Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The reunion of a lifetime

Over the next few days these two will get to meet an array of family the likes of which they can only imagine. There will be aunts, uncles, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandmother, cousins, second and third cousins, great aunts and uncles, great great aunts and uncles. People I've known all my life and people I hardly know. We will celebrate their Great Great grandmother's 100th birthday. Don't tell her. It's a surprise. They will eat food. Oh the food. My family can really cook. They will have more fun than they have had in a long time. Maybe ever.

As I am sure you have guessed bloggery may be a little scarce this coming week. I will be back with stories and pictures soon. Have a great week folks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A letter to her next caregiver.

Let me tell you something about my little girl. She needs for her world to be run a certain way. If by chance things are not done by her very meticulous standards. She gets so mad. Not mad, Furious. Not so much furious as, well, have you ever seen a lion in a cage right before feeding time? And he looks like he could tear you apart if you set foot in there. Yeah, like that. And she unleashes this fury on who ever happens to be closest. Usually me. I will share with you her bedtime routine. First we go upstairs and brush teeth. This usually goes off without a hitch. Then we go to her room. We put on socks. It doesn't matter that it's 98 degrees in her room. She wants socks. Then we say good night to her giant stuffed gorilla. Oh don't miss this step. You will be sorry. We pull her shade. And turn on her noise maker. Just loud enough but not too loud. Don't get it TOO LOUD. Now the fun begins. We approach the bed. Have hugs. Kisses. Hugs again. Then kisses. I put her in and hand her her stuffed duck and only her stuffed duck. Seriously, don't try to pass off anything else. Just don't. Then we put on the quilt and then the afghan blanket. And don't try any other blankets either. Only the two made by her Great Grandmother will do. I know it's summer and no one else in the house is sleeping under anything. She must have both blankets. We say goodnight and give one more hug. Then I walk away. If I have done everything as I am supposed to she doesn't cry. But I always mess something up. I didn't get her socks pulled up all the way. I haven't set her giraffe up with her bear just right. Or maybe it's that I got the wrong side of her blanket facing up. Or maybe I left a tiny ray of light shining from beneath her shade. Oh lordy. Don't do leave a tiny ray of light beneath her shade. And here is the best part of all. Anna doesn't talk much yet. So while she is sobbing, yes soooooobbing, from her bed I stand in the middle of the room and try to figure out what in the world I did wrong. Did I ensure Gorilla is still sitting on the dresser the way he is supposed to? Make sure the none of Mark's toys are lying in the middle of the floor? Spin around three times and balk like a chicken? Yes, yes and I bet you wish I'd tell you.
I tell you that story not so much for you but so that, if I die, her Dad will be able to get her to sleep*. So here is what I need you to do. If I do die, call him. Have mercy on him. Tell him this is here. I want the poor man to be able to get some sleep too.

*And lest you think I do it all alone, Jason is usually putting Mark to bed while I put Anna to bed.

And before you even think it. I know I am wrapped around her grubby little fingers. I can't help it. She's just so cute.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fashion Aficionado

It's the very first outfit she put together all by herself.
Then I had to bribe her with chocolate to let me take her picture.
She is so much like her mother I could just spit.
BTW, that shirt, 18 months. Mark outgrew it by the time he was 15 months. Anna will probably still be wearing it when she's 12.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Hoping next year's garden will feature lots and lots of these guys. I just love them.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Summer Workout Program II

Oh, your back again. Come to see my progress, have ya? Well step right inside. You'll remember your first tour here. Good. Lets get started then.
Feel free to walk on the path. I have always wanted to do a stone path like this. I think they make a garden feel very cozy. I also love the contrast, when you walk barefoot, between the hot stones and the cool grass. These stones came from the creek that runs by my parents house. So they have some sentimental value to me. I spent about half of my childhood roaming up and down that creek. This little project isn't done yet. The path will eventually go all the way around the front of the house.

The path had to be put on hold because I had to get some of the plants I bought (at bargain basement prices) in the ground. They were starting to suffer. I know it a little hard to see but this is my very first planted garden. What a workout this was too. It features an Evan Bali cherry tree, a grouping of very heavy pots, and assorted perennials.(Daisies, Black Eyed Susans, Cone Flower, Soon to be joined by daylilies and a few others) And One heck of a lot of mulch. We get it by the scoop from a local place. And haul it off of the truck with shovels. Fun times. Let me tell you.
Speaking of mulch, lets just talk about edging for a moment. That is by far the biggest workout of the little summer project for me. This is what it looking like before it's edged. See how sloppy those edges are. That's cardboard underneath.
This is after. You take a small spade and make a V in the dirt then back fill it with mulch. The grass won't get in your garden as easily this way. At least this is what I hope. That is what my local expert tells me. BTW, this is the view from my dining room window right now. It's really come a long way. But there is so much left to do this year.
Hey, like that bench? Free. One of my neighbors gave it to me. It just needs a little TLC. This garden is on a budget after all.
Next I tackle this.

See ya in about a month.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The day he foretold the future

The other morning my boy child got out of bed and said, Mama*, I am going to be nice to everyone all day today. And you know what, he was. All. Day. It was like a dream. He shared with his sister. He was helpful to me. He was kind and polite. He Listened. No reminders. He just did it. It was wonderful. You could have knocked me over with a feather.
He is naturally pretty sweet anyway but this was one special day. One his mother will remember for a long time. And hope and pray to see more of.

*He still calls me Mama sometimes. Be still my heart.

Monday, July 13, 2009

For the record...

Southern squirrels are way smarter than northern squirrels. Or maybe it's country squirrels are smarter than town squirrels. Whatever the case may be, this one ain't that bright. Every morning he comes. And every morning he is defeated by my feeder. I am pretty sure it's starting to affect his self esteem.
See his foot slipping. 1/2 a second later he was laying on the ground looking up at the feeder. The feeder laughs at him. I laugh at him. You see how this would affect a guy's ego.
But every single day he comes back for a another try. So why are southern/country squirrels smarter? This same feeder never got to laugh at the Virginia squirrels. It took them about 5 minutes to figure out how to defeat it. Then they went and told all their little squirrel friends. They taught about it in squirrel kindergarten. Maybe we don't have squirrel school here. Our squirrels are ignorant. For that I am glad. They can sure eat a lot of bird seed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A swingset and how I almost lost my hand

So a whole 2 months after Mark's Birthday and a week after Anna's Birthday the kids finally got their big present. We don't like to rush after all. What a hit. The kids ask 20 bazillion times a day, Can we go play on the swing set? Puuuuleassssssee. And once we get out there they don't ever want to do anything else. It was definitely money well spent.

I had planned on giving you another tour of my workout room today. But due to my horrible injury and tetanus shot yesterday I'm a little sore. OK, fine. It's a relatively small injury. In fact, I felt pretty silly sitting in the ER with the tiny little rusty nail inflicted puncture wound in my hand. But never one to mess around with lockjaw, I got my shot. I do like to eat after all. So now I can walk through a bed of rusty nail barefoot right? Because I have always wanted to do that.

OK, done typing. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The First Game

If you pay any attention to my twitterings or facebooking you know Mark had his very first soccer game the other night. We knew it was going to be fun. But oh my, was it ever a hoot. In this age group there really aren't any practices. They met the coach last week and did a little dribbling but that was it. Then they just throw them in to a game to play. They also don't keep score either. This is a good thing as the other team kept kicking the ball in their own goal.
Mark is an observer. So he didn't do a lot of playing the other night. He will probably hit his stride at tonight's game after a couple of days to digest what he learned.
He asked a bazillion questions in the last two days about soccer. I really need to brush up on my soccer knowledge. This is a sport I know nothing about. Once we start football and baseball my knowledge will just astound you.
Getting a well deserved high five from his Dad.
Anna was by far Mark's biggest fan. She spent the entire game yelling Go Mark Go at the top of her lungs. Jason gets a close second but Anna edged him out. Game two tonight. We will be on the sidelines. As always, with camera in hand.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Oh the hilarity

Let me tell you a little story about Anna Banana. First off, my little girl fears nothing. We have to keep a really close eye on her. She will climb to the top of anything. She hugs complete strangers in the grocery store. She will pick up just about anything and put it in her mouth. That factoid with become important in a moment. She tackles life with enthusiasm. So yesterday we got out side for a bit. As a result of the ginormous amount of rain our yard is plastered with mushrooms. As I watched in horror Anna stooped down and picked one up for a closer look. She doesn't know wild mushrooms are often very poisonous. But I do. Envisioning a trip to the ER I swiped it from her hand with a little more vigor than was strictly necessary. She stood there in confusion for a moment and then went on playing. I forgot all about the incident. Later in the day, after nap time, we went back out for a while. She ran through the yard toward the swing set. Then stopped dead. She looked around. She realized she was surrounded by mushrooms. Mean, horrible, awful, mushrooms. She stood in the middle of the yard hopping from one foot the the other calling my name at the top of her lungs. Then she tried to run to me. Looking over her shoulder the whole time to make sure they weren't going to reach up and bite her in the bum. Wanna know what I was doing while this was all this was going on? I laughed. Oh how I laughed. It was the funniest thing I've seen all week. That is just the kind of mother I am. I, first, instill irrational fears into my children. Then I laugh at them when they are scared. Go me!!!

And I took pictures. Because who wouldn't want to remember this.*Note very concerned look on her face. *

I wonder if I can make Mark scared of puppies....

The day her marbles went rolling down the rainy street

Let me just tell you a little something about us. Something you may not know. We live outside in the warm months. We come in to sleep and eat. That's it. Even these are occasionally done outside. All of our play and most of our summer cooking are done out there. We have a big backyard. We make the fullest full use of it during this time of year. The kids thrive on the fresh air and sunshine. And so do we. We fall into bed at night in exhausted heaps for all the fun we have had during the day. We rarely hear a peep out of the kids once their heads hit the pillow.
Now let me tell you something else you may not know. Here in my section of upstate NY we are having a record rainy year. It rains. All. Day. Every. Day. For weeks and weeks it has rained. OK so it's been week and week. About two weeks. But still that is a lot of stinking rain. That is a long time to find indoor stuff to do. And let me tell you, we have completely exhausted our list of rainy day activities.

Color pictures-I have a stack of pictures 3 inches high.

Work on our catching skills-Mark can now catch a ball with about 85% accuracy. That says nothing of my catching skills. I am at about 55% accuracy.

Rock/feed/cuddle/change/put to bed baby dolls-Yes to all of the above. A. Lot. (As an aside, why, in the world, do they make baby dolls smell like cheap awful vanilla? I hate that. End aside)

Run around acting like maniacs-we do that all the time anyway. So no change there.

Yesterday we had a reprieve. The sun shined all day. We basked. We basked to the fullest. Baseball, frisbee, catch, swinging, running, walking, jumping. We did it all. Oh the fun we had.

This morning I woke up and guess what. IT'S RAINING. I'm crying.

Yes, we have enough Legos to go all the way to the ceiling. We wondered.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Have a Fabulous Friday

And a wonderful safe and fun 4th weekend.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The day we went exploring

Jason and I used to go exploring. Back before children came into our lives, and we moved to a new place every year or so, we would go out and find the back road to everything. This was also back when gas wasn't $4 a gallon. Yeah, remember those days. Needless to say we haven't done it in quite a while. Until the other day that is. I have mentioned before that we live next door to the Adirondacks. The other day, after over a year residence, we finally went to check them out.
We had the fuzzy one,
the silly one,
my own personal driver man,
and yours truly.

We went to Star lake where there are no stars. We went to Cranberry Lake where there are no cranberries(I realize it's not cranberry season. They don't do cranberries here at all.) We went to Newtons Falls where there are no falls. We had an awful lunch. Sorry, but it was awful. Moldy hot dog roll. Broken cheese soup. Just awful.
I was starting to get disappointed. What was the big deal about these mountains anyway. They don't give you any of the things their names imply.
I was getting mad until we found this.
And this.
And this too.
The kids loved it. There is just something about kids and water. They could have watched the river flow all day.
Of course Mark had to do what Mark does when he gets near any water anywhere. Throw rocks into it.
Jason and Anna took a little more sedate approach and just enjoyed the scenery.

It was a fantastic day. And just the one I was looking for when we set out on our little adventure.