Friday, April 25, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

I think I use that as a title at least once year. I know it isn't very creative, but I can't help it. It sticks in my head and must be let out every now and then.

It has come to my attention (thank you, Dharma) that society is in dire need of an update from me. I may not have paparazzi camping out up and down my street or erecting scaffolding outside my bedroom window to capture my every scintillating move, but there is still a deep hunger for all things Pippa. I can sense it. And I am nothing if not accommodating.

Okay, enough. I suspect you may have noticed my feeble attempts at Springing up my blog. It doesn't quite have the effect I was going for: sort of a Springy, country, sunshiny palate. I wanted all blues and yellows, but it looked pretty boring. And I'm not a fan of pink, per se, but it was the least of all the evil colors offered. I may have to play with it some more. We'll see.

So much has happened, dear readers! Man-Cub has started his brilliant baseball career and I have a new nephew! That's right, we have joined the billions of American parents who spend their Saturday mornings cheering on a team of 7-year-old boys who may or may not run the right way around a baseball diamond. And Lobelia has been safely delivered of the miniature man who spent the several weeks trying to claw his way through the walls of her uterus. He's enormous and beautiful and perfect and I am in deep, deep love again. One of the best parts about being an aunt so far? My sisters have been referring to me by my old childhood nickname and, as much as I hated it when I was 13, I love it! I hope it sticks! Every family needs to have at least one aunt or uncle who is known by a nickname and I readily volunteer for it to be me! I'm a little weird that way.

There really is nothing else to report unless I choose to wax rhapsodical about Spring again. The grass is green, the trees have leaves, the birds go twitteringly crazy every morning, the air is fragrant enough to get me high, and flowers are bursting forth everywhere. The violets are all over the place, through no effort of ours whatsoever (yes, I realize some people consider them a weed, but anything that spreads on its own, doesn't need weeding or pruning and produces pretty blooms is welcome by me!), and the lilacs are in! The kids brought in two fistfuls each of intoxicating purple yesterday and now the whole house smells blissful. It's not Spring until there's a pitcher full of lilacs drooping on the dining room table.

I wish I was handier with the camera so I could share all the seasonal delights with you all, but you'll just have to use your imagination. The dogwoods are blooming, the lilies and black-eyed-susans are getting taller, the azaleas have buds, and the locust trees are preparing for their blaze of glory a month from now. The tree frogs still sing us to sleep each night, we slumber deep breathing in delicious gusts of fresh air from the open windows, and I have constantly wind-blown hair from driving all over the place with the sunroof and all windows open. I do love Spring. Now if we could just do something about skipping Summer...

Anyway, I've been gearing up for Spring Cleaning. I know, I know, I'm a little late, but as long as I get it done before June 20 (or whichever day is the official first day of Summer), it counts. We haven't yet had a free weekend to get the big things done, but I did manage to get the house tidied and every stitch of clothing (except for the ones we're wearing right now) washed in preparation. I've also been able to, get this, keep the house tidied and even moderately cleaned all week long. It's a regular miracle. And I'm on a diet, a sensible one this time.

I won't bore you with diet details, except to say that I'm watching calories and keeping a daily journal of everything I eat through use of a great website I stumbled across, It's going very well, even with the added challenge of managing my hypoglycemia at the same time. I promise you, when I start losing weight, I WILL post photos!

Well, it's that time again. Time to fold another load of laundry and hand the keyboard over to one of the children.

Until next time...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Out Like a Lamb???

Is this some kind of April Fools' joke? The weather has been C-R-A-Z-Y around here! It was supposed to be all mild and balmy, you know like a lamb, by March 31 and instead it was frickin' freezing, Mr. Bigglesworth! Then, of course, we had moist, almost humid temperatures in the upper 60's yesterday and thunderstorms and driving rain last night. I had left the upstairs windows open to take advantage of the fresh air and Man-Cub's bedroom floor got nice and wet before I came to my senses and realized things needed to be secured up there. Let's hope the floor boards don't warp.

So, it's been almost a month since I've updated. What on earth is wrong with me? I think I've just been concentrating on getting my priorities straight. Doesn't that just sound insufferably self-righteous? Well, don't hate me just yet. I seriously needed to adjust things. I was spending waaaay too much time idling on the computer and too little doing the things I'm supposed to do like keeping things clean and full and...well, I guess clean again. I wasn't getting enough sleep, wasn't maintaining my health very well, just kind of escaping in front of the computer monitor day after day. Not good.

But I'm back with a new attitude. I might even give my page a make-over, if I can sweet-talk someone into helping me with it so it doesn't take me another month to do it (like last time). I've already given my desktop its Spring wardrobe. Do you do that? I like to have a different desktop theme for each season. I find I'm very much in tune with the seasons and I like everything around me to (I need a thesaurus). So right now everything is blue and yellow, which seem to be the colors I'm gravitating toward this Spring, and Daria helped me plaster a big photo of a garden she visited in Lacock, England last Spring across my desktop. It cheers me up every time I look at it.

Our lives have been quite busy with wonderful things in the past few weeks. Easter has come and gone since we last "spoke" and I did get a few photos. I tried to be all bloggy/artsy and get shots of the entire egg-dying process, but it took most of my energy to keep vicious fights from breaking out, what with all the raw eggs, cups of dye and vinegar lying around. All I got was this:

Eggs boiling and cups at the ready for dye. But the situation rapidly deteriorated at this point so I had to put the camera away. I didn't even get any photos of the finished eggs. Harrumph.

But everyone looked lovely in their Easter finery and we got these shots just after church:
The brilliant sunshine made it hard to avoid those pesky shadows. This was the best one we got of them looking relatively normal. You'll see what I mean.

He made a cut-and-run for the rope swing at the first opportunity.

I'm not sure what she's plotting behind that deceptive little grin, but don't be fooled by it.

We managed to herd them back together onto the porch for one last moment of serenity.

If you look closely, you can see the beginnings of trouble on their faces.

But I guess I kind of started it, didn't I? I couldn't help myself.

It just went downhill from there.

Redheaded Snippet got all dramatic with my pashmina.

Then she decided to attack her father with it. Nice.

A few days after Easter, my brother-in-law, Vance, officially completed his PhD and the family gathered for his defense at Penn State to celebrate. We crammed ourselves into a hotel and deprived ourselves of sleep and went to a fancy dinner and just enjoyed stealing a few days of togetherness. And would you just look at this niece of mine?

Her Papa's the one who is now The Doctor.

He calls her, "Crocodelia" for her perfect row of little teeth, on the bottom only.

And there she is with Dharma, her equally lovely Mama.

Three days wasn't nearly enough time to spend with them, but we were glad for it anyway. And we'll be seeing Dharma and Crocodelia again soon as they're planning on coming for a visit when Lobelia's Sweet Boy is born.

Speaking of which, Lobelia is due any day now! Her official due date is the 7th, but she is showing all signs of readiness and is praying fervently that this day will be the day. She feels full to bursting and just wants it out! We are all beside ourselves with excitement as we haven't seen a woman in our family go to term since Redheaded Snippet was born almost 13 years ago. The suspense is killing us! Every time the phone rings we all make a desperate dash for it, hoping it's the "I'M IN LABOR!" call.

Just this past weekend, Daria and I got to go on a Ladies Retreat and spend 2-and-a-half days with some of our absolute most favoritest people. I don't have blog names for them yet (except for Suzie Q--O.C.'08, BAY-BEEE!) but suffice it to say, we made memories I will remember for the rest of my life. We played a game of charades during which, "sex change operation", "colostomy bag" and "tufted titmouse" were among the phrases that had to be acted out. Use your imagination. And you still won't be able to appreciate the hilarity of it all. Daria swears she is emotionally scarred from the experience. We're planning on going again next year and I'm just not sure I can wait that long.

I think that brings us up to speed, unless I decide I want to bore you with news of our new stalker. Shall I? Okay, I shall. The Viking has, I can only assume inadvertently, unless things between he and I are far less blissful than I have been led to believe, inflicted this new plague upon us all by giving our phone number to a clearly obsessive person. It's the Quicken Loans man. Do yourself a favor. Don't ever call them. Like ever. They are worse than the political campaign/poll/subtly veiled threats people. This man disrupts my days and torments our nights. He leaves messages, causing that red light on our phone to blink incessantly. He ties up the line and what if Lobelia is trying to call??? Honestly, I feel like calling him back to tell him, "Please stop calling here, I have a heavily pregnant sister who may be attempting, at this very moment, to call me and beg me to be with her in her hour of deliverance to hold her hand and mop her brow!" But I fear that would only encourage him and induce him to torture Lobelia's phone number out of me. What can I do to be rid of this man? Doesn't he realize that at this point, even if I was interested in refinancing my mortgage (what was my Viking thinking?) he's killed any interest I may have had in refinancing with his company? He's ruining his prospects with clients! Doesn't that violate rule number one or something? Anyway, I'm hoping if I ignore him he'll just go away, but so far, it's not looking good.

Well, I've now updated with a vengeance. This should keep me for a few days at least. And hopefully I won't go another month before updating again. But, if I fall behind in housework, or my nephew does indeed arrive within the next 48 hours, the blog is going to have to be the first thing to go.

So, until we meet again...