Sunday, July 29, 2007

We love a parade

In the last few years, the family and I have been to our share of small-town parades. And yet I never quite got it. Neither Steve or I are from small towns, so we were always left feeling, "What is so great about a parade?"

Well, Carolyn filled us in Saturday. It's the candy.

It was the first time she really "got" the parade candy. You should have seen her standing there, timidly waving to the passing cars, waiting for them to toss handfuls of Tootsie Rolls at her. It was a really crappy parade, all in all, but it was the most fun I'd ever had at one.

Here are some pictures.

In the afternoon, we went to the pool. Yes, again. It's just such a wonderful, wonderful place. And yesterday, temps in the mid-80s and humid, there was little else to comfortably do, yet the pool was almost empty. This meant I could sit back and watch the girls – with no chance of losing sight of them in the crowd – and stay for almost two hours.

Anyhow, this is what two hours of pool looks like when you get home. Early bedtimes are a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hot dogs and poop = pool fun

I don't know what came over me today. On the way back from the pool, I stopped and got a chili dog and french fries.

Now, occasionally I leave the pool a little hungry, from the water and sun and such, but rarely do I desire anything larger than a small salad, dressing on the side, after spending time at the toddler pool.

Because while there are a good share of normal moms, there's a disproportionate amount of women who instructed doctors to return their bodies to circa 1992. I totally know it's possible to mostly get back in shape, but there's only so far a women with three kids can go before a tuck-tuck here and a lift-lift there happens.

Also today at the pool, I was pondering the contents of my pool bag, which I always take even though it's an extra 10 pounds in the back of the bike. When I was sorting through the sunscreen and plastic alligators, I came across two plastic bags.

Why do I need plastic bags?

Here's why.

When your baby girl has a big, wet, carrot-induced, sloppy... well, you know... when you change her, you better hope you have a plastic bag. And when the towel you changer her on is rendered unusable, you better be thankful you have another one.

And I was.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Computer savvy

A few days ago, Carolyn asks Steve, "Can we go to"

Sure, Caillou isn't the biggest branded character around, but there's still danger lurking on PBS. Anyhow, Steve said OK.

Today, I set up the old Mac downstairs for Carolyn to use, and it went a little better than I would have liked. She picked up using the mouse in like 30 seconds and started playing games on her own in about 10 minutes.

It was pretty amazing.

Here are some pics of the girls on another nature outing (because our lives rarely revolve around media, of which we are lacking), a picture of Carolyn this morning (tell me she doesn't look like Boo from Monster's Inc!) and video of Carolyn singing. It's a real song, "Little Mr. Roo" from my favorite children's CD, although it's a little hard to tell.

Also, new post at Gristmill. It's about food and it got people all wound up. I stopped paying attention yesterday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Things you might not know about the girls

Penelope: We're almost positive she's going to be left handed.

Carolyn: Knows all the words to the Winnie the Pooh song. "Winnie the Pooh. Cuddly little snuggly all stuffed with fluffies."

(note: I actually saw somebody else write out the lyrics last night and they were completely different then mine. So I looked it up and it's actually " Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff. He's Winnie-the-Pooh." I guess nobody really knows the words.)

Penelope: Loves to dress up. I just bought a glass pitcher full of beaded necklaces at a garage sale last week for $4, and Penelope is way more interested than Carolyn in draping them around her neck.

Carolyn: Can remember I told her I would buy ice cream at the grocery store three days before I actually went shopping.

Penelope: Thinks the bike is a car.

Carolyn: Loves the part in the Wizard of Oz where the wicked witch says, "I'll get you my pretty. And your little dog too." She makes me say it in my mean voice over and over again.

Penelope: Caught herself with one hand when she fell through monkey bars a few weeks ago. She is so much more coordinated than the rest of us.

Carolyn: Insists on listening to her "grown up" CD every times she goes to sleep. She knows the words to the first song, "She's Got a Way" by Billie Joel.

Friday, July 13, 2007

More pool fun. This time, with pictures!

We love the pool. Love it. Love it. Love...

Anyhow, we go several times a week. I venture to say we've gone about 75 percent of the days it's been open. We have a membership, so we usually only go for about an hour, which is totally perfect.

So here are some pics and a video I took today, just so everyone is jealous by our super fun summer. Enjoy, suckers...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I am no longer a hypocrite

The Mazda has been sold.

This means that my pretend one-car family is now actually a one-car family. While we've taken advantage of this second car less than a dozen times in the last year, it still feels scary to not have that option.

Plus, I loved the Mazda, the first car I ever bought new. Farewell sweet Protege. Fly thee to the moon. Or to Eureka, Ill., where you live now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Oh Carolyn

Carolyn and I haven't had the best mommy-daughter thing lately. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, has been an argument. Wonder where she gets that???
So I almost doubled over on the floor today when she gave me this...
Cooking Macaroni and Cheese for dinner, so it's kind of hot in the kitchen, where everybody insists on occupying space.
Carolyn opens the refrigerator.
"What are you doing in there?" I ask, ready to pounce.
"Coolin' off."

Trust me. It's the funniest thing that's happened at our house in days.

When festivals attack

It's always a little disappointing when a trip to the downtown festival is substantially less fun than, say, a trip to the post office. Or the doctor. Or crazy Auntie Lucy's trailer home with her 15 smelly cats and homemade peanut brittle.
Yes, it's another edition of "We are awesome parents."
The family and I decided to check out the Sugar Creek Art Festival in downtown (recently renamed, for whatever reason, uptown) Normal. It has a lot of nice stuff. Art stuff, but also music and festival food and at least one guy who photoshops the heads of dogs on people. But here's the first problem: It's roughly 115 degrees in central Illinois in July and our kids are Pig Pen-esque.
So when I took the bike, parked it too far away from where we set up shop, went back to get it and finally reconnected with the family, I knew deep down that we had erred in judgement.
In the meantime, Steve was bombarded on all sides with families choosing to stand directly between him and the band, which was about half a football field away, a grandpa feeding his group to a round of ice cream cones and little kids delving into their endless candy supply.
And to top it all off, Penelope lost her balloon right before we left and cried all the way home. All two-miles, 115-degrees of it.
Sometimes I think, "Man. Look at all these families having an great time at this thing. What is our problem?" I believe our failure to see an SUV with mega-air as a viable solution is a beginning to understanding the slightly sticky, extremely sweaty approach to child rearing we have come to love.
That and we just can't say no to festival food. Bad festival food. Bad.

Friday, July 06, 2007

So you're not getting enough pics, huh?

I know sometimes it feels like you just don't see Carolyn and Penelope enough. More pictures, the grandmas clamor, because there are other moms out there posting like 50 photographs a day and they know it can be done, if only I cared enough.

Oh you sneaky Catholic moms with your quiet guilt. I hear you.

Loud and clear in fact. In the last seven months, we have gone from zero to three cameras. First, I bought a really cheap one to keep me in the game. Next, Aunt Sandy donated her camera to us. And finally, last weekend, Aunt Judy gave us her 5.1 megapixel Sony, the same camera we finally put to rest (um, stopped working due to excessive abuse) less than a year ago.

So here's what you want, family. More pictures. And speaking of guilt, Steve and I really could use some alone time so our marriage doesn't come crumbling down around us. Hint, hint.

First, here's Carolyn and her cousin Jeremiah. The girls ADORE Jeremiah.

Next, Penelope. Girlfriend has a runny nose, greasy-sunscreen hair and still looks fab.

Finally, all the kids right before Jeremiah went home.