Sunday, March 28, 2010

R.I.P. Marissa the Fish

Poor Marissa - she had such a short life, and she was so misunderstood. Just as we had decided that she was not, in fact dying, but instead the laziest fish on earth, she passed on to that big fish bowl in the sky. The girls were playing downstairs and my husband came into the living room to peek at the fish. He said, "Honestly, that fish just drives me nuts! It is laying completely on it's side!" Well, he took out the net to gently nudge the fish (we've been doing this once or twice weekly -- we find it easier than holding a mirror under her nose...) and this time, she did not jump up all annoyed at being disturbed. This time, she was really gone. We left her there "napping" until our sweet little 3-year-old took her nap and then Daddy and her big sister rushed out to Petco to find another Marissa! We'll see how this goes -- I feel terrible not telling her the truth, but she's so little still and it's a fish -- it's not like we are trying to bring in a different dog or something. Our eldest daughter did a good job picking a fish that looks very similar to "Marissa the First" but it will be interesting to see if the fact that Marissa the Second actually gets up and moves will clue our little sweet girlie into our little secret!

How have you handled the death of a pet with your children?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Who Said That?

This morning I was cleaning out my purse and ripping up pieces of paper to throw away and all of a sudden my sweet baby popped her head up from the couch (where she was watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) and said, "What exactly is that racket going on over there? I'm trying to watch my show!" Seriously, where does she come up with these things?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In my family, we are always proud to be Irish (and Scottish, and English…), but of course, we get “our Irish on” even more so on St. Patty’s Day. We always like to celebrate with our annual traditions. This morning my girls both wore their matching green, shamrock shirts to school, and I painted my 9-year-old’s nails neon green this morning (much to her delight!). For breakfast, the girls had their usual cereal, but drank milk with green food coloring in it and used “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” napkins. At the grocery store yesterday, I bought each of the girls a green carnation and hid those in the garage last night. This morning I set the breakfast table with a clear vase with green-tinted water and their 2 carnations. I also packed a festive napkin in my 9-year-old’s lunch box and surprised her with green-tinted fettucine alfredo in her Thermos! I know she’ll be excited about that, because last night she was telling me about another girl at school who was going to have her mother put green food coloring in her bottle of water for lunch.

Both girls had a great time celebrating St. Patrick's Day at school today, too! Our eldest daughter's teacher apparently tried out an Irish accent today, while her music teacher taught them the Irish jig during music class. And my little one came home from preschool with lots of St. Pat's Day art projects -- including on on her cheek! One of the class moms was doing face painting and did an adorable rainbow and pot of gold on my girl's cheek -- very cute! And it was such a beautiful (almost Spring!) day, that we all went outside to play for a while before dinner. We can't wait until Spring! (I'm sure I'll be taking down the St. Patty's Day decorations and pulling out the Easter decorations this weekend!!)

Tonight we had our traditional corned beef and cabbage – none of us really loves the cabbage (I just use a little) but the girls like the corned beef, the carrots, and I always make mashed potatoes (tinted green!), which are a big hit with them. The girls enjoy celebrating and being festive – although when I called my 3-year-old “My little Irish girl!” this morning while I was getting her dressed, she got very crabby and said, “Don’t call me Irish girl!” Ok! Won’t do that again next year!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This and That

It's been a busy week at our house, and this next one is shaping up to be about the same! Let's see, Wednesday Grandpa was watching the girls and had a doctor's appointment that he couldn't change, so I left work early and drove to pick up my little one from preschool. Wednesday was beautiful here -- sunny, warm -- definitely Spring-like! When I arrived at my girl's preschool, I found her class outside taking a little walk in the sunshine. I was greeted by the sweetest little 3-year-old smiling and arms extended, yelling "Mommy!" Great break in the middle of the work day! My 9-year-old had a half-day of school that day, so we decided to make her day and drive over to school to pick her up -- saving her an hour ride on the "dreaded bus!" We went home and I made lunch for the three of us, and then Grandpa was back on duty and I went back to work.

Thursday, my husband and I both left work early to go to our girl's school for a parent-teacher conference. She is doing very well in school and we are thrilled with her teacher this year, so it is always a pleasure to talk to him. This is our girl's last year at her elementary school where she has spent the past 4 years (K-3), and her third grade teacher had great things to say about the teachers at her new middle (4-6) school. We are also very excited, because she gets to choose an instrument to play next year, and has the opportunity to play in the band or orchestra -- we're a big music family, and she is VERY excited! Narrowing her "first choices" down to just three is a bit of a trial for her... I think she's settled on flute, clarinet, violin as her top three.

Friday, my little one and I went to lunch with Grandpa and Great Gram which was a nice treat! When we were leaving, my girlie asked for a balloon, which she received, and then the two of us went over to take care of this week's grocery shopping. On the way in to the store, my girl desperately wanted to bring her balloon in, but I suggested that we leave it in the car. She had some compelling arguments ("PUH-LEEZE!!") and so I tied the balloon to her wrist and we went shopping. I spent the first half of the shopping trip getting hit in the head by the balloon -- because she was sitting in the back of the cart, and the balloon was right there and my head-level. That was fun! Then we got over to beverages, and all of a sudden, the balloon came loose from the string and floated up to the ceiling. She and I watched it almost as if it were in slow-motion but neither of us could grab it. It was easily 10 ft above my head, and my girl said, "Can you get it?" I reached my arm up in the air and said, "No, see, Mommy's arm is not long enough!" She remained surprisingly calm -- I think she was so taken aback by it coming off the string, she didn't know how to react. She had two little tears that squeezed out of her eyes, but no big hysterics -- bless her! I gave her big hugs and kisses and we went on shopping. A few aisles over, she said very matter-of-factly, "You should call the fighter-fighters. The fighter-fighters will come and get it!" (Um, that would be firefighters.) I said, "Oh, honey, I don't think they can come into the store and get it, I'm sorry!" But I thought it was so cute, that I grabbed my cell phone to call Grandpa and share it with him. She saw my phone and said, "Are you calling the fighter-fighters?" Too cute!

For the past two days, sadly, my husband and I have been (unbeknownst to the girls) on a "death watch" with one of our new fish! Our littlest girl's fish is not looking good... Very sluggish, very still. We did not think the fish was going to make it through the night, and my husband planned to run out to Petco for a replacement this morning, if necessary. Our little girlie was up early and she and I made it downstairs at the same time. She sweetly went over and said, "Good morning, fishy!" and then went off to play. I went over to peek at the fish, totally thought it was dead, and discreetly ran up to wake my husband. It actually is moving every once in a while, so we don't want to jump the gun, but we're not holding out much hope... I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fishing Expedition

As a surprise, I took the girls to Petco today to buy two little goldfish and a simple glass goldfish bowl -- like I had when I was a young girl. I told them what the plan was when we were in the car, driving to the store -- they were SO excited! My girls have been asking my husband and I for a dog for about a year now. We are (ok, I am) not ready for a dog at this point in time -- we have set a date for after our youngest is 5 to get a dog. But the fish idea came to me after my girls took two Rubbermaid bowls and filled them with water and various little plastic toys, and pretended for a week that they were pets... Mind you, we have a cat, but she's not really fond of people and really only likes my husband. Anyway, it was watching my children play with imaginary pets that made me think, "Hey, why don't we try getting a fish!"

So, off we went to Petco for a simple little surprise. The store is about 5 minutes from our house, I thought we'd be in and out in no time. But, no. First, it was pet adoption day and they had all sorts of dogs there -- great! We watched the dogs and then I was able to steer them back toward the fish. No staff was anywhere in sight to help us, so we went around and around looking at fish, picking out that colored gravel for the bowl, fake plants, and then on to the bowls themselves. And then I thought again about the cat that we own. And the horror of her eating one of my girls' fish... So we jumped from simple bowl with no lid, to small tank with a filter and a light. And then we got distracted by my 3-year-old's utter enchantment with a turtle -- she LOVED this turtle! She may be getting one for her birthday -- we'll see. Finally -- look, there's a salesperson! We grabbed her quickly before she could get away, and I told her that I was just looking to get two goldfish and this little tank (2 gallon). And she said, "Oh, you can't put two fish in that little tank!" Really? Because I'm sure when I was a kid I had 2 goldfish in one of those round bowls over there -- that's what we came in for... "OH, no! Things have changed a LOT since you were a kid!" REALLY? FISH have changed that much, you say? She tells me that I need a 5 gallon tank for two goldfish, unless I want to get two smaller tanks. And of course, the girls hear that and say, "We want our own tanks!" Uh huh. Actually, it was cheaper to get two tanks than to get one 5 gallon, so we went with that! So, $85 and two fish later, I have two VERY happy girls! (I'm hoping this will buy us some time on the dog...) ;)