Archive for February, 2010

Best Husband Ever

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Woke up this morning to hear Tiller singing 12 verses of her original song, “Whole World Friends.” Then Todd whispered that he was taking the kids to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast (kind of a ritual for Todd and the kids on Saturday mornings) and then they were going on to Lowe’s for their free kids’ building seminar, and they wouldn’t be back until lunch.

BEST. HUSBAND. EVER.

What are you going to be?

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Tiller and I were sitting on the love toilets this afternoon. (That’s what we call our Jack and Jill toilets, right by each other, but separated by a door. You can hold hands while taking a poo. Love toilets.)

Me: “What ya been doing?”
T: “I’m playing doctor with Snoopy.”
Me: “Are you going to be a Doctor when you grow up?”
T: “Maybe.”
Me: “You will have to study hard.”
T: “I will have to go to college.”
Me: “Yes, you will have to go to college and then medical college, too.”
T: “I can be anything I want to be.”
I nod my head, smiling.
Me: “Yes, you can.”

[Tiller sits there thinking, hand on fist, elbow on her knee.]

T: “Mama?”
Me: [wishing I could just read my magazine in peace.] “Yes?”
T: “What are you going to be when you grow up?”
Me: “Gosh, I don’t know. For right now, I am your Mama.”
T: “You can be anything you want to be.”
Me: “Thanks, baby.”

I think I mostly am what I want to be, but it’s nice to have her support. And it is nice that we are doing something right. She has gotten the message: She can be anything she wants to be.

Good Day Sunshine

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Woke up yesterday with a slight headache, but once I had lunch I felt fine. Spent the whole day outside with the family. Todd (finally) put up my Bulldog bird feeder. I moved Eddie Rabbit back to the edge of the treeline in the backyard, so that he will peek out at us on the patio. We cleaned the patio off, and I moved my new planters where I wanted them. We put out more birdfeed. Checked on the hydrangea I put in (it was one of my birthday gifts). Hung some wind chimes. Todd cleared out a huge section of our ivy and some ugly bushes (no idea what they are, but neither of us particularly like them). Talked about ideas for bed plantings in the future. Looked at bulbs starting to poke up through the ground. Oohed and aahhhed over the yellow crocus popping up around my Redbud. Picked up sticks. Poured pea gravel in the walk near the garage where we get a lot of runoff.

All the while, the kiddos ran around doing a “scavenger hunt” in the yard that I set up before we started. Then, Todd showered and we took the kids to St. Bede’s for some bike riding. One thing I hate about my house is that my street is a cut-through and jerks drive over the hill two houses up from me so fast that the kids wouldn’t have time to get out of the way of a car speeding. Our driveway is too steep to really ride. So, we take them to the park, or to the cul-de-sac up the street to ride. St. Bede’s is the best, though. A large, flat, shaded parking lot where the kids can ride in big sweeping circles. Rollie has gotten great at riding without the training wheels and Tiller is a daredevil with her training wheels. She almost flips that bike over three or four times whenever we take her out. It is gut-wrenching and thrilling to watch them.

Came back home, had a beer while grilling chicken and asparagus, and then ate that with scalloped potatoes. Yum.

Good day. My kids watched ZERO television yesterday. I LOVE warm weather.

A Shower for an Old Friend (and a New One)

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

Last night, Todd stayed with the kids and Camille picked me up to go to my old friend Kevin Fagan’s wedding shower. I have known Kevin since 5th grade (Mrs. Godwin’s class, represent!) and I can’t even do the math on that many years, but we went to elementary school all the way through college together. He is one of the most unique, funny, smart, loyal, and sincere people I have ever met. He is also in the top five for strangest people that I know, but then I kind of like strange people and collect them, and keep them around me. It helps to tone down my own weird when I drown myself in other oddballs.

Jamie and I went to high school together. We go hears without seeing each other, but i have seen him three times in the last three or four months.

Jamie and I went to high school together. We go hears without seeing each other, but i have seen him three times in the last three or four months.

The happy couple opening their gifts. The Rainwaters sitting on the hearth between them. As my Mom would say, it was old home week.

The happy couple opening their gifts. The Rainwaters sitting on the hearth between them. As my Mom would say, it was old home week.

Don't they look real purty?

Don't they look real purty?

I love these girls.

I love these girls.

Matt and I gettin' all waify and supermodel for the camera. I think he looks a little slow in this one, and I look like a bear ate a chunk of my face.

Matt and I gettin' all waify and supermodel for the camera. I think he looks a little slow in this one, and I look like a bear ate a chunk of my face.

I think she is checking his beard for small insects or birds' nests. I love him, because he quietly plays along with our games.

I think she is checking his beard for small insects or birds' nests. I love him, because he quietly plays along with our games.

This time, Natalie plays nice.

This time, Natalie plays nice.

Nat and Kevin, the Groom.

Nat and Kevin, the Groom.

I still remember the day that Camille introduced me to Brian. We were in high school, and buying tickets for some show, but I can't remember what for the life of me. Camille had that red car.

I still remember the day that Camille introduced me to Brian. We were in high school, and buying tickets for some show, but I can't remember what for the life of me. Camille had that red car.

This time from Matt and Nat.

This time from Matt and Nat.

Jamie did very well for himself. His wife is a sweetheart.

Jamie did very well for himself. His wife is a sweetheart.

Kevin and his high school friends. From left: Jamie, Camille, Kevin, Natalie, and Me.

Kevin and his high school friends. From left: Jamie, Camille, Kevin, Natalie, and Me.

Adding in Matt and Brian, and we have the Bulldogs.

Adding in Matt and Brian, and we have the Bulldogs.

Kev, this girl's a keeper. We likey.

Kev, this girl's a keeper. We likey.

Isn't young love wonderful?

Isn't young love wonderful?

This one just kinda cracks me up.

This one just kinda cracks me up.

Not sure what I am doing here.

Not sure what I am doing here.

I think this is right before he re-enacts the great Roswell High School Air Conditioning Walkout of 1989.

I think this is right before he re-enacts the great Roswell High School Air Conditioning Walkout of 1989.

Anyone who drinks with Natalie on even a semi-regular basis will recognize this sort of thing. Basically, you just follow her around with a camera and stuff like this happens.

Anyone who drinks with Natalie on even a semi-regular basis will recognize this sort of thing. Basically, you just follow her around with a camera and stuff like this happens.

We didn't actually go to Dixie Tavern, but instead went to Ru San's next door. But I love this sign, and love that it is right next to a sushi place. I had edamame and Brian and I split the Dr. Zhivago. Yum!

We didn't actually go to Dixie Tavern, but instead went to Ru San's next door. But I love this sign, and love that it is right next to a sushi place. I had edamame and Brian and I split the Dr. Zhivago. Yum!

You can't tell, but I am trying to reach for his firecracker roll while this picture is being made. That was some yummy stuff. (That's what she said.)

You can't tell, but I am trying to reach for his firecracker roll while this picture is being made. That was some yummy stuff. (That's what she said.)

That Julie was such a wild child. After the shower, she really let loose and chugged sake.

That Julie was such a wild child. After the shower, she really let loose and chugged sake.

The thing that strikes me as funny (and comforting) is that hanging out with all these folks that I have known for 20 plus years or more, they feel like home. Family. I know that they have seen me at my best and my worst and they still love me. Just like family.

Rollie Looks Into a Wardrobe (with Lucy, of Course)

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Last night, Rollie chose a kids’ version of one of the Narnia Chronicles (the kids’ books are called “World of Narnia”) for Todd to read to him and Tiller. It is called Aslan, and Todd just said that it was “very abridged.”

After school, I let Rollie play some xBox, since it is friday, and he kept his four scoops, and he had no homework. I wanted him to go outside and play, since it is so nice outside, and we agreed that he would play 30 minutes of video games and then go outside.

Well, he got up and turned the tv off by himself. I did not know that kids were capable of this, but i did not show my alarm, but just rolled with it. He then turned to me and said, “Mama, do you care if I don’t play video games, but don’t go outside, and maybe read one of those wardrobe books?”

Um, does the pope wear a funny hat?!

“Of course,” i said, “where did you put your other ones?” I thought that he meant that he had another of the World of Narnia books and wanted to read it.

“No, I mean the ones with the numbers.”

Oh. He means he wants to read THE Narnia Chronicles.

(Side note: Yes, Todd and I are nerds. The series is on our bookshelves. Along with TLOTR, Harry Potter, and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. You know, kids books for nerdy kids and their nerdy parents. Commence fun-making.)

Todd and I thought it was so cool he wanted to read the Aslan book last night, and we discussed whether he could read the real books and thought maybe they were too hard for him. But when he asked me i said, “Well, you can try one. Sure. It is a pretty big boy book, but I think you can try it and you let me know if you have questions about it, or don’t know a word, okay?”

Because i didn’t want to tell him that he couldn’t read it, if he wanted to try, but i also didn’t want him to read it and find it hard and then never go back and try to read it again, because let’s be honest, if you never read The Narnia Chronicles, there is a fundamental gaping hole in your childhood reading and, very likely, your soul.

So, here i am, working on some editing, watching him on the couch with a down comforter pulled over his legs, and his head on a pillow, and he is reading the first chapter of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and I am about to die I am so nervous, but he appears to really be reading it, and . . . I think Todd and I could very likely explode at the dinner table tonight if we get to discuss Narnia with Rollie over dinner.
Rollie Reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Update: He just asked me what “inquisitive” and “jollification” meant. Love that he is reading stuff that isn’t dumbed down. Makes me feel like we might be doing something right.

At least for today.

My Free Stuff Haul

Friday, February 19th, 2010

So, i like estate sales. Mostly, i dig old stuff. (Nikki, I know you’re with me.) I also love to dig through other people’s stuff. It’s a sickness. A goatman sickness.

I dropped Tills off at school last Friday, and it was supposed to snow that afternoon, and it was colder than a well-digger’s you-know-what, but I just couldn’t help it when i saw that sweet, sweet poster board with “Estate Sale” on it. I had to drop in.

They had some decent stuff, like the dollar Vince Dooley print I bought as a housewarming gift for my Daddy, and the awesome bird pillows (Yellow Warbler and Towhee!) But it was those magic words that really drew me in.

Free.

As in, “Honey, you can have anything in that backyard you want for free. You just have to haul it off.

These words would strike fear in the heart of Todd if he heard them uttered in front of me. Me? I took it as a dare.

So, here I am in the low-30s weather, out in some stranger’s backyard, fighting an older Italian woman for garden ornaments. Luckily, our tastes really didn’t meet anywhere in the middle, so we were able to divvy up everything out there in about one minute, then we started figuring out how the heck we were going to get it out to our cars.

Those suckers were heavy.

I ended up having to go home, get a wheelbarrow, bring it back and get Todd to meet me during lunch to help me and Pina (my Italian buddy). He is a good husband. He puts up with me, and my junk problem, and he even enables, er, supports me in the endeavor. Most of the time, anyway.

This is what we got:

There is also a plant hook thing (one of those metal things you stick in the ground with two hooks, for holding hanging baskets or bird feeders), a beat up birdhouse, and a folk-arty looking set of wind chimes. Yeah!

Since then, I also went to my parents, where they gave me one of my grandfather’s old clocks (Pop collected clocks), Grandma’s old bread box (white-painted metal with a red trim – so cute!), and an old handmade rolling pin. (Yes, Annelle, I bake. Once a year. Christmas cookies.)

I think Todd’s patience is wearing thin. I better put all this stuff away before I bring anymore in. Wish me luck.

At the Birdfeeder

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

I think this guy is a Baltimore Oriole, and a male, based on what i read on my Peterson’s Bird guide for the IPhone. Second day in a row I’ve seen one! So glad I moved my feeder to my sink window. I spend half my life there washing dishes anyway, so might as well nerd out on birds while I’m there.

The 80’s Comb

Monday, February 15th, 2010

You thought this was going to be some fun post about 80s hairstyles [Robin, I’m lookin’ at you], and oh, are you going to be disappointed. It’s a post about a comb. From the 80s. No, I am not kidding you.

See, we were talking about 80s stuff at a girls’ night recently, and somehow Todd’s comb came up.

We're taking it on Antiques Roadshow next time they come around.

We're taking it on Antiques Roadshow next time they come around.

I am pretty sure it is the comb that he had in middle school or high school, because I remember people having similar ones, TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO.

What is truly funny about this is that I started dating Todd eleven years ago this week (we met on February the 13th, 1999) and I think i laughed once or twice about this comb, like, “haha, couldn’t afford a new comb, huh?” and then somehow, i just started using the comb when I was spending the night over there, and one day, the comb was not funny to me anymore, and now i use the comb from 1986, and don’t even think twice about it, and that is just sad, and some kind of even sadder comment on what marriage does to a girl.

Like I’m so downtrodden that I can’t even buy my own damn modern day comb. And if i did buy one, it wouldn’t be aqua, white, and pink, that’s for dang sure.

Daddy’s Combat Boots

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Just wore these babies out to walk the dogs in the snow at Pop’s house. Pop would have loved to see this snow. . . .

Bedtime Cheer: Discussions of Aging and Death

Friday, February 12th, 2010

I tucked Tiller in the other night, then went into tuck Rollie in. He was reading a book, with it propped on his legs, and with a pillow behind his head.
“Night baby,” i said.
“Night, mama.”
I kissed him on the head and got a little choked up, thinking about putting him down as a baby, and how much he has grown. Rollie noticed my tears.
“Mama, why are you crying?”
“Because I am so proud of the wonderful little boy you are growing up to be. They are happy tears.”
Rollie made a face that told me that he was a bit skeptical about “happy tears.”
“Mama,” he said, “Don’t worry. I am not going to die for a long time.”

There is something about hearing my child talk about his own death that just chills me to the bone, but I don’t let them see that.
“I know that baby. Most children end up living long lives.” I’m not going to totally shield them from the harsh realities of life, either.
I kissed him again, and gave him a hug an walked towards his door.
“Mama?”
“Yes, Rollie. . .” I turned towards him, expecting the usual, “i need a glass of water/potty/medicine” stalling tactics.
“Mama, one day i will have kids and you will be a grandma.”

Boy, kid, you really know how to cheer a girl up at bedtime.