Thursday, June 28, 2007

Beets and broccoli

I'm only slightly bragging when I say Carolyn would rather eat broccoli than chicken nuggets. If she gives up all meat by the time she's 12, I wouldn't be at all surprised. But my dreams of a veggie lover were crushed tonight as I was making roasted beets and beet-green pasta.

I was skinning the beets, which I think are the most beautiful, most exotic, most delicious vegetables in any garden. There's something about the deep, velvety color mixed with such sweetness.

Anyhow, I was cutting them when I gave Carolyn a little piece. She literally made herself gag so she wouldn't have to swallow it.

"Yuck," she said. "That's really gross."

Oh Carolyn. Poor, misled Carolyn. I blame Steve, who said beets remind him of communism. They stain everything they touch. And they're used in a lot of Russian dishes. Or something like that.


The girls and I went down to the stream the other day to check out ducks and fish and stuff. It was pretty funny, because Penelope has taken forever to get used to the pool, but she walked across the stream (me: "Um, Penny, why don't you come back honey. Penelope....") like she was raised on a river.

She did lose one of her boots that day, which kind of stinks, but it was still a lot of fun. As you can see, they didn't let the river-depth/boot-height ratio limited them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A series of humiliating events

Do you know how annoying unpacking can be? Well, try it after you packed, drove 180 miles, ate at two fast food restaurants, shopped at Wal-Mart and then returned home because you were sleepy.

Yeah. I pretty much hate myself too.

The girls and I were on our way to Michigan to see Julie, one of my all-time favorite peeps. And while it's impossible to articulate what happened to me, let me say there was a lot of screaming and crying involved, only the girls were perfect.

A friend of mine I had intended to meet for lunch said, "Good for you for knowing your limitations."

I think she meant, "You are such a loser." Anyhow, my stress list was running a teensy bit high. I have five stories out with editors, only one of which has actually been edited (you can see it here). My inlaws are arriving at my house hours after I had scheduled to return to Normal.

And finally, I had a pretty awful case of insomnia last night coupled by a headache I realized was the result of grinding my teeth.

Excuses, excuses. I had a 2-day window this year to see Julie and totally blew it. Good for me, for knowing my limitations.

Hooray for me...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Top five

Here's my Top Five indications I haven't spent enough time cleaning the house because it's so nice outside.

5. When you find your long-dead cat's Christmas stocking in the middle of the living room. In June.

4. That kind-of icky, rotting food smell is not coming from your refrigerator. It's coming from your stove.

3. It makes about 45 minutes of scavenger hunting to gather all the stuff you need for the pool. Every time you go.

2. You only go into the basement rec-room if you absolutely must.

And 1. When you shampoo the carpet, instead of getting that mildly annoying, not completely unpleasant, chemical smell, it makes the living room stink of wet dog.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Carolyn is just... weird

The girls and I had an awful pool day yesterday. Let me begin by saying it was due. We've been almost every day since it opened and walked away with happy memory after happy memory.

To top it all off, the bad day was kind of my fault.

Carolyn, aka little fishy, loves the pool and everything related to it. At the toddler pool, there's this pretty long slide that requires kids to walk around the landscaping to the top and wait in line.

Only Carolyn isn't so good at the line waiting. She'll only go down the slide if there is NOBODY in line behind her. So yesterday, I was getting a little tired of continually hauling Penny (who will NOT go down the slide) up and down the ramp to help Carolyn.

It ended in an ugly meltdown and a very, very tired mom.

Anyway, I was telling this to Steve and he said it always looks like she has to go to the bathroom. Lightbulb ON... Yes, I say, and I know why.

They play music at the pool. One of the speakers is directly above the waiting-in-line area. It's often of the 80s variety.

Carolyn is dancing.

She gets up there, waits for a minute and just can't help herself. She gets to moving her little feet so fast that of course she can't be bothered with a line.

So what if all the kids look at her like she's bonkers. So what if it takes her 20 minutes to get down the slide. So what...

If the girl has to dance, who am I to stop her?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer time

So I never blog anymore. Summer's here and I can't think of anything less appealing than sitting in front of the computer, especially since I've been called to do so pretty often as of late.

But that's neither here nor there. I'm writing strictly for girl news.

Carolyn is still is school and loving it. It's only two hours a day, two days a week, but it's a good chance for her to learn about standing in line and making crafts. We've been taking the bike out every day and I'm still in love. And I mean, IN love.

Some of you have wondered what it looks like. Here's a pic of the girls and me going to the park this afternoon.

Next on the girl news front, Penelope moved to a toddler bed. I wasn't really in a hurry or anything, and she seemed to do fine with the crib. But we moved Carolyn at about 19 months because Penelope was due to arrive and it worked out great. She took right to it. I hear from some parents that it's harder to do when they get 2ish, so we made the change, again with great success, except she keeps falling out at about 5 a.m. That's becoming more infrequent.

Penelope has really been moving toward being a very physical girl. She's coordinated, huggy, noisy and (premature guessing on our part) kind of athletic. We're almost positive it's not genetic.

And today, the girls and I had a great morning. Stealing the idea from a dad we know, I took the girls out on the trail and we cut wild flowers. We went out about 7:30, the weather was amazing, and looked through the prairie plants for pretty flowers. I learned my favorite is called butterfly weed.

Here's our find. Doesn't it kind of look like we bought it?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

First day (sniff) of school (sniff, sniff)

Carolyn officially started school.
Here she is right before we walked over. Notice the empty backpack that she just had to bring...

It wasn't nearly as emotional as I thought it would be. For one, she's going two days a week for only to hours a day. That's just a tad longer than story hour.

For two, she's totally excited about the idea school. The teacher and kids and songs and reading. After her nap that day, the first thing she wanted to do was "talk to daddy on the phone."

"Daddy, I went to school. Daddy, I went to school. Daddy....."

You see where this is going.

And here's the little secret — when she's at school, I get to go to the pool with Penny. Not this week because I'm really busy, but one day. Here's a pic of Penny and Steve at the pool, just because I love that little bathing suit.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A new year for Lincoln

Here are a couple of photographs from our favorite Abe Lincoln bench. Funny how Abe doesn't look a lick older...

First, here's a picture from last year.

And here's one from today.

Penelope Rose Pelé

Here's a bit on something about Penelope. She's super coordinated for such a little kid. Here's a little video of her practicing her soccer moves, which she did for about 30 minutes tonight.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The perfect first

I've been thinking a little about how Penny's doctor told me I shouldn't compare the girls. After all, they are different people.

But here's something I've thought about. With our first, we only see the things they can do.But with out second,sometimes it's easier to see the things they can't do.

How sad for our seconds. Of course Carolyn loves to read, has an amazing vocabulary and seems a natural actress. Of course Penelope screams all the time, would rather build book towers than actually open the book and won't eat vegetables.

And of course, Penelope sings, climbs things three times taller than herself and hugs unabashedly. And of course, Carolyn isn't perfect.

Case in point....

Lipstick. Purple lipstick. Let's just say none of us is perfect.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The first big cut (sniff, sniff)

She did it! Today, Carolyn got her first major haircut.

At first, I was worried I might start bawling, but Julie (who cuts my hair) did such an awesome job I felt like it was the perfect thing to do.

And bonus, it was just long enough for us to send to Locks of Love. Don't get too weepy thinking about some cancer patient wearing Carolyn's lovely hair. Whenever I mentioned she was going to give her hair away, Carolyn decided this was all a pretty bad idea. She's very into the idea that everything belongs to someone, or the idea that things belong to her, but not very clear about the idea that things can belong to more than one person.

But honestly, I know some adults who probably have the same problem.

Here's the photo show, from start to finish, along with a picture of me and the girls.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Future Penelope: I never screamed...

Hahahahahahahahaha. One day, I'll take a video for proof.

But we all know I love my little Penny. Only she's not so little. She had her 18 month appointment today and once again, she's over 100 percent on height and 95 percent on weight. She's almost 3 feet tall!!!

The doctor said the tantrums are normal. She also said I should stop comparing her to her older sister.