Let's dance

Do you think we watched too much "So You Think You Can Dance?" this summer?

Thanksgiving, Kindergarten style

The 32nd Annual De Portola Elementary Kindergarten Thanksgiving play was a smashing success! Thing 2 made for a convincining indian brave. He sung, he spoke, he danced.

Looks to me like Los Del Rio ripped off the Macarena dance from the Wompanoag.

The kids each made their own costumes in class - FINALLY an assignment that your mother didn't have to help put together.

The budding thespian and his biggest fan were more enthralled by the blow-up turkey.

The week of festivities wouldn't be complete without a traditional Thanksgiving feast, costumes required (again, no mom assistance necessary.)

All tied up

Even after the zip line fiasco Thing 2 still thinks tying knots is a good idea. This time he got himself into a bit of a pickle when he tied his shoelaces to the handles of 2 sleeping bag stuff sacks.

More interestingly, a few days earlier this same little boy had tied said sleeping bags so as to hang from the loft bed for use as punching bags.

What a quandary. After I took documentary photos I walked away. After all - if he's not going to think things through before acting he's definitely going to need strong problem solving skills. What a perfect time for him to start developing them.


They're back

Apparently I should've paid the anti-flamingo insurance (extortion). At least this time there was no late-night knock at the door.

Poor birds. With all their traveling some are looking worse for wear.

Maybe I shouldn't have told Amy I was the one who sent the flamingos her way. This war ends now. I really can't afford to play anymore . . .


Indiana Jackson

What does this look like to you?

I see an oddly placed clothes-line.
Thing 2 saw a zip-line. At least that was his intention when he tied the rope and hung the hanger.

Luckily this was the full extent of the damage (unless tears and groans of pain count.) Nate should be very proud; it wasn't the knots that failed, but rather the plastic hanger.


A late night suprise

Nate left for China again about a week ago. This time around hasn't been nearly as hard. The kids have settled into a good routine and Sketch is sleeping through the night. We're not eating out as much and I manage to have something other than Diet Dr. Pepper for most of my meals - unfortunate for my waist-line, that something is typically chocolate (or ice cream.)

I've spent my evenings in quite contemplation and solitude (aka, TV.) All except for last Wednesday night. Let me set the scene:

[Fade In]

Scene: 9pm. Woman (that's me) surfing the net and chatting animatedly on the phone while enjoying a gentle breeze coming through the open window.

(loud noise) KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK

Cecily: "Oh my gosh! Who the heck is knocking on my door this late at night?"

Angel (that's my friend on the phone): "Someone's knocking at your door?"

(Cecily peers out the open 2nd floor window and sees no parked car. She rises from the computer and quickly makes her way downstairs.)

Cecily: "Yeah - I'm gonna keep you on the phone in case something happens. Then you can call the cops and explain when they find my body."

Angel: "OK. I'm here."

(Cecily looks through the peep hole in the door, only to be startled when she realizes that it's being blocked.)

Cecily: "Oh my gosh - the peep hole is blocked. Who knocks on your door this late and then blocks the peep hole?"

Angel: "They're blocking the peep hole?"

(Cecily yells through the door - as much for Angel's entertainment as anything else.)

Cecily: "GO AWAY!!"

Angel: "Who is it? Who's there?"

(Cecily moves into the family room and looks out the window, hoping to catch a glance of the visitor.)

Cecily: "Um . . . there's a pink flamingo in my yard."

Angel: "What? A pink flamingo?"

(Cecily opens the front door and finds no human visitor. Hysterical laughing commences.)

Cecily: "There are pink flamingos all over my yard!! Someone put pink flamingos all over my yard! And there's a sign on my door - that's what was blocking the peep hole."

Angel: "I think you just got flamingled."

Cecily: "I've gotta get my camera. I'll talk to you later."

(Cecily races back into the house to get her camera so this experience can be properly documented.)

[Fade out]

Apparently "Flamingling" is a common fundraiser back East, although I've never seen or heard of it before. The back of the pretty pink sign held a de-flamingling order form with the following available services (compliments of the Mission Viejo 1st Ward Young Women):

  • $10 donation: Prompt flock removal.
  • $20 donation: Prompt flock removal and next stop designation.
  • $25 donation: Prompt flock removal, next stop designation, and a friendly note for the new flamingo hosts.
  • Additional $15 donation: Revelation of who sent the flock to my house.
  • Additional $100 donation: Anti-flamingling insurance so the flock won't come back.
I kept the flamingos around for a day and then sent them on their way. The Things were disappointed once they were gone, but I guess flamingos are fickle that way.

I wish I could've gotten a shot of the whole dozen. Such a lovely sight.


Coincidence or retribution?

Details are still unclear as to how Ellie's Cinderella figurine was victimized. Addy claims to have no knowledge of the violent incident, although a potential motive is strong (see Oct 2008 post "Damage and devastation"). Details will be reported as they are uncovered.


Just say NO!

Trying new things isn't necessarily a good idea. Tattoos, fast cars, drugs, extreme sports, beverages of ambiguous origins, foods prepared with questionable hygiene practices, ultra-trendy haircuts, . . . all can precipitate irreparable damage. As can desserts . . .

For years I've gone to Costco and seen their Very Berry Sundae on the snack bar menu. I was never even slightly tempted - the oversized picture led me to believe that it was an icy, soft-serve imitation topped with a sicky-sweet, jam-like concoction. If only. . . if only that assumption had held true.

On one visit I made the monumental mistake of acquiescing when Nate offered a bite of his Very Berry Sundae. In that instant my world was irreversibly changed forever. No longer can I approach the face at the window and order a hot dog (w/ soda) without the angst of self-denial. Nope, now I get to live in a world where one more almost-insurmountable temptation stares me down each time I head to my favorite big-box warehouse store.

Costco be damned.

I hijacked this photo from some guy's blog. Either it's really old or inflation has been worse than I thought. And what's with the waffle cone? We've never had that on the menu here, or anywhere else I've lived.


Camping at Refugio

Our foray into the wilderness was most invigorating (exhausting). The weather was beautiful (rainy). The clear air was crisp and refreshing (cold). The troops were helpful and cooperative (whiny).

Camp activities included:

hornet sting first-aid,

sand castle sculpting,

child burying,

squirrel tail removal (I don't think the squirrel was permanently damaged when a portion of its tail was ripped off, but maybe now it will think twice before coming so close to little boys),

tandem swinging,

emergency rain shelter construction,

shallow water swimming,

gourmet corn popping,

artificial heightening,

sea weeding,

stump sitting,

. . . and sand printing.

A return to civilization- Santa Barbara's State Street McDonald's has no drive-thru. Sure, it has a plaque commemorating the invention of the egg McMuffin, but you if want one you'll have to order it at the counter. We were muddy and smelly and most certainly surrounded by a hovering cloud of grime. Of course it would have to be the most impeccably clean MickeyD's I've ever seen. The employee on housekeeping duty kept eyeing us with anticipatory disdain. Two words? Job security.