26 May 2009

After Eight Years, You'd Think We'd Know How


One night, Lars went to bed before his comforter ('Bob', since it has Bob the Builder on it) was done in the wash. When Chris went up later with Bob, he found this note on the pillow next to Lars, who was fast asleep:

"Bob gose on top of me. OK. Good night!! take blanke off of me before you put bob on me please!!"

21 May 2009

Single Note Arias

Every now and then, Lars will take a pause, draw himself up taller, form his mouth into a very operatic O, raise his eyebrows and emit a single, wavering note which he holds for a few seconds. He will then instantly return to whatever he had been doing (homework, whining about what's for dinner, running after a friend in the yard, tying his shoes, whatever...). He's been doing it for the last week or so, sometimes even using port de bras to highlight the moment. I have no earthly clue where this new habit came from but it's pretty amusing.

20 May 2009

Something Audrey Will Totally Understand

At the 4th grade concert tonight, Chris pointed out the girl he thinks has a crush on Ross. "How do you know she likes him," I asked?

"
You'll see tomorrow when he gets home from school. She sits at the window of the last seat so she can see him get off the bus each day."

"Oh, she's that local? We can never get a dog." Chris looked at me like I had three heads, so I elaborated, "We can't just hand him such a great excuse for late-night walks!"

17 May 2009

Birth Announcement: TWINS!

We had a birth today! Chris noticed a mama deer and two tiny babies out our kitchen window (yay for bay window in new kitchen!).

We cautiously went out and took some pictures. I watched the fawns wobble a few steps at a time and saw how mama licked them every time she could and I determined they were VERY new. Chris guessed within a week; I guessed within the hour.




After about twenty minutes of watching, Lars got impatient with being so far away and climbed on the playhouse for a better view. Mama was fine with me (mothers know) and ok with Chris (he's a good dad) but was a little skittish about the excited eight-year-old, and decided to move her new brood off toward the creek.

When they'd gotten far enough away, Chris decided to check out my "within the hour" theory - and, lo, found fresh afterbirth right there where mama had been laying. What can I say? Mothers know these things.

I asked him to take a picture from the birthplace to the house - they were close! We're usually the wildlife nursery yard anyhow - a few weeks from now, mother deer will swing by and drop off their cherubs to eat my plants while they wander off to have their hooves done - but this is a new thing for us to see.

Chris got some videos, too:




video

video

video

10 May 2009

Mother's Day Activity: A New Tactic

This Mother's Day, I decided to spend time with my kids doing whatever they wanted to do, which turned out to be playing Tony Hawk's World Skaters 3 on xBox. After watching the kids play for a while, I got to make my own character and try the game out. With a lot of help and instruction from the boys, I achieved a grand score of 3,475 on my first run through the Foundry (note: the lowest milepost score is 30,000) and I only fell into the vat of molten steel twice! I did achieve cries of delight from the boys for some skill I executed along the way but since I had NO CLUE how I did it and couldn't repeat it or teach it to them, I lost esteem. After that first exhilarating run, they decided to show me how it's done and I spent a few hours watching the great ones trash my poor score. We also had bacon with breakfast (we're using it liberally to prevent Swine Flu) and Chris made (and cleaned up from!) a delicious dinner. All in all, a great day.

30 April 2009

When Daddy's Away: Two Vignettes

"Awwww, why are we having a normal dinner? When you go away, Mama, Daddy makes us special dinners. Hot dogs!"

"That's because I don't like hot dogs much, so Daddy serves them when I'm not around."

"So?!? Serve a special dinner that Daddy doesn't like, since he's not home."

"Daddy doesn't like fish."

"Thanks for making us pasta, Mama!"

===============================================

"You need to finish the bottom four questions on your homework and then I'll quiz you on your spelling."

"I never do the bottom four. Daddy doesn't make me."

"Oh? I'm sorry to hear that. I'm sure he'll ask you to do them from now on."

"No, I mean I never do them and he doesn't check!"

"Oh! He doesn't check because he trusts that you do all your homework. He'll be disappointed to learn that you need to be checked all the time."

"Mama! Just don't tell him! Why do you check? I don't want to do it! AND WE DON'T NEED TO WORK ON SPELLING. I CAN SPELL ALL THE WORDS."

"Fine, spell 'Indiana'."

"I-N-D-(pause)-... I-N-D-A-N-A."

"Missouri."

"M-I-S-U-R-I-E"

"Maryland."

"M-A-R-R-Y-L-A-N-D"

"Louisiana."

"L-O-I-S-I-E-A-N-A"

"Illinois."

"I-L-L-O-N-I-S"

"Sit. For the record? You're right. You sure can spell all the words...you just can't spell any of them correctly."

"WHEN will Daddy be home?"

"Tomorrow. You can mangle the other 45 states for him then."

===============================================

27 April 2009

Perfect Weekend

I would never hope for better weather than we had this weekend - it was absolutely perfect! Sunny and just hot during the day, cool in the evenings but nothing you'd shiver in without a jacket.

On Saturday, Ross put new batteries in the old talkie-walkie set and then went adventuring with a friend. They discovered full communication between their houses using the talkie-walkies, so Sunday morning I woke to find Ross idly chatting with his friend via radio while playing xBox in their underwear (each in their respective houses). If you're planning to appear at my house on a non-school morning, consider yourself duly warned.

Lars spent Saturday morning asking when it would be time to go to his friend's birthday party and Saturday afternoon at the party. He had a fabulous time! The party was carnival themed and full of water balloons, games of chance with candy prizes, a bounce house, and a great climbing gym. The whole class had been invited and I couldn't help thinking how lucky the hosts were to have backyard weather for the festivities!

After Ross had gotten dressed and Lars had been adequately sugared up, we all piled in the car and headed for Ch├ęz Stoll for an evening of great food and RockBand. I honestly can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday night and I hope we get to repeat it often (or at least enough for me to figure out how to use that damned blue fret button).

On Sunday, the kids played outside with friends from the neighborhood and called in a few spares. Chris and I cleaned a couple of bathrooms and made a big pot of chili in preparation for an invasion of overnight guests, including a pile of cousins and a friend from college.

Chris made breakfast for the army this morning, a great start with pancakes, eggs, fruit and good coffee, before we all split off on separate journeys to the elementary school, DC, SC, NYC, and Edison. An extra car in our driveway is the only sign of last night's festivities and our house seems so quiet with only us in it!

23 April 2009

Take Your Child To Work Day

The fourth Thursday in April is National Take Your Child To Work Day, a program aimed at giving kids a chance to see how what they learn in school might be applied in the real world someday. For TYCTWD today, Lars ventured into the city with me to get a look at exactly what it is that I do when I'm not at home.

In an effort to make the day as authentic as possible, we started the day with a stop at Starbucks before the train. Then, in an effort to make the day as exciting as possible, I got rear-ended at a stoplight on the way to the train. Thankfully, my effort was pretty much used up by then, so the rest of the day was just fine.

Lars and I went to my office first, where he was introduced all around, did two small project take-offs and was scheduled to help in marketing after lunch. Then, I showed him a simple product kit and we took it to demonstrate to two specifiers - getting in a subway trip and a taxi ride for flavor. The second specifier's office was also participating in TYCTWD, so we had a business lunch out with all the Junior Associates. After lunch, per schedule, Lars helped our marketing department prepare for a two-day seminar (they were actually glad for extra hands, since most of the print materials for the inservice just showed up today!) and then we capped the day by attending the seminar's cocktail hour kickoff where Lars was lauded for his help and also enjoyed a lovely light dinner.

The biggest shock of the day for Lars, I think, was the discovery that I only play my DSi on the train. He seemed affronted by the lack of recess-like breaks and slightly confused when he learned, after some petitioning, that not everyone in my office has a DS and/or a World of Warcraft account. He clearly wondered just how they manage to live but was polite enough not to voice it.

Lars was also a bit surprised that we didn't see his classmate, who'd gone to work with his father in NYC today. "They are In The City, Mama. So are we!" As if we would, of course, run into everyone who was In The City. Don't you? Thinking I might try to fix something up last minute, I asked Lars where the other child's father worked. Lars gave a very tiny, exasperated pose, glanced to the sky and said, "Mama, I just told you - he works in New York." Well, there's always next year...

22 April 2009

Post-season Haircut

With hockey season behind him, Ross declared he no longer needed helmet hair and asked if I'd cut it off. Behold, before:











It is cool to stick your tongue out in photos these days.

And after:











Unfortunately, the '80s skater haircut only lasted one day. Ross asked me to cut it all off when he got home from school - he was a little annoyed that nobody had noticed his haircut and a little annoyed by the bangs in his face. Too bad - I thought it was really cute!

21 April 2009

That Was Just The Kick-in-the-Pants I Needed, Thanks.

What, Amelia? It's been how many months since I posted? Who?

*vigorous head shake*

Really? Wow.


Sooooo...what's been going on since I dropped off the writing side of the planet back in, oh, November? A lot. There are a myriad of reasons why I stopped blogging for the while - computer problems, hockey season, winter blues, overwork, guilt (I never did post the "TA-DA" pictures or video of our new kitchen...or the pics from holidays or birthdays), holidays, birthdays, coping with a kid who doesn't see a need for school or homework (no idea where THAT comes from...*innocent fidget*), and on top of all this, I took a new job. It's a great new job, to be sure, but it has me out of the house more often on a daily basis and I've also had to travel quite a bit for it recently. Good news, though, as I will be able to work from home more often once I'm settled in and travel is only an occasional duty.

With all this going on at once, blogging was forgotten. I've been reading other people's blogs when I can, although I haven't been commenting much and have missed the fun of following comment conversations. I did feel small pangs of guilt each time I'd read someone else's, "I'm going to stop blogging for a while," post, thinking perhaps I should put up my own...but sitting down to write an "I'm going to stop writing," post seemed silly, especially after a few months had gone by - if you all hadn't figured out I was on break, my telling you wasn't going to help.

Things are evening out and I'd like to start posting again. I'm settling in to my new job, the house is not a complete disaster, we have established a sort of framework for the summer, the cats are getting along, we've pretty much
recovered from the kitchen renovation.

I'll leave you, for now, with a pictorial highlight from March. This is just about as happy as my family gets:


16 February 2009

A Little Haircut

Lars, before. The pictures are as clear as pictures of a kinetic eight-year-old can be - these are the best of about 40 attempts:


Lars, after. He stood the stillest while holding the cat:


The tongue thing is his own idea. He was trying to get Kippah to do it, too, but she wouldn't cooperate.

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