Tuesday, May 31, 2011

... it's been a long time coming....

... so, where have you been? Not busting down the door of my in box asking why there were no new posts on this blog, that's for sure. But you're busy, I know, I get it. So it's ok.

And where have I been? Uh... busy? Apparently there are times when I'm too busy picking up the pieces of abandoned toys to write about picking up the pieces.

We've actually had a lot of stuff happen that, in the moment, seemed like perfect blogging material:
  • a trip to Maui to visit my mother, sister and nephew (which started with an emergency appointment to the doctor on the morning of our flight because L, who'd been fighting a cold for 2 weeks, suddenly mentioned that her ear was bothering her -hmm... ear infection, 0-30,000-0 feet in just over 5 hours? better get thee to the physician!)
  • K's first outrigger race
  • a "date day" courtesy of M's brother and sister-in-law and nephews during which M and I got to try and talk to one another.

    This went fine, after the initial panic about what we might find to talk about. We did yard work together (ah, how romantic!) and walked to the Junction to eat at Easy Street Records (your local record store doesn't serve brunch? you don't have a local record store? tally one for West Seattle!), we did a dog walk, we ate brie and drank champagne...
But none of this has made it further than partially written posts in my brain, which means I'll likely lose them before you ever see them.

Which is all a long and rambling introduction to this, a fully compostable blog post, made from a recycled message I sent M earlier this morning.

I was in charge of getting the girls off to school/daycare, and if that doesn't deserve a post, I'm not sure what does. By the way, I had to do this because M went into work early because we're going to a baseball game, just the 2 of us, as an anniversary present from our neighbors. How cool is that? (Oh shit, now what am I going to talk to M about?!?)


Hey my love,

got the girls off this morning. K was the mom, L was the sister, and I was the brother (and our older sister was already at school - I think that might have been you, but I didn't press for details). As long as I played along, things went fairly smoothly. "Playing along" meant stuff like saying "Sister, do you want more pineapple before I got upstairs to take a shower?" and "Mother, could you come up and change for 'work' while I'm in the shower?" and "Mother and sister, I'm going up to take a shower."

Then I went upstairs to take a shower. And mid-way through, post-shampoo but pre-soap, there were tears being had by my sister (L), for no discernible reason because water had spilled on her dress. (The water was visible, barely, if I turned examined the dress at the proper angle in the light.) With the shower running I tried to convince my 'sister' that the water would dry, while simultaneously trying to convince my 'mother' that she needed to get dressed for 'work.' And I kept stumbling on the sister/daughter thing until I found myself asking K "are you still the mother?" just like L sometimes will ask "K are you still a horse?" as a way to determine if a game has ended or not, and when she said "no" I became the dad again.

L was in the midst of tearing off her dress ("I'm can't wear this any more!!!"), K was busy stalling to avoid getting dressed for school, and I was half-washed. I told L we could find another dress, told K to get dressed, and rinsed.

By the time I got out of the shower, L had found an alternate dress - she wanted to wear K's flower dress (the one you bought at Old Navy on Maui I think) but K said "no" so there were more tears and an inconsolable L until I suggested we use the hair dryer on her "wet" dress. ("Will it dwy?" "Yup, it'll dry." "Oh, ok!") And it was ok. At least for a moment.

All there was left was to prod K to dress. The jeans didn't work for her. (Thank you for pulling out the backup pair!) Then next door to drop K, and I kept thinking about being more neighborly and I'm holding L and listening to a description about car trouble, wishing I could go back and get my coffee and finally I kissed K and I retreated with L and in the bathroom I pointed the hair dryer at her while she covered her ears and she giggled as it blew warm air and waved her hair and she asked me to turn it off and everything was fine with her dress once more and then I got the dogs outside to pee (w/ L's help: "She not going to pee.... she going to pee!!! She not peeing!!!!! She peeing!! Dada, Cay-thee peeing!!!!") and back inside and somehow got L into the car with her stwawbewy Os and we had a nice drive down to Miss R's with L making loud chewing sounds ("Lithen to thith twemendouth loud cwunch!" "Wow, tremendous." "Now lithen to this one!!"). And I was fine because I'd already decided I wasn't going to make the 8.45 boat. And I didn't. So I stood down at the dock and read my book until 9.15.

And I hope you have a grand day. I'm looking forward to spending the evening in your company.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

... it's an ... earache, nothing but an earache...

So, I”m running behind due to… well, due to life. And a bad internet connection. which is to say, it’s not my fault. So this is going to be slap-dash, without the benefit of cool photos or graphics to distract from the slap-dashedness. Bummer.

To recap our first day:

4.45a - Wake up at home after being woken a couple of times during the night. K had to go to the bathroom. She “had a scary dream.” She… who remembers now.

5.30a - M and L come downstairs. L has woken up and is complaining about her ear hurting. She’s been dealing with a running nose for over a week now, and we’d tossed the notion of a quick doctor’s visit, just to make sure all was well. But decided it wasn’t necessary. Her cough was getting better, and her nose running less. So now it’s about 4 hours from take off, and she might have an ear infection.

7.30a - scramble to try and get an appointment. All hope of a semi-crazed morning, with us leaving the house at 8.30a are gone. Now it’s guaranteed to be a mega-crazed morning.

8a - everyone goes to the doctor’s office, where they squeeze us in to see… not a pediatrician (they don’t start until 8 and don’t have anything until 9) but a family practice doctor. Who squeezes us in. L now says her ear doesn’t hurt any longer, but we figure it’s worth the check.

8.20a - she’s got an ear infection. It’s early on, and not too bad yet, but definitely infected. The doc emails in a prescription to Bartell and we drive over, only to find that the pharmacy doesn’t open until 9a. It’s on to the airport.

8.50a-9.50a - park the car/shuttle to the airport/navigate the “ekskalators”/check in/navigate the security check/make the long walk to the bathroom/continue walking to the bagel shop/continue walking to the gate/wait while M gets coffee/another walk to the bathroom/and onto the plane.

10.30a-1.20p (PDT-HST) - we fly. too much and not enough to mention. except 4 (5?) trips to the tiny airplane bathroom w/ K. Where she pees and then I do. All within a space about 10 sq feet big.

We get to Maui and are greeted by Mom and Kim who have leis for the girls and M, rent our car (a Grand Marquis, which makes me feel like a hit man for some splinter mafia family), go shopping, get L’s prescription, drive to our condo and find it… adequate. Nothing to write a blog posting home about. Except the 2 cockroaches (one alive, the other dead).

It’s windy with rain squalls blowing in, and that means K&L&I went down to the beach for a dip. Which also means M and Kim join us, them standing in the rain and wind while the girls and I splashed in the waves and wind.

Walk to Mom’s house where K is so tired she doen’t go inside. M and she come back to the condo and go immediately to bed (about 5.30p HI time). Kim and L and I stay on another 30 minutes or so, then headed back (L nearly asleep in my arms). K’s out cold. L doesn’t take long. M and I are asleep by 7.30p.

That night we had wind and rain and about 2a L fell out of bed and was up for an hour and a half. I lay with K while M tried to get L to sleep. I could hear them talking, hear L insisting that she wanted some juice, hear L saying if she wasn't going to get any she "hated" everything. L fell asleep about 3.30, just before K woke up “starving.” I gave her 2 bowls of goldfish and then managed to coax her into lying quietly until around 4.15, at which point I swapped w/ M (K was insisting she wanted her mother). Then L woke up and we were all awake.

Prepare copious amounts of coffee!

Monday, May 2, 2011

... framed, we've been framed...

So, last Friday was the great release of horses/ponies/all things horse-related in our house hold ranch. But in order to appreciate the full extent of the significance of this event, you need some background. Which takes us back another week, to Friday, 22 April, 2011.

An entry for the Things that Instill Fear list:

"Mommy, you should see what we're doing to the living room wall!!!"

An associated entry for the Things that Instill Terror addendum:

"We locked you out! We locked you out of the house!!!" (laughter)

Not-quite contrite co-conspirators
(wearing new guard-protector/rash-screen
shirts for upcoming trip)

Friday was looking beautiful, warming up to something like a balmy 60 degrees, making everyone in the greater Puget Sound region wonder where they'd put their shorts, bikini tops, sunscreen back in September when we last saw the sun. After a busy day at work, I hopped the water taxi for a sunny, sparkling-water ride across Elliott Bay to West Seattle, where my family would be waiting for me, excited by the prospect of a fun-filled, egg-filled, party-filled weekend. And better yet, the forecast for Saturday was sunshine and mid-60s temperatures. It could hardly get better than this (especially as we had 15 children from K's class coming over for an egghunt to celebrate her birthday).

I used the 10 minute boat ride to wind down from the day, then swung by the store to do a bit of last minute shopping for our parties. Then it was home, where things were bound to be sunny and full of anticipation and excitement.

As I pulled up in front of the house, I saw M stomping up the steps to the porch, and the girls' heads looking out the window. I climbed out of the car and waved: "Hello the house!"

What I got back was a cursory wave and a rattling of the doorknob. "You let me in, right now!"

I busied myself with unloading the groceries, and by the time I had carried them around to the kitchen door at the back of the house, M had successfully regained access and was having words with the girls. She came into the kitchen, arms crossed.

M: I can't believe.... they just.... Oh, I'm so upset!
me: Huh?
M: They drew all over the wall!
me: Huh?
M: Go look.

I went and I looked. The girls were sitting on the stairs where they'd been banished, laughing and poking each other. The wall behind the couch was a canvas of... scribbles.

Over the next few minutes were spent alternately insisting the girls sit back down (still full of giggles) and scolding them on their behavior. I was most bothered by the fact that they'd locked M out of the house. I figured it was potentially dangerous, if something had happened to them. She was most bothered by the writing on the wall. She figured being locked out was a way to have some quiet watering time.

So, what punishment? There were any number of things we could have chosen, from no lipstick, to no videos (which would have been as much a punishment for us, to be honest). What we chose were no horses. None. For a week. Which, given that we *knew* there would be horse and horse-related gifts over the weekend, was perhaps not the best option.

Still, we delivered the news to the squirming, laughing girls, who said "ok" and didn't seem to register the impact beyond that. In fact, they simply didn't seem to acknowledge the significance of what they'd done, which is the A-1 guaranteed way to get your parents' goat. Our goat. M and my goat. It was got.

We were strict all that afternoon (a beautiful, sunny one, by the way) and strict all that evening, and then we wrangled the girls into bed. At which point K wanted her soft pony to snuggle with, and we said no, and there were tears and much wailing and gnashing of teeth. It was finally sinking in that she'd done something (what was it again?) that resulted in suffering. L, not so much. I think she was asleep before K even started to cry.

We weren't thrilled about it, but we felt we had to stand strong, so we told her we understood her being sad, but that it was her punishment, and that was that. She quieted down after 5 or 10 minutes.

Here's the thing. My feeling: drawing on the wall... isn't cool, but the locking us out bit is worse. What if something had happened? What if we needed to get in quickly? We've got a key hidden outside, but it would take time to retrieve. M said to me later that she remembered "outlining" flowers on her mother's wall paper, while their house was on the market. She said she felt she was going a subtle job of it, drawing around the edges of the flowers. Apparently her mother didn't appreciate the effort quite as much.

And that was the start of the birthday/Easter weekend!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

... it's a new day...

... and I'm lots and lots behind. In the last week we've had a number of events worth mentioning. Like a birthday. And Easter. And 2 (two!!) sunny weekends (separated by rainy weeks, but still). But the thing most worth mentioning is the "loosing of the herds," which took place last Friday and which meant that, after a full week in "time out," the horses of the household were set free of their stalls and stables, to be played with again with a vengeance by little girls who had missed them.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. And rather than rush it tonight, I'll leave you with these photos of what happens in Seattle when it gets sunny and, more importantly, warm, after a long long winter:

K: Daddy, can I drink from the hose?
me: Uh, sure.

L: I want to dwink from the hoth!
M: Ok.