Friday, May 28, 2010

Little Herpetarium of Horrors

Objective:  to freak out Aunt Jamie

The Location:  the Herpetarium

Mission:  Accomplished

I woke up yesterday with a whole morning and afternoon of unscheduled time.  What should I do?  I convinced Roxy that we really needed to take Aunt Jamie to the zoo, just to see what she would do in the herpetarium.  There are many foul things at the zoo, but in my opinion the snake house ranks at the very top.  Roxy was intrigued by my agenda, so she agreed and off we went.  Jamie did not get to vote on this - she just had to spend the day with us, no matter what.  I thought I was up to the challenge, but alas...

So, the zoo is full of noises, peoples, and smells, but there is a really unique aroma to the herpetarium.  Not the animal poo smell, or the pachyderm smell, and you are indoors in a dark house with lots of corridors and everything is very, very quiet.  Until we get in there.

A fear of snakes is a long standing tradition in my family.  My grandmother would not even say the word "snake", but would refer to them as "one of those things."  She had to give up watching Little House on the Prairie because of the sudden emergence of snakes - on a weekly basis.  I happen to know that the snake house will be a real challenge for my sister and a challenge for me as well.  So begins our journey...

We got off to a good start, the murmurs of "oh gross" were mild and the snakes were not too disgusting.  Some of them are even pretty.  And then you start seeing the snakes that are all tangled up with each other, and that is pretty nasty.  And then you see some snake rising up, slithering, and you know that it is the devil.  We start walking through the corridors rapidly because the snakes are getting a little bigger.

We finally hit the home stretch - just two more hallways to go.  And then you find yourself up against the glass with the biggest snake you have ever seen and it stinks and it is moving.  Now the Davis girls are gagging.  And the next snake has a giant lump in the middle of it, where it is probably digesting some small possum or a family of squirrels.  And now the Davis girls are covering their eyes with their hands due to the enormity of the creature straight out of Harry Potter.  And then as you make the last turn, you see a snake that has a diameter about the size of your own waist.  And both Davis girls are running out of the building, as we hear Roxy in the background saying, "Oh, isn't it cute!"

We Davis girls have failed the Herpetarium of Horrors, but we did accomplish the mission of freaking out Aunt Jamie.  And me.  We have no pictures to commemorate this event, but we laughed so hard we cried.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Funny Meeting You Here...

Out with my girls today, I ran into my first grade teacher.  I have not seen this woman in 33 years.  I introduced her to my kids and discovered that her grandchildren are the age of my children.  It is a very strange experience to meet someone that had such a huge influence on you - 33 years ago.  I hope my children will have the opportunity to appreciate their previous teachers and will get to introduce their kids to them.  I hope and pray that I will be able to meet up with some of the kids I have taught in Bible classes and I will see them as beautiful, mature, Christian adults.  Meeting my teacher today made me remember that the sacrifices I make trying to establish relationships with children and other people is never a waste of time, never a useless effort.  It is a moment in time that builds the ones to come, and I hope I can keep that in mind as I work tirelessly in all my efforts.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hangin' On the Square

Have I mentioned how much I love the Square?  Downtown Marietta has such a beautiful square with every kind of restaurant and dessert you can name, not to mention unique shops for gift, antiques, live theater, a weekly Farmer's Market, art studios, the Gone With the Wind museum, and the Strand, an old restored theater where you can watch old monster movies or the original Jaws or various special performances.  I feel happy and relaxed just being on the Square and I look forward to spending time with the girls on the square this summer.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stop! Panic Time

My concerns are growing - my concerns over another summer vacation with my two girls.  As the primary domestician, I get all the drama, all day, every channel.  And the girls will be out of school soon.  I can hear a faint bomb ticking ...

I am ready for a break from the school year.  We are all weary of the routine and we need a refreshing vacation.  But summer provides SO much togetherness.  I'm not entirely sure we can take it.

So I am making my list of priorities for this summer for the girls, lots of time-killers that will be gentle on the bank account, or credit card, or whatever means we will resort to as a diversion from SO much togetherness.

1.  Find some learning experiences for the girls.  They are commonly called "camps".  We have one picked out for Dar and we need to find more, especially for Roxy.  Not the sleep-away kind for her, just something that she will enjoy that will give us a break from her.

2.  Find more swimming options.  Without a neighborhood pool, you have to get very creative in Georgia.  And I prefer outdoor swimming so my white skin doesn't glow like a lantern.

3.  Get some playdates for Roxy - out of my house.  She is a playdate queen and she usually has at least one playdate away from home each week, but then she has two or three playdates here at this house.  I love company, I love her friends, but Darby and I need more quiet time than Roxy does - she likes no moments of siilence.

4.  Beat Roxy at any and every game.  She has the uncanny ability to always win.  When I had a Wii dance-off with her, she pummelled me at the Hammer dance.  That was humiliating.  And I won't get into how often I lose at cards to her.

5.  Keep Darby out of the kitchen and/or keep her in the kitchen through the cleanup portion of the cooking event.  Last summer she made things ALL the time - smoothies, desserts, meals, etc.  And her stuff is good.  But she never cleans and she makes three times the mess I do.  Her ability to evaporate like a mist is pretty amazing - and it always coincides with a giant kitchen  mess.

My goals are simple and few.  I am gearing up for these challenges now, before all the sisterly fussing starts, before Roxy says she is bored, and before Darby starts acting like a teenage girl.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

When Grandparents Attack

I found these pictures on the camera yesterday.  It has been a while since I uploaded anything.  All these shots are making me think about when we invade their terrain this summer...

We really enjoy having company and spending time with our family.  The grandparents leave their mark on us in wonderful ways:  projects, yard work, cinnamon rolls in the oven, and even bouncing on the trampoline.  When the granddaughters attack this summer, I hope they appreciate it as much as we appreciated their maneuvers on our house!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Coupon Mom

Apparently my addiction to coupons led my girls to the perfect, no cost Mother's Day gift - coupons!  My daughters collaborated on their ideas for coupons for me - things they can do for me.  Isn't that great!  Here are the coupons I received:

two free hugs - one from Darby, one from Roxy
two free kisses - one from each daughter
two nights of drama-free homework - one from each daughter
two free clean rooms
one night of no dish duty
one night of private TV watching
one night of Darby sitting in the back seat
two stress-free school mornings
one day of my choice of music in the car
one game night
one night of no complaints

There was a spirited debate on whether or not to include the night of no dish duty.  I chose to cash that one in last night after the girls baked cupcakes for the middle school bake sale - and cleaned up nothing in the kitchen.  I retreated  to my night of private TV watching and pretended that everything was OK, that the girls did not use my pretty tea towel to wipe up chocolate cake batter that they poured down the side of the stove (the crack between the stove and the cabinet), and that my husband would not be mad when he came in and saw the huge mess.

Well, the last part of that plan failed.

Over the course of the year I intend to get 365 free hugs, 365 free kisses, 365 nights of free dish duty (these girls have got to earn the keep, ya know), 365 nights of no complaints (talk to the hand, girls), 365 stress-free school mornings (everyone can read a clock now, I'm sure of it), and 365 clean rooms (they can talk to the hand about this one, too.)  I will negotiate on the car music from time to time, but momma don't do techno.  And even though my coupon was for only one night of TV all to myself, I'm editing that one to read "one night a week" so Scott and I can have a Community date all to ourselves.  I am a coupon mom and I know how to stretch these suckers out to my advantage...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Momma Like Date Night

You know it must be Mother's Day when my husband takes me to a concert.  Concerts just aren't his thing, but he knows that I love big events like that, I love loud music, and I love getting to do something I want to do.  So we went to see Van Morrison last night.  And I ate at La Madeline, so my tummy is happy and I checked one more musician off my concert bucket list.

Van has been recording for almost forever, which means 50 years in real terms.  In the 60s, he looked like Charles Manson.  Now, he resembles Jack Nicholson.  For an old man, he is really on his game.  The singing was excellent, the musicality was very good, and the crowd for an old man like Van was just as huge as any other big, current name in music.

Scott likes Van, if for no other reason than he starts on time and does not waste any time talking to the audience, pandering for applause.  The crowd was a curious collection of young and old, preppy and dred locked, almost all of them wearing comfortable shoes.  Scott was one of two people in the whole theater that had his shirt tucked in to his jeans.  My prim and proper husband was outnumbered.  And no cameras allowed at this venue - we watched stupid women trying to record him and then get bounced by large security men.  As a rule follower, I definitely approve.  But a picture would have been nice :)

The problem I had this particular evening was that Van has so many songs and so many albums, you could not possibly know what all he would sing.  I did not even know half of his songs, and I have nine Van Morrison albums.  And he did not play my favorite song.  Should I be disappointed?  It's tough to say that I am, because he couldn't possibly play them all.  But next time - if there is a next time - he better play "Into the Mystic."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Park Your Biscuit Here

When we have company, we like to take them to a little biscuit shack for a good ol' southern treat.  If you come, I promise I will take you there.  I love their biscuits too much.  And if you come, the girls will sit on the front porch with you and rock and have a sody pop.  And if you are lucky, the bluegrass band will be there at 7 a.m. for your entertainment.  All this may sound a little odd and outdated, but somehow these precious moments just work for Georgia.  And it all makes me smile :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Playing Hooky

Since I rarely allow my kids to miss one moment of school, Friday was like Spring Break for my girls.  We chose to spend a glorious day with the grandparents in a luscious part of Georgia.  Callaway Gardens was a beautiful day trip and we will definitely go back.  It is really nice to have quality time together with the whole family - before the mosquitoes come out of hibernation.  We loved the horticulture center, the butterfly house, the Birds of Prey show, the lakes, the beach, the chapel, which means we liked pretty much all of it.