Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Week-End Pics

In the late afternoon on Easter, the sun decides to show up for the party on our street! The neighbors gather for our annual, hard-charging, serious Egg Extravaganza. The girls are in complete, Egg-Hunt Party mode.

On the Friday before Easter, we head out to Oklahoma to attend my Aunt's 80th Birthday celebration (Great party guys!) amid strong winds and the kiddos bashing each other loudly with verbal insults (one coherent, one not)from the back seat. This is the view just outside my cousin's home, where we had the party, not far from my hometown. Wind farms have popped up all over the horizon in this part of the state. (you know, "where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain. . .")

We take the kids to a park after lunch to run off some energy built up from the long hours as a car hostages. Destructo takes off, running hard for a spot far away from any known authority.

Spitfire--Aspiring to great heights

Destructo and a new buddy at the party--mulling over issues of National Security. . .

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring of Our Discontent

My hair stylist pointed out that I had some gray hair last time I went to see her (I will forgive her because it seems she doesn't yet realize how vain I am), and I am convinced that I have aquired more after last night. Who knows, next I may be sporting all-over blue and getting a senior discount at places. My kids worked diligently on getting into the Disgruntled Behavior Hall of Fame last night, beginning with our walk through the neighborhood. Halfway down the block, Spitfire and her good friend decide to turn back and ditch the scooters for their bikes, as I try to keep a giddy-with-freedom Destructo from angling into the street at each and every opportunity (we didn't bring his stroller this time, which turned out to be a grave miscalculation on my part). When we arrive, a dispute arises about scooters and bikes and who gets to ride which mode of transportation, and then Destructo squeals as though being put through a Chinese water torture when I try to get him buckled back into his stroller. In the end, the walk gets scrapped, and my clan heads back to our house across the street, amid desparing cries and accusations of war crimes against my soldiers. Inside, I put dinner in the microwave and try to tune out the sound of Spitfire wailing woefully at the open window (the neighbors think I am beating her mercilessly?). Instead of eating his dinner, Destructo decides to throw it, and then crawl up onto the table simply because he can, now that we have started seating him in a booster instead of his high chair. Afterward, out of sheer hopelessness, I take them to the park, dump them onto the open grassy area, and hope they run until they can't run anymore. Of course, kids at this age don't ever hit the "wall," as they are fueled by some type of magical energy bank that never goes dry, but, I reason that it is worth a try. We find some dandelions blooming.

Back at home, it's time for our bath and bed routine, which goes suprisingly smoothly. I lie with Spitfire as promised--the plan being to get up when she falls asleep. But at midnight I wake and find that I have carelessly wasted several hours of rare, me-time sleeping! Agh!! I get up, defiantly, and make for the TV, just as Dart Guy ambles back home from the dart league. My poor, better half is caught in a season of discontent, and doesn't quite know which direction to turn, having left this house only hours earlier while it was still inhabited by a right-minded, somewhat well-mannered, possibly even smiling, supportive wife. The only words of comfort I have for you Dart Guy are these: Your week in Vegas is just around the corner. Cheer up.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Mystery Gum

As in most households with kids, we revere silence as something close to holy, though it is also regarded with a healthy degree of skepticism--what’s going on if the kids are quiet? When Destructo suddenly falls mute after a rousing, completely incomprehensible rendition of the alphabet tune, it is cause for mild to moderate concern. I go searching. When I find him, he is looking decidedly guilty, glancing at me warily from the corner of his eyes and trying hard to appear nochalant.
“What?” I say, suspiciously. “What have you done?” Guilty until proven innocent prevails at this address.
I can find nothing out of place, nothing torn to shreds, nothing adorned by great, flourishes of a so-callled, “washable marker,” nothing systematically disassembled and left in indecipherable pieces. I don’t know what to be worried about, so I ask him again, pulling his pacifier out so he can answer—and then I see it—the huge wad of vividly, pink gum stuck to the rim of his blue “na na.” As fast as a laser beam, his arm snakes out and grabs the gum-covered soothie possessively, plopping it back in his mouth and commencing a great, ferocious type of sucking. He dares me with his eyes to take it again.
“Where did you get that?” I ask, knowing he will probably take a page from Dart Guy’s play book and answer with a noncommittal grunt. Since we are not in possession of any pink gum here, I reasonably suspect this is of the ABC variety, and shudder at the thought of it. I can only hope it belonged to someone we know, and was not picked up at street side when they were outside playing. He sits blissfully watching me, then takes it out and strings it carefully across the room when I turn my back, singing the ABC song again. I guess the holy silence is over!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The offending suspect above--Dart Guy's shop vac--recently coughed up (with some help from Dart Guy) my wedding ring, which I hadn't seen in nearly a year. Important note to girls: this is a good way to end up with two wedding rings, although you may want to choose a variety of vacuum that works with a little less force/intensity-the ring has lost a bit of its luster. Nothing a good cleaning won't cure, I think. Cudos to Dart Guy for being the kind of guy who buys another wedding ring, no questions asked, and for spotting this little sparkle at the bottom of a grimy shop vac!
Here, I enlist Spitfire and her girlfriend to put a hex on Dart Guy's garden spot. It is a competition to see who can balance the longest--and who can wreak more havoc on the inner sanctom of his raised bed. All is fair in love and gardening!