Friday, May 29, 2009

Pictures by Wren

Wren is always asking to take pictures with the camera, and usually, especially if we're on the bed rather than outside with the hose, I say okay. She has also taken some of our very favorite flip videos, which I may upload someday when I have absolutely nothing left to do.

This is the only picture she took of me where it does not look like I'm either picking my nose, or looking around for my 'reachin' broom' a la Homer Simpson.

Jane comes off a lot better. No thanks to photogenic genetics, obviously. It must just all be her. Wren has gotten pretty great- it might be a fun project to get some thrifted frames and put a few of her pictures up in her room.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Almost Summer

School is over, and although it's not -really- hot yet, as compared to August, it's definitely hot enough to justify spending the afternoon outside with the hose.

There are the inevitable fights about who gets to hold and point and control the water, and Chase and I are trying a new strategy of responding to every whine and scream and complaint with either "Wren needs to worry about Wren," or "That sounds like something you should talk to you sister about."

We'll see how that goes. It's very difficult for me to consistently disengage from their disagreements and misunderstandings. Especially when it comes to intervening to protect Jane's interests (I remember my dad telling me that I would not always be bigger than Anne- one day she would be as big as me, and then I would be sorry... not true- I've still got like 50 lbs on her), but I think I need to be intentional about this. Obviously I'll intervene if anyone's getting hurt, but otherwise let them try to work it out. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lazy Weekend

With school over for the semester (although not forever- damn you TWU advising department) things are going at a slower pace than usual around here. We had a blessedly underscheduled weekend and we took advantage of it by laying around the house with all the windows open, enjoying the rain.

We also took the opportunity to rally our forces in the ongoing battle of the fleas. Ramona hates us very very much, but at least she is scratching less. So far we have tried the medium harsh chemicals and spot treatments, with little success. This weekend we fell back on homeopathic methods like atomized lemon water (effective, and also therapuetic for the sprayer) and pans full of soapy water.

Also, we added some apple cider vinegar to Ramona's food, which just seems to make the fleas jump off of her and onto us. So ACV short term fail, potential long term win.

If our efforts do not result in an immediate mass die off I am going to resort to scorched earth house tenting and flea bombing measures, because I am SO ANGRY when I see flea bites on little Janey's pudgy legs. I WILL KILL YOU FLEAS. I AM COMING FOR YOU.

Also this weekend we made cookies.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

My Mother's Day actually started last night, with the delivery of my traditional Mother's Day Vodka. It continued this morning with coffee in bed, and a card on which Wren wrote her WHOLE NAME for the very first time! Then there were breakfast tacos from Dan's, followed by brunch at Grandad's house with donuts from Mrs. Johnson's. Those are always phenomenal, but really they are way better at midnight than at 11:00 a.m.

Anyway, I hope everyone's Mother's Day is similarly awesome. Mine is about to go way downhill with another dog shampooing, followed by homework. But this homework is the last of my graduate career, so that's a definite upside. I still have my practicum left in the fall, but I am also about to have a lot more free time. Yay summer!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Audition for Summer

On Saturdays, around 4:30 in the afternoon, when Chase and I are both passed out exhausted on the floor, and the girls are screaming hooligans tearing the house apart with eternal energy, Chase will say, "WHAT are you going to DO this summer?!?!" in a tone indicating a serious concern for my future sanity.

So I have been formulating a plan, based around multiple supply bags, multiple free, easily reachable destinations, and a strict schedule for the day which hopefully includes at least one "adventure."

Since Wednesday is our free day, we sort of had a summer try-out, to see how everything works. The girls watched Sesame Street while I did chores, and worked on the log cabin quilt. Then Wren made Mother's Day cards (cut out paper in lots of shapes and scattered them on the floor) while Jane took a nap. Then we hung out with two of our favorite folks- Rachel and Bea, and THEN...

We had an adventure! I remembered to pack lots of snacks for Jane (brownies and grapes). Jane's trying to drag her grapes into the water here. For a while, she carried them around Onion Creek on her float.

We went to McKinney Falls State Park, which is about 25 minutes away (more in traffic), free with a parks pass, and relatively hike-able for me, supplies, and two kids.

We had lots of fun, saw turtles, practiced swimming, and didn't get sunburned.

Here is Wren being very brave with her fish float and walking out into the "big water." She loved seeing the fish swim by her feet. She is such a gentle, cautious kid sometimes, being so concerned about Jane floating too far away, sharing her favorite float so quickly and sweetly with any other kid who wanted it. She even offered her brownies to new friends. I am so lucky to have her.

Monday, May 4, 2009

May WIPs

More legwarmers! I know but these are pink and brown and white, and COTTON, the most important part for babies, since it means breathable and washable. I make these all the time because they are portable, easy and useful (you don't have to pull the pants off a baby to change the diaper).

The yard! I was at the hardware store to buy supports for my miraculous tomatoes (that can apparently grow in the shade!) and I couldn't resist this little guy. I also got some sort of super glue twist tie set up that is supposedly going to train my crazy vines to the patio. I have my doubts. Jane is equally suspicious.

And here is what I've been working on with some of my new fabric. Mostly it's old scraps, with some new worked in. These are blocks for the log cabin quilt I'm making for Jane.

It's sort of messy and disorganized, and inspired by all the incredibly beautiful log cabin interpretations I've been seeing around.

I love the log cabin patternless pattern so much- it's so simple, it uses up all your scraps, it's involved without being overwhelmingly busy, and it has that comfortably cozy feeling of something that's been made this same way for generations. I have made six blocks and I have six more to go before I have to decide how I'm going to quilt it. I may have to buy a darning foot. and try free motion quilting for the first time. Rachel has been experimenting with it on her new machine and her results are truly beautiful.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Beaumont Trip

Blurgh. We forgot to charge the camera, so there are no pictures. Which means that in 6 weeks I won't remember it at all if I don't write something about it. So this is going to be long, and mostly uninteresting.

We had a good time- the inaugural road trip with TBB (the beige beauty) was without incident, until we got through Houston and hit sheets and sheets of heavy rain. You don't realize how incredibly loud it is until it stops. We had to wait under an overpass for a while with a few other drivers who had the same idea. The girls slept for the last half of the trip, but woke up to being carried inside in the rain, serenaded by dogs.

My dad has a deep mysterious aversion to turning on the air conditioner, ever. I have been there in August, when every other sentence is it's-not-the-heat-it's-the-humidity, and he has still forbade anyone from turning on the central air. I'm sure it's partly bills, but it might have something to do with manning up, embracing noble suffering, disdaining emergency room trips for anything less than the lower body turkey grease burning of Thanksgiving 89, or the truck-picking-up-Achilles-tendon-pull of the mid 90s.

Anyway, I actually really enjoy it, if it's not too hot. We had a fan in the window, which helped Jane sleep, and there's something really comforting and nice about sleeping in that room and hearing all the same sounds of the neighborhood.

Other highlights of the weekend- bbq ribs by my mom, followed by orange custard pie. blueberry pancakes and bacon at my dad's house, picking blackberries on my dad's fence and watching the girls pop them straight into their mouths. I picked blackberries from that same fence when I was a kid, although I had to ride my bike around to the other side and climb in the ditch. Lazy kids these days. I was a little hesitant about teaching Jane that she can eat things she finds outside, but on reflection, I realized she does this already, which is why I have the poison control number saved on my phone. So for once she should eat something she finds that tastes GOOD. She seemed to eat more red berries than black (verified by diaper change about 3 hours later) but the red berries did not discourage her at all. Strange child.

We also made a trip to heartbreaking Crystal Beach, with the old road totally washed out and the beach just covered in debris, so long after Ike. The dunes are just gone, it's incredible. Wren had fun digging in the sand, and Jane had fun terrifying us by breaking from our hands and running as far into the surf as she could. There was one enormous and eerie piece of industrial equipment, it looked like a concrete cistern top, sitting just under breaking waves a few feet out. The undertow had dug a deep trench around it, and so Jane was 5 inches deep one step and then blinking up at me from under roiling water the next. I scooped her up and she screamed "TOWL TOWL TOWL TOWL" until I got her wrapped up in a towel. Then of course she wanted to drag her towel back into the water.

In spite of breaking both of the ties on the seine, my dad and I still pulled in a bunch of flopping minnows and a shrimp to show the girls. I thought they were pretty "meh" about it, for all the pants-soaking effort I'd put in. Oh well.

It occurs to me that "pants-soaking effort" could be taking in a lot of very different ways. I just mean that I waded into the water and I was wearing shorts. There.

Jane and Wren had their reunion with Alvin/Pete at their Granny Alley's house, and I think everyone there got peed on by the puppy at some point. Ah, dachshunds.

Also, poor Pearl, my dad's lovely puppy, got swiped by a car while getting the paper on Sunday morning. I heard it from the back yard and ran around the house to see her crying and limping under the porch. She emerged an hour later to be fed Advil wrapped in cheese, and spend the rest of the day being gently pet under my dad's chair. She's recovering, and is, in my dad's words, a little more street smart now.

And on the way home we stopped in Houston and I FINALLY got to cuddle baby Rush, who is handsome and wonderful and gorgeous, and very very lucky to have been born into the family he has. Also, Ramona devoured a ball the neighborhood kids foolishly lost in the William's back yard.

So that was the trip. I could have skipped most of the words if I'd remembered the camera. Oh well.