Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Katie vs the Cactus

The girls are getting used to life in the Southwest and the new world of plants and critters.  We've had lots of encounters with wildlife from the bobcats who like to use our backyard to hunt rabbits on the golf course to the snake who decided to take a drink out of the pool while the girls were swimming.  Ella saw something sticking out of the pool and realized that it was a snake taking a drink.  Rick came to the rescue and tossed it over the fence with a pool cleaner.

Scorpions have been another new friend for us.  Rick got the girls scorpion flashlights at the hardware store and when the lights are out the skeleton glows like a fluorescent light.  We found a bunch in the rental house but didn't have anyone get stung.  Ceci stepped on one on the carpet in our bedroom but it didn't sting her and I came to the rescue and killed it.

One morning after rolling out the garbage cans, Rick got up to see our trash all over the street.  We learned the hard way that javelinas patrol the neighborhood like raccoons, knocking over garbage cans. Hard to believe that we are now living somewhere with packs of hairy pigs cruising around.

The most notable natural encounter for us so far was Katie versus the cactus.  I was sitting outside while the girls were riding bikes and scooters in front of the house.  There is a small hill at the end of the block that the girls like to gain a speed coming down.  I heard a yelp from Katie and looked up to see her crying and walking slowly holding her arms and hands away from her body like Frankenstein.  Then I realized that she was COVERED from forehead to ankle in cactus needles.  Literally hundreds of needles.  Sophia, Ella and Ceci were so upset looking at Katie that they ran inside crying and told us later that they went into our room and started praying for Katie to be ok.

Rick ran out and we had no idea what to do to help poor Katie. She kept asking us to call an ambulance so they could make her better at the hospital.  I called the pediatrician who said that all they'd do at the hospital is use tweezers to pull out the needles.  So Rick and I went to work.  There were needles all over her face, forearms, was a disaster.

I was wondering why she didn't bail off the scooter as it was headed toward the cactus patch when Katie murmured

"I'm never doing that again"

me:  "Riding down the hill like a maniac?"

Katie:  "No, riding down the hill on a scooter with my eyes closed"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Catch up!

So much has happened and I have been terrible about posting what has been going on.

We moved to Scottsdale and it has been a big and exciting change for the whole family.

Leaving our friends and home in Wilmette was sad for all of us. There were many tears shed. The girls really miss their bffs the Baisleys and we miss our amazing community in Wilmette.

Arizona is a whole new world for our family.

I was pretty firm that I wanted to drive to our new home. I just couldn't imagine leaving the house with a couple suitcases. I knew there would be a large pile of odd and ends that didn't make it onto the truck that we could shove into the suburban. I couldn't deal with the stress of flying with the family while hysterically crying after saying goodbye. We're already a spectacle going through airports and having mom sobbing uncontrollably would just add to the circus. I'm not sure why I possibly thought that driving for three days and staying at roadside hotels would be easier than three hours on a plane but Rick, in his wisdom, deferred to what I wanted with some gentle suggestions that flying would actually be a better idea. So...we road tripped.

Our first scenic stop was at a mini version of Stonehenge in Kansas somewhere. Katie is already thinking this was a big mistake.
Next was Cabella's outdoor world.

When we arrived in Albuquerque for our final night and pulled up to the hotel, the backseat of our car looked like we were transporting a group a child hoarders to treatment. It was like those old VWs you sometimes park next to with floor to ceiling junk and wonder how anyone could possibly drive around with so much crap in their car. I think the valet was waiting for a family of feral cats to leap out of the layers of clutter covering the floor of the car when he got a look inside. All I could do was shovel with my hands layers of the crayons, stickers, markers, coloring books, beads and snacks that I had so lovingly packed for each girl in their own backpack before we left and dump it all in the trash can on the sidewalk.
Ceci asked "are we there yet" before we reached St Louis and I think she least enjoyed our journey. She said the other day that she wanted to move back to Wilmette and then hesitated and said she had changed her mind and didn't want to move. I asked her why she now didn't want to move back and her reply was "If we move back, do we have to drive back?" I told her we could fly and she said that in that case she'd like to move back.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Sophia begged me to do school chorus in the fall but I said no for a couple of reasons. She was way too busy with other activities and singing in tune isn't her passion or gift. She just didn't want to wait in line on Tues/Thur mornings before school with the boys since "EVERY" girl in the second grade goes to chorus practice those mornings at 8:00am. In the spring a neighbor offered to drive her to early practice so I relented and signed her up. After a couple weeks of me tiptoeing into her room and gently coaxing her out of sleep in the mornings she decided she really didn't want to do chorus any more. After listening to her whine twice a week all fall I told her this was her decision and I made her follow through.

It all led up to the big Harper Chorus concert in May. My parents came along to help me and thank God they were there. I don't think I could have managed alone.

Sophia did a great job and was very proud to be up on stage. The girls LOVED the show. They are still singing the songs. Ella saw it during the day at school and said that at one point she didn't know why but she got tears in her eyes and almost started crying because it was so "awesome". It was really sweet.

My major fear was that Katie or Ceci would ruin all the videos being taken by proud parents. This didn't happen although at one point during a very quiet song by the small chorus (the older children who can sing in tune), Ceci yelled "I got a STRIKE!" I had given her my phone to play a game with no sound feeling pretty proud of my parenting until she put her stamp forever on the home videos of the performance.

Ceci requested the elaborate "two buns" hairstyle. I did my best. This is the first and last time I did this 'do.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Katie making friends

Katie and Ceci are very friendly and go out of their way to say hi to strangers and will talk to just about anyone. We were at a restaurant waiting outside for our table on a nice evening when Katie zoomed in on a group of people smoking outside the restaurant. She walked right over and started talking to them. They all kind of chuckled and said "yes". She shrugged her shoulders and said bye. I asked her what she said to them.

Katie: I asked them if they knew smoking was bad for you and they said "yes".

She gave me that same shoulder shrug to say I did my job, what else can I do.

Last week we were at Target eating lunch. This is a sentence I never thought I'd say in my life.

There was a very large construction worker ordering his meat lovers pizza at the counter. Katie hopped up, said hi to him and then gave him a big hug. Her arms barely made it halfway around his knees. He gave her a big smile and she looked up at him and said "I love you". It made everyone smile. He kept saying that made his day. She has a way of cheering people up everywhere.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Deep thoughts with Katie

I LOVE pizza.

I want to marry pizza.

Then I'm going to eat my husband.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Car rides with Sophia and Ella

Last night I went with the girls to watch Sophia dance at a local Irish restaurant/pub and we met our friends the Lazars and their extended family for dinner.

We were all exhausted driving home and then out of the total silence came Ella's little voice from the third row:

Ella: I wish I had a step mother.

me: What? Why?

Ella: Carleigh has one.

I realized she was talking about Carleigh's step-grandparents who were there.

Sophia: That would mean that mom was DEAD and dad married another lady.

Ella: I don't actually want a step-mother.

Sophia: AWKward...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Irish Dancing season

March is Irish Dancing season as Sophia dances in a number of parades and local celebrations. Sophia LOVES Irish dance and Ella has been hooked as well. They both dance around the house saying the steps over and over. A mom taped the one last week at a local church St Patrick's Day party. Sophia is a beginner and in the group with the white blouses and blue skirts. She's the only one in a blonde wig I think. Near the end of the first link and the third. At the end when Sheila Tully asks someone if they want to learn a new step and they say "no"...that's Ceci. :)