Sunday, October 30, 2011

Memories made at the pumpkin patch

Several weeks ago, we took a family trip to the pumpkin patch. If you know me at all, you know I am a sucker for a good photo-op. I look at a situation and think, "Oooh, I have the perfect scrapbook paper for the page I'm going to make with that picture." I have years of pictures and memories dutifully bound in scrapbooks, sitting on my bookshelf.

If I were to psycho-analyze myself with all the psychological insight earned from years of watching characters go to therapy in tv shows and movies, I might go so far as to say that I love pictures because my own memory is so bad. Seriously. You could fly a fleet of jumbo jets through the holes I have in my childhood memories. Halloween? I remember exactly two costumes. Princess and punk rocker. Two. That's it!

Well, I really hope my own children remember more of their childhoods, and I definitely don't want to forget a minute of it myself, so I try to document every single possible photo-op.

Thus enters the pumpkin patch. If you can imagine, my yearly scrapbooks are not complete without the requisite fall pictures with pumpkins. Now, I'm not saying that I only take the girls to a pumpkin patch in order to get a good picture. I mean, I hope they have fun while we're there, but I also really hope I get some good pictures!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Molly the Negotiator

There are so many careers I imagine for Molly's future. She could be a doctor like her papa. She could be a teacher like her two grandmas. She could go into finance and make her dad ecstatic. She could become an artist, which is what she says she is going to be. There are just so many ways her life could unfold. The world is oyster.

But, lately, I'm starting to see signs that Molly might make her way in this world by becoming a hostage negotiator. Or, a UN ambassador. Or, a corporate lawyer. Pretty much anything that involves the act of negotiation, actually.

My little future hostage-negotiator?

I know you're wondering why I would think my darling, sweet daughter would be venturing into this life. Well, all you need to do is sit with us at our dinner table on any given night. You do that and you will see her sharpening those negotiating skills to a razor-like point. You will understand what I'm talking about.

Take the other night. We are trying to be healthy, so we serve chicken, vegetables and some bread. (Yes, I do realize that sounds like a dinner out of the 50s, but give me a break, I'm still new to this whole making dinner thing.) So, what on the plate does Molly want? Only the bread, of course.

And with that back-story, let the drama unfold:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Adventures in Ballooning

Now that preschool is back in session, and we only have one year before kindergarten, Molly and I have been working a lot on her reading. So, in honor of all books we've been reading lately, here is last week's adventure written as a children's book. Enjoy (or not):

Adventures in Ballooning

Molly was 4-years-old and loved to imagine what it would be like to fly. In fact, every night she dreamed that she was flying in the sky. And, each morning Molly told her mom all about her dreams and what she had seen while she was flying.

Sometimes, she saw squirrels packing away nuts and acorns for the winter. Sometimes, she saw trucks and cars racing super fast through the streets. And, some nights, she even saw zebras running and playing tag with elephants. Molly always started her stories to her mom with, "Last night, when I was flying in the sky ... " Her mom knew that Molly was just dreaming and using her imagination, though. Molly wasn't actually flying through the sky every night.

But, that didn't stop Molly from wishing she could fly. Every time she heard an airplane, she looked up and followed its path through the blue sky. She watched as it played hide-and-seek with the white, fluffy clouds. Molly taught her little sister, Charlotte, to watch for airplanes, too. She even taught Charlotte how say the word "airplane." Molly was proud that she was able to teach her baby sister things like that.

One day, Molly looked up in the sky and saw the most beautiful sight she'd ever seen. It was round, soft and the red, yellow, blue and green colors were so bright it appeared as if someone had painted them on a bright blue canvas. It looked like a giant balloon was floating in the sky.

And, it turns out, that's what it was. Molly asked her mom about it. "That is called a hot air balloon, Molly," her mom replied. "Those balloons are so big that people can ride in the baskets underneath. They can travel all over the world in them."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Celebrating 30 in style

My birthday is coming up in a little over a month. And, no, I'm not sending out a giant hint to all my friends and family. See, I'm turning 31. Blech. At least 30 was a big deal. 31, you're just in your 30s. Nothing special and not even deserving of a big party. I've always had a love-hate relationship with my birthday. Not that I've generally had a problem with getting older (that is a recent life development), but it is when my birthday takes place that causes me such consternation.

It is November 28th, and most years, that places it smack dab in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday (American Thanksgiving that is). Sometimes, it even lands on Thanksgiving day. As a child, this meant my family mercilessly teasing me by putting four candles in a turkey and insisting that it was my birthday cake. When I got a little older, I could never have a party around my birthday because all of my friends were celebrating with their own families. Even my 16th birthday, which, of course, was on Thanksgiving day, was a total disaster. Think massive snow storm, people not being able to come, and others getting into crashes trying to drive to my house. Just a mess. Do you have a mental image of a sad girl sitting alone with a table full of uneaten food, trying not to cry? If you do, then you are remarkably intuitive, 'cause that's pretty much what that night looked like.

Anyway, all of that back story to say that I've become adept at having very low expectations for my birthday. Last year, when I turned 30, Cory told me that he was going to plan it all. That was fine with me, because then I didn't have to worry about things not turning out right. He far exceeded my low expectations. He surprised me with not one, but two amazing parties. AND, he arranged for childhood friends and family to come from around the country (North Carolina, Oregon, Minnesota and Texas) to surprise me. It was literally my best birthday ever, and totally made up for my disaster of a sweet sixteen party.