Monday, May 26, 2008

May Gray and Memorial Day Weekend

We have been experiencing an unusually large amount of May Gray this year. Last weekend it was in the 90s-- between 85 and 89 degrees in our house most of the weekend (because we stubbornly refused to turn on the air conditioner and ratchet up our energy bill). This weekend our house has hovered at 69 degrees. A twenty degree difference. And my sinuses are angry about it.

Don't get me wrong-- it's not that the weather is too hot and then too cold -- that's not what my gripe is about. It's the hot then cold at all. Just pick something and stick with it for a while. But all this back and forth, back and forth. Well, it's enough to give me daily headaches and a dry throat. Of course, I'd prefer the warm weather. Especially on a three day weekend.

But despite the May Gray, we decided to head for Sea World yesterday morning. I didn't bother to make sure our annual passes were valid-- after all, we weren't going there on Memorial Day. Oops. It was a black out date. In quick maneuvering to quell the trembling lower lip emanating from the captain chair in the back seat of Jason's mini-van, we told the kids we'd just go to the aquarium instead. It's been over a year since we've been. It's a small facility, an off-shoot of USCD. And Jason absolutely loves salt-water aquariums. We used to have one in our living room. Until Casey was born.

So to the aquarium we went. It's not a great place to snap photos -- not in the indoor exhibits, anyway. But I did manage to capture one shoot of my boys:

And because we could see the beach from the aquarium tide pools and deck, Casey asked if we could go. We said we'd try-- but we weren't holding our breath. After all, it was Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, and the beaches tend to be packed. But we soon discovered that the rule about avoiding beach crowds on Memorial Day Weekend only applies if the weather is actually nice. We had no trouble finding a spot right along the sidewalk in the parking lot.

So we removed the kids' shoes, telling them they could walk in the sand. We weren't sure how Marcie would feel about it. The last time she was at the beach, she was only 15 months old, and she spent the entire time sitting on a blanket or being carried. It was, like yesterday, a very gray day. But it was in February, so at least that made sense. Anyway, turned out Marcie had no trouble getting her feet wet-- literally or figuratively. Here are some shots from the mid-day escapade:

And this last photo is one of my favorite because of the kids' expressions. Despite the lousy temperature (though, one bonus of that was that the water wasn't that cold in comparison to the air temperature), they really enjoyed themselves.

Fortunately, I had a towel and a change of clothes for each of the kids in the car. They fell asleep on the way home. As Jason carried Casey in and laid him in bed for his nap, Casey opened his droopy eyes just long enough to whisper: "I had so much fun today, Daddy. Thank you."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Keeping Busy, Getting Dirty

I've been "in charge" of the kids while we've been re-landscaping our backyard. And because I am the typical consumer (who wants things done quickly, professionally, and inexpensively), that means Jason gets to do some of the work (it's how we can ensure all three of my demands are met).

This weekend, Jason and his dad were using the bobcat and a dump truck to clear out some of the dirt in our back yard and to take out some of our side bank in preparation for new concrete and stuff. And Jason warned me, repeatedly, not to let the kids outside at all once his dad left because he didn't have a spotter. So I busied the children with finger painting (and closed and locked all the doors in our 85+ degree home without the air conditioning turned on because I'm being cheap) while I stepped into the laundry room to fold a load of laundry.
When I reappeared, Marcie seemed occupied enough:

But I had made the mistake of leaving her with a cup of water to wipe off her hand so she could switch colors. As you can see, it did not really work, as her painting became a blur of colors anyway. On top of that, the mess she created on the floor, well, let's just say I was less than pleased.

After I yelped my dismay, Casey wandered into the kitchen to see what the ruckus was. And he joined in the painting fun.

Don't get me wrong, though, Casey did plenty of mess-making of his own. He managed to knock the dog food container bottom off, spilling all the hard dog food onto the kitchen floor. That required both broom sweeping and vacuum-cleaning plus a bit of mopping up to clean. And we couldn't reuse the dog food because a couple weeks ago a glass broke on the floor and I couldn't risk the tiniest sliver ending up in Pugasus's stomach.

After all that, the kids and I ate and I bathed them, read them some stories, and sent them to bed without a problem. Their new thing is the "hide" at bed time (they are terrible at it). Last night I told them they could hide twice. It's always under covers. Last night they chose my bed, and Casey let his feet stick out from under the blankets. I tickled them before I pulled back the covers and tickled the kids. The thing is, Casey and Marcie are hilarious about hiding. They cannot contain their excitement. They squeal and wiggle as soon as they anticipate either me or Jason is in the room. I love it.

Oh, and Jason got quite a bit done on the yard. Check it out:

Friday, May 16, 2008

She passed! She passed!

I'm (not at all suprised and) happy to report that Delinda has passed the Bar Exam. She'll be joining us as a practitioner in a mere matter of weeks. You can read about it at her blog

We're so proud and excited to have finally finished our journey to attorney-hood-- all three of us from our study group.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mothers' Day

Casey, participating with his classmates for a little rhyme about how bees love flowers and socks love shoes and I. love. you. He's tugging on his face here for the "I" part of it.

After the little program, the kids served us pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream and tea. Here's a picture of us hanging out together:

We celebrated with our moms, too. On Saturday evening, we went to Souplantation with Jason's mom. And on Sunday we took my mom to brunch at Peohe's on Coronado. It's one of our favorite restaurants, and we haven't seen my mom on Mother's Day . . . well . . . ever. I think I haven't been with my mom on Mother's Day since 1991. Seriously. As crazy as it sounds. And this was my first Mother's Day with no final exams since Casey was 5 months old. It was strange not feeling the need to rush off to the library after brunch. So it felt decadent to barbecue with my younger brother and his family Sunday evening.
I have been surprised to read that others feel we should not celebrate grandmother's on Mothers' Day. I know there is a Grandparents Day in the fall (maybe September?). But we don't actually celebrate that in our families. But why not celebrate grandparents on Mothers' and Fathers' Days? The prevailing wisdom (as I've seen it on blogs) is that our parents are not our kids' parents-- so celebrating their parenthood is inappropriate. I guess I understand it. But I don't get it. I mean, they are our kids parents. They are our kids grandparents. And even though it's not at all the same role that we play in our kids' lives, it's still a parental-type role. What's the harm? For me, celebrating Jason's mom and my mom on Mothers' Day is a tribute of what kind of parent I am-- what I've learned from them and how I've chosen to parent. So we'll keep on celebrating grandparents on Mothers' and Fathers' Day around here. what greater compliment is there to want to share your children's' lives with your parents-- not out of obligation but out of genuine love, gratefulness for the way we've been raised?
So there we have it.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Wait

Casey has been talking a lot about his "baby brother." He doesn't have a baby brother. Or sister. Just yet. The wait passed the six month mark in April, and I didn't even notice, really. When we were waiting for Marcie, the six-month mark was supposed to be magical-- it was how long families before us had been waiting. And yet, this six-month mark is just the first of many, many six-month intervals. It seems like every time we turn around, we hear a new estimate of the wait-- and it's always longer than the previous one. We're still thinking B.S. #3 is another 3 1/2 years away. And we explain this to the kids by telling them that we just have to wait our turn, like we did with them. And when Casey asks why we can't just put a baby in my tummy, I just smile, tell him that would be nice, but our baby is coming from another mommy's tummy-- just like he and Marcie did. And he says "ok," and moves on to another topic. Oh to be young. Six months is an eternity to a two year old or a five year old. Fortunately, they have no sense of time-- because we've promised them they can go on a big airplane with us to China the next time we go. But they don't really understand just how far into the future that might be. And while I do not feel the same sense of urgency waiting for B.S. #3 that I did waiting for Marcie, it's always there, nagging at me. Reminding me that our family isn't quite complete, as full and wonderful as our lives are now. Somewhere on the other side of the world a child will be born. Our child. And while I feel a calm sense of patience for now, I know that feeling won't last.

Dinner Breakfast and Compensating

This morning I promised we could have dinner breakfast for dinner. I'm thinking I can't possibly be the only one who enjoys preparing dinner breakfast. I'm not even a huge breakfast food plan, but whipping up some pancakes, frying bacon, slicing up fruit, and scrambling eggs just seems so easy. And delicious. Casey gobbled down more pancakes than I could count. And didn't even drown them in excessive amounts of syrup. And, even better, Casey actually made the pancakes. He poured in the mix, helped measure the milk and pour it in the bowl, and cracked the eggs. And he whipped it up, and flipped the pancakes off the stove and onto our pancake plate (with a very vigilant mother breathing down his neck). De-licious.

He's been having a rough patch lately. I think it might be because he's transitioning out of naps. When he naps, he naps hard. And when he doesn't nap, he becomes a weepy mess. For multiple days. He didn't nap yesterday. And today when we went to a birthday party, he was a bit weepy. The kids at the party were all strangers to Casey, who friendily asked kids their names, said hello when they arrived, and tried to keep up with the birthday boy. But when they all began playing soccer and football together, Casey returned to me multiple time, head hung in dejected form. He complained that the kids weren't playing with him. And he was right. They weren't. But each time, I made a suggestion (ask if you can have a turn, chase after the ball, etc.) and he returned to play. And when he finally chased down the ball, he showed off his stellar spiral football throw. At least one other adult at the party was impressed.

But Casey could sense that he was on the outside of the circle during play. And so he befriended a seven-year-old girl. He chatted at her. When other kids clamored to sit next to the birthday boy, Casey quietly commented that he wanted to sit next to this little girl. And not only did he look for another sort-of-outsider, but he also turned his attention in making sure Marcie was taken care of. For example, Marcie and I missed out on the pinata because Marcie was going to the bathroom. But Casey collected some candy and gave it to Marcie. Sometimes I am so impressed with Casey. Often he impresses me. I wonder how he got to be so thoughtful. It's no wonder Casey is so popular at school. He likes everyone and plays with anyone. And at five, that's exactly how kids should be.