Friday, August 24, 2007

our little ballerina

beaming ballerina

Margot had her first dance class today. It's called "Creative Movement" -- a ballet class for 3-5-year-olds. It's pretty much all Margot has talked about for the past month. On a daily basis she has told us, and anyone who would listen, "I'm going to Miss Lilly's ballet class" (Miss Lilly is Angelina Ballerina's ballet teacher, so naturally Margot assumed her teacher's name would be Miss Lilly). In order to avoid last minute rushing around (which always seems to be the case for me when trying to get two small children loaded up in the car with all their paraphrenalia AND we're trying to get somewhere on time), I dressed Margot in her little outfit 2 hours early. It was almost too much for Margot to take, she kept saying, "I'm ready to go to ballet," or "Mom, when are we going to ballet." Then, when we arrived at the studio, we found out the class actually started an hour later than I thought. This about killed Margot. She could not understand why we were leaving after all the build-up to it. A quick lunch across the street and then we returned to find 4 other girls her age waiting patiently to start.

ballet 1, wk 1

I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to watch her, but thankfully they allowed us to peek in through one of the windows to their room. It is probably one of the most adorable things I've ever seen (more photos on flickr, just click on photo above). Little girls dressed from head to toe in pink, dancing around with big smiles on their faces. Absolutely precious.

thirsty ballerina

Thursday, August 23, 2007

fly infestation

I can't stand flies. In fact, I loathe them. Anytime I see a fly around my house, I promptly find a magazine, roll it up and kill it. However, a few days ago I got lax in my job as Fly Patrol and chose to wait it out. I mean, flies only have a 24-hour life cycle, right? I was tired of chasing them, so I decided to let the one or two flies buzzing around live out the remainder of their short lives and die on their own. This was where I went wrong.

Tuesday afternoon while walking from our front living room to our kitchen, I noticed several flies sitting on the window in our dining room. I started to count them and when I got to 7, I thought, "What is going on?" I then glanced into the kitchen and saw 4 more flies on the window in there, and then turned back into the living room to see 5 more flies on one of the windows in there. By this point, my blood was boiling so much is was about to shoot out of my veins and through my skin.

I went on a rampage and spent the next 15 or so minutes killing 19 flies. I had mercy on 3 flies that I ended up shooing out the door and then killed 8 more later that evening. I was only mildly comforted by my success at elimination all the flies (I could see at least) because I knew the reality was that some fly had laid a nest of a zillion eggs and that this party was long from over. I came home from work the next evening to find John swatting at flies. He said he'd already killed at least 15 (which means maybe 5 because he tends to exaggerate...and even he admits he's not good at killing flies). I killed 8 more that night. One was still buzzing about, but I'd nearly thrown my elbow out going after his siblings, so I decided to get him in the morning.

Today, I've killed at least 10 more; I'm starting to lose count. I just googled "fly infestation" and believe that our house has been taken over by bottle flies (also called greenbottle, bluebottle or blow flies), which are noted for their "metallic blue or green coloration." The good news? -- "Blowflies are scavengers who deposit their eggs on decaying meat, fish, garbage, fecal matter and dead animals." Now all I have to do is find and eliminate this source of decay. Fantastic. The really good news? -- "Complete development (from egg to adult) can require as little as 10 days or as much as 3 weeks." So I only have to deal with this for 3 more weeks. Stupendous! Too bad my husband will have to commit me long before then.

Actually, one good thing that has come out of all this is I found one interesting piece of advice on how to keep flies from entering your home:

"Many people swear that a zip-lock bag filled half-way with water and attached over entry-ways will repel flies. No one yet knows how or why it works, but there is speculation that it has something to do with the way the moving water refracts light."

If anyone tries it, let me know if it works for you. In the meantime, pray for my sanity.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

vrm: one year

**Short rant -- Let me just say for the record that I actually put this post together earlier this week, only to find out after an hour of putting this "ode to Vance" together that blogger was down and I wouldn't be able to post it. And even though I just found out today that my husband has already posted these photos on his blog, I don't care. I'm posting this damn thing anyway. OK, done ranting. On to better things...

why is my cake on fire?

On Sunday, Master Vance turned 1! When I take a moment to stop and think about it, I get a little choked up to realize the first year of his life is already over. Even though I'm home with him and Margot most days, I still don't know where this past year has gone. I'm not sure if it's because I have two kids, or because I'm a small business owner. I'm sure it's some combination of the two.

You always hear about how things are different with the second child. "Oh, they're the second child...," then fill in the blank. With the first child you don't know what you're doing so you hem and haw over every little thing; with the second child you are more laid back and don't have time to hem and haw. With the first child you take advantage of every moment to talk with them, stimulate them with new toys, and observe every (small) thing they do; with the second child you do your best to keep the first one from making their life miserable, and you're lucky if you notice the first time they roll over, crawl, say "mama", or walk. With the first child you record every milestone (and, well just every day) in their baby book with notes AND photos; with the second child you can't find the baby book and even if you could you won't remember what day they actually did start crawling.

diggin' in

I'm sure a year ago I thought most of those things wouldn't be true for me, but the reality is they are. During Vance's first months, I would regularly catch myself wondering when was the last time I took a few moments to just look at him. Or, I'd feel bad that I didn't have any time with just him -- to play with him, talk to him, and just watch him -- like I did when Margot was a baby. As the months passed by, when he achieved some milestone, I kept saying to myself, "I need to write that down so I can record it in his baby book later." But somehow, I couldn't even find (make) the time to stop what I was doing, find a pen, and get it written on the calendar. (Truthfully, I never did with Margot either, so at least Vance isn't getting the short end of the stick there. Neither one of my kids will know when important milestones happened in their life.)

As the months rolled on, I began to adjust to life with two little ones, lightened up on myself a little bit, and just tried to take a step back every once and awhile and take it all in. There are many days I feel like I'm just trying to hold it all together while I try to get all the responsibilities of the day done. But there are also days when I don't feel buried by all the responsibilities and can enjoy Margot and Vance for who they are, and how our lives have been shaped by them.

Vance's personality is starting to come out and I'm really excited to see who he is going to be. How he's going to be different from (and similar to) his sister, and what characteristics of John and I he will have. One thing I know right now: he is SWEET. His face, his demeanor, his hugs. Complete sweetness. One thing I'm afraid of: he's going to use that sweetness (and those eyes...OH MY GOODNESS, those eyes) to his advantage the rest of his life to get into -- and out of -- trouble.

this is really good

Vance, you're dad was convinced when we found out Margot was a girl that we were destined to have all girls (however many that would be). I'm glad he was wrong because I can't imagine life without you. You cause my heart to melt when you flash that smile of yours. Your giggle makes life seem easy. Keep the smiles and giggles coming.