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Thursday, May 29, 2008

You Make-a Me Raff

Someone directed John to this site today that you should totally go check out and peruse. If you've ever traveled overseas (or just enjoyed "A Christmas Story") you will definitely get a raff out of it.

Oh, I crack myself up. And it's a good thing, because otherwise I would just curl into a ball onto the couch and nurse my congestive woes. Because is anyone else suffering from allergies like I am? No? Oh. Maybe that's because you're not in OHIO where the season is apparently The Worst It's Ever Been." Naturally.

On a semi-random-semi-related topic (re: link above) I was reminded of this sign that my sister and I came across in Venice (over a year ago? is that possible?) while getting lost finding our way around there.

This totally sums up getting around in Italy.

They like to do this in traffic circles, too, but at different intervals. That's really fun.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I'm going to go curl up in a ball on the couch and nurse my misery go watch the season finale of Lost and attempt to construct a table and chairs set I got for the wee ones. Wish-a me ruck.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

little diva

Olivia had her dance photo taken the other day. This was her first experience with makeup.
She couldn't stop looking at herself in the mirror.

Ah, there she is.

She posed just as nicely for the professional photographer, too. Doing a pointe like a pro. And I don't even know what a pointe is.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

As Conner would say, "This is So Random"

I can always tell when I've lived somewhere at least six months when I get the urge to rearrange the furniture. This time around, unfortunately, the six-month itch hit right after John left for SOS. I still managed to wreak chaos in just about every room in the house, much to Conner's consternation -- not just because he was recruited to help with certain things I couldn't sweat out on my own; but also because the last time we'd hit the six-month mark he was only nine-years-old. And in boy years that's, like, a lifetime ago.

And it has been a bit over-the-top chaos supreme, what with all the painting projects I've had going simultaneously -- because painting in a house while living in it with preschoolers really forces you to reevaluate that whole Finish a Project Before Starting Another One mentality that I would like to have. It's more like, grab 10 minutes, or 20, or a whole hour if you're lucky, or two if you don't care what havoc you find wreaked in the rest of the house once you come out of your I'm Getting Something Accomplished Reverie.

At this particular moment, as I write, there are random sections of edging that I have not finished painting in Sean-Peter's room; untouched chunks of wall in the family room behind furniture that I didn't take the time to move out of the way; strips of trim in various shades of beige in parts of the house still waiting for that coat of glossy white; swaths of new color in our master bath where I just had a little paint left in the pan and gee I wonder what it would look like in here? This isn't to mention the random pieces of wall border that I have picked at here and there, hoping to get lucky to have whole strips come off with no extra effort on my part. So far I'm still hoping.

Sometimes I do wonder if it's all worth it -- after all, we're just going to move again one day. And I totally understand where Conner was coming from when he would throw out comments like, "This will all be done right about the time it's time to move again." Or, "This house is its own tornado."

And, indeed, when you're trying to paint multiple walls and trim and doors in your house whilst otherwise feeding and clothing and tending to three children, something's gotta give. There's enough dust in this house to carpet a small Sahara. And you probably wouldn't want to stop by and ask to tinkle in the loo right about now. (Although there might be some cleaning wipes underneath the sink. You could help yourself.)

But this is part of what makes a house a home, I do believe. And when all is said and done we will have a somewhat clean home full of color that I am confident we will be living in for at least a full year once I put away the brushes. Why I'm not confident that it will be longer will have to save for another post.

And I was going to write about the busyness of this week, how it seemed to take the cake for the busiest week of all weeks, when the two adults who live in the same house barely exchange hellos as they pass each other in the night. But more important things await -- like a movie from the library with my son, who is so impatient to start and so looking forward to both of his parents actually sitting and watching a movie with him that he just did the dishes that have collected all day, all this beautiful day, so I could sit here and give you this, a look at said child earlier while he did a little mowing. With, er, a little help. Or, at least, a little following.
I was getting the biggest kick out of this version of follow the leader, of these little ducklings following their adored big brother. Although he, um, wasn't feeling the love.
(Look closely. Yes, that's a get away from me! shove, caught in the act.)
But they were undeterred. Can you blame them?

But now it's time to start the movie. And to sort dirty laundry. (Literally.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Dragon Tale (lovely, lovely not)

Olivia made this "card" for her daddy which morphed into a story about a dragon.

Once upon a time there was a dragon who stole the world. He got stuck in a bubble. He began to get smaller and smaller and smaller ... then pop! went the bubble. The dragon was dead.
The End.

She sure knows how to bring a story to closure, doesn't she?

And, yes, she is quite obsessed with her flowers. I know you've been wondering. Here she is playing "Lovely, lovely not".


Some day she's going to figure out it's supposed to be, "He loves me, he loves me not".

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Sean-Peter is tucked back in there somewhere.
"Olivia gets her own flowers ... so she doesn't have to take mommy's!"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Letting Loose

Olivia still really loves her microphone.
She can really let loose. And apparently, so can Sean-Peter.
He looks like he's holding back to really get into that high note, doesn't he?

I actually encouraged his necked-ness this evening, as letting my kids run around for a few hours au naturel has been my tried and true method of potty training. Well, for my first two, anyway. After Sean-Peter peed on the floor again after agreeing that pee does indeed belong in the potty! I am further convinced that potty training this one will simply be truly trying.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I came across this article today through this blog about a study that determined stay-at-home moms would earn almost $117,000 a year if they were financially compensated for the work they do on a daily basis.

The article didn't go into too much detail, but I got to thinking about the things I do on a regular basis that someone else might get paid good money for (well-structured sentences notwithstanding):

Daycare provider. This is what is most often considered and entails roles such as educator; arbitrator and referee; nurse; nutritionist; disciplinarian; psychologist; scheduler; counselor; clothing acquisitioner; chauffeur; spiritual and moral guide.

Housekeeper. Now that's a loaded word. What does that mean, exactly? On any given (or every) day, it means dishwasher; laundress; seamstress (okay, I do buttons and patches); meal planner; cook; cleaner; comparison shopper; Culler of Stuff and Things Otherwise Outgrown and No Longer Needed.

But then I thought of more: painter and decorator; bookkeeper and accountant; vacation planner; memory preserver; social coordinator; gardener and weeder.

Did I miss any?

I used to get paid for working. I used to go to a job and was well on my way toward a successful and rewarding career as an analyst working for the federal government.

I remember sitting at a function one day where a senior analyst was being honored for 20 years of government work. They gave a little spiel and presented him with a coin.

They gave him a coin. And it hit me like a thunderbolt. I am away from my son every day for a lousy coin.

Okay, that's simplifying it a bit. But for me it was an epiphany. Although I might still be finding myself in that same career today, earning dollars and kudos, if my husband's own career aspirations hadn't taken me away from there and forced me to reconsider my priorities. Thank you, Lord. Though I wasn't thanking Him at the time. That pesky, selfish flesh of mine.

The kids and I were going to go to the aquarium in Cincinnati today, but Olivia didn't sleep well with a cold that has filled her head and the sky is raining cats and dogs today. So. No church, no aquarium. A whole day inside, in which I will practice any number of the duties mentioned above.

This morning the kids presented me with a card they had made for Mother's Day, and we celebrated afterwards with milk and homemade peanut butter cookies.
This, of course, is our payment, we moms. This is my coin, only I don't have to wait 20 years for it, and it is irreplacable. Best laid plans. I could not have planned this any better myself. Which is, of course, the point.

(And you have no idea the amount of restraint Sean-Peter is practicing in order not to knock down that tower of blocks long enough to snap this photo. No idea.)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Boots and Leotards

It did rain today. Olivia also had her dance class. The two go so well together, don't you think?

This is a typical Olivia-pose. She deems it quintessential princess-ness.

This is Sean-Peter's version. And Conner's.
But Olivia doesn't care. She's got better things to do. Like make more dandelions.

And run off, in what I am certain is not a diaper underneath that leotard, but rather a pair of Conner's old underwear.

Weren't that we all were so carefree.