Rainy Day Daisy

Posted on 4/29/2014 02:41:00 PM


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A Spoonful of Apple Pie

Posted on 4/26/2014 09:01:00 PM
Rough day today. 

Karate tournament. 

Did not go well.

Suffice it to say that some of us still need to learn the life lesson that sometimes you can practice and try your hardest and do everything you know how to do and you still don't win because you had a bad day, or because the other guy just had a better day, or maybe because that Russian judge is all over the map with his scoring today. And that's okay, because remember how you started doing this because you liked it and not for the trophies?

The good thing about being good at a lot of different things is you get a ton of positive reinforcement.  The bad thing about being good at a lot of different things is you don't get a lot of experience losing and it's kinda something everyone needs to learn how to do.  Especially first-born kids who don't often get beat down by their siblings.  If anyone has a better spoonful of sugar to help that particular medicine go down, I'd be thrilled to hear it.


In other news, a karate tournament is prime people watching real estate as evidenced by the following conversation between The KingofHearts and I while we were waiting for the division to start.

KoH: "I just saw a woman in a hijab doing karate.  That's awesome."

Me: "I just saw an Asian dude with a handlebar mustache and Harry Potter glasses in a Polo shirt taking pictures with a giant camera while his kid practices Pencak Silat." (it's a martial art from Indonesia).

KoH: "Touché."

Then we both turned around just in time to see the Lebanese guy wearing the salmon-colored, ombre, v-neck, women's Izod sweater drinking a Pepsi.

Oh 'Murika, I love you.

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We Are Siamese

Posted on 4/23/2014 05:52:00 PM
These are not the greatest pictures -- they are snapped from my phone, because, as anyone who has cats knows, when you see a cat doing something interesting and/or cute, you have no time to go find your camera and take a proper picture - even if it is right on the table beside you - because by the time you turn around, that cat will sense that you are trying to get a picture of it doing a Thing and it will stop doing that Thing.  

Out of spite.

Also, a cat will do a Thing eighty-some-odd times and drive you crazy by doing that Thing over and over again, but the minute, no, THE SECOND, you try and show someone else that your cat does a Thing, the cat will stop doing that Thing. Forever.

Basically, your cats hate you.

I know some of you think that your cats are your constant companions and depend on your for warmth and companionship, but the truth is, they will gleefully murder you in your sleep and then eat your face if they ever grow thumbs and learn to pull the trigger on a shotgun.  

But they are fluffy.  Can't say that much for kids.

Here is Maggie looking regal.



And here is Barker, looking, well... looking as Barker is wont to look.  He hates it when we go outside and leave the screen door open, I suppose because he is not invited to The Outside and also too chicken to go to The Outside, so as long as he can see us in The Outside, he will sit at this door and alternate non-stop pawing at the window with licking the glass.  


"I like pizza."

Siamese are supposed to be pretty smart cats, but I think we got a copy of a copy of a copy in this one.

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Buried Treasure

Posted on 4/22/2014 05:34:00 PM
This week, we ordered a bunch of gravel for an unnamed project The KingofHearts has going on in the backyard.  

Or we ordered it to amuse the Shortlings. 

You tell me who got more use out of it.






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Easter Gratitude

Posted on 4/21/2014 06:09:00 PM
Easter was pretty low-key, as it generally is in our house. We threw some plastic eggs in the yard in the dark the night before for The Shortlings to find the next morning and for the squirrels to find even before then. We always end up with few plastic eggs that are chewed open and missing the candy that was left inside.  I consider it an offering to our new squirrel overlords.  

I also left a couple of chocolate rabbits on the kitchen table.  The Caterpillar is trying desperately to believe in the Easter Bunny for some reason, which is weird because last year she didn't.  She got up early Sunday morning and quickly spied the eggs in the yard, then found the chocolate rabbits shortly after that.  I heard her gasp loudly in the kitchen by herself (no one else was up yet) and then sigh, and intone in the sweetest, most wistful voice she could muster, 

"Thank you Easter Bunny.  WhereEVER you are."

Then she ran into the bedroom to wake up The KingofHearts by jumping on his genitals.

Here are a few photos to mark the occasion.







I'm going to show that last one at their graduation.

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Spring... Finally

Posted on 4/21/2014 05:27:00 PM
It's hard to believe it, I know, but it's Spring. 

Also, I just discovered the macro setting on my new camera lens.  

Let us rejoice.













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It Means Corners or Intersections of Geometric Shapes*

Posted on 4/18/2014 07:17:00 AM In:
Dormouse: "OW!"

KingofHearts: "What happened?"

DM: "OWW.  STUPID THING!"

KoH: "What did you do?"

DM: "I clipped my elbow on that cabinet.  Ow... stupid... vertex!"

KoH: "That's a pretty fancy word for someone who just banged their own arm against a cabinet."




*I had to look it up

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Core Strength

Posted on 4/17/2014 07:00:00 AM
Every night before The Shortlings go to bed, The KingofHearts reads to them.  Usually it's some fantasy book that I would never myself choose to read and they bond over it, coming up with insider references and ideas for Halloween costumes that I would never understand, because while they are reading, I am hiding in my room for the twenty minutes a day that I get to myself.  

Well, The Dormouse and The KingofHearts bond over the story, anyway.  The Caterpillar wants very badly to be in the room while they read... and is.  But while he reads, The Dormouse listens and The Caterpillar does this:


and this:


and this:


She also watches television like this and if you think that's not distracting, next time you want to watch a serious drama with lots of action and complicated dialogue that requires your full attention, try doing with a cirque du soliel performance going on in between you and the screen.

Here, she demonstrates the unusually developed core strength she has for a six year old. 
 


If I had abs like that, well, I wouldn't need to work for a living.

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Cherry Blossoms

Posted on 4/16/2014 11:28:00 AM In:
Speaking of cherry blossoms, believe it or not, the Tidal Basin is not the only place in D.C. where you can see them blooming. It's just the only place where a tourist can easily push you into the water while trying to take his fiftieth picture of a family member in front of the trunk of a tree.  There are other good places too... and you don't even have to bring your life jacket.




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Corinthian*

Posted on 4/15/2014 11:22:00 AM In:
It's finally spring in the nation's capitol, so we endeavored to make a day of it this weekend and spend some time outside.  It was a great idea, but The Caterpillar was in a pissy mood and whined about every little thing from the grass touching her feet to the great injustice of others around her requiring that she walk on her own power, until finally, we just decided to go home after spending only a few minutes with the National Capitol Columns (one of my favorite places in the city) and the Bonsai collection at the National Arboretum. 

I later found out that some friends were there about the same time we were and I said they'd probably seen us -- at least if they noticed a station wagon with a back seat full of whining kids.  His response was, "Do you know how many station wagons with whining kids were there on Saturday? (A fair response would be, 'Not nearly as many as there were near the tidal basin.')"

Point taken.






*That's the name of the type of column seen in these pictures and I didn't even have to look it up.  That art history class I took in college just keeps giving and giving.

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Anatomy of a Fit

Posted on 4/09/2014 06:07:00 PM
Last weekend I got The KingofHearts and I tickets to see The Manhattan Transfer, because - and I do not think I am not exaggerating here - they are the greatest singing group known to mankind.  

You may not agree, and that's fine, but that's just how seriously I take those four and their band.  

So you can see why, when we suddenly found ourselves without a babysitter, I pawned my kids off on someone prevailed upon a friend and her family to watch them so our tickets didn't have to go to waste.  I usually like to have someone watch them in our home so they can go to bed at a reasonable hour.  When they are at someone else's house, that doesn't always happen. But that wasn't an option for various reasons, so we left them at this friend's place.  And, as expected, when we got back to pick up The Shortlings and found they were both awake way too late at night, I knew there'd be a price to pay.  Sure, they looked happy enough -- The Dormouse was watching a movie and The Caterpillar was busy on a computer someone had foolishly let her use, playing the songs from Frozen on a perpetual loop, probably for the past three hours.

So, two things about The Caterpillar: 1) she does not deal well with extended periods of screen time exposure.  Neither of my kids do, as a matter of fact.  They are happy to play a computer game for two to six hours straight, but everyone will pay for it later because they become cranky, belligerent jerkoffs for the rest of the day and no one likes that. Least of all, me.  So we do our best to limit their time in front of screens, particularly computer games.  Number 2) thing about The Caterpillar: She does not handle Tired well. Oh I know no kid does, but she is particularly bad with physical symptoms like Hungry and Tired.  This is why my kids have a relatively early bedtime and we don't tend to leave them at people's house where they play fast and loose with Going to Bed at a Not-Stupid Kind of Hour.

Fast forward to the end of the evening.  We walked in, both kids were fine and happy.  We stayed to talk to some of the adults that were there and my girlfriend said, nodding at The Caterpillar, "Once, while she was back there, she just started crying for no reason.  Then she stopped and it was fine after that."

"Yeah, she's tired," I said, "She doesn't do well with Tired.  She just needs to be in bed."

"Well, she was fine after that and has been happy ever since."

"For now," I corrected, "but the time bomb is ticking on that one."

We talked for a little while longer and then got ready to go.  I told both girls to go find their shoes and we started to make our way through the house.  At this point, it's about 11:30 pm not ridiculously late, but late enough. 

As I was walking out, The Caterpillar tugged on my shirt tails and I looked down at the tears in her eyes as she suddenly started crying great dripping tears, "But I never got cake!"

I had no idea what this meant, but I wasn't about to feed her cake at 11:30 pm even if there was cake, so I just told her we'd worry about it later, but now we had to go home.

This turned into a knock down, drag out, screamfest, complete with her throwing her entire six year old body on the floor kicking, screaming and with the patented Curly Howard Floor Spin but not in a funny Yuk Yuk Yuk kind of way.

"CAAAAKE!!!! I NEVER GOT CAKE!!!!!"

The owner of the house didn't have any more cake.

"CAAAAKE!!!"

She kicked. She bawled, She screamed.

"IIIIIII WAAAAANT CAAAAKE."

Someone pointed out that she ate an entire bag of chips, three sodas, several cookies and eighy-six pieces of candy.

"BUT I DIDN'T GET CAAAAAKE!!!

Someone tried to put shoes on her feet, Cinderella-style and distract her.

"BUT CAAAAKE!"

A guest of the house offered to go home and get more cake.

"BUT I WANT CAAAAKE NOW!!!

Someone else offered at Twinkie as a substitute for cake.

That's when I was about to do the Curly Howard Floor Spin because NO I AM NOT GOING TO REWARD THIS BEHAVIOR WITH CAKE AND ALSO IT IS 11:30 AT NIGHT STOP OFFERING HER CAKE.

Finally, I picked her up, threw her over my shoulder, walked out the door and deposited her in the car.  Then I got in the car and waited for the rest of my family to figure out we'd gone, while I texted my friend in my best sarcastic texting font (we really need one of those, by the way), "So I guess that was goodbye, let me know when you want to watch her again! :)"

It was actually really uncharacteristic for The Caterpillar to lose it like that, so, while totally exasperated, we were fairly philosophical about it all and just drove home wordlessly, while she calmed down and heaved great sobs, each successively quieter. Then we dumped her in bed; she was asleep before her head hit the pillow.  It was over.

Except it wasn't.

Because the next day, we had to take The Dormouse to her Solo and Ensemble festival and while we were waiting in line, we got bored and probably a little slap happy, and The KoH and I started randomly calling out, "BUT I NEVER GOT CAAAAKE!"  And that would make the other person laugh hysterically, and embarrass The Caterpillar greatly, who would hide her face in her jacket every time we did it. Then when we finally got calmed down and serious again, someone else would moan, "CAAAAAAAKE!" and we'd all start guffawing again while The Caterpillar got really mad, which made the whole thing even funnier and I explained that if she was going to act silly she better be prepared to deal with the aftermath and YES I AM A MONSTER.

Then, still waiting, I texted my friend, "BUT I NEVER GOT CAKE!"

And she texted back, "Still?? You know, I could make a cake and bring it over..." 

To which I responded, "NO I WAS JUST KIDDING OH MY GOSH YOU SO DO NOT GET IT."

And then I told some of my friends at work and we all laughed hysterically and now someone will randomly moan while walking through the hallway, "But I didn't get caaaaake!" on the way to the bathroom.
 
And that's been going on for days.

"CAAAAKE!"

The Caterpillar eventually overcame her embarrassment by our antics... somewhat.  But then we declared that she would now, henceforward be called, not Caterpillar, but Cake and she got mad at us all over again. It was only after we and threw her a bone and gave everyone on the family nicknames as well (Junk, Buttfunk, and BoobsMcGee... I'll let you figure out which nickname belongs to whom) that she finally found the humor in it all.

It's a hard thing to be a member of this family.  I figure if these children survive it, they'll be ready for the anything the cold, cruel world has to throw at them.

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Gimme All Your Luvin

Posted on 4/06/2014 07:33:00 AM
So much going on from now until the end of school, I often forget to feed The Children, which is how we ended up in the Burger King drive-through the other night.  Both girls ordered a kids' meal, which, as we who have kids always know, is only because it comes with a toy. 

Anxious to get home and stick all the bad-tempered girls into bed, I shoved the money through the car window, grabbed the food, then sped off.  Only when we were a good two miles down the road did the girls open their bags and look inside.

Caterpillar: "OH MAAAAAN!  I got a boy toy!"

Dormouse: "I GOT A BOY TOY TOOOooooo!"

Me: "Well, nothing we can do about it now.  Plus, boy toys can be fun too."

Dormouse: "That's true.  Boy toys CAN be fun too."

Caterpillar: "Momma why are you laughing?"

In about six years, I'm gonna hate to hear either one of them say that.  But for now, I was just too tired to explain.

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Me in 3 Seconds

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Washington, D.C. Metro, United States
Married, 40ish mom of two (or three, or four, depending on how you keep score) who stepped through the lookinglass and now finds herself living in curiouser and curiouser lands of Marriage, Motherhood, and the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

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