Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lydia Oh Lydia, Say Have You Met Lydia?

The weekend lovefest with Veronica and sometimes Jake, too, convinced us that Monkey really, really needs a friend. Someone to get up to shenanigans with while we're at work. So, we got him one. Today we trekked back to Madison to meet a few of the litter of 9 pups whose mama is a golden retriever/yellow lab mix. We met at the home of a woman who offers housing to many of the rescued pups for the Companion Animal Rescue, Inc. In addition to space for the rescue dogs to bed down, run and play, she has at least 4 of her own dogs, llamas, emus, pheasants, chickens, turkeys, burrows, ponies, a horse, some goats, a sheep and probably something I've forgotten. It was fun. Monkey got to play with the puppies, and we took home the one that seemed to fawn over him the most. This is Lydia. When we got her here, we hadn't had time to go to the pet store yet. Jeremiah plopped Monkey's favorite toy in front of her and we held our breath a little. Monkey seemed unperturbed, but the real cuteness came when Lydia lost interest, found her way to my lap, and Monkey brought the toy over to us and dropped it in front of Lydia. She brings balance to the household. Two adults, two little girls, two cats...finally, two dogs. We have lost our minds. Here are some photos of the day for your enjoyment. I am. Tired.

How horrific would it be if this shot of Sarah were with zombies instead of puppies?

Monkey insists upon riding safely. Fetch him his driving gloves and goggles, we're heading into town.

I realize there are very few actual puppy shots here. I'm amassing them, not to worry. I'll post more this weekend.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Never Kiss Your Honey When Your Nose Is Runny. You May Think It's Funny But It's Snot

Grown-up bedtime. I can't sleep unless I've checked on the girls - kissed both their sweet heads and admired how angelic they seem when they're sound asleep.

Tonight I tiptoed into their room (yes, I'm aware of how creepy this will be when I'm still doing it when they're 14 and 16, whatever.) and listened to their noisy sleep-breathing. I bent over Kate, tucked in to her chin, still wearing her headband, and gave her a little peck on the head. Then I gingerly worked my way through the minefield of a bedroom to Sarah's bedside, where I admired her round little cheeks in the glow of the nightlight. I kissed her on the head, then laughed a little when I noticed the thin line of drool down her chin. I gently brushed it away with my finger. It was then I realized. That's not drool.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Don We Now Our Gay Apparel

Yesterday Sarah got up, got herself dressed and began her day like most others. Until she started feeling a bit puny. She clung to me, burying her head in my neck and telling me her stomach hurt. Then, a little bit later, she threw up. After that, aside from seeming slightly groggy, she didn't appear all that ill. She didn't seem all that ill except when I told her we couldn't go to her friend's birthday part at Spa Kidz (yes with a "Z", they're Street like that, dawgs), she seemed not to care at all. Kate, meanwhile, wept into her pancakes.

Because Sarah was under the weather, it didn't seem like a good idea to bring her along on the planned family trip to the state farmer's market to pick out our Solstice tree, and then to the various stores we were required to visit in order to complete our day's errands. So I sent Jeremiah and Kate. Sarah sat, slack-jawed and grey-faced, in front of a movie while I cleaned and tended to various other domestic requirements. Then the other half of our crew returned.

Jeremiah and I placed the tree in the stand, and freed it from its webbing. We stood back and looked at it. "Maybe it needs some time for the boughs to, you know, relax..." I said, eyeing the thing with some confusion. Seriously, what was up with this tree? After it relaxed for awhile it became apparent, this was it. It looks as if it grew up on the top of Mount Crumpet, enduring ever-changing, harsh winds. I am grateful to have this tree to remind us of the ever-present life in the world, despite the cold winds of winter, but holy cow, this tree is going to make baby Jesus cry. Finally, unable to control my laughter I told Jeremiah that this was the worst-shaped tree I'd ever seen. Then, because the parallel was so painfully obvious, I called him a blockhead.

Kate and Sarah were just thrilled to have an evergreen in the house. They asked every 3 seconds if it was time to decorate the tree, while Jeremiah and I attempted to get this abomination strung with lights, with plenty of help from Monkey. Finally, the time came for decorating. Sarah had been puke-free since the initial incident, despite a scare right around lunchtime, and her forced afternoon nap, sorry, "nap", did seem to help a bit. It was her turn to place the star on the tree. She placed it up there and then, back at ground level, she said "that star is crooked." Neither of them commented on the rest of the tree.

While we decorated the tree, a chicken, purchased on Saturday from our local chicken farmer, roasted away in the oven, making the place smell highly edible. I made one of my favorite salads and post tree-decorating, we sat down to dinner, with the promise of homemade hot cocoa with marshmallows for dessert. Kate refused to try a bite of her salad. "If you won't take a single bite, " we threatened "you may not have any hot cocoa, and we will sit in front of the tree and drink it without you." She refused, which I really hate because then we have to follow through on the threat. She cried in the living room while Sarah, now seeming quite lively, helped me make the cocoa. By the time Sarah had a couple sips, she was bouncing. Literally bouncing.

She did somersaults on the living room floor while Kate cried on the couch. Kate passed me a note. It said "Mommy, please let me have some hot coco". I did not point out her misspelling because I felt pretty sad about leaving her out of the chocolaty fun, but seriously kid, take a bite of salad!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Who ARE you? I must know!...

...Get used to disappointment.

We've commenced ta decoratin'! For quite some time now, the girls have been asking if they can go in the attic above the addition. Jeremiah had them convinced that a child-eating troll lives there, and they just had to see for themselves. So yesterday, when it was time to break out the Christmas decorations, there was much pleading regarding the attic. We decided it would be fine, and after Jeremiah cleared the troll out, he hoisted the children into the attic. They stood on the small section of floor space next to the HVAC unit, looking around.

"This is not what I expected", Kate commented. I wish the attic was more like whatever Kate expected.

Later, while I was putting the pine garland around the porch railings, I was caught up in the girls' enthusiasm for decorations and I sent Jeremiah to ACE Hardware for "lots more lights!" Kate joined him on that errand and when they pulled into the parking lot at ACE Kate said "I thought it would be taller. This isn't what I expected at all. That's the second time I've said that today."

Wait till Christmas morning, when she discovers Santa's only brought her new socks and underwear...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Bring an Umbrella

Kate's class was tasked with creating a work of art to display their Christmas wishes. Most of the kids wished for things like video games, movies and toys. Santa will have a harder time with Kate's wish. This morning, after seeing the results of the kids' work posted on the wall at school, Jeremiah reported that Kate's drawing states that for Christmas Kate "wishes candy would fall from the sky".

Once the projects are no longer displayed on the classroom wall, I will share it here. Don't even try to tell me that's not crazy cute.

Friday, November 26, 2010

It Came Back Around on the Geetar

Another splendid Thanksgiving has come and gone, leaving a trail of leftovers in its wake. Yesterday was wonderfully un-stressful. The weather was nice, the turkey took exactly as long to grill as expected (this is unusual) and was so juicy it induced culinary orgasm. In addition to a bevy of sides I made a lot of dessert. I don't know, I just felt like baking.

In addition to Margie, Chris and Sonya visiting, we have Jake and Veronica. Jake is thrilled Veronica has someone new to play with, and Monkey and Veronica are in love. We don't have any Jake photos, because he thinks the camera will steal his soul. Some of these photos were taken by Kate.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kate Makes Plans

Kate and Sarah are very excited about the impending visit from Grammy Margie, Uncle Chris and Aunt Sonya. They've decided a trip to Krispy Kreme should be involved. Kate created this work of art in anticipation. That's the Krispy Kreme factory, see all the doughnuts on the conveyor belt? The unlabeled person is Sonya. I'm not there because I can't eat wheat, and I don't know why Grammy Margie isn't pictured. Maybe she was in the bathroom.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Leaf Pile

I wrote this post, published it, and went on my merry way, only to discover Blogger simply saved it at the photos only stage and now that I'm writing, everything is bold and underlined. WTF, Blogger? Happily, the HTML for underline is "underline", so I could easily find that and turn it off, because you don't get an option to do that in the GUI. Free blogs, I tell ya.

Anyway, it's officially autumn! The girls dived in headfirst on Friday afternoon over at Aunt Jo Jo's house. Later, they got even more leaf refuse crumpled in their socks and hair at the S'mores-making gathering at the community garden. I think we might have pictures, but I put Jeremiah in charge of that, and he was a little gripey about it, then just quit entirely. Free photographer, I tell ya.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Meat Lovers

We often buy eggs from the poultry farmer at the East Lake Farmers Market, the Little Red Hen. We've ordered a Thanksgiving turkey from her, and the other day we purchased a little hen, whose original colors I never knew. At the Morningside Farmers Market on Saturday I picked up some sweet potatoes. It was cold this weekend, so I wanted foods we could roast, possibly while wearing our matching Snuggies embroidered with the family seal. (Note to self: find out if we can get Snuggies embroidered with our family seal, also, dog-sized...?)

Jeremiah rubbed that chicken all over with herbs I grew in my garden, then stuffed her into the oven like she was the witch from Hansel and Gretel, and it smelled the house up something wonderful. Usually, I prefer the dark meat from a bird because all too often, I feel, the white meat is a bit dry. When Jeremiah cut into the roasted chicken, and we sampled a bit of its breast, I remembered what chicken tastes like. I think the last time I had real chicken was when I was in, oh, maybe, 4th grade, and I spent the night at Jennifer Baker's house and her dad killed a chicken for that night's dinner. We got to watch as he literally gave it the axe and sure enough, the beheaded fowl leapt up and began running all over the yard and I thought "ooooh, so that's what they're talking about". Since then, it's been these huge-breasted chickens. No wonder the meat seemed dry. They're fake boobs. Chicken starlets. Chicklets. Tastes like a lot of stuff, but not chicken.

Kate rejected the roasted sweet potatoes out of hand and, when we insisted she eat a bite of potato, she declared "when I grow up, I'm going to become a carnivore". I later walked into the kitchen, where the remnants of the bird lay, awaiting our attendance, to find this scene:

Usually it's the pets caught doing this.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Weary and Annoyed

On the ride home from school on Tuesday, the topic of conversation was toast. Kate wanted some. Specifically, with cinnamon. Not just "the brown stuff" but also "the white stuff you put in there, too." Sugar. Anyway, she was explaining to me exactly how she wants her perfect cinnamon toast and I was right there with her, some warm cinnamon toast was sounding like just the thing. She continued "...and please cut the crusts off. I don't like the crusts, Mom" she said. "Are you kidding me? I think the crusts are the best part of good bread!" I said, wishing I could eat a baguette fresh from the oven. Kate made an "iiiiccck" sound and said "we're different on that." Then she paused contemplatively and continued, "but we can still be friends."
It was Election Day, though, and in the spirit of the campaign and, indeed, the previous 2 years, I vowed to take her down. "Removing the crusts from your bread is bad for America! Why do you hate our troops?!?" I demanded, already seeing myself picketing her first grade classroom with my persuasive sign -

Ah yes, she's young now, all full of the spirit of compromise and tolerance, but we'll get that worked out and make her a Real American soon enough.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Before Halloween, Oakhurst

The day before Halloween the neighborhood of Oakhurst (across the street from us, we're East Lake residents), celebrated its 100th birthday. They had a little festival in Harmony Park with bouncy things, munchies and horses to ride. There was live music, and the weather was very obliging.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween 2010

Time for a montage.

Of course, I couldn't leave out the best one. The one of Henry In Throes: