Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter - Sugar Madness

When Treat Day is just a full-on bender. I can't believe this collage doesn't end with all these kids washed up in a flop house with nothing but a couple dirty mattresses and some candy wrappers scattered about.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Earth Day

"Who's birthday?"
"No, Earth Day"
"No, not a birthday. Earth Day"

They figured it out. We hit the community garden for Earth Day fun on Sunday. The weather was perfect for just such an outing. We took a look at the cakes entered in the cake decorating contest (next year...next year...) and we said hi to the chickens. The place was packed, and they had live music. My very favorite part (and I think everyone else's, judging by the crowd at the tent) was the birds of prey guy. He had several owls with him, and a couple falcons. When I first wandered up he was holding the baby Eurasian Eagle owl, Tzar (or maybe Czar. Could be Tsar, I didn't ask). The Eurasian Eagle owl is the largest owl in the world. Did you know they live to be about 70? I did not. Anyway, he was asking a little kid who his favorite pet was, and the kid said his dog or something and the bird guy said "this is mine." When he said that, he touched Tzar on the chest, and Tzar gave out a little hoot that caused the me, and the woman standing right next to me, to involuntarily say "Awh!" and for a moment, wish we had an owl. It doesn't take long to realize that is probably not a good pet to have. I do love owls. I'm a fan of most birds, but owls are my favorite. Yeah, I said it. I like them best. Chickens, you're still the funniest, but , perhaps it's their unattainably that makes owls so seductive. You know how that goes. Here's a couple shots of the owls that put in the Earth Day appearance. Tzar is in the 2 on the right. Don't even try to tell me these birds aren't beautiful; I will pop you right in the mouth. For a $5 donation to whatever educational outfit this guy was with (I know, I should have found that out, but I was too taken in by the birds) you could hold one of the birds and have your picture taken with him. The girls both insisted they wanted to hold Tzar, but when she had the chance to pet him, Sarah was too terrified to touch the giant owl. So I did. I was a little giddy about it.

By the time we left we had two very hyper children. They giggled and yelled the whole way home. Then they swam some more in the freezing cold pool. Silly girls. Yes, that is underwear on Kate's head. I don't know.

I can't get all this extra space to go away. I should really just learn html and stop my whining.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Last weekend, with all the sun and highs in the 80's, it felt like full-on summer. I worried our spring had occurred on Friday between 2 and 3:45AM and I'd missed it. Kate, as she had the previous weekend, begged us to set up her pool. Saturday was very busy and we didn't have time so we said we might do it on Sunday. Sunday we became engrossed in our respective activities and it was so late by the time we were ready to stop doing what we were doing, that it was just a bad time for pool set-up. We promised a crestfallen Kate (and a mildly disappointed, but less invested Sarah) we would set the pool up today.

Today, it is mostly cloudy, windy and around 67 degrees outside. Kate did not care. She held us to our promise and so, we pulled that old thing out, gave it as good a cleaning as possible, and filled the shallow part of it. Both girls were thrilled. Both girls swam. Indeed, Kate even went entirely under water. I stood on the patio, holding a couple towels, watching in disbelief as two shivering girls refused to get out. They actually seemed to be having fun, but they were blue. When Sarah decided to swim with her winter jacket on, I just set the towels down near-by and got a few chores completed. I mean, who's going to reason with that, you know?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Braves Game

Yesterday we took the girls to Turner Field to see the Phillies crush the Braves in a humiliating 10-2 loss. It was a character-building exercise. The nice thing, I thought, was that since the girls refused to enjoy our seats with a clear view of the pitcher's mound and easy access to the dugout for catching balls, at least I wasn't watching the awfulness unfold in real-time.

OH! check out Kate's short hair! Isn't it adorable? Couldn't you just die? She insisted that Aunt Jo Jo, who very kindly undertook trimming split ends on Thursday, cut it short like Sarah's so they "could be twins". She looks so grown up now, especially when you see how her little legs have taken off with a mind of their own. I love it. OK, moving on:

So we wandered the stadium. We sat in the giant chairs with the view of downtown. We admired the giant Coke bottle and watched the Chick-fil-A Cow do the tomahawk chop. Then the girls ran the single baseline up there. Kids love that. Sarah ran it, like, 5 times. Especially impressive since her shorts were, in fact, Kate's, and didn't fit her at all.

On our way back to the car we met a beautiful boa constrictor named Boss. The girls enjoyed petting him and Jeremiah decided it would be a good idea to hold him. Boss strangled Jeremiah to death and ate him, just as I warned him he would. So, it's really sad, and I had to drive home, but at least Jeremiah died knowing I was right.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Literacy Shocker

This might not blow your mind the way it did mine, because you're at a distance. It doesn't seem like I've been keeping this blog all that long, probably because since I had kids time not only flies but breaks the sound barrier. Anyway, I often update it while the kids are getting ready for bed now, which is what I was doing last night. Here's what Kate looked like when I started this thing:

Last night, as I was tucking Sarah into bed, Kate came out of the office and climbed into her own bed. I moved to Kate's bed, and I commenced ta' tuckin'. Kate said to me "what do you mean you broke the treat day rule*?" The day has come. Kate is reading my blog. I don't know, it just sort of felt like the end of an era. I then thought of the cartoon Mikey posted for me on facebook:

Oh well, girls, we all have our cross to bear.

*Treat Day was initiated as a once-a-week event when the begging for, whining about and in general expecting of daily treats drove me to distraction. Once a week, people. You pick the day (spoiler alert, they always pick Saturday) and that's it**.

**Some exceptions may apply, case in point, mommy wants cookies on a Monday.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Oh GOD, Spring Break

You know what? Not everyone can take off the same week in April, OK? I hate spring break. I don't have this kind of time to figure out what to do with my kids while half my company heads to the beach with theirs. Jeremiah couldn't even take a single day because someone else in his department already had the whole week. Lucky for us neither of our companies has a "What is, this, a daycare?" policy and we have Joy. The combination plus my taking off Monday gets our week covered, but let me tell you something, trying to work while your kids are in your office is exhausting. It's like doing 2 full time jobs simultaneously and I just can't hack it. I'm not Jamaican! Anyway, Monday was really nice. So let's focus on that.

For starters, more sunshine, more temperatures in the upper 70s. The girls and I walked to Sun in My Belly for breakfast [as I write this, Lydia, ever faithful, every vigilant, ever flatulent, is by my side. The whole room smells like a big turd. We really need to address her diet]. I gave Kate the camera while we walked to breakfast. Here's the work of my starving artist:

Breakfast was delicious, as always. We wrapped that up so we could scoot to our next exciting activity. A visit to the park with friends! We walked from breakfast to McKoy Park where we met Dean and Kennedi from Sarah's class. They laughed. They cried (literally). They grew together, individually and as a group.

Then it was back home with my girls for lunch. From there, we were off to REI, where Kate and Sarah became the proud new owners of some summer shoes. The fact that these shoes are waterproof is a huge hit with them. Once home from REI, I broke the once-a-week treat day rule and baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for them, and we snacked on milk and cookies while watching Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (again) together. A very good day.

They spent the last 2 days at work with Daddy and Mommy, respectively. What a pain. I'm so tired I don't even know I'm typing this.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

(I Wish) Every Day Is Like Sunday

After a full week of stormy, raw weather, we were granted a reprieve in the way of a stunning, sunny, warm weekend. Yesterday was very windy, but it was warm and the sun was out and, subsequently, so were we. Today we decided we should hit the trail to celebrate the less windy, even warmer weather. So we headed west to Sweetwater Park, a mere 2 and 1/2 hours after declaring we were leaving. I remember when I used to decide to do something, and then, moments later, go do that thing. Those days are gone. Anyway, off we went.

Last year, in her 3-year-old class, Sarah had a good friend named Lily. This year, Lily went to a different school and we haven't seen her since last summer. Until today. We were headed toward the trail when I heard Sarah say "I see Lily." She still talks about Lily a lot, often naming worms and other exciting bugs after her, so I thought she was kidding. Lily lives a little over a mile from us in Kirkwood and we never run into her, but I turned around and sure enough, there she was with her family in parking lot at the trailhead at Sweetwater. So we hiked with them. It was a lot of fun.

Then we came home and the girls played with little Aiden next door, in his sandbox, while I found new homes for my hasta and lamb's ear around the garden. I don't have pictures of the kids playing, but I think my neighbor Charlie, who was also working in his yard, did take a couple.

Then Sarah built this castle with her blocks.Then Steve and Joy came for dinner, and threw the children about like badminton shuttle cocks.It was, by nearly all accounts, a good day. It turns out Lily has a cat named Max, so it was touch and go for a few moments there, but we all pulled through.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Rough Week

Last Friday and Sunday nights it stormed so dramatically it woke us up. I love a good storm, but Sunday, especially, the lightning was so incessant the room was brightly lit. Monday night Kate had a nightmare and climbed into bed with us, where she immediately spread out like ink on a paper towel. That kept us awake, too. Tuesday night it stormed again, and woke up the dogs. Wednesday night Sarah had a nightmare. Thursday night Kate wet the bed.

So it was with heavy lids as well as heavy hearts, that we had to say farewell to our beloved Fluffernutter, Max. Maxie hadn't been doing well for some time. She had cancer, in the form of a tumor on her back. The vet said it's very common for pets to develop cancerous tumors there, because that's the choice spot for injecting vaccines. Then she said, to my dropped jaw and wide eyes "so now we vaccinate them in the leg, because if they get cancer there, we can just remove the limb". Anyway. They removed the tumor once, but assured us we were just buying her time, which we thought was a great idea. Max had stopped cleaning herself. She's stopped hanging out with us at all. She would occasionally hang out in the hallway and cry. It was time.

Jeremiah took the day off work, because he didn't want to be all up in Vampire Diaries' business while mourning his Other Woman. The one who preceded me, in fact. I went to work, so I had to say goodbye to her before I headed out this morning. She purred and nuzzled into my forehead, like she liked to do, and then I cried the whole way to work.

Most people knew Max as Evil Max, and it's true, she's drawn a lot of blood in her time. To us, though, she was sweet. She'd leap up on my chest at night as I tried to read, and make biscuits on me while purring away. Then settle in, right where my book should go. She loved crinkle fries and if you threw one to ground for her, she would stalk it like cunning prey until the time came to dismember and devour it. She used to love to beat the crap out of Lola. I'd like to think she's doing that right now.

Sarah took the news stoically, but Kate cried and cried. Having to explain to the kids that a beloved pet has died is just insult to injury. We miss Max, the world's most beautiful feline. I'm sure she's got a sweet paper bag coated in catnip somewhere now.