed a slight twitch in my
left shoulder. I fear it will turn into a full blown spasm if I
don't figure out what to do about this soon.
Is it not enough I only get 3-4 hours of sleep a night? Those
few precious hours have to be totally uncomfortable and
sometimes downright painful, too??? I suppose it could be
worse. It could be Aiman who believes it's his God-given
right to sleep next to me when Baba is out of town.
The child will not eat anything except chicken or fried (fill
in the blank) or pizza anymore....UNLESS I can guarantee
him that whatever other dinner item on the menu is full of
"fart power." Yes, he is 8. And unless whatever he doesn't
like has a fart power factor greater than 7 on a scale of 1-10,
he won't eat it. Could you imagine me having to sleep next
to THAT???? "Mom can we have lentils for dinner? They
have lots of fart power, right?"

Thanks, I'll stick with the back spasms. Leave Randa where
she is.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Our Latest COOL Science Poster

I'll tell you right now that I forgot to take a picture of it.......but trust
totally rocked! I'll have to go back to the school tomorrow and snap a digital
photo of Ismail's latest science poster so I can post it here. His teacher was
so impressed that she gave him extra credit points not only for February but
for March, too. How cool is that?

Ismail is in the 4th grade and is studying the digestive system in science. His
teacher, Miss Amal, asked kids to make posters of the digestive system and
color in each part by smearing playdough (tm) on it and then labeling it. Ismail
asked if he could do it a little differently and she said okay. So, we were brain-
storming and I thought maybe we should make it like a relief map, sort of a 3-d
version but without the playdough. (SIDENOTE: that stuff blows! yeah, it's a
great builder of hand muscles and creative outlet, especially for autistic creative
kids like Randa.......but then they decide to stomp on it in the rugs or make "fake"
poop but REALLY flush it, ya though I actually NEED more work to
do or something.....)

Ismail suggested fabric from the "rag bag" and I got excited because I've also saved
up all the polyester fiber stuffing from the various stuffed animals that have been
destroyed over the years due to the "It's MINE! Wars" over the course of raising
5 kids. God bless the inventer of the hot glue gun. We made Ismail lie down on his
back on the posterboard and traced his body from head to the tops of his thighs.
We cut out a burgundy denim liver and a red cotton stomach from old parachute pants and some dark green gabardine became a gall bladder. His pancreas was from
a lovely gold satin with flowers on it. The esophagus was half of a red broken zipper
and the small intestine was faded blue denim from old ripped jeans. The large in-
testine, colon and rectum were all from a beautiul autumnal print cotton fabric.
I cut out the body parts from the fabrics and showed Ismail how to lay them on the
poster. He glued them on and then I stuffed each one (sans small intestine) with
polyester fiber fill. He labeled each part in his best handwriting with black marker.
And THEN.....ta-da!........we gave it the final touch: We took an old school picture of
Ismail to a stationary store and had the guy xerox it (magnified 150%) till the photo
was life-size of just the face. We darkened it with the same black marker and pasted
it to the outline of his head. It really personalized the whole project!
And it was so damn cute. His teachers really dug it....AND he memorized the parts of
the digestive track in the process. DAMN. I should have been a teacher.

I'm currently preparing for my acceptance speech for my MOTY award. This, of
course, is not the final version. Just stuff I want to include:

****I would like to thank my mother for her "artsy-fartsy" genes and always encouraging us to use our creativity and do something different than the other
kids. She was a big fan of The Rainy Day Book (I have NO idea who wrote it...but
this isn't a recent one....I'm talking back in the late 60's/early 70's that she bought it
and it reallly was a fantastic project book.) Without my mother, I never would have
thought to save old socks and buttons for rainy days to make sock puppets when the
kids are running me nuts.
I would like to thank my father for his examples of creative uses of old pieces of
wood, nails, springs and other junk that most people toss out. Due to his helping me
in the 8th grade to make a solar-powered oven for a science fair project with mostly stuff we had "laying around the house," I was able to make a flashlight bulb work by
affixing a D-size battery to a board and running wires from positive to negative ends
of the battery. (Another 2 month extra credit grade for Ismail!)
I would like to thank KlineGlaxoWellcome for making a really great burn cream to
alleviate the pain in my fingers from where the glue gun "slipped" and scorched the
poop out of my hands. I think I may even be able to commit burglary without leaving fingerprints now as they've all been burned off now.
Thank you Mother Of The Year board and thanks to all my fans and oh yeah, my husband who insisted on keeping me pregnant for damn near 6 years straight that I
could BE in the running for MOTY and of course, thanks to my kids.