Monday, November 30, 2009

The spirit of the season?

Yesterday I sat down with the kids to try to get an idea of what their Christmas wishes might be. In their favor, neither of them has really asked for much lately. I appreciate that, but it makes Christmas shopping hard. So Gabe got out a notebook and pencil, and we sat down to write lists.

Gabe's list contained several toys and games. Fine, they were all reasonable. Then he wrote down one that wasn't. "Internet access" Um, no. His uncle, who was on the phone with Chris at the time, quipped, "Why not ask for a car, too?" Don't tempt him, Jon, don't tempt him.

Timothy's list...well, there isn't a whole lot I can do with that. He wants the following items: bug spray so he can kill bugs by himself, air freshener for his room, which he informs me smells "beige", Mozilla Firefox (I'm 100% sure he has NO idea what this is, it just sounded neat), a laptop, a game system, movies on video that we already own on dvd, and a book about Santa Clause feeding some animals. Let's just say he's not going to get much on his list. The good news is that being four, he won't remember what he asked for next week. At least, I sincerely hope he won't!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The usual delays

Well, not the usual ones. More like some new and innovative ones that have kept me from blogging in the last week. Exhibit A: Timothy fell on the playground at school and ended up with five stitches in his chin. Pictures to follow, as soon as I dump the camera card.

Exhibit B: Morning sickness. Not serious morning sickness, and hey, it waited till I was 8 weeks pregnant to start, so maybe it'll be short-lived. Meanwhile, I spend a lot of my time sitting around feeling queasy and tired.

Speaking of the baby, the kids were discussing in the car last week what we should name the baby. Gabe is in favor of deciding on a boy and a girl name right away and then we'll be ready when we find out what we're having. He suggested that John was a good name and would fit with his and Timothy's names, being from the Bible. I told him we'd consider it. Then Timothy piped up solemnly, "Yes, and if it's a daughter, then we can name it Nick."

He was quite disappointed when I told him that was not going to happen. And both kids were disappointed to hear that they don't get a vote in naming the baby. I just don't want to end up with a daughter named Nick Spike John.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


These pictures are more than two months old, but I've been meaning to post them, so why not? Since late summer, we've been enjoying the return of our dear friends, Javier and Sonia, to Tulsa. We've spent a lot of weekends with them, mostly just hanging around. And eating. There is a lot of eating when we get together. Not sure why that is. Friendship must make us hungry. Anyway, this was back in September, and the boys were goofing off outside while we were waiting for the Driller Stadium fireworks. It's a little surprising the Little Tyke car survived, because it's practically an antique. But here are all three of my boys riding it, while Nick (Javi's son) looks on, probably waiting for the whole thing to collapse.

This was just a cute picture of Timothy. No other reason for posting it.

Like any self-respecting Drillers fans, we preferred to watch the fireworks from the Lowe's parking lot, along with everyone else to poor or too uninterested in the baseball game to pay admission to the stadium. Gabe and Nick had the best seats in the house.

Ooooooooooooooo! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Chris has decided there must be one picture of me from every set. Here it is.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just another sunset

After an unseasonably cold October, we had a gorgeous beginning to November. There's nothing quite like Indian summer, and around here, it tends to result in really spectacular sunsets. I'm no photographer, and my pathetic little point-and-shoot and I have a love/hate relationship. Actually, it might be more of a hate/hate relationship. Anyway, this is the best I could do with the sunset we saw coming home from Mom and Dad's house the other night.

I really did try to get a shot with no power lines in it, but this one was probably the best picture, despite the distractions.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A new arrival...

This time it isn't a cat.

At least...I don't think it's a cat. It's pretty hard to tell at this point.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Heart attack at a glance...

I looked out the window and for a moment, I thought Boris had been injured. Nope, Timothy colored him pink with sidewalk chalk! Crisis averted!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Zombies and other killer things in my neighborhood

It's a well-known fact that the man at the end of my street is a zombie. For one thing, although he is at least 60 years old and lives alone, he feels the need to come out at odd intervals of the night throughout the year to set off fireworks. I think he's trying to cause enough confusion and chaos that no one will notice if he eats a few people. For another thing, he has a bumper sticker that says "Got Brains?". And lastly, when I lost my cool last summer and stomped down the street in my pajamas to yell at him for waking my children with fireworks yet again, there was this odd smell of rotting flesh. He tried to tell me it was because everyone had trash out on the curb, but I didn't buy it.

Anyway, it's a weird neighborhood. I mentioned earlier that poison ivy attacked me over the summer. And I think I also mentioned the tomato plant that is trying to take over. Here it is in all its glory. I'm really not sure this shows the magnitude of this tomato plant, but it's roughly ten feet in diameter, and still growing. I didn't intend to have a tomato plant in my flower bed. The plant assures me that's part of its mystery and charm.

These are some of its offspring. They are delicious. Well, except for the one that was rotten and erupted like a volcano in my kitchen when I snapped the stem off. That one was NOT delicious.

And while we're on the subject of killer plants, meet mine and Gabe's favorite tree.

One morning on the way to school, Gabe asked if I'd ever noticed that the tree appeared to be trying to strangle the light pole. I hadn't, up till then. Gabe is pretty sure the tree is tired of being kept awake by the light at night. What do you think?

Doing our civic duty...

Yesterday was the Tulsa mayoral election. Our polling place is very close to the house, and is usually pretty slow in the mid-afternoon, so I typically go after I pick Gabe up from school and take both kids with me. Gabe is getting older and is more interested in how the government runs, so he wanted to know what we were voting for on the way inside. I told him we were voting for who would be mayor, but I failed to mention that there were a couple of other things on the ballot. He stood and read over my shoulder as I filled out my ballot for mayor, city counselor and several propositions.

Fast forward to this morning. Chris is off work for Veteran's Day and he generously offered to take Gabe to school. OK, that's a lie. When the alarm went off, I "accidentally" shoved him bodily from the bed and then mumbled, "Since you're already up, wanna take Gabe for me?" At any rate, on the way to school this morning, they were listening to the news report on the election. "Daddy," said Gabe, "What prepositions did you and Mama vote for anyway?" I feel that it would be best, when he gets home from school, if I explained to him that his father's answers of "About, For and With" might not be fully accurate.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What I did over my summer vacation

There is really no fast way to catch up on months of blog neglect. Especially if you are like me and can't for the life of you figure out how to flip pictures so that blog readers don't throw out their necks turning their heads to look at the pictures. But I digress.

I decided it would be easiest just to post some random assortments of pictures. And by the way, my use of the word "vacation" might have been a little sarcastic. Moms don't get vacations. They don't get sick leave or overtime, either. I tried standing in the living room with a sign demanding fair treatment, but no one even noticed, so I gave up.

First off, I grew some things. These are peas. The best peas you'd ever hope to eat. And I grew them. If you want your kids to eat vegetables with enthusiasm, try having them help grow them. Amazing!
I also spent a lot of time cleaning bunny cages, brushing bunnies, carting bunnies outside for play time, trying to catch bunnies when they sneakily opened their cages and escaped into my kitchen, and made disgusting oooooing and aaaaahing noises over how cute they are. Knit sleeps on his back with his giant furry feet in the air, but I haven't caught it with the camera yet.

My children also spent a fair amount of time communing with Knit. They know better than to get too close to Purl. We're fairly certain she descended from the rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In other words, she's slightly evil.

Then my friend Kat, known among certain circles as "Kat the Enabler", taught me to dye yarn. It was fun. REALLY fun. Here is some sock yarn I dyed. I call it...Hubba Bubba. Am I dating myself? I loved that gum!

At some point, this creature adopted me. Her name is Maura. She weighs all of five pounds, has only three working legs, and is The Boss. When Maura meows, you listen. I find that letting her run the household saves a lot of unnecessary worry. Plus, my children obey her far better than they obey me.

As you can see, I grew some more stuff. These were my herbs somewhere mid-summer. The small tomato plant below has since made a play for domination and taken over the front yard. I should really take a picture, because I'm not kidding. One day, my house will just be the big lump covered in tomato vine. However, I'm not complaining because we've had LOTS of tomatoes.
Kat was involved in this activity as well. She taught me to spin. I've always wanted to learn, and I'd been saving for a wheel. For my birthday, Mom, Dad and Pawpaw conspired to get me my own wheel. I also need a picture of that. Because this is apparently the only part of my wheel that I photographed. Odd.
And then I grew some stuff. This is a heap of mixed greens. It was delicious. We ate pretty well this summer, considering my garden tried to kill me. (It gave me poison ivy that landed me in the ER. Twice. And no, I wasn't trying to grow poison ivy. It's a long story.)
I would like to say I grew this, but I didn't. The birds did. I have very helpful finches.
I made some pickles, using my grandma's recipe. My cucumbers didn't do very well, but my cousin donated some cucumbers to the cause. I enjoyed making them, even if the smell of the brine caused Timothy to walk around with his shirt over his face for an entire day.
So, that was my summer vacation, the highlights. Yes, I realize I turned into a hippie. I didn't mean to, if that counts for anything.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

If my cats don't hate me yet...

It's probably a miracle.

I truly don't know what possesses me sometimes. Poor Meanie.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween 2009

I truly don't mean to go months between posts. I don't. It just happens. I've had so many gentle reminders (from my two remaining readers!) in the recent past, I finally dumped the camera card and here I am. We are big fans of Where the Wild Things Are. The book more so than the movie, but we did take the kids to see the movie, too. So it came as no surprise when Timothy expressed interest in owning a wolf suit. Unfortunately, because the movie came out so close to Halloween, no wolf suits could be located. What's a mother to do? The answer is take a trip to the fabric store and beg her own mother for help! Gabe decided he would be a Wild Thing (not a big stretch for those of you who know him!) and we were set!

Mom helped me a lot with Timothy's costume, especially the hood, which was a little tricky. I managed Gabe's by myself. Both boys had knitted fun fur tails. Here they are showing them off, with Boris doing his best to roar his own terrible roar, gnash his terrible teeth, roll his terrible eyes and show his terrible claws. Or, you know, just sit there and beg for attention.

Here I am with the Wild Things.

My friend Lena goes all out for Halloween, so we had to stop by and see her house. Here are the boys, posing with her she-wolf!

This is how the evening ended. Timothy enjoyed trick-or-treating in Mom and Dad's neighborhood for about an hour, and then he was done, so I took him back to the house to hang out with the grandparents and eat some candy while Gabe and Chris went back for more. It was rather a warm evening, for Halloween, so Timothy ended up shedding his fleece once inside. I guess Chris was feeling left out...

The head sprouting from his back is NOT part of the original costume. I don't have my sister's eye for photography, clearly!