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)