Friday, January 30, 2009
a. I really can't keep calling this "baby weight" when the baby is close to a decade old.
b. Before I know it, I'm going to have TWO hormonal, moody girls.
c. Nine? Really? Wasn't she just four?
d. I think this means that I, too, am getting older. I don't believe I want to think about that right now.
Her daddy and I woke her up by singing to her, let her open a few of her presents at breakfast, and then whisked her off to school with a tray of pink icing-flowered cupcakes to share with her class. I just finished strewing pink crepe paper around the house, which looks a little less like the festive vision I had in my mind when I started and a little more like there was an industrial accident involving Pepto Bismol.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Bug: OK, first all of the teenagers are going to get high. Then, they'll help the children to get high.
Me (momentarily speechless...mustering a casual tone): Um, what do you mean they're going to get high?
Bug (looking at me blankly): There's a flood.
Sure enough, they had moved all of the Bratz dolls to the top floor of the dollhouse.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
At this point in the winter, snow is still a novelty. I love the anticipation as we watch the snow band creep closer to us on the radar, spotting those first tiny flakes, and then watching from the window as it silently covers the landscape like a smooth fondant. The girls can't wait to ditch their school backpacks and pull on snowpants. They refuse an after-school snack, grab sleds, and head out to the gentle slopes in our backyard.
Within six weeks, we'll all be moaning and complaining when snow is in the forecast, and I'll be feverishly checking the soil for any sign of daffodils. This is why Maine is the ideal state for us. By the time we're heartily sick of one season, the next one's rolling around. It's like ADD, but with climate.
Both girls chose a sledding party for their birthday parties this year. We scheduled them for back-to-back weekends (Bug's on the 31st, Bear's on the 7th) in a "let's get 'er done" kind of spirit. We'll truck the party guests to the big hill in town and enjoy (read: wear them out with) an afternoon of sledding and hot chocolate before coming home for dinner and a sleepover. Pray for me. Then send earplugs.
And in the ongoing pleasures of life with a hormonal preteen...
Scene: last night, while watching TV.
Bear (in an irritated voice, while curled up under an afgan, beautifully knitted by her great-grandmother): I don't know how you're supposed to get warm with this. This stupid blanket is full of holes.
Me: Bear, it's an AFGAN.
Bear: It's a bad idea is what it is.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sometimes it takes the camera to show me what it right in front of me, like that my Bear is growing up. The subtle day-to-day transformation eludes me, but a single frame from an early fall afternoon revealed to me the young woman my daughter is becoming.
I know, I know. More with the flowers. But I do have a point here. Watch:Same flower, next day. And boy does that suck. Thus we slide into the long mourning period until next year's garden.Halloween Night. Cleopatra would like to know if we could please go to just a few more houses?
Election Night. Both Daddy Shortbread and Mittens were avidly watching the election returns on CNN.com. We never realized she was so invested in this election.December:
Well into the thirteenth hour of what was supposed to be an eight hour travel day, Bear patiently watches a movie on my laptop without asking once how much longer until we get to our hotel.Bug gets distracted by a new book midway into the Christmas Eve gift-opening. Totally immersed, with unwrapped gifts at her feet, she read quietly by the Christmas tree while the rest of us opened presents.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Moving on... this evening as we're getting ready to eat dinner, Bear enthusiastically tells us that one of her teachers said she was going to go home and try throwing a glassful of water (minus the glass) into the air to see if the water froze before hitting the ground. Sounds intriguing, right? I thought so.
I fill a glass with cold water, say, "Follow me, kids!" and boldly step outside into the Arctic air wearing just pajamas and slippers. I hustle out to the sidewalk, with eager children and curious cats peering out the door after me.
"You'll have to throw it pretty high," hollers Daddy Shortbread from the warmth of the living room.
Putting some muscle behind it, I fling the contents of the cup into the air. The girls watch with interest as the water (not ice) droplets rain down, drenching my hair and shoulders.
I stand in my pajamas on the icy sidewalk, outside in the -22 degree night with wet hair and holding an empty cup, and think this, THIS is motherhood. Sucker.
Anyone who knows Daddy Shortbread knows that he's always harbored the dream of being a rock drummer. It comes up in conversation, oh, about 200 times a year. "Someday... I'd really like to get a drum set," he muses with a dreamy look in his eye. My usual response to this is silence. Or I ask him if he's paid the water bill yet. Sometimes I hum in a distracted manner, like I'm not really listening.. If he's really persistent, I shut him down with, "Yeah, you'll have to save that for your second wife, buster."
I'm just going to file this little nugget of photographic goodness away for a rainy day. I predict it will come in mighty handy some day, like when I need Daddy Shortbread to dig me a new flowerbed or haul topsoil around on a hot summer day. Or if I someday need to prove his mental instability. Hey, you never know.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Today is January 15th. We live in Maine. It is Winter. It is -9 degrees. And gusty. I don't think it would be exaggerating at all to call those conditions COLD, do you?
And yet ... while she conceded that it was winter coat weather, I had to fight with her to get her to accept that things like gloves, a hat, and SOCKS, for Chrissake, were necessary today. You know, so Child Services doesn't come take her away.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
This is typical of the photos I find when I upload from the old camera's memory card. The kids are allowed to use it, and I have no idea what they've been shooting until I open the photo files on my computer. This particular day there were about twelve shots of different Barbie "families." (Be sure to note the poor kid with apparent hydroencephalitis, second row left). I peg Bug as the most likely photographer. A warm June afternoon, a shady porch, and a book.A little seabird I found on Pemaquid Beach. I like this because it almost looks like a black and white photo. But not quite. And for some reason this pleases meBug flashes me an "I love you" in sign language as she swims by.Probably the weirdest-looking flower in my garden - Monarda, or more commonly bee balm.
Some day I predict Bug will be furious with me for posting this picture. For now, though, enjoy the vision that is The Pig Girl of Central Maine. The takeaway lesson here is that swim masks may be convenient, but they're sure as hell not going to win you any beauty contests.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
There were very happy children, who last month had moaned that they were the very LAST children on earth to get a Nintendo DS, who finally received a Nintendo DS. They were smitten, to say the least. Slack-jawed with absorption might be more accurate.
As with any gathering of my side of the family, there were cats. This is Ollie, the little orange man. Not pictured are Brini and Gracie, who were nonetheless the recipients of many pets and scritches on their fuzzy little heads. Whether they wanted them or not.
There were expertly-prepared meals. And yummy restaurant meals. And boxes of truffles. And chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies. And apple dumplings. And French toast casserole. And they were goooooood.
I need a Tums just thinking about it.
There was the holy-crap-I've-been-forgetting-to-take-pictures-quick-everyone-stand-in-front-of-the-hotel-continental-breakfast! photo. Doesn't everyone have one of these in the family album? Look, I even got in the packages of Froot Loops, so future generations can fully appreciate my insanity.
It all made up for the crapola winter driving conditions we weathered (get it?) to make it out there.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Me: I resolve to exercise more and to finish my book in 2009.
Daddy Shortbread: I resolve to exercise more and organize our family's financial files.
Bug: I resolve to be nicer to my sister.
Bear: I resolve to keep my room neater.
Later today I plan to upload all of the photo files from the trip, so eventually there will be some holiday photos posted, just as soon as I scrutinize them for any incriminating evidence of my holiday eating free-for-all.
Right now we're digging out from trip laundry, restocking the fridge, and chauffering the social butterflies around. Can you believe they both had invitations from friends after being home less than 24 hours?? Sheesh.
What are your New Year's Resolutions? We'd like to hear 'em.