Monday, May 04, 2009

Birthday Week

Birhday Week is over.

It was a lot of work, but it was fun, too. What helped is that the Peeper's Sunday turned out to be a little spitty but pretty much downpour-free, which meant we could spend much of his party running in and out of the porch door. Little guys cooped up inside?

Not so good.

But though the dogwood blossoms were wet with the preceding night's rain, it didn't pour again until last night. Pretty, neh?That morning we celebrated the sun by planting Mommy's clematis and the kids' little pansies. Much of the digging and backfilling and watering were done by the Peep his ownself. Missy "helped" by toddling around and climbing the porch rail.As much as anything, he seemed to enjoy bossing his dad and his baby sister around the most. He was a good little gardiner!Little Miss couldn't do much to help when planting her flower, although she did make dirtballs out of the spoil, throw them and announce "I'm throwing snowballs!" But she sure was proud of her flower when it was all planted and pretty.Then it was inside for breakfast. Baby girl proceeded to clown around with her food - which is a mom and dad no-no, but she was so damn cute it was hard to tell her to stop. We start by shovelling some chow into the cakehole......and then we show off how much we got into our mouth......and then we make silly faces...[and this one, though I burn in hell for it - we call "Missy's O Face". Stuff like this is why your girlfriend's daddy (or your daddy, if you're female) was so paranoid about his daughters' dating. We laugh at this stuff now, but...]...and then give everyone a big happy smile expecting the applause. Bravo, Little Miss!So that afternoon we had the Peep's actual party. He was pretty cool about it until an hour before the other kids were due to arrive. And then the excitement began to build and he started bouncing off the walls...Everyone seemed to have a good time. Munchies worked (at least I wasn't stuck with a ton of leftovers), and Missy had her favorites again, shrimp (tho she doesn't understand why the tasty crunchy part at the end is supposed to come off). Peep wanted cupcakes instad of cake and that went well, too. He liked all his presents, and there was much playing. But the BIG fave was...

...the balloon rockets.

These guys were fun at Missy's party last week, and with more kids (and more parents) to shoot and race after them they were the hit of the party. Our beloved former-neighbor The Poet won the prize for shooting BOTH the highest (at least 30 feet) and the farthest - his ballon made it all the way over the street into the yard of our diagonal-across-the-street neighbor, probably a good 120 feet. Rayethon should hire this kid for their anti-ballistic missile program.

By dinnertime there were balloons in trees, balloons on roofs...ours and the surrounding yards had been bombed like Schweinfurt.Everybody fired off one or two...

Even Little Girl. Though try as she might, she still needed help fueling the thing with the little air pump.

The little boys were little boys: the screeched and raced around, and anything and everything that came to hand were toys.

At one point they fired up the computer to play the "Path of the Jedi" game, and I think the other boys had as much fun critiquing the player's as they did playing. Mind you, I'm still getting sticky juice-fingerprints off the screen and little cupcake crumbs from between the keys. Much advice was tendered as to how to blow apart the evil droids.

The theme of the day was, of course, "Star Wars", and between the toy lightsaber he got for a gift, the two he had in the house already (since you can't be a Jedi without someone to fight, i.e. the Sith Daddy) and the one that his little buddy Evan brought we had some ferocious battles across the deck and down into the yard.

When that palled, there were little Star Wars dolls - sorry, action figures - to continue the fight. I'm also still finding little blasters and bits of equipment across the living room...and then there were trucks and airplanes and other boyanalia to play with in his room. The place stl looks like Ground Zero.

Finally we had the cupcakes and opened presents. Everyone left smiling. And, even better, our friends Christine and her two boys (famous on this blog as the family of Oscar, the Ginormous Fish That Was Too Mean to Die) stayed for dinner and a good evening's catching-up. It was a little extra work for me - my back is sore from all the standing, running, cooking, cleaning and parenting. But good. Real good.

So everyone's all caught up on birthdays. Time to look ahead to May, hope that the skies start to clear and the weather warm.

As for the Big Picture: we're still slow at my work. Portland was badly overbuilt even before the Crash of 2008, and our private development market has pretty much collapsed. We're still limping along with a badly reduced commercial sector and we're fighting for every federal and municipal project we can find...but it's hard, and scary.

And, of course, you can't explain to your kids that daddy's working a 4-day week and is worried about his company going under. They shouldn't have that weight placed on them at 3 and 6. But I do wake in the night, worried for us; what if I DO lose my job? Could we stay in the house? Would we have to move away, look for work? What would happen, and how could we keep it as least-bad as possible?There's a world of worry that they know nothing about and, I hope, don't ever have to. My parents were children of the Depression, and it shows. In some ways it was very good for them, as adults, in making them the adults they are. But as children, you can tell from the things that DON'T say how frightening and difficult is was for them. I don't want my little boy to be a child of the Second Great Depression.

So happy birthday, little man. I'm glad you can be silly and happy, and I hope I can keep that world safe for you a little longer. There is time enough and more to grow up, and sufficient to the day are the evils thereof.

And, speaking of difficult and dangerous things; while I still consider the Bush foreign policy approach to negotiating (or, rather, NOT negotiating) with difficult states like Iran and North Korea the height of foolishness, I have to admit that it is spot on when it comes to really intransigent polities like cats.

Miss Lily: Meeeeoowwww!!! ["GodDAM it! When will you get your lazy, immense carcass out of the scratcher and get me some goddam CAT FOOD, hunh?!?"]

Me: Huh? Wha..? No, cat, you got your can of food last night.

Miss Lily: "Me-OW! Meow?" ["Bite my furry cat ass, monkeyboy. I'm not joking. Feed me, Seymour, feed me now! Or do you want some of this?"]

Me: "Nope. Sorry. It's dry food or nothing, pussy cat."

Miss Lily: Meeeeuuurrrowww!" [Okay, you hairless ape, I gave you fair warning. Now say hello to Mister Incisor!"]

Me: "What the...OWWWWW! You little bee-yotch!"

{sound of cat feet running down the hall}

Miss Lily: "Meow." [Haha. Who's the higher animal now, fatso?"]


Red Sand said...

Congrats on surviving. As to all the other stuff, nothing pithy or wise to add, just "I hear you"

Lisa said...

Sadly, I do believe you have catspeak down.

They are like Scarlett O'Hara, but with rapier sharp teeth and claws. And we love our haughty felines. They have perfected the art of the come on, and we love them for their chutzpah even more, as we imagine them to be in a reduced (reliant) state.

They've scoped us out -- they've noted the spade-like fingernails, good for naught but scraping litter boxes and flipping the lids on tins. We are their behemoth slaves -- lid-flippers are us.

sheerahkahn said...

I was looking at your pictures and the first thing that caught my attention, "Omg, Chief has flowering trees, and they're beautiful!"

Lisa said...


They are beautiful, and I noted them, but now I am interested in my own thinking, that I did not think to mention their loveliness.

Maybe I am thinking I must become a bit more hardcore amongst these military men. But lo -- Chief does have flowers!

sheerahkahn said...

No worries Lisa, as long as you notice them, your soul will find succor there.

Reminds me of a football game, tough game too, play ended, everybody is getting up, and the first thing I noticed on the field in front of my face waiting for a few hundred pounds to get off of me...a small flowering weed, yellow ones, can't remember their name.
Just enjoy those moments when they come.

Lisa said...

Thank you, Sheerah.

Actually, noting the very small things is the entirety of my existence (though I do not cease to also see the gestalt.)

I find loveliness in the smallest composition. And I love your observation of the tiny plant after emerging from a tackle. Doesn't it make things seems rather amusing, in retrospect?

FDChief said...

Lisa, Sheerah: Isn't that dogwood pretty? The damn thing is the last plant to bloom in the yard; every spring it seems to flower later and later. And yet when it does it serves to reminds us, oh, yeah, THAT'S why we like it so much...

I'm glad you enjoyed the flowers - we try and stop and enjoy those little moments, between the running hard to catch up with cats and Peepers.