Friday, September 30, 2011





1.  I can't believe Mommy's letting me make junk food!  (I mean she's a total pushover when it comes to me eating junk everywhere else, but she thinks she's extra virtuous or something for at least making sure the junk doesn't usually come from her own oven.  Keep foolin' yourself Mom...)

2.  She tried to get me to be all gentle cracking the eggs, but I just threw the whole thing into the bottom of the bowl.  Best. sound. ever.

3.  Then I started stirring,

4.  and stirring,

5.  and stirring.

6.  Yep, that's me still stirring.

7.  Ahhh, payoff.  I know, I know... salmonella shmamonella.

8.  Camera out of my face lady- no, I'm not smiling for you like I just had some blissful mother-son bonding experience.  I'm here for the chocolate.

9.  Still snapping?  Fine.  You get spoon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rock Art

I really liked how Owen laid out these rocks on the new guest room rug the other day.  It felt a lot like an art installation to me.  The kid's got an eye right?  I'm sure it's not just that he's a boy and he likes sneaking into a room where he thinks he's not supposed to be to play with rocks.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Conversations with O

Photo credit to Scott

Still residing in the House of Sick over here, so how about some funny things Owen has said lately to cheer us up?

  • He's in week 3 of preschool and is great about coming home and sharing things he's learned.  The other day he asked me if I knew the Witchit Stans song.  After a second of head scratching, I realized he was talking about the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • He also asked me to sing Patio Cake Patio Cake with him.  Is that the one that can only be chanted on a back porch?
  • During a downpour the other day, he asked me out of the blue, What do ducks think about rain?  And he acted a little put out with me when I confessed I had no capacity for reading the mind of a duck.
  • He and I went out for a treat last week, and Owen got a brownie the size of his head.  After one bite he said, This brownie is weeeeeally good.  After about 4 bites he said, We need to take some of this brownie home for Daddy to try.  Past the halfway mark and still going he announced,  Maybe we should just go back and get Daddy his own brownie.
  • We borrowed a Thomas the Train movie from the library, and Owen always likes to give me the rundown after the show has ended.  He said,  Did-ja know Mommy?  Thomas has friends in this movie named Hairy and Butt.  I started laughing and was simultaneously wondering either what kind of movie I'd rented for him or how in the world he came up with a joke like that when it hit me.  Harry and Bert.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


AAAAHH!  The curse of the promised blog post strikes again!

About an hour after that last post, I found myself lying on the floor of our veterinarian's office trying not to pass out.  (Our elderly cat Coby has kidney failure and goes in twice a week for fluids.)  Don't even ask me to think about what I might have been laying in.  Pssst:  How'd I do on the lay vs. lie conjugation there?  All I cared about at the time was getting my blood pressure back up, so hitting the floor before I literally hit the floor was my best option.  Add it to the list of strange and embarrassing places my wonky blood pressure has abandoned me (department store, restaurant waiting area).  And this time in a skirt no less.  At least everyone at the vet's office is female.

They were really nice about it.  One of the techs ran to the convenience store next door to get me an OJ, and they peeked into the exam room often to check on me.  I'd just raise my arm up at them and waive.  (I know the one for choking, but what is the universal gesture for 'I haven't passed out yet' ?)  Owen was there, and he laid out on the floor next to me, sipping orange juice whenever I did and occasionally sitting up to give me a kiss.  Brave, sweet boy.

When I thought the episode had passed, I gathered our stuff and headed to the car, but by the time I got everyone buckled in I was feeling awful again.  So I got out of the driver's seat and went around to the passenger side, put the seat down and laid out again.  After a few minutes, the vet receptionist came out and rapped on the window and half-yelled through the glass to see if I was okay.

"Umm... yeah.  Just in here hangin' out.  I'll be fine!"

Gosh I wish I knew what they were saying about me when she went back inside.

Getting long-winded here so I'll do a speed wrap-up:  Called Scott at work.  He came and drove us home.  Turns out the blood pressure thing was the precursor to a lovely virus.  Thanks to my best friend Phenergan, I slept for the next 24 hours.  Still feeling puny, but much better.

Now on to the promised post:

One night this week, I walked into the living room to find Owen fishing off the back of our couch with his Yoda belt tied to his light saber.  And while I admired the ingenuity, it made me think he needed a real fishing game.

Here's the tutorial we followed.  I bought some safety scissors so Owen could help and some laminating paper for the fish, but otherwise I had all the materials on hand.  

So far he's only broken the fishing pole 7 times, but he likes it!

In summary, I promise never to make a promise about a blog post on here again. 

Unless that promise counts as a blog promise and I'm about bring all sorts of evil juju upon myself...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Busy morning

...but I'll post a fishing game Owen and I made together when we get home after lunch, so check back!  I mean, you can't start your weekend out without knowing how Owen fishes, can you?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Our Day of Trains: Part 2

It's a rainy grey day here, Owen is home from school with a fever vegging on the couch, and our doorbell keeps phantom ringing.  Seems like the perfect time to cozy up to the computer with a mug of tea and do a post on a 100-year-old abandoned building.

After leaving Railroad Park Friday, we weren't quite ready to head home, so I suggested we try to hunt down the abandoned roundhouse Scott had read about in a local forum a few months ago.  After a little searching on our phones, we found this posting (by a motorcycle enthusiast of all people).  I love how he sneaks his bike into almost every shot- just like a proud mommy blogger.  There were no written directions other than that it was off of Finley Blvd, but he did include a satellite shot.  Thanks motorcycle dude!

So we headed to the side of town where church vans get their very own razor wire mini-fences.  I had the roundhouse satellite image up on my phone, and Scott had a wider view pulled up on his.  After about 20 minutes of driving around, Scott eventually located a landmark on both images, and that led us to the roundhouse!  It's about two blocks off Finley Blvd on Center St N - really close to Niki's West.

I had my camera in hand and my fingers on the door handle before the car was at a complete stop.  Ever the voice of reason, Scott made me promise to run back to the car at the first unidentified noise I heard.  Luckily, I didn't hear anything.   The light inside was beautiful thanks to those high windows.  I kept expecting to see an old carousel somewhere. 


Don't you love the mixed message here?  I tried to be respectful and not go more than a few steps through the WIDE OPEN bay door.

Though abandoned now, the roundhouse was most recently used as a warehouse, so all the lower windows and doors have been blocked up (see top R photo in last grouping) and lots of the rail and the turntable are gone.  I would have loved to see this beauty in its heyday when it was servicing up to 25  steam engines at a time.  

Minus all the soot of course.

So tell me the truth locals, was this a real find, or did all of you already know about it?  And for you non-locals:  got places like this where you are that we can explore next time we're in town?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Day of Trains: Part 1

Scott had half the day off on Friday, so we made an afternoon of it.  Our first stop was Railroad Park, near downtown Birmingham.  I remember going to a Widespread Panic show 8 years ago at this location when it was just a wasteland near the tracks.  A group of inspiring people, one of whom is our friend Susan, dreamed of making it a green space in the city.  They worked for years fundraising and planning before their vision was made real when the park opened a year ago.  Go here to see the beautiful results.  When I think about how they started with a tiny seed of an idea, climbed mountains of obstacles, and gave our city an incredible gift, I'm so inspired.

I call this shot "More Powerful than a Locomotive..."
You know, except that you can't see the locomotive.

These were taken along the Rail Trail in the park.  Sure wish Owen didn't have 
smoke stack coming out of his head in that shot on the left.  Almost a great shot!

Things got even better when the ice cream truck rolled up.

Scott and I call this shot "Fu(dge) Manchu".  

Playing in the skate bowl and cooling off in the creek
 (the latter of which is evidently against park rules - oops!).

Playing on the two playgrounds.  

Rolling in the grass like a very satisfied labrador. 

Next stop:  An abandoned roundhouse!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

For John

Scott was supposed to Tweet these so you could see them the cool way, but he snoozed on the job so you're getting mommy blogged instead.  Owen looooves the Superman shirt.  It is inevitable that he will run into a post or a brick wall while wearing it because he's constantly looking over his shoulder to watch the cape flap!

These pics are from a really fun family adventure we had yesterday, so check back Monday for the rundown.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Friday, September 16, 2011


These photos were all taken over a 24-hour period.  Owen has started raiding the dress-up closet, and I'm loving it.

LOOK 1:  The Astronaut Slash Jedi
                  Astronaut jumpsuit and cap, railroad engineer walkie talkie and Jedi lightsaber clipped to belt.  The overall effect?  He's one 
                       proton pack short of looking like a Ghostbuster.  
                  Type of random person most likely to speak to Owen when he's in this get-up?  Grown nerd men.  I think they hope he'll let 
                       them borrow the lightsaber.

LOOK 2:  The Stegasaurus Tail
                  Tail belted over a t-shirt J.Crew style.
                  Type of random person most likely to speak to Owen when he's in this get-up?  Fellow preschoolers and cute college girls.

LOOK 3:  Halloween 2010 Revisited
                 Last year's costume, minus the ears when in transport.  Owen was very disappointed when they wouldn't stretch over his bike 
                 Type of (not quite) random person most likely to speak to Owen when he's in this get-up?  Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker, 
                      who conveniently live 2 doors down.  (Vader and Anakin are like the holy trinity in that you can talk about them like they're 
                      separate entities, right?)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Did you hear about all those kooky people yesterday who went nuts over Missoni for Target?  

Well, Hi, I'm Shelley, and I'm one of those kooks.  Sort of.  I played it cool and didn't go to Target until lunchtime yesterday.  I figured shelves of Italian designer stuff wouldn't disappear in Alabama the way it could in New York.  

And that kind of snobby thinking landed me where I deserved:  standing in Target with an empty basket and staring at empty white shelves.  All the good stuff was gone.  

So I hit the road this morning and went south to find a Target that at least still had some stuff.  They pepper it all over the store so it's like a little treasure hunt.  (I'm a marketer's dream.)  I scored an expandable file to organize all my homebound students' stuff, a candle for the guest room, a coffee mug for no good reason and a hooded sweater that turned out to be kids' clothing.  I thought I was being sneaky when I found it abandoned back by the dressing room, and I found it strange that a size L would be so snug on me.  I just figured it was mislabeled.  Nope.  Did I buy it anyway?  Yep.

I'll be the envy of the whole 4th grade.

A shot that includes Owen, since that's why most of you are really here anyway  ;)