Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sweetness and Light? Not quite.

Blogs like this are a bit misleading. I mean, yes, Audrey does and says cute stuff a lot of the time, and she is a joy and we love her like pigs love... the other pigs they are related to. But there are days...

In this video Scott has to really work for the giggles he gets out of Audrey; both before and after this was filmed she was tired, angry and whining because it was time for her to go to bed. And we love her still.

I am posting this for the sake of balance. Being relentlessly sunshiney about parenting makes children seem more like cartoons than real people. Toddlers are allowed their bad days. And to be perfectly honest, it's when Audrey is not on her best behavior that I see myself in her the most. May we both be forgiven for being impatient, ocassionally bossy, and often times incorrigible.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dr. Auntie Janna's Graduation Weekend Spectacular

We all headed to Vermont this weekend to see Janna receive her doctoral degree. I have to say, after watching Janna these past seven years slog through the work of a ph.d., this was the most monumental exercise in patience and stick-to-it-iveness that has ever been devised. My word but they work you hard to get that diploma.

After the ceremony, we went to a party for Janna hosted by her advisor. Some of us gave tearful toasts and talked about Janna's many and varied accomplishements. Others hung out under the table with the dogs looking for food scraps.

And as a little bonus, we also celebrated the completion of my master's degree from Simmons, which I finished a mere ten years after starting it at Emerson. Scott ordered a gown, hood and cap for me and Janna bestowed the hood on me herself, after first helping me to understand how the sleeves of the master's gown are designed-- there's a pocket that's supposed to hang down below one's hands, but at first I thought my gown was defective and had mittens at the end of each arm. It's perfectly clear why one of us will be addressed as "Dr." and the other will not. I believe I also have the hood on backwards, or inside out, or possibly both, but here even Scott who has eleven years of training as an engineer was not able to help, so some things are just impenetrably complex. Janna, I should note, was wearing the doctoral robe that belonged to our maternal grandfather, a professor of math and CS.

It took Dr. Janna about two seconds to work the ribbon off her present from mom, while I struggled for many minutes. Master of what, exactly?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Season opener watermelon

We had a great picnic tonight with our neighbors down at the grassy playground area near the Rez. Audrey managed to layer herself with sand on top of watermelon juice on top of blueberries on top of pizza sauce, with a little seltzer to spread it all around, and some dirt to rim her fingernails. When we got home we just tried not to let her touch anything on the way from the backdoor to the bathtub.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Margaret and Audrey in summer hats

We had a weekend visit from Margaret and Larry in Seattle, and the weather was the kind that called for summer hats and sunscreen. Which, at our house, is pretty much any weather at all during daylight hours.

Dancing fools

If you were just now thinking that you'd love to see some maniacal dancing accompanied by tuneless singing then you are in luck. Dial-up users beware, this video is a bit longer that our usual posts; go ahead and click play, then go make dinner or something while it loads.

The song I am butchering in the video is one from our "Music Together" class that we attend on Saturday mornings. For the first time this week Audrey actually got up from my lap and participated instead of just doing what we call her Helen Keller impression. Music class is one of those places where I often have "Whose life is this?" moments. You can't help but wonder what happened when you find yourself leaping around a room full of strangers, waving a silk scarf.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Introducing the Rolls Royce of Raised Garden Beds

I might have known that when you ask an engineer to build you a small and simple raised garden box that he won't just shuffle down to the basement and slap a few old pieces of plywood together. Scott worked on this baby for weeks, whenever the two kids in the house weren't sleeping and he could use his drills/power saws/hammers, etc.. When he showed me the finished product-- a gleaming beauty which contains no fewer than 128 screws and 16 lag bolts-- I thought, gee, that looks more like a piece of Shaker furniture than something we should put in the yard and fill with dirt.

But it's now full of organic garden soil (I took some flak for wanting organic dirt, but I am not embarrassed) and I'm going to plant as much as I can fit into the 5' x 2 x 20'' and subject you, dear reader, to updates all summer long.


Audrey likes to go for a nice after-dinner walk around the block with her dad, and before they go, she selects a hat and handbag for herself, as well as a hat for Scott. Scott won the esteem of other dads on our street for walking around the neighborhood in a felt pirate hat.

Here's a short exchange I had with Audrey tonight that illustrates a certain emerging element of her personality. We have a little plastic kiddie slide that's about two feet high, and until recently Audrey always sat down upon reaching the top. No more.

Me: Audrey, please sit down when you are on the slide.
Audrey: (smiling, standing) No!
Me: (adopting firm tone) Yes, you need to sit down. We SIT DOWN when we are on the slide.
Audrey: (still smiling) Audrey don't.

She don't do anything except what she wants, apparently. I think this is why Scott will oftentimes put his arm around my shoulder and say lovingly, "She is just exactly like you, sweetie."