Monday, March 28, 2011


On Saturday, as I headed out to the backyard to start my garden, I noticed some new signage around our house.

This one was on the front of their playhouse. Apparently, wasps have been coming into the playhouse. This is their warning to keep out.

The sign itself probably isn't terribly frightening to a wasp, but the can above it will surely do the trick. But just in case a particularly brave, or stupid, wasp decides to risk it and head inside the house, he will soon regret it.

I'm not sure what will happen to this rogue wasp when he realizes he "shouldn't of" come in, but I'm sure he'll be sorry.

The last sign was inside the garage. There's a story behind this one. My darling husband, in an attempt to keep the garage somewhat neat has purchased a bike rack. There's a slot for each child's bike and trust me, there is hell to pay if the bikes aren't where they belong. (If you know my husband, you know that there is NEVER hell to pay where he's concerned. If you don't know him, trust me. There is never hell to pay.)

The kids have done pretty well at keeping up with the bikes. But alas, their dad forgot about one thing: scooters. There are no slots for scooters. And he is forever tripping over, kicking, or almost running over their Razor scooters. Until today, we haven't had a real solution to this problem.

Hmmm...should I worry that there are no scooters actually parked here? Nah, the garage is Dad's area. Now, off to convince Avery to make a sign that says "Pick up your toys, clean up your mess, and for Pete's sake, flush the toilet!"

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Not So Grown Up After All (Thank goodness!)

Avery is 7. She'll be 8 in May and it's all moving too fast for me. She's becoming much more independent, and doesn't seem to need me as much as she used to. (sob!) Don't get me wrong. She still wants to snuggle and sleep in Mommy's bed, but only at night when all her friends have gone home and it's just us.
It seems that, every day, she's asking for more and more freedom. She wants to go to the park with her friends, without me. She wants to walk the neighbor's dog, without me. She wants to walk to school, without me. I try to let go, little bits at a time. We compromise. She can go to the park, but she has to take a walkie talkie so I can talk to her whenever I want to. She can walk the neighbor's dog, but only if the dog's owner's big brother goes with them. She can't walk to school alone yet, but she gets to walk by herself, after school, all the way to the crossing guard a block away and I pick her up there.
Yesterday, we walked her to school. She asked to ride her bike and I said yes. The neighbor boys (owners of previously mentioned dog) rode by on their bikes and she asked if she could go with them. I said yes, and that I would be coming behind them.
They rode off and were far enough ahead of us that I couldnt' see them anymore. I really was ok with it, but I had the backpack, so I had to go on up to school. Before we got to the street the school is on, I see Avery riding her bike toward me. I said "Honey, you didn't have to come back. I was bringing your backpack." She burst into tears. She said, through tears, "Momma, I couldn't even see you. We were too far ahead. I wanted to see you, so I came back. I'm not ready to ride my bike without you."
I almost burst into tears too, but instead just yelled inside my own head "Thankyou, God! She still needs me!"
All I said to her was "Honey, I'm always here," and then floated all the way to school on a cloud of mommy-bliss.

Daddy Daughter Dance

Every year, our city holds a Daddy/Daughter Dance. It's pretty self-explanatory; Dads take their daughters to a dance. Some people go all out with this...fancy dresses, limos, makeup and hair done at the salon, etc. (That was never going to happen at our house, by the way. A new dress and lots of extra attention are treat enough, in my opinion.) We've never even considered going because frankly, that's not Avery's thing and until this year, Reese wasn't old enough to go.

Aaron asked Reese if that was something she would like to do. She didn't hesitate before shouting "YES!" We didn't think Avery would be interested in going, but of course, in the interest of fairness, we had to offer it. Surprisingly, she said yes. I told her she had to dress up and she was still ok with it. So, with both girls in, we had to make a decision. There are different dance times for different ages. Unfortunately, Reese's dance was from 2-3:30 and Avery's was from 4-5:30. Reese was allowed to go to Avery's dance, but older kids can't go to a younger dance. At first we thought they would all go together, then we considered the logistics of both girls wanting Aaron's attention. Being the sweet, considerate Daddy that he is, Aaron decided to go to two separate dances. (Yes, that meant he had to buy two separate tickets for himself. Told you he was sweet.)

The girls and I started shopping for dresses. Avery was easy. I asked if she wanted to go shopping and she said "No, I'm just wearing a girl shirt and jeans." Uh oh. I explained to her that she needed to wear a dress. It didn't have to be fancy, but she needed to dress up. She reluctantly agreed. We found a cute black dress at Gap online, ordered it and some tall boots. Avery is done.
Reese, as expected, took a bit longer. We hit four stores and tried on at least 12 dresses before we found the perfect compromise of fancy, affordable and seasonally appropriate. Fortunately, shoes were easier. Only two stores and three different styles before we found the one.
She tried her entire outfit on at least three times before Dance Weekend and could hardly wait. Avery was excited about going, but definitely more low-key. Aaron told each girl she could choose the tie he would wear and Avery was mostly excited that he agreed to wear his OU tie to her dance.
The day of the dance was exactly as you might imagine. Avery went to softball practice while Reese got ready for her dance. She took a long bath, and then put on her robe while we got her ready.
Here she is after her hair was dried, but before it was straightened and styled.
And here she is after styled hair, waiting for her nails to dry. The cutest thing about all of this was her excitement level. I bet she said at least 10 times, "Mom, this is so exciting!" or "Mom, I think I look so beautiful."

And here's the finished product, with her "date":

I love that Aaron thought of ordering corsages for the girls. They loved it too.

Obviously, I didn't get to attend the dance. In fact, Aaron took a picture of a sign at the dance that said "No Moms Allowed." But, I can just about picture how Reese pranced around at the dance. Aaron said she basically led him around the room the entire time, getting snack after snack, looking for her friends (not sure who she thought she was going to see, but she didn't see anyone she knew. That didn't stop her from looking). Aaron said they didn't dance until the very end, and the dancing was more spinning Reese and twirling her in the air. I can only imagine. She is very, um, commanding when she wants to be. And she LOVES to have someone cater to her. She may have been a princess in a former life.

While Reese was at her dance, Avery watched TV. I made her take a bath and wash her hair early so it could start to dry. I knew she wasn't going to tolerate a lot of time in front of the mirror fixing her hair. In fact, she told me more than once that I was driving her crazy, trying to curl her hair. "It's already curly, Mom! Why do you have to curl it again?" I didn't even bother trying to explain it to her. I must say, once she got ready, I think she enjoyed it. She seemed proud of her outfit and was excited about the dance. I didn't get many pictures of her.

Here are some pictures after Reese's dance and before Avery's.

Reese was very depressed when Aaron and Avery left for the dance. You know that "let-down" after a big event? She had it big time. I didn't know if I would be able to bring her out of it, then I reminded her that we were all going out for a family dinner and she would still be wearing her fancy outfit. That perked her up.
Aaron's report on his dance with Avery: They danced. Big time. A lot. The food line was long and the picture line was even longer, so they just got their groove on the entire time. I would have given just about anything to be a fly on the wall to see this. Aaron doesn't dance. Ever. Ok, not ever. He has danced with me about 4 times in our 11 years together. I'm glad he was able to overcome his dislike of public dancing because he made two little girls very, very happy.
Thanks, Daddy, for making your girls feel so special. What a great day!