Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fiscal responsibility, lesson 1

This morning Adrian woke up at 6:30, turned on the TV to PBS (now that the remote is lost, we set it and he CANT change it--haha!) and played with Fiona's Animal Hospital (what she got for Christmas) until I rolled out of bed at 8. (I KNOW)
I stumbled towards the bathroom & he called out to me: wait! I have something important to ask you!
(I am squinting at him with one good eye and standing on one leg b/c I REALLY have to pee) yes? (raspy morning voice)
Can we get a kitten? An orange one? Please? I love cats!
My response: I'm going to the bathroom. Then we'll talk.

The short answer: no.
The long answer: We have 2 cats & a dog already. And having a pet is also a financial responsibility and right now we just don't have the money for extra vet bills.

This evolved into a talk about our current animals' vet schedules (cats in the spring, dog in the fall) and eventually led to him asking "when will we have the money to get another cat?"

Maybe he should be saving for THAT instead of a computer.
What do you think?

Last night Fiona slept in her toddler bed ALL NIGHT and woke up sunny at 8:30. At which point she came downstairs and said "goodmorning, mama!"
I just love that girl.

Monday, December 21, 2009's winter

I know that I havent really said hi in a while b/c I was looking for pictures to post and the most recent ones are from November. Ah-ha-ha, yeees. I have been busy & distracted. Busy with work, busy with the kids, busy trying to keep myself from hibernating like I feel I should do every winter. The good news is that all my hard work at work has paid off and I am now a money-making tattooist, the bad news is our mortgage company misfigured our taxes by $5,000 and now wants to raise our monthly payment to half of Aaron's take-home pay. We joke that it's a good thing our kids like white rice & ramen so much.
Thanksgiving was super good--my parents & brother flew out to us and we ate all the traditional stuff, plus a few things that I have made my own: wild rice w/cranberries & pears and a corn casserole. We were all glad to be together, and once again Uncle Jono was the hit of the party. I remember my uncles being fun-in-human-form, and I think that's how the kids see Jono.
And I made Nana's Tea Biscuits for Papa D. He and Adrian frosted and sprinkled them, and had a jolly good time at it. Mom and Dad drove up from VA, and brought a car load of boxes that they had packed away when I left home. Toys, books, and my very first pair of doc marten boots. I have asked Aaron to give them a polish for me for Christmas, because nobody shines shoes quite like a military man.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

adrian has declared that he is saving his money to buy his OWN computer. as i can figure, he's 10% of the way there.
you have to admire his ambition.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

6:15 AM is too early for the harmonica. I'm just saying.

Monday, November 16, 2009

In review

Adrian & Aaron are looking at Good Guys magazine. It's a magazine completely devoted to classic cars. They are really into it. It sounds like this:
Aaron: whoa! check that out.
Adrian: Awesome.
(page turns)
Adrian: Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
(page turns)
Adrian: Not awesome. Awesome! Awesome!
(page turns)
Adrian: Awesome!
Aaron: You don't have to say awesome after every car.
(page turns)
Adrian: hot-cha-cha!

Friday, November 13, 2009

fiona & i looked through the grocery store's sale flyer this afternoon. when we were done, she told me 'that was a good story'.

Friday, November 06, 2009

adrian: can we go to the north pole so i can give my letter to santa?
me: no, you have a birthday party to go to after school.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

As predicted by my highschool biology teacher...

I am delinquent in nearly everything i do. Here are some photos from the Pirate birthday party...
Pirates demand cake!

Pirates get cake!

And my mom was here! For 4 days, which is not nearly enough time but we'll take what we can get. We cooked, we carved pumpkins, we partied, we trick-or-treated, we crammed in as much as we could AND I remembered to take pictures.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Things that are teh awesome.

1. throwing a Pirate Party for your kid's 5th birthday party, because that's what he wanted. (how awesome is it to have a kid that requests, nay demands! his friends talk & dress like pirates?)

2. having other adult-type friends who dress as pirates for the party so I am not dorky costumed mom...I am dorky costumed mom with friends! also, having adult-type friends who are handy with tools build a pirate game to occupy tiny ones.*

3. in the spirit of the season, rewatching old horror films. Bela Lugosi as Dracula is awesome, in a cheese-in-the-can kind of a way. Tonight's feature is Night of The Living Dead!

4. my mom comes for a visit tomorrow. I will be showing her off like a space-age robot.

5. Every time we mention trick-or-treat, Fiona interprets it to: chocolate milk. This has led to a number of improvisations--Fiona as an elephant, drinking chocolate milk. Fiona as a dinosaur, drinking chocolate milk. The action is always the same, but the narrative is what really makes it worthwhile.

6. K and Fuz move into their new house (woo! and congrats!)

*I am not sure if I failed to explain it properly or if they were just more interested in yanking each other around by a length of rope, but the game didn't happen as it was described to me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New new new!

My oh my! It's always exciting to get things done around the house. Aaron thinks I'm overly ambitious, but the truth of the matter is that I am proactive and he is reactive. I'm also really good at getting him to see things my way. Aaaaah, the power of persistence. (It only took me 5 years to get a dog, after all). To that end, we got a new roof. When we bought the house, there were 3 layers of shingles up there--and the inspector said we could probably squeeze 4 years out of the existing roof. But then some guys came by and gave us an estimate, and I figured lets just do it. (DO IT NOW, screamed the little voice in my head)

We did a complete tear-off, and you know what they found under those 3 layers of shingles? Three holes in our roof. Right over Adrian's bedroom. Which may explain why his room was SO MUCH COLDER than the rest of the house last winter. One of the holes was big enough to put a basketball in. And I took pictures. So here they are, for your viewing pleasure.

Hole number one. AKA the really big one. And if you look up towards the crest of the roof, you can see hole number two.

Hole number 3. The slightly smaller one.
Thankfully, all have been repaired and we have a new roof on top of them.
It just goes to show: you never know what's under there!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Product review, 4-year-old style.

Me: Here, Adrian I got you some more tape.

Adrian: A whole roll? Can I keep it?

Me: Yes, a whole roll just for you. I know how you love the tape.

Adrian: Yes. Because it is SO handy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Right quick...

I am about to fall asleep where I stand, but I thought I should check in first. Hello! All is well! Children are giant! Adrian will be 5 in 13 days. He is vibrating with excitement.
And a funny: I have this Aunt, she's one of my favorite people EVER, and whenever I am having a grumpy day I know that I can call her and she'll say the exact right thing to cheer me up. One of these things has evolved into a long-standing joke. If the kids are being too much of a handful, she tells me to put them in a box & send them to her via the UPS man.
So this week, Fion climbed into an empty cardboard box and I said to her: What do you think? Should we send you to Aunt Carmela?
And she thought for a moment and replied: Yes. To Aunt Gorilla, please.

Noodles one and two, signing off.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yesterday Adrian's scout group had their ceremonial wherein the kids received the badges they had earned over the year. Adrian got 8! The ceremonial was held at Kankakee River State Park, which is about an hour from our house. On the way home, Adrian asked to get dinner from the drive-thru.
Usually I avoid the drive-thru. I don't like the culture, I don't think the food is healthy, I don't like all the trash that is a result of a meal-in-a-bag. But I was exhausted from corraling 2 kids out in the woods all day, and he had been really good so we pulled up to a McDonalds. I don't really like McDonalds either--they are like the WalMart of the food industry and I find them distasteful. I placed the order for 2 happy meals, and the voice-from-a-box asked if they were for boys or girls. (a small alarm went off, but I ignored it) I said one of each. We drive to the first window and pay, then we drive to the second window and get our bags.

Once home, I get a good look at the toys. Adrian got a hot wheels car--cool. He loves those things and 1 car can keep him busy for HOURS.
Fiona got a Barbie compact with lip gloss.
I lost my shit.

Make up is not a toy. Children don't need it (they don't need hot wheels cars either, but that's not the point I'm trying to make).
In one seemingly innocent package, McDonalds manages to deliver a load of social conditioning and a message about gender roles.
Again, I lost my shit.
And I know some of you are probably thinking "Relax, it's just a toy. It's just about having fun".
Go and ask any grown woman you know WHY she puts on make up. I will guarantee you it's not because she needs a dose of fun before she heads out the door in the morning.
Halloween make up is fun. Clown make up is fun (creepy, but fun).

But a mirrored compact with lip gloss is just setting girls up for disappointment. There are only a limited number of play scenarios that you can use that particular item in. And none of them seem to encourage girls to be proud of their bodies and their brains.
I was hoping that we had moved past the idea that girls are to be concerned with how they look, whereas boys are to be concerned with how things work.

So, that's my soapbox.
Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And now I'm back!

I went away for 4 days, to Connecticut/Maine/Connecticut to visit my brother/go to a wedding of a dear friend. It was wonderful and strange to be travelling alone. I got a lot of guff for leaving the kids behind, but I needed 4 days of not being a mom to put my head back on straight.

And then tonight, further evidence of Adrian's precociousness:

AD: Mom, is Santa real?

ME: oh god oh god think quick, don't ruin the magic yet, he'll be that kid on the playground, what am I going to--What do you think?

AD: I think he's imaginary.

ME: he can NOT have figured this out already, he's only 4 for crying out loud What does that mean?

AD: That he's like a dream.

ME: AHA! But he brings real presents.

AD: Sometimes dreams really do come true, Mom.

ME: (trying not to laugh) I guess so buddy.

Not really a lie, not really the truth. Is Santa real? I don't know. I know I perpetuate the myth because I like the idea of a jolly guy in a red suit who hands out toys to the good kids and coal to the bad ones. I'm fairly certain that's the first little step in teaching our kids the ideal of Justice. Plus it comes with the added puzzler of how does he see me all the time? And not just me, but every kid, all over the world?
So it's a lesson on justice and espionage. And who doesn't want that for Christmas?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

@ the philadelphia airport. I can't help thinking that it seems weird to eat a cheesesteak in the airport. Like you're cheating, somehow.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Putting Fiona down for a nap.
Me: I love you.
Fiona: I love dinosaurs!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

o hai

I just looked at the calendar and realized it was September. Ha ha. So I should probably finish the epic tale of our trip to New Jersey.
I could go on in detail, but it sounds like the kids are about to stage a World Wrestling Federation style throw-down, so I will be brief. Adrian swims! Nessa's sister-in-law, Dakota, came over for swim lessons. Fiona also swims, but I didn't get that on film (I know, major disappointment)
And the OCEAN! I love the ocean. Adrian also loves the ocean. Fiona likes the sand, but mostly she wanted to hang in the baby pool at the beach club. There's no accounting for taste, I suppose.

Nessa taught Adrian all about the intricacies of sandcastle building & decorating.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

School again, school again!

The little ones finally rolled out of bed at 8:30 (once again proving the rule that on days when you need them up and at 'em, they will not oblige).
Breakfast was homemade zucchini muffins (which Adrian loves) and vanilla yogurt. Adrian ate the muffins, Fiona ate the yogurt. Then I loaded them into the car to drop Fiona off at a friend's house, drove the 3 blocks back in the rain, and Adrian & I walked to school.
We saw familiar faces from last year--every sentence ending with an exclamation point--and new faces, hiding behind parents, with worried, furrowed brows. I encouraged Adrian to talk with the new boys in his class--later I explained to him that having a friendly face makes new things less scary sometimes. He's a natural ambassador, and was happy to make connections and chat up strangers his own size. It's those moments when you are so proud of the little people that they are. And yes, I spent most of the morning fighting back tears. Partially, it was watching Adrian dive right in and get comfy and then partially it was thinking of 2 little boys we know who will be starting this school year without their mother.
They are 5 and 7 and they live several states away. And every time I think of those boys, I get a lump in my throat and I just want to reach out and hold them close. To let them know that they are loved, and that so many people are holding them in their hearts.

It's the first day of school

And both the kids are still snoozing away.

When they wake, there will be homemade muffins.

And a cheerful mom! (A cup of coffee in the quiet does a body good.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Buzz buzz

Hello and sorry for the hiatus.
Back to vacation recap!
One of the many things that is cool about Camp Ness is her amazing gardens. The other cool thing is that she has her own beehives. 2 of them. This is really cool to me, but to a 4 year old it is AWESOME.
What else could we do but suit him up? And take him out to meet the bees...
Nessa smokes the hive...

Pulls off some burr comb (which is what i think that's called, but fully welcoming any corrections here)...

And there stands my first-born...inches away from TWO HIVES full of busy, busy bees.

And lastly, our beloved Nessa, with a frame o' bees. The upper left corner is capped because it is full of honey. I know this because Nessa made me stick my finger into it, break the cap & taste some honey. While all of those bees were ON THE FRAME doing their bee thing.
(Anyone who knows me well will realize that this is a big deal. Prior to my lessons in bees I would have been doing the nervous dance, and not standing there with a camera trying to get pictures. Thanks for the new knowledge, Nessa!)
So now Adrian is agitating for his own hives....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

On the Farm

Nessa took us to the Farm, where the kids saw dogs, cats, goats, cows, a sicilian donkey and horses! Lots of horses.
We visited them in the barn, and then...
Pudgy took Adrian on a ride! This is Silver, who also volunteers at a summer camp for disabled kids. It was a bareback ride. He's now a self-descibed "fan of horses".
Fiona watched the whole thing, and then declared that she too wanted to ride onna horse.
Or as she said "Oney do it. Oney ride a horse"

I love how fearless Fiona can be.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Huge Dogs! (Or vacation at Nessa's, Part 1)

We have returned, slightly tanned, from our 2 week stay at Camp Newfie. The kids loved the dogs, the dogs loved the kids. And our own pooch looks like a pocket dog in comparison. Nanook, in front, and Pooka in back. You'll note that Pooka is taller than Adrian.
Adrian learned a few important facts about dogs while we were there. 1) Dogs respond to your tone of voice 2) You cannot be the boss if you are acting like a brat.

Fiona, Nessa, Adrian walking to see the horses on the farm.

This is Silver. There is an exciting horse story to be told, but Adrian is currently saying:
Mom! Mom! Watch! I can stand on one leg! Watch me! look! Look!
So I will have to fill you in later.
We are home safe and happy to be back.
(Happy to leave, happy to come home. That's how it's supposed to go, yes?)

Monday, August 10, 2009

I saw Cyndi Lauper in concert last night.
she stood on my chair.
my actual chair.
it was awesome.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

there is something wonderful & terrifying about watching your best friend manhandle thousands of bees.
buzz buzz

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

the kids went horseback riding today.
also, there were goats, cows, dogs, cats, barn swallows, and a sicilian donkey.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Last weekend

We had a tent city! And, shock & awe, the kids actually slept outside all night. I was kind of hoping Adrian would bail so I wouldn't have to sleep on the ground. I have never enjoyed sleeping on the ground. And the older I get, the less I like it. This week, we packed up a big box and mailed it to New Jersey so we wouldn't have to check any luggage at the airport. Why are we going to New Jersey? To visit my bestest friend and her 2 ginormous dogs.
This will be Fiona's first trip on an airplane. I'm not sure what to expect from her. She's completely different from Adrian (aka adventure boy). She may be charming and delightful and really excited OR she could scream & cry & cling to me so tightly that she leaves little finger-sized bruises (true story). I will brace myself for the worst & hope for the best.
Also I am packing a bag of Mary Poppins proportions full of snacks & art supplies.
Can I take a glue stick on an airplane?
I am so excited! I have ants in my pants.
We leave Wednesday. Maybe I'll blog while I'm there, maybe I'll see you upon our return.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

i've run out of patience. i'm so far out, at any moment it is plausible that my head will burst open and millions of tiny aliens'll take over the world.

Friday, July 17, 2009

my train is broken

Train of thought, that is.
I start a blog post in my head before I even sit down at the computer. You'll have to trust me on this next part: in my brain I am funny and engaging and enjoyable.
But then...
I sit down at the computer. And that's when the train gets busted. Apparently the act of opening the computer cupboard turns Adrian into a chattering monkey boy. He will stand at my elbow and repeat himself until I acknowledge that he has said something. And then when he runs out of things to say he goes: what, mom? what? what did you say?
And I'll say: I didn't say anything.
And he says: no, before that.
(if this were a cartoon I'd run screaming & waving my arms above my head)

This weekend promises to be busy and hopefully not too rainy.
Saturday is the farmers market and friends over for a slumber party (moms & kids!). Aaron is working nights so we have decided to take advantage of his absence instead of moping around like mopey moperson.
Sunday is scouts & the Caribbean Block Party. Last year it was so hot I sweated off 2 pounds. This year the high should be 68.
68 in JULY.
This weather is a weird joke that I'm not getting.

Crap. Adrian is singing "sticky, sticky bubblegum" from the next room.
I hope I wont need the scissors.

Monday, July 13, 2009


We returned home from swim lessons this morning to find this fuzzy little guy climbing the railing on the front steps. I have no idea what kind of butterfly he'll turn into, so if anybody out there knows of a good place to identify him, let me know! Last week I was out of the house and Aaron had the kids. This is what they get up to when I'm not around... floor tea parties, wearing my clothes, and general mayhem.
And how was your 4th of July? Ours was rainy, so we spent all day in a 1000 square foot home with 14 other people. Then on the 5th, we had scouts. And the 6th, there was morning swim lessons. So it's little wonder Adrian came home & racked out for 3 hours.

We're nearly half way through July, and I am EXHAUSTED. This kid needs to go back to school so I can nap!
The rest of July will bring us more scout meetings, doctor's appointments, and a trip on an airplane...
but that is a story for next time.
Cheerio, lovelies!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th!

I would love to say that I haven't posted because I have been spending many days napping and lounging by the wading pool. Truth is, summer days fill up fast and I am determined to spend as much time outside while the weather is above freezing.
Adrian just returned from a 4 day holiday at his Nana & Papa's house. He saw a baseball game, had a bonfire, played with Aunt Erica (his favorite person in the world) and Elvis (the boxer dog who lives next door). Elvis can shake and will chase a ball. Our dog chases rabbits and does a lot of this: But anyone who knows me will tell you, I am not well suited to a high energy dog. I would be napping frequently if I could.
We will be spending our day with friends, eating and laughing. Kids will play, dogs will run and I am glad to live in a place where my children are safe and loved.
I hope your Independence Day is a good one!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hey! It's Hot!

I know you're really here for the pictures, but I'm gonna make you read some stuff first.
As you may know, we have been going through some unseasonably warm weather these past few days--and it promises to continue through Sunday. Everywhere I look, people are wilty, droopy and uncomfortable. But for me, this is summer. I grew up (mostly) in Arlington, VA where 90 weather is normal for all of July and August, and parts of June and September. For me, summer is about being hot & sticky. It's about relishing those moments spent in the water, be it a pool or a creek. It's about drinking gallons of kool-aid, and sucking all the flavor out of popsicles until you're left with ice on a stick. It's sleeping with a fan inches away because Mom doesn't turn on the a/c until the thermometer reads 100. It's cooking & eating outside because the house is too hot.
These are the things that make you really appreciate the cool breezes of Fall.
And now, the reason you've all come:
And Adrian. When you get up at 5 AM, drawing all over yourself is a perfectly reasonable use of time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

she's 2!

Fiona is 2!
more later when she's not trying to scale me like mt. everest.....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Aaron: how old is this popcorn?

Me: i made it on tues--no, monday.

Aaron: yeah. it kinda has the consistency of bubblegum.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Why I love my town

Every Friday night when the weather is good, there is a classic car show. We got there early and saw about 40 cars (which is only 1/3 of the cars that usually come). After that we went to Sam & Jake's for ice cream.
It was a great start to the weekend.
And I've decided I need a Chevy Imapala.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sun, at last!

Here is my cute house! And my lovely veg beds in the foreground. My radishes are already up & thriving! Can't wait to pull them from the ground, wash them, smear them with butter & devour!
Here is my front step with the newly painted planters.

The peonies in the front yard are blooming! The fragrance is one I look forward to all winter long.

Adrian on his very last day of school! He already has plans to make me crazy.

And here she is, the very-nearly birthday girl. A rare solemn moment. That's all! Enjoy your weekends and I'll catch up with you next week!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today, and other stuff

Awww. A boy & his dog. After our crazy weekend of crazy fun, Adrian spent time watching TV while using the pups as a headrest. She didn't seem to mind.
Our neighbors are redoing their kitchen & today they got their appliances. And with appliances come REALLY BIG BOXES. In my opinion, the best summer toy ever. Aaron cut a door & some windows. And Hambone is now referring to the place as his "apartment".

It's nearly summer! Which means tasty treats like veggie quesadillas, made with sauteed zucchini & onions. YUM! (Of course any excuse to eat salsa and sour cream I will take)

Here are the kids eating the last of the girl scout cookies. Adrian, I mean Hambone, is living up to his new name. And FionaLeigh is growing before my eyes. She will be 2 in 18 days. She also suffers from crazy hair, my biological gift to her.

Today Adrian went to the allergist for some tests. They did the scratch test--23 pokes down his back. Good News! He has no food allergies or animal allergies. He has mild allergies to tree pollen & outdoor molds. Cross that off my list of things to do. Next visit will be to the pediatric dentist, after his summer physical for school. (And the bills pile up!) Seriously, WHY DOES HEALTHCARE COST SO MUCH?
It pains me.
(And I haven't forgotten your yard photos, I just haven't had a sunny morning to take them yet)

Sunday, May 24, 2009


For 3 consecutive nights, Adrian was up waaay past his bedtime. Last night, it was nearly 10 before he was asleep. It's been a crazy busy weekend, and tomorrow is the last of it.

Thursday we hosted The BarBQue That Wasn't.
We invited 13 people. 3 called in advance to let us know they had prior engagements and would be unable to attend. 4 cancelled the day of, due to last minute work emergencies and sick kids. 1 never called, never showed. 2 called an hour before and said that maybe they'd catch us over the weekend. 1 called and was "on the way" for 4 hours before falling asleep.
We had 2 people show up. For a ten-person feast. I tried my best to make them feel comfy and welcome, but they didn't arrive until 7:30, at which point Adrian was laying prone on the couch with a glazed look in his eye.
When I got the call about the work emergency, I was pretty sure the whole thing was done for. The experience really put me off entertaining.

Friday Aaron's mom (Nina) and sister (Erica) came to town to take Adrian to his frog song class at the zoo. They got in around 11, and we bopped around in the yard while we waited for Fiona to get up from her nap. We had a great plan that involved all of us going to the zoo, walking around, grabbing dinner & then Aaron, Fion & I would take off and head home while the rest stayed for class*. This plan would have worked, but we didn't leave the house until 3--it takes 45 minutes to get to the zoo. There was construction on I-55--they had to squish 3 lanes of traffic down to 1 so that a guy could put tape on the road. And they had a lane closure on IL-171. So our 45 minute trip turned into an hour and a quarter trip. We walked through the gates of the zoo 10 minutes before the animal houses closed. Fion got a 40 minute tour of the outdoor animals. As we were leaving, she kept saying "see animals! yes! please! good girl!" and the further from the zoo we got, the more plaintive her statement until finally we had full-on tears and body tremors. It was AWFUL. At one point she was crying and apologizing "sorry sorry sorry! see animals! please!"
We got her calmed down enough to meet Nina, Erica & AD for dinner. When we put her back in the Jeep it was the same litany of "see animals, yes, please, good girl". So what could we do but....

On Saturday: BACK TO THE ZOO.
We got there at 10:30 and left at 3:30. All sorts of animals were seen: bears, otters, monkeys, alligators, giraffes, zebras, and of course the hoard of geese that populate the zoo grounds. Adrian fell asleep in the car on the ride home & then continued to sleep for 2 more hours. When he woke up he was fairly certain it was morning and he had slept all night. He ate dinner and then he & Erica made ice cream sundaes. Fion ate dinner and was shuttled off to bed. After dinner, there was a walk around the block, and much discussion about the days events.

Fiona was up at 6:30. (Darn you 5:30 sunrise!) Adrian slept until 7. Nina, Adrian & Erica walked down to Zettlmeier's Bakerei for an assortment of breakfast goodies. Meanwhile, Fiona stayed home and pitched fits, in between watching a pair of mallards (male & female) waddle down the middle of our street. I tossed Adrian outside at 11:30 for failing to eat lunch & being generally obnoxious while the rest of us were trying to hold conversations. He came back in to eat at 1:20 thanks to Erica's urgings. At 12, Fion was sleeping, Nina was touching up the walls, Erica & AD were outside scrubbing the siding on the house, so I went to work in the yard. I planted corn and melons, tickseed and bee balm. I weeded, watered, and swept. I painted giant planters yellow, and then planted stuff in them. I hung out our flag out on the giant maple in the front yard. I investigated lichen with Adrian using a magnifying glass and we added the word "symbiosis" to his vocabulary.
All in all, a long and busy day. And now I am to bed. Pictures....tomorrow, Tuesday latest.

*A class which turned out to be pretty fantastic. They went to the "behind the scenes" swamp and caught frogs with nets. Adrian was smiley about the experience all weekend long.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Remember the doom?

Sunday's doom was caused by hand, foot, and mouth disease. (yes, I had to go look it up at the CDC website too)
Thankfully his fever had broken by 6:30 Sunday night, so he was only at home Monday & Tuesday for quarantine. And based on the events of those 2 days, it is going to be a long and painful summer.
I am hoping it was just the recuperation that made him so awful.

And then I thought maybe I was just being over-sensitive, because that happens sometimes you know, but Aaron said no, he's just being a turd.

Oddly enough, Fiona hasn't seemed to have caught it. Of course, she still eats giant handfuls of dirt so she's probably pretty resistant to a lot of things.

Now it's late & i'm tired.
Remind me to tell you later of the BBQ that wasn't, or the story of chicken for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday of doooooom

Hey all!

Today was supposed to be a scouts day. And as you may remember, because Adrian is in the youngest age group we rotate meetings from house to house. We were going to host today AND I had arranged for a guest speaker to come & talk to the kids about geology (to fulfil a requirement of the--you guessed it--geology badge). It was going to be a grand day of small kids and fun.
Adrian woke at 5:30 this morning to tell me that his throat hurt. Wooooooah, it hurt. It hurt like I could not believe, because it hurt so bad. My solution? Motrin & a glass of water. But nooooo, mom. It hurts still and the medicine isn't working, and my throat aaaaaaaaaugh. Dude, give it time. It's not instant medicine. Okaaaaay, but can you rub my back until it feels better? Yes, but first mom really needs to use the bathroom. Go fast.

I set up a little pile of blankets on the floor and "slept" until Mooooooooom. I have to go potty but my legs are tooo wobbly. I need your heeeeeelp. And then Can you wash my hands for me? Because my legs, they are so wobbly. Get his hands washed, wash my hands, go back into his room, where he has snuggled up in my pile of blankets. Where am I supposed to lay down? You can lay in my bed, because the floor is much warmer and softer for me.

And there he slept until 9 AM.
The complaints about his throat were repeated through the day until his fever broke at about 6:30.
If I had to pick one word to describe my son, that word would NOT be stoic.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

uh. yeah, hi!

i amn't ignoring you, blogosphere!
it's just that aaron is on his vacation & we have been busy around the house.
and all those moments when the kids are asleep or busy, i have been hoarding him all to myself. it's remarkable that we're nearly 6 years into this marriage and i still find myself giddy at our moments alone.

anyway, today we went to the zoo. adrian had a class (dino discovery!) and aaron was his grown up and fion & i went and looked at the animals. today's favorite was the giraffes, partly b/c there were giraffes and partly b/c there were frogs in the giraffe pool. it was like 2-fer-1. she asked to go back 3 times.
now the babies are sleeping & aaron is out to see star trek w/mr. mike, so i am studio-bound. i have agreed to do 2 art show/sales in june--which means i have a lot of jewelry to make between now & then.

you'll have to pardon my lack of capital letters. i am just not feeling the shift key much today.

stay classy, san francisco.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Dear IT peoples

Dear IT peoples (at one of my many email addresses),

I appreciate your zeal for my online secuirty. I understand the need to change one's password frequently. However, giving me a 240-day countdown seems rediculous & bizzare.

Thank you, that is all.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

This weekend

Today Nana & Papa are coming for the weekend.
Who knows what we will get up to! Probably some digging in the dirt, cooking in the kitchen, and laughing a whole lot.

I love spring.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A letter to Hershey's Chocolates

The following is an actual letter I sent to the Hershey's corporation:

Dear Hershey's Chocolates;

I would like to congratulate you on filling your kisses with caramel. This was a stroke of genius & whomever came up with deserves a cape, a crown, and a day in their honor.

Eternally Grateful,

Kara DeCarlo

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hooray for May!

In this part of the country, May is truly when spring happens. It is when the trees burst into flower, the lillies of the valley come up, and we can say goodbye to Jack Frost for 6 months. Around here, people don't plant until Mother's Day--almost 4 weeks later than what I knew growing up. I'm not sure that it'll ever feel normal--for the past 4 years it has seemed late.
This past weekend Adrian went to his first ever drop-off birthday party. Here he is making the card to go with the gift. On weekends, I try to get the kids outside to play by 9AM. I figure 2 hours for breakfast & getting dressed should be ample time. I love being outside. I think that there is no reason to sit in front of the TV when you can be outside sitting in the sunshine. This summer I will be pushing the kids out the door every morning, with inside breaks for lunch (and nap for Fion) and potty and that's it. I also have plans to tidy the garage so they can play out there when it rains.

Today at Adrian's school, it's teacher appreciation day. The PTA sent home a letter asking the kids to bring a flower for the teacher to show their gratitude. All of our yard flowers are dead, and we sent tissue paper flowers at winter break I got crafty and made 3 flower pins for his teachers. Felt, button, embroidery floss, a safety pin & a needle; 30 minutes later I had these to pack away in his folder!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

the danger of sitting down after a meal is that you wind up either a) covered in children or b) asleep.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

It is spring!

It's our FIRST spring in our new home. And I love the way the backyard looks when the sun is shining in the afternoon.

The trees are blooming, the flowers are coming up, and I have a million seeds to plant.
But enough about me. Fiona wishes to say cheese:

And to let you know that finger painting is AWESOME! But not as awesome as trying to evade capture after making a mad dash from the table. (remarkably, there was not a spot of paint on the walls or furniture)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lovely weather!

And you know what lovely (but windy) weather means!
Banishment to the backyard!
Aaron was good enough to watch the kids yesterday afternoon so that I could get some work done. Fion was in her element: climbing, running, digging.
Adrian spent a great deal of time building sand castles in TWO sand/water tables, with a little help from Dad.