Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring Fling.

Spring Fling, the district's PE fundraiser that emphasizes exercise and activity, was so much fun! Katie was our Spring Flinger this year, following in Ryan's footsteps. Our school's group was by far the BEST, and even though I can't be objective, I can't imagine how anyone could argue.

Because they were dancing to '60s and '70s music, the kids wore tie-dyed shirts and went barefooted for their performance, which was full of all kinds of highlights.

Of course, the biggest highlight for us was seeing Katie as Aretha Franklin, shakin' her groove thang and singing "Respect":
The crowd went nuts when the kids gathered on the center of the gym floor to form this:And then our section (filled with Foster Village parents) went crazy for the "FVE" the kids formed: When our turn was over, the kids received a rousing ovation, and Katie and her schoolmates were SO excited: Later, kids from all the schools returned to the floor for the grand finale.
As is our custom, we stopped for ice cream on the way home to celebrate another triumphant performance. Later that night, as she was just about to fall asleep, Katie said she was sad. Why? "Because Spring Fling's over." It was a blast for her, and her audience will never forget their amazing show!

Three times the cuteness.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

All in the family.

This afternoon we finally got a good look at KitKat's other kittens. It's wild to see the three of them together, a nice little monochromatic scale from black to gray to white.

We think we've identified the father!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

District choir festival.

This was the big night for BISD's elementary choirs, 17 of which performed in the coliseum tonight. The best? Why, Ryan's choir, of course!

His group sang "We Go Together" from Grease. We were impressed that the kids knew all the rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dongs and shoo-bop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de booms. Nana and Papa got to come, too, to see Ryan perform.

After each choir sang one song, all the kids performed the finale together:

The finale photo I tried to get but couldn't (because of people STANDING in the walkway right in front of us, blocking the view for a BUNCH of people--aaaarrrrrgggghhhh) was a shot of all the moms and dads on the floor taking pictures with their cell phones. They left their seats on the floor to get RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR KIDS' CHOIRS. Some of the kids were at floor level, but there was a mob of parents, three or four deep, standing right in front of them. Forget that the kids are trying to sing with a couple hundred other kids spread around this big gym. Forget that other parents who kept their seats would like to see their children perform. No, let's all just crowd around our kids and take pictures. I'm all for taking pictures (No duh, huh?), but it's one thing to stand up and take a shot and quite another to block whole rows of audience members for the duration of a song. Honestly, I should be used to the widespread lack of courtesy and common sense, but it still amazes me. What a bummer.

What was NOT a bummer was the program itself. It's fun to see so many kids who enjoy singing enough to join their school choirs. In Ryan's case, he and his choir buddies are at school 40 minutes early twice a week so they can be in choir. And all that hard work shows!

After the show we joined the masses at Baskin-Robbins. It was crowded, so we enjoyed our dessert outside:

As is her custom, Katie ordered pink bubblegum ice cream. And by law, if you eat pink bubblegum ice cream, you must collect the gum pieces on a napkin until the ice cream's gone and you can chew the gum.

I took a picture of Katie's gum pile because it always makes Brett and I reminisce about our own childhood trips to "31 Flavors." As kids we both used the same technique to keep the gum until we could chew it properly. Just seeing that pink pile reminds me of visits to the Baskin-Robbins at Tyler's Broadway Square Mall. We'd sit at a little round, pink table, and I'd keep my gum all nice and neat on my napkin!

KitKat's surprise.

...or "What We Don't Know About Cats Is a Lot" (to sort of quote Olympia Dukakis in Moonstruck).

So we knew KitKat was pregnant. (I know, I know--we're terrible pet owners for not having her spayed before this happened. Believe me, I cringe every time I think of Bob Barker and his admonition to "help control the pet population.") A few weeks ago, she was acting strangely, trying to sneak into dark corners when we'd let her in the house. We figured we were nearing D-day, so we set up a little nest for her on the deck. That was Saturday the 17th. The very next morning, she had obviously delivered, but there was no sign of her kittens. We looked all over the yard, and we also spied on KitKat to see where she'd go, hoping she'd give us a clue to her nest's whereabouts. Instead of spending lots of time outside, though, KitKat seemed to want to come inside just as often as before. We came to the conclusion that the kittens were stillborn or died, or that our KitKat was just an unfit mother!

So imagine our surprise when this Sunday, a full week after delivery day, we saw this:

A kitten at our door! KitKat wanted to bring her little white kitten inside! I don't know if she wanted to put her(him?) in a safer place or if she just wanted us to meet her, but she desperately wanted her baby to be in the house. We let her in, and she promptly headed to the one spot where we can't easily reach her: under Ryan's bed. We pulled the bed away from the corner of the wall, and we could see this:

Eventually we were able to get them out from under there and back outside, much to Ryan's relief. We again tried to get KitKat to try out her box, and for a little bit, she and Aunt ChaCha considered that possibility:By the time we got back from our small group, KitKat had moved him/her, and it wasn't until Monday that we discovered her hiding place--and Katie discovered another kitten! Baby #2 is gray and striped, suspiciously like a particular tom around here. (The white kitten's father figure is still a mystery.) Then today, Katie spotted a third kitten, and she says it's black and white.

But so far, this white kitty is the only one we've really seen up close, and it's the only one with a name (subject to change). We thought the kittens had died, and this baby's white as a ghost. So we are proud to introduce...


T-shirt Tuesday.

T-shirt Tribute #2:

I'm a big William Wegman fan. We've seen a few of his works at the Modern, and we own several of his coffee table books for us and ABC/1-2-3 books for the kids. I'm in love with Wegman's weimaraners in their sundry (and in this case, sultry) poses.

This shirt, of Wegman's "Lolita" print, always drew comments anytime I wore it. Alas, the shirt now looks like a dog's been sitting, lounging or chewing on it. As much as I love it, I know I'll never wear it again, so off it goes to that great doghouse in the sky.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pinball wizards.

It's a lonely ol' Saturday night for Mom! Brett and the kids are in Grapevine for a pinball convention, and at last report, they're having a blast!

They left the house at 7 this morning, and I'm sure they've played a ridiculous number of pinball and video game machines by now. Ryan ran into a friend from school, Brett was enjoying the piped-in '80s music, and Katie entered the kids' tournament. Brett's former roommate went with them, too, and I'm sure they've all played their hearts out on the more than 100 games, all set on "free play."

While they were going nuts on the machines, I was going cross-eyed judging at the UIL district academic meet, and then I was waiting for my two students' results. (Both advanced to regionals in feature writing! YIPPEE!!!)

Brett forgot to take the camera to the convention, which is so disappointing. I would LOVE to see the kids in that environment, and I can't imagine the craziness of that convention hall. Instead, I'll look forward to hearing the full report when they get home late tonight.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A confession.

My name is See-Dub, and I'm a T-shirtaholic.

For some reason, I just can't have enough T-shirts. On vacation? Gotta get a shirt. Attend a special event? There's a shirt for that. Team win a championship? If I don't buy a shirt, it's like we never won!

I know, I know. It's a disease.

But I'm taking the first of 12 steps: admitting I have a problem. When we could no longer walk in our walk-in closet, I knew something had to give. So here goes.

Several years ago my mom had a T-shirt quilt made for me, so my precious shirts from college and my early 20s had an appropriate resting place--out of my closet and onto my bed (upside down actually--the solid chambray backing showing). But I really don't have room for TWO T-shirt quilts, and just like those people on Clean Sweep, I was holding on to the shirts only because I wanted to hang on to the memories.

I've made a deal with myself: I'm virtually storing the shirts that I no longer need/wear/can be seen in in public. I'm blogging them for posterity! I can't just let them go, and cyberspace has more than enough room for my silly send-offs. Besides, shirts are meant to be worn, not collecting dust taking up space turning into a messy heap stored in a closet, and somebody might actually want or need one of these!

Now I'm still keeping every bit of burnt orange cotton in my closet, and my Brady Bunch T-shirts are pretty sacred, too. Recent acquisitions from last summer's vacation are off the table. But I'm strong. I can let go. Eventually.

T-shirt Tribute #1

Really, I'm not much of a hockey fan, but I passively root for the Stars. I do enjoy watching the playoffs, and that season, 1999, I followed the Stars all the way into the Stanley Cup Finals. I even stayed up for the triple-overtime victory. When Brett Hull finally scored, I screamed a silent scream so I wouldn't wake Brett or the babies! When the fly-by-night sports merchandise store set up shop in that strip center by the dollar movie, I was there to pick up this souvenir.

The Stars' big win was exciting, but Stanley Cup encounters were even better. That trophy is a superstar! A few players showed off the cup at a UT football game, and as soon as fans saw the Cup's gleaming silver, they started cheering. Another time we got to see Stars players with the Cup was when we took three-year-old Ryan to a Ranger game that summer. It was a real goosebumpy moment. Everybody in the stands went nuts, not when they saw Langenbrunner or Modano, but when they saw THE CUP. Ryan, vaguely aware of the championship, said, "Look! There's Stanley's Cup!"

I've taken students to the Stars' High School Media Day, and every time we're in the Stars Center, I love to see the pictures of that championship team celebrating on the ice with "Stanley's Cup."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Open for business.

Chef Brett brought his fine cuisine to our gazebo when he opened the Spring Break Grill. Too bad it was only open for lunch today; it got rave reviews!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A visit from Coal.

Kelly's new puppy is getting bigger! She brought Coal by the house so we could see how he's quickly making the transition from puppy to dog.

Here's Coal when we first met him on Feb. 17:

And here he is now:

We couldn't get over how big his feet are!

For the most part, KitKat and ChaCha kept their distance from their new cousin. In fact, once she saw Coal, KitKat spent the rest of the puppy's visit safely hidden in our bushes:

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Talent Show.

We enjoyed all the acts who performed at our church talent show! It was especially fun for me because for the first time in five days, I started feeling better that night--thanks to my late-afternoon trip to CareNow and a lovely shot of steroids! (It's a good thing I was feeling better since I was in the booth for four hours that night!)

Here's my view from the booth:

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Open House in a daze.

I spent most of last week sick with a flu-like virus, but on Thursday night, I still ventured out for open house at Ryan and Katie's school. I was dizzy and felt pretty rotten, but I was glad to see their classrooms and their work on display!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Interplanet Janet (actually, Katie).

For Public Schools Week, Katie had to create a model of the solar system. I was so proud that Katie wanted to create an original model and not just buy a kit. She also insisted on doing the work herself. (My main job was keeping clay and paint off her clothes and the floor.) We bought the supplies on a Saturday, and then on Sunday, she got to work.

Step 1: Knead the clay (while enjoying a sucker!)

Step 2: Sketch the planets and their orbits

Step 3: Sculpt the planets

Step 4: Pose for a goofy photo

Step 5: Paint the planets

Step 6: Let the planets dry

Step 7: Admire the finished product!