Monday, August 31, 2009

::first day of school 3rd grade::

Ok, so I didn't die running 20 miles, BUT I WANTED TO.

Anna started school last Thursday, but because I am lame I forgot to take a picture of her on her first day. So this is actually the 3rd day of school. Whatever. Here she is, in all her almost-9-year-old glory. I decided that our new tradition will be to take her first-day photo standing next to our baby crab-apple tree. That way we can see how she and the tree both change and grow. Right now both are kind of puny.

Please ignore our lack of landscaping. By this time next year, it will be a different story.

Our daughter has big feet, have I mentioned this? Actually, those are David's "bunny boots". I don't know why they are called that but apparently if you live in Alaska you need these or your feet will fall off. Anna thinks they are awesome. Next year they will fit her, I am certain of it. Right now she is wearing a women's size seven and a half shoe.

Anna, Skylar and Piper. My three favorite girls in the world.

In other news, my husband is finally home after being in Boston for a week. He brought me a box of pastries, carrying them across the country. I think he likes me. And I know I like him. Cannoli or no cannoli.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I just want you all to know that I love you

I am so going to get my ass kicked this weekend. I have to run 20 miles. TWENTY MILES people. That's like, from one town to another. And I am not prepared. My week-day runs have been nearly non-existant because, well, in the morning it's too noon it's too hot...after work I'm too tired/hungry/lazy. You see where I'm going with this...I'm going to DIIIIEEEEE!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

::how I know I'm getting old::

* I make my child go to bed at 8:00 so that I can too. Yes, even in summer.

* I recently stepped into an Abercrombie & Fitch store while looking for school clothes for Anna; I didn't make it 20 feet into the store before I had to turn around and leave due to the overwhelming stench of perfume (WTF, A & F??) that they are pumping into their store. Also? Even I am sort of appalled by the near-naked men wallpapering that entire store. And it's almost impossible to embarrass me.

And the big one? When did trying on jeans become as mortifying and ego-deflating as trying on swimming suits? Really...when did that happen?? I feel like every pair of jeans I try on make me look like I'm trying to pass for an 18 year old, or they look hopelessly like mom-jeans. Aren't there jeans that look age-appropriate and yet still hip for women in their 40s and up? Perhaps my problem is that I refuse to pay $180 for jeans. Hell, even Levis make a $238 jean. For $238, those pants better lift my butt 5 inches, make my legs look 10 miles long and disguise any evidence that I ever carried a 9 pound child. And maybe that's exactly what $238 Levis do. Hmmmm.....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I don't know if I've mentioned it lately, but my kid is adorable. I was going through some of the old pictures on my computer, and thought I'd share some of my favorite Anna photos.

The summer she was 2 1/2, one of our favorite books was called "Pete's a Pizza", about a little boy is is bored because it's raining and he can't go outside to play. So his dad pretends to make him into a pizza, elaborately spreading on the sauce, sprinkling on the cheese (lots of sound effects are required), adding toppings and finally, scooping him up to put him in the "oven" (the couch) to cook. Anna loooved to recreate that book; here she is a "tomato and banana" pizza.

This was shortly after we moved to Spokane, so she was 3 or 4. She'd finally (after waiting her WHOLE LIFE) gotten her own kitty. This was Maple's "sleeping bag". I love that she has a tattoo on her little arm. Look at that face, would you??

She and her dad were having a water fight. I love the light and shadow on this one. Also, it's probably the only time in my adult life I've actually had lovely green grass. It didn't last long.

Swinging. Pure joy...

A couple of summers ago my sister got married on the Oregon coast and someone had a kite. I just think this one is so pretty.

I have a whole series of these, somewhere. We'd found this old horse outside a grocery store; it doesn't even accept a quarter, you just push the button and it goes. And goes. She started doing all these hilarious "riding tricks", turning around in the saddle, riding backwards, sideways, on the tail....I was laughing so hard. I wish I had a video of it. Some sweet old man stopped to watch and said to me "That just made my day."

I just don't even know what to say about this, other than it makes me laugh every time I see it.

I love this series; it so shows her personality. She was showing off her new "cowgirl pants" and cowboy boots. This was right before she entered first grade, the summer of "Lice-a-Palooza", of which we shall not speak. However, it did result in the cutest haircut she's ever had, which I did myself one evening after a couple of glasses of wine and approximately 38 hours with the nit-comb. Anyway, cute, huh??

This was taken on the first day of school last year, 2nd grade. The look on her face is her "I want something and you're going to give it to me" look. What?! Could YOU say no to this face?

And this, my favorite picture ever. Look at those eyes....and that little smirk/half smile? Straight from her daddy.

I hope you've enjoyed my stroll down memory lane. I sure can't imagine my life without this kiddo.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

:: mama bear::

We haven't had a good rant around here for awhile now. It's been at least a week or two since anyone has pissed me off, and that just won't do, now will it?

First off, let me say that I am a hiker. I looove to be out in the forest, up in the trees, communing with nature. So I'm not bashing hikers, just dumb ones who report "problem bears" in remote, wild areas.

This morning on the local public radio, I heard a story about how the rangers at Glacier National Park are "going to have to shoot and kill" a 17 year old grizzly sow. Has she eaten anyone? No. Has she been going into campgrounds and tearing apart camp sites? No. Has she been terrorizing a neighborhood and getting into trash cans? Nope.

Her only offense is that she is not afraid of people. People who hike far into the back-country of one of the most wild places in the world. People who set up their tents in the midst of a gigantic huckleberry patch. What do wild bears eat this time of year, as they prepare to go into hibernation? That's right, huckleberries. So because hikers go into this bear's "kitchen" so to speak, and she doesn't run in fear, she is going to be shot. The interactions have never resulted in any confrontations, let alone injury. The "incidents" have ALL taken place 7-10 miles from the nearest campground or paved road.

This infuriates me. I'm all for people being able to go into the back-country and have their experience, but if there is a problem with a WILD ANIMAL in that animal's habitat, shouldn't the people be controlled, and not the animal? After all, the people have a choice about going into the back-country. The bear does not.

I feel the same way about people who build their dream homes "out in the country" and then, when a mountain lion or a wolf eats little FiFi, they want the Fish & Game to come trap the "offender" and remove it or worse, kill it. If you don't want interactions with wildlife, don't build your house outside the city! Because that's where the animals live, people!

Where is the common sense here? Why do we believe that we are entitled to haul our sleeping bags, food and trash into these wild places, that it is ALL our domain? That we should be able to have our wilderness experience, but without all those pesky wild animals?

It's all about risk. If you are willing to take the risk of going into those remote, wild places, then you must accept the consequences WITHOUT COMPLAINT. It's called "survival of the fittest", and if you get mauled or eaten by a bear, well then, you were someplace you weren't supposed to be, now weren't you?


What do you think about this? Should people take precedence over wild animals? Do we have a "right" to wander safely through the wildnerness without any risk?

**UPDATE: The grizzly sow was shot and killed today, about an hour or so ago, as she approached a back-country campground.

She had two cubs with her. One of the cubs died after being shot by a tranquilzer gun; the other is being sent to the Bronx Zoo. They should have just shot him too.


Monday, August 17, 2009


It's beginning to feel like fall in these parts, and I like it. We had a nice, quiet weekend.

We tortured poor Rootbeer:

"I disapprove of this!"

....I sewed some new pillows for our couch in the TV room...David does not share my love of kitsch, but I figured with the deer on here, he'd be ok with them. I can tell he prefers the old, fugly, brown ones, but what does he know? The only thing he has good taste in in dogs and women.

...envelope back...

...we went for a lovely bike-ride on Sunday...

...oh, and I ran 18 miles and lived to tell about it!

Hope you are enjoying the last few weekends of summer. I can not believe school starts in a week and a half.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

::child abuse::

Anna: "Mom, did you know that some people have skunks as pets??"

Me: "I think I did know that."

Anna: "Yeah, you can have their stinkers removed."

Me: "I've tried to have my stinker removed, but she keeps finding her way back home."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Life lesson from a 7 year old

When Anna was in first grade, at a new school, I went to pick her up one day. Her friends Annie and Sydney were coming over for a play date, so we all met up outside Anna's classroom. As we walked toward the car, Anna started telling me how this girl, Sarah, had punched her at recess. Punched my baby. I have never even spanked my child, and believe me, there were a few times where it took every ounce of super-human strength I had not to swat her butt, just for the instant-gratification it might have given me. By "a few times" I mean basically her ENTIRE THIRD YEAR on this planet.

Anyway, Anna is telling me about this girl punching her and Annie and Sydney are chiming in saying "Yeah, Sarah is really mean! And she never gets in trouble for it."
By now we're in the car; I'm clucking and offering sympathy when all of a sudden, they all three yell "There she is! That's the girl!" Foolishly, I say "Anna, do you want me to say something to her?" and all three of them are shouting "Yes! Go get her! Let her have it!" And because I am essentially a 7 year old myself, I pull the car over right next to the curb where the unsuspecting bully is minding her own business, walking home from school with her older brother. I walk up to her, bend down to her level (both literally and figuratively, I'm afraid) and say "Hi. My name is Kate. I'm Anna R's mom. I hear you hit her today." She stopped dead in her tracks, eyes wide. "I don't want you to ever hit her, or anybody else, ever again. You got it?" She nodded silently. "Good" I said and strode, triumphantly, back to the car to the cheers and disbelief the girls.

Oh yes. I did.

Of course I am duly mortified now, because in hindsight I realize that that day? My daughter was not bruised or bleeding. If she had been punched there would have been physical damage, right? And no teacher is going to let that behavior go unpunished. Most likely it was a typical playground shove is all. And so every time I've seen that little girl in the two years since, I am ashamed of myself. Far more, I'm sure, than she ever was about having decked (or pushed) my daughter.

The thing is, this girl is wonderfully unique: she has super short hair and she wears nothing but baggy shorts and football jerseys. I am certain she will grow up to be, at minimum, a bull-dyke and possibly even transgendered. So of course, being the rebel-without-a-cause that I am, I want Anna to be friends with her. But I've always felt guilty that I ruined the chances of that the day I confronted her on that sidewalk.

And then today, I got a phone call from an unfamiliar number.


"Hi. you have a kid named Anna?" she asked, in her Tatum O'Neal-in-Paper Moon voice.


"This is Sarah (last name omitted to protect the innocent). I was wondering if she could come over and play on my new slip 'n' slide today."

Anna wasn't available to play because she was at her grandma's house in the valley, but as I write this? I am seriously considering putting on my swimming suit and showing up on Sarah's doorstep with a football under one arm to ask if I can play on that slip 'n' slide with her. Because apparently she either forgot or forgave my actions that day.

And out of gratitude, I promise to never be one of those moms again.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

grumpy mcgrumperton

I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been particularly snarly the past few days. I'm feeling very much like a certain hairy, green muppet-monster. Just stay the hell away from my trash can.

This kid, however, is a pretty good reminder of all that is good in the world. She came out onto the porch the other night, laughing her head off and said "Your new shaving cream sure smells good!"

And last week I brought her to work with me one day. She LOVES to come to work with me, I do not know why, but she has been asking to do so for months now. So while I pretended to work, she entertained herself. This is one of the things she left behind for me to put up on my office wall, renderings of some of the many, many nicknames I have given her over the years:

Love Bug, Cutie Pie, Sweetie Pie, Boo Boo (that's a bleeding wound, in case you wondered), Peanut, Pumpkin and of course, Snickle-Fritz Picklepants.

She also answers to Boo, Boosker, Booger, Peanutbutter, Nanner, Bug, Little Pink Devil, Trouble and Punkin-butt. Poor kid didn't even know her real name until she started elementary school.

Tonight, while my husband is in Leavenworth without me, enjoying Basil Margaritas and probably even secretly sneaking off to see Sound of Music, Anna and I are going to rent the movie "Big", because she has never seen it. We'll cuddle up in the big bed with ice cream and the dogs.

Hopefully my mood will improve so that I don't end up with an unfortunate nickname myself.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Um, WHY??? (or, how to irritate the beejeezus out of me, part 2)

Warren Jeffs, convicted child molester and former leader of the FLDS cult (er, religious group) is being "force-fed" to keep him alive.

how to irritate the beejeezus out of me

First, do your weekly grocery shopping at 7:00 in the morning on a week day (also known as a work day for some people.) Fill your cart to the brim with potato chips, case upon case of Diet Pepsi products, and loads of pre-packaged food-like substances.

Second, as you are moving, sloth-like, toward the checkout line and you see someone coming toward you, someone who is obviously dressed for work (as opposed to your un-showered, sweats-wearing self), someone who appears to be in a hurry with just 2 items in her hands, see that as challenge to move faster than you have all week in order to get in line ahead of said working person with TWO FUCKING THINGS IN HER HANDS.