31 January 2009

The circus is in town

Did I tell you that Mom took us to the circus?

Self portrait. Eli, eating popcorn...
Those are ladies upside down!
I talked everyone in to going last week, and then came home to find out why there was a little girl of about 8 with a protest poster in front of the coliseum. I won't even post a link to what I found, but I am just so naive. I went thinking that surely this day in age the animals were well treated and loved and cared for. Indeed they seemed happy enough, but really, the tigers were grossly and unnaturally obese. The performers were my favorite part doing astounding things with their bodies and the theatrics were impressive. In all, I am so glad we went, once, but probably we won't be returning.

29 January 2009

The drinks are ready and the dogs are going to war.

We are not strict vegetarians around here, but we do try to limit the meat intake and make healthy eating decisions. One of many "we will never"s was about serving hot dogs. Somehow the boys found out about them and fell in love. They order them to my disgust when we go to restaurants or when they are being served at someone else's home. They bug the crap out of me to buy them at the grocery store, and finally I relented with a compromise. I found that for about the same price you can buy these. And, they are pretty yummy. Vegetarian junk food is better than regular junk food, right? They'll eat the whole package in one day. Literally.

23 January 2009

"I think I'll call it America"

Those of you that know, know that I am less than patriotic really, but lately, I have been proud of my nation. First, I am loving books on CD lately as I spend tons of time in the car. I have been listening to a book called Child 44 a murder-mystery-historical-fiction that takes place in Stalinist Russia. And, needless to say, the living conditions and fear and hate and paranoia and poverty in which the people lived in this time period not so long ago, very much makes me thankful that I am not raising my children in those conditions.

Secondly, Nashvillians just voted down a proposed English only bill that I was against. I pessimistically thought it would pass. I feel that our great city could of easily sided with clear racism, hate, and insecurities, and instead opted for safety, education, and compassion. Go Nashville, now go find something important to fight against like war, poverty, hunger, faith... (fighting against or for languages?? In the face of poverty, illness, environmental distraction?? Really???)

And, while I'm on a rollllllll, I very much enjoyed the inauguration, and relished the community sentiments, connectedness, and togetherness I felt this Tuesday. Classes and work stopped for those of us not able to travel to Washington to gape in awe at our Democratic process. I was proud on Tuesday of the possibility of hope. Don't get me wrong. I am wary, realistic, and on guard against empty promises by politicians of all shapes and colors, but it is a breath of fresh air to have our country almost collectively optimistic about our leader. I guess after Bush was elected a second term, I was apauld enough, my feelings hurt enough, that I sort of lost faith in the intelligence, compassion, and even the religion of our nation. All that has been restored in a single presidency, and people that I love and respect and think and pray think this guy has similar beliefs and intelligence, and I respect our nation for coming together.

Likewise, Pres. Obama commented on how many times in this countries history we have had a peaceful transfer of power, and yes, for that we are lucky. I would still move to Uruguay at the drop of a hat, but our lives here are so very good. Thank God.

22 January 2009

An' a fake beard plastered on her brow

Alright fans (ehhem, mom) A quick update...

Eli is potty trained. Sing it with me.. Poo-poo in the potty, poo-poo in the potty, poo-poo in the potty woooo-hoooo (hold your hands above your head at the end).. This song is a great way to encourage the kiddos. And, alas, we may never have to use it again. We have entered the ever so elegant phase of parenting wherein we find ourselves in inappropriate gas station and fast food joint pooping episodes that extend for 15 minutes that feel like hours of disgust and nagging. (what does that say? DON'T TOUCH THAT!)

I have been changing diapers for 5 years...Whew.

While on the subject of poop, let me tell you about a shitty morning last weekend. It all started with everyone piled in our bed on Sunday morning last. I smelled poop and of course put the pillow on my head hoping someone else would take care of it. Of course, they didn't so I drug myself out of bed to help Eli out of his predicament. It being a cloth diaper, I put in on top of the washing a machine because as I passed through the kitchen, I noticed that the cat had decided to poop in a plant over night. We couldn't start brewing coffee or making pancakes until all poop had been cleared from the kitchen. So, I did that. As I returned to deal with poopy diaper, I found the dog had jumped up onto the washing machine and was having himself a tasty morning snack, all of which was now in his beard. The children quickly named him Sir Poop Beard. So out the dog went until coffee was made and diaper was cleaned. I then had to bathe the dog and comb out his poop. Motherhood is so very glamorous.

On a personal note, I am slacking at updating because I am being artsy, thinking about writing a book, and in general finding the computer a chore...(Maybe Spring Fever)

17 January 2009

The dogs were barking, a neighbor passed,

Directions for getting rid of a paci:
Step 1: Don't ever let them use one in the first place. This worked for kid #1, but for some reason we were sort of excited that kid #2 liked his. Sort of. (Now after 2 years the thought of him sucking on a nasty piece of plastic that gets lost in the middle of the night makes me cringe.)
Step 2: Talk up the big boy stuff. Babies use pacis, etc..
Step 3: Let the kid throw away all but one so your entire night time existence relies on one piece of plastic. Caution: All H can and will break loose if you lose that piece of plastic amongst all of the other junk that goes into a household.
Step 4: Let the child make that one single paci look irresistible to the dog, but NEVER let the dog get close to it.
Step 5: Leave the paci on the child's bed and the door open to the child's room while no one is looking.
Step 6: Pretend to be upset and disappointed when the dog comes prancing out of the child's room chewing on the only paci left in the house.
Step 7: Let the child throw the paci away saying how totally gross it would be to use the paci now.
Step 8: Prepare yourself for a tiny bit of inevitable discomfort by the child that could last between 7 - 10 minutes after bed time. Crying, moaning, and claims of hunger, thirst, and potty needs are an unavoidable. 10 minutes is in fact a long time in this case, but since the paci has dog slobber all over it, there is no other option.
Step 9: Praise the dog for finally making a positive contribution to the household.
Step 10: Sleep.

10 January 2009

Half asleep near the stars with a small dog licking your face.

We received so many great gifts from our family this year, and we appreciate them all. I wanted to highlight a few favorites. This model solar system that the kids painted is a big hit, and we can use it when Ollie asks questions about the planets and days and all..

Santa brought Wilson, Ollie's new faithful companion. I can't remember if I've yet sung the praises of the Schnauzer Love Rescue, but they are wonderful, and he's fitting in well around here.
These kid powered recycled toys are fabulously green!

And, the simple things have quickly become the favorites, too. This Jack in the box and the thingy below, the kids LOVE.

Plus, the slew of games and chemistry sets, some used (which I think is great!).

Thanks so much for all of our stuff guys, we love our family1

05 January 2009

the Tennessee, All the rest of them rebel rivers

The above serene, peaceful scenes taken from this past weekend around the Tennessee River as we celebrated Christmas with my Dad were taken moments before Ollie got his new fishing hook lodged in his thumb bad enough that we had to pack up the 3 dogs, our homemade banana bread, and all our crew in the back of the pick up truck down a dirt road to the other car and then finally speed to the local emergency room, only 15 minutes away. Ollie cried at first, a lot. But then settled into his usual pensiveness and asked, "Will they have to cut off my finger?" And, "Why can't we just use nets to fish." When the Dr. came in to investigate coupled with his statements like, "I'm not much of a fisherman, which way is this thing in there," and "it feels like I am snagging something," he also said, "this is going to be a little bee sting." When he left, Ollie said perplexed, "How will he use a bee?" Dear sweet one. So many rights of passage, what is next? What do we lack?