Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Time to Ween the kids

Mom complained that I haven't been blogging. So here I am. Last night the very kind Joy hung out with Kate and Sarah while we went to see Ween, live! In concert! Steve was supposed to join us but he had some meeting and was late and never found us in the haze of palpable marijuana smoke. No worries, it was a fantastic show and it's not like we could have had a conversation or anything. I'd never seen Ween live before last night and I have to say - they are EXCELLENT. Their drummer performed a solo that left even the most insistent dancers standing stalk still, jaws dropped. At one point, he just threw his sticks off stage and played with his hands.

I love live music. However, I have yet to attend a concert, even one with assigned seating, that is not also attended by my nemesis, Tall Concert Guy. I am 5'3". Tall Concert Guy is 6'10" and resembles a refrigerator. Tall Concert Guy's M.O. is to wait until I've fought my way to an outstanding spot in front of the stage, in range for bra-tossing should I be so inclined. Then he slips in with his obnoxious, yet shorter, sidekick and stands directly in front of me, bobbing and weaving in tandem with me, so that every show I've ever been to looks something like this:

I hate you Tall Concert Guy! And I hate your stupid shirt!!! One day I will finally work up the nerve to throw a solid punch into one of Tall Concert Guy's kidneys. Mercifully last night Tall Concert Guy was on a bender and was frequently absent, seeking out more beer.

Before the show we went out for pizza with Joy and the girls. Earlier that day I'd informed Joy that Kate had been a full-blown monster to her father when he was trying to get her out the door to daycare. When we arrived at the pizza joint (Joy picked them up from daycare for us!) they were all there and the girls already had food. Sarah reacted with such glee at the sight of us we felt like the rock stars and Kate, in the rhythm of one who's been coached, kissed her daddy and said "I'm sorry I was bad this morning" - eyelashes batting. We were very impressed. I pity the man who endeavors to take that girl away from her daddy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I apologize for my absence...

...but I've been in Michigan where it is currently so cold it defies the use of adjectives. Know this - I'll be having nose and cheek replacement surgery soon. So anyway, what would cause an otherwise reasonable southern-dwelling (some might say 'carpetbagging') gal to make tracks to such a frozen tundra in mid-January? The birth of the young lad, Cyrus, of course! Yes, it's true - those two whipper-snappers who, playing with a chemistry set in the basement, convinced ourselves we'd shrunken a cricket - are each someone's mother now. Don't be too alarmed. We stopped at crickets.

Suffice it to say, Cyrus is adorable. He has that new-baby smell and is all coos and smiles and yes, occasional screaming. Despite his flawless adorableness I was not persuaded that I should make any more of these creatures. Why, in just a two-month period in 2007 alone 4 of my favorite people in this world reproduced (all boys, what is this, China?) and so I feel pretty good about the future. Here are the only two salvageable shots I was able to get of the wee one, since I left the nice camera at home, thinking, absurdly, that my dear husband might snap a few photographs of the fun he had with my own children in my absence so that I might feel as though I'd been there afterall.

Now that I'm back home I can get down to the business of figuring out how the iMac works so I can post the scads of photos I've taken of my own children in some meaningful fashion. Oh, it was so fun to see Anni and Ben with their new progeny and I do hope they'll go again. That child will want for nothing, I tell you. But when I got home and saw Sarah running toward me, all bundled in her white furry coat, across the baggage claim in the Atlanta airport (The World's Busiest, we must apparently now say after already managing the mouthful that is "Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport"), I realized how much I'd missed my own little family. Being trampled by strangers while I struggled to hug Kate and pick Sarah up and kiss Jeremiah I thought happily of all the good times Anni, Ben and Cyrus have ahead of them. For now I'm certain they just look forward to a full night's sleep.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow in HOTlanna!

It snowed yesterday. I know those of you in the colder realms are thinking "Yeah, well, it's winter" but here in Atlanta we A.) are thrilled to have any precipitation and 2.) Don't see a lot of snow, ever. We haven't had much of it since I moved here in 1999. And I was cheated my entire 3 years in NYC by never once seeing any snow with accumulation. So, when it started yesterday at the beginning of rush hour, I was thrilled, despite the unpleasant commute it heralded.

I had plenty of time sitting in my car to snap a shot of said weather:

My trip home took one hour and forty minutes. It's about 19 miles. Ordinarily a drive like that (and they're not all that uncommon) would leave me irritated, frazzled and end with me stalking past the people I love most in the world and my pets to the wine fridge. Drink, then kisses all around. But the snow is so quieting. I thought it would show a few fat clumps and then turn into rain but it didn't. It snowed and snowed and snowed some more. I watched it in the street lights, mesmerized. It's beautiful. I thought of the line from the Tori Amos song "I get a little warm in my heart when I think of winter". Snow has always had this effect on me. As the sky darkened and the leafless trees shown as silhouettes behind the unending shower of fluffy white my mind wandered to the good things.

The things we do to stay warm. I was transported back to my parents' house. When it snowed I would watch it through the picture window in the living room. Dad would obligingly put a fire in the fireplace and I could sit there with hot chocolate or hot tea and a book and a cat and warm dog and enjoy the quiet. The next day there'd be no school because even the threat of snow would result in cancelled school, and I'd don layers and layers of clothes, invite all my friends from the neighborhood over and we'd go sledding down the tiny hill across the field in front of my house. My dog Zach would come. He loved the snow, I think he knew how the whiteness of it showed off his gorgeous, sleek blackness.

Staring at the snow pelting down in the red glow of the brake lights in front of me, I was back there - where weather was the reason for an impromptu celebration. I wanted to call all my old friends and tell them I miss them and still love them even though I never call to tell them that. By bedtime the snow had turned into rain, as it does here. But this morning much of the grass was still white with the memory of it. It was a nice little treat.

If it takes me that long to home again tonight I'll most likely kill someone.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

At the park

It was a lovely afternoon so we headed to the park, 4 humans and a dog. While I ran around the park with Sarah, Jeremiah hung out with Kate, still in full princess regalia (Kate, not Jeremiah), on the Big Kids' Slide. Kate stood at the top of her favorite slide waiting for the somewhat older kid sporting the skateboarding t-shirt to take his turn. Jeremiah reports the following conversation between Kate and this lad:

Kate: Are you going to go?
[No response]
Kate: I'm the princess!
Punkass Kid: I'm the king and I can do whatever I want.

While Jeremiah and I agreed that was a pretty dang good response to Kate, I made a mental note to teach Kate the epithet "Poser!"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Her Royal Highness

Kate has a new princess dress.  She wears it everywhere but daycare (because we won't let her).  Yesterday when I realized we were completely out of coffee and I invited Kate to join me to go buy some, it took her 20 minutes of prepping to get out of the house.  The guy in line behind us admired Kate's look and asked "does she have a recital today?"  I shook my head, shrugging, and said "buying coffee is a formal event for her".  He clearly  has no 3-year-old girl in his life.  Yesterday we had tea time together.  I, in my sweats and whatever shirt I'd plucked up from the floor when I awoke that morning and Kate in princess attire.  She calls Jeremiah King Triton, or sometimes just King.  She doesn't call me Queen because the movies she enjoys that contain princesses either include no mother at all, or an evil step mother.  Diatribe on Disney's mother-issues to come later.  For now, here are some pictures. 

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Toddlers Gone Wild

When Kate got to be, oh, 1ish, she started regularly removing clothing or just flashing her entire chest at us. Figuring this was common toddler behavior we didn't bother to try to convince her to stop doing it. Instead, we taught her to joyously declare "Spring break!" each time she did it.

Now Sarah does it, too. I guess maybe they'd do it sooner in life but for all the onsies. Anyway, we, of course, taught Sarah the same thing. In fact, not only will she yell "Spring break!" (in her muddled speech) but she will also regard the call as a command and lift her shirt if anyone says the words. Pavlov would be so proud.

Sorry for the poor-quality photo, it's from the phone. Besides, it's seems fitting for the topic.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Where are all those Christmas pictures she was talking about?

I'll tell you - they didn't make it onto our back-up discs, which we downloaded onto the new computer with ease. Nope. Those are still on the hard drive of the PC. Which we've been ignoring. So sorry, you're not gettin' those. However, I did renew my contract with T-Mobile and subsequently scored a brand new Blackberry which contains a camera. I scoffed at the camera phones when they first came out as silly. Since then, however, I've been feeling a bit chagrined as I've been unable to share images of some of the most amazing mullets I've ever seen, bizarre signs on my commute, and other natural and unnatural phenomena with the people I love. So, now I'm happy. To kick off the celebration, here's a shot of Sarah getting down after daycare yesterday. She bad.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Harsher than Simon

Kate got 2 copies of Ratatouille for Christmas, so we exchanged one of them for Aladdin. She. Was. PSYCHED. "We're going to watch it over and over!" she declared as she held the DVD aloft while exiting Borders. I wasn't too put off by that, even though I knew right away it was absolutely true. I prefer both Jasmine and Aladdin to those sappy losers in The Little Mermaid. Anyway, we have watched it over and over.

The other night, after a viewing of the movie, Kate and Sarah were heading up the stairs to bed with Jeremiah and me. Kate was singing the love theme from Aladdin (horrible song) in her adorable, 3-year-old falsetto. I chimed in, taking the male part "I can show you the world..." I belted out. Kate fell silent. I glanced at her and saw she wore a deadpan expression. Slowly, she shook her head "no" and said, flatly, "Don't".

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year's Resolution - Be harder to stalk

I own a couple books on the topics of creativity and genius. Yes, genius. It's a more contentious topic than one might think. At least, the definition of it is. I've been reading up on creativity because I long to be more creative but am lazy. So, you know, might as well just read what someone else has to say about it.

One of the books I have states, early on to my relief, that the vast majority of subjects in their studies on creativity who showed some real creativity differed only from the dolts who sat drooling and slackjawed in front the their TVs all day in that they believed themselves to be creative. This was in the introduction* - why on earth would I need to read anything else?!? Time for a new mantra, is all. OK, time for a mantra...I've never had one before.

In fact, it was a good point. Kate has just recently begun pretending. I mean, a lot. She tells us what she's doing and it's always some delightful tale that takes her either around the world ("all the way to China!") or just downtown to the ice cream shop. When I think of my book (Thinkertoys, if you're interested in skimming the intro while standing around at Barnes & Nobel) I think the author might have been slightly off in his estimation. Kate doesn't think she's creative - she just doesn't think she's not. I know it sounds like a ridiculous technicality but I think it's key. She doesn't even know what creativity is but she uses her imagination incessantly and she comes up with some delightful stuff. Years of public school beat the creativity right out of me.

So I've been taking some measures lately, to try to make myself think a little differently. First, get out of ruts. I can't get out of all them at once because I usually really want a medium, non-fat latte when I find myself in a coffee shop. Baby steps. So, I've been mixing it up on my drive to and from work. There are myriad routes I can take but usually I go the same way all the time. For the past few days, I've been doing something different each day. I'm hoping that seeing different things, having to remember different turns and sudden turn-only lanes will fire some long-dormant synapses. And then maybe one day I'll order a large non-fat latte or something risky like that.

*I believe you must always read the introduction to your books. You miss a lot when you skip it. And I know a lot of people skip it. So cut it out.