Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fart Jokes and Love

All the little monsters in the house contribute to my exponentially rapid spiral into insanity. They make me late for everything. They break stuff I care about. The chew on the furniture and shed on it, too. They refuse to eat the delightful meal I prepared for them. They scream blue murder if I cut the waffle in the wrong direction, or into too many pieces. They don't answer when I ask them something. They sleep atop all my breathing orifices. They pee on things they shouldn't pee on. All of them. All this and more is true, and yet I love them more than anything else in the world. How does that happen?

I like bedtime, sometimes. Pets and humans gather in the girls' room and there is storytelling and snuggling and discussions about on-coming dreams. Often, there is banshee-like screaming that can sometimes last 45 minutes or more. I don't like that part as much.

At dinner this evening the girls were friends. Kate complained that she'd been made to feel left out at school today. From what I could gather, one of the girls had threatened to eat her hair. "That's weird" I commented. "Kate," Sarah said, "I won't make you feel left out. You can borrow my blankly if you'd like!"

Last Saturday as we dined at Mezcalito's and dipped our chips in the girls' favorite cheese sauce Kate, who's avidly learning Spanish, asked what the Spanish word for cheese is. "Queso" Jeremiah, Vladamir (the owner) and I all said. "Ah" Kate committed it to memory, then used it in a sentence - "who cut the queso?"

Things like that restore my sanity and remind me why I'm so in love with them. Sarah will most likely scream herself to sleep like a shell shocked war veteran tonight, but I will hold on to these moments, even as a part of me schemes to make a break for it.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ah, Spring

Hey, remember our little chickadees that moved into Sarah House out on the shed? Certain doubters said that no self-respecting bird would move into a house all pastel and covered in stickers and maybe they were right, we have no real way of knowing if these birds lack self-respect or not.

I do know this, and I'm sorry for the lack of accompanying illustration, they had 2 babies last week! Papa bird flew from the shed rooftop to the low tree branches and the backs of the chairs on the patio singing at the top of his lungs all day. I couldn't figure out what he was all worked up about. That evening Jeremiah discovered the new babies. All that singing must have been celebratory.

I confess, I'm in love with the bird family and I've sort of been stalking them. I check on the babies daily, just as I'd checked on the eggs before. They appear to be doing well. Mama bird doesn't seem to mind me. Often, while I'm out there watering the plants, she'll plop her head on the edge of her front door and just watch me. I'll say "hi Mama bird!" and I'm pretty sure I note a nearly imperceptible nod from her - "what up Mama human".

Our Third Avenue friends, John and Deb, had their long-awaited twin girls the very next day and named them Julia and Lucinda (side note, these kids were born on 4/20 so it's very tempting to call them Mary and Jane). In honor of the healthy, identical human kids, I've been calling the baby birds Julia and Lucinda. If the birds are boys, this could lead to self image issues later in life, but I'm alright with that because that means there's a chance they'll move into Kate House as adults.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Night - Dinner and a Show

Kate would not allow us to leave the dinner table until she was able to perform a puppet show for us. The first act was bunny-centric, followed by a soliloquy by Ariel. "This is a mermaid" Kate, the narrator, explained. "Her name is Ariel. She does not have a bagina or a butt crack." Lucky us, we got a performance of The Bagina Monologues in our very own home.

Puppies really love live theatre, too.

There was an awful lot of grousing from the groundlings, some of whom had been drinking. Finally the performer lost her cool and launched right off the stage at us, bellowing that we were being rude. Such a diva.

After that remarkable show, Sarah treated us to a little Mary Had a Little Lamb action. The audience sang along. My favorite parts were when everyone sang "mmmfhmmmffph" in unison. Apparently, once you get past the chorus, no one really knows the words.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

When I wasn't actively playing with the children while on vacation, I was blatantly neglecting them so I could play in the dirt instead. I tried to get them to help me, but they were only interested in playing with the hose.

Anyway, things got a little out of control and I've planted a ton of stuff now. This garden is in its infancy and indeed, many of the new beds aren't even completed. I made them from found objects in my yard, because I am incredibly cheap and my yard is full of crap one can use to define garden space. Here's how it looks today. If all goes well, stay tuned for happy photos of future garden plumage. Fingers crossed...

Up close stuff (we got a little out of control at the Community Garden plant sale on Friday. They were wise to serve booze...)

Hi ho silver thyme! I have a small spot near Jeremiah's Man Space in which I'm using thyme as a ground cover. So far so good.Sweet marjoram, smells fantastic.Baby phlox. Grow baby phlox, grow!
The enchanted and enticingly fragrant curry plant forest.The beginnings of a shade garden.From a distance -

There are also some veggies and strawberries. I have a healthy-looking blueberry bush going that I planted last fall but can't seem to adequately photograph, too. There are some tomatoes, edamame, mammoth jalapenos, chili peppers, sweet peppers, broccoli, arugula, spinach and...I think that's it so far, all out there with high hopes.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Rainy Day Staycation Activities

The weather forecast called for an 80% chance of strong storms today, pretty much all day so we, along with every single one of our friends who joined us at the zoo on Monday (except our actual friends who joined us at the zoo on Monday) headed indoors to The Children's Museum.

Kate and Sarah love The Children's Museum so much that we now know it is a mistake to inform them more than 20 minutes prior to departure that we are headed there. They were literally bouncing off walls when we arrived, which is okay, because that place encourages that sort of behavior. They played with the moon sand (which we have at home, but which I do not like finding all over my hardwood floors) and the blocks (which we also have at home, but I guess it's more fun to play with them if you had to pay to get to them), and painted on the walls, and operated a crane, and played dress up and worked at the grocery store and on the farm and ran around in such an errant fashion that I was certain I was going to lose them in the sea of people roughly their same size and also attired entirely in clothing from Target. We lasted 2 hours, which I think is full on heroic. When we were finally dragging them from the place, there was a wait to get in. An actual wait. Jeremiah, of course, was thrilled to get to inform me that "we got here just in time." To my mind, we were leaving just in time, too.

Then it rained. The sky was angry this afternoon, my friend. We forced the girls to clean their playroom, which is always painful, then I let them watch way too much PBS Kids while I cleaned their room and rooted out all the too-small stuff and winter clothes. Then Jeremiah came upstairs with a Brooklyn Pilsner for me and I was very happy. There, now you're all caught up.

Some Odds and Ends

I forgot to mention, a week and a half ago, that I had a bunch of my hair chopped off. This was before short hair was cool enough for Sarah to do it. Anyway, I had Jeremiah get a couple shots of it for you, Mom. It's actually been blown dry and what-not here because we were about to head out on a date night when these was taken. We walked downtown and ate at the Iberian Pig. It was fantastic! I think everything tasted better because of my sassy new do.In unrelated news, but also for Mom and Dad's attention, because this was a gift from them, the "fun" interconnecting tubes the children love to crawl around in finally had an uprising. As you can see here, one of them ate Sarah. Well, most of Sarah. It left her feet and who can blame it? Peeeee-eeewh. Thanks for the killer toys, Mom and Dad. I had to put those things away before the pets went missing, too.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

See Rock City!

Imagine my chagrin when we arrived, all decked out in my Kiss make-up, at Rock City in Chattanooga, which is actually a bunch of rocks. It was another beautiful spring day and, after some false starts that morning, we headed to parts slightly north.

Yes, of course, we got one of those awesome bird houses. I'm pretty sure that's the entire reason we went.
Kate very nearly made it 1/3 of the way up the rock wall while Sarah had an absolute fit because she couldn't try it (she's 10 pounds too light). "I know I can do it!" she wailed. Then she sat silently by herself for awhile, watching all the heavier kids climb.
Sarah's favorite part was the Fairyland Canyons, which Jeremiah immediately declared, in a voice an octave above usual pitch, "lame". I think he secretly loved the Mother Goose village, though. As we came out of the cavern Sarah, who at this point is usually gearing up for a meltdown, skipped along beside me and said "that was fun!"

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

We Zoo and They Do Too

Yesterday the weather was gorgeous so we thought it would be a perfect day for the trip to the zoo and a picnic at Atlanta's famous Oakland Cemetery with our friends. Know who else thought it was a good day to go to the zoo? Every freaking parent in the metro area, that's who.

We first made our way to the parakeets and, after waiting in line to get in (!) tried to get these poor, bloated birds to light on our little sticks of food and chow down. It was about 11AM and we were about the 4,000th group to do just that so it didn't go so well. It was fun anyway.

We yelled at the otters - "be cuter!" - while they napped in a pile by their water feature. They ignored us. We saw the gorillas, orangutans, naked mole rats and the elephants and then we hauled ass out of there because the crowds were making us all a little cranky.

Once we escaped the zoo madness, we headed down the block to Oakland Cemetery for a picnic and some frolicking. We had that place nearly to ourselves. It was pretty hot out by then, but if you copped a squat in the shade it felt delightful. The girls ran all over the place and we read the gravestones to them and they pretended to be zombies.

In the end, though, the heat was more than the children could take and, tragically, all 4 of them died.

Ok, not really. But we did get really hot and decided we needed to go home. So we did.