Thursday, September 25, 2008

Kate & Sarah Out-Do Us. Again.

Last Saturday we ditched these two (seen on the left) with their aunt and uncle (so long, suckers!) so we could go paint the town red in honor of our anniversary. We had a lovely time. We hit the Decatur square and it was a gorgeous evening. We failed to make reservations so we were kind of screwed when we showed up for dinner, but we made the best of our 1 hour wait. We meandered across the square and ate a roll of sushi at Sushi Avenue. We then wandered over by the gazebo where a free jazz concert was in session, we twirled a couple times across the space in front of the Atlanta 17, en route back to the restaurant, where our table was still not ready. So we hit Decatur CD. Then we were seated for dinner at the fairly new Cakes & Ale, where we enjoyed spectacular food and outstanding service. Here's an example of the service - when we first arrived, the hostess gave us the bad news about the wait and suggested that we could maybe eat at the bar. Low-blood-sugar-Lisa growled "I don't want to have my romantic anniversary dinner at the bar" and we left for sushi. She heard me, told our waiter it was our anniversary, and when we were seated he bought us each a glass of sparkling white wine (it was good!). We enjoyed our meal, walked in the gorgeous evening to the car we'd purposely parked far away, and headed home, thinking our night could not be beat. That is, until the next morning when we saw the pictures and heard the tale of Kate & Sarah's night. Why they always gotta one-up us?!?

Their friends Catherine, Margaret, Ella and Henry came over. They had a cook-out. Lounged in kid-sized Adirondack chairs, dishing I suppose. They played a little Bocce (doesn't Kate kind of look like Jennifer Aniston in this picture with the bocce ball?)

Next, they built a fire and roasted marshmallows.
Then they made S'mores.

Then, apparently, they went to a rave.
Finally, they hit the tub, glowsticks in hand.

Next time we do this, I at least want my own glowsticks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Good Omens

When Jeremiah and I first started dating it seemed that everywhere we went we heard some version of Knock on Wood. It went on for a year or so, beginning in Richmond and still happening when we both lived in NYC. We figured that, even though the song didn't mean much to either one of us, its habit of following us around must make it "our song". There are some truly horrible renditions of our song out there. I like Michael McDonald's from the early 90s NYC concert in the park, The New York Rock n' Soul Review, but that's neither here nor there.

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary. We celebrated it on Saturday (pictures of what the kids did that night forthcoming) but this is the real deal. I got up, kissed my sweetie farewell and headed to the gym at 5:30. I can tell when my workout is over because I begin to actively fantasize about coffee. When I entered the coffee shop, just as the owner was scurrying around opening the joint, a particularly awful disco version of Knock On Wood came on the radio. Eight years of marriage and 13 of dating and I still can't escape that tune. When she handed me my latte I noticed the little doodle in the foam (everyone's into putting little designs in the foam these days) was a heart.

I called Jeremiah when I got in the car - "guess what was just playing when I went into the coffee shop?!?" He got it right. He always gets it right. I love that guy because he gets me. I think that's saying a lot because I am often misunderstood. I think it's my wry humor and sarcasm (bordering on the offensive and/or rude). But Jeremiah's just as ridiculous. The other day I sent him a link to a little seat/storage bin I thought would be just right for our new bathroom (I find myself sitting on the floor to put lotion on or clip my toenails, it's uncomfortable) and asked what he thought of it. "It makes me want to puke" he responded. I declared that it was perfect and he said "it looks like it would hold a lot of puke" and my heart swelled. Some men would've just said "I really don't care" but not mine. So these 8 years have sailed past and I expect they will continue in that strain. Until, as I am always promising, I kill him in his sleep. Happy anniversary, my true love!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Carpet Bagger's Delight - Festival At My Feet

I know I promised to tell you more about why my city is cool and I've been really lax. Here's one of my favorite things about this area - the bevvy of festivals! And better still - many of these festivals are walking distance from my house. The other weekend we skipped swimming and gymnastics so Kate & Sarah could participate in the Tot Trot (read: mommy wanted the Pete the Cat t-shirt you got for registering) at the Beat the Street for Little Feet festival for the Oakhurst Cooperative Pre-School. It was in Harmony Park, a lovely little spot right in the middle of Oakhurst Village designed pro bono by everyone's favorite landscape architect, Kate & Sarah's Uncle Steve.

We made the huge mistake of going to breakfast before the trot and very nearly missed the thing, but the girls got in there just in time to win medals! (OK, everyone got a medal.) There was live music (all kids' songs, but very enjoyable), bubbles, body art, Popsicles, a 5-K for grown-ups, wild animals to pet and all our neighbors to play with. And when it was over, Jeremiah took Sarah home in the car (we were at breakfast so late we didn't have time to park at home and walk the 3/10 of a mile to the park) and Kate and I walked home together. I love those walks. Kate picks up every piece of litter she spies, declaring it nasty and rude. We hold hands and stroll down the sidewalk (in search of a trashcan) and Kate tells me what's on her mind. When we got home, it was just noon; we had the rest of the day to do more stuff!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


The woman in line in front of me at the coffee shop rounded up her credit card bill while signing it. Am I really expected to tip my barista*? Are they like wait staff in that they only make $2.19/hr or what? Am I an a-hole for only occasionally tipping at the coffee shop? Am I in the minority with my bitterness at already paying so much for a cup of coffee and then being expected to choose to pay more? I resented that woman for causing me cognitive dissonance and shaming me into tipping for my latte.

Since declaring a house-warming party in a couple weeks, our house is getting really clean and organized. It's wonderful! We should have parties more often. I'm thinking of hiring some student for the 4-hour period to make sure the food keeps coming and the dishes get washed so I can actually have fun. I feel like a real grown-up!

The girls were singing along with the song about the days of the week from Here Come the 1,2,3s. The second verse is just "oh yes, yes practice trumpet every day...on Monday, practice trumpet every day..." and so on. Kate, at the top of her lungs, sang "Oh yes, yes I strumpet everyday!"

All the VA Druekes will be joining us for Thanksgiving this year. We are thrilled. Kate says Uncle Chris will be really happy to watch her fairy tales with her. She sure knows her Uncle Chris!

I frequently complain, when I see poll results, that no one as ME about that stuff. How do they know that only 2 in 5 Americans can name all the branches of their own government? I was not quizzed thusly. So, the other day when some opinion poll chick called while I was cooking dinner, I answered her weird, weird questions. My favorites were:

Do you think the food at Starbucks is healthier? (Me - Healthier than what? Her - It doesn't say)
Do you think The Media is strongly biased toward any of the candidates? (Me - define "media". Her - Just The Media)
Does anyone in your home have chronic urinary tract problems? (Me - so THAT'S what this is really about!)

*Blogger spellcheck thinks these people might actually be Batistas.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

You can always tell when I've become obsessed with something new...

...because I quit blogging for awhile. I can't stop reading and all its back-up sources. Even while I'm work! Somebody help me!

So, for those (very few) of you who have complained to me that I've been neglecting my blogging duties (heh heh 'duties'), here's a quick run-down on the things afoot:

We got our land line fixed at last but because we refused to pay Comcast the $16 they think we owe them (how could we owe them anything? They broke our phone and then refused to fix it!) we had to get a new number. No, I'm not putting it here. If we didn't send it to you directly it's because we don't want you to call us. Or because we don't have your correct email address, whatever.

Next up, we've decided to have an addition-warming party next month. This will force us to finally clean the house. Of course, I'm not sure the merit of that because the party will cause it to become trashed again. Guess we'll have to have a holiday party, then...

Ever since my first pregnancy I find that stuff makes me cry. I've never been much of a crier so I wonder at this phenomenon. I can't see someone cry without involuntarily shedding a sympathetic tear. I looked it up on the internets and it turns out I'm probably still sporting some of the hormone levels from pregnancy - it actually makes women cry. One more reason being pregnant sucks. And Sarah's TWO, when do I get to be normal again? I'm so mad I could cry...

Kate has mastered the writing of As, Bs and Cs as well as Ks (of course). Her Pre-K sends her home with homework Monday through Thursday. We don't approve. So far, though, neither of us have managed to bring this up with her teachers. She's 4. She's tired at the end of a day of learning. We get about 3 waking hours with her each night and frankly, I do not wish to have to rouse an unwilling, exhausted 4-year-old to action. She doesn't want to write her name over and over any more today. Fine. Let's go for a walk outside! (I have never been good at completing homework...)

Sarah regards the attention Kate gets during the homework attempts as desirable. We might end up accidentally being those awful parents who force their kids to learn to read by the time they're 4. In Sarah's case, we really, really don't mean to. She wants to play too!

OK, I have some more politicians' claims to research. Oh, and work to do (boo.)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Whatever Lola Wants...Lola Eats...

Bad news. Lola's fat. We went for her annual check-up yesterday. I had 2 main concerns. 1. What is that weird bump on her head that keeps getting caught on stuff and bleeding? Is it skin cancer? I hear all Boxers get cancer. Say it isn't so. And B) The animals became immune to Frontline. Well, really, the fleas did. At the last visit we were given ProMeris about which I've since read all manner of scathing, terrifying stuff (like, that people with diabetes shouldn't even touch it. What?) can I have something less lethal?

I figured these items were all I needed to think about but those thoughts were shattered when Miss Fatty Boombalatty tip-toed onto the scale. Two years ago, Lola was nearly 50 pounds. Yesterday, sweet jelly doughnut on a stick!, my faithful ker weighed in at 58 pounds! "See that little...hump below her ribcage?" the vet said to me. I nodded. "Well, that's her love handle..." Lola looked abashed. "What are you feeding her?" she asked next. I proceeded to describe Lola's diet, prescribed by this very same veterinary practice years ago and then the image of sweet little Sarah's wounded expression sprang to mind. "Lola ate my cupcake!" growled the imaginary, floating face of Sarah "Bad doggy! Bad doggy!"

In fact Lola only ate half of Sarah's cupcake, which the thoughtless 2-year-old allowed to lay fallow in her pudgy fist long enough for the dog to think it was an offering. But you may recall, gentle readers, that Lola later ate FOUR cupcakes and if you think that's the only time she's pulled that stunt you're a little more than 8 pounds wrong. The weird lump is a skintag (she has 2 others, the vet showed me) and yes, the vet doesn't like ProMeris, either, and she gave us...something else, I don't remember what. Now, though, we have to be even more vigilant, and it is oh-so tricky with the little ones about, to keep Lola away from people food. I gave Kate and Sarah a big talk about it before they ate dinner last night and don't you know, 3 minutes into dinner Sarah's crying "Lola ate my nugget!" I looked at Kate, "did she?" Kate nodded. I sighed. I can't wait to listen to Lola whine, bark and destroy the door of whatever room she's banished to during dinner time. This will be a hoot!

grrrrr....I'm hungry!

Monday, September 01, 2008

You Want a Playroom? Fine. YOU Build It.

This weekend I began to tackle the playroom. I have big ideas for this space, ideas that involve the room looking picture perfect nearly all the time that will certainly be dashed to the ground unless the kids find the room utterly dull and never go in there. So far, though, that doesn't seem to be the case. This morning I found them in there, having liberated every single item that was once in a container of any kind. The goods were strewn about the room. Once I spotted the kids among them Kate gave me a dazzling smile. "We're playing with everything!" she said.

Anyhoo, I persist. I wanted a line of low book and toy shelves to divide the book nook from the rest of the room. I endured IKEA for a bit this past weekend but then began to panic and fled without making a purchase. Have you ever tried to flee IKEA? It's not easy, I kept ending up in yet another bedroom of some Swedish kid who liked only one book and had at least 15 copies. Throw in a midget and you've got the makings of a recurring nightmare.

Later, I was in Target because somehow I always end up in Target and I found myself staring at boxes of little cubes on sale. They looked to be just the right size... a passing fellow shopper saw me pondering and said "oh those are great, and really easy to assemble. A 2-year-old could do it!" I began to load them into my cart "I have one of those!" I merrily cried. I put the first couple together and decided it was, in fact, easy enough for Sarah to build. I set the parts out before her and gave her a screwdriver. "Get to it, youngin', Mommy needs a drink" I said and handed her the instructions. She figured out the mechanics of the work but I have to say, her craftsmanship was pretty shoddy. Eventually, I had to help her out. Not without a lot of complaining.

I still have the art space, lighting and chair rail that will act as chalk holder to install, but with Sarah's help, the room is really coming together. We've got the walls painted with chalkboard paint to chair rail height, the book nook is cozy, the kitchen is ready for cookin' and there's a little area for dressing up all gorgeous and what-not. It's annoying to me that I have to go back to work tomorrow instead of to Home Depot for chair rail. Work is pretty fun but this playroom stuff is way better. Way. Better. Here's how it looks so far: