Archive for May, 2010

We’ll Need a Bigger Garage

Posted by laura on May 26 2010 | Fun, Lists

Our resident car designer has been hard at work, turning out pages of plans. The drawing above is a bit of a departure, what with the sun and the colors he chose. He was happy with it because he drew the lines with his left hand and watercolored with his right hand, but overall, it was a bit gushy for him. His drawings tend to be more like this:

More of a working diagram. So as we sat down to dinner a couple of nights ago, Hot Wheels had great news for Honey.

HW: Daddy said he’d give us an iPad, an iPhone and all the electronics we have! All we have to do is build him a car.

Tom: But it has to work.

HW: And go underwater.

Honey: Sweet!

HW: [after a pause] But Daddy, I’m going to need you to buy some things for me so I can make it.

Tom: No problem. Just give me a shopping list.

HW: Ok.

Me: Wait – what’s on the shopping list?

HW: Well, I’m gonna need jet rockets, a huge yellow button – a whole bunch of stuff.

Don’t hold your breath. At least until we get to the underwater testing phase. Then, I’d advise holding it – jet rockets are categorically unreliable when wet.

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Posted by laura on May 24 2010 | Awesome, Fun, Holiday, Travel

As it turns out, things are looking up for me, too! Months ago, I was invited to join a group of friends (all fellow mothers from our elementary school) for a Tahoe overnight. One of my friends has a house up near Donner Lake, and I was lucky enough to go up this past weekend for a visit. We got up there Friday afternoon, and here’s what we found:

Yee haw! What an awesome house. It was beautiful, laid back and cozy all at the same time. Here’s something else we found:

Snow! I guess nobody told the Sierras that Memorial Day is only a weekend away. It sure was beautiful though.

We took some nice long walks and appreciated the landscape around us.

It kept alternating between grey skies with snow blowing horizontally by, and bright spots with long views.

Here are the friends contemplating Donner Lake. They’re probably also contemplating their numb toes, but it still felt wonderful to be hiking around. It was simply amazing  - no agenda, no worries. We did some of this:

And some of this:

(That’s homemade tortillas – yum.) And some of this:

And, frankly, some of this:

Although not all at the same time, mind you. We were simply well prepared.

When I got home Honey asked me, “So what did you do? Did you go anywhere?”

I replied, “Well, ahh, let’s see – we went hiking, and we cooked, and we worked on a puzzle, and we talked…” She gave me a concerned look and said, “I’m sorry. It sounds like you didn’t have very much fun.”

Little does she realize. I keep replaying moments in my mind – doubling over with laughter, fresh cold air, delicious flavors, DJing for each other from our iPhones, swapping ideas and stories. It was rejuvenating. We stretched time together and still got home in time to enjoy Sunday with our families. What a gift.

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Things Are Looking Up for Honey, Too

Posted by laura on May 21 2010 | Awesome, Fun

Honey was talking with her best friend in the back seat of our car the other day when an event of such uncommon rarity occurred that Honey is now confirmed as one of the most fortunate people in the world. Are you ready for it? Brace yourselves.

I can’t even remember what they were talking about back there – all I remember is Honey’s friend asking her a question, and Honey saying, “Ok. Here’s what happened. Wait – do you want the long version or the short version?”

And her best friend replied, without a millisecond’s hesitation – “The long version.”

Like astronomers catching the Fab Five, or ornithologists sighting a white robin, or A’s fans watching Braden pitch a perfect game on Mother’s Day, Tom and I were completely amazed that we were there to observe the event. Incredible.

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Things Are Looking Up for Hot Wheels

Posted by laura on May 18 2010 | Fun, Uncategorized

I bet you could hear his heart pounding from there. Our friend Sherri came by with her new (unfortunately temporary) wheels this afternoon and very kindly let Hot Wheels live the dream for a few minutes. We had to hold onto his ankle when he got out, lest he float away.

That’s not all, folks – the good news continues for this boy, what with all the news reports circulating about kids who lie. Apparently a study quoted in The Telegraph this week reports that early lying indicates a “fast-developing brain.” So when one of the well-meaning parents at a recent birthday party asked Hot Wheels about his bazillion allergy-related scratches and he blithely explained that they were from skateboarding… that was just his brain growing! He doesn’t even skateboard! The career opportunities are making my head spin.

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17 Minutes

Posted by laura on May 17 2010 | Fun, Travel

until my cousin Eileen’s lunch break, and I’m absolutely committed to getting something up before she checks in to find that old lame-o has let another weekend slip by with no post. So here goes:

Boston rocked. As always. Not a whole lot of photos to show since I took mostly people shots, but here are a couple of highlights.

The plane touched down at 6:30am on Wednesday morning, so I got to see my niece and nephew off to the bus stop. It was a gorgeous summery morning.

Here was an early morning find. Score! Got to love inchworms.

After school, my nephew showed me the sarcophagus he made at school – complete with mummy. He filled me in on the Egyptian unit they were working on in his class. You know, a couple of weeks ago, my niece told me on the phone, “Second grade isn’t what it used to be, Laura,” and I’m starting to believe that the same can be said for kindergarten!

Since we always go back east during the summertime, it was a particular treat to get a glimpse of the school life for all the kids in our family. I had the chance to check out Eileen’s daughter’s pre-k room – it was awesome. It’s in my old junior high school, which is now an elementary school – a vast improvement, if you ask me. So fun to see those halls now filled with cubbies and art everywhere.

They were having a spring concert on Friday and the kids were all dressed up – remember those perfect spring days? The end of school is so close you can almost touch it, there are final projects, concerts, events, and the days are mingled excitement and hope. Summer might just actually arrive. It still gives me butterflies.

On Thursday I traveled out to scenic Worcester with my parents and my aunt Carmen, to help my great aunt Agnes move from one side of her residence to another. She lives in the Notre Dame du Lac Assisted Living Center, which is an amazing place. First off, it’s gorgeous:

This is the view from the front door – the grounds are long and lush.

And here is the front door itself. Not too shabby. This used to be the convent for the Notre Dame nuns – it has so many beautiful details today, but wouldn’t you love to have seen it when it was first built? Even more impressive than the grounds, though, is the staff. What a stunning group of people – from management to nursing to grounds staff, they were friendly, kind and professional. We had a fun day moving and packing and having a great lunch with Aunt Agnes, who was witty and elegant. The move went a little too smoothly, with no fights or swearing at all, so naturally I’m concerned that we might not have done it properly. We’ll keep our fingers crossed on that one.

On Saturday, my goddaughter made her First Communion and she had a spectacular day. It poured, of course, but that must be good luck for more than weddings, right? There was a wonderful party at my sister’s with relatives from all over the place. Her grandparents and great aunt flew in from Ohio, cousins drove in from all around New England, and it’s difficult to describe the feeling in the house without sounding corny. It’s a certain chaotic embrace that every child should get to feel.

There she is, beautiful girl.

It was all just wonderful. Four sweet, dense, flourless-chocolate-cake days. I wished Tom and the kids could have been there to see everyone and hear my nephew’s Amazing Talking Dog joke, but July will be here before we know it.

Ding dang it – looks like I just talked right through lunch period. Someone needs to work on her time management skills…

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More Random Notes

Posted by laura on May 03 2010 | Uncategorized

It’s been a tilt-a-whirl spring – crazy rain and wind one day, followed by glorious sunshine the next. We’ve skidded into some gorgeous summery days, though, and are making the most of it. Like early weekend-morning dashes to the beach before it gets crowded:

And appreciating the stunning new growth in all the yards:

The other week I had a plan for a crazy hike with my friends to pack in some serious exercise, but when we met up it turned out that one of our hikers had tweaked her knee and couldn’t go. This is what happens when my friend Nuran is faced with such a tragedy: she says, “Alright. You come back to my house for lunch.” And that’s it – the voice of authority. Never ever question it, because here’s what you get:

I dream of being able to just toss something like this together without any advance notice. (Frankly, I dream of having my house be clean enough to just bring everybody home without advance notice. One step at a time, kids.) This soup was the most incredible red lentil concoction with a mint something or other drizzled on the top. It was so good I didn’t even know what it was. Nuran’s like that, though – she can dive into an empty refrigerator and come out with a gourmet meal. I’m sticking to her like white on rice, hoping to absorb a bit of her magic. Check it out – she even has fairies in her backyard tree:

For those of you who happened to follow along a bit with the story of Nuran’s daughter’s fight with leukemia, the great update is that she’s really doing well. Transplant successful, back at school, stunningly beautiful as always and lovely. Keep the good thoughts going, because she’s really amazing.

Now I’m jamming to get myself packed up and organized for a quick trip to Boston. Just me this time, so I’d better go make sure I have all the arrangements lined up for the next few days!

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