Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day of School

The first day of school went great. Several weeks before school started we headed to Target for school supplies. I had consolidated the lists (3 of them) into one master list that had items and quantities. It took about 15 minutes of time, but so worth it. Since all the kids are getting bigger they were able to help gather supplies, "Lainy Ann, get 3 yellow highlighters". "Connor, you need 4 boxes of Tigonderoga pencils". "William, go get 4 packs of post-it notes". Caskey came with us so it was the ultimate tag-teaming. We were there at 8 am on a weekday so it went great.

Then a few days before school started we were able to meet the kindergarten teacher. That really helped put William (and me) at ease. He got to see the classroom, was excited about the bunny in his room, and I got to drop off the 15 pounds of school supplies (40 oz of hand sanitizer!!). Again, since the kids are getting older, they spent a good part of one days separating the remaining school supplies and putting them in their backpacks. They had a list so they worked together to count out pens and markers and sharpen pencils. Finally, the burden of school was transferring to them. I even had Lainy Ann help me pack Alexander's emergency bag for school (extra clothing).

On the first day of school I awoke refreshed at 6:30 am. Ellie nursed and went back to sleep so I could ready everyone in peace and quiet. I got up before everyone else that morning and lovingly made sandwiches for lunch, then I started on breakfast; scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits. Children got up one at a time and I directed them to the clothing I had laid out for them. I continued to pack lunches and made breakfast, sure the sausage was a little brown, but I was sending my kids off to school with a hot meal. We all sat at the table, all 6 of us, and ate breakfast together. A rarity in this house.

We got into the car and each child was delivered to their classroom on time, thanks to the new system of posting class lists the night before. The children greeted their friends and put their supplies away. I took several more pictures with my camer and phone so I could update the internet world on our going-ons. I had clever antecdotes to caption every photo. The first day of school was a success.

The second day of school: Eleanor woke up all night long every 2 hours. I woke up groggy but still determined to prepare breakfast and lunch for my family. This morning was bagels and fruit. I had gotten these bagels on sale and frozen them and defrosted them the night before. See, now I was a thrifty mom too. I started to slice the bagels and then my finger. My good mood was wilting. Now the kids are getting demanding, "Why isn't there peanut butter on my bagel?" "Because mommy is bleeding, dear." Except I may have yelled that last part.

I manage to muddle through the rest of my morning routine with only 9 fingers. We headed out the door mostly on time. Today I dropped the kids off and Lainy Ann and Connor were responsible for walking WIlliam to class. I watched them as I drove down the street. It seemed to be going okay. I tried to revive my good attitude by having a little one-on-one time with Alexander. We talked about his school and teacher. He is trying to remember her name. We worked on his enunciation. And then as I drove through an intersection the coin drawer (ashtray) in my car exploded. Money went flying everywhere and it made quite a ruckus. It starteld me so I slammed on my brakes. I started to look for the cause of the explosion. I hear a tiny voice from the back of the car, "sorry, mommy". Apparently he had a ball and decided to throw it into the passenger seat of the car. Except he missed and almost caused a car accident. They say cell phones are distracting, try driving around with 5 cranky kids. That should be illegal.

What happened to my great mommy-powers of getting everyone cared for with a good attitude? Maybe they will return tomorrow. Or maybe the first day of school magic allowed me to be super-mommy and now I am just me. I wonder what the 3rd day of school will bring . . ..

Monday, August 29, 2011

Feather Wars


I received this picture as a birthday gift recently. You know you're old when you don't even remember a picture getting taken. It took a bit of hunting to put the pieces together. The date stamp says it is April 1995, we met January 1994. The craft glue and feathers tell you that we were doing some sort of project for Margaret once again. It could have been for her REP class or some other group she works with. She is always eliciting the help of her friends in some sort of charity project. Apparently, that day she used the teen helpers in her house.

But the part I like most about that picture is that it is a foreshadowing of our future. We are still silly and fun and outrageous. Most people don't get us. That's fine. It only matters that we get each other. Over the years we have done some outrageous things; usually involving chasing and empty wrapping paper tubes. Off the top of my head we have done crazy things like breaking a reclining chair (Sorry, Lainy). Something about tackling the other person and then falling onto the chair causing it to break. Another time I ended up in the pool fully clothed. There have been lots of in between fun too. Caskey is famous for his 'mustaches'. Usually he gets one from the gum ball machine, but he has been known to get one via sharpie (by me).

I love how full of life and passionate we are about everything. We have brought that into our marriage and have taught that to our children as well. Examples of this include the time I almost broke my arm when chasing around the house with ice and more recently the water fight at Alexander and William's birthday party.
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

SUMMER: A Review

I wasn't looking forward to this summer. Last summer, pregnant with my 5th child was really really hard. It was hot (or at least I was hot) and I was so uncomfortable we didn't go anywhere. The kids were bored and I was cranky.

This year I vowed summer would be different, but on a budget. We canceled all of our normal summer trips (Vegas, Arizona, a family trip) and stayed home is the pursuit of savings. I scoured all the libraries, zoos, museums, and community events to find ways for us to keep busy. And we did. We went on a 'field trip' once a week and did science experiments at home. We did a lot. So to all my kids teachers, when you ask "what did you do this summer?" and they respond "nothing". Here is the list.

National History Museum: Caskey won a family membership to this museum, so we went 3 times. We ran out of summer or we would have gone more. Its a huge museum with plenty to do and plenty of activities during the whole year, so we will probably make another visit or two before the year is over.

Belt Loops: Someone asked me why we were doing so many belt loops this summer, was I an overachiever? Nope. I used our scout book and belt loops as an easy guide for things to do this summer. In all, Connor earned 10 belt loops and completed about half of his Wolf requirements for next year. I am thinking it will make for a more relaxing fall.

Camping: With the scouts of course. There is no way I would go otherwise. Although we were only gone for a few days, the packing and unpacking stretched it to a full week. It only cost us $50 (if you don't count gear and food) so it was a pretty inexpensive activity. It was also a great experience for all of us.

Bowling: For a Belt Loop - of course. We found some coupons for cheaper bowling. Also many bowling alleys have free bowling for kids during the summer. Plus its air conditioned. Bonus!

Ultimate Frisbee: For a Belt Loop. We found 2 Ultimate Frisbee courses; one nearby and one further away. We played one game and learned the rules. It took up an afternoon and we learned something new. It was great fun for the whole family. The bonus is we did it with another family, playdate!

Adventure Park: This was by far one of my most favorite activities. I can't wait to go again next year. It was a bit of a drive down to Long Beach, but so worth it. The whole park was beautiful. We definitely need to go back there again soon.

Legoland: Coupons! We had not planned on doing a trip. But once we found out there was a buy-one get 4-days free deal we went. We stayed with my uncle and the whole trip only cost about $500 for a family of 6 (hubby stayed home). You can't beat that.

Science Experiments: We did several science experiments. I had ambition to do one each week, but we got busy, then lazy, then I was content to just let them play in the front yard. .. . yada, yada. But the most memorable ones were Invisible Ink (a Wolf requirement) and Volcanoes (just plain fun).

VBS: Cheap! Fun! Need I say more?

Scout Camp: Our local chapters held one cub scout and one girl scout camp locally. They were also super inexpensive. More belt loops and patches were earned.

Zoo: Free coupons!

Library program: We live near two great libraries, even more if you are willing to leave the city. We signed up for the book reading program so the children could read and get prizes. We tried going to the library once a week to get new books and return old ones. Plus they had a puppet show, animal show, Mad Science show and much more that we didn't attend.

Chess Club: Our local YMCA has a local Chess club for children ages 5 years and older. We went for several weeks in a row to practice our Chess skills. Also for the Belt Loop.

Free Lego Day: I don't even want to post this here. But on the first Tuesday of every month Lego has free Lego's. They just give them out. A little kit for the kids to put together and keep! Of course you can't go to the mall if you don't go to Red Robin. So this one may not have been that cheap, but we have to eat, right?

Getty Museum: Did you know the Getty Museum is absolutely free? I didn't. They have beautiful gardens and architecture. A fine restaurant. Parking is $15 though. And I wouldn't exactly consider it kid-friendly. But it was still fun to ride the monorail from the parking structure to the museum. The kids had a great time rolling down the grass and looking at all the fountains.

Birthdays: I must have done something right (or wrong). We celebrate 4 birthdays in the summer. It keeps us busy with family and friends; baking cakes, having parties and celebrating. It costs less in the summer because we can just have some good food in the front yard.

Lowe's and Home Depot Kids projects: These are free kids projects that are held 1-2 times a month. They are free. You must sign up for them about a month in advance to make sure you will get a spot. The website says they are for children 5+, but I saw young children there as well and I think we are going to let Alexander try next time.

JPL: JPL offers free family tours, as long as you book it far in advance. We took the whole family for a weekday 3 hour tour where we had the opportunity to see the new Mar's Rover Curiosity. Plus we are space nerds so it was pretty cool!

Vegas Baby: I just remembered, we did go to Vegas, for 24 hours. We had an errand to run in relation to Allyson's upcoming nuptials. But since it wasn't in the budget to go we stayed just one night and stayed at the Orleans. I have never stayed off strip before and it worked out great. I don't really need to be near the strip, so it was just fine for us. The rooms were cheap, but clean and since there was a food court downstairs the food was cheap too. The kids had a great time in the kiddie pool and full counting cacti across the desert.

Building: About halfway through the summer Connor ended up with a tool box and scrap wood. Its kept them busy for HOURS.

Things I would do differently:

Plan. I got lazy near the end of the summer and we didn't do quite as much in regards to school work, library visits and science experiments.

Be realistic. I planned on the kids doing far more school work than they did. I'm not saying we were lazy. They were definitely always learning, cooking, measuring, doing chores, reading, etc. But I had a much bigger idea as to what we would actually accomplish in the workbooks. But I am not going to be hard on myself. They learned far more valuable lessons on their 'building' days with wood and nails in the front yard or baking pumpkin muffins than they would have in a workbook.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Five Years

I used to set aside a birthday party day and the actual birthday day for each child to make them feel special. But that is getting more and more difficult. This year we had to celebrate William's 5th birthday at the Google Company Picnic at the beach. We started the day off at IHOP where he had ice cream for breakfast. I tried to convince him he needed pancakes, but daddy overruled that one and he had ice cream. Then we loaded up the car and went to one of the places I loathe the most - the beach. I dislike the beach. a lot. The sand, the heat (I burn) and we were going with a baby would get sand in all the crevices. Blech.

But we went and it was fabulous. I think it was one of the best birthday's William has had. The loved playing in the sand with his good buddies (another family was able to join us). There were games, and kites, all you can eat Italian Ice. A band of pirates came to the party for a meet and greet. And for the first time ever William spoke to a person in costume. Normally he runs screaming and crying at Halloween and Disneyland, but he actually hugged a pirate at the party.

It was such a perfect day. We had a bed, umbrellas, chairs and a canopy. The Eleanor and Courtney napped in the ocean breeze. Honestly, there is nothing better than that. William had such a great day that he thought the whole beach party was just for him. They even announced that it was his birthday over the loud speaker so people would come up to him and say "Happy Birthday, William".







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I'm excited about this next stage of his life. He has been teaching himself to read this summer and knows about 100 words. He will be starting Kindergarten at the same school as Lainy Ann and Connor, and since its a half day program he and I will get some one-one-one time which will be very good for him. He is starting his 2nd year of soccer and he just loves being on the field. He is also becoming a pretty great big brother to Alexander; their relationship is really developing and they are becoming partners in crime (which is bad for us). I can't wait to see who William becomes as he continues to grow up.

Cluck, Cluck

Miss Ellie is full of all sorts of surprises. Although she has been saying da-da for quite a few months she has yet to make any other sounds. She has quite a few intonations and noises so I can tell if she is happy or sad or frustrated, but no ma-ma or ba-ba. She did however learn to cluck or tut, the clicking sound made by her tongue and the roof of her mouth. It cracks me up. If I cluck, she will cluck back at me. She also clucks after I give her kisses (maybe a response to the smooching sound).

I was lamenting about this to Caskey how she can't bother to say ma-ma, but she can make this strange clucking sound. He responded, "there is probably an African mother somewhere complaining that her baby can only say ma-ma and not cluck." So true.

She has also taken to chewing on her blanket. She will stick it in her mouth and hold it there. I'm sure she is just teething, but it reminds me of Lainy Ann chewing on socks when she was about the same age. Lainy Ann would grab a sock out of the clean laundry basket while I was folding and stick it in her mouth.


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Monday, August 15, 2011

Unlocked the Urban Adventure Badge

I was recently driving through downtown Los Angeles pointing out the skyscrapers and realized the kids have never really experienced the city. So I set about planning another adventure, this time a local one. We decided to board the metro at the Del Mar Station ($5/day pass, 2 children under 5 may ride for free with an adult) and take the Gold line into Union Station. At Union Station we transfered to the Purple Line and took that to Pershing Square. Once there we walked a few blocks to the Historic Angel's Flight and rode the tiny little tram to the top of the hill. We went with a group of friends and decided to grab lunch downtown as well.

I was nervous about this trip. I am a pretty adventurous gal, provided I have my car and plenty of contigency plans in place. If things go south with tantrums or other unexpected joy of childhood I like having my car and plenty of supplies available to me. That way I can just pack everyone up and throw in the towel. This was not going to be one of those trips. I was taking my 5 kids and only one stroller on a trip where there were many variables. 1. I didn't pre-purchase tickets and couldn't find information on children's tickets online. 2. Angel's Flight has been spotty with their operation. Its possible the tram would be closed for repairs. 3. We were having lunch at an undecided location. 4. Bathrooms - where are they? 5. Trains - they go fast and its too easy for kids to fall off a platform.

But we set off on the adventure anyway. It had been a few years since our last train adventure, so it was time. We invited along some friends because when you are going on an adventure with variables adding more to the mix makes sense, right? In all there were 13 children (8 years and under) and 4 moms. Fortunately, we had a seasoned New Yorker with us (and non-stroller mom), so she led the way and helped the big kids up and down escalators/stairs.

The Del Mar station was very nice. I loved all the transportation themed architecture and the little courtyard with a fountain. I'm sure all the passerby's enjoyed my shouts of "don't get wet. I don't have extra clothes" when the boys thought it was a good idea to lean into the fountain. We decided to snap one 'before' group picture and squeezed all the strollers in as the train came to a screeching halt. We ran and hurried over to the our first train of the day. Three strollers got crammed into the entryway of the train and there was no where to go. Fortunately, everyone was happy to step around our strollers and squeeze through as the boarded the train. The engineer even gave us a warning that he would need to be getting out soon so we could maneuver all of the munchkins out of the way. It was a special treat for me to see the engineer leave the train and be replaced by a new one at their very own train stop. The boys could look out the window and see about 5 other driver's waiting for their train to come by to start their shift.

Union Station . . . . the signage, well, there just isn't any. There were lots of signs pointing to the red line - but they pointed both directions. It was only by the grace of other passengers that we figured out that the red line and the purple line were the same. Then it was just a matter of a few elevators and keeping the kids from playing on the platform. There was very little waiting for the next train and the travel time was nominal. It was probably faster than driving would have been, but about the same cost-wise (if you include parking and gas if you drive into downtown).

The trains used on the purple (red) line were more stroller accessible. There was a large open area that was probably for wheelchairs, bicycles or riding scooters, but it worked great for our 3 strollers. A few quick stops and we were at Pershing Square. We took a few more elevators and wound through tunnels, this time, they weren't as fresh smelling as the ones in Pasadena and Union Square. We emerged in Pershing Square and all I could think is "this doesn't look like the google maps street view". We were immersed in the city with graffiti and pay-toilets. One of the lunch options was a subway sandwich to-go and a picnic near Angel's Flight. But we decided sitting for a bit, a waitress, and clean toilets would be better so we headed off to CPK.

It was a short walk, just a block and a half. The kids paired up and those not listening had the option of putting hands on strollers. We were very excited to get to Angel's Flight and see that it was running but we were thrown for a loop when we found out it wasn't stroller accessible. Now I have been to many non-stroller accessible places, but I can usually make do. In fact, every time we go to Disneyland we fold up the stroller to ride the tram from the parking lot to the front gate. But I don't know how Angel's Flight passed the ADA ordinances. Its a funny little car - the entire interior is steps with benches on either side a few poles in case you are standing. But each flat spot is only 12" deep, then another step. Not much room at all. We stood in front of the tram and watched it come and go 3 times before we had a plan of action. There was unpacking of strollers, asking big kids to carry bags, and for me strapping Eleanor into the Ergo. Once I had a plan I realized the turnstile to get into the car was even more limiting. So I had to actually lift my stroller (while carrying Eleanor) up and over the turnstile. We had planned on just shoving Cristina's stroller onto the car, but the turn style got in the way. It was a little chaotic as we ended up leaving her behind with Eva and figuring out the stroller situation. I was yelling, "We have the boys. Text if you need help." as the car clunked up the hill.

The ride up the hills was short, but very eventful. For a car full of children who are used to Disneyland there were a few shrieks and screams. Angel's Flight rides like Big Thunder Mountain, except clunkier. There was quite a bit of noise and ka-chunks and jolts. And I was balancing on a step with Eleanor strapped to my chest and my folded stroller in my hands. There wasn't any room to move forward to make sure everyone was behaving themselves. Or to remind them not to stick their fingers out the screen as the 2nd car came rushing down the hill a little too close for my liking. We made it to the top and hurried all the kids off and out of the way, since we were now down one mom. In the hubbub some of us forgot to pay our quarters. The operator was nice about it though and simply reminded us to make sure we paid. The ride to the top cost a quarter or 5 rides for a dollar. I just gave him a dollar for me and my brood and hoped it was enough. I figure Eleanor should be free, but there wasn't any information on pricing for children.

One of the moms decided to head down the hill to help Cristina make it up the hill. But then we realized with 2 cars going they would actually pass each other on the tracks - that wouldn't be very helpful. So we busied the kids in the shade at the Water Court at Cal Plaza and let them run around a bit in the shade. There was a large fountain in the courtyard that periodically shot water in the air. It seems there were restaurants nearby and there is some sort of light/water show in the evening. I would like to investigate that some more. That may be a fun date night in the future. Cristina made it up Angel's Flight while wrangling Eva. I'm not sure how she made it except that she is awesome.

Fortunately CPK was just across the courtyard and across the street. We arrived way before the lunchtime rush and got 2 tables by ourselves for all 17 of us. The kids were very well behaved considering lunch took nearly 90 minutes. They were all filled up on lemonade and pizza and we took advantage of the clean restrooms. I made all my children go twice. After lunch we went back to the Water Court to let the kids run around for a bit. They had fun until a security guard came and asked them to stop running in case they hurt themselves.

The return trip went much more smoothly. We knew how to tackle the Angel's Flight with the turn style and folded up strollers. We just reversed our route and elevators and tunnels. And for the gold line trains we looked for the section of train that was more accommodating to strollers so we weren't blocking the doors. Five of the boys found a group of chairs that looked out the window. They thought it was great fun to kneel on the seat and look out at the scenery whipping by. The thought it was even more fun that they would fall over when the train would start and stop.

The whole trip was a success. It was a lot of fun and I am thinking of exploring more public transit options. Maybe a trip to Santa Monica or Olvera Street. Who knows? But we have 2 more weeks of summer to figure it out.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Water Fight Birthday

When we first started having birthday parties for our children eight years ago, they were big affairs. We would have around 50 people in attendance. Everything would be coordinated; napkins, plates, etc. We even had centerpieces on tables. I would spend weeks de-cluttering and cleaning before hand. I would make special food from scratch and then hire entertainment for the kids. It was a ton of fun and a ton of work. The guests had a great time, but I found myself running ragged and not being able to visit with anyone.

About a year ago I realized that *I* should be enjoying these celebrations of my children getting older too. There was a way to have a birthday party, or any party, where everyone has a great time. The first step was cutting the guest list to only those people we were closest too. Those that we would lean on in a crisis and rejoice with when we have good news. And since those people are our absolute closest friends, they want to pitch in for the party too. Someone brings balloons, someone else brings the dip, we all pitch in. I have found that if you spend a few bucks on new toys from Oriental Trading Company the kids have an afternoon of fun and entertainment. Us parents sit by the street to make sure everyone is safe, then we can just relax.

This time it was a joint birthday party for William and Alexander, whose birthdays are 10 days apart. The theme was barely thematic - green, balls, and puppies. The cakes were a green puppy cake for William and an orange and brown A for Alexander. We ordered pizza and had chips and dip and fruit. Grown ups relaxed witha beer and the kids had planes, crafts and balls to keep themselves busy. We pulled the cars out of the driveway so the kids could ride scooters. The 17 children in attendance had a blast and a half. There were few fights and lots of rambunctious fun.

But then the grown ups had some fun. It started when Caskey opened a shook up soda on Melanie, spraying her with diet coke. Then there was some ice, then some more ice down the back of a shirt. But was really started it was when Lainy Ann was brave enough to drop ice down her daddy's shirt. Caskey grabbed the water hose and readied himself for war.

At first he sprayed at the children, after all who wants to have to drag home a bunch of soaking wet kids. But then they started taunting him, dashing in and out in front of the hose. Caskey was careful to not spray the littlest kids, but the bigger kids were drenched. Then he started spraying the grown ups, just a tad, but enough to elicit squeals from the moms. We all started keeping our distance from Caskey at that point - no one wanted to get too wet. Then I heard hushed whispers trying to get my attention, you know the yelling kind of whisper, "LESLIE". I looked across the yard to a movie moment. Melanie was taking big tip-toe steps towards Caskey, who was facing away from her. In her hands was a jug of ice cold water. The whole thing happened in slow motion for me, just like in the movies. Step, Step, Step, SPLASH! CHEERS! APPLAUSE! Then more squeals. Everyone was so excited to see Caskey 'get his' that we let out a roar and applause. Then he sprayed all of us for cheering. Mindy was the next to sacrifice herself - she ran into the stream of water and cinched the hose while John searched out the spigot.

The game was over. Everyone was a little wet, some people were drenched. And Lainy Ann, who essentially started the whole thing, remained dry. It was great fun having our closest friends celebrate our lives with us. They stayed, ate, drank and played. They loved on our kids and we all shared stories of our lives. Some of these people I have known my whole life and the person I have known the least amount of time I have still known for over 5 years. I know it wasn't my birthday party, but I felt like it was. These women, these families, . . . . we love each other. They are my village. I feel so grateful that we were all able to celebrate life together today.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Legos for Babies

It seems Eleanor is indeed a Dickson. Up until now I wasn't so sure. I am obviously her mother, but there have been so many things about her that are so vastly different from my other 4 children. Her blue eyes, thumb sucking, happy go lucky attitude, sleeping through the night and generally a happy baby with no fear of strangers. She is just so easy going, so unlike my other kids. I even dragged her around Legoland for 4 days. The poor girl was strapped in her stroller or in the Ergo for 10 hours every day. She would smile and ask for food. But no complaining or whining at all.

Until Saturday. After days of entertainment at Legoland and playing with her siblings she found herself without them on Saturday. They had gone to Knotts Berry Farm without her. I got out a new toy and left her to playing so I could quilt. Nope. She wasn't having it. She was cranky. She didn't want to sleep, stand, sit, lay down, or play. She complained all day long . . . until I took her on a playdate with her Godmother.

On Sunday she was a much happier baby as we went shopping in the mall. She had all her siblings to entertain her as we did all of our errands. Once we got home she sat with her two oldest siblings; Lainy Ann and Connor, playing Legos. She had all the Duplos to herself. She got to sit and play in her big sister's room, a room that is usually off limits, and play like the big kids. Usually they play at the kitchen table, to keep the small pieces out of reach. But today she was in on the action. She squealed and hollered and laughed for almost 90 minutes. She went from seated to her belly and back onto her bottom again. A first for her.

Apparently she is like all the other Dickson kids. She needs to be in on the action and play with big kid toys. None of this baby-stuff for Miss Ellie.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chicken Collection

When I was a child my mother decorated her kitchen in geese and blue and geese with blue ribbons. I didn't think much of it. But then as I visited my friend's houses I realized that their mother's kitchen were decorated in the same theme. And even today I will catch glimpses of blue and geese leftover in kitchens from the 1980's. As an adult I have wondered what the appeal was. I have seen other themes over the years. My mother-in-law has cows in her kitchen. As I started my own kitchen collection it never occured to me to have an animal-theme in my kitchen.

But that has changed.

I must have a chicken-kitchen.

It even rhymes.

My best buddy got me a chicken for my birthday. A whimsical chicken. I don't even particularly like chickens. Its what the chicken represents. It does not represent towels . . . or maybe I need chicken-kitchen towels . . . I do. I think I need chicken-kitchen towels. Whimsical chicken-kitchen towels. To match my whimsical chicken.

My 35th year is starting off with a bang with my chicken. Its so nice to be loved by someone so much that you get a chicken. At least its not a tire.