Monday, December 13, 2010

Practicing the Parade Wave

Chuy's puts on a parade every year

Children giving to Giving to children it's called

The kids coming to watch bring toys with them and at the designated time they swarm the parade vehicles handing over the toys that will ultimately be delivered to families in need by Blue Santa

Hero Husband's fire truck is downtown and they were tapped with a few others to participate in the parade.

15 years he has been in the fire department and I have never gotten to ride in a fire engine

until now

seriously I think I was more excited than the kids.

We got up early and waited in line for the organizers to get everyone in their places

time to kill we socialized for a while

There were still a few days left in Movember

He has since shaved

We watched the Wells Fargo people finish attaching the horses to harness

Super Son and Miss Thing were amazed that people used to ride inside them for days at a time taking trips around the country

We had lots of time to wait and the kids climbed like ants on a hill all over the fire engine

The pipes and drums arrived and practiced

Anticipating sitting inside the cab of the engine with 5 children for an hour it seemed like a good idea to have the kids work out the wiggles. 

The streets were all closed

"Hey kids, run to the police man at the end of the street give him a high 5 and run back"

The cop didn't know they were coming, but after the first surprise he gave them all a high 5

Miss Thing, social butterfly that she is, decided to stop and chat coaxing some stickers out of the unsuspecting officer


and then hoofed it back to us

Of course Super Son couldn't resist a chance to strike a pose

I reminded him that he is welcome to sit in the front seat, but never in the back.

He didn't get it, but smiled.  He thinks I'm weird

Then it was our turn to line up and Miss Thing got the seat of honor with her Dad

I was in the back with the kids

They waved and

wished Merry Christmas.

I get the feeling that we weren't actually heard

It had something to do with the whoop whoop and the whining of the siren I'm sure

  And so I got to ride in a fire engine for the first time.

It was awesome

and loud

and the Christmas gift I hadn't even thought to ask for.

Merry Merry

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Czech a.k.a. This one is for you Betty

On our way home from Dallas after Thanksgiving we stopped in West

We kinda love them


and invite them to move in with us

and call them family forever

and plan on going to see them in Prague as soon as my wee ones can ride on a plane for that long without making me want to poke my own eyes out

and West is

"Czech Heritage Capital of Texas" 

and of course is the

"...home of the official Kolache of the Texas Legislature" 

The snacks at the Czech stop are so tasty it was really hard to stop there while my stomach was still insisting it would never allow me to eat again

but some things are important enough to suffer for

things like jalapeno cheese bread and kolaches

We looked like fools snapping pictures of every sign we could find in Czech

knowing that Betty would love it and laugh at us

all the while we continued saying the only phrase in Czech to each other that we could remember at the time

"Dobrou Noc"

It was 8 am

Betty is finding this funny right about now

So this one is for you Betty

We love you

Dobrou Noc


My children possess a strange ability to fall ill at every school holiday. 

This is partially due, I am sure, to their genetic inheritance on my side of the family for major tragedy or malady to strike in and around Thanksgiving each year.  

This year was no different.

Just before midnight on Monday I awoke to hear retching and awful splatting sounds in the hallway upstairs.  Hero Husband was there already directing the wee one responsible for said retching toward any vessel appropriate for containing the yech.  

This was only moderately successful.

Hair holding,  back patting and tooth brushing all done it was realized that this unfortunate interlude was actually caused by the wee one to whom I had begun to turn my stink eye.  

Miss Thing decided that drinking her Berry Blast Listerine mouthwash sounded like a good idea in the middle of the night when she woke up for a potty break. 

Apparently drinking large quantities of fluoride will make you barf.

Berry Blast Listerine = Pink barf

We cleaned up the hallway and carpet, removed the mouthwash from her bathroom and  scolded her, but only briefly.  Seriously I think the tossing of the cookies had sufficiently taught the lesson better than I could.  

Drama done for the night I got on the phone with poison control just to be sure there wasn't anything more we needed to do and we all went to bed.  

Sleep is an elusive thing when listening to your child moan, toss and lament her horrible choice.  I imagine it was something similar to what her college roommate will listen to at least once 26 years from now when I allow her to move out and have a social life.   

Restless night done we all were up and getting ready for our day when Miss Thing complains again.  

"Mama my tummy huuurrrrtttts."

"I bet you won't drink mouthwash again will you."

"uuunnnggghhhh" she replied

and then barfed on my kitchen floor

When I picked her up she was running a fever.  I'm pretty adept at diagnosing lots of things, including leprosy, but I wasn't entirely sure that fluoride ingestion wouldn't lead to a fever of some sort so I called the pediatrician for confirmation. 

Alas, it appears that the mouthwash induced ralphing of the night before was only the prelude.  Feverish and feeling puny she crawled into my bed with a strategically placed trashcan and went to sleep.  

Until the school nurse called.

Super Son was feeling pretty puny and while not running a fever had gone to the nurses office twice already and foregone his lunch.  Altruistic Mom that I am decided to pick him up.  His sister was sick and while he might be playing it up, the chance that he had been exposed to whatever virulent plague Miss Thing had contracted was present enough to do my part and spare the other 20 families in his 3rd grade class if I could.  I'm a giver didn't you know. 

So at this point Miss Thing hasn't thrown up in 6 hours, Super Son is only feeling bad and I am thinking that I might as well get started on my baking for the holiday.

I only needed 3 things.  
It would just take me a few minutes to pop into the market and grab them.  

Both kids unloaded and standing on the little grassy island waiting as I grabbed my canvas grocery bag (giver remember) when Miss Thing proceeds with the tossing of her cookies yet again.  Super Son feeling extremely sympathetic to his sister does the same. 

In the parking lot. 

At Randalls.


Of course everyone knows how much better you feel after unburdening your stomach so with some baby wipes and rinsing of mouths we managed to grab what we came for and return home without further incident.

Sick kids piled into my bed with a movie...I baked

pecan pie, key lime pie, Nantucket cranberry pie, cinnamon rolls

I cooked

cream cheese stuffed jalapenos, whiskey cranberry relish

The next morning they were both feeling much better and aside from not being very hungry (except for Uncle M's cupcake stash) they were back to their regular shenanigans and we made it to Dallas. 

Thanksgiving morning I baked up and iced my cinnamon rolls.

My day could have been done there but then I wouldn't have gotten to sit at this beautiful table

and after these handsome men cooked some stuff to go with my pies

It seemed a shame to waste

My jeans resented it, but I couldn't say no

Then everybody found a comfy place to relax and watch the football games.

The Aggies won.  Whoop

And after we got back home we went to the Christmas tree farm where we have cut down our tree for the last 15 years.  

Super Son left Miss Thing behind in the play maze.

She had some trouble finding her way out.  

I watched her go back and forth, being tall enough to see her passing the spot where she needed to turn.    

"Mama" she called "come and get me"

and I did.

All kinds of metaphors there.  I dare say I thought of them all and smiled.  She can yack on me and still know that I will always come find her in the maze when she can't find her way.

The joys of motherhood

and I remain Thankfully Yours


Friday, December 10, 2010

A camping we will go

Beautiful weather + spontaneous husband = impromptu camping trip at Inks Lake

The State Park has a playground

Super Son decided that this was a good opportunity to hunt for whatever it is that 8 year old boys hunt for

Miss Thing and I chased squirrels

She barked at them

I laughed at her

The campers who used our site last left us a little welcome

It was really quite sweet of them

There was a family with two little girls at the next campsite over and two cousins camping on the other side of the little creek with their grandparents

Kid campground games took over until one of the little boys took it upon himself to throw a rock at Miss Thing causing her big toe to resemble a cocktail sausage

Hero Husband lived up to his name, rescued her and while I didn't witness it I hear he provided the boy with an appropriate tongue lashing

We ate dump cake from the dutch oven and slept well

The next morning with Miss Thing sufficiently recovered we walked down to the lake

On our way home we stopped at the scenic overlook

It was quite scenic

Keeping with a firmly established tradition I decided that it was such a beautiful place and we had such a great time that we should look into renting a place during the summer or buying one of our own

I've always wanted to have a summer house

Alas it was too pricey and we will just have to be happy camping

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Oh look at that kids... It's the biggest Daddy Long Leg spider I think I've ever seen

And herein we have the definition of disparity

at least in reaction.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The girls converged in San Antonio last weekend to go through Popsy's closets.

She had made a lot of clothes for herself over the years.

It was so much fun remembering the times that she had worn these dresses

and finding little things that she had left behind

Everyone got into the act

I told you she loved bright colors

And then there were the bags

Oh the glorious bags

It had been at least 10 years since many of these had been used

one had a grocery list and receipt in it from 1964

My love for patent leather is apparently handed down through the generations

The best part was ending up with a little piece of Popsy that I can carry and use.

I imagine she is loving how much we are loving these little reminders of her.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

His Grandfather's Grandson

I'm standing in my Dad's childhood bedroom as he cleans out his old closet.

He hands Super Son a container of tinker toys and tosses some papers into the wastebasket.

He turns and picks up a plastic container that looks like the lid to a butter dish and hands it to me.

"Is this trash?" I ask

"It's a part of a fly trap." he says smiling at my skeptical look

"You fill it up with water up to here and then you hang a sugar cube from the scaffolding that surrounds it.  Leading up to the sugar cube is a ladder.  The ladder is missing its last step so when the fly is climbing to get to the sugar cube he doesn't notice the step is missing and he falls into the water and dies."

"Really Dad, and who will have leprosy next?" I quip over my shoulder as I leave the room.  My Dad is so strange sometimes and is a bit renowned for his bizarre stories and ways of freaking his children out.

Half an hour later I am sitting on my grandparents bed sorting through jewelry with #3, #4 and my Aunt when my Dad waltzes in confidently and plops on my lap the butter dish lid and a piece of scaffolding with a little ladder, missing the top step attached to it.

My mouth hanging open he tells me "There was this guy I knew and he had surgery of some kind once.  When he was waking up from anesthesia he went on and on about the details of this elaborate fly trap.  I figured I would make it and see if it worked."

I was dumbstruck.   That is until Super Son walked up and said "Wow Mama what is that?"  when I explained all he could say is "Yep, I could totally make something like that."

Then he took off to find his Grampa and give him some pointers on how to make it work better next time.

My son and my Dad.  Two peas in a pod.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Don't worry it's only leprosy

Once upon a time there was a girl (who is related to me, but alas not me) who during her tenth summer got a sunburn

Her skin started to peel

This had never happened to her before

"Dad, what is wrong with my skin?" She questioned

"What is happening?"

"Oh dear" he replied with straight face "I am so sorry.  You have leprosy."

The girl didn't know what that was, but was still sufficiently unsettled that she began to cry.  "I don't want to have leprosy!"

She was forever teased.

And henceforth any benign illness in our family has been diagnosed as leprosy at some time or another.

I wonder what will happen if someday someone actually contracts leprosy?

It would seem we are kind of taunting the universe.

Hey Dad, knock it off.  Between the marshmallow incident and broken bones I think I have had enough to deal with this year.

The End.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Happy Halloween

We have moved once since our children were born.  

It was 5 years ago.  

Super Son was damaged for life by this move.  Or so he says.

We left the sidewalk having, one way in/one way out, you can see at night because we have street lights, small lot neighborhood for one not far away but with a little more leg room.  

Granted Super Son doesn't complain about his home or the pool, regulation soccer field in the back yard, multiple swing sets or the ability to have pony rides in our yard but every time we drive by or heaven forbid go to visit our good friends who sill live there he gets all verklempt and waxes poetic about the house he misses.  

All things awesome about our home and neighborhood it is absolutely under no circumstances a good place for Halloween shenanigans.  So we went back.  

We were accompanied by a vampire with bad oral hygiene, a sweaty Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, an Avatar with a broken arm, a pirate who broke his own sword and a water bender who made her mother carry her water whip around.

Thank you very much I made those costumes.

You may affirm my awesomeness now.

Trick-or-treating here we come.

Hero Husband set an order of rotation so everyone got a chance to ring a doorbell.
He's organized like that.

Miss Thing walked up to me at one point and said "Who's next Mama?"

"Who what?"

Then she went and found her Dad

This dog was carrying a headless horseman on its back.

Oh hey, Miss Thing, go stand over there and let me take your picture.


Don't look behind you.

Thanks Mama

Thanks a lot

Happy Halloween everyone.  Hope yours didn't bite.