Thursday, June 30, 2005

summering in Fort Worth

The kids and I are on a mini-vacation at my parents house. Poor Davie has to stay home and keep earning money. Today is the long awaited fishing trip with Grandad. Now I won't have to answer this question ten times a day "When are we going fishing with Grandad?"

Max packed approximately three boxes full of trinkets to bring with us. Yesterday he pulled out a mini puzzle, his play money, various toys, a blanket among other things. Packing light is not what happens when you start getting ready ten days in advance.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Emma Posted by Hello

Max Posted by Hello

Max Posted by Hello

joey finds rocks Posted by Hello

Then I got some good shots of the kids Posted by Hello

We went to Laguna Gloria today to see the new sculptures, this one was called Cedar Moth. Posted by Hello

scary or cool

Go to google, click the word "images", put in something unusual like your name (especially if it's Kennemer) and be amazed. Or frightened. Type in my name and see one of my quilt projects. I guess privacy is overrated.

UT won the college baseball world series last night. Last time they did this (2002 or so..) I took Emma and Max up to campus to see the big number one on the tower. When we got there it was so much fun, hundreds of people walking around campus, playing in fountains, honking horns in cars, all celebrating the Horns. And, surprisingly, no one seemed drunk. So last night after the big win, after dinner, we bundled up the crew and headed up to UT. Hundreds were there again, but this year, Coach Augie requested that the tower be lit once the guys got back -- Monday night. Guess where we will be tonight.  Posted by Hello

Friday, June 24, 2005

I might finally replace my Kerry for President bumper sticker. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

old eyes

I did it. I finally went ahead and bought myself a pair of those reading glasses you see at the grocery store. I had my annual exam with my new family practice doctor this week, seeing as I'm now needing 'baseline readings' on things since I'm forty. Anyway, I asked him if I should go to an opthamologist or an optometrist since I was pretty sure my eyes needed some help. He took off his glasses and pointed to the open magazine I'd been reading before he got there and said, "I'll be these are just right". Sure enough they were.

So, today I looked at the very hip and cool glasses at Central Market. All the good ones were too strong for me. Then later at HEB I found just the right pair. Emma adores them. And I'm using them right now-- as I type! Much easier to see the screen.

My good girlfriend Missy told me that the day you turn 40 you need these glasses and she was right!

Blueberry/Lemon pie update. I only ate one small piece mid-day, but now all the kids are asleep, David is at work with a deadline tomorrow and it's just me, the pie, and my new glasses! Yippee!

As soon as the blueberries go on sale, I buy two containers and get ready for my little obsession.David put the kids to sleep, while I was busy in the kitchen. Every year I have to make blueberry/lemon souffle pie, and since I am the main (greedy) pie eater in the house, I usually eat the whole thing. It was finally ready about midnight and looked like this when I went to bed. Posted by Hello

Max is all ready for our next trip to Gramma and Grandad's. He started packing the other day and I told him that we probably wouldn't be going there for a week or so. He said he didn't care, he just wanted to be ready. Posted by Hello

This is the new fishing pole. Posted by Hello

Um, yes, my kids do wear mittens in the summertime. I dare you to sniff inside... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

alter-alter-alter ego

Gloria the hippo from Madagascar, Bender the robot from Futurama, the Teeny Little Superguy from Sesame Street, Gloria again, Pablo from Backyardigans, Mini Me from Austin Powers....who is my son??? He is swapping personalities so fast I can't keep up anymore.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

We went to Dart Bowl today and I rocked! I finished up my game with a spare/strike/spare to trounce Max and Joey. I really rubbed it in with a victory dance and a chant: "Mommy is the Best! Mommy is the Best! Posted by Hello

bowling is fun! Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20, 2005

a busy, fun day today.

OK, here's my dilemma. Either we enjoy the unstructured days of summer -- sleeping in, wearing our jammies all morning, eating breakfast late -- OR, my kids get some needed outside exercise before it is as hot as hell. Lately, that requires getting to the park by 9:30. What usually happens is that we move slowly and then it's too hot to get out, so we do errands and I hope that the walking in Target, or in and out of the car through several parking lots counts for something.

Today I was motivated to get them to a playground, and we made it by 10-ish to Central Market's lovely, shaded, breezy playscape. It was like a toddler festival there, and my kids played nice and hard for about thirty minutes, then they would wander over to me (listening to iPod and working sudoku puzzle I'm addicted to) and say they were hot. I encouraged them to have a drink and get back to running so they would use up some of their boundless energy. Finally they started begging me to go shopping inside Central Market, so I considered it a win/win, since they were on good behavior while I shopped --so that I wouldn't make them go play again!

They are really great in stores now. Fun to have as company. This last year has made a big difference in their self control. I saw some of the toddlers' mommies chasing after their kids who were tired, hungry and running amok....ahhh, memories....We ate samples for lunch and I let my three pick out candy.....ahhh, big kids.

Then we had a fun outing with our favorite teacher at Teo's gelatto. All of us had been looking forward to our get together. Yummy treats and someone that mommy and the kids love to talk to. I sort of feel like I've lost my social life since I don't get to visit with all the parents and teachers at the end of school each day. It is nice to be with a grownup and find out that I still have the ability to hold an adult conversation.

Top that off with a fun and satisfying tap class tonight and it was a very good Monday around here today. We are spending this summer reviewing dance steps we've learned the last couple of years, so my old brain is getting a break from learning new stuff. I'm trying to fine tune things I supposedly learned this last year. And I'm trying to stop faking some of the hard stuff. Sometimes I'll strap on the shoes at home and try to show David something, and it sounds really bad. I make three unrhythmic clicks on a step that should have five rhythmic ones. And I'm just sure David is mentally calculating the investment he's made in my little hobby, wondering why I'm not a little better. It just sounds perfect when you are one of 6 tappers in a room a little less so when you dance solo. But I love it no matter how it sounds. When is one of my friends reading this going to get off their butt and take a class with me!!!???

Yep, a great day.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

what I've been thinking about

Just lately, lots of good data has been flowing into my brain. Maybe I've just had more peace around here as the kids get older, so that I can remember things for more than 10 minutes after I see/hear/read them. But lately I've had a great run of things to think about.

Movie: Sideways. I had the opportunity to watch it twice and it was even better the second time.

Books: Yes, I've read bookS (plural) lately, so that doubled my five year total in just the last month or so. I read and loved, 1) The Time Traveller's Wife and 2)The Red Tent.

The Red Tent was just very interesting and I'm finding I'm thinking about bits and pieces of it even now that I'm done. The next recommendation I've gotten is for Easter Island, and then The Color of Water.

Newspaper: So many wonderful editorials lately. All sorts of topics. But two quotes in particular really got my attention:

1)"We have literature and the arts so that we can gain sympathetic access to systems of belief that are not our own. Imagination had better inlude entering into worlds that are not your own, as well as the entertaining of beliefs that you don't yourself hold but that it will be good for you to feel the force of."
Christopher Ricks, Oxford professor of English poetry


2)"An unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only partisan information and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda is less inclined to put up a fight, ask questions, and be skeptical."
Bill Moyers, speaking at a conference on media reform.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Emma begs my pardon.. twice

Yesterday, while we were in the car, Max asked me how old I would be when he was my age. I said, "I don't know, seventy something"

And Emma said,"No offense Mom, but you'll probably be dead."

None taken.

The second Emma pronouncement came when Emma was asking me whether Gramma Lu gives presents to just our family or everyone. I told her Gramma Lu gives gifts to lots of people in our family, and named my aunts and uncles, and cousins and all the family Emma sees on a regular basis....

Then Emma said, "No offense Mom, but Gramma Lu is probably nicer than Oprah."

Emma had seen Oprah's infamous Christmas show where she gives away lots of goodies to her studio audience and Emma has been very impressed with Oprah ever since, but not as impressed as she is with Gramma Lu.

joey's growing up

I asked him about four times to go help Max clean up a mess they had made (playdoh on the kitchen floor), and Joey kept telling me no. I told him to go do it, or he'd have to give me his new prized possession, the Scooby Doo fishing pole. Finally Joey rolled his eyes, sighed and said, "I give up" and handed over the pole. Then he went to clean up the kitchen.

He's like a mini-pre-teen.

yesterday was fun

Since we didn't just hang around the house all day Thursday, I want credit for being a good Mommy and getting the kids out into the world. For some reason it is as hot as Hell here lately. It is breaking records and not only is it hot, it's humid. We are in a five day forcast stretch of days that will reach 100 a few times and are unbearably humid. When I walk outside, even early, it is the kind of opression that make it feel like work to breathe.

Anyway, my kids operate best when they have outside time in the morning and evening. David takes them swimming after work everyday, so he's doing his share, but I can't stand the thought of taking them to the park in the morning. Especially since we are such late risers and eaters and dressers now.

So now I consider walking good exercise. Even if it is in Target, which is what we did yesterday.

We went to Target for a pair of sunglasses for Max, some clothes for Emma, and for Joey's new Scooby Doo fishing pole. Yes, he has been wanting a fishing pole for months, but I've managed to avoid Target, so yesterday was the day. He was so excited, he carried it around for the rest of the day, even at the library. Joey told everyone who commented on the rod and reel that "No! Its a fishing POLE", and secondly, "Grandad is going fishing with me." Grandad needs a heads up on this, since I am now motivated to get him to Fort Worth very quickly to limit the amount of time I have to spend talking about the big fishing trip.

At the library, Joey picked up a book about Hippos, since he is still Gloria. Max picked up some easy readers since he is going to read to me at night now.

Then we ate gingerbread pancakes at Kerbey Lane Cafe -- a tall stack will feed my three for lunch! It is actually cheaper to feed them lunch there, than at McDonalds! Thank heavens.

Went to Daddy's office then across the street to the Austin Museum of Art to see the Annie Liebowitz exhibit. (I really miss living in a city with a big art museum, ours is tiny) The kids seemed to enjoy it, Waterloo Records had set up Ipods around the exhibit so you could hear cds by the musicians photographed in the exhibit.

Went to the big, new Whole Foods Flagship store. (I'll only say that what we bought there will make my hair look ten years younger.)

And then home. That walking counts for something, excercize, right? And we all got dressed and out of the house. Now it's 9:12 Friday, and we are in our PJ's and I'm trying to decide....park? or shopping? Our budget is shot.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

my new favorite website.....

Ever wish you could see your old toys?

I hope that link will get you there. I expect to be clicking on every one of these items over the next few days. I've already seen toys I used to have, but haven't thought of since I was about 7.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

breaking through boredom

My kids bicker.

Probably just the usual amount among brothers and sisters, not more than normal. But summertime is different. You'd think that it would be even worse than normal, without the outlet of school and friends and activities. And especially this summer when Emma's best friend has been on two vacations already. Max's day camp and our own vacation are still weeks away.

We were pretty busy last week with Vacation Bible School, but this week it's just us. We didn't even get dressed yesterday until Emma made our scrambled eggs at lunch. And the kids, though currently fighting while I write this, are actually..... playmates.

I think that summer forces siblings to rediscover each other. They move through a period of boredom and individual bickering to realize that they can play together. We've had some really complex make believe worlds lately. So elaborate, that even when I am ready to head out for some sort of adventure, often the kids are too engrossed to leave. I've even been turned down when I suggested Slurpees, because they'd rather keep the playmobil world going instead.

It breaks down when one gets mad, but sometimes they can pull each other out of the danger zone and get back to work.

Playing Trains Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

next... dinner!

Emma made wonderful scrambled eggs all by herself today. All I did was turn the stove on and off. She was so proud of herself.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Today's adventure

Today we had a friend of Max's join us on our adventures.

We started the day at Zilker Park, lots of playing, to wear out thee boys and one girl. Then a ride on the Zilker Zephyr, our favorite train.

A visit to 7-11 for slurpees. A spin past the grocery store for corn dogs and cheetos for lunch.

Home for lunch, play and a lemonaid stand. (slow day, only sold four glasses)

Another summer day.

Tunnel straight ahead. Posted by Hello

All Aboard! Posted by Hello

Starkey, Joey and Max on the seal Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 09, 2005

book club night

Ok, so a slight buzz helps put the kids to bed.

I had a book club nite tonight with my tribe of girlfriends. It was at my friend Lindsey's house. I covet her house. Ever since the first time I walked into it I've loved it. Just like I love my sister's house and my uncle Jim's old house. It's why I know I'm destined to move away from this house I'm in now. I'm supposed to live in a big old cool funky fixer house that I'm utterly in love with.

I'm in like with my house. It was available when we were looking. But it is too prissy and it makes me behave in a prissy way. It has low ceilings and it's in a nice neighborhood. It's walking distance to the elementary school. But I need a big old house with surfaces that can get beat up a bit and years of fixing-up ahead of us.

Anyway, after two point five of some desceptively strong margaritas and stimulating conversation, I came home to find the kids just getting to bed at 10:30. I laid down with Max and chatted with Emma in the bunk above. Instead of reading and trying to stay awake longer than the kids, I wanted them to visit with me. (I'm a little drunk.) Such neat creatures. Telling me their secrets, singing songs from this week's Vacation Bible School in tiny voices. I was enjoying the moment.

And earlier tonight with the women who I'm thinking will be friends for a long time, walking in Lindsey's neighbor's garden, visiting other neighbor's yards as twilight set in, and finally ending up at Lindsey's house telling stories about being middle aged moms who feel much younger. It was a very cool night.

Monday, June 06, 2005

gloria=joey Posted by Hello

Happy Birthday Austin (just getting ready...) Posted by Hello

This E is actually subdued, with only 7 lines, I've seen many more crosshairs on other Es (I guess that's what you'd call those horizontal strokes). Posted by Hello

g-l-o-r-i-a Joey

My son is a method actor. He is currently a huge, purple, female hippopotomus, named Gloria.

We went to see Madagascar last night. It's the latest family friendly animated movie from DreamWorks. I thought it was OK. Actually I thought it was ok (lowercase worthy), a few funny jokes but kind of choppy and not quite as good as Pixar offerings like Toy Story, Incredibles, etc. But ok anyway. Way down at Joey's end of the row, I heard loud laughing several times during the show. So he obviously thought it was fantastic.

After it was over, Joey, in the theater lobby, would only answer to the name Gloria. He also expected us to answer to our character names, which is cute for about an hour, but then really gets to be a hassle. This morning he woke up in character. I asked him in my normal voice what he wanted for breakfast and he reminded me, " NO! You're Melman's voice." I remember sometimes that I'm a boy giraffe, but I've been reminded several times by Gloria to get it together. For some reason the other kids get to be Emma and Max, but I'm always Melman.

On another Gloria note, he signed birthday cards for his cousins today and I've got pictures of his distinctive signature to post.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Stacy and I have been classmates since day one. Both of us have three kids, and both of us are losing our mental abilities at roughly the same rate. This is how good we felt right after the dance. Posted by Hello

don't I look relieved?

Things have been pretty boring around here lately, but finally today, something noteworthy happened-- I had my recital!

This was really the trickiest dance I've learned in the last three years. For some reason (old age) I've been having a harder time remembering the steps to this year's dance. We have been practicing the whole hour in almost all of the classes since Christmas and I was losing steps as fast as I learned them. About two weeks ago, I decided that instead of worrying about the steps I just wouldn't tell anyone where or when the recital was, so it wouldn't matter if I messed up or not.

And, after three years of hearing from David that my arms didn't move, and that I didn't smile during the recitals, I thought, screw the footwork, this year I'm smiling and swinging my arms. I'm sure my teacher wouldn't be thrilled to hear about my abandonment of hope, but too bad.

I got my hooker lipstick on, and set out to grin and swing. I was cool as a cucumber. Once on the stage, I tried to smile at the back corner of the auditorium where I had told the kids to wave at me. I couldn't even begin to see them due to the lights, but I imagined them there. I got lost a couple of times. And in the blink of an eye, it was over.

After that, we set off for my triumphant after show dinner at.... Mr. Ghatti's All-you-can-eat Buffet. And, now, here I am reliving it for all of you. If I look kind of manic in the posted photo, at least you know why.