Saturday, May 15, 2010

5/15/2010 For Remi

Cousin Remi is famous for her body art and love of drawing all over herself. I don't know if she still does this, but today, Katrina took a chapter from her cousin's book.

The difference is, Remi probably didn't throw a big tantrum after a scrubby soapy bath and cry that she was clean! (But then, Remi's never been a tantrumer; she expresses herself in far more subtle and clever ways.)

Not that Katrina really cared about being clean, she was just looking for a reason to tantrum. Not that she needed one -- all 3 kids were on sleepover last night, and while the boys have mostly outgrown the grumpiness that follows sleepover nights, Katrina hasn't. By 6pm tonight, she was a time bomb and looking for trouble.

She had a good day overall, as did we, staying home after a T-ball game and mostly doing necessary stuff in the yard. There's only so much of that I can take, but I sure am glad our storage shed is cleaned out, and I finally got some extra kitchen drawers installed. Though our landscaping is still weeks from being done, it's positively heavenly working out there now when we know we're not fighting futility, and soon the biggest project will be "hmm, where should I plant my lemon tree?"

By the way, that shirt Katrina is wearing is one of my favorites, and we've had it for years. I got it and another tie-dye kids' shirt at an Art & Wine Festival one summer, and their color hasn't faded in the slightest. I'm not big on the hippie look -- I had enough of that in high school -- but, I love this bright shirt.

Gabriel in September 2005 (age 3-1/2):

Julian in October 2008 (age 4-1/2):

Now that's a hand-me-down!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

5/13/2010 Busy Wednesday

But it's Thursday!

Yesterday we had a T-ball game. I wish I could have watched more, but Katrina made a point of distracting everybody.

When we got home, our new arbor (!) was very distracting too. Oooh!

Then out for coffee with friends. A nice dip back into my real life, the one that matters. Today, regrettably, was dominated by my work life, the one that doesn't matter as much. Though I'm strangely compelled by it.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

5/11/2010 Kid Rock

Some weeks ago, Julian and I did an open garden tour, in which people open up their yards and gardens to the public, ones that feature California Native plants.

I made sure Julian stayed on walkways, but at one place, a kind lady pointed out a big rock to him. "See that rock there? We put that there for my granddaughter, who's just about your age. It's a kid rock. Go ahead, play on it!" And he did. Who knew a big old boulder rock could be such fun.

And now, we have our own rocks in our landscape. Julian immediately called them "kid-rocks," though none of them are really big enough to qualify, but that didn't stop him and his siblings from climbing on them.

They're more than fun, they're very very eye-catching, since they introduce new levels and texture to the landscape. I love looking at them.

In order not to interfere with the flow of the project, nor to introduce any contract/pricing complications, I'm keeping my custom requests to a minimum. This includes the plants, which on the whole are not as California-native-y as I'd like. For matters of function, like screening our neighbor's clothesline, I do make direct requests, but for a general planting area, I'm giving the designer free rein.

After all, there's a reason we have a professional doing this -- because I don't know anything. I might even develop a fondness for the flax plants (the spiky purply plants, like the one behind the far boulder in the photo below), that I'm overall not crazy about.

But what a fun problem to have, after so many years of a rough, barely-controlled, eyesore of a yard. "Hmm, I think I'd like a sticky monkey flower there!" And I have a place to go plant one, that's irrigated and isn't surrounded by major projects staring at me from every angle.

Our landscaping is still a long ways off from done, but having so much less darned lawn (in fact none at all right now), gives the kids so so much more to do. Julian and Katrina spent quite a bit of time sweeping under the future arbor last weekend.

And Gabriel, never the gushiest of people in the world, does a lot of gazing out the window now at the variety of plantlife and trees. "This landscaping is really pretty Mom!"

Still, I think we need to find a spot for a nice big kid-rock.


Monday, May 10, 2010

5/10/2010 School photos

And to think, I almost didn't shell out $20 per kid on "spring" photos at school. I hate how we end up feeling guilted into this twice a year. One portrait at the beginning of school and the class photo is enough. Yet, I can never resist more photos. Since, you know, I just don't have enough of these children.

These are SO dorky they cross over into adorable!

And this unexpected treat from Katrina's school for Mother's Day. This is really a sweet shot. It doesn't really look like Katrina, but I love how she's looking off to the side, the flowers in the background, and a very natural smile.