Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Real or Fake?

Sorry for the long hiatus. There's been lots going on, although nothing of huge significance. We did take our adults-only trip to Vegas, which was really fun. I would tell you about it, but you know, it's Vegas, so it all stays there. Not really, of  course. I am so wild that out first night there I went to bed at 9:30. My excuse is that I was still on East Coast time, and I had to get up at 3:30am to catch my flight out there. So, I was up for about 21 hours. That's the best I can muster at age 36.

Anyway, we did have a great time, and it was a much-needed getaway, just before the crazy fun of the Thanksgiving-Christmas onslaught. The wildest thing was that my sister and her husband just happened to roll into town the last night we were there, so we got to have dinner with them. And the day before that we randomly ran into some friends from Raleigh and had a fun night out with them. We had some ridiculously amazing meals, and I had a great time window shopping the multitude of high-end retail shops.

The restaurant highlights:

Okay, back to current time. Thanksgiving was lots of fun, and fairly relaxing, which is always nice. It seems that most of Raleigh decorated their homes immediately following the turkey feast. We, however, did not. I'm a one holiday at a time kind of girl. I don't like for the Christmas decorations to go up when there are still Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge.

Also, I'm lazy.

We will decorate this weekend. But here's the thing: 2 or 3 years ago, we got an artificial tree. I swore up and down for years and years that I would NEVER do something so crazy. But then we got a really good deal on a pre-lit tree, and it seemed SO EASY, and we decided to purchase.

I have hated it ever since.

It's a nice-looking tree. Really nice, actually. But we have to haul it down in sections from the attic, which is annoying. Oh, and it takes up a ton of space in the attic, and storage is already at a premium in our too-small house. I can't find a good picture of it, but here's my best effort. Clearly, we need a tree skirt. This is from 2 years ago:

Then there are the lights. Pre-lit seems like a great idea. And it is, when the lights are all working. Ours, however, do not all work. So every year, the fake tree requires that we put a new strand of lights of 3 on it.

Plus, it doesn't smell like a Christmas tree. And I like that smell.

So, this year, I declared that the fake tree will either stay in the attic or go on Craigslist. A real tree will grace our living room, dropping needles all month, and we'll like it.

What about you? Do you prefer real or fake?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Death of a Fish (or three)

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we were the lucky winners of a goldfish at the NC State Fair. I use the word "winners" loosely, as I really didn't need another being to care for. But, the kids were really excited, and I went the next day to get a small tank and some rocks for our new pet. Sydney was welcomed into our home with love.

Well, about ten days ago, I walked past the tank and noticed that poor Sydney was floating, belly up. Luckily for us, the kids were asleep, so Morgan swiftly flushed Syd with a prayer that the kids wouldn't notice the empty tank in the morning.

Luck was on our side - the morning was hectic, and we were off hook. I ventured to Pet Supermarket where I bought two fish (one resembling Sydney, and one to serve as Syd's companion). I also forked over some extra money for a filter, because the water that I poured from Sydney's tank smelled so foul I could hardly stand it.

The plan worked perfectly. The kids thought the new fish was Sydney, and they thought I was the best mommy ever for getting a buddy for their fish. The fish seemed really happy in their filtered water. Until a few days ago. I noticed that Sydney II was looking a little off. Swimming slowly. Not going after his food like he had. Sunday morning, I woke up to find him dead. Poor Sydney. Again, the kids were still in bed, so I went to get our net, which was resting in the sink. I got Sydney out, flushed, and when I returned to the tank, soap bubbles were pouring out of the filter and covering the top of the tank. All I can figure is that some dish soap got onto the net when it was in our sink.

So, I got fish #2 out (he never really had a name - Davis called him Davis, and Ava called him Frank) as fast as I could, rinsed him in clean water, and temporarily put him in a large mixing bowl so I could clean the tank. You know where this is going. After being exposed to those bubbles, that poor fish didn't stand a chance. He was dead within 20 minutes.

It took until that afternoon, but Ava was the first to notice the empty tank. I thought she would be crushed, inconsolable, beside herself. She is, after all, super-sensitive.


She actually giggled a little at the news of the deceased fish. It might have been that kind of uncomfortable laughing-when-you-should-be-crying kind of reaction, I'm not sure. I do that sometimes. Inappropriate reaction. Her only sad comment was, "  we only have one pet!" She's a bit of a hoarder.

Davis, on the other hand, burst into tears and sobbed uncontrollably for a few minutes. He wanted to know if the fish were ever going to see their mommies again. Or their daddies. He also wanted to know if he could just feed the empty tank. So, it's possible that his sadness came not from the loss of the fish, but from the loss of getting to feed something.

So, for now, there are no fish in our house. I really would like to keep it that way as long as possible, so I think I'm going to put the tank away and hope that the kids stop asking when we're getting more fish.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Weekend's here

I kicked off a gorgeous weekend  by getting my arse kicked on the tennis court this morning. So frustrating. I played with a new partner who's got a killer serve, and though we did manage a bit of a second set comeback, it was all for naught. The worst part is that our opponents were friends of mine. I would rather play a stranger any day, especially if I'm going to lose. This is pretty much how I felt:

via shutterstock

Post-tennis, I picked up Davis from preschool, whereupon he threw a fit because I wouldn't let him ride in the booster seat. That's a second kid thing. At age 3, Ava probably didn't even know what a booster seat was, and certainly didn't have a clue that it was an option. Davis, however, has ridden in one  a bunch of times once or twice, and, not surprisingly, prefers it over the prison of the 5-point restraint. Don't judge.  I did manage to insist on the safer option today.

On the drive home, D's little eyes were at half-mast. So sleepy. And once in the driveway, fit #2 ensued because I was making him go inside, rather than ride his scooter. I shuffled him to the sofa, turned on a show, and figured he'd fall right asleep. Silly me. So naive! Thirty minutes later, he's still awake. 

All this to mention a few things I'm looking forward to:

1) A glass of wine tonight (and believe me, there was a moment when I almost poured one a few minutes ago, before realizing drinking alone at 2pm is not really okay).

In my house,  the kids go to bed at  wine o'clock.

2) I'm getting my hair did this afternoon. Cut and color. I will be thrilled to see the distinct line between gray/brown roots and blonde highlights go away. 

3) This time next week I'll be in Vegas. With no kids. A grown-up trip is way past due, so I can't wait for it to get here!

Las Vegas Photos
This photo of Las Vegas is courtesy of TripAdvisor

And, we're staying here:

So, if I can just trudge through the next 6 days, I'll get some much needed downtime. 

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fall So Far....

Just in time for Halloween, Mother Nature delivered some nice fall weather for us. There were a couple of days where it felt like we skipped fall and went straight to winter, but for the most part, it's been a nice week.

So, Halloween. It was pretty much the best October 31 we've had since becoming a family of 4. At age 3 and 1/2, Davis totally gets it. And let me tell you - that boy is a candy lover. So, combine the world's most outgoing kid with a chance to score a bucket full of candy, and you get a pretty fun night of trick or treating.

Here's a photographic montage of the night, starring a cat, a bat, and some of our favorite neighbors.

I carved that pumpkin. All by myself. The kids thought playing outside was better use of their time. Hmph.

The other big event this fall has been Ava and Morgan starting Y Princesses. You may remember it as Indian Princesses. Apparently, it is not okay to say "Indian" anymore. At any rate, here is Ava in the vest that she and Morgan sewed together. This is before the flair badges were added. It's pretty cute to see Ava and her Daddy doing something that's just for the two of them.

Other than that, it's just business as usual around here. Davis seems to have forgotten how to play on his own, so there is a constant barrage of, "Mommy, can you play with me?" That may SOUND cute, but really, it's kind of annoying. 

And, finally, going off Daylight Saving Time has had me up for quite some time this morning. Some people do not understand the concept of getting an extra hour of sleep. Appropriately, I came across this today:

No offense intended to my own husband, who was up at 6 like me today. 

Here's to a productive Sunday!