Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

miss ah-mah-ree

A.: Mommy, can you please help me get this out of my nose?
Moi: Yeah... Wait, what?!? What is it?
A.: Umm, it's NOT popcorn...

Friday, December 19, 2008

stuck


inspired by Kris Livo.'s blog's "I can't help you right now; I have to go get the camera!"

the cutest little handmade christmas cards. each one unique.


Indeed, we did start making these cards. I think none are complete, but this one was close:


We ran out of pom poms for the noses. We ran out of googly eyes. We were interrupted a few times. We had to take a break and make some Christmas cookies, of course. And the weather got cold. Very, very cold. And BR can only stand it for about 3 minutes so it makes it hard to go anywhere. I can't even get us all from the front porch to the car in 3 minutes, let alone get them to a warm place. I guess we'll stay home. We'll get to the store for googly eyes and pom poms soon.

(see? each one is unique! and did I mention cute?)

The cold spell is unusual for these parts, though, and we feel comforted to know that. So unusual that the landlord never mentioned the heating wire you should plug in so the pipes that feed the washing machine don't freeze. That's no big deal, we'll just wait for the weather to get warmer to use the machines again. I mean, what a luxury to even HAVE machines. I still can't get over it.

No, no, says the landlord, go ahead and plug it in now. Oh? Ok, I'll go right ahead.

And the peaceful, if messy, Christmas baking project continued.

But wait, what is that noise coming from the laundry room? Burst pipes!?! Flooding the laundry room? Quick, call the landlord!

Crash. The phone drops and breaks.

The landlord's number was programmed INTO the phone.
I look and look and finally find it in an old email (this also takes more than 3 minutes). We call. The landlord apparently knows nothing about how to shut off the water. We try the plumber. He says it's in the cellar "near the dirt" and "you'll need a flashlight." The flashlight is broken. We (eventually) find a camping lantern but where are the batteries...

We have about 1/2 foot of water in there by the time we get the water off and are so happy that the laundry room is about a foot lower than the rest of the house. The water is now leaving the laundry room and flooding into the cellar onto all our storage boxes. We head down into the cellar again to assess the damage.
But it's not over and it will take a few more burst pipes and pumps and floods over the course of a few more days to really get it all sorted out.
Finally convinced everything was taken care of, I threw our doormat into the washer clean out all the grimy nastiness it collected throughout the floods. And it shredded. Teeny tiny pieces of rubber everywhere. Like a tissue that's gone through a wash cycle, but oh so much worse.
(I can't help but think of the words of one of my mother's Moroccan friends who once so wisely pointed out, What are you complaining about? You've got a refrigerator!)

So it was ok, and nothing in storage of value was damaged and we managed to laugh in the midst of it all and it was a fun family effort as BR cheered us on with his "Wow!" over and over again. I guess the water shooting out of the wall really impressed him. And daddy was even home and got to join in all the fun and help with the mopping, reorganizing of the cellar, etc. and then he still had time for a nap before his night shift!
And I decided not to try to make dinner and instead pick up some things we needed at Target and treat the kids to a pizza there afterwards (everyone knows that the food court at Target is The Bomb when you are 4 and 2 and 1).
I managed to carry the food with one hand and push the GIGANTIC cart the kids wanted to ride in (you know the kind that is a grocery cart with a truck stuck on the back of it with seats for the kids) with the other hand, and herd everyone to a table (by that time no one wanted to be in the cart anymore but there was still NO Way they were going to let me trade it in for another one.
We get settled, everyone takes a few bites and then someone realizes she is in desperate need of a bathroom break, or else...
So we packed everything and everyone up (it's hard to explain how much easier it is to type that than to actually do it). Then we head to the restroom and find out that the spacious family restroom (that has room for the gigantic cart and only has one toilet-- why this is important will become clear in a moment) is out of order and so I have to carry all the food and bags into the bathroom with me and leave the cart outside which means that BR is NOT strapped in so he is free to roam into the other stalls and sample the toilet water and crawl under the doors to say "HI!" to the poor surprised women in said stalls while I help the girls with their business and shout, "No! Riceball! Get back here NOW!" and "I'm so sorry, I'm really so sorry" over and over.

We did finish our dinner eventually and as I was standing there, and leaning over the table to help someone with a bite I noticed a woman watching us and smiling kindly and I realized how cute we probably all looked and how she didn't have any idea what was involved with this whole endeavor and how it didn't matter anyway because we were all enjoying ourselves and then I also realized that I had forgotten to change out of the old jeans with the hole in the seat.

Well, the story's not over, but I guess I don't really need more to explain why most of these cards still look like this:



And this:

"Merry christmas, here are some thumbprints you can imagine are reindeers' heads"?

And so probably no one will actually get one of these in the mail, but boy would they have been cute.
I have a feeling Christmas dinner will be mac n'cheese this year.

(dedicated to all those parents out there doing the really hard work. like Catherine and Nathaniel who, along with their 3 toddlers and a kindergartner, are still waiting to return home after the hurricane hit the tree by their house in September and in the meantime still manage to pull together a daily customized homeschooling curriculum for the older ones while keeping the twin babies entertained.)

le petit prince

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
we miss you. we sent along a kiss to you
(to be delivered by 'Eloise in Paris').

Thursday, December 18, 2008

new friend

Here is a shot from about a month ago at the zoo with our new friend E. She is right between L. and A. in age and the girls both love her. There's mutual adoration going on, so that's even more cool. L. wishes her hair were "as long or longer than E.'s!" and I hear E. wishes she had L.'s 'do.
E.'s mommy: keep an eye on those scissors...

Friday, December 12, 2008

outtakes

subtitle: the mama can't help herself


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she was trying SO hard not to laugh and... finally gives in
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sure they're cute. but if that littlest one could resist the temptation to eat all the christmas lights (you know, those tasty tiny lightbulbs), he would be MUCH cuter.

these kids...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

(gasp) (choke) death by cuteness overdose...

to clarify: this is not the little ball of rice, but cousin P.
note that A's extra 9 days of life are keeping her in the lead in height.
She's got at least 1/2 inch on that shorty.


i don't know how i forgot to include this one in that other set. it's just too much.

Friday, December 5, 2008

this kid...

I was on the phone and L. was unsuccessfully trying to get my attention to ask a question. So she took it to the next level.
(So apparently she knows how to write full sentences now?)


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A bit of background: L. has REALLY been looking forward to trying cotton candy. But lately anytime she's seen packages of it at the grocery store, it's been bad timing. There'd already been too much Halloween candy in the diet. She'd forgotten her pocket money. Dessert privileges had been revoked for some reason.

Wednesday: I woke up to her crying during the night.
"What's wrong, honey? Did you have a scary dream?"
"No, it wasn't scary, it was just sad. (sob) I'm really sad. (sob) It was about how I got some cotton candy and (sob) it tasted like NOTHING!"

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A. was scribbling on her gut with a pen yesterday. So L. grabbed one, too and in a few seconds had composed this masterpiece (it's a unicorn, of course)

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sketch of L. hard at work coloring, by Uncle Matt.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008