Friday, April 28, 2017

Spring has sprung, all right

This is what it looks like around here these days. Everything is lush, green, and bursting forth. I love spring best because of the color and the promise of renewal. 

Cheeky Beaky has been enjoying the phlox, though I had to reset him this morning after our big winds had blown him over into the flowers beak first. Carrie said he looked like he would be sneezing next, so I thought about setting him in the chair like he'd sneezed them both backwards. In the end I just righted him again. We'll see how long it lasts.

The yard is covered with dandelions to my great delight and Dada's immense consternation. My only regret is that the winds blew so many of their seeds away before I got to kick them...

Easter snippets 2017

Easter was hot, sunny, and windy. You'll be able to tell by all the squinty eyes in the pictures and the way our clothes are flapping around. Pap came to visit, helped with the hidden Easter basket clues, and contributed to general shenanigans. 

Do you see how charmed Damon is by the butterfly sitting on his shirt in the picture above? It was the second time it had landed on him. 

"I solemnly swear I am up to no good..." All they need are wands.

Pretty sure they're related.

Two-thirds of my menfolk. 

April sunrise

We've had some gorgeous and hot days already (you will not hear me complain about them) and the sky has been so pretty in the mornings. I love waking up to light instead of the alarm...

I completely understand why people used to worship the sun when it comes up like that. Ta da! Here I am! The day can begin. Go about your business.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Auction preview

Dada found a school they're prepping for demolition so everything must go, right? The kids and I joined him rather grudgingly to check out all the Stuff, but it quickly turned into a fascinating experience.

Anyone know when the STOMP auditions are? Or Blue Man Group, perhaps? We've got a live one...

"Is it bigger than a breadbox?"

Look, aliens, AKA overhead projectors! These reminded me of those yep yep yep aliens from Sesame Street.

Don't tell Lisa that we found of the desks she loves so...

Adorable smiling snowmen curtains! 

I'm having flashbacks of the old ESCO desk. RIP old friend. Dada said it sold for $80.

Just lookit this kid. He's so small he can swing his legs and those big feet without touching the floor, but I know if I blink he'll be draping himself all over that desk and the one beside him just like Jeremy from the Zits comic. 

There were entire walls of lockers to be sold. We found the ones with the kids birth years all in a row together but didn't NEED an entire wall of lockers so they did not sell to us. Overall it was a neat experience and I'm glad Dada didn't have to go by himself after two weeks in North Carolina without us. The kids even checked out the attic and claimed to see a rat skeleton, so of course the trip ranked pretty high with them!

Gotta love THAT phone call...

By now the entire literate world knows our big kids are testing this spring for their black belts in karate. This makes them "candidates" and we're really excited for them. 

So last Monday I'm doing the usual tidying up post-weekend and am sprawled over the dog as I brush out her tumbleweeds when my out-of-reach cell phone rings. I almost ignored it and got in the shower anyway, because let's face it, I just am not going to live a life tethered to my phone. It's not who I am. I don't call anyone if I can possibly help it. 

Then my gut grumbles, "aw, it's probably the school." It meant the elementary school because that's where Things Two and Three spend their days, and if anyone was having a meltdown or some bordering-on-the-unbelievable accident, my money was on either of them. Or both.


Maybe that's what they mean by, "don't let your feelings become the facts." Ha.

The voicemail runs something like this: hi, uh, Mom? Y'know how you said since I'm a candidate it'd be a bad time to get hurt? Sorry. Yeah, I sprained my ankle. Can you come get me?"

*insert colorful metaphors here, cuz that's what I did*

I get her and the story goes like this. She was headed down the stairs, got hooded from behind (though she swears this was unrelated), WAS HOLDING THE RAILING, DAD, clipped the stair overhang wrong so twisted her ankle to the left, then rammed into the next stair down which twisted the ankle to the right, then went down some stairs on her nonexistent bum, all while still holding on to the railing. A friend hauled her up and had to pry her hand off the railing because she was clenching it so hard. 

So my brain pipes up, "remember all those urgent care commercials on the radio that say they can treat stuff for less and for faster? Remember sitting in the ER when Damon stuffed the bead up his nose?"

Right. We head to urgent care, sign in, are seen, finally are asked what the problem is and then are informed that their Xray machine is down. They give us a scrip to head to the outpatient Xray wing at the hospital where she is in and out in probably a half hour including wait times.

We call the urgent care for the results (that's what the ER folks told us to do) and get the news: normal, no fractures.

So air cast goes on and we do the recommended RICE- rest, ice, compress, elevate. She stayed home the rest of the day and skipped Tuesday because she felt it was too stiff to try walking on. Since the kid rarely misses school and their big state tests were going to be Wednesday and Thursday, I figured we could let it slide since they're probably not working them really hard pre-tests. Of course, that means that my Monday was totally derailed between school/urgent care/ER and I had a patient on Tuesday in between all my errands. 

She skipped all her karate classes for the week (and that is why I make you go more often than you need so, so that you have the backup classes under your belt during a catastrophe, charming daughter) and then she and her brother both aced their second of three (self defense) black belt tests.

Well done, you two. Her partner was super sweet and considerate of her injury as she went to the test wearing the air cast for extra support. I kept telling her that someday she'll have to say, "sorry, Mr. Attacker, can you take it a little easier on me cuz I was in a cast for my black belt test and Savannah was not enough of a bully..." I think those two grinned at each other the whole way through the test. I should probably mention Savannah is already a black belt and is testing for her next degree and Carrie is a twig who could easily be snapped over Savannah's knee...

So anyway, all is mended and we are that much closer to having black belts in the house. I suppose the lesson is to grow a bum because there's no guarantee that the railing will come to your rescue.

Damon's Atomic Fireball Face

This kid wanted to try one of my Atomic Fireballs, which is just about the only candy I like that the rest of them don't help me out of. Thankfully, he didn't like them either and I have something to nosh on in peace!

Too bad they don't bestow fire breathing abilities. The bags should really warn about that. Such a downer.

Birds and Bees

Okay, true, it's really a ladybug, but that's because the visiting bee didn't stick around long enough to me to snap it's picture.

The bluebird was puzzling because I've only seen one here before. He was perched in a spot with other trees between where I could see him without a screen and I had an internal argument over if he was actually blue or if he was a robin- the glare on the glass with the screen behind it gave me just enough pause. I snapped a shot then I moved to a different window and he spooked. I had to check the photo to be sure, but there he is! And you guys, then he came back! He's zooming around from the trees down to the grass and then back up again. 

Liam still loves everything yellow, except bananas, and especially goldfinches. This was was sweet enough to pose. 

And our crazy robins are back, nesting above the floodlight on the deck out back which means they spook every time we put the dog out and there is a feathered bombshell swooping past your head and bird poop all over the deck. "Some horrid bird..." I swear between the robins and the phoebes out back there is not a minute of peace from before dawn until bedtime. You know other birds are grumbling, "tell that Phoebe, whoever she is, to get home already so they stop calling her!

Not sure who this huge guy is, but he's having a wild ride in our 20-30 mph winds today. He keeps streaking past, just steering, making huge circles as he's buffeted. I hope he doesn't take out the guy measuring off his roof of the big red shed we can see from our back yard...

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Mystery Adventure

Dada surprised us last night by being home in time for dinner instead of the after-bedtime ETA we'd been expecting, so we packed him up and took him along on a Mystery Adventure. 

We headed to the next school district over for a night of children's theater one acts. Their show runs again tonight and tomorrow afternoon as well. I had an inkling our kids would know some of the theater kids, and sure enough, as soon as we got there Liam pulled a Nana and ended up not even sitting with us. He joined a posse of his friends, some of whom are in the show and some who have siblings with parts. I thought it was so neat to take our kids to something other than karate or other sports to see real kids they know doing something that also takes practice and teamwork and creativity. Apparently this theater would love to have some fresh blood and are flexible with commitments throughout the year. I think we'll be looking into it, especially over the summer when we're not bogged down with homework and enjoy looser (and later) bedtimes.

Then, of course, we had to pull a PaPa and "go be bad". The ice cream shop a few blocks from us was already closed (what's THAT all about, people!? Sheesh. Some people's Priorities.) so we headed across town to the one that has the Cookie Monster ice cream mentioned in a previous post. I had a serving of The Bomb, and if I read the upside down bullet points right it mentioned butterscotch, chocolate chips, toffee bits, something peanut buttery in vanilla bean ice cream. Aptly named! "It comes in pints?! I'm getting one!" (That would be Pippin in "The Fellowship of the Ring" for those of you keeping track.)

By the time we were home, Damon was close to tears with tiredness and alas, they all had folded laundry on their beds waiting to be put away. We made it through the bedtime routine minus any reading of The Hobbit (for the boys) or The Scorpio Races (for Carrie) and everyone seemed to sleep soundly. It was a great date! I love Mystery Adventures!

I have no explanation #517

Apologies to Zita, who already heard/saw this story.

Dada is home from a week in North Carolina and, bless him, took all the kids to karate so I could have some peace and tackle things which are better tackled without the Minions of Underfoot. (That one's mine.) 

I started in the boys' Kingdom of Underbed (that one's Stephen King's) because God only knows how long it would take and how much would need to be under there before the boys would think to attempt it. Thankfully, there were no critters alive or dead, just fairly damning Hershey Kisses wrappers strewn from Hither to Yon (they are not supposed to eat anywhere except the dining room. You can draw your own conclusions about how well that policy is working), art materials, styrofoam peanuts, origami Star Wars characters in various stages of crumplage (that's mine, too), plastic Army soldiers... 


For real. Sorry. Had to chase away the one at the bird feeder. Where was I?

Oh... used up glow sticks, tissues, chap sticks, pencil erasers, naked G.I. Joes (see, it isn't just a Barbie thing, interestingly enough), rubber frogs, rubber Duckies, a plastic snake, bristle blocks and plastic gears, coins of all denominations, slipper socks, rubber band bracelets and rings, gum wrappers, broken rubber bands, a peanut butter jar containing molding clay, and other oddments.

By no means did I get everything, but I pitched a bunch, recycled more, sorted some, and then moved on.

Up next was Damon's closet as I'd noticed piles inside threatening to creep out. As I was already sitting, I started from the floor and worked up. I repacked the shorts away since it's not quite time for them on a regular basis yet (give it a week, right?) and noticed that there were long sleeve shirts shoved into his underwear drawer. My brain goes ??? and my eyes dart up: 

That's exactly what I did. That snort of laughter and the bewildered, "what the heck is he thinking!?" before the realization of "waitaminute, it's April Fool's Day, so he may very well have been set up." They're all at karate for another two blessed hours so my curiosity will just have to wait!

Carrie someone switched all the cereal bags from their boxes into different boxes, which made things interesting on a we-gotta-get-out-the-door morning. Someone had also loosened the top of Damon's Mama-filled water bottle, which meant that when I grabbed it to set it by his sparring bag the lid with straw attached came but nothing else did, spraying huge water drops across the table and onto a very surprised Liam. However, judging from his lack of immediate outrage which I would have suspected, he may have observed the Someone who'd tampered with it. Thankfully the bottom stayed put or I might have ended up on the news. I can only imagine what lies ahead...