Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Ella's birthday arrived just a week after my grandfather's funeral, so quite understandably, my mom forgot to send a present. Which worked out very well for Ella- she was paging through a toy catalog that had landed in the mailbox and found a kid's make-up kit that she ABSOLUTELY needed (I think I may have an Eloise on my hands after repeated readings of the Eloise anthology...). I said that I would bear that in mind when Christmas came along but it didn't take much more than one little 'Pleeeeeese, Mamie?' for my Mom to offer to buy it as a belated birthday gift. It arrived yesterday and has turned out to be even better than she had imagined. I remember playing in my mom's make-up when I was that age, taking turns with my best friend painting our faces all the colors of the rainbow. Make-up is the most thrilling thing to play with when you are that age. This looks like a sparkly pink Box-o-rashes to me, but you can't deny that it is Ella's dream present.
Oh well. I bought an economy-sized bottle of Benadryl on my first trip to Walmart for a reason.
We heard the sirens this morning at 10:30 while we were at swimming lessons and drove home as fast as we could. The sky was so dark that the lights of all the signs had gone on and the air was ominously warm and heavy. I drove past the county fairgrounds, where all the RVs were sitting and said a little prayer for all those poor people stuck out there, with their animals, waiting for the judging to begin this afternoon. They already had the police cars sitting at the gates with the ambulance. I guess I'm not the only one who was thinking about what a disaster it would be if a tornado touched down in town. I'm now sitting in the kitchen watching the black clouds roll by, jumping up every time it thunders (wondering if it is actually the start of a touchdown), and flicking over to the weather site to track the storm clouds.
I don't actually mind the rain- its kind of nice to be stuck in the house on a stormy day. I just have lost the habit of hiding out in the basement.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
a gorgeous bottle of Napa Valley wine that my parents picked up last fall on their trip out there. We sat out on the patio and spent a couple of hours talking and drinking- we probably would have been there even longer if we hadn't run out of the good wine so quickly! The girls started getting a little antsy at the table, but that it what is so perfect about dinners outside. I grabbed a bottle of bubbles and they were happy to play for another hour while we watched them run and laugh around us. I managed to snap a few photos, to remember it all.
(and once again, there they are, in matching dresses. I swear- its like a disease. I promise myself that I will stop and then something happens, like my MIL gives me cash to buy something nice for the girls. Now, when she does that the EXACT SAME DAY that my invite to the private sales at Bonpoint arrives in the mail, its like the universe is telling me that I need to buy them these little outfits. How can you argue with the universe, people? You can't. You can only hand over your cash.)
Monday, July 05, 2010
Well, 4th of July was a bit of a bust this year. We couldn't stay at the cabin at the lake because my sister was there with her kids so after a great day of swimming and grilling on Saturday, we drove back to my parent's house and crashed into bed. The next morning came far too early and the gray, rainy weather scared us, but we ignored it, hoped for the best, and climbed back in the car to drive to the parade.
By the time we got there, the weather had improved from downpour to misting so I said it was on. I put the girls in their costumes and signed us up. We were supposed to walk in the parade with my sister's kids and two of my cousins, but none of them showed up! Wusses. Georgia shocked me by getting totally into it and walking down the entire parade route waving a little flag at the crowds- only stopping when she lost her little pumpkin hat. Can you believe that she ended up LOVING her costume and happily wearing the entire time we were in town? I was astounded. This is the grumpiest, most anti-social baby alive (ok, I might be exaggerating a bit but she is not the easiest kid that I've ever met) but she is a total ham. Put her on stage and she shines.
Hey- I've been talking about putting Ella into one of those kiddie beauty pageants for a laugh and now I'm thinking that I might have to do it with both of them. Watch for us on the next episode of 'Toddlers and Tiaras'. I'll be the most crazy stage mom and my kids will be the ones giving interviews about how mean their mommy is.
So the kiddie parade went great and we collected our goodie bags before making our way back to my mom, who had been snapping photos. By the time we got there, the rest of the family had finally arrived. So had the big storm clouds. As the main parade started, the rain went from a light mist to a drizzle. Then it worked its way up to a steady rain. By the time the fire trucks were making their way up main street, it was a deluge. We had some rain coats and umbrellas but the kids just stood on the side of the road getting soaked. I mean, they didn't want anything to get in the way of some serious candy collecting, right? We eventually made our way back to the car, dripping wet. No afternoon in the park, drinking 5 dollar pitchers of beer and eating roast chicken while listening to the local band and the kids played silly carnival games.
We all got dried off and threw together a fun lunch of taco salade (another thing I forgot how much I love! Taco salade, kids, get yourself some!) then sort of hung around the window, speculating on the weather. Would it clear up in time for fireworks? Was it worth having the kids try and nap on the sofa? Or should we just bail out and hope for better things on Monday?
We bailed. We were all exhausted from rushing around all morning and the rain and whatever. I kind of hated leaving and felt like I really should just make the best of things, rain or no rain. But. But. But we were all SO tired. Its hard because there are so many people that it is nearly impossible to find a quiet corner. See, this is why we need an extension on the cabin- a few extra bedrooms a little bit away from the crowds would come in handy. In the end, it was my mom who really needed to leave. She hasn't really recovered her energy since her cancer scare and was practically collapsing from exhaustion. We all slept in the car and when we got home, she went straight up to bed for a few hours. Unfortunately, the nap in the car was in for the girls and we pottered around the house til after dinner.
Ella was holding me to my promise that I would take her to see fireworks in town. I'd only ever been to see fireworks at this little town in the woods so I didn't know what to expect. My mom was recovered, after her nap, and she came with. We brought a blanket and sat at the edge of the lake, just near the park. The fireworks were beautiful and the weather was warm. We could see all the twinkling lights on the lake from the boats out for the show. Ella oohed and ahhed and decided that ALL the fireworks were her favorite! It ended up being a great day.
Not enough Old Milwaukee to make it into my top ten, but it was pretty good all the same. Hurray Wisconsin, you pulled it off again and made it worth all the trouble that it takes to get here, each year.