Sunday, December 30, 2007
It's not just that, though. After the kicthenaid died, so did the garbage disposal. We paid a guy from Sears $65 to come out, take a look at it and inform us it's ancient and the motor did, indeed, die of old age. The water from the filter on the fridge won't come out. The cabinet that used to contain the slide-out trash can has been utterly destroyed courtesy of Lola. Not that this is all that important at the moment, but the brand new lawn mower we bought last summer worked exactly twice and now refuses to start. No, it's not the spark plugs. The top strand of lights on the Christmas tree died. And now that we've plugged in our fabulous new iMac (which, to my delighted surprise, works!) my wireless is no longer working. My iPod is not working. I am weary of things not working.
Perhaps it is a message that I should throw up my hands in surrender, and go sit in the living room by the partially lit Christmas tree and read, enjoying the gentle pitter patter of the raindrops on my...crap, grocery list. OK, maybe I won't be reading just yet. Tomorrow, when we've figured out how to navigate our fancy new machine, and assuming it's still working, I'll attempt to get some more Christmas photos loaded on this here blog.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
And here is the living room upon discovery the next morning (Note: When Kate woke up she said "It's Christmas!" and Jeremiah concurred. She then said "I should wear my Christmas dress!" and Jeremiah tried to convince her she should remain in her PJs, but she refused. We did not subject the children to such formal attire. We're PJs people as you can detect from the partial view of my Yummy Sushis in the background here.):It took all day, because Sarah got tired and needed a 2-hour nap during present opening and because Kate wanted to play with each item she opened and because I got hungry and wanted to pause to make bagels. But after all was said and done, this is what we ended up with:
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
When bedtime arrived, the girls were ushered upstairs to get in their PJs and then we came back down to put their carefully crafted baked goods out for the right jolly old elf. Kate carried the cookies to the living room and placed them on the coffee table with a surprising amount of pomp, while Sarah let us know what she thought of us for putting those cookies at her level but disallowing her to eat them. It was all very sweet and touching.
The next morning, we came out to the gift-PACKED living room (good grief) to find that Santa had enjoyed all the milk and all but a few crumbs of the cookies! Sarah ate those.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
It's the first day of winter and our family's second official year of celebrating it. Back before new management took over and made Jesus the reason for the season, celebrations of the solstice were chiefly about light and renewal. Pagans decorated evergreens in celebration that, even though the earth seems dead and barren in winter (except, what ho! These trees remain green!), spring will return with the sun and with it, sustenance from the earth. It is a celebration encased in faith that where there is death, there will also be resurrection. I guess you could also go with It's Not Dead, It's Only Resting. At any rate, Sound familiar?
I read up on the traditions of old. Sorry, Olde. We chose a few that felt like us. The mistletoe, it just happens, was meant to hang in the doorway year round as a way to promote fertility. Not that we need help with that, indeed we make efforts to prevent it, but we like the broader sense of the term. That all of life will be fertile. So we keep ours up. It's meant to be changed at Halloween. We couldn't find any then but Joy brought us some from the entire yard waste bag of it her parents gave her from their yard. Next, we like the idea of keeping the fire burning all day, an ode to the sun and the fact that our days will now begin getting longer. We can't have a real fire in our fireplace because it will smoke us out. So we burn the candles in there all day. And, one of our own choosing, we select a dinner comprised entirely of comfort food. Tonight, a hefty risotto involving a bolognese. I think I'll have some tea to chase it. I like to keep the day low key and close to home. The girls and I spent some time in front of our fireplace on the sofa, looking at my and Jeremiah's wedding photo album. It was fun, two tiny, warm bodies on either side of me, pointing at the pictures. Kate named everyone she could. Sarah just made comical, disparaging comments about her gene pool.
We give the girls one earth-related gift for the solstice. This year it's a funky bird feeder of Kate's choosing. To my dismay, I realized I don't have a hook for it. Back to the hardware store with me! But tomorrow. Because tonight is all about hanging out in my jammies. Hope your day is cozy!
Friday, December 21, 2007
The other night when we went to Steve & Joy's for the girls' sleepover, I let Kate bring their gift inside. I handed it to her when she emerged from the car and I said "I see Uncle Steve through the window, give him this and say 'Merry Christmas, I made this for you!'" I tell her stuff like that all the time and she never gets anywhere close to remembering her lines. Steve opened the door, Kate stepped inside, proffered the gift bag and very sweetly said "Merry Christmas! I made this for you!" I was surprised to note that it was nearly 20 minutes before Kate suggested that perhaps she should get a gift...
Last night Rusty and Jennifer stopped by with gifts for Kate & Sarah. Kate was watching them get out of their car and ran to greet them at the door. She opened the door and they said hello and she said "Do you have a gift for me?", like the troll at the bridge.
When people ask me that question, "Does Kate get it now?" I sigh and say "Oh yeah. She gets it".
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Aunt Jo Jo and Uncle Steve wouldn't let Kate go without the pink princess backpack, though. After all, a proper princess needs all the accessories while riding her stylin' skateboard (please don't tell her it's a scooter). The girls had a sleepover at their house this week and received their Christmas gifts from them. Sarah got a little babydoll who comes with her own stroller. She promptly evicted the tiny baby from her stroller and sat down in it and Kate pushed her all over the house in it. Kate opened her backpack. It was love at first sight. She slept with it.
In related news, this morning after Kate packed all her (and some of Sarah's) belongings into her princess backpack One-Word-At-A-Time-Sarah walked up to her, pointed at the pack and clearly said "That's a backpack." I do enjoy the language acquisition age because each day is full of fun surprises like that.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
*Children are gross, don't put them to work without first subjecting them to lots and lots of soap and water.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
As soon as the mixer arrived at Jeremiah's office he alerted me. That was unfortunate because it was, like, 10AM on a workday and I was immediately unable to focus on anything but going home and making stuff. Somehow I made it through the day. I wonder if my coworkers could tell that while I was sitting in meetings with them I was mentally preparing a workflow of my weekend. Many of them will benefit from my labors, so I'm sure they'll forgive me.
Yesterday the "Iwantmymommy!Iwantmymommy!Iwantmymommy!" alarm went off at 6AM sharp. And so it was time to commence ta bakin'. First, I had to clean the kitchen from floor to ceiling because it was disgusting. I used an essential oil mix in my mop water of clove, cinnamon and sage and the kitchen immediately smelled like Christmas. Next, the endless parade of holiday music was lined up by the CD player. Finally, I was ready. Since then there's been little else going on here. It's now Sunday and I'm still baking. I can't stop. I'm like a crazy person. My feet hurt. I don't care. If Christmas arrives and I'm still doing this...please send help. I think I have a problem.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
As I approached the other side of the car to buckle up Kate for safety she was licking the window. I tell myself I've seen her lick more disgusting things and live to tell about it and open the door to get her situated. "Do you have Big Boned Gal?" She more demands than inquires. Yes, I do. As I fumble for the KD Lang CD Kate begins to sing from the back seat. "She was a BIG boned gal from mmmmble mmblgberta, you just couldn't all her SMALL!" Once the song is playing, she grows weary of singing and tells me a series of things, all very important, most completely out of context to me and therefore seemingly nonsensical, ending in "and I want to see hippos!"
She wants to see hippos. I am instantly transported to Mrs. Gochenour's English classroom - a portable classroom - where we met in the evenings to review our grasp on vague and often obscure literature references for Valley Academic Competition for Excellence (VACE). A quiz game at which I played on the English team. At Christmastime the inherently hilarious Mrs. Gochenour read us A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas*. This is my favorite Christmas story. Out in the very deep snow the children, whose Christmas the story is about, make big footprints, telling each other "people will think there've been hippos!" and asking "what would you do if you saw a hippo?" The answer to this, of course, would be to roll him over on his back and tickle his belly. Having seen what Kate does when faced with a Caterpillar, I'm guessing she would not attempt to roll a hippo over. Mrs. Gochenour's rendition of the story still plays in my head as Kate babbles on and I hear her read "...what would you do if you saw TWO hippos?"
By the time we roll into the driveway (Kate has still not stopped talking and, to my delight, I see Sarah is looking at her with what must be a mixture of awe and annoyance) I have gotten to the part of the story when the fire department is called. The author's aunt comes down the stairs, sees the firefighters and, the consummate hostess, says "would you like anything to read?" Yes, I think, I know exactly what I'd like to read.
*Thanks for the link, my brothuh. Now I realize I was wrong about what you should do if you see a hippo, they prefer to be tickled behind the ear.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
We've long since abandoned the notion that Kate may actually sleep during the day and changed "nap time" to "quiet time" for her. During this period, she is banished to a bed, usually the one in the guest room, owing to the room's lack of toys and sundries, where she must remain for one hour. We allow her to bring books with her. Kate detests Quiet Time.
Today she was allowed to lie down in Mommy & Daddy's bed and listen to the radio, which is set to NPR. I turned it way down and closed all the blinds and tiptoed out to create a mood of quiet. I headed to the kitchen to plan this week's menu and the majority of our Christmas gifts (Do I love you? Expect something baked...) in peace. Jeremiah is out getting a haircut. The pets are napping in their respective sunny spots. This is the good life. Until...
Kate decided the radio should be LOUD and is now blaring opera and reading her books to herself at a level that exceeds that of the radio. And whining. "Uuuugggh! A mosquito bit me! [false] I don't wanna read that book! [thud]" Instead of creating the environment for my one @#$%ing peaceful hour in the entire day myself, it's being set by the 3-year-old in a black mood. I noticed I was pounding coffee and flipping through the pages of my cookbooks without looking at them. Why can't I find that one recipe I wanted? Who threw it away?!? I'll kill Jeremiah if he did!* As is so often the case at the end of this hour, I've gotten nothing done and am grumpy. I think I detest Quiet Time, too.
*This is an outlandish thought. Jeremiah never throws anything away and I complain incessantly about his packrat habits and "collections". If anyone threw a recipe away it was most certainly me. Which only makes me angrier.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Mommy (most important)
Daddy (most often)
Please (definitely not, as I first thought, a request for peas)
Hi Jo Jo!
Uncle Steve (comes out sounding like "I'm a sieve" but we know)
[vigorous nodding yes]
and just the other day, she very clearly said to me - "Monkey rabbit on the ATV". I'm not sure what that meant. When I told Steve that's what she said he nodded and said "they know things we don't". So true. So true.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
As if that weren't sad enough, the garbage disposal has also died. Time to start composting, I guess.
To cheer myself up I'm stealing a meme from Epiphany, which, coincidentally, my Plaid Sheep friend also just stole, I noticed when I linked to her up there. I don't usually do the memes but part 6 of her dad's never-ending meme struck a cord so here we go:
51. When did you go to your first funeral?
I was 22 by the time I attended my first funeral. My friend Gayle's fiance, Patrick, killed himself. Judy and I had spent the entire night with Gayle, waiting for word on him because although he shot himself with a shotgun, he didn't die right away. It was all very terrible. Gayle went to work the very next day, and out that night. Judy and I kept waiting for her to have some sort of grieving breakdown but if she did, we never witnessed it. I honestly think we were both sadder.
52. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown?
Eighteen! So long, suckers! Don't get me wrong, I love my hometown of Woodstock, VA. Beautiful place. Some of the most wonderful people I've ever known came from there. But please don't make me live there.
53. Who was your first grade teacher?
Mrs. Richards. We moved from Indiana after I finished first grade. She gave me a Frances book. I forget which one she gave me when we moved, but for Christmas she gave me "Frances Gets a Baby Sister" which was really sweet of her because all I wanted for Christmas was a baby sister. I got in trouble in her class for writing "To hell with mathwork" on my math paper. I'd seen "To hell with housework" on Mrs. Emory's refrigerator and asked her what it meant. She told me it meant she didn't like housework. No one ever asked me why I wrote that on my paper. Thus began my passion for correcting the education system...
54. Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
I went with my mom to Lowell, MA to visit my grandparents. She gave me Dentine gum to chew during takeoff and landing so my ears wouldn't hurt and she let me sit in the window seat. I remember the sight of the tiny lights of the cities below us. My grandfather took us mushroom hunting and every time the car would go over a hill (remember, I lived in Indiana at the time) I'd say "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!" at the top of my lungs. Mom said "Lisa, please stop that!" and Grampy said "Oh leave her alone, she's fine" thus endearing himself to me forever.
55. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?
I don't remember but it was probably Anni. Possibly Barbara Hollifield.
56. Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with them?
Anni. We met in Mrs Gnegy's 3rd grade class. We were buds all through school, kept in touch while in college, took a cross country trip together after college, went to Europe together in grad school and I just talked to her on Tuesday. She's doing well with the brand new baby.
57. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents’ house?
Johnson Hall at Virginia Commonwealth University with Julee Myerpeter who was a consummate slob but who very specifically kept her filth on HER side of the room, God bless her.
58. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
Jeremiah. But it should be noted that he is also the first person I call when I have a good day.
59. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid or a groomsmen?
Keith and Ellen's wedding. I was the maid of honor. I was just a 14-year-old punkass kid and so I had no idea what the duties of a maid of honor really were. It was a nice wedding, though. My mom made the cake (after swearing she'd never make any of our wedding cakes) and worked diligently to make the colors match the dresses exactly. It was perfect. But it was an outdoor spring wedding and after the cake sat outside in the sun it all faded and was completely white by the time we ate it. Tasted, great, though.
60. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Wonder where I am.
61. What was the first concert you attended?
Ub40. They played at James Madison. I was not high. In retrospect, I was probably the only one there who wasn't.
62. First tattoo or piercing?
Based on my experience with two tiny girls my best guess is my first piercing was my arbitrary, joyous shriek. All my tattoos came from Cracker Jack and I really couldn't say when that started.
63. First celebrity crush?
Burt Ward. I must've been 4 or 5.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
(Yes, my kitchen is several different colors. Two and a quarter years ago when we bought the place I started throwing some sample colors up on the hideous yellow walls in there. I couldn't decide what I liked. Then I got pregnant and couldn't paint...and Jeremiah doesn't paint. So it sat like that. Then our attitude was "well, we're about to remodel the kitchen" (no, really, we are) and since then we've waited for plans. Then for a permit. Then for a second survey because the @#$*ing city of Atlanta required a topo version on the site plan. Then we waited for the permit again. Now we're waiting for the contract. It will be multi-colored for awhile. We do not find it hinders the creation of delicious food. Like Jiffy popcorn.)