Friday, May 16, 2008

Presenting...the Queen

A few days ago I was cleaning out Ben's closet making room for some clothes that will fit him in 1-2 years. I like to shop clearance, and he has a bigger cousin who gave us a great big bag of hand-me-downs, but I digress. I discovered, in the bottom of his closet, several articles of clothing he received for his birthday in January that I had set aside until the weather was warm enough to wear them. Happy day! New clothes for the rotation. And one was a Lightning McQueen t-shirt. Ben was thrilled as one of his very favorite friends is currently obsessed with Lightning McQueen. I told him he could not change then (5:15 PM), but could wear it tomorrow. He carried it outside to play with, and then dutifully brought it back in for dinner.

Yesterday morning I put the t-shirt on him, and called him Lightning McQueen. A few minutes later I overhear part of a conversation. I'm not sure what Claire said to him, but he replied, "I not a baby, I a QUEEN!" Then moments later when I called for him to get ready to go downstairs he told me, "I not Benjamin, I a QUEEN!!!" Well, alrighty then. This perhaps explains his obsession with shoes. Let's get your royal hiny (is there a correct way to spell that word? I've tried 4 variations, and it keeps getting flagged by spellcheck) downstairs and into the car so we can take Claire to school.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rocking at the Park

Last night I got an email telling me that Rocknoceros was going to be doing a free concert in a public park that is not too far away from us, so Ben and I stopped at Subway on our way to pick up Claire to get lunch, and the three of us headed out for a concert/picnic. We drove 3/4 of the way around the park while the kids ogled the playground and the gathering crowd before I found some parking, and then we had quite a hike to get to the area where the concert was, but we arrived and spread our blanket about 3 minutes before they began. I handed out milk cups and sandwiches, and we sat down to eat. After a few minutes of music I told the kids they could get up to dance if they wanted to, and they never sat back down. They ran around like crazy, pausing long enough to watch caterpillars crawling across the grass and take a sip of milk. The last three or four songs found them sitting on the front edge of the gazebo just staring at the band members and their instruments in awe. At the end Claire picked a buttercup and gave it to the guitarist when he came out with the Rocknoceros stamps for their hands. We packed up the remains of our picnic, and then headed to the playground for some more fun before we made our way to the car.

While trying to keep an eye on two kids who of course went in opposite directions I overheard a mom nearby talking to her daughter. She had suggested that her daughter go and say hello to a girl who looked about her age, and the daughter said, "why do you always tell me to go say hello to someone?" The mom explained that they were new to the area, and didn't know people, and that's how you make friends. I caught Claire coming down the slide, pointed the girl out to her, and asked her to go and see if she wanted to climb with her. Without pause Claire ran over, asked her to play, and when the girl said yes Claire grabbed her by the hand and off they ran. The mom caught my eye to tell me thank you, and we struck up a conversation while the kids climbed, slid, and who knows what else.

I was really pleased to see Claire being so confident and sweet with this other girl who was a year older than her. They had a fun time together, and maybe we'll see them again if we make it to the next concert.

All in all, it was a very fun way to spend our lunchtime. Ben was exhausted, and napped for almost 3 hours after we got home. I've already checked out their summer schedule, and we should be able to make several more free shows fit into our schedule (psst - Mom and Dad - they're doing a free show at a library in Charlottesville the week you guys have the kids. Their Louisa show is a week or two later.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hey, what's that big pink thing?

That one. Over there. Sitting in the sidebar all lonely and unclicked. Over the past several months my younger sister, Sarah, and I have been discussing the possibility of doing either the Avon 2 day walk for breast cancer, or the Susan G. Komen 3-day. Due to timing (and perhaps foolishness) we decided to start big. And what could be bigger than signing up to raise a lot of money, and then walk 60 miles in 3 days. We conned talked our older sister, Jen, into signing up, too. Well, she still promises she will, and formed the team Three Sassy Sisters. So the first weekend of October we will be joining hundreds of others in the Washington DC area to walk 60 miles over the course of 3 days to raise money for breast cancer research.

This cause is incredibly special to me because of the death of Brian's aunt, Jacki, a little over two years ago. She fought a brave, hard, long struggle against breast cancer. She was an amazing woman, who we loved very much, and miss dearly. I think of her so often, and someday soon I will compose a more fitting tribute to tell you all what a special person she was.

In the meantime, what can you do to help? Well, you could click on that big pink link over on the right, and make a donation. Also, there is a new company that is trying to give Paypal a run for its money. It's called Revolution Money Exchange. If you click on the button below before May 15th, not only will they give you an automatic $25 (that you can then have transferred to your bank account), they will give me $10. I am going to use any money that I get from referrals as the starting point for my fundraising for the 3-day walk. So if you have about five minutes to sign up, please do. I promise your money will be going to a very worthy cause.

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

Monday, May 12, 2008

Best Shot Monday - cardinal

Here is the daddy cardinal that comes to our feeder. His sweetheart is usually not far behind. This was taken with my telephoto lens.

Head on over to Tracey's to see more pictures from Best Shot Monday.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Me: Claire, what did you work on at school today?
Claire: Well, I did the appaloosas. You know? Where you have a picture of the horse, and you color it, you know? The appaloosas?
Me: So you colored in a picture of an appaloosa?
Claire: No.
Me: ...


Ben is currently at a stage where he wants to do everything right! now! His conversations are peppered with questions designed to get me to say whatever it is he wants.

Ben: We go play with J.
Me: Yes, after rest time. If you take a good rest, we'll play with J.
Ben: We go play with J. Walk or drive?
Me: What?
Ben: WALK? Or DRIVE? Play with Jake! Walk or drive!
Me: (finally catching up again with the conversation) Not now, after rest time.
Ben: No rest time! No like rest time! WALK OR DRIVE????

It's a lose/lose people. If I tell him we're walking he's out the door, if I tell him he has to rest first then I get to listen to him scream for the first half hour of his rest.

The boy has a hard life, really. This morning he got to sit in our double stroller next to one of his favorite friends, and fed banana bread and bunny grahams while I walked 4 miles, then he got to run around and play tag and hide-and-seek while I stretched. Then a trip to the library after we picked up Claire, and this afternoon a playdate at the caboose. But oh yeah, he has to rest first. I am such a terrible mother to torture him like that.

Speaking of hide-and-seek these two kids were too cute. One would hide their face on a tree and count, and the other would always hide in the exact same spot, facing a bush, but completely out in the open. The seeker would count, and then say "here I come!" Then they would turn around, and yell excitedly, "I found you!" Each time they were equally thrilled and surprised when they "found" the other, and they would both laugh, and then the hider would run to the tree to become the seeker. Rinse and repeat.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Best Shot Monday - irises

We spent part of the weekend at my parents' house on Lake Anna. They planted this beautiful bed of irises (they moved them down from MA) right along the sea wall.

These dark purple and white ones are my favorite.

These burgundy ones are very unusual.

However, I think that this is my official "best shot".
Which one do you like the best?

Check in with Tracey at Mother May I for more pictures from Best Shot Monday.

(all pictures taken with my dad's PnS camera)