Monday, September 27, 2010

Cleanliness is Futile

Fastidious we are not.  That we includes every member of the Green family.  In the dog's defense, he doesn't shed, at all, so there's that.  While we aren't completely boorish and slovenly in our housekeeping and personal hygiene, pass beyond the threshold of our porch into our real lives and you'll see we aren't the epitome of perfection. 

That being said, we don't want to be and we don't strive to be.  We keep things generally clean and picked up but there are times when life spirals out of control with a centrifugal force that takes a herculean effort to stall it.  When Cora was a baby I often thought, "This is a piece of cake.  It's so easy to keep the house cleaned up.  Why do some many people complain?".  Ha!  That was when she was immobile and was content to be strapped to mom or dad at all times.  Fast forward, and we have a little "Cora the Destroyer" on our hands and life is just messier. 

I've heard of kids that don't like to get dirty at all and that is not my kid.  Dirt?  Check.  Grubby nails?  Check.  Water from the dog bowl (I do try and keep her out of the toilets)?  Check.  Food?  Milk?  Lint?  Chalk? Sand? Boogers?  Check, check, check, check, check and check.  She's never really been discontent in a dirty diaper, although I usually don't give her long to complain, and getting her clothes all wet doesn't even make her flinch.  She is an explorer (and destroyer) and she is always too wrapped up in the moment to be trifled by the grime of toddlerhood.

The other evening she asked very politely to go outside ("aht hide, aht hide, aht hide" while pointing out the back door).  Right on the back stoop we have several plant pots vacant of vegetation but move-in ready with soil.  I thought Cora would head right towards the swing but was instantly drawn towards aforementioned pots.  We practiced moving soil from one pot to another.    

After her excavation I thought she was ready to go back inside so I stripped her down to her diaper.  Nope, she wanted to swing.

Ever seen a baby in a diaper after sitting in wood chips?  Think hedgehog (I was too busy trying to pick prickly bits off to get a picture).  So, we ended up playing the rest of the time like this.  I love it that babies don't know to feel awkward when they are naked except for shoes!

Each day I am reminded that being a parent is one long endurance exercise in letting go.  So much to let go of.  Preconceived notions of what life is supposed to look like.  What others think of you and your family as long as YOU are happy with YOU and your family.  The rug underneath the dining room table as it becomes matted with rice and overboard food particles after the family meal.  Picking up things only to have a little one come right along behind you to undo your good intentions.  Their intentions are what matter in this moment.  It is in the messes where the true moments hide.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Itty Bitty Piggies

I'm not talking about toes, but rather two wispy sprouts that I never dreamed I could trap with tiny elastic bands.  This didn't last long, but it was worth a try. 

In other news, I didn't mean to leave anyone hanging about the dog last week.  Our crazy dog is a-ok.  After an overnight stay at the ER and then some time the next day at our regular vet's office, he is back to his normal, exuberant self.  I will say, those were the most expensive grapes I 've ever bought! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Daddy is my Snuggie

Cora is starting to figure out the game of chase with Dad and I love sitting back watching the two of them run around the house like crazy.  She is also starting to snuggle in a different way.  Instead of it being a snuggle out of pure need such as nourishment or soothing or illness, she is now starting to come to us for fun snuggles.  It. Feels. Awesome.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Irony's a Jerk

Ah, what a lovely Tuesday evening.  After Rob and I put the baby to bed we were sitting out on the front porch together enjoying a cool breeze (maybe the coolness was only in our imaginations) and admiring a robust moon.  The dog was at our side, as always, enjoying a good ear scratching, as always - never venturing too far from the ear scratching goodness of our sides.  A peaceful evening in the making. 

We bantered about the dog and how we hope he lives a long, full life; he had the entirety of his mass leaned into Rob's hand oblivious to our chatting.  Our last beloved dog suffered a fate we had not wished for him.  The painful memories remind us to treasure moments with the new beloved canine.  A few months ago we feared that Yeti might have kidney disease.  One of his litter mates suddenly died from it and another was diagnosed with early stage symptoms.  He checked out OK, but we still worry that it might secretly creep in and steal him away from us.  So, as we enjoyed his company on the front porch we talked about how awful it would be to lose him at a young age at the hand of kidney failure.

After a while, we let him in the house while we continued to enjoy the evening on the porch.  You must know that the dog gets into EVERYTHING.  And by EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING.  We are usually really good about making sure there is nothing he can get to of danger, but tonight we let down our guard a bit.  

Rob peeked inside to find to Yeti basically on top of the counter going to town on a bag of grapes.  He didn't leave even one on the vine.  At first we didn't think anything about it, grapes seem pretty benign, right?  But then, we both had a vague memory that either grapes or raisins are potentially hazardous to pooches.  So, it was off to the land of Internet research and our fears were confirmed that grapes and raisins are both indeed toxic.  And, here is the ironic part...they kill dogs because they cause kidney failure!!!  What?  You've got to be kidding.

After a quick call to the emergency vet clinic they suggested we bring him in.  As little as seven grapes can kill a dog, but not all dogs are equally affected...some aren't bothered at all.  They didn't recommend taking the watch and wait approach; grapes can cause irreparable damage by the time you see actual symptoms of sickness.  So, Yeti is enjoying an overnight stay at the doggie ER.  They induced vomiting and luckily the grapes weren't yet digested at all, so that's good news.  He'll have an IV overnight and some blood work in the morning just to confirm that nothing has affected his kidneys.  Perhaps it is overkill, but we love the dog to pieces and don't want to take chances. 

This was all probably some knucklehead plot by him to get sympathy and even more ear scratches.  Sheesh!  It's extra quiet without him around tonight.

Here is the knucklehead following Cora around hoping for a forgotten morsel.  The other day, she opened the pantry, picked out some cereal, and took it into the hallway for a little picnic with the dog. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Fair Affair

Last night after dinner we loaded up the wagon and headed for the County Fair.  In all the time that I've lived in Norman, I haven't attended this event.  Somehow it always gets overshadowed by the oh so glorious State Fair (which admittedly I think I've only been to twice, so this really isn't a valid excuse).  My ideas about what constitutes entertainment have changed greatly since having kids.  We now forgo riding bikes to the pub for a pint for things like the splash pad and petting zoo.

As I perused the "Cleveland County Free Premium Fair Guide" I got to thinking that this is an event that hasn't changed much since its inception.  Of course technology plays a small role in some of the changes, but the general concept remains the same.  The gathering of a community to show off bountiful produce, animal husbandry skills, carnivals and live music helped me tap deep down into the country girl that I sometimes long to be.  Our particular fair has been around for 102 years.

Cora was thrilled with the animals and proved she has been studious during all our reviews of animals and their corresponding sounds!  I couldn't believe the beauty and variety of the poultry on display.

I really, REALLY want a chicken coop in our backyard.  Maybe if I ask Rob enough he'll build me and get me some chickens for my next birthday.  I wonder if our labradoodle would try and eat them?

Adorable Pygmy Goats!  They had little ramps set up to get on top of the hay.

As soon as we set her down her little feet stamped up and down in place and she squealed with joy.  Daddy is holding her hand here so she wouldn't be scared, but she knew just what to do. 

This is "some pig".  Unfortunately we didn't see Charlotte.  When Rob took me to the theater to see the movie, you would not believe how much I cried (although not as much as with the book).

Sweet Mini Donkey.

You would have thought this lawn chair hung the moon!

The bunny looks thrilled, huh?  She was pretty gentle but I think the little sweetie was nervous so we put him back in his cage.  Sometime I'll have to tell you about my pet rabbit Patti that died the day before Easter one year.  Sigh.

Silence of the Lambs?

I loved this moment.  The sun was streaming in the big barn doors and she really wanted to play in the dirt

Another highlight...Daddy snagged a balloon from one of the exhibitors.  What is it about balloons?

Before heading home we meandered over to the carnival side of things.  I figured that we wouldn't be able to ride anything, but it turns out that kiddos over 24" tall can ride the carousel with their parents.  All the excited kiddos picked their favorite horse and then......the carnie couldn't get it going, so she tried to manually jump start it with her own hands, but turns out there was a belt failure.  Bummer!

So we got our tickets back and hit the moon bounce instead.  She saw the strawberries out the window and headed straight for them!

We may try to go back in the next few days to ride the "ponies".  Unfortunately, Cora is already walking which makes her ineligible for the Baby Crawling Races to be held tomorrow, but we may still have to see it. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Didn't Kill it All

I haven't given an update on the garden in a while.  I can happily report that the only thing that didn't produce anything were my two eggplants (which would have been devastating but another gardening friend sent some delicious ones my way...along with potatoes, carrots, mustard greens, lettuce galore, okra, and the list continues).  We jumped into gardening not knowing too much; I was especially skeptical of packing so much into such a small space, but it worked!  

Here are a few progressive shots. 

It is certainly an exercise in controlled chaos and it looked much more sprightly before a torturous August tested the gumption of all of my plants, BUT, we grew things, we ate them, we felt like gardeners.  Also, the flowers in residence have been entertaining butterfly house guests all summer, in turn, entertaining us. 

This was certainly a birthday gift that keeps on giving.  Thanks, Rob!

I don't have many harvest pics, but here is one that includes a rather delicious melon.  My mom told me that I would know the melons were ripe when they simply fell of the vine when picked up, and she was right!  We enjoyed several cantaloupe and this is something I will definitely plant again.  I had no idea if the melon vines would take over everything like tyrants, but instead they sweetly cohabited with the other plants meandering into their empty spots.  I didn't even attempt to get them to grow vertically.

Our first garden was just small enough to give us a little confidence to expand what we plant next year.  We should probably start planning new beds now.  Thanks to the electric company taking out eight red buds in our backyard, we now have additional sunny options for plots.

We'll still get a few more goodies out of the garden.  Here is a blushing bell and also a melon hoping to gain its full stature.

One of my favorite gardening moments was when Cora plucked her own tomato and ate the whole thing while I searched for ripened treasures.  The juice running down her chin was priceless and the delight in her eyes precious.  Looking forward to another growing season next year.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

When Daddy Draws with Chalk

I love going out front after Rob has been out playing with Cora in the driveway.  You never know what he'll come up with next.  It seems they had a little lesson in entomology a few days ago.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Savoring Summer

It's been too quiet too long on the blogfront, but we've been soaking up some mild summer rays as the season comes to an end.  The oppressive Okie heat that chokes you with muggy swarms of sticky air has retreated (probably not permanently) and we've been out frolicking with pre-fall exuberance.

Our long holiday was full of play, family and friends.  Just the refresher we needed.  We took Cora on her first long bike ride with a brigade of babes in trailers.  Riding next to Rob out on the open road was a foreign feeling.  Since becoming a parent, the luxury of long rides has been few and far between and it was fun to be out together.  Long is a relative term here since baby was in tow (she probably wouldn't be happy for more than an hour), but I'll take an hour ride around a lake with the family any day!

Saturday night Grammy and Popo strolled into town for a too quick layover.  They've been out east visiting my Momo and Popo and broke their trip up with an overnighter at our place.  Popo and Cora had some fun playing in the backyard.  They were here for less than 24 hours which is definitely not long enough!  Come back!
Have I ever told you that this kid likes watermelon?  I was cutting some up to take to the pool (which turned into the splash pad after realizing it had already closed) and she couldn't wait until we got there to enjoy it.  So she had a piece before we left and at least two more LARGE pieces at the splash pad.  She probably would've eaten five more pieces had we let her.

As summer wraps up (which will be a slow process in Oklahoma) I sense little bits of fall here and there.  The winds are promising cooler temps; brittle leaves weary of our long dry summer dot the ground, and October rains are waiting at September's back door.

My eyes will be peeled for the minutiae of magical autumnal changes.  The miracle of it never diminishes.