Monday, June 23, 2008

Ice cream madness

It is hard impossible not to consume too much ice cream this time of year. You're at the pool and starving. What better hot weather treat? You want a fun after-dinner outing. Of course the ice cream cone is the perfect solution.

But last week, we got ready to pounce as we heard the ice cream truck coasting through the hood. Were we ever disappointed when he picked the street behind us and the final street on his route. Poor Carolyn, following on my heels as I scrounged for change around the house, as we were left ice creamless and a bit sad.

So when we were biking down the trail last week, and spotted Mr. Ice Cream Man on a cul-de-sac, of course I let the girls have a tasty, cold treat. Sure we had just eaten a snack of grapes, but this is the ice cream man, the same one who apparently wasn't getting enough business in our neighborhood.

As a side note, Caro
lyn put a puzzle together this morning. Penny ran up to her and said, "Carolyn! You are so cold." I think she meant cool, but perhaps her sister's frosty disposition had finally pushed Penny over the top!

For anybody interested in Eastern Europe, check out my cousin's travel blog at or
cesty ~ путешествия ~ travels ~ reisid ~ podróże It's quite good, and a bit of a history lesson for anybody interested in them there parts.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pool Penny

In light of my recent admonition of moms who have their kids enrolled in too much organized stuff, I realize the irony in my decision to put Penelope in swimming lessons.

Sure I could say I want her to swim for safety reasons, or because she loves the water so much I feel strongly that knowing how to properly swim might save her life.

But these would be lies.

The truth is, now that Carolyn can swim, I'm sitting there with Penny while all these little kids are enrolled for the summer, and I just feel a little bad that Carolyn gets to do it and Penny can't. So I decided to give it a go, knowing full well that my non-water loving Penelope might not take to it as well as Carolyn did.

The thing is, she took to it just as well. Maybe a little better, after having watched the routine going on six months now. Ms. Connie, the girls' teacher, told me I was so lucky to have two kids who both love water.

Who knew? Certainly I didn't.

The lesson went so well, in fact, that a mom who had planned on waiting until September to enroll her toddler decided to start next month. See that. Now I'm a trend-setter.

Who knew. Certainly I didn't.

Here's pics and a video of swimmer Penny.

Using what's left

For anybody who doesn't know, our little Penny is a leftie.

I thought it was kind of cool when she just naturally did things with her left hand. It went a long way with me in a realization that some things are not about nurture. Some things come down to the hardwiring.

But in practice, being left is kind of a pain. It's hard to teach her things. Hold a pencil. Use a fork. Swing a bat. These are things I just don't do with my left hand, so it's hard to demonstrate. Also, I have to consciously think about which way to hand her the fork, almost every time I do it.

And that doesn't even address our future pains. Left handed golf clubs. Left handed scissors. Left handed can openers. It's endless for the up to 10 percent of the population born to be left.

Kind of like pounding a square peg into a round hole. No wonder so many lesbians are left-handed. No really... they are.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer of Chris, part 2

So I'm sitting on the couch, enjoying a lovely cup of tea, thinking about how I just finished my last story and in the first time in more than a year, I really don't have anything to do.

Usually, these situations make me a little anxious. But I think I'll wait until next week to start worrying.

Everything here is super awesome. The weather is amazing. Today, the girls and I picked wild flowers and went to the playground. Steve took the bus to work this morning, so we'll probably walk halfway to pick him up tonight.

See... fun stuff!

Here's a picture of Carolyn being fancy, just like Fancy Nancy from the children's book. She has her sparkly scarf and sparkly shoes and sure did look extra fancy.

And I took this video of our practice camping trip we did in the backyard over the weekend. The girls take turns standing in front of the window and put on a show, which is either singing or a story. Penelope can really ham it up, as you can see.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer swimming

Ah, here we are again. Too busy enjoying summer to blog. Or clean. Or talk to Fife. Or... you get the point.

We're back at the pool. Only this year, we're doing the pool big time. We go to the deep pool (four to five feet, so I'm still able to stay above water a little) and I pull Penny around while Carolyn climbs out, jumps in, swims around a little and starts all over again. Since I kind of love being submerged in water, this new routine is working out very well.

Carolyn is attending this summer program. She loves it, mostly because her teacher, also a Carolyn, actually knows her name and doesn't call her Caroline. Penelope always runs up to Carolyn when we go to get her, hugs her tight and says, "I'm proud of you sister."

The class is during Penelope's nap, so that allows me a solid hour and a half to work watch television/play on the Internet/nap/stare out the window.

And today, Steve taught Carolyn this little bit of hilarity. It's not as foxing funny as learning fox sounds just like the F-word from Penny, but it's still pretty cute. I'll try to post a video soon.

Give me five (Slap hand)
Up high (raise hand)
Down low (lower hand and move it quickly away)
Too slow.

(Then she makes a hole with her finger)
Put your finger in the hole.
(I've never hear this part! I do what I'm told)
You just broke my toilet bowl.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I need a new summer song

That's because summer is here. Woohoo... Yeahhhh... Summer!!!!

Since these days I'm relaxing poolside, by which I mean desperately trying to keep both girls at the shallow end as they continually disappear behind a wall of bratty preteens who keep splashing me in the face, I don't have a lot of time to blog.

So here's the skinny. Carolyn is really great. She's playing quietly in her room at the moment while Penelope naps. When I say, "Carolyn, it's time to leave this super fun pool to go home and sleep," she says OK. She knows almost all her letters (she has a hard time with R for whatever reason) and can write her name. She's just waiting to turn 5 so she can get a library card.

Penelope. Well. We love Penelope. We really, really do. But sometimes, it's a little hard to remember. It's that little thing we call the terrible 2s, like when I say we have to leave the pool and she screams (and kicks) for the entire 10 minutes it takes to drag her out of there in a scene that makes it necessary for me to apologize to the teenagers working there.

Oh, she's a handful, my Penny. But we love her and smile politely when people say, "Oh she's so pretty. She's so sweet. She's so polite." Um. Yeah.

That's it right now. Just know that I'm super tan, muscular from all my running and biking, and totally in need of a babysitter, in case any of you know any. Have a fantastic summer.