Sunday, July 27, 2008

A few days late, a few dollars short

We were in Atlanta last weekend - landed Friday afternoon and took off Sunday afternoon. We decided, in the tradition we started in San Diego, to end our first night with a trip to the local ballpark. It was a 7:30 PM first pitch with fireworks afterwards...

Turner is a nice park, and our seats were pretty good considering this was last-minute. We were behind home plate on the first mezzanine. It was a nice evening - about 80 degrees still when the sun set.

The girls were hella-tired. I'd forgotten Lindsay's blanket in the hotel room, which meant she couldn't nap in her stroller (she might not have anyway, but we would've had a better shot with blanket). I took Dad's approach of snack every 2 innings, and I have no idea if he was using it as a diversion technique, but it is an awesome one. Hot dogs in the 2nd inning, cotton candy in the 4th, and ice cream after the seventh-inning-stretch got us all the way to the fireworks...

...which were a lot more spectacular than I managed to capture. It really was an awesome 20 minute display and neither of my kids minded the big booms. What I didn't know about Atlanta was that the traffic is terrible. We spent an hour driving back to our hotel, which was only 4 miles away. We did the Walk-of-Shame you may have read about on Worst Mama.

We got up and had breakfast with Alec before he had to go to his conference, which was what he was there to do. We were there to spend time with our friends. I took the massive SUV we rented (alright, it was a Toyota Rav 4, which is a bit bigger than my Mazda 5) and drove out to Decatur to meet Jeremiah, Sarah, and Kate at the gazebo.

Sarah and Lindsay eyed each other. If they were dogs, this is where the sniffing would've started. Sarah said, "Hi, Baby" through her pacifier at Lindsay. Lindsay responded with a little wave. Kate and Lauren were instantly thick as thieves. They discussed relationships: "Where's your dad?" "He's at work." "What's his name?" "Alec." "My dad's name is Jeremiah." As well as their mutual admiration for Disney princesses. "So your favorite princess is Aurora? Mine is Snow White."

We went back to their house and met Lisa, with her brand new hair. The children played. We caught up. There were pork sandwiches with fried lemon (OMG! so good). Lisa and I tucked Sarah and Lindsay for naps and walked with the big girls to the Oakhurst Community Garden. Lisa blogged about the garden here, if you haven't seen it already - I didn't take pictures there for some reason. When the little girls woke up, we all went to the McKoy Park Pool.

Jeremiah playing with Lindsay. I think she's feeding him a toy. She thought he was hilarious, and just couldn't get his name right, so she just kept calling him "SarahDad". She called Lisa "Weesa".

Sarah and Lindsay

Lauren has some serious skills now she's taken some swimming lessons. She shows Lisa how long she can hold her breath underwater in this picture. Considering she wouldn't go IN the water at the beginning of the summer, this is a huge accomplishment.

Sarah plays in the fountain.

Lisa whipped up some smoothies for the girls for dinner, and Jeremiah got to work on some beef tenderloin.

"My kids need to go to sleep, "Lisa said. "Maybe we can put them all to bed and enjoy our dinner?"

And so, we did. Dinner was some serious meat candy. We enjoyed some wine and dark chocolate with rock salt for dessert. Lisa and Jeremiah helped get sleeping girls in the car and I headed back to the hotel.

On Sunday, we went to see the aquarium, and Alec finally was done with his conference. We met there around 9 AM, sharing sleepy expressions - Sarah had kept Lisa and Jeremiah up most of the night, and we just didn't sleep very well on the lumpy mattress at the hotel. The best thing was this giant tank:

My pictures from the aquarium were the worst of all. That's Kate and Lindsay looking into the giant tank. We saw the performingest octopus ever - usually you get to see a tentacle or two, but this guy was hanging out and actually swam across the tank. After the aquarium, we headed back to Lisa and Jeremiah's for lunch, and then had to make our way to the airport.

Atlanta - awesome. I chat with Lisa most days, so it was really cool to see her in person, and even better that our kids got along.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A quickie from moi

If I hear any more ABBA today, I think my ears are going to start bleeding. I. HATE. ABBA.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Things that made me laugh today

Why is it when I order pb&j sandwiches they come with enough of each to ooze out the sides and not cut in half? Who do sandwich makers think are eating these sandwiches? Today's version was on a pita which Lindsay kept calling "my pancake". Yum.

I sort children's clothes at our church's thrift shop on Tuesdays. It always seems like a daunting amount of work, and then it is so satisfying 2 hours later when the racks are all nicely organized. Today, I perked up when I heard Kathy say, "Oh what a nice size 1x jacket from Ashley Stewart!" "May I see it?" "Oh my gosh, you're not a 1x!" "Yes, I am. Ohhh. It is nice. I'm taking that today!" It was new, though without tags...and Lois charged me a dollar! I also bought a pair of never worn Dora boots in black "suede" for Lindsay for 50 cents.

Photographic evidence for Karen's thumb sucking and handedness experiment

Lauren has a Princess diary she's been writing in this summer. I figured it was a good way for her to practice writing without it seeming like an assignment. Of course, since Lindsay has to do everything Lauren does, she is "writing" in a book also.

Karen, Lindsay's handedness would appear not to support your theory. She always colors with her right hand, and yet she only sucks her left thumb. Alec is left handed, and I am right handed. Lauren is right handed.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I had never felt so alone - and, yet, so connected to God - in the face of so much uncertainty.
Paige wrote about the anniversary of finding out Zane was on the way a few days ago. It's a great post about discovering your path to parenthood.

It was three years ago today I found myself in the emergency room with a ruptured left fallopian tube. Although my parents and my husband were there when I came out of surgery, I was with Nanny during the intake, tests, meeting the surgeon and all the things leading up to it. I was in the moment of all of my worst fears, and yet I was calm. At one point, she said, "Everyone is moving very slowly here." And I said, "I know. It means I am not dying. If I weren't OK, everyone would be moving very fast..."

As I was being wheeled into the operating room, I looked up to see the anesthesiologist. The surgeon was joking with the nursing staff about just needing a few tools, listing them, and then he said, "I'm pretty easy" which was met with some giggles. "Is it good to have an easy surgeon?" I asked studying his face.

"He's the best." replied the anesthesiologist.

Right before I was put under, I touched the sleeve of the surgeon.

He was saying something silly, but I don't recall what it was.

I said, "I know you're trying to put me at ease by joking, but I really need you to say, 'Everything is going to be okay, Heather'."

His eyebrows broadened as he smiled under his mask. "Everything is going to be okay, Heather."

And it was okay. It wasn't good. But I walked away from that with a different appreciation about what I wanted from life, and although that's on the short lists of worst days of my life, it was...okay.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The girls

Lindsay and Lauren, July 2008

No, I have no idea why Lindsay is making a Gene Simmons face. I am pretty sure she doesn't know who he is. To further complete your morning:

"Hey, Lindsay, I have something to show you."

"I coming. I coming." Lindsay climbs down the stairs. "Wassamatta?"

"Nothing, I wanted to show you something."

"Oh! Hewwo, Lawwen."

"Hi, Linds."

Thursday, July 10, 2008


My discovery of the week is many great beverage reuses for a peanut jar. I have been making cold-brewed iced coffee in it, but who knew you could also make a super-concentrated cold-brewed iced tea? It means I can use pretty much any tea to make iced tea, not just the ones in the flat teabags.

Last night, after I finished my dinner of grilled salmon, squash with pesto, and couscous, I piled my plate high with the locally grown organic red leaf lettuce. I had some Annie's Sesame Dressing on it. Mmm mmm. Lauren eyed my plate.

"Do you want some?"

"Maybe just to try?"

I put two leaves and a good amount of dressing on her plate for dipping."

"Hey, that's pretty good."

Yeah it is!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Fourth of July Weekend

It always amazes me how a 4-day weekend always turns into a fun yet exhausting marathon of barbecues and fireworks. Thursday was spent on a quest to replace Alec's linen sports coat, which somehow ended up in the washing machine. Since all of the department stores have had their summer clothes on sale for a month now, it was a challenge. We found a suitable replacement at the 4th store, considered ourselves lucky, and headed to the pool.

Friday was an overcast day here. We made some salads to go along with dinner, and I made a fruit crisp (this one was peach and blueberry, and very good) but mostly Alec played X-Box and Lauren supervised. Since one of our dinner guests is 3, our party broke up before 9, and we decided since we were heading up to Dad's the next day where we'd probably see fireworks that we'd forgo the local ones and get the kids to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour.

Saturday, we had a great time at Dad's, although I expected it would just be the four of us, Dad, Ben and Maria, my grandparents were both there along with Aunt Diane and her girlfriend Bevvy. Except for a minor poisoning incident, we all had a great time and even managed to see the fireworks in Hartford.

Yesterday, we visited some friends in Westport on our way home. The drive wasn't too terrible once we abandoned I-95 for the Merritt Parkway, except for the stretch of the Hutch in Harrison that's always bad.

I have quite a lot of laundry to do, though our house isn't too bad since we mostly were just home on Friday. Lauren has declared it a "jammies all day day", so it would seem I'm not the only one feeling a bit tired after the weekend.