The Bus Rocks

By: Mrs. Swarr

Last week I dropped Declan off at school in the morning and was told he may be able to join the older kids for their field trip to a puppet show. This was a pretty big deal being his first trip out and first bus ride and first puppet show... but it was still uncertain if there would be an extra space for him.

I waited anxiously all day, wondering what tales our little man would have to tell later that night, if any. At home that night, we asked Declan all sorts of questions: "Did you go anywhere special today?" "Did you get to play with the older kids today?" etc. The answer to all was an uninterested 'no'. Sadly, Declan must not have been able to go.

Or so we thought. The next morning on the way to school we passed a school bus and Declan piped up, "Mommy I rode on a school bus!" I think he may have peed himself in fear with my uproarious, "What?!" (its ok he still wear diapers so no harm done) (except that he's still in diapers which totally sucks).

So after lots of questions, I discover that he had gone to the puppet show, had ridden the school bus, and hadn't told us. Honestly. Apparently Declan isn't to sure about Marionettes though. I asked him if he had fun and all I got was, "eh, sort of." Seems there was a scary monster that died (did you know there was a monster in Cinderella??), but the school bus was fun (duh, he got to sit next to Isabel).

So there he goes, having adventures, doing new things and mom and dad are oblivious. Maybe we'll book him for a communication class.

The Red Violin

By: Mrs. Swarr

First I want to warn you all against the rapid decline in quality writing in the Swarr Family blog. Why? The great writer of the family and composer of said blog (Zach) has decided it is time for him to move on and try new things. i.e. I told him to get up off his *** and make something of himself by doing some real writing. Okay that's not quite how it went down, but you get the idea. So from now on, I (wife of good writer) (who in contrast happens to have no writing talent) will be in charge of updating you on the family's goings on. And here my friends, is the kind of stuff I get excited about:

We bought a painting. At my urging. Me. Miss penny pinching, tight wadded, stodgy scrooge authorized the spending of many dollars on an item that does not fit into the category of "absolutely necessary for continued survival on Earth." What the hell? I give Zach a hard time for spending an extra $2 on brand name shampoo! But I couldn't help it. We do stupid things when we're in love. Here is the love story of me and my painting:

My father-in-law is an artist. Some of
his stuff I like, some of it is not as much my favorite (did I skirt around that one well enough?). Well.... the moment I saw the Red Violin (the name I lovingly attached to her) I knew I had been ruined and would never truly love again. She was not complete when we first met, but that didn't stop my heart from fluttering.

Like the start of all relationships, this one started out with a lot of doubt. 'She's too good for me' and 'She deserves a better wall than what I can provide for her' and 'What if she meets someone else'. Nevertheless I continued to visit her in Dad's studio. I even went to see her when she was moved to a gallery to display herself for anyone who dared walk by (the little slut). Jealousy ensued, but I was reserved to the fact that a Lititz art snob could give her a better home than I ever could.

Weeks went by and we saw each other only in passing. We exchanged pleasantries, but the atmosphere was cool to say the least. Then came the studio tour in which I knew she would yet again be displaying herself to the world. I was prepared to deal with it, until we got to Dad's studio and saw the crushing news: All Items 50% Off. What?! At least before she was demanding a decent rate! How could she whore herself out like this? I left in a rage of disappointment and confusion. Now any slum could walk in off the street and leave with her on his arm - it was anyone's guess what kind of life she would end up in. Through my hurt and anger, I simply knew I could not let that happen. Zach and I were well on our way when I finally spoke the words I had been hiding from for so long, "Honey, we need to buy her." I prepared for a long discussion with arguments worthy to convince him that it was for the best, but all I got was, "Okay. You'd better call Dad or it'll be too late." He had known all along. My secret love affair had never been a secret.

Well the Red Violin came home last night, and although we have little wall space, we made a cozy little spot for her, and there she will stay until Zach hits it big with his superb writing skills and we can buy her a new wall that is truly worthy of her.

Roar... tiger-like

By: Mrs. Swarr
I was going to write a nice long story about Halloween, but when it comes down to it, this is all there was:
  • Mommy works on tiger costume for days
  • Family walks in Mt Gretna parade on Monday, during which there is a torrential downpour and said costume is all but ruined. Trick-or-treat night? Wednesday. I have 1 evening to remake Tiger.
  • Tiger shabbily remade, trick-or-treating a success despite crazed rush from Lancaster to Morgantown.

He knocked on the doors and said trick-or-treat all by himself

Post trick-or-treating:
  • Declan learns he is not allowed to eat 3 lbs of candy at 8:30pm, even if he did just work for every piece of it.
  • Our beautiful 2 year old magically transforms into a raging, screaming, spitting, writhing mass of evil.
  • Said mass of evil is forcibly strapped to car seat (give me a break - I could have lost a limb) and proceeds to scream the entire 40 minute ride home.

I think he fell asleep at some point that night, but I've erased the majority of the event from my now frail mind.

Next year we'll give him door duty.