Monday, January 16, 2017

Ask the little girls

We were at the Chicago Blackhawks game last night with the girls and their friends. The tight seating meant we could overhear the people behinds us. The group of friends sitting there was a mix of hockey fans and new-to-the-game people.

One young man sat next to his girlfriend, patiently answering all her questions. At one point he sounded a little frustrated and said something like, "That's such an easy question. I bet the little girls right there could answer it."

I snickered when he described them as "little girls." I'd be he meant young girls, since I'm pretty sure the brunette twin was at least as tall as the young man speaking.

Actually, I'd bet our girls could answer all her hockey questions. He assumed because they were young girls that they didn't know much. I only wish she had actually asked them her question.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Laundry house rules

A while back the girls started doing their own laundry, which we thought would teach them to take better care of their clothes. Sure we thought they'd learn a valuable life skill and perhaps some responsibility too.

Lately we've all been really busy. Daddy has pretty much taken over the laundry at this point. He spends the most time lugging laundry baskets up and down to the washer and dryer. This has created some interesting new laundry rules. The first one is that we don't turn their clothes "right side out" any more. If the laundry goes into the basket "inside out" then it stays that way. If the girls want to wear their clothes "inside out," so be it.

The other one is that the girls have to wear some things more than once. This is especially true for items like the dresses they wear to church or to a party. It's an ongoing battle, though. The girls are so used to taking off the clothes they wore to school and tossing the items into the basket that they don't think before taking off a sweater and tossing it into the basket.

This drives me batty. I keep trying to explain to them that just because something was on their bodies does not mean that they cannot wear it again. Daddy does a lot of laundry that isn't really dirty. Mostly the girls are too lazy to hang up their clothes again.

Of course, once in a while Daddy does a load of laundry filled with wrinkled clothes the brunette twin found smooshed in her dresser. Rather than just hang up her clothes or put them away neatly in her dresser the brunette twin has a habit of just opening a drawer and shoving everything into the same space. It isn't until we force her to find a specific item that she goes through the mess. This is a child-specific rule since the blond twin's room is the most organized space in the house.

If they don't start working with the laundry house rules, we're going to go back to having them do their own laundry. I'd bet that if they have to go back to doing their own laundry we wouldn't need these rules.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

You cannot be sick

The girls started winter break with colds. Unfortunately for them, this means that their winter break has been a series of early bed times and lots of medicine. I keep saying, "You cannot be sick."

Some day they will understand why I've been so nutty about them getting over their illnesses. We have family members with significant health issues on both sides of the family. It would be very bad for them to end up with colds or the flu. I do realize that they can pick-up those germs anywhere, but I don't want to be the one to spread it during a family Christmas party.

So for now, I'm constantly handing them their cold medicine and sending them to bed much earlier than they'd like to go during their school break. With any luck they will be in great health just in time to go back to school.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Same Christmas, new location

Mom has had her share of medical issues the past six months. When she said that she didn't want to host Christmas at her house, I guess no one was really surprised. Even though hosting it meant just watching us bring all the food and do all the work, she felt it was too much to have everyone at her house. Steve offered his house, so we agreed to move the celebration to his house.

In some ways it was really the same. We all brought some food. We stuffed presents under his tree. We laughed a lot and ate way too much. Mom presided over presents from a new location, but it was still her party.

We had a two additions to the festivities. Steve has two, gorgeous, full-bred, male German Shepards. At one point the blond twin was sprawled on the kitchen floor petting Buddy. I looked around for Zeus and didn't see him at first. The second time I tried to find him, I saw his head on the brunette twin's lap. Zeus was stretched out on the couch with his head in the brunette twin's lap. Both girls were quite happy. It was funny to see these large dogs cuddling like stuffed animals.

Steve also hosted Thanksgiving, so I think his house is now the new family holiday center. He seemed to enjoy having everyone at his house, which is good since we're just going to keep showing up for every holiday.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Wildlife on the patio

I was working when I heard the thump. It sounded like a large snow pack fell from the roof. The problem was that we haven't had enough snow for that to happen. I looked in the house and didn't see anything. When I went to put Holly on the tie-up, I saw a dead squirrel on the patio door ledge.

I called Daddy and told him that we'd probably find a dead or injured bird in the yard. I didn't think a coyote left the squirrel, but I imagined that  bird ran into the patio door before it dropped the squirrel.

A few hours later I heard a strange sound near the patio doors. I looked out to see a huge bird attacking the squirrel. Holly heard it too and barked. The bird flew to the power lines in the backyard.

When I say this bird was big, I mean too big to fit inside our Webber grill. Not that I wanted to cook it, but when I told people how big it was, that was the best way to describe it. The bird went back and forth between the patio door ledge and the wires for a while.

I was tired of Holly barking, so I took a shovel to throw away the dead squirrel. The huge bird (identified as a hawk by friends looking at the picture on social media), didn't stop when I came on the patio. In fact, it just kept eating. I decided my plan wasn't that wise and went back into the house.

The bird finally left when the sun went down. Daddy came home and cleaned up what was left. As he walked into the house, he said there was a blood streak on the patio door. This made sense. A friend told me that she had the same thing happen at her house. She thought the hawks hit their prey against the patio door to stun or kill it.

My fear right now is that the hawk thinks our patio is his new lunch table. If it happens again we'll have to figure out how to change his dining reservation. This was a long, disgusting afternoon. I'm not anxious to do it again any time soon.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas cheer spreadsheet

The band girls decided to do a Secret Santa gift exchange. They can spend $15 and have to bring their gifts to band class on December 22.

I asked the brunette twin how they were sharing gift ideas. She said, "We set up a Google doc so we could all add our gift ideas. This way your Secret Santa can look at what you want without giving it away that she is your Secret Santa."

The girls are what we call "digital natives" when we're describing their demographic at work. They have never known a world without computers. I doubt it ever occurred to them that there was another way to share information outside of a Google doc.

They used their resources to set-up a fun, friendly Secret Santa event. All 15 girls have just a few more days to buy their gifts and get them wrapped. I hope this is the beginning of a new Christmas tradition for these girls.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Winter style

Overheard at our house...

Blond twin:  "Ooooohhh, Mom, I like your bun. It is so cute."

Mommy:  "It's my winter hair style. Fits under a hat. I don't have hat hair when I take off my hat."

Blond twin:  "You should keep it."

What she doesn't realize is a bun is basically my way of giving up. We've had unusually bitter cold weather the past few days. I tried to fix my hair, but decided there was no point since I was just going to spend the day putting on and taking off my hat in between walking Holly. Still, I'll take the compliment.