Friday, August 26, 2011

A Little Bit of Disney

Robin has become my fairy blogmother. She raises her wand (or hits forward, whatever) and adds my name to the list. Yes, Shannon from Make Time For Love would be interested.

Do you recognize this face?

Not Grace's, because, you know, I try not to actually show her face on the blog. But the ears in front of here should be a giveaway of where we were.

The fine folks in Orlando, brought a little bit of Disney world to Baltimore yesterday.

I made them mistake of not doing by bloggey research on the Disney Summer Social, and billed it as a princess party to Grace. While it was in no way princesses-ey, it still was filled with enough Mickey Mouse and princess paraphernalia to satisfy her. Particularly when I declared that Grace was the princess at the party.

Hurray Princess Crown!
There was food and toys abound, along with an artist decorating the kids with their favorite Disney characters.

But what I thought was the best thing about this event?

It really wasn't about the kids. It was about the moms. I seemed to be one of the few people in the room that wasn't already connected to the rest of the crowd, but it was still nice. It was a safe, comfortable, environment to let you kid play while you talked to other moms. Disney, you got the Summer Social right.

Grace and I both went home happy. I can't wait until the girls are old enough for our first trip to Disney World!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eyes Wide Open

I like my natural disasters to be straight forward. To give some sort of warning.

I grew up in a Chicagoland tornado alley, so honestly, those whipping columns of wind hardly even phase me. I'm like a human radar. I look at the sky patterns and color, sniff the wind and then head back inside.
       Meh, it's fine. Let's finish dinner.
Most of the time it's a false alarm. Either way, you've had plenty of warning if something is going down.

Hurricane's too. While I do not claim to be an expert on this weather phenom, you can see them coming. There have been days and days of incessant news stories and time to prep. And you'd better prep early because everyone now has the fear of Katrina in them. I never see the downside of buying extra milk and canned goods though. There is never any such thing as too much milk in our house. In fact, I think we will be stocking up for Irene this Friday.

Earthquakes though, those are tricky things. No warning. No odd goings-on in the sky or newscasters instilling panic in us. Just BAM: Shooka-shooka-shooka.

Yesterday's earthquake only lasted 36 seconds. It was 36 seconds of quiet panic though. In the metro DC area a person's mind tends to wander towards man-made causes of a shaking building, not Random Acts of God.

It was 36 seconds of panic and then a few minutes of:
Where are my babies? What do I need to grab to leave? Do I have time to tweet this? Does Matt feel this too? Is this an earthquake? Yes, it is an earthquake. No, I don't know what magnitude it is, I am using my phone to tweet. Make sure you grab your stuff, who knows if we'll be let back in. What if the parking garage collapses? What if this building collapses; lowest bidder you know. No, I don't know the magnitude yet, I'm texting.

After an hour of sitting outside with Clare (relatively) in my arms, solidified with confirmation that we did indeed part of the East Coast earthquake and feeding a miraculously found sleeve of Ritz crackers that were in my purse to hungry children, we were sent home so building assessments could be preformed.

While there has been reports of damage to buildings, including the disheartening indefinite closure of the Washington Monument, our house remained unscathed.

Unless you find shifted books and photographs upsetting.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Shannon and the Bean Stalk

At the beginning of summer, I planted three string-bean plants. They were small, scrawny little things. I was positive that they wouldn't grow, but Grace was on a bean kick and who am I to deny her green vegetables?

It took a long time for them to grow. We were producing red tomatoes before the plants had even climbed to the top of their trellis. Then, suddenly, they sprung to life. I added a second cage to the trellis. Up, up, up they went.

I was so proud.

Alas, there were no beans. Shouldn't we have beans by mid-July? I saw a cousin facebook about here bean bounty weeks earlier. Our plants kept growing and growing though. The weight of the plants became too much. It toppled over onto our wood pile. The creeping vines overtook two of  the cherry tomato plants. That was the end of July.

While surveying the damage of our structural collapse, I noticed these. Yea!

And over the next few weeks, it seems we have more little flowers than leaves on this monster of a plant.

And we have our first real bounty of home grown string-beans.

Grace at two and Clare threw hers on the floor. Matt ate them because he knows what is good for him. Me? I savored every bite.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Family Circles

It’s funny how you can love babies before they are even born. How you know you will protect and love them in every way you can before you even see eyes fluttering to look at you. How it doesn’t even matter that they are not part of your flesh and a product of your womb.

I have added another boy to my ranks of children today.

I raced to claim the status of the first outside of the family to caress him. I rocked my swaddled bundle for an hour before I relinquished my hold on his warm little body. I can still smell the sweet, blessed odor of newborn on my skin.

Welcome to this world little man. You come into with so much more love waiting for you than you can possibly realize.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Up Where the Air is Clear

Clare has been walking for a week now.

One whole week. Only one week. It's like she came out of the womb toddling along.

It's how this kid does everything though. We she crawled, she crawled. There was little wiggle-worm shimmying involved. Same with her steps. Although I take that back, she's been cruising for months. But always with a death grip on something like the Earth would swallow her whole if she let go.

Clare with her boa(constrictor) boa
Last weekend (while I was away) she finally let go. And hasn't looked back.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Me. My. Mine.

I’ve been thinking about this post a lot. I know what I want to say, I just don’t want it to be misconstrued. So let me start off with this:

I LOVED BlogHer. (As a whole), I had a fantastic time. I would will do it again in a heartbeat.

I read a lot of posts from other bloggers before I left denouncing it as a ‘girls weekend’ before I left last week though. For me, that is exactly what it was though. I am completely unapologetic for that. I was there for the sunshine and parties. Contrary to what I felt was a common theme at BlogHer, blogging is not my Business. I was there for four days of being child-free. I registered on a whim and didn’t even look at the session agendas until a few days before. I went into the conference promising that my enjoyment was paramount as was being true to myself.

What does that mean?
It means I had every intention of walking out of seminars that I found lack-luster.
It means that my idea of good times at the parties was an abundance of free drinks and swag.
It means that I wasn’t going to put pressure on myself to network when all I wanted to do was look at palm trees.

So that is what I did. And I had a wonderful time being true to myself.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Come Talk to Me @ BlogHer

So I’m about to go on an adventure.

All by myself.

Well, not really all by myself. Robin and Denise are coming with me.

But right now, I feel all by myself.

I tried packing my bag all weekend long. I put things in, I took things out. Grace put things in and took things out. I’ve analyzed if I have enough room to bring my own pillow like a child because I just don’t sleep right without it.

And now? My stomach is churning. The calendar has flipped and it is officially August and I am officially leaving in 2 days for San Diego.

Posts like this have really been helping, but still…. I get it is OK to be awkward. In my mind though, it is fine for other people to be awkward, but aren’t I supposed to have my shit together and fully embrace the idea of freedom and adventure for five very long days. Part of me relishes the idea of seeing this computer based life in person, but another part of me feels like such a fraud.

You know, you read me. You’ve noticed that my posts have dropped off significantly in the last year or so. Am I a blogger, just because I have a url? Well, I guess I did have business cards made to that effect.

Once I get on the plane I know I will be fine. We have invites to parties galore, and lot of free booze will make all my worries go away, right?

So really, come talk to me. Because I think I will really need it.

Have I mentioned that my stomach is churning?