Thursday, June 24, 2010

Powering Down

I am about to officially start a week of Powering Down. I will still check my email once a day, but there will be no blogging, blog-checking, you-tubing, facebooking, or general internet surfing for one solid week. I am hoping this will result in increased productivity. Have a good week, everyone!

3...2...1...POWER DOWN!

(PS - I will still listen to Pandora.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

And Right Away, the Happiness Project Pays Off - Literally!

So I was just cleaning out my desk drawers (see previous post) and I found $158.00 plus a lot of change that was in a box which I had forgotten about when we moved. I can now replace the stolen GPS*, PLUS buy myself a copy of the Happiness Project book. And my desk is extremely organized. I am all kinds of happy now.

*I forgot to blog about the thieves. It all started with Daphne's stomach virus. Her unfortunate incident in the backseat of my car caused me to have to get it cleaned, which caused me to have to leave the windows down overnight so the upholstery could dry, which caused the theft of my EZPass and my GPS. I shouldn't have left them in the car. It was my fault, really. But still. I never suspected there to be thieves in my driveway.

PS. If you haven't ever tried out Pandora.com, you should. I created a Kings of Convenience channel to clean my desk to. And yesterday, I cleaned Daphne's room to a Prefab Sprout channel. I'm thinking De La Soul for dinner...

Summer Reading

Today, Daphne and I went to the library to turn in our last batch of books and to check out some new ones.  I love the library.  I love it so much that I have even almost completely gotten over feeling all germophobic every time I go there.  Perhaps this is because we have a brand spankin' new super clean library here in town and it doesn't have that weird smell like the one in our neighborhood in Texas.

Anyway, the library has started its Summer Reading Program for kids, which made me happy because this was a summer staple during my youth.  I got Daphne all signed up.  She has to read 50 books this summer and write them on her reading log, and when she does, she gets to choose a free book. (I believe Borders and B&N are both having similar summer programs, but those places are quite a drive from here.)  Plus she got some little trinkets just for signing up.  We have already polished off three books.  Forty-seven to go! Woohoo!

I sadly turned in my copy of The Happiness Project.  But it will be good for someone else to get to read it.  Apparently, there are quite a few Loudoun County residents in the market for happiness.  When I went on line to request the book, I was 38th in the queue.  I think there are three copies floating around the county, so it only took a few weeks for me to get my turn.  I do think I am going to buy a copy eventually.  The paperback doesn't come out until December, so maybe I'll ask for it for my birthday or something.  It will be good to have it to refer to during downward groove spirals.

As I mentioned before, parts of the book are sort of hokey.  Other parts are common sense.  But overall I enjoyed reading it, could relate to it, and found some good strategies for increasing my serenity here at home on a daily basis since a quiet month alone in a cabin in the woods in Maine with some yarn, needles, books, a canoe, and the sounds of loons is not a real option.  And that's totally OK.  I LIKE being at home.

The main thing I was inspired to do after reading the book is to get rid of clutter and chaos, because that is what tends to bring me down.  I started this yesterday in Daphne's room.  In three hours, her room was clean, neat, and organized.  I gave two bags of clothes to my neighbor, packed up another bag for the Salvation Army, threw away some very old things that were just taking up space (think containers of diaper rash cream from three years ago and the like), and packed away some winter stuff that should still fit later in the year.  It was hard work, but I cannot tell you how good it felt to tackle this chore.  Over the summer, I am going to do the rest of the house, and I can't wait.  In fact, as soon as I finish this post, I'm starting on my desk drawers.

Gretchen Rubin, the author of the book, made resolutions throughout the year that she dedicated to her project, so I am going to make a few here and try really hard to keep them.  I think trying to do these things will, at least a little bit, improve the overall quality of life for me and for the people who have to deal with me.  So here goes:
  1. Complain less and be generally less negative.  There are no lions after all.
  2. Spend less time on the computer.  There will be at least one whole experimental "Power Down" week this summer...probably sooner than later.
  3. Enjoy Daphne as much as possible even when she's being annoying.  Try to turn her annoying behaviors around into something more fun.
  4. Eat better food and take more walks.
  5. Stay up later.  Try to encourage Kev to stay up later too. 
  6. Get up earlier.
  7. Find some kind of an interesting or fun class to take.
  8. Listen to music more.  Especially while cooking.
  9. Have more family band time.
  10. Let things go.
OK...so that's a pretty good place to start I think.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Now, off to attack my desk.  Better take some trash bags...

PSA Tuesday - Local Favorites

I've been wanting to do a post like this for a while, and since Christina was asking, I figured this would be a good time to do it. And so, without further ado, here is a list of some of my local favorites:


  1. Breakfast
  • Good bagel sandwiches can be found at Deli South, Puccios, and Shoes. I believe Kev really likes the omelets at Deli South as well. These places are all very casual - Shoes has the best atmoshpere of the three. The ciabatta breakfast sandwiches at South Street Under are also great, and you can eat outside if it isn't too hot.
  • La Lou has a good Sunday brunch, but I prefer their dinners.
  • I haven't been to Palio yet, but I really want to go for brunch because I think they have Nutella bananas foster crepes.
  • Cajun experience has a great brunch, but I have never been able to figure out exactly when they have it. We just happened to go during the flower and garden festival. You CANNOT beat their begniets if you want a breakfasty treat. They have awesome cheddar grits too. Call first to make sure they're open. They have outdoor seating now which we haven't had a chance to try yet.
2. Lunch


  • Puccios - great sandwiches. It gets busy though...sometimes you have to wait a while to get your food. I love sitting on their porch.
  • Pulled pork bbq sandwiches at the Philomont General Store. YUM.
  • Good bbq also at the gourmet grocery in Paeonian Springs. At both of these places, you have to eat outside. And neither has the best barbecue in the world, but it's the best we've found north of Memphis.
  • Best thing to do is pack a lunch and go to a winery.
3. Dinner


  • Croque Monsieur and torta palla at the Wine Kitchen. Torta palla are little balls of chocolate happiness.
  • Butter chicken at Angeethi. With a nice mango lassi. I think this is my favorite meal in Leesburg.
  • Yellow curry from the Thai place at the gas station. Love the pineapple in this. With Thai iced tea if they have it.
  • Shrimp and Grits or Corn chowder at Tuskies. The mussels are great too. And the fried zucchini. And the roasted red pepper bisque if they have it - it's a special. Their bread pudding is my favorite Leesburg dessert. Have never had a bad meal at Tuskies.
  • I have had several different things at La Lou and liked them all. Our favorite place for date night.
  • Chicken and Andouille Gumbo at the Cajun Experience. Delicious. I don't like the potatoes that come with it, but Kev does. Begniets for dessert of course.
  • Have only been to Shoes for dinner once, and it was good. I really want to sit in their Secret Garden at night.
  • Red Kebab is great too, but more for a casual weeknight dinner than an anniversary. I get the #2.

Menues for pretty much all of these places can be found on line. I am too lazy to post links this morning.

We have thus far not found any great pizza or Mexican food. Help in this area would be appreciated.

Now I am hungry.

Anyway, that's just what I like. I would be happy with any of those meals at any time on any day, especially because I would not be the one cooking them.

Another very helpful website is Every Restaurant in Leesburg by the great Jim. If there is a restaurant you want to know about, chances are he's reviewed it.

So, happy anniversary to Christina and Wade! Enjoy your free weekend, and let me know if you find any good food that I should try!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day - It's Good for Mommies Too!

Well, it's Monday. And even though our weekend was full of activity, I am neither beaten down nor exhausted. THAT is the sign of someone who just might be getting her groove back!

Part of that is probably due to the fact that I had a lot of Time to Myself this weekend. I am so very rarely alone in the house, so when it happens, it is a pretty big deal.

Friday evening, I got a short break while Kev took Daphne to try out her bike on the W&OD. I spent the entire time collapsed on the couch. It was great.

Saturday, the two of them went to the water park at the local
rec center. I spent that time doing some much-needed tidying up. For some reason, I can get a lot more done when no one else is around. Hmmm.

And last night, Daphne spent the night with G-Ma, G-Pa, and Uncle Jeff, so this morning I went out for a walk and breakfast, and then came home and completely re-organized Daphne's room before it was time to go pick her up. Aaaah.

In addition to all this alone time, I got to have Kev-time, small family time, big family time, and friends-from-afar time.

On Saturday afternoon, my friend from college, Jodi, and her family, made a brief detour to our house on their way from Atlanta to Vermont - a little rest stop. I have not seen Jodi and Steve for many many years, and I had never met their three kids. It was so great to see them...just as if no time had passed at all.

Saturday night, after they left, we had family movie night and watched The Jungle Book. Then Sunday morning, we had a very nice little Father's Day party. Kev's loot is pictured below. Polka music, beer, nuts, pictures, a frame and card from Daphne, and a case of records. Not bad. And the best thing of all was Daphne's very good behavior.


For lunch, we went to Manassas, where we were treated to a delicious Father's Day brisket, baked beans, and homemade mac and cheese. My dad got a new video camera, and Kev got a couple of nice juicy steaks from my family's "meat guy." We left Daphne there, and later that evening, went out for Date Number Two of my six-date Mother's Day gift: dinner and dessert at the Wine Kitchen. It was really good and very relaxing. It's so nice to get a chance to spend time with Kev, eating at a liesurely pace, and having real conversations. Thanks, Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Jeff!
Daphne is home now and I'm glad. We miss her when she's gone. She's asleep, and I'm trying to get this blogging done before she wakes up.

I have a lot to say about finishing my library book, and my new groove, and my potential summer plan of action (currently in development), but that will all have to wait. Part of my plan, I will tell you now, is less computer time. So with that, I'm off to participate in the real world for a little while.

Happy Father's Day to the two best dad's I know! You know who you are.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

For the Bored



Here is a fun activity you can do when it is way too hot to go outside and your kids are saying "MoOoOoOoMMMM, I'm boooooored." Or if you are in a really boring telecon at your work. This project has "Kev" written all over it. Plus, the music is groovy. You'll have it stuck in your head all day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Scenes from a Cooking Class

Today, Daphne and I went to a "Princess and the Frog" cooking class at Cookology in Dulles Town Center. We went to a class there last year for Mother's Day and really enjoyed it, so Kev gave me a gift certificate to go to another one.
The kids added ingredients.

Stirred.

Spread.

And ended up with Peanut Butter, Honey, and Cinnamon Princess Tea Sandwiches, which were very tasty.
Next, the Frog Apples:

Daphne's is on the left, mine is on the right. She refused to use cream cheese or grapes. Luckily she had some peanut butter mixture left to use as the glue. Chef Katie, the teacher, gave her some extra chocolate chips for the feet.


Ribbit.


Yum.


Next, an Edible Princess Bracelet aka cheerios and gummy life-savers on a piece of ribbon.
Glamorous AND delicious.

Daphne's lasted about a minute and a half.
The thing I like most about Cookology is that they really let the kids do most of the work. It's nothing complicated, but they are all really proud of their creations. I recommend it.

After the class, we went to see Rocknoceros, who was conveniently playing their weekly Dulles Town Center gig right outside the cooking class shop. Daphne gave Coach a picture of french fries that she colored for him. He loved it. Coach is awesome. He makes every kid feel special.

Then, Kev met us for lunch and a ride on the carousel. We ran into one of Daphne's friends from school. We played on the soft playground, and Daphne got to choose one piece of candy from the candy store. She picked a gumdrop. It was a good day.

And the best part is, we're one day closer to Fall.

Happy Thursday

In an effort to spread a little happy, here is a cool video for you to watch. I am fascinated by the Flash Mob phenomenon. It is amazing how they can secretly plan and pull off something of this magnitude. I can only imagine how cool it must have been to be someone in that train station, milling about, minding their own business, when all of a sudden, this happens. It made me cry the first time I saw it. But then, the Sound of Music almost always makes me cry. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Ketchup Declaration

( Ketchup Packets at Windy City Red Hots - Photo by Daphne)
I keep getting all mad about the whole ketchup thing at the hot dog place. This is not a good use of time and energy. So I am now going to make a declaration, dedicated to Windy City Red Hots, and then I am going to move on. Perhaps this is the beginning of my own Happiness Project.
Hi. My name is Tara. I like to put ketchup on my hot dogs. In fact, I like ketchup on cheeseburgers too. Sometimes, I dip my potato chips in it, and even a grilled cheese sandwich from time to time. I like my meat well done, but I like my egg yolks a little on the runny side. I won't eat food that has been near pickles. I don't like Dr. Pepper. I like spaghetti in my chili. Yes. It's true. I like to have cereal for dinner now and then. And sometimes on particularly rough days, after I put Daphne down for a nap, I will eat a spoonful of Nutella.
I don't like to touch chalk or play-doh. I don't like to walk barefoot outside. I wear socks in the house because I don't like for my feet to get dirty. I don't like the beach. Or the pool. I DO like watching the original Star Trek series. A lot. And American Idol. I have never seen Dancing with the Stars, Lost, or Glee. I love Mister Rogers. Sometimes I listen to Ratt and Kiss. I think Darryl Hall has a great singing voice, and I don't mind the soft sounds of the 70s. I have read and enjoyed every Harry Potter book. I have no interest in Las Vegas.
I feel awkward in social settings. I want people to like me. I fret a lot. I will never dye my hair. I accidentally kill every plant I get. I am afraid to fly on airplanes and ride on elevators. I don't like big crowds of people. I used to think that wolverines were small wolves, and I once mistook James Fenimore Cooper for a president.
That is just the way I roll. I shall not apologize. I am who I am. I will continue to eat at Windy City Red Hots, I will continue to order a hot dog with ketchup, and I will choose to ignore their alienating signs and merchandise. Thank you.

Summer Cont'd

Yesterday, we got a brief reprieve from the Texas-like weather, so after a lot of cajoling, I got Daphne to agree to go for a walk with me. She brought along her camera and took about a hundred pictures of the sidewalk. Some of them are actually pretty cool. I'll update her flick page as soon as I can.

It was a nice walk. We went to the new hot dog place, which was just as good as last time, but I noticed they are now selling a book in there called "Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog." They are trying as hard as they can to lose my business. It's a good thing for them that I'm working on my new "Happiness Project" attitude. I am almost done with the book. Review coming soon.

Speaking of Daphne's camera, it was a big hit with the kids at her birthday party. It was passed around to various party guests who ended up taking some of my favorite shots. I just love the perspective you get from a height of three feet. I'll post some of those on Daphne's flickr page too. There's a link on the sidebar if you want to check them out.


I have a LOT of homemade chocolate syrup left. It only lasts two weeks. I have a lot of sprinkles, marshmallows, mini M&Ms, crushed oreos, and ice cream left too. And two packages of hot dogs. Hmmm...I'm thinking a Father's Day make-your-own-sundae party may be in order.


Gotta use up that syrup somehow...

Unrelated: I love the World Cup, but I cannot take those trumpets. They make me want to run away. How can anyone actually go to a stadium and sit through a match with all that noise going on?
Cooking class tomorrow with Daphne. Should be fun.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Who Will She Be?

A princess? A rock star?

Perhaps the next Clint Eastwood?

A ballerina?

Who knows? I just hope she stays as Daphne as she can.
The ant man just left. I feel like a huge cloud of stress has just lifted.
The kitchen is mine again.
Thank you, Ant Man.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thanks, Uncle Jeff

For her birthday, Daphne got a kid-size drum set yesterday from Uncle Jeff. She got to work right away writing this song. I mostly can't tell what the heck she's saying. I told her that. I said, "Daphne, I can't really tell what you're saying." And she said, "That's the problem with Rock and Roll." So true, so true.

It's something about "GIMME SOME DRUMS FOR CHRISTMAS!"

I really especially love the BIG ROCK ending.

My kid is cool. I'm allowed to say that, right? Because she just is.

video

The Party's Over.

Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh. It's all over. And I would have to call it a success. It was a lot of work, and it was VERY hot, but the kids seemed to have a great time, and that was the goal. They decorated hats, ate hotdogs, ran around in the yard, played Pin the Cherry on the Sundae (which they loved!), and finally, made their own ice cream sundaes:

I think the Sundae Bar was a hit. The kids liked picking their own toppings, and surprisingly, no one over-did it. Not even me. Here is mine, pictured below, with crushed oreos, chocolate and raspberry syrups, whipped cream, and a cherry.

Delicious! That is, I think it was delicious. I don't actually remember eating it. I don't remember much about the party at all. But that's OK. That's the way it always goes. Daphne will remember it. And I made another sundae after Daphne went to bed. I remember that one. It was GOOD. Mum's the word.
I enjoy the pre-party planning and the post-party "time to reflect" much more than the actual event itself. I don't think this is uncommon. But, maybe I'll talk more about that when I finish my library book.



One of my favorite things about Daphne's party was the fake photobooth we set up in the driveway. I am so happy with the way these came out. It was easy to do, too. I hung up a piece of fabric (that I got for $2.00 at Jo-Ann's) on the garage door, laminated some paper moustaches and put them on sticks (this caused some raised eyebrows at the copy center), and let the kids go to town making silly faces. (For the record, this was not my original idea. I copied some others from the blogosphere. There are tons of cool birthday party ideas on the internet if you're willing to look around a little). Anyway, these pictures will be sent with the thank-you notes. And we'll have copies for Daphne's birthday album.


One other experimental thing we did for Daphne's party was to ask for a donated new book instead of a present. The books will go to children in hospitals through a really cool local organization called Cole's Closet. There were a couple of reasons for doing this. First of all, Daphne has enough stuff. I know this is selfish, but the idea of trying to find places to put twenty or so more toys was more than I wanted to deal with.
My main goal, though, was to teach Daphne an early lesson in the spirit of giving. She was more or less on board with the idea from the beginning, but from time to time would say, "But Mom, it's MY birthday, and I want the presents." So, I took her to Border's early in the process to pick out her own book to donate. I showed her pictures on the internet of kids receiving donated books and toys. And my hope was that maybe some of the other parents explained to their children what we were doing so they could learn a little something too.
We have a nice big basket of books now. Daphne gets to choose one to keep, and the rest go to Cole's Closet. And so far, she hasn't said one word about not getting tons of presents (a couple of kids did bring gifts for her, either instead of or in addition to a book).
I had some initial guilt about all of this. I thought maybe I was a mean mommy, spoiling all the fun of a birthday party by taking away the presents. But I really think it's fine. Daphne got plenty of gifts from us and from family and friends. And there was tons of fun at the party even without gifts. I don't think she thinks I'm a mean mommy. Except when I make her take a bath. Then, I'm horrible.
Today, we are recovering. Daphne has been playing with the new drums she got from Uncle Jeff, and swimming in the pool she got from G-Ma nd G-Pa. There are tons of pictures on flickr for those of you who want to see. And there will be drumming videos posted on here very soon. Stay tuned for some ROCK.



Friday, June 11, 2010

Take Two

For the second Friday in a row, I find myself furiously preparing for Daphne's birthday party. I fear it may be a bit of a let-down. At least for me. For Daphne, it will probably be great, and that is the important thing after all.

This week, I am not as frantic as last week. I think I benefited from the "dress rehearsal," if you will. Today, all I really had to do was re-clean and bring the party supplies back downstairs.

And make the chocolate and raspberry sauces. Yes. Now, THAT was fun. Don't they look delicious up there in their sqeezey bottles? I can't wait to try some on ice cream. Best part: NO high fructose corn syrup. Recipes here.

Tomorrow morning, we swing back into hard core party mode. But for now, I am going to enjoy a little calm before the storm, and maybe spend some time with my library book:

While some of it is kinda hokey, there are parts that have been really inspiring. In fact, I put some of the ideas into practice today, and I've already noticed a difference. I shall report more on this later. I shall also report on our unfortunate incident with thieves. So upsetting.

But now, I'm off to read another chapter before Daphne wakes up. Party pics coming soon! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Suppose it was Only a Matter of Time

Well, she may be twirling around the house in a Cinderella dress,


but she's still rock and roll to me.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Daphne, Who is No Longer Sick, Takes Quincy for a Bike Ride in the Cul de Sac

This picture makes me happy. This is what summer is all about. More on summer and being happy coming soon...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

LRHS - B.P. (before the Peanut)

There has been some discussion around the house lately about how this blog has become very "Daphne-and-Food-Centric."

My response to this is, "Well, that's about all I've got."

I spend about 98 percent of my awake time either cooking, planning meals to cook, shopping for food to cook, and taking care of Daphne. So, you'll have to forgive me if I no longer have time to muse much on my battles with imaginary diseases or to contemplate which people I might want to haunt someday.

I'm not complaining. I LOVE my S.A.H.M. job. It is the best thing I've ever been allowed to do. But, I probably do need to find some outside activities.

This evening, I am going out with the women on my block to say goodbye to our awesome neighbor Martha, who I will never forgive for leaving me the only Southerner in the neigborhood . Perhaps something interesting will happen that is not Daphne or food related. If so, I will blog about it.

In the meantime, I was curious to see what I was blogging about five years ago today, in the days before mommyhood. Please click the link and enjoy the Ghost of Tara Past as she discusses German pop music: Flashback to June 8, 2005.

I am suddenly very extra thankful that Daphne came along.

I do miss sitting around watching bad 50s movies with Kev though. I'm gonna try to make that happen. If we can still stay awake long enough.

The Great Stromboli

video

Well, she's no David Blaine, but she's only four.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Good News for Bloggers

I have been writing this blog for almost for almost six years. That's a LONG time. It all kinda started as just "something to do." Then it became a way to share news and information with family and friends scattered across the country. And now it's more of something I do so that Daphne can read it when she grows up and wants to know why the heck she turned out the way she did.

And, of course, as a reason to take pictures of food. LOTS of pictures of food.

I have always been a little worried, though, that something would happen to blogger.com and all these years worth of the LRHS would disappear into some sort of internet black hole, never to be read again. So, I was very excited yesterday to discover this website. And some of you who have your own blog may be excited too.

You can use the service to save your blog as PDF files, or you can have it printed into either soft or hard cover books. It is kind of expensive, but really really cool. Just what I've been hoping for. So, I am going to order Volume 1 (2004), which is only 4 months of posts, to see how it looks. If I like it, then over time I will order a book for each subsequent year.

I will let you know how it turns out.

GG and Kathy- Looks like I'm writing a book after all! Yay!

Making the Best of a Bad Thing

Well, Daphne's birthday weekend was probably not what she hoped it to be. She spent most of it with a "really super bad tummy-ache" which resulted in some very unpleasant moments for the whole family. But there was a little fun mixed in, along with the promise of a more festive celebration next weekend.

In spite of being sick, she enjoyed opening her presents. The BIG ONE was a brand new big kid bike:
At first, she couldn't figure out how to get on it, and she was scared that it was going to fall over. But after a few minutes, she got the hang of it. I'm looking forward to her full recovery so we can get outside and give it real spin in the cul de sac. I think Quincy is, too.

Yesterday, we spent a lot of time doing nothing. We sat on the porch and enjoyed a nice little thunderstorm:
I took my car to the AutoWash to have the interior cleaned after last Friday's unfortunate backseat incident. It's like a brand new car. It wasn't cheap, but it was worth it.
Last night, Daphne had a relapse, but she seems much better this morning. At the moment, she is in the other room watching Barney, which is why I'm in the kitchen not watching TV with her. She somehow discovered the Sprout channel while she was sick. I can't take it, man.
OK...here are a couple new bike videos:


video video

I hope your weekend was better than ours and that you and the people in your families are all nice and healthy. Barney is over, so I'm going back into the other room to hang out with my little girl now. Now, where is that remote...

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Four

Happy Birthday to my sweet, funny, little rock and roll girl. You are my sunshine!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Murphy's Law

This morning, I put the finishing touches on the party preparations. I cleaned. I shopped. I decorated the dining room a little for our family celebration. I neatly gathered all the outdoor stuff together for a quick backyard transformation in the morning. Then I went to pick up Daphne from my parents. As we got home and pulled into the driveway, she got sick all over the backseat of the car. Yep.

She was actually sick yesterday after school too, but we thought she was over it. I learned the hard way that she wasn't. So, sadly, we've had to postpone her party until next week, which means some of her friends won't be able to make it.

When she heard this news, she was devastated. "But MOMMMMMMY, it just HAS to be tomorrow!" (Sob sob sob). It was heartbreaking. Poor little thing.

I think she is feeling better about it now. We let her open a couple of "Last Day to be Three" presents to cheer her up.

She got a kid-size broom! YES! You wouldn't think that a broom would make a little kid so happy, but it did. She's always trying to use my broom, and she can't manage it very well. So, now she can sweep to her heart's content. Thank you, Home Depot. (And that is the first, and probably the last, time I'll EVER say that. Home Depot is a total whip.)

She also got a bag of little things, including some Hot Wheels cars, "D" sticky notes, and this Beatles shirt. It turned out pretty good. I might just make one for myself. Of course, she had to strike a rock and roll pose.
So, Daphne's last day to be three wasn't the best, but at least there were presents. And she got to eat jell-o and popsicles all afternoon. So that's not totally a horrible morrible day.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to let the whole thing go. The party will happen, just not tomorrow. It's probably for the best. There were signs all week that a party this weekend just wasn't meant to be. On top of planning for the party and doing all of my usual Mommy duties, I was preparing for Daphne's graduation, helping coordinate the teacher's gifts, battling ants in my kitchen, and trying to get the neighbors together for a farewell night out for my awesome neighbor Martha who is moving back to Louisiana, where she's from, and leaving me as the sole person I know who says "Y'all," loves grits, and "fixes" to do things. Then, this afternoon, I had to clean the evil-smelling backseat mess out of my car, and make a bunch of phone calls to re-arrange the party. I had to leave a lot of messages because almost nobody was home, and I haven't heard back from some people, so there may be party guests arriving tomorrow ready for action. Now, I'm trying to air out my car for obvious reasons, but it's raining so I had to roll up the windows. I think tomorrow, I probably need a break more than a party. It's all good. Next Saturday, I'll be ready. At least there are no lions.
Here is a happy little video from the moving-up ceremony:

video
Tomorrow, I'll have a four-year old. Just like that. Like I said. It's all good.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

Pictured above, is Daphne on the first day of school (last September). Pictured below, is the same kid on the last day of school (this morning). She definitely has a last-day-of-school look on her face, huh?

And tomorrow will be her last day to be three. I am trying not to freak out about that. Or about this:

Back in September, she couldn't do that. Ugh. My silver hairs are multiplying exponentially just looking at the picture. NEXT!

This morning, Daphne's pre-school had a Moving-Up ceremony for the three year old class, since they are moving up to the 4's next year. There is Daphne, not up a tree but safe on the ground, awaiting her diploma and giving us a wave. (Aaahhh...silver hairs retreating...) It was a great ceremony. The kids marched in to Pomp and Circumstance and I cried a little bit. (I know. Don't say it.) Then they did some songs and poems. Next they received diplomas. And finally, it was party time!
Kev and I gave Daphne some flowers and a stuffed Boston Terrier which she immediately gave the very original name "Doggo."

My mom and dad got to come, and we all went out to lunch afterward. Then, Daphne went to have a sleepover at G-Ma and G-Pa's so that I could switch into Taz mode and get ready for the birthday party. I bought all the food and wrapped all the gifts, and now all I really need to do is clean the house in case it rains and we have to move the party indoors. If THAT happens, I will just have to take a deep breath and try my best to keep the silver hairs from completely taking over.
Please don't let it rain...please don't let it rain...please don't let it rain...
OK. Off to bed. Must get rested up for tomorrow's final push. I think I can see the finish line...WOOHOO!



Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Party On

Party favors: CHECK

Ice cream toppings: CHECK

Craft activity: CHECK

Decorations: CHECK
The preparations continue...