Tuesday, August 29, 2006

How To Spend Your Anniversary

August 28, 1999. These two crazy kids tied the knot. Every year since that day, they find a new and different way to celebrate their anniversary. This year would not be any different. They spend their special day driving for 12+ hours from Ohio to New Hampshire. They dine on the finest rest area food, such as McDonald's crispy chicken and bacon sandwich with ranch dressing. 25 times they find themselves turning around in their seats, saying with the utmost calm, "No, we're not in New Hampshire yet. We won't be there for a long time. Please stop kicking the back of my seat." Their timing is impeccable when they stop the car just as both children desperately need to use the bathroom. They take an hour to drive three miles during rush-hour in Hartford, CT. Sometimes it's good to take things slowly. They don't get even a bit grossed out as they clean up after their car-sick son. Twenty-two baby wipes can do amazing things and cars can always be detailed.

Yep, these two have seen a lot in their seven years as husband and wife. They are wild and unpredictable. Who knows what they will do on their twentieth.

We're Back

Rolled in last night at a little after 9 after a very long, but not bad day of driving with the kids. We've been on vacation, visiting my sister, her husband and their kids out in Ohio. On our way out there we stopped in Niagara Falls for a couple days and had a great time checking out the falls, getting sprayed in the face by them (literally), checking out Canada (mine and the kids' first visit, ever!) which is lovely and a lot of fun. Then on to Ohio for three more days to check out my sister's super cool log cabin home in the country, (I have never been in a log cabin, either) to visit Cleveland, (which is considerably easier to navigate than Boston, but then so is the map of the lost city of Atlantis) and check out their science center which has a fantastic kid's play area on the top level. All five kids were all amazing during this trip. They got along so well, and except for feeding them, changing the occasional diaper, brushing teeth, they needed hardly a bit of attention from us adults, leaving us time to catch up and hang out.

Needless to say we've got LOTS of pictures to upload and many stories to tell. But there's also lots of laundry to do so we'll get our priorities in line.

So blogging first, laundry second. That sounds right.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Strange, Little Space Guy

The kids are into playing "space ship" this week. They have collected a large assortment of "space gear" (toy cell phones, walkie-talkies, old headphones- things like that) and carry them around in backpacks, which I suspect also double at "jet" packs. They've been "shusshhing" around the house, exploring various planets and collecting rocks and dust. My house is a great place to find those kinds of things.

Yesterday I made them a space ship out of a big cardboard box and we took magic markers and made consoles with lots of buttons and even a kitchen with a fridge, oven and microwave. The kids had a lot of fun in that. Honestly, why do we buy them any toys? This morning, David was up well before Sofia, so he and I got about an hour to play "space" together. I learned a great deal about space travel and the complex, slightly scary mind of my nearly four-year old.

We were running around on some un-named planet when David spotted an alien. It was the cat, Whisky.

David: "Oh! An alien!"
Me: "What do we do? Should we capture it?"
David: "No, no. He's a good alien. He's looking out for the bad aliens." Whisky was sitting on the sill, staring out the window at some squirrels.
Me: "What should we do now, Captain?"
David: "Oh, I'm not the captain. Sofi's the captain."
Me: "So what is your job?"
David: "I'm the guy who pushes all the buttons." David really likes buttons.

David gets a signal on his radar thingy. "Oh, bad aliens are coming!! We're going to have to kill them with this killer ink." He shows me an ink pad that he had stashed in his pocket, luckily the lid is shut tight.

Me: "But how do we know they're bad aliens? What if one of them is someone's mommy?"
David: "Well, it's okay if we kill it, because they're really bad. Like, if one of them was a mother, it would be the kind of mother who would kill their own child."
In my head: "Yikes! Has he been sneaking in to watch the 10 o'clock news??"
Me, out loud: "Well, that would be a pretty bad alien, I guess." I suppose if you have to rationalize killing an alien, that's a pretty good reason.
David, serious for a moment: "Mommy, do we believe in aliens?"
Me: "Well, I don't think there's any compelling evidence that aliens have been to our planet, and though I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a planet with life on it in another solar system, I don't think it's likely that..."
David: "To the space ship!" he declares, his finger raised.
Me: "Uh, okay. Where do I sit?" Looking down at the 4'x2' box.
David: "Oh, you can't get in here. Your butt is much too big."
Me: "Oh. I guess I'll get my jet pack."

If it can lift my big butt off the planet.

Friday, August 18, 2006

One Of Those Days

I was over at Melissa's "Waking Up" blog and checking out a video she had posted there and it eventually led me to this one which left my children in fits. The laughing kind, that is. This was actually the highlight of my day.

Name That Celebrity!

I was reminded of this photo a few weeks back during dinner with the kids, during which my son David was alarmed because he thought the picture on the salad dressing bottle was indicative of its contents. That's just a little hint and some of you may not need one, anyhow. There are actually two celebrities in this photo, taken during a swanky party at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, summer of '96. Another hint I will give you is the celebrity is not included amongst the three, slightly tipsy young women in the foreground. I didn't realize until years after this photo was taken that the celebrity in question was actually in the picture. Can you tell who it is? You get extra points if you can spot the second, lesser known actor.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Little Fatty's Revenge

So it turns out Little Fatty isn't dead after all. Perhaps he was vacationing by the seaside and decided it was time to come back and see if I'd planted anything new for him to eat. It was strange that his return coincided with a visit from my mother. It was in the morning and we spotted him out the kitchen window, having himself a lawn snack. It's funny, but the very first time I noticed him was when my mother-in-law was here. Maybe Little Fatty is a mother herself. Maybe she feels safe to come out when there's an overwhelming maternal air surrounding the place. Or perhaps he/she just likes ticking off as many people at once as possible.

My mom suggested putting some mothballs under the shed where I suspect one of his burrows is located. That's where he retreats whenever one of us comes screaming out the back door to chase him away. I had also heard this could work so I picked some up at the grocery store and took all the contents and threw them all over, under the shed. I thought, there's no way he's going to come near this place now. It was pretty stinky.

But apparently Little Fatty has no sense of smell or he is just a vengeful little beast who doesn't dig my poetry. And now when we chase him back under the shed he only remains there for a minute or so, peeking out to see if we've gone back inside the house. You know we've got windows, you overgrown gerbil!!

So now I have stunted flowers, bald patches in my lawn and my yard reeks of mothballs. Yes, it truly is an oasis. Don't be jealous, folks- it took a lot of effort to get it this way.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What's Green And Yellow All Over And Way Out Of My Budget?

No, I haven't been kidnapped. I just took a vacation from my blog. Unintentionally, but I'm refreshed now that I've had a break from it. That doesn't mean I have lots of good stories to tell, though. Normally I would just post some pictures if I'm too busy to write anything, but the camera is on the fritz. Yes, another camera gone to meet its maker- for real, I'm sending it out from whence it came to be repaired. No doubt they will say it will "cost more to fix it than it's worth and I should just buy a new one." When are they going to be able to make a digital camera that can be dropped repeatedly by a three year old and still function? Are you telling me they don't have the technology to do that?? Yee-gads.

But I digress.

So I brought the kids by Lowes today on the way to Target. While Target is fun for me, Lowes is far more interesting for the kids and the two stores are right next door to each other, so we headed to the greenhouse to see what sort of plants they had. Ernesto and I have been thinking about planting some trees around the edge of the yard and I wanted to see what kind of cabbage we would have to spend to get the effect we're looking for. I like it because I stand around daydreaming about what I would do if I had very deep pockets and the kids like to look at the fake ducks in the water fountain/pond display near the perrenials. They just think that's the best thing ever. David wants us to buy one. If we stocked it with trout, I'm sure we could get Ernesto to go along with it.

As we enter the gates and go past the cashiers, David tightens his grip on my hand and sucks in his breath with a great, high-pitched wheeze, then lets it out and shrieks, "IT'S A JOHN DEERE!!!!"

David is big into John Deere. Ever since I bought him this little kiddie John Deere cell phone that came with a set of keys and a little beeper. He's fascinated with the color scheme, and as he said tonight before bed, "I love John Deere because 'J' is my favorite letter." As good a reason as any, I think.

Anyway, he lets go of my hand and so does Sofi and they both run over to the lawnmower and I'm trying to keep up with them so they don't beat me to it and start climbing all over it. I don't know if Lowe's has a "you break, you buy it" policy but I'm not about to find out.

David stands in awe before it for a few moments, eyes slightly glazed.
"Can I sit on it?" He asks hopefully, eyeing the gear shift.
"Better not, hon. Let's just look, okay?" I'm sure this thing is a little sturdier than my digital camera, but again, I cannot afford to find out.

Sofia is staring at it too, then smiles broadly puts her face right up to the jumping deer emblem in front and exhales all over it, fogging up the shiny green paint with her breath.
"Nothing runs like a Deere!" She exclaims.

I am in fits, laughing and I look around to see who else is laughing and realize there isn't anyone else there. What a moment and no one else saw it. Oh well.

I guess everyone will see her when she's 25 and working as a John Deere spokesperson. I hope she'll get a company discount.