67 years ago today
July 30, 2007
Happy Birthday Dad!
In other news, painting continues unabated. The bathroom would be fine, but the consensus is that the color is too bright. Will the powers of faux finish save me or sink me? To quote Rocky and Bullwinkle's narrator, 'tune in next week for the stunning conclusion.'
The longest hour of Henry's life
July 29. 2007
"I want to go home. Is it time to go home?" repeated 500 times.
And as a special treat, after communion, "I didn't get any candy!"
Yes, Henry came along to mass with us. It was Join the Parish weekend. I joined.
Tomorrow is the first day of Rainbow camp for Miranda. I hope it goes well. Only three more weeks of camp, then two more weeks without camp, and we go back to school. Summer don't desert us!
If it's not thunder, it's bulldozers
July 25, 2007
The weather has stayed rumbly. Earlier in the week, if the windows were open, you heard bulldozers. they are building a subdivision behind our house. They are working on the street that the houses directly behind us will address. There is a constant hum of grinding, rumbling, beeping and earth-moving. It has been replaced for two days with a thunderous rumble. The unofficial sandbox rain gauge did not record much ran today, but lots of ominous skies and noises. [All that rumbling makes me wonder if I think I am Winnie the Pooh or something.]
Happy Belated Birthday Honda Civic. You don't really have a name, but you re loved. Little did we know when we bought you 6 years ago that the baby in my belly would sneak in an appearance only one month later.
Dang. That means I better starts birthday shopping. I only have a month!
Freak of Weather
July 24, 2007
Today, our house was deluged. The weather guy described it as "but the rain as heaviest in the stretch between Jackson in Washington County and Grafton." The blue dot over our house didn't move at all. It was a straight-down, soaking rain. It seemed to never end. The sand toy bucket in the backyard showed just under 4 inches. The weather guy said around 3.5. We'll call that about right.
In addition to living in that cartoon where the rain cloud follows you around, I am also being stalked by the construction industry. At our old house, they had just about put Capitol Drive back in order when we moved to my parents' house. At my parents' house, they promptly ripped 76th St to shreds. The even demolished the grassy medians. It was all for the good--we got to keep using 2 lanes each way because there was no neglected grass in the way. I like tot think the city of the DOT or whomever plans these things learned quite a bit from the horrendous traffic of 2003-4. They ripped Capitol apart from Roosevelt to Green Bay Ave. We had one lane each way for months. The grass died. And they replaced the medians' concrete edges and replanted all of the grass at the end. Just admitting that the median has to be rebuilt and investing in a little blacktop to allow 2 lanes of traffic in both directions is genius.
The construction industry has now started tearing part Mequon Rd. Just after Henry started camp on Mequon Rd. And despite my best attempts there are no North-South arterials that will help me spend less time in traffic. I wonder lf those medians are going to be thinned to allow for 2 lanes of traffic. I hope so.
July 22, 2007
There are not that many times I have been exceptionally happy to be able to read very quickly. OK, that's not really true. It has always come in handy. Especially so today.
We went to the midnight sales party at B&N. Through luck and chance, we ended up at the front of a register line at 11:40. We left by 12:05. I went to sleep. And at 8 am I started reading. I was done by 2 pm. It was very good.
You won't find any spoilers on my page, BUT the comments here and here will be ripe with terrific commentary. The book seemed more...theatrical, but that may be because we saw the 5th movie recently enough ago that the scenery is still etched in my brain.
A day notated
July 19, 2007
Henry woke me up by saying something funny enough that I dragged my sleepy self to my desk and wrote a slightly cryptic note to myself. So I could share it here. It doesn't seem as funny now as it was then. And you don't get to hear Henry giggle as he says it. So I apologize if the magic is lost.
Henry: "And there were marshmallows on his antlers! And candy too!"
Can you not construct your own novel from just that phrase?
And so I started writing down the funny things from the rest of the day. As much as I still have great recall for phone numbers, combination locks , zip codes and CD song orders, I am not good at remembering funny stories. Even when I say--that as funny. Even when I repeat it. It flitters away like the golden snitch.
Miranda followed up on the moose with dressing herself. She wore a purple shirt and purple skirt. The skirt strikes me as Moroccan (as designed by the BBC's Changing Rooms). It is bright fuchsia purple with gold trim. Miranda decided she looked like a "French Girl." My apologies to the delightful French girls we know--she did look darling, but I am not sure what was the foundation of her cultural basis. She then started singing:
M: "I am a French Girl. La la. But I am a Human Girl" etc et al ad nauseam.
Sarah: "Um, French girls are human."
Miranda, puzzled, "Oh. [Singing\ I am a French Girl. I am an American Girl"
Sarah: "No, French girls are not American. We're all humans. But France is in Europe."
M: "France is too in America!"
S: "No, its not"
She shrugged. It was almost Gallic.
After art camp, my mom and I took the kids to a park. it was a park we had not been to. It was about 30 minutes away (Grafton to Germantown).
M: Is it a toy park?
M: It has toys?
M: So it is a toy park?
S: What other kind of park could there be?
M: Well, not all parks have toys
S: [Seeing her point] That's true. But we are taking you to a park for kids. It isn't an open field or anything.
M: Like a dog park. You wouldn't take us to a dog park would you? That wouldn't be a park for kids. A park with toys is for kids.
And at that very moment, as she used her district attorney voice, rallying the jury to decide against me, I realized that Miranda at 13 will be a huge problem for Rob. Because Rob loves to argue. And I think, if the logic she is starting to display now blossoms into a tour de force, he will be going down.
On the way home from swim class, Miranda read the name of the local gas station. "Tri-Par." She pronounced it like "try-per." I explained it is "Tri" - "Par." She replied that it looks more like "try" - "per." Then she slayed me with "If I had a dog, I would name him Triper to remind me of the gas station. Isn't that good name for a dog?"
Miranda rides her scooter to the end of the driveway. She gets off and backs up. She fall in the ditch (the drainage culvert) by the side of the driveway. She lands on her bottom. She runs to me, yelling, "I hurt my v*gina!"
She was fine.
Henry has been experimenting with new words. One of those words is kill. I am not sure what to say to directly address it. Um, I am not really going to explain killing to a 3 year old. We have talked about dead a bit. But kill, gnerally it just gets a reprimand for talking meanly. Or ignored if that seems less inflammatory.
Today I told Rob to run around the yard and have the kids chase him. It was a pre-bedtime energy burn-off.
M: If you don't let us chase you, we will jump on you!"
H: Yeah! If you don't let us jump on you, I will kill you!"
Boy, I hope he doesn't start using that phrase at camp.
Picture if you will
July 18, 2007
Home improvement is not for wusses. The dining room is moving along. I spackled over 42 nail holes. I hope to paint tomorrow. Pictures if I am efficient. But the bathroom is my tale of woe. We noticed a soft spot on the wall about a foot off the ground, on the side by the shower head. The paint had bubbled up. It was wet. We peeled back the paint. The drywall is wet. Luckily, the back-end of that drywall seems dry. We have access via a closet to behind the shower. So it should just be a scrape out and deeply patch job.
And that seems part of home ownership. It sucks. Not an upside. And certainly the kind of thing to make me think that landlord-style wealth will never be mine.
The wet spot looks like it has been patched before. It is disturbing. It was not disclosed. Was it a problem? Was it one of those minor things you fix and don't think about anymore. It makes me feel whiny, but other than whining about it, I don't think I should be able to whine to the previous owner. If we had bought it from a builder, maybe I could complain...but I still don't think it would help me.
July 17, 2007
It has been a very frustrating day. That is all.
On the first day of camp, my true love sent to me:
July 16, 2007
Two in a row! There were few tears shed today, the first day of camp. Miranda liked her camp, but after seeing Henry's satisfied glow, she thought she didn't have as much fun as he did. Miranda is essentially doing a class. It is "art camp," but it is only 2.5 hours long. I forgot to send a snack. She goes back tomorrow and Mr Kevin is hyped as very cool.
Henry started Aleph camp. He'll go 3 days a week for 5 weeks. He eats lunch there. It is nicely structured to have play time and independence. The teachers remarked on his smiling face all morning. Yay. I need good news.
The tears? Mostly threatening to drip from my eyes. It was my first day completely alone at the new house. I could get used to that. I certainly am not used to it.
This one goes out to all my good friends...
July 15, 2007
Well, I could almost claim to have a good reason for not writing for the last 3 weeks. but really, it is all kinds of shitty reasons. But the kids keep doing funny things, and life goes on, and so, I will get July started, finally.
I am jumping head-first into home improvement. We are gong to invite people inside the house for Miranda's birthday. And as a result, I am planning to paint the dining room, upstairs bathroom, foyer, my office and maybe the kids' room and my bedroom. Miranda has requested I add the downstairs bathroom to the list, as she doesn't like it. Yee gads, camp is not nearly long enough each day to get all of that done.
This week we did Fun, Educational Experiences. We went to the Public Museum. And then we went to Discovery World. Discovery World in my childhood was the back basement of the central library. It was eccentric. It was not new, but really, time-tested science principles didn't require new plastic parts to make them interesting, did they? Well, Michael Cudahy seemed to think so. Or at least his cool idea got mish-mashed with the rest of the place. Pier Wisconsin has a beautiful (yet not really functional) part where you can climb on a ship, you can see a Great Lakes aquarium and view breathtaking scenes of Lake Michigan. It almost flows, but any cohesion is is lost in the tacked-on (yet, shiny and spiffy) new science experience. I'd have to use quotes to call it a museum and Rob hates excess quotes.
The science discovery part was well-staffed. That staff was woefully bored. I can't decide if they knew a lot about the exhibits but the volume of hyperactive visitors makes it impossible to explain anything in-depth. Or if they were paid $7/hr to show you a hover palette-lifter and were literally bored into speechlessness.
The aquarium ranked for me right below Duluth. It had the same Great Lakes water-y map, but you couldn't float your own boats on it. And it was too high off the ground for the kids too see. But you could pet the sting-rays and a sturgeon, of all things. It wasn't dark or airless like the Shedd (or the Zoo's fish exhibit). But it wasn't as interesting or as educational as Monterey. You'd almost think I liked fish, what with having been to 4 aquariums in 2 years. (and only 1 art museum :(
The experience burns because we had to join. The cost of 2 adults and two children was within $6 of an annual membership. I know this isn't uncommon. But I wish it would stop. On the plus side, my grandmother has been curious about the new Discovery World. And we have been nervous as she and my grandfather don't like to walk long distances. And that won't be a problem. We can take the long way and I still don't think we'll tire them out.
Hmmm, well, Rob, I am writing again. But a bit bitter, I think. We'll see what the next few days brings. At least I can start writing down the funny parts of the day again. Of course, tomorrow is the first day of camp. It may be such a terrific morning, I'll never even consider having a beer with supper.