Saturday, July 30, 2011

And we joined anyway.

Playgroup headed to the Delaware Museum of Natural History a few weeks ago.  Here is an excerpt from their website . . . "Kids have a wildly good time at the Delaware Museum of Natural History!"

Someone should have informed the old bitty at the admission desk, who smelled of Cheetos and spoke of "finishing up that cigarette" that kids are indeed welcome in the museum.  Instead of welcoming us, she shushed us 17 times before we'd seen the first exhibit.  The kids didn't notice, but it sure got my back up.

More from the website "The interactive Nature Nook is a place where young children can explore animal habitats while having fun. Step inside a cave, walk through a woodland, enter an eagle's nest, and lots more! Museum personnel will help facilitate interactions between children and their parents/caregivers, plus display live animals for up-close looks." 

Crap, crap and more crap.  While the Salad did enjoy petting a snake, the "museum personnel" in attendance had the personality of a wet dish rag.  We left the Nature Nook after a different museum worker, stuck her head inside the cave where 7 preschoolers, 1 baby and 1 MOTHER were reading and made some snide reminder about being "respectful.  This is still part of a museum!"
Look how engaging that "museum personnel" is!  Crap.
The atmosphere inside the museum was so stuffy, we chose to eat outside even though it was raining.   

We left shortly after lunch and the best part of our day was crawling all over, falling off and diving into a small iron fountain on the lawn.  I even let the Salad take pennies from the water.    Take that Delaware Museum of Natural History!    

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stomping Grounds

Summer rainstorms provide the best puddle stomping opportunities.  Torrential thunderstorms mean lots of rain, green grass means lots of mud and warm weather mean few clothes to dirty.  After spending the morning staring longingly outside, I told the Salad to grab their boots and find the biggest puddle to stomp.  At one point S walked by me and I heard a distinct slosh from her boot.  I asked her to take it off, turn it upside down and out came a gallon of water.  It gave them great satisfaction to get thoroughly wet and disgustingly muddy. 

It gave me great satisfaction to get awesomely fun pictures.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

It IS a small world, after all.

When I was about 8 a little girl who was about 4 moved into the house next door.  On Monday, that little girl who is now in her early 30s brought her 2 year old to my house to play with my 3 - 4 year olds.

In November, I went to a concert to see Ani Difranco with that same girl and another girl that I hadn't seen since I graduated high school with her in June of 1994.

Speaking of high school, I met my best friend there.  Speaking of my best friend, I went to a concert with her in June.  We saw the Indigo Girls.  Speaking of the Indigo Girls, I saw them at the Tower Theater in 1999 with that same best friend.  Speaking of that concert in 1999, I bumped into that same girl now in her early 30s who brought her 2 year old to play with my 3 - 4 year olds on Monday.
It's all very confusing, no? 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Interior Monologue

Butter is so good.
Substitutes should never have been made for such perfection.
It's like showing this . . .

when you've been advertising this . . .

What kind of cruel joke is a wind gust on a 99 degree day?  It just blew hot air right up my frigging nose!

I wonder if we'll find parking at the Please Touch Museum today?  Along with the rest of Philadelphia.

I wonder if Peter and Lucy know that when the Salad says "Let's go to the Spinny Spinny" thing, they mean the giant human hamster wheel?

Huh. Red dye really does affect the children.

If I take a multi-vitamin with it, Peach Pie is good for dinner, right?

I like Peach Pie and I cannot lie.  "You other brothers can't deny that when a girl walks in with an itty bitty"   . . . Gosh, whatever happened to Sir Mix-a-Lot

I'm gonna Google him right now.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Freedom at its Finest

The Salad was lucky to be able to have Daddy and Poppy around on the Fourth of July!  We started off with our local parade.  The only red shirts that the Salad have are the Thing 1, Thing 2 and Thing 3 shirts that Aunt Jo bought them 2 years ago.  Yes, they still fit.  Yes, we have small kids.  Geez. 
Anyway, the shirts got a lot of attention from the people on the floats and in the old fashioned cars riding in the parade.  They would scream out the windows, "Oh my gosh!  I love those shirts!   Hahahahaha!  Like Dr. Seuss!   Hahahahah!  'Cause there are 3 of them!"  They were kinda super stars.  Then the parade participant would throw fistfuls of candy at them.  We hauled home more candy on July 4th than we did on October 31st. 

Also of note, the Republicans marched a live elephant down a suburban street.  Come on, Democrats.  I bet a donkey is a lot easier to find round these parts than an elephant.  They outdid you, Democrats.  They really did. 

We jumped in the car and headed into Media, because R heard there was gonna be a giant water slide.  As soon as we arrived, there was an announcement that a race for 4 year olds was being held.  The Salad didn't hesitate.  M won.  That kid is fast as lightning.  Gotta get him interested in Track and Field, 'cause the boy can jump too.

After the slide, we headed home for a special Independence Day edition of Muffin Tin Monday.
And then we ate candy.  Lots of it.  It says to do so in the Declaration of Independence.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that comes from eating candy."


Thursday, July 14, 2011

What a Woman Wants.

Our van was in the shop for a few days recently.  Our scaled down rental gave me a new found appreciation for the 2007 Sienna that we currently have.  For example, this rental doesn't have a sliding door.  That thing has been a Godsend.  Imagine trying to hustle toddlers into a car from a crowded parking lot, or run 2 newborns through 20 degree weather when 1 is already waiting in the pre-warmed car.  I could open it last minute while my hands were full of babies.  And close them in, just as fast.  Or how about the fact that we have an 8 seater, allowing me to have all of our car seats in the middle row.  This rental van was a 7 seater.  I had to put one Salad ingredient in the back.  There were many fights about who got to sit back there.  Finally, they realized that whoever sat there got the short end of the stick, for I was unable to hand them food or books.

Thinking about these seemingly insignificant details has made me want to share with you a list of things that has made my life as a mother easier and dare I say,  more enjoyable.  I have sung the praises of these things for the past 4 years, so for some of my mom friends, this won't be the first time you hear this, and most certainly will not be the last. 

The Keurig Coffee Maker.  There is nothing more comforting to me than a freshly brewed cup of coffee (or 2) in the morning.  I needed the caffeine more when the Salad was newborn.  Many mornings, I woke up alone in a house with an overwhelming amount of children.  Of course there were only 3, but in my post partum/possible post traumatic stress 3 seemed like a whole lot of babies.  I needed that caffinated kick in the pants to get me going on 24 bottles or 36 diaper changes.  Now, it's like waking up to an old friend.

Shick Intuition Razors with Built In Soap.  The ease of a razor already combined with soap for you?  It's a real time saver, that without . . . Well, let's not imagine life with out Shick Intuition Razors with Built In Soap.  Suffice it to say, it wouldn't be pretty.
She looks like a new mom who could use one of those razors.  Eh.  Who am I to talk?
DVR. I came off 3 months straight of bed rest, during which I watched every episode of M.A.S.H, Golden Girls, Pysch and Sex and the City ever recorded.  Sure, there were hours I would read, maybe even get up and walk downstairs, but mostly, I watched TV and grew a Fruit Salad.  TV became important to me, it was how I scheduled my day, usually showering at 11:00AM, 'cause I just couldn't tolerate The View.  But then, February 5th, my world changed and I didn't have a single second to watch "my stories".  I secretly began to feel resentful.  Maybe not so secretly, because at some point someone, some angel sent from God said to me, "Why don't you just get DVR?"  Within 24 hours, we had DVR and I was able to get up to speed on the "Deadliest Catch."  Angel sent from God, do you know who you are? 'Cause I don't remember and I'd like to thank you in person.   

Drive thru anythings.  McDonald's.  Dunkin Donuts.  Swiss Farms.  ATM machines.  I actually drove 20 minutes once because there is a drive thru Dunkin Donuts in Upper Darby and I needed a last minute Christmas gift for my brother-in-law.  It meant I didn't have to haul 10 month old triplets, out into the cold into a germ infested store during RSV season.  That's important stuff to a mother.  Also, during this stage and well into their 2s, I would drive to Media to run errands during the winter, just to get out of the house.  I chose Media because we have an amazing dry cleaner there, who adores my Salad and would run my clothes out to me, so I wouldn't have to leave them in the car.  Then I could drive thru the ATM to pick up cash, which I promptly spent at the McDonald's drive thru.  While the Salad munched on fries, I could hit Swiss Farms for the gallon of milk we so desperately needed.  Bing.  Bang.  Boom.  Errands complete.  Adult interaction.  Salad was fed.  Now.  We need Target to get a drive thru and life would be easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Feed me and I'm happy.

My birthday this year was a cool 93 degrees.  Compared to last year's blazing hot 104 degrees, it was an arctic blast.  I woke up to a very happy boy kissing my face, wishing me a "Happy Birthday!"  The morning proceeded much like every other morning.  I made the Salad breakfast, showered, dressed and hit the ground running.  We had errands to get done before lunch, so that I could enjoy the afternoon at the pool with my Salad, my mom, my older sister and my sweet nephew. 

Impulsively, I bought an avocado at Trader Joe's.  We had left over limes from R's homemade Key Lime pie over the weekend.  I've been in the mood for chickpeas lately.  I combined them all together with some cilantro and balsamic vinegar and made a perfect summer birthday salad for lunch.  The eating kind of salad.  Not the people kind of Salad.
My mom surprised me with lemonade and homemade brownies, enjoyed after a lively rendition of "Happy Birthday," complete with candles.  And if that wasn't enough, I convinced my sister to go on the GIANT slide.  Seriously, you have to climb 20 feet just to get to the nearly vertical drop into the pool.  I've been eager to slide since the first time I laid my eyes upon it, but it seems to be a magnet for the 8-14 year old boy set and a repellent for the 25-? mom set.  My nephew offered to pay me $5.00 if I went down.  So yes, I succumbed to peer pressure  and monetary gain and stood in line with 3 prepubescent boys.  It was a freaking blast and I plan to do it again and often.  Plus, A and S think I am super cool. 

We arrived home to find pink roses and orange Peruvian lilies from my sweet husband.  They look pretty against the greenish, grayish bluish color of our kitchen  I dig orange and blue together.  It explains my laundry room. 

Anyway, July 6th also happens to be National Fried Chicken day.  I feel like the luckiest girl alive.  I have an excuse to eat fried chicken on my birthday.  I am perpetuating a national day.  I fulfilled my duty as an American.

While I set up our picnic dinner, R and the Salad baked me chocolate cupcakes with green vanilla frosting.  Perfect ending to a perfect day. 

Wow.  I love me my food.  It is no surprise that the best picture I have from the day is my lunch.

I may have a problem.

Friday, July 8, 2011

On our way to Ocean City

My SIL graciously invited us to her beach house for the day, and the Salad and I graciously accepted.  And we then invited my mother along for the ride.  Thanks, Aunt Nicky! 
Growing up without cousins, it brings me a great amount of joy to see these 5 cousins play together.  4 - 4 year olds and 1 - 6 year old, who takes her role as older cousin very seriously.  Not a quarrel, or whine all day.  Just a lot of wave jumping, castle building, M burying, hole digging and hand holding.

And who cares if only 1 among them could figure out how to ride those dang bumper cars? 
I had a good laugh going over the bridge on the way home, when after a long tiring day in the sun, my mom got a little punch drunk.  She was supposed to be reading the Salad a Strawberry Shortcake book.  About 3/4 of the way through the book, I realized that what she was saying wasn't making much sense.  She was just kinda saying words.  "Berry."  "Spiders."  "Pancakes."  "Haunted House."  "Play."  "Apple Dumplin'."  Lucky for her, the Salad was a bit punch drunk, too and while they appeared to be listening with rapt attention, nobody questioned the missing story line.

Eh, who wants to read a book about Halloween in July anyway?  At least, I think it was about Halloween.  I may have missed some of it.  I may have been a little punch drunk myself.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Garden State Discovery Museum Day

Also known as The Day We Lost Some Kids.

Our playgroup took another trip out of state to New Jersey's children's museum exactly 1 month ago.  I am a terrible blogger.  But we got a new camera card and then I misplaced our old camera card and then I didn't bother to look for it until tonight when I got tired of seeing this post as an unfinished draft.  Gah.  I hate unfinished draft posts.  Stay tuned for many, many more out of sync posts to come.  Ok then, back on track . . .  It's always a nice change of pace from the crazy huge Please Touch Museum. It's tiny, but the mini hockey rink and stage full of dress up more than make up for its size.
I'll blame its size for making us moms a bit more relaxed when we visit. And now we know, if we let up our vigilance for even a moment, a child might slip by you or engage you in a game of hide and seek and forget to let you know.

Fear not, all children were found, physically and emotionally unscathed.

The moms? Well, our emotions may have been scathed.

Just a bit.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

When Body Paint makes you Thankful for your Husband

Due to scheduling conflicts this week, Messy Art Monday was switched to Tuesday.  It worked out well for us, especially since our regular story time was cancelled Tuesday.  This week was probably the truest definition of the phrase "messy art".  Body paint - made of cornstarch, some kind of lotion, and neon food coloring. 
Once again, many small children fixated on me, so I ended up with painted flip flops, toes, feet, legs, left forearm, both cheeks, chin and forehead. 
While the kids rinsed the paint off in a sprinkler, I noticed that when the paint dried, it started itching.  I scrubbed the majority of it off with wipes, though, the blue seemed to . . . ahem . . . stain my face.  Just a bit.  But enough to once again be thankful that R works hard enough that I get to stay home with the Salad.  'Cause, there is no way I could have gone to work with seemingly bruised cheeks. 

Later, I bent down to itch something on my leg and noticed that I had missed a streak of purple paint.  Though, I also noticed how incredibly smooth my calves felt.  Note to self - find out what kind of lotion Miss Amy used.         

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Where I'm From

I am from Dove soap, from Jello and Andes candies.

I am from an old stone porch and green cedar shingles.

I am from robins' nests and pink and white peonies.

I am from new pajamas on Christmas Eve and nose freckles from the sun,

from Gardners and Burgharts, Vetters and Mansis.

I am from the determined and the easily amused.

From the "Always remember, I love you very much"es and the "Down in front"s.

I am from 1 God, 7 sacraments and 10 commandments.

I'm from Upper Darby. I'm from Ireland, Germany, Italy.

From meatballs on Sunday and ham smelling of cloves.

From a diamond ring that didn't sparkle enough,

a Grammy who's garden smelled of basil,

And a Grandmom who cheated playing Monopoly.

I am from Polaroids in albums and 4 x 6s framed on the piano,
from Disneyworld to the Grand Canyon, from Ocean City to Laguna Beach,
from birthdays, vacations, graduations and weddings.


Thanks, Jane, for the inspiration.
Here is the template, in case anyone wants to share where they are from.