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Friday, September 30, 2005

Who needs a screwdriver when you have a butter knife?

This is how I found Amy last night when I was doing bed checks. She was deep asleep. Posted by Picasa

What kind of toaster does Jimmy Neutron use? We need one that lasts (and powers spacecraft) like his do.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Kim needs everyone's help. Please read her post and help spread the word. UPDATE: Everything is better now!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

tired Posted by Picasa

Last night, Doug, Tommy, Evan and I went to see Serenity. We ALL liked the movie. It felt like watching television on a monster screen, but it was fun television and as socially unpopular as it is to admit, I like television. Serenity is a sci-fi flick with action, humor and futuristic setting but a plot that could have made a huge jab at our society. The plot was very linear and the main plot 'revelation' seems to come out of nowhere. It made sense, but there wasn't a build-up in the first half of the movie that would have allowed the movie to have a more circular, full-bodied feel to it. I have to assume that it would have been more dimensional if I had watched or read any of the Firefly stuff so, of course I will end up finding the Firefly DVD now. The movie is rated PG-13 but most of the violence is less graphic than a video game. There is no nudity but there are a few brief (and funny) sexual references. Our hostess was wearing a Serenity hat that another blogger would have eagerly exchanged for the shirt on his back. Since our screening was attended by a small group of mostly loyal Joss Whedon fans who would proudly wear Serenity hats and shirts, they should have sent the marketing trinkets for the blogger screening instead of the media screening. This afternoon Tommy is going to write his own movie review but I will preface it by telling his first words when the movie ended. "We have GOT to get this on DVD." Firefly

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

We just got home from watching "Serenity". Evan let out a short wail at an appropriate point in the film but Tommy was on excellent behavior. I will talk about the actual movie tomorrow. The picture is not great, but the sight of my camera stressed our hostess a bit so, I just made a quick shot of the crowd. Posted by Picasa

I caught Amy shoving small crackers in her brother's mouth this morning. As quickly as Evan's tongue pushed it out, Amy put it back in as if he were the coin slot in a laundromat washer. I did a finger sweep before I pulled out the camera. Of course. Posted by Picasa

Debi: You're a f-ing *psycho*. Marty: Don't rush to judgment on something like that until all the facts are in.

I know time is money and it's a huge honor to be graced by your presence, but instead of selling your autograph or appearing in a 15 second Red Cross promo that looks suspiciously like a commercial for your television show, how about getting out your big, fat celebrity checkbook and writing a check.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Rainy days and Mondays. . . Posted by Picasa

Today is National Pancake Day so, eat breakfast for dinner!

Tomorrow night we are going to the movies with some other local bloggers. I know two things about Serenity. I have been seeing it in other blogs (all male bloggers) for months and it was made by Joss Whedon of Buffy fame. Buffy was fun at first, but I quit watching Buffy when she suddenly had an adolescent sister. The final straw was seeing Buffy and Spike leaning against a tree acting very non-slayery (yes, I totally made up that word). Soooo, I expect the theater to be filled with the same people who used to attend local fantasy cons. I went to a few myself and even had little pointy ear tips that I wore but I lived somewhere between geek and freak, never completely fitting into either world. I will find myself in the same place tomorrow night. I will enjoy getting to see a movie before it is on DVD but I will not walk in knowing the history and destiny of each character on the screen. The story will start and end with what I see on the screen. The movie review on Wednesday will not be written by a devout fan, but by a Mommy blogger who is looking forward to seeing the other bloggers more than the movie. I'll be the one with the camera and a baby.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

One step forward, two steps back. Doug started the day running cable in the house. He accidently cut the phone line and is spending the day repairing it.

Noah spent Saturday overwhelmed and confused by the chaos in DC. He called me on the phone. "I can't hear you because of the parade but there are lots of signs." Then he read a dozen signs out loud. My father wanted to stay with the counter protesters. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 24, 2005

We watched hot air balloons tonight. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 23, 2005

Amy's "My little pony" has the cleanest mane and tail possible. It's an entire shampoo bottle worth of clean. Based on how this week has gone, I think Doug can judge the quality of my day based on the number of baths Amy required. 1 bath - Tuck the children in and enjoy some quality time as a couple. 2 baths - Cathy will be eating Ben & Jerry's in bed while venting nonsense ramblings until the chocolate kicks in. 3 baths - Doug will be tucking the children in alone while Cathy will be eating Ben & Jerry's in bed and crying nonsense ramblings until the chocolate and tylenol pm kick in. More than 3 baths - Doug should learn to lactate and hide upstairs with all the children while Cathy wails, eats Ben & Jerry's in bed and watches sappy television(no submarines or helicopter battle scenes Doug) until she passes out.

Tomorrow, Noah will be at the Peace & Justice Festival with his funny, liberal Uncle and his uptight, conservative Grandfather. Hopefully I'll have a picture of the event to post next week.

Time to visit the grocery store again. Posted by Picasa

Noah quote of the day - "Mom, can Evan please be left-handed so I'm not the only leftie in the family?"

It's coupon book sale time in TN. I despise the coupon books. First, many of the coupons themselves are less than fabulous. No one needs a pile of "ten percent off of places you don't go" coupons. The Home Depot coupon does allow you to break even on your ten dollar purchase but the framing discounts and restaurants that frown when they see children coupons are useless. Second, with every child in Knoxville trying to sell the coupon books, it is almost impossible to find anyone who hasn't already bought them from their own relative or friend. I feel terrible for every child who has been given the sales pitch at school and starts off so eagerly trying to win some of the much talked about "prizes" only to find that they can't find anyone other than their own parents willing to buy them no matter how very hard they try. If you have more than one child you are going to end up with several coupon books just so that your children aren't completely crushed. The children who win the prizes have parents who own or work for large companies that buy the books to give to employees and clients. Finally, I hate my children being treated like carnies who must always be trying to sell something. After coupon books the schools will be selling gift wrap, cookie dough, magazines and a steady stream of other things. Add to that a product sale for nearly every activity a child participates in like popcorn for Boy Scouts, nuts/chocolates and cookies for Girl Scouts. Doug and Noah will try hard to sell the Boy Scout popcorn because it pays for the boys to do fun things like sleep at the aquarium or camp in caves. I will help Sarah sell nuts/chocolates a little bit and go completely insane trying to sell Girl Scout cookies because it pays for our troop to do fun things like sleep at the zoo and spend a day having fun at the Chattanooga attractions. I know that our scout troops allow children to do things they would probably never do outside of scouts. The coupon books are used to pay for things that the school system should be providing already. Anybody want a coupon book? Or some popcorn? Or some nuts/chocolates?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The house is filthy, I have a lot of stuff to prepare for Girl Scouts on Saturday and I need to pack for Noah. I'm hungry and Evan wants to be held. Why ca't I stop thinking about taking a nap? Update - Took a nap with Amy and Evan until Amy peed in the bed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

If you haven't watched the new episode of LOST, stop reading because I'm going to toss out some ideas and questions. S P A C E R I had guessed that the hatch led to a laboratory which controls the island experiments last season. Now I think that the experiments include disease which Desmond is taking medicine to ward off (or treat?). He looks a bit insane to me. He wasn't surprised to see Jack. The island has been sending out signals since WWII, so did Desmond take over for a previous group? Desmond is almost a doctor and it looks like he has the same special skills that Walt has so, did he bring the plane down because he needed Walt? Did he also bring down the drug plane? The pirates that took Walt were in a boat driven by a blonde woman and I totally missed that last season. Is Gabriel's child dead or one of the pirates? Do the pirates work for Desmond? The ship on the island predates Desmond's equipment doesn't it? The image of Walt was only in Sharon's mind because Walt was communicating directly with her. He hushed her and then he said something. What was he trying to tell her other than to be quiet? There is something very odd about the dog that I can't put my finger on yet. Also - Why is Desmond nocturnal?

Kristyk takes photos and does paintings that belong in an art gallery. I don't dare try to imitate her but I was inspired by her to do a series of "You might be a redneck" pictures.

It would be politically incorrect to say that I gave my maternity clothes to the blind since they can't see how ugly maternity clothes really look. The truth is that the non-profit group which helps the blind stuck a card in my mailbox stating they would be in our neighborhood so, they were given all my maternity clothes for their thrift store. Next summer, whatever group sticks a card in our box will get my well-worn collection of nursing tops. I imagine they'll be plenty confused. "WHAT are these snaps and flaps?"

I have a date with some East TN bloggers. Will you be there? Should we all wear jammies?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I don't know what this creepy critter's real name is but we call it our web spider. It appears every fall and disappears before winter. Every morning we wake to a large beautiful web. Posted by Picasa

A - A glowing soccer ball floating over my head at 3 in the morning. Q - What do you NOT want to see in the middle of the night?

I don't take my children for flu shots. I'm not against immunizations or antibiotics, I just don't like flu shots. Flu shots reduce your chance of getting the previous year's virus instead of the current bug. Some people get sick anyway. Sometimes the shot itself makes people sick. The children get strep about once a year and we have some allergy noses twice a year but otherwise we are a pretty healthy bunch. The more frequently antibiotics are used, the stronger antibiotics must become so wouldn't it seem that injecting all those flu vaccines would make it harder to fight the pandemic flu? Maybe not. I still feel like the school giving all children flu mist during school hours, on school grounds forces their vaccines on my children. Sure, I can say no and cause my children negative attention from teachers and administration. I feel like this is one of those "don't rock the boat" moments.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Pirates ave feelings too and the lubbers have stomped on mine. The island where "breeders" are hated is an angry and ugly place.

Avast! Mondays be worse than bilge rats fer me. 'Tis a day spent aboard me ship, scuttlin' the ankle biters about town.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The commercial for this week's new episode of LOST is tormenting me nightly.

Friday, September 16, 2005

My weekend is going to be spent doing laundry. What are YOU doing this weekend? Posted by Picasa

I know that with 5 children the odds are pretty good that I'll see a bit of everything. I still can't understand why Evan hates the car seat. Have you ever heard of a baby who didn't nod off every time the car moved? Of course not because babies are supposed to like the car. Why does Evan scream from the time he gets buckled in until he gets picked up?

A week before the departure date, Sarah's trip to Dauphin Island has been cancelled by the Dauphin Sea Lab officials. Sarah is now visiting Self-Pity Island but I just can't bring myself to feel sorry for her. I was not convinced of the safety of the trip at this time and it just seems wrong for a busload of kids to be having a blast while surrounded by devastation. Just call me Mean Mom.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Monday was Noah's Open House at school. The hallway walls were decorated with students' stories and pictures. Noah wrote a story about teachers playing "Ultimate Dodgeball" when the students aren't around. That was okay. However, he was the only student whose picture included dead teachers all over the school lawn, complete with little x marks for eyes. Since Noah was the only student whose drawing was only black and white, it stood out just enough for everyone to notice. If he had colored it we would probably be having a chat with the school psychologist. Posted by Picasa

"Get the baby out of the swing so I can put my baby (her doll) in it." "Yay! I waked the baby." "Mooooom! Come see how big my poop is." "I accidently dropped the roll of toilet paper in the water." "I need different clothes (while putting on fifth outfit of the day)." Mommy needs to take a bath and try to regain her sanity. Yes, the AC is still broken.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's cooler outside than it is in our house. Posted by Picasa

I have no sense of direction. If I was a laboratory mouse I would starve to death because I couldn't find my way through the maze. I have the children's schools and activities memorized but I don't dare try venturing off my regular route in the least. Once I am off the familiar roads I become anxious, disoriented and upset. Afterwards I want to go home and never leave the house again. I think I'll stay home tomorrow.

"If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?" Stephen Wright Our AC is broken. Blech.

My second post that irritates locals and confuses everyone else - Knoxville Adaptive Education Center should be closed. The school itself feels too much like Taft Youth Detention Center. The students are there because the school system has no idea how to really help them. It is a dumping ground that until recently had almost no textbooks and no academic advancement program (meaning the students there can't graduate). KAEC needs to become a school for students on long-term suspensions from their home school. Instead of throwing away entire school years over zero tolerance infractions, students could go to KAEC and keep up with their classes.

My first post that irritates locals and confuses everyone else - Tennessee School for the Deaf should be closed. There was a time when it was full of activity and served a specific population. Now, most of the students have more labels than Deaf on their records. Most Deaf students in TN are mainstreamed into schools near their home and not sent away to live at TSD. I can't be specific about the IEPs and M-teams I've attended at TSD but I can say that neither I nor the children's parents left those meetings happy. IF TSD stopped trying to teach the students to speak and allowed ASL instead of signed English I might feel differently, but I doubt it. If you want your child to function in the hearing world they should go to school with their hearing neighbors. If you want your child to be a part of the Deaf community, let them use ASL and skip the painful efforts to use their voices.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Amy loved bowling! Posted by Picasa I have more pictures at Flickr. I love that flickr lets you see friends' pictures through a feed reader. The commenting feature is fun too.

This weekend I pulled out my pre-pregnancy jeans. They don't feel comfy and relaxed yet. They feel about as comfortable as a bra does, but that's not the point. The point is being able to zip them. Since I won't diet until I stop breastfeeding this is as good as it gets for now.

Yesterday was the anniversary of Amy's conception. Well, everyone deals with stress differently.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Mangled message of the day - "It's okay to sing, Amy. Sarah went potty when she sang too."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The wagon that I drive has a leaky tire. Doug told me to call him if I had any problems and he would change the tire for me. I tried explaining that it is not necessary for him to drive to me just to fix a flat. Although I know how, all woman in the south know that unless they are in Nowheresville they won't have to change their own tire. Southern men ALWAYS stop and insist on doing it for you. They either think women shouldn't have to change a tire or they think that women can't change a tire. "You're not doing that right sweetie." Guess which category Doug falls under?

So far, it looks like Sarah is still going on a school trip to Dauphin Island in two weeks. I was certain that it would be cancelled but the teacher in charge doesn't expect any problems. Doug is thrilled. I am a teeny bit uncomfortable. No, I am sort of paranoid. What if the bridge has structural damage? What if the water is unsafe? How will the island get food? Will the power be back?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I can't sing. I've always known that my singing is frightening and wrong. I learned very young that mouthing the hymns in church would save me from raised eyebrows and scowls. My inability to express my love of music was the first thing that led me to learn ASL but that is a story for another day. It didn't take more than a few toddler hands placed over my mouth with the warning "Stop singing Mommy" to teach me to keep my deep, nasal-toned mouth shut. Since Amy has started going to preschool two mornings a week I have found myself doing something I haven't done since I quit working. I have been singing to myself. Apparently I'm tone deaf as well as a bad singer because not only does my singing not bother me, it makes me feel good. Better than good. Groovy. So good that I may just interpret Evan's first "No singing Mommy" plea as a sign that he is ready for a two day a week preschool.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The school year begins with the writing of the checks ritual but it really kicks into gear when the first assignment with confusingly vague directions comes home. I have a large (14x18) triangular shaped piece of paper with a note attached that reads "help your child create a family picture story". This is Amy's homework. How much do they expect a 3 year old to contribute? This is what is known as "parent homework".

Happiness is . . . listening to Evan giggle and belly laugh.

It must be summer because the grass is knee to waist high and the shrubs that will never be planted are dying of thirst. It must be fall because the lawn is scattered with leaves and the trees have started changing colors. It must be summer since the mosquitos are still thick. It must be fall since the pools are closed. It must be summer since we are wearing shorts. It must be fall since the children complain about the cold when they wake in the mornings. The dogs are shedding so it must be, oh wait, my dogs shed all year long.

Show some respect for the survivors, family and friends. Please pause the finger-pointing and venom-spewing until most of the search and recovery, identifications and burials are over. As the months wear on and the refugees are still pacing in shelters and sleeping on relatives sofas, everyone is going to need strength and patience. Human beings are not meant to be warehoused in gymnasiums.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Both locally and nationally, the requests for Project Linus blankets to be given to the Katrina refugee children is huge. For those of you that don't know about Project Linus, more info is available at Basically, they are a national organization designed to provide blankets to children in traumatic situations. There are many families with children being relocated to East Tennessee into shelters and temporary housing as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Project Linus wants to make sure each of these children have a homemade blanket to help them through this devasting time. Once they meet the needs of shelters in East Tennessee, any additional blankets will be sent to other Project Linus organizations that are serving the Katrina displaced children in their areas. Project Linus is holding a fleece blanket making night at the Moose Lodge in Oak Ridge on Thursday, Sept. 8th from 5:30 PM until they are done. If you'd like to help, come on down. If you can't get there by 5:30 that is fine, join them when you can and stay as long as you are able. You need only bring yourself, but if you want to bring scissors (label with your name), that would help. If you'd like to bring more fleece, that would be great, too. Some fleece is in panels and you should have them cut it into individual panels. If you buy it by the yard, fleece for baby blankets should be 1 yard, toddlers and older 1 - 1/2 yard and teens can be 1- 1/2 yards or 2 yards long. If you have any questions, please e-mail me or leave a comment.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

This e-mail came from a dog show group:

FWD: URGENT Info from New Orleans I will write a more detailed post tomorrow, actually today, but my husband finally reached me. He is safe, well protected by our Police force when they are fighting the fires, but I need to get this out ASAP. What he told me is so disturbing and urgent, if there is anyone out there with the power to do something quickly, this has to get out. I do have more inside info but I'm too drained to write more. My husband said that a shoot to kill order with regards to animals may begin soon. They believe it is the most humane way to handle the multitude of animals that are starving and ill, or injured. I cannot fathom this, and I can't bear to think that someone's family pet will end like this. Please, please, please try to get this order rescinded. I don't know who it came from. But someone will know the right person to contact. Let them begin on the Westbank, it isn't flooded, and there are secure back highways to come in. The rescues are just waiting for the word to go, and the military is coming in, and they will take care of the criminals that have better weapons than our own police force. I will post more, later after I've rested. Permission to crosspost. I stand behind the validity of this information. Siberianly, Lynn Szymurski Richlynn Siberians New Orleans, LA

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance

Friday, September 02, 2005

Knox County Schools will immediately admit students evacuated from Katrina and work with families to get paperwork and records replaced. Refugees needing medication for physical or emotional health needs should contact the local Red Cross. The Red Cross has a list of psychologists who can provide crisis counseling. Area medical professionals are accepting Medicaid from other states. Hospitals have been instructed to not turn away any Katrina refugees.

This weekend Splash Country is giving free admission to anyone with ID showing they came from New Orleans or any area hit. Dollywood and is giving free admission to anyone with ID showing they came from New Orleans or any area hit until 12/31/05.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Stop watching the looped footage of looters on CNN and read this blog. People just like you and I have lost everything and they need help.

Are you an East TN blogger looking for ways to help the hurricane victims? A Knoxvillian has taken in 14 family members (including an 18-month-old and a 6-month-old) from New Orleans. This family lost EVERYTHING! They have no homes, no jobs, no clothing and no savings. They are all crowded in one small house and the Knoxville relative who took them in can't afford to feed them, let alone find them a change of clothes. If you can help this family with food, clothing, housing or anything at all, please leave a comment or e-mail me and I will give you the family's contact number. Update: My mother took donations from Appalachistan over this evening. The sincere hugs and thank you's were overwhelming. Two seniors, their adult children and spouses, two young grandchildren and a Boston Terrier all crammed in one little house are struggling to grasp with losing everything they own. They know they need to start over but the grief is too overwhelming right now. Update: Donations from Instapundit and this man's employer are on their way. Thank you. Thank you. Can you imagine the amount of food and work involved in feeding 16 people 3 times a day? It makes my laundry woes seem small. The adults seeking work are having to do so without any references or recommendations from their most recent employers.

When asked if they would be participating in a matching funds drive for Katrina victims, a Knoxville business manager replied "They were told to leave and they chose not to." PLEASE don't let the anger and ugliness they are showing on television distract you from the whole picture. Many people were physically or financially unable to evacuate. Think about all the medical people who stayed behind to help others. All of the people who evacuated have lost their homes and all their belongings. They have no jobs or schools. They will run out of money quickly if they haven't already. There are reports of hotels raising their rates to keep "undesirables" out of their hotel. Shelters need help keeping the victims fed. There are soldiers out of the country who will come home to find their homes and belongings gone. They have spouses and children who were already struggling and are now in shelters with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Animal rescue groups are desperately trying to help the evacuees animals and are very soon going to be trying to rescue the animals left behind. FEMA has a list of some of the charities working on the relief efforts. Soldiers' Angels is trying to help the military families. If you can't donate money, ask how you can volunteer your time. Donating blood will help relief agencies stay focused on Katrina victims. "A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog." Jack London


In the house:

Me - the Mom
Doug - the Dad
Tommy - age 15
Sarah - age 12
Noah - age 9
Amy - age 3
Evan - 8 months old
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from cathymccaughan. Make your own badge here.

Mom's Stuff:

100 Things About Me
My Kids Are Pigs
My Husband's Crap
Pottery Barn Registry
Blogroll Me!

It runs in the Family:

Seldom & Never
Serendipitous Reflections
The Ramblings of CarMom
The Stomock's Retchings

Blogs I'm reading:


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