Monthly Archives: July 2009


29 July 2009
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Photo post, the last refuge of scoundrels and lazy bloggers.

As if it could get any cuter, the hat says "Texas Kid"

As if it could get any cuter, the hat says "Texas Kid"

A nice picture of Miranda (while Bella looks away)



Last week we went to pick cherries in Door County. Henry was highly suspicious that the cherries were edible. After tasting the sour (delightful, yummy, much prized) cherries, he only could choke down 6. We told him it would take 10 to like them. Maybe next year.

The natural camoflauge of cherricus rarelyeatus

The natural camouflage of cherricus rarelyeatus

July July

23 July 2009
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July has been the month of the zoo.  It is sort of a shame it isn’t the month of the pool. I feel like we visited summer and now we’re home. Back to the 70 degree weather. I think our energy costs should be lower than normal, provide winter doesn’t sock us too hard. Of course during the last year as the collective we stopped using so much energy, the energy company complained that due to lessened demand, they would need to increase rates to make up for the loss revenue. It is enough to make that Propane guy on the TV commercials seem less annoying.

I would say I am off point, but I am not sure I have one. We have made two trips to the Zoo this month. Both trips have been very nice. Delightful weather. Some animals in motion. Good company. The baby orangutan was out. Adorable. And Rob had Arabella on his shoulders. Also adorable. A monkey see, monkey do moment.



holding tight

holding tight

I love those little fingers and toes.

Harry Potter and the Ultrascreen Reserved

16 July 2009
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We went to Harry Potter at the Ultrascreen last night. We reserved our seats a few weeks ago. They were delightful. The entire experience of seeing a sold-out brand-new film was dramatically different. I remember sitting in long hallways for an hour to get jammed into a packed theater for the Phantom Menace. I hated the experience…the film wasn’t as bad as the wait. Rob and I started negotiating how soon we needed to see new blockbusters. I usually lost and we waited and waited. By showtime at 10, Harry Potter was sold out. Reserved seats does make people bold – we got their early enough to get popcorn and beer, but some people didn’t sit down until opening credits.  The people who sat in the unreserved seats down below (the hoi polloi, I say in jest) waited in line. Strained to file in and find seats together, seats far enough away from the giant screen to avoid neck and eye strain. At least that’s what I would have done.  We had debated what row to sit in (3) and which part (dead center) and whether we wanted to share a loveseat or have a little table between us. That debate was made moot by the ticket seller’s stance that she had to sell us a loveseat pair. And then it turned out, we had a table between us. There is something wacky in their software. The table was handy, and then a group of 5 and a group of 3 got to share the row with us.

I’ll wander off-topic to say that I like our trend lately to have the discussion/argument/heated exchange/fight about something far in advance. I would have been unhappy to sit really close to the screen and to wait on the floor for an hour. Rob would have been unhappy to not see the movie until next week or whenever the crowd had faded. So we negotiated/bartered/thought creatively and enjoyed a lovely evening.

The movie? Oh, that was quite fine. Emma Watson is luminous. The supporting cast is amazing. The reviews that call this movie filler, showing sign of “fatigue”, or feeling like a placeholder, well, they’re not wrong. Like catching up with old friends, it is delightful to see Harry, Ron and Hermoine. I remember this book as having a lot of talking and mystery – who was the Half Blood Prince? who? And then the endless debates over how evil Snape really was. And I am not sure the movie captured that sense of mystery. Or why it mattered. I welcomed the romance but I have to say I feel like a Puritan that the amount of snogging in dark corners alarmed me a bit. It was a gorgeous film to watch despite being very very dark. Can’t wait until 7 and 8.

I can wait for my children to grow out of their Harry Potter fixation. Rob read book 1 to Miranda. Then we watched the first movie. And then we watched the second movie because it was going to take so long to read 2 first. We are pausing before they try 3. The children have now seen 1 and 2 at least 3 times for each movie. Miranda absorbed the book and the story and it is delightful to see. Henry has decided to wave a wand everywhere, all day, all the time. They printed the spells off the internet, but he can’t read, so he still ends up saying wingardium leviosa over and over and over. And he talked me into a lightning bolt scar drawn on his forehead. I actually adore Harry Potter but I am so over the wand (a drumstick in our case) in the house.

Current retrospective

14 July 2009
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Does it take 2 or 3 times to make something a tradition? If 2, then I have photos up of our annual Independence Day trip to the Dells. If 3, then I have pictures up of our recent trip the Dells.

See them here.

Miranda bought a hat so crazy that I keep thinking she bought it as a joke. Alas, no. Bella in the hat:

I have strong opinions about this hat.

I have strong opinions about this hat.

And then I found a series of photos of Miranda’s dolls on the camera. I don’t know how dark it was in the room, but they really creep me out.



I keep thinking they look like this.

July is not even half over. At least it is more amusing. To me.


10 July 2009
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A photo from the weekend:

Independence Day fun

Independence Day fun

punny for the 4th

2 July 2009
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I finally had to give in and write down what Henry has been saying. He has been talking non-stop. I don’t know if this is a factor or summer, being 5, being 5 1/3, having Miranda and me and Grandma and Bella all to himself all day – is it the estrogen, Henry? because Grandpa could make time for you, really, or some ungodly combination. In any event, Henry starts talking long about 5 am and rarely quiets until after being shushed at bedtime. It is amazing that I took Henry to speech therapy at 18 months because he didn’t talk at all. I met a mom shortly after he started who suggested that quiet men were pretty norma Her husband was 35 and he talked as little as possible. The quiet man days are over.

If you were to meet Henry tomorrow and he didn’t know you and love you, you’d probably think I am exaggerating. I do exaggerate, but not so much this time. But if you met Henry, he’d clam up. He’d hide his head behind me. He’d barely whisper to me, much less tell you about the time he had a dream about cheese. But that’s neither here nor there. My grandfather, who can at times be impatient and doesn’t let on that he is a very good listener, showed Henry (and Miranda) how to make birdhouses out of real wood. And since then, great-Grandpa had moved into the ranks of people to be showered with Henry’s voice.  He was a tad overwhelmed by it on the last visit, to put it delicately. At least he could turn off his hearing aid if he wished, but then he would miss out on some gems.

[I digress to say that as I typed up that paragraph, I could only think of Mary Poppins and the song Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. And how the guy who sang “I said it to me girl and now me girl’s me wife…and a lovely thing she is too” got more than he bargained for. So did Grandpa.]

After his Monday T-ball game (no one lost and that’s grand), the flavor of the day at the frozen custard stand was white chocolate pecan. And Henry started laughing. White chocolate is pretty funny.

NB: Rob says it “pa kahn,” I say it more like “pee-cahn”

But pecan! Like at the zoo.


White chocolate pecan. The bird with all feathers.



Do you mean peacock?


Oh, a pecan is a nut, not a bird. Bird ice cream would be yucky, don’t you think?

But funny!


Henry: Who’s the mayor of our family?

Sarah: Um…

H: Is it Papa or Grandpa?

S: Why not Mom or Grandma?

H: Well, the mayor has to kill the chipmunks.

S: Kill the chipmunks? What?

H: To be the mayor.

S: Is that what mayor’s do?

H: Well, you have to beat them at ping pong.

S: the chipmunks? And Papa or Grandpa would be good at that?

H: Yes.


Sarah: …and that’s a cousin.

Henry: Who are my cousins?

S: Well, on Papa’s side, you have lots of cousins. Remember, at Uncle J’s – cousin J and J and J?

H: Oh.

S: And on my side, you have J.

H: Who’s on my side?

S: Well, they’re all on your side.

H: Oh.

S: When you get married your family is your side and your wife’s family is her side.

H: Hmmm. Why isn’t my teacher at SafetyTown married?

S: T?

H: Yes.

S: Well, T is still pretty young (13-14 is my guess)

H: So he can’t drive yet?

S: No. 2-3 years away.

H: I can’t wait to get my drivers license.


When Henry isn’t talking, someone else usually is. On our way to the River Edge Nature ride last Sunday, Miranda and I recapped the civil war, Dr. King, the Revolutionary War, evolution and libraries.

Bella has her first top (right I think) tooth peeking out. She has been crabby. She is still doing very slow cruising. She can climb all of the steps. She almost fell into the bathtub head first. She is about 90% weaned. She wants to keep up with maaa-maaa (mom) and aaaa-nnnaaaa (Grandma). And Miranda and Henry should not leave her alone, ever.

Happy Independence Day, America!