Thursday, March 31, 2011


Wren woke up on her birthday and blew out the candle on a stack of pancakes, then she did it again that night after her chosen birthday menu of pizza and chocolate pie...

Wren's Nana was in town for her birthday, but spent most of the party holding her little brother.

The balloon animals were out in full force and Wren got this lovely unicorn.

Janey loved her little ladybug bracelet enough to actually approach the terrifying clown who made it close enough to get it put on her hand.

There was also face paint, and although Wren declined to be painted, she thought her cousin's was AMAZING.

She and Ava played on the swings, and took a ride on the train, and then Wren shared a snow cones with Jessie.

The babies hung out in the nice shady pavillion.

Chewing on water bottles and drinking milk.

And overall being spoiled so much by various baby-holders that Ben for one has decided he's done with being put down. He'd much rather sleep on laps, thank you very much.

Overall it was a great day and Wren has a LOT of thank you notes to write with all her new art supplies!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cowboy Cookout

The Texas unit at Wren's school just finished with a big cowboy rodeo and a chuck wagon cookout. The kids sang every verse to "Deep in the Heart of Texas" and of course "Texas our Texas"

There was roping,

And riding...

Chili and biscuits and dump cake (made by the kids, of course)

And apples on a string for dessert. It took a while...

But she got it!

This week they went on a fieldtrip to the Capitol. Very exciting stuff. Wren said she was so excited to meet our president, Rick Perry.

I guess he's taking his secession stuff pretty seriously these days.


For the 30 seconds or so per game that she can be convinced to pay attention, Janey is pretty good at soccer.

The rest of the time she'd rather be blowing dandelions on the field, digging in the dirt, or running in circles around Ben's stroller.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the whole 3 year old soccer team experiment has been watching Chase coach them. Please, if you are feeling down on a Sunday afternoon, join us at the field. I promise you, pharmaceuticals have nothing on Chase, in his "COACH" shirt, trying to herd this team toward the goal they're actually supposed to be heading for.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Wren

Our sweet friend Melissa took some lovely pictures at Wren's birthday party in Zilker Park on Saturday afternoon.

I like how these accurately reflect the "Lord of the Flies" feel of Wren's party. The adults mostly hung out by a picnic table, and the kids roamed in shifting packs, through the woods, through the playground, through the sprinklers, etc. They would come back occasionally to show off face paint and balloon animals and devour a cupcake and a juice box before heading back out to the wild.

I took a few pictures too, on my phone though, so not quite as charming. They'll have to wait for another naptime, because I hear Ben waking up and he's surprisingly not a fan of watching me do stuff on the computer.

Birthday Bird

Wren's Nana gave her bunches and bunches of super grown up art supplies for her birthday. Including (gasp) acrylics. Wren is in love with the bright deep colors, such a different experience than her $1 watercolor packs.

She has been churning out art work like crazy, even more than usual... I think next week I'm going to go pick up a stack of blank bags from Terra Toys. It's just .10 a bag, but at the rate Wren works, she'll be buying her own books there in no time.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


It has become increasingly clear in the last few days that Wren considers "chicken" the food to be a completely different entity than "chicken" the beloved playmate and pet, that follows her around the yard and perches on her finger...

It is not clear what exactly we should do about this. Of course we had that talk, a long time ago, and I'm guessing it was so horrific that she just totally forgot. I don't want to have the talk again, next to the box under the heatlamp, full of soft chick bedding and cheeps.

She -really- liked the chicken parm I made last night...

I am not ready to raise vegetarians. I like tofu as much as the next person who would almost always rather be eating at the Salt Lick than eating whatever it is they're currently eating.

We don't eat that much meat, maybe 3 meals a week, but chicken is by far the -least- adorable animal we consume. If she thinks chicks are personable adorable not-at-all-delicious fluff balls, then we have to be sure she never ever holds a piglet. Or meets the long-lashed eyes of a heifer.

She has been fishing before, and really loved it. And didn't seem that concerned about the fact that we'd be gutting and eating that fish as soon as Grandad Owl got it home. She was proud at the dinner table that she'd helped. And she actually -has- a fish. Juliette the Fish! I guess she's not that attached?

I think that the case of Lil, Sal, Penny, Louise, Ginger and Honey is going to be quite different.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011


Having a sick sister who wants to go to sleep at 6:00 pm every night means you get to stay up "late" and play checkers with your dad.

And having a little sister who suddenly takes an afternoon nap again means that you get to ride your bike as fast as you want, and come home with holes in the knees of your pants.

And even with bike riding, and Dr. Seuss reading, and 100 piece puzzle constructing, there's still time to practice your scales.

Jane was so out of it this weekend that Wren got a tiny taste of being an only child. She liked the attention but I'm pretty sure she's ready to have her crazy sister back.

We dragged poor Jane along with us to the Kite Festival and she mostly just laid in my lap and looked at the sky.

Wren had a good time trying to get her star kite in the air, and playing with her friend Naomi.

It was a nice weekend overall, even with Jane feeling so crummy. She's finally starting to feel better, although not quite better enough to go back to school. This means of course that she's in that SUPER ANNOYING stage of having all of her energy and craziness back, with just enough discomfort and crabbiness in there to insure that she's going to make me completely insane.

By the time she's over it and back at school, Ben and I will have it, and I will have missed lots and lots of work. At least I'll have something to do when I get back!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sick Day

Lots of stuff has been going around the girls' school lately, and we were due to come down with some of it...

When Janey gets sick, everyone knows it. She plays hard and she falls hard- she is sicker than anyone has ever been sick. Her voice sounds like she's been smoking a pack a day for 20 years, she has a hacking seal-bark cough, and her cheeks are bright pink.

She says, pitifully, "Mama could you please put Ben in his chair because I NEEEEEEED you!" and of course she does, and I do, and she's my little Jane monkey baby for the day, clinging to my hip. At least her proximity lets me keep tabs on her fever inching up between dosings of advil.

She says, "Tomorrow I am going to feel MUCH MUCH better, right Mama?"

And I say that she will, because she probably will. And I say a prayer or a billion for mothers who can't go to the 24 HEB pharmacy for more advil, and for mothers whose babies won't feel better tomorrow. Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer, but sometimes it only takes a tiny glimpse of another road to snap you back to gratefulness.

I am so so grateful.

quilt for auction

We are so lucky to be able to send the girls to a -really- good school. A school so good that we can't afford it.

We are pretty sure we're the reason they started offering financial aid. And we might just be the sole beneficiaries of the fall fundraiser golf tournament.

It's an important role to have- reminding rich people that other people are like them in many ways, except for not having lots of money. But it also means that we are late with our tuition more often than anyone else, and cause more headaches for the office staff than other families probably do.

Since we can't contribute to the school financially, when the spring fundraising auction came around, I offered to make a quilt.

And this is it.

A coin quilt, made from scraps from the stash, and backed in vintage sheeting. A time crunch meant I was justified in buying binding instead of making my own (hurrah! I HATE making binding) and so that process went faster than usual. I'm happy with the way it turned out and I hope it raises some "thanks for being cool with our poverty" money for our school.