Saturday, May 31, 2008

Erin, obsessed

I can hardly get Erin past a window without her pointing outside and saying, "Sprinkler." It doesn't sound like that word, but I know it's what she means. Because when I tell her no, she has a meltdown. We enjoyed a few sunny days (I have the red shoulders to prove it) out in the yard, the girls loving the sprinkler. We had an extra fun day Friday with friends over. Erin was so captivated by the sprinkler, she stood there fully clothed while a playmate hosed her down with one of the funky sprinkler fingers (not the sprinkler pictured below). She was soaked from head to toe, shivering, and yet unable to move. She felt like a little icecube when she finally got out of the spell and came over to me.
When we got home from church tonight, it was nice enough to go out and play (after a day of rain and thunderstorms). Erin makes a break for the hose, and I told her we weren't going to bring out the sprinkler. She just lost it. It was no consolation to be able to play on the slide. If she couldn't have the sprinkler, then she didn't want any part of being outside. She immediately started crying, "Night, night!" And to bed she went. Probably to dream of sprinklers. Sweet dreams, my love.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How to save the day

Yesterday was such a beautiful day ... especially for going to the National Zoo. Yet after a very long drive, we were disappointed to find that all the parking lots there were full and there wasn't any nearby street parking. Even though it was early in the day, we realized that doing this zoo trip would mean leaving after breakfast. Maybe next weekend.

Lanie, who, during the entire ride to D.C. stated that she didn't care much about the zoo, was in tears. I searched my mind for a fun alternative. Since we had already packed a picnic lunch, I suggested we go to the park where I always had a lot of fun when I was a kid (and it is still my most favorite park). So we did, and it saved the day.

We ate as soon as we got there, and that seemed to soothe everyone's state of mind. Then it was off to all the fabulous slides and things. We enjoyed the aromas from nearby charcoal grills; the park was pleasantly full and everyone was playing nicely; we were refreshed by shade trees and gentle breezes. We didn't walk the botanical gardens, visit the butterfly sanctuary or ride

the park train, but we did chalk up some really fun memories and enjoy each other.

When we got home, I pulled out the sprinkler and suited up both girls. I'm so glad that they can enjoy the simplest pleasures.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The good life

My family and I joined several families last night for a great cookout and fun in the woods. I wrote last that we'd be roasting marshmallows and making s'mores. I never imagined the sensory treat I was in for. How together our host was, down to the smallest detail (tea lights in seashells she and her kids found during a recent beach trip, jazz playing in the background, and a buffet that delighted even my finicky eater). How wonderful to sit outside and listen to birds chirping and children laughing. Watching Lanie on a tire swing (a real one, that hung from a really big, old tree), while Erin slept in my arms. Then heading eagerly into the woods to sit on the most fabulous wooden benches around a campfire that sputtered and popped. The kids lined up with sticks and marshmallows. And I had my first fire-roasted marshmallow s'more since I was probably fifteen. How good was that?! And as I looked around at friends on benches and children playing around, parents who donned jackets and sweatshirts as the evening grew chilly, the crackle of the fire, the feel of my kids in my arms ... well, I couldn't help thinking that I jumped into a beautiful Martha Stewart layout, where I've always secretly hoped to visit: where everything is beautiful, perfect and raw. And I was so intensely aware how good life is, surrounded by friends and family, sticky marshmallow hands and chocolate. Wow, thanks for that!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Birthday boy

Shane turned 41 yesterday. He's not at all happy about it. But Lanie and I had a great time with it. She declared his name would be "Birthday Boy" all day long. And so it was. (Today she declared his name would be Polutey Poop.) We had burgers on the grill and some other yummies, followed by somekind of frozen Oreo cookie pie, which was a hit with all. It was nice our little fete went beyond family to include Denise and our new neighbor and their kids. Later, Shane took Lanie outside to teach her how to ride a two-wheeler. What a really great day. Happy birthday, man!


We're going to the National Zoo today. We had planned a zoo trip, and the MD Zoo in/at Balto is pretty lame (and disappointingly expensive for a fam of four). But the Nat Zoo is free! Free! And I haven't been there in probably twenty+ years.

So I'm in the kitchen doing a zoo dance (just wiggle and chant "Zoo, zoo, zoo! We're going to the zoo!" Anyone who knows me well enough will know that I'll get silly and break out into song over just about anything.). Shane is eating his breakfast while I do this. I say, "Aren't you excited we're going to the zoo?"

"I'm not really a zoo person," he says. "I'm really just going for the kids (insert pause as he takes in my zoo dance and my puzzled expression at his reply)-- and I guess you."

I thought that was really funny. He's such a good sport.

Oh, I hope we see a panda! (Zoo, zoo zoo. We're going to the zoo!)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Missing you, Dad

There's an older man talking about me to his family this weekend. About some woman who approached him in the grocery store and said, "You remind me of my dad. Can I give you a hug?" He was gracious enough to let me hug him, and while it wasn't the same as hugging my own father, it was a powerful moment that made me aware of how deeply I miss my dad.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Last night as I was tucking Lanie in bed, she asked me about heaven and hell. She wanted to know where she would go when she dies. I asked her if she loves the Lord and she said, "Yes. I love the Lord the most." And so I told her she just needed to pray for his love in her heart and profess her desire to follow him, and she would be safe. She was unsure of the words to say. So I prayed with her and she repeated. It's hard to explain what I felt because I was mostly only aware of how serious this is. I felt like my heart was on fire as we prayed together.

There are some schools of thought where we should always direct our kids to the Lord, but hold off on their professing belief until they're much older. But in that moment last night, there was no way I was going to put her off. Was her profession of faith made because of the heaven and hell issue? That may have been part of it. But I see her in the day to day. I hear the songs she sings for the Lord. I hear her prayers to him behind closed doors. I know her love for him is true.

I told Shane what had happened. I never gave thought to the details this day would have and if we should be together as a family during her profession of faith. And knowing me, I would have tried to prepare something a bit more eloquent to pray. I'm not so good at speaking on the spot that way. Still, our simple prayer has significance.

Looks like there is much to celebrate this weekend!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Whatever happened to that other kid we have ...

You know, Erin? Well, Ann was quite concerned that there's barely a whisper of Erin's name on the site. Not to worry, Erin is healthy and fine. I don't write much about her because she's only (almost) seventeen months. Her vocabulary is pretty limited, as well as her abilities. But for anyone who is interested, here goes:

She loves her Noonoo blanket. She loves our cat, Rudy. In fact, Erin's first word was Mama, and her second word was Roos (Rudy). For awhile, she called everything either mama or roos. She can say some animal sounds and other words, but most are K and S sounds. She's got more teeth coming in. Loves to snack. Figured out how to take wrappers off of lollipops. She builds things and tears them down. She likes to run away from me when I tell her it's time to change her diaper. She loves to be outside and go from playset to patio again and again. She sings along to songs I've sung to her since she was a mere baby. She loves her bathtime and scurries up the stairs at the slightest mention of "splish, splash, splosh." I can get lost in her blue eyes ... they are speckled with white flecks that remind me of dandelion fuzz. She has brought immeasurable joy to our family.

So there you go, Ann. I blogged about Erin. Thanks for keeping me in check!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Yeah, about that guest of honor thing ...

I think moms are exempt. I say this with a smile on my face.

Lanie was GOH the first night and loved being it: she picked her own dinner, drink, t.v. show and evening activity. She had a lot of fun. I was GOH the next night, kind of. It went like this: I fixed dinner for the kids. Then Shane came home and Lanie followed him down to the basement while he exercised and she rode her scooter around. Meanwhile, I ate my dinner, cleared dishes and fixed Shane's dinner. Then he came up and ate and I cleaned up. I mentioned how I didn't feel like much of a guest of honor. Lanie chirps, "Well, in my mind, you're the guest of honor."

Seeing his chance, Shane agrees, "Yeah, you're a guest of honor in my mind too."

Lanie reminded me, "I asked you what you wanted to drink."

"But did you get it for me?" I countered.


I reminded Lanie of the verse "Do not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." Shane said I could be GOH the next night instead. I have to say, it was more of the same. I may need to rethink my approach to this!