Sunday, August 29, 2010

Clothing (not) Optional

Okay, I've been saving this one.

A few weeks ago there was a knock on the door. I opened it to find a delivery guy holding a gorgeous flower arrangement. Hubs was out of town and I immediately got all giddy.

Except they weren't for me.

Sure enough, the flowers had my address, but a name I didn't recognize. I sent the guy away and texted Hubs (sniff).

The following week, I opened the front door and tripped over a giant box of chocolate brownies. Of course, I didn't immediately know that they were brownies, that part came later. Again, not addressed to me, but interestingly addressed to the same person from the previous week.

This time I called the name of the company on the box and explained the situation. They told me to keep the box, which they explained was full of (perishable) brownies and cookies, they'd figure it out and resend it. After opening the box, and doling out a few brownies to the swarming horde, I found a pack slip with another phone number. I called that number and left a message.

Fast forward to dinnertime, I've got dinner sizzling on the stove, Little Guy half naked on the potty, and the door bell rings.

Turns out the recipient of the lovely gifts is my neighbor. She used to rent my house and eventually bought one up the street (see what I mean about the neighborhood, no one leaves). The gifts were for her partner, who had recently lost her mother after a long illness. She offered to pick up the package, and just as I was explaining that the company had told us to open it, Little Guy streaks by, still naked from the waist down. He makes a break for the front yard, where he pauses, takes note of the boys all agog out next door, and does a little dance on the sidewalk.

A half naked dance while I am trying to explain why we ate the bereavement brownies.


Friday, August 27, 2010

The magic of three

I have never really been a baby person. As a mother, it usually takes me around three years to get my groove on. It was that way with Girlie and it seems to be the same with Little Guy.

A few weeks back we celebrated Little Guy's third birthday. He is obsessed with firefighter paraphernalia, so we loaded him up with a new hat, an official coat complete with shiny badge (he's the chief), and from my mother - a working extinguisher that shoots water 30 feet.

Oh how I love three. It is like a switch has finally flipped and the terribles are starting to subside. Admittedly often under the threat of punishment, but still. It is amazing to hear the thoughts that come spilling out of his three year old brain. The other day he asked me "Mom, do you know sports?" I said I did a little. He then proceeded to tell me "I really really good at dribbling." And he is. He runs, he jumps, he shoots hoops, he tosses balls, he catches, he swings at baseballs with all the concentration of a brain surgeon. Afterwards he high-fives the neighbor boys, though he's the youngest by a few years. He is becoming a real little dude.

But even better, he puts on his own shoes, makes jokes that are actually funny, and brushes his teeth (with a little help). He's working on the potty thing.

But he's still so small. We've had a few chilly mornings, and he'll stop in the middle of racing cars across the floor to run over and snuggle under my robe.

The magic of three.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rain, rain, don't go away (yet)

It's been raining non-stop in Boston since Sunday and while the gals on my street are complaining, I'm loving it. After two years in the desert, I've missed these rainy days. As an added bonus, the temperature is unusually cool for the end of summer, so I am wearing long sleeves and boots, a little dress rehearsal for fall. Last night, I slept with the windows cracked. There was a constant downpour and I had the best go to bed and die kind of sleep.

Tomorrow it will be back in the 80's and our leftover chili will seem ridiculous.

But for tonight, it is still brisk and lovely. I'll put the kids in fuzzy jammies, pull the covers up to keep them snug, and then I'll tuck myself in to dream of falling leaves.

Monday, August 23, 2010

He ain't heavy, he's my coffee table...

Here's the final set up with - the 120 pound concrete coffee table - looking quite fabulous in the living room. Yes, I said concrete coffee table. Solid concrete as in Tony Soprano could drop somebody in a river with this bad boy.

Hubs asked if I thought the table might be a hazard to the kids. You know, with all the rock solid angles and such.

Hmmmm. I suppose it could do some damage. Then again my last table didn't last three days before being chipped by somebody's princess dress up shoes, so I think I'll take my chances with this one. Besides, that door next to the painting leads to a playroom (where the shower curtain window treatments are proudly hanging), so I usually try to shoo the kids in there when things get a little crazy.

The living room is adult space and we grown-ups actually do hang out in there. The other night my neighbor dropped in with the current issue of La Cucina Italiana (porn for pasta lovers) and we had a glass of wine while discussing the deliciousness that is saffron risotto. Like the risotto, the table is the perfect mix of rustic and modern, but you can totally prop your feet on it.

As long as you slip off the pink plastic high heels first.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Training or train wreck?

Things I am considering as an alternative to my current potty training efforts:

1. Giving up. Why not? He could stay in diapers until kindergarten and then we'll let the five year olds shame him into it. Sure there might be some longer term psychological repercussions, but we could dip into the the college funds for a little therapy.

2. Hiring an expert. There has to be someone else who can do this. Super Nanny? Potty Whisperer? She comes in and follows him around with the spray bottle of non-toxic cleaner and the constant doyouhavetogo. Plus, she does laundry.

3. Leaving it to Hubs. Like the expert plan, but cheaper. I leave home until it's all over. Where should I go?

I know its going to happen, BUT good grief.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Camp Closing Soon

Ah, the endless days of summer, and I don't mean that in a good way. Summer always means just a wee too much family togetherness and we all feel a little crazed by the end of it, but this year even more so. Girlie got out before Memorial Day in Phoenix, but Boston schools don't start until after Labor day, so we got three extra weeks of summer this year.

Three extra weeks of breaking up the bickering. Three extra weeks of packing snacks and schlepping to the park, the zoo, the aquarium, and the children's museum (which is lovely, but I swear it always smells a little like poop). Three extra weeks of not getting any time for myself.




I am craving my routine, a quiet(er) house, and a little break in the pressure to keep these kids busy. Camp Mental Momma is coming to an end soon, closed until next year. We don't have a theme song, but I'll be doing a little dance anyway.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Magic carpet ride

Pardon the so-so photography, taking a photoshop class is high on my list of to-do's, but until then you'll have to suffer my amateurish snaps. So here it is, the craigslist rug of my dreams, a beautiful woven wool rug in the perfect shades of washed red and pink and brown and cream. It works amazingly well with my artwork and gives the room a chic ethnic vibe without being too matchy.

And it was less than $200. Yep, I have used up every last drop of my craigslist karma. From here on, I will only find crappy things or expensive things or crappy expensive things. But it was worth it.

Next week I will add this coffee table and the living room will be done. I've been on a roll with the cheap chic lately. Stay tuned for a peek at the shower curtains I used as window treatments in the playroom. Um hmm. I said shower curtains, but trust me, they look fab.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Break-throughs and fixes

My writing class? Thanks for asking. You see, I have been doing some discouragingly crappy crappy writing during my incredibly amazing and inspiring class.

The class format is such that we do a little reading, some discussion, and then end the section with an in-class exercise. Writing on the spot in a room filled with people, all furiously scribbling away? Notsomuch. Rarely do I come up with anything decent during class. As we read aloud, I am blown away by the fairly developed things my classmates are bringing to the table. So I'm a hack, a housewife with a hobby... waaaaaa.

And then today it happened. There I am, writing away, a little frustrated, repeating this sucks, this sucks, this suckity suck sucks, three pages of scribbling in one horribly wrong bad awful illegible direction, when I suddenly realized what I wanted to write about. And then I did. And the writing wasn't so bad.

Wow. Okay then.