Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Dangerous New World...

This is what it looks like around our house lately.

We had to re-negotiate our internet connection with Comcast. In our strange new world, it was less expensive to get cable and internet than just internet. My children didn't know cable tv was a possibility in our house. They thought it was limited to hotel rooms and other people's houses. You can only imagine what it's like for them to go from rabbit ears (1-3 fuzzy channels) to limited cable (60+ channels). We've learned some important things this week.

1. Scooby Doo can provide critical thinking skills for a four year old. "Why would Scooby run away when he was barking at the monster before and the monster was afraid?" We've decided it would be much quicker if they just pulled the mask off the monster right away to expose Old Man (fill in the blank).

2. You will be embarrassed if your children walk into the room while you are watching E! OK, OK- you will be embarrassed if ANYONE walks into the room while you are watching E!

3. Animal Planet after 7:00 PM is the Animal Porn Channel. It's not such an issue for our family because we're pretty candid about the birds and bees and leopards and voles around here... but it must be difficult for some other families to explain why one leopard just can't seem to jump over the other.

Hmmm... I have to wrap this up. Law and Order's starting. If I miss it, I don't know when it'll be on next.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pesky Papparazzi

Yesterday was Shea's first day back at school. Like most mommies, I wanted a photo to capture the day. I knew I wasn't going to get a shot of him all excited to return to school. For that, I would have had to substitute some other kid.

I didn't think it was too much to hope for a picture of him as he headed out to the school bus though. Silly boy avoided my camera the whole way to the bus stop. Here he realizes I'm still following him with the camera.

So, he dodges behind the car. He's the little bump of hair sticking out above the trunk.

Cleverly camouflaged behind a fire hydrant.

Stick like enough to blend behind a sapling tree.

And he makes it to the bus stop.

With the help of the new camera from Uncle Michael and its zoom powers, I can be certain he actually got on the bus.

Maybe if I stake out the bus stop this afternoon, I can sneak up on him. I should be able to get a shot of him smiling when he's done for the day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Things I Didn't Know at Fifteen...

There are actually many, many things I didn't know when I was fifteen. I thought I knew it all (like most teenagers), but I was wrong. One of the many things I didn't know was that working at the Howard Johnson's in Lake George, NY would teach me all sorts of valuable skills. I thought the job was a great way to make money over the summer. Instead, I learned a variety of things: guest service, responsibility and how to make a great ice cream sundae.

It turns out the skill my kids appreciate the most is the making ice cream sundaes bit.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weekend Round-Up

Two birthdays on one day. Whew. I am tuckered. It took me two days to recover enough to post these pictures. And I wasn't even the one running around.

Amongst the celebrating for neighbor John's birthday, there was sprinkler goodness. Have you heard that Atlee enjoys water? Did you know that?

She's passing on this love of water to her little sister. Greeley's finally getting old enough to act like a sister should. At least, like a sister should in the world according to Atlee.

Little sisters should splash in puddles and sprinklers with you.

They should also leave all of your My Little Pony's alone.

If you haven't purchased Atlee's Christmas present yet, can I suggest a sprinkler? You can probably go out now and get one for like ninety percent off.

After our neighbor's birthday party, it was on to Uncle Travis'. His big brother was celebrating, too. This involved camping and tents and such.

At one point, some people with backpacks walked by on the road. You could almost see them wondering if this campground was open to the public.

Or if the economy has taken such a downturn that tent cities are making an appearance in South central PA. Lots of kids means lots of tents are necessary. Some of the kids helped set them up.

Not my kids. They wandered around aimlessly.

This is Travis' dog, Nico. He's a Great Dane. I feel the need to introduce all of you to the dogs we hang out with sometimes. Greeley correctly identified him as a dog, not a horse. I was very proud. See that table in front of him? That's not a coffee table people. That's a full size table. Great Dane's are big, if you didn't know.

Once it got dark, Christy brought out the glow sticks. You can't see their amazing glowiness from my pictures.

I assure you, it looked like a rave. Only there weren't any hallucinogenic drugs and there were a lot more kids.

See baby's new shoes. Toddling out of baby hood. But at least she's toddling in styling shoes.

The kids had a great time camping with Rich. Greeley and I headed home and had a great time sleeping in our bed. We did manage to make it back the next morning for Eggs Benedict- er- to pick up my family. What did you do this weekend?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Philipino Prison Dancing...

It's exactly what the title says. Can you see it at Dannemora?

Thank you Uncle Adam for bringing this to my attention! I've been hypnotized all morning...

Monday, August 4, 2008

900 Days Later...

900 days later, the Mountain House has a brandy-new tile kitchen floor.

It's purty. Much better than the cracked industrial 70's style linoleum tile floor that it had when we purchased the house.

The bar has some sort of fancy trim on it.

The fridge and stove patiently wait in the living room to be installed in the kitchen. Hey, wait- those aren't the avocado green stove and harvest gold fridge I had when we lived there.

The built in bookshelves have a lovely layer of polyshade on them.

The outside of the house is a nice neutral tan. The trim is the required forest green.

Even the great big window in living room.

The house isn't poop brown any longer.

So, that leaves the hardwood floor in the dining room to be sanded and finished, landscaping, landscaping, and landscaping. Did I mention the landscaping?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gettysburg Kids at the Playground...

The reason we went to Upstate New York last week was to have a delayed celebration for my brother, Bob, and his wife, Dani. They were hosting a casual party to celebrate their wedding last year. They unexpectedly got married last summer. There is a fine tradition in our family of getting unexpectedly married. My parents did it twenty-five years ago. Rich and I and my brother, John, and his wife, Monique, all got unexpectedly married together seven years ago while on vacation in California. So, it wasn't as surprising to our family as it might be to others when Bob and Dani got unexpectedly married last summer.

Anywho, the party was at a park on Lake George. There was food, swimming AND a playground. I'm pretty sure Atlee thought it was the best party ever. The only way it could have been any better for her would be if Bob and Dani had maybe rented a couple of kittens for the afternoon, too.

Greeley loves to swing.

She really loves to swing.

Our co-nuptialists, John and Monique, walked Atlee down to the lake to see if she would like it. Atlee like water? She assured Monique she would love it. She didn't have to see the lake to know she would love it.
This is one of the big boats that cruise around Lake George. This is actually the Lac du Saint-Sacrament. I worked on this boat, briefly. I believe my job title was hostess. I only recall folding a lot of cloth napkins. However, I was a young, irresponsible teenager who had difficulty with (ahem) punctuality. You know what happens when you try to call in late when you work on a boat? Ready? You miss the boat. Can't really fold napkins when you miss the boat.

Shea discovered a new found love of merry-go-rounds.

All of the kids were enjoying spinning themselves to a state of altered consciousness.

Atlee had fun. And why wouldn't she? Let's review: food, sand, playground, lake.

It's too bad all of my siblings are married now. I'm ready for another party.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Doctor's Visit

We all piled into the van to go to Greeley's doctor's appointment the other day. Rich was working which meant I had all three kids along for the ride. The kind doctor asked all sorts of questions about what Greeley's been up to developmentally. The conversation turns to her diet. What does she eat? Meat, pasta, fruits and vegetables. All the things that make me appear to be a competent parent. The doctor looks at his computer, looking for the next question. Into this silent vacuum Shea adds, "She really likes Sprite." I turn and look at him, completely dumbfounded. "What?" Later, I'm telling Rich the story- explaining how I felt like our nice doctor was looking at me suddenly as though I was putting Dr. Pepper in her baby bottle. Rich asked me, "Did you at least point out it was caffeine free?" Um, no.