My online journal.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

He makes a point

Ed: Mama what are you drinking?

Me: Coffee. Do you want some?


Well, you're stinky, and I keep you around.

But do you drink me?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Daddy, pass me a crab leg!

I'm not going to make this all long-winded and mushy -- not because I'm not good at getting all long-winded and mushy, because I assure you I am -- but because it's late-ish Sunday night and I've got some massive reading to dive into and also the chair at my computer is incredibly uncomfortable. But:

Happy 35th Birthday Joel!

Yes, early in the morning on Monday, 9/21, Joel turns 35. Hard to believe I've been a part of 1/3 of his life. Lots of people go on about having married their Best Friend and how their spouse is the Most Amazing this or that, and while I do have a penchant for hyperbole I'm just going to say, Boofer, I love you very very much and I am so grateful for who you are. I keep finding myself delighted to share our journey, our home, and our kids... and maybe this year you could work on those windowsills in the kitchen?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Some sadness, a little nostalgia

Posting from tumbling class!
The kids are starting tumbling today -- I know, total overkill on the enrichment activities this fall. I think the class is only 6 or 7 weeks though. And it sure is nice to get a break!

So I've been crazy-emotional the last couple weeks -- first with all of Lucy's big milestones, and then with the deaths of Patrick Swayze and Mary Travers, and the scare with Garrison Keillor. I was talking to Jean last night and I realized that all three of them are icons in, respectively, dance, music and writing -- three huge influences in my life. I've never been a huge celebrity-follower (I remember being in 7th grade and cutting out a picture of Christian Slater to hang on my mirror, just because it seemed like the thing for a 13-year-old girl to do, not because I actually cared much about him) but I really admire all three of them and, without being conscious of it, had hoped to meet them or otherwise experience them in person one day. I guess there's still hope for Mr. Keillor, especially since he lives in my city, though I'm sure his fan mail bag is overflowing at the moment.

In an additional blow to my own immortality, last night was our final softball doubleheader of the year. I hate the offseason -- it's long and cold and miserable. Our team is really close-knit -- a lot of the guys have known each other since elementary school -- and we have been playing together for the last 3 years. It's the best softball team I've ever been on. I genuinely like every single person on the team, and they're all nice people and, as a bonus, solid ballplayers. One of our girls badly sprained her ankle earlier in the season, and while she was replaced by an equally-solid, equally-nice gal, it made me realize that now that we're all nearing (or well-past) 30, it only takes one silly play with one silly injury to make it someone's last game. It might have been the 2 beers I drank, but I was hit with how young and strong and beautiful we all are, and how fleeting is this moment of our lives.

Lu and Ed just took turns on the balance beam. I remember them learning to walk on the kitchen floor, watching as their little 14-month-old inner ears caught and corrected their balance. They're so stinkin' BIG now.

Lucy seems to be enjoying school -- she's always excited to get on the bus, smiling when she hops off, and has dived right into the elementary-school culture of trading (in her case, giving away colorful tattoos in exchange for a napkin/string/paperclip parachute, a purple pencil, red marker, and a cardboard princess purse). I'm really ambivalent about the trading. I'm glad she's interacting socially with other kids, but I just hope the older kids on the bus aren't manipulating her. She told me yesterday that she gave away one of her necklaces (which is FINE, she's got a mazillion) in exchange for what looked like a flash drive. I'm sure it was someone's garbage, but it weirded me out a little -- what if someone's mom is looking for it? Also, Lucy told me the girl told her not to tell anyone, which I HATE, and we had a nice discussion about that. Lu then said that they were planning to trade back, which I okayed. I just don't know.

Today is her first show-and-tell. Each kid brings something that starts with the letter of the week -- this week it's A. Lucy eschewed her Ariel doll and the apple and avocado I offered, and instead drew a picture of an apple, cut it out, taped it to the front of one of her homemade books (several pieces of paper stapled together), and wrote "APPLE BY LUCY GRONAU" on the front. I'm so very proud.

Lucy also had her first dance class this week. The girls are adorable in their matching black leos and pink tights, and I always enjoy meeting other crazy mamas.

And my dad was in town this week to help Jean do a 24-mile training run. Marathon's in 15 days!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wha wha wha WHAAAAT?

Holy moses, Lucy has TWO LOOSE TEETH. Her bottom middle two -- which makes me think this is actually happening.

Seriously, did she have to get TWO loose teeth only 4 days after starting school, which was only 8 days after turning 5?? Not fair to emotional, prone-to-tears Mama.

Also, a blog I read had "Funny things Mamas catch themselves saying" the other day, and this was my own personal contribution:

"Where are your pants and underwear? Did you say "they're tinkled"? Please show me where you tinkled. No, I mean, I see that you tinkled in your pants and underwear, but where were you STANDING when you tinkled? Please help me follow this trail of wet footprints. Thank you for showing me. Now please go get a rag so we can mop it up."

Also I forgot to mention that the day Lucy left for preschool, Eddie kept walking around the house singing the part of "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" where Timon sings "I can see what's happening... And they don't have a clue... (etc...) Our trio's down to two." It made me cry even harder.

In fun news, Joel's sister Julie got her wedding dress! And also chose the bridesmaid dresses, and I am just delighted!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Echoing the sentiments of most Minnesotans

Conversation with Eddie this morning. He had picked up the Vikings section of the PiPress and was entranced by the large, artsy illustration of Brett Favre paddling (I think what he's technically doing is "punting," but given the football connotation I think that would confuse) a Viking boat, wearing a cheesehead with Viking horns coming out of it.

Ed: What's in that cheese?

Me: Brett Favre's head.

Ed: Cheese on his HEAD!? And HORNS!? Get that cheese off of his HEAD!

Oh, little Ed, in time you will learn: you can never fully excise the cheese.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Day of School!

Blogger won't let me post video and Facebook won't give me photos, so here's our Lucy's first day of school! In photos!

If you want the video, join FB.

OK sorry this will be so short, but it's sooo late...

Joel made cake-cakes for the kids this morning. With blueberry syrup, nummmm...

Lucy, workin' on a puzzle just to pass the morning away. My beautiful big little girl.

The bus isn't coming for 20 minutes but we are rarin' to go. Van is parked out front, ready for Eddie and me to jump in just as soon as Lucy gets on her bus!

The kids had a conniption when I asked them to stand by the flowers. "Too many BUGS!" So.. how about by the tomatoes? "Tooo WET!!" Grrrr.

This is her bus! Doesn't she look elated?

As soon as Lucy got on the bus, Eddie started hollering "HURRY MOM!!" and we did have to make tracks to beat the bus back to school (Lucy is the last pickup and the first drop-off, which is a GIANT relief for Mom). We joined some other parents-with-cameras, one of whom had actually attempted to ride the bus, too. Ummm, no, that would be against the rules, hello!

Walking from the bus into school

First day at Nokomis! Ed wanted to go in, and then wanted to play on the playground (with about a thousand other enormous children). Instead, we had ice cream cones on the deck. I only cried a little.

Waiting at the stop 2/3 of a block up the street.

Off the bus came the Girl Of Seventy Birthdays! She said school was fine -- bits and pieces of the story have been dribbling out all night.
Mostly they sat on the rug.
Bu they did go play outside and it was REALLY hot and sweaty.
They played musical instruments.
When LUCY is a teacher, SHE is going to make sure NOBODY is talking when she is talking.
There were 2 Ethans in class and one got a time-out. The other one got his musical instrument taken away.
Lucy got tired and wanted to take a nap.
She got to lead the line.
There is NO TALKING AT ALL IN THE HALL which Lu isn't real happy about.
But she saw her friend Lily twice in the hall.
Lots of kids were wearing gym shoes.

...And she gets to go back tomorrow!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Cranberries not done yet, singer says

Well it's Ed's half-birthday today which officially makes my babies 3.5 and 5, respectively! And I, miraculously, remain the same charming 29 I was when Lu was born. Incredible!

The other day Joel looked at the wall where we measure the kids' heights every 6 months, and he pointed to the highest line and (without stooping and squinting to read the name) asked, "Who is this?" and, need I remind you, we only HAVE 2 kids so it's pretty hard to lose track of them, but I also squidged up my nose and cocked my head and looked at the line, joining Joel in disbelief that we could POSSIBLY have a child as tall as that top line.

Which, for the record, is just under 45" off the ground, which isn't all that tall for a person but is a MONSTROUS GIANT for someone who emerged from my womb a mere 5 years ago, 19" long and 8.5 lbs.

Anyway, so Lucy the 5 Year Old Wonder is beginning PreK on Thursday -- but a LOT of stuff has to happen before then: tomorrow AM I have to get 2 cavities filled; we have a conference with Lucy's teacher (during which I will be drooling out the side of my numbed-up face, HURRAY), then in the evening I have to teach the first of my Bollywood dance lessons, followed by one more dance lesson. Wednesday is ECFE registration day -- I volunteer -- and I *think* my rehearsals for Annie start that night as well. Thursday morning I'm supposed to get up at 6 to go rollerblading with some other mamas, and that afternoon is Lucy's first day!! Egads!!

Next week I start Bible study and the kids start tumbling, and Lucy is also taking dance (don't let me forget to register her!). And Joel and I are still playing softball for the next few weeks. So this next month is going to be a massive wake-up call for our lackadaisical, don't-bother-putting-my-contacts-in-until-11-AM, gee-I-guess-I-can-throw-dinner-together-at-the-last-second, sure-you-can-change-into-your-jammies-at-2pm summer schedules.

Today was a wonderful sendoff to our Summer O Fun -- we hit the State Fair (which, for you non-Minnesotans, is a BIG DEAL) yesterday with Joel's p's, they spent the night, and we woke up with a fabulous egg-and-sausage smorgasbord. After they took off, Joel and the kids and I hit our park up the road, armed with gardening gloves, trash bags, and a broom -- and we weeded the sand, broomed the sidewalks, and picked up candy wrappers, cigarette butts, broken glass and popsicle sticks until the place looked like a nice, well-kept city park again. We also met a nice gal who works in the theatre department at Central High School and who knows a gal who was in my Wilder NLP group last year*. Anyway.

After that we were hungry and hot, so we packed some lunches and hit the beach at Lake Phalen, where we met another Nokomis family (Joel and the dad had been in Daddy ECFE together last year*).

*This is how you can tell my kids are hitting school-age; I've started referring to "years" in terms of the school years. I stopped doing this when I graduated college in 1998 and it was a shock then, as much as it is now to be switching back.

The beach was great and perfect and lovely, and we got some ice cream and a pound of free grapes at Cub afterward. Joel SWEARS the kids picked Peppermint Bon-Bon -- his FAVORITE -- themselves. They didn't disagree.

We went home, I started making up the Bollywood dance, and Joel and the kids watched a movie in the basement. Then we grilled up some steaks and almost-the-last of our summer veggies (cherry tomatoes, green peps, and zukes from our garden, plus store-bought onions and mushrooms, grilled with Italian dressing -- holy Moses, it's the best treat ever). The sun set on our summer and I can tell from the 10-day forecast that fall is imminent, and even though we're going to have great pumpkins this year, and even though the trick-or-treat bag Lucy was making today is super-cute... I'm just not quite ready to let go. Well, wish me luck with the fillings.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Twitter for morons stuck in 2005

I've been thinking, I should TOTALLY get on Twitter, because my life is SO FASCINATING. Like, I would have tweeted all these things today:

Whatever that water is? that collects inside pumpkin vines? smells EXACTLY like baby puke.

Mmmm... homemade bruschetta....

Crockpot recipes! Need your crockpot recipes!

Right, it's such a shame that my cell phone is so old it doesn't even have a camera. And has to be charged by plugging it into a potato.

Happy 5th Birthday Lucy!

Yup, Lucy is 5 as of September 2 at 3:34 AM, and this marks about 5 years of this blog! So crazy. Lucy's had an incredibly exciting and exhausting week, beginning with auditions for Annie on Monday, middling with a visit from Grampa Books, a trip to her new dance studio, and a couple bday parties, and starting to wind down with meeting her teacher, Ms. Kristie, at Nokomis last night.

A couple pictures from birthday stuff (chronologically backwards, because Blogger is as disturbingly silly as naked clowns playing string instruments):

Princess Dresses! (From Valu Thrift! Thank you Valu Thrift -- got the following 4 dresses + 2 really nice books for the same price as one lone Target fairy costume)

Lucy requested crab legs for dinner. Ed realllly liked the ice cream cake:

Chicken hat from Jean, Barbie house (with toilet and functioning washing machine) from the Books!

They don't make Dairy Queen ice cream cake like they used to. But it still tastes OK.

And one more princess dress from Auntie Ellen!

Aaaaaand.... the other day I found this COMPLETELY REVOLTING thing on my bell pepper plant. Check it out (IRL it was about 1 inch long):

Upon discovery, I was able to stop screaming long enough to tell Joel to go out and take care of it; when he did, he found that it was a dried-up, empty shell, all split up its back. I cannot imagine the horrible, disgusting changeling that emerged from this atrocity. OK, I CAN imagine. And it goes something like this: