Monday, August 20, 2012

ice cream

You know how sometimes a smell or feeling can trigger a memory?  That happened tonight.

Kyle and I took an easy after dinner stroll with the girls.  This is something we love doing in the summer time when the sky is light for long enough.  Sure, they go to bed a little later...but it's summer.  The girls love it.

So we were on our walk and decided to go for ice cream.  Carpe Diem and all that.  There are two ice cream places by us.  One is a frozen yogurt bar where you do your own toppings and such...we go there most often.  The other is the Boston standard JP Licks.  It is also very good.

We went to JP Licks tonight, stood in line, sampled a few of the new flavors.  Kyle got his hodgepodged mix of mint-oreo and strawberry, E got chocolate, Abby got chocolate chip cookie, and I settled on Butter Almond.  Kyle hates ice cream with nuts in it and I'm the opposite.  I always go for pistachio and maple walnut mixed. But tonight - butter almond.

JP Licks is tiny, and it was a nice evening, so we went outside.  The girls sitting on a bench and Kyle and I were standing.  All eating our treats.

The Butter Almond flavor was akin to Butter Pecan.  The Almonds gave the ice cream a slight grittiness.  The air was ever so slightly warm and humid.  Sun was setting.  And then I caught the wiff of grass.  Maybe slightly damp grass.  Like fresh cut lawn, but more humid.  It was definitely that smell that did it.

I was transported back to Camden, AR.  And Harmony Grove.  And Fordyce.  And Hot Springs. And every other small town that hosted a Sunday evening ice cream social.

I always looked forward to those nights.  But, in hindsight, I certainly took them for granted.

We would go to evening church somewhere, and after the service we would head outside...just before sunset.  The air was heavy and warm, always humid.  The kids would run around and play while the adults finished setting up the tables and people started bringing out the gallons and gallons of home made ice cream that they had been working on, I assume, all day.

There were always several vanillas, a few chocolates that went fast, a strawberry - and the fresh peach ice cream.  The ice creams were gritty with ice and sugar and they melted fast.  Especially in the evening humidity.  Michael and I always tried to walk the fine line between wanting to be first in line, and yet - not wanting to look too eager.  We'd wait with others, swatting mosquitos off our legs and chatting with people we knew, or didn't know....didn't matter.  We'd eventually get our styrofoam bowl, plastic spoon, and pick our flavor.

Sometimes there were tables and chairs, but they went to the older folks.  We sat on the grass, or maybe on a wall, or the church steps.  We always wanted seconds.  Sometimes there was enough left, but not usually.

As dusk fell, we finished our servings, games, and conversations and began to say "see ya next week" to everyone.  Cars pulled out of the gravel parking lot  with their headlights on and down dirt roads making distinct noises of leaving.

And then our family would pack up in our car, we were usually among the last to leave, and head home. Scratching our mosquito bites and rehashing what flavors we'd had and who we'd spoken to.  Good times, indeed.

And then I was back.  Standing on the corner of Beacon St. and Langley with cars beeping, runners jogging by, people out walking their dogs, or just walking - just watching my girls scrape their cups for the last of their treats with rivers of chocolate running down their arms and all over their faces.  Looking happy and sleepy.

It's different here, for sure.  Different, but not bad.

At any rate, I just wanted to share.  The small country church summer evening ice cream social...what a fantastic thing to have experienced and what a nice memory to still have.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


So we're driving to playgroup and we're at a red light behind about a dozen other cars.  We wait, and when start driving again, Abby says:

Abby: "Mom?  Why didn't you make a sound?"
Me: "what do you mean?"
Abby: "With your horn? Why didn't you sound the horn?"
Me:  "Well, there was no reason to.  Why would I do that?"
Abby: "Because those cars need to hurry up and drive!  They're just sitting there."

I mean, could she sound more Boston?  It's funny because I abhor honking my horn.  I never do.  I mean, on the very rare occasion, I might give somebody a barely audible beep to tell them to go, but I really don't like to.  Apparently, she didn't need me to be the one to model that behavior.

The other day Abby made a very big mess and I got upset with her.  After we cleaned everything, I sat her down in my lap,

Me: "Abby, I'm sorry I got upset and yelled at you."
Abby:  "It's ok.  Mom, you know what?"
Me:  "what?"
Abby:  "Your yells are kinda....quiet.  I like them!  I don't like my yells, but I like yours."

Another little thing that has become a thing I want to remember is racing upstairs for bedtime (or other times)  Instead of saying "the last one up is a rotten egg"  We started with "Last one up is a goldfish!"  The girls seemed to think that was funny, and so now the first one up is the Shark, the last one up is the goldfish. Sometimes the middle people get assigned fish too, but for the most part, we do a lot of pretending to be sharks and goldfish.

E loves bananas, right?  Most mornings when I go into her room, she says the same things.  First, she holds out her kitty and says "Meow!"  Which has morphed into sounding like "now, now, now"  The second thing she usually does, especially if she's very hungry, is to look at me and get very close to my face and say "Nana.  Moh."  She says them very seriously and clearly.  It translates as "Banana.  Milk."  Then, when I say "Oh?  Do you want a banana and milk?"  She breaks out into the biggest smile and starts breathing in and out really fast.  When I take her downstairs, she stands by me, bouncing on her feet saying "nananannanana!  moh! moh!  nanananana!"  It's really cute.

Sometimes the girls have long conversations where Abby just attributes what she wants to E's jabber.  Such as,

E:  "Baya nonanana babaa!"
Abby:  "Oh, you want to play kitchen?  Ok, would you like me to make you some soup?"
E: "Blllttthhhppp"
Abby: "Well, I don't know if I have any cereal, but I'll make you some soup, you'll like it"
E: "doooodooodooodooyab"
Abby: "Ok, sure!"
E: "Blap"
Abby: "Do you want cheese soup or watermelon soup?"
E: "mmmm"
Abby: "MOOOOMMM! Etrain says she wants Watermelon Soup but I don't think that will taste good, so I'm going to make her cheese soup, OK???"

They'll play like that for good lengths of time.

Time's up.  Laundry to be switched, dishes to be washed, shower to be taken, and photo stuff packed for a double family shoot on the beach this evening!  Wish me luck ;)

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Hi blog.

To start, I have been without my laptop for over 2 weeks now.  This is terrible.  Well, terrible is a strong word, but I really really don't like not having my laptop.  The girls spilled my coffee a few weeks ago, and while most of it spilled on my and my newly cleaned couch cushions - there was a small splatter that landed on my keyboard.  It was a very small amount, but that, apparently, doesn't matter.  Within a few hours, my shift key wasn't working and the command key was acting as if always pressed.  In short, it made typing/clicking near impossible.  What really annoys me about the whole thing is that the OIIT office hasn't given me one word about my computer.  No update, prognosis, anything.  I had to call them to find out that they "might" have it sometime this coming week.

--> me being annoyed.

I'm really just complaining for no reason.  I have a phone, we have a desktop.  I can totally function, even if I prefer my laptop to any other device.  The only real problem is that I owe people pictures from several July sessions and I need my computer to finish those jobs.  I do have the pics backed up, so I'm not worried about losing them, but I need my computer back to finish them.  Sigh.

Anyway.  Let's update with stuff that's not that important first.

Kyle and I did more shopping this weekend than probably the whole year combined.  At least it feels that way.  To be fair, we really only got things that we needed (or kinda needed) and most everything we bought was on sale/clearance/couponed/ or gift carded.  AND it was tax free weekend.  I really like shopping with Kyle, but we do it so rarely.  And when we do?  It's nearly always for the girls.  Well, this weekend, we got the girls some fall clothes, but we also got things for ourselves.  My most exciting purchase was my new pair of running shoes.  I also got some new work clothes, jeans, watch, running clothes.  Nothing was expensive, but I'm happy with them.  I'm paritally happy with my new clothes because they're smaller than my current clothes.  I seriously didn't have one pair of jeans that fit anymore.  I bought jeans a size down than my "small pair" used to be.  That's exciting.  It's like exercising and eating well works or something.

On that note - I start month 2 of insanity tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to it.  I can tell some difference in myself, but I'm really hoping that month 2 will bring enough change to let me shed 2-3 more lbs and maybe work some magic on this post-baby middle.  I'm not really holding my breath for that part, it's exercise, not sorcery.

Running is going well.  I've been running outside for the first time in my life.  I'm hoping to run 5 miles tomorrow.  If I do, I get to wear my new running shoes.  If I don't, then...I'll try again later.  I would love to be able to do a 7 mile run before school starts in a few weeks.

And on THAT note - summer is flying by.

I think this has been my favorite summer.  At least as far as the girls are concerned.  They are at a really great age.  They play together, entertain each other, they are both fun and curious and creative. I have had a really good time.  This summer marks the first time since I became a mom where I've thought that  I might actually prefer being a stay at home mom to working full time.  If my days could be like these last few months have been - I would take it in a heartbeat.  When I used to imagine being a mom - I'm pretty sure this is the age I imagined.  I love doing projects, chasing and tickling, dancing and teaching them about things.  I suspect going back to work will be harder this fall.  I know I love my job, and I will be happy to work....but, it's just been really awesome spending my hours with these two littles of mine.

And because who knows when the next time I'll blog is - let's keep writing, shall we?

Elizabeth.  E.  Etrain. She is growing up so fast.  We had her 15 month check up the other day.  She's something like 23 or 24 lbs and 31 inches I think.  I don't know how many words she has, but there's plenty.  For the longest time, she was saying "thanks" instead of "thank you" for things.  It kinda came out like "Tanks"  Lately, however, it has dissolved to just "ss"    So, she kinda hisses at you when you give her things now.  But, we know what she means. :)

She's a really happy kid.  ALTHOUGH.  Despite my best best efforts, she has still learned that if she just cries and screams louder than anything else - she will get picked up, held, put down, let go, etc.  The child is loud.  At this age, Abby was of normal volume, if not quiet.  The observer - always watching before doing.  Not E.  She's the one who will run head first off the end of the couch yelling a battle cry the whole way.  But, it's all good.  It keeps me on my toes.

At 15 months - E is obsessed with bananas.  She actually hyperventilates when I pick one up to show her.  She bounces up and down, breathing super fast, hands in the air, saying "nananannaanana!"  Total monkey.  She loves anything and everything that Abby loves.  She tries to do everything Abby does.  She sleeps great.  She takes 1 nap a day.  She's a great eater.  I really have very few complaints about the child. ;)

And on to Miss Abby.  Best big sister every. Kyle and I joke that Abby was born to be a big sister, and that it's really a shame that E was born to be an only child. ;)  Abby is a little mommy a lot of the time. Now, they definitely have their moments.  There is a lot of reminding going on around here about what tone of voice to use and how to ask nicely for things.  But, really?  She does pretty well most of the time.  Abby is at the age of independence.  She wants to do everything on her own.  I try to let her as often as I'm able.  I'm often surprised when she really can do it alone.  Cracking eggs?  Color me impressed.  I feel like my bond with Abby has just gotten deeper this summer.  I really like being around her (most days) and she makes me laugh - like for real laugh.  More than once we've fallen into a giggle fit where I was just as tickled as she was.  And I don't even remember what started it, but what a fun little moment.

Ok.  I gotta go.  Kyle's off his conference call and I'm gonna head to bed. Wish me luck - I'm gonna be up with the sun running. :)

hopefully I'll blog before September.  If not, just know that it's because we're having really good days that leave me worn out...and maybe because I don't have my computer. ;)

Thursday, August 2, 2012