Thursday, July 31, 2008

The ants go marching...

We have a major ant problem as of the last three days.  Its bad.  And since I've become the food crumb nazi, they are turning up in crazy places.  Like my dishwasher, in my cupcake sprinkles, in the closed dog food, even my closed box of cereal (that was a fun surprise early in the morning).  I discovered that my Method all purpose surface cleaner instantly kills them.  I mean instantly, there's no writhing around or anything.  Which made Josh and I wonder, why is there a need for something like Ant Killer Raid, which is perhaps the most foul, toxic smelling stuff there is.  My Method cleaner is "non-toxic, biodegradable, and naturally derived" and smells delicious and clean (I have cucumber).  So I didn't mind when Fin wanted to help me hunt ants today.  This is the conversation we had while he was spraying our recycling bin:
"We don't wike ants Mommy?"
"Well, we don't like ants in our house, they should be outside."
"Yeah.  Can ants bite you?"
"No, not these ones.  Red ants can bite you."
"But why don't we wike dem?  Are dey bad?"
"Well they're not bad, but they eat our food, and we need that food for us."
Parker walks up, "Whatcha doin' Pippin?"
"I'm killing the ants.  They hab to die." he squirts a few more and sing-songs in falsetto "die! die! die!"

Okay and before you think Fin is homicidal both kids are currently playing with the ants marveling at how fast they can run, and how they can climb up walls, letting one climb on their arms and laughing that they tickle.  

"Mom can we just keep these ones?  Can you get them food, they're just weally hungwy.  Dey are Mom.  Plllleeeaasse, can you??"

Party Girl

This picture really needs no explanation, but it does make it a little funnier when you know she went from table to table taking all of these leis off and putting every single one on.  Its not something we did to her.  She also kept trying to throw away the "message in a bottle" decorations they had on the table.  I can just hear her inner mononlogue, "seriously, who is just leaving these empty bottles laying around!  Guess  I'll have to pick up around here!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

To the Birthday Girl

You turned two yesterday!  Two!  I can't believe it.  Although its what all mother's say, I just can't believe you've gotten so big, so fast.  This last year has brought so many changes in you.  You have hair, for one!  Beautiful golden curls that you will loathe ten years from now and everyone coos over now.  95% of the time are a good girl, complying with most of my requests with an enthusiastic, "OK Mommy!"  The other 5% of the time, the times when you make up your mind about something (and usually its that you will not wear shoes/diapers/dresses that day) your stubbornness is, quite frankly, exhausting.  You spent a good hour at Gammie's house screaming your head off because we dared to say you could not go in the pool without a diaper.  No amount of ignoring, sternness, time outs, cajoling, or trickery was going to deter you.  When you finally gave in (albeit through compromise, you wore a diaper, but not the swim diaper I wanted) you were all smiles, hugging me and telling me "Thank you Mama, thank you"  Later that day you made me put a swim diaper over your regular diaper while you watched cartoons.  You thank me for everything.  When a song comes on the radio you like you say from the back seat "Thank you Mama!"  You'll take your dirty diaper off yourself, hand it to me and say "thank you Mama."  If Daddy brings you something most times you still say "thank you Mama."  Drives him nuts.  After "thank you mama" you next favorite phrase is "Okay Mama" or "Okay Daddy" even if you have no intention of actually doing what you are agreeing to.  Daddy asked you to stay in the kitchen with your drink today.  "Okay Daddy!" you said, oozing sincerity and enthusiasm as you walked right out of the kitchen.  You've started to mimic me.  When Fin wakes up from nap you coo at him "Awww, Didju wake up Pippin?  Diju have a goo nap?"  When you see dogs or cats you say in the exact right pitch "Awwww! Sooo cute!" over and over.   You love playing with Fin, but your equally happy making anything you can find two of "kiss" and swaddling and rocking your babies.  You pack enough personality for ten people into your tiny frame and charm the pants off of most everyone you meet.  Today at a birthday party when I suggested we go say hi to the birthday girl before we played, you said, "OK Mommy!" and ran over to a large group of women (whom none of us knew) walked into the middle of them and said, "Hi! Hi! Hi!"  At the party we went to last week, you pulled all the leis off the table and wore them all.  All thirty of them.  You will eat anything I give you.  Especially if it happens to be a small example of that particular food.  In example, we made brussels sprouts and one happened to be very small.  Daddy gave it to you and said, "Look Sissy its a baby one"  You immediately snatched it up and cuddled it and kept cooing "Awww its a baby one!" and ate three all together.  You jumped up and down in your seat when you saw my ceasar salad (out of which you will only eat the romaine lettuce).  Anything tiny is deemed "a baby one!" and you say it in the high pitch tone people use when talking to babies, and even make hand motions like you want to pinch it, its so cute.  This past month you want only to sleep in my bed.  This would bother me if you wanted me to be in bed too, but you don't care.  And we've given up since, even if we put you in your bed, without fail when I go up three hours later there you are, tucked in tight in the middle of our queen size bed.  We simply pick you up and put you in your bed, where you stay till about four in the morning and sleepily wander into our room, climb over me, bring the blanket over you and say "Hi mama, hi mama" before falling asleep again.  You've lost a little of your bravado on the playground.  You won't go on slides anymore.  You still scare me to death on the swings, throwing yourself as far forward as you can go in the bucket seat, flinging your arms back and flapping your hands, "I'm fwiiinnnggg!  I'm a butterfly!"  You've developed a keen imagination, usually having to do with something "scawrrey!"  In the car you'll gasp "Oh!  A wwwwiiion!"  "A lion?!" I'll say "Yeah!  Outside!" you'll whisper, terrified, eyes wide in mock horror.  You crack your brother up when you do that, and you know it.  You're smart, and you pay attention.  While I've been trying to teach you colors, you've been studying when I talk about letters with Fin.  You can point out and identify about half the alphabet, without hardly any instruction from me.  You can "count" though it usually sounds like this "one, tree, fibe, six, seben, eight, one, TWO! yeah!!"  You love puzzles and always amaze me at how good you are at them, putting pretty abstract shapes into the correct spots, and taking the time to get it in right.  You know all your shapes, even pentagon ("tent-ta-gon!"), you say triangle, "tri-ang-gil gil."   I could go on for days trying to tell you who you were at two.  It seems an impossible task.  But everyday you make me fall in love with you a little bit more.  Every time you yell out "MAMA!" when I walk back into the house and throw your arms around my neck my heart grows bigger.  And every time you hug me and say "yuv you mama yuv you" it makes my throat grow tight and eyes tear up a little bit.  You and your brother spoil me with your love, and I could not ask for anything more in my life.  I'm so glad for every moment we've had together and couldn't be prouder of my little girl.
Happy Birthday Baby.  Mama loves you.

Monday, July 14, 2008

On the Fourth of July

This year my parent's rented a cabin in Big Bear for the fourth of July weekend.  To say we were all excited to get away is an understatement.  I spent the entire week before hand on the phone with sisters and moms deciding who was bringing what, who was cooking what, and most importantly, who was bringing the beer and board games.  A couple days before we went I was telling Griffin about what we were going to do.  "Thursday, when Daddy gets home, we're all going to go up to the mountains and stay in a cabin with Gammie, and Papa, and Auntie Sarah, and Auntie Jessie and Uncle Chris!"  No response.  "It's going to be like camping, except we're staying in a house."  "We're camping at Gammie and Poppy's house?" he replied, mildly interested.  "Well, no we're staying somewhere else.  But Poppys bringing his canoe, and you can probably go fishing-"  "WE'RE GOING SISHING??!!  I HAF TO GET MY SPIDERMAN SISHING POLE!  WHEN ARE WE WEAVING?  ARE WE WEAVING AFTER THIS NAP?!  DID YOU GET MY SISHING POLE OUT OF THE SWOSET? (closet)" 
So he was a little excited after that. He even slept with his fishing pole up until we left.  We hit mild traffic on the way up, total travel time about three hours (not so bad for a holiday, I think).  The kids slept most of the way, but both were awake while we climbed up the mountain, and thats when things got interesting.  Ever since I was pregnant with the kids I now get car sick.  I get car sick when Josh drives to the grocery store.  I get car sick when he pulls into our parking spot.  So I came fully prepared and was utilizing my deep breaths, concentrating on the road and slowly drinking my water.  About half way up the mountain, when I started congratulating myself on not feeling even a little woozy is when Parker started crying.  Screaming.  Thinking it was the pressure on her ears we both frantically tried to calm her down, telling her to suck on her binky thinking that would help her ears.  And then the hot pink projectile vomit started.  Maybe slurpees weren't the best on the road treat.  So we cleaned her up and the car best we could and made it the rest of the way without incident.  The rest of the weekend was spent lounging by the lake, lounging in the cabin, and eating anything and everything under the sun.  We played lots of board games and discovered that Chris, while in general very mild mannered plays board games like a Nazi general, he has no mercy for anyone, even his adorable wife.  We also laughed hysterically as the later we played Scattergories, the more insane Mom's answers were.  "Oh an insect that starts with a 'B'?  I got earthworm, aren't we doing E?  We're not?!  Oh well, no one else got it, so can I get the point?"  Um no Mom.   On our last day there we met up with Josh's family (who also rented a cabin for the weekend) at the Big Bear Alpine Sled.  If you've never been there (and I hadn't) they have this gigantic toboggan run you "sled" down on a little, well, sled on wheels.  You have to go up the chair lift to get to the top, thats how long the run is.  Griffin just about died, he loved that thing so.  And I will say that we all loved that thing so.  The sled has a hand brake so you can go as slow or as fast as you want, and its just pure fun.  Fin went down with every single one of us at least once (Parker was denied because she wasn't two yet, but Nanny made it up to her with strawberry ice cream).  They also had a water slide, and when we were on the chair lift Fin said he wanted to go on it.  I thought, there's absolutely no way you would ever go down that.  So I told him, oh well, you have to have a bathing suit.  But he kept persisting, and when I said, well, actually your suit is in the car, he flipped.  He kept telling everyone, "Oh!  I fought (thought) I didn't have a swimming suit, but I did!  Yeah."  with his little hands raised in a mock, "aren't I just so silly!" expression.  And he did it!  Josh had to throw him down it (and here's the major distinction between moms and dads, the second he balked I would have been all, okay, we don't have to do it! and dads just go, oh you'll be fine and toss em down).  And when he hit the bottom he looked like a little doggy trying desperately to keep his head above the water.  He shot out so fast, none of knew he was coming.  But we were all so ecstatic that he did it, we were clapping and shouting like he'd won a medal.  Even Parker got into it, exclaiming over and over "Yeah Pippin!! You did it! You did it Pippin!"  It was all very sweet.  We all can't wait till next year.  

Oh, and since I promised a mention, thanks for all the pictures Jessie, Sarah and Kim!  You all got some really great ones!

Laundry Day

So we do a lot of laundry.  A lot.  With four people usually going through two outfits a day on average (what with play clothes, work clothes, cleaning clothes)  it all adds up.  I kept reading little blurbs that said to save energy, save the world, save the dolphins (okay I made that up) you should hang your laundry every once in a while and enjoy some free energy from the sun.  Made sense to me, and I was mulling over the idea and even mentioned it to the whole family while we were in Big Bear and decided, yeah, when I get back, I'll buy a little rack and dry the clothes at least once a week on there.  And then we got back from Big Bear.  With at least three loads of laundry.  Dirty dirty laundry.  It involved a lot of dirt, some sand and even some car sickness.  So I did a load of laundry.  Popped it in the dryer.  Went to take it out of the dryer.  And found my laundry as cold and damp as when I had thrown it in there.  No heat.  My hallway piled thigh high with laundry and my dryer has no heat.  Well thats annoying, but its happened before and my handy Pops fixed it in fifteen minutes.  So we'll wait for Papa.  We still had clean clothes.  So Papa made it over to the house on Saturday and we replaced the part we replaced before, heat.  Papa declared it out of his realm of knowledge and time to head to the Home Depot for a new dryer.   But the problem with our dryer being broke is that we are too.  So a drying rack and some clothes pins it is till next payday or two.   Today was my first attempt at life without a dryer.  Now I know some of you reading this are thinking you had to do this all the time, you had no other option.  But for spoiled lil' me, hanging laundry is one of those quaint "roughing it" things you do when you're camping.  Like showering under a bag of water and peeing under a pine tree.  Not completely foreign to me, but definitely a change of pace.  Here's what I learned about au natural laundry today:  Unless I go back to Target for two more racks or figure out a way to hook up a line to my vinyl fencing, I need to seriously decrease the amount of clothing in each load.  I loaded up that little rack ("27' of hanging space!" the box proclaims) for all its worth and still was not able to hang half of my load of the kid's laundry (I shudder to think how long a load of towels is going to take me).  Also decided socks are the most annoying things in the world.  In the world.  Especially tiny ones balled up into damp little knots of cotton.  Impossible to detangle and ridiculously time consuming to hang.  Also, never try to hang laundry while both kids are awake and have nothing better to do than pester you with a million requests and try their hardest to step in dog poop, try to get bitten by a black widow or trip you as you reach for more laundry.  I'm seriously contemplating asking my across the way neighbor if I can hook up a line between my house and his on a pulley, so I can go Italian alleyway style.  That seems so much more romantic.  Wonder how the association would feel about that...