Maybe I Should Open a Costume Shop

Growing Up Austin

Dress up clothes worn at our house, at most, one time: Doctor, Astronaut, Chef, Cheetah, Race Car Driver, Wizard, Batman, Superman, Bat Girl and Super Girl.

Dress up clothes worn at our house 1000+ times: Pink Princess, Blue Princess, White Princess, White Wedding Princess, Indian Wedding, Mermaid Wedding, Mermaid Princess and Snow White.

(Best place to get fun and inexpensive dress up clothes – Savers, at 5222 Burnet.)

One time Buttercup was wearing the Race Car Driver outfit and I was so excited but ends up she was playing the Lion in a Princess game and she just needed something in a dark color.

I want to give my girls choices. They don’t always choose what I want them to. Maybe I should open up a costume shop.

Dinner at The Ramsey Diner+Drive-in

Growing Up Austin
As Blue Eyes, Noel, Sparkles and Buttercup walked in the front door of our house, I said, “Hello. Welcome to The Ramsey Diner. How many in your party?”

They hesitated and looked around.

“Party of four?” I said, “Come this way.”

I sat them at the first booth, well, the only booth. I had moved our kitchen table into the living room, with the couch serving as part of the booth and chairs on the other side. Silverware was wrapped in napkins at each place setting. Then, to compliment the diner theme, I added a bit of a drive-in, with the TV on and ready-to-go. The movie was Grease, a family favorite.

As everyone sat down, I pulled out my waitress pad and a pen. “What would y’all like to drink?”

This was the first ever night at The Ramsey Diner + Drive-in. We needed a win, as a family. We had more challenges than usual, more worries, more lost sleep. We needed to have fun.

I brought out the drinks on a round pizza tray, a risky move for any waitress, especially for an inexperienced and clumsy one.

Then I took orders for plain, traditional or blue cheese and bacon burgers. Buttercup was the last one to give her order. Then I asked her, “Would you like fries with that?”

We never make fries at the house. I don’t know why, we just don’t. So I might as well have said, “Would you like a huge bowl of ice cream in instead of green peas,” because all three girls definitely wanted fries with that.

They watched the movie and sang-along while I made the burgers and fries. I carried out their plates, on my arm, like a real waitress, yet another risky move. Then we ate together while we watched Sandy and Danny struggle with their relationship at Rydell High. It might have seemed like we were just watching TV, except we sang along together and we did our own dancing. (I don’t know what to say about the evidence captured in the photo about someone on their iPhone. I’m sure he was answering and emergency text of some kind that I don’t remember. Speaking of technology, would someone please teach me how to use a camera? My cat could take a better picture.)

After we were done eating, I whispered to Blue Eyes if he thought the next surprise would be OK. He doesn’t like sugar or dairy for the girls, especially in the evening. But, how can you have dinner at a diner without milkshakes? He smiled and gave the thumbs up. The strawberry milkshakes were delicious.

(One note – what is up with that movie, Grease, anyway? It looks and feels like so much family fun, with all that super fun singing and dancing. But the message seems to be that everyone should be willing to compromise for their girlfriend/boyfriend, but only the girls really have to and if a girl wants to have fun and please her guy, she had better put out.  And then they sing about, “we stayed up until 10 o’clock,” like that is a big deal, so it leaves me confused. This movie will lead to teaching moments as the girls get older, that is for sure.)

The night didn’t fix anything, but it helped anyway, to relax and have fun. Now maybe we’ll be more ready for all the rest, when the morning comes.




A Family Painting, Unexpected but True

(If you are visiting looking for SXSW for Kids info, here it is!)

We all have our roles to play.

Noel, our teenager, had forgotten to finish an art project due for school, so she woke up at 4am, got the art box out of the closet and got it done.

(Noel can be forgetful and committed, sometimes on the same day.)

Later that night, Sparkles was working on her homework before going to bed.

(Sparkles can be studious.)

I was focused on helping Sparkles.

(I can be so focused that I tune out other things.)

Buttercup wandered upstairs and found the art box on the floor. This box contains the adult-supervision-required art supplies, which is why it is kept on a tall shelf in a closet at (almost) all times.

(Buttercup can be curious and mischievous and fast.)

Growing Up Austin

That is how we ended up with about thirty original acrylic oil paintings on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.

And one abstract pattern of outlines, from where the papers that wallpapered the floor didn’t quite meet…

Growing Up Austin

plus little footprints into the bedroom, on carpet.

Growing Up Austin

The colors were bright purple, pinks and greens. Buttercups smile was proud and guilty at the same time.

I texted Blue Eyes so he would know to expect something unexpected.

(He is has an easier time, when he is expecting it.)

Growing Up Austin

The funny thing is that we bought these paints so that the family could paint the white canvases that we hung in the loft two years before and we never quite had the time. Life is funny that way, how it happens when you aren’t looking, in ways you didn’t expect. We wanted the canvases on the wall to reflect our family, to be the work of our own hands, and the painting on the floor did just that. Our carpet original is unexpected, but true.

Yeah, that would be a contrived and cutesy blog post ending, wouldn’t it? The carpet looks trashy! The kids got in trouble! But it looked trashy before, because Daisy, our Mood Cat, used to pee on it all the time. We were going to replace it already, we were just waiting for Daisy to pass on, because, even through she has stopped peeing on it, she still throws up on it. So if the kids are going to destroy something, why not the trashy carpet? Now we are still waiting on Daisy, which is why she is for sale. Which she really isn’t. (Unless you really want her.) But one day, before too many years, we will have nice carpet again. And maybe, just maybe, painted canvases. The end.