Friday, September 30, 2011

Alex Pajama

Rosie has a very close friend named Alex Pajama.
Alex P. is only visible to Rosie... a pretend friend.

She is definitely a little girl except for sometimes... when she is a boy.

She is the size of a cat except for when she want to be bigger.
Alex Pajama is very, very, versatile.

Rose like to be in control of things, and she appreciates that she can Alex Pajama does whatever Rosie tells her to do. 
Although she doesn't seem like a very fun friend... she gets in trouble A LOT and spends a ton of time in the time out chair. Rosie get so frustrated with that kind of ill behavior...reprimands her in full voice.
" are not allowed to be rude!"
When Alex is not in time out, she is weeping on Rosie shoulder while she tries desperately to console her with back pats and sympathetic words.
Alex can be so misunderstood and really needs Rosie to help her feel better about her circumstances.

I am so glad that Alex has Rosie to counsel her during the tough times...oh yeah,  and also to help her exist. 

Monday, September 26, 2011


Happy Birthday Anna!
 My dear oldest daughter is longer a teenager... she is now, quite officially, twenty.
Here she is enjoying the last month of teen hood happily hugging a mama elephant.
And here is my girl and her little sis after celebrating her 20th birthday at P. F. Chang's with her fun and cool friends. 
She managed to find a baby elephant statue to hoist Lily on top of for this photo. Not really sure why the elephant has become such an active part of Anna's life recently, but I like it.
Perhaps it is her new power animal.
 Lily and I paid a birthday visit to campus over the weekend.
Lily slept in the dorm with Anna and had the greatest time EVER!

Here are my girls...
Lily at ten, 
Anna at twenty.

When Anna was twelve a movie came out that scared the daylights out of parents of 12 year old girls across the nation.
The film was called "THIRTEEN" and told the story of how a sweet twelve year old turned into a very  angry and very troubled teenager in a matter of months. I never saw the movie because it seemed just too  darn scary.
Imagine my relief when out Anna navigated those 8 years with grace and kindness instead of parent based hostility.
Here is Anna the year she became an official teenager.
Lily at three,
Anna at thirteen.
Thanks for the greatest 20 years- dear Anna, and wishing you 100 fabulous more!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


 Mary had an absolutely terrific weekend. 
She was voted to her junior class homecoming court on Friday evening and then went to the dance on Saturday night. 
A true fall high school homecoming weekend at it's best.
The key advantage of being a cheerleader voted to court is that you can participate in the official halftime ceremony in your fabulous and functional cheer uniform and sneakers instead of having to march to the 50 yard line center field in a fancy outfit and impractical shoes.
 Mary's friend Alex was voted to represent all the young dudes in their junior class.
 In addition to getting to wear sneakers to court, the other great thing about being a cheerleader on homecoming night is that the cheer squad is really really good at cheering for each other. 
Most of us can only dream about having an entire squad of friends cheering for us in solidarity and support as we are introduced. Thanks to her very enthusiastic and fun cheer pals there was a ton of clapping, a few herkies, and plenty of "yay, Marys!" when she was given her flowers. 

Mary knows that she is one fortunate girl to experience something so cool in real life and was smart enough to enjoy every moment of it all.
 The following night was the dance and I took Mary to the backyard and had her do her signature arms in the air, pose.
Understandably, her little sidekick wanted in on the posing action too.
 Then Karl came out and was quite right in pointing out that Mary's new rockin' shoes were not visible in the photo I took.  
He took this one. 
So please overlook the dorky (but proud) mom in clogs in this picture and focus on Mary's amazing new fashionista shoes. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Taylor Swift Blues

  Way back in 2006, I heard a story about a new young musician named Taylor Swift on NPR and immediately bought her first album for Anna. I thought she sounded like one gutsy girl and I kind of like my girls listening to the music of other gutsy girls.
(ok, I know that they aren't really called "albums" anymore but old habits are hard to break)
 I liked that Taylor wrote all of her own songs and was able to turn her teenage dreams and dramas into something the other kids could relate to. Anna and Taylor are almost the same age and Anna enjoys hearing those lyrics of love and loss from someone of similar vintage... I guess we all do really.
My favorite factiod (ferreted out by my pals at npr) is that Taylor spent the entire summer when she was twelve, writing 350 pages of a novel that was never published. 
So, while she is a superstar/singer/songwriter, she also remains an unpublished middle school novelist.
Anna at the rest stop on the way to Louisville.

When Taylor Swift's tour came kinda close to Cincinnati, Anna's cool mom (me!) got two super  tickets so that we could go see her in Louisville in early July. Anna and I were both excited for the trip. She carefully assembled a "going to see Taylor Swift concert" uniform of a sundress, wide belt and cowboy boots and we hit the highway south. We had a great time singing along with all of her songs of victory and despair and Anna taught me a few things about Taylor's search for personal growth.

"This is her YOU'RE SO MEAN response song to Kanye West when he told her and everyone else that Beyonce should have won for best video, and not her..."
Apparently, Taylor can be quite vengeful.
But Anna and I had a great little road trip, singing our hearts out the entire 105 miles to Louisville.

Then we arrived only to discover that our girl Taylor was sick.
 And cancelled her show.
And forgot to tell us.

Can you imagine?

But we tried to make the best of it.
We walked around that pretty city and visited sights like the monument to fallen police officers. Interesting and important, but not as much fun as a concert.

And then Anna's feet in her fashionable boots started to hurt so we got dinner and then hit the road home. And for the approximately two hours it took us to get home we were whiny and not all that understanding of Taylor Swift's health crisis. I mean she's 20... how sick could she be? Elvis Costello played an awesome show recently with bronchitis... and I'm pretty at 69 years young, Paul McCartney has had some creaky days that he didn't cancel. 
Oh well.
Taylor did reschedule her Louisville concert... on a school night in early October. Anna and I can't go, but I really, really want someone to go Louisville on our behalf and whoop it up with the fabulous Taylor Swift.
The new concert date is Tuesday, October 11th, 2011... KFC Yum Center, Louisville KY. 
Let me know if you want to go.
I got two for you.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Knock, knock...Happy Birthday!

Knock knock- Happy Birthday! 

There is someone in my life who always makes me laugh out loud. 
We have never met in person and likely never will.
She calls herself The Bloggess and she graciously and hysterically, posts daily.
  Karl enjoys her work very much too and every evening it is now our habit to "check in with The Bloggess." We so much enjoy her fun adventures and her discussions/arguments with her husband Victor.
My favorite post that she, or anyone really, ever wrote was about a giant metal chicken that she named Beyonce and gave to Victor for their 15th anniversary. 

This post made us both laugh so hard that I held my sides and snorted not just a little, but a lot.
Snort-snort, inhale, guffaw, snort-snort... not pretty, but very fun + cleansing.

Since then whenever either Karl or I need a a good LOL- we turn to The Bloggess and she has never let us down. If we don't have a computer on hand... we have fallen into the habit of saying "knock, knock..." as a reminder to lighten up already.

So for my birthday, my dear husband created a tableau featuring my own, not giant, but medium size metal chicken, that he found at the metal animal store about half a mile from our house. 

My Beyonce is smaller, gentler and kinder then the original Giant Beyonce. He (Beyonce is a guy) arrived bearing fabulous flowers. 
The kids were instructed to set up the chicken + flowers, ring the bell and hide. 
That plan didn't work out so well and these three instead ended up bickering then outright fighting about proper placement of said chicken and flowers... which is completely predictable behavior.

They made up for it later by posing for a cute photo.

I am more than impressed that Karl went to the considerable effort of creating this hand distressed "knock, knock" signage to complete my chicken's outfit. 
A chicken sign that perfect doesn't just happen. It takes skill and creativity not to mention all of the right tools.... so thank you for that dear Karl. 

  My medium sized birthday Beyonce chicken is completely, terrifically, awesome! 
I am crazy about his big beaky self!

Thank you also dear Bloggess for the humor and joy that you have brought to our life!

Monday, September 5, 2011

I just like watching the planes...

One of Henry's favorite places in the world is a patch of asphalt behind CVG... Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. It's a pretty ratty little parking lot, outfitted with some park benches, a few picnic tables and a port-a-potty. The lot is on a little rise in the landscape so that if you are so inclined, you can spend some time there watching the planes land and take off, which is Henry's idea of a perfect afternoon. 

He likes the landings more than the taking off... he scans the skies waiting for a jet to come into view and then waves them in even though, as he puts it..."they probably can't really see me down here."

Lily and Rosie don't mind a few minutes of watching the airplanes come and go, but they don't have the same plane watching stamina that Henry has.
I tried to use the planes as a means of getting Henry to think about our whole wide world. Maybe nudge his curiosity about geography and other cultures... social studies stuff...but I just got on his nerves.  
"I wonder where all of the people on that plane are coming from..."I wonder where that plane will land? I wonder if there is a kid on that plane who is flying by himself"
My son put his little hand on my arm (to break his disinterest to me gently, I suppose)..."Mom, you can think about the people on the plane all you want but I don't feel like it. 
I don't really care where they are going or where they've been.
I just like watching the planes."

Friday, September 2, 2011


Instead of hounding Mary for a first day of school photo opp- I thought it more fun to post photos of her first Friday night as a cheerio. 
I am proud of my girl for trying something new and using her energy and enthusiasm for loud and proud sportiness.
Go Silver Knights!

Ponytail a'flying, yay, Mary!

Henry developed his own seven year old boy cheer moves wearing his favorite shirt.
He likes the simplicity of the message.

Rosie did indeed get the memo to wear blue and white. At first suggestion she put on her cute school spirit t-shirt, she politely declined, at my second suggestion she flat out insisted that she would be wearing only pink to cheer for her Silver Knights.

"My favor color is pink, so that is what I will wear... 
no not no
other color.
Not blue, not white, only pink, because that is what I like.
I like pink the most."

Hmm... ok Rosie, now tell me how you really feel. 
Thankfully, Mary is used to Rosie's strong fashion opinions and understood her need to express her pinkiness to the football home opener.