Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ICE, the Trick Pony

The last Friday of every month the OSUF family gathers for breakfast at 400 S. Monroe. (And it's Jeans Day - yay! But then again, every day is Jeans Day at St. Michael's Village - double yay!) This particular last Friday, we not only sported jeans and endulged in Joan's delicious grits, but we were treated with a show put on by one of our very own - Johnny Blasier and his trick horse, Ice. These names are not made up, folks. Ice can not only carry on a conversation with Johnny Blasier, but paints, lays down on command, rolls over, fishes, smiles for the camera, drinks from a water bottle, and my personal favorite, plays the guitar. Some of you may have seen Ice perform on the Jay Leno show or Animal Planet...maybe the video and pictures below will help jog your Animal Planet memory.

Our friends, Annie and Mary Kate

A bit unsure of Ice

Henry doing the touch and run

He thought Ice was pretty awesome. Thanks for the show Johnny!

School Days

This year on the first day of school I thought I'd start the "first day of school" picture tradition. Before we loaded the CRV, I corralled the boys to the front porch. All I wanted was one picture of the two of them smiling. I was lucky to get both of them in the same frame. Henry was much to busy playing with his fishing pole to bother looking at the camera and Sam...well, Sam was Sam. It was like he could already sense that I would soon be dropping him off. He hates goodbyes.

Henry and his buddy were excited to spend their Mon - Fri together again. Look out trouble, here they come!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pistol and Pete

Did you ever know how INSANELY INVOLVED fresh water fish can be?!? What began as a quiet Saturday grocery errand to Wal-Mart, ended in a 10 gallon aquarium and Pet Co. shares.

The story -

A couple of weeks ago, Sam and Henry accompanied me to the Farmer's Market and Wal-Mart to do our weekly grocery/toiletry shopping. I had had a great night's sleep and was feeling rather spry, so in Wal-Mart, when Henry asked to visit the fish, I decided to surprise him. I told him that he and Sam could actually pick out and take home two goldfish! We selected the perfect glass bowl and carefully chose the best color of rock...to accentuate our goldfish's best features, and grabbed two types of fish food. One for every day, and one for special occasions. Next, we asked the nice college student/Wal-Mart clerk to help us catch our fish. Henry picked out a big gold one. And Sam chose a white one w/ black and orange spots. We decided to name them "Pistol" and "Pete".

We got home, unloaded groceries, and laid all of our new treasures on the kitchen table. Henry helped me dump the gravel into the fish bowl, and daddy filled it with water. Sam kept the fish company while we prepared their new home. Finally, we introduced the fish to their bowl and oohed and awed for about 5 minutes. Until Henry got bored and was ready to move on to the next thing.

We left the fish bowl on the kitchen table for the rest of the day, and moved it to Henry's room that evening. By the next morning, the water was already FILTHY! Seriously, fish...that's a lot of poop in 24 hours! Did we over feed? Or, are goldfish really that disgusting? They're really that disgusting. Or, at least koi are. Which is what I soon discovered we purchased. Instead of goldfish. Ugh. Who knew? Certainly not the guy at Wal-Mart.

And then I have an idea. I'm definitely not game for cleaning a fish bowl every day, and lucky us have friends with a pond in their front yard. Full of koi. Jackpot. I text my friend Rebecca...tell her it's her lucky day. She and Kyle have just won two koi. They comply and welcome "Pistol" and "Pete" with open arms.

But before Rebecca and Kyle can officially adopt our koi, we need to find Henry and Sam two replacements. Not that they would notice...they'd already lost interest. But let's face it. Wade and I had caught the bug and wanted to create an aquatic oasis. So I head to Pet Co. Anxious to find all the answers and upgrade to an actual aquarium for "real" goldfish. The college student/Pet Co. clerk helping me was careful to point out how much he knew about fish. And that he used to work at Wal-Mart and any fish I bought there would most likely die. AND that only beta fish can live in a fish bowl. All other fish, especially goldfish, need a filter. He assured me a 2.5 gallon tank would be large enough for another "Pistol" and "Pete". An hour later I left Pet Co. with a 2.5 gallon aquarium, complete w/ filter and light, and instructions to fill and run the aquarium at least 3 - 4 days before adding fish. So me, being the rule follower that I am, did exactly that.

Then, 3.5 days later, I go back to Pet Co., ready to select the perfect goldfish for Henry and Sam (or, Michal and Wade). Pet Co.'s #1 fish guru wasn't working that particular evening, so another college student assisted me. I shared with him that I had just purchased my 2.5 gallon tank, which had been running for 3.5 days, and that I was ready to select two goldfish. "A 2.5 gallon tank isn't nearly large enough for goldfish" was his reply. WHAT?! The rest of the conversation went something like this...

Me: "But the guy four days ago told me a 2.5 gallon tank would be PERFECT for two goldfish."
New guy: "Do you remember his name?"
Me: "No, but he had glasses and used to work at Wal-mart".
New guy: "Yep. He's new. He doesn't know much about fish."
Me: "Super. Then what fish will fit into a 2.5 gallon tank?"
New guy: "Betas."
Me: (Deep sigh)
New guy: "You need at least a 10 gallon tank for anything other than betas and maybe guppies."
Me: "Guppies? Seriously? Where are the 10 gallon tanks?"

Needless to say, I fell victim (again) to Pet Co. and left w/ a 10 gallon tank (including a bigger filter and bigger, better light), more gravel, and water drops...the drops are supposed to keep the water safe for our fish. Which at this point I'm wondering if we'll ever have.

I should add that you now can hardly see "Pistol" and "Pete" in their glass bowl.

And 3.5 days later, we head back to Pet Co. Wade went with me this time...I think he was scared I'd come home with a 50 gallon tank. We select four fish. Three pretty ones (I think I wrote the name down somewhere?), and one bottom feeder for good measure. None were goldfish. New guy confirmed goldfish were dirty and that there were cleaner fish we should select to minimize maintenance. I followed his instruction. Duh.

Henry and Sam selected two dinosaurs for the tank, as well as some green and purple plants. The tank looks beautimous. After all our work, it had better.

And the original "Pistol" and "Pete" are now swimming with other koi friends in a clear pond at Rebecca and Kyle's.

We're now taking name suggestions for our new fish friends. Please offer your comments, fish wisdom, warnings, etc.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why mommies are sometimes late

I give you a morning at the Shaw house...

6:00 AM - My alarm rings. I crawl out of bed and into the shower.
6:30 AM - I hear Henry crawl into bed with his brother. We laugh and giggle in Sam's room for several minutes and then head to the kitchen for breakfast.
6:40 AM - Breakfast is served. This particular morning it was cereal bars, banana and milk.
6:41 AM - I leave the kitchen for 1 minute. Literally.
6:42 AM - I return to an empty kitchen. Henry and Sam are now sitting comfortably on the couch enjoying breakfast, Mickey Mouse, and each other. Only half of Sam's cereal bar has actually made it to his mouth. The other half has been ground into the sofa.

Sam is obviously not a fan of Daisy Duck.

When no one is watching, Henry gives sugar to little brother.

Notice Henry's arm around Sam.

6:42 AM - I take a deep breath, tell myself "at least they're entertained" and realize now is my chance to finish getting ready. I leave the living room to dress and do my make-up and hair.
6:55 AM - I leave the bedroom midway through make-up to remove Sam's breakfast crumbs from the sofa. (The steam from Wade's shower was making me melt.)
7:00 AM - I return to the bedroom to find Henry and Sam in my make-up. And make-up rubbed into the sheets.

7:01 AM - I return make-up to bag. Say "to heck with my hair and make-up" and take Sam to get dressed.
7:02 AM - I change Sam's diaper and get him dressed for school.
7:05 AM - Sam poops in diaper.
7:07 AM - I change Sam's diaper again.
7:10 AM - I help Henry "go potty" and get him dressed.
7:15 AM - We refill milk cups for the road, pack bags for the day, pack my lunch and load the car.
7:30 AM - We head out the door. On time. Barely.
7:31 AM - Sam poops again.
7:32 AM - We unbuckle the boys and return to the house to change Sam.
7:40 AM - Sam is now wearing diaper #3.
7:45 AM - Boys are re-buckled and we're off. Fifteen minutes behind schedule. And finally, we stop at each and every cross walk between our house and the CDL for students with an 8:00 M-W-F class. There had to have been at least 500 of them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sweet Katie

Katie was one of the kindest people I've ever known. She had a servants heart, sweet spirit, and was a true friend. I'm a better person having known her. Katie's love for life has been an inspiration to me countless times, and I will miss her deeply. Our monthly wine date will never quite be the same. Our group of four is now three, but we will toast to Katie. Always. The first Wednesday of every month.

I love you, Katie. Thank you for modeling integrity and grace, and for reminding me to embrace life fully.

From her obituary:
Katie Womack loved life, friends, and family! She had a passion for animals and nature, learning, traveling, and for her alma mater, Oklahoma State University. Katie’s adventures spanned the scope of family vacations to 49 states, backpacking across Europe, relaxing on tropical beaches, and being a faithful traveling fan of Oklahoma State athletics. Katie was such a good friend to many people and her influence on others will live forever. Katie was a new bride and spent the first year of their marriage making their house a home. She loved growing plants from seeds, planting her organic garden, and sharing her new Pioneer Woman recipes. Katie was committed to health and fitness and ran her first marathon last year with David. Katie fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. She is now watching over her loved ones and rocking her baby in heaven.

Katherine Charlotte Reavis Womack passed away unexpectedly of severe heart complications on August 14, 2011 at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

Katie was born September 15, 1981 in Shattuck, Oklahoma to Gary and Elodie Reavis. She grew up in Woodward and graduated from Woodward High School in 2000. She graduated from Oklahoma State University summa cum laude in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. She would have received her Master’s degree in December. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. She was also a member of Alpha Chi Omega social sorority and many campus organizations. On July 23, 2010 Katie married the love of her life, David Womack, in Cancun, Mexico. During their short marriage they enjoyed more happiness and love than most people do in a lifetime.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

“Dud in the mud”

The CDL has been closed the first two weeks of August and the boys have enjoyed some time at home with their new friend, Hadley. What a blessing. Henry and Sam LOVE her. Mommy and daddy love her too. But as much as we've all enjoyed a slower pace this month, the boys have been getting restless. So, Friday night we loaded up and enjoyed a night on the town. First stop was Chili's to grab some grub. Second stop was Hastings to play with the Thomas train. Next we treated Henry to some ice cream at Orange Leaf. And last but certainly not least, we drove out to Lake McMurtry to watch the sunset and skip rocks. Henry’s favorite pastime. Anytime daddy would skip a rock Henry would yell, “Whoa, that was a skipper!” As Henry threw, barely getting the rock to water, he would say in his deepest manliest tone, “Dud in the mud.”

It's no wonder Henry's rocks barely made it to water. The rocks he chose were equal to him in weight.

While Henry and dad had a their rock skipping contest, Sam and I enjoyed the cool (okay, slightly warm) breeze from the lake and the peaceful evening.

It's been so dry, the grass was crunchy under Sam's feet.

Ker plunk

It was a fun evening. One I look forward to repeating again soon. I’m even trying to convince Wade that a night...make that several nights...under the stars with the boys should be on our To Do list this fall. There's just something about spending a quiet evening near water. It's peaceful. It's calming. It rejuvenates my soul and never fails to remind me of the most important things in life.