July 26, 2012

the original facebook.

Here is a screenshot of a 1930s edition of the Roland Record.  My hometown!  Roland, Iowa's current population is roughly 1,000 folks and it hasn't changed too much over the years.  As you can see, social networking has been around awhile.  In the 1930s it looked nothing like it does today, but it's all the same.  Almost a century ago it was called the "Personals."  Now we call it "Facebook."

I mean, just look at this screenshot.  The information you find here is just as newsworthy as anything you'll find in your Facebook newsfeed.  For example, Chas. Brooks, of nearby Story City and a liveryman, was in town on Tuesday.  HE WAS IN TOWN ON TUESDAY PEOPLE!  BOOYA!  What we you doin' on Tuesday, huh?  HUH?  Oh, and it gets better.  A. K. Banks of nearby Nevada, was in town talkin' politics on Wednesday.  Talking POLITICS?  What was the world coming to on Wednesday?  Man.  All this in addition to some guy working on tombstones?  Oh, and let's not overlook the "hustling" attorney conducting business on Thursday.  That's just scandalous.  I mean, a hustling attorney struts into town and thinks they can just do some kind of secretive business?  I don't think so.  That kind of stuff ends up in the personals ya'll.

And best of all is the announcement that Will Burrits has just been released from quarantine and is enjoying himself getting reaquainted with all his friends.  See, the Original Facebook did have a purpose.  This was the socially acceptable way of informing the community to please stay the hell away from poor Willy Burrits.

And we think social networking is a new thing.  Pa-lease.

July 25, 2012

the garden.

Our garden is coming along this year.  I haven't managed to kill or disease anything so that's a success, right?  Oh, no wait, I'm lying.  I killed all the spinach and radishes.  What we do have is basil (for pesto), cilantro (for salsa), tomatoes (again, the salsa!), mini cucumbers and Teddy's mini pumpkins which should be ready by fall.  When it starts to cool down a little I'll try the spinach and radishes again.  I have made several batches of the pesto and salsa and man is it goooood!  I'll be sure to post my recipes for both because you will love it!

In the meantime, here's a picture of Teddy holding a few cucumbers.  He walked into the kitchen the other day while I was cooking and said, "Mom, look!  I picked these for you!  You can call me Farmer Ted!"

July 22, 2012

growing up with brothers.

"Mom, Caroline is awake.  Can I go in her room first?" Teddy says to me after Caroline's nap.  "Yes, go ahead and I'll wait," I tell him.  Teddy goes into her room with George not too far behind him.  The baby's cries stop and I listen at the door.  The boys like for me to wait because as soon as the baby sees me they lose her attention.  It's a routine; almost daily.  Often times when I walk in I find all three of them in her bed, as I did today.  I chuckled when I noticed that one of them located the Boppy pillow (which she really doesn't need anymore) and so thoughtfully placed it around her.  Such attentive brothers.

This picture is blurry but I only had one shot to take this picture without them knowing I was watching from the doorway. 
Later this afternoon George was taking his grand old time changing his clothes in the sunroom after a dip in the backyard pool.  Finally Kevin said, "Hey, George, put some clothes on man!  Your sister is in the room!"  Then Kevin and I shrugged our shoulders and decided that Caroline will grow up to be one of those girls who does not get bothered or grossed by anything, and doesn't get too upset about the weird things that MEN do.  She'll be one of those girls you hear say, "Oh, don't worry about it.  I grew up with BROTHERS!"

July 20, 2012

hockey mom initiation part 1.

So the boys are finishing up a two week hockey camp, and this daily routine has given me the opportunity to nail down this hockey mom thing.  I have to say, hockey is my favorite sport thus far.  No sitting in vinyl chairs in the sweltering summer sun (baseball); no shivering under a blanket over your puffy coat in the winter (football), and no umbrellas or sunscreen or running back and forth to the car's airconditioning.  Oh no, hockey is the best.  It's INDOORS people!  Why didn't Kevin explain this to me sooner?  Make me realize this bonus?  The boys' rink even has a STARBUCKS!  I don't know why I capitalized that, but anyway, the drawback to hockey is the amount of gear.  Do you see this picture?  All this crap on my dining room floor?  Yeah, nice isn't it?  What you can't understand is the smell, which is why it has to be aired out every night.  Lovely.

I also single handedly carry this load of gear around.  Picture me pushing a baby in a stroller, awkwardly cramming myself through doorways and down hallways at the rink, with a giant black hockey bag on my back with about 40 pounds of gear in it, with two small boys following behind playing sword fight with their sticks.  Can you picture this?  Are you with me?  Yesterday one of the dads said to me as I shuffled my way to our bench, "I'm nominating you for Mother of the Year," to which I responded, "Thank you, I'll gladly accept."

Next topic:  The Hockey Mom Guide to all the taping and lacing and cinching and sweating involved with suiting up your hockey playing child.

July 14, 2012

9 months part 2.

Seriously, Mom, is the sticker necessary?
Nevermind the sticker, these tiny petals are so hard to pick up.
Great, now it's on my dress.
Who are you looking at, eh?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, leave me alone.  I'm busy here.
Wait, did someone say clap?
Clap, clap, clap, clap!
Still clapping people!

July 13, 2012

9 months.

Our bathtime-in-the-sink-playing, independent sitting, watermelon eating, rink-rat-in-the-making Baby Girl is now 9 months old!

July 10, 2012

so serious.

When Caroline is in serious thought she does this thing with her lips that cracks me up.  You can just look at that mouth and know that this baby is serious.  Here she is figuring out that if you hit that thingamajig then music starts playing.  She was so proud.
Oh, and by the way, the boys call this chair "The Toe Killer." 

July 9, 2012

baseball, ice cream and floaties.

A friend of ours treated us to box seats at the Pirates game yesterday.  George hardly took a moment to eat anything while we were there.  He didn't even want to take the time to smile for me.  He is obsessed with the Pirates and has all the players' stats memorized, and every morning goes online to check out the lastest standings.  Obsessed.  The boy is obsessed.  Buccos won (again!) so he was a happy boy.  Teddy was most excited about the free giveaway - Pittsburgh Pierogi floaties.

After the game we were walking back to the van and it was hot, hot, hot!  We were too hot to be hungry, but ice cream sounded so good.  We decided to go to Klavon's in the Strip.  It's like going back in time.  It's an old soda fountain and has been there since 1925.  After our banana splits I told the boys they could pick out some penny candy.  I told Teddy to smile.  This is what I got.

The bags of candy had been devoured by the time we got home. 

This morning at 8:45 am I looked out of the sunroom window and they were already trying out their new floaties.

July 7, 2012

a girl and her doll.

Conversation with Caroline this morning:

Me:  Caroline, can mommy have a kiss?

Caroline:  (Stares at me.  Looks away.)

Me:  Give me a kiss, nugget.

Caroline:  (Sticks finger in her mouth.  Still looking off in the distance.)

Me:  Caroline, please give mommy a kiss.

Caroline:  (Fakes coughing.)

Me:  Awww . . . please give me kisses.

Caroline:  (Looks at me.  Thinks about it.  Slaps my face with both hands.  Laughs.)

Me:  Oh no!  Now mommy is sad!

Caroline:  (Yells something unintelligible.)

Me:  What?  Well, will you give your baby doll a kiss?

Caroline:  (Looks at baby doll and plants a big, wet kiss right on her face.)

July 3, 2012

8 years.

On this day 16 years ago we were planning for our first date - to see the 4th of July fireworks on the National Mall.  We decided that we would meet up at the Washington Monument, and the following day I showed up wearing my favorite pair of denium overalls.  Oh, and I also brought with me a bottle of wine which was carefully placed in my hunter green LLBean backpack.  I was a college intern on Capitol Hill.  Did I mention I wore overalls?

7 years later we were engaged.  We were living in Boston at the time, but made the trip to DC to see the fireworks again.  We stayed at the Hay Adams overlooking the White House.  We watched the fireworks from our room.  He proposed.  I wore seersucker.

1 year later we were married in Iowa.  I showed up for that wearing something a little more glamorous.  But then we honeymooned in Alaska.  We saw more fireworks.  I wore flannel.

8 years after our wedding, in spite of the overalls and seersucker and flannel, we have now found ourselves with many of the things we once only dreamed of - namely George, Teddy and Caroline. 

Recently we went out for dinner with another couple and we were talking about marriage.  Kevin so sweetly suggested that the key to a successful marriage is to find someone who, every time you look at them, makes you feel like you've been licked by a 1,000 puppies.  Oh, no wait.  He didn't say that. 

What he did say was the key to a successful marriage is to marry your best friend.  But, in all honesty, I think what he really wanted to say was, the key to a successful marriage is to marry the first person you find who has overalls, seersucker and flannel in their closet because you can be damn sure this person isn't going to rob you blind and drain your bank account with a high end couture shopping addiction.  Which is actually not too far from the truth.  While I don't currently sport around overalls, a moo-moo or two has found its way into my closet.

So in honor of our anniversary, dear Kevin, here it is.  Another look at the overalls.  It's truly amazing we ever got past that first date.

July 2, 2012

how times change.

On a day like today (90+ degrees, humid and yucky) . . .

I'm dreaming of a day like this (20+ inches of snow, crisp and pretty) . . .

July 1, 2012

scanning the horizon.

Saturday morning.  Kevin and I were just getting up to start our day when he said to me, "Erica, where are the boys?"  "I don't know," I said.  We looked outside, and there they were.  Looking for bad guys.