Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sowing Project

We buried Lola's ashes in the plot of land where she most enjoyed basking in the sun; the area that will be our vegetable garden. When the girls were waxing nostalgic for our beloved pooch, we decided we should plant some seeds for her garden. So I picked up the goods for planting and together, the girls and I stuck some seeds in some dirt. I let them select the seeds to plant and they chose carrots, because Lola's favorite toy was her stuffed squeaky carrot, argula, basil, bell peppers and strawberries. Random, I know, but whatever.

We're keeping our little flat of seedlings in the guest room with a clip light containing a grow bulb over the plants. The light is set to remain on about 16 hours a day. I rotate the flat 1/4 turn and water the tray daily. I became concerned on my flight home from LA last Thursday when I realized I hadn't reminded Jeremiah to tend to our little babies. They were fine. Dry, but fine. The other house plants were wilted and sad. I managed to revive them, though, so this story has a happy ending. Here are our little seeds! I'm hoping to prep the beds when I have a couple days off in March. I'd hoped to prep them last fall, but things happen, so we'll see. The strawberries aren't even sprouting a little. I just haven't mentioned it and the girls don't seem to care.

Harboring An Alien

I know this is late but I've been out of town and when I wasn't out of town I was planning to be out of town and writing and re-writing the notes for my presentation. Oh, and shopping for pants. All the pants for sale today are a little stretchy, tight through the thighs and designed to rest on the hips. I wouldn't mind, but seriously, all of them. I asked the chick at J Crew where I could find pants that will fit my waist and drape nicely - I mean, they're for work - and she gave me this look...I suddenly knew I am old. Damn whipper snappers.

This post isn't about pants. It's about how freaking beautiful the weather was last Sunday. Actually, it's not really about that either, but that was a major part of the day. A prelude to spring. I saw it coming and got all excited. Jeremiah decided we should go out to Arabia Mountain with the girls because he'd missed the MLK Day outing. So off we went, just for a quick visit. We got off the trail and onto the rocks and Jeremiah was showing the girls how to skim rocks (and how to levitate, check out that photo there), Monkey was frolicking, and I was trying to get cute pictures of it all. Then, while squatting down for a good shot of the girls, I wobbled slightly and caught myself on my left knee. I knew something was wrong right away when I felt all the prickly pear cactus needles jab me through my jeans. At the time, I wasn't even sure that's what kind of cactus was nearly blanketing the rocks, I only knew it hurt to kneel on them. I rolled up my pants leg and began to remove the giant needles. One just didn't want to come out, it was in pretty far. Then, as I watched helplessly, my leg drew the needle all the way beneath the skin. Keep in mind that I've given birth twice when I tell you, that was the freakiest thing I've ever seen happen to my own flesh. My leg swelled up like a giant balloon and, more creeped out than in pain, I had to put the kibosh on the hike. Kate was annoyed. "Can't we take Mommy to the doctor when we're done hiking?" Deep down, she was really very worried about me.

I have a lot of Bea Provost in me, so naturally I became concerned that the cactus needles contained some sort of toxin and I probably only had about an hour to live. I called Steve, because he's supposed to know all about plants and stuff, and he sort of laughed at me but still assured me it wasn't a toxic plant. Then Jeremiah talked to the pharmacist at the near-by CVS and he said I'd know by now if it were a poison, and sent Jeremiah away with drawing ointment. Presumably this is stuff that will draw a foreign object out of one's skin, but mostly it smells horrifically bad and stains anything it touches dark brown. I put it on and we headed home and got lunch at Mezcalito's.The drawing ointment really didn't do a thing, but repeated applications of Arnica gel got the swelling down and even though it's still bruised and the needle is still stuck in my leg a week later, it feels much better. Oh, and Monkey made a new friend at Mezcalito's; Neil's dog Hugo.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Sisters

Someday, probably sooner than I'd like, the girls will realize that there are, in fact, enough bedrooms in this house for them each to have their own. They will begin making demands. They might even be a little put out that we made them share in the first place, I don't know. Tonight, though, I've just tucked them in for the their long winter's nap. I walked straight down the hall to the office and am sitting here by the light of the computer, listening to them talking together in the dark.

Monkey is curled up under Kate's comforter. "Sarah, " Kate said "there's something small, breathing and not human in my bed with me!" [giggles] They've been chatting about school and their feet and who is making more noise and keeping the other one awake. It's sister chatter. It's one of the big reasons I'd always wished for a sister. They have no idea how precious their non-sense is, but I am basking in it.

"Sarah, what are you doing?"
"Sarah can't you answer me? Are you like Ariel who lost her voice? No one wants to be in that movie with her. Sarah? Sarah?"
"I'm just-"
"Sarah SHUSH I'm trying to go to sleep!"

Ah, yes. Sister chatter.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow Day Part Deux

I brought home a ton of work to do. I told myself I will just hole up in the office and knock it all out while I do my best to ignoring the snow-covered city calling to me from beyond my double-insulated windows. I had just finished cleaning the office enough to be able to work in peace when Steve, Joy, Rusty and Jennifer stopped by. They had not ignored the snowy city's calls.

Monkey was thrilled to see Stelle and Captain came to visit him. Rusty let Kate direct him into position and then throw snowballs at him, and, specifically , his head.

From inside, where I stood, chatting with Joy and Jennifer and drinking my coffee, I noticed Kate was making snow angels while still wearing her pajamas. I sighed. "She's got her jacket on..." Joy said, in her defense. Monkey figured out that the snow is fun, as opposed to last month, when he was freaked out by it.

Java, Monkey.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Two Snows in One Winter...Sign of the Apocolypse?

While we really don't want snow that is measured in feet, we Atlantans have been suffering from a bit of snow-envy down here, while our Mid-Atlantic friends and family have been digging out. Today, we received perfect snow. It started around 1, and school and daycare were instantly closed. I left work early, but the traffic was so horrendous I still couldn't get to the kids in a normal amount of time and Aunt Jo Jo, working from home, had to swoop in and rescue the little ones. Again. Since I knew the kids wouldn't be abandoned, I didn't mind the outrageous traffic; the view was so thrilling. Once I had us all safely home, we celebrated the weather as the snow poured from the clouds and made everything quiet and beautiful.

The girls frolicked in the white while I stayed inside, cooking them dinner, with my constant companion, Monkey. Monkey is happiest when lying on an active heat register.

Kate and Sarah built a snowman, then knocked him down. Sorry Frosty, no painting the town red for you.

How totally Cape-Fear-Remake creepy is this scene?!?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

She Never Blogs, What is She Even DOING?

This morning it is 24 degrees outside and windy. The wind is gusting up to 40 miles per hour, in fact. This, being Wednesday, would be a biking morning, but neither Stephanie, my morning workout partner, nor I are that hardcore. In fact, we sometimes walk when it's too cold to bike, and today we gave that a miss, too. So I had some time to think about why I don't blog as often as I'd like these days. Here's why, I suspect:

4:50AM - stretch a bit, get up, let the pooch out, suit up, grab some water, throw a load of laundry in the machine, grab a fistful of grapes or the like, head out into the darkness

5:15AM - meet Stephanie for bikeride. Bike 12 miles, yammer yammer yammer for a full hour. (This is one of my favorite hours of the day, because it actually belongs to me.)

6:20 - get home and think about how late I already am, clean cat litter, drink water, put load in dryer, greet husband, shower

7:00 - try desperately to get out the door while complaining that I meant to leave 10 minutes ago, do a few odds and ends for the kids, hug and kiss kids, hug and kiss husband, hug and kiss puppy, leave, realize I forgot something, go back in, do it all over, leave.

7:45 - Arrive at work, annoyed at having not left earlier so I could use 15 extra minutes of quiet in the office. Review to-do list for the day, reply to email, adhere to "no more than 10 emails remaining in the inbox" rule, drink coffee, eat the breakfast I didn't have time to eat at home, quickly scan the day's headlines.

8:10 - 1:00 - attend a parade of meetings, scribble down notes, plan next meetings, issue emails with updates and nonsense created by meetings. Glance at sad to-do list, as yet untouched due to new work created by meetings, eat lunch, run at least 2 errands.

1:00 - 4:00 - more of the same, plus some impromptu tete a tetes on this, that or the other, a few kid-related things like addressing the teacher's note that arrived home in Kate's folder yesterday addressing the quality of her homework (note contained misspelling by teacher, she wrote "writeing" and it made my head hurt.)

4ish - Tell sad to-do list I will complete it tomorrow, pack it up for the day, rush out the door to get the kids before daycare and After School close and they start charging us $5 per minute I'm late and/or call social services. Sit in traffic. Listen to All Things Considered. Mondays are good because I'm getting my commute started right when All Tech Considered comes on and the theme music for that bit makes me feel happy.

5:ish, if I've left before 4:30, otherwise dangerously close to 6:00 - Pick up Sarah, chat with her teacher, receive handouts on various things I can do to be more involved with daycare that involve taking time off work. Pick up Kate, experience some example of how disorganized Drew Charter School is, but enjoy the nice staff.

5:30ish - 10:00 - Arrive home, play with puppy, begin cooking dinner, get Kate started on homework, hound Kate to complete each silly, busywork page of her enormous work packet, keep Sarah company in the potty per her insistent request, fold laundry, participate in a kitchen dance party, break up a sibling dispute, respond to more work emails via Blackberry because it's better to just get that out of the way, right? Pour a glass of wine and spend the remainder of the evening trying to recall where last I set it down, feed the children, maybe feed us simultaneously but often not, bathe the children (sometimes), read to children, put the children to bed, finally finish adult dinner, clean the kitchen, watch a bit of some show on DVD that the rest of the world saw 2 years ago, make Kate's lunch for the next day, spend quality time with husband, read a couple paragraphs of my book, pass out.

4:50 AM - start over, but with the Tuesday/Thursday routine.

Upon review, that seems pretty packed, but it's really nothing compared to what our weekends have been like. I'm about to add a bunch of travel for work that will throw the routines completely off balance and most likely result in there being no food in the house. For the first time in my life I find myself wishing for more time more than I wish for more money.

I am sorry you've missed a few days of kid news. They've been pretty cute. They say the darndest things, you know. I will try to be better at committing them to virtual paper, I promise. As soon as we're all done with Monkey's 8-week puppy kindergarten class...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Oh, The Humanity!!!

I know it's been awhile since I posted but our beloved, seemingly perfectly healthy, iMac just up and croaked last week. It's having its soul replaced as we speak. Hopefully I'll be back to sharing news and photos of the girls very soon.