Sunday, June 27, 2010

California: The good, the bad, and the ugly

The Good:
The kids' delight in riding the rides at Knott's Berry Farm. (And my turn on the Xcelerator and the Silver Bullet were not too shabby either.)

We talked Sweetie into trying the Sidewinder and she hated every minute of it. The first pic is going up (see J waving?), the second, coming down (see Sweetie, gasping?).
Mister, however, went on everything they would let him ride, including the Ghost Rider roller coaster. Sweetie, H, and I hovered by the exit, with me sure that his lightweight body would fly out on any one of those rickety curves. Here he is at the end--he looks like he's kind of smiling?

Cotton candy. Definitely a good.

The beach, ahhhh, the beach. I wondered how relaxing it really would be with an 11-month-old who eats anything he can find, but he only tried the sand once and then decided crawling around in circles in it and digging in it were better than eating it. And, surprisingly enough, he loved the water and was quite distraught when his mean dad would not let him crawl out past his head. Mister and Sweetie tried their hands at a sand castle and then gave it up for wave jumping. J got the kite going higher than imaginable (see if you can find the tiny speck of kite in the picture.)

The Bad:
H got sick. Surprise, surprise. Actually, it was a surprise to us since he developed the world's worst diarrhea while we were at Knott's. After going through the 8 diapers that I just happened to have brought with on some strange fit of over-preparedness, we went back to J's parents and called it a day. Here he is, the unhappy little guy. He got close to smiling on the carousel, but otherwise was a wreck.

The Ugly:
Despite my love of the beach, gotta put the sand in "the ugly" category. Notice the drool pouring off of H's chin in this pic. Drool and sand are definitely an ugly mix.
Of course, Sweetie immediately decided to try her hand at creating the perfect sand angel. Sand angel? There are no such things, Sweetie!!! And there's a reason for that. Sand crusted hair is ugly.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In related news

The death of Green Glider/Recliner has been followed by a sudden loss of important items throughout the house: Kids' Computer has suffered what appears to be a stroke with accompanying memory loss; Computer Chair has died from a broken back and arm; Upstairs Air Conditioner has been given 6 months to live; Microwave is nonresponsive; and Expensive Golf Clubs are nowhere to be found. Needless to say, foul play is suspected. Possible culprits include the following:

7-Year-Old Boy, who has taken a sudden interest in golfing. When approached for a comment, 7-year-old boy said, "Sweetie probably did it."

Which brings up to 5-Year-Old Girl, who has been seen countless times sitting on the back of Computer Chair. When asked to comment, 5-year-old girl said, "When are we going to get a new one?"

Almost-1-Year-Old Baby, who loves to push the buttons on the computer. When asked to comment, he said, "Whoa."

Summer in the Desert

means that if we're not home, we've gone searching for water. In the past 3 weeks, we've visited 5 different pools, the "beach" at the local clubhouse, and the splashpad at the zoo.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In Memoriam: Green Glider/Recliner

Green Glider/Recliner (G/R), beloved companion, sometimes-jungle gym, and treasured place of sleep, reading, and baby-rocking, died this morning at the relatively young age of 7 from complications of over-rocking.

G/R entered our lives in Grafton, Massachusetts, in the nick of time to help us with a crying, gassy baby. In her childhood, she weathered the long, cross-country move with us to the desert of the Southwest just in time to help with another less-gassy baby. G/R held a prominent position in the nursery and was always central to decorating decisions in that room. Although she was sporting some stains and had faded a bit since the days of her youth, her demise was sudden and disappointing.

G/R is survived by Wood Changing Table/Dresser, whose side she never left in all her short years. She will also be missed by those whom she recently spent time with: Checked Green Fleece Blanket and various Multi-colored Throw Pillows. After a short memorial service, G/R will be laid to rest by the side of the street until the bulk trash takes her to her final resting place.

Pictures in Memoriam

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Folks, we have a winner

In the Great Chocolate Chip Cookie Quest. This is the latest and greatest. And, boy, is it tasty. Make it right now! Thanks to my brother, Tom, for the recipe.

Tommy's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mix in mixer:
2 c butter flavor shortening
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 tsp water
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder

Slowly add 4 3/4 c flour to the above. Add as many chocolate chips as you like. Roll in big balls (twice as big as normal cookies) and smash down slightly. (I use my pampered chef muffin/cupcake scoop.) Bake at 375 degrees for 10 min or until very lightly brown (do not overcook).

Poem of the Month: May

Oops. I missed May's poem of the month. Here's a poem I've been thinking about recently and that I meant to post as poem of the month around Mother's Day.

by Linda Lancione Moyer

Standing in the garden,
left hand laden
with ripe strawberries. The sun

beams off the glassy
backs of flies. Three
birds in the birch tree.

They must have been there
all year.

My mother, my grandmother,
stood like this
in their gardens,

I am 43.
This year I have planted my feet
on this ground

and am practicing
growing up out of my legs
like a tree.

To me, this poem is about a persona who is planting herself in the traditions of the women who have gone before her. She is finally paying attention, noticing birds that must have been there before. She is finally listening (the name of the poem). To me, this poem seems to have an air of peacefulness and acceptance in its ending. When I think about this poem in relation to Mother's Day, I think of myself, planting my own feet in motherhood, trying to be the solid tree for my children, and turning to/listening to so many other women in my life for help in this task. I also think that the challenges of mothering and of trying to figure out how to merge different aspects of my identity with my mothering make me feel very much like the persona describes in the last stanza: Having firmly planted myself in this role, I am "practicing" growing and emerging in this ground that I have chosen.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A sight that warms my book-loving heart

I came downstairs one morning last week to see this:
Not only were they not fighting, but they were reading! Could it get any better? It just might, because here is another sight that warms my heart:
The cheesy baby grin, yes, but look past the cuteness of the grin to notice the gate. Oh, the gate!! Little H might live to see his first birthday having suffered only 1 small skull fracture. Hooray!

1. Date night, dinner out; 2. A lazy Saturday--some cleaning, some swimming; 3. The hum of the dishwasher in a dark kitchen

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hope, 7-Year-Old Style

I recently had a rough day. A spilled-a-32oz-cherry-icee-on-my-newly-mopped-floor day. A day with that kind of "ugh" frustration on top of my deeper discouragement with not knowing what was/is going on with a baby who was still crying 40-90 min in the middle of the night EVERY night and who was still waking up in the 5 o'clock hour and who was still taking only two 30 min naps a day.

But I got a little boost in the form of a note left on my pillow by Mister.
That is what Hope looks like when you're 7. Regardless, I think I'll take a little slice.

1. The sun on my back when I'm swimming with the kids, 2. An awesome 7-year-old boy, 3. Library books on hold

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Name that tune: 104 days of summer vacation . . .

We've been doing a little cleaning, a little cooking, a little swimming, and a little marshmellow-animal making. We've got an elephant, an ostrich, a giraffe, an orangutan (I freely admit I have no clue how to spell that), a shark, a dolphin, a flamingo, and I may be missing a few that got eaten too quickly.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sweetie, the Graduate and Dance Diva

Last week, Sweetie graduated from preschool. She got an "award" on her diploma for being a gifted reader. I look at the pictures and wonder how she got that old. She'll miss her teacher and her preschool friends.
She also had her year-end dance recital, which she was SO excited for. Here's the beginning and end of the dance, which is really the only time when the dancers were remotely together. But they were having fun, which is all that really counts. :)
Luckily, J's parents were in town visiting and were gracious enough to come to (i.e., suffer/sit through) both events.