Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Old Maid

While on a weekend vacation at Mimi and Papa's a new family favorite was discovered. There were a few rousing games of OLD MAID!! I remembered playing this simple game not with a specialty deck, but by simply removing three of the queens from a regular deck. Well Miss H and Cubby are at the perfect age to dread the drawing of the OM and to try to trick the other players into selecting it. Check out this Vegas action!

A nice friendly card game....

Stacking the deck for Mimi...

AHA rid of the Old Maid!!

Here Cubby tries to pawn off the losing card on Miss H..

Seriously, I haven't giggled so hard in a long time. Miss H's reactions were priceless!! So we played quite a few times because who doesn't love to laugh like that! There was one snafu in that Little Daddy is none to interested in playing by the rules, and really would only like to match the firemen cards. but even that could not detract from the general giggling and anticipation.
There is something magical about this stage where Miss H and Cubby have not yet mastered the masking of their emotions. I adore the rawness of their joy, and the transparency with which they approach everything. As much as I would like to prolong this stage, where attempted sneakiness is accompanied by giggles, and a stern look can bring the truth tumbling out, I do know its time is sadly limited.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

An Epic Tale...

This is a little after the fact, but worth the wait I am sure. Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to stay at home with the kids as mommy went off to coach field hockey. Lil Bit was going down for a nap, so I was upstairs listening to that special sound she makes as she goes off to sleep (some people would categorize it as screaming, screeching, or crying. I prefer to think of it as pre-snoring). After she finally stopped and went to sleep, I went to the basement to check on the other three. Upon reaching the top of the stairs, I noticed that there was a great big mess down there, which led me to think that maybe I should not go down there, as the general rule in our house for messes is that if you find it, you are responsible for cleaning it up. As a side note, this is also our rule for poopy diapers, which has led both of us to pretend that we have stuffed up noses on several occasions. But I decided that I would go down there, and boy am I glad that I did. As I was able to see one of the great theatrical performances in our family's history. I tried to capture it on "film" but I am sure you have all read about the trouble we are having with our camera, which is also the reason that I was unable to switch to video mode to capture it as it happened.
As I reached the bottom of the stairs, I noticed that Little Daddy was decked out in full knight gear. He had on a breastplate and was carrying the scabbard of the sword that went along with the breastplate ( the sword has long since been confiscated from the original owner, Cubby). Additionally, he has on the knight helmet, and was holding the Swiffer end of a broken Swiffer, which confused me at first, but then he explained that it was his shield. Next I came across Cubby, working very hard to squeeze himself into a Size 12 Months pair of pajamas that his mother had sewn an alligator head to. This is a 4 year old boy wearing size 12 months pajamas, you will note that they do not reach his knees, but he got them to zip up. He then put on a set of butterfly/fairy wings, at which point he grabbed an orange visor. I was equally as confused by this as I was the Swiffer, so I asked what he was doing. He explained to me that this would be his "fire breath" for the battle. At this point I had yet to notice Sleeping Beauty on the couch in a bright pink tutu, also hand crafted by her mother.
So I have set the scene for you, and for those of you who know our kids it is fairly obvious that this idea came from the head of our very own Cubby, who is remarkably creative for someone who is destined to lead the Cubs back to World Series glory. He then explained everyone's role in the play. Little Daddy would battle him with his sword and shield as he breathed his fire breath at him.

Sleeping Beauty would lie on the couch doing nothing until she was rescued.

After the battle, which of course was inevitably won by the handsome knight, the dragon would lie dead on the ground...

... and the knight would give Sleeping Beauty a kiss!

The most amazing part about this entire project, which was entirely kid driven, was that they actually did what he said. Even the kiss, and they repeated the scene for me several times so that I could get pictures. After the many takes they decided that they should rotate roles, which I thought was going to work out fine, but alas neither Cubby nor Little Daddy wanted to be Sleeping Beauty so the play fell apart and we all went upstairs to make some cookies.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Let the Good Times Roll!!

So, our camera died, as you know, and I had this brilliant idea that we could have a yard sale to help fund the purchase of a new one, because the idea of not being having photographic evidence of the best time of our lives saddens me. So the Mr. cranked up the Cricut machine, and I broke out the spray glue, and we made some super signs. I posted on Craigslist, (super awesome!!) and the Mr. went around stapling up the signs. Just as he put the last staple in the last sign, RAIN!! buckets of it!! A sudden isolated thunderstorm it seemed, specifically centered on our yard sale signs!! AHHHH!

Well, when The Mr. returned home, we both kinda shrugged, and said, you know.. if it's meant to be.. it will be, and there just isn't much to be said about it. As in all things, His will be done.
The Mr. deposited the doughnuts we planned to bribe the kids with during the sale on the table and we went to bed.
At 5:30 in the morning, we started pulling out our sale items and arranging them in a true pottery barn meets yard sale style.. I even had the most awesome idea ever (if I do say so myself) to take the cover off our pop up tent and use it as a huge clothes rack. I wrote prices in colorful sidewalk chalk on the driveway.. and then.. we waited.

We didn't have to wait long, because at 15 minutes before we "opened" while we were still steeling our nerves, a man and his dog walked up. No they didn't buy anything.. but at least it seemed that people would be coming!

The day continued and it was awesome. People were coming and they were genuinely interested in our items, and we met a lot of people from the neighborhood that we hadn't seen before. We had a couple of items sell right away, and some people were a little sad they hadn't gotten there sooner.

One thing that I thought was really funny.. when we were cleaning stuff up and choosing items to put out, I pulled out the Mr.'s cleats (he used them maybe one season).
"No one's going to want those!!" he said with indignation.. "I'll bet you someone will" I countered, because really they are great cleats, hardly worn.. and we are taking Yard Sale prices...
Yep you guessed it.. Those were the first things we sold. Three bucks!

Another big hit, all the clothes were $1. Unless of course you bought a lot.. in which case.. I said make me a deal. Even the maternity clothes (which have been around the block obviously!!) went for $1, and you should have just seen the parade of pregnant bellies that came along.

So the Mr. and I had just one regret, and that is that there was a little boy who desperately wanted both Ape Escape games, but his mother told him he could only have one. We both confessed we had just wanted to give it to him, but didn't want to go against the mother.

A little boy from around the corner came with his dad, the dad bought a CD and the little boy bought 4 tall shot glasses, I looked wearily at the dad to make sure it was okay, and asked the little boy if he was planning on using them for flowers, no he looked sheepish, I use them for making potions and stuff. I love science! So cute!

It was neat to see couples stumble onto our extra glassware as if it was exactly what they'd been looking for. To see them smile with pleasant surprise at 25 cents a glass, was even better.

So at the end we had a few toys left, and buckets of clothes, a feeling of great appreciation for our neighbors, and the kind of God that would allow us to have surplus, and to disperse it in this way. To bring joy to others, to see a mother picking through my maternity wear for her first grand baby still in belly, to see another gramma find the perfect winter wear for her new grand daughter... was awesome!

Generally, we are people who give it away, when we are finished we do just try to pass it on to someone that will use it, but often this transfer is blind. It was uplifting to see his love connecting us to people. There is a different kind of joy to be witnessed upon someone finding what they want, and being able to get it for themselves.

The bottom line.. not only did we get to meet and greet people, to hear their stories, and see their kids. We ended up with extra space in the garage and shed, and we made $400!! Seriously, so I'm thinking a camera is definitely in our future!! This is the Canon G10 which is currently topping my list of favorite, although the sx200 is right behind it.

The most priceless gift if you ask me, was seeing His care for us. We had a desire, and he met it, the downpour did not obliterate our signs, Craigslist did not delete me when I accidently reposted before deleting, and people came, and they bargained.

Also since we still don't have a camera, I got to browse through flickr to find these! NEAT.

Let the good times ROLL!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

the day the music died

well the camera anyway... On saturday we had a bloggable excursion and I took this picture,
the LCD view on the camera was displaying backward and upside down, but it was still usable.

On Monday I picked up the camera to take a picture, and guess what.. the screen didn't work at all. I know.. I was pretty sad too. I still got, a shot close to what I wanted.. but it took 12 tries.

I called the people at nikon, and guess what they would love to fix it, but it is no longer under warranty so we will have to pay for it. I know I was bummed about that too. Guess what, the same had happened recently with the Mr.'s Ipod, and fixing it, was just as expensive as getting a new one. So.. given that we replaced the ipod, refinished the deck and repaired the grill this month, we won't be getting a new camera anytime soon. And yes, I did try to plant to idea that perhaps the Mr. would like to return his ipod and get a camera, but his subconscious did not seem to be too receptive to this idea. So.. it may be a while before you see any super cutie Riley pics.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stand Up and Cheer

Mark you calendars... Lil Bit can stand up! She's done it a few times now, and this is the first time I've been able to grab the camera. She is also cutting a humongous top front tooth, that has made her, hmm opinionated, hence her lack of clothing, and her chewing on a magnet wand. We can't wait to see what her new grin will look like!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Ties That Bind

Perhaps it is that I have just read Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, perhaps it is the summer time which means a lack of schedule and more time for reflection, maybe it is that I am now thirty and thus instantly wise.. whatever it is I have been struck repeatedly by the interweaving of the stages of our lives. It started small, Cubby was pushing Lil Bit on this popper ride-on we had purchased when the twins were one. It was a trick of the light perhaps, but my mind's eye was instantly aware that he had done the same thing with Miss H. When I blinked there he was again, his almost five year old self. (He's grown at least two inches since February). I'm sure he did the same with Little Daddy, but that's not what I thought about, it was the tenderness that struck me for these little women in his life. As much as I can be frustrated by his exhuberance, I am awed by his tenderness. As much as he can drive me mad with his rough play, he will snuggle in so close in the mornings that I can feel his pulse. He is thoughtful and sensitive, and reflective in a way I treasure. The first time I saw Cubby I thought he looked just like my Dad. That is exactly what I said outloud; that is what has been tickling my heartstrings these last few days... how in these boys I can see the parts I love best about the people I have loved best. It is an amazing gift to see how these things that seemed so uncommon are actually constant.

The other thing The Mr. and I had a great little chuckle over involved baseball.

I think I mentioned before that I played t-ball. Did I mention I was probably the worst one (not to mention the smallest). Somewhere there is an adorable picture of me in a huge cap clutching my black t-ball mitt that I spent the season chewing the rawhide lacing out of so that my dad had to replace it with a white shoelace that didn't taste nearly as jerky like. Anyway, I was watching the Mr. patiently throw the ball to each of the kids in the backyard. Even to Miss H, who owns a PINK and black mitt that I know it pained the Mr. to purchase. Anyways, two things happened, I was simultaneously sad that my Daughter wouldn't get to hold my little black t-ball mitt I had so carefully packed away with all my other mementos when I headed off to college, and flooded with a memory I only understood watching the Mr.'s patience stretch.

Much as these kids had, I asked my dad to practice catching with me. (I told you already I must have been terrible). And he did come out of his workshop to catch with me. I can remember about 10 minutes of him patiently throwing the ball. And then he said, "Here Summie let me show you what to do." He walked over to the sun porch with it's corrugated roof and said, "You just toss the ball up there like that, and then look for it to come down," he stuck his tongue out in concentration and it flipped over to the side (just like Cubby's) "and you catch it." he finished with a quick snap of my teeny mitt. As I mimicked his moves, he watched for a moment then slowly backed away to the workshop.

Well, The Mr. and I had more than a little chuckle over that one, seeing as how at the time I thought he was being so helpful and creative, and only now as a parent can I see that my slow progress was most likely exasperating!!

Truly, these are the ties that bind. These experiences and moments I try to document for our family history sake, not necessarily the binding one to one another, but to the common experience of parenthood and childhood. I have been struggling to express this clearly, and still I struggle as it is so many parts-emotion and yearning and love, and something as simple as the soft breath of a sleeping child.

When I braid Miss H's hair, push the kids on the swings in the backyard, reach for their hands before we cross the street, hold my breath as they climb too high, when I exhaust my patience, when I say "Go Play!!" for the hundredth time, I feel this connectedness, not just to my own Gramma, but to my aunt, my sisters, my friends, to the Coppedge family who sold us this house, to Miss Hazel next door who will be 89 in September, to all of God's people.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The First Cut is the Deepest

No one commented, but I'm sure everybody noticed that Lil Bit's hair was looking especially great in our fourth of July pics. Aside from the assortment of anti-frizz and curl enhancing products I have been sampling at the Wal-Mart, we did get around to giving her a much awaited, eagerly anticipated first hair cut. While, it should not seem daunting to remove a centimeter of hair.. we all know how sharp those little Gingher scissors are, and how dainty Lil Bit is. So, well as it could be put off no longer, I took a deep breath and snipped away. The hardest part was getting over my own fear that those adorable curls could not be permanent.


I can still remember My older sister Sunshine being left to watch me, and my younger sister Winter, who couldn't have been more than two. Winter had the most adorable little curls at the nape of her neck, giving her little bob of hair the perfect flip. Sunshine had had enough of hearing about how my mother had been waiting and waiting for one of her kids to get her curly hair, and as soon as my sister was left in charge, she said, "Ohh Winnie, don't you want to get those icky curls off so you can have straight hair like me?" It didn't take long for Winter to agree, and Sunshine hacked that perfect flip right off. Boy was my mom mad!! Anyway, that popped into my head as I was getting ready to straighten her do.


Group Shot!!

Cubby- July 6, 2005

Miss H Sept 10, 2005

Little Daddy Jan 24, 2008

If memory serves me right, Cubby and Miss H were relatively easy. But by all accounts Little Daddy not so much. As a matter of fact, the next pic after this one in our "album" is him clinging to the Mr. for dear life. This was just one of the reasons we had to start taking the boys to the saloni! The other being Cubby's penchant for leaning to which ever side you are cutting.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Fourth of July!!

Having been raised in Huntington Beach, I have to say I LOVE the 4th. It is at times difficult to live here where America's Birthday is a day of celebration not CELEBRATION if you know what I mean. Regardless of location, the show must go on so to speak, so we are working to build our own little traditions.

We started off with a good breakfast, and then after Lil Bit's morning nap we headed down to our pool for their celebration. There were t-shirt relays, bobbing for apples, diving for money (a big hit with our boys) and something called a watermelon dive that I had never heard of before, that involves trying to get a lubed watermelon out of the pool. So fun! We headed home from there exhausted, showered the kids up, grilled out and tried to recoup for round two... fireworks!!

We had to drive to a town about 20 minutes away to see a good show. This again made me a little more homesick for Good Old HB where we would have just loaded our stroller and pushed the kids down to the beach. Anyway, putting the kids in the car at 7:30 (usually bedtime) to drive somewhere where we would schlep them 1/2 a mile to a grassy field and wait for the show to start at 9:30.. seemed anti-intuitive... but it was great. The kids had a great time and so did the Mr. and I! And although we were not home until 11:00... they did sleep in a little bit.. and we still made it to church on time.

I greatly missed my family this year, watching the Parade with Nea's family (and enjoying their fantastic party!) as well as taking part in the wild trek down Huntington Street to watch the fireworks over the ocean.

I also thought about how one of the neatest things about the parade experience is the bumping into people you haven't seen in forever... Hopefully, we will be able to make it out there next year!!

Happy Birthday America!