Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Moose Fix

Word on the street is that I haven't posted pictures of moose for quite some time. Evidently, the skinny-legged twig eaters have grown offended; I think they've formed some sort of protest group, because I keep running into them at nearly every turn.

The other morning, one big mama and her yearling stopped in the middle of the road and made me wait. Honk! Honk! "I've got to get my girls to school! Do you mind moving on?" They continued standing and staring, hoping I'd take their picture, I guess. Honk! Honk! "All I have is my cell phone, suckers!" I yelled at them. "It won't catch you in the dark, so keep on moving! We've got to get to school!" Honk! Honk!

We see them everywhere—on walks with our dog, in the parking lot of the video store, lurking in the woods that straggle up to the side of the road.

Whenever I've come across them I have refused to snap a photo. That's what I get . . . now they have decided to come to me. This guy basically dared me to take his picture when he spent a half hour on the deck pruning the lilac tree.

That would be his ear, the better with which to hear Daisy barking wildly . . . 

There's his chinny chin chin . . .

My, what dainty hooves . . . 

. . . for a big, dumb moose.

Er, I mean a handsome, intelligent moose. Carry on.

Dinner last night: green salad, tuna

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly two years ago:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Snuggle Bunnies

Each night, as I tuck my twin daughters into their own beds, I remind them that they should stay there ALL NIGHT. They insist that their toddler beds are uncomfortable, or as they pronounce it, "not comfy-beatle." I don't know what that excuse says about my mothering, but they seem to think discomfort has a better chance at convincing me to let them sleep with us than a bad dream or feeling lonely.

On any given night, usually between midnight and 2 a.m., one or both of them will creep in silently and crawl up my side of the bed. Why is my description sounding weird and scary? I was going for sweet and cute. Anecdote fail. I'm trying to say that my 4 year olds are cuddly little things and they behave their very best and quietest in order to sleep in our bed.

Their length of stay depends on how closely they spoon me, because my husband is a light sleeper, and if he notices any wiggling, the girls will be unceremoniously kicked out. They used to protest with wailing and piteous cries, but they've long since learned that their blubbering doesn't work on a sleepy father who has to work the next day, so they now trudge back to their beds of nails and crawl under their Tinkerbell covers where they sleep until morning.

I've got a picture of me in bed with the twins when they were newborns, all snuggled up against me, but I can't find it anywhere; this photo of my husband in his recliner with the babies napping on his tummy will have to do . . .

Imagine them each 20 pounds heavier with their elbows in my ribs, 
and you've got an idea of how I'm sleeping most nights. Not comfy-beatle.
The strange thing is, I don't really mind. 

Dinner last night: spaghetti and meatballs

Friday, January 21, 2011

Necessity is the Mother of Tackiness

When we brought our 8-month-old beagle into our family, her previous owner assured us that Daisy was housebroken. Whether the owner stretched the truth or Daisy was so disoriented by her new environment that she couldn't find her way to the outdooors, the reality was that Daisy consistently did her business in the downstairs bathroom. And not in the toilet, if you know what I'm saying. I was grateful that at least the mess rained down on a linoleum floor that was easy to sanitize.

My husband started from square one—kennel training—and eventually taught her to use the doggie flap at the back of the garage. We now just open the mudroom door, and Daisy knows where to go and what to do; she is the proud owner of a fenced area where she is free to christen every blade of grass, if you know what I'm saying.

The problem is that when Daisy has to go, she sits quietly in front of the mudroom door. She doesn't whine. She doesn't scratch. She doesn't even wiggle. If noone in the family notices her sitting there, she'll go find someone . . . let me re-phrase that . . . she'll come find me or my husband. The kids are absolutely oblivious to the dog's subtle pleas, which consist mainly of a pair of baleful eyes staring silently up at you. She'll blow out your eardrums barking at a passing moose, but I guess she's too shy to announce that her bladder is full.

I have been known on occasion to hyper-focus, and should I be concentrating on something other than the dog, she will finally give up staring silently at me and go into the downstairs bathroom to relieve herself. And, again, I shall emphasize that she doesn't use the toilet, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING.

Christmas is the season of miracles, and one occurred in our household last month. In a moment of good cheer, I hung a strand of jingle bells on the knob of the mudroom door. Every time a family member went through, the bells would tinkle merrily. Well, turns out Daisy Doodle isn't as dumb as she pretends. That crazy beagle started lifting a paw and jingling those bells every time she needed to take a break. At first, I thought it was a coincidence. Maybe she sat a little too close to the door and accidentally hit the bells. NO! She consistently ambles to the door and deliberately rings those bells. POTTY TIME!

Looks like those Christmas bells will be hanging year-round.

Dinner last night: eggrolls

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Must Be the Finn in Me

I once read that if you have trouble putting colors together, look to nature. The combinations that occur in the wild can be inspirational. One of my favorite pairings is blue and white, which is a good thing considering I am surrounded by hoary trees silhouetted against an azure sky.

I snapped a couple pictures with my cell phone, 
then applied a filter in my photo software to give them a dry brush look.

Why do I bother to hang pictures on the walls when I can look out the window at nature's artwork?

Dinner last night: roasted chicken, lettuce wedge with bleu cheese and tomatoes

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly two years ago:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brought to You by a Cell Phone Camera Thingy

The twins are only 4, but they have opinions. And one of their most strongly held is that they are capable of accomplishing anything that their older sisters do. Something as easy as skating is no exception. If their 10-year-old sister can spin on the ice, they should be able to.

For Christmas, we bought them each a pair of used figure skates and signed them up for a beginner's lesson.

I'm not sure which they were more excited about: the skates on their feet or the pink princess helmets on their heads.

Before the teachers let the kids onto the ice, they show them how to stand after they fall. Ha! As if my precious angels would ever fall. They are superior athletes.

Woops. Maybe only one of them is superior.

Oh, dear. There goes the other one.
Well, even coordinated superstars like my daughters make a mistake every now and then.

This is embarrassing. Now they're both on their bums.
Let's just skip over the next 4 or fifty falls, and . . . 

TA DA! Both up at the SAME time!

I don't mean to brag but I'm pretty sure my girls are future Olympic medalists.

Dinner last night: brown rice and sweet potatoes

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

She's 10. TEN.

My husband visited the local thrift store to look for a table that he could refurbish for our daughter's room. According to her, she can no longer function in this world without a little vanity of some sort where she can sit and polish her nails.

While at the thrift store, my 10-year-old browsed the shoe section. She brought up a pair of boots to her dad and asked if he would buy them for her. "Sure!" he said. "Throw 'em in the cart."

In case you're wondering why I fell to the floor in a fit of vapors when they arrived home and my little girl showed me her purchase . . . those heels aren't one inch tall . . . not two inches tall . . . not three inches tall . . . those heels are THREE and ONE-HALF inches tall.

Dinner last night: spinach and cheese ravioli with marinara sauce

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly two years ago:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happiness is a New Sofa

We brought our couch with us when we moved into our house . . .

but it didn't match the living room's color scheme of taupes and browns and golds.

I used a neutral slipcover as a temporary solution, and . . .

four years later, the "temporary" has turned into permanent.

I succumbed to a New Year's Day blowout sale at the furniture store and bought a new sofa. It's not the gorgeous Victorian style damask-covered divan to which I am so richly entitled, but hey! I have 4 kids and a dog. Our new couch is sturdy, comfy, and MOST IMPORTANTLY . . .

doused in a gallon of Scotchgard.

Dinner last night: butternut squash