Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Wanna Be A Princess

When I was little I always wanted to be a princess. When we were at the land of the mouse, I took a picture of Cinderella's coach. We hadn't paid the over $50 extra per person to go to the fancy party, but I got a picture of the coach and the man I married has the ability to Photoshop me into the coach.

It's okay, my castle would probably be drafty anyway. Although, since it's still hot here, I wouldn't mind a little draft. We are all having a dreadful time with our allergies, and I can't wait til the first really cold night so that all of those pesky pollen things will get out of the air. It doesn't help that we've also had almost no rain for months.

The smiling child has been so sweet lately. He's decided to take the princess into his loving care and is teaching her baseball. Since baseball is his first love, it was a natural that he would want to teach someone else. The middle child is totally unwilling to let his younger brother teach him anything, and the teen is much to mature to play baseball out in the yard; so that leaves the princess.

I have a princess - I must be the queen. Yes, the queen of all the land. Right now my royal minions are setting the table for dinner. The queen has proclaimed that we will have lasagna for dinner. All hail the queen.

Just hope that the minions do the dishes.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ed and the Socks

After all of the commotion during the beginning of September (vacation and hurricane) I didn't think I'd ever get around to starting my Sockamania socks. But, since I'd sort of promised myself that I'd make a valiant effort to knit all of the socks for the year, I went ahead and started them.

Turns out these were pretty easy socks to knit. Easy in that I didn't have to keep looking at the pattern, not easy in the knitting. I had to keep counting to make sure I put the cables in the right place. But they're worth it. All orange and yellow - sort of Longhorns meet cheddar cheese.

I always have to take pictures of my socks to post to the knitting blog, and since the sun was getting lower in the sky, I went outside to try to get a nice picture. Everytime I put my feet out for a picture, Ed had to get in the frame. I had pictures of my socks and Ed's nose; my socks and Ed's tail; my socks and Ed's hiney. This was the best picture of my socks and Ed. Isn't he a cutie?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just Call Me Lois

When the show Malcolm in the Middle came on the air it felt like they had a hidden camera in our house. Every week we would sit, nodding our heads and laughing. Not that our house was quite as bad as Malcolm's house, but there were enough similarities that when Lois got pregnant at the same time as I did we became really suspicious.

Anyway, in the first episode Lois is doing laundry and decides to put her shirt in the wash. She picks up the basket full of clothes to fold and answers the door; forgetting that she doesn't have on a shirt.
So...I was putting clothes in the wash and realized I needed to wash the pants I had on. I took off my pants, put them in the wash and like a good mother, went into my bedroom to put on new clothes. You would have thought I was nekkid!

There was yelling, eye hiding and lots of groaning. Jeepers - I only took off my pants. I didn't answer the door or anything!

Reminder to self: If you want to clear a room, just take off your pants.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ode To Joy

Music is alive and well in our home. The princess has learned how to play Ode to Joy and since her brothers know a lovely version as well, it's a song we are hearing a lot these days.

Is there anything that makes the $$$ spent on music lessons more worthwhile than hearing all the children playing a song together? Next we'll be cutting up the curtains to make clothes and climbing mountains while singing. Who will play me in the movie version?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Did Freud Like Bagels?

For the past two nights my dreams have been full of bagels. Eating bagels, buying bagels, smelling bagels. I told the man I married about my bagel dreams and he asked why I hadn't just gone to the bagel store. I'm not sure of the answer. I woke up this morning really wanting a bagel - even decided that I'd take my refillable coffee mug so I could save money on the coffee I would drink while eating my bagel. I wondered if the bagel store was making their fall bagels yet - they have a cranberry walnut bagel that is heavenly.

But I didn't go to the bagel store this morning. I'm still thinking of bagels, so I've told the kids that there will be a bagel trip in the morning. The smiling child suggested that we buy three dozen bagels. This is not as crazy as it sounds. We generally buy two dozen bagels: That's five bagels on the drive home, five more for a mid morning snack, five for lunch. The end of the first day sees us with with less than a dozen bagels remaining. The boys especially love the chocolate chip bagels - they're like cookies for breakfast. I love the cranberry bagels with turkey and spinach for lunch.

If the bagel store was open in the evening, I'd be on my way. I'm going to set my alarm clock. See you at dawn in the bagel store. I'll be the one with the coffee, bagel and several quiet kids.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another Day, Another Load of Laundry

Oh, how I wish there was a laundry fairy! Or, a washing machine like they had in Lost in Space. They just put the dirty laundry in, and a few minutes later, took out clean, folded and covered in plastic wrap laundry. Being ecologically sensitive, my fantasy washer would eliminate the plastic wrap part; but clean and folded would be wonderful.

The man I married and the middle child are still at the fencing tournament. They seem to be enjoying it, although the middle child was too young to fence and was a bit disappointed (you had to be 13 to fence with the adults). The man I married thought it was for the best, though, because he didn't think adults would be comfortable fencing against a child who might just beat them!

All of this has left the smiling child feeling a bit left out. The teen loves to have time away from the middle child, so he's happy. The princess is a princess no matter the situation (she's currently outside with three dolly strollers, three dolls and the swing set). I have to do laundry, so it doesn't matter who's where as long as there's some ice tea and the possibility of knitting.

This leaves the smiling child.

He's playing video games, but they aren't quite as fun without his brother. He played tennis with the princess for a while; but she wanted to include the dolls and he had to draw the line. We're going to grill burgers for lunch, so at least there's a bright spot in the day for him. We may also go get the car inspected - and that always means that we'll sit at the DQ and have an ice cream cone. That should return him to smiling status.

Is it wrong to wish for rain? It's been so dry here, the grass is brown, everything is covered in dust. A nice rainy day would be lovely. While I'm at it, I also wish for cooler weather WITHOUT increased allergies! We only have a few weeks a year when the weather is perfect, and those are always the weeks when the allergy counts are highest.

When I was young I used to spend most of the summer outside; barefoot, running in the grass, sitting under trees with a book. Summer here is too hot to do any of those things. If you are outside barefoot you'll burn your feet. The grass is brown because we're on water rationing. We don't have any big, shady trees to sit under. So I wait patiently for those few weeks a year when the weather seems to want us outside. I live for those weeks. And when they arrive, so do the itchy eyes and runny nose.

I'm going to save up my pennies and move to Tahiti.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Where Has The Week Gone?

We got back from vacation a week ago. Already it feels like we never left. I always promise myself that the "vacation" mindset will last for months, but it usually fades by the time the vacation laundry is done. Since there was the possibility that we would have Hurricane Ike guests, I did the laundry quickly and the vacation feeling was gone within a day or so.

But, luckily the hurricane didn't destroy our potential guests home, so we didn't have house guests. Now all we're left with are pictures and lots of lollipops (one of the few things that I could buy with our snack tickets and bring home).

Thus far this week, we've adopted a bird and I've been knitting like crazy. I had two KAL's to knit, 5 name cloths for Marilyn, a pair of socks to finish, and a pair of socks that need to be finished. Here's pictures of everything except the socks that aren't ready yet.

As usual, the name cloths will become swiffer sweepers. The princess likes the floor to be shiny and I don't like to dissuade her from cleaning, so she can have as many swiffer covers as she needs.

The man I married and the middle child have been gone most of the week because our local fencing club is hosting a tournament. The middle child fences (and very well, I might add) and the man I married likes to take pictures of fencing - so they make a great pair. So the teen, the smiling child, the princess and I are on our own this weekend.

I took the smiling child and the princess out to Taco Bell for lunch because the smiling child loves Taco Bell burritos more than anything else in the world and he hadn't had one for several weeks. Such a small thing to do for such a huge smile! Then we went to see if our local bookstore had a game magazine that the teen wanted (no luck), and ended up buying the smiling child another book about baseball (he loves baseball almost as much as Taco Bell).

We finally decided that we would make burgers on the grill, so we dropped by the store to get the fixin's. Now the boys are playing video games; the princess is watching tv, the bird is singing and the dog is following me around and would be sleeping at my feet if I were to be kind enough to stay in one place for more than a few minutes.

For the dog's sake, I'm going to sit in the living room with a nice glass of ice tea and knit on my socks. I'm a giver.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mei Mei Escapes

Here's the bird story:

When you start to train your little bird friend, you stick your hand in the cage to get them used to sitting on your finger. Apparently the idea is that the bird bonds to you, thinks you're a fellow bird, and when out of the cage, will happily fly back to your finger. Now, I'm not sure how/why this would work - birds don't hang out sitting on each others fingers, but then I'm no bird expert.
Anyway, I was standing there with my hand in the birds cage, and he just flew out! There was lots of running around and screaming - I like to think it was more like controlled chaos; the smiling child took the dog to another room, the middle child turned off the ceiling fan and the poor little bird flew into the wall a few times before finally landing in a corner behind a chair.

Cool headed as always, the brave mom went over, climbed over the chair (no small feat) and picked up a scared bird. Now that I think of it, prior to the wall banging the bird didn't hang upside down in his cage (or get his head stuck in the little ladder that leads to his mirror).

On a more positive note - we found a web site with recorded parakeet/budgie (Hi C!) sounds and we play them for Mei Mei. He listens to the sounds and tweets and chirbles along with the recordings. So sweet.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Bird, A Dog, My Life

Confession: My kids like to watch Super Nanny. They call it the naughty kids show. Anyway, there's one scene when the father is totally out of control; the child says that he wants a toy back and the dad replies "I want my life back." Our entire family thinks that this might be one of the funniest lines on television.

So, whenever things get wacky at my house, everyone shouts, "I want my life back." This never fails to bring great guffaws of laughter. Unfortunately, it's true! Aren't there moments in everyone's life when they just wish that they could go back to a simpler, less complicated time? The question then becomes: Just how far do you need to go back in time to get to a simpler life; and would you really want to go back?

With the chaos that is my life (the reavers did it), one might think that I'd want to go back to a child free life. I'm not so sure that's true. While it would be nice to have a child free day or two; I can't imagine my life without my children. What about a life without anyone to worry/care about?

I had my adult, living alone time. It was nice, it was quiet, I wasn't lonely. But I outgrew that and wanted more. I do miss those wonderful days of only having one sweet little baby. The ability to expend all of my energy on my precious child. Unfortunately, you don't realize how fleeting those days are until they're over. I've always been a bid sad that none of my other children got that one on one time; that sense of newness, that my first child had. I know intellectually that each child has a special place in my life, and that each one benefited by being born into a large and loving family. But still, I wonder if they missed out by not being a first child.

We've recently acquired a baby parakeet. A friend of the man I married found himself with a slew of parakeet eggs and was more than happy to share the joy. So now we have a bird. The princess insisted on getting a green bird - the middle child and I wanted a blue/purple one, but the princess won. The princess also wanted a girl bird, but alas, I think that our bird is male (don't tell her).

A bit of quarreling left us with "mei mei" as the name. It is an homage to Firefly, and is a Chinese word with a loose meaning of dear little sister.

Now, I love parakeets. They're cute, easy to take care of, live quite a while and make sweet little sounds. Mei Mei fits right in to my dream. Unfortunately, we didn't consult with Ed.

Ed (who can, incidentally, jump quite high for a dog his size) was instantly interested in the bird. We set the bird cage on the table so that everyone could watch as it just sat there (birds take a bit of time to settle in). Ed wanted to see the bird. When he looked at the bird, he wanted to touch the bird. It should not be a surprise to say that when Ed touched the birds cage, the bird squawked. When the bird squawked, Ed got excited and jumped up on the table.

The bird cage is now sitting on the kitchen counter bar. It's at least four feet off the floor. Ed can jump at least four feet. There's nothing quite as funny as standing by the bird cage, talking to the bird and seeing: Ed, Ed, Ed, Ed as he's jumping up in the air.

For now the bird is safe. He sits in his food dish, and hangs upside down a lot; but he's safe. Tomorrow I'll tell you about his first foray into the house.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Life Lessons From Disney World

We just got back from two weeks at Disney World. Here are the things I learned from the experience.

1. It IS the humidity.
2. Lines don't get shorter just because you whine.
3. Daddy's sweat marks look like Mickey Mouse.
4. When someone says to keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle, they really mean it.
5. When a mommy and daughter walk around aimlessly, they still look mah-velous.
6. It is actually possible to provide my family with too much food.
7. Even rich people look frumpy when they're sweaty.
8. Crocs with socks are better when it's hot.
9. You can fit two weeks worth of dirty laundry into four suitcases.
10. I have wonderful kids.