Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday Thank You Notes

Dear Life Raft,
I sure gave you the right nickname. You kept my head above water once again this weekend.
I was having one of those days.
Or weeks.
The Dancer is going through a special phase. She is currently specializing in whining, crying all night and clinginess. And I was starting to to get to that point. I hope all mother's know what I am talking about. I hope I am not the only one who gets to the "fight back" phase.
After a long period of being bossed, bullied, yelled at, whined at, complained at and just plain used, I start to see red. I look at my thirty pound antagonist and think, "I can totally take this kid. If she wants yelling, I can show her yelling. If she thinks that's a tantrum, I will show her a tantrum."
Not my finest moments, I know. So when I was teetering on the brink of sanity and crying about my baby turning into a minion of darkness you showed up.
On a Friday night.
When you are packing for a move and slammed at work and have your own daughters to care for.
You scooped up my crying, whining minion and took her to play with your cat. And then out to dinner. At Houlihans! And then to Walmart. And let her look at the fish. And bought her a doll. And bought me flowers. (They still look beautiful. I took this picture of them this morning.)
Seriously, Life Raft, talk about going overboard!
But talk about compassion. Talk about sacrifice. Talk about empathy.
I went out to dinner with the Artist and ate my food slow and had a grown-up conversation and I almost felt like a human again by the time you brought her back.
It made all the difference in the world.
I'm so grateful to have a friend who is like another sister.
I'm so grateful that you still think I'm a good person when I have seriously ungood thoughts my children. I'm glad you know that I love them when I can't stand them.
I'm thankful that you give me permission to fail without thinking I'm a failure.
I really, really love you.
My family got a real treasure when you came into our lives.
I know if I am treading water, you will throw me a line.
Thank you for keeping me from sinking under.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Every family has a its own language, a private little dialect.
No exception over here.
We are trilingual. I speak Tapperish, the Artist speaks Computerish and the girls speak Gibberish.
You know I love words. I use them a lot. I rotate through them so I don't leave the obscure ones out too often. They get lonely.
And it is rubbing off.
Sometimes I walk into a room and the Dancer is twirling in circles saying something akin to: "blah blah mommy go forest triangle. Oh no! Actually she is okay. La la la..."
The Artist looks at me with grave concern and incredulity. "What is she doing?"
"Just hitting her word quota for the day, Love. Do you feel like chicken?"

Then other times the Dancer finds that communications are down.
"Mommy, I, um, will you, (huff, huff, sigh) where, um, mommy, do we, I (big breath. Regroup)When you, can I, Ohhh! (growl)." Give up. Exit Stage Left. Kicks chair as she leaves.

Or the Cowgirl pulls out her favorite big words and just throws them around indiscriminately as willy-nilly as she chucks a frisbee.
"No, Sissy, that Barbie is not real. She is eventually just a movie." Or
"My friend was really distracted to him."


Sometimes we can translate, but often we just let their little speech experiments die a dignified death.

But I need to take a little blame because I've been trying to listen to myself lately. I put a few doosies out there.
"Please don't irk me."
"I am unavailable. I am immersed in my writing."
"This whining is insupportable!"
"You ought not run in the store."
"I concur."
And just for flavor let me just share a line of the Cowgirls latest school essay.
Hold on. I have to laugh before I write this down. It kills me!
I quothe:
Bill Pickett was the best cowboy that ever lived. He'd wave to the outher cowboys riding on the dust dirt road. At 14 Bill left his ranch and left his kin behind. Bill was in many shows and waved to his new friends and cowboys he met. Soon bill Pickett was famus.
Way to shake up my obscure English with some home-grown hillbilly! don't know what yer kin would do without ya, Cowgirl!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Do It Tapper Style!

Linen Closets, Tapper Style.

So onward goes the spring cleaning. I had a feeling it was time to tackle the linen closet.
And by feeling I mean a shower of mismatched pillowcases and old sheets every time I attempted to put away towels.
So here are my personal guidelines for a linen closet.
1. Always have enough spare blankets and pillows for at least four guests.
2. With few exceptions like beach towels (because all beach towels must be loud and garish. That is the law of the universe) all my towels and sheets are pure white so I can bleach them. I know you can't see them in this picture. I was bleaching most of them.
I watched a Dateline about the new bedbug epidemic three years ago and I'm sort of bleach happy now. EWWWW! And yes, I know intellectually that you can't outrun dust mites, but I pretend that doesn't apply to me. I sometimes choose ignorance.
4. Keep one stack of "work" towels. These are for oil spills, puke and general grossness. Never mix up your snowy white, drying-off towels with puke towels. That just isn't right.
3. Keep a stack of old pillowcases from Goodwill that mean nothing to you in case the need arises for a good, old-fashioned sack race.
It happens.
4. If you don't use it, get rid of it. The only exception is if grandma knitted it herself. Then we keep it and don't use it. But seriously, grandmas are the only exception to the rule!

I cleared out a bulging trash bag full of blankets, curtains, sheets and towels. Now nothing falls on me or on my children. It no longer looks like a house ghoul made a nest of old blankets in the bottom of my closet. (I wish I could blame it on a house ghoul. It was the Cowgirl. It really looked like a human nest with an indention where she curled up and everything. Sort of scary.)
And speaking of her blanket nest, my girls love to hang out in the linen closet.
Yeah, well. Anyway. They do. The cowgirl put some glow in the dark stars in there because she thought it was soft, wonderful spot that need a little phosphorescent magic.
When I discovered this I decided not to yell about it. I decided to capitalize on it.
I've been needing to reclaim the Fun Parent Prize for a couple of weeks so while the Cowgirl was at school I one-upped her.
I saw her one set of glow-in-the-dark stars and raised her one glow-in-the-dark galaxy.
Don't say I was never fun.
This is how we do linen closets Tapper Style!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nooks and Crannies

Quick joke about that title. The Artist thinks we should invent a Nook carrier and call it the Cranny. I laughed all the way to the car when he mentioned that on our last date.
Because we are lame thirty-somethings who laugh at each others' jokes.
Yeah, we like it that way.

So you know I've been slowly and painfully trying to clean out my nooks and crannies. They are cluttered and disorganized and sometimes just pointless. There is no reason to keep a spool of carnival tickets in my desk.
(By the by, anyone need some tickets? Admit One. Very exciting)
I have a built in bookcase in my bedroom. It wasn't highly embarrassing. It just wasn't doing anything but holding odds and ends that didn't belong anywhere else.
How lazy suburbanite can I get?
So today, I put away all the chachskies (Help! I have no idea how to spell chachskies and spell check is clueless. It sounds Ukrainian to me. Or maybe Finnish. Or Bavarian. Anyone want to take a stab? Astound us with your knowledge, Blog Lurker.)
So I put away the stuff and went shopping. A bag of gummy bears, one hamburger and one sucker later (those were my bribes to keep the Dancer cooperative in the stores) I came home with some goodies.
Fifty dollars and two hours later:

My shelves are stylin' for spring. All the other shelves are feeling self-conscious and a little dowdy. Don't worry, darlin's- I'm working my way to ya.
A good decorator leaves no nook or cranny behind...

And neither will I.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Today's question is:

Do you believe that people can truly change?

I hope so because if they can't I'm going to be wearing a poodle appliqued sweatsuit tomorrow and trying to get Angela to like me by bringing iridescent stickers to school and having the biggest pencil collection.
Of course, I believe people change. I watch it happen all the time. I've watched family members go from impatient, hot-tempered people to some of the most pleasant and calm humans you'd ever know.
I've watched bad habits that I battled for years finally fall to the wayside.
I've seen how the Artist's influence has molded and shaped my personality into something stronger and happier in the last thirteen years.
I've watched the cowgirl's life transition from a hideous, hideous babyhood to a beautiful childhood.
And isn't change the entire point?
Isn't that why we came?
If we leave this world just the way we arrived we wasted it.
We blew it.
If we can look back at our bad habits and our bad traits and our bad hair and our bad home decor and our bad wardrobes and say, "yikes!" then we know we're getting somewhere.
We're on a forward trajectory.
I don't believe in change.
I know it is real.
But it works both ways.
I've seen talents neglected and lost.
I've seen brilliant minds laid dormant.
I've seen good people spiral into lives of aimless waste.
We can change for the better or the worse.
Every time I walk into my bedroom and it is clean-
Every time I keep my mouth shut instead of blurting-
Every time I argue with someone without leaving the room in a huff-
Every time I answer a whine with a tolerant voice-
Then, yeah, I know that people change.

And every time I sneak a grape soda or get excited about Pop Rocks or scream when I see a spider-
I know some things keep on keepin' on.

Saturday, March 26, 2011



My hair looked a lot like this:

My house looked like this:

I wore this same old sweatshirt that I've been wearing for two years when I don't know what to wear:

My children did not once get along like this:

And all in all, I am really, really looking forward to this:

Night, all!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Overheard in the back seat II

This is my peanut gallery. They provide commentary for my wonderful life.
I do not get to proofread their script.
They perform live - no editing.

Our family was all out driving together this week (just like this, but imagine melted crayons, a mountain of toys and a dent in our prius - my fault. Sorry, Artist.) when the Cowgirl said something silly and I laughed.
the Cowgirl clapped and said, "I love to make mommy smile..." (so far, so sweet, right?)
"Because almost nothing makes her smile."

What the heliotrope?!
I smile all the time!
And thank you, Artist. Your snickers were very reassuring.
When she saw the reaction she got from HER DAD the Cowgirl started laughing and kept repeating the punchline.
Ha ha from the funny farm.
No more talking in the car....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Thank You Notes

Dear 'Lida,
Someone just called to say they are coming to my house in fifteen minutes. I haven't put away the breakfast dishes or put on make-up or fixed my hair. I have time to do one thing.
I'm writing this letter.
You deserve it more than I deserve blush and mascara.
You do something amazing.
The first time it might have been coincidence.
The second time it could have been a lucky guess.
The third time it was uncanny.
Now I kind of count on it.
What is it, you ask?
You have the eery ability to come out of nowhere and say exactly what I need to hear precisely when I need to hear it.
You've done it on three memorable occasions for me.
When I am down and full of self doubt you pull out the biggest, best compliment and shoot it straight into my heart like an immunization against loneliness and sadness.
And I remember them. Forever. Because they help me so much.
So my thank you is for much more than a few compliments. It's a thank you for living a life that is full of light and happiness and inspiration so when people need you, you are there.
My thank you is for being generous with your kindness.
My thank you is for being welcoming and open and warm.
My thank you is for your enthusiasm for life and your love of people.
My thank you is for the sincerity of your friendship.
I miss you now that you are living in the Pitt.
Someday you need to come back to the golden plains of Johnson County, okay?
I love you.
Thank you,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Do I look skinnier?

It's that time of year. Windows are open. People are out and about.
Stopping by. Taking a gander. Eying your stuff.
Yep - Time to lose weight.
I buckled down and after a five hour workout this morning I lost about fifty pounds -
House weight, that is.
So I won't look any better in a bathing suit; I still feel a little skinnier inside. (You didn't seriously think I meant that stuff did you? Because I am a 31 year old housewife, people.)
When my home gets too chubby with unnecessary junk I start feeling the weight of it on my shoulders. And what woman in her right mind wants to lug around excess poundage?
And to top it off - this little pile is just from three closets. There are bags yet to go!
Look out, Housefat. I know you're cowering in the back of the kitchen cupboards and trying to look inconspicuous in the junk drawer. I've got my eye on you. (Two fingers from my eyeballs straight to the broken hair clips and misplaced tooth floss on my desk)
You're goin' down.

House diet starts today. Who's with me?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meet me in Saint Lou--eee, Lou-eee!

I'm back, my friends. I missed you!
Our family made a weekend trek out to St. Louis, which happens to be one of the most entertaining cities in the Midwest.
In 48 hours we managed to hit the zoo, the botanical gardens, the city museum, union station, a movie, several restaurants and of course, our hotel pool.
Despite all the fun, there was some hearty whining because that is how we roll.

Top Complaints heard in St. Louis:

My feet hurt
The red panda is hiding
I want water
I need a blue crayon
My feet really hurt
The fountain isn't turned on
I didn't get any noodles
There's water in my ear
I scratched myself
I broke my blue crayon
I can't reach it
There's a butterfly in my ear
My feet really, really hurt

But honestly, there was happiness in-between the tears. At the botanical garden the Artist and I held hands and ignored the sore feet complaints long enough to pretend that we were just strolling along, not a care in the world.
At the zoo carousel I got to see my daughters enjoy 150 seconds of true joy while I sat down.
And at the city museum (which is not a museum at all - it is an indescribable playground of massive proportions) we all had fun. You can't not have fun there.
So I am sorry for the extended silence. I am home. I am back.
I survived.
This vacation only knocked off about two months my of life, which is not bad. Last time we went to Florida I lost 10 months.
It's good to see that I am making progress.

Best Things in St. Louis:
Free zoo
Japanese Gardens
Going through the City Museum caves with flashlights
Not cooking a meal for three days
Not cleaning a room for three days
Not folding laundry for three days

You get the jist, right?

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I've been in a car with for five hours with my posterity.

And for the last four hours and forty five minutes I've been wondering, "What did I do to these kids??? They were not minions of darkness when I got them. Was it too much sugary cereal? Was it overindulging in glitter glue and stickers? Was it refusing to put my head in the pool because I didn't want to get my hair wet? Should I have read them the sixth bedtime book? Because something seriously, seriously happened here."

I am willing to take the blame.
Now, is anyone willing to take the minions?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Confessions! Swan dive

I won't be able to post for the next three days so I wanted to make sure I did a confession.
And this one is particularly hard for me.
I've told you every ridiculous folly that makes up ridiculous me, but today's question is:

What gifts and talents do you possess that are unique?

Now it should be easier to tell you that I am grand and wonderful than tell you that I am clumsy and silly and contradictory, right?
So what is wrong with me? Why is harder for me to do a nice dive for you instead of a belly flop?
Maybe I know that you aren't going to get a triple flip swan dive, so it feels silly to try to impress you with my five foot, head first technically sufficient dive.
Maybe when I'm belly flopping that is easier because you know that is not my absolute best.
You can imagine that I am being modest and I really have great things up my sleeve.
But what if I don't. What if my very best is just mediocre?
Ahhhh... there's the rub.
But in the spirit of honesty I will answer the question.
I have a few gifts that are not totally commonplace.
1. I am warm. I've never had a person say "I wanted to get to know you but you are just so distant and intimidating." Uh uh. I am easy to approach. I am inclusive. I want to put my arms out and pull in everyone.
2. I have a special relationship with words. I am no author. I am no genius. I'm not the Word Whisperer. There are no delusions of grandeur here. But words and I get along. They let me approach them and pet and stroke them. I can move them and they seem to obey and go where I want them to go. I can usually get words to say what I am feeling and I like the sound of them in my ears and on my tongue and shifting through my mind.
3. I have a love of history. I feel a strong draw to all people and places, regardless of differences in time, space, and culture. When I write about history, it doesn't feel distant anymore. At least not to me.
(Seriously, friends, this is hard. This isn't false modesty. It hurts your ears when you honk your own horn.)
4. I love to make things pretty. I love to decorate my home and decorate my children. I have an eye for minimalist design and how to blend industrial and natural pieces. That is my favorite.
5. I want to be good. I don't have temptations to rebel or walk the line. I don't need to push the limits. I have an obedient heart. (That doesn't mean I don't screw up. I mean, come on! It just means I don't do it on purpose.)
6. I am a good judge of character. Not flawless - but I think above average. Think about it - I knew that the Artist was world class when I was only 17. I knew it within a few weeks of knowing him. I get feelings about people and sometimes they prove to be off, but usually I can trust them.
I am going to stop now because this has to be boring (ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ) for you to listen to me applaud myself. I am so sorry.
To make up for it here is a ridiculous picture of me posing in the hat that my sister, Jungle Jane, knitted for me and gave me this weekend.
And when I post again I will tell you about the debacle that was my attempt to knit.
Splash goes the belly flop!
Have a great weekend, All!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My House Threw Up On Me

So the Dancer was sick for three days.
Apparently, it was contagious because my house caught it.
There wasn't much warning.
One minute I was trying to get through two birthday parties, a baptism and a sick child and the next minute I turned around and
Every cupboard, cabinet, closet, basket, bed and drawer up chucked its contents all over my floor.
Not one room was spared.
It was grisly, people.I thought for a moment of just leaving the carnage, putting up the For Sale sign and walking away, but under all the mess there was a good house begging me not to pull the plug.
So I rolled up my sleeves and set up a triage. Worst piles first. All hands (all two of them) on deck. Code Red.
Eight hours and eight loads of laundry later I think the house is recovering. It was shaky for a while there. I thought I might lose 'er.
Only problem is - I require medical attention now. I think I just cleaned myself sick and senseless. The Life Raft is coming over tonight to take me to dinner and ladle some soup into me and nurse me back to health with some food I didn't cook and adult conversation.
The sure cure for all motherhood related ailments.
If you need to call me I will be in a bubble bath up to my nose. I'll holler back tomorrow. (I'm trying out slang. How'd it go?)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Do It Tapper Style!

The Dancer is still sick.Can you tell? (There should be a font just for sarcasm. Let's call it Smart Alica)

But she is also bored because she is a child and she must jump from miraculous recovery to hideous relapse every two hours. During miraculous recovery she is whining from boredom and not getting to go anywhere.
During hideous relapse she is whining about being sick.
Lots of whine today. I'm practically drunk with it.
So I decided to engage in the nice, quiet activity of coloring to pass the time.

So - How to color with crayons --- Tapper Style:

For some reason today I couldn't shake the memory of my kindergarten that always smelled deliciously of melted crayons. My favorite spot in the room was an easel with a vat of hot, welted wax (Can you imagine the lawsuits today?) and a roll of paper just begging for a masterpiece.
So I looked at our crayons and thought, "Why not?"
I think most of the world's problems likely started with the question, "Why not?"
But I digress.
We sliced the paper off the crayons with a razor blade (Thanks for the tip, Crafter) and can I make a quick side trip and talk about that?
I went to the Artist's office and said, "I need a razor blade."
Without pausing his work he said, "I have a box cutter in the tool room."
Now, shouldn't he have at least asked me if I was having a bad day? Because a razor blade is not a common request around here. When I started laughing and pointed that out he said, "Well, don't make a mess." Such is the love that we have. You crack me up, Artist.
So I de-papered the crayons, broke the crayons, loaded up a mini muffin tin and melted the crayons in the oven.
It smells really good. Like Mrs. Cushman's class sans the guinea pig.
Then we decimated our stash of q-tips and painted.We had to throw the wax back in the oven every five minutes to keep it liquid, because I do not have a hot plate. The cowgirl loved how much more vibrant the liquid crayon looked compared to a room temp crayon.
So next time you get the notion to do a simple activity like coloring, why not heat everything to three hundred degrees, risk a few scalds and make a massive mess? When it's harder and messier than God ever intended, you'll know you're doing it Tapper Style.

And P.S. If the next time I give you a mini muffin it tastes like a crayon - sorry 'bout that.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring (give me a) Break

Last night Spring had one of her famous mid-west temper tantrums and covered us in the cold white stuff.
Irish eyes are not smiling today.
So on the first day of Spring Break, Spring did not give us any kind of a break.
But worse than the icy layer outside is the fine coating of white covering every floor and counter of my house.

The Dancer sneezed 729 times yesterday.
She does not have a cold. She has a full blown blizzard.
Here's to hoping Spring and the Dancer's nose have a change of heart.
Kiss the blarney stone and wish hard!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Cowgirl's Biggest Promise

Yesterday the Cowgirl made one of the biggest choices of her life.
But it's more than just a choice. It's a promise.
Not a promise to me or any other person on Earth.
She made the choice to be baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and made the promise to be a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ.
She stepped into a pool of water and into the arms of her father who holds the priesthood and was baptized just like the Savior in the Jordan River.
And I can't help but think of what this promise means for her future.

Someday she will be talked about.
She will be laughed at.
She will hear the word "Mormon" whispered as she passes people at school.
Someone will mention that she doesn't make out with boys. Or drink beer. Or drink lattes. Or drink Coke, for that matter.
She will get left out of all the fun birthday parties on Sundays and won't get a job she wants when she won't work on the Sabbath.
People will tell her she isn't a Christian.
People will tell her she is closed-minded.
People will tell her a lot of things.
She will wake up at five in the morning to go to church every day before High School.
When people swear or take the Lord's name in vain it will hurt her ears.
No one will believe her when she says she never cusses. (No one ever believes that one!)
She will be different.

But good different.

She will be a light.

She will be a clean-talking, pure-living, church-going, truth-telling light.
She already is. At our last parent teacher conference her teacher said that she noticed the Cowgirl had very different values from other students. She pointed out that the Cowgirl doesn't talk about actors or pop stars or brands or labels or money. She talks about how much she loves her family and friends.

And that is why I celebrate her choice despite the hardships that lay ahead.
The blessings are so much greater than the sacrifices.
And I know that many of those whispers will be whispers of admiration and respect and love.
And there is only one whisper that really matters in our lives - the still, small whisper of the Holy Ghost guiding us on our way.
And His whisper will say, "Keep your head up. Keep your heart pure. Keep being different."

You'll make it, Cowgirl. We've got your back and the Lord has your heart.
You're good. In every way - you're good.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Coming Soon...

Today we watched the Cowgirl get baptized and become an official member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I am going to tell you how it went.
I am going to tell you how I felt.
I am going to post pictures of how she looked.
I am going to tell you why this was one of the most beautiful days of my life.


Because right now I am so spent and winded and exhausted that I might not make it to the end of this senten......


Friday, March 11, 2011

Don't you just love...

Don't you just love it (and by love, of course, I mean completely despise) how people on T.V. manage to cook in an esthetically pleasing way? There are matching glass bowls filled with pre-measured ingredients and even the darn measuring spoons are color-coordinated.
No boxes your kids helped rip open. No noodles strewn across the floor from kid's attempt to open box. No glops of sauce dropped in a perfect arch from your pot to your sink.
No clump of ricotta cheese that your daughter slid through with her sock and left a three foot skidmark on the wood floors. No ugly grocery bags wadded on the countertops.
Nope. They just get a small bowl of freshly chopped rutabaga that appears magically on their cutting board. Whatever the heliotrope rutabaga is!
Last night I looked at the war zone that I call lasagna (Oh yeah, they also have no forgetting lasagna noodles when they're making lasagna and having to go to the store while their mushrooms get limp) and wondered why I can't have my own cooking show where they hand me my ingredients in beautiful glass bowls.
Then I remembered the answer -
I would have to cook and be chipper and the same time.
Tough luck, Tapper.
Now go clean up that old cheese on the floor.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday Thank You Notes

Dear Hollyhock,

I do not have any other friend who can say they have been my pal and my voice teacher. You are the only person I ever could have attempted singing for because you are so gentle and compassionate. I knew that no matter how badly I croaked and groaned you would love me anyway. How you keep from rolling your eyes and cringing is a testament to your charitable nature.
I loved being your voice student. I mostly loved it when you showed me how to do it the right way. The music you make is lovely. I think I would have preferred to just sit and listen to you. I loved getting to indulge in a brand new hobby. I loved trying to improve myself in a new way. And I loved getting to my lesson early or staying late so we could talk and laugh and compare life notes. You have great life notes!
Do you remember how scared I was the first lesson? My voice was so soft it was practically squeaking and I was shaking so hard that my eyes teared up. Bless you for acting like everyone does that. Bless you for keeping a straight face when I tried to sound less like a wounded seagull.
Bless you for being a friend who I know will always agree with me and be indignant on my behalf when I am complaining.
I love your voice. I love your opinion. I love to hear your stories. I love the books you love. I love your children. I even love your dog. And I'm not a dog person at heart. Whatever you touch comes away better.
Including me.
Thank you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Confessions! Star Trek and fiddles

I wish all you cyber friends could have been at the Cowgirls horseback riding lesson last night. It was amazing! They raised her jump up to two feet and made it a long jump (that's where they put a board in front of and behind the jump to force the horse to jump longer- Hence the name.) She was just flying through the course. Every time she passed me she was either laughing or smiling and squinting her eyes in concentration as if she were thinking, "Just try to act up, Horse. I'm all over you." And she was. She was all over that horse. They made a great pair.

So I am behind on confessions. The question of the day is.....

What are a few things you can tell us about yourself that people have trouble believing?

I know my first answer because Jungle Jane still knits her eyebrows in confusion whenever the subject comes up as if she thinks I have been setting her up for a joke the last fifteen years and she is waiting for me to say, "I was totally kidding!"
I am a Trekkie.
The Artist and I watch all the old episodes of Star Trek, the Next Generation. It's our favorite Star Trek. But he did not get me started on it. I was a full blown Trekkie by the time we met. I've got a thing for Jean Luc Picard. Not a romantic thing. I just can't resist a British, Shakespearean, phlegmatic, humorless, Klingon-fighting, warp-speed flying, star ship captain who says, "Make it so." So Jungle Jane, it's not a joke. I really do love Star Trek. I hate Star Wars. You have to pick a team.

Second, I am a total pushover for a screaming fiddle. I mean smokin' strings, burn down the barn, knee slappin', boot stompin' fiddle. I listen almost exclusively to country music and the more fiddlin' they do, the better. People don't often guess my music preferences correctly. They put me somewhere between classical (I only love one classical song - one) and elevator music (I would rather the elevator plunge me to my death than listen to easy jazz.)

Third, I wish I could have been a ballerina. I honestly tried in my youth. I had grand visions. I am, unfortunately, not made of elastic. I was never flexible enough or strong enough (let alone skinny enough) to do anything great in ballet. But I wish and wish. I find ballet hypnotic in it's grace and beauty.
So there you have three little surprises about Tapper. Feel like we are getting to know each other better? Good. Now I have to go clean, but thanks for distracting me from the laundry for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Do It Tapper Style!

How Tapper teaches her children to sit like proper, young ladies:

Admittedly, this train came derailed pretty early because we taught our girls that this was funny:
We are paying for that little stunt now because when they pull out this same trick in the middle of church we do not coo and clap. I scowl and snap and give them the finger (The Mom finger - come on, this is me, people! The mom finger is the sharp wave of the pointer finger, followed by a stern point at the floor to remind her that that is the direction her feet should be pointed)

So how do I get my girls not to show off their Tinkerbell underoos to the entire population of Kansas?

Well, first I start by instilling in them a sense of grace and decorum from a young age:

Then I make sure I am always an example of poise and charm:

Next I explain how important it is to sit "pretty" and not squirm:

So, did you notice?
The Dancer is really catching on.
She is only three and already she is sitting with ankles together and hands in her lap.
Ten mommy points! I am all over this thing.
We have made significant strides and I am feeling pretty close to calling this lesson a complete success.

Pretty close...