Previous month:
February 2012
Next month:
April 2012

what counts for normal

a sleepless night full of tossing and turning, and little cat digging at the covers most of the night, obsessively-compulsively torn between sleeping under the quilt or pouncing at my extremities while on top of the quilt.

up at 6 a.m. with henry, who decides to eat only half the breakfast i make for him.

an attempt at 30 more minutes of sleep, which is thwarted by an increasingly scratchy and sore throat. (no no no no no. scratchy sore throat: you MUST go away!)

up at 7:20 with harper, who decided to make her own breakfast and in the process got bagel crumbs all over the pantry floor and island.

take hot tea out on the side porch to wait for the bus with her, while she pretends to be a frightened bunny ...

(because she has a bunny ears headband. and wears it to school. see that?)

and then she's a friendly bunny ...

and then the first kid arrives at the bus stop, so she bolts.

and within five minutes there are 412 other kids at the bus stop, and the bus is coming up the hill.

and then i come inside, make a small bowl of cereal, and sit down to catch up on email and read the news.

at which point the big cat jumps up on my desk.

and lands in the bowl of cereal.

and milk spills on everything and splatters everywhere.

which leads to me completely cleaning my desk and most everything on it and the wall behind it.

then wiping up the floor where i threw the cat and his milky paws.

and now it's 8:59 a.m.

perhaps it's time to go back to bed for an hour and then try again.

it's almost here ...


oh, man.

henry read the series quite awhile ago and told me i HAD to read them. but i didn't. they didn't appeal to me. post-apocalyptic sci-fi teen books? um, no.

then word came out that a movie was in the works, and henry was beside himself. and again he told me i HAAAAADDDDD to read these books.

still, no.

then i saw a trailer for the movie and thought, well ... it looks like it could be interesting. so i got the books. i started the first one on saturday afternoon. and i didn't stop reading until thursday afternoon, when i finished the third.

holy. crap.

henry was so right.

so, now we have tickets to the midnight showing this week. the movie will get over at 2-something a.m. then we'll have to drive 20 minutes home. and manage to calm ourselves down so we can sleep. and then get back up at 6 so he can get on the bus.

i must be insane. but i cannot wait. and neither can henry.

i think they will be fantastic movies, though i'm not sold on the guy playing peeta.


poor kid looks like a hairless hobbit. not some brooding, sensitive baker who will stop at nothing to keep the girl he loves alive. and honestly, by the end of the third book, i was hoping katniss would decide, "nope. i'm good. i don't need some guy."

but apparently all YA books need a love triangle, regardless of how weak it makes the girl.


so we'll see if peeta works.

what does work is the music in this thing. i'm not a huge taylor swift fan, though i admire the heck out of the girl. but i *do* love the civil wars. and this song they do with her is gorgeous. and the rest of the soundtrack line-up is equally exciting.

totally looking forward to thursday. i found some recipes for food from district 12 and panem, so i told henry we'll have a hunger games meal ...

goat cheese wrapped in basil ... lamb stew with plums ... and i'll try to find a multigrain raisin bread to represent the one peeta gave katniss.


can't wait.

(have i mentioned that?)


there's this girl

she came into the world yelling and full of personality. she made sure we all knew she was here, and she was going to play by her own rules.




she's still pretty much just like that.




she is sweet and creative and funny and full of every emotion you can imagine. and likes to switch it up without warning.

she loves foods other kids won't touch, but she won't eat a bite of pizza to save her life.

and she will go into full drama queen mode if you try to make her.

she could be outside all day, every day looking for bugs.

every book she brings home from the library is either about animals or fairies. and on the first library day of the new school year, she managed to find a book series all about animal fairies.


she and her brother adore each other, and have since day one.




the downside of that is she's convinced she's a 12-year-old boy, and should get to do everything he gets to do, right down to airsoft guns and burping.

it's hard to believe she's seven already, as of 4:07 this morning. she's still my little girl, and i refuse to accept how quickly she's growing. i know the days are numbered when she'll let me brush her hair and pat her bottom and snuggle up with her to watch her favorite shows: miss spider's sunnypatch friends and how it's made. soon, she'll be an emotional (wait ... she already is), eye-rolling (oh ... she does that already, too), door-slamming (uh ... yup) teenager who intermittently tolerates and ignores her parents. maybe not ... maybe we'll get lucky. i fear the day the boys figure out how gorgeous she is, and fear even more the day *she* figures it out. if i could keep her mud-strained knees, bruised shins, tangled hair, digging for bugs-ness forever, i would.

because right now is pretty great.

and today, as per her birthday wishes, i am having lunch with her at school - arby's ham & cheese sandwich and those "potato things" (??) - and reading "how the grinch stole christmas" to her class, she'll have a possible playdate with a friend down the street after school, dinner at india palace, and a pumpkin pie with candles on it for dessert.

because for all the things about her that are tricky and frustrating, there are twice as many things that are simple and perfectly her.



happy seventh birthday, miss harper. love you big.


goodbye, winter that wasn't.

hello, spring.

we're supposed to be in the 60s and 70s all week long.

in march.

that's just craziness.

true, we are occasionally treated to an april snowstorm. but something tells me that isn't happening this year.

especially since it hasn't happened even once this winter. a minnesota winter without snow is unheard of.

climate change skeptics can kiss my grits right about now.

anyway, we got our first real taste of winter's goodbye this weekend. it was in the 60s and breezy and amazing all weekend long. it was impossible to be in the house, so on saturday i took the kids for a bike ride around the neighorhood, then harper gave up and begged to go to the park instead. she played in the sand with her buddy for awhile while henry continued to ride his bike, but soon henry started to head in and i knew what that meant: find dad and see if he wants to play xbox.

i was not having it on such a lovely day.

so i diverted henry's attention. i said, "hey - tell dad to bring out the kites. this is a perfect day for that."

and that worked. henry was instantly hooked on the idea, he and marc got the kites ready, and the wind was perfect.



(yes, marc had a barbie kite.)


the single-string kite flew easily, but henry struggled with his. we hadn't realized it was a double-handled one. definitely tricky for a kite novice.




it would go up ... it would crash down ... it would go up ... it would crash down ... it would get tangled up in itself ... it would take five minutes to untangle ...

and patience is not henry's strong suit.

pretty soon, harper came running over from the playground to claim the barbie kite, and she flew it like a champ.






for, like, the next two hours she flew that kite.

and henry continued to try, bless his heart.




within half an hour of us going out with our kites, word spread and soon these kids came out with their kites ...




and then these kids showed up with their kite ...




and an adult neighbor out walking her dog came to the park with *her* kite.

and marc and i just sighed and exclaimed to each other: this is what we wanted. this is the neighborhood we'd been waiting for.

we were all outside for four and a half hours. during that time, we counted more than 30 kids coming and going. my kids were happy and engaged the entire time. even after henry's kite snapped in half from one too many nosedives into the ground, instead of fleeing to the house, he jogged over to play football with the other neighbor boys.

and it was bliss.

if this is what spring and summer will be like, i'm perfectly fine with it arriving early.