Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chloe's Big Day

Yesterday, Chloe had her first real play date. Her best friend's dad picked the two girls up from school and took them home to play- I wasn't involved at all. Chloe was a little apprehensive the night before, but had a wonderful time (of course).

Then we went to Target to buy a birthday present for another of Chloe's friends, and to buy new helmets for the kids. Chloe has been riding Connor's bike lately (the one he won't take the training wheels off of) and Connor has been riding his scooter, and they've both been doing it with EXPOSED HEADS. That's right- we're those parents. Connor's helmet had been left outside and got moldy and yucky, and Chloe's helmet was too tight, so somewhere along the way they quit wearing them. A perfect excuse for a trip to Target.

We got there and start trying on helmets. Connor tried on one that said "Ages 5+"- it was too tight. So we went to the next size in a different brand that was for "Ages 8+"- perfect.

But Chloe. I started with the "Ages 8+" helmet, since we all know her head is bigger than that of your average five-year-old. It was cuuuute, too, brown with these little pink flowers on the bottom. I would totally wear a skirt in that pattern. We tried it on, and it rested on the crown of her head. Did not come close to fitting. So, in shock, I picked up the "Ages 14+" helmet and shoved it forcefully over her noggin. "NO!! TOO TIGHT!!!" she screamed while clawing it off. And that is how my sweet, delicate, four-year-old daughter ended up going home with an adult-sized bicycle helment. ADULT.

I don't even know what to say about that.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Diver Down

Chloe has an unorthodox move off the diving board. As you can see from this series of pictures, it's no accident- it's just her style.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Swim Team

Mom has friends who are out of town for a few weeks. They live very close to us, so they asked, "Sandra, would your daughter and her family like to use our pool while we're gone?" We answered with a resounding "HELL YES."

The kids are much more comfortable in a small, empty pool, like a hotel or backyard pool, than they are at Rhodes where it's huge, and deep, and super-crowded. In the more intimate setting, they are happy to swim like fishes, take turns jumping off the diving board, and chase after toys on the bottom of the pool. At Rhodes, they cling to the sides or to me. (Well, Chloe does. Connor's about over that.)

When I noted their comfort with the diving board and suggested they both try the diving board next time we're at Rhodes, they both answered with a resounding "HELL NO." So what I'm saying is, come August 3 I'm going to need an open invitation to someone's pool. It's going to be sad when we no longer have our own private backyard oasis- even if it's someone else's back yard.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

So Hot in Herrre

Posting has been light the last few days, because we've been too hot to type anything. That's right- our air went out. It made for a long, hot weekend followed by a week disrupted by repairmen, loud (temporary) window units, and sleepovers at Grammy's.

The thing about air conditioners- they are expensive. And they aren't something you save up for- one day they go out, and then you have to buy a new one. It sucks. It especially sucks since, in theory, we'd like to move out of this house. But the more money I put into it, the less I want to leave. I'd hate to live somewhere else while still paying for improvements made to this house. Sigh. First world problems, right?

Our exposure to the heat has been balanced out nicely by our conveniently-timed access to a neighborhood pool. A friend of Mom's was planning an extended vacation and asked, "Would Stephanie and her family like to use our pool while we're gone?" Bless this woman who doesn't know me from Adam, and bless my mama for being the kind of wonderful woman that people like to offer things to. We have enjoyed swimming and plunging off the diving board and jumping around on the trampoline conveniently located in this same back yard.

So anyway, the air should be fixed soon, possibly even tonight. If you are currently enjoying cold air in your own home, but any part of your unit is older than, say, 10 years old, I suggest you start saving your pennies. This particular rainy day is going to come in the middle of a hot, dry, Memphis summer. You'll want to be more prepared than we were.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chloe and Maisy?

This is me at age three and Shannon at about two months. It looks eerily familiar.

Friday, July 16, 2010

As Sung By Chloe

When I was a kid, I could not for the life of me work out the lyric, "changes come around real soon make us women and men," from Jack & Diane. I didn't have a specific alternate lyric to sing instead, but I was pretty sure there was something about swimming. . . and then.

Chloe doesn't operate with this same ambiguity. She isn't correct in most of the lyrics she sings, but she is consistent. And CONVICTED. I've tried, in the past, to offer up the correct lyrics. I thought she might appreciate this gesture, since she was clearly struggling. No. Her lyrics are THE lyrics, and I'm stupid to suggest otherwise.

A sampling:

Come on little beat it, BEAT IT!
-Beat It, Michael Jackson

Don't stop! Believe it!
-Don't Stop Believin', Journey

Wake up! Grandma won't you put a little makeup!
-Chop Suey, System of a Down

(However, she does have a lot of this song down cold.)

Cause it's a thriller, in the night!
-Thriller, MJ

Billie Jean's
Not my loooove
She's just a girl
And that, I am the one
But, the chid is
Not my son
- Billie Jean, MJ

This video is at least six months old. She never wavers.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Best Mojito Evah

Ok, so the fact that I want to write about booze again instead of my kids might mean something.

Maybe that the kids actually make me enjoy drinking even more than I naturally do?

Steph and I have always sorta liked mojitos, but not really looooved them.  Until now.  Here's the recipe for the Blended Golden Mojito, courtesy of the July Bon Appetit, also found at
  • Sugar (for coating rims of glasses)
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 cup gold (not dark) rum
  • 1/2 cup (generous) fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar or light agave nectar
  • 4 to 5 cups ice cubes
  • 12 fresh mint leaves plus 4 mint sprigs for garnish
All of this goes into a blender, so that there are little flecks of mint everywhere, which I find preferable to the muddled mush that is at the bottom of your glass in a traditional mojito.  I didn't have gold rum, so I just used the plain ol' white Bacardi, and it was fine.  I did use agave nectar, which I think is a perfect sweetener for mixed drinks.

This one's a winner.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

You and Your Cousins

It's very fitting right now that "Cousins" by Vampire Weekend is one of my kids' favorite songs. We spent the weekend singing it to each other with lots of creative lyrics! My kids are thrilled to have met their very first first cousin.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Michigan Millers

While we were Ann Arbor, we went to their awesome summer festival, Top of the Park. It's like the Levitt Shell series on steroids. It's helped by the fact that the weather is much milder and the sun doesn't set until well after 9:00 each night! We also ate lots of expensive sandwiches and swam a ton in the hotel pool.

The kids fell completely in love with their cousin. Connor said, "Mom, you're right! She smells soooo good!" Chloe wanted to touch her all the time, which I think was more fun for Chloe than for Maisy. But they managed to both come away unscathed.

I'll say this out loud, which will surely jinx it- the kids have been so good in the car this summer! On our trip to the beach, and also on this trip, they were patient and calm and generally occupied themselves without a lot of whining. I guess maybe they are maturing a little bit.

We already miss Maisy, Carrie and Shannon terribly! We all hope to see you again soon.