Sunday, August 28, 2011

Can you find the Kevin Bacon reference?

M spotted a big nest that had fallen from our front tree and was laying in the street.  He begged me to take him down to see if there was anything in the nest.  Unfortunately, there was.  We saw 2 tiny squirrels, so small their eyes weren't even open.  R used a stick to move the nest away from any passing cars and I went in to call the SPCA.  Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Irene, they were closed.  M suggested making a baby squirrel stretcher and quickly set to work.  He also suggested calling the police.  Before we took such drastic measures, I researched what to do online.  Thank you, Google for giving us this site.

R and I were skeptical, so mostly just to humor M, we followed the instructions.

I found a low cardboard box, the Salad set to work gathering some leaves, acorns and dirt from the tree the nest fell out of and R scooped the nest up with a snow shovel and placed the whole thing in the box.  Something we learned from the site was that if the babies were hurt or cold, the mommy would reject them and that even on a hot summer day, a baby squirrel gets cold very quickly.  So, I filled up 3 latex gloves with warm water, placed them under the nest and moved the whole box to the base of the tree.  The site said if the mommy squirrel was coming back, she would do so in 3 hours.  We went inside. 

About 20 minutes later, I happened to sit down at the computer and look out the window.  The mommy squirrel was just leaving the box with a baby in her mouth, running for the next tree in our yard!  I yelled for R and the Salad to hurry quietly to the front window.  We sat and watched that mother squirrel, move not 1, not 2, but 7 babies from the nest!  She diligently would dig through our box of leaves, grab another baby in her mouth and run for the other tree.  What a blessing to watch "This Woman's Work".     

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Catchall Post

We've done so super many fun things in the last few weeks, I've been unable to keep up the blog.  I have the intention of blogging the night of each super fun thing, but I'm exhausted after most of them.  So let's quickly recap last weeks of July, first week of August. 

* Ian came over and turned our brand new swing set into a water slide. Ahhhh, the benefits of older cousins.
* R and I took the Salad into Media to walk through an Antique Car Show.  The brightly colored cars (Purple!  Pink!  Orange flames!) kept them properly interested.  Though, I suspect the promise of ice cream after the show played an important part, as well. 

* I braved taking the Salad to the movies by myself for the first time. It was, by far, our most successful movie adventure yet. I chose Winnie the Pooh, because I knew there wouldn't be anything "scary". S is particularly sensitive to "scary". We haven't made it through the first Cars movie because the night time scenes are "scary". The shark in our Little Mermaid book is "scary". Fire works and people in costumes? "Scary." Our bravado faltered a bit when the lights dimmed and the previews became loud, though we rebounded quickly, once I doled out popcorn.
* Aunt Jo had an unprecedented weekday off, and so she was finally able to join us at the pool.  The Salad and I both love bringing guests to the pool, because there is someone else besides myself to scream at . . . "Look at me!  I can swim under water!"  "Did you see me?!  I jumped in the pool!"  "Watch me!  I can float!" (though none of them can just yet).  And Aunt Jo was a semi-willing participant in many underwater piggy back rides.  Thanks for the break, Joanna!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We hit the ice. Literally.

Ian called us from his brand new cell phone this morning to see if we'd go ice skating with him this afternoon.  I almost said no, because I wanted to take the Salad to the pool.  Gotta soak up these sunny days while we can.  But then I remembered I had told S I would take her ice skating back in February and then my colon went wonky, and I never took her.  So I told him we'd go, but that we were heading to the pool right after we were through.  I set to work, digging winter clothes from the depths of our storage bins and gathering our bathing suits.  It was a strange mix of supplies we needed for our outings - mittens and sunscreen, fleece pants and flip flops.  The Salad was confused when I handed them long sleeved shirts.

We arrived, strapped on our skates, and gingerly stepped onto the ice. 

Even with her walker, A fell immediately.  I thought for sure that was the end for her.  It would have been for me.  But she got herself right back and took off and never turned back, though she fell about 50 times in the 75 minutes we were there.  Every single time, she'd say "I'm alright, Mommy" and get back up, my heart felt proud. 
M used the walker for 2 seconds and begged me to let him try without it.  Which I did, and down he went.  He asked for his walker back immediately. 

S told me she just wanted "to go fast."  She was fast, though she ran more than skated.  She didn't understand the gliding without picking up your skates, so mostly she just looked like she was jogging behind the walker. 

Now, I know you're wondering.  No.  I did not fall.  No.  I did not use a walker.  But that's all I'm gonna say about me.

M got a blister after about 7 laps and sat with Aunt Jen in the stands, cheering us on after that.  The Zamboni machine at the end more than made up for a boo boo foot.

On our way out, we stopped at another rink to check out 2 sets of figure skaters that were having a private lesson.  The girls were amazed at the "beautiful dancers."  So was I, truth be told.   I probably trip or fall more often walking than these people do on skates.   

I wonder, did these skaters start out using walkers?

Friday, August 19, 2011

And so it begins . . .

It has rained for the last 47 days.  Ok.  I'm exaggerating.  It has probably only been 7 of the last 9 days, but it feels like 47.  So today when it hadn't stormed by noon, I hustled the Salad into their bathing suits and got our bottoms to the pool.  Summer's almost over, don't ya know?

I don't like posting without pictures, but I had to get this story written, before I forgot the exact wording. 

Conversation between M and his wing woman A.

M:  "A, see that little girl?" (pointing to a blond girl about 7 years of age)
A:  "Yes, that's Alyssa.  She's our friend." (they had played together for approximately 2 minutes)
M:  "I want to meet her.  Bring her to me." (standing on the side of the pool)
A:  "Ok." (dutifully, she gets out of the shallow pool that we were playing in, marches to the deep pool, and stands on the end, screaming "Alyssa!  Alyssa!  Alyssa, our brudder wants to meet you!"
Alyssa either doesn't hear her or doesn't answer her.
A:  "I tried, M." (shrugging her shoulders, as she re-enters the shallow pool)
M:  "Awwww.  I really wanted to meet her.  Maybe later, A?"
A:  "Yeah.  Ok, M."

I love this for So.Many.Reasons.

1.  My children LOVE meeting other kids. 
2.  M knows his sisters would do anything for him.
3.  A and S do anything for him, knowing he returns the favors.  For example, each and every time we go to the super market M asks the cashier for stickers "for my girls."  And he runs to get their respective lovely when they cry or kiss boo boos or feed them applesauce if their "hands are too tired."

I kid you not.  This is my life.  How lucky am I? 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

E-A-G-L-E-S! Eagles!

For our family, the Fall means football.  Not that the Salad and I understand the sport, or even try for that matter, but that Daddy goes to the games.  It means Uncle Todd picks Daddy up VERY early in the morning and drops Daddy off at the house VERY late that night.  It means we re-learn the Eagles fight song every year.  It means tailgate talk of hoagies and hot dogs at 8:00 AM.

This year, R wanted to share that with the Salad.  So, last Thursday, he came home early and went to work setting up the finest tailgate feast a 4 year old could enjoy.  The 4 of them had made a list the night before, complete with a hand drawn football.  Hot dogs, Pringles, fruit salad (the eating kind, not the people kind), juice boxes and chocolate chip cookies.  He packed chairs for us all and the Salad made sure to bring along a football.  S was heartbroken the next morning when she realized "we forgot to bring a radio so we could dance like Daddy and Uncle Todd!"

The tailgate before the actual game was the best part.  The weather was perfect and the food hit the spot.  Our fellow tailgaters were charmed by our piggy-tailed girls in matching pink jerseys and a cute boy who insisted on "spiking his own hair."

For once, I went into the night with a laid back attitude.  I am fairly low key, but come our 7:30 PM bedtime, I can see the end in sight.  I'm tired by then, physically, mentally and emotionally.  I kinda get antsy for the quiet that comes.  But last night the game started at 7:30 PM.  I knew I would have to pull out all of my songs and dances to keep the Salad happy.  I let them take pictures of anything they wanted.  We counted all of the pictures of eagles we could find.  We fed them pretzels.  Everyone handled the late night as well as could be expected.  "As well as could be expected" meaning, every 2 minutes M asked if we could go back to the car.  3 minutes and 7 seconds into the game, A asked "when would the Eagles start playing the game?" and S held her hands over her ears the whole time, for fear they would set the fireworks off again and they were "just too loud for her."   

We got home and had a sleeping Salad by 10:00 PM.

They only way it could have been more perfect is if a late bedtime meant a late morning wake up.  But no - my early rising boy greeted R as he left for work, bright and early at 6:30 AM the next day. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Like a Good Neighbor, McNulty is there.

Our elderly neighbors, the McNulty sisters (or McNulty as the Salad calls them) love my babies.  Not Ms. McNulty, not Ms. Mary or Ms. Kathleen.  Just McNulty.  An amalgam of old lady, who get a kick out of my children. 

So they invited us into their home for lunch.  Their very clean home - full of knick knacks, glass coffee tables and white furniture.  It's a veritable landmine of accidents for a 4 year old. 

The Salad is fairly personable, and so makes polite conversation with anyone willing to sit and decipher what they are saying.  McNulty sat with rapt attention as M explained that we had had the back yard sodded on Tuesday.  They eagerly accepted A's invitation that they come play on our new swing set.  When S said that "it was her pleasure to help serve the hot dogs" McNulty roared with laughter.
We finished off our lunch, enjoyed the sundae bar McNulty provided, complete with spraying whipped cream directly from can to mouth, and walked back across the street.

During prayers that night, S ended her list of things she was thankful for with "and even McNulty".

I'm thankful for good neighbors, too.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Good

Seeing the day another way . . .

It's easy to occupy 4 years olds.  Offer them complimentary doughnuts and hot chocolate and they are good for quite a long time.  2 trips to the bathroom, checking out the floor model Toyotas, a basket of used toys and PBS helped too.

The Salad was thrilled when I pulled out the clay.  S set to work making a present for our playdate on Thursday.  The kicker is that our "playdate" she's talking about is lunch with our 65 year old neighbor McNulty and her slight younger sister, McNulty.  I'm not sure how it started that we call them McNulty, but the ladies crack up ever time we see them and the Salad screams across to them, "Hi McNulty!"

We had fatty food for lunch.  I enjoyed lunch.

Grammy, Aunt Jen and Ian came bowling with us.  The kids bowled for free. 

They played 2 games and yesterday, for the first time ever, M made it through both games without getting distracted or scooching.  I felt proud of him.  My baby boy is growing up.

I'm trying to keep this post positive, but there isn't a very bright side to credit card fraud.  A very dim silver lining, I guess, would be that we are getting the $61.98 charge credited back to our account. 

The Kung Fu Panda part of my day was just what the doctor ordered.  My babies were warm and cozy.  They made me laugh.  Their movie repertoire is very limited.  They didn't understand that the movie was about believing in yourself.  They don't really get the epic good versus evil battle.  They have never even heard the word "evil" probably.  You know what A and S kept saying, as the panda and cheetah fought, breaking through walls, sending rocks and dust flying?  "Oh boy, Mommy.  That cheetah is really making a big mess!"

And now here I lay, listening to the rain, safe in bed with my hard working husband, with a beautiful Fruit Salad tucked into bed in the next room.

Today was a very good day.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Bad and the Ugly

Sometimes, when your day hands you lemons, instead of rising to the occasion and making lemonade, you just take the low road, flip on Kung Fu Panda and snuggle up with your Salad.  Secretly resenting the fact that they can enjoy a movie, complete with popcorn, while my diverticula-ridden colon would stage an uprising if I sneaked even a piece.  Sigh.

Let's recap Wednesday, shall we?

I should have known after waiting 2 hours for our van to get inspected that something was amiss.  I should have gone to ask earlier.  The man looked at me like I was crazy and said "I came out and called your name about 45 minutes ago.  Didn't you hear me?  And then I came out about 40 minutes ago and pronounced it a different way.  Were you in the Kid's Korner?  Oh, I guess you didn't hear me.  Sorry."  But I could tell he wasn't sorry.  I should have sat in the waiting room with all of the other people that had gotten there at 7:55 AM and let my children be as loud as 4 year olds can be.  Let's see who hears who then.
Since we hadn't been home for breakfast, the dishes were undone when we got home.  I like to do the dishes while the Salad eats their meals.  We sing songs.  I teach them about Emerald Ash borers.  Sometimes we listen to "Leaving on a Jet Plane."  We are learning how to count by 2s to 20.  I like to multitask.  So I quickly did the dishes and pulled out clay for them to play with at the table.  I thought I could get some banking done while they played.  But I forgot the answer to our security question, got locked out of our account, wasted 20 minutes getting it unlocked, only to find out that it wasn't the right account.

Trying to salvage the morning, I thought I would take the Salad out to lunch and then take them bowling.  Besides dropping grease on my pants and M bleeding at the bowling alley, those 2 things went pretty well.  Though, that's not saying much. 

Finally able to sit and pay those bills, I find a suspicious charge on our credit card.  1.5 hours later, we have 2 new cards coming our way.  I have suspicions about the thieves.  I think I know who charged an X box game to our Disney Card.  I'm on to you, punks.  And I learned a few things watching Kung Fu Panda.  Be afraid.

So it was one of those days.  I complained, a lot, to anyone who would listen.  I'm sorry for that, because now in the quiet, there were a bunch of great things about our day.  They deserve their own post.  Be on the look out for it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

They Can Dance If They Want To

We met our friends, Miss Sandy, Sean and Hailey at an outdoor concert a few weeks ago.  One of my children enjoyed it more than my other children.
However, they all enjoyed the McDonalds we ate for lunch afterwards.

Even more than the McDonalds, they enjoyed jumping in the pool, over and over and over and over again with their friends.
And then they did the limbo.
Well, it's the effort that counts.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Old Friends

My very first job out of college was at an art gallery/auction house.  It was back in the time BI (before internet) and I responded to an ad in a local paper.  By the time I had driven home from Staples, where I faxed my resume from, I had gotten a call to come interview.  I went to interview shortly after, for a job that I truly wasn't qualified for, but wholeheartedly interested in.  By the time I had driven home from the interview, I had gotten a call that I had gotten the job.  I was at the gallery for 3 months, before I moved up to the corporate headquarters.  I loved that job.  I got to meet artists, order art, design art, meet amazing people.  I was 21 years old.  I stayed there for 5 years.  I became dear friends with Jeba, the CFO of the company.  I met R.  She met her husband there.  We went on double dates to dinner in the city.  Jeba and I had many funny times, Mary Kay demos, moving friends, going dancing with the warehouse guys who dressed better than we did.  Laughter came easily to us.

And then I left that job.  And then she left that job.  And then she got married.  And then I got married.  And then she had a baby.  And then I had a bunch of babies.  And then she moved away.  And then life got in the way and we lost touch.  And she isn't on Facebook.  And how do you keep in touch with people if they aren't on Facebook?!  I'll tell you, you stalk them, dig around online, find their house number and call them on a random December day, after you haven't spoken in 4 years.

And then you catch up over the phone.  And it's not always good.  Parents die.  But sometimes it's really good.  She had another baby girl.  And as always with great friend, it's like no time has passed.

And then 6 months passes, you catch up again via email this time.

And then 1 month after that, she invites you and your brood into their home.

And as always with great friends, it's like no time has passed. 

And laughter still comes easily to us.  Conversation comes lightly.

And best of all?  14 years after we met, our husbands and all 5 of our babies played beautifully together.