Peeper and I went to a small July 4 party at home of a friend who lives literally a few yards from where the fireworks were being launched. We had to look almost straight up to see them, and when the big ones burst, they pretty much filled our field of vision.
Most of the kids were sitting with their respective parents, but Peeper spent the first several minutes of the show rolling around on the ground, saying, “Wow! Wow! Oh wow!”
At one point, she shouted, “This is really happening!”
I made this for the July 4 party that we went to this evening.
Chili Dog Casserole
1 package hot dogs, sliced
2 cans chili
1/2 red onion, diced
1 can crescent roll dough
3-ish cups shredded cheddar cheese (or similar)
- Preheat oven according to directions on crescent rolls.
- Mix chili, hot dogs and onion in a bowl.
- Put 1/2 crescent roll dough in the bottom of a greased baking dish.
- Layer cheese, chili mix, cheese, chili mix, the remainder of the dough.
- Bake, covered with foil until dough is cooked (use time on the package). Top with cheese and bake until it’s melted and browned.
This evening, Peeper and I attended a Summer Solstice potluck at the farm where we’re CSA members. I took baked spaghetti, and it seemed to be a hit. It was gone pretty quickly, and Mr. A, the falafel chef told me that it was really good, and his eleven year old son ate a bit serving of it. Yay me!
We knew a handful of people there – the falafel-making family, the kid’s art center lady, some that we know sort of in passing from farm things, and a family (mom, three teens) that I feel like I should know although we’ve never spoken because I see them at least two or three times a week, at the farmer’s market and Target.
I actually spoke to the mom, and told her that, and we introduced ourselves. When I told her my name, she said, “Oh, I have a sister by that name. And the first woman I met here has the same name as my other sister.” Then she introduced herself. Her name is the same as my sister’s!
We kept talking, and found out that our fathers and sisters-in-law also have the same names, and her family has male and female versions of Shrike’s name – which was inspired by Peeper bringing up the fact that BabyBro’s brother-in-law has the male version of that name, so DaNiece and DaNephew have an aunt and an uncle by the same name (different spellings, although either spelling can work for either gender).
While not having freaking revelations about stranger’s family’s names, we ate lots of delicious food, including s’mores (and some additional graham crackers and chocolate), Peeper ran and played and adventured with some other kids, I had a bit of wine, and we enjoyed a lovely evening.
At Christmas, we gave Peeper $5 to donate somewhere, and before I could even began to offer her options, she said, “I want to give it to the animal shelter!”
We started giving her an allowance a couple of months ago, and $0.25/week has go to in her “share jar.” She’s been planning on donating it to the animal shelter again, but I told her that there had recently been a fire at the exotic animal rescue that we visited a couple of years ago with MOMS Club, and she immediately said she wanted to give it “to those animals.”
I think she had saved $2 in quarters, and I had recently added $5 to it in honor of her weaning, so we sent in $7.
(I sort of appropriated the idea of making a charitable donation to mark a major milestone from one aspect of the Jewish custom of tzedakah. I gave $50 La Leche League myself and gave her $5 to donate as she chose.)
I wanted to trade her two $1 bills for the 8 quarters, but she was having none of that, so we sent in a rather jingly envelope, with the money wrapped in up a note that I had her dictate to me. I started with the “Dear Animals…” and she took it from there. I wrote it all down and she signed her name.
This evening, the exotic animal rescue posted a scan of her letter, with the following note.
Today in the mail we received what looks like the entire contents of a 5 year old’s piggy bank,,quarters and change tucked in a beautifully decorated envelope. This sweet and loving donation from a young girls heart means more to us than a mountain of money. Ellie’s Mom, you are raising a beautiful girl who has a heart of gold..tell Ellie she helped not only the animals but the people who care about them by this kind gesture!
That was a couple of hours ago, and Facebook tells me that the post has gotten over 20 comments and over 230 likes, only a few of which are from people we know.
I called Peeper in and showed her the picture of her letter and read all the comments. I wish I could’ve gotten a photo of the look on her little face. That was priceless.
To learn more about the East Coast Exotic Animal Rescue and how you can help them, please visit their page on Facebook or consider donating to their GoFundMe fund or purchasing one of these bracelets, necklaces or rings.
Today was Peeper’s last day of preschool, and she was pretty excited about it. Of course, there’s the part about it now being summer vacation, but also, she’s pretty excited about being a kindergartner next year. Mostly the part about “staying for lunch” and going on field trips.
Of course, she’ll still be at Montessori, in the very same class with the same teachers and about 2/3 of the same kids, so it really won’t be a huge change for her. In fact the past two years, starting preschool at Mother’s Day Out and then switching to Montessori, were a much bigger deal than starting kindergarten will be.
But it is still very exciting, and we’re making a big deal about it, and it’s really kind of blowing my mind and freaking me out that mah baybee is going to be in kindergarten in just three months. How the hell did that happen?
I helped out with Field Day for a while, and was able to get a few pictures of Peeper, while doing my obstacle course duties.
I had to cut out early to go to work for a while, and help my students with some last-minute preparation for tomorrow’s final, and Shrike is working day-shift this week, so Papa picked Peeper up at school and dropped her off to me. After work, we went to the all-school swimming party at a nearby pool. As you might imagine, she thoroughly enjoyed that, even though I have no photos to prove it.
Back home, a quick headache-curing power nap for me, into some clean clothes, and then out to dinner to celebrate as a family. After dinner, we popped over to Target for a new kiddie pool, a noodle for taking to the real pool, and the World’s Awesomest Bike Helmet, which I’ll have to get a photo of when Peeper wears it.
One of our friends from Montessori (and other places) arranged an end-of-school party for several little girls and their moms, at a nearby tea room. In addition to the tea and food and gift shop, they also have lots and lots of old “lady” hats, scarves and feather boas available for dressing up. As you can imagine, it was a big hit with everyone.
For those not following along at home, today our governor announced that he is not filing an appeal of the ruling that Pennsylvania’s DOMA is unconstitutional. That means that it’s a done deal, the ruling stands, and marriage equality is now the law of the land in the Commonwealth.
We are, of course, elated by this sudden turn of events, but I’m having trouble really wrapping my head around it. I keep thinking of “buts” that no long apply to us.
Who would’ve thought we’d see the day when a Republican governor would let marriage equality happen – and then have everyone say, “Oh, he’s just doing it to get votes.” Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t possibly care less why he did it, I’m just blown away that we now live in a day and age where supporting marriage equality is the politically advantageous thing to do. We’ve come quite a ways since Gov. Howard Dean had to wear a bullet proof vest after signing Vermont’s civil union law.
And the changes that have happened over the course of our relationship are amazing. When we first got together, we were living it Texas when sodomy laws were still on the books. In just sixteen years, we’ve gone from being “regular law breakers” (well, depending on what we might be in the mood for at the moment) to old married folk.
And yet, we’ve still got a ways to go. There are several positive court rulings that are currently being appealed and will probably make their way to the Supreme Court in the next year or so. I am fairly confident that when SCOTUS does hear one or more of these cases, they will at least uphold those rulings, and may well declare marriage to be a right for all of us, nationwide. One can hope.
Even here in Pennsylvania, though, there’s still work to be done because, although we can get married, we can also still be fired for being gay. There’s a bill proposed to add sexual orientation to the state’s non-discrimination laws, but it will take a lot to get it past some of the less-tolerant members of our legislature.
But we’ve come a hell of a long way in just a few years, and we’re still moving in the right direction, and I know that, before long, we will get there, and the days of inequality for the LGBT community will be, as Judge Jones said in his ruling on Wednesday, discarded “into the ash heap of history.”
Shrike was at work yesterday when we the court decision was announced, but Peeper and I went out to dinner, although she didn’t understand that we were celebrating.
On the way, we stopped at the wine store and picked up a little something, then Shrike and I celebrated when she got home.