Monday, March 30, 2009

Katie's Birthday Party

This weekend was a blast and a blur; we had a great time visiting with our friends and then we hosted about 12 neighborhood kids for a birthday party. One good thing about our neighbors is that our kids are all very close friends. One bad thing is that they are close enough friends to fight like brothers and sisters. Especially at birthday parties when not everyone gets the same number of Easter eggs and I promise them a prize egg that was never found and they question my egg hiding integrity as if I had made the prize egg up. Oh, it's still out there, people. I don't know where, but it's still out there. And it has money in it.

And another thing: when I hide Easter eggs, I don't mess around. You have to work to find those eggs. They don't come for free.

Anyway, we all bounced back. The cake pops were a huge hit. The birthday girl had a great time. All the tears were forgotten as soon as the candy started flowing.
We have several 12 year old girls in our neighborhood who work the birthday party circuit. For five bucks an hour, you can hire them to work your party, doing hair, painting nails, running games, or doing crafts. These are my future babysitters in training. For this party, we just offered hairdo services. I think the french braid pigtails are lovely. Of course, Katie only allowed plain pigtails, no ribbons. It didn't occur to me until after the party that I should have hired the girl to come clean up afterward. I will definitely have to do that next time.
Here are what my cupcake pops turned out like. They were really delicious, and the kids loved them. If I make them again, I will just stick with one color ball with sprinkles on a lollipop stick instead of trying to be so fancy. These took way too long to make.
Here are Katie and Molly, BFF's, opening presents together. The only two pictures that I have of Katie without Molly at this party are the ones where I cropped Molly out (the first two at the top). Those girls are joined at the hip.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Look at this sleeping baby...

Oh dear, someone's noisy camera woke him up. Sorry.

Friday, March 27, 2009


My baby girl is turning five on Monday. Five. I've been telling her all week that I love Four so much that I want her to stay Four. Four is so sweet and affectionate and adorable. Each time I say it, Katie giggles and says, "No, I want to have a birfday and be five. I want to grow up! I'll still love you when I'm five!" And I tell her no, we'll have a birthday party, but it will be her Fourth birthday.

She doesn't care much for that suggestion.

Meanwhile, my usual temporary birthday insanity has taken over, and I've attempted to make these for the party. I don't know what possessed me to think this was a good idea, but it's done. I have company coming in the morning, the house is a mess, and the entire kitchen is candy-coated, but the cupcake pops are done. I don't know why I lose my mind every time one of my kids has a birthday. I am not a crafter or a baker. I have no tolerance for things that require attention to detail. But three times a year, I see something cute on the internet and say to myself, "YES. That is exactly what I need to spend my entire day doing, even though it is far beyond my skill level and will frustrate me beyond belief. How fun!"

So for now, I am going to bed and leaving the kitchen candy-coated until morning. Some close friends from Nashville are coming to stay here for the weekend with their precious baby, so we'll be doing lots of visiting and spades playing and birthday partying and enjoying the last few days of Age Four in our home. It looks like it's going to be a good weekend.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mo Photos

These are the last Big Bend photos that I will post. I hope you are able to live with that. The first one was taken at a place called Burro Mesa, at the bottom of a dry waterfall that has been carved into the mountain, and if you look at Greg's face, you can tell that this is the exact moment that I was asking him if he knew how long it would take for an ambulance to reach us.
The answer: a very long time. Of course the girls got in on the action next. They love to climb the rock wall at REI (even Katie can ring the bell), and they were excited to climb a real-life rock wall. Tommy, like me, kept his feet planted firmly on the ground.
Next we went to a town called Terlingua, to visit their "Ghost Town". The kids were really excited about this until they found out that it was really just a bunch of crumbling adobe buildings, a cemetary, and some touristy shops. We didn't see any actual ghosts.

This is a book that Santa brought for Tommy this year: He LOVES it. Yes, it is a book about poop. He brought it on each hiking trail, and got disproportionately excited each time he came across some 'scat'. Especially coyote scat. He loves coyotes. All week, he kept saying he just wanted to see one. There was a group of them that roamed our campground at night, and we could hear them howling to each other. On the last night, one of them howled right outside our tent, and I really wanted to open the window and look at it, but it was really cold, and my sleeping bag was really warm.

And now a final sunset from Big Bend. I don't know when we'll go back. I don't know if I'll get my husband to agree to camping again any time soon. It was a lovely vacation, though.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

El Trip Reporto Part Dos

Hola. Bienvenido to el blog. Here are more vacation pictures for you.

Here are a bunch of goofballs getting ready to hike. Please look at the map and note that the yellow portion is most decidedly Mexico, and the green is Texas.
In this photo, Mexico is to the left of the water, and Texas is to the right. Our instructions were to stay firmly on the right, by the way, a direct order from the Feds...or at least that's what the bulletin board said.
Here we are sauntering along in the U.S., minding our law-abiding business...


And here I am putting my toe in the water at my husband's insistence....still legal.....and such a natural pose....

But wait....who's that cowboy? He's crossing back and forth from Mexico...illegally!!! To sell souvenirs!!!and here's another one....singing Mexican ballads into the canyon for tips. Our family is very law-abiding, and would never support such illegal activity at our nation's border....

oh wait, apparently we do. Smile, honey! This one's for the Feds!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Break, Whooooo!

Greg and I have been planning a Spring Break trip to the beach for several months now. We made reservations for a campsite on a beach in South Texas, bought flip-flops and sand buckets, and packed all of our beach accoutrements in anticipation of our departure. Unfortunately, 24 hours before we were to leave, the Weather Channel predicted 70% chance of rain and 60 degree weather, so we decided to chuck the beach trip and go to Big Bend National Park instead.
It goes without saying that I am thoroughly in love and obsessed with Big Bend. I LOVE it. My sister Wendy and I went there a year ago, and I have been dying to get back. We simply didn't want to do it for Spring Break because the place is usually filled to capacity with college students during the month of March. Sure enough, there were no reservations to be had, but we drove out there anyway in hopes of finding a place.

Fortunately for us, the weather had been horrid all week, and had run most of the college students off, so we had our choice of campsites in the park. We chose one right by the Rio Grande, which of course is the border between the U.S. and Mexico. (The Rio Not So Grande, as Greg calls it)

Unfortunately for us, the weather continued to be horrid for the first night that we were there, and we nearly froze our booties off. I don't know how strong the winds were that first night, but it was exactly like sleeping under a kite that has been nailed to the ground. Just like it.

After that first night, the weather turned sunny and warm, and we were able to enjoy lots of hiking and sightseeing.
Here we are hiking the Lost Mine Trail. The kids were very excited about potentially finding the Lost Mine. Like it was an episode of Dora or something.
This is the view from an overlook one mile into the trail, which is where we turned around. Tommy was insistent that he could hike the full five miles, but we wouldn't take his word for it.

This is the Window, which is in an area called the Basin where Wendy and I camped on the last trip. Wendy and I actually hiked to the edge of the V, which ends at the top of a waterfall, which is the location of my header photo up there.
This is Casa Grande Peak, one of my favorites in the park.
After we were finished hiking, we got into the car for the 30 mile scenic drive through the park back to our campsite. We had a beautiful view of these mountains, called the Sierra Madres.
The kids were really excited that we got to go through this tunnel every time we came back to the campground.
This is our very sturdy tent and campsite, with dinner cooking. The car behind us belongs to some college students. I'm not trendy enough to drive an X-terra. Speaking of college student trends, I saw a lot of male college students wearing skinny jeans. What is up with that? I wanted to just take them aside and shake my head and say, "No, honey, just no. Girls do not like toothpick legs on you. Trust me. The fauxhawk is okay, but not the skinny jeans." But I didn't. They'll have to learn on their own, I guess.

Another side story about the campsite: the metal box on the right is a Bear Box, meant for storing food and cooking items that need to be kept away from wildlife. When we pulled up to the campsite, Katie asked what it was, and I replied, "It's a bear box." With perfect dry comedic timing, Grace responded, "That's where you keep your bears." The reason it made me laugh so hard is because it sounded exactly like something my dad would say, and it tickles me to death that she has inherited his sense of humor.

Well this has gotten quite long. I have harrowing tales of coyotes and encounters with illegal aliens crossing the border, but I will wait and share them with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I've been gone this week...

to a place where we were slightly lower on the food chain
and where the kids got into a little bit of legal trouble.....
but for now I have a wet tent to air out and several loads of grungy laundry to wash. More photos to come.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dance Fever

Tommy's kindergarten class performed for the parents at open house the other night. They did a few songs and dances in Spanish, then they did a few early 90's rap tunes. And I am here to tell you there is nothing funnier than 100 kindergarteners boogeying to some early 90's rap. Nothing.We sat on the wrong side of the gym, which meant that most of the time, all we could see was the kid's backside.
Although occasionally we got to see him sporting his "white boy dance face".
There was one moment that I was exceedingly grateful that we got a rear-end view of the kid, because I would have hated to miss this booty shake right here:
wait for it.....
There it is. That's worth the price of admission right there.

(Kris Kross will make you....JUMP! JUMP!)

This is during the "freestyle" section of the dance. I think he borrowed this move from Charlie Brown.
Word to your mutha.

Friday, March 6, 2009

An Interview With My Children

A little something stolen today: I asked these questions to my three children, Grace, Tommy, and Katie.

1. What is something mom always says to you?
K: I don't know.
T: my name.
G: Go to bed.

2. What makes mom happy?
K: When I clean up my room wiffout being told.
T: When I behave.
G: When Barack Obama was elected president.

3. What makes mom sad?
K: When I don't clean up my room.
T: When I get in trouble.
G: I don't know.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
K: tickle me.
T: by tickling me.
G: When you accidentally poured orange juice in your Dr. Pepper. (that was a rough morning.)

5. What was your mom like as a child?
K: being ticklish.
T: being silly and behaving and misbehaving.
G: I wasn't alive, I don't know.

6. How old is your mom?
T: 33.
G: 33.

7. How tall is your mom?
K: tall, like 33 feet.
T: 5 1/2 feet.
G: Five foot and a half I think. (5'7'', they were very close.)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
K: doing chores.
T: Relax
G: To date Greg. (one of these answers is very very wrong.)

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
K: being sad that you miss me.
T: I don't know.
G: Get on the computer and do all this blogging.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
K: I don't know.
T:I can't answer that one.
G: Reading.

11. What is your mom really good at?
K: typing like this (wiggles fingers quickly.)
T: Writing.
G: Typing. Because you're just looking at me and typing so fast. (I am very fast. I used to be a transcriptionist.)

12. What is your mom not very good at?
K: I don't know. You tell me.
T: Keeping us from getting in trouble.
G: I don't know.

13. What does your mom do for a job?
K: Take care of us.
T: take care of teenagers.
G: You babysit teenagers.

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
K: Cilantro.
T: i don't know.
G: Ice cream and junk food and brownies and desserts.

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
K: playing uno.
T: I don' t know.
G: I'm proud of you for being brave enough to ask strangers if they want Girl Scout Cookies with me.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
K: a chef
T: Popeye
G: Bugs Bunny

17. What do you and your mom do together?
K: play together, like pretend stuff.
T: play
G: we talk.

18. How are you and your mom the same?
K: Can I have junk food?
T: We both have lungs.
G: we're both girls.

19. How are you and your mom different?
K: because all of the people is different.
T: I'm a boy, you're a girl.
G: You are a grown-up.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
K: I don't KNOW. YOU TELL ME. (stomps foot.)
T:Because you're my mommy.
G: Because you always say that you love me.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
K: I want candy.
T: I don't know. Can I go now?
G: He's your husband.

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
K: The zoo.
T: I don't want to do this! I'm leaving!
G: Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Day that Just Sucked

Well, we had to have our dog Molly put to sleep today. I knew it was coming for quite a while, but I don't think I was actually prepared when the time came. It was awful. Really awful. Molly has been a part of our family for twelve years, ever since the day Greg and I brought her from her little cage at the pound into our tiny first apartment, and it feels weird to be in a house without her.

The kids are doing okay with it, but I don't really think they understand just yet. Katie thought we were joking and started looking around the house, calling Molly's name. Fun times.

Meanwhile, I am a total wreck. I'm the one who has been saying for months that if the dog messed up my carpet one more time she was GONE, and yet here I am completely wrecked now that it has happened. I'm complicated like that.

So after our horrid trip to the vet this morning, I had to make a trip to Kroger so I could make dinner for a friend from church who is ill. I just wandered around the store sniffling and sobbing, gathering ingredients for tortilla soup and enough dark chocolate to see me through the next few days. As I walked toward the checkout line, I noticed a display of travel-sized Nivea lotion. I've been meaning to get some lotion for my purse because my hands have been all cracky lately, and to top it all off, the name of the scent was "a touch of happiness". The Nivea marketing people must have known this would appeal to my demographic....the bereaved dog owner who really has to go grocery shopping even though she is still crying demographic, I guess. So I bought the lotion.

Later today, after I dropped off the soup (and she wasn't home, and I'd never been to her house before, and she never called to say she got the soup, so I may have just left soup and salad and cookies and chips and salsa on the porch of a total stranger, but I digress), I felt the need for 'a touch of happiness' as well as hand lotion. So as I was driving down the road, I grabbed the lotion and rubbed it all over my hands.

It was at that time that I realized I had accidentally purchased body wash.

But at least it smelled really nice.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In Which I Spoil A Surprise

This year for Christmas, my mom asked for photos of the family to frame for the new house in Ohio. Well, it's the first of March, and I have just now finally gotten it done, so I thought I would spoil the surprise for her by posting them here.

Here's Gracie, age 8. She's been teething.I'm not wild about the photo because her chin is blurry and she was just generally misbehaving and aggravating me when this was taken, but it'll do for now.

This is Tommy, age 6 AND-A-HALF. Don't dare forget the and-a-half. To me his face seems so much more grown up now than it did even six months ago.
And lastly, Katie, age almost 5, who now wishes to be called Katie Joye, except for the days when she is adamantly against it.

The kiddos

The kiddos

Kidney Peril Updates
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from chrissyinthecarpoollane. Make your own badge here.

Contact Info

chrissyinthecarpoollane at g mail dot com.