Monday Night Picture Show
Wordless Wednesday: Summer Dreams

Fresh Spring Air


Last night I asked Rob to make up some crabby patties with that crabcake mix from Williams-Sonoma. They're good, but they're still no Uncle Chuck's (our Farmer's Market supplier) - the gold standard, as far as I am concerned. I'll have to pay a visit to UC soon and check out his wares!

Health Report:  I would be feeling a lot better, I think, if it wasn't for this awful cough that is still bogging me down. It hurts and it wears me out, and I'm thinking of going back to the doc later this week to rule out (or in) pneumonia, since I seem to be somewhat prone to it. It's not getting any better, that's for sure. And I still have a sore throat, and my ears are plugged up, and I am so over it! 

Plus, now Rob is getting sick, which is like the worse thing ever in the world, and I am finding it hard to be sympathetic after all the "oh, it's just a cold" comments he gave me! Jack is on-again, off-again with not feeling well, and Sophia felt much better today after the dosage of Children's Tylenol I gave her last night for her fever, though I could tell she is sick. Chloë was doing great until she developed a bad headache at Ballet tonight and got sent home early, whereupon she immediately threw up and then cried like a banshee over her poor head. I almost got up and took her to the ER, but then she fell asleep.

Anyway, today I was determined it was not going to be another lay-around-in-my-nightgown-and-get-nothing-done day. Sophia was awake before the Bigs left for school this time (yesterday, she slept past when Jack came home!), so she had breakfast, and then we went upstairs. For the first time in a loooong time (unless we had to be somewhere), I jumped right in the shower first thing. It felt good to be back under the cool water, now that the chills are gone.

Then I folded up all the clean laundry. Jack's pile was way bigger than anyone else's, which means he's been having a spate of accidents during nap and bedtime. At six, this is frustrating, but I keep hoping and trusting that he will just grow out of it eventually. Sophia helped me with the clothes, and was just as chipper about it as her sister is not!


After that, I was hellbent and getting outside for some fresh air, feeling like it would really do me (us) some good. Sophie was certainly down with that. While I sat on the steps, she collected and counted leaves and rocks, hollered at and waved to the passersby, and dug in the garden.


She kept trying to ride Jack's new bike (did you know he got a new bike? Well, new to us; I found it on Freecyle and it's in great condition!), but wasn't strong enough to push the pedals forward. I figured all that time on the SmartCycle would've helped, but I guess not. We need to get her and Jack helmets, now.


She picked the dandelions and "planted" them in a bed with the hyacinth (thanks, Mom, Erin & Jessica!). Ooh, such pretty flowers.


We were outside all morning, waiting for Jack's bus. When she got a little cold, she wore my gigantic raincoat to stay warm.


As soon as Jack came home, we headed across the street to take that nature walk I'd been planning, around the small pond. This brazen little feller came right up to us and chatted away, to the kids' delight. Wish we could have stuck him in our collection bag!


'Twas all well and good until Sophia began pegging the poor thing with Yew berries, and then we had to nip that in the bud. He was unperturbed, though!


This is the small pond around which we walked. Some might remember we walked this pond with Stim last summer, and I had to stop for repeated breaks to ease my aching back. Today, there wasn't even a hint of pain, and I felt like I could have marched around it ten more times with ease. I might have, too, except it was considerably colder than across the street in our driveway, and Jack was miserable.


Ah, pretty dogwood trees in bloom. Sophia really got into the business of collecting cool things she spotted, but Jack was utterly uninterested in anything but shoving his hands in my pockets and going home. We'll have to try again another, warmer day, in another location.


I'm not much of a bird person - unlike Soapy - but I do love ducks. I could sit and take pictures of duckies all day. I refer to my children as "my ducklings" quite frequently.


Back at home, the kids had a quick lunch and then got started on their nature pictures. They chose what they wanted and where to put it; all I did was put the glue on for them.


Jack was an eager participant in this part of the process. If you've got ideas for more things we can do with our nature walk bounties, please let me hear 'em!


Their collectings


Sophia's picture - yes, that rock is glued on there! Hehe


Jack's picture - he was very proud of the pattern he made with the berries and acorn lids, and so was I! I figured we'd have been at the picture-making a little while longer, but then someone asked if they could have lollipops when they were finished, and I said "yes," and that immediately meant they were finished! Kids!


They wanted to go back outside and play, and I was just as enthusiastic about the plan as they. Jack wanted to ride his bike around, but he found it hard to do on the slightly-sloping driveway.


Sophia mostly sat in Jack's truck and sucked on her lollipop. She did go back to her rock- and leaf-collecting, though.


When the mail came and I went across to retrieve it, I asked Jack to put it inside on the desk for me. In doing so, he let Tiger Lily out, and she seemed to want to keep us company. When I first tried putting her on the leash, she darted across the street, and I hadn't the voice to command her back. She started to lope into the street when a car came rushing down, and I ran out and screamed, "Stop!!" Both the dog and the car stopped and stared at me, and then Lily turned around and went back across. Phew. Disaster averted. I have been there, done that, and don't ever want to do it again.

I managed to get Lily on the leash right after that, and she hung out with us, sniffing around the driveway, until it was time to go get Chloë from the bus stop. Jack pedaled his little bike down to the corner (no helmet, but he was going maybe 0.5 mph, and I was right next to him, giving him a push), and Sophia and I walked the dog. It was nice; I really enjoyed being outside all day with my chillens.

We were at the bus stop plenty early, so all the kids who were there before Chlo's bus were playing with and petting the dog, who reveled in the attention. She was a good girl, sitting when I told her to, heeling on her leash, and not barking at anyone. Sophia gave her lollipop away to another little girl, and I apologized to the dad about 40 times. He didn't seem to mind, but maybe he would've if he'd known The Sick was in our house!

When Chloë stepped off her bus, she kept her head down and kept walking right by us, because she didn't expect us to be there. When I called her name, she looked up and was just absolutely delighted to find us all there! She was carrying a bear, named Barbara something-or-other, on loan from her class. Barbara went with her to dance class and to bed, and she participated in everything else Chloë did. Chlo wrote in Barbara's journal and read Squirrel Nutkin to her. Seems like a cute take-home project.

I don't know yet what tomorrow will bring, but I'm already ready for more crisp, fresh air.