Monday, May 20, 2013

Springtime in Pittsburgh

The change in weather did everything to improve my grumpy, winter is lingering too long, why is our house so small, have our children always been this irritating, if I have to wear this fleece one more time, stop leaving your underwear on the bathroom floor or I will divorce you, shitty old mood.

But now it is SPRING!!! The sun is shining, the windows are open, babes running free in the backyard, something on the grill every night for dinner, and porch drinks with my honey after babes in bed. I didn't realize how much my attitude about life is dictated by the weather, but I apologize to anyone who lost a little faith in humankind during a conversation with me over the winter...

Pursy's first letter!!!!

One of the coolest thing about being the Mom of a 3 year old is the fireworks display of new stuff they master every day. One minute Pursy is trying to figure out how to keep her thumb AND index finger up to make a "2" with her hand and the next thing I know, she is writing letters. I didn't know she was working on that skill- it just showed up. We decided to wait until she is four to put her in pre-school and even though I am very comfortable with our decision, I have wondered if I am keeping her from learning super cool stuff around other kids her age. Then I watch her casually write a letter with markers during a Thank You card drawing session at our kitchen table and realize that she will be just fine. And I get one more year with both Pursy and Knox at home, free to visit the Children's Museum, the Zoo, the Science Center, the city parks, etc. I feel lucky to have the flexibility in my job to work whenever and however I want, and want to take advantage of the short time I have to be home with them so much. Even though I'm sure there will be days when Erin or Mari or Betsy are grocery shopping alone because their babes are in pre-school that I will feel a twinge of jealous regret. :) Oh well, the employees at Trader Joes seem nonplussed by the chaos I introduce to their lovely store an hour a week.

Me taking a picture of Allie taking a picture of Ian petting the goats.
The Children's Festival last year took up about 27 minutes of our life, 20 of them was sitting on the grass eating a Rita's. Pursy was just old enough to want to run away from us as often as possible, and Knox was small enough that he just slept or cried. It was hot, too crowded, and Pursy didn't get to ride the animal she wanted on the carousal. It was not great. This year, we came two days in a row and stayed for hours. Everything was the perfect size for both of them and it's all free! Except for the Waffalonia waffles with strawberries and whipped cream we had for lunch... but some things are just worth the price. We hung out with our buddies Allie and Ian, and the babes ran and ran and ran...passed out in the car on the way home and took epic naps.

This kid loves animals. (please, someone get my joke)

This is what Pursy looks like when I ask her to smile when zebras and camels are around.
 Ladyfriend is not a fan of petting zoos.
I also learned that Pursy has not gotten over her strange and intense fear of petting zoos. She isn't a big fan of animals anyway, but exotic animals really wig her out. Ian on the other hand, was running free range with the baby goats and lambs. Pursy spider monkied her way up my leg and stayed perched on my hip until we got far enough away from the zebra that there was no way he could jump the fence and...what? Not even sure what they are capable of. It is a mysterious phobia, especially because she walked right up to the huge brachiosaurus in front of the Museum of Natural History and chatted her up about looking out for the T-Rex (she is very nervous about "Sharp tooth" after seeing Land Before Time).

Tent where noisy things are hanging for kids
to bang on them with wooden spoons.

Tiny hipsters.

More Banging
Air Banging

Knox is working on feeding himself. He does not want any help and seems okay to make a complete mess of his face and clothes, something that will always amaze me about kids. Their capacity to tolerate sticky and wet and just gross sensations when it comes to food. Knox loves to get food substances on his hands and rub them through his hair, usually leaving him looking like David Bowie in Labyrinth after a meal.

Blowing on a hot bite
Direct Hit

Do I have something on my face?

Good to the last drop

Is this a natural smile Mama??

"Pursy, everything you do is SO COOL!"
I have a very irrational and very paralyzing fear of public pools. It started with a picture in my 4th grade science textbook of a humpback whale jumping in an indoor pool, gray hazy water and all very shadowy and mysterious. I remember having dreams when I was little of BIG things. Random big things, one of the most reoccurring was of a ball of yarn chasing me down a hill, but I have always been very tender about really large things. I'm not sure what that phobia is and every time I talk about it public Grant makes an off color joke about his man parts. So I don't talk about my whale phobia or my fear of big things in public anymore. I even tried to find the picture of the jumping whale of death last summer when I confessed to my in-laws the true reason why I hate swimming pools and couldn't find it on the internet anywhere. If anyone else used the same science book in elementary school and remembers the whale picture (it was on the bottom right corner of the page) please get my back on this one. It was scary.

Oh. My. Goodness.
Of course I would never throw out that t-shirt baby,
 it still has YEARS of wear left in it...

Pure Bliss

All that to say, I don't take my kids to swimming pools. I don't deprive them of water play- I am the cool Mama that lets them get SOAKED at the water tables on the third floor of the Children's Museum, we frequent the Water Steps, sundry spray parks around the city, and have a killer sprinkler in our backyard. They just don't get submerged in any body of water in which I can't see the bottom. Yes, in case of whales.

The garden also got did. My honey laid out four raised beds for my garden artistry and I now have a very lovely herb bed, a tomato and marigold bed, a viney vegetable bed (cucs, zucchini and squash) and a everything else we like vegetable bed (peppers, peas, kale). I also planted flowers in all my stone pots and in summary created an urban oasis.

Marigold pre- overnight rabbit beheading

Red Bell Pepper

Portulaca (Purslane)

Post Radio Flyer car crash off the back steps
Love these guys. And they are going to be our neighbors!!
My lovely friend Caryn (photog for our most recent photo shoot) and her fiancĂ© Chris came over for dinner last evening. She graciously suggested a barter of cooking lessons for the photographs, and I definitely got the best part of that deal. We whipped up a few yummy dishes in our kitchen while the boys took the babes to the park, then we all sat around a few bottles of wine and ate our delicious food. These two are going to be married in a few months and rehabbing a fantastic house right around the corner from us. Pursy has a huge crush on Mr Chris and I think keeps a close eye on Caryn... we will break the news to Pursy when she is older.

Caryn ignoring Chris mouth-breathing.

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